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TCFHE Press Release: The French Connection & French Connection II (Blu-ray)


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 13 2008 - 08:52 AM

THERE ARE NO RULES AND NO HOLDS BARRED WHEN
POPEYE DOYLE CUTS LOOSE ON BLU-RAY

THE FRENCH CONNECTION &
FRENCH CONNECTION II

Two-Time Academy Award® Winner Gene Hackman* Stars As
The Gritty New York City Cop On Blu-ray February 24 From
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

--Loaded With All-New High-Def Bonus Material Including Exclusive Interviews
With Hackman And William Friedkin, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes Including A Ride-Along With Friedkin Reliving The Famous Car Chase And More—



CENTURY CITY, Calif. – Doyle is bad news – but a good cop. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents one man’s tireless determination to break down a ruthless narcotics smuggling ring when The French Connection and French Connection II arrive in stunning high-definition Blu-ray on February 24. Gene Hackman (Behind Enemy Lines, The Royal Tenenbaums) stars as iconic New York City Police Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, a man who will stop at nothing to get his man. Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and winner of five Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hackman), Best Director (Friedkin), Best Screenplay and Best Editing, The French Connection is a dramatic action-thriller featuring one of the most renowned car chases in cinematic history. The French Connection Blu-ray disc is loaded with all-new special features including an introduction and commentary with Friedkin, deleted scenes with optional commentary, seven behind-the-scenes featurettes with both Hackman and Friedkin and much more. The French Connection II Blu-ray disc includes commentary with seven-time DGA nominee for Best Director John Frankenheimer, two all-new behind-the-scenes featurettes including interviews with Hackman and more.

Both The French Connection and French Connection II Blu-ray discs will each be available for the suggested retail price of $34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada. Prebook is January 28.

*1972: Best Actor in a Leading Role; The French Connection
**1993: Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Unforgiven


The French Connection Synopsis
New York City detectives “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) hope to break a narcotics smuggling ring and ultimately uncover The French Connection. But when one of the criminals tries to kill Doyle, he begins a deadly pursuit that takes him far outside the city limits. Based on a true story, this action-filled thriller won five Academy Awards® in 1971, including Best Picture, Best Director (William Friedkin) and Best Actor for Hackman.

French Connection II Synopsis
While The French Connection was only the beginning… French Connection II is the climax! Directed by cinematic visionary John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Ronin), the action moves overseas to Marseilles where “Popeye” Doyle is tracking the one drug trafficker that eluded him in New York. After being held captive and tortured by the man he pursues, he enlists the help of the French police and the pulse-pounding chase is on once again.

Special Features:
The French Connection and French Connection II Blu-ray discs will be presented in widescreen format (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with newly mastered English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital plus English and includes English, Spanish, French, Cantonese and Mandarin subtitles. All new special features will be presented in high-definition. Special features include:
· The French Connection
o Disc One:
§ NEW HD – William Friedkin Introduction to The French Connection
§ Commentary by William Friedkin
§ Commentary by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider
§ NEW Trivia Track
§ NEW Isolated 5.1 Score Track
§ Theatrical Trailer
§ NEW D-Box Motion Control
o Disc Two:
§ NEW HD – William Friedkin Discusses Deleted Scenes
· Tailing the Frog
· The Whip Girl
· Devereaux at Work
· Mutchie’s Bar
· Mutchie’s Bar Part 2
· Girl on a Bicycle
· Street Walker
· Hector
§ NEW HD Featurette: Anatomy of a Chase
§ NEW HD Featurette: Gene Hackman on Popeye Doyle
§ NEW HD Featurette: Friedkin and Grosso Remember the Real French Connection
§ NEW HD Featurette: Scene of the Crime
§ NEW HD Featurette: Color Timing The French Connection
§ NEW HD Featurette: Cop Jazz-The Music of Don Ellis
§ NEW HD Featurette: Rogue Cop-The Noir Connection
§ BBC Documentary: The Poughkeepsie Shuffle
§ Making the Connection: The Untold Stories of The French Connection

· French Connection II
o Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer
o NEW HD Featurette: Frankenheimer in Focus
o NEW HD Featurette: A Conversation with Gene Hackman
o NEW D-Box Motion Control
o NEW HD Stills Gallery
o NEW Isolated 5.1 Score Track


The French Connection
Street Date: February 24, 2009
Prebook Date: January 28, 2009
DVD Price: $34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada
Catalog Number: 2252989
Total Running Time: 104 minutes
MPAA: R
Closed Captioned: Yes

