Cut to the Chase - The Charley Chase Comedy Collection
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If you are a Charley Chase fan, this set is worth the cost just to see more Chase films you haven't seen before, and to see a few in better image quality than you've seen before. BAD BOY is in absolutely excellent condition, visually, and it is complete (the only other decent version on another DVD set is missing a key shot at the end). However, the music by David Knudtson does not bring the film to life. I have to give him a lot of credit: he is obviously watching the film and trying to comment on the action, which so many silent-film accompanists fail to do (I'll never know why); but the music in general is pretty lackluster. Probably if he had played the organ it would have been a bit more colorful. I do suggest finding a copy of the DVD collection "Becoming Charley Chase", which has a murky version of this film but with the very funny, kooky music-track by the Snark Ensemble. (If you are a Chase fan you should get that set anyway.Read more ›
This DVD set started out in 2005 when Kino just started releasing their Charley Chase DVDs. It is too bad that Milestone did not synchronize with Kino at the time, they could have saved some money & time as Kino had just released half of these in superior copies.
One other brief complaint about this set: WINDOWBOXING! These transfers were made in 2005 when most people still had CRT tube TVs that over-scanned. Milestone decided to windowbox the image, The windowbox framing is slight and tolerable in some shorts while others are heavily windowboxed. I measured one on a 32" widescreen TV and the image got reduced to a 21" (diagonal measure) square picture. One solution I have to the windowboxing problem is to play this on a Blu-ray player, upconverting the resolution to 1080p, and then zooming in the image. With the resolution upconversion, the image seems to hold its sharpness when zooming it in.
Today if producers are concerned about cropping for older TVs that over-scan, they should make an "Anamorphic" recording with black bars on the sides (like all Blu-ray releases of older movies). This would reduce the picture to a windowboxed image for older CRT TVs but keep the image in full square frame for modern widescreen TVs with no black bars on the top & bottom.
That said, here is a brief rundown of what you get, and which copy is better. (*= indicates a superior copy on this set)
APRIL FOOL - Jimmy Jump series (1924) - This copy is soft, the better copy is on the KINO Charley Chase Collection Volume 1.Read more ›
While not the fiasco which is Milestone's simultaneous Mary Pickford release, this DVD set is not without its problems.
Most of these films look pretty good, with the usual scratches and missing frames expected of silent films of this era. That said, "April Fool" (the first film in the package) looks pretty rough. "Charley My Boy", which the DVD case advises was taken from a 16mm print, looks even rougher. None of them are unwatchable, however, so they are still superior to what you might be used to of a public domain print for a silent film.
Music throughout is scene-specific, with the majority being piano only. Some of the piano music becomes monotonous at times, but it still does the trick. Personally, I also found the music on "Innocent Husbands" by Donald Sosin to be a little to startling, but another reviewer here thinks otherwise, so I guess it is "to each their own". Anything is better than the modern music that plagues some silent movie DVD's.
Concerning the DVD production, immediately, one is struck with the poor menu design, which places two of the eight selections on each DVD on a second page. Additionally, the menu always returns to the first film in the list upon the conclusion of each short, even if you are playing a short on the second page. Very inconvenient. Otherwise, the menus just have an amateurish look to them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a terrific collection of Charley Chase movies. His films are true silent classics and are really very funny. Read morePublished 2 months ago by PoodleMommy
Charkie Chase is one of the most underrated silent comedian of all time. A truly funny man. If you want a good laugh (actually, a lot of them), I would recommend buying this or... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Steven Earl Mader
Some of Charley's best work and that is the best. If you want an introduction to Charley Chase, this would be a great place to start.Published 14 months ago by Rabur
Though the video is not optimal, this collection is perfect for the Charley Chase completest. The musical accompaniment is excellentPublished 16 months ago by Frank Talby
It's Charley Chase. It is a great transfer. What more can you say. Just buy it and enjoy it. But please, give us some Chase shorts from the Roach years!Published on February 12, 2014 by Carl E. Feather
Cut to the Chase - The Charley Chase Comedy Collection was an addition to my collection I already have of his work.Published on June 30, 2013 by Kitty
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