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
Blu-ray Reviews

Hello, Dolly! Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Fox

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

#1 of 130 ONLINE   Matt Hough

Matt Hough

    Executive Producer



  • 11,631 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 24 2006
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted April 03 2013 - 04:31 AM

Hello, Dolly! Blu-ray Review

When Disney’s Mary Poppins and Fox’s The Sound of Music ended up becoming the top-grossing films of their respective years in the mid-1960s, Hollywood studio moguls decided that big budgeted musical films produced for family audiences were a sure-fire way to box-office gold. Unfortunately for them, the succession of movie musicals produced in the period of the late 1960s occurred at a time when musical tastes especially among younger viewers were markedly veering away from a traditional Broadway sound. Hello, Dolly!, released in 1969, was one of the last of the mega-budgeted lush musicals produced during this period. With a popular new star and a well-known stage property, it did good business (unlike Fox’s previous musical entertainments Doctor Dolittle and Star! which were both box-office disappointments), but receipts weren’t enough to push the movie into profitability during its initial release. The era of the roadshow musical was coming to an end.


Cover Art


Studio: Fox

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 1.0 DD (Mono), Other

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Rating: G

Run Time: 2 Hr. 28 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

keep case

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 04/02/2013

MSRP: $24.99




The Production Rating: 4/5

Matchmaking widow Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) has her cap set for wealthy Yonkers merchant Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau), but in order to claim him for herself, she must find a way to divert his attention away from unmarried milliner Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew). To do that, she enlists his chief clerk Cornelius Hackl (Michael Crawford) to visit New York and meet Miss Malloy himself. But Cornelius doesn’t have permission from his boss to leave the store, and he and fellow clerk Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin) must make up their minds to ignore their boss’ wishes in order to have a day of adventure in New York City.

After writing sterling adaptations of Broadway musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music which did marvelously creative things with song placement and scene alterations to make them more suitable for the movies, writer/producer Ernest Lehman has turned in a disappointingly flat screen adaptation for Dolly! Sure, a couple of songs have been eliminated or replaced (“Motherhood” and parts of “I Put My Hand In” which turns into the jauntier “Just Leave Everything to Me”), and a weak scene in a courtroom now takes place more felicitously in a park (composer Jerry Herman’s exquisite “It Only Takes a Moment”). But the movie under director Gene Kelly’s guiding hand always seems to keep the proscenium in mind and doesn’t have the same kind of opened-up, fresh take on the material that Lehman’s other musicals had. Choreographer Michael Kidd’s acrobatic dancing work, wonderfully recalled in such cinematic classics as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys and Dolls, gets full marks in the production numbers “Dancing” and the “Waiters’ Gallop” which precedes the all-stops-out title song, and the combination of Kidd’s staging, Kelly’s directing, and their star’s exciting vocalizing gives new sheen and verve to “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” the title song, and “So Long Dearie.”

But Hello, Dolly! must be the most un-felicitously cast musical of the 1960s. When the decision was made to hire the (then) twenty-six-year old Barbra Streisand as the middle-aged widow Dolly Levi, the entire script needed to be rewritten with all references to her long, happy marriage and extended period of lonely widowhood altered or rethought. Streisand sings the score brilliantly and puts everything she knows about delivering comic lines with Mae West-like inflections to good use in trying to make the comedy work. But with Streisand cast as Dolly, a different notion for Horace should have been paramount in the studio’s thinking. Instead of the middle-aged and plain Walter Matthau (who would be dream casting for a Horace opposite original stage star Carol Channing or Betty Grable or any number of other age-appropriate stars of that era), why didn’t the producer think younger, say, Steve McQueen or even the more musically adept (if older) Dick Van Dyke? Instead, we have a Dolly and a Horace appropriate to two different variations of the story but which don’t mesh at all well in the same film.

And casting problems don’t end with the two leads. Michael Crawford, today a well-respected musical theater leading man with a resonant baritenor voice, plays the gawky, inexperienced Cornelius with the cartoon-like goofiness he was known for at that period of his career, but his singing voice, untrained and chirpy then, does none of Cornelius’ musical material any favors (the aforementioned “It Only Takes a Moment” is a cruel victim of his shaky vocal timbre). Marianne McAndrew playing Irene Molloy doesn’t have the slightest bit of chemistry with Crawford’s Cornelius and doesn’t seem a suitable physical match for him either. She’s dubbed in the film by two singers, Melissa Stafford in solos and Gilda Maiken in “Elegance,” but these weren’t the best choices either having higher vocal registers than McAndrew's speaking voice (surprising given that associate producer Roger Edens who made very wise selections for dubbers during his MGM/Arthur Freed years was involved). Frankly, the two most ideally cast and performed roles are third leads Danny Lockin and E.J. Peaker as the awkward Barnaby and the ditzy Minnie Faye. Tommy Tune, just coming into his own as a musical theater performer at that time, towers over all as Ambrose Kemper, suitor of Vandergelder’s niece.

