Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 28th, 2002
Criterion has done it again! Along with Buena Vista, Criterion has transformed this flawlessly executed film into a masterpiece on DVD. For you Rushmore fans out there, you will absolutely love this film… I actually liked this film more then Rushmore. If you have not seen any works by Wes Anderson (director), you should really check this film out.
“The Tenenbaum kids were all once child prodigies, despite growing up with an ineffective father. Determined to make things …ight with his estranged family, Royal Tenenbaum announces years later that he has a terminal illness and moves back into his wife’s house where their children are also boarding. Together again under one roof, the family deals with their dysfunctional past and the new problems spawned by their unusual upbringing.” – BVHE
It is wonderful to see Criterion and Buena Vista come through with a DTS audio track on this disc. Due to the dialog driven soundtrack, the surrounds are not overly active. The center channel, on the other hand, is used beautifully in term of sound focus and clarity. The left-right channels are quite effective, and even though the surrounds are used quite tamely, they are used enough to realize there presence. The DTS track is a small bit more accurate then the Dolby Digital, but both tracks are still very sharp.
Wes Anderson films always seem to have a very unique look and visual feel to them; and The Royal Tenenbaum’s is no exception. The colors are all very effective… including skin tones and blacks. The 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks HUGE, and equally beautiful. The transfer is clean and free of almost all defects. There are no noticeable edge enhancements and were little grain in the picture. Another fine criterion transfer.
As is the case with most Criterion 2-disc special editions, this DVD contains some very valuable extras. Don’t be fooled by the number of features… it is quality that counts when it comes to Criterion…
- Audio Commentary by Wes Anderson – This is a very entertaining and informative audio commentary. We get to hear the in’s and out’s of the filmmaking process, and get to hear some very interesting insight into the film… well worth a listen.
- Featurette: “With the Filmmaker” – This 25 minute featurette is by far the best extra included on this DVD. You get to see behind-the-scenes of many aspects of the filmmaking process… from set design, to editing, to scene setup. If you like to see how films are actually made, you will really want to watch this featurette.
- The Peter Bradley Show – This feature baffles me somewhat. The interviews include no-one of importance, and Peter Bradley seems like a moron throughout… with zero knowledge of anything. I don’t know how legitimate this show really is, but I took it more of a comedic extra then a legitimate series of interviews.
- Interviews – This disc includes interviews with every major actor. These interviews are decent, but are not overly important compared to some of the other features.
- Deleted Scenes – The 2 deleted scenes that are included here are both very lame… and they were gladly cut from the film.
- Easter eggs – So far I have found 3 Easter eggs on this disc (all on disc 2). I will not spoil your hunting fun, but just be aware that they are there (and quite easy to find).
- More… – Lastly, this disc contains some DVD basics including a very substantial photo gallery, theatrical trailers, and a collectable insert. The set is navigated through some very nice menus, and is wrapped up nicely with 2 separate covers… one slip cover, and one regular cover.
I strongly recommend this DVD to all movie fans. The acting is brilliant, as is the films execution. Similar things can be said about this DVD – great video, audio, and features. If you enjoy a quality film on a quality DVD… you should buy this disc today!
Special Features List
- “With the Filmmaker” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers
- Peter Bradley Show