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Don Vito Corleone "The Joker" (Sleeping with the Fishes)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #26: An underrated Disney film receives a so-so BD release
, November 14, 2012
The Great Mouse Detective came out in a period when WDAS was struggling to stay relevant. After Walt's death in 1966, the animation division released movies that were not widely embraced as their previous efforts. One year before TGMD came out, The Black Cauldron was a box office bomb and became one of Disney's least successful and most forgotten efforts. TGMD had the task of taking away the bad taste The Black Cauldron left in moviegoers and became the next "Disney Classic". While it didn't accomplish that, nevertheless TGMD is a fun adventure with great action and superb characters. When a toy maker is mysteriously kidnapped, his daughter enlists the help of brilliant detective Basil of Baker Street and his colleague Dr. Dawson. They realized that this crime was perpetrated by no other than Basil's archenemy, Professor Ratigan. Basil and Co. will have to run against time to stop Ratigan and his evil plot of destroying the British Empire.
TGMD offers a kid friendly version of Sherlock Holmes and while its story can be a little forgettable and lacks some of the magic Disney's classics have, it offers good entertainment and has some great character animation! Ratigan is a marvelous creation and one of the best Disney villains ever. TGMD may not be a Disney classic but still has some nice moments and offers good entertainment for the entire family.
Video & Audio
TGMD has a nice looking transfer that remains faithful to the original source but it's not demo quality like other Disney BDs. Some specs appear from time to time but generally the transfer looks clean, detail is strong and colors are well reproduced. It's not a spectacular transfer but still it's quite good.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA fares a little better than its video counterpart but it's still very front heavy. Still, dialogue is always clean and there are not any hisses or other unwanted noises.
Sadly, because this is a very obscure title, bonus features are really scarce. Here's what's included:
"The Making of The Great Mouse Detective" is a very short featurette made around the time of the film. Is worth a look because is the most substantial feature in the set.
"So you think you can sleuth?" is a not very amusing game.
"World's Greatest Criminal Mind" sing-along
A DVD copy is also included.
One of Disney's more underrated films receives and adequate but not perfect BD release. Still, fans of the films or Disney lovers will want to add this film to their collections. Recommended.
Disney Animated Classic #12: Cinderella Sparkles on BD!!
, October 25, 2012
Cinderella represented a major gamble for Walt Disney. After producing inexpensive package films for the majority of the 1940s, the studio needed a hit to be able to return to producing full length animated films. Fortunately, Cinderella not only was a major hit but has become one of Disney's top classics. With the perfect blend of comedy, catchy songs, drama and great characters, Cinderella is the perfect Disney formula.
Most of you already know the story but here's a brief synopsis: Cinderella is a girl that is forced to live as a servant in her own house after her father dead. Her evil stepmother and stepsisters forced her to do all type of hard chores and she hardly has time for anything. But, when the king announces that he will organize a ball in honor of his son the Prince so he can find a suitable wife, Cinderella and her stepsisters are eager to attend. Of course, Cinderella's stepmother does everything in her power to prevent her from going but with a little bit of help from her friends the mice and a kind fairy godmother, she meets the prince and he falls in love with her. Of course, the Fairy's spell only lasts until midnight and she escapes before the spell is broken. The only trace that she leaves behind is a glass slipper and the Prince begins a search throughout the whole kingdom to find her again.
As you can see, the plot is pretty straightforward but what makes Cinderella a classic is the execution. Walt was a master storyteller and this film is a testament of those skills. The story keeps you invested the whole time and every element falls into place to create a magical film that keeps being as delightful now as it was in 1950 when it premiered.
Video & Audio
Cinderella looks wonderful on BD. As part of the Diamond line, the movie was given a major overhaul and the results are pretty great. An element of contention is the fact that all the grain has been scrubbed out of the film. The final image is spotless but this fact might make some purists groan in discontent. Anyway, aside from that debatable point, everything else in the image, color, detail, contrast, etc is excellent. There are no signs of damage whatsoever. A stellar picture.
Audio comes in the form of a 7.1 DTS-HD MA which is absolutely wonderful and compliments the picture in a perfect way. For purists, the is a 1.0 DTS HD MA that delivers a more faithful but still excellent audio mix.
