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103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis, 2010 - A Classic Rediscovered
I recently saw this newly restored version of Metropolis at Chichester Film Festival (in a Blue Ray presentation) and cannot recommend it highly enough - whether you know this film or not it should be seen. The inclusion of the previously missing 25 minutes (easily noticed due to the poor state of the source material) makes an enormous difference to the film,...
Published on 11 Sep 2010 by M

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This review is for the GIORGIO MORODER version of Metropolis, but will no doubt appear elsewhere.
In case you're not aware, Amazon have a practice of placing reviews for any one video release of a film on the page for every other release of that film, regardless of how different they may be, rendering many reviews nonsensical. However they've excelled themselves here by doing the same with the product description.
The description for the recent, restored version...
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer


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103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis, 2010 - A Classic Rediscovered, 11 Sep 2010
By 
I recently saw this newly restored version of Metropolis at Chichester Film Festival (in a Blue Ray presentation) and cannot recommend it highly enough - whether you know this film or not it should be seen. The inclusion of the previously missing 25 minutes (easily noticed due to the poor state of the source material) makes an enormous difference to the film, significantly changing the story line and the overall feel of the film. The poor quality of the inserted film does not diminish its importance and effect (ranging from a few seconds here and there, to whole scenes) but combines to effectively make a new film - or more accurately the resurrection of a lost one (the original 1927 premiered cut). Of course this version does not affect the obvious faults of the film but certainly makes for a more satisfying experience - it completes (apart from about 4 minutes apparently) and confirms the place this film has in the history of cinema. Whether you are interested in silent movies (then I'd highly recommend PiccadillyPiccadilly [1929] [DVD]), the development of cinema (then you should also see Fritz Lang's MM [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] [1931]), special effects (and what incredible effects!) or the history of science fiction on film, this version must be seen.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb restoration of Lang Masterpiece, 12 April 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Metropolis as originally conceived by Fritz Lang only survived a short premiere run at one Berlin cinema after which it was withdrawn and the negative sent for re-editing to Paramount the Holly wood associates of the German UFA company.

Paramount considered Metropolis incomprehensible and created a new simplified plot line discarding twenty five percent of the film, and for over fifty years this was the only version available. The vast majority of the missing material is now considered lost forever.

However as a result of research in the 1990s it was possible to definitively reconstruct the plot and the current restoration incorporating all the available material was undertaken. The missing sections of the film are narrated by means of the original captions for the missing sections and additional notes. In addition there is an excellent commentary filling in the gaps.

So at last we can see Lang's original 1927 vision of a horrific future with a favoured elite living on the surface of the earth enjoying a life of luxury, and a vast army of nameless workers living in a grim underground city toiling ten hour shifts.

Freder (Gustav Frolich) son of the ruler of Metropolis and one of the favoured elite investigates the plight of the workers and is so horrified decides to do something about it, and falls in love with Maria (Brigitte Helm) who gives a stunning performance in her first film role. Maria is a leader of the workers seeking justice for them by mediation and sees Freder as the mediator. A major sub plot is the enmity between the ruler (Alfred Abel) and Rotwang (Rudolph Klein-Rogge) who is attempting to create a mechanical version of the dead woman they both loved.

The 1927 sets and special effects are spectacular, reflecting in many ways the art of the period.The acting is good throughout except for Frolich who in my opinion is over the top, the original score (making wide use of leitmotivs) in a modern recording is a major contribution to the success of the restoration, and the digital restoration provides us with a near pristine copy.

This is not a film for a relaxed evenings viewing, but more than repays the effort needed to fully appreciate it.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi? It All Starts Here., 19 Nov 2010
By 
Brady Orme (Edgbaston, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Don't take the title literally, of course cinematic Sci-Fi existed before Fritz Lang filmed METROPOLIS... However, for most people the Sci-Fi we enjoy today have this film as their Primer so basically yes, this is where it all began. Having been a fan of the film for years I was lucky enough to receive my limited-edition Steelbook early from Eureka! themselves, so I can report exactly how this film looks in 1080p, and the extras it contains.

Firstly, it's a print that is comprised of many different sources so don't expect a pristine experience from start to finish... the original METROPOLIS that premiered in Germany was 40 minutes longer than the version most commonly seen (I'm going to forget Giorgio Moroder's synth-pop mutation ever existed, thanks), which was butchered and truncated after bombing at the box-office. Thanks to a recent discovery of an almost-complete print in Buenos Aires F.W. Murnau-Stiftung in Munich was able to take the extra footage from this print, splice it in to the familiar version and presto... Cinema History back where it belongs. It must be remembered however, that the Buenos Aires print was in exceptionally poor condition and it shows when these frames are shown, and a scene detailing Maria's escape from Rotwang is still absent and is simply narrated via text... But so what? The film is 83 years old and it's a privilege to see it again, especially if we remember that we may have never gotten the chance to see it.

