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Review Wanted: M, Magic flute, Most Dangerous Game (Criterion Collection)

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Review Wanted: M, Magic flute, Most Dangerous Game (Criterion Collection)

Old 07-31-00, 08:23 PM
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I haven't seen these titles and need the reviews from those who have.
Thanks in advance.
Old 07-31-00, 08:43 PM
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i did a search & this yielded a good bit of reviews for Most Dangerous Game.

i personally don't know or care about the other movies so i will let you search for those. there should be some reviews on M but probably not much for Magic Flute.
Old 07-31-00, 09:33 PM
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Re Magic Flute, I caught this in the theater many years ago. If you like the opera (and if you like opera on video) you might enjoy this title. The set design is impressive, but I had a hard time getting into the opera in Swedish as I'm accustomed to hearing it in either English or German. This is definately a niche title.

Re Most Dangerous Game. Perfect Vision published a review a few months ago.
Old 07-31-00, 11:02 PM
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I have M and The Most Dangerous Game. Both are classics among their particular genres. M is Lang's first talkie, and it's a magnificent piece of cinema. Peter Lorre is great, and the Criterion transfer is excellent, considering the age of the film. No extras unfortunately, but M should be in any serious film library. The Most Dangerous Game was shot on the same sets with much of the same cast and crew as King Kong. The silent era style acting may appear corny to some, but the entire production is pretty classy and the film is very entertaining. The commentary is one of Criterion's best, and the transfer, once again, is tops considering the age. The sound is remarkably good too; Max Steiner's score sounds surprisingly robust in mono. I haven't seen The Magic Flute, but I'd definately recommend M and Game. Good luck!

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Old 08-01-00, 12:15 AM
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I heartily second Justin's opinion on "M". It is one of the few discs in my collection that I feel "privileged" to own. Kinda like having an original Van Gogh hanging in your living room.

Extremely haunting for a film made nearly 70 years ago!
Old 08-01-00, 12:34 AM
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M is a pretty good movie (if you can actually find and order it... try doing a search for a movie called "M"!), with a few interesting plot twists. One word of caution: the soundtrack is really poor. It's not Criterion's fault; it's the way the movie was recorded. The sounds are often piercing and shrill, to the point of being painful! And being one of the first films to use sound, it's used very oddly: things and people only make noise as a narrative function. You'll see minutes of silent footage of people driving down the street and walking by, and suddenly someone will say something. It's odd.

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Old 08-01-00, 02:01 AM
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I highly recommend both The Most Dangerous Game and M. Most Dangerous game besides being a great 30's Adventure film also has a good transfer and sound. Plus, the Bruce Eder commentary is excellent. M is another classic film that has inspired filmmakers up to today. The film quality and sound are a little rough, but I believe this is about as good as it gets on an old German film like this. Peter Lorre is amazing playing the serial killer. The use of shadow and light in the film give it an amazing dark and eerie feeling. I highly recommend both. I paid $14.99 for Game and $16.99 for M at Buy.com, so they are a great deal also.

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Old 08-01-00, 04:34 PM
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Below is a review I wrote for The Most Dangerous Game. Highly recommended. One caveat about The Magic Flute; the initial pressing has the left and right stereo channels reversed. This will be fixed on later pressings so you might want to wait a bit and get a good copy.

'The Most Dangerous Game' was filmed concurrently with the better known horror classic, 'King Kong,' and even used many of the same sets. Fay Wray, who played a lead role in both films, often pulled 20 hour days between the two productions. While the two films share many similarities, 'The Most Dangerous Game' is a classic in its own right.

The film opens with world famous hunter Robert Rainsford sailing home from a recent jungle adventure. As the yacht closes in on a mysterious island, it runs afoul of the reefs and Rainsford washes ashore as the sole survivor of the wreck. Finding refuge at the forbidding fortress of Count Zaroff, he meets a brother and sister, Eve and Martin Trowbridge, who have survived a recent shipwreck of their own. As fate would have it, the Count is himself an avid hunter and is pleased to have Rainsford as his honored guest. As they discuss the art of hunting, Zarloff mentions that he has come to this isolated island to hunt a very cunning prey -- a 'most dangerous game.' Needless to say, the guests soon become the hunted and, after rejecting the Count's offer to join him at his little game, Rainsford is sent into the jungle with Eve where they must survive until dawn to be set free.

The video on 'The Most Dangerous Game' is surprisingly sharp, with no edge enhancement or shimmering evident. The brightness does tend to fluctuate at times and the film shows clear signs of wear and tear but for its age it looks very good.

The audio is a mono track that tends to be a little light on the dialogue and somewhat harsh during the sweeping score.

The only extra is an excellent, full-length audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder which explains in-depth the production of the movie, its relationship to 'King Kong,' and the backgrounds and subsequent careers of the various actors.

As one of the final films to sneak through Hollywood before the Production Code went into effect, the movie has a degree of shocking horror and overt sexual dialogue that wouldn't be seen on the silver screen again for decades. Don't let the short runtime dissuade you, 'The Most Dangerous Game' is a true classic that stands up very well when compared to more contemporary suspense cinema.

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Old 08-01-00, 05:41 PM
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Has anyone done a direct comparison between the Criterion version of M and the recent version put out as a double-feature with Lang's SPIES:


I haven't had a chance to watch the whole thing yet, but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of both films (just doing a quick scan). Of course, I don't have the Criterion M to compare... any Fritz Lang fans out there that have done this?

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Old 08-01-00, 09:29 PM
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"...try doing a search for a movie called 'M'!..."

...simple (at least on the express.com site): search for 'DVD Movies', 'Keyword', type in 'fritz lang' and a (surprising!) dozen of his films (e.g. "Hangmen Also Die" with script by Bertold Brecht and music by Hanns Eisler) will come up...

! !

[This message has been edited by Hendrik (edited August 01, 2000).]
Old 08-01-00, 10:18 PM
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Here's the DVDTalk review of Magic Flute:


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