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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding HD transfer for an outstanding movie (Blu ray review)
Little can be said about "Cabaret" as a movie that has not already been said. It transcended the musical genre and changed it forever. It is moving, profoundly human, socially and politically aware, and also a terrific piece of entertainment that can be enjoyed over and over. I was sort of worried about the HD restoration and transfer for this blu-ray edition. It had been...
Published 14 months ago by Francisco José Poyato Ariza

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to your dvd copy
How could my fave movie be turned into this shambolic product?
Dreadful bluray transfer.
Shame.
Tinny sound, images fair but I will head back to my dvd copy.
Published 7 months ago by Michael


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding HD transfer for an outstanding movie (Blu ray review), 20 Feb 2013
By 
Francisco José Poyato Ariza "Fran" (Madrid, Spain) - See all my reviews
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Little can be said about "Cabaret" as a movie that has not already been said. It transcended the musical genre and changed it forever. It is moving, profoundly human, socially and politically aware, and also a terrific piece of entertainment that can be enjoyed over and over. I was sort of worried about the HD restoration and transfer for this blu-ray edition. It had been talked about and postponed for some 3 years now, and, knowing that it was shot with a completely intended soft look, I was afraid that it was digitally over-treated (yes, I had "Out of Africa", "Gladiator" and other Universal disasters in mind). Well, nothing of that sort, on the very contrary; the restoration and the transfer are flawless, totally respecting the soft colors, low contrast, even hue and darkness. Its understated, timeless look is all there. Everything is seen as it was originally intended to be seen, incluing the beautiful celulloid grain (yes, it is there, thanks WB). No signs of DNR or artificial compression at all, so all the small details in the negative are there; the colors are not artificially oversaturated, the contrast is not boosted, and the sound is expanded without being overdone either. A perfect restoration and transfer that totally respect the view of the director and cinematographer. It is so fresh that it feels like seeing the movie for the first time. Can't be better, honestly. I do intend to enjoy this blu ray many times in the future. Unmissable, especially if you like the movie. And if you don't..it's about time you give it another chance.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Briliant film - shame (Shame!) about the transfer!, 11 Mar 2011
By 
P. A. Clarke (Oundle, England) - See all my reviews
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A stunning film: Liza Minelli is truly knockout - sadly never to again have such a perfectly fitted role - and Fosse's choreography is superb - reinforced by brilliant photography, lighting, and editing. Joel Gray as Emcee matches and supports her impeccably - and their "Money" duet is just wonderful.

Loving this film, I paid to see it several times in the cinema, and have bought several versions of the DVD since - always hopeful of a proper-format screen-filler appropriate for all those fabulous shots and routines. In vain!

Why, why, why....isn't this barnstormer of a film available yet in a proper anamorphic transfer?

Is the argument that it's been out long enough that everyone who wanted this film will have already bought it? So there won't be a big enough market for a new version?

NO....! I think that all the lovers of this film would absolutely flock to buy a top-quality anamorphic transfer. But please shout that it's NEW on the cover - don't try to fool us again with any more letter-box mini-versions. No-one should be palming off these versions in 2011!!! Cameron gave us an anamorphic Titanic after the initial shoddy letterbox-version. It's time this was done for Fosse's gem!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray NOT DVD Review, 16 Feb 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cabaret [Blu-ray] [1972] (Blu-ray)
This new transfer reproduces the original look of the film perfectly. Don't expect fine detail and stunning definition as the softness is deliberate, and the blu ray precisely captures the director and cinephotographer's intentions. The 5.1 audio remix (originally 4track) is very good too but once more don't expect spectacular sound. This upgrade is definitely recommended however as it's a definite improvement on the old DVD version and on par with the 40th Anniversary edition.
Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (30.74 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Packaging
DigiBook

Playback
Region free
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cabaret Blu Ray US Import is Region Free., 17 Aug 2013
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Cabaret [Blu-ray] [1972] [US Import] This item is Region Free, it plays on my standard Philips Region B BDP5200 player. Also the rear cover has NO region labelling.

Main benefit over DVD is superior contrast and colour depth - the night club scenes are 'as shot' and are still like you've never seen them before (I've had a number of versions over the years).

Sound is clearer plus subtitling is way sharper(extras are informative and entertaining, but un-subtitled); strangely this very popular film had no subtitles in UK DVD versions in the past.

