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Please review crime DVDs here, thanks. When reviewing, good things to keep in mind that people want to know: how good was the film quality, was the film itself any good, what were the extras and how good were they, was there a good commentary, etc. You know, stuff you would like to know if you were thinking about buying a particular DVD.

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  • 2 months later...

This is the classic Agatha Christie thriller, Ten Little Indians. I love this story and it features a great cast, including Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald.

 

The DVD has been issued by VCI and the image is excellent and sound clear. There is no commentary, unfortunately. VCI has added a comedy short starring Leon Errol called Twin Husbands but it has no relevance to the main feature, so I don't know why they included it.

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  • 1 year later...

(Please note: this is a review of the Blu-ray high-definition version)

 

Warner Bros. has done an excellent job of remastering Bonnie and Clyde. Very clean, very bright, and nice colors. On a high definition video scale of 1 to 5, I would rank this as a 4 because while the print used is incredibly sharp for most of it, there are some scenes that the image is a bit soft. This is understandable, though, because the film was not made on a huge budget, and as mentioned in the documentary, Warren Beatty was going for a non-studio look by utilizing natural light whenever possible.

 

The audio is in mono due to the original sound elements being no longer available, but the sound is very clear.

 

The Blu-ray has all of the Ultimate DVD features in standard definition. The new three-part hour-long documentary on the making of the film is the best, and features interview with Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard, and Estelle Parsons, plus various behind-the-scenes personnel, including director Arthur Penn. There are also two rediscovered scenes that had been cut from the film (no audio survives, but there are subtitles) and wardrobe tests for Beatty. There is also an interesting History Channel program about the real-life Bonnie and Clyde. (The special features are in standard definition.)

 

The Blu-ray version has the 34-page book as the Blu-ray?s packaging (the inside cover is plastic holding for the Blu-ray disc). I know that WB will be releasing other books like this for some future releases, but I truly regret to say I was unimpressed by the book. It consisted mostly of photos, ads, and bios. There was very little text about the making of the film, but I guess they knew the documentary would take care of that. Still, overall, I felt the book was very light, content-wise.

 

The only differences between this and the standard DVD Ultimate edition (other than the high definition video on the Blu-ray, of course) are minor with the standard edition having a pressbook reproduction and a mail-in offer for a poster.

 

I would rate this as a must-have.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bullitt (Blu-ray)

 

The Blu-ray edition of the classic "Bullitt" features a high definition picture, but, regretably, would only give a 3.5 out of 5 for the picture quality. It suffers from too much soft focus and occasional grain. However, it is still worth seeing this film in high def. There is also a commentary by Peter Yates.

 

There is a good featurette from the time of filming that shows the making of the car chase, but it is in standard definition. Also in SD is the special bio feature Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool.

 

My favorite, though, is a new documentary in high definition on Movie Editing, featuring a look at a lot of film clips (and because they are in 1080p in this documentary, we can get a look at how they will look on Blu-ray). The documentary runs about 90 minutes.

 

On the whole, I think this is worth definitely renting but not so sure I would recommend it for a purchase.

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> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> My favorite, though, is a new documentary in high definition on Movie Editing, featuring a look at a lot of film clips (and because they are in 1080p in this documentary, we can get a look at how they will look on Blu-ray). The documentary runs about 90 minutes.

 

Can you name any of the other movies featured in the documentary? Are they all from the same studio?

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I bought *And Then There Were None* as a double DVD with The Most Dangerous Game, which is also really good starring Joel MCcrea and Fay Wray.

 

The edition I have has really nice packaging.

http://www.marengofilms.com/

has released a bunch of really good prints of some public domain films. All are double DVD's with superior packaging. I love these sets.

 

Photobucket

 

*And Then There Were None* is an excellent movie with an excellent cast.

Highly Recommended as is *The Most Dangerous Game*.

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> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> FilmF: The clips in the Editing documentary are from various studios. As to a list, there are quite a lot but most of them are so quick, that it wouldn't be worth me stating one above the others.

 

Well, that's OK, I've a pretty good idea of what the movies might be.

 

I hope *Lawrence of Arabia* is one of them, I know there's a brief clip of it in one of those BR demo discs they always have running at places like Best Buy. Although it isn't even yet announced for release yet, that's going to be one of the definite must-haves of any classic movie fan updating to Blu-Ray. I can't think of many classic movies that will benefit as much from high-definition.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This original version of Scarface, issued by Universal on DVD, still holds up today, and is shorter and better than the 1983 remake. It's a perfect look at the crime-ridden days of Chicago, with Paul Muni's Tony Camonte substituting for Al Capone.

