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: "Fidel" (with screenshots) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)


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

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 43,321 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted May 08 2002 - 09:05 AM

Posted Image



Fidel













Year: 2002

Rated: NR

Film Length: 206 minutes

Aspect Ratio: Full Frame









In selecting which title next to review, I looked

at the pile of DVDs that sat on my desk and decided

to pick Fidel. Though nearly 3.5 hours in

length and not even anamorphic, I felt the need

to watch this in order to learn something about

a man I knew very little about. As usual in cases

like these, I walked away thoroughly amazed.



Posted Image



Originally premiering last January on the Showtime

Network, Fidel received critical acclaim.

Based on the books "Guerilla Prince" (Georgie Anne

Geyer) and "Fidel Castro" (Robert E. Quirk), this

is the story of Fidel's political rise in 1949, to

his country's continued economic decline of today.



Posted Image





The film begins in 1949 Havana as we see a young

Fidel cruising the streets with his friends. He is

concerned about the corrupt political climate of

his country, which is under the control of General

Batista. Fidel is also angered by the power of

American corporations that he sees as exploiting

the Cubans. By 1952, Fidel starts organizing an

army, planning the liberation of Cuba. Though

initial attempts end up disastrously, he takes

to the mountains where he engages in guerilla

warfare, slowly drumming up support from the public.

By 1959, Fidel valiantly marches into Santiago

shortly after Batista flees the country.



Posted Image





The film continues showing Fidel's reign through

the 60's, including Cuba embracing communism and

the politically unstable U.S. Bay of Pigs incident.

Through the 80's, with Fidel is still in power,

we see him losing touch with his people as many

take their chance in fleeing by boat to the United

States. Though shot in color, the film often turns

to black and white for short periods of time to

integrate itself with original footage from the

historical moments being represented.



Posted Image





Actor Victor Hugo Martin makes his English language

debut, in a remarkably stunning and convincing

portrayal of Fidel Castro. Through the 3.5 hours

of this film, we watch this actor age 50 years.

It's one of those performances that keep you glued

to the screen.





How is the transfer?





Originally produced for television, Fidel

is presented in full-frame. This will initially

bother widescreen set owners, but trust me, it's

the film itself that is more important. The

transfer also slightly suffers, looking only as

good as broadcast quality. Though colors are

quite vivid, there is a noticeable amount of video

noise present throughout. You never get the sense

that you are watching anything theatrical film quality.



The sound is presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital.

I would have hoped that even a cable network

would prosper from a film like this being heard

in full surround, but alas, it just wasn't meant

to be. Fortunately the soundtrack sounds very

robust, with a nice presence of bass from the

front speakers -- especially in scenes involving

music.





Special Features





There really isn't much anything of great interest

presented here when you consider what *could* have

been included.



First of all, shame on you Artisan for not

providing subtitles for the hearing impaired.

I cannot stress enough how important subtitles

are to home entertainment.



Though the DVD box indicates the inclusion of

John F. Kennedy's Speech on the Cuban Missile

Crisis
, do not be fooled into believing (as

I was) that this would be video footage. It is

simply pages of text of the entire speech.



There are also Production Notes and

Cast Biographies included.



None of Showtime's promotional featurettes are

even included here.





Final Thoughts





For anyone who has ever wondered who Fidel

Castro is, and what made him become the man he

has become, ought to watch this riveting film.

His story of struggled uprising is an amazing

one. The film remains hard-edged, well paced,

and features a stellar cast.



For under $15 online, this is a DVD worth taking

purchase risks on.





Release Date: May 21, 2002

 

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 10 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

Aaron Silverman

    Executive Producer



  • 10,114 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 22 1999
  • Real Name:Aaron Silverman
  • LocationFlorida

Posted May 08 2002 - 01:59 PM

I'm shocked that a TV production is missing captions! Anyone know if the original broadcast had them?
"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

Steven Simon

    Producer



  • 3,283 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 14 1998

Posted May 08 2002 - 02:24 PM

My kind of flick..... CIgars, Cigars, Cigars!!!!
Steve Simon
Home Theater Forum
Retired Administration
 

 


#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Keith M.

Keith M.

    Second Unit



  • 489 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 01 1999

Posted May 09 2002 - 09:34 AM

i hear crickets!!!

