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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 4, 2013.
Good news indeed. Very nostalgic movie, excellent performances by Nic Cage and Kathleen Turner. A sure buy for me.
This is surprising news and great news. Didn't think this movie would get a BD release! I look forward to it too.
A very nice film - which could have been a classic if not for the fact that:
[*]Director Coppola, fresh off the failure of Zoetrope, hated the screenplay, and hated the fact that he was nothing but a hired gun, doing someone else's schlock film
[*]In order to land Coppola certain conditions had to be met - one of which was the hiring of Coppola's nephew - Nicholas Cage.
[*]Cage in turn had little respect for the film, only agreeing to take the project if he could do the entire film in some ridiculous voice, mocking his character.
[*]I remember a great quote from Kathleen Turner to Cage on his preposterous performance - offered during a break in filming - paraphrasing, "You do realize this is forever. Are you sure you want to keep doing what you are doing?"
[*]Cage himself over the years has offered - again paraphrasing - that "perhaps I made a few unfortunate choices on that project."
And with all of that the film soars backed by a brilliant score from the master himself - John Barry, another absolutely winning performance from Kathleen Turner, and a script (Coppola notwithstanding) that touches something in most everyone that watches the film: going back and reliving youth.
What they should do is have Cage ADR every line of dialog, hence removing the cringe factor and enabling this lovely film to take its rightful place among the classics of its era and genre ("Somewhere In Time"), etc...
I understand your point about the Nic Cage voice. When I first saw it at the theatre I absolutely HATED his almost "Mickey Mouse" voice, but really liked the rest of the mannerisms and soul he had for the character. As the years went on, and I saw the movie over and over, the voice he used kinda grew on me, and I felt actual pathos for the character. The voice just added to the pathetic character he was, and I felt maybe that Cage actually did know what he was doing. But this film is a sentimentally beautiful look at the roads taken and not taken and grows more and more meaningful to me as I age along with the movie.
I think the point is its such a winning film, for all the reasons you mentioned, and lets not overlook the earnest and intense Barry Miller, that upon repeated viewing one really wants to embrace it, and expectations managed, one not only adjusts to Cage's pitiful performance, one tries to justify it.
But at the time, the place both Cage and his famous uncle were at personally and professionally - mocking the character, and the overall film seemed appropriate to them. Coppola, off "The Godfather," "Apocalypse" and his catastrophic "One From The Heart" fancied himself as Michaelangelo; his films were significant contributions of art.
Cage, off such films as "Birdy" with Mathew Modine and "Racing With The Moon" with Sean Penn, thought himself a serious and intense ACTOR.
And so driven by a massive need for money, this master fillmaker was forced to take on this insignificant fluff (his characerization, not ours), despite his repulsion to the material. "Simple, I made someone else's movie" was his quote at the time.
As for Cage's performance somehow reflecting a purposeful attempt to flesh out his character, Cage and Turner themselves appear to disagree, given their comments on talk shows - Turner's question and admonition, "Do you realize what you're doing?!?" and Cage's own freely admitted, "Perhaps I didn't make the best choices at the time."
Simple - let him go back and ADR every line of dialog and we'll have the film we were meant to have in the first place.
I just preordered it. I love this film. And it's been a good ten years or more since I've seen it.I forgot that Jim Carrey was in this film.Sofia Coppola has a nice part in the film.
This was supposed to be Penny Marshall's directorial debut, but Columbia fired her and she instead took over filming after a few weeks on Jumpin' Jack Flash soon after.
Agreed about the Barry score, I have the soundtrack CD from 1994. It does not appear to have been remastered recently.I didn't know that Cage and Coppela had issues with the production. The film certainly overcame their issues. The Cage voice thing is a revelation to me! It is a goofy voice. But whenever I see his performance, it feels full tilt and earnest. Not sure Cage redoing the voice today would make any improvement. It would be an interesting experiment if it was an alternate track version! But his singing portions ought to remain.Edit: I forgot to mention, in light of Roger Ebert's passing, I remember clearly the Roger Ebert review at the time and how he felt it was beautifully filmed with a winning performance by Turner. They showed the Edsel sequence in the review. I don't recall if he or Siskel remarked about Cage's voice.
I saw it first run in theaters as well - and instantly fell in love with the project. With a scoring background, I am always amazed at how a John Barry score can legitimize a film - whether it be "Indecent Proposal," "Somewhere In Time" or even the scarcely seen "Masquerade." Certainly the case here - a perfect marriage of music to film. And I too purchased the CD - another of the Japanese produced Varese Sarabande imports released in 1986 (thank you Tower Records, Lincoln Center). And the laserdisc. And the DVD...
