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Keaton's The General 2 disc edition from Kino: 11/11/2008 [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Keaton's The General 2 disc edition from Kino: 11/11/2008


NoirFan
08-16-08, 10:42 AM
Specs from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001E18222/ref=nosim?tag=dvdbeaver-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B001E18222&creative=373489&camp=211189):

NEWLY MASTERED IN HD FROM A 35MM ARCHIVE PRINT STRUCK FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE

THE NUMBER 18 GREATEST FILM OF ALL TIME (AFI 100 YEARS... 100 MOVIES)

Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton s THE GENERAL is so brilliantly conceived and executed that it continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. This Kino Ultimate 2 Disc Edition was mastered in HD from a 35mm archive print struck from the original camera negative. Rejected by the Confederate army as unfit, and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), young Johnny Gray (Keaton) is given a chance to redeem himself when Yankee spies steal his cherished locomotive. Johnny wages a one-man war against hijackers, an errant cannon and the unpredictable hand of fate while roaring along the iron rails. Every shot has the authenticity and the unassuming correct composition of a Mathew Brady Civil War photograph, wrote film historian David Robinson, No one not even Griffith or Huston and certainly not Fleming (Gone With the Wind) caught the visual aspect of the Civil War as Keaton did.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Three musical scores to choose from:
(1) Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in 5.1 Stereo Surround or 2.0 Stereo)
(2) Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel
(3) Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin
- A video tour of the authentic General, presented in association with The Southern Museum
- A tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes
- Behind-the-scenes home movie footage
- Filmed introduction by Gloria Swanson
- Filmed introduction by Orson Welles
- The Buster Express, a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton s career

Nice to have three different scores, but as usual, Kino underwhelms with their paltry extras.

kefrank
08-16-08, 12:58 PM
I love my Mont Alto disc. Since their wonderful score is not included, this will have to have a significant jump in image quality for me to consider picking it up.

AGameWithStones
08-16-08, 01:46 PM
Those specs are radically different from the R2 version I own.

I won't be upgrading, and I seriously doubt the Kino will be progressive like the R2 is, but...looks like this might be an essential buy for those who aren't region free. Essential because its such a perfect film.

18 my butt. This ties with Killer of Sheep and Citizen Kane for the best American film ever made.

My Other Self
08-16-08, 02:50 PM
I've never seen this, but given my love for classic cinema, it's a must-buy.

Would this be the version to buy?

kefrank
08-16-08, 02:54 PM
I've never seen this, but given my love for classic cinema, it's a must-buy.

Would this be the version to buy?
this looks like it will be a great set, assuming there are no hiccups with the image quality. that being said, my favorite of the currently-available discs is this one:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/28947/general-the/

it's available only from the Mont Alto website for $25, but it's really wonderful - especially if you have any interest in the scoring of silent films.

bsmith
08-16-08, 08:21 PM
this looks like it will be a great set, assuming there are no hiccups with the image quality. that being said, my favorite of the currently-available discs is this one:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/28947/general-the/

it's available only from the Mont Alto website for $25, but it's really wonderful - especially if you have any interest in the scoring of silent films.

100%, absolutely totaly agree.

I looked into getting this film to see what Keaton was about after having had a few Chaplin movies through the years. Through Netflix I was able to download for direct viewing the Kino version. The music wasn't bad, it definitely was designed for the picture in that it fit the action well but there was something not quite right. It did not match the era that these movies were made. Then I read the review on the Month Alto version and decided to take a try. The musically score is perfectly suited to the film. It is also just as good from a video standpoint. THE VERSION TO GET, IMO.

Darth Maher
08-17-08, 12:03 PM
I own the Legends of the Silver Screen version that came with "Steamboat Bill Jr. in a 2-pack with Chaplin's "The Kid and "Tillie's Punctured Romance". It was by Quality Special Products.

I'm guessing this is one of the lesser quality versions. Anybody know how mine stacks up to other versions?

