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Robert Harris

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I'm not certain what other filmmakers might have made of a Nightmare Alley re-make, but in Guillermo del Toro's hands, we're given something worthy of the original.

Beautifully shot in large format digital by Dan Laustsen, and finished in 4k, Searchlight (Disney) has released a brilliant 4k UHD disc, which appears better to me than the 4k theatrical presentation.

Everything is perfect, and one knows that something special is coming very early on with an opening sequence followed by a magnificently transitioned bus ride.

After that everything goes to hell.

For those familiar with the 1947 original, you'll find differences and similarities, but even if you have that familiarity, you'll know you're in for a treat.

A wonderful film, with a superb cast - Cooper, Blanchett, Collette, Dafoe, Jenkins, Perlman, Strathairn, Mara ad Steenburgen.

One simply request for the design folks at Disney. The credits on the packaging are printed in four-color in a mottled dark green on a black background. Something lighter / brighter would be nice, as it would be readable. This isn't.

Image – 5 (HDR10)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 5

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Walter Kittel

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My current setup is still not 4K capable, but this film's cinematography makes me wish otherwise.

Once my current projector goes to that big HT in the sky I'll be looking at moving to a 4K FP.

- Walter.
 

Robert Harris

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And now the wait for the black & white take on the film. Should be stunning.
 

JoshZ

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A beautifully crafted, impeccably acted film that ultimately feels completely pointless and comes to nothing in the end. IMO.

I like most (not all) of del Toro's work, and this wasn't unenjoyable, but the Cate Blanchett character makes no sense and has zero motivation for anything she does, and the story's very contrived ending is telegraphed nearly two hours ahead of actually happening.
 

Worth

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A beautifully crafted, impeccably acted film that ultimately feels completely pointless and comes to nothing in the end. IMO.

I like most (not all) of del Toro's work, and this wasn't unenjoyable, but the Cate Blanchett character makes no sense and has zero motivation for anything she does, and the story's very contrived ending is telegraphed nearly two hours ahead of actually happening.
That was pretty much my reaction, as well, and I'm a huge del Toro fan. It's beautifully photographed and designed, but curiously lifeless. Kind of like looking at an impeccably shot photo shoot.
 

Walter Kittel

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A beautifully crafted, impeccably acted film that ultimately feels completely pointless and comes to nothing in the end. IMO.

I like most (not all) of del Toro's work, and this wasn't unenjoyable, but the Cate Blanchett character makes no sense and has zero motivation for anything she does, and the story's very contrived ending is telegraphed nearly two hours ahead of actually happening.

I don't wish to derail the thread, but Ritter's motivations (Blanchett) make much more sense in the 1947 version. On the other hand, the '47 version telegraphs the ending even more explicitly. Personally, I enjoyed both versions for slightly different reasons. (Each film has its strengths, IMHO.)

- Walter.
 

JediFonger

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watched this on streaming and cant for the physical release. what an astonishing achievement! actually making read the novel now & revisiting the old film as well
 

sfyalek

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I don't wish to derail the thread, but Ritter's motivations (Blanchett) make much more sense in the 1947 version. On the other hand, the '47 version telegraphs the ending even more explicitly. Personally, I enjoyed both versions for slightly different reasons. (Each film has its strengths, IMHO.)

- Walter.
This is a beautifully crafted movie. I agree with Walter that the motivations by Ritter was better plotted in the 47 version. I personally prefer the 47 version than the 2021 version. In the 47 version, the geek was never been shown, except the outline. It gave the audience the creep. In the 21 version, the director de-mysterified the geek, it is just a normal human being, who we can easily find him on the street. The fall of Carlisle has much less impact to audience.
The performance of Ms. Blanchett was extraordinary. What a shame that she did not get the nomination, properly the Academy mixed up her character with the one in Carol.
 

mackjay

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The 1947 film is a big favorite, but I was open-minded about this new one, after reading many posititver reviews. I enjoy some things in it, the photographic look, strange atmosphere of the midway scenes. But key characters are short-changed, especially Zeena and Molly. Zeena in particular is a much more important character in the beginning of the story, as is her relationship with Pete (also short-changed, though the actors do them both proudly for what little time the have onscreen). Molly, too, plays a larger role in 1947, trying to dissuade Stan from his evil plan. Richard Jenkins is always terrific and doesn't disappoint, but the character here seems rather thin. As for Blanchett--when is she not totally watchable? But as others imply, the character's motivations are not as clear as they should be. We do get the originally intended very downbeat ending, which the 1947 couldn't allow. Not a failure, but it might have been better.
 

Josh Steinberg

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A beautifully crafted, impeccably acted film that ultimately feels completely pointless and comes to nothing in the end. IMO.

I like most (not all) of del Toro's work, and this wasn't unenjoyable, but the Cate Blanchett character makes no sense and has zero motivation for anything she does, and the story's very contrived ending is telegraphed nearly two hours ahead of actually happening.

I hate to agree but I find that I do agree with most of this. Particularly the ending - it seemed obvious within the first few minutes exactly how the film would play out and that’s how it did. The performances were well done, the design and photography were top notch, but it was unpleasant to watch. Unpleasant to watch doesn’t automatically equal bad in my book (Schindler’s List isn’t pleasant to watch but it’s still a good film), but when a film is both unpleasant to sit through and doesn’t offer anything unexpected, watching it can turn into a chore. Unfortunately, this was not a film for me.
 

cadavra

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Have you any basis for your optimism that it will even be released? A later Criterion special edition, perhaps, with del Toro commentary, as has been true of past Criterion packages?

More likely Disney did it deliberately so they can re-release it in six months with the B&W version included, making everyone buy it twice. Not me. I'll wait. Saw both versions in theatres and there's still HBO Max if I wish to revisit it before then.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I doubt Disney has any interest in releasing the B&W version to disc. If anything, it will be a D+ exclusive.

The last time I can think of Disney double dipping on a new release title were the Force Awakens and Jungle Book 2016 collector’s editions with 3D discs that came out several months after their 2D-only counterparts with some additional bonus material added. I think the sales for those reissues were fairly abysmal and I don’t think Disney has tried again since.
 

TravisR

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I doubt Disney has any interest in releasing the B&W version to disc. If anything, it will be a D+ exclusive.
Hell, I HOPE that Disney wants to sell it to me again in six months but I don't think there's a chance of them releasing the B&W version on disc. The only hope for a physical release is a boutique label at some point down the road.
 

titch

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titch

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I wasn't surprised but it was really depressing to me that this movie got ignored at the box office. However, I think time will be very kind to it because it's an excellent movie.
It's in good company

 

harync

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I hate to agree but I find that I do agree with most of this. Particularly the ending - it seemed obvious within the first few minutes exactly how the film would play out and that’s how it did. The performances were well done, the design and photography were top notch, but it was unpleasant to watch. Unpleasant to watch doesn’t automatically equal bad in my book (Schindler’s List isn’t pleasant to watch but it’s still a good film), but when a film is both unpleasant to sit through and doesn’t offer anything unexpected, watching it can turn into a chore. Unfortunately, this was not a film for me.
Same here. The film felt about 30 minutes too long, but at the same time the third act felt rushed. I think a better film is hiding in there with some judicious editing. I haven't seen the original, so I'm curious to know more about Cate Blanchet's character's motives. I will say that while the film felt like a chore to watch, it is haunting in the way that great films stick with you.
 

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