Customer Reviews: Silverado [Blu-ray] [2009][Region Free]
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A return to the classic western of yesterday, "Silverado" recalls the sprawling efforts of Sergio Leone and the old spaghetti westerns while recycling many of the motifs of the best efforts from Howard Hawks, Anthony Mann and John Ford. It's a pity that Kasdan hasn't rethought the film and added in additional footage. Perhaps the version we saw in theaters was the definitive version but given the wealth of material I doubt it. "Silverado" is greater than the sum of its parts with a number of strong performances from Kevin Costner, Scott Glenn, Kevin Kline, Brian Dennehy and others. Kasdan manages to echo classic films in this sprawling but exciting western adventure.

Emmett (Scott Glenn) has just been released from prison and is on his way to Silverado to visit with his family when he's attacked by a group of outlaws. He's initially unclear as to why they chose him but it soon becomes apparent that they're hired guns sent by Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) to average the death of his father. Along the way Emmett must spring his kid brother Jake (Kevin Costner) from the jail of Turley for a killing that happened in self defense. Emmett has a guardian angel in the form of Mal (Danny Glover) a butcher who is headed to Silverado himself to help out his parents. Emmett also saves Paden (Kevin Kline) a man left to die in the desert by outlaws who ambushed him. When Emmett arrives in Silverado he finds things haven't changed; Ethan McKendrick is still trying to dominate the town by installing his own sheriff (Brian Dennehy) a former outlaw who rode at one time with Paden. He realizes that as long as he stays in Silverado he and his family's lives are in danger.

A beautiful and rich looking transfer highlights this first ever Superbit transfer of "Silverado". This Superbit transfer sparkles and I didn't notice any digital or analog blemishes of note. The black level of the transfer produces deep, rich shadows and the vibrant colors haven't looked this good since the movie was released theatrically in 1985. There's some noticable grain at the beginning of the film but that's to be expected. This is the first edition to sport a DTS track and a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack as well. The DTS track has slightly better dynamic range but it's virtually impossible to tell them apart otherwise.

Unlike the previous single disc edition of "Silverado", this edition has a number of terrific extras and has relocated the original "Making of" featurette to the second disc to maximize the bit rate for a better picture and sound. "The Making of `Silverado'" features interviews with Lawrence and Mark Kasdan discussing the origin of the film. Lawrence Kasdan has a series of precise images he wanted to portray and turned to his brother Mark to help him flesh out a screenplay that would allow him to keep those startling images and make a coherent story.

"A Return to `Silverado'" features Kevin Costner discussing his involvement in the film. Although Costner had heard stories about Kasdan writing the part of Jake for him to make up for having to cut him out of "The Big Chill", Costner was never told that by Kasdan himself. "A History of Western Shootouts" is little more than a promo piece for 10 of Columbia's westerns with John Cleese doing the honors as narrator in discussing "Missing", "The Professionals", "The Quick and the Dead", "A Man Called Sledge", "Old Gringo", "The Man from Colorado" and others. Running almost 9 minutes, it's not much of a featurette consisting of scenes from each film briefly described by Cleese. "Columbia's Top Westerns Trailer" consists of a montage of scenes from classic westerns put together to advertise DVD titles for Columbia. Once again, it's little more than a promo piece. Finally we get "Along the Silverado Trail" a historical commentary about this western. There's no commentary from any of the cast or Kasdan which is a disappointment and a bit of a surprise.

The reason to buy this is the upgrade Superbit transfer. It looks terrific here and the DTS track sounds especially good. There are only two extras worthwhile on this Suberbit Gift Pack and that's "A Return to `Silverado' with Kevin Costner" and "Along the Silverado Trail". Everything else falls into the category of promo pieces or filler. The 20 page booklet included is also quite informative but duplicates much of what is said in the "Making of" featurette. There's also a nice deck of playing cards included in this set.
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When Ernest Lehman and Alfred Hitchcock got stuck on the script for "The Wreck of the Mary Deare", Lehman said he really wanted to make "the Hitchcock film to end all Hitchcock films". The result was "North by Northwest". One might say "Silverado" is Lawrence Kasdan's attempt at "the Western to end all Westerns". Virtually every Western-movie cliché is -- uh -- trotted out for our inspection and amusement.

