93 of 94 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
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film. Rip Off Blu-Ray!!
There has been zero effort put into this English friendly release when you compare it to the 3 DISC German release.
DISC ONE *The Film
Details of the production (text only)
Blu-ray credits (text only)
"Metropolis - the Restoration of a Classic Film" documentary (27:42)
"Metropolis Refound" documentary (46:49) (in Spanish...
Published 7 months ago by Troy
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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis, 2010 - A Classic Rediscovered,
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)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  [DVD]), the development of cinema (then you should also see Fritz Lang's MM [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] ), special effects (and what incredible effects!) or the history of science fiction on film, this version must be seen.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi? It All Starts Here.,
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) Limited Edition Dual Format Steelbook [Blu-ray & DVD]  (Blu-ray)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.
249 of 261 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon.confused,
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) Limited Edition Dual Format Steelbook [Blu-ray & DVD]  (Blu-ray)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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Look! These are your brothers!",
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)Some films have a cultural impact evident by their influence on cinema for generations after their release. This is most obvious in the Science Fiction genre, and you immediately think of 1950s classics such as 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' and '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' (without which there'd be no Godzilla!). But this silent film from the 1920s had a vision which seemed beyond the boundaries of cinema at the time, and yet it managed to capture an epic sci-fi dystopia with a quality of special effects which films even 60 or 70 years later failed to reproduce.
The film opens to a grim scene of workers walking in depressing unison to begin their shift deep underground. Expressionless, fatigued, and with no display of individuality, the drones look more like prisoners than citizens - and perhaps they are. The slow music captures the sense of their despair but the tempo quickly changes when we see the upper levels of the city. There, fit young men laugh as they play sports in the Eternal Gardens while the ladies dance in their finest wears and volunteer to 'entertain' Master Freder, the son of the city founder.
Fountainside frolics are briefly interrupted when an undergrounder flings open the doors to show the less privileged children their more affluent 'brothers'. It's a scene which manages to portray the unfairness of the two-tiered society and highlights the growing disquiet which exists among those less fortunate. The gate-crashing Maria makes an impression on the young Master Freder, whether it's her spirit or understated beauty, he finds her occupying his thoughts and he goes in search of her. Travels beneath paradise open his eyes to the horrors which face the lower caste each day, he soon witnesses an industrial accident and the distraught Freder goes to tell his father who is more concerned about the internal reporting procedure and the fact his son was near the machines than the tragic loss of life.
Metropolis explores a society fractured by an asymmetric division of labour and power, there are rumblings of revolution in the air but the many voices struggle to find a leader who can organise them into any sort of regime. Hope surprisingly seems to lie with the son of their 'ruler' and his epiphany after experiencing first hand the brutality of the system he has long benefited from. The futuristic city is shown using impressive sets, and models which maybe don't look too slick now - but they are still far more believable than comparable scenes in Logan's Run filmed 50 years later. Even more futuristic is the android (or "Machine Man") created by mad scientist Rotwang, the robot isn't the clunky sort typical of `50s Sci-Fi but is instead a slender figure. It is female in appearance and accentuates the female form in an almost erotic way, it looks like a cyberman's sexy mistress and again it's hard to imagine that it's the product of a film only just outside of the first quarter of the 20th century.
This release is well presented in a metal case and contains an informative booklet of information. More impressive however is the blu-ray transfer which looks superb. viewers of previous restored versions will appreciate the recently found footage which increases the runtime to 2 and a half hours and means we don't need many of the black storyboards which filled in the plot in previous releases. The previously lost footage isn't as clean and the drop in quality stands out, but it doesn't spoil the viewing experience. This sounds incredible too, the newly recorded orchestral score is full of life and gives the film an epic quality - and of course there's no need to worry about it drowning out any speech!
If you're new to silent film then the overacting may take a little getting used to, everything is overly dramatic but that was the style of the time and necessary as a way to express what the characters are trying to communicate without speech. It's effective and probably best appreciated during an erotic dance scene where the close ups of the male audience reveal exactly what they are thinking without the need for any words. This is a story grand in both scope and execution and though the style has dated the plot is still just as gripping and serves as a chilling warning of what was to come - this German film was a favourite among senior Nazis who could no doubt relate with oppressive rulers.
