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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Timely Tale
Takes place during the Democratic Convention of 1968 and tells the story of a reporter who finds that the FBI is pulling some dirty tricks during the social unrest of that period. Meanwhile, back at the tenement, he has become smitten with a housewife who is none to happy with her present situation and they begin an affair. This all goes on at the same time the...
Published 19 months ago by H. Drummond

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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Woe unto you, Criterion
This is quite a movie. The transfer to dvd is clear, the subject is potent and the cinema verite aspects are irresistible. So, why only 3 stars? Because Criterion continues to release movies in English without closed captioning. Am I really supposed to understand Verna Bloom's West Virginian dialect? Robert Forster (a marvelous actor who has rarely gotten his due)speaks...
Published 18 months ago by Joseph M. Jacobs


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Timely Tale, July 24, 2013
By 
H. Drummond "hueyd3" (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Takes place during the Democratic Convention of 1968 and tells the story of a reporter who finds that the FBI is pulling some dirty tricks during the social unrest of that period. Meanwhile, back at the tenement, he has become smitten with a housewife who is none to happy with her present situation and they begin an affair. This all goes on at the same time the political stuff is happening and the director of the film had begun filming the actual convention and the demonstrations that were going on and, lo and behold, all this other real stuff started happening which conveniently went hand in hand with his plotlines. Now either he developed the plotlines after the riots and police violence, etc. or his story was so well developed and timely that he was just able to fit it into place and blammo. Haskell Wexler had created a classic historically accurate piece of thrilling fiction. Robert Forster and Verna Bloom are great in this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Blu-Ray Looks Great and Loaded with Extras!, May 30, 2013
By 
Cubist (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Medium Cool has never looked better on this newly minted Criterion Collection Blu-Ray. The colors look vivid while the transfer still retains the texture of the original film stock.

There is an audio commentary by director Haskell Wexler, editor Paul Golding, and actor Marianna Hill. Wexler addresses the criticism of the opening scene and how the two journalists don't help the accident victim. He mentions being faced with that decision several times in his career. All three praise Harold Blankenship's performance and how real it is. Wexler and Golding point out that during the protest scene at the end, tear gas was really shot at them, but the famous line, "Look out Haskell, it's real!" was added later.

Also included is a commentary by historian Paul Cronin who examines the origins and production of Medium Cool. He expertly analyzes the film's themes while also delving into what led Wexler to make it. Cronin points out that Wexler paid for the film himself and then the studio paid to distribute it. He explains the fascinating backstory to the film's famous line in this great look at how Medium Cool came together.

There is a trailer.

There is an interview with Haskell Wexler where he talks about the origins of Medium Cool and how he was going to direct another film, but realized that something was going to happen in his hometown of Chicago and wrote the screenplay for the film. He discusses the influence of documentaries in this engaging interview.

Also included are excerpts from Paul Cronin's 4-hour documentary on Wexler entitled, Look Out Haskell, It's Real!, that focuses on the making of Medium Cool. Wexler, a few historians and key cast members take us through the production in this absorbing documentary.

There are also excerpts from a documentary about Harold Blankenship, who Eileen's son in the film. He grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago, but now lives in the wilds of West Virginia. He recalls being in Medium Cool in a kind of fragmented way and it is startling to see how much he's changed over the years.

Finally, there is "Medium Cool Revisited," which sees Wexler return to the city for the 2012 NATO Summit. He ended up shooting a documentary about the Occupy movement and this 30-minute featurette takes a look at how he did it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, June 6, 2013
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This film was at the time of its release overshadowed by Easy Rider. But this film was not only a brave experiment by Haskell Wexler, it was an accurate representation of the times. The improvised dialog captured the concerns of the people and filming in the actual riot was incredible. A very good document of the times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Point Of View, September 5, 2013
If you want to understand politics of the time from the viewpoint of anti-war protesters and those who did not care for "the establishment" then have a look at this scarce movie. It is all about perspective. I somehow suspect that many here who do not like this movie are the ones who resented the progressive movements of the times and have just found another outlet to take out their hostilities. Abbie Hoffman is dead and they can't pick on him anymore, so they knock the film. Maybe, maybe not, it is not a great film but it is very unique and unlike much of anything else you will ever see and it is worth a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that demands to be seen., June 15, 2013
This review is from: Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Medium Cool lives up to its unconventional title due in part to the ambitions of Robert Forster, whose character lives for capturing news for the public eye, sometimes before the ambulance arrives. The words "Hip", "Groovy" and "Fly" are understatements for this exceptionally crafted, under the radar, masterpiece that fits perfectly into the Criterion Collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!, August 16, 2013
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A hard to find classic of the counterculture now available on a superb transfer by Criterion Collection.

