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4.5 out of 5 stars354
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on 14 December 2000
At first I thought this new release with stars such as Dickie Attenborough, Joan Collins and Donny Osmond(!) would be pure American kitsch, and sat down just to watch the introduction. Over an hour later, I had sung my heart out to the tracks, laughed at the witty interpretation and was moved by the sad bits. The cast was fantastic, particularly the brothers and Donny Osmond. I was advised to watch this by a teacher friend who has shown this to a class and the pupils loved it. The setting is a school assembly and the teachers perform the musical and the children join in. Even if this doesn't appeal to you, it's worth it just to see Joan Collins dressed as a frumpy middle-aged teacher playing the piano. I would recommend this for all ages, but most of all, for children and anyone who is a Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Weber fan. Brilliant!
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on 22 June 2014
Amazon really needs to seperate DVD and Blu-Ray reviews. There is no reason to combine them. When I bought the DVD in 1999, I would have given it 5 stars. The Blu-Ray I am giving one star because IT LOOKS WORSE THAN THE DVD!

I know that Universal is bad about not doing new transfers for Blu-Ray releases, but this is a travesty. Have you seen the Young Frankenstein Blu-Ray? Yeah, this is worse.

This film was originally released in 1999 on a 4x3 letterbox DVD. It looks like the exact same scan was used, with someone who had no clue what they were doing blindly applying digital filters to it. Truthfully, get the DVD and just do a zoom on it, it will look better than this mess.

First, the disc has like 20 subtitle tracks, and the disc menu, like most European discs, pops up and ask you what language you want. It defaults.... to CHINESE!!! What the heck!Oh, if only this was the worst of the issues. After a half dozen warning screens, we are dropped into a menu with a video playing in the background that is obviously SD video. And the music starts in the middle of a word to a song. So poorly authored disc.

Then you hit play, and you are presented by this beautiful Universal studios logo in breathtaking 1080p, followed by the production company's logo - and its all jaggied. Obviously rendered at 480. Then we are dropped into the hall of the school, and that is when the mess starts. Grain is frozen on the screen. It looks like they used a fine grain film, so the noise is everywhere. What is bad is the grain is actually frozen in the color from the first shot, which means kids are running through this multi-colored noise. The text is almost unreadable.

But the DNR is not the only issue. It looks like some poorly done framerate conversion was done. This leads to blurryness anytime there is a camera pan or fast movement.

You notice a lack of detail in everything and start to wonder if this is actually an SD upconvert. This is confirmed when they throw open the doors and Donny walks in - there are SCANLINES in the door!

So I started to get disappointed. Maybe this film was originally shot on tape, and they tried to clean it up for Blu-Ray (badly) and then... You start seeing film spots and scratches and hairs in the video.

Then you start seeing ringing and halos around Donny and other characters.

Then Donny invites the kids to the stage as he is singing "Any Dream Will Do" and you see these blue streaks all over the kids, and you realize it is frozen film grain from the smoke and the blue lights that has frozen in place over these kids faces. It's awful.

So how about the sound. I was very excited to see that it said DTS-MA 5.1. Don't be fooled - it is the exact same Dolby Digital track from the DVD. Actually, no, its not, it sounds worse - possibly from the conversion from one audio format to another. This shouldn't be the case, but this is way flatter sounding than the DVD ever was.

This Blu-Ray is a nightmare! Everything that could be wrong with a digital transfer is wrong here - HORRIBLE DNR (I am okay if DNR is done correctly, that is not the case here), scan lines, contrast blown out of proportion, macroblocking, aliasing, ringing and halos, and an SD upconvert.

This disc is a travesty. It has no redeeming factor. Do yourself a favor and pick it up on DVD - it really does look better than the Blu-Ray does.
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on 11 July 2003
I purchased this in VHS format, USED, about 2 weeks ago. I had never seen anything other than a trailer. I LOVE IT! In the past week it has been viewed at Least 10 times..counting the week Prior, probably about 25 times total times viewed. So I have purchased the DVD on Ebay and I have recently found the CD Sountrack featuring Donny Osmond and Maria Friedman on Ebay.co.uk I listened to cuts on CDNOW, but no one can fill the dress of Maria Friedman Narrating/Singing her heart out. Donny Osmond is Riviting and Emotionally touching. Everyone in the Cast is just Fantastic and I really can't picture anyone else filling their glorious costumes. The Sets are "TechniColorful" and absolutly "Amazing" as well as ALL of the music and lyrics..BRAVO! We Know every word and sing along. Donny performing Close Every Door will bring tears to your eyes, Powerful. :-)
The entire movie is just wonderful!! (I've desided I have to have a Go Go Joseph Disco Floor. Hehehehe)WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE A MUSICAL FREAK...GUARENTEED YOU WILL LOVE IT! ADDICTIVE FUN!
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on 10 August 2002
Both those who know and don't know the musical Joseph will love this film. Firstly it is full of stars. I feel Donny Osmond was well-casted and obviously draws Viewers. He has a beautiful voice and stance suited for Joseph, although it is singer-actress MARIA FRIEDMAN who really does it. She accels as Narrator by making something special to her role. You couldn't get better - Maria is well known for having that special energy and facial charactor in what ever she does! Other famous faces include Joan Collins, Richard Attenborough, Robert Torti, Christopher Biggins among many others.
It is a film, far from the original stage show. The plot of the biblical Joseph is told through song (NOT opera!). It uses modern technology to lift the story to a Professional level and is filmed at a school - the same school Lloyd-Webber and Rice originally performed the show at the very beginning. The film takes you on a real journey - far from the stage - to ancient Egypt. The effects are rich and colourful. The tunes have been re-orchestrated for an larger orchestra for the film and it sounds fab! There is most things a show could offer - but more -on video for your comfort!
This video provides the perfect entertainment for the family. For those who aren't used to musicals - it is very easy to relate to without it ever, ever getting boring! It is fun, and accessible for all and every age. It is new and fresh; I believe the perfect model for musicals --on video! A fully tuneful show!!
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on 2 November 2012
So they had the chance to issue a perfect picture on Blu ray but they didnt. This is obviously a transfer from a second rate DVD , and about the only time this really looks good is in the final five minutes . At times the film looks like it was recorded behind a spotty lace curtain [ honestly thats the only way I can describe it], especially near the start when Maria Friedman is standing in front of the red school curtain.

