507 Bigger Than Life

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#26 Post by whaleallright » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:08 am

It may not be camp (I certainly don't think it lends itself to that), but most of the audience at a recent screening in the midwest--in a town that will go unnamed--found every moment of it, even or especially the most disturbing, completely hilarious. Although much of the reaction was just a generic "oh, look, the fifties!" smugness, there is something about this film that seems to elicit this reaction more than other films of the time. Maybe it's just too on-the-nose for most of its length? Too schematic? Maybe it's the treatment of the medical profession? Mason's acting style? A combination of all of these things?

Anyway, it was a real shame that most of the audience decided to laugh, and not just because it irritated those of who found it moving. Finding the whole thing worthy of contempt, the audience didn't seem to pick up on the weird tonal shift the film takes in its final minutes. This has gotta be one of those "false happy endings" that critics are so eager to discover in Hollywood films.

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domino harvey
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#27 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:17 am

The audience I saw it with actually got real tense when
SpoilerShow
the family went in to the room to see Mason, and I heard a lot of vocal "oh no"s-- they'd been so primed by modern films to expect an extended finale that they thought he was going to go after them again. This despite there being nothing in the film at that juncture to narratively support such a jumped conclusion other than contemporary expectations.
As for the anti-Hollywood smugness, it's really why I don't ever show Hollywood films to my friends who are just getting into film. There's a tendency for a modern casual viewer to feel superior to studio product since they don't recognize the codes and systems such films operate under. As contrary as it might sound, showing a pal a difficult foreign film is often more successful, because the intelligent neophytes are less apt to assume they are above it.

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mfunk9786
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#28 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:14 am

I found this to be an absolutely enthralling film, which was obviously given a hearty boost by the terrifying final act. Mason's performance is nearly on par with Jack Nicholson's deservedly heralded performance in The Shining - having grown up with a bipolar father, this film wrung up particularly familiar emotions in me. I mean, my father never tried to lay a hand on anyone, but the idea of someone being in an unshakably foul mood was all too real and all too well played out - the football scene and the milk inquisition were even more frightening to me than the later instances of actual [attempted] violence.

The BFI edition is pretty good looking and all, but boy oh boy, I cannot wait to see this film in Blu-Ray. Some wonderful composition and use of shadows in this film.

And I'll admit, Domino -
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I was 'got' by the same thing you discuss in your post above - I sort of felt my insides cringe as the doctors left the room - I've been thoroughly conditioned by modern cinema to not trust any outcome that might seem too comfortable. Besides, I think Ray was aware of what he was doing there in the first place, why else would Mason ask to be left alone with his family? I thought it made for one last bone-chill before the credits roll and the audience is finally allowed to take a much-needed sigh of relief.

royalton
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#29 Post by royalton » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:00 am

Delighted to hear about this. The film never ages, it's as eye-popping and immersive in its own way as something like Speed Racer. You find something new and interesting every time - it's particularly interesting to watch Mason prey on his son after having heard and read (in the recent Live Fast, Die Young: The Making Of Rebel Without A Cause) about Ray's son's affair with Gloria Grahame.

I would kill for a CC of Party Girl and Johnny Guitar though. Wind Across The Everglades is great fun, but those two (and Bitter Victory) are masterpieces.

snack
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#30 Post by snack » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:30 pm

I'm surprised anticipation for this isn't higher. For me, it's one of the all-time greats.

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Cash Flagg
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#31 Post by Cash Flagg » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:08 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#32 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:23 pm

Those captures... Be still my heart!

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mfunk9786
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#33 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Domino, it's time for you to upgrade. Just do it - like removing a bandaid in one big rip.

ONE OF US, ONE OF US, ONE OF US

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Jeff
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#34 Post by Jeff » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:36 pm

Wow! Those caps are gorgeous, and I've been pestering Criterion about this film for years. The whole package looks amazing. March 23 can't come soon enough.

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domino harvey
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#35 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:39 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Domino, it's time for you to upgrade. Just do it - like removing a bandaid in one big rip.

ONE OF US, ONE OF US, ONE OF US
I believe my exact words upon seeing those caps were "Goddammit, I really am going to have to upgrade now"

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TheGodfather
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#36 Post by TheGodfather » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:57 pm

Those caps look amazing! really can`t wait for this to arrive. Hope my region free BD player arrives before the disc does, so that I won`t have to keep hooking up my laptop to my tv :D (wich I`ve been doing up untill now.)

zitherstrings
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#37 Post by zitherstrings » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:37 am

Those look really contrasty. Almost too dark and the colors seem muted. Can those of you who've seen it theatrically speak to the contrast/color?

