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4.5 out of 5 stars79
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 February 2013
This is specifically a review of the blu ray release from Axiom Films. The transfer presented here is the one of the best I have seen of a 1980's film released in the UK as yet. The colour saturation throughout is terrific while the 5.1 master soundtrack featuring Ry Cooder's magnificent score has never sounded better or clearer. On top of that, there are plenty of extras, and a very nice booklet. Axiom also deserve credit for a beautifully designed sleeve that fans of the film will be thrilled with - and all this in a slimline case as well, which I personally prefer. Altogether a very classy release - more please Axiom! Region B-locked.
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As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of this classic Americana film “Paris, Texas” (complete with sublime Ry Cooder music). And the BLU RAY has long been available in the States and several other territories. But which issue do you buy if you live in Blighty?

Unfortunately the uber-desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon. So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't). Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the Axiom Issue from 2013 is REGION B - so that will play on UK machines (and it uses the same cleanly restored elements).

So check your player’s region coding acceptability if you want the pricier Criterion release (which is said to have a stunning transfer)...if not…opt for the UK released BLU RAY at a far healthier price…
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on 19 October 2008
Possibly the best dvd release so far of the gorgeous Paris, Texas. The 16:9 anamorphic picture looks great on a widescreen TV. Theres a directors commentary, deleted scenes also with a commentary, home movies and Cannes film festival footage. So a sizeable and strong extras package. There's also a gorgeous 24 booklet include printed on heaystock paper throughout - it's really well designed with good photos and (previously printed) articles. There's even a Sam Shepherd short story! It does say the booklet is limited edition and is well worth having so do make note! An excellant releae from Axiom Films who'll I'll be keeping an eye out for!
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This film totally blew me away when first I saw it. It's so beautiful, melancholy, and intense.

The acting is uniformly brilliant, by all concerned: Harry Dean Stanton is fantastic as the taciturn and troubled Travis, whilst Dean Stockwell and Aurore Clément are great as the more normal, decent and caring couple, Walt and Anne Henderson, with Hunter Carson as the adorable little Hunter Henderson. Nastassja Kinski is suitably mesmerising as the elusive and errant Jane.

Wenders' cinematographer Robby Müller is a genius with a camera, and would later help Jim Jarmusch create cinematic magic on films such as Down By Law and Mystery Train. This film is starkly beautiful. The slow moving moodiness, enhanced by a superbly bleak bottleneck slide guitar soundtrack by Ry Cooder, gives the movie a unique and very powerful feel.

Personally I can't praise this film highly enough, it's right up there for me, amongst my all time favourites. It's not every day watching by any means. But if you like your films to have the intensity and power of great art, then this might well be for you.
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VINE VOICEon 10 February 2003
What an impressive film! Every frame is a carefully positioned artwork! The colours are unearthly and fantastic! Ry Cooders haunting score rolls around in your head, like a tumbleweed, for days after you see this movie... At over 2 hours though, one needs to be in the right frame of mind to approach this film. The plot is slow, and simple, but the beauty is in the way it depicts our painful human existence and the mistakes we make along the way.
Now when are we going to get other Wim Wenders classics like 'Faraway, So Close' on region 2 dvd?
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2008
I saw a Sam Shepherd play recently, so I was quite surprised to see that Sam Shepherd wrote this screenplay. But having seen two pieces of his work, you can detect a style. Shepherd examines the dark side of families, the frustrations, the pain, the fights and their consequences. He likes long monologues uncovering a web of events and feelings. I think the dialogue in this film is superb.

