DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Coal Miner's Daughter: 25th Anniversary Edition

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Sep 18, 2005.

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  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    XenForo Template  Coal Miner's Daughter: 25th Anniversary Edition Studio: Universal Studios Home Video Year: 1980 (2005 Release) Rated: PG Aspect Ratio: 1.85x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 5.1; English, French, & Spanish DD 2.0 Mono; Commentary Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 2:05 Disc Format: SS/DL Case Style: Gold Keep Case Booklet: 8-page "Limited Edition" Photo Journal The Feature: Coal Miner's Daughter tells the story of Loretta Lynn, from the time that she is barely a teenager to her superstardom as a country / western performer. Sissy Spacek plays Lynn; Tommy Lee Jones plays her suitor, manager, and beleaguered husband Doolittle. The named cast is rounded out by Beverly D'Angelo as Patsy Cline, and Levon "The Band" Helm as Loretta's father, who as the title implies is a coal miner. As the story begins, Loretta is not quite 14 and living with her parents and seven siblings in the poor coal mining community of Butcher Holler, Kentucky. Doolittle is just back from WWII, trying to impress people, stay out of the mines, and not go back to running moonshine with his old cohorts. 'Doo' has eyes for Loretta, even though her parents are unhappy with the notion. After a brief courtship, they are married. The inexperienced Loretta can't cook, clean--or do much of anything by sexist post-war standards--but she can, and does, have children. Doolittle eventually decides to move to Oregon, and when he saves enough money, he sends for Loretta. In this new world of a homemaker, Loretta finds her voice. For a wedding anniversary, Doolittle gets Loretta a guitar, she learns to play it, ends up singing songs at honky-tonk, and cuts a record. The rest is country music history. Coal Miner's Daughter captures the world of country music with the stellar performances of Spacek as Lynn and D'Angelo as Cline. Ernest Tubb and even Minnie Pearl are on-hand to add authenticity at the Grand Ole Opry. But what sells Coal Miner's Daughter as a great bio-pic is the chemistry of Spacek and Jones as Loretta and Doo. We see the ups and downs of their relationship--indeed, we hear about it in the country songs that Loretta Lynn wrote--and just when you think that something is going to sink the whole thing, something happens to take your breath away. Tommy Lee Jones deserved an Oscar for his performance. Sissy Spacek won it, after spending a year to prepare for the role, and singing all the songs by herself. (The interview with Lynn in the supplements tells more about this.) The Feature: 4 / 5     Video: The 1.85x1, 16x9-enhanced picture is a little soft. There is bit of dirt on the source. Still there are moments of clarity, like the sparkles on Spacek's dress, that stand out. Colors appear to be accurate. The blacks, particularly of darkened concert venues, are spot-on. My guess is that this is the same transfer from the 2003 DVD release, but I do not have it for comparison. Still, it is not bad. Video: 3.5 / 5     Sound: This new edition of Coal Miner's Daughter sports a 5.1 remix over the prior 2003 monophonic-only release. The 5.1 mix serves the music well, with plenty of natural stereo separation. Dialogue is center-focused; sound is front-focused; there is no real LFE. There were a couple of atmospheric surround effects, but nothing showy. Considering the alternative mono mix, this is great. Sound: 4 / 5     Extras: Remember the days when a booklet came standard with DVD's? Well, Coal Miner's Daughter has a booklet, only it is being called a "8-page 'Limited Edition' Photo Journal" of pictures, movie quotes, and cast/director comments. The DVD also includes all the features of the previous 2003 release including:
  2. Feature-length Commentary with Sissy Spacek and Director Michael Apted
  3. Tommy Lee Jones Remembers Coal Miner's Daughter (9:52)
  4. Interview with Loretta Lynn by Director Michael Apted (14:11)
  5. President George Bush Sr. Salutes AFI and Coal Miner's Daughter (5:20) (from 1989--just a mention of the movie, but still...) I was most interested in the interview with Apted and Lynn. The feature commentary goes into the stack of commentary tracks that I still need to hear. I'm glad it's there--I've been a fan of commentary tracks since the Criterion laserdisc days. Extras: 4 / 5     In Conclusion: Coal Miner's Daughter is not my favorite music bio-pic (that would probably be The Buddy Holly Story), but it is very well done. The DVD presentation is nice, and the new 5.1 soundtrack is definitely worth considering if you already have the previous release. Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5     Release Date: September 13, 2005
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  7. Adam Portrais

    Adam Portrais Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not a big fan of country music but I absolutely loved this movie when I saw it a few years ago on TCM. I think I will be picking this one up sometime soon, the extras sound pretty decent. Thanks Steve.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Country was always on when I was growing up, although I moved on to just about everything else in the years that followed. I think that Coal Miner's Daughter stands out thanks to the strength of Sissy Spacek, who joined in the ranks of some of the great Best Actress performances of the day, especially Sally Field.

    Thanks for your comments!

    - Steve
     
  9. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    Everybody's been raving about the 5.1 Remix. I guess I'll have to pick this up after all. I was just going to keep the original DVD because the features are the same. But the remaster sounds like a Must Have.
     
  10. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Thanks Steve for the Review.

    Bradley-E wrote:


    Don't know if I would call it a 5.1 Remix.[​IMG]

    Even the DVD case lists the audio as:

    "Special Features"
    "Completely restored audio
    with enhanced 5.1 track"

    It is a great sounding enhancement. At times it does sound like stereo and maybe they recorded separate tracks in some of the songs, but mostly, they probably used something similar to "Mono Logic 7" to widen the sound stage.

    Three weeks ago, I asked in the USHE Press Release: Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary Edition thread the question: (anybody know if there was a stereo track, let alone a stereo surround track available during the original theatrical run of the film?) No one responded.

    All the songs were sung by Sissy Spacek and Beverly D'Angelo and the 5.1 track really brings out the fidelity. [​IMG]

    Paul
     
  11. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    I'll have to listen to the first DVD before considering an upgrade just for 5.1[​IMG]
     
  12. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    I didn't plan on upgrading since the extras were the same (and not all that great to begin with except for the commentary IMO), but I caved on release day while at the store.

    The 5.1 track is MORE than worth the upgrade price. It leaves the original mono in the very low-fidelity dust! And for anyone that hasn't purchased it yet, you're very lucky you waited. For once an "upgrade" isn't just about trying to re-sell the title, but an honest-to-goodness improvement in the quality. And a necessary one for a movie so heavily laden with music. I'm very impressed that Universal went back and revisted this audio track only 2 or so years after the first DVD.
     
  13. john.M

    john.M Auditioning

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    The 5.1 mix is superb, and this is the best this great film has ever looked!
     

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