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on October 24, 2016
I first saw this film when it came out...and I was in Paris. So, perhaps I remember it with Parisian wine and food infused goggles.

Pretty much take any film that Sean Connery is in and, well, Sean is Sean. Sean works wonderfully with his character, a kind of monk based Sherlock Holmes of the middle ages.

Lovely imagery, great casting. F. Murray Abraham is kind of like Sean...another personality actor but he fits here. I'm not a big Christian Slater fan but in this film he has presence and believability. William Hickey is another personality player and yet is another fit. Ron Pearlman, in my view, gives a brilliant performance stealing the film as a half witted but crafty Salvatore.

Is this a movie to own? Only if you like owning too many movies Is this a movie to see? Yes. See it more than once? Maybe but no more than every 15 years.
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on March 31, 2017
I am glad this fine film exists. IMO Umberto Eco's novel (translated from the original Italian) is not readable in English (two attempts).

It is the time of The Inquisition. Set in a Benedictine abbey in northern Italy, the remote abbey's expansive architecture amidst rural poverty reinforces the film's medieval character. The abbey's monks are sorely troubled by unexplained events that some fear evidence demonic presence. But the cloistered monks are equally troubled when outsiders, a Franciscan investigator (Sean Connery) and his novice helper (Christian Slater in his first film role) arrive. And the cloistered monks positively panic after a second monk's violent death motivates the arrival of a Grand Inquisitor.

This film is wonderfully cast with character actors who are physically believable as medieval monks. Christian Slater plays the investigator's novice helper with optimism and with naive innocence. And Sean Connery plays an academically-inclined investigator who understands society and the compromises that society demands. (BTW, the film's title is explained shortly before the film's ending.)
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on May 24, 2012
I've always thought that Jean-Jacques Annaud's films, much like Ridley Scott's, gain an appreciable amount from Blu-Ray high-definition mastering, and Annaud's 1986 adaptation of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" is no exception.

Sean Connery gives a solid performance as a kind of "medieval Sherlock Holmes": Brother William of Baskerville, who arrives in a 14th century Benedictine monastery in Northern Italy to investigate a series of murders. F. Murray Abraham, meanwhile, is second-billed in what amounts to little more than a cameo as the grand Inquisitor, who's called in as the deaths pile up and the monastery hosts an important theological conference.

Annaud's movie was a commercial failure in the U.S., returning less than half of its budget (Fox opened it on less than 200 screens in September of `86), though worldwide the picture did quite well, and at least ranks as one of Connery's more satisfying starring efforts. The production is impressive, from Dante Ferretti's sets to Toninio Delli Colli's cinematography and a moody James Horner score, while supporting turns are filled by a top-notch cast of Michael Lonsdale, William Hickey, Ron Perlman and a young Christian Slater.

Warner's Blu-Ray release of "The Name of the Rose" is well detailed and does wonders for the film's dark settings, while DTS MA 5.1 audio solidly backs Horner's score. Extra features aren't just a simple reprise of the earlier DVD either: Annaud's commentary is carried over, and added here is a French commentary track Annaud made for an international release with English subtitles. A vintage documentary, the trailer (complete with Fox's logo attached), and a photo retrospective with Annaud rounds out a fine catalog release from Warner.
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on December 19, 2013
The Name of the Rose has always fascinated me since I first saw it in the theater. Anyone who loves books will appreciate the movie's "monastic" devotion to books and their power. Sure, we might get "tempted" along the way, but reading, reflection and laughter remain "pure" paths to an enlightened life.

At so many junctures, The Name of the Rose challenges preconceptions while unfolding a mystery. We are thrown into a world of "deviants" if not one of deviations. Whether or not the movie follows the book is not too important, as the movie adds more texture to a story once contained in a book.

The digital transfer is fine, as is the audio (neither is outstanding). The minimal extras are OK, especially the director's contribution. It makes one appreciate the movie even more since those who love this movie are a strange bunch anyway...like the characters in the movie.
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on July 9, 2016
Ohh--what a singular movie, and tale it is based on. No one wrote quite like Eco. His books are quite a unique blend of logic & insight all wrapped up in a search, seeking a mystery, uncovering--something! Connery & a young Christian Slater seem an odd pairing but it works marvelously in this retelling of the Eco novel. One of my All-Time favorite movies...if you want to get swept back to the middle ages and really get a feel for the time & place, I'd submit this is about as close as you'll get this side of the abbey!
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on July 21, 2008
After arriving at an abbey in which one of the monks has recently died under mysterious circumstances, former Inquisitor, Br. William of Baskerville (Sean Connery), proceeds to solve the mystery of this death and the subsequent deaths of a number of other monks, with the assistance of his young novice, Adso (Christian Slater).

Over the past 10 years, I have read "The Name of the Rose" twice (I consider it to be among my top 10 books of all time) and seen the movie twice. The first time I saw the movie, I was disappointed by it, as it pales by comparison to the novel, but watching the film a second time, some years after my last reading of the book, it doesn't seem like such a bad movie after all. Whether in book form, or as a movie, "The Name of the Rose" is a really great story. It's a great mystery, but even if you already know who the killer is, this tale of greed, corruption, lust, and murder in a medieval monastery has all the makings of a top class thriller. The mystery elements simply serve to add structure to events that are already fascinating in their own right.

Sean Connery is perfectly cast as William of Baskerville, a character clearly modelled on Sherlock Holmes, as his name (a homage to "Hound of the Baskervilles") suggests and Christian Slater, in a very early film role, isn't bad, although I, personally, think he is at his best when he is playing slightly deranged characters, such as in "Heathers", which Adso is definitely not.

