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Cabaret Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted February 02 2013 - 08:38 AM

Bob Fosse’s groundbreaking film musical starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York in a “it’s complicated” relationship debuts on Blu-ray with a fantastic high definition presentation. The bonus material is detailed, if a bit redundant, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from picking up the title come release day.


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Cabaret

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Blu-ray DigiBook
Year: 1972
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2:02:52
MSRP: $27.98


  THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES
Video AVC: 1080p high definition 1.85:1 (modified to 1.78:1) Standard and high definition
Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital: English 2.0
Subtitles English SDH, French, Spanish Various

The Feature: 4.5/5

British academic Brian Roberts (Michael York) is in for a shock – his more reserved and traditional sensibilities are about to come face-to-face with the free-spirited arts and culture of 1931 Berlin, personified by his boarding house neighbor Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli). Sally is a performer in the Kit Kat Klub cabaret, where dark and bawdy humor and sexual innuendo-filled musical numbers are de rigueur. Her personal life is not too dissimilar as she operates on impulse and lives with little regard for prevailing social mores. Yet Brian is drawn to her, and she to him, in a classic case of opposites attract. Starting off as friends, the two eventually become lovers, though that arrangement becomes rather complicated for everyone when Sally meets the wealthy and handsome Baron Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem).


In general life in Berlin is also becoming increasingly complicated as the Nazi Party and its rhetoric are gaining traction. Jewish citizens like Brian’s student Natalia Landauer (Marisa Berenson) grow fearful of the future, and objections to the anti-Semitic propaganda by non-Jews is increasingly met with physical violence. Though people mostly sense it rather than believe it outright, the life they’ve known under the Weimar Republic is about to disappear, replaced by something ugly and brutal. Up to a point Sally and Brian’s relationship will exist in a bubble, but even that will be unsettled by the city’s impending social and political changes.


It’s easy to see why Director Bob Fosse’s film musical “Cabaret” was hailed as groundbreaking. Even today it runs counter to the conventional understanding of what a musical entails. The film is aesthetically dark and edgy, contains challenging moral themes, and features strong sexuality and physical violence. The staging of the musical numbers, all of them taking place on the Kit Kat Klub stage with the involvement of the disturbing Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey), also runs counter to expectation, turning the performers into a Greek Chorus that comments on the lives and activities of the main characters, rather than the main characters doing so for themselves. The exception is the character of Sally, who essentially inhabits both worlds. We eventually see to which she truly belongs, and Minnelli’s performance from beginning to end is mesmerizing, both for her doe-eyed beauty and convincing turn as a free-spirited Bohemian. The film went on to win eight Academy Awards, which was no mean feat considering it was up against “The Godfather” in most categories. Though it lost out on Best Picture, there’s little doubt it was deserving of its nomination, especially as it continues to entertain and enthrall some 40 years later.


Video Quality: 4/5

Modified from its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 to the display-filling 1.78:1, the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer features inky black levels and a full and uncompromised range of contrast. The color palette is limited to blacks and more earthy tones, but splashes of color in outdoor, daylit scenes display a satisfying richness and saturation, as do the more colorful costumes in the Kit Kat Klub. Grain, which is more apparent in some interior scenes, appears unmanipulated, with overall sharpness and fine detail holding up in both wide shots and closeups. The more dimly lit environments can look a little soft due to either focusing errors or the inherent technical challenge of low light cinematography, but it also imparts an edgy mood and tone to the film that’s wholly consistent with its aesthetics and themes. Overall it’s a great looking transfer, especially considering the nature and condition of its source elements, as described by Robert Harris.


Audio Quality: 4/5

Dialogue and vocals in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track are impressively crisp, detailed and intelligible. Rear surround channels provide light support for the soundtrack and the occasional environmental noises, and though the activity is fairly measured, the effects are balanced and transparent. LFE is non-existent, but the track’s lower registers kick in with a few instances of stringed bass or bass drum in the score.


Special Features: 4/5

The bonus material tends to get a bit repetitive, especially after listening to the detail-rich commentary track and reading through the collectible book. Nevertheless, the extras provide a thorough history and analysis of the film, even though it doesn’t require accessing more than a few of the items.


