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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - July, 2012

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"The Artist" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

Movies-July-2012-Artist

Synopsis

 

Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. An homage to the golden years of Hollywood and changing times!

Specifications

  • Sony Pictures
  • 2012, B/W PG-13, 100 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD MasterAudio
  • Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller
  • Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: None
  • Language: Um, it's a silent  movie

Commentary

What a wonderful movie! It's hard to believe that 99% of this movie was done without the spoken word. Actors during the "silent era" were more expressive and the stories would pull you into the silver screen because they were simple, yet compelling. This was, by far, the most enjoyable movie I have reviewed in the last several months. Though the story line is very linear, the characters (and dog) are beautifully cast and totally believable in their roles. Dujardin's George Valentin is wonderful. His infectious smile is a big reason why the film works. It's the same thingl with Bejo. The two actors have tremendous chemistry and that's more than enough to carry this film. Of course the movie is actually a metaphor for modern viewers in that we must learn to adapt, or fall behind. I was impressed with the last scene dance number that was shot without a break. Trust me. I could never have starred in a film with a dance number like that. Ever.

Technical

Shot in B/W, the image looks great. Lots of details can be found in the close-ups and backdrops. I found the picture to have plenty of depth and the dark areas never swallowed up any of the scenery. The sound was mostly derived from the musical score which was also wonderful to hear and added to the films presentation. The sub and surrounds never call too much attention to themselves, but the music is dynamic and wonderfully spread across the front of the room. This film just flat out looks and sounds gorgeous!

Extras

The Artist: The Making Of A Hollywood Love Story, Hollywood As A Character: The Locations of The Artist, Q&A with the filmmakers and cast, Blooper reel, The Artisans Behind The Artist Featurettes: The Costumes, The Cinematography, The Production Design, The Composer.