Robert Altman

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Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#401 Post by Perkins Cobb » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:07 pm

Is that a joke? How on earth could you notice a difference of .09 on a consumer entertainment system?

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jorencain
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:45 am

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#402 Post by jorencain » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:16 pm

I just watched the Warner's bare-bones "Brewster McCloud," which certainly looked acceptable. I've never seen the film before and am so glad I've finally been able to. It's completely hilarious and off-the-wall, but it's still very obviously an Altman film. The movie provides another example of an amazingly dense soundtrack of dialogue, music, radio broadcasts, etc. There are a million great moments throughout.

One thing I'm wondering: does anyone think that Virginia Madsen's character in "A Prairie Home Companion" is at all a reference/homage to this film? Both she and Sally Kellerman were blonde, trenchcoat-wearing angels of death, and I was immediately reminded of the later film when I watched this.

Anyway, the film definitely deserves better treatment on DVD, but I'm just happy to have finally seen it.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#403 Post by knives » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:46 am

Finally saw Brewster, thank you TCM, and it may be my new favorite Altman (need to rewatch Secret Honor). I think I died temporarily during the wicked witch's scene and it's not even the best of the movie. what was really amazing for me is how terrible the movie it is when looking at what films are supposed to be (even by Altman's very loose standards), but it's still an absolute success. Every poor decision, every out of place action, every mood whiplash, the score is putrid, just everything works because it doesn't. Now I'm really upset that this got relegated to hell while even California Split managed a DVD release.

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tojoed
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#404 Post by tojoed » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:20 am

knives wrote: Now I'm really upset that this got relegated to hell while even California Split managed a DVD release.
Really? I think California Split is Altman's greatest film, whereas Brewster is one of his worst. You described a terrible film and then said how good it was.
But I'm glad Warner's released it, because people can see for themselves. When it was difficult to see, I think a lot of people assumed it was some sort of unreleased masterpiece. I know Robert Altman himself liked it, but I thought he was the only one.

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#405 Post by Matt » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:06 pm

knives wrote:Now I'm really upset that this got relegated to hell while even California Split managed a DVD release.
Well, if it's any consolation, California Split was only in print for a matter of months and now can't be had for less than $24.

I get being disappointed that a film doesn't get a full special-featured release on a pressed DVD is a disappointment, but is a professionally-made anamorphic DVD-R with a real case and a cover based on original poster art, which is currently available at 30% off with free shipping, really hell? What I wouldn't give for Cabaret or Star 80 to get such awful treatment from Warner Bros.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#406 Post by knives » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:17 pm

Guess I should have kept Dr. T as my example. I understand what you're saying though, but paying twenty dollars for something that really should only cost six, maybe ten, comes across, well this has already been hashed out enough times on this board. I just wish they'd either make these releases reasonably priced or put them on discs that don't fall apart within five years.
tojoed wrote:
knives wrote: Now I'm really upset that this got relegated to hell while even California Split managed a DVD release.
Really? I think California Split is Altman's greatest film, whereas Brewster is one of his worst. You described a terrible film and then said how good it was.
Firstly in defense for my odd position I generally have an odd position on Altman's films (I'd tie Short Cuts with California Split though neither are bad for example). As for me describing a bad film but announcing a great one, as this film is a comedy and the terrible aspects aid in that comedy, specifically the satire. I feel that those terrible aspects are a success and are only terrible because by themselves you'd have to be insane to use them, but together they make a thoughtful hilarious experience. I think a lot of this is important for the ending to work. There has to be no emotional expectation or resolve and the only way to make this work beyond turning it into a short is to have the preceding movie a giant question mark. Maybe I haven't been clear enough, but I hope that clears up what I meant (and I really regret listing California Split).

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tojoed
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#407 Post by tojoed » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:26 pm

I think I see what you mean, it just doesn't work for me. When Altman's methods succeed,there's no-one like him, he's one of the best. When they don't, there's really nothing ordinary or conventional about them to fall back on and they collapse.
My real surprise was that you don't seem to like "California Split", which makes me sad. I really thought everyone loved it, but each to his own.