Commentary with Author Stephen Tropiano: The writer of “Cabaret: Music on Film” turns in a fact and anecdote-filled track that covers all the bases from the musical’s original stage incarnation, to the public and critical reception to Bob Fosse’s adaptation. Tropiano’s laidback delivery might put some listeners off, but it’s made up by his nearly constant stream of information.


Cabaret: The Musical that Changed Musicals (28:40, HD): The documentary looks at what made “Cabaret” unique for the film musical genre, looking specifically at the stylistic and cinematic choices that set it apart from everything that came before. Includes interviews with Bob Fosse biographer Sam Wasson, writer Martin Gottfried, Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, (a practically unrecognizable) Michael York, a number of the dancers, and many more.


Cabaret: A Legend in the Making (17:31, SD): The 1997 retrospective includes interviews with Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, producer / agent Martin Baum, and others.


The Recreation of an Era (6:04, SD): Archival promotional piece includes behind the scenes footage from the production and a few soundbites from those involved.


Kit Kat Klub Memory Gallery: Snippets from interviews conducted in 1997 offer a variety of production and post-production anecdotes. The feature could stand to have a “play all” function to facilitate viewing.


Liza Minnelli

  • Marisa’s Closeup (1:00, SD)
  • Sally’s Look (1:55, SD)
  • Observing the Master (:47, SD)
Joel Grey

  • Challenges (:50, SD)
  • Collective Memory (1:05, SD)
  • Strange Inspiration (:40, SD)
Michael York

  • A Called Bluff (1:16, SD)
  • Risk Taking (:34, SD)
  • Rush(es) Hour (:35, SD)
  • A Happy Accident (:31, SD)
Martin Baum

  • Rock ‘N’ Roll Editing (3:26, SD)
  • Isherwood’s Surprise Reaction (1:27, SD)
  • Smithsonian Honor (:38, SD)
Cy Feuer

  • Tomorrow Belongs to Me (1:12, SD)
Emanuel L. Wolf

  • Taking on the Godfather (:52, SD)
  • Timeless (:29, SD)
John Kander

  • Playing “What If?” (1:01, SD)
  • Almost a Nervous Breakdown (:41, SD)
  • Sneaking a Peek (:14, SD)
Jay Presson Allen

  • Play vs. Book (:24, SD)
  • Recruiting Hugh Wheeler (:14, SD)
Fred Ebb

  • Screening Blues (1:12, SD)
  • Screening Hues (:44, SD)
Theatrical Trailer (2:55, SD)


Collectible Book: Incorporated into the packaging, the 40 pages of high quality printed material includes a detailed overview of the film’s source material, an essay about the film’s legacy, cast and crew biographies, and promotional and production photographs.


Recap and Recommendation

The Film: 4.5/5

Video Quality: 4/5

Audio Quality: 4/5

Special Features: 4/5

Overall Score (not an average): 4.5/5


Warner Home Video turns in a fantastic high definition presentation for “Cabaret,” Director Bob Fosse’s convention-defying film musical set during the waning days of the Weimar Republic. The bonus material offers a thorough history and analysis of the film, but the items lack variety, making for a somewhat repetitive set of extras. Nevertheless, the Blu-ray is recommended for both first time purchasers of the title and owners of previous DVD releases.




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#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Ken Volok

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Posted February 02 2013 - 12:10 PM

Why is the aspect ratio altered?

#3 of 28 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted February 02 2013 - 12:23 PM

It's Warner standard operating procedure for 1.85 titles.
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#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Worth

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Posted February 02 2013 - 02:55 PM

Why is the aspect ratio altered?

This is a 1.85 image: And this the same shot opened up to 1.78: You'll see far greater variation than that in the masking from from cinema to cinema.
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#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted February 03 2013 - 11:56 AM

Even today it runs counter to the conventional understanding of what a musical entails. The film is aesthetically dark and edgy, contains challenging moral themes, and features strong sexuality and physical violence

. Well I suppose that could also be said of the one "film noir" Rogers & Hammerstein musical, Carousel.
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#6 of 28 OFFLINE   bryan4999

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Posted February 04 2013 - 05:51 AM

. Well I suppose that could also be said of the one "film noir" Rogers & Hammerstein musical, Carousel.

