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Withnail and I - Limited Edition Embossed Steelbook - Double Play (Blu-Ray and DVD) Blu-ray
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Possibly the greatest British comedy film ever made, with every bucolic line of dialogue now trenchantly entombed in the lexicon of film and endlessly quoted, Withnail & I is at one and the same time a darkly comic coming-of-age tale and an unsentimental vignette of the end of an era. With Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann providing pitch-perfect performances as perpetually inebriated actors (barely) living in a seedy Camden flat, and with a terrifyingly comic cameo from Richard Griffiths as Withnail's Uncle Monty, Withnail & I is a film unlike any other, a must-see experience from its first frame to the credits.
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Definitely one of my all-time favourite films.
What more do I need to say!?
First up, it runs for 107 minutes and 12 seconds as opposed to my Anchor Bay 20th Anniversary version which only clocks in at 102 minutes and 59 seconds.
There are no extras except for a trailer on the Studio Canal Blu Ray. The Bonus Features and Audio Commentaries on the Anchor Bay dvd are NOT repeated here, and for fans of the movie, they are indispensible.
The pictue is, of course, a little better on Blu Ray but it was never all that sharp to begin with so I wouldn't be rushing out to replace the old 20th Anniversary 2-disc Anchor Bay version which, IMHO, is still the superior product due to the many excellent extra features.
I checked out both Blu Ray and dvd on my 46" LG HD television monitor and there really isn't all that much difference in picture quality. The Blu Ray is just a tad more clear but that's about it.
I'm still glad I bought the Studio Canal Blu Ray because it is a great film and I don't mind having an extra copy around. I'm kinda weird like that...
Slowly the film began to seep into my blood, and that first tape became a precious object, watched over and over again. During one particularly drunken party with friends someone managed to erase the beginning whilst trying to start the video, but never mind - I'm sure Withnail would have dismissed such a minor inconvenience - all the while the appalling quality of the tape seeming somehow to detract little from the film itself.
Now I've dispensed with that old tape. I've got a state of the art flatscreen (to replace the old portable) plus a Blu-ray player and now I've got the best quality DVD to go with it. Is my enjoyment any greater? No, not really. But that's an unfair comparison I suppose, and certainly the DVD is more watchable. A bit like a restored old painting, details are revealed which one never even suspected were there, and bits of dialogue begin to make sense in their now true form. The add-ons, like the Drinking Game, are fun and really this is the best way currently available to watch the film.
I'm preaching to the converted, and a lot of us probably regard this as our favourite film already; I must have seen it a hundred times and like many can recite the dialogue from any given point. Why am I even writing this review? Oh yes, to say that the Blu-ray is a good thing. Five stars. Hic.
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