Blu-ray Review Bedknobs and Broomsticks Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It reminds me of all those contests The Disney Channel used to have that required self-addressed stamped envelopes to some PO Box in Blair, Nebraska.
     
  2. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Google says Matthew's address is the Disney Disc Replacement Center, so I think it should be legit.
     
  3. Mark Mayes

    Mark Mayes Stunt Coordinator

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    I fell in love with the theatrical release of this film and have no problem in getting it as an upgrade in PQ.

    I also saw the extended cut at the Academy with Lansbury in attendance. It was a special evening and I enjoyed the reconstruction and bought the dvd.

    Disney definitely should have put it in with the suggested seamless branching--BUT I personally think there is a certain amount of excessiveness in the extra length that isn't required to love the film...particularly for younger viewers.
     
  4. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Most of us were brought up on the 117-minute cut, but the extended version is like discovering a whole new chapter of your favourite book.
     
  5. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    This reminds me of the "Pocahontas" Blu-ray release which omitted the restored "If I Never Knew You" song and it's reprise. I know you can't compare a four minute song to what's happened here, but a lot of us which were fans of the restored 2005 DVD still felt just about as upset. As is the case here, the restored footage was presented in HD on the Blu-ray ... but only available via the "Deleted Scenes" supplement. It was frustrating to the extreme. At least I still own the 2005 DVD.
     
  6. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I'm not entirely convinced that kids won't sit through long movies. Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all-time, is three hours long, almost long as the previous record-holder, Titanic. At one point, The Godfather was the record-holder, and before that it was The Sound of Music, which in turn replaced Gone With the Wind. All those movies are longer than 139 minutes.

    As for specific things that are better in the longer cut, "Eglantine" is just warming up in the theatrical cut when it ends abruptly after its second chorus. All the stuff with Miss Price's pointed response to Mr. Browne, particularly when she sings "I have always had a bit of a knack for witchcraft," is gone. Even the visual imagery reinstated to "Portobello Road" adds depth to the characterization; Miss Price rejects the fancies and fineries of ages when Mr. Browne puts them on her, but Carrie loves them. Cutting out most of Mrs. Hobday's scenes was even more detrimental than doing the same to Roddy McDowall's. The relationship subplot is more credible with the initial meeting between Mrs. Hobday and Mr. Browne included. It makes one understand his fear of commitment, especially to a woman he's just met. And without "Nobody's Problems For Me," Miss Price seems not to be affected by Mr. Browne's departure in any way. It's a beautiful, beautiful song, but apparently it got cut before anything else did, and while the fact that the orchestra track is a re-recording is obvious, Disney Magazine claims Irwin Kostal did the actual orchestrations. Some people at the studio seemed to have a bias against ballads, at least in Richard M. Sherman's opinion. Yet those often ended up being the ones that got submitted to the Oscar nomination committee.

    Radio City Music Hall has gotten most of the blame for the cuts, but the studio didn't put up much of a fight. And would the Music Hall really give up a Disney film even if the studio had stood their ground and tried to call their bluff? And then there's the fact that they made even more cuts in 1979, after they stopped regular film exhibition because their G-only policy backfired on them. Interestingly enough, the attraction for Christmas 1972 was 1776. :D
     
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  7. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Most (if not all) of the "Harry Potter"'s clock in at well over 2 hours, so I don't buy the whole 'kids won't sit through long movies' theory.
     
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  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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  9. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    My suspicions confirmed right here.
     
  10. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Well, folks, I just thought I'd pass this info along to you. It's a reply I received after noting my displeasure over the exclusion of the extended cut from the Blu-ray. At the bottom, Disney Inc. offers several options of contact to renew and/or further express ourselves. My suggestion is that everyone reading this post, who would prefer Disney do a reissue of the extended cut, voice their concerns either by email (just type Disney Home Video, contact into your Google search) or phone (toll free) at the contact numbers provided below. Best. ...and now - their reply.


