Barry Lyndon (Amazon.com Exclusive) [Blu-ray]
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(May 31, 2011)
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When Stanley Kubrick delivered his film "Barry Lyndon" to Warner Bros. in 1975, the studio's namesake was long gone, and that was probably for the best since he may have chosen not to release what is the ultimate feather pen movie and also Kubrick's greatest masterpiece. If asked to do the impossible and name the best film ever made, I wouldn't hesitate to give my vote to "Barry Lyndon."
Plodding? Yes. Dull? To those who demand rapid fire editing, it may be the dullest movie ever. For those who appreciate fine literature and fine art, "Barry Lyndon" is an absolute feast, visually, aurally, and dramatically. Based on an obscure novel by William Thackeray, it's the story of an Irish lad climbing the ranks of English society, alienating everyone in his path.
As Redmond Barry, Ryan O' Neal's Irish brogue comes and goes, but despite that inconsistency, he acquits himself well. Also worth noting is Michael Hordern's narrator, often seeming to express disapproval for the main character as he perceptively surveys his exploits.
The real star of the film is Kubrick and his production team who recreate the 17th century in a way that makes the viewer truly appreciate what life must have been like at the time. Watching the women, most notably the beautiful Marisa Berenson, sashaying about in glamourous dresses, one wonders how they could endure the apparent discomfort of such cumbersome clothing. It's no wonder they took so many baths.Read more ›
Having recently watched the 16x9 Hi-Def Blu-Ray discs of "Eyes Wide Shut" and "A Clockwork Orange" (after having watched the old standard DVDs a number of times), I can say that Hi-Def makes an important difference with Kubrick's movies -- not just because they are gorgeously photographed, but because the richness of the images conveys so much essential, visceral meaning that even a slightly degraded picture (i.e., standard DVD) actually impairs the work's emotional fullness, clarity and expressiveness. So much of "Barry Lyndon" consists of pure image and music, and so many of the images are meant to intoxicate, that the film needs to be seen in the best possible technical presentation.
Short of a new 35mm print, a 16x9 Blu-Ray disc displayed on a big 1080 set in the dark, uninterrupted, is the way to watch all of Kubrick, perhaps especially "Barry Lyndon." Now, finally, Warners Brothers Home Entertainment will release "Barry Lyndon" in Hi-Def on Blu-Ray disc on May 31, 2011. Yes, that means you have to buy it again, but if Warners' Hi-Def releases of their other Kubrick films are any indication, it will be worth it. With any luck, this Hi-Def release should accelerate the recent critical rehabilitation of this tragically under-appreciated masterpiece.
AMAZON.COM, if you are going to continue to provide customer reviews, PLEASE STOP mixing reviews for separate products together; The QUALITY OF INDIVIDUAL RELEASES IS DIFFERENT AND AFFECTS THE CUSTOMER'S DECISION TO BUY!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very disappointing film in all major aspects. It began the last stage of Kubrick's career which I think was a serious decline. Read morePublished 6 hours ago by Jim DiEugenio
The most sumptuous perfectly built costumes and wigs of any movie in modern history. Groundbreaking use of camera and light. Read morePublished 3 days ago by JohnMcM
One of the most visually stunning movies made, an engrossing film once you adjust to it's stately-that means slow-pace. DVD and packaging all as it should be.Published 9 days ago by William J. Landers
LONG movie but lots twist and turns with great wardrobe and sets made it very nice visit to the pastPublished 10 days ago by Richard White
Barry Lyndon is one of our favorites. We've watched it once every other year for the last near 24 years of our married life together. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Veronique Baloup-Kovalenko
Possibly my favorite Kubrick movie. It is beautiful to look at, with the costumes, the gardens, the estates, the countryside, and the cinematography. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stacy Smith
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Barry Lyndon on Blu?||
As Warner Brothers has evidently abdicated their responsibility, maybe Criterion Collection would take on the High Definition transfer and BluRay release of "Barry Lyndon." CC's website offers an opportunity to suggest titles for them to consider. I suggest fans of this masterpiece... Read More
Apr 23, 2010 by M. Hickey | See all 14 posts
No. Although there is a fair amount of dialogue in other languages (German, French), "Barry Lyndon" has never had subtitles for this dialogue, including the original theatrical release. One can generally comprehend what is being said from the context, tone of voice and performance.
Apr 23, 2010 by M. Hickey | See all 2 posts
Theatrical trailer & list of awards/nominations. My copy lists Production Notes on the back, but there is none to be found.
Jan 17, 2010 by Kerry J. Koenig | See all 2 posts
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