on 13 March 2001
I thought that this movie was absolutely amazing.I am a huge fan of Antonio Banderas and have seen all his movies but this one I find I can watch over and over and over again.Everytime I do watch I see something different to the last time I watched it.I also was pleased that Catherine Zeta Jones was in it as she is my favourite actress.She played her part very well and coming from a spanish background she really looked the part.As I have said, I really loved this movie and watch all the time.If someone was to ask my opinion on a movie to watch I would definately say "The Mask of Zorro".
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2010 BLU RAY/DVD COMBO ***
Back in the day I had a Superbit DVD of this beautifully filmed and hugely entertaining hero-of-the-people movie - and along with "Vertical Limit" - it was a virtual benchmark for how good the DVD format could look. The Superbit Series to DVDs were like gold audiophiles to CDs - dedicated to giving you the best quality possible.
So it's not surprising to find that Martin Campbell's skilfully filmed "The Mask Of Zorro" on BLU RAY is a proper 'looker' - gorgeous - and then some.
Right from the opening shot of canvas being slit by the two young boys hoping to get a glimpse of Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) - through to the confessional scenes between Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones where she explains her passion for a bandit (dialogue above) - indoors or out - "The Mask Of Zorro" is a treat to look at. You see their costumes - the sweating skin - the heat of the desert and the dust of the towns - even the deliberate sepia-tint that surrounds the face of Zeta-Jones at times - it's all cleanly rendered.
And while the film's natural default is 2.40:1 (which means bars at the top and the bottom of the screen) - even switched to FULL SCREEN - there's only minor stretching and very little loss of definition. The sound too is magnificent - horses hooves, blades clashing, gunpowder shots, wood splintering, buildings exploding - all brought to the fore by a storming 5.1 mix.
The cast is spot-on too - Stuart Wilson as the dastardly and arrogant Don Rafael - Matt Letscher as the cold-blooded killer Captain Harrison (in the employ of Don Rafael) - and of course the trio of lead stars - Hopkins as the wronged older Zorro, Banderas as his hot-headed protege and replacement - and Zeta-Jones as the daughter stolen away from the older Zorro 20 years earlier along with his beloved wife. They have a ball donning capes, dropping onto moving horses and pitting steel-against-steel on tables, in barns and around goldmines.
And while Banderas is perfect for the part (sexy, witty, charming) and had great chemistry with his leading lady - it's the ethereally beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones who steals the show. She had a star quality about her at the time that was almost palatable - part Liz Taylor part Joan Collins - she was all-woman and a swordplay match for any wannabe bandito wanting to compromise her virtue. All in all - a wildly entertaining ride that stills stands the test of time (it even comes with a DVD and copious extras too).
"The Mask Of Zorro" is a cinematic blast on BLU RAY - a film that likes itself - and has every good reason to.
Recommended like a drunken canter with Tonto...
BLU RAY Specifications:
ASPECT; 1080DP High Definition 2.40:1
AUDIO: English, Italian and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English, English for Hard for Hearing, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
1. Blu Ray Exclusive - Movie IQ BD-LIVE connects you to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while you're watching the movie
2. Director's Commentary
3. Exclusive Documentary: Unmasking Zorro
4. Deleted Scenes
5. "The Legend Of Zorro" - Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek
6. Music Video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena
7. Exclusive scene from "The Legend Of Zorro"
on 29 November 2005
This is one of those real feel-good movies - a real swashbuckler for those who like their swashes buckled. It's one of those ones you can watch over and over again too - I've seen it on TV, on a coach journey across Europe, through the window in TV shops...in other words, it's no deep, thoughtful cinematic classic, but it's a good way of killing an hour or two snuggled up with the person you love most.
Hopkins and Wilson are just made for each other - and so are Banderas and Zeta-Jones. The film maintains its pace admirably, and the pyrotechnics and final fight scenes are the best I've seen in a long time, eclipsing most other similar movies I've seen. The plot keeps you hanging on in there, and the subtle and rather tragic ending comes almost as no surprise - it's one for the "bright new hope" school of thought.
Definitely a must-rent, if only because it pops up so frequently that there is no need to buy the DVD - unless you need constant reassurance that good can triumph over evil.
on 13 February 2012
Now a regular fixture on Saturday afternoon TV, this undervalued movie really comes alive on Blu-Ray. Looking effortlessly fantastic 99.999% of the time (except for one out-of-focus shot during the Hopkins/Zeta Jones dialogue scene in the stables - not the fault of the blu-ray), the transfer is crisp, clean and full of detail. The audio matches the visuals with great clarity and impact - particularly during the climatic shots of the gold mine exploding.
The cast also seem to be enjoying themselves while never coming across as smug - and so they should: how many big-budget swashbucklers are made these days that don't feature Johnny Depp? It's a great 'they-don't-make-'em-like-this-anymore' movie. Which proves that Hollywood can produce a satisfyingly entertaining family movie when it puts its' mind to it. Unfortunately, the magic formula wasn't to be repeated for the dull sequel (The Legend of Zorro), but don't let that put you off this far classier original. A great blu-ray at a bargain price.
on 6 June 2012
Blu-ray all zone
Ratio of the feature film:
Languages of the feature film:
DTS Master Audio 5.1: English, Italian, Castilian Spanish
Dolby 2.0: Commentary by Martin Campbell
Subtitles for all the videos:
English, Italian, Castilian Spanish
Extra subtitles only available for the feature film:
Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and English for Hard of Hearing
Very good picture and sound for this master-piece which has not aged at all.