They have not bothered to improve the colours on this film and so its looks as old as it did when first issued on DVD and so I would suggest that if you already own the DVD copy , hang on to it as this is unfortunately a complete waste of money.
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on 6 July 2001
I first heard Joseph when I was much younger and loved it to pieces. Later I grew into Lloyd Webber's later more complex musicals, and forgot all about Joseph altogether. Until I recently found my original copy of the piano music...and decided to buy the video.
What can I say? This production is top class, and high quality. The thought and care which went into this production is extraordinary; I originally thought that it would just be a direct flat recording of the stage show, as per the Cats video, but was pleasantly surprised... There are many beautiful and surreal sets and costumes in this production with lots of clever camera work. The cast are superb, even though I am no fan of Donny Osmond! Maria What's Her Face as the Narrator is absolutely fantastic, and the choreography is perfect... Everything is heightened to be as over the top and corny as possible, and it works fantastically! The new score is very different to the original recordings, and works *extremely* well. It is now safe to say that Joseph is now once again one of my favourite Lloyd Webber musicals, and even though it may not have the beauty and majesty of Phantom of the Opera, or the darkness and grittyness of Jesus Christ Superstar, it works for what it is: Fabulous fun for people who love a bit of cheesiness in their lives...
If you were in my position and used to adore Joseph but now aren't so sure, then you'd probably be hesitating to get this tape. Really, though, I urge you to do so...you *really* will not regret it, I promise you that...
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on 21 October 2004
Dazzling and magnificent! I really love this musical starring Donny Osmond playing Joseph. I first seen this about 4 years ago when I was working in a junior school and I loved it so much that I bought it on video and, after nearly wearing the video out, bought it on DVD. I even took it to the juniors after-school club where I work, and the children hadn't even seen it before and really loved it! That was the quietest I had ever known them, except when they decided to sing along to the songs that they knew! The effects are stunning and the cast all have fantastic voices. Joan Collins is stunning as Potiphar's (tarty) wife especially when she tries to seduce Joseph which results in him getting put in jail - poor guy - and singing the beautiful ballad Close Every Door with the children. There he meets actor Christopher Biggins playing the jailed cook and then comes the 70's dancefloor scene for the musical number Go Go Joseph. Richard Attenborough plays the part of Jacob, Joseph's father, very well. Theres plenty of funny moments and emotional times throughout the musical and look out for Pharoah, the Elvis impersonator! If you haven't seen this film yet, then you must! For all fans of Musicals, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Tim Rice and Donny Osmond!
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on 3 January 2011
I had always thought that "dreamcoat" was a sappy children's work more suited to schools then the West End or Broadway. So it was deep suspicion that I started watching this musical. But I simply adored it. I think the music is up there with Lloyd Webbers best music. I particularly like the brilliant use of the childrens chorus which never sings alone but accompanies the adult singers. But best of all is Tim Rice's amazing lyrics. A respected journalist said he was the greatest lyric writer since Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan. And I agree. The lyrics are very cleaver, witting, charming and like nothing you heard before!

The musical is very succesfully transferred to film by making it a school play in which the teachers perform for the young students. The young students become the children's chorus. But it quickly becomes a colourfull and sureal visual experience. Some great dancing and singing. It is high energy stuff. The numbers are variations on a particular musical genre such as calypso, rock and roll, charleston and even country and western!!

A fine performance by Donny Osmond but but it is Maria Freidman who is the star. She dazzles us with her charm, sassyness and great singing although her voice could be a bit stronger!

Strongly recommended for any musical lover!

PS For those who still think this musical is for children I would like to point out that I am big fan of the operas of Richard Wagner. I know what serious adult music is all about!
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on 17 April 2013
This is a Blu-ray review. It looks like the picture has been stretch to 16:9 widescreen when the original ratio was slimmer, but wider than 4:3. I noticed as soon as I put it in, but can someone verify please? If it's true then i'm apalled. Fake widescreen is done by moron's who forgot the orignal purpose of widescreen.
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on 25 July 2013
Picture quality is not what is expected of a Bluray video. Perhaps when the film was made, the original capture resolution was not that high. Just disappointed to purchase a bluray and got a DVD quality film.
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