Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.


Photo

HTF REVIEW: "Cinema Paradiso" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) (with screenshots)


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 42,699 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 18 2003 - 02:33 AM

Posted Image

Cinema Paradiso
- The New Version -







Studio: Miramax
Year: 1988
Rated: R
Film Length: 174 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.66:1)
Subtitles: English



A celebration of youth, friendship,
and the everlasting magic of the movies



Truly Magnificent!

Posted Image

If I could pick the one single thing I have been
most passionate of in my lifetime it would be the
love of film. Ever since I was a child I have been
held captive by the images I have seen on the silver
screen. My teen years were spent next to an 8mm
movie projector as I tried to recreate the movie
house experience in my home. I even made my own
home movie shorts using my parent's 8mm camera.
Now as an adult I spend much of my time still looking
at celluloid images on my Home Theater system. It
is for these reasons that I fully connected with
Cinema Paradiso, an Italian film about a
young boy's journey into the life of the cinema that
can best be described as pure "movie magic."

Posted ImagePosted Image

Set in a provincial, little town in Sicily we meet
a young boy named Salvatore (Salvatore Cascio) and
his family as they await the return of the father
who's gone off to fight in WWII. Salvatore ("Toto")
spends his afternoons as an assistant to an Italian
village's only film house owner. Every Friday night
the village goes to his Cinema to be taken away from
the simple lives they lead. Toto instantly is enchanted
by the movies and what they stand for. The young boy
isn’t content to simply sit amongst the audience and
watch the film on the screen. Seeking to be part of
the magic, he seeks out the magician behind the
tricks and becomes friendly with the projectionist
Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) who not only teaches him
the trade but becomes sort of a surrogate father
to him.

Posted ImagePosted Image

When the Cinema Paradiso burns down, Salvatore finds
himself looking after Alfredo. The theater is
quickly rebuilt and by the time Toto becomes the
head projectionist there he has matured into a bright
young man. He soon falls in love with a banker's
daughter, Elena (Agnese Nano), experiencing the
simple type of romance he has watched on the screen
his entire life. Alfredo, concerned for Salvatore's
well-being, advises him to leave and never return
again. Salvatore takes the advice and travels to
the city to become a famous film maker.

Posted Image

Thirty years later the middle aged film director
(Jacques Perrin) returns to the town to pay respect
to his deceased friend and learns how the
townspeople's lives have changed and evolved around
their beloved cinema. In the process Salvatore
rediscovers a lost love. I dare anyone not to be
emotionally moved by the final moments of this film.

This is the very first time I have seen this film
in any form. It is my understanding that when
Cinema Paradiso was released in 1988, Italian
movie-goers were treated to a much longer cut of
the film than what was shown to North American
audiences. For the first time, a New Version
incorporating 51 minutes of never-before-seen
footage has been reconstructed for this DVD
presentation. This is the version I chose to
watch, and at nearly 3 hours in length, the film
never seemed to be badly paced. This film has been
restored quite well as I also was unable to
distinguish the new material from the original.


How is the transfer?


Generally, the transfer looks very good. My
biggest disappointment was that images never looked
as sharp as I wanted them to, always looking a tad
soft and unfocused. Knowing the quality that Miramax
puts into their releases, I am going to guess that
this transfer best represents what the original
print looked like. The film has a dated look
to it with colors that look slightly washed out
and flesh tones that run a little too red. There
is occasional background noise and blemishes
throughout the picture.

Posted Image

The New Version contains a new Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtrack that is a little uneven with its
sound direction. Audio is well presented across
the front channels with very distinct stereo
separation. Surprisingly, this re-recorded track
firmly places dialogue in the center channel with
absolutely no bleeding. There are also times that
dialogue cleverly moves across the front channels
left and right. Problem is, the center channel sort
of becomes a "catch-all" for most of the film's
effect noises. The rears occasionally help support
Ennio Morricone's beautiful score whose charm and
grace lifts you up and leaves you feeling marvellous.


Special Features

Posted Image

Released under the Miramax Classics label,
you have the opportunity to watch either this
New Version or the Original 1990 Version.
Note that only the new version contains a 5.1 track,
while the original retains a normal surround track
and an added French language track.

