CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
DVD Review: ‘Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Musicals’
CHICAGO – Warner Brothers is using their 100th anniversary to release a series of special Blu-ray and DVD box sets that would make great gifts for the movie lover in your life. To be fair, a number of films in the latest box, “Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Musicals” are available in stellar Blu-ray editions and that should be the way to go if you can but for the standard-only movie fan in your life or someone who doesn’t own any of these 20 (mostly) classics, it’s a stellar starter set for musical history.
DVD Rating: 4.5/5.0
What are the highlights? How about two of the most beloved films of all time in any genre — “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Wizard of Oz”? And that’s just the beginning. Personal favorites include “An American in Paris,” “A Star is Born,” “The Music Man,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Hairspray.” Although, like I said, “Horrors,” “Rain,” and “Oz,” among others in this set, have Blu-ray editions that I would call must-own if you are HD-enabled.
All of the films are accompanied by the special features they included on their original standard DVD releases, which means hours of commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes featurettes. The transfers are what one would expect and vary given that these are literally just the DVD releases imported from the stand-alone releases. They are the exact same discs just collected in new packaging. It’s a great sampler set for young fans or those interesting in musical movie history. It’s a place to start not a place to end and it’s a starting line that will get your toes tappin’.
Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Musicals
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Included Films (in three boxes):
You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet 1927-1951:
* The Jazz Singer (1927)
* Broadway Melody of 1929 (1929)
* 42nd Street (1933)
* The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
* Wizard of Oz (1939)
* Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
* An American in Paris (1951)
The Music Makers 1951-1964:
* Show Boat (1951)
* Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
* Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
* A Star Is Born (1954)
* The Music Man (1962)
* Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Now, That’s Entertainment 1967-1988
* Camelot (1967)
* Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
* Cabaret (1972)
* That’s Entertainment (1974)
* Victor, Victoria (1983)
* Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
* Hairspray (1988)
Special Features Are Too Extensive To List