Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
AVOID THIS DREADFUL BLU RAY VERSION OF A DYNAMIC CLASSIC FILM OF AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY
on 24 March 2017
I read rather good reviews of this film in its Blu Ray format and had wanted to see it so very much, having seen it in the cinema on original release.
What a bitter disappointment and in so many ways!
From the cheap graphics of the BD cover with its Italian text (the language settings misbehave and if you are not careful you will get the English soundtrack, yes, but with French or English surtitles, and text interjections for the hard of hearing -' Screams', 'Sword noises' ALL at the same time) to the atrociously poor sound quality ( for Wagner and Orff after all!) this raw classic film (with all its curious and arresting features, Nicole Williamson's Merlin for one and the odd pacing ) is done a profound disservice by this release.
The worst thing about it is the appalling greyness that pervades a cinematography that should be magically clear and clean. It is anything but that. The beautiful natural Irish locations (I believe) look as if they have been filmed through a jar of Vaseline and the whole movie is smothered in a blurred definition and is full of shadow, which, even with the director's subject, was certainly not the intention. The film's refreshing ruggedness is shadowed and swamped in a visual mirk. This is no restoration (although it certainly deserved it and why release it without respecting it - and us) and how disgraceful to issue it in Blu Ray form and charge the price for it ( although at £9 it is certainly not expensive and perhaps there lies the clue).
So very disappointing - there are so few convincing versions on film of this story and John Boorman captures some of the eternal qualities. Someone should have made a film also of John Neumeier's ballet "ARTUS SAGE" in many ways the best, and most moving, version I have ever seen but there we go.
In the meantime we will have to wait for a proper blu ray release of John Boorman's eccentric and magical film. Avoid this one.