And yet with all these problems, the film is still marvelously entertaining. Streisand sells every one of her numbers (and an extra song was added for her: “Love Is Only Love” which Herman had discarded from the score of Mame), and the big production numbers all work (when Louis Armstrong turns around and begins singing a portion of “Hello, Dolly” while Streisand’s Dolly scat-sings in counterpoint, you’ll be in musical comedy heaven). Hello, Dolly! is one of those films in which the sum of its parts is far greater than its individual elements.



Video Rating: 5/5  3D Rating: NA

The film’s Todd-AO 2.20:1 theatrical aspect ratio is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. The image quality throughout is astonishingly detailed and rich. You’ll see patterns in the beading of Streisand’s gold gown that you likely have never before noticed, and some water dripping off a latticed window comes into focus for the first time in my experience. Color is super rich and saturated but always controlled so that the waiters’ red jackets and the red carpeting at the Harmonia Gardens don’t bloom. Flesh tones are entirely natural throughout. The film has been divided into 28 chapters.



Audio Rating: 4/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix is most effective across the front soundstage where the film’s lush orchestrations can be heard quite wonderfully. There isn’t much going on in the rear surrounds though there is some spillover there most notably in the “Before the Parade Passes By” sequence. Dialogue is always clear and well presented in the center channel even when there is some noticeable ADR present.



Special Features Rating: 2.5/5

Directing Dolly: Gene Kelly Remembered (10:39, HD): Gene Kelly’s widow Patricia speaks on Kelly’s recollections to her about making the movie using behind-the-scenes imagery from the below-mentioned featurette to illustrate her points.

1969 Featurette (6:53, HD): This includes some behind-the-scenes shots of the movie during production focusing specifically on “Before the Parade Passes By” but with brief clips from “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “Dancing.”

Theatrical Trailers (4:14, HD; 4:17, SD): the American trailer and the Spanish language trailer are presented.



Overall Rating: 4/5

Hello, Dolly! is an entertaining movie musical. Its flaws and missteps don’t prevent it from offering classy entertainment in the kind of film that simply isn’t made any more. The new Blu-ray release offers beautiful video quality and more than acceptable audio though one regrets that the Fox vaults weren’t plumbed for more bonus material relating to this famous, Oscar-winning movie musical.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


Support HTF when you buy this title:



Click here to view the review
  • benbess likes this

#2 of 130 OFFLINE   noel aguirre

noel aguirre

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 28 2011
  • Real Name:noel

Posted April 03 2013 - 05:36 AM

Sorry but HD is not worthy a 5/5 video rating. Compare it to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or The Sound of Music. The sky is white! All whites outdoors bloom.
Plus the sound has no oomph. Nor is the dialogue directional.

Edited by noel aguirre, April 03 2013 - 05:42 AM.

  • kinopanorama.widescreeen likes this

#3 of 130 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

Charles Smith

    Extremely Talented Member



  • 4,270 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 27 2007
  • LocationNor'east

Posted April 03 2013 - 05:51 AM

Matt, thank you.  Will pick it up soon, today if possible.  I love the original musical, and I shall now look forward to seeing this film, in which I'm afraid I never before had the slightest interest -- ever -- for my first time.  


Edited by Charles Smith, April 03 2013 - 09:58 AM.

  • ahollis likes this

#4 of 130 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

BBbrowd

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 135 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 22 2003
  • Real Name:Chris

Posted April 03 2013 - 08:37 AM

Enjoyable review, Matt. Thank you.

 

I agree that Walter Matthau was not a good match for Streisand.  I've often thought that Jack Lemmon would have been much better. I think someone like Jack would have had more chemistry with Barbra.  It's hard to buy that she is attracted to Walter, other than for his money.  Never thought of Steve McQueen before.  That may have worked nicely!