Unfortunately, the new material created for this release is not very substantial but some pieces are nice and the carry overs from the previous DVD release are all excellent. Here's what's included:
"Diane Disney Miller Introduction" is the now standard introduction by Walt's daughter. Is always nice to watch her introducing these classics.
"Cinderella Alternate Opening Sequence" is a newly found deleted opening for the film. I have to say that the film's opening is better but the inclusion of this deleted scene is worthy.
Three new featurettes are housed under the "Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition" section. The first and the best is "The Real Fairy Godmother" which is a touching homage to Mary Alice, a woman that devoted her life to helping others and also served as the inspiration for Cinderella's fairy Godmother. The next featurette is "Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland" which is hosted by Once Upon a Time's Ginnifer Goodwin and shows us the process of creation of the new ride in DisneyWorld. The third and most silly of the three is "The Magic of a Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story" which is a french short featuring famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin.
"Tangled Ever After" is a delightful short featuring the characters from 2010's Tangled.
"Personalized Digital Storybook: Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You" is a Second Screen Application.
"DisneyView" is the option to watch the film with side art.
"Classic DVD Bonus Features" is where the majority and best bonus material is. Making-of documentaries, galleries, trailers, audio excerpts, retrospectives, deleted scenes and more makes this section an essential viewing.
A DVD copy is included.
Cinderella may not seem as ambitious as other Disney classics but it can't be disputed is one. Is the perfect blend of Disney formula and the result is spectacular. This new BD release offers stellar picture & sound and while new better bonus material would have been appreciated, everything that's included is great and informative. Cinderella is a Disney classic and a must own release.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #33: A wonderful film that should've had a better release
, September 7, 2012
Note: Similar to my review of The Fox and the Hound, I won't mention or review the cheapquel that is included in this set. Is just sad how Disney pairs beautifully done films with utter disgraces.
Now I'll proceed to review the original film.
Pocahontas is blamed as the responsible of finishing the Renaissance period that began with The Little Mermaid. I find those claims utterly inaccurate. While Pocahontas did not achieve the same heights of The Lion King and is not better than that one, is still a wonderful, lush and heartfelt adventure that deserves a better reputation. The animation is just glorious and the music is one of the best Disney has ever produced.
The story has been blamed as being historically inaccurate but come on, is Disney, is any Disney adaptation faithful to its source? I don't think you can expect a history lesson from a Disney movie but you can expect great entertainment and in that front, Pocahontas delivers.
The cast of characters are great and deliver stirring performances. The characters are memorable and the love story between the two leads is credible and poignant and as whole, Pocahontas is a lush, epic and emotionally profound film that still resonates after all these years after its original release.
Video & Audio
Pocahontas looks absolutely stunning on BD. A wonderful transfer that makes the film even more enjoyable. The colors pop out the screen, detail and clarity are amazing and the picture is completely stable. A wonderful image.
The 5.1 DTS HD-MA also delivers an exceptional experience with directionality and clarity in every sound, song and dialogue. A wonderful aural experience all around!
The most disappointing part of this release is the fact that the the extended cut that was offered in the 10th Anniversary DVD with the song "If I never Knew You" included in the film is not offered in this BD. Instead, the song is just offered to be viewed on its own. This is a very bad move from Disney. While the original film is still mesmerizing, the extended cut enhanced the romance between Pocahontas and John Smith and was a beautiful moment in the movie. It's a shame that some garbage is included in this release but Disney could not give us the the second cut which is beautiful. Shameful.
Here's the rest of the bonus material:
"Audio commentary" with the directors and producer of the film.
"Drawing Inspiration: The Lost Story of Hiawatha" is an all new piece where director Eric Golberg talks about the story of another native american figure, Hiawatha and how his story was considered by Walt Disney to be made into a feature film. This is an interesting piece history.
"Deleted Song: If I never knew you"
"The Music of Pocahontas"
"Little Hiawatha" is a Silly Symphony from 1937
"Disney's Virtual Vault" is the useless and cumbersome tool where most of the DVDs features are housed.
A DVD copy is also included.
Pocahontas is a beautifully done film that deserves a better reputation and a better appreciation than it has now. This BD is very good but could have been a lot better. First of all a standalone release would have been much better. Second the inclusion of the extended cut and third the exclusion of the Virtual Vault and the inclusion of all the extras in physical form. Anyway, this BD features stellar video and audio and the movie is wonderful so it comes recommended.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classics #23 and #29: Two wonderful films that look better than ever!