It is interesting how CAROUSEL really seems to push some people's buttons more than other musicals that have tragic elements. I spoke with a woman once who detested CAROUSEL, and she disparagingly said, "Oh, that's the best musical about spousal abuse I've ever seen." I asked her if she liked WEST SIDE STORY - "Oh, yes, it's brilliant," she said. I replied, "Well, that's the best musical about gang violence I've ever seen." She couldn't really explain why CAROUSEL bothered her so much whereas the violence in WSS did not, at least to that extent. Shakespeare wrote comedies and dramas, there is room for both, but they have to be recognized for what they are. Maybe people want CAROUSEL to be SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. But most of the R&H musicals have tragic elements - OKLAHOMA! has a stalker who ends up dead; THE KING AND I has racial issues, diplomatic issues, and slavery, plus the male lead, ingenue and romantic partner are dead by the end; SOUTH PACIFIC also has racial issues, the world at war, and a major character dead. Compared to all that, CAROUSEL just has one uneducated guy who doesn't know how to solve his money problems and ends up taking out his frustration on his wife. People ask why didn't she leave him - well, in true life women often stay with abusers. That is a tragic fact and CAROUSEL is a tragic story, musical or not. In the stage version, Billy commits suicide, but that was too much for the movies in 1956 so they softened it by making it an accident. However, in all these stories, IMO, Rodgers & Hammerstein managed to inject some hope along with the tragedy. I heard the movie soundtrack LP of CABARET quite a while before I actually saw the movie, and I was shocked at how that bright, jazzy music supported such a dark story, and I regard it as a masterpiece of moviemaking. I can't wait to see the blu-ray as I have been disappointed by every home video edition so far.

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   WilliamMcK

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:15 AM

It is interesting how CAROUSEL really seems to push some people's buttons more than other musicals that have tragic elements. I spoke with a woman once who detested CAROUSEL, and she disparagingly said, "Oh, that's the best musical about spousal abuse I've ever seen." I asked her if she liked WEST SIDE STORY - "Oh, yes, it's brilliant," she said. I replied, "Well, that's the best musical about gang violence I've ever seen." She couldn't really explain why CAROUSEL bothered her so much whereas the violence in WSS did not, at least to that extent.

I suspect it's because many people view CAROUSEL (incorrectly, in my view) as pro-spousal abuse given Julie's line that "it's possible for someone to hit you -- hit you hard -- and for it to not hurt at all." In our black and white world Billy has to be completely condemned for hitting his wife... and then child. I think it's one of the greatest advances of the 20th century that as a culture we've become sensitized to spousal and child abuse; unfortunately we also tend to be an "all 'er nuthin'" culture as well (to borrow a song title from another R&H musical). Once we became sensitized to abuse, dramatizations that portray men who hit their wives (or children) became anathema -- unless the men were portrayed as irredeemably bad. Unfortunately CAROUSEL is not about spousal abuse, it's about unconditional love and redemption (as well as the class and economic inequities that foster violence and criminality) -- but to show a man who has hit his wife and child as being unconditionally loved by the wife he hit, is a lot to ask a 21st century audience to accept. That said, CAROUSEL remains my favorite musical play... and I think it is probably the best of its genre (there's perhaps not enough specificity in the writing for the members of the ensemble, but it was still early in the R&H "revolution"). I would welcome a blu-ray of the movie version despite my contention that the movie does not do the play justice.

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   bryan4999

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:34 AM

I suspect it's because many people view CAROUSEL (incorrectly, in my view) as pro-spousal abuse given Julie's line that "it's possible for someone to hit you -- hit you hard -- and for it to not hurt at all." In our black and white world Billy has to be completely condemned for hitting his wife... and then child. I think it's one of the greatest advances of the 20th century that as a culture we've become sensitized to spousal and child abuse; unfortunately we also tend to be an "all 'er nuthin'" culture as well (to borrow a song title from another R&H musical). Once we became sensitized to abuse, dramatizations that portray men who hit their wives (or children) became anathema -- unless the men were portrayed as irredeemably bad. Unfortunately CAROUSEL is not about spousal abuse, it's about unconditional love and redemption (as well as the class and economic inequities that foster violence and criminality) -- but to show a man who has hit his wife and child as being unconditionally loved by the wife he hit, is a lot to ask a 21st century audience to accept. That said, CAROUSEL remains my favorite musical play... and I think it is probably the best of its genre (there's perhaps not enough specificity in the writing for the members of the ensemble, but it was still early in the R&H "revolution"). I would welcome a blu-ray of the movie version despite my contention that the movie does not do the play justice.