In a nutshell: Spectacular science fiction blends with the story of an imminent uprising from the bowels of a city created to keep a few living in paradise. The darkest of attitudes is summoned up perfectly when Freder confronts his father about the hands that built his city and questions where they are kept, his father's reply is cold and laced with casual despotism - "where they belong".
11 of 11 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,
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) Limited Edition Dual Format Steelbook [Blu-ray & DVD]  (Blu-ray)---
[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).
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 !
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis (Fritz Lang, Germany, 1927) - Blu-ray Edition,
This review is from: Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)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.
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.
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!,
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Cut,
When I heard the announcement that most of the missing footage had been recovered in Buenos Aires, I couldn't be more excited - and impatiently checked the news almost every week to see if the restored version was available on DVD! And finally it was; and I couldn't be more happy with the result.
The restored footage is sadly in a bad state (although after watching the documentary they've worked miracles with it!) but it is entirely watchable and it adds so much that was missing to the film that I felt like I was watching it again for the first time. The characters of the Thin Man and Josaphat are more fully fleshed out, we find out what happened to 11811 when he went missing en route to Josaphat's apartment, and see a lot more interaction between Rotwang and Joh (the fact that the American censors cut this because it didn't make sense is staggeringly silly!).
Really, this version fleshes out so much of the story and characterisation that it renders past versions moot, BUT the past versions are still good within their own right and pay testament to what an impact this film left on film-lovers - they never gave up looking for the lost footage, and they found it!
I haven't listened to the commentary yet, but I found the one-hour documentary on the story of Metropolis (from creating it, to losing the footage, to finding it again) a brilliant production. Not fully fleshed out, but enough to act as a springboard if you want to go away to find out more about the film and Fritz Lang.
A definite purchase for lovers of silent cinema, lovers of sci-fi, and lovers of great acting.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fritz Lang ~ The George Orwell of silent cinema?,
Several things about this "new" version of the film are worth pointing out. Granted that the hero is, perhaps, wimpy by today's standards, this does not compromise this film at all as some critics would have you believe. Secondly, the lack of dialogue actually improves this film and given the incorporation of Gofffried Huppertz originally score (newly recorded), this film is, as rightly described by another reviewer, a cinematic symphony. In fact, the score must rank as one of the most potent written for cinema with the "Jazz Age" nicelt captured in moments where the music reminds me very much of then contemporary compoaers like Darius Milhaud. The third element worthy of mention is just how sophisticated and mutli-layed the actual plot is. In this respect I feel it is extremely modern with hints of conspiracy theories and characters like the character Rotwang add a degree of menace with his own evil agenda to the hero's capitalist father. Some scenes with the Thin Man almost seem contemporary. However, the most amazing thing is the political asepct of the film which enjoys the same kind of ambiguity as the great writer George Orwell where "Metropolis" seems a vehicle by which Lang criticises both the political left and right.
In conclusion, I would recommend this film to any film fan who has hitherto been sceptical of silent cinema. As "Metropolis" clearly demonstrates, silent film was capable of being hugely sophisticated and extremely imaginative. Sound films took ages to match this degree of mastery - perhaps something I would argue was not quite matched until the excellent "Robin Hood" film with Errol Flynn. The combination of Lang's startling images and the stirring score produce a film that stands up to repeated viewing far more than most "sound" films. This film has a sophisticated story, genuine excitement and the visuals that in many ways define the hedonistic and forward looking 1920's. The cinematography deserves to be iconic and many of the images of the factory, the "robot " Maria and the futuristic cityscape have been scorched into our cultural consciousness.
All in all, this is an exceptional and iconic film that I would thoroughly recommend. This DVD also includes a 55-page booklet that contains several essays discussing various aspects of the film. "Metropolis" deserves to be in every DVD collection and I cannot recommend that fabulous edition strongly enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done,
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Metropolis [Reconstructed & Restored] (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]  by Fritz Lang (Blu-ray - 2010)