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Feego
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#408 Post by Feego » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:33 pm

I must say that I find Brewster McCloud a delight as well, although it is far from my favorite Altman. Interestingly, I've seen every 70s Altman film except California Split, and the only post-70s Altman films I've seen are Popeye and The Player. My position on Altman may seem unconventional, as I consider Popeye supremely underrated and The Player, while enjoyable, a tad overrated. The worst that I've seen from him by far is Buffalo Bill and the Indians, a film that didn't work for me on any level, followed by A Perfect Couple, a film that worked in places (particularly the lead performances) but not as a whole.

If I had to rank the Altmans I've seen, they'd be:
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
3 Women
Nashville
Images
Thieves Like Us
Popeye
A Wedding
The Long Goodbye
Brewster McCloud
The Player
MASH
Quintet
A Perfect Couple
Buffalo Bill and the Indians

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tojoed
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#409 Post by tojoed » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:21 pm

I agree with you about "Buffalo Bill" and "Popeye", but I've never been able to see anything in "3 Women", which seems to go haywire after the first reel.
If you have to pay $25 or $30 for "California Split", I'd strongly advise it. If by some chance you don't care for it, I'd gladly buy it from you for whatever it cost. I can always find a good home for it.

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MoonlitKnight
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Robert Altman on DVD

#410 Post by MoonlitKnight » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:50 pm

BTW, his made-for-cable film "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" is one of titles released among the first batch of Sony on-demand DVDs. I believe now that leaves only "That Cold Day in the Park," "H.E.A.L.T.H.," "Come Back to the Five and Dime" as not yet getting the DVD treatment.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 230 3 Women

#411 Post by knives » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:09 pm

Somebody has found and uploaded Altman's first film as director. It's fairly average, but it is still nice to have.

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Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: 230 3 Women

#412 Post by Jeff » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:12 am

knives wrote:Somebody has found and uploaded Altman's first film as director. It's fairly average, but it is still nice to have.
I love educational/industrial shorts from this era, and knew that Altman made a ton of them for The Calvin Company in the the early 50s. Modern Football is a wonderful find. Here's a little more on its discovery.

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whipsilk
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:54 am
Location: Wilmington, DE

Re: Robert Altman

#413 Post by whipsilk » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:23 am

In my quest to have a truly complete Altman collection, I've been looking at the Region 0 PAL dvd of That Cold Day in the Park, released in Australia by Force Video around 2005-6. Can anyone tell me if it's the OAR, or is it a chopped-down version in 4:3?

As much as I'd love to have Health (yah, I know, it's actually H.E.A.L.T.H. - for some reason that version of the title annoys me in a way M.A.S.H. doesn't) in a reasonable version, I somehow think we may never see it on commercial DVD. It was, after all, only released for a week in NY and LA (by 20th Century Fox), then permanently pulled by the studio, almost never to resurface.

Finally, does anyone know if there are any plans to release a remastered (blu-ray, please) Nashville? The ancient 2000 Paramount version certainly shows its age, and although it's incredibly cheap (yah, it's still in print!), its washed-out colors and slightly fuzzy image don't to justice to this American classic, arguably one of the greatest films of the 1970s. How I would love for Criterion to pick this up from Paramount!

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Forrest Taft
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Re: Robert Altman

#414 Post by Forrest Taft » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:10 am

That Cold Day in the Park is a terrible looking, cropped version I'm afraid. Out of curiosity, have you managed to track down any of the filmed plays he did for television in the 80s? Been looking for those for years, hoping for an Eclipse set, but no such luck...