 

Much as I like Paul Muni, he is very hammy here, while George Raft comes off well playing it low-key and straight. However, the production by Howard Hughes crackles under the direction of Howard Hawks and screenplay by Chicago newspaperman, Ben Hecht.

 

The film ran into censorship problems. Hughes had a softer alternate ending created, but Hughes ended up going back to the original cut, which has a more exciting climax, and one that highlights the incestuous love that Camonte has for his sister. The alternative ending is included on the DVD.

 

On a video quality scale, I would rate this at the most as a 3.5 out of 5. It is one of those films that the print is grainy and shows some decomposing. Still it is a classic to pick up.

 

Robert Osborne provides an introduction to the film.

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  • 5 months later...

*The Godfather The Coppola Restoration (Blu-ray)*

 

This set is an extraordinary group of films to get. The restoration is marvelous and the PQ is excellent on Blu-ray for all films. I will not go into a review of each film because it will have been done by so many others in different forums, but I will say this is a must have set.

 

The supplements from the 2001 set release are all here and are in their original standard definition. The commentary by Coppola is also carried over (but it is never really exciting; though it can be interesting for a few minute details at times). The new extras for 2008 are all in high definition for the Blu release (and will be standard definition, of course, on the standard DVD release set). Of the new extras, I really only found the featurette of "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't" and the featurette on the restoration process to be of any interest. The rest are throwaways, and some are damn silly at that.

 

Still, a great set to own.

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  • 2 months later...

Earlier, I watched Fritz Lang's *You Only Live Once*, with Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sydney, available on DVD from Image Entertainment.

 

For comments about the movie itself, I've already posted in the Gangster & Film Noir forum and in the Movie Rambles thread.

 

As for the technical aspects of the DVD, it is a fair presentation of a movie considering the source material was not in the best condition; there's a little bit of damage to the print they used but nothing to serious. The movie was originally released by United Artists, but there is no UA opening logo or anything in this print. The DVD does not contain any bonus features, and does not have closed-captioning or subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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> {quote:title=Edgecliff wrote:}{quote}

> This DVD release is a very bad print. I had problems playing the disc on my DVD machine. Returned it and the same thing happened again so I asked for my money back.

 

Well, I checked it out at the local library and it played fine. I do agree the print is not in very good condition, and it would be great if they could have added close-captioning. However, at the moment it seems to be the best available version of this Fritz Lang film.

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  • 1 month later...

I just bought the 2 DVD set of Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train (1951) for $8.50 on ebay. Yup, $5.50 + $3 p&h. It is by far the best DVD I've bought in a long time. The picture quality is gorgeous, and well, you can't go wrong with Hitch, can you?

 

The "extras" on the second DVD are kick as*:

? SOAT was originally previewed with other scenes & ending, but audiences didn't care for it. Unbelieveably, Hitch changed the ending to what we are familiar with, and cut scenes. This "preview" version is INCLUDED on disk 2!

? Two featuretttes on the making of SOAT include fascinating anecdotes from Farley Granger, Peter Bogdanovitch (sigh) Pat Hitchcock and Hitch's regular crew.

? I only listened a teeny bit, but the "commentary" track was refreshing in that it contained observations of several people, even interviews with Hitch himself that PERTAINED to what you were seeing. Much better idea than just to record people rambling as they watch the film.

 

Really, a great addition to my library. Wish they were all this good.

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  • 1 month later...

The French Connection (Blu-ray)

 

Well, the only real question to answer is, "Is Friedkin's recoloring as bad as they say?" Yes. This is not The French Connection we know and love.

 

Okay, there is a second question to answer: "Should I buy this, anyway?" Easy answer: NO WAY! This is a very disappointing film because of the recoloring. The commentary extras are carried over from a previous DVD release, but this recoloring is unacceptable. And the grain is as heavy as a snowfall.

 

Hopefully, Fox will look at the poor sales of this and go back to the film it originally was.

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  • 3 months later...

*The Last of Sheila (DVD)*

 

This ranks as one of my favorite mysteries, intricate and fascinating, but what else could you expect when it was written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins. James Coburn is a sadistic producer, husband of the Sheila of the title, who invites people in the industry to a cruise?and a murder game. But is it just a game? Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon, Joan Hackett, James Mason, Ian McShane, and Raquel Welch star, and they are all enjoyable to watch. Herbert Ross directed this wonderful movie. I can?t reveal too much but about the plot. Better you go in not knowing and experience the mystery as you go along.

