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on 27 June 2014
I initially didn't want to see this film. As someone who formerly disliked a lot of Baz Luhrmann's filmography with the exception of Romeo and Juliet, I thought that him adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel would be a cataclysmic failure. It was only after rewatching Moulin Rouge recently that I changed my mind about watching this film. Moulin Rouge recently became one of my new favourite films and I was interested in indulging myself in watching The Great Gatsby. This film, whilst not great, does remain an ambitious and intriguing adaptation of the book with Luhrmann's own style integrated into the story. Despite the mixed reception this film got, it has been popular with audiences and one of the most underrated films of last year.

One of the best aspects of The Great Gatsby is the casting. Pretty much every actor equips themselves well into their roles and they all suit their characters. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect as Gatsby, completely capturing his suaveness and charm as well as displaying his insecurities, particularly when discussing his past or when pursuing Daisy. Carey Mulligan does great work as Daisy and conveys the character's selfishness well. Joel Edgerton is great as the imposing and unrestrained Tom. Tobey Maguire is probably the weak spot but even his role as Nick is impressive and plays the role of observer very well in the story. Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke also make the most out of their smaller roles.

One of the central criticisms of the film is Luhrmann's use of modern day pop and RNB songs in a film taking place in the 20s. Whilst employing the use of jazz music in some scenes as well as Bach, he also uses hip hop tunes for some of the party scenes as well as songs from Lana Del Rey, Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas. The soundtrack is questionable at first but as the film progresses, you get used to it and some songs do blend well with the scenes they play over. 'Young and Beautiful' by Lana Del Rey is used well in a montage scene between Gatsby and Daisy and Jack White's cover of 'Love is Blindness' by U2 also works well in the car accident scene. Some may be put off by the soundtrack if they want a more accurate re-enactment of 20s New York but it works in keeping with Luhrmann's style of the film. Another film that employed the use of modern day soundtracks in an old setting was Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained which received more positive recognition.

The only problems I have with The Great Gatsby are mainly that at times Luhrmann's style does tend to overrun the integrity of the novel. Whilst Luhrmann is a quality filmmaker, he does have the tendency to go style over substance on many of his projects particularly Australia. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed his Romeo and Juliet adaptation, it did feel a lot like a music video at times and Great Gatsby also has that feeling. It's not a major problem because the film does retain the original ethos of Fitzgerald's book but it keeps it from being completely satisfying.

The Great Gatsby is a very underrated adaptation of the book and worth checking out if you've read the book or if you're a fan of Luhrmann's work. The cast are terrific, the style of the film works great alongside the story and the film is also stunning to look at. Luhrmann really did a terrific job replicating 20s New York and it works greatly. Whilst not flawless, I still really enjoyed it and it should be admired for its ambition. 8/10
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on 14 May 2016
The Great Gatsby, as directed by Baz Luhrmann, is going to polarise audiences. And that's okay.

Viewers wanting a more faithful representation of the book might want to look elsewhere, but if you enjoy a more rock-n-roll take on something at the expense of complete accuracy, then I should imagine you will have a good time with this move.

While the film is obviously known for its lavish presentation, I'd like to start off talking about the performances and narrative, and just hiw good that is.
The central performances in The Great Gatsby are fantastic; DiCaprio plays Gatsby with endless charm and completely fits the role, while Tobey Maguire gives Carraway a sympathetic and gentle presentation, as a mild mannered contrast to the excess of the other characters. To go with that, Carey Mulligan delivers a great performance as Daisy, giving her lines a soft and almost dreamlike tone while offering a great physical performance in accompaniment. Finally, Joel Edgerton completely inhabits the role of the bullish and callous Tom Buchanan.
All this blends together to make the underlying story amongst all the excess and flair as potent and clear as it can be.

And speaking of flair, there's a whole lot of that on display here.
Not one scene in this movie isn't gorgeous to look at, be it the simply stunning lighting and costumes, or the outrageous parties with hordes of extras. Razor-sharp clarity from the source film and stunning transfer make sure that absolutely no details in the clothes, music and excess gets lost to to the viewer.
Alongside this, strong design elements like the text that floats up on screen and the impressive montage of the buchannan party means that everything happening on screen gets a lavish, endlessly cool presentation that at times so overwhelmed me that I felt somewhat like Carraway's character, owing to the sheer amount of style and blended visuals that accentuated the whole film.
The use of modern music, original film score and Jazz also makes for an intense soundscape that runs throughout the film and adds to the extravagant way the film works.

Finally, the transfer on this disc is nothing short of extraordinary, with crystal clear sound and video and an absolutely stunning 3D version that is truly a must-see, as Luhrman shot the entire film natively in 3D and it shows in every little detail. If nothing else, watch this move to know what 3D done right looks like.

All told, if you can get behind luhrmann's massive amount of style thrown at this movie, you are going to enjoy this from the first frame to the last credit.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2014
This is an enjoyable remake of the classic film based on the F Scott Fitzgerald book about 1920s America, and the rise of the newly weathly into American sociey. Fimled beautifully throughout, with some of the lighting and sets so stunning they deseve to be watched over and over, this is a rather sad tale of broken dreams and over reaching, although the tone is brightened by superb perfomaces by Di Caprio as Gatsby and McGuire as Carraway.

