CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
Blu-ray Review: Lavish Release For Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’
CHICAGO – The first Steven Spielberg film to win an acting Oscar (look it up…amazing, I know), “Lincoln” was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a lavish 4-disc combo pack that does service to the great film it brings to a wider audience. A commentary track would have been nice but the special features are informative and the transfer is stellar. The continuing trend of major studios offering multiple options to watch a film — BD, DVD, & digital — is a great one. Now you can take Honest Abe anywhere.
“Lincoln” really holds up well on repeat viewing, an important trait for any film being considered for purchase in a 4-disc combo pack. Yes, it’s dense and complicated but it never feels like a history lesson. Spielberg’s ability with sentiment perfectly balances Kushner’s more intellectual approach. In the film’s best scenes, the two meet in the middle, as Spielberg finds the warmth in Lincoln’s oratory style and Kushner gives it historical and dramatic weight. “Lincoln” was often seen as a performance piece during awards season given the widespread, deserved praise for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones, but viewing again really highlights how much Spielberg and Kushner guided the project in every way. Both should have Oscars for it on their mantle.
The special features for “Lincoln” are nicely segmented with some focusing on the art of the craft of the film while others focus more on the history its replicating. Once again, a commentary by Spielberg or Kushner could have really highlighted how they worked together to make this film as effective as it ended up being but maybe that will come in 20 years on a special edition. People will still be watching “Lincoln” in 20 years. It’s that good.
Lincoln was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26, 2013
Photo credit: DreamWorks
From DreamWorks, Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor, There Will Be Blood, 2007, and My Left Foot, 1989) in Lincoln - with an all-star ensemble cast including Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This inspiring and revealing drama focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final four months in office as this visionary leader pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery. Complete with never-before-seen footage featuring Steven Spielberg and the cast, who take you deep inside the making of the movie, Lincoln sheds light on a man of moral courage and fierce determination.
o The Journey To Lincoln
o A Historic Tapestry: Richmond, Virginia
o In The Company Of Character
o Crafting The Past
o Living With Lincoln
o In Lincoln’s Footsteps
o Digital Copy Included