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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cover with punks, buy; cover with models, skip
You're seeing reviews for all releases of SUBWAY, which makes identifying which DVD to buy a bit difficult. The better DVD, with the original French Dolby 2.0 soundtrack, was released by Columbia/TriStar, has a cover showing the leads costumed as punks with Lambert bleached blond, and sports a heftier price tag. Beware the bargain-basement pricing -- the loss of quality...
Published on March 4, 2003 by Sheri Richardson

versus
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Subway on this DVD saddens me
Despite truly wanting to experience this movie again and see Besson's early work in the context of his newer films, The Professional and Fifth Element, the greedy way this DVD presents this film angers and saddens me. Only the video distributor/publisher benefits from this lazy transfer to DVD, as they lure unsuspecting film lovers into purchasing this release...
Published on March 13, 2000 by Robert Tonkin


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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cover with punks, buy; cover with models, skip, March 4, 2003
By 
Sheri Richardson (Formerly San Jose, CA US, now in the Wilds of OR US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
You're seeing reviews for all releases of SUBWAY, which makes identifying which DVD to buy a bit difficult. The better DVD, with the original French Dolby 2.0 soundtrack, was released by Columbia/TriStar, has a cover showing the leads costumed as punks with Lambert bleached blond, and sports a heftier price tag. Beware the bargain-basement pricing -- the loss of quality with the cheaper disc is equivalent to the difference between Hi-Fi and LP prerecorded VHS tapes.
With the higher price you get options. The Columbia/TriStar DVD is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, anamorphically enhanced widescreen, and also offers the dubbed English soundtrack as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. Trailers and scene selections fill out the features offered.
The dubbed English soundtrack isn't so bad, for what it is. The translation doesn't jibe with the English subtitles ("You ruffle me"?), but Lambert, at least, dubbed himself. The dubbing for Jean Reno is a hoot and an unexpected bonus.
SUBWAY garnered 13 nominations in the 1986 Cesar Awards, France's answer to the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and five acting noms. The film took home three awards, including a Best Actor nod for Christophe Lambert.
SUBWAY is an early and significant entry in Luc Besson's portfolio, and that of several of its actors, most notably Jean Reno and Isabelle Adjani (who has earned 11 Best Actress awards to date). The film has one of the best openings ever -- sharp, frenetic, and a foreshadowing of RONIN's wondrous car chases. From there the story gets...strange, but that's expected of any sudden entry into a vastly differing society. Helena (Adjani), hair spiked stiff, tells off her gangster-husband and their so-polite dinner companions in one priceless scene, then flees in favor of the more companionable denizens found in the subway. SUBWAY leaves you scratching your head, wondering what's the point, where's the point, and knowing it's just there if you could only see it, lurking at the peripheral vision. Not a bad thing and, sure, not for everyone, but the trip into the Paris Metro is interesting and fun, nonetheless. Composer Eric Serra gets some screen time (Bassist), and watch for director Besson driving the train.
Do be do be do.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Subway on this DVD saddens me, March 13, 2000
By 
Robert Tonkin (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Despite truly wanting to experience this movie again and see Besson's early work in the context of his newer films, The Professional and Fifth Element, the greedy way this DVD presents this film angers and saddens me. Only the video distributor/publisher benefits from this lazy transfer to DVD, as they lure unsuspecting film lovers into purchasing this release. Watching this film in its current condition felt as if you had opened a leather-bound copy of a classic novel and found the distilled text of a Readers' Digest version inside.
The DVD arrives with only a single English audio track and no subtitles. The laughable English dub makes watching the film almost unbearable; the remixed music pales next to the original exciting soundtrack.
This is a slick, entertaining film with a fabulous cast of familiar Besson regulars: Jean Reno, as an annoying drummer; Eric Serra (Besson's music composer); a very 80's styled Isabelle Adjani; and Jean-Hugues Anglade as a roller skater--a far cry from his deadpan role as Zorg in Betty Blue (37°2 le matin).
