Hannah and Her Sisters [Blu-ray]
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Allen's command of the medium results in some terrific photographic shots, including the classic "camera-revolving-around-the-table" sequence featuring Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her sisters (Barbara Hershey and dynamite Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest), whose lives all seem to be going through very adult mid-life crises with their husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, and families. Michael Caine's work in this film also shines, and Allen himself is in his prime. The ensemble cast in this film creates an atmosphere that has you really believing you're watching friends and family, and not simply actors acting, reciting lines, a problem even the better "ensemble films" often face.
All of the elements in this picture --- cinematography, classic jazz tunes, nearly-musical dialogue --- are on ample display in a film rich with human warmth and big laughs. Although Allen's films are not for all tastes, this is a film that should very easily be enjoyed by nonfans and especially film students who can get a chance to see a virtuoso talent at the top of his form, not conforming by traditional storytelling and filmic norms.
This movie is like comfort food. I have connected with the characters, Holly in particular (played wonderfully by Dianne Wiest, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this role)so many times that they are literally like old friends. The themes are common to everyday life and family, which doesn't make them a cliche, but more meaningful every time I watch.
There are moments in the film you can replay in your memory time and again: my favorite is the taxi scene when Holly is ruminating over her awful "date" with her friend April (another great performance by Carrie Fisher) and the architect, David.
I think this is one of the most well-cast films made by anyone, American or foreign directors included. Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey and Max von Sydow form a perfectly blended ensemble.
The DVD transfer is of average quality. The picture is crisp enough, but it doesn't look enhanced in the DVD format. It would be nice if the studio had included more than a skimpy essay on the film's production that is included as a two-page liner/note on the inside cover.
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS will make a great holiday gift for everyone, friends and family included this season!
A brilliantly comedic performance is given by Diane Weist who plays Holly, the most boisterous and fame-driven of Hannah's sisters, and who fights so comically with Carrie Fisher's April over architect David played keenly by Allen fixture Sam Waterston (see Waterston and Weis in Allen's "September"; they're breathtaking together). Mia Farrow is adequate as Hannah--mother, stage actress, and Thanksgiving hostess--and Barbara Hershey leaves us cold as the much sought-after Lee. Bergman icon and Allen hero Max von Sydow gives an obvious performance as the angst-ridden artist in the 20th century (this was the 80s...) Allen also gives a brilliant but by now familiar comedic performance as hypochondriac and god-searcher Mickey Sacks. And Michael Cain is superb as Hannah's wandering husband, Eliot.Read more ›
Now for the question at hand:
Basically, is this is good upgrade for your current VHS or DVD and should you part with our hard earned cash to purchase this Blu Ray?
Unfortunately the sad but true answer is NO NO and NO! (phooey)
Where should I start? The one word that sums up this entire transfer (that I can post here on Amazon) is INCONSISTENT from start to finish. Outdoor scenes fare the best but with less perceived resolution than a recent viewing from HD Net Movies. Indoor shots are a grain festival and NOT the good kind of grain either. In fact ,the grain gets so thick at times that all shadow detail is lost along with whatever the camera is focused on. I am talking REALLY BAD here folks. Believe me, I would like nothing more than to tell you this transfer is up to or close to the 'Annie Hall' disc which , while not reference material, is still very good and satisfying to watch.
Colors are all over the place. At time they are "normal" looking, other times you get pink faces, amber faces, grain obscured faces, everything but NORMAL looking faces. Yes I do know this is a Woody Allen film but I would tend to think this is NOT what he had in mind for the look of his film.
If you still are not convinced and purchase this anyway, FF to the Thanksgiving scene at the end for an example and be prepared to be very disappointed in what you see.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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One of Woody's best...he lets his character fall in love and be happyPublished 27 days ago by Stefanie Davis
This was a good story. Although, definitely for the ladies.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best of all time. Very intelligent, challenging to one's moral compass; you have to bring something of yourself to this film because there will be conversation... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sharon N. Daugherty
This movie is incredibly intelligent and witty, with outstanding performances by the entire cast. I'm not the biggest Woody Allen fan by any means. Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Tani
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