Case01
08-17-08, 07:12 PM
Hope the print is really something otherwise not too much reason to pick it up again.

NoirFan
08-17-08, 07:17 PM
Hope the print is really something otherwise not too much reason to pick it up again.

Kino are boasting that it is "newly mastered in HD from a 35MM archive print stuck from the original camera negative", but with Kino you just never know.

Ethan VanSciver
08-18-08, 08:45 AM
Most of those extra features were included on the ART OF BUSTER KEATON boxed set, which although pricey, is AMAZING and well worth the investment.

I'm such a fan of Keaton's, and of this film, that I'll go ahead and check out this new two disc set though.

PatrickMcCart
08-18-08, 06:23 PM
MK2's transfer makes The General look almost like a brand new movie. This would actually be a good candidate for BluRay. If Kino uses the same transfer or made theirs from the same 35mm element, this should look spectacular.

NoirFan
08-18-08, 06:31 PM
MK2's transfer makes The General look almost like a brand new movie. This would actually be a good candidate for BluRay. If Kino uses the same transfer or made theirs from the same 35mm element, this should look spectacular.

From this thread (http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15&start=975) on the Criterion forum:

According to Jessica Rosner (Kino employee) on the Nitrateville forum:
It is not the MK2 version and will NOT have Railrodder or Keaton Rides

NoirFan
08-19-08, 04:33 PM
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd114/besh1/General_ultimate_DVD.jpg

Damfino
08-19-08, 05:25 PM
I really don't feel the need to buy another copy of the General, but I'll wait for the reviews and comparisons and evaluate this again after the release.

PopcornTreeCt
08-19-08, 06:06 PM
If the film has been remastered then I'll wait for another company to release it. I don't understand how Kino can stay in business with their obscure films, shitty DVDs, and jacked up prices.

AGameWithStones
08-19-08, 07:51 PM
If the film has been remastered then I'll wait for another company to release it. I don't understand how Kino can stay in business with their obscure films, shitty DVDs, and jacked up prices.

If you don't have it yet, keep an eye out for the MK2/Cinema Club edition released in UK. R2 disc. Absolutely the single most impressive silent film transfer I've seen (looks like new, progressive transfer), and the reason I have zero interest in this disc.

NoirFan
08-19-08, 07:59 PM
I don't understand how Kino can stay in business with their obscure films, shitty DVDs, and jacked up prices.

Unless you're part of the relatively small minority of consumers who have gone region-free, Kino is often your only option other than Criterion for foreign and silent titles.

bboisvert
08-20-08, 09:54 AM
As with most Kino titles (especially re-releases), I'll await word from DVD Beaver. But I'm definitely interested...

bsmith
08-20-08, 03:51 PM
The interesting thing about a movie like this that I did not realize until researching my purchase of it, is that it is not just who put all the best video and audio quality, but just as important what music did they use.

I rented a Kino release from Netflix and was about to purchase it until I found this out and ended up going with the Mont Alto version instead. I preferred the style of music used with it more. So if you have a chance you really should see if you can listen to the different compositions being used because it really does make a difference I found in the enjoyment of the movie.

clckworang
08-20-08, 04:50 PM
Most of those extra features were included on the ART OF BUSTER KEATON boxed set, which although pricey, is AMAZING and well worth the investment.

I'm such a fan of Keaton's, and of this film, that I'll go ahead and check out this new two disc set though.

That's the version I have as well. Great collection of films!

Hasn't Kino announced that they were going Blu? This really should be one of their first Blu releases. Come on, Kino!

NoirFan
08-20-08, 05:25 PM
I don't understand how Kino can stay in business with their obscure films, shitty DVDs, and jacked up prices.

Kino might not even be aware of how terrible many of their dvds actually look, since some of their employees don't even own dvd players: As usual I am pretty much out of the loop but I I will try to get one of our actual DVD folks ( still no player for me) to get some info I can post later

Ravid
08-21-08, 09:43 AM
Many Kino discs look to be sourced from composite sources.