Extras-wise, I found the extras on the Blu-Ray slightly lacking from MOCs usual banquet, comprising of a commentary, trailer and German documentary on history of the film and it's restoration. This could be due to the size of the high-definition movie file however. You do get the usual sumptuous MOC booklet which I shall be reading from cover-to-cover as per usual, German Impressionist Cinema seems to be their favourite subject (See the booklet for Murnau's FAUST, for example). And the steelbook itself? Those who buy the standard DVD/Blu are missing out I can tell you, it's by far the most gorgeous case in my collection now. So, hands up for Masters of Cinema, our own Criterion Collection, they've triumphed again. Essential Purchase.
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260 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon.confused, 4 Nov 2010
By 
John Roberts - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
How do you get a balanced review of a new release when Amazon bundle old reviews of the DVD version (as old as 2001 !!!) with the new ones. CHUMPS. Get your act together Amazon this is a frequent fault.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mother of all sci-fi films - Fantastic, 18 April 2000
By A Customer
An interesting and fascinating look at German silent cinema, and in particular, how sci-fi got started. This 1926 film is set in the year 2000, and takes the form of the fictional city of "Metropolis". Though often considered a pro-fascist film (a claim which Fritz Lang always vehemently denied), there is little to suggest that there is any intended Fascist agenda. The film once again draws on female contrast. For example, the contrast between the "pure woman" (Maria), and the "impure woman" (the robot Maria), further exemplifying the dichotomy between good and evil. Metropolis paints a negative image of mechanisation, with the machines running the city, yet mankind is worse off. The social critique is also there, with a 3 tier social structure, reflected in the habitats of the classes. The geometric mise-en-scène is seen as a representation of the rigidly ordered and structured society also. Scripted by Thea Von Harbou (Lang's wife), this film can truly be regarded as a landmark, and the first sci-film. Quoted as inspiration by many modern directors, and similarities can be seen in many areas (ie C3P0 was modelled on the Metropolis robot). My advice is to see this movie - its simply fantastic.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Package with Restored/Enhanced Content and a Magnificent Soundtrack on Blu-ray, 5 Dec 2010
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[I've added some photos to the item page showing the steelbook packaging and the internal arrangement/contents]

There is a dedicated website about this new edition. I have added the URL for it as an Amazon 'Customer Discussion' post on the item page (as reviews cannot contain external Internet links).
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This is a German film originating from 1927, so obviously is filmed in black-and-white and it relies on dialogue 'frames' interjected into the footage and a musical soundtrack to emphasise what occurs. Considering when it was made it is extremely innovative with the futuristic depiction and the grand/often complicated production aspects.

Being interested in it but not having watched the film before I pre-ordered this steelbook Blu-ray/DVD combination as the previews stated that, considering how many different iterations have been issued beforehand, it was likely to be about as good as we can get for completeness, restoration quality and originality (especially regarding the musical soundtrack). Whilst a bit pricey, this Limited Edition issue can be considered something of a treasured investment, not just for the updates but because of the 'package' as a whole. On Blu-ray the basic 'stock' of the film looks very good and the audio is quite superb if you can exploit properly the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. In comparison to the DVD version there is an improvement for the picture, but the difference is especially significant for the audio presentation.

For the uninitiated, the (very) basics of the plot are that a father (who is the master of 'Metropolis') and son are at odds with each other, with the son unhappy with the way the workers of the city are treated; ultimately, he sets out on a path of rebellion on their behalf.....

I have learned that this version is heavily restored and includes a significant proportion of previously 'missing' footage from a recently discovered negative which was not in the best of condition; a leader to the film provides a short history for the new elements and explains the changes and how they will appear. To my eyes there are 4 different qualities of picture incorporated: the main (significant majority) stock is clear/sharp, some apparent 'secondary' main stock (as I saw it at least !) is slightly less sharp but otherwise the same, the first of the 'new' footage is bright but blurred (imagine viewing a vivid b/w film through a fogged-up lens !) and the most degraded 'new' footage is quite poor but still perfectly watchable, with blur and prominent damage represented in the form of a lot of vertical lines running across the frame (much like how we might normally see very old b/w films !).

