50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
A Superb 1930s-Era Detective Drama - Jack Nicholson at his Best,
This review is from: Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition)  [DVD] (DVD)Chinatown is a terrific period drama of the 'Film-Noir' genre (although note it is filmed in colour !) and in my top 5 best films. It was directed by Roman Polanski and deservedly won an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
It features 2 fantastic lead actor performances, from Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, and is perhaps notable for the fact that the Nicholson character is never off the screen since the film is made from his viewpoint.
He plays a very 'colourful' private detective who gets himself involved with an investigation into an apparent murder, corruption and family feuding. Things progress dramatically and he unearths many well-kept secrets....
It is set in 1930s Los Angeles and the production values to reflect that era (eg costume and vehicles) are superb. Similarly, the musical soundtrack (which it turns out only replaced an inferior version at the very last minute !) helps to portray the mood.
There are some other well-known actors (eg John Huston) but this film belongs to Nicholson, who delivers his lines (which include some hilarious one-liners) superlatively and exhibits all the necessary emotions of confusion, aggression and competence in a lively and masterly fashion. I shan't give it away, but watch out for a 'sharp' and amusing cameo by the director himself....
The picture on this 'Special Collector's Edition' disc has been restored - it is excellent and a clear improvement over the previous issue; it is sharp, bright, flawless and has vivid colours.
I didn't notice any great change in the soundtrack, largely because the previous issue was already quite good.
There are a number of interesting featurettes which include contributions from Polanski, Nicholson and the writer of the Screenplay, Robert Towne.
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Initial post: 22 Apr 2008 22:20:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Apr 2008 22:21:24 BDT
Mark Twain says:
your review is superb.
Posted on 2 Dec 2008 19:10:47 GMT
John Gammon says:
Good review but I think you're wrong about it being on Channel Four's first night - the evening film was Walter starring Ian McKellen. It was maybe on ITV on that night though.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Dec 2008 10:42:02 GMT
Mr. Laurence Williams says:
Oh well, I'll bow to your superior memory and remove the comment as I don't want that bit of 'trivia' (as I called it) to detract from the film/DVD review.
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