Jack Garner: New on DVD
12:47 PM, Jun 18, 2013
As an alternative, critic Jack Garner recommends:
CLEOPATRA. There are epics, and there are EPICS. This 1963 film was the epic that almost ended all epics by blowing up its budget and coming in with a running time of four hours-plus. The film is also a tabloid treasure as its stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, entered into a passionate and blatantly public affair the start of an up-and-down-and-up romance that remains the stuff of Hollywood legend. Taylor, of course, plays the fabled queen of Egypt. Burton is Mark Anthony, and the film details the power struggle between ancient empires, complicated by a potent, lustful romance. I also preferred the more disciplined, in-control first half of the film, the Julius Caesar half, as he and Cleopatra begin the relationship between Rome and Egypt. Rex Harrison brilliantly plays Caesar. The fine cast also includes Hume Cronyn, Martin Landau, Roddy McDowall and Pamela Brown. Undeniable is the incredible visual and audio spectacle (including a memorable Alex North score), and the film looks better than ever in this 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition.
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Jack’s rating: 9.
New on DVD This week:
Quartet, Jack the Giant Sayer, Call the Midwife: Season Two, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, Safety Last! (Criterion Collection), Things to Come (Criterion Collection), Of Human Bondage (1934, Blu-ray).
The Beatles Help (Blu-ray), The Call, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (Complete Series) Shaun of the Dead (Blu-ray), CSI: NY: Final Season, The Big Lebowski (Blu-ray), Shoah (Criterion Collection), No, Supporting Characters.