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  1. #1
    Attebery's Avatar
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    Default 'The Man Who Fell to Earth: Limited Collector's Edition' - High-Def Digest Review

    Josh has reviewed 'The Man Who Fell to Earth: Limited Collector's Edition'. Here's what he thought...

    http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/4093...ltoearth2.html
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    signia76 is offline Banned
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    This movie sucked.

  3. #3
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    I like every other film I've seen from Roeg, but I found this one to be a really tedious viewing experience. I can see how it was probably considered really far-out in its day, but I just couldn't get into it. The perfect use of Bowie's natural otherworldliness could only carry it so far.

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    I realize that this review was a little tardy, but is no one else going to stand up for the movie?
    Josh Z
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    signia76 is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
    I realize that this review was a little tardy, but is no one else going to stand up for the movie?
    Great movie. Loved it! Excellent review Josh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by signia76 View Post
    This movie sucked.
    Quote Originally Posted by signia76 View Post
    Great movie. Loved it! Excellent review Josh.
    Josh Z
    Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest (Blog updated daily!)
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    My opinions are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of this site, its owners or employees.

  7. #7
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    I re-watched The Man who fell to Earth a while back and to be honest is Roeg's least "accessible" film for me - and, I don't mean that as a criticism, but more of a compliment. Even if you pay close attention, some things are still hazy. The passage of time is a very obvious theme in the film, but it's left intentionally unclear exactly how many years have passed from beginning (when the alien lands on Earth) to the end - is it 20 years? 30 years? It seems like things here are intentionally left ambiguous...

    Spoiler:
    The sequence when the lawyer & his assistant were both thrown out of the skyscraper window was quite brutal & unexpected, not least of which because it was somewhat unclear why this was done...I'm guessing it had something to do with corporate espionage.

    The ending scene with the DB alien drinking on the restaurant/bar patio was a fitting end to the character & the film; despite all of his riches, with the passage of time & a rough life, he ended up a broken husk & a shade of his former self...


    This was one of those Roeg films where the storyline/plot seemed secondary to the surreal tone/vibe the film was trying to convey.

    The "true" appearance of the alien & his family reminded me quite a bit of the Martian aliens in the excellent late '70's TV mini-series The Martian Chronicles (based on the Ray Bradbury book of the same name)....

  8. #8
    Josh Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blu Monday View Post
    This was one of those Roeg films where the storyline/plot seemed secondary to the surreal tone/vibe the film was trying to convey.
    After watching the movie this time, I remembered that I also still have the Criterion DVD on my shelf. That DVD came with a copy of the original novel by Walter Tevis. I decided to read it to see how it compares to the movie.

    It's interesting. The book (which was published in 1963) is a very straightforward sci-fi tale without much of the surreal tone that Roeg brought to the movie. However, the movie follows the plot of the book surprisingly closely. Some of the details may be changed a little (Newton crashes in Kentucky rather than New Mexico and the Mary-Lou character is named Betty Jo in the book, among other things), but the general plot is very similar. Even the part about Newton recording an album at the end, which I had assumed was thrown into the movie because of Bowie, actually comes straight from the book.
    Josh Z
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    Blu Monday is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
    It's interesting. The book (which was published in 1963) is a very straightforward sci-fi tale without much of the surreal tone that Roeg brought to the movie. However, the movie follows the plot of the book surprisingly closely. Some of the details may be changed a little (Newton crashes in Kentucky rather than New Mexico and the Mary-Lou character is named Betty Jo in the book, among other things), but the general plot is very similar. Even the part about Newton recording an album at the end, which I had assumed was thrown into the movie because of Bowie, actually comes straight from the book.
    Yes, good points. I actually read TMWFTE novel by Tevis around 1992/1993, when I was in college. Unusually enough, I didn't see the movie for the first time until years later, around 2007/2008-ish. I don't remember much about the novel, other than that it was well-written. It's worth noting that Tevis also wrote The Hustler, which was also adapted into an excellent film.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blu Monday View Post
    Yes, good points. I actually read TMWFTE novel by Tevis around 1992/1993, when I was in college. Unusually enough, I didn't see the movie for the first time until years later, around 2007/2008-ish. I don't remember much about the novel, other than that it was well-written.
    It's a good book. I found it worth a read.

    The novel was first published in 1963. The copy that comes with the DVD has a copyright date of 1991. It's clear that Tevis made revisions to the text at some point (probably around the time of the movie), because a chapter at the end makes a reference to Watergate.

    It's worth noting that Tevis also wrote The Hustler, which was also adapted into an excellent film.
    Also its sequel, The Color of Money.
    Josh Z
    Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest (Blog updated daily!)
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    A reviewer on amazon.com says "Keep your Criterion edition or get the Canadian 40th instead." and claims that the UK and Canadian versions are far superior to the USA version. Anyone here know about that? Makes no sense to me.

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    Josh Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    A reviewer on amazon.com says "Keep your Criterion edition or get the Canadian 40th instead." and claims that the UK and Canadian versions are far superior to the USA version. Anyone here know about that? Makes no sense to me.
    That claim seems highly dubious to me. Studio Canal does all the Blu-ray mastering and authoring itself, and then licenses it to different distributors in different countries. It goes to Lionsgate in the US and Mongrel in Canada, with the UK edition released under Studio Canal's own label. I'm pretty certain they're all the exact same disc in different packaging, which is Studio Canal's typical M.O. The Lionsgate copy opens with the Studio Canal logo and trailer.

    I see the Amazon.com review which claims huge differences between the US and UK/Canada releases. It almost sounds convincing, but I don't know whether the person writing it is trustworthy or just full of BS. Another user on Amazon.ca makes a similar claim while pointing to a review on blu-ray (dot) com, which gave the UK disc 5 stars for video. However, the blu-ray (dot) com review was written by a reviewer who has a long and embarrassing history of giving 5 stars to just about everything no matter how terrible it looks. (To be fair, another reviewer covered the domestic edition for that site and gave it a lower score, acknowledging that the older Criterion disc looks better.)

    Right at this moment, I'm not feeling predisposed to spending money to import another copy of the movie for a comparison when, in most likelihood, it'll be the same disc. I have very little faith in Studio Canal. This is far from the first "restoration" they've botched.
    Josh Z
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    I wonder if maybe there were two pressings for the USA. I just played mine on the Oppo 103 and I don't see how it could be improved. Rich colors, perfect skin tones, really looked nice overall. I had the Criterion previously and I don't remember it looking that good, but then that was with a different player so can't say for sure.

  14. #14
    Josh Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    I wonder if maybe there were two pressings for the USA. I just played mine on the Oppo 103 and I don't see how it could be improved. Rich colors, perfect skin tones, really looked nice overall. I had the Criterion previously and I don't remember it looking that good, but then that was with a different player so can't say for sure.
    I provided screenshots in the review. Can you cue up those scenes and tell me if your copy looks different?
    Last edited by Josh Z; 06-15-2017 at 10:35 AM.
    Josh Z
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    I did extensive comparisons between the Criterion and Lionsgate discs, but only provided screenshots for two of them to keep the length of the review manageable. In every instance, the Criterion disc had better detail and more natural colors and contrast. Even without the comparison, the Lionsgate disc immediately looked off to me as soon as I started playing it.
    Josh Z
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