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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Funny Girl -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Funny Girl.

I saw the Broadway show a couple of times.  I was working at WB/7 Arts, and used to get house seats from Mr. Stark's office.

I saw the film in roadshow release, in a 70mm blow-up.

Not a great deal to discuss here, as my thoughts are easy.

Funny Girl, the Great William Wyler's only filmed musical of which I'm aware.  Just watch the way that he directs the extraordinary Walter Pidgeon.

There are probably half a dozen truly great filmed musicals.  The obvious ones.  Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Gigi.  While one could add to the list, Funny Girl must be one of them.

I've had a 16mm dye transfer print.  Two 35s, one US and the other the original UK roadshow print.

I'm going to get personal here, as it's really a necessity.

Funny Girl has seen a great deal of use over the years.  It isn't a happy negative.  70mm printing from the original negative was not helpful.  Columbia's Grover Crisp took on the project a dozen years ago, producing dye transfer prints.  The word "restoration" is heavily over-used.  Funny Girl is a true Restoration.

Mr. Crisp has now outdone himself.

The new Blu-ray of Funny Girl will be one of the most perfect catalog releases of 2013.  Bar none.

Color, density, shadow detail, grain structure.  It's all there.  In spades.  David Bernstein was in charge of color for this one.

Hat's off!

If one doesn't fall for Fanny Brice by the 20 minute mark, either the viewer isn't human or has no heart.

The main titles are perfect for the first time on video.  The dark reds are dead on.  The flesh tones, perfect, as are the blacks.

One of the greatest musicals of all time.

An absolutely perfect Blu-ray release.  This is a thousand dollar Blu-ray at a trifle of that cost.

Image - 5 *

Audio - 5

Extremely Highly Recommended.

To borrow a phrase from my friend Mr. Ebert...

"Two thumbs up, and they couldn't possibly be held higher!"

RAH

Note:

For those with an interest in the technical, this is a Sony 4k derived release, although not marketed as such.  The quality went in, before the logo went on...

Have I made my point?

 

AdrianTurner

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Great news - I never bought the DVD and think I've only ever seen the movie in 70mm. You are very fortunate, RAH, to have seen the Broadway show, presumably with Miss Streisand. I think I've told this story before on the HTF but it's worth repeating -

Mr Wyler was once asked if he any problems working with Miss Streisand.

"Not at all," he said, "considering it was the first film she directed"
 

Mark-P

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Music to my ears. I've literally been waiting for 5 years for this to make its Blu-ray debut. I think we can thank Glee for renewed interest in Ms. Streisand's work.
 

lukejosephchung

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My Amazon pre-order was in for this the day I found out it was finally coming...glad to know our patience is paying off the same dividends this year as "LOA" did last Autumn!!! I'm THRILLED to hear your verdict regarding the merits of this BD, Robert!!! :drum:
 

Robert Harris

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willyTass said:
wish everyone was like Mr Crisp :(
There are very fine asset protection execs at the studio level. They all have the ability to do superior work.

RAH
 

Lromero1396

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Robert Harris said:
There are very fine asset protection execs at the studio level. They all have the ability to do superior work.

RAH
They all have the ability but I feel that they have not always exercised it well.

Speaking of 4K, I read a horror story regarding the new 4k DCP of Funny Face shown at the TCM Classic Film Festival. According to this HTF user, the VistaVision image has been smeared to death by DNR and the characters look like wax lumps. Since Paramount fired the restoration head for The Ten Commandments a few years back, I'm concerned that their catalog output will be of subpar quality. Even though Warner Bros. have home video distribution rights for Funny Face, I'm wondering if they'll use the subpar master for BD or create their own. Something tells me the agreement will make them do the former.
 

Robert Harris

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Lromero1396 said:
They all have the ability but I feel that they have not always exercised it well.Speaking of 4K, I read a horror story regarding the new 4k DCP of Funny Face shown at the TCM Classic Film Festival. According to this HTF user, the VistaVision image has been smeared to death by DNR and the characters look like wax lumps. Since Paramount fired the restoration head for The Ten Commandments a few years back, I'm concerned that their catalog output will be of subpar quality. Even though Warner Bros. have home video distribution rights for Funny Face, I'm wondering if they'll use the subpar master for BD or create their own. Something tells me the agreement will make them do the former.
It's all about the design of of the project, what post facility performs the work, who leads the project, and what specific quality is desired.Easy.RAH
 

Steve Tannehill

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I've never seen Funny Girl, but RAH's glowing review made me order it blind.
 

Ray H

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I've somehow gone a quarter century of life without ever seeing Barbra Streisand in a movie. Perhaps it's time to change that. :)
 

Garysb

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Though some may disagree, I don't think Streisand was ever better on film than she was in "Funny Girl."
 

Matt Hough

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Garysb said:
Though some may disagree, I don't think Streisand was ever better on film than she was in "Funny Girl."
It certainly gives us her essence and the clearest indication of her talent in handling comedy, drama, and, naturally, music. That's not to say she didn't have other strings on her bow: songwriting, directing, and producing, and she undoubtedly showed us variations on what worked in Funny Girl in later films (Yentl's boat number, the ending of A Star Is Born). Still, for essential Streisand, I'd certainly have Funny Girl, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (for me, her best musical comedy performance even saddled with a stiff for a leading man), What's Up Doc, The Way We Were, The Owl and the Pussycat, Nuts, and Up the Sandbox.
 

noel aguirre

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Garysb said:
Though some may disagree, I don't think Streisand was ever better on film than she was in "Funny Girl."
Agreed. The fact that it's her signature role and William Wyler in command make it for me.
That first Oscar win must have gone to her head because after that her control over her own acting was and has been notorious.
 

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