Excellent observations, thanks for sharing. I agree with you that the movie does not do the play justice. That being said, Shirley Jones and Gordon Macrae and Cinemasope win me over and I find myself enjoying it despite its diluting of the orginal.

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted February 04 2013 - 11:08 AM

What is upsetting about "Carousel" is the exchange between mother and daughter, who asks the mother if it's possible for someone to hit you really hard and you don't feel it. The context there is that if it's someone you love, then it won't hurt (and, in turn, it's all right). That was then. It may have been part of "Liliom", as well, but it's clearly something Oscar Hammerstein II worked into the book and, possibly, thought was all right.

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted February 04 2013 - 11:29 AM

What is upsetting about "Carousel" is the exchange between mother and daughter, who asks the mother if it's possible for someone to hit you really hard and you don't feel it. The context there is that if it's someone you love, then it won't hurt (and, in turn, it's all right). That was then. It may have been part of "Liliom", as well, but it's clearly something Oscar Hammerstein II worked into the book and, possibly, thought was all right.

I always thought that Julie's love for Billy made it even sadder that Billy was treating her that way. If she had said, "I am reporting him to the police", it would not have been the tragic story that it is. But she does feel her own pain and also his pain, and feels it doubly hard because she loves him and is trying so hard to overlook his faults. We all like Billy and we want things to work out for him, we are pulling for him just as Julie is.

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   WilliamMcK

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Posted February 04 2013 - 12:15 PM

What is upsetting about "Carousel" is the exchange between mother and daughter, who asks the mother if it's possible for someone to hit you really hard and you don't feel it. The context there is that if it's someone you love, then it won't hurt (and, in turn, it's all right). That was then. It may have been part of "Liliom", as well, but it's clearly something Oscar Hammerstein II worked into the book and, possibly, thought was all right.

No... You're imposing the context... and also forgetting the fantasy element. It literally doesn't hurt Louise because Billy is a ghost... It didn't hurt Julie because she forgave Billy (and it's unlikely she would have forgiven him if he were an habitual abuser). Far from "working it into the book" Hammerstein used it precisely as Molnar did in LILIOM; furthermore in Molnar it's the last line of the play giving it far more emphasis than Hammerstein did. The implication that Hammerstein would approve of an habitually battered spouse encouraging her daughter to follow in her footsteps is far from the interpretation I come away with... based on my understanding of the ending of the show, as well as my understanding of the humanistic values that pervade all of Hammerstein's work from SHOW BOAT on...

#12 of 28 OFFLINE   bryan4999

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Posted February 04 2013 - 03:18 PM

What is upsetting about "Carousel" is the exchange between mother and daughter, who asks the mother if it's possible for someone to hit you really hard and you don't feel it. The context there is that if it's someone you love, then it won't hurt (and, in turn, it's all right). That was then. It may have been part of "Liliom", as well, but it's clearly something Oscar Hammerstein II worked into the book and, possibly, thought was all right.

One could perhaps say the same thing about Nancy singing "As Long As He Needs Me" in OLIVER!, especially right after Sykes slugs her. Bill Sykes has far fewer redeeming qualities than Billy Bigelow.

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted February 04 2013 - 03:38 PM

