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526
3.9 out of 5 stars
The Great Gatsby [DVD] [2013]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2014
Maybe it's my age, but being brought up at the time on the 1974 film version of 'The Great Gatsby' which was a faithful interpretation of the book, but which itself was labelled as disappointing, I can't help but think that Luhrmann's version of Fitzgerald's classic novel is lost beneath the waves of a storm of CGI and Hip-Hop.
Tobey Maguire's interpretation of Nick Carraway is flaccid and one-dimensional, leaving aside the incongruity of Luhrmann making a recovering alcoholic out of Fitzgerald's teetotal narrator, Joel Edgerton's Tom Buchanan is brutish with no other distinguishable characteristic, whilst Carey Mulligan shimmers as Daisy, but otherwise gives no hint as to why a man would devote his life to capturing her heart.
Only Leonardo DiCaprio displays empathy in his characterisation of Gatsby, but he too is overwhelmed by the film's pyrotechnics.
Perhaps, ultimately, 'The Great Gatsby' is unfilmable and should be left to rest for another generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 November 2013
Two movies came to mind as I was watching this 3D spectacle: Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz. For all its visual panache it is at heart a psychological spiral into the mind of a man. Obsessed. Transfixed. Driven. Alone. Utterly alone.

The distortion of money looms over it all. Vast amounts and none at all. Motivations abused. The screenplay is joyfully literary in its use of language. Perhaps too much is told rather than shown but the descriptions, the adjectives are to be savoured.

The 3D side of the effect suffers from being a letterbox widescreen aspect ratio (black bar top and bottom) even on my 100" projection screen. It is on a par with Hugo 3D but nowhere near Avatar. It is, after all, a domestic story even if the domestic settings are large mansions upon a river bank.

Perhaps its greatest accolade is that I'm looking forward to seeing it again. Maybe I shall have a different focus as I view the 2D blu ray disc also supplied with this version of the movie. A man doomed by his inability to see himself. Unlike the narrator. A writer.

UPDATE: It takes 2 or 3 minutes before the blu-ray disc begins to play. Your clock will stay 00.00. Then a light begins to shine centre screen. Could be clever opening by filmmakers (the light Gatsby stares at) or could be my machine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
The cinematic trailer didn't do justice to this film - avoided it at the cinema because of it, even though this is my wife's favourite novel of all time. A worthy, decent stab at the novel that consciously insists on the pizazz of the decadent 20s, injecting a colour that might have been present - just never know through all the sepia history books. Dicaprio tries hard but never quite captures my feelings about Gatsby, but then Redford's version does stamp such a large footprint. OK, Gatsby might be a bit of a dweeb who tries too hard, but at the end of the day he does reel everyone in, casts a spell - Dicaprio doesn't seem to get the level of magic that he exerts on himself as well as others . But it is game, has a vision and goes hard after it. Conviction in a film, an artistic idea, is to me vital. I'd far rather something like this that attempts something, that makes me respond even if it doesn't quite get there, than some safe version. Well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2013
I would start by declaring my love for Baz Luhrmann. He deliciously breaks all the rules with story telling brio.

This is a delicious retelling of a hoary old chestnut. Gone are previous wholesome Gatsbys of stoic men and hysterical women. Here we see the rotten neurotic core in all its glory. Even Toby turns in his most nuanced performance. Dicaprio's anti-hero is wonderful. Broken, obsessive, delusional and utterly compelling.

If you love Baz, you'll adore this gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2015
Fitzgerald would be very impressed - this film follows the book very closely, down to the furniture and precise mannerisms of the characters - much of the script comes directly from the book.

All the sets and costumes look spectacular on Blu-ray, the acting is top-notch.

My only criticism is that it could have been better edited in the later part of the film - it did drag in a few points. Also, I still can't see Tobey Maguire as anyone other than Spiderman.
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on 17 March 2014
The characters werent likeable or relatable. I therefore didn't really care about them and felt that I was just watching through a narrative of pointless people making bad decisions.

Some people love the film. I however, didn't find it very interesting. Telling us that there are wealthy people that don't care a lot about other people, wasn't a revelation.

The music really clashed as far as I was concerned. If I'm watching a drama about the 20s I want to believe thats where the characters are. Having rap music featured over the top just destroyed this for me. If they had updated old classic music I think this would have been fine but they went over the top. The same can be said about the visuals. Which were beautiful (I'm guessing would be better in 3d) but again took away realism from the film and stopped me getting absorbed by the film.

(Slight SPOILER) The car crash twist was the best part of the movie for me but could have been used in a much better way. If we had seen this early on and developed a hatred for Gatesby and his excesses early on I think it would have been really enjoyable and a lot more interesting if towards the end we found out he had other motives but as it stood I just found it a fairly uninteresting walk through.
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on 28 March 2014
New York,1929. Bond-seller Nick Carraway, in a sanitarium for depression and alcoholism, is persuaded by his doctor to write a therapeutic account of what put him there. Nick's journal describes how,seven years earlier, he had moved to a tiny house on Long Island adjoining the sumptuous mansion owned by enigmatic neighbour, the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby. After attending one of Gatsby's legendary parties Nick is asked by Gatsby to arrange a meeting with his cousin, Daisy, now married to the brutish and philandering Tom Buchanan, who was Gatsby's true love, prior to war service. As Nick complies he comes to see that Gatsby, once a poor boy, has recreated himself as a fascinating millionaire purely to win Daisy back but the events of a drunken afternoon conspire to bring about an ending which is anything but happy.

Superbly directed by Baz Luhrmann with a great cast, great writing, the great gatsby is a great piece of cinematography and visually stunning production, especially with the parties, film starts off mysteriously and keeps you watching throughout to the tragic ending.

Overall, "The Great Gatsby" is a fantastically entertaining and enthralling film. Great watch. Enjoy!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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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73 of 89 people found the following review helpful
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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