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cdnchris
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#38 Post by cdnchris » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:56 pm


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Jeff
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#39 Post by Jeff » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:49 pm

cdnchris wrote:Blu-ray review
Nice review, Chris. I can confirm that the Criterion release is the very first release in any home video format in the United States.

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domino harvey
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#40 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:07 am

This is the film that made me wave the white flag. I just ordered a Blu-ray player :resistanceisfutile:

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tenia
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#41 Post by tenia » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:15 pm

domino harvey wrote:This is the film that made me wave the white flag. I just ordered a Blu-ray player :resistanceisfutile:
But the real question is : do you have the 40"+ TV Screen and the sound system that should go with it ?

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Florinaldo
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#42 Post by Florinaldo » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Another persuasive review in favor of double-dipping (I already own the BFI DVD).

But have we become so blasé or spoiled about extras that this edition realy deserves the comment "a modest little selection of supplements"? Or perhaps you were just being ironic, since we have here a full commentary, and an hour and a half of interviews and docs, and a booklet you describe as thick and excellent. Plus a trailer introduced by James Mason.

Anyway, can't wait to assess the quality upgrade of this BR as compared to the BFI, which has another great set of supplements, entirely different from the CC edition.

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perkizitore
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#43 Post by perkizitore » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:08 pm

tenia wrote:
domino harvey wrote:This is the film that made me wave the white flag. I just ordered a Blu-ray player :resistanceisfutile:
But the real question is : do you have the 40"+ TV Screen and the sound system that should go with it ?
It doesn't really matter, the price Criterion is charging is the same. I have a 40-inch Sony Bravia and no sound system and the improvement is more than noticeable.

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tenia
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#44 Post by tenia » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:48 pm

perkizitore wrote:It doesn't really matter, the price Criterion is charging is the same. I have a 40-inch Sony Bravia and no sound system and the improvement is more than noticeable.
As I already told in the adequate topic, I only have a 100cm widescreen TV, no sound system at all, and anyway, I'm watching most of the movies on my 17" laptop. So tell me about seeing an improvement...

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Peacock
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#45 Post by Peacock » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:06 pm

tenia wrote:I have a 39.37-inch widescreen TV
perkizitore wrote:I have a 40-inch Sony Bravia
perkizitore wrote:no sound system
tenia wrote:no sound system at all
tenia wrote:So tell me about seeing an improvement
perkizitore wrote:the improvement is more than noticeable

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mfunk9786
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#46 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:41 pm

If you're blind enough not to see a visual improvement or deaf enough not to hear an audial improvement, there's still the superior menu designs, occasional (and oftentimes extensive) exclusive bonus features... there are more benefits to upgrading than just the obvious ones.

Example: I recently bought Clerks on BD (and sold off my old copy for approx. the same amount), even though it's far from a good looking film, merely so I could have the streamlined convenience of having all of the features of the 3-disc set on one BD-ROM.

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domino harvey
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#47 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:56 pm

I have a brand new 42" 1080 TV, yes

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Napier
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#48 Post by Napier » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:39 pm

domino harvey wrote:I have a brand new 42" 1080 TV, yes
=D> You know what you're going to be saying to yourself. =P~
For example, my mother drug me to the cinema to see Howard's End when it first came came out. My mom loved it. I was looking for a Terimantor! Needless to say, being so youngish I couldn't fully appreciate it. Long story short, I felt like my mother when I found myself enjoying it so much. It's a bang up BD. You're gonna "shit yerself" when you watch Repulsion.

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zedz
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#49 Post by zedz » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:52 pm

perkizitore wrote:I have a 40-inch Sony Bravia and no sound system and the improvement is more than noticeable.
Misread that momentarily and had a very strange mental image. As you were.

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tenia
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Re: 507 Bigger Than Life

#50 Post by tenia » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:14 pm

Peacock wrote:
tenia wrote:I have a 39.37-inch widescreen TV
perkizitore wrote:I have a 40-inch Sony Bravia
perkizitore wrote:no sound system
tenia wrote:no sound system at all
tenia wrote:So tell me about seeing an improvement
perkizitore wrote:the improvement is more than noticeable
tenia wrote:and anyway, I'm watching most of the movies on my 17" laptop.
Anyway, I still think I won't upgrade unless buying a HD Screen. For me, it's both or nothing.

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