I think it is worth pointing out to those offended by the sentiment expressed by Julie in Carousel that she doesn't say it is a "good thing" for someone to hit you...hit you hard...because it won't hurt at all. Only that it is possible because, as she remembers it, she experienced such an incident with Billy. The script takes measures to assure or strongly suggest that Billy's hitting Julie was a one-time blowup, perhaps more of a shove than a full-on punch (not saying that makes it alright, of course), and not a regular feature of their relationship. Julie's sentiment shows she saw the incident as an expression of Billy's pain and not an expression of his wish to hurt her. There is a scene in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, not a movie I've ever heard associated with spousal or family abuse by anyone, where Jimmy Stewart's character gets angry, downright mean to his kids and wife on Christmas Eve. His anger builds to an uncontrollable moment where he snaps and violently destroys an architectural project occupying a focal point in the family room right in front of the kids and his wife. Makes a big show of it, too. Nobody gets slapped or shoved, an admittedly important line not to cross, but it is a very scary scene that Stewart's character purposely "acts out" in front of his family and the acting out brings the entire family to a state of terrified paralysis and shock. There is a shot of one child unable to budge, crying, essentially begging her daddy to stop terrorizing them. Although Stewart's character doesn't cross that crucial line, it would not have been a stretch to imagine him slapping or shoving someone at such a moment. Especially if his upbringing had been more Barbary Coast and less Bedford Falls, I suppose. The scene ends with Stewart, lost and realizing how far he'd fallen, looking at his wife's face and simply saying "Mary". She immediately realizes that this very scary and violent acting out isn't about her, isn't about the kids, but an expression of her husband's pain. I believe that was what Julie felt about Billy's hitting her and will always remember it that way. Mary Bailey will not spend the rest of her life remembering the time her husband flipped his lid and violently destroyed that project and furniture right in front of her and the kids on Christmas Eve as an example of his intentionally terrorizing his family but as an expression of his own frustration and pain, as an acting out to help make them notice or understand his own deep pain, just as Julie will about the incident with Billy.

#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted February 05 2013 - 01:42 AM

Originally Posted by bryan4999 


One could perhaps say the same thing about Nancy singing "As Long As He Needs Me" in OLIVER!, especially right after Sykes slugs her. Bill Sykes has far fewer redeeming qualities than Billy Bigelow.


It IS however, important to note that Sykes is pure villain and not intended to engender ANY audience sympathy whatsoever.  I'm not of the "Carousel glorifies spousal abuse" school (though it does remain my least favorite of the R&H musicals) but I don't think it's really a fair comparison.  The tragic quality of Nancy's song is that she needs to convince herself of his (inner) goodness but the audience knows it won't end well and that she is fooling herself. Posted Image



#15 of 28 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted February 06 2013 - 09:28 AM

No... You're imposing the context... and also forgetting the fantasy element. It literally doesn't hurt Louise because Billy is a ghost... It didn't hurt Julie because she forgave Billy (and it's unlikely she would have forgiven him if he were an habitual abuser). Far from "working it into the book" Hammerstein used it precisely as Molnar did in LILIOM; furthermore in Molnar it's the last line of the play giving it far more emphasis than Hammerstein did. The implication that Hammerstein would approve of an habitually battered spouse encouraging her daughter to follow in her footsteps is far from the interpretation I come away with... based on my understanding of the ending of the show, as well as my understanding of the humanistic values that pervade all of Hammerstein's work from SHOW BOAT on...

I am imposing nothing. He either slapped Julie or he didn't. The story doesn't purport to show us every minute of their relationship and I don't believe i's a one-time thing. Billy was a hitter. As for Louise, he was no ghost when he slapped her. She felt it, but Hammerstein softened it with fantasy blarney. Hitting is hitting. There is no other context.

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Trentrunner

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Posted February 06 2013 - 11:13 AM

Hitting is hitting. There is no other context.

Cinema legend Sean Connery begs to differ.

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted February 06 2013 - 02:15 PM

Far from shying away from it or trying to soften it, I think it was precisely the complex, difficult to justify and impossible to easily digest dynamics of the Julie-Billy relationship that drew Rogers and Hammerstein to adapt LILIOM to their Carousel in the first place. Even their love stories about ranch hands and country girls, nurses and war expats, kings and school teachers, sea captains and governesses were infused with darker, more complex implications than one might have assumed. Carousel is merely the darkest and most complex, imo. So it turns out a rough ne'er-do-well meets a young innocent on a warm moonlit night and the call of nature is so intense they fall in love and make a baby. This time R&H weren't going for a high-minded explanation for why their more educated, more experienced or more privileged characters would fall in love. In fact, I think they came closer to the reason most people fall in love and make babies in Carousel than they did in the stories that take place in palaces and Austrian villas. And for many in the grindingly poor, oppressive world of turn-of-the-century mill work and transient, filthy carny life, where the most memorable sentiments of "love" in their lives would come from some hackneyed slogans on a kitchen sampler, the idea that they would ever really fall in love or ever really be loved was an idea so far from their experience they could not even articulate it out loud. Only what they'd feel or do "if" they loved someone. I don't think many people seeing the outcome for Billy and what was denied him for eternity would think his hot-headed abusive nature was made "ok" or excused by R&H in Carousel.