Poor presentation ruins Subway. It's impossible to appreciate this work through this release. One can only hope for a more appropriate film-loving release of this important Besson film.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The movie is great BUT..., December 6, 2000
By 
Tomas Friberg "ckount" (Stockholm, EEC Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Do not, I repeat, do not buy this specific version of this otherwise great (i'd rate it 4) movie - someone has put english voiceovers on this french movie. All nuances are missed - try to find another version, with french still intact.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY POOR QUALITY DVD, WAIT ANOTHER RELEASE, November 5, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Unfortunately I bought it because I like Luc Besson's movies. No French soundtrack, very poor image quality, no subtitles, and full screen ... AVOID IT (I give it one star because it's the lowest rating, but it does not even worth it!)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely ruined by poor transfer, August 1, 2000
By 
"billy_bollox" (Pretension, Hollywood, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
What a waste of plastic. One of my favourite films by my favourite director completely ruined. The transfer is reminiscent of a 10 year VHS rental copy and suffers from VHS video dropouts throughout the film. It's full-frame and not widescreen. The sound is very hissy Pro-Logic, and worst of all, the most heinous crime is that he soundtrack is DUBBED into English and there's no French soundtrack available! Admittedly it is dubbed by Lambert, Adjani et al. themselves, but the fact that it's not the original language just ruins it for me. Seriously distance yourself from this version and keep your fingers crossed that eventually this film will get the careful DVD transfer it so rightly deserves.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't seen this DVD yet, DON'T !, February 8, 2000
By 
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Watching the movie on this DVD ruins a great movie. I've read all the reviews saying how bad the transfer is, and I didn't quite believe it. How bad can it be ? I finally got hold the DVD yesterday, it's BAD, in fact it's beyond BAD! The VHS tape (with French soundtrack/english subtitle) would be a much better choice, I think it would even offer better video than the DVD!
4.5 stars for the movie. 1 star for the DVD
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Achetez le en France, September 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Si vous vouliez acheter Subway ici, car il s'agit d'un film absolument formidable (un peu viellot peut etre) eh bien n'en faites rien! A moins bien sur que vous ne souhaitiez ecouter la voix de Galabru doublée par un texan de je ne sais ou!!! Pas de version originale, mal encodé, etc.. Quel domage...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting movie, really bad dvd., September 4, 2000
By 
"ammolang" (Ill Noise, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
besson's "subway" is very arty, slick in an amteurish way and somewhat meandering in its story. but it is cool to watch. and interesting to see the early versons of all these "besson-trademark" shots, devices and actors that seem to crop up in subsequent films (i.e.: serra's music, Anglade & Reno, camera moves, etc.) there is an early car chase that predates the pulse-quickening ones in "Ronin", and eerily mirrors the tragic tunnel car accident that claimed princess di. lambert gives a typical lambert performance, smoldering yet somewhat off balance. the dvd quality is amazingly bad but it's really not that different than watching a well-worn vhs cassette, which i got rid of when i bought this disc. definitely one of the most "euro" feeling of besson's momvies. americans might feel lost sometimes.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - Awful DVD, August 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
This is one of the great movies of the 80's. True, it's a little dated now but still it's a classic of the period and remains some of Besson's and Lambert's best work. I'd strongly recommend not watching let alone buying this English only version. If you've seen the original you'll be disappointed, if you haven't you'll wonder what drug those positive reviewers were on. There is/was a PAL format VHS, in French with English subtitles, worth owning if you have a switchable format player. Otherwise lets hope someone produces a better DVD version of this classic.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the One!, January 28, 2002
By 
Paul Bressie (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Subway (DVD)
Lots has been said about the bad quality of the transfer, and which version is which and so on. Here's the story: The one with Christopher Lambert on the cover holding the florescent light is the good one. (apparantly the other one sucks.)
This version has the full widescreen treatment, the original french language w/ english subtitles (plus the terrible dubbed version, if you are so inclined). In other words - the way it was meant to be!
The quality is fine. It's not perfect - but quite good. I hear the other one looks like a used VHS tape. Sound and video are both nice.
As for the film itself - I saw this movie originally in the theatres back in the eighties during high school. Young, yes - impressionable, yes - but it introduced me to Luc Besson, who at the time was doing original and engaging work. (La Femme Nikita is still his best.) I have been waiting, since then for a suitable version to come out for purchace. This is it.
I love this movie! A lot of people really overthink this movie. They say things like, "All those people don't really live down in the Metro!" Duh. They say things like, "The plot is stupid, and the characters are fake." or "It's all style and no substance." True, it's not Citizen Kane. But it is a simple, if slightly unbelievable, love story with quirky and engaging characters, a lot of style, originality, and panache.
The chemistry between Fred (Christopher Lambert) and Helena (Isabelle Adjani looking her best ever, and that's saying a lot) as the starcrossed lovers is believable and endearing. The style is always engaging: From the opening chase where Fred cannot really drive his car effectively until he finds the appropriate music, to the final kiss.
This is a romance surrounded by an interesting, if unlikely, subculture setting a criminal and the bored wife of a rich politically connected busisman in an arena where their occupations and pretence are reduced to be only the reason for their introduction. From there, they both fight against the constraints of the real world to let their love bloom.
Just don't think alot. Just let it happen and enjoy it.
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Subway
Subway by Luc Besson (DVD - 2001)
$24.95 $21.95
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