As usual, a very good picture means details we are not meant to see:
- At Diego's house, the sword fight in the wide staircases, we can see the 2 stuntmen standing for Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Wilson.
- Even there is not much action in the dance scene between Elena and Alejandro, another double stand for Mr. Banderas.
- The first fight between Zorro and Captain Love, Montero, Zorro runs in the map of California and cuts it down, over all of the men. You can clearly see that strings are pulling it over the men.
- At the end of the film, at the mine, Alejandro grabs a shovel and slides down the hill. If you look at the shovel, you will see the strap that holds his feet to it.
And much more of course.
A true pleasure to watch this film again in such fantastic conditions.
NB: Antonio Banderas does not dub himself for the Castilian Spanish soundtrack unfortunately, as according to Mr. Banderas dubbing is not as good as acting.
Therefore, that was Salvador Aldeguer who dubbed Antonio Banderas.
Curiously, Mr. Banderas dubbed himself for Shrek 2, 3 and Puss in Boots
The Zorro legend once loomed large in California. This film, whatever its flaws, might resurrect that romantic myth. The film has given us a fresh, stimulating picture of Zorro as a man instead of a demigod. Updating the story to present an elderly Zorro in the position of training his replacement gives it a solid postmodern footing. Choosing Anthony Hopkins for the role, however, was a superb inspiration. Banderas, although lacking "charm", according to Hopkins, manages to act as both foil and clone to the older Zorro. To keep our attention, the beauty of Catherine Zeta Jones adds grace to a story of intrigue and much violence.
Hopkins rises to the role of ageing hero with his usual finesse. He's lost a wife to murder and a daughter to a heartless, ambitious descendent of the conquistadores. After two decades, justice is an elusive goal. Banderas is recruited as a trainee Zorro II. His wry expressions make you wonder if he's taking the film seriously. No matter - he puts enough energy and skill into it to evoke applause for his enthusiasm. Both Zorros use the lighter side of this story to keep it lively. And there are no dull scenes in this film
Zeta Jones, too, is a good choice for Elena, Zorro's daughter raised by the "bad guy" - Don Montero. It's not important for her to say much. She uses up much energy proving she's not lounging around as a couch potato between roles. A dance scene and a fencing episode ably demonstrate her physical fitness. A confrontation mingling truth, justice and fatherhood provides a serious episode. Then there's the heavy breathing for added enticement.
When Zorro films were made in the past, violence pervaded with lots of blood and many corpses. Modern filming uses a new technique. There's still lots of chandelier swinging, rapiers slashing and cries and moans - except the downed victims have been kicked or bludgeoned by sword hilts. Little blood here. Since the odds against the hero are the same whether the swords strike home or heads, we shrug and wait for Zeta Jones' next appearance. Stuart Wilson [playing a Spaniard?!] makes an admirable villian - cold, heartless, conniving. Yet he has a vision that twists the usual "good versus evil" scenario. He wants to make Mexican California into a republic without a revolution. His idea proves the pivot point of the story. Parody is subtly present in this film.
A Zorro film is hardly deeply inspiring or even able to delve into deep philosophical questions of human nature. It's action, romance, intrigue - in short, entertainment. If you haven't seen this film, i recommend it for that alone. Besides, anything with Anthony Hopkins, even in a subdued presence such as this, is worth attention. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
on 8 May 2009
The tale of Zorro has undergone many changes, but this is one of the best. Anthony Hopkins is superb, as is Antonio Banderas. A masterful matching of two screen giants. The story of Zorro has been told and retold for decades, but this has to be one of the best cinematic versions so far.
on 17 July 2001
Being an avid Anthony Hopkins fan I surprised myself at the long wait I gave myself to watch this. I saw it last night and I thought Hopkins performance was sublime. Not a part I would associate with AH but one in which he pulls it off superbly. Not only that but he looks the part. An excellent film... buy it!
on 26 July 2005
A legend is a legend and it cannot be changed. Yet you can revisit it and modify some details without any risk. Zorro, this Californian Robin Hood, has to fight against the powerful and for the powerless. But Zorro ages and has to find and train a substitute, an heir. The tricky thing is that his wife was killed and his daughter stolen by the governor. Everything will turn OK and a new generation of the legend is ready to live, the next one already out of the oven. The film adds a couple of winks at other films, particularly Batman. The training room and living quarters are in a cave for example. Look for all allusions you can identify and the film will appear as a real patchwork of quotations and borrowings, in other words, with the good bees we have on the screen, perfect honey. And the powerful will be punished and the powerless saved. Zorro will manage to be on time.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
on 8 March 2000
Although not normally an Antonio Bandaras fan, I could be made to change my mind after seeing this film. His on-screen sizzle with Catherine Zeta Jones will keep any viewer's attention. If you haven't seen it, the story follows the original Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) as he is discovered, captured and imprisoned by his enemy, Don Rafael Montero. Montero also steals Zorro's daughter Elena (Zeta Jones) and decides to raise her as his own. After 20 years, Zorro escapes and trains a new Zorro (Banderas). Together, the two prepare to do battle with Montero to save California and reunite with Diego's lost daughter. The scenes between Don Diego de la Vega and his daughter are compelling and the dancing scene between the young Zorro and Elena is hot and fiery.