During the first hour or so, before the story starts getting really black, Kasdan has fun with these clichés. It works, because "Silverado" is an homage to classic Westerns, not a send-up. There's also some subtle borrowing. When Emmett leaves the cabin at the beginning, one can't help but think "John Ford". And Emmett's hobby seems to be whittling flutes (rather than napkin rings). (There are doubtless others I've missed.)

The casting is just about perfect. Even the normally torpid Kevin Costner delivers an amusing performance as Emmett's younger, goofy brother. Kasdan's leisurely directorial pace not only makes the action sequences more exciting, but also allows the actors to //act//, to do the "little things" that aren't in the script, but help us better understand the characters.

The image quality is excellent. I've seen "Silverado" several times, but the cinematography never impressed me so much. This is a film you //have// to see in high definition.

Kasdan says "Silverado" is a "family" film, but it has an apt PG-13 rating. There's little blood, but some vicious brutality.

I purchased my region-free Blu-ray from a British dealer. At the time I ordered (a little over a week ago -- it arrived muy pronto), their price was less than half their current price. (In the 45 minutes it took to write, edit, and post this review, several stores carrying this disk came and went, and the prices were all over the place.) A word to the wise...
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on April 27, 2000
In the well-made documentary that accompanies this collectors edition DVD release, the Kasdan brothers admit to being fans of the classic western films. They have incorporated many techniques of that genre in this fine film. The super cast includes Kevin Kline, Scott Glen, Kevin Costner, and Danny Glover as the four leads with Brian Dennehy, John Cleese, Jeff Goldblum, and Linda Hunt in supporting roles.
The film starts with a light flavor as we are introduced to the various characters but takes on an increasingly dark character as it rushes toward the foreseeable conclusion. This movie is meant to be a sort of compendium of all that is good about westerns and in that regard it performs admirably.
The DVD video quality is good but grain is noticeable in some scenes. Sound quality is quite good and the film was nominated for awards in that category. The aforementioned documentary is well worth watching and includes deleted scenes as well as insight from the Kasdan brothers and the actors. I would have liked to see more extras but this rarely happens with films from this time period due to the extra cost that would be involved.
All in all, a very good film presented in an attractive package that will appeal to DVD collectors.
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on May 10, 1999
I'll tell you how much I like this movie. I bought the VHS and soundtrack no more than six weeks ago and upon discovering its DVD availability, I immediately hit "1-Click".
I can't think of another Western in the 15 years since this film was released that I enjoyed more, not even "Lonesome Dove", and that's saying a lot. I was praying that it would be released on DVD and it's nice to know my prayers were answered.
The cast is one of the finest of the mid-Eighties: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt, John Cleese, and Brian Dennehy. And these are just the principals.
Silverado is a sweeping Western demi-epic that takes some classic genre cliches and weaves them into a modern classic, emboldened by Bruce Boughton's masterful score. The master of this all is co-writer and director Lawrence Kasdan, who has given us some other gems like "Body Heat" and "The Big Chill".
This DVD release is great news and the only thing that could make me happier is to find that additional scenes featuring Rosanna Arquette, deleted from the theatrical release, appear somewhere on the DVD.
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on August 13, 2001
I love Western movies. Especially John Wayne Westerns. "Rio Bravo", "Hondo", "True Grit", "The Searchers", and more. I first watched this movie at my uncle's house, thinking that because it was a more modern movie, I wouldn't really like it that much. And let me tell you something. I was watching it, mesmerized for the whole 132 minutes of it! It was superb!
It's a typical western story. There's the good guys who fight for justice, and the bad guys, who are greedy, selfish, and cruel. But the story line and plot was good, centering on the four main actors, Kevin Kline (Paden), Scott Glenn (Emmett), Danny Glover (Mal), and Kevin Costner (Jake). The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat. The ending is such a good one, too.
As soon as I could, I bought this DVD and I don't regret it. You can watch this movie so many times and you still won't get tired of it. The DVD has lots of special features. I loved watching the "Making of Silverado" documentary, learned a lot about the movie. I love the production notes. This is a movie you can't miss!!
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on December 30, 2012
The 'Region Free' made me suspicious. This seems to be a UK import, but it worked just fine for me. The resolution is not up to Blu-ray standards and is not noticeably improved over DVD. They clearly did not work hard on this transfer, which is a shame. However, the print quality is far and away better than my 1999 DVD. That was transferred from a used print and was full of scratches and spots. This edition appears to have been transferred from a clean print. I would love to see some of the new technology applied to clean up the grain. The film is quite grainy. It is my favorite movie ever, so I'm glad to have the improvements there are.
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VINE VOICEon September 3, 2009
I would love to give all of these sets the 5 star Blu review, but when enough little things creep in there I try to remain objective and rate it comparatively against other excellent releases. The movie played great and the overall product makes for an appealing gift idea, but the initial release price kills it.

