'The Man Who Fell to Earth' (Criterion Collection) - High-Def Digest Review - Page 2 - High-Def Digest Forums
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2009, 10:53 PM
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I couldn't disagree with this statement more vehemently; if the movie was filmed in a manner that left it's resolution below normal standards, take issue with that all you want in the movie review portion, but if the Blu-ray faithfully and accurately conveys that image, then why would it's score be downgraded? We're here to investigate Blu-ray quality scores, not ones for a film's chosen style of cinematography. If I, playing the role of a BD reviewer, were to ask myself, "does this disc look as close to what I would have seen in the theater as possible?" and answer "yes", then that should be the very definition of five-stars.
The "eye candy -faithfulness dichotomy" has been discussed ad nauseum on these boards. And while I am firmly planted in your camp on the issue, it is really not worth it to re-start the debate. When it comes to older titles being reviewed here or titles that you know will not amount to eye-candy due to their cinematography, it is best to just ignore the star rating and read the actual text of the video review section. Generally, the reviewer will make a statement to the effect of "accurate representation of the film" or something like that to key us in to if it is a top-tier (in our opinion) disc in terms of video quality.

Otherwise, DVDBeaver is always a solid choice to check out screen caps and draw your own conclusion. But, they are not going to change the way they grade video quality. Personally, I think they should break it down into two categories (DVDBeaver does this), one rating for how it looks solely in regard to how it "should" look (or relative to all past releases of the film) and on in regard to all Blu-rays generally (compared to stuff like Speed Racer).

As for this disc, I've seen it and both thoroughly enjoyed the film and its video quality.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2009, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by project-blu View Post
The film, IN MY OPINION, is not up to snuff compared to the snuff of any of the other films I've seen in the collection, which is quite a few. One could also argue, based off of some of the coverage Criterion Blu-rays have received, that a 5/5 (or 10/10, whatever scale is used) is an automatic. It isn't, by any means. The sad thing is, most Criterion whores believe otherwise. "It's in the collection, that means it has to be one of the best evar!!!" Before you get all mad about that, I'm a self-confessed Criterion whore, but I don't fall into the category that thinks that they are untouchable, perfect, and godly.
While it is easy to lump those that think Criterion has done a good job with their blu releases so far into the "criterion whore" category, I don't think it a good idea. Aside from The Last Emperor, which you could argue isn't really their fault, they have done an exceptional job on all their current releases in my opinion. I would find it hard to think that they could be significantly exceeded by another company. Other than their slow release schedule I don't think there is really anything to complain about except maybe the packaging which seems to have been addressed. Their dvds are much more of a mixed lot and a very significant portion have been bested in other regions, especially for the older releases. Not all films they release are "great" or even in my opinion "good". Jubilee and Border Radio pretty instantly spring to mind. Obviously my enjoyment of the film and appreciation of the transfer greatly exceeded yours. The fact that you bring up Wes Anderson and say he belongs and yet this release is not "up to snuff" means we have pretty vastly different taste in movies. Not that I don't like Anderson, as I really enjoyed both Rushmore and Bottle Rocket, but if I had to pick either Roeg or Anderson to be out of place with the rest of the directors in the collection, it would be an easy answer of the later. I just don't want people to be put off by your review, which seems to actually bring up some of the interesting elements of the movie and then dismiss them as trivial. This is a movie which, if nothing else, will likely generate strong feelings either towards or against it. I would rather you have given it one star and just stated why you didn't like it, rather than lead people to believe it wasn't really worth viewing in the first place.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2009, 01:11 AM
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I don't agree with the review whole heartedly. I think the movie, as well as PQ and AQ are top notch and true to the directors vision. Matter of fact I thought the audio and video was excellent considering the age of the film.

The film is fantastic but maybe a little slow paced and artistic for people who are only looking for explosions and testosterone injected action.(which seem to be the majority these days)

The Criterion Blu-Rays are among my favorites from my collection, and I look forward to their future releases. "Time Bandits" anyone?
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by project-blu View Post
How else could anyone explain Bottle Rocket, a film that is flawed on numerous levels, that is NOT an example of the best of filmmaking, but is included due to the release of other Wes Anderson works? If you want to argue that's one of the greatest films made, please do, so I can get a chuckle.
What a ridiculous example to illustrate any sort of incongruity between Criterion's intentions and their actual releases. It might seem a little more nuanced to point towards Bottle Rocket (especially when discussing a director's oeuvre in regards to the collection) than to, say, Armageddon... but, it's still a silly example. Hell, even within Anderson's films Criterion has released, I would say The Life Aquatic is a much more suspect choice. If Criterion acknowledges that Anderson is a significant contributor to modern cinema, than it only makes sense to spotlight his debut feature. A debut, I might add, that has been heralded by even Martin Scorsese himself.