Includes segments of the amazing "Look out Haskell, it's real!" documentary on the making of "Medium Cool" (unfortunately not the entire film).

A perfect companion to Criterion's box set "B.B.S. Story".

Well worth the purchase.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of American Cinema, March 3, 2013
By 
A. CHIASSON "AlexC" (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First I'd like to say that I watched this movie for the first time a couple of days after I screened Argo. That should be enough to make one realize where cinema has gone in the last 44 years... Instead of a piece of complete revisionist history, à la 1950s Technicolor classical composer biographies - ketchup scene included - (something that I hoped that we had grown out of as a world), here we have a piece of film that captures one of the more dynamic and turbulent eras of modern American history and is not afraid to interplay between fiction and reality in a innovative and avantgarde fashion... Wow! This movie is heavy and at times so real... You feel the concern and the stress of the mother... It reaches new heights in aesthetic achievement... Much like Proust captures an era, this movie captures a moment that BECAME an era! I can't wait to get my copy of it in Criterion as I'm sure that they'll do it justice! Argo may have won an Oscar or two but it will be forgotten and dismissed as insignificant in a couple of years (much like Crash and almost all Oscar winners), whereas Medium Cool will stand out to those of us who are interested in understanding a time in history that has ultimately shaped the greatest society of this era...
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A near-flawless Blu-ray from Criterion, June 10, 2013
This review is from: Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Those familiar with Criterion DVDs and Blu-rays know about the company's commitment to quality, so this new edition of Haskell Wexler's "Medium Cool" won't disappoint. The video is sourced from a new 4K master, so the detail and stability of Wexler's 16mm and 35mm footage is second to none. The mono audio sounds great too, and give credit to Criterion for not attempted a faux remix.

The special features, by and large, are some of the best I've seen from Criterion. Not only to we get an older 2001 audio commentary with Wexler and company, but the studio also commissioned a new commentary with historian Paul Cronin. Together, they provide a lot of context for those who don't know some of the real stories behind the scenes. We also get a handful of documentary excerpts, including a brief reunion with the actor who plays young Harold in the film. Together, these extras are almost as compelling as the main feature.

This is one of Criterion's very best releases of the year and probably the best since "On the Waterfront" a few months ago. If you're at all interested in Wexler's film or the events surrounding it, this is a no-brainer. For more details, please see the complete Blu-ray review I've written for this release at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/60283/medium-cool/.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing has changed has it?, August 14, 2014
It's just getting worse, we now have a police state and death squads are eliminating mental defectives and black people. You pipe what the police are doing to the people in Ferguson?

The message of this exceptional film is... Why can't we communicate without being beat up? Our leaders have way too much power over us, whenever this fact is brought up our leaders simply exert their power to put the people down with violence and terrorism.

We protested Reagan's iran contra conspiracy, no one listened police beat people up and things just got worse.
That same secret government did 911 and now has more power than ever before!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema Verite, EXACTLY, February 9, 2015
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This movie would define prescience for me. How does someone making a movie in Chicago during the Democratic convention of 68 have the foresight to film using such as a background for his points about film. It's really genius, it's tight. Never seen anything like this Cinema Verite, le mot just! It's fun just seeing old footage of Chicago, let alone prescient clips the director made.
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Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Medium Cool (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] by Haskell Wexler (Blu-ray - 2013)
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