Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fiddler on the Roof (Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2011)

Fiddler on the RoofThe Film:

Fiddler on the Roof is based on the tales of Russian Jewish life written by Shalom Alechem in the 1800s, with music scored by John Williams. Directed by Norman Jewison, it's widely acknowledged to be one of the best musicals ever made. Tevye, played by the famous jewish actor Topol, lives in the enclave of Anatevka with his wife and _6_ daughters. Insulated & protected by their Orthodox traditions, Tevye must face, with a poignant combination of humor, sorrow and acceptance, the marriage of his three eldest daughters in a series of increasingly unacceptable unions. How far can tradition be bent and still maintain the center of his family and his community's existence? Do we place tradition over family? Oswald Morris' beautiful cinematography and Jewison's compelling film-making pursue these questions both for the residents of Anatevka and for us in our ever-changing worlds.

The DVD:

A marvel, this film has never looked or sounded better for home viewing a remixed Dolby 5.1 soundtrack and crystal-clear picture on a double-layer disc make this a contribution to your film library you'll not regret. Jewison & Topol's commmentary give you some ideas behind the making of the film, what the director was trying to achieve, and how Topol moved his character from stage to screen. Director's full use of the 70mm aspect ratio demands the anamorphic widescreen format used in this printing.

Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, the movie version of Fiddler on the Roof features Topol as Tevye the Milkman, a poor Jewish husband and father living in pre-revolutionary Russia. His story is inevitably tragic, but humorous and touching along the way.

The movie is filled with asides from Tevye, as he reveals his thoughts to the camera. He is forever quoting "the good book," sometimes correctly, sometimes not so correctly.

As was tradition during this time, the matchmaker sets up all marriages. Tevye's daughters aren't too happy about this (as is shown through the famous song, Matchmaker, Matchmaker), and the older three eventually set up their own marriages.

Tzeitel, the oldest, falls in love with Motel, the poor tailor, and they ask Tevye's permission to marry. He finally relents and they have a proper Jewish wedding. Hodel falls in love with a revolutionary who has been staying with Tevye and Golde and their family. She leaves her family to follow him in the heartbