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The Right Stuff
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It's strange that a Venezuelan-born like me should talk about a movie like this, but I feel that "The Right Stuff" should have been a classic -well, it is for me. The story of the "Mercury" astronauts is portrayed marvelously by Philip Kaufman's direction, showcased beautifully by Caleb Deschanel's stylish photography, and supported by an incredible cast including Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Sam Shepard, Pamela Reed, Kim Stanley, and Veronica Cartwright.
In fact, I remember when I was watching that movie at home, and my late father asked me if a man that appeared on the screen was astronaut John Glenn because he looked just like him. Of course I told him he was an actor who was playing his role. That said, it's incredible to see how Ed Harris is perfectly cast as Glenn.
And I don't want to forget one of the reasons why I love this movie, and that's Bill Conti's spectacular music score. Of course it may sound a little like Holst's "The Planets", but I usually weep every time I listen to the main theme.
I'm glad that a special edition DVD of "The Right Stuff" has been released, with fantastic extras that include new interviews with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, and an incredible documentary on John Glenn. I'm also glad about it because I think that this movie should be rightfully appreciated not only because it deals with historical events like the breaking of the sound barrier and the first American astronauts, but also because, as I said before, this is a classic.
This is a tale of test pilots, 'pushing the envelope', proving the sound barrier couldn't constrain mankind's reach for space. Leading the way is plain-speaking Chuck Yeager (portrayed by Sam Shepard with Gary Cooper-like charm), a Beeman's gum-chewing cowboy with a passion for his feisty wife (the beautiful Barbara Hershey), and hot planes. Not even a broken rib could hold him back when an opportunity to fly the X-1 was offered. His record-breaking flight could fill a movie by itself...and this is just the BEGINNING of the story!
Jumping ahead a few years, Yeager is joined by a new breed of test pilots, whose total love of flight challenges their relationships, and is the true measure of how they define themselves. Among them are 'Gordo' Cooper (Dennis Quaid), a hot dog jet jockey with an unhappy wife (sensitively played by Pamela Reed); and Gus Grissom (brilliantly portrayed by Fred Ward), coarse and direct, and anxious for his shot at the fastest jets.
The entire world changes when the Russians launch Sputnik, in 1957. As the American space program struggles to 'catch up', the government realizes that American men will have to go into space, and President Eisenhower wants test pilots to fill this role. Yeager is out (he never completed college), but Cooper and Grissom, and many others, compete for spots in the New Frontier.
These pilots, from all services, are weeded down to seven men, dubbed 'Astronauts', and the Mercury Space Program is born!Read more ›
This film has been properly remastered for both the video and audio, of that I have no doubt. Despite a Mbps rate that is lower than many current films on Blu Ray, averaging in the mid to high 20's, the flesh tones are spot on and color resolution throughout the film on BR is excellent. While blacks do not go as deep toward pluge as other movies on Blu Ray, for a film this old, they appear just fine. Details are easily scene, even in the desert and field shots. Since this was shot on film, there is a softer focus to the film's imaging but, all in all, this remastering is quite excellent. At no point did I see any artifacting or aliasing and there are a number of shots where stair stepping could have been created but, thankfully, weren't.
Audio is Dolby True HD 5.1 lossless and they did an excellent job with the audio editing with extensive use of panning between the front and rear stages as well as discreet directionality for foley fx in the surrounds. Having a 7.1 audio system, I found that the two extra surrounds really added a great deal to the audio mix and immersed oneself into the roar of the jets. There are not that many older films, or even new ones, with such an excellent use of the home theater surround stages.
EXTRAS...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have watched this move more than a dozen times. It describes the confidence, courage and optimism of an America all but forgotten in the political morass called 'political... Read morePublished 1 day ago by David Rasch
Long time favorite and physical quality of the disk and case were fine.Published 10 days ago by Careful Shopper
I had to watch this movie for a Film class and I ended up liking it so much because they explain the beginning of the space age as well as the competition to become these elite... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Arch
Good movie. My husband reaaly loves this one. Based on a true story.Published 19 days ago by Patti Day
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