Regarding less than expected sharpness - so much of the film is shot in low light - blu ray adds its own dimension for these reasons, making viewing a richer experience IMO.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minnelli is divine., 24 April 2013
By 
Mr. P. Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This musical mix of the Berlin novels of Christopher Isherwood first found fame as a stage musical. On film, it gets its wings, and can break out of the set, and film on location. However, it is still at its best in the smoky confines of the Kit Kat club, in 1930′s Berlin. Outside, the Nazis are on the up, and there is a hint of the terror and persecution to come. Inside the club, there is innuendo, satire, cheeky songs, and ribald performances. The ingenuous Brian (Michael York) arrives from Britain, and is caught up in this heady world, of the singer Sally Bowles, (Liza Minnelli) and her rich, bisexual lover Max (Helmut Griem). Joel Grey won an Oscar for his part as the club compere, LIza Minelli won the best actress Oscar for her lead role, and Bob Fosse took another, for best director, with the film getting 5 more. You can see all the eight Oscars in every frame, and rarely has a film won so many, and deserved them all. Whether dealing with brownshirt violence on the streets of Berlin, or featuring a solo from the heartbreaking Miss Minnelli, this film delivers at every level. It is simply marvellous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable - Liza Minnelli at her absolute best, 22 Aug 2012
By 
T. D. Dawson "tdawson735" (UK) - See all my reviews
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It's been many years since I last watched 'Cabaret' but, even 40 years after the release of the original movie, the visual impact - to say nothing of the unforgettable lyrics and Liza Minnelli - remains mind-blowingly impressive.

Despite this I soon found myself wondering how today's audience will identify with the undercurrent of the movie - of life in Berlin in 1931, during the last days of the decadent Weimar Republic and facing the increasingly ominous growth of Hitler's National Socialist party.

In the opening scenes members of the National Socialist party are harassed and occasionally kicked out of the Kit Kat Club but this attitude soon changes. Halfway through the film a boy is singing to the seated guests in a beer garden; at first it seems an innocent lyrical song about the beauties of nature but it gradually becomes the strident "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" song. When the camera finally shifts back we see the boy is actually wearing a brown Hitler youth uniform and, as he lifts his hand in the Nazi salute, nearly all the guests in the beer garden get up and voluntarily join in the singing and the saluting.

By the time we get to the finale of the film the audience of the Kit Kat Club is dominated by jack-booted members of the Nazi party.

The movie was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1973 and won a total of eight. Lisa Minnelli - at the absolute peak of her career - won the best actress award whilst Joel Grey (the decadent and brilliantly expressive Emcee at the Kit Kat Club) won the award for the best actor in a supporting role.

Watch and enjoy the movie and the songs - but remember to set the escapism of the Kit Kat Club against the violent and changing social structure that was rapidly consuming Germany. Changes that, six short years later, were to plunge the world into a global conflict.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored for its' 40th year-but when will we see the Blu Ray ???, 26 Jun 2012
By 
C. Cockill "CC at cable" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cabaret [Blu-ray] [1972] (Blu-ray)
Cabaret, as most of us know is celebrating its' fortieth anniversary this year and has been stunningly restored to its' former glory. The TCM film festival chose to show it as its' opening film for the TCM film festival in April in Los Angeles this year...so when, Oh when, will we hear about it coming out on blu ray? (So far nothing and I do mean nothing has been mentioned)
Let's face it, it is a brilliant film and deserves to be released soon..........doesn't it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb musical that stands the test of time, 20 Jun 2012
By 
MLA (Wien, Österreich) - See all my reviews
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The 1972 film version of the musical Cabaret is legendary. The 30th anniversary DVD contains the original film which was based on the 1966 Broadway production (and the book and other influences beforehand) as well as a couple of short Extras. Cabaret is the finest hour of some of those involved including Liza Minelli as lead character Sally Bowles as well as director Bob Fosse who cemented his reputation with this film.

The most striking feature of Cabaret is the setting. Decadent 1930s Berlin is depicted as seedy and somewhat dangerous. The shadow of Nazism hangs over the entire production but it is the indulgent celebration of the tawdry that is to the fore throughout. The Cabaret itself is home to the bizarre - chorus line girls, smutty routines, mud wrestling, and the captivating performance of Minelli's Sally Bowles. The patrons are indulged and amused, they are the epitome of vaudeville deacdence.

The decadence is set in the context of the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. The Nazi backdrop is handled superbly. Instead of taking the easy route of showing dastardly fascists committing brutality, the Nazis are typically present in the background of scenes. Their banners adorn street walls like graffiti, they are handing out literature on the streets, occasionally there is more violence involved. However, by far and away the most affecting of all the scenes involving fascism in Cabaret is Tomorrow Belongs To Me.

Tomorrow Belongs To Me is the only song outside of the club and it features a moment of breathtaking imagery. The song is delivered utterly beautifully by a very good looking young man. Sung at what appears to be a rural pub, it is received with gusto by the patrons. The song is uplifting and positive. When the camera pans to reveal exactly who is singing Tomorrow Belongs To Me, the deflation is magnificent. It is really an outstanding piece of directing.

The other Nazi-related sub-plot is the relationship between a couple of somewhat restrained locals. As a pair, they aren't that inspiring and their love is not really of the type to feel it a triumph for an oppressed people. Instead, they seem mainly to exist in order to offer Sally Bowles the opportunity to be outlandish.

The outlandishness works so much better in the kit-kat club. The various performances in the club are the heart and soul of Cabaret. The titular number itself is probably the most famous and really sums up both the atmosphere of the tale and the character of Sally Bowles. More than any other song, Cabaret is the one that pitches the audience into the film's world. The lyrics are perfect, the tune is good, sung well by Liza Minelli, and her affectations as well as her stiff-shouldered stage routine identify so much of Bowles and the club.