French Connection II
Street Date: February 24, 2009
Prebook Date: January 28, 2009
DVD Price: $34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada
Catalog Number: 2252991
Total Running Time: 119 minutes
MPAA: R
Closed Captioned: Yes

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 13 2008 - 09:53 AM

I wonder if there will be any 2-pack deal. I'll be getting both regardless. Posted Image

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted November 17 2008 - 06:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
I wonder if there will be any 2-pack deal. I'll be getting both regardless. Posted Image

Same here. These are "MUST BUY" titles for me. Hopefully there will not be any playback issues like the 007 discs. Posted Image
Cogito, Ergo Sum
My DVD Library / The BLOOD is the Life!
Pioneer Elite PRO PDP-111FD - 2/28/2009

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted January 07 2009 - 08:40 AM

Oh, Lordy...screencaps here.

Apparently, Friedkin blended a blurred color element with a high-contrast B&W element to achieve what I guess is almost a pointillistic effect.

I have a feeling this will be the most hotly debated "director-app'd" transfer since...well, Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I just read on another forum that The Exorcist is being treated in a similar fashion. The plot thickens...

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted January 07 2009 - 09:00 AM

Looks pretty cool, IMO.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Jim_E

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Posted January 07 2009 - 10:01 AM

I have the UK blu rays of The French Connection films - haven't watched the first all the way through but I can see there being debate over the 'new' look. There's a very good HD featurette on disc 2 where Friedkin explains that he was attempting to recreate the look of the 1956 version of Moby Dick when he retimed the French Connection. He demonstrates the techniques used and provides examples. He does give the impression that he's doing similar things to the HD versions of some of his other films, but doesn't mention which.

I may watch the French Connection all the way through this weekend and will offer more impressions then.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted January 07 2009 - 10:25 AM

The 'everything must be razor sharp' HD fanboys are going to HATE this one. I've zipped through both films and they look unlike anything else in my BD collection. I never saw TFC theatrically so I can't comment in the transfers accuracy but if the directors happy, then who am I too argue?

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 07 2009 - 12:09 PM

The French Connection is one of my favourite films, so I'll be buying the set! It's good to see the underrated FCII get a release as well--even though he was hit and miss, I like a lot of Frankenheimer's films. The 70s is my favourite film decade, so I hope the other studios continue to release their 70s catalogue!

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted January 08 2009 - 03:45 AM

I'm curious to see it. I'm all into creative color grading; however, I'm not sure how I'll feel about the intentional degradation of the image. I mean, it's not like TFC was shot on immaculate HD and needed to be roughed up. TFC, to me at least, always had a beautiful grain structure that I thought the 5 Star Fox DVD captured as good as the format could. I was hoping to see an even more transparent representation of the film on Blu, but this appears to be something else altogether.

Hope I like it - which is why I'm considering a rental as opposed to an auto buy (which it would have been).

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Bruce Morrison

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Posted January 08 2009 - 09:49 AM

Judging by this thread on another forum, the technical quality of 'The French Connection' on BD (as manipulated by Friedkin) is pretty dire.

The French Connection Blu-ray - The DVD Forums

I'm going to save some money and stick with the DVD.
Bruce Morrison

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Jim_E

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Posted January 08 2009 - 11:22 AM

Just taking a look at The French Connection now. It is very grainy, which I imagine is as it should be, given the way the film was shot. The colour seems somewhat odd to my eyes, not perhaps as bad as mentioned in that link, but odd nonetheless. You can tell the image is made up of separate colour and black and white sources. They sometimes seem like they don't quite match exactly, especially in wide shots.

It's hard to describe, almost like a very subtle version of the process used on a couple of 70's Doctor Who episodes where an NTSC colour video was married to a Pal black and white print as the BBC had destroyed the original colour film.

I will saw that I never saw the French Connection at the cinema so can't comment on whether the film looked this way as projected. And for better or worse Friedkin makes it clear that this is the way he intends the film to look.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted January 08 2009 - 03:16 PM

While I am still looking forward to this disc, I am certainly more apprehensive about it now. I decided to go ahead and pick up The French Connection SD DVD today in order to do some comparison's once I purchase the Blu-ray Disc, as well as have something to fall back on should I not like the BD's 'intended look'.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted January 08 2009 - 04:20 PM

Why in the world didn't Fox include both versions - like Weinstein did for Frank Darabont's color and B&W versions of The Mist...?

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Bleddyn Williams

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Posted January 09 2009 - 06:13 AM

Would love to hear Robert Harris' thoughts on this one.