Obsessed, I set about finding all I could about the film - including chatting with friends who were formerly employed at Zoetrope, and was stunned to be told of Coppola's disregard if not downright disgust for the project. I mean - here was a film overflowing with heart and ethos (can anyone over 30 forget Peggy's line, "Oh mom, I never knew you were that young?") created by a director who dismissed (if not dissed) it as simply, "I did someone else's film."
As for Cage - read Kathleen Turner's book - "Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles" where she discussed the role and the problems Cage caused on set - the voice (based on Gumby), the fake teeth, the drunk driving, etc... (the book resulted in a lawsuit from Cage). "Oh, that stupid voice of his and the fake teeth! Honestly, I cringe to think about it." She added, "Nicolas didn't manage to kill the film, but he didn't add a lot to it, either."
Indeed one book reviewer offers:
"No matter what Turner had to apologize for regarding Nicolas Cage – that ridiculous voice he used in Peggy Sue was horrific. Why did Francis Ford Coppola let him do it? Didn’t anyone watch the dailies?"
And again - as far as I remember it was simply Cage sharing a public-private joke with his uncle - denigrating this stupid piece of fluff they both had to do in order to earn money to do the more "worthier" projects.
So - for those that see depth in his performance - horses for courses! For me it's typical of a young self-impressed, self-important kid who hit the genetic lottery, evidencing zero perspective.
And despite all that - it's a gorgeous film - thanks to the phenomenal work of Turner, aided by Barry Miller, Kevin O'Connor and Catherine Hicks. That John Barry score. The DP - Jordan Cronenweth, and yes even Coppola himself. Even with a mail-it-in effort by the director, it's a classic.
Now a second audio track with a Cage (or Cage-alike) ADR. And a digitally retouched teeth and hair. And...
Lest we forget veterans Don Murray and Leon Ames, both of whom shine in the picture. Coppola always had a keen eye for casting and I attributed the presence of Murray and Ames to that, but maybe Dave knows differently?
ProfE - point granted - two wonderful actors adding depth and color to the fabric.
No personal knowledge (other than speculation) on what brought Murray and Ames on board - sorry!
Turner's performance is sensational. For that reason alone, this film will always be a classic in my book. That she can so convincingly shift from being a 38(?)-ish something mom to an 18-year old high schooler, and back again, without the aid of any special makeup effects or prosthetics is simply remarkable. I never tire of watching it.
The movie is worth having just for the sublime scene where the Turner character takes the math test, and writes nothing because she knows she will never need the skill being tested in the future.
BTW - if there ever was a disc demanding director's / stars' commentary tracks - this would be it.
Listening to Coppola, Cage and Turner sharing their thoughts while watching the thing (NOT in the same room) would be beyond interesting, and I suppose a wonderfully refreshing change from the smarmy "how great am I?" commentary that usually accompanies films.
Unfortunately, I suspect we'd see an update to the Warren Commission report, before that'd ever happen...
This is interesting to me. I have always wanted to revisit this movie since the 80's but never have. I watched it once, but I was very young, and although I didn't absolutely love it, I wasn't bored, and found it interesting. I have since forgotten almost everything about the film. This may be the most exciting Blu-Ray purchase of the year for me. I cannot wait to watch it again, and hopefully appreciate it more than my young brain allowed me at the time.
What's amazing to me is that this was Kathleen Turner's first (and thus far, only) Oscar nomination. She lost to Marlee Matlin.
And film great Maureen O'Sullivan and an extremely young Helen Hunt in a small role as Turner's daughter.
This is it folks - ships tomorrow. Interesting to see if it's another cursory "lets get it out there quick and make some money" or if they actually put in the time to create the great transfer this film deserves.
Blu-ray dot com seems like to the transfer - but for a film with such a rich backstory - no special features (they even seem to have dropped the trailers)??!?!???Ridiculous...
Anyway - looking forward to more reviews here!
Beautiful transfer. Wonderful film.
I think Nic Cage is excellent throughout, and his voice, and mannerisms reminded me more of an awkward teenager than an edgy young actor.
Kathleen Turner in my opinion gives the best performance of her career.
Coppola's direction is very good especially in the reflective nostalgia scenes for Peggy.
I wish the disc had something, anything in the way of special features as I would really like to learn a little bit more about this film.
But I am happy that RLJEntertainment handled this Tri Star movie caringly.