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The Professor and the Madman (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Reggie W, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    [​IMG]
    Title: The Professor and the Madman

    Genre: Drama, History

    Director: Farhad Safinia

    Cast: Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Ioan Gruffudd, Jeremy Irvine, Brendan Patricks, Adam Fergus, Jennifer Ehle, Brian Fortune, Aidan McArdle, David Crowley, Kieran O'Reilly, Bryan Murray, Oengus MacNamara, Christopher Maleki, Sean Duggan, Bryan Quinn, Steve Gunn, Malcolm Freeman, Joe McKinney, Olivia McKevitt, Shane Noone, Robert McCormack, Ronan O'Connor, John Morton, Abigail Coburn, Paul Gough, Lucas Browne

    Release Date:

    Runtime: 0

    Plot: Professor James Murray begins work compiling words for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in the mid 19th century and receives over 10,000 entries from a patient at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum , Dr William Minor.

     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Reggie: Have you seen this?

    I am very excited that the DVD release will be in my hands shortly (although I really wish there was a Blu release).

    Most of what I've read about the film makes it sound like its right in my wheelhouse.
     
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  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Hopefully there’s a 4K or HD stream available.
     
  4. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    There’s an HD stream available on iTunes for $12.99.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, I've been tracking that one until it reaches my desired price point.
     
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  6. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    It’ll be $9.99 soon I bet.
     
  7. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    No, I thought it looked interesting too but I don't know if, or can't recall it playing theaters near me or if it did it was a short run. There is a blu-ray available I guess released in Spain which I think is all region. I probably won't pick up the DVD so I don't know when or if I will see it any time soon.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I knew I wouldn't be getting it on release date (August 13th). Even though I pre-ordered it, Amazon told me I wouldn't take delivery until August 15th.

    But now I got an email from Amazon telling me it will arrive on August 26th or 27th. :(

    Bad enough it's a DVD release, but now it's going to be delayed THAT much?!? :angry:
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Turned out that Amazon got me the disc much sooner.

    Peg and I watched The Professor and the Madman last night.

    As I thought, the movie was right in my wheelhouse in terms of topic: the project which resulted in the creation of the original Oxford English Dictionary.

    But the movie is overly ambitious because it is about much, much more. It is about the unlikely participation in that effort by a self-educated Scot, Dr. James Murray (Mel Gibson) who was given the job to oversee the daunting task. And it was about the mentally ill American inmate, Dr. William Minor (Sean Penn) who provided huge assistance to Murray in his team's work. But it was also about Minor's back story in the American Civil War and his crime in taking the life of an innocent man and his relationship with the man's widow and children and his relationship with Murray. It also wove in Minor's treatments (and mistreatments) at the asylum where he was held. His relationships with the guy in charge and the guards. There were also side stories about Murray's family situation as well as the inner politics at Oxford which consistently placed Murray's position in charge of the project at peril. And there was even a sidebar about information getting leaked to the press about Murray & Minor's relationship (which, I assume, was the informational basis for much of the story as written for the film). With so much to do, I feel some of the lesser characters were not completely realized, leaving questions about their motivations and intent.

    There was a LOT going on. I think the movie could have been much more effective had it focused more on fewer details at the risk of being incomplete in favor of a simpler focus on the relationship of the principals as it pertained to the project.

    It is a shame that we were only given a choice of SD DVD for the film. I would imagine that the HD digital versions of the film would be a major upgrade in terms of picture quality (and maybe sound). This is one of those movies I watched with the closed captioning turned ON as the various British and Scottish accents were challenging enough for me..but when you add in the extensive vocabulary that a film about the creation of a dictionary is going to have...it really helped a LOT! The 5.1 DD was adequate but needed to be turned up for dialogue.

    As many of you know, Peg is not a fan of graphic scenes in movies, and this film contained a surprising number of those (as a result of both violent and medical situations). She says she would have given the film a much higher grade if those had been absent as she was intrigued by much of the story...but was left with a bad feeling in her stomach as a result of much of the graphic issues involving Dr. Minor.

    Sean Penn was undeniably excellent as Minor. He took the role of the extremely intelligent, but mentally ill soldier and turned it into a tour de force. He's got the criminally mentally-ill thing down pat. While Mel Gibson had less to do in his role as Murray, he came off as rather stiff in his performance and didn't connect with us as well--even though his character was amazing in his own right. The times during the film when Murray and Minor met face-to-face were some of the best in the film as these two incredibly bright men were well-represented with dialogue which met their standing as well-educated men of the 19th century.

    I will revisit this film for sure someday. In particular, I will want to enjoy again the story of trying to write the first edition of such an overwhelming document.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    I do really want to see this but don't want to buy the DVD. I suppose I could stream it but I'm not into that and don't have much interest in paying for a stream of it.

    That leaves a blu-ray as the only option and there is one available, from Italy not Spain as I initially said. I may pick this up if it does not appear anywhere else on blu sometime soon. I just don't understand why with a new picture they would only throw out a DVD.

    Professor and the madman.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Reggie:

    Keep me informed if you go that route as I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the disc and the film.

    Like I said above, I plan to revisit it someday--I liked it that much--and I really think high definition would provide a major uptick in viewing pleasure.
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The price has dropped to $6.99!
     

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