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Luis M

Luis M

    Second Unit



  • 283 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 02 2000

Posted May 09 2002 - 05:38 PM

Hello there Ronald Epstein, I just read your thread on the dvd from Artisan called "Fidel" and just for the sake of accurate information and since you seem to give this release a special treatment in a review-like format that catches the eye, let me take a minute to remind those who may be inclined to get the film for its artistic merits that Fidel's life is not the romantic life potrayed in this movie and even though sometimes critical of Fidel, the film does not do justice of the true nature of a dictator that has been in power for the last 42 years, yes 42 years and counting. I am also obligated to respond to your statement that says "to his country continued economic decline of today" the horror of poverty and bad economies apply to all countries and all continents but this is the least of Cuba's problems today and for that matter, what Cuba has been facing for the last four decades which are the lack of freedom of speech, movement,relegion, all the human rights that are a given in a country like ours and the right to choose a new president every few years. Accurate historical facts would have been much preffered to a great cinematic experience. Take it from me, I have been in the beast's belly and is not romantic at all. I am sorry to have taken this Hometheater forum that I love so much to the potitical arena but your review of the dvd made it look as if you took this picture as the real thing. Thank you, Luis Manrara.

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 43,321 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted May 10 2002 - 01:08 AM

Luis, I very much appreciate your comments. I had stated that my reason for wanting to review this film was to learn something. At the start of the film, a disclaimer is put up saying that the is accurately presented. I have no doubt that you have far more insight into Cuba's reign under Fidel then I do. Thanks again.

 

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


#7 of 10 OFFLINE   MikeF

MikeF

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 180 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 17 2000

Posted May 10 2002 - 06:02 AM

[quote]

...Fidel's life is not the romantic life potrayed in this movie and even though sometimes critical of Fidel, the film does not do justice of the true nature of a dictator that has been in power for the last 42 years, yes 42 years and counting... [W]hat Cuba has been facing for the last four decades which are the lack of freedom of speech, movement,relegion, all the human rights that are a given in a country like ours and the right to choose a new president every few years... Take it from me, I have been in the beast's belly and is not romantic at all.

[quote]


Ah, the entirely predictable sound of Cuban ex-patriates living in Florida. If you know this forum isn't supposed to be political, why are you making it such?



Having "visited the beast's belly" myself some eight times over the last 15 years, I can say that Castro is most certainly not the monster that those like Luis suggest he is. While Cuba no doubt has issues with which to contend -- more so economic than human rights-related -- its state of affairs seems far preferable to that of other Latin American countries and is most certainly preferable to that seen under Batista. Cuba has the highest literacy rate in Latin America and the lowest infant mortality rate. There is universal health care, free university education, and virtually no crime. There is freedom of religion; for crying out loud, the Pope paid a week-long visit in January 1998. There are even elections in respect of Cuba's National Assembly (i.e. Parliament).



I haven't seen the film and thus am not going to comment on it, but please, skip the bullshit anti-Castro rhetoric. It's an unpleasant American phenomenon that is never heard elsewhere in the world.
My oh so exciting DVD collection.

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Luis M

Luis M

    Second Unit



  • 283 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 02 2000

Posted May 10 2002 - 09:28 AM

Thank you Ronald for answering my thread, you are a Gentleman. It's people like you who keep me comimg back to this forum, for that reason I would never disrespect people who think different than me. Back to home-theater and God bless the greatest country on the face of the earth.. The united States of America.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Alfonso_M

Alfonso_M

    Second Unit



  • 397 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 25 2000

Posted May 10 2002 - 03:10 PM

Common Ron, I think those Cuban cigars are clouding your vision on this one..Posted Image



Let me see if get this right, from the beginning they are trying to *fool you* with *fancy packaging* and *misleading print*, they could *care less* for the hearing impaired, they prefer to *cutback* to full frame, the *image suffers in quality*, they give you *less* sound (DD 2.0) for the same price, and to top it off they produced an *inferior* non- anamorphic *image* that no one buys around the world.



It looks to me like this DVD accurately reflects the subject matter! Posted Image



Oh yes, if the IRS forced me to turnover 99% of my paycheck I’d expect “Universal Health Care” too, even if a mediocre one!Posted Image

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor



  • 8,283 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted May 15 2002 - 12:46 PM

Ronbo,



You could have made it a double-feature with this newly discovered Errol Flynn movie: http://www.digitally....w.php3?ID=3514 Thanks again to dOc for digging up an amazing story.
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users