The main things I have against this film, are, firstly, that the film writers changed the ending of the book (although the killer remains the same, other aspects of the book's ending are changed to make it more convenient and "audience friendly", which ruined it for me), and secondly, all of the monks in the abbey are weird looking. I really can't figure out what possessed the makers of this film to make every monk in the abbey look like a freak, but I find that it detracts from the film. I am guessing that it is the filmmakers' way of saying that all of the monks are in some way corrupt and that that corruption is manifesting itself in their appearances (sort of like comic-book villains), but this is such a heavy-handed thing to do and seems out of place in an otherwise well-made movie.
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on December 18, 2012
An older movie that you don't really need to see on Blue Ray, but online costed less than the DVD. A little hard to follow at first viewing, 2nd time around you catch more and can sit back and enjoy Sean Connery in an against type role. It is a mystery movie that is set in the dark ages. Even though the story takes place in a monastery and most of the characters are monks, there is nudity and a brief but graphic sex scene. Also reference to and undertones of homosexuality (but these scenes are not graphic.) See if you recognize the actor who plays the hunchback. The title has to do with the secondary love story, but I don't see what it has to do with the main story line which is the mystery.
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on March 3, 2013
I saw this movie when it was first released.

As is often the case, I was not aware of the novel it was based or adapted from.

I found this mystery intriguing. The movie was most engaging, convoluted in its presentation of events, and continually asks the question of "what and why" are these events occurring.

I, almost didn't recognize Christian Slater: he so young here.

After re-seeing the movie, I was inspired to research and have added the novel to my Wish List.

Some movies do that. For me, this was one of them.

Respectfully,

MJR
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on September 11, 2011
So here's a little review for the 2nd blu-ray of the film available worldwide (to my knowledge):

First off, let me say I do have a bit of a comparison, as I do own many different DVDs (and one BR) from all over the world (Germany, Italy, South Korea, to name but a few), with the best quality / content ones so far having been Warner's special edition.

Incidentally, I just recently bought the Germany version BR released by Kinowelt, which, I must say, really is NOT worth the buy. Not only does the already mentioned special edition have way more content and includes the original English language version, but also is the quality of the transfer on the DVD superior. Which makes Kinowelt's BD easily one of the most forgettable BDs released so far, so be warned. Will they continue to give BD a bad name?

As to the BD I am reviewing here (The Name of the Rose [Blu-ray]), there is no doubt for me it is the best quality version of the film that has been available to the general public so far. It certainly still is not what you would expect from a film shot with state-of-the-art equipment, but that said, it probably doesn't get much better than this. Film grain really is reasonable, as someone else stated before, and only in very few scenes the general quality gets really bad, which generally is when we get to see mist/fog and/or the skies, i.e. greyish or bluish tones. Then it get so bad and off-beatedly disappointing, that I slowly suspect this must be a persisting error in the algorithm of the software used for the conversion to BD, an error that seems to have been passed on from the DVD format, as it already existed there.

GOOD NEWS for non region A/1 residents is that the BD appears to be REGIONLESS, I did however not have to switch regions!

Since the cover of the blu-ray simply leaves out all the info that does not regard the three most common languages of North America, here's some extra info on the languages/subs included with the main feature:

DTS-HD 5.1 master audio:

English

Dolby Digital 2 CH:

French
Italian
Czech
Hungarian
Polish

Dolby Digital mono:

Spanish

Subtitles included are for the following languages:

English
French
Italian
Castellano
Dutch
Portugues (Brazil)
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish

Sorry, no Russian (which would probably be voiceover) or German language, the inclusion of these seem to be reserved for yet another release. Maybe Warner could do something about the annoying GREYISH/BLUEISH-PROBLEM in the meantime? That would be much appreciated, indeed.

I wonder if the companies will ever start to release the bonus material in HD as well? Particularly with the German/Austrian TV documentary included here, this would have been very interesting, especially for somewone like me who went to see the place (Kloster Eberbach in Germany) where most of the interior scenes were shot. Go there if you like the film and get a chance to, it really is worth it!

As to the rating it would been a 4 1/2 if that existed, but I just couldn't give it a 5 star rating.

A little side-note on a DVD-version that really made me laugh when I first watched it: The ITALIAN one. There, the scene where a little scuttle of the abbey opens and vegetable leftovers are poured down the mountain with the miserable peasants fighting over them and William commenting "another generous donation of the church to the poor" IS CENSORED, in fact very badly cut out (you can almost feel the anger of the cutter!). Taken what the book/film is all about, this makes it a truly contradictory release, if not a contradictory in terms release. How much bigottry is there in this world?

Btw, can anyone tell me, why Amazon by default includes reviews of DVDs with the BDs and even if there are BD reviews, hides them? The way it is that what's most important regarding BDs for the time being is the sound/picture quality, I do find it rather annoying to continually be presented with reviews that are of now no concern for me, to say the least. Even having no reviews at all, would be preferrable! At least less confusing...
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on March 6, 2004
I had just finished the book, and was so taken with it that I had to see the movie. Particularly since Sean Connery was playing William of Baskerville, which, it seemed to me, was excellent casting.

I got the book from one of Amazon's used book suppliers. It is out-of-print and unavailable new.

Anytime a film is made from a book--particularly a long book, like this one--a great many compromises must be made. So it was here. But, although there were many facts and scenes left out, and the story line was significantly condensed and changed at both the beginning and the end, the gist of the book was retained, and it was definitely an entertaining film.

Two changes from the book I appreciated: the fact that the Inquisitor, Bernard Gui, got his, and the fact that the girl was saved from the stake. Thanks, Hollywood.

A good story. I recommend it. Umberto Eco is a great writer. I'm currently reading his Foucault's Pendulum.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
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