Reds (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
Any of these story threads presents a difficult task for a filmmaker and Beatty weaves his multilayered tale together with skill. He pays close attention to detail, gives us a multitude of historical characters and events, and mixes his story telling with the words of real people. Beatty buttresses his scenes with deceptively simple "talking heads." These "witnesses" provide a real background to the John Reed/Louise Bryant story of "Reds," giving viewers a good grounding in the passions of the era. The attention to little details (Reed bringing Bryant lilies, the constant phrase "There's a taxi waiting," etc.) provide a rich portrait of two volatile human beings.
Beyond the personal, Beatty knows how to handle epic screen drama. The rousing montage that leads up to the overthrow of Russian government is sumptuous and envigorating. Don't be deceived thought; this is not a "pro-Bolshevik" film by any great stretch of the imagination. Reed's dissillusionment with the Soviet system is portrayed in agonizing detail. Emma Goldman's story, a really great history in and of itself, gives another point of view to the difficulty passionate people have when taking on governing authorities and social mores.
The performances are uniformally excellent. Beatty and Keaton are well matched and there's plenty of gems in the supporting roles.Read more ›
This movie is largely based on Reed's moving autobiographical portrait of his personal experiences during the October revolution in his best selling book "Ten Days That Shook The World". The movie opens by exploring Reed's relationship with Keaton's early feminist character, and chronicles their growth and evolution toward a socialist perspective and an eventual commitment to political journalism that took them to the streets of Moscow in the days just preceding the October revolution. Also prominently featured in the movie is Jack Nicholson as Reed's intellectual friend, novelist and playwright Eugene O'Neil. This is a quite entertaining, sophisticated, and historically accurate effort to show America's own flirtation with unionism, socialism and communism and the reaction of more conservative forces within the business and civic community. The exploration of lifestyles and constant questioning of tradition and conformity make this a terrific teaching tool by showing how critically we can look at the lessons of history. Enjoy!
Keep an eye out for how the mundane constantly clashes with the epic during the course of the movie: John Reed and Louise Bryant indulge in lofty political discourse on events that are changing the world as Reed is comically burning dinner in the kitchen; soap opera-ish affairs are entered into and abandoned as governments topple and new ones take their place; a critical meeting to assure the future of the socialist movement in the United States is missed because of a sick baby that needs tending. This constant and clever juxtaposition of the personal and the epic humanizes the sweeping events on display, reminding us that real people living real lives were at the heart of these world-shaking events, not just academic and political arguments.
To enjoy "Reds", one doesn't have to be a particular proponent of socialism past or present. I'm certainly not. You simply need to be someone who enjoys intelligent, involving movies that illuminate the people and events at the heart of notable periods of history. And "Reds" is certainly such a movie. Of course, it helps that John Reed and Louise Bryant are generally portrayed as sympathetic people whose motivations are admirable even if one doesn't agree with their politics.
This new, 25th Anniversary Edition DVD of "Reds" is well worth the modest price. The crisp yet warm widescreen visuals are almost startlingly clear; the original theatrical intermission break (in a small but nice touch) is preserved at the end of the first disc; and there are very generous extra features that further illuminate the topics covered in the film.
In short, this one's a keeper.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Doesn't quite agree with the real life bio, but what the hell! More romantic!!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great movie.... But, don't try watching it on amazon because it takes forever to load and pauses every five minutes to relaod.Published 1 month ago by indigost7
I didn't get a chance to play them, but both discs looked clean and scratch-free. Another Video for my volunteer group, they were glad to get it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tabi
This is a marvelous showing the history of Communism in America. While it is true I am an Anti Communist, it shows how in the early part of the 20th century the citizens of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by styarbrough