 

The picture quality is excellent and the audio is fine. There is also a marvelous audio commentary by Richard Benjamin and Dyan Cannon, who have genuine affection for each other. Raquel Welch also appears on the commentary but it sounds like she was recorded separately.

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  • 3 weeks later...

*The Italian Job (UK Blu-ray - region free so it will play everywhere)*

 

This is the Michael Caine version and, man, is it gorgeous to watch. This is without a doubt one of the finest prints of a classic film I have yet seen on Blu-ray. EVERYTHING is picture perfect and could have been filmed today. There are two English audio options, 2.0 and 5.1, and I prefer the 5.1 remix in this case.

 

Comes with two audio commentaries. I have started to listen to one with the screenwriter and it is very dry. The second audio commentary is with the producer, which I still have to hear.

 

Other extras include an excellent look at the making of the film, including interviews with practically everyone still surviving, and it runs just under 90 minutes. There is also a separate modern segment on stunting the Mini cars like in the film, plus a deleted clip from the film that was indeed charming (the three minis in a large enclosed area moving among three police cars in a dance-liike ballet while a nearby orchestra plays "The Blue Danube." A music videio made up of clips from the film, and two trailers round off the contents.

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  • 3 months later...

*Ten Little Indians*

 

Earler in this thread, I reviewed And Then There Were None. So now I would like to review the 1965 version of the classic Agatha Christie mystery, this time named after its source.

 

While it lacks the cast and class of And Then There Were None, Then Little Indians is still an enjoyable murder mystery. Most of the cast is recognizable to people who went to movies or watched TV during the 1950s and 1960s. The cast is headed by Hugh O'Brian (TV's Wyatt Earp) and Shirley Eaton (looking very much like **** Galore in the early moments of the film), with Leo Genn, Fabian, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Daliah Levi and others backing them up.

 

The print quality is for the most part quite excellent, but it is not without faults. Scratches can be seen quite easily duiring one sequence, and for a portion of the film it looks like water streaming down the right side of the frame.

 

The only extras on the film are trailers for the Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford, and a trailer for Ten Little Indians. There is also a gimmick included in the extras section that was in the theatrical release of the film but not incorporated as part of the DVD film in itself, that of a 60-second freeze in the film while the audience is allowed to think over the clues before we learn who the murderer is.

 

The one really poor section of the film is the musical background score, particularly during the opening credits. Except for the music having a "snowing" tinkle in it, it blares like a great adventure is taking place onscreen., when all we are seein is a calm sleigh ride.

 

For murder mystery fans, this is a good film to add to your DVD collection, if it comes cheap enough.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi. It seemed to be a good time to ressurect the individual threads that were set up when I helped get this Forum created. We are getting so many threads being started for so many things that could all be in one place that it makes it hard to find anything.

 

Keeping within a theme thread makes the Classic Film DVD Reviews Forum a much neater place and better organized.. Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

*The Sting*

 

NOTE: This is a review of the UK Blu-ray digibook version, which is region free and will play here in the U.S.

 

 

 

I know I do not need to relate the plot here, and to do so would give away certain surprise, so I won't. But it is still enjoyable, and well-crafted.

 

 

 

Picture quality isn't, unfortunately, and this probably relates to the way it was filmed. Yes, it is better than DVD but nowhere near something you would want to show off as an example of how good Blu-ray can be.

 

 

 

DTS-HD Master Audio is excellent.

 

 

 

Extras are the same as on the American version:

 

 

 

"The Art of The Sting": a very good 3-part documentary about the making of the film. Runs almost an hour. In SD.

"100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics": okay short that has been used on other titles. In HD.

"100 Years of Universal: The '70s": a worthwhile, short history of Univerasal films during the 1970s. In HD.

"100 Years of Universal: The Lot" a short documentary which has comments by several important filmmakers (Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, etc.) In HD.

Theatrical Trailer in SD.

 

 

 

The digibook itself is another fine addition to anyone's collection. 40 pages of bios, script excerpts, photos, drawings, and movie posters.

 

 

 

The only differences between the UK and the American release are:

The cover of the UK digibook is the same art as used on the single U.S. disk release cover

There is no DVD or digital copy.

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