Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen goes Brando and knocks your socks off!
I bought this on the strength of Swan Lake, but as the music is Bizet,I wasn't sure what to expect, especially after the stunning performances by Adam Cooper as the Swan and Scott Ambler as the Prince. Well Swan Lake it ain't. The Car Man is aptly described as an "auto-erotic thriller" - and you do feel at the end of Act 1 that a cold shower is in order. The...
Published on 22 Mar. 2002 by m mowbray

versus
6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A major disappointment
This is my 3rd attempt to write a review for the Car Man. For some reason, Amazon did not post the other two and never deigned to explain why. This is getting boring, but I do believe that somebody should warn unsuspecting buyers who are about to spend their money on this, so I'll make a third attempt.

I got this after watching Bourne's Swan Lake, thinking that...
Published on 31 Mar. 2007 by Georgios Xenias


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen goes Brando and knocks your socks off!, 22 Mar. 2002
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I bought this on the strength of Swan Lake, but as the music is Bizet,I wasn't sure what to expect, especially after the stunning performances by Adam Cooper as the Swan and Scott Ambler as the Prince. Well Swan Lake it ain't. The Car Man is aptly described as an "auto-erotic thriller" - and you do feel at the end of Act 1 that a cold shower is in order. The story is clear cut Hollywood, and Bournes choreography in a contemporary setting is as ever superb - I am a big fan of this man and his Dance. He is not afraid to challenge convention and give a new twist to an old story. So saying some may find the story a little cliched - watch the interview with the man, and you will understand his reasoning. The whole piece sizzles with lust and violence - no wonder the mayor of Carmens home town was up in arms - she is a bit of a slut in this. Alan Vincent does NOT look like a dancer and his performance delights. Plaudits go to Will Kemp and Etta Murfitt - just watch their pas de deux and its refrain at the end. The dancers are as always excellent - though I was disappointed to see Scott Ambler relegated to comic relief - he still looks as fit now at forty something as he did in his mid 30s dancing the Prince - so come on Mr Bourne don't cast him aside yet. If you want sex, rocknroll and ballet this is the one for you - prudes and traditionalists beware though!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballet from Matthew Bourne as noir...sweaty, sexy and hopeless, 28 Jun. 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Okay, so this is a ballet, not a black-and-white noir with Robert Mitchum or Burt Lancaster. And the title is, in my opinion, too clever for its own good. Yes, choreographer Matthew Bourne uses great chunks of Bizet's throbbing, tempestuous music, but the story has little to do with Carmen. The Car Man is based on The Postman Always Rings Twice. It's as horny, bloody, brutal and melodramatic as the Garfield-Turner movie or the book, and with an added erotic twist. In other words, it's a great noir story which has been turned into a great noir dance production.

When the tough drifter Luca (Alan Vincent) wanders into the mid-Western town of Harmony, population 375, he winds up at Dino's Diner and Garage. Dino (Scott Ambler) is an overweight, uncouth guy with a younger sex-pot of a wife, Lana (Saranne Curtin). She and her sister, Rita (Etta Murfitt) run the diner. Dino's mechanics in his garage are all small-town bullies and blusterers. They torment a young guy, Angelo (Will Kemp), with sexual innuendo; that Angelo is the boyfriend of Lana's sister makes no difference. He's not tough enough to stand up to them, and that makes him fair game. Luca quickly establishes who is the top guy and intervenes to stop the bullying of Angelo. And when Luca and Lana spot each other, we know nothing good is going to happen. Then Dino has to be away for a night. The two would-be lovers are just about to consummate their lust when Dino unexpectedly returns. Luca barely escapes with his shoes...and uses the opportunity to finish off things with Angelo. Luca is just as happy to use male or female as long he's the one in charge. It's not long before Luca and Lana are discovered...and Dino has his head smashed in by a heavy wrench, first swung by Lana and then, with Lana urging him on, by Luca. They set things up so that Angelo takes the fall. While they spend Dino's money drinking and gambling, Angelo is assaulted in prison, but escapes with a guard's gun. He and Luca and Lana are going to meet again in front of the garage. Luca may be having a crisis of conscience, maybe even Lana, too. Is it going to do them any good?

There are two things that make this ballet work. First, course, is Matthew Bourne's originality and choreography. The dance set pieces are vigorous and to the point, and when they need to show longing or lust, they do. Bourne often drives traditional ballet mavens up the wall. He is no traditionalist and he doesn't hesitate to use whatever dance styles do the job. He also loves to give traditional stories a twist, often but not always with an erotic element that has homo-erotic themes as well as hetero-erotic. When Luca and Lana first show their explicit lust for each other in front of the garage after Dino leaves, they are joined by the mechanics and their girlfriends. These are guys where "love" means their girl friends put out and then, afterwards, "Get me a beer." Bourne and his TV director Ross MacGibbon create a dark, hot dance where the sex is almost explicit in the cutting and becomes part of the dance. Toward the end there is a long duet between Luca and the bloody corpse of Dino which Lucas' conscience brought to the surface. The two dancers, Vincent and Ambler, create a stumbling, terrible vision of retribution on its way. Later, when Luca faces off with Angelo and meets his fate, there is a bloody, explicit kiss which really is shocking. The second thing that makes The Car Man work is the dancers. The women all look sexy and petulant. Lana has a figure that would make the real Lana Turner envious. Even more necessary for this ballet to work, Luca and the mechanics are genuinely tough-looking guys. They are highly skilled dancers but no one breaks the image, by either facial expression or movement, of being small-town, ignorant bullies. Scott Ambler, with a realistically padded stomach, plays Dino with as much acting skill as dancing skill. There also is no attempt to disguise unshaved underarms or hide the sweat the dancers generate dancing. The weather in Harmony is hot and humid. The place looks like it reeks of beer, sex and sweat. So do the dancers.

