Flash Gordon [Blu-ray]
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The Savior of the Universe (SotU) Edition DVD lacks the very energetic commentary by Brian Blessed (plus production stills and other static extras) that the European Silver Anniversary Edition DVD and even lacks the commentary by Same Jones and Melody Anderson made for an International Edition (that of course we never saw in the U.S). In spite of that you do get a remastered film with 2.35:1 anomorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Surround and the movie trailer (none of the European releases had that). While the SotU edition was remastered and looked a ton better than the previous releases it wasn't perfect. While background matte effects are noticeable they are easily forgiven considering the sharper picture, but there were certain matted special effects blocks used on the spacecraft that were painfully obvious in the remaster. Either they didn't bother to digitally clean them up or it wasn't technically possible. Audio also sounded rather thin considering this was supposed to be digitally remastered.Read more ›
The cast, first and foremost, is excellent. They work wonders with the material they're given... admittedly this isn't Shakespeare, but it plays remarkably well, with very few cringe-worthy moments. Standout performances include Max Von Sydow as the astoundingly evil Ming, Peter Wyngarde as the almost equally evil Klytus, Brian Blessed as the leader of the Hawkmen, and Topol(?) as an eccentric Dr. Zarkov. Then, of course, there's the absolutely stunning Ornelia Muti as Ming's beautiful daughter Aura... she's wonderful to look at, and has an exotic accent to boot. When I saw this film in the theater as a wee lad, I had quite the childhood crush on Miss Muti... sigh. Anyway, all of the actors seem to be having a grand time with their roles, and it definitely shows.
With all due respect to the actors, however, I really think it's the brilliant soundtrack that makes Flash Gordon stand out most in my mind. Queen, near the peak of their popularity, provided a wonderful, throbbing, highly eccentric collection of songs and instrumental bits that fit the film perfectly. I badgered my poor mother to buy me the 8-track, in fact, and then proceeded to play it at every opportunity... a very patient woman, my mother. She probably still hears "dumdumdumdumdumdumDUMDUM **FLASH!!** ah-AHH!..." in her sleep. Sorry, mom.
The special effects are actually still pretty impressive, as well...Read more ›
The production design on FLASH GORDON is colorful and bold. Everything is bright and shiny (including the lycra hot pants on Princess Aura!). The sets are HUGE (example: The Hawk Men's floating fortress). I am particularly fond of the Arboria sets -- nice and woodsey!
I think the performances from the actors fit the tone of the film. Melody Anderson as Dale is the best. "Go, Flash, go!" is a hilarious scene. Sam Jones is sufficiently hunky and athletic as Flash. And the Brits add a dash of class and fun (Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed). Ornella Muti as Princess Aura has the best role: she changes from vixen to heroine and gets to vamp around in colorful, sexy costumes.
The rocket ships and sky effects are my favorite part of the film as well. There's something exciting about seeing FLASH GORDON rocket ships flying through the air.
The DVD quality is OK. I think the picture transfer could have been better -- I know this film has a lot of blue screen work, but surely it's not THAT grainy! And I wish there were more extras -- just a chapter index.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie sucked. Special effects were so bad; I thought The A Team had better effects, even Dynasty! This awful movie was never meant to be a cult classic so bad it's good romp. Read morePublished 5 days ago by emanon
It might be low budget, considering Star Wars was released a year or two earlier, but wow, you can't deny Flash...savior of the universe.Published 13 days ago by Jay
Worth it just for the Queen soundtrak let alone the sci-fi spoofing of Flash. Max von is spot on like the Flash ladies.Published 15 days ago by B Decent
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