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stereo
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:06 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#415 Post by stereo » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:55 am

A truly complete Altman collection is difficult indeed once you start collecting his TV work and Calvin Co. films; I've been working on this for years. I managed to obtain Two by South, Black and Blue, and The Real Mcteague and Mcteague opera after great efforts. I have most of his early TV work now, ads, and Scopitones, which can prove elusive; some of them are on YT. The Laundromat (HBO) still proves elusive as does Pot au feu. That Cold Day in the Park is a truly awful DVD though.

beamish13
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am

Re: Robert Altman

#416 Post by beamish13 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:15 pm

stereo wrote:A truly complete Altman collection is difficult indeed once you start collecting his TV work and Calvin Co. films; I've been working on this for years. I managed to obtain Two by South, Black and Blue, and The Real Mcteague and Mcteague opera after great efforts. I have most of his early TV work now, ads, and Scopitones, which can prove elusive; some of them are on YT. The Laundromat (HBO) still proves elusive as does Pot au feu. That Cold Day in the Park is a truly awful DVD though.
You're in luck with THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK. UCLA is in the process of restoring it, and it will tour in 2013.

I'd love to see TWO BY SOUTH. Are you willing to trade?

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tarpilot
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am

Re: Robert Altman

#417 Post by tarpilot » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:00 am

RobertAltman wrote:Out of curiosity, have you managed to track down any of the filmed plays he did for television in the 80s? Been looking for those for years, hoping for an Eclipse set, but no such luck...
There's a cruddy rip of his filming of Pinter's The Dumb Waiter floating around, worth seeing if only for John Travolta's atrocious attempt at a British accent
Last edited by tarpilot on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stereo
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:06 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#418 Post by stereo » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:17 am

Both The Room and The Dumb Waiter had VHS releases. The Dumb Waiter is the one with Travolta, not The Room.
http://www.learmedia.ca/product_info.ph ... cts_id/124
http://www.amazon.com/The-Dumb-Waiter-J ... B000MRTVNS

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tarpilot
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am

Re: Robert Altman

#419 Post by tarpilot » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:20 am

Haha, whoops!

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SamLowry
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:14 pm
Location: California

Re: Robert Altman

#420 Post by SamLowry » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:27 pm

My list of best to worst of those I've seen:

Nashville
Gosford Park
MASH
The Player
3 Women
Come Back To The Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Long Goodbye
A Wedding
Short Cuts
Thieves like Us
California Split
Streamers
A Prairie Home Companion
That Cold Day In The Park
Brewster McCloud
Popeye
Kansas City
The Deliquents
Vincent & Theo
Dr. T & The Women

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#421 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:19 am

Haha, my list is basically

The Long Goodbye
Secret Honor




everything else

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#422 Post by knives » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:28 am

Now's a good time to say I can't stand MASH, yes?

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#423 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:31 am

I grew up watching the TV show, so watching the movie was just too disconcerting to work properly for me. I've also never gotten entirely on board with the Altman overlapping-dialog-I-can't-understand thing, though I'm inconsistent in how much it bugs me.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#424 Post by knives » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:52 am

That actually never bothers me. My big problem with the movie is how much boys' club it is with Altman being all for it. The treatment of the nurse and Duvall in the film is just disgusting and then it wants me to get all sappy in the end. I'll certainly take the show instead any day.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Robert Altman

#425 Post by feihong » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:56 am

This is so funny. I just showed the MASH movie to my grandmother last night, because she couldn't really separate the movie from the TV show in her memory. Always loved the movie, and I thought it made the TV series look toothless and conservative.

I have a hard time rating the early movies. Pretty much everything from MASH through 3 Women I love, with McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville at the top of the list. Maybe The Long Goodbye and California Split and Brewster McCloud and 3 Women right under that. And I also like A Wedding. Most of the later work I don't like too much, but I loved Cookie's Fortune and I was intrigued by Kansas City. That's one I want to see again. Gosford Park is one that seems especially weird to me; I liked it okay, but the love for it perplexes me, as if people had never seen that kind of "upstairs, downstairs" kind of picture before.

The biggest surprise for me was California Split. Could never have imagined a movie about gambling would hold my interest the way it did. But I thought the picture was magnificent.

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