Friday, 30 January 2009

“The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen” - Terry Gilliam's Movie. A Review of the 2008 BLU-RAY Edition.


Sometimes you despair. A new format is trust upon us - and an opportunity is presented to the movie industry to finally to do the business by their classics - and what do they do - they give us the same old dull stock and rip us off by getting us to pay more for it.

Twenty years on, Terry Gilliam's 1989 fantasy epic is still extraordinary - inventive, funny, touching, and on a scale few movies today would even dare to go near. Unfortunately, the 2008 transfer of it to the new format is more Blur-Ray than Blu-Ray. And while it's not awful all the way through - it's not far off it. For large parts of the film there's grain and blocking - the colours in some instances are better for sure - but it's also obvious that little or no restoration has been done to the print - when like "Time Bandits" - here is a fantasy film that is crying out for a clean up - and would surely have been much more commercially viable if it had been cleaned up - and a big deal made of it (even a re-launch in the cinemas?).

The extras mimic the special edition DVD issue - reviewed elsewhere - nothing great.

When you see "Cool Hand Luke" or "Zulu" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" on BLU RAY, the clean up work is immediately apparent and evident throughout the entire film - making them an enjoyable 'spot-the-difference' experience for the whole duration. But you know you're in trouble with "Munchausen" the second the washed out "Columbia" logo comes up at the beginning - I've seen crinkled videotape look better than this. What a huge disappointment and what a disservice to a really great fantasy film. I can only think of the gobsmacking beauty of Uma Thurman as she appears in a seashell to cheer myself up...

Unfortunately this release is why Amazon reviews are necessary. Avoid this overly expensive poor reissue unless you absolutely have to own it...

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