Personally, I adore Bottle Rocket, as much as Tenenbaums and Rushmore, if not more than those two. It might be a bit clumsy, and not as detailed as Anderson's continuing work - but it compensates with unbridled optimism. It is also the closest Anderson has made to a film that takes place in the "real world", not yet filled with the mannerisms and set designs so closely associated with his later work (Darjeeling, by comparison almost seems like a spoof of a Wes Anderson film. It is sincere and sweet without ever being cloying. Then, to discuss the disc itself - the transfer and (most of) the features are fucking phenomenal.

You want to argue a suspect title? I don't know... how about Border Radio? Or Fat Girl?

I disagree with your opinion on Bottle Rocket, but that doesn't make it invalid... it's your opinion and that's fine. But, to say Bottle Rocket is included only because it is by Wes Anderson is a little presumptuous.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:41 AM
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I don't fancy attacking you, Nate, so I won't. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would give it a solid 8/10. I do share some of your sentiments about the second act but I don't think it detracts from the film a great deal.

I will make one point that I feel is important...

The CC claims to bring to light films that are "important and classic" but not necessarily "great", as you put it. So an important film that sucks would fit perfectly in the CC. No matter how you feel about the film I think 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' clearly fits well within the intended scope of the CC. Armageddon, however, is still a cash cow no matter how you look at it.

And on a personal level 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' is very much a "normal" film compared to others in the CC. If anyone wants to see just how far the scope of the CC goes I suggest watching 'W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism'. I think it fits fine in the collection but it's a trip, nonetheless.

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Originally Posted by knuckles View Post
Hell, even within Anderson's films Criterion has released, I would say The Life Aquatic is a much more suspect choice.
This just furthers the "to each his/her own" philosophy because I strongly feel that 'Life Aquatic' is Anderson's best film.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:16 AM
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This just furthers the "to each his/her own" philosophy because I strongly feel that 'Life Aquatic' is Anderson's best film.
It's not my favorite but I really like it too, actually. And, in retrospect, it becomes even more fantastic that a studio actually allotted him the budget that they did to make that film. I guess I saw trying to illustrate that if I had to chose any of Anderson's films that have gotten the Criterion treatment to quibble over... it would be Aquatic... and, again, that's only if I had to.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2009, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
The "eye candy -faithfulness dichotomy" has been discussed ad nauseum on these boards. And while I am firmly planted in your camp on the issue, it is really not worth it to re-start the debate.
Sorry, I'm a recent addition to this forum so I wasn't aware. I still say it's an absurd practice--it implies that if a film intentionally chooses a downgraded visual appearance for its aesthetic contribution to the narrative, it becomes inherently a lesser work for it. In other words, if all films don't choose to look like Michael Bay directed them, they're fundamentally worse off. But I don't want to reopen a discussion of which everyone else is weary, so I'll leave it at that...
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:21 PM
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Wow p-b, you really created a sh*t storm over this review. Personally, I've never seen this movie but I'm going to have to rent it just to see what all the fuss is about.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2009, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by knuckles View Post
It's not my favorite but I really like it too, actually. And, in retrospect, it becomes even more fantastic that a studio actually allotted him the budget that they did to make that film. I guess I saw trying to illustrate that if I had to chose any of Anderson's films that have gotten the Criterion treatment to quibble over... it would be Aquatic... and, again, that's only if I had to.
+1 about Bottle Rocket.

Anderson has been mining the same themes in different guises ever since. That doesn't mean the later movies are bad, but most of the ideas and tone are there in the first film. It was remarkable for getting made, started more than one career, and is a fascinating/entertaining film that would be remembered as a significant feature even if Anderson never made another. Which makes it important for several reasons.

(Kind of like Mean Streets for Scorsese.)

But back on topic. Roeg is an important, unique auteur, and ranking his films in order of importance would clearly place TMWFTE in the top 3, commercially, and possibly top 2, artistically:

1. Walkabout
2. Don't Look Now / Man Who Fell To Earth
3. Track 29 / Eurkea / Bad Timing / Two Deaths
4. Insignificance / Castaway / Performance

(In terms of historical significance -- ie, what one DOESN'T see on the screen, per se -- Performance might join the second ranked films.)


That said, we've all got our bugaboos about what films don't fit into the Criterion Collection. I could probably list 100 that are less appropriate than The Man Who Fell To Earth. YMMV.

Last edited by nathan_h; 05-09-2009 at 02:12 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2009, 02:13 PM
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Nate, that was a well written review.


It just comes down to, IMO, some people getting bent out of shape, because you liked less than the person who liked it a lot. Like me.


It's no big deal, and people should relax.
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