, September 7, 2012
The Rescuers was the last feature produced by Walt's legendary team of animators (the nine old men) and is easily their best since Walt's death in 1966. Released in 1977, The Rescuers is a delightful and heartfelt story full of adventure, poignancy and great characters. Both Bernard and Miss Bianca are wonderful creations that compliment each other. Madame Medusa may seem like Cruella De Vil but is not at all forgettable. The voice cast is spot on with Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page and the rest giving memorable performances and bringing unforgettable characters to life. The story of these two mice rescuing a little girl keeps you invested the whole time and you care for them very much. The Rescuers may seem a like a little obscure film but the truth is that is a Disney classic through and through.
Released 13 years later in 1990, The Rescuers Down Under was Disney's first official sequel produced by the main studio (not to be confused with a cheapquel). With high production values and using the CAPS system for the first time, Down Under is a breathtaking adventure. Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor reprised their roles as Bernard and Miss Bianca as they now are headed to Australia to rescue a little boy from an evil poacher. While I like the first film more, the sequel stills has a lot going for it. Again the voice cast is wonderful, the updated animation looks amazing and the flight scenes are absolutely mesmerizing.
Both The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under offer high quality entertainment and they're sure to delight the entire family.
Video & Audio
First, I have to say that The Rescuers DVD was one of the worst DVDs I'd ever owned. That being said, this BD is a very solid upgrade. The picture is clean for the most time although some tiny specs appear from time to time. Detail and clarity are strong and artifacting is nowhere to be found. A nice job done by Disney.
The Rescuers Down Under looks brighter and more striking than its predecessor. Detail and clarity are spot on and colors are bright and bold. It's not a CAPS transfer and some light grain permeates the picture but it gives it a nice filmic quality. A nice transfer all around.
Both films have 5.1 DTS-HD MA and while both get the job done, Down Under has a better use for it than the first film (due of course to inherent limitations). All in all, both are adequate mixes.
This is the most disappointing part of the set. Being its 35 anniversary and being such a great film, I expected more and more substantial bonus material for The Rescuers. Anyway, this is what was included:
"Peoplitis" is a recently found deleted song from The Rescuers. Introduced by director Ron Clements, the song is nothing extraordinary and it is better that it was cut off.
"Water Birds" is an episode from Walt Disney's famous True-Life Advetures
"Three Blind Mouseketeers" is a silly simphony featuring mice.
"Disney Song Selection"
"The Making of The Rescuers Down Under" is a promotional piece that came around the same time the film was released. It's a very short piece but at least is something.
A DVD copy is included for each film.
The Rescuers is an absolute Disney classic. The Rescuers Down Under, while not as good as the first is still highly entertaining. Both films offer nice transfers, good sound and a slim amount bonus material. Anyway, buy this set and you won't be disappointed!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #20: A delightful Disney film gets a nice BD upgrade!
, September 7, 2012
The Aristocats was made after Walt Disney's death and was the first animated film without his involvement. His last film, The Jungle Book, released one year after his death was very well received and in the way to become a classic (which now is). The Aristocats, released in 1970 does not enjoy the same status as its predecessor but is still a perfectly nice family film with great characters, catchy songs and delightful antics. It may not be as polished or sentimental as previous Disney films but its still a great ride to enjoy multiple times.
Many things make The Aristocats a memorable adventure: The characters are charming and funny, none of them (including the children) are annoying. The voice cast is excellent and even though Phil Harris essentially channels Baloo into Thomas O'Malley, he's still a hoot. Another asset are the songs. Written and composed by the legendary team of Richard and Robert Sherman, the songs are catchy, invigorating and memorable (especially "Everybody Wants to be a Cat"). The animation is nothing extraordinary but serves the film right.
All in all, The Aristocats may not be a masterpiece but is still tons of fun.
Video & Audio
The Aristocats looks excellent on BD. Disney has restored the film and the results are great. Detail is clear, the image is completely clean and the lines of look is still preserved. A very good transfer that easily surpasses all the previous Home Video releases.
Audio comes in the form of a 5.1 DTS-HD MA and delivers the goods. It may not be a bombastic experience but its a clean, stable and clear audio. You won't be disappointed.