Chris

#5 of 130 OFFLINE   RetroGuy

RetroGuy

    Agent



  • 36 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 21 2012

Posted April 03 2013 - 09:24 AM

I've only watched my favorite parts of the movie so far, but has anyone else noticed any glitches with the video transfer?  I'm not sure what the technical terms are for what I've seen, but, for instance, when the camera is panning from the end of "Elegance" to Dolly's apartment window as Streisand sings the opening strains of "Love Is Only Love," the letters on the side of one building practically come to life and start shimmying back and forth, as well as a window on a distant building.  I also noticed this same thing at the opening of the film as the scene starts to come to life.  The area where the train enters vibrates a bit, along with a few other spots during the pan down to the guy sweeping the street.

 

The scenes in the Harmonia Gardens look so incredible they practically took my breath away, but based on other scenes I've sampled thus far I would only give the video a 4/5 rating.


Edited by RetroGuy, April 03 2013 - 09:44 AM.


#6 of 130 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

BBbrowd

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 135 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 22 2003
  • Real Name:Chris

Posted April 03 2013 - 09:49 AM

I've only watched my favorite parts of the movie so far, but has anyone else noticed any glitches with the video transfer?  I'm not sure what the technical terms are for what I've seen, but, for instance, when the camera is panning from the end of "Elegance" to Dolly's apartment window as Streisand sings the opening strains of "Love Is Only Love," the letters on the side of one building practically come to life and start shimming back and forth, as well as a window on a distant building.  I also noticed this same thing at the opening of the film as the scene starts to come to life.  The area where the train enters vibrates a bit, along with a few other spots during the pan down to the guy sweeping the street.

 

The scenes in the Harmonia Gardens look so incredible they practically took my breath away, but based on other scenes I've sampled thus far I would only give the video a 4/5 rating.

 

 Yes, there are a few glitches.  The one that stood out to me was during "Put On Your Sunday Clothes".  The shot of Barbra when she sings the line, "All aboard, all aboard!".  It flickers or jitters very badly.  I wonder what happened?

 

And as Noel said, the brightly lit outdoor scenes and sky become blown out.  The lighter colors are all washed out and it happens during portions of the hat shop as well. 


Chris

#7 of 130 OFFLINE   noel aguirre

noel aguirre

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 28 2011
  • Real Name:noel

Posted April 03 2013 - 11:01 AM

Has anyone else notice whether Louis Armstrong is singling live as opposed to lipsynching.?

#8 of 130 OFFLINE   haineshisway

haineshisway

    Screenwriter



  • 2,373 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2011
  • Real Name:Bruce
  • LocationLos Angeles

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:03 PM

Sorry but HD is not worthy a 5/5 video rating. Compare it to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or The Sound of Music. The sky is white! All whites outdoors bloom.
Plus the sound has no oomph. Nor is the dialogue directional.

The sky is white?  Funny, I saw blue skies AND cloudy skies.  If you only saw white, I recommend turning on the blue on your set :)  The color is absolutely true.  In the opening you will see a white sky shot (cloudy) and in the very next cut you will see a blazingly blue sky shot - that's the way it's always been.  Different days, different skies.  Tell me what color the sky is on the first shot of the exterior of Walter Matthau's store - couldn't really be any bluer, could it? Do you think they went through the transfer and said, "Yes, let's have blue skies here, but white skies there," just to freak everyone out?  For me, this transfer bests both Chitty and Sound of Music - Chitty's color is too brown (I very much like the transfer but the color isn't perfect), and Sound of Music just looks weird to me occasionally.  Five out of five from me, certainly.  


  • Virgoan and kinopanorama.widescreeen like this

#9 of 130 OFFLINE   haineshisway

haineshisway

    Screenwriter



  • 2,373 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2011
  • Real Name:Bruce
  • LocationLos Angeles

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:05 PM

 Yes, there are a few glitches.  The one that stood out to me was during "Put On Your Sunday Clothes".  The shot of Barbra when she sings the line, "All aboard, all aboard!".  It flickers or jitters very badly.  I wonder what happened?

 

And as Noel said, the brightly lit outdoor scenes and sky become blown out.  The lighter colors are all washed out and it happens during portions of the hat shop as well. 

I'm not going to let these posts stand without comment, sorry - there is not one shot in this transfer that has blown out whites.  There is no jitter or flicker, other than occasional flicker in the opticals, which is a product OF the opticals and not the transfer.  What gets a pass here and what gets nitpicked is always interesting on these boards.  Here the nitpicking is really off, IMO.  I'm with Matt all the way on this one, transfer-wise.