I am not a 'Metropolis' aficionado but the added sections often seem to add a lot to the storyline. Sometimes they are before/after extensions to existing scenes, but often they are entirely new scenes with significant dialogue or 'action'. I cannot say how the story was covered without the missing footage but it was either entirely omitted or somehow explained with subtitle embellishment....The dialogue cards are white on black full-frame, in German and can be displayed with selectable English (white) subtitles which appear at the base of the frame. The viewing experience is very good and the film enjoyable, not just when one appreciates it's age but also because of what we see and, most significantly, hear courtesy of that marvellous soundtrack (of which more later).

On Blu-ray the footage is, at its best, bright and quite sharp. On DVD the only difference appears to be a slight reduction in sharpness.

Now to the soundtrack, where there is the most significant difference between the disc formats. This edition features a new 2010 symphony orchestra studio recording of the original 1927 Gottfried Huppertz score; the DVD has DD2.0/5.1 options and the Blu-ray DTS HD Master Audio 2.0/5.1 options. The DD5.1 and DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 versions appeared quite similar to me, being clear and with good definition - rather like listening to a CD of the music. However, those options are blown out of the water when the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 is played (on a multi-channel audio system of course). In comparison the DD5.1/DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 appear quite 'flat' and focussed to the front channels whereas the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 audio is much, much clearer and multi-dimensional; it doesn't create a 'surround experience' like action films as such, but utilises the extra speaker channels to make the orchestral presentation sound and acoustics as authentic as possible - the music is recreated in such a way that you really feel as though you are in a hall and there could be an orchestra playing in front of you. It is magnificent !

Each disc includes the same complement of extras: a commentary track, a 55min 'restoration' documentary and a re-release trailer.

The Blu-ray sized steelbook is nicely finished and includes a 56-page booklet (colour with lots of photos) dedicated to the film and the restoration. I have 2 (small !) gripes: there is a spine-length information card 'wrapper' on the opening end/back of the steelbook which, while attached with non-damaging adhesive, means it gets in the way, and the 'piggy-back' storage of the discs makes the bottom disc both elusive along with being rather tricky to remove as it is both firmly held in the case and sits underneath an overlapping lug portion for the upper disc. See my photos...

So, any fan of 'Metropolis' is likely to be pleased with this offering. As you can buy this edition in 3 different versions it is worth noting that the DVD is perfectly acceptable and omits no content (advertising implies that all editions include the booklet), but if you have a Blu-ray player you can take advantage of better visual presentation and (better still and assuming you have a surround sound system) a truly magnificent musical soundtrack. The steelbook DVD/Blu-ray combination seals the deal !
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Future, 22 Nov 2005
By 
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Set in the far future of 2000, a future where the privileged few live on the backs of a hidden mass of workers knowing nothing but their dark barracks and the machines that ruled their lives, Metropolis tells the stories of Maria, a teacher who urges the workers to wait for the earthly paradise; Joh Fredersen, who ruled the city; his son; and the mad Scientist Rotwang who hated Fredersen for prospering on the back of Rotwang's inventions. So when Fredersen asked Rotwang to... replace Maria with a mechanical copy, Rotwang sees a perfect chance to gain his revenge!
Despite the age of the film, and the fact that the year 2000 wasn't anything like this, the film still has the power to shock. In particular, the conditions that are endured by the underground slaves are truly horrific.
Even though it nearly bankrupted the film company - there was a cast of of almost 38,000 and it cost over $2 million in 1920s money, it was to become Fritz Lang's directorial monument and it was a massive hit with the emerging Nazi party, leading to Hitler offering Lang the job of making prestige pictures for them. Lang left Germany immediately for Hollywood.
Looking at the film and seeing the conditions that the workers lived in, it was not just the way the film is ended that made an impression on the Nazi leadership.
This is the original black and white version with the musical score based on the original Gottfried Huppertz score. Unfortunately the restorers did not have a complete version of the film to work from. But the silent nature of the sound track enabled them to fill in the gaps with explanitory story boards.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis (Fritz Lang, Germany, 1927) - Blu-ray Edition, 28 Nov 2010
Specifications -

Case Type: Slimmer U.S style plastic blu-ray case with outer card slip case.

Disc: MPEG-4 AVC encode, Region B locked.

Video: 1.37:1 aspect ratio in a 16:9 frame (black space appears on the left and right of the picture), 1080p/24fps. Black and White.

Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, and DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 surround.

Subtitles: Optional English subtitles on the feature film and supplements. The intertitles and credits are in the original German language.

Supplements:
Audio Commentary with critics David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
2010 Re-release Trailer (2mins, HD).
"Voyage To Metropolis" documentary (55mins, HD).
56 page booklet.