Due to the fact that this film is not very popular as other Disney films, extras are very slim but there's still some good things in here.
"The Lost Open" is an all new, recently found deleted song. Introduced by composer Richard Sherman, the song was supposedly placed at the beginning of the film and had a character that was later deleted from the final cut. The song is nice, but I think is better it was cut off.
"Ouie, Ouie Marie" is a pointless music video featuring the little female kitten.
"The Sherman Brothers, The Aristocrats of Disney Songs" is a nice piece that honors the legendary duo and although is very short is a nice glimpse inside their creative process.
"She never felt Alone" is another deleted song introduced by Richard Sherman
"Disney Song Selection"
"1956 Animated Special Excerpt" is a TV special hosted by Walt Disney and dealing with cats. A wonderful piece.
"Bath Day" is a short film featuring Figaro (from Pinocchio) and Minnie Mouse.
A DVD copy is also included.
The Aristocats in an obscure Disney movie that is absolutely delightful. This BD features stellar picture and sound and some nice bonus material. You'll definitely should check this one out!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #43: An underrated Disney movie gets a stellar release!
, August 24, 2012
Treasure Planet is one of Disney's most obscure and unpopular movies. When it arrived in theaters on Nov. 2002, the film was a box office bomb failing to recoup even half its production cost. It received some recognition and it was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature but after this, it was condemned to oblivion.
That's a shame actually since Treasure Planet is a great movie. It's not up there with the Disney classics or can be called a masterpiece but has enough power to be given a chance and this BD is the perfect opportunity to revisit or check this underrated treasure for the first time.
Treasure Planet adapts the Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island" and converts the high sea adventure into an epic space adventure. The story follows Jim Hawkins, a 15 year old who lives with his mother and can't stay out of trouble. His father abandoned him when he was younger and this has affected Jim throughout his short life. His mother can't seem to understand him and Jim doesn't know where his place is. One day, an opportunity is given to Jim to finally prove himself and go in a quest that will change his life: the search of the mysterious Treasure Planet where an incalculable treasure is buried. Action, drama and adventure ensures in this epic journey.
Treasure Planet does a lot things right. It's fast paced, its animation is breathtaking, the score is magnificent and the central characters are well developed. The filmmakers capture teen angst in a perfect and poignant way. The relationship between Jim and Silver is handled very well and is a much more complicated relationship than your typical animated film. All this makes the story engaging and interesting for everyone.
Unfortunately, there are other things that Treasure Planet do not handle very well and the main problem are the supporting characters. They are not very well developed and the movie suffers as a result. The ship crew are random alien creatures which add nothing to the picture, it's like the animators just wanted to be crazy but the final result is not engaging. The relationship between Captain Amelia and Doctor Doppler feels forced but the greatest flaw is the robot B.E.N. The character almost ruined the movie. Is over the top and obnoxious in every single scene he's in. I know he was meant for laughs but his antics are unfunny throughout the film. All these characters take weight from the central emotional core of the film and should have been handled better, especially the robot.
Anyhow, flaws and all, Treasure Planet is still a high spirited adventure with a great message and impeccable technical presentation. It does not deserve the reputation it has and hopefully more people will re-discover it and give it a better place in the Disney canon.
Video & Audio
Treasure Planet debuts on BD in a near perfect presentation. Some minor banding appears in some scenes but nothing to be concern about. The picture is crystal clear, colors pop off the screen and detail and delineation is just breathtaking. This is one of Disney's best BD presentations.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA is a bombastic experience with good directionality and crystal clear dialogue. A wonderful experience all around.
While no new bonus material was produced for this BD, most of the DVD material has been carried over and while is not as extensive as it could, most of the material is engaging and informative.
You have an audio commentary with the filmmakers and several featurettes concerning the making of the film and the different stages of production (animation, design, music, story, etc), publicity material and more.
A DVD copy is also included.
Treasure Planet is an epic adventure that makes for an enjoyable experience. It's not perfect and has some glaring flaws but the final product is far better than its reputation would suggest. It's not Disney's best but it isn't its worst either and deserves to be seen at least once. This BD makes things easier with an impeccable technical presentation and worthy bonus material. Treasure Planet is recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #16: Sleeping Beauty is indeed a sight of beauty on BD!