  • Rob_Ray and Virgoan like this

#10 of 130 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

BBbrowd

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 135 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 22 2003
  • Real Name:Chris

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:33 PM

haineshisway, overall I think this is a beautiful blu-ray. I'm more pleased than anything.  I'm not trying to nitpick.  The film happens to be one of my top favorites, so I'm just seeing differences that stand out as opposed to the other transfers.  Do you own the DVD?  On the DVD and even the laser disc, the scenes out in the sun are not this contrasted and white looking.  It's not just about the skies, colors in people and costumes are lost here and there.

 

So much of this transfer is gorgeous.  I just wished that it would have been more consistently so.  Just my opinion.


  • jseabough likes this
Chris

#11 of 130 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

Rob_Ray

    Screenwriter



  • 1,512 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 12 2004
  • Real Name:Rob Ray
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:39 PM

I'm with Bruce and Matt.  While I never saw Dolly in its original release, I've seen the 70mm print that's been making the rounds for the last few years at least twice and this release matches it spot-on.  No complaints here.


  • Virgoan likes this

#12 of 130 OFFLINE   noel aguirre

noel aguirre

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 28 2011
  • Real Name:noel

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:41 PM

I'm not going to let these posts stand without comment, sorry - there is not one shot in this transfer that has blown out whites. There is no jitter or flicker, other than occasional flicker in the opticals, which is a product OF the opticals and not the transfer. What gets a pass here and what gets nitpicked is always interesting on these boards. Here the nitpicking is really off, IMO. I'm with Matt all the way on this one, transfer-wise.

The whole "before the Parade Passes By" number is bloomin white. Look at Mathau's white feathers on his hat- no definition
I was only referring to that number. But worse than that is the sound - the whole bottom end is missing. HD won an Oscar for sound- this blu-ray is devoid of bass. Fox had a specific sound sorely lacking on this disc. Compare it to The Sound of Music.
Your love of this movie may be coloring your judgement. Be objective.

Edited by noel aguirre, April 03 2013 - 03:26 PM.


#13 of 130 OFFLINE   haineshisway

haineshisway

    Screenwriter



  • 2,373 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2011
  • Real Name:Bruce
  • LocationLos Angeles

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:44 PM

haineshisway, overall I think this is a beautiful blu-ray. I'm more pleased than anything.  I'm not trying to nitpick.  The film happens to be one of my top favorites, so I'm just seeing differences that stand out as opposed to the other transfers.  Do you own the DVD?  On the DVD and even the laser disc, the scenes out in the sun are not this contrasted and white looking.  It's not just about the skies, colors in people and costumes are lost here and there.

 

So much of this transfer is gorgeous.  I just wished that it would have been more consistently so.  Just my opinion.

You are making the incorrect assumption that the DVD and other transfers were correct - they were not.  They were awful.  This gets it right.  When the skies were blue during shooting, the skies are blue on this transfer - blazingly blue - just look at Vandegelder's store, the first shot.  


  • Virgoan likes this

#14 of 130 OFFLINE   noel aguirre

noel aguirre

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 28 2011
  • Real Name:noel

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:44 PM

haineshisway, overall I think this is a beautiful blu-ray. I'm more pleased than anything. I'm not trying to nitpick. The film happens to be one of my top favorites, so I'm just seeing differences that stand out as opposed to the other transfers. Do you own the DVD? On the DVD and even the laser disc, the scenes out in the sun are not this contrasted and white looking. It's not just about the skies, colors in people and costumes are lost here and there.

So much of this transfer is gorgeous. I just wished that it would have been more consistently so. Just my opinion.

Totally agree. And this is not to say it bad - but it's not a 5.

The sound is another issue.

Edited by noel aguirre, April 03 2013 - 01:00 PM.


#15 of 130 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

Rob_Ray

    Screenwriter



  • 1,512 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 12 2004
  • Real Name:Rob Ray
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:45 PM

haineshisway, overall I think this is a beautiful blu-ray. I'm more pleased than anything.  I'm not trying to nitpick.  The film happens to be one of my top favorites, so I'm just seeing differences that stand out as opposed to the other transfers.  Do you own the DVD?  On the DVD and even the laser disc, the scenes out in the sun are not this contrasted and white looking.  It's not just about the skies, colors in people and costumes are lost here and there.