Some of the music - jazz trumpets from the balconies of houses in crowded for example works exteremly well, but some of the more modern sounding peices - people doing the Charlelston to rap for example - were a liitle incongruous for me, and for a moment blew the supension of disbelief that you need to really get into the film - they made the film making obvious for a moment or two and punctured the dream like quality,

This is small gripe though - overall I enjoyed the film and found the visuals stunning
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on 16 May 2014
Baz Luhrmann's use of popular music, rap and modern dance set in a period drama was very original in Moulin Rouge because it suited the bohemian story of Toulouse-Lautrec, who was a pioneer of the new and decadence at the same time. The art scene in Paris during the 1920s was experimenting in the unconventional. So to implant that style into a story about dangers of excess could work, but in The Great Gatsby it fails utterly because none of it felt real. The use of CGI is reminiscent of the Star Wars prequels. There was so much of it that it lost all resemblance to normality. This was a 1920s that no one would recognise. In the inability to believe what you see is real than any character development or sympathy went out of the window. It could make for a spectacular music video but for a feature film it lacked soul, depth or interest. Leonardo DiCaprio was the only saving grace. The narration by Tobey Maguire is awful and Carey Mulligan phoned it in.
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on 30 April 2016
The movie itself is a sumptuous, beautiful re-telling of the story. Brilliantly acted and directed.
The two-star review is for the steelbook. Absolutely utterly ugly, amateur-ish awful front cover design (looks like a work experience teenager let loose on PhotoShop), such a let down for such a stylish and gorgeous looking movie.
Avoid this steelbook at all costs. As a collector I can safely say, this is by FAR the ugliest steelbook I own.
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on 21 July 2015
Based on the novel of F. Scott Fitzerald, "The Great Gatsby" directed by Baz Luhrmann is mixing contemporary styles of music within the world of 1920s, and some of the visual dynamic features in the storytelling are definitely not pre-21st century, which reduces the link with the original and authentic. However, the main theme of the novel is kept intact and the actors have done their job well.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 June 2013
Firstly, please do not let the title of the review fool you - Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" is not just a visually stunning production, it is a great piece of cinematography, wonderfully adapted script and first class acting by the leading cast as well as all the extras. Mr Luhrmann's is one maverick of director, who never shied from over the top productions, and together with great (truly fatastic!) acting by Leonardo DiCaprio and the amazing soundtrack recorded by the most famous names in the contemporary pop - this is a miracle recipe for the greatest Gatsby!

"The Great Gatsby" is visually striking, which is no more and no less that we've come to expect from a Baz Lurhmann's film. Lurhmann never held back from producing and directing stunning works of art. But, compared to his previous works (perhaps with the exception of Romeo + Juliet [DVD] [1996]), which were beautiful and entertaining, but somewhat lacking depth, "The Great Gatsby" has all the important components of a great film.

Lurhmann's attention to detail is admirable, the Scott Fitzgerald's book is read through the cinematography, the director is faithful to the writer's work. Baz Lurhmann is truly pushing the envelope in portraying the overblown madness of the twenties' glamorous living. You can feel the craziness, you experience the insanity, the hysterics, you are living for the day. But beyond its themes of wealth and craziness and obsessing on living for the moment, "The Great Gatsby" is a wonderful, beautiful and tragic love story. It's a twisted romance. It's an instant classic.

DiCaprio is amazing as Gatsby. He is charismatic and charming and dark and complex and so in love with Daisy. DiCaprio shines in this role. But then, the whole film is one shiny experience. Everything is perfect, from Miuccia Prada's design of period outfits (beautiful creations!) to another one of Lurhmann's trademarks - the very best of contemporary music to compliment the cinematography - it all blends organically, resulting in a beautiful, grand "Gatsby" the film.

I urge you to see "The Great Gatsby" in the cinema (while it is still showing, in 3D) to fully appreciate how mind-blowing this production is!
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on 18 December 2015
An absolute waste of time, Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' conforms to everything you'd expect of a director known solely for putting style over substance - and with this rendition, of what is without doubt one of the most overrated pieces of literature to have ever been written, he even succeeds himself. The novel, minimalist, quite simply is not meant for the cinema, for its utter lack of plot and lame (non-existent) story - and this shows, as the film really has no structure or intrigue; whatsoever. In fact, the film is painstakingly boring, from beginning-to-end. There are hardly any redeemable features to it - at all. The poor casting of the characters only compounds this, as there is nothing worth mentioning on a positive note. Leonardo Di Caprio, once a great actor, a rarity for his generation, has clearly become too powerful for his own good that he no longer 'acts', purely acquiring film projects for himself to be put in 'the' lead-role. Carey Mulligan is as lacklustre as ever, and Tobey Maguire is miscast. One of the rare pluses to the novel, in that it shows the sheer emptiness and meaningless of the rich and famous, is completely missing in the film, and what we are given, instead, is two-and-a-half-hours of overly-lit, overly-bright, vacant sequence after vacant sequence, with no purpose at all, much in the vein of a music-video. Getting Jay-Z to score the film, also, is an odd choice, as while at times he manages to pull it off, far far too much it just simply doesn't work. This is one to give a miss. An extravagant bore. In fact, it gives 'boring' a new level - an unbearable level. Pure rubbish, plain-and-simple. And not of the entertaining variety. You'd probably get more out of going to see The Fast & The Furious 6 - and that's really stating something!
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on 6 January 2014
I was looking forward to seeing an updated version of the Redford movie and of course seeing how the classic and beautiful book would be adapted. Good, God; what an awful film. Massively over stylised; if you're looking for a definition of style over substance, this is it. It is all very strange. Good (and great) actors give dire and wooden performance, the whole think has the air of amateur pantomime and perhaps worst and most mystifying of all a movie set in the 1920s when some of the most exciting music ever made was being written and performed is ruined by the inclusion of rap and dance music!

Avoid like the plague.
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on 11 February 2015
Having studied The great Gatsby as a part of my A level English lit I have always enjoyed this story and the universal themes it explores.
This film absolutely blew me away! I thought the acting was fantastic, particularly Leonardo Dicaprio, I actually cried! His portrayal is so sad and complex (especially in comparison to Redford's Gatsby). I loved everything about the film, the music, the clothes, the theatrical elements. Brilliant adaptation.
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