, July 9, 2012
Sleeping Beauty is one of the most ambitious animated films ever made. It took Walt Disney the entire 50's decade to finish it and the final results where both breathtaking and different from anything that was done before or after. Sleeping Beauty is truly a class-apart film.
From its detailed and lush backgrounds, its defined characters, superb score and intense action, Sleeping Beauty is a true classic that offers very high quality entertainment. The plot might be thin and predictable but its truly a joy to watch. The characters are very well delineated and you invest and care for them. Many critics have said that the heroine is a very passive girl with not much to do or say but I think it serves the story right as the big stars here are the three fairies and Maleficent who carried the picture in a wonderful way.
Sleeping Beauty has been always lovely to look at but now in this BD is something truly spectacular!!
Video & Audio
Sleeping Beauty was the first hand-drawn animated film to debut on BD from Disney and the results are truly wonderful. The detail, the colors, the contrast everything is so clear and clean that you will want to see it again and again. Also, there are not any traces of banding, artifacts and other distractions. Simply amazing!
The restored audio is offered via a 7.1 DTS-HD MA and is just glorious! There are no distortions and directionality is spot-on. A demo worthy experience from a 53 year old film.
Sleeping Beauty comes in a 2-disc set and comes fully loaded with wonderful bonus features:
In Disc 1 you have the movie, a cine-explore feature, an audio commentary, The Grand Canyon Documentary and some games.
Disc 2 comes with a making of documentary, alternate opening, games, deleted music, The Peter Tchaikovski story, a tribute to Eyvind Earle, galleries, publicity and more.
Everything is very informative and a must-see.
A DVD of the film is also included.
Sleeping Beauty is one of Disney's most iconic classic and is certainly its most lavish and opulent one. With breathtaking scenarios, a great story, wonderful music and wonderful characters, Sleeping Beauty is a must-own film. This BD is absolutely spectacular with top-notch picture and sound and lots of excellent bonus material. Highly Recommended!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Disney Animated Classic #15: A stunning release for a wonderful classic!!
, May 22, 2012
Lady and the Tramp is not full of magic, fairies, princesses or other elements that are usual in
Disney films. It's a simple love story and one of Disney's most down-to-earth films. The story is
not complex but it has a lot going for it: Two sympathetic leads, a wonderful interaction between
them, beautiful scenes (bella notte sequence, anyone?) and great supporting characters. Who
would have thought that a love story between two dogs could've been so appealling, romantic and
fun? Walt Disney did a pretty good job with this one and had stood the test of time very nicely.
Lady and the Tramp has always been well regarded by the Disney Company and earlier this year, it
became the fifth title to be given the lavish "Diamond Treatment" and the results are spectacular.
Video & Audio
Disney has a high reputation when releasing its classic films on BD and Lady is not exception. The
lavish restoration that Disney has given to this film is simply breathtaking. Colors are rich and pop
out of the screen. Detail is perfect and contrast is strong. Also there is not any anomaly like
artifacts, banding or others. Is a completely perfect transfer through and through.
In the audio department things are pretty good too. You have two options: a newly produced 7.1
DTS-HD MA and a newly restored version of the original mono audio presented in 3.0 DTS-HD MA.
Both tracks are outstanding and everyone should be happy with the results. No hiss, no
background noise, everything is crystal clear and has good directionality. A superb audio
Lady and the Tramp comes with a nice assortment of bonus features both new and old.
Unfortunately is not as comprehensive as previous Diamond titles such as Beauty and the Beast or
Snow White but everything here is nice and informative.
-Disc introduction by Diane Disney Miller is exactly that as Walt eldest daughter talks about the
movie, her father and their connection.
-Audio commentary: Inside Walt's story meetings is the best new feature of this set. Similar to
Bambi's story meetings, here you can listen a group of actors reenact all the meetings that Walt
and his team had for the creation of this film. You can't miss this one.
-Disney Second Screen is a way to enhance the viewing of Walt's story meetings with additional
storyboards, artwork and more.
-Diane Disney Miller: Remembering Dad is a touching tribute from Walt's daughter where she talks
about the time where Lady was been created alongside Disneyland. Another must see feature.
-Three new deleted scenes.
-A newly found unused song
-Classic DVD bonus features carries over most of the material from the Platinum DVD.
