HTF REVIEW: "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]
    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

    Love itself is what is left over,
    when being in love has burned away

    The year is 1941. Italy, allied with Germany,
    has conquered most of Greece. On the small Greek
    island of Cephallonia, a small troup of Italian
    soldiers are dispatched to keep order. Amongst the
    soldiers is Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicholas Cage),
    a fun-loving Italian who enjoys his wine, pasta and
    most of all -- song. His passion is his mandolin
    that he wears across his back.
    The Italians are almost on a holiday. They
    take in the hot sun, bathe in the warm Mediterranean,
    and look upon the island's beautiful women. One
    of those women, Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), becomes
    the object of Corelli's desire. Pelagia is
    engaged to a local fisherman (Christian Bale),
    who has headed off to war.
    Under the watchful eye of her father (John Hurt),
    the island's doctor, Pelagia and Corelli begin a
    heated affair. As the war grows ever closer,
    Antonio and Pelagia are forced to choose between
    their allegiance to their countries and the love
    they feel for one another.
    I found Captain Corelli's Mandolin to be
    extremely well made and often enjoyable. The initial
    problem I had with this film was accepting
    Nicholas Cage as an Italian. At first, it's almost
    unbearable to watch him as this jovial singing
    character with an Italian accent that seems more
    parodied than real. After some time, as you see
    his character evolve, you begin to accept Cage in
    the role, though perhaps it could have been better
    cast.
    Penelope Cruz is absolutely a delight to watch.
    Her beauty is as mesmerizing as the Greek island
    she inhabits. She succeeds in portraying an
    educated, strong-willed woman who must overcome
    tremendous odds.
    The one shining acting performance, however,
    comes from John Hurt, who gives a marvellous
    performance as a father who is so attuned to
    every emotion his daughter is going through.
    How is the DVD transfer?
    A truly beautiful anamorphic (2.35:1) transfer
    that shows off the beauty of the Greek island
    and the beautiful surrounding Mediterranean sea.
    Picture remains brilliantly crisp, and colors
    are well balanced. Transfers generally don't
    come much better than this one.
    What I like most about Universal titles is
    that they offer a DTS track, which is my
    preferred method of listening to a film. The
    5.1 mix is evenly balanced, with rears that
    come alive with the sounds of German planes
    flying overhead and tanks bringing up the rear.
    The only thing this soundtrack lacked was a
    strong LFE channel. My SV subwoofer showed very
    little response even in the film's strong battle
    sequences.
    Special Features
    I listened to a bit of the Feature Commentary
    by Director John Madden. He gives insight into
    coming to the island whose parts remained in rubble
    from the earthquake in the 50s. He talks about how
    some deviations were made from the book the film
    was based upon, and why. To be honest, I found the
    commentary to be quite uninteresting, mostly due to
    the fact that Mr. Madden's monotone presentation is
    very droll.
    The Music Video for Russel Watson's
    "Rocordo Ancor" is included along with a promo
    spot for the film's soundtrack CD.
    The film's original Theatrical Trailer is
    also included.
    Now here is where things get a little odd...
    There is supposed to be additional material
    on this disc that includes Production Notes
    and a Cast & Filmmakers bio. The problem
    is, I was not able to access it. There seemed to
    be a glitch on my BONUS FEATURES MENU that would
    not allow my remote cursor to access the arrow on
    the lower right screen. I had the same problem
    with a secondary DVD player I tried the disc upon,
    so I am guessing there may be a defect issue here.
    Final Thoughts
    It seems as if Captain Corelli's Mandolin
    was trying to pull off one of the greatest love
    stories of our time. Unfortunately, it has fallen
    greatly short of that. Somehow, I feel as if Cage
    has been miscast in this role. Still, the film
    remains well paced and very entertaining.
    This is certainly a DVD worth renting. It contains
    a superb performances from film veteran John Hurt.
    May I also note that it's always worth watching a
    film that shows brief nudity of Penelope Cruz, who
    is just breathtakingly beautiful.
    Available: February 5th, 2002
     
  2. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

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    Thanks Ron.
    I missed this movie in the theatres.
    Btw, Nicholas Cage is Italian, so he should be able to play one in the movies.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Alex,

    It's difficult to see Cage playing this

    role. I understand his nationality, but

    it just seems to come on a little thick.

    It may just be that we have never seen Cage

    in this type of role.
     
  4. Quint van der Vaart

    Quint van der Vaart Second Unit

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    Thanx for the review Ron , I will be buying this disc soon.
    I heard it was a good movie and I realy love Nicolas Cage but your words about he being miscast does make me a bit
    worried [​IMG]
     
  5. Horatio Jones

    Horatio Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron, so I have to ask, do we get any T&A like shots of Penelope?
     
  6. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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    They made this movie before...It was called Medditraranio...and far better
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I agree with Ron's assessment of the picture: it looks absolutely stunning. However, I was happier with low-end than he was; my notes indicated "deep but satisfying bass". Of course, anything was an improvement over The Musketeer, which I watched right before Corelli; they amped up the bass to absurd degrees in that flick.

     
  9. John_McKittrick

    John_McKittrick Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll be getting it.

    John
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    BTW, thought I should also mention that the movie itself was surprisingly enjoyable. I had very low expectations for this sucker, but it turned out to be pretty watchable. Not something I'll care to see again, but more interesting than I anticipated.

    One disappointment about the DVD: the sparse extras. Clearly this was meant to include more. Throughout his commentary, Madden discusses documentaries and deleted scenes that we can find elsewhere on the disc. We can't - they're not there. I assume they planned to make this a full SE but the movie's lackluster/poor box office scuttled those chances. Too bad...
     
  11. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I saw this one in the movies with my Wife and she can't wait to get it on DVD.

    -Andre F
     
  12. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ron, so I have to ask, do we get any T&A like shots of Penelope?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ugh...this is SOOO unfair. Why does the camera linger on the woman's T&A...yet it quickly pans over very few male assets. We women have a pulse too, ya know![​IMG]
    As for the hairy armpits...they *should* have belonged to Mr. Cage. Now, THAT made me cringe. [​IMG]
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Jenna,

    It is so nice to get a woman's opinion

    on this forum.

    Welcome aboard!
     

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