Not all the tunes are great. Maybe This Time was apparently introduced by Fosse. It may well have been written by Captain Obvious as it lacks the subtletly and inunendo of the other parts of the score.

However, so many of the other tunes are outstanding. The Money Song is a riot and Mein Herr much better fits the Bowles character than Maybe This Time. Interestingly, quite a few of the excellent tunes do not feature Sally Bowles but instead feature the MC played by Joel Grey. Willkommen is an excellent open, Two Ladies is bawdy fun, and If You Could See Her is remarkably poignant. Grey's performance of the tunes turns them into something special. His accent is well studied and it does sound like an eastern German attempting to speak English - the rolling of the R at the back rather than the front of the mouth is spot on.

Grey has no narrative role in the film but his performance is the one that captures the seedy underbelly of the cabaret club. He is a bit creepy and he finds amusement in the inappropriate. While the MC has nowhere near the charisma of Sally Bowles, Grey's presence and storytelling capability in his stage performance are absolutely terrific.

The other main character of Cabaret is Brian Roberts played by Michael York. Seeming to be a ubiquitous celluloid feature in his time, York's Englishman abroad does not offer too many surprises but as the straight man to Liza Minelli's outlandish Sally Bowles, he is a solid foundation for the crazy world he finds himself swirling around. Roberts of course is himself somewhat of a swinging character as his interactions with Baron Maximilian attest. Roberts is definitely a creation of his time, the slightly naive Englishman not being a feature of more recent Hollywood fare. Roberts also is utterly in tune with the social mores of the early 1970s in his support for a woman's right to choose.

The scene in which Sally Bowles puts career first is quite a tough one. York holds his own very effectively. The recognition that something could have been special is un-said but absolutely clear. York's ability to have his character show no outward sign of disappointment or annoyance yet still radiate that impression is a remarkable piece of acting and an excellent counterpoint to Sally Bowles own form of self-denial.

With stellar performances from the leading three cast members, a fabulous musical set, and an incredible setting in the murky, decadent, and dangerous 1930s Berlin, Cabaret stands the test of time. The film still looks fairly good and it is right not to have attempted some kind of digital re-mastery as the film itself fits so well into its time.

The DVD Extras are ok. For a special edition they are not all that special. The Extras offers what appears to be a reprise of the musical numbers but is in fact nothing more than a scene selection tool. A couple of documentaries adorn the Extras including one from 2002 which is perfectly reasonable talking head with some nice insight from the studio executives. The other documentary is from the early 1970s and has dated horribly. The dated documentary really contrasts with the production quality of the film itself as a reminder that despite being now 40 years old, the film still looks and sounds pretty good.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable work of art, 5 Sep 2002
By 
nick g black (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
At the time it was released, Cabaret drew some serious critical support - Liza Minelli appeared on the cover of Time magazine in full Cabaret costume. Her career never really got any more high profile than that.
Has the film aged well? The first thing you notice when you look at again is the almost loving way the film has been shot, especially the cabaret scenes themselves. Most of the production numbers are utterly compelling - such as the famous finale of an exuberant Sally Bowles singing "Cabaret" itself. Also watch out for another show stopper - the newly-in-love Sally singing the haunting "Maybe This Time", giving it her all before just a few tired remaining members of the audience.
The device of contrasting a pervasive sense of decadence against the rise of Nazi Germany has, however, dated badly...apart from the neat, disturbing conclusion.
The film's saving grace is that it does not stand or fall on Minnelli's performance. Joel Grey's sinister, waif-like MC is one of those happy, inspired bits of casting that transforms a good film to a great one. Michael York's stiff, well-intentioned Englishman may be far from the actual personality Isherwood, but he works well as a counterpoint to Minnelli. The sub plot of jewish gigolo marrying jewish heiress is also touching, and well handled. There are cameo performances that are equally compelling, including another famous scene of a Hitler Youth leader rousing the crowd with an Aryan folk song.
Ultimately, though, the film's reputation rests on Minnelli's performance. Sexy, she ain't, but her extraordinary voice still raises the hairs on the back of your neck if you let it. And, under firm but creative directing, she is no slouch at acting. She is by turns touching, childlike, insufferable and vulnerable. A hard act to follow.
This is a film that deserves to live on.
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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artistic masterpiece of the 20th century, 26 May 2002
This review is from: Cabaret [30th Anniversary Special Edition] [VHS] [1972] (VHS Tape)
Cabaret is up there with the all time great movies. It is a sumptuous, elegantly shot cinematic classic which has stood the test of time and is as fresh to watch today as it was 30 years ago. Set in the seedy Kit-kat Club in pre-war Berlin, the story follows the entangled lives of Michael Yorke and the iconic images of Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles. With the ever present dangers of a world war breaking, the story follows Yorke/Minnelli's off-beat relationship and is accompanied by sleek choreography, an
amazing collection of songs and outstanding performances by the cast (especially Joel Grey's eerie performance as Master of Ceremonies).
This film is definitely a must-see movie,if not only for the Oscar winning performances then, watch it for the outstanding singing and dancing. This film should be in any serious film lovers collection.
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