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I am not going to write about the great films contained in this compilation -- they speak for themselves and I can't imagine anyone but a Fellini lover would buy all of his films together unless they really love these masterpieces. But I will speak to how the discs are packaged.
People use to complain when the 12in x12in LP jacket was replaced by the minuscule 5in x5in CD "jewel case" (stupid name) because unlike the LP jacket, it had no room for artwork -- a very valid complaint. The same restricted space happened when the LaserDIsc format with its LP sized jacket gave way to the DVD case and even smaller BluRay case. But with this offering the producers decided to eschew the small BluRay case size and go back to the LP size jacket, a full 12in x12in size allowing the insertion of two very robust booklets with copious notes.
That said, while the large LP size box allows for what could have been some magnificent artwork or stunning graphics, unfortunately what we get is some very mediocre and downright ugly B&W photo of the Master, plus some cheap, single color (orange) graphic design that looks like it came off a cereal box. At $124 they couldn't spring for full color artwork that doesn't look like a cartoon? But, on the other hand, the booklets that are contained are very well done and quite attractive, so it sort of offsets the box's front cover artwork.
Then again, I would be much happier trying to figure out where I was going to store this really odd shape box if the reason for it was to sport some beautiful artwork. But without that element, it just becomes this awkward thing that won't fit in any of the usual storage spaces that people use for their DVDs & BluRays -- not on the shelves, or the cabinets or the racks. I am afraid that this odd-box-out will wind up being stuck somewhere out of sight and forgotten rather than in a place of prominence that Fellini deserves.
Well worth the money to see crystal clear imagery, with deep focus, and--best of all--subtitles that show up, even against a white background. With sharpened sound, almost like watching a new movie.
A couple of buts: first, I also opened the package to find several disks that slipped out of the cardboard pockets and rattled around inside the package during mailing; too, I would have preferred something like jewel box set-up, where the digital side is not touching a surface.
Secondly, I happened to have just watched the standard version of 8 !/2 before I watched the new version in this set. I caught what seem to be three translation errors, as compared to the standard version. (Admittedly, I don't know Italian.) Early, when the doctor is prescribing Guido's treatment, he mentions the mineral water, for which the spa is famous. But in the new version, he also prescribes a certain amount of "Holy water." Huh? I know the Church has an economic interest in the spa, but really! No where in the movie is there evidence that blessed or Holy water is being dispensed. The second translation change seems rather lame: when Carla, Guido's mistress, arrives by train, one of the first things he does is pat her rear and ask her how her "equipment" is. The new version has him asking how the "guy" is. Again, huh? Am I missing some slang here? Finally, a translation error: when Carla runs a fever in the middle of the night, Guido goes to her bedside. She asks what time it is; he says 4:00 in the afternoon!
While I am excited by the crisp subtitles, I hope the translator doesn't feel so compelled to change them in the other remastered films.
I will agree that Fellini was one of the world's greatest directors, and one of my favorite filmmakers. That said, I will admit that I have not viewed all of the films in this collection as yet. When I do, I will adjust my overall rating. One of the greatest disappointments to me in this collection is the treatment given to my favorite color film of his, "Juliet of the Spirits". While the presentation of it in this edition is stated to be a "restoration", in my opinion it does a disservice to Fellini and the cinematographer. When I first saw this in the theater, the incredible Technicolor palette was mind-blowing. The same experience was in the original Criterion release of the film on DVD. The colors were saturated and varied. On THIS Blu-ray release, the colors are muted and DULL !!! What happened?? While the quality of the picture is somewhat sharper, the original Technicolor brilliance is GONE. It is extremely disappointing to watch this brilliant film in such muted tones of color. I much prefer the color saturation on the original DVD. I can only hope that Criterion will correct this incredible injustice, and re-issue the Blu-ray in a better edition!!
Movie wise this is an awesome set. The movies are great. And considering that each movie individually sells for about $30 a piece. The price was not too bad. If it was just about the movies and price, I would have given it five stars! However the packaging is rediculous. The packaging is about the size of a multiple lp (record album like multiple platter set from time life). Therefore it doesnt fit on the shelf with my other Criterion movies. The book holding the discs does not hold the discs in place it arrived with several of the discs moving atound out of place. I dont think any were scratched, but very easily could have been.
Fantastic collection, great packaging. Missing are CASANOVA , GINGER AND FRED, CITY OF WOMEN and VOICE OF THE MOON. His later work is also worth owning, IMHO- but this takes a giant chunk out of the MUSTS. (Not missing out on THE CLOWNS, ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL or DIRECTORD NOTEBOOK)
Fellini was indeed one of the very great film directors and these motion pictures are a testament to the brilliance of a man that created masterpieces. The only drawback here is this more than ugly box that is at once difficult to store as well as cumbersome to handle, perhaps the most unfortunate case in my entire collection! Nevertheless, the fact remains that the films are worth it.
The collection arrived today. In perfect condition. And all the discs were neatly tucked into their slots. The packaging is high quality and I look forward to watching these movies again in blu ray format!