A DVD copy of the film is also included.
Lady and the Tramp is one of Disney's most enduring classics. With great characters, a wonderful
romantic story and beautiful animation, this film has stood the test of time and has become one of
the most celebrated animated films of all time. This new Diamond Edition presents the film in a
spectacular way with fantastic picture and audio and a nice assortment of bonus material. This set
comes highly recommended!!
12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not a perfect release but comes pretty close!!
, October 30, 2011
Star Wars is an institution of cinema, it's not just a movie (or movies) but is also a cultural
phenomenon, a revolutionary franchise, a highlight in Hollywood's history and more. With an
excellent entertaining story, endearing characters (at least in the first three), spectacular and
revolutionary special effects, epic action sequences and the best score ever, this saga is truly
unique and amazing.
While the first three films are all classics and modern masterpieces, the prequel trilogy is
somewhat of a mixed bag that does not achieve the heights of its predecessors but they are not as
bad as many have claimed and they are still enjoyable in its own right.
This BD set is one of the most, if not the most anticipated release in the HD format. When it was
first announced, many sentiments circulated around the net: joy, anger, anxiousness, etc. Star
Wars is such powerful that we, the people have strong reactions towards it. Of course, with a new
release, there is also new controversy. First the bad news: the films presented here are new
"Special Editions" that are "closer to the vision George Lucas have for his films". I really don't
mind when directors go back to their previous work and do some changes as long as they give as
the option to choose the new version or the original release that everyone likes. George Lucas has
never give us such option and that's what bothers me the most. I wouldn't mind the special
editions if the original were also included (completely restored of course) and we were given the
option to choose. With Star Wars that has never been the case but, as mad as I may be, I have
learned to live with the pain and live with the changes that can be very subtle or very obnoxious and
I should warn you that if you absolutely don't tolerate the changes then don't buy this set. If you,
like me, have learned to tolerate them or don't care about them then this set is very
I will review each film, their picture and sound quality and some of the changes that have been
Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005)
Ep. I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
After Ep VI was released in 1983, the world has lived happily without a new Star Wars film for 16
years. But when George Lucas announced that he was going to release a new Star Wars film that
was going to be the first of a new trilogy, the world jumped with joy. Ep. I was one of the most
anticipated movies ever and the excitement was visible everywhere. When it was finally released,
Ep I was not proclaimed as an instant classic like the previous film and many people felt
disappointed with what they saw on the screen. To be fair, the first three films were sacred goods
and Ep I had to reach impossibly high standards. But, that it's no excuse to deliver a film that was
a mixed bag from beginning to end. The picture has a lot of problems, the main one been the actors. I
don't know what George saw in Jake Lloyd but he is not a good Anakin Skywalker. He is one of the
main detractions of the film, which is bad because he is the main character and if you don't like
him, then the whole movie is hard to follow. The other big detraction and this may be the biggest
one is the inclusion of the creature Jar Jar Binks. Many people have complained about the Ewoks
on Ep VI but the whole group of them are not as annoying as this creature. Jar Jar is such a bad
character that comes close to ruining the whole film. Natalie Portman is an amazing actress but here
she seems a little out of focus and uncomfortable. The best characters and performances are from
Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor as the two jedi knights that save the day. Other problem is that
some sequences are too long like the pod race which begins very good but then drags a lot and
ultimately becomes boring. The plot is too political and lacks the excitement that the previous films
had and overall, you never feel connected to the characters. On the positive side, the visuals are
amazing with spectacular special effects, the action sequences are exciting, the lightsaber fights are
fun much more dynamic and of course John Williams score is always of great help to all the films.
TPM has a lot of issues but ultimately is still watchable and sometimes, it is genuinely fun.
Movie: 3 stars.
Ep II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
After the lukewarm response to Ep. I, Ep. II was supposed to be a return to form for the franchise
and while is definitely an improvement over the previous film, it still has some troubles, mainly
one which can be summed up in two words: Hayden Christensen. How can you enjoy a movie when you
absolutely hate the main character? That's the main problem I have with this film, I can't stand
Anakin Skywalker. While the action sequences are better, the battles are bigger and more
interesting and is great to see Yoda in action, Anakin is a real pain in the a**. Again, Ewan
McGregor is the best character in the movie and you root for him instead of Hayden. But, not
everything is Hayden's fault. A lot of blame goes to Lucas who wrote the character as a stupid,
stubborn, whiner. Natalie Portman is good but when she is with Hayden, their lack of chemistry is
very palpable. The love scenes are very ridiculous and you just can't help but laugh sometimes.
