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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2010

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"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

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Synopsis

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls start your engines. You're about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives but also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure.

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1968, Color, Rated G, 2 Hr 25 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Codec: MPEG4 AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Frobe, Anna Quayle
  • Directed by Ken Hughes
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Directed with style and flair by Ken Hughes (story by Ian Fleming of the James Bond stories) and filmed in 70mm Super Panavision Technicolor - it's a splendid feast of colors - you see their period clothes anew, the details in the inventions inside Caractacus Pott's hillside home, the uncluttered English countryside, the Scrumptious Sweet Factory, the seaside scenes, the two bumbling spies, the toy dance at the King's Birthday Party in the Palace where their love shines out and almost gets them caught - all of it - gorgeous to look at. The overture at the beginning where a black screen sits with only the roaring of car engines swirling around you before the picture finally appears - the "Intermission" break in the middle (so you could go to the lobby to get popcorn) where Chitty goes over the cliff-edge and you don't find out what happens until the film starts up again, is all there just as it was in the theater back in the 60’s. Your family will want to see this movie over again and again.

Technical

It's been frame-by-frame restored using the Lowry Digital Restoration Process and looks jaw droppingly wonderful in detail and color. Musical score is broad and lush with remarkably clear dialog and swirling surround sound. The film is razor sharp and as clean as a "toot sweet" whistle. This is a "must see" movie for the family. They just don't make them like this any more. This is what blu-ray is all about, folks!

Extras

All-new “Toot Sweet Symphony” melody maker – the Toot Sweet Toots Musical Maestro, All-new “Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game”, Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke, “A Fantasmagorical Motorcar” featurette, Sherman Brothers' Rare Demos of the film’s most popular songs, Vintage Featurettes including, “The Ditchling Tinkerer,” “Dick Van Dyke Press Interview,” and “The Potts Children's Featurette”, a Photo Gallery, Vintage Advertising Gallery including English and French versions of the theatrical trailer and several television spots, Sing-a-long version of the film and Music Machine.