998 When We Were Kings

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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swo17
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998 When We Were Kings

#1 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:02 pm

When We Were Kings

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In 1974, Leon Gast traveled to Africa to film Zaire 74, a music festival planned to accompany an unprecedented sports spectacle: the Rumble in the Jungle, in which late-career underdog Muhammad Ali would contend with the younger powerhouse George Foreman for the boxing heavyweight championship title—"a fight between two blacks in a black nation, organized by blacks," as a Kinshasa billboard put it. When the main event was delayed, extending Ali's stay in Africa, Gast wound up amassing a treasure trove of footage, capturing the wildly charismatic athlete training for one of the toughest bouts of his career while basking in his role as black America's proud ambassador to postcolonial Africa. Two decades in the making, When We Were Kings features interviews with Norman Mailer and George Plimpton that illustrate the sensational impact of the fight, rounding out an Academy Award–winning portrait of Ali that captures his charm, grace, and defiance.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, restored 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Soul Power, a 2009 documentary about the Zaire 74 music festival directed by Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte
• New interviews with producers Taylor Hackford and David Sonenberg
• Interview from 1997 with director Leon Gast
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic Kelefa Sanneh

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soundchaser
No longer chasing skirts
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#2 Post by soundchaser » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:09 pm

Almost certainly the worst newsletter clue since Il Sore Cowboy.

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Randall Maysin
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#3 Post by Randall Maysin » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:55 pm

Gee, sounds like the kind of docu which would have a lot of deleted material for a bluray/dvd. I wonder what happened to it if this is the case, or maybe it's just a case of Criterion/the filmmakers deciding not to include it for whatever reason?

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domino harvey
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#4 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:03 pm

MOC’s Blu-Ray Of Soul Power had extra music numbers and a behind the scenes doc. Not sure why Criterion couldn’t be bothered to give this the same attention they’ve given other concert films just because it’s a “bonus”

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manicsounds
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#5 Post by manicsounds » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:01 pm

Probably will also get the standard Dolby Digital track for the concert because they almost always do so for the bonus films. Still great that they included it but it could have been much better as a double feature set with all the "Soul Power" extras.

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brundlefly
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#6 Post by brundlefly » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:11 am

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:03 pm
MOC’s Blu-Ray Of Soul Power had extra music numbers and a behind the scenes doc. Not sure why Criterion couldn’t be bothered to give this the same attention they’ve given other concert films just because it’s a “bonus”
Extra sad they couldn't use the opportunity to untangle whatever rights issues have kept the rest of the footage of all the African artists at that concert out of view. A select amount of music finally got an audio release a couple years ago as Zaire 74, but this is one of those rare three-day festivals that might justify a three-day-long document.

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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#7 Post by cdnchris » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:50 am

I missed this initially, but for whatever reason the Hackford interview does not appear on the disc.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#8 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:46 am

I watched this last night. What a tremendous doc. This is one of the most important sporting events of the 20th century as it intertwines sport with societal issues and shortcomings. Plus, if you're a fight fan this is something that should be seen. Ali was bigger than life. The reaction to him was never middle of the road. You either hated him or loved him. By the end of his life everyone loved him. He was special inside and outside the ring. Truly an important figure that helped the world change just a little.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#9 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:53 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:46 am
I watched this last night. What a tremendous doc. This is one of the most important sporting events of the 20th century as it intertwines sport with societal issues and shortcomings. Plus, if you're a fight fan this is something that should be seen. Ali was bigger than life. The reaction to him was never middle of the road. You either hated him or loved him. By the end of his life everyone loved him. He was special inside and outside the ring. Truly an important figure that helped the world change just a little.
I watched this hours before stumbling on to Michael Mann's Ali playing on television. Smith was good, but watching it so soon after seeing the real thing made it clear how difficult it is for any actor to compete with the public image of someone like Ali. Thanks to the wealth of footage out there, he's not a legend in memory, and there's possibly no athlete after the invention of television who comes close in charisma.

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domino harvey
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#10 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:36 pm

How you gonna do Shaq like that

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Black Hat
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Re: 998 When We Were Kings

#11 Post by Black Hat » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:23 am

Jordan beats both because his charisma was almost exclusively based on his athletic skills and I say this as a long suffering Knick fan who can't stand the man.

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