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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by DP 70, Apr 13, 2013.
It's a very solid, entertaining film. Never understood the criticism surrounding it.
The younger generation doesn't "get" musicals. It throws them for a loop when people break into song. They just can't handle it. A few weeks ago on Turner Classic Movies' "The Essentials," Drew Barrymore said she doesn't like musicals. She said when a character breaks into song, it "takes her out of the movie."
That's her problem. Why TCM thinks we care what Drew Barrymore thinks is something I can't quite figure out.
Back in OLIVER!'s day, the members of the Academy loved musicals. In the eleven year period of 1958 through 1968, no fewer than five of the Best Pictures were musicals. That's almost half, which is incredible, because musicals couldn't have made up much more than 1 or 2% of all the movies released in those years.
I beg to differ. The popularity of Glee on television has introduced a whole new generation to the American Musical. Not to mention Disney animated features in the 1990s that so many youngsters grew up loving. Teenagers of the 1970s and 80s definitely didn't get musicals, but today's kids most assuredly do.
I'm a 31 year old who was raised on musicals - maybe if you aren't familiar with them from a young age you won't ever really "get them". Drew starred in a dire 1986 made-for-TV version of "Babes in Toyland", so perhaps her lack of love for musicals is justified.
I LOVE Chicago, Willy Wonka, Mary Poppins, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and several other musicals I can't think of right now. And I'm only 30. I think it all depends on the person.
I'm also 30, and have loved musicals for as long as I can remember (Oliver! was one of the first I ever saw).
I would disagree with that. There is a certain style to musicals of the mid-to-late 1960s that is makes them very identifiable to that period: Big, long musical numbers that do not forward the plot in any way and often contain very over-the-top dancing. Large sets that really LOOK like sets. Very bright lighting where every corner of the set is lit up the same. And hair and makeup that may be semi-period, but still somehow look '60s. These things can all be said of Oliver, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hello Dolly, etc.
That said, I loved "Oliver" when I saw it on TV as a kid, maybe fourth or fifth grade. Like several others here, though, I did try to watch it as an adult maybe 15 years ago and just couldn't get through it. I reached a point where I was unbelievably bored, around halfway through the movie, as I recall. I'd like to try watching it again, because there was a time when I didn't like "West Side Story," either, and now it's one of my top ten faves.
I always hear the cliche about how songs in musicals should "forward the plot." It's strange to me, because the last thing I like musicals for is the plot. If I'm in a plot mood, I'll read a murder mystery.
Most songs in musicals don't further the plot, such as it is. Most of them tell us something about the characters singing them, or the time and place. Some are just there for entertainment. Almost all of them are nothing more than a list of variations on the idea stated in the title. (In this case, such as "Food, Glorious Food," "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," "It's a Fine Life," "I'd Do Anything," etc.)
If the idea is that stage and screen musicals nowadays are fundamentally different, and the songs really do "forward the plot," that would have to be proved to me. So many nowadays are "jukebox musicals," and the songs weren't even written for the alleged plot in the first place.
That said, I agree that the sets are too large in "Oliver!" and "Hello, Dolly!", the dancing too "over the top," and that the hairstyles are more of the period when the film was made than the period in which the story is set (but that's pretty much always true, in all eras). I don't mind the sets looking like sets, though. To me, musicals are fantasies. If I can accept people breaking into song and dance (often in unison, no less!), I can certainly accept fake-looking sets that are brightly lit.
For non-period "period" hairstyles you can't go past Julie Christie's bangs in "Doctor Zhivago"...
I got the German Blu-ray of OLIVER! from Amazon.de a few weeks back, and it cost me $20 shipped. I think it's beautiful. Fine grain beautifully encoded, reminding me of how well they authored FUNNY GIRL stateside, also shot in 35mm Panavision. I've never seen the film look better - and I liked having an option other than Twilight Time as I was disappointed with their "isolated score" track on BYE BYE BIRDIE. I still have many TT releases, but if it isn't possible to include the score from the songs without vocals then there needs to be some announcement about that in my mind.I know people hate screen captures, but I can post some from OLIVER! In 1920x1080 if anyone is interested.
I don't hate screen captures.
I have to agree, The German Blu-ray of Oliver! is stunning, I've owned 16mm Scope IB Technicolor prints of Oliver! in the past and the Blu ray is nicer. color is richer, I'm thrilled to own it. I project on a 10 foot screen and it looks like 35 mm.
Include me in the chorus of approvals for the transfer on the German disc (I am annoyed that there is no scene selection option... chapters, yes... but you have to advance with chapter forward button).
In defense of OLIVER! as a film... I'd like to say that the two expansive musical numbers -- the ones with the "over-the-top" choreography (Consider Yourself and Who Will Buy?) -- are there to express for the audience Oliver's own wonder at the acceptance that he'd never known before. I've screened the disc three times now, and my admiration for the film as a work of cinematic art has increased exponentially. Far from lighting every single corner of each set, the movie is very much a study in contrast between the light and dark -- this is clearly a movie directed by the same man who gave us ODD MAN OUT and THE THIRD MAN. The sets do look built... but not in the cheesy 60s fashion... they're more akin to the German expressionistic sets (complete with the off-beat camera angles) of Murnau and Lang (and for that matter those used by David Lean and Guy Green in the wonderful 1948 OLIVER TWIST).
It's a knock-out film... and a solid Blu-ray transfer!
I got the German Bluray of Oliver! on Amazon.de. It was only 22 bucks and region free. It looks stunning with DTS powerhouse sound. It also has the original making of piece as well as a couple of new interviews with Mark Lester and Ron Moody. Well worth the money. It looks so incredible I can't even explain it. The Twilight Time version is rumored to be about 40 dollars and isn't even up for pre-order yet as far as I can see.
Rumored to be about forty dollars? Really? Please provide a link to this rumor, will you?
Well, historically Twilight Time/Screen Archives have had only two price points - $34.30 and $39.30.
I know that technically, they are two separate companies, but to the consumer, the only available price is the combined price (how they split up the money is irrelevant to our wallets).
So buying the Twilight Time version of Oliver! will cost us (just under) either $35 or $40 - depending on which price they choose to offer us.
Aren't most Twilight Time titles $29.95 at Screen Archives Entertainment?
Oh. I see. David is including shipping costs into the total cost for each title ($34.30).
Here are the screenshots I did for Oliver!http://blushots.weebly.com/oliver.html