Fox's French Connection Fantastic

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Scarpa, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I Picked up the 2 pack tonight I have'nt checked out Part 2 yet, but the Job Fox has done on the original is nothing short of Amazing. I can't even find a blemish on the film. These 5 star collections are great I cannot wait to see what they do with MASH !
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Sounds good - I think I'll pick this up next week along with The Terminator.
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    He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
    -- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
     
  3. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    I saw this box set at Costco and it's box was so non-descript with no real title sticker, I couldn't tell it was TFC without pouring over every inch of the box. Looks neat, though, a great package.
     
  4. Tom Rags

    Tom Rags Supporting Actor

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    Is TFC worth buying sight unseen? I really have enjoyed the presentation of Fox's other 5 Stars, and I' love to add this movie if it is worth repeated viewings. Does this movie stand the test of time...is it worth buying if I've never seen it?
     
  5. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Embarrassed to admit it, but I too have not seen either of these films... ditto on Tom's question... ?
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    [​IMG]
     
  6. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't reccomend buying ANY dvd sight unseen, unless you have tons of money to burn, but The French Connection is a very good movie, but it might not be to everyone's taste. Rent it first.
     
  7. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    How much is the box set at Costco? Is it $24.99 like the Simpsons box?
     
  8. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    I believe it's $27.99 at Costco...
    Y'know Lawrence, I used to agree with you on the rental thing, but these days it's not such a bargain to rent anymore! I figure with tax, most rentals are almost $5, so if I can get a good recommendation from a reliable source (read - HTF), then sometimes I will venture out on the proverbial limb.
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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    I agree that TFC Five Star Collection is a fantastic set. Well-deserved treatment of an American classic. Everything you ever wanted to know about this film is covered in detail in the numerous commentaries and documentaries. I've never seen TFC II but I was able to pick up the box set for $28 total.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It's a great film and a great DVD. But a word of caution to anyone thinking of buying it sight unseen.
    When it was released in 1971, TFC was the antithesis of what people expected from a big studio movie. It had a protagonist who wasn't especially likeable (and even less so in light of the last 30 years of social history); the genius of Hackman's Oscar-winning performance is that he played all of Popeye's unattractive characteristics full-out and you still couldn't, and still can't, take your eyes off him. It had a plot that wasn't neatly structured and didn't bother to explain a lot of things (many people found the ending very unsatisfying). And it had a rough, documentary look to it that no one had ever seen in a major motion picture: washed-out, grainy, flat, almost deliberately off-putting (it helped that New York was a mess in those days).
    At the time, the overall effect was so startling and invigorating that the film won best picture. I think it holds up beautifully after 30 years, and Fox has done a masterful job of presenting it. But don't expect something pretty or tidy.
    TFC 2 is another story. It has its fans, and it's worth seeing once, but personally I don't find that it has much repeat potential.
    M.
     
  11. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    I bought the DVD sight unseen.
    I thought it was a terrific film - though it took me a while to come to that conclusion. It's a hard film to get into, and I found the dialogue a little muffled - but stick with it, there are several excellent scenes, especially the cat-and-mouse sequence in the underground station, and the car chase.
    Personally I found it very refreshing to watch a movie that doesn't hold your hand all the way through and explain to the lowest mental denominator what's going on every two minutes.
    And now I'm going to watch the sequel. [​IMG]
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    One caveat re the commentaries:
    Friedkin's is pretty bad; he spends much of the time narrating what's on the screen. The up side of that is that in so doing he explained quite a few things that certainly weren't apparent from a viewing, such as the significance of the straw hat.
    The Hackman and Scheider commentaries aren't really commentaries at all. Each is only about 20 minutes and is just a string of interview answers that don't correspond o the screen in the least. They're OK as interviews go, but hardly deserve to be called commentaries.
    Otherwise a very nice set; the documentaries are excellent though there is the expected duplication.
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    "This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
     
  13. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Friedkin always narrates his films. It's unfortunate that nobody has the balls to tell him to cut it out. I'm sure there is so much more that he could say.
    Commentaries are at the point where I no longer listen to them. They are not special anymore and the people that do them have nothing to say. And when they DO say something interesting, the studio gets pissed off either slaps a disclaimer on it or edits it out. [​IMG]
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    www.deceptions.net/superman
     
  14. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I got the FRENCH CONNECTION the other day and it's as good as everyone says, DVD-wise. I'd like to add a little film history perspective, though...as much as everyone says the movie was innovative in its documentary style on Manhattan streets, it'd be interesting if NAKED CITY (1948) could now be released as a relevant precursor--this b & w crime drama set in NYC was definitely a landmark film in its day, since it relied a great deal on location filming for its atmosphere and impact. Other gritty films followed which shunned the Hollywood gloss...the upcoming DVD of ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) is another example of the type of urban location stuff THE FRENCH CONNECTION kicked to another level. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by BarryR on September 26, 2001 at 06:12 PM]
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I finally found the time ( see thread on that subject ) to delve into the French Connection box set a little bit. One thing about which I haven't heard a lot of discussion is the sound mix. From the reviews I read, I expected it to be a fairly subdued stereo version of the same mid to low quality mono track it has always been. This was pretty much the case until the sniper scene which all of a sudden went into "oops I crapped my pants" territory and had me diving for cover under my sofa. Other parts of the re-mix sound a bit unbalanced as Obi pointed out in his review, but it was extremely effective for that particular sequence.
    "The Poughkeepsie Shuffle" documentary was good enough that I would have been happy if were the only supplement on the second disc, but the rest of the stuff, especially the deleted scenes, was great as well.
    I haven't made it all the way through FCII yet, so I will reserve comment until later. It may be a while, though since I am currently reveling in the new Godfather & Snow White releases.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
     
  17. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I too found the dialogue to be very muffled on the first film. Perhaps it was meant to be that way, but there were a few moments when I really could not hear what the characters were talking about.
     
  18. GerardC

    GerardC Agent

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    Soundwise this dvd version is an accurate representation of the movie: in fact, it's much better than most reviews will let you believe and blows any previous versions out of the water. Having seen the movie many, many times in the past years I was amazed at the quality of the track, with finally some bottom end in the music and none of the distortion I had been getting used to. And listen for the high pitched musical note that is used when we enter Popeye Doyle's mind, chillingly effective through all five channels.
    The dvd image is unbelievably good, but I guess we all agree on that. FOX is setting new standards for DVD with these 5 star editions, I'm almost wishing The Godfather movies were Fox titles [​IMG]
     
  19. Matt Everett

    Matt Everett Stunt Coordinator

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    When I first saw this movie in high school, I wasn't very impressed. For a "cops, crooks and car chases" kind of film, it wasn't as frenetic as today's action movies. But watching it ten years later, with a greater understanding of the dangers and temptations police officers face, its appeal as a character study overshadows its action sequences.

    This is a good thing. Let "Lethal Weapon" be "Lethal Weapon". "The French Connection" stands as one of the truly gritty, involving, "real" cop films of the past 30 years. But I still like the chase in "Bullitt" better.

    The transfer is incredible: grainy when it needs to be, but always clean. The warm interiors of the storefronts offset the shadowy, blue-tinged streets of New York in such a beautiful way. The sound is fine considering the film's age. The movie leaves you wanting to know more about the real case, and the supplements disc tells you.
     

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