The landscape and the music is also rich in metaphor. Kinski is a wisperish, idealised beauty. The other adult characters are weatherbeaten by life's demands. This is a long, slow and often banal film, but it says something about real lives. I first saw this film over twenty years ago. It lingers and haunts, and that thematic strum of the guitar stays with you always as a symbol of loneliness and struggle.
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on 4 September 2002
These words do not even begin to describe this film.
It it one that stays with you, one that you think about long after it has finished.
The photography from Robby Muller is beautiful.
The music from Ry Cooder is perfect, and has spawned countless imitations.
The performances of Harry Dean Stanton, Natassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Hunter Carson and Aurore Clement are faultless.
The script, from Sam Shephard and L M Kit Carson, is a meandering journey through cities and landscapes and lives.
But above all, it is the faultless direction from Wim Wenders that makes this film so special. We find here a director at the height of his powers, creating a film specific in its time and place, yet universal in its resonance.
This film was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. Watch it, and see why.
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on 20 March 2013
The picture and sound (via a home theatre surround system, which is a must to appreciate the sublime Ry Cooder soundtrack) presented here for this almost 30 year old film blew me away. Simply superb.
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on 28 September 2015
In this visually stunning and emotionally engaging film Wim Wenders produced an absolute masterpiece.
Wenders's obsession with the American West is now well known through his photography. "Written in the West" is Wenders's photography book specifically devoted to this subject of which "Paris Texas" is a cinematic counterpart. And the cultural resonances of the American West explored in the film go back to Edward Hopper's paintings of vast spaces & alienation, perhaps also to Walker Evan's & Stephen Shore's photography (Shore's influential book "Uncommon Places" came out two years before the release of "Paris Texas" - Could Wim Wenders have known it then and drawn inspiration from its sublime images?)
The depiction of relationships - between father & son, between mother & son, between the two adults - is subtle and nuanced.
The long peep show / confessional / prison visiting booth scene is deeply moving, and adds layers of meaning to this great magisterial road movie.
Both acting and cinematography are superb throughout.
So is the pacing and the surprising momentum the film generates. There is no longeur throughout its 139-minute length. At the very start of the film we see Travis striding purposefully towards the cafe in the desert, and from then on he is always walking, driving, going places. This is a road movie above all and does not indulge in lingering static shots favoured by Tarkovsky, Tarr, Angelopoulos et al.
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on 7 September 2002
I first saw this movie in 1985 at The Screen on Baker Street, and I still remember that the soundtrack was turned up painfully loud. Nevertheless, I loved the movie and I have watched it countless times since on VHS. Strange, then, to find that the long-awaited DVD issue also has major problems with the soundtrack. Nevertheless, whilst my first instinct was to send this the way of the broken R2 Blade Runner DVD (i.e. back to the shop), I persevered and decided to keep the disc after all.
Specifically, then. My ecstasy at finding a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on the DVD was short-lived because, despite Ry Cooder's beautiful stereo backing to the menus, the original soundtrack has NOT been remixed from the original recording. It looks like a quieter version of the existing soundtrack has merely been piped out of the rear speakers, drawing us a little bit further into the experience. HOWEVER, none of this even matters because the movie is unwatchable with the Dolby Digital soundtrack because the lipsync is completely broken.
Thankfully, there is a workaround: the Dolby Stereo soundtrack DOES lipsync correctly and hence redeems what would otherwise have been an outrageous, not to say extremely disappointing, fiasco. Luckily the only other significant flaw - a vertical yellow line at the left-hand side of the image during the opening desert scene - disappears after a few minutes. I assume this was a flaw in the print, although it seems odd that it couldn't have been corrected digitally. The strange green colour casts in several interior and night scenes looked odd at first, but the director's commentary explained that these were deliberate and I can only assume that the VHS release to which I'd gotten used had been colour-corrected to some degree.
I was disappointed to find no proper documentaries on the DVD, but the deleted scenes are interesting and the Wim Wenders commentary gives a great insight into the craft of 'proper' movie-making in a pre-digital world. It's also intriguing to discover that more than half of Paris, Texas, surely one of the greatest road movies, was actually written on the road during the shooting of the first half of the movie.
Disappointments aside, this is currently the best way to view this classic movie, in a 16:9 ratio and with passable (if resolutely monaural) sound. The extras add significant value to the package, in particular the director's commentary on both the movie itself and the deleted scenes. There aren't too many other extras, but for what is basically a low-budget independent movie we can count ourselves lucky that they found anything at all.
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