    Hello Nick,Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns about Bedknobs and Broomsticks. We're sad to hear that you didn't like the choice of the theatrical version on the upcoming Bluray release. We will note your comments about that as well as the other films you mentioned in regards to future releases. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback! We will be sure to share your thoughts and concerns with the rest of our team. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reply to this email. You may also contact us at 1-800-723-4763 (Canada: 1-888-877-2843), Monday 9:30-7:30 and Tuesday through Friday 9:30-6:30 CST.Sincerely,Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Consumer RelationsUS and Canada
     
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  11. SFMike

    SFMike Second Unit

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  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It was an LA Times article praising Anchor Bay for releasing both versions of The Happiest Millionaire (at a time when Disney couldn't even be arsed to release anamorphic widescreen DVDs) that got Michael Eisner in a tizzy. They had the opportunity to restore a mildly notorious Walker/Tatum/Miller-era film maudit to its original version to see if it was better than the release version, and at someone else's expense...and they punted!
     
  13. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I applaud Anchor Bay for doing what they did. Their DVDs of "Return to Oz" and "The Happiest Millionaire" were, literally, amongst the first titles I collected when I made the switch to DVD in 2001. Reading this article it seems little has changed at the Mouse House in the decade+ since this all went down.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    There but for the grace of Walt went another 139-minute musical directed by Robert Stevenson. From Hollis and Sibley's The Disney Studio Story:
    Unfortunately, Robert B. Sherman's Moose is a little light on Bedknobs anecdotes, but this one was revelatory about the film's many years in Development Hell and their battles with Helen Lyndon Goff:
    Disney purchased the rights to The Magic Bedknob in 1945. I have no idea how he even found out about the original books in the first place, nor do I have any evidence of Mary Norton having any involvement in the film (she died in 1992). Many of the film characters were not in the books and vice versa. One of the most important additions in the restoration is the children's backstory and the fate of Aunt Bessie. In the book, they lived in a relatively nice house in Pepperinge Eye with their Aunt Beatrice, who died between the events of the two books. Mr. Browne was Emelius Jones, a medieval necromancer (Mrs. Hobday was nowhere to be found, but when Mr. Jones came to the present day, he found the grave of a relative named Sarah Ann Hobday).
     
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  15. Mark Mayes

    Mark Mayes Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think that is a problem at all.

    I just don't think that featuring the theatrical cut is so disastrous or will stop new generations from falling for the film.
    Nor do I think they will necessarily drink up every second of the extended cut like those of us who already love the film and cannot get enough.


    I am a proponent of the seamless branching.
     
  16. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The only person I know of who went from disliking the film to liking it because of the restored scenes saw the 97-minute version first. Even so, those who prefer the theatrical cut still at least are not willing to deprive everyone else of a choice. But Disney did. And it's Disney who should get the blame for this.

    Meanwhile, Universal, the only major studio that's so consistently inconsistent, is giving 1941 fans a choice of which version they prefer in that Spielberg box set (yet they could not bring themselves to do the same for John Waters' Cry-Baby). Their respective directors put the scenes back in because they wanted them back in. In this case, the director had been dead for a decade, and the producer, whom The Committee overpowered, died in 1975 (and his death was the most devastating blow to the studio since Walt and Roy died), but the Sherman Brothers, who were alive and well, said they wanted it back in. I guess that makes it a "Songwriters' Cut."
     
  17. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    The scene where Carrie talks about 'Aunt Bessie' is one of the most poignant parts of the film. It really illustrates (for those who never experienced it) what an horrific experience the 'Blitz' was for London citizens of WW2. Ms Lansbury herself has always pointed out that one of the reasons she loves the film is its faithful recreation of the 'Blitz' era. The magic and fun is all well and good, but at the heart, its a story of a group of people trying to quash one of the most devastating events of the 20th century.
     
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  18. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Very well said, Byron. That's what was missing from the theatrical cut. It still has the who, when, where and what, but the why is missing. As a result, it's only 80% of what it needs to be. Put back the why, and it's 99% there ("A Step in the Right Direction" is the last 1%, and one could argue that it's more important than whether or not Carrie asks "what's all that?" at the dinner table, which at least explains why they chose a two-shot of her and Charlie for that particular shot). As someone who lost a good chunk of my family in WWII (and not all of it from combat), that's part of why the film resonates with me so much.
     
  19. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    And, you knew that he was involved with the Blu-ray or still working for the company....how, exactly?
    (Besides the obvious point of "Well, he did other historical stuff, back on the DVD!")
     
  20. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I think its important that Maltin is advised of the situation - regardless of whether or not he is "hands-on" at the company anymore.
     

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