DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Rumble Fish: Special Edition (RECOMMENDED)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Sep 19, 2005.

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  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    XenForo Template  Rumble Fish: Special Edition Studio: Universal Studios Home Video Year: 1983 (2005 Release) Rated: R Aspect Ratio: 1.85x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 5.1; French DD 2.0; Commentary Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 1:35 Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) Layer Switch: 58:38 Case Style: Keep Case The Feature: There was a time in the 1980's when my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma hosted several Hollywood productions. Much of my little town's notoriety was due to local author S.E. Hinton and her novels, which took up lots of shelf space in our school libraries. The first Hinton novel to get the big-screen treatment was Tex starring Matt Dillon. It made an impression on me because locations included my high school and the nearby mall where I would eventually work. The Outsiders followed, with famed director Francis Ford Coppola at the helm and a then-unknown cast that was on the cusp of exploding onto the movie scene. After a short break, Coppola asked Hinton for another of her books and the result was Rumble Fish, a cautionary and surreal tale of street gangs and the seedy side of life in my little town. Rusty James (Matt Dillon, once again) is the fish-out-of-water, de facto leader of a loose group of former gang members, who spend much of their time in the local pool hall and on the streets. In the midst of a gang fight, Rusty James' older brother and former gang leader "The Motorcycle Boy" (Mickey Rourke) returns to save his younger brother. Rusty James tries to understand his older brother with little success. The Motorcycle Boy does not want to fight anymore. When he was the leader of the gang, he found that the rumbles were not fun anymore--so he decided to stop them, steal a motorcycle and seek out his mother. He found her in California--or so he says. Some people think The Motorcycle Boy is crazy. He may very well be. In the world of Rusty James and his brother, we have a drunken father (the great Dennis Hopper), a smacked up girlfriend (Diana Scarwid), and the apple of Rusty James' eye (Diane Lane). There's action, angst, sex, and violence as Rusty James learns that the end of the road may very well be a dead-end. Rumble Fish includes a cast of virtual unknowns for the day, including Nicholas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, and Christopher Penn. It has incredible black and white cinematography and a modern percussive score (by former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. It is no wonder that Coppola calls an art film for kids. The Feature: 4 / 5     Video: Rumble Fish was filmed with great style in black and white, with momentary bits of color. There is intentional grain in the transfer, but without it, we would miss the fine textures and detail. Some of the distant scenes do not resolve well, but I think that would only be possible in high definition. Contrast and brightness are stylistically chosen. Shadow detail is apparent, even during the night scenes. I noticed no artifacts. The transfer is widescreen and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The original release was only widescreen. Video: 4.5 / 5      Sound: Rumble Fish gets a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix from its original DD 2.0 release. The score by former Police drummer Stewart Copeland ranges from music, to tape loops of typewriters, cymbals, and other percussive weapons from his arsenal. At times it is unsettling, especially the strange music when we meet smacked out Diana Scarwid. The scenes of night-life, including clubs with live music, have power and depth that I would not expect from a feature made in 1982-1983. Audio is front-focused, but full-range. The song played during the final credits is awesome. Sound: 4.5 / 5      Extras: The primary supplement is a feature-length commentary with director Francis Ford Coppola. This is a master's class in filmmaking, and it deserves to be heard all-the-way through. In it, we learn that Rumble Fish is one of his favorite movies. We feel his strong familial ties to the movie (he is quite the proud papa whenever he sees his daughter on-screen). Other brief documentary segments include:
  2. On Location in Tulsa: The Making of Rumble Fish (11:40) - a current documentary that shows some of the (then) new technology that Coppola was using to visualize his movie. Fascinating stuff, with lots of behind-the-scenes video.
  3. Rumble Fish: The Percussion-Based Score (11:53) - a current-day interview with Stewart Copeland on the creation of his first film score The DVD includes several Deleted Scenes - video of work print footage. Widescreen, but not enhanced. Most seem to extend the story of the Steve character.
  4. "Motorcycle Boy Isn't Coming Back"
  5. "Hey Steve, is Your Mother Dying"
  6. Stealing Hubcaps with Steve
  7. Feelings and Ideas Book
  8. "Take the Chapter on Rusty James and Write the End"
  9. Cassandra Was the Princess of Troy We also get the "Don't Box Me In" music video (3:34) with Stewart Copeland and Stan Ridgeway Finally, the theatrical trailer (widescreen, not 16x9 enhanced) is included. It's a nice mix of supplements, especially that commentary track. Extras: 5 / 5      In Conclusion: We are getting a lot of revisits to previous DVD releases recently, but they generally include improved transfers, better picture or sound, or enhanced features. Rumble Fish, apart from meeting this criteria on all counts, is a good movie, and an artistic high point in the career of the same director as The Godfather movies and Apocalypse Now. Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5      Recommended Release Date: September 13, 2005
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  11. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review.

    Great movie on a great DVD. This blows the old version out of the water.
     
  12. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Great review! I can't wait to get this and Outsiders for a double punch of Coppola!
     
  13. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

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    This is indeed a DOUBLE FEATURE if ever there was one!
     

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