What this movie does right, aside from the battles and special effects is that gives us more stellar
performances from supporting characters like Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker,
Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson and of course there is no more Jar Jar. It's also great to see
the jedi order in its splendor, fighting as a strong group. And of course Williams score is as always
Ultimately, AOTC is fun to watch despite its problems and is better than Ep I. Recommended.
Movie: 3.5 stars.
Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Now this is a return to form for the franchise. Ep III, which is easily the best of the prequel trilogy, provides a satisfying conclusion to the saga and I can easily say that is a great film. The story is much darker and the action sequences are great. The battles between Anakin and Obi-
Wan and between Yoda and The Emperor are simply amazing. Surprisingly, Anakin is not as
annoying as it was on the previous film and he fares better here. For a movie that you know what
will happen, Ep. III is a fun ride and almost equal to Ep. VI. Highly Recommended.
Movie: 4.5 stars.
Original Trilogy (1977-1983)
Star Wars (also called-Ep. IV: A New Hope 1977)
Countless of things have been said about the original SW so I won't delve to much in it. Suffice to
say is that while no movie is perfect, this one comes pretty darn close. It's a classic with
unforgettable characters, a great story and special effects that are still spectacular to watch until
this day. A masterpiece.
Movie: 5 stars
Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
My favorite SW film and one of the best movies ever made, TESB is as perfect as the first film and
even better. Darker, with great performances, a wonderful twist and an unforgettable villain, this
movie is perfection 100%. Very Highly Recommended.
Movie: 5 stars
Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
While this is the weakest film of the OT, is still a great film that gives a great conclusion to a great
trilogy. The main problem it seems to be the Ewoks but I don't find them that annoying (again
watch Ep I and we'll talk about who is really annoying). Ep VI is lighter than V but is also full of
thrills like the triple final battle, one in Endor, the other in outer space and the most important one
inside the Death Star. Ep. VI provides a perfect completion for a perfect trilogy. Very Highly
Movie: 4.75 stars
Video & Audio
Ep I is the worst looking movie in the whole set. Much blame goes to DNR that makes the picture
look weird. Faces are sometimes soft, night scenes are sometimes crushed but overall is not a
bad transfer. In fact, it has never looked better but it could have looked better if a better effort
Attack of the clones look much better but still has some problems again with softness and some
colors are not well reproduced. But, overall is a godd transfer and I'm sure it will satisfy everyone.
Revenge of the Sith is completely demo quality. Is as perfect as anything you will see. A
The original trilogy looks uniformly excellent. I was surprise that they did not eliminate all the
grain in the film like in Ep. I and there is a layer of it throughout the three films. Skin tones are
warm, colors are well reproduced and detail and contrast are spectacular. You will marvel at how
good the movies look. Some DNR is apparent in some scenes but overall the three movies have
stellar transfers. I'm very happy with the results.
Sound is spectacular in all six films. The 6.1 DTD-HD MA in the whole saga is dynamic, strong,
clear and completely amazing. There is no sign of damage or hiss. This is a stellar mix for all the
This edition has some new changes in the films:
The best one and the only one that feels appropriate is the replacement of puppet Yoda for a CGI
one in Ep. I. Is far more pleasing than in the original release.
The other changes unfortunately are again done in the OT. Fortunately two of them are not very
annoying. The first one is is Ep. IV where Obi-Wan's screams in the desert was changed and
enhanced. The other is Ep. VI and now the Ewoks blink. Both changes are hardly noticeable.
Unfortunately, the most annoying change, also happens in Ep. VI and now Darth Vader screams
"Nooo!" before throwing the Emperor down the Death Star. This change is very stupid because the
original scene was perfect but you know what they say "this comes close to George's vision..."
As for the previous changes, they are still there but now Han and Greedo shoot at the same time.
At least now, this is closer to the vision we had of the scene. But for me, the most awful change
was the replacement of Sebastian Shaw for Hayden Christensen at the end of Ep. VI and
unfortunately he is still there ruining the end of the movie. Thanks a lot George.