Censorship?: This is a restored and reconstructed version (149 mins) of the film that attempts to replicate the initial German release. For the films international release in 1927 Paramount pictures cut the film down to 90 mins and since then numerous versions have been released (including the "Moroder" version in the 1980's featuring popular music of the time), this version however is the definitive one. Passed without cuts by the BBFC - PG (mild violence and nudity).

I recently saw this film at my local arthouse cinema. It was the first time i saw a silent film projected in the theatre and i have to say the restoration is stunning. The newly found footage (from an archive in Argentina) is from a duped 16mm print (the original was 35mm) and is in bad shape but is the only surviving footage available and is to be expected. This blu-ray edition captures the theatrical screening perfectly. The transfer is superb with noticable grain and sharp picture (although some footage is a bit blurry, but it is a very old film). Blacks are a bit weak but this is how it was in cinema and a lot of time and care has gone into this transfer and i tip my hat off to Eureka Video. The score is excellent and you best turn up the volume on your sound system a little bit more than usual as this deserves to be heard loud and does have that cinema feel to it. The supplementary material is decent but i couldn't help but want more (maybe i'm a bit greedy?). The commentary found on the previous dvd release has gone (but we do get a new one), and "The Metropolis Case" documentary is also missing. We do get a new 2010 documentary which is basically about the newly found footage and reconstruction of the original German premiere release. Its interesting and in German with optional subtitles. The booklet and theatrical trailer are of exceptional quality and are fine additions to the package.

The U.S blu-ray release differs from the U.K one -
Its Region Free and playable worldwide, it doesn't have the audio commentary but does have a 9 minute interview with Paula Felix-Didier, who found the lost footage in an archive in Buenos Aires. The intertitles are in English rather than the original German. English subtitles are also mandatory for German writing that appears in the film. The same documentary and trailer are also present on this release. Purists like myself may wish to stick with the U.K edition -
A limited edition steelbook version containing both a blu-ray and Dvd is also available in the U.K with the same specifications.

A wonderful film experience and one that has been given a top notch transfer and deserves to be in your Blu-ray collection. Herr Lang would have been proud.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis, 1927. Eureka Masters of Cinema Series #8 - A cinematic Masterpiece, 21 Sep 2009
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Released in 1927, this legendary film has been re-edited many times, and much of the original material was thought lost. This superb presentation restores much of the previously missing material, and provides comprehensive descriptions of the still missing segments.

The story follows the doings of the inhabitants of the futuristic city, Metropolis. There is the over privileged upper class, who run everything and reap the reward, and the exploited workers, who actually do the work but live in poverty. There is revolution in the air, brewed by the beautiful Maria and Freder, the son of the city's sinister overlord Jon Frederson.

To help uncover the workers plans, Frederson turns to the inventor Rotwang, (played by a manic Rudolf Kleine-Rogge, who was pretty much designed for the role of the mad inventor) who has developed a robot. In a now famous scene, the robot is turned into a perfect replica of Maria and sent into the city to spy out the revolutionaries plans, and to stir up discord in the ranks.

This film stands alone in cinematic history for many reasons. The sheer ambition of the scale, the visionary futuristic nature, the amazing special effects and the amazing cinematography. It contains a series of now iconic images, instantly recognisable even today.

The shots are all carefully composed, the movements of the characters almost balletic, a feeling underlined by the superb orchestral score. Look, for example, at the wonderful scenes of worker 11811 having to move the hands on the clock machine, or the workers slaving at the machine Freder witnesses exploding as they frantically struggle to prevent the overload. It is simply breathtakingly choreographed and quite mesmerising. Such is the film's power that many of the images have permeated right through our culture, even being referenced in the opening sequence of Futurama!

A classic of the silent era, quite unlike any film I have ever seen.

This is yet another superb presentation from Eureka, with an excellently restored print of the film, restoring many sections previously thought lost. The soundtrack is a new full orchestral recording of the original score by Gottfried Huppertz, and fits the film beautifully. The interframe titles are all in German, but there is the option for subtitles in a variety of languages including English. There is an extensive booklet containing a detailed synopsis of the film (with descriptions of still missing segments) and several learned essays. The second disc is packed with interesting extras concerning the making, loss and restoration of the film.

An essential film for any film lover's collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was always visually amazing - now the story makes sense!, 24 Nov 2010
By 
Mr. P. Johnson (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [DVD] [1927] (DVD)
I first saw Metropolis in 1974 and have seen two or three different versions, but watching the new DVD makes me feel I'd never seen the real film before. Yes, the newly found footage is in horrid condition and there are a couple of brief scenes filled in by text, but the overall effect is stunning.
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