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Review: The Vanishing

Old 09-24-01, 10:30 AM
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What are your thoughts about the Vanishing?

I thought that the DVD was a little disappointing. If this were a Paramount release, people would be very upset about only getting a trailer and a mono soundtrack for $29.99 MSRP, but since it is Criterion nobody will care. I for one was a little disappointed, but I do think that it is a pretty good DVD since nobody else would probably release it at all.

Anyway

The picture was very good. It seemed like it was a lot newer than 13 years old. Good work done here.

The sound was only in mono?!? That is very strange. I dont know if I have any other strictly mono DVDs. I know it wouldn't be an aggressive 5.1 or DTS, but a 2.0 option would have at least been better.

The extras were very paltry. Only a trailer. I expected a little more from Criterion. Maybe a small interview with the director or someone else comparing it with the bad Americananied version.

The movie was great. The acting from the boyfriend and the bad guy (I can't remember their names right now) was very good. The first 10-15 minutes were kind of corny and slow, but the movie as a whole was great. I would give it a B+ or and A.

Overall I would recommend this. I think that even with the disappointing extras and the mono sound (which really wasn't all that bad, but still I would have preferred better) this is a good deal for ~$25.

Anyone else have any thoughts about this movie or DVD?
Old 09-24-01, 11:18 AM
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I thought the first release wasn't too bad at all (video). The subtitles, as I recall, were not too bad either.

I haven't seen the Criterion version, but it sounds like there's really no additional extras.
Old 09-24-01, 11:24 AM
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Actually, I was pretty disappointed with the initial (Image Entertainment) release. Soft, full-screen video and non-removable subtitles.

I haven't seen the Criterion yet (backordered at CDNow, even though I preordered it a couple of months ago), but it sure sounds like they at least improved the video a great deal.

The mono soundtrack doesn't concern me, since that's how the film was recorded originally. Criterion doesn't often mess with original soundtracks, they just do a clean transfer of the original elements.

A commentary track would have been nice (especially with the director comparing this version to his pretty awful American remake), but I'm not complaining too much...
Old 09-24-01, 01:18 PM
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I forgot it was full screen. It's been a while.

I guess that's a plus for the Criterion version.
Old 09-24-01, 10:58 PM
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At least it's clearer...

The Fox Lorber release is not pan and scan vs. the Criterion's widescreen. Although the Criterion widescreen is (supposedly) matted properly, you probably cut about 10% out of the top and bottom that is on the Fox Lorber release. The Criterion is *loads* clearer...

Okay, they are BIG files, but you can check out a comparison of the transfers and quality right here...


(Fox Lorber) < -- versus -- > Criterion

There you have it folks...
Old 09-24-01, 11:04 PM
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Just a note: It seems as if the links in The Bus's post should be switched.
Old 09-25-01, 07:40 PM
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There is a thread on the criteriondvd.com discussion board speculating whether Criterion cropped the 1.66:1 frame to make it 1.78:1 anamorphic instead of window-boxing it within a 1.78:1 frame. The person who started the thread cites some examples where the cropping results in the tops of people's heads being cut off. I watched the Criterion DVD recently, but I did not notice this. I have to go back and check it again. I really hope that Criterion did not mess this one up !
Old 02-05-02, 12:46 PM
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The Vanishing: Original Dutch v. American Remake--a mini review

OK, I'd seen U.S. remake of The Vanishing when it came out in the theaters and thought it was pretty good. Kieffer Sutherland does a fine job as the tortured soul whose girlfriend is kidnapped, and Jeff Bridges was good as the sociopatchic kidnapper.

Then I recently saw the original version on DVD (Criterion) and was astounded at the differences. Re the DVD, it's got crystal clear picture and is rightfully in its OAR. But re the movie, the U.S. version TOTALLY changes the entire ending! WHY? The Dutch version (in French) is much more chilling and dark, while the U.S. version ties everything up with a neat little bow. Though there aren't many extras on the DVD, I'm definitely keeping it, because the film is so excellent.

Is anyone else puzzled by this extreme re-writing of the ending? Or maybe it's just me...

Last edited by uteotw; 02-05-02 at 01:26 PM.
Old 02-05-02, 01:01 PM
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No, you're not alone. The sick thing is that the pathetic US release was directed by the same guy who did the original Dutch film.

Here's my take on the original The Vanishing
Old 02-05-02, 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by 12thmonkey
No, you're not alone. The sick thing is that the pathetic US release was directed by the same guy who did the original Dutch film.
I can't believe that! The SAME guy allowed his fantastic original to be changed SO much? That boggles the mind. (I did not know how bad the U.S. version was until I saw the original version.) WHY would they make the U.S. ending so ridiculous? And at the very least so ridiculously different from the original? I do not understand, although it sort of reminds me of, for example, how they changed the ending of Patriot Games from the book's to a silly and completely made-up boat chase where the good guy gets to kill the bad guy. Is this something they feel American audiences "need"? Do we need to see the guy in The Vanishing rescued by his new girlfriend so we can feel good?
I am thoroughly confused...

P.S. Great review, 12thmonkey.

Last edited by uteotw; 02-05-02 at 01:35 PM.
Old 02-05-02, 02:06 PM
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There seems to be the perception that American audiences can't handle, or won't accept a film that is too dark. I'm sure Sluizer was tossed a boatload of cash to direct a sanitized version, with the promise of a larger, global market for the film than his original non-English version had.

I would love to hear Sluizer comment on the whole matter.

It's like that old story about the pitch for the original "King Kong", where the studio head supposedly said "Great story, but can we lose the ape?"

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Old 06-08-02, 04:48 AM
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Need review for the The Vanishing

I have read nothing but good reviews and wanted to rent it, but no such luck. I don't want to buy the Criterion for 42.99 Cnd. and don't like the movie.
Any opinions??
Old 06-08-02, 05:17 AM
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...ahh... you want the Dutch/French-language original-with-English-subtitles then, not the American re-make... good for you!... excellent film/DVD (IMNSHO, of course!)...

. . . . . .
Old 06-08-02, 05:48 AM
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Re: Need review for the The Vanishing

Originally posted by starving dvder
I have read nothing but good reviews and wanted to rent it, but no such luck. I don't want to buy the Criterion for 42.99 Cnd. and don't like the movie.
Any opinions??
FYI, I merged your thread (and another) with an older thread to help keep everything together. This helps to make it easier for everyone to get the information they want.

Hopefully the above responses will be of use to you, or perhaps a newer response will better answer your question.

I bought this without having watched it (or the American version) before. Unfortunately, I still haven't watched it yet, so I can't really comment on the film, except to say that the reviews I read convinced me to buy it site unseen.
Old 06-08-02, 08:18 AM
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Thanks, Blade!!

I will head out to futureshop and pick up the Criterion edition. Thanks for the warning about the other crappy edition out there.
Thanks
-Allen
Old 06-08-02, 08:56 AM
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Excellent film! My wife was climbing the walls, she thought it was one of the scariest horror films ever, why?
Spoiler:
She is claustrophobic.
Anyway, I am very pleased that Criterion decided to have this film in the Criterion collection, a very good job by them.

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