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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Blu-ray) - Apr. 8, 2008

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Keith Paynter, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Well-Known Member

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    Announced yesterday at Blu-ray.com:

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' to Blu-ray on April 8th. Specs have not yet been announced for this title, but extras include an audio commentary track, two featurettes, two storyboard sequences, and deleted scenes. Exclusive to this Blu-ray release is a "Graphics and Picture Track".

    Wow. Commentary track - I wonder if will be TG's Criterion commentary or a new one commissioned by Sony...?
     
  2. Justin Lott

    Justin Lott Active Member

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    I always like that show when I was a little younger. Very strange though. I blatantly used lots of fake backgrounds and made no attempt to hide it all.

    Should be an interesting view.
     
  3. Nick Laslett

    Nick Laslett Well-Known Member

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    This comment went right over my head.

    Anyway, isn't Baron an odd film to be releasing at this stage in the format's cycle?

    I thought it was a bit of a flop? It was a shame that this production spiraled out of control and Financiers took over.

    I've always had a soft spot of this film and thought that like Brazil it could support some interesting extras. Things like the Hamster factor and Don Quixote demonstrate that the stories about how Gilliam's films get made are almost as interesting as the motion pictures themselves.

    I wonder what kind of investment Sony have made to ensure a good HD transfer.
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    The hamster factor?

    Anyway, it's good to see Sony doing catalog titles that are more than 10 years old.
     
  5. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Well-Known Member

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    The Hamster Factor is the making-of documentary on Twelve Monkeys. It was made to help Gilliam tell his side of making the film after the negative publicity of Munchausen and the very public fight over Brazil. The title itself comes from a single shot of Bruce Willis in silhouette, while a hamster in a cage is in the foreground. The shot became more about the hamster than about Willis.

    Bill at The Digital Bits has revealed more about the extras on the BD disc courtesy of Sony:

    "And Sony has revealed that The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: 20th Anniversary Edition will debut on Blu-ray Disc on 4/8. Special features will include a BD Java "graphics and picture track," audio commentary with director Terry Gilliam & co-writer/actor Charles McKeown, The Madness and Misadventures of Munchausen 3-part documentary, 3 featurettes (As We Once Dreamed It, A Voyage to the Moon and The Baron & Bucephalos Charge the Turkish Gates) and deleted scenes."
     
  6. Jacob McCraw

    Jacob McCraw Well-Known Member

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    This will be mine and I am oh so happy about it.

    Gilliam is my favorite director.
     
  7. Jon Moss

    Jon Moss Well-Known Member

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    I think the studio is probably still trying to make back their money on the movie, so they figure why not re-release it again on HD. It'll generate a few sales and if it's re-released enough times, may even break even one day! [​IMG]

    There are a lot of fans out there for this film (myself included), as evidenced by this quote from Wikipedia;

    "However, in a commentary track on the DVD edition of Tideland, Gilliam now says that Munchausen is one of the films that his fans most often cite as a favorite (along with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)."

    It's also one of the most lavish and gorgeous productions ever comitted to film. Every dollar of the insane production cost is up there on screen. It should therefore look suitably fantastic in HD.
     
  8. EricW

    EricW Well-Known Member

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    are you talking about Baron or Blade Runner? [​IMG]
     
  9. Nick Laslett

    Nick Laslett Well-Known Member

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    I appear to know a lot about the making of Baron M, I think I saw a making of doc on UK TV at some point in the past.

    The extras on this new release sound quite promising.
     
  10. Jon Moss

    Jon Moss Well-Known Member

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  11. JulianK

    JulianK Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you're looking at it the wrong way: it's long overdue for releasing as a DVD SE, and the Blu-ray version is a consequence of it finally getting one.
     
  12. JulianK

    JulianK Well-Known Member

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    Quite probably. There was one, titled Hot Air and Fantasy (TX: BBC, 13th March 1989).

    It's a shame it's not been included on this new DVD.
     
  13. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of them. It's my favorite film of his, and my #2 favorite film of all time.

    I couldn't be more excited about this getting a high def release, which I expected to have to wait a few more years for at least. And with new special features--I'll be in heaven.

    I don't seem to remember Charles McKeown being on the old Criterion commentary, so I imagine this is a new one. Incidentally, Gilliam and McKeown are collaborating once again, on The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, which looks to have somewhat Munchausen-esque themes, judging by the plot synopses I've read.

    Hurry up, April.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  14. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's out. Anyone have it yet? I'm about to head to a Best Buy and scout for it.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  15. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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  16. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link. The review has me even more excited. A 75-minute doc--hadn't expected that. I'm going to give this disc a spin in just a few minutes (Snagged it from Best Buy this afternoon).

    This brings me back. The very first special edition movie in any format that I ever bought was Criterion's CAV disc of Munchausen, back in '92. It cost me $125, and I thought it was worth every penny. CAV meant you could freeze frame Uma's entrance. Mmmm....

    I long desired a port of that SE onto DVD, which never materialized. But it looks like this new release pretty much obviates that.

    I'll come back and post impressions.

    --Jefferson Morris
     
  17. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Well-Known Member

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    So, can we expect a BD of Time Bandits? I realize I may be the only person who preferred it to Munchausen, but I think I would buy that.
     
  18. JohnS

    JohnS Well-Known Member

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    I'm the second.
    I LOVE Time Bandits.
    I do like Baron, but just not as much as Time Bandits.
     
  19. Jefferson Morris

    Jefferson Morris Well-Known Member

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    High-def Time Bandits is certainly a must. And Brazil. I feel rather spoiled that my particular favorite out of his celebrated trilogy of 80s fantasies made it onto blu-ray first.

    I spun up the Munchausen disc last night, with the commentary on, and watched the documentary.

    I found the transfer (viewed on a 110" Carada screen with an image thrown by a Panasonic PT-AE1000U 1080p projector being fed by a PS3) to be pretty terrific. Not as sharp as Casino Royale or anything, but it's still a beautiful image, offering details that no one's seen 1989, and vastly superior to the previous DVD release.

    As this film is something of a baroque Blade Runner in terms of design, with information and visual jokes packed into all corners of the frame, the extra detail is much appreciated. This is obviously the best this film has looked and sounded on video, and I doubt you'll find many films from this era looking much better in the home.

    Can't really speak to the soundtrack yet, as I had the commentary on. The commentary is all-new, with Gilliam and co-writer Charles McKeown reminiscing frankly and entertainingly about the ridiculously tumultuous and arduous shoot. I was a bit surprised not to hear any mention of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, on which the two are collaborating again, and which seems (at least by the plot details I've gleaned) to be kindred to Munchausen in its themes.

    The documentary is pretty healthy, clocking in around 75 minutes according to DVD Beaver (which sounds about right). Gilliam, McKeown, Eric Idle, John Neville, Jonathan Pryce, Dante Ferreti, producer Thomas Schuhly, FX guru Richard Conway, and even Sarah Polley and Robin Williams all take part. Schuhly (sp?) is particularly entertaining -- he's the inexperienced but enthusiastic producer who (along with Gilliam himself) is generally credited with having allowed the production to become the beautiful disaster it did. Schuhly is aware of his reputation, and attempts to clear his name, not always convincingly, and ending almost every other sentence with "Ja?"

    There are also deleted scenes (familiar to owners of the Criterion set), storyboards, and an in-movie trivia track feature that I haven't sampled yet. No trailers, I'm afraid. Well, none for Munchausen (The Water Horse trailer doesn't count).

    Speaking as someone who's been dizzily in love with this film since its (pitifully limited) U.S. theatrical release in March 1989, I think I can safely say this is my favorite blu-ray release so far. It's not the most comprehensive disc out there, but it's better than I had any reason to believe it would be, given the film's vintage and relatively small (but ever-growing) cult of admirers.

    --Jefferson Morris
     

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