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted February 07 2013 - 02:43 AM

I watched "Cabaret" night before last. This is one of the most spectacularly photographed movies ever made. Except in two scenes,neither of which seem as vividly extraordinary as they were on first viewing in a theater circa 1972, the transfer seems a bit on the dark side. I don't recall ever straining to see the faces or surroundings until watching the BD. I also recall more sharply defined images but perhaps it's the sharp stills I have from the movie that have confused me. Perhaps it's the fault of watching it on a 37-inch plasma. Maybe the screen isn't large enough to replicate the stunning Geoffrey Unsworth lighting and camerawork that took my breath away in 1972 theatrical showings. Or, maybe Unsworth's work has been a bit "muted"? I am ever-so-grateful to have this film on Blu ray --- FINALLY!!! One of the spectacular achievements of the 1970s took long enough to make it to home video anamorphically. But, I have to say that the satisfaction level of the transfer puts it on a level with the BD transfer of "The Sound of Music" -- not quite as good as I thought it would be, but I'm awfully glad to have them both.

#19 of 28 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted February 07 2013 - 04:14 AM

Originally Posted by Virgoan 

I watched "Cabaret" night before last. This is one of the most spectacularly photographed movies ever made. Except in two scenes,neither of which seem as vividly extraordinary as they were on first viewing in a theater circa 1972, the transfer seems a bit on the dark side. I don't recall ever straining to see the faces or surroundings until watching the BD. I also recall more sharply defined images but perhaps it's the sharp stills I have from the movie that have confused me.

Perhaps it's the fault of watching it on a 37-inch plasma. Maybe the screen isn't large enough to replicate the stunning Geoffrey Unsworth lighting and camerawork that took my breath away in 1972 theatrical showings. Or, maybe Unsworth's work has been a bit "muted"?

I am ever-so-grateful to have this film on Blu ray --- FINALLY!!! One of the spectacular achievements of the 1970s took long enough to make it to home video anamorphically.

But, I have to say that the satisfaction level of the transfer puts it on a level with the BD transfer of "The Sound of Music" -- not quite as good as I thought it would be, but I'm awfully glad to have them both.

I would expect nothing less from a Geoffrey Unsworth-lensed film. He was a "lighting" cameraman, so there would be as many reasons for darkness as for light. I'm surprised nobody's complained about softness, as that is an Unsworth hallmark. Look at Superman: The Movie, Zardoz, or A Bridge Too Far; stunning examples of properly handled soft focus and gauzy filters abound in each.


I don't think screen size is an issue as much as proper calibration may be, but since I don't know your setup, I can't really say.


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#20 of 28 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted February 08 2013 - 02:22 AM

Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H 

I would expect nothing less from a Geoffrey Unsworth-lensed film. He was a "lighting" cameraman, so there would be as many reasons for darkness as for light. I'm surprised nobody's complained about softness, as that is an Unsworth hallmark. Look at Superman: The Movie, Zardoz, or A Bridge Too Far; stunning examples of properly handled soft focus and gauzy filters abound in each


That's what a lot of modern reviewers don't seem to get with a lot of these 1970s films. The DPs then were so obviously trying to rebel against the razor-sharp Technicolor images and the faux-Technicolor aesthetic of then-current TV (the cinematography on The Brady Bunch is probably the most representative example of this style; very colorful and brightly lit but without any motivated light source). They made it look dark and grainy on purpose.


Part of the reason some of these movies looked so bad on DVD is because the MPEG-2 codec was just not good at handling things like film grain and video noise. AVC and VC-1 can handle these better and are more efficient codecs to begin with, and I personally believe a lot of the bad mastering habits studios developed during the DVD era was to deal with the increased grain.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.






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