This set comes with so many bonus material that you will have to see it for days. Everything is
great and interesting.
First, on discs I to VI, you have two audio commentaries, one from the previous DVD releases and
a new one that is a compilation of archival interviews.
On disc VII you have the archives for Ep. I-III where you will find interviews, model collections and
concept galleries for each film. Most important, you have 22 deleted scenes, 6 for Ep. I, 5 for Ep.
II and 11 for Ep. III. This is the highlight of the disc and they should not be missed.
On Disc VIII you have the Archives for Ep. IV-VI again with interviews, sculptures, models,
concept galleries and 23 amazing deleted scenes, 8 for Ep. IV, 10 for Ep. V and 5 for Ep. VI. They
are a must-see for everyone.
On Disc 9 you have a variety of documentaries including three making of documentaries for the OT
films, a documentary about the changes done in 1997 for the films re-release, a homage to troop
501, a documentary about the SW creatures and a very fun one with all the parodies of SW.
The bonus material is excellent and is clear that Lucasfilm put a very strong package. The only
downside is that none of the DVDs bonus material has been ported over, including the excellent
'Empire of Dreams' documentary. Still, this new material, particularly the deleted scenes, is
amazing and will be a great treat to everyone.
The Star Wars saga is one of the most legendary pieces of filmmaking ever made. While not all the
films are perfect, overall the 6 films provide top-notch entertainment and deserve to be seen. This
set is almost perfect with spectacular picture quality (most of the time), superb audio and plenty of
excellent bonus material. The only downside are, as always, the changes done to the films and the
exclusion of the DVD bonus material. Maybe some day we will see a definitive Star Wars set with
the inclusion of the originals but until then, this set comes very highly recommended!!!
Fellini's most delightful film!!
, October 25, 2011
Amarcord is an oddball film. It does not have a specific plot or story and there is not a main character with a purpose. Instead, we are introduced to an array of unique individuals each one with its own plots and conflicts. Amarcord follows the life of this town and the characters that populates it. Although there is no story "per se", the movie is very engaging and you'll never feel bored. One of the film merits is that fills the screen with unforgettable characters such as Gradisca, Titta, his parents, the priest, the narrator and more. Also the score by Nino Rota is amazing and enhances the whole experience.
Unlike other films by Fellini, Amarcord is pure fun without much subcontext or political themes, the characters just live there, watch each other, tease each other, fight, laugh, etc. Many have said that this film is a biographical one but although it does contain elements that undoubtedly belong to Fellini's life, this film is a creation of his own with dream like sequences, surrealistic scenes and character exaggeration.
Amarcord may not be Fellini's finest film but it surely his most delightful one and a true classic in its own right.
Video & Audio
Amarcord comes to BD courtesy of Criterion and, as expected, the results are spectacular. The transfer is very strong with superb detail, well reproduced colors and a well preserved grain layer that gives the film a natural look. Sometimes some mild noise creeps in the screen but it's nothing of serious concern. A fantastic transfer.
The uncompressed monoaural soundtrack is also superb with astounding clarity and no signs of damage.
Amarcord comes with a healthy collection of bonus material that are very interesting to watch:
First you have a very informative documentary with professors Peter Brunette and Frank Burke, they analize key scenes in the movie and deconstruct the characters in the film. You should hear it alongside the film.
"Fellini's Homecoming" is a great documentary dealing with the complicated relationship between Fellini and his hometown Rimini in which the film is partially based.
Then you have an interesting interview with actress Magali Noel (Gradisca) in which she talks about her relationship with Fellini.
"Fellini's Drawings" are a collection of sketches that Fellini did during the production on Amarcord.
"Felliana" is a collection of publicity material for the film.
"Gideon Bachmann Interviews" are a series of interviews that Bachmann conducted with Fellini and his friends and family members.
You also have a deleted scene, the trailer, an optional English language for the film and a restoration demonstration.
A 64 page booklet is also included which features an essay by San Rohdie "Federico of the Spirits" as well as a collection of remiscences by Fellini called "My Rimini".
Amarcord is one of the many Fellini masterpieces and it's a must own film. It may not be a very complex film but is pure good quality entertainment. Is a must see for everyone. This Criterion BD features superb picture and sound and a lot of bonus features. This BD is Very Highly Recommended!!
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