 

So much of this transfer is gorgeous.  I just wished that it would have been more consistently so.  Just my opinion.

You shouldn't compare this to any previous home video release, but rather to how it looked on a theatre screen.  And, as I said earlier, this matches the current 70mm print very, very closely.  I've seen the laserdisc and the DVD and this transfer blows both of them away visually.  The laserdisc had very rich, robust Dolby Digital sound.  The DVD's sound was rubbish.  This one is uncompressed DTS and sounds very nice, but not as true to the original mix as the laserdisc's mixdown.


  • Virgoan likes this

#16 of 130 OFFLINE   haineshisway

haineshisway

    Screenwriter



  • 2,373 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2011
  • Real Name:Bruce
  • LocationLos Angeles

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:46 PM

The whole "before the Parade Passes By" number is bloomin white. Look at Mathau's shirt.
I was only referring to that number. But worse than that us the sound - the whole bottom end is missing. HD won an Oscar for sound- this blu-ray is devoid of bass. Fox had a specific sound sorely lacking on this disc. Compare it to The Sound of Music.
Your love of this movie may be coloring your judgement. Be objective.

Again, I have no idea how you're viewing this, but you've got a bunch of people here telling you otherwise.  There is no shot that blooms in this transfer.  And you were hardly referring to just that number, at least as I read your post - you said the skies were white.  Have you ONLY watched that number?  My love of this movie?  I don't love this movie at all, never have, so nothing is clouding my judgment, but even if I loved it my judgment wouldn't be clouded.  But I have to say that due to this transfer I enjoyed the film much more this time than I ever have.  I hear bottom end when I listen - I suppose there could be more, but that's not for me to say.



#17 of 130 OFFLINE   haineshisway

haineshisway

    Screenwriter



  • 2,373 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2011
  • Real Name:Bruce
  • LocationLos Angeles

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:48 PM

You shouldn't compare this to any previous home video release, but rather to how it looked on a theatre screen.  And, as I said earlier, this matches the current 70mm print very, very closely.  I've seen the laserdisc and the DVD and this transfer blows both of them away visually.  The laserdisc had very rich, robust Dolby Digital sound.  The DVD's sound was rubbish.  This one is uncompressed DTS and sounds very nice, but not as true to the original mix as the laserdisc's mixdown.

This is a mistake that so many people make - they compare only to other previous transfers and I guess it never occurs to them that those may have been and were in the case of Dolly, utter rubbish.



#18 of 130 OFFLINE   noel aguirre

noel aguirre

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 28 2011
  • Real Name:noel

Posted April 03 2013 - 12:49 PM


You shouldn't compare this to any previous home video release, but rather to how it looked on a theatre screen. And, as I said earlier, this matches the current 70mm print very, very closely. I've seen the laserdisc and the DVD and this transfer blows both of them away visually. The laserdisc had very rich, robust Dolby Digital sound. The DVD's sound was rubbish. This one is uncompressed DTS and sounds very nice, but not as true to the original mix as the laserdisc's mixdown.


Ok then what we have is a blu-ray musical with worse sound than a 20year old laser disc. And no isolated score.

Edited by noel aguirre, April 03 2013 - 12:58 PM.


#19 of 130 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

Rob_Ray

    Screenwriter



  • 1,512 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 12 2004
  • Real Name:Rob Ray
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted April 03 2013 - 02:11 PM

Don't be too dismissive of the sound qualities of  "20year old laser discs".   Sound reproduction took a giant leap backward when DVDs came along with all that compression.  Finally, with blurays, we have sound that can surpass laserdiscs.

 

Dolly's sound on laserdisc was spectacular, but so is the sound on this bluray.   I'll leave it to those with state-of-the-art sound equipment to decide which is superior, but I would bet that the bluray's sound, however much it may not replicate the original 1969 mix' dialogue panning, is much more impressive when played through high-end equipment.

 

I'm quite happy with this release.



#20 of 130 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

BBbrowd

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 135 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 22 2003
  • Real Name:Chris

Posted April 03 2013 - 02:18 PM

This is a mistake that so many people make - they compare only to other previous transfers and I guess it never occurs to them that those may have been and were in the case of Dolly, utter rubbish.

 

I was only referencing the DVD as an example of contrast in certain outdoor scenes.  I didn't mean it as a comparison overall.  I too think the DVD release was very poor.


Chris





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Blu-ray Reviews, Blu-ray, Fox

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users