The picture quality has the upgraded feel over the prior releases (excluding the Superbit) and provides for a fun watch with little to no grain or flicker. There is a buffered/fuzzy look in some sequences where there is a great deal of light contrasting dark clothing (several of the shots where cast members are outlined by a bright sky). To get an idea of the before/after watch the documentary making of opening sequence/Silverado title vs. the BD opening, you will see the amount of clarity upgrades. What disappointed me was the conversion backwards on the sound, meaning they chose not to take the DTS soundtrack from the Silverado (2 Disc Superbit Gift Set) release. I love the DTS, and as usual with the THD there is a flatter feel. Not a deal breaker, just not the best.

The supplements are a copy from the Superbit release including the Historian's Commentary, the Making Of, and the Return with Costner (which gets old fast - playing the interview in the store had customers disliking his "I am Silverado" attitude). The BD does have the new MovieIQ option (your player needs to be BD Live enabled) that when turned on is like having an updated IMDB on your screen for everything there is about the cast, crew, etc. The book is inconsequential and really only had one page (will include a scan once it streets - no prebook pics are allowed) of the 34 that entertained me. The majority of the pages are fuzzy glossy pics of the main cast and their bios. The audio has Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 tracks with subs in the same. A/B/C coded and states the "approx. 132 minutes" as opposed to the 133 on the Superbit.

Wish I could say run out and buy it right away, but I feel the prior special edition owners will be rightfully wary. I love playing it in the store as the clarity makes for a good presentation, but I have several people waiting for a price drop. Enjoy...
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on October 10, 2011
This 1985 Film captures Action, Drama, Light Humor, Great Outdoor filming (shot in Sante Fe New Mexico), with an all star cast. You will find yourself desiring to watch this film multiple times - it moves along briskly, and can be watched by the whole family without worry of - typical now adays - four letter wording, sex or drug related scenes. Yet this "is" an action packaged film. The four unlikely main by chance - and are on the road to Silverado. Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, and Linda Hunt turn in great performances.
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on October 24, 1999
Although there have been westerns made since Silverado this seems to be the last one that is just for fun, no messages. I enjoy Unforgiven and Dances With Wolves but why doesn't anyone make fun westerns any more?
I first saw this film on the big screen and then subsequently on television before rushing out to buy the video release. Over the past few years I haven't watched it because it doesn't look right in pan and scan. Now at last I have bought the widescreen version and can really enjoy the film again. This is great fun, a wonderful film and its a pity that a sequel is unlikely (or am I wrong?)
The picture quality is excellent and I was amazed at how dark the video tape is in comparison. I also noticed that while the DVD states that the aspect is 2.35 the film seems more like 1.85. Comparing the video tape (the opening scene looks like 2.35) the DVD has more picture information. So anyone concerned that they aren't getting the full picture - don't worry, its all here.
Great picture quality and good sound. A brilliant cast, great locations, good direction and a fun script make this a great modern western. Watch it, enjoy it and relive your childhood (if you watched every western as a child, as I did).
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on October 15, 2015
One of my favorite movies! I watched it over and over with my son as he was growing up, and I still like to share my aging VHS with friends.
It's a Western with obvious comic appeal. It was one of Kevin Costner's first movie roles, and he's unforgettable in it. The rest of the cast is mostly well-known, some by face if not by name: Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Scott Glenn, John Cleese and the wonderful Linda Hunt. Classic good guys vs bad guys! It's a funny and endearing movie, partly filmed in the amazing Tent Rocks/Kasha Katuwe of North Central New Mexico
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