One of the problems you will find is which end
of this dual-sided DVD contains what movie. Both
sides of this DVD are labeled as NEW VERSION. This
may have been an initial printing error on the part
of the studio. Just so you know, Side A
contains the NEW version and Side B contains
the ORIGINAL.

The only added piece of material is the original
theatrical trailer
.



Final Thoughts

Posted Image

Cinema Paradiso is enchanting, magical and
absolutely delightful. It is a celebration of
everything film is about. I can sit here for hours
and tell you how great a film this is, but yet
everything I say would probably be an understatement.

I implore everyone who loves film as much as I know
you all do to go out and at least rent this utterly
moving story of friendship, ambition and the
glittering silver screen. It is one of the finest
films I have ever had the pleasure to watch.

For anyone that loves film -- this is a film you will
love!


Release Date: NOW


All screen captures have been further compressed.
They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
represent actual picture quality

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

 Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive Click Here for our complete DVD review archive

 Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule  Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Todd Hostettler

Todd Hostettler

    Second Unit



  • 285 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 07 1999

Posted February 18 2003 - 03:14 AM

Since I'm only really interested in the "original" version (wasn't too impressed with the "expanded" edition), I'm curious how the transfer and sound compare to the original HBO release. Especially now knowing that the new 5.1 track is limited to the new cut. However you see it though, I agree… this is a definite "must own."

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

Marc Colella

    Screenwriter



  • 2,607 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 19 1999

Posted February 18 2003 - 03:41 AM

Great review Ron. It really is a wonderful film. I've only seen the original theatrical release, and after hearing what the director's cut entails - I'm hesitant about it. Nonetheless, I'm happy to have both versions with this release - and I'm glad to have traded off the old DVD in time.

#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Dmitry

Dmitry

    Supporting Actor



  • 743 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 30 1998

Posted February 18 2003 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for review Ron, I can't wait for it to arrive!
My DVDs

#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Eric Estrada

Eric Estrada

    Agent



  • 33 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 24 2002

Posted February 18 2003 - 04:23 AM

Thanks Ron for this Review. This is a must to have on DVD and I am glad they have included the original version as well.

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Jan Andersen

Jan Andersen

    Extra



  • 20 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 20 2001

Posted February 18 2003 - 06:26 AM

Fine review Ron. You should have watched the original version though, since it's way better than the extended version. All the beauty & the mystery about what happened to Elena that's in the original is completely killed off in the extended version. We get everything spelled out in very big letters, so there's nothing left for the imagination. What should have been in the ext. edition, is more footage of Toto as a child, but unfortunately we only get more footage of him as an adolescent and as an adult.
"Do you think it's kind of dangerous handing out guns at a bank?"

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

Dome Vongvises

    Lead Actor



  • 8,174 posts
  • Join Date: May 13 2001

Posted February 18 2003 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for the review Ron, although to be perfectly honest I had no clue you would review a movie like this in the first place. Posted Image

Ever since I heard this version was being made, it became a "must-buy" for me. I've always wanted to see the new version. It came to Cincinnati at one point, but I missed it due to school obligations. I'll be honest and say that having heard about the added footage, I might like this version better. Count me in the minority of people who loved the movie, but couldn't figure out

what the hell happened to Elena. It always bugged me she hung Toto out to dry like that.

Oh well, I have a great friend get this for me at Best Buy.

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

Ted Lee

    Lead Actor



  • 8,399 posts
  • Join Date: May 08 2001

Posted February 18 2003 - 09:55 AM

i'm always happy to see ron reviewing more indie and foreign films! Posted Image

this is a great film. i've seen this several times and it always still makes me smile.

i love watching the audience's reactions when they're in the theater watching the movies and socializing. it totally makes me wish i could be there with them.
 

#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Executive Producer



  • 10,178 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted February 18 2003 - 11:18 AM

Great review Ron, you just motivated me to go and buy this title (haven't been let down by your HRs yet!). I am very thankful that both versions of the film are available - and in the same set! I think it is commendable that we get the chance to watch both versions.