While Bourne created The Car Man as a theater piece, he and MacGibbon have shot and edited it to be a cinematic experience. Traditionalists who want a camera positioned in front of the stage and then switched to automatic pilot will be displeased. Quick cutting at times, close-ups of glances, camera angles that give us far more immediacy than a theater seat would, and a tour-de-force of cutting, camera smears and sound that create the illusion of cars racing, all add up to a dynamic viewing experience. It really works in terms of dramatic tension and movement, and it obviously is exactly what Matthew Bourne wanted.

For those who might be interested in Bourne's other work on DVD, try his great take on Swan Lake and his innocently naughty version of Nutcracker. His last major theater ballet to date is based on Edward Scissorhands. It finished its American tour a couple of months ago to terrific reviews. I hope the DVD is on the way soon. The DVD of The Car Man, by the way, has a great transfer.

So can a ballet be considered a noir? When it's based on The Postman Always Rings Twice it can, especially when its as sexy, brutal and hopeless as Bourne makes it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars holds you spellbound, 9 April 2014
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The Car Man blends Bizet's Carmen with Hitchcock and a twist on The Postman Always Rings Twice, and the result is certainly steamy. Its blatant sexiness combines with the music very well, and there is tremendous energy. You don't have to be a big fan of these film influences, cited by Matthew Bourne in the interview in the extras, to love what he does with them. The dance aspect makes it more of a 'performance', allowing you to enjoy the fantastic, charged movements while seeing the blood as a stage effect. It moves about as far from the prettiness of traditional ballet as you can get, but I find it much more appealing than West Side Story, say, where futility seems to be a keynote. Here it is so eye-popping you don't see it in this way - and Bizet's music, sounding very fresh and passionate, is surely better than Bernstein's, and certainly more tuneful. Another plus is the way Bourne integrates gay desire into his scenarios - so different from nearly all earlier ballets and musicals - and the men do have some brilliant and unexpected moves in this direction. But then heterosexuality is fully present as well - such an integrated, unapologetic approach still seems quite radical. The way Bourne has been able to bring his particular note to all his productions is quite a triumph for modern culture, as is his ability to blend classical and popular elements, humour and beauty, without clunky gear-changes, whether in the garage or out by the Swan Lake. Alan Vincent is incredible in the lead as the swarthy newcomer - afterwards I watched the beginning of Bourne's Nutcracker! and could hardly believe how different he was in the opening section as one of the orphans. Bourne seems to draw amazing performances from all the dancers, so that they hold the meaning of the scene in close-up, and fully match the story-telling emphasis of the ballet. It is something you just want to plunge into all over again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matthew Bourne does it again !, 28 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
If you loved Matthew Bourne's "Swan lake" this DVD is a must. Again , Matthew Bourne takes famous music and creates a totally new story that still has a common bond to the original one. Together with Bizet's brilliant music from "Carmen" , and Matthew Bourne's fascinating choreography , we get here a great ballet.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live Auto-Erotica!, 4 Mar. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Matthew Bourne is Matthew Bourne and you either love what he does in terms of story-telling in dance, or you don't. I've heard and read that those who are better qualified than me to critique dance find his choreography 'dull' and lacking in the more stylish elements. That's as maybe -- I found this story of lust, infidelity and jealousy, as told in dance, completely compelling from start to end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff Hollywood dreams of making, 24 Dec. 2001
This review is from: The Car Man [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If you saw this on the telly, you'll know what i'm talkin about. It's incredible. For someone who's a little scared of live performances for their near perfectness this is like watching the exorcist. Beautiful dancing, stunning effects (blood n gore), fantastic story, incredible score and a stella cast this one is not to be missed. I don't want to spoil it for anyone by saying to mush but this real is a sight to be seen and you will not be dissapointed (if a little shocked- it's a tad racy). Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Work Of Art, 5 Sept. 2014
By 
R. Lee (North West England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
In a few words: A cracking piece of entertainment!

I'm not a lover of classical ballet but this hit all the right notes with the deployment of modern dance and a superb score along with a terrific set. I don't care less if it deviates from Bizet's music - I know that backwards - it is a tribute to Matthew Bourne and all the cast and musicians that he has created a classic and timeless piece of cinema.

I was spellbound from the very first frames. Having watched it once I immediately watched it again to fill in any empty spaces and that did the trick.

For me this is technically on par with the equally exciting version of Bizet's Carmen - U-Carmen eKhayelitsha by Mark Dornford-May. Thank goodness the Brits are so creative and imaginative.

I hope that the live performance comes to the North-West as I shall be ready and waiting to buy a ticket.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELECTRIFYING, 26 May 2007
By 
Silverfish (Staines, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Bourne is unique. Alan Vincent superb. Have seen this ballet twice, and on both occasions in the prison rape scene you could have heard a pin drop. It is lively, funny, moving and I bought the DVD so's I can watch it again & again as I do his other ballets.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 26 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Completely breathaking from opening bars to closing movement. This is a seminal pece of work by a great choreographer. Utterly brillant
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful production, 6 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Car Man [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is the only DVD of Matthew Bourne that I have bought since it maintains it's tension all the way through the ballet. The dancing by the principals is excellent and the movements fit the music brilliantly. I also bought another copy for a friend who I know would enjoy it (He was so enthused by it that he lent it to his friends to play.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Car Man [DVD] [2001]
The Car Man [DVD] [2001] by Adventures In Motion Pictures (DVD - 2001)
£12.30
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews