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A few words about...™ Ishtar -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Sony Pictures

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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted August 18 2013 - 08:25 AM

It's simple, really.

 

The finally released Blu-ray of Elaine May's much discussed Ishtar, is finally in the hands of the public.

 

But being a Columbia / Sony product, there really isn't much to discuss.

 

It's a Columbia / Sony product.  And therefore is presumed to be superb.

 

And it is.

 

Whatever one thinks of the film, and it is fun, the new Blu-ray is perfect.

 

Worth your 105 minutes?  Actually, yes.  You might just enjoy it, and at least you'll be able to tell your friends that you've seen it.

 

Image - 5

 

Audio - 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

 

This is listed a "Director's cut."  Not really certain what that means, as the running time is still 107 minutes.  Could be the re-instatement of a deleted word.

 

RAH


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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   BIANCO2NERO

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Posted August 18 2013 - 10:19 AM

I'm not averse to seeing this again because I can't remember anything other than the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joke.I saw this at the cinema when it came out with my (then) girlfriend - we went shopping afterwards and after a while looked at our watches and were shocked as we simply could not figure out what we had been doing for the last few 2 hours - took us about 10 minutes to remember (and my memory was a lot better in those days). 



#3 of 12 ONLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted August 18 2013 - 10:48 AM

This was actually the first BLU I christened my new panasonic plasma ZT60 with last Friday. If always heard so many jokes about how bad the movie was and that reputation precedes it. I seem to buy about every Dustin Hoffman film that comes out on BLU, and I almost think Dustin has more movies out ok BLU than just about any other actor save for Eastwood.

I found the presentation great and would have never expeected a DTS HD 5.1 I would have almost guessed a 2.0 mix. Ive seen far worse films than Ishtar and only wish we could have had some making of or a conversation with Elaine May for the release. I just wish someone would release Mays's classic The Heartbreak Kid to BLU.

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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted August 18 2013 - 10:58 AM

We've already had a long discussion in another thread about this film, generally acknowledged as one of the worst ever made, being released from Sony whilst other more deserving titles are farmed out to boutique labels or left languishing in Sony's vaults. I won't get into that again, but I will say that in that discussion came a very important piece of information, Ron Epstein's cogent remark that sometimes a title gets released simply because it's a current studio executive's favorite movie.

 

Well, nobody ever said life was fair, but who said it was unfair? ;)



#5 of 12 ONLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted August 18 2013 - 11:07 AM

We didn't need that discussion brought up again haha, but The BLU was delayed from over 2 years ago and almost every Dustin Hoffman film has or seems to be getting a BLU release. Needless to say every studio releases films that other wish they had released something else in place of it. Yeah, true Sony's recent output direct from them is poor but Im glad I was able to see Ishtar on Blu and not a lesser format.

Stop the Replacing of original Studio Opening / Closing logos! They are part of film history.

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#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Professor Echo

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Posted August 18 2013 - 11:13 AM

 almost every Dustin Hoffman film has or seems to be getting a BLU release.

 

Although it doesn't have a lot of repeat value since it['s so intense, I wouldn't mind a Blu release of STRAIGHT TIME, which I feel is Hoffman's best performance.


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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 18 2013 - 11:59 AM

I'm not averse to seeing this again because I can't remember anything other than the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joke.I saw this at the cinema when it came out with my (then) girlfriend - we went shopping afterwards and after a while looked at our watches and were shocked as we simply could not figure out what we had been doing for the last few 2 hours - took us about 10 minutes to remember (and my memory was a lot better in those days). 

 

When I watched this in the theater with my then GF as well...we found other ways to entertain ourselves as well(we were there on a Tuesday)...



#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted August 18 2013 - 01:46 PM

We've already had a long discussion in another thread about this film, generally acknowledged as one of the worst ever made, being released from Sony whilst other more deserving titles are farmed out to boutique labels or left languishing in Sony's vaults

 

(Or about the general abuses of the "It's like Hope & Crosby!" alibi for lame buddy-comedies in the 80's, back the pre-TCM days when most people had never seen a real frame of Road to Morocco...
Spies Like Us tried invoking the Hope-Crosby defense too, but that one at least came a little closer and worked in a Hope cameo.)

 

I will say that in that discussion came a very important piece of information, Ron Epstein's cogent remark that sometimes a title gets released simply because it's a current studio executive's favorite movie.

 

There was also the simple straightforward excuse that verious print/ownership/etc. problems had kept it off disk all these years, and there never HAD been a serviceable disk version--Which made it seem more like a "lost classic", albeit not classic.  Sometimes, you have to admit that's it's better to have these things on disk for film-archive value than not.



#9 of 12 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted August 18 2013 - 05:36 PM

Having only seen this picture once - on Laserdisc, nearly 20 years ago - I have to confess, it's mostly a blur now except for the following exchange:

 

Chuck Clarke: Is this the oasis?

Lyle Rogers: Does this look like an oasis to you?

Chuck Clarke: Yeah, look at the birds. Are those vultures?

Lyle Rogers: Yeah.

Chuck Clarke: You mean they're here on spec?

 

Dunno why, but that 'here on spec' line just stuck with me. Maybe it was the customary dryness of May's writing and/or Hoffman's delivery.

 

So yes, I'm in for all the reasons RAH mentioned...it's a Columbia/Sony title...it's the Director's cut...it's been MIA so long and has such a love-it/hate-it rep. Curiosity mainly.



#10 of 12 OFFLINE   atcolomb

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Posted August 18 2013 - 06:00 PM

Saw this for the first time last year when it was shown on the Sony HD channel and it's not that bad as i though it would be and i have seen worse than this. Always nice to see Isabelle Adjani in any movie!



#11 of 12 OFFLINE   owen35

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Posted August 19 2013 - 08:30 AM

I must have a sympathetic heart for films that are deemed "the worst movie ever made" (Heaven's Gate, One From The Heart, Citizen Kane).  Ishtar falls into that category; a movie that was slammed for not being as funny as the budget demanded it should be.  As if, somehow, a budget should be the determinant as to how excellent a film will be.

 

 I saw it a few years ago on cable and found it be more enjoyable than I had recalled.  I do remember when I first saw it released that the "haggling" scene in the dessert was a little cringy-worthy as I thought Hoffman was trying to outdo Bill Murray--who was a master at that type of improv at the time.  Since  there is no longer that comparison to contend with and the film can really be seen without having to justify its budget, it's a pretty funny movie.  One of the top 10 funniest movies?  No, but few films are.  But there are plenty of well crafted, well executed comedy bits that raises it above the potty-humor comedy films we are offered nowadays.


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#12 of 12 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted September 18 2013 - 06:33 PM

I must have a sympathetic heart for films that are deemed "the worst movie ever made" (Heaven's Gate, One From The Heart, Citizen Kane).  Ishtar falls into that category; a movie that was slammed for not being as funny as the budget demanded it should be.  As if, somehow, a budget should be the determinant as to how excellent a film will be.
 
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