Now if only we could get the original cut (not director's cut, just the cut that was shown to the rest of the world) of Malena! Come on, Miramax, step up to the plate and give us that movie uncut (it's not even two hours uncut so length shouldn't be a concern!). Posted Image

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#10 of 37 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

Jeff Adkins

    Screenwriter



  • 1,765 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 18 1998
  • Real Name:Jeff Adkins

Posted February 19 2003 - 02:08 AM

[quote] You should have watched the original version though, since it's way better than the extended version. [quote]
Yes, but the "extended version" isn't really extended is it? Isn't this the real "original version"? My understanding is that the heavily cut version was not the version originally released theatrically in Italy and that this was a case of Harvey Scissorhands at work. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe many of you are saying you prefer Harvey's editing over the director's original theatrical release.

Jeff

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

Marc Colella

    Screenwriter



  • 2,607 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 19 1999

Posted February 19 2003 - 02:30 AM

[quote] Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe many of you are saying you prefer Harvey's editing over the director's original theatrical release. [quote]

That's what alot of people are saying. Roger Ebert also prefers the edited version.

I haven't seen the "extended version" yet, but I've read what the differences are - and I get the feeling that I will like the edited version better.

The fact that we don't know what happened to Elena, gave the film a really sad feel to it, and the film feels like it ended on the right note and concluded naturally.

My copy came in today, so I'll see if get the reaction that I thought I would.

In any case, it's nice to have both versions.

#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Jan Andersen

Jan Andersen

    Extra



  • 20 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 20 2001

Posted February 19 2003 - 03:11 AM

Yes, released only in Italy and for a short time only. There's a reason why the movie was cut shortly after it's relase. And if you compare the two versions you'll se why. The short version is just a way better movie.
"Do you think it's kind of dangerous handing out guns at a bank?"

#13 of 37 OFFLINE   Rain

Rain

    Producer



  • 5,020 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 21 2001

Posted February 19 2003 - 07:09 AM

[quote] Yes, but the "extended version" isn't really extended is it? Isn't this the real "original version"? [quote] Not exactly. The original version ran 155 min.
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   Jefferson

Jefferson

    Supporting Actor



  • 979 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 23 2002

Posted February 19 2003 - 08:29 AM

Ah, interesting. I had assumed that the extended version and the "original" were the same. I'm glad the 'short" and extended are available together, regardless.

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   MichaelPe

MichaelPe

    Screenwriter



  • 1,118 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 22 1999

Posted February 19 2003 - 10:31 AM

To say that I loved this film would be an understatement. Posted Image

In my 2002 Film List (see sig), I've seen & rated almost 300 films, and I only gave one film a score of 10/10. Guess which one? Posted Image

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

Francois Caron

    Screenwriter



  • 2,145 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 31 1997
  • Real Name:Francois Caron

Posted February 19 2003 - 11:16 AM

Does the disc have a French language track? (BTW, Philippe Noiret dubbed his own dialog)

#17 of 37 OFFLINE   Tommy G

Tommy G

    Screenwriter



  • 1,235 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 19 2000

Posted February 19 2003 - 11:31 AM

Ron, you've pushed me over the cliff. I've been on the fence about buying this on release date. Now, I'm convinced. Well, I'm off to the coupons and bargains section to read Dave Lambert's weekly roundup to find the best place to pick this up. Posted Image
Please release The Goodies on Region 1 DVD
My DVDs

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 42,699 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 19 2003 - 08:50 PM

According to the specs, just the ORIGINAL version on SIDE B has the French language track.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

 Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders  Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

 Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive Click Here for our complete DVD review archive

 Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule  Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Rain

Rain

    Producer



  • 5,020 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 21 2001

Posted February 19 2003 - 09:06 PM

Am I correct in assuming that French is the original language for this film?
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

Marc Colella

    Screenwriter



  • 2,607 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 19 1999

Posted February 19 2003 - 10:11 PM

[quote] Am I correct in assuming that French is the original language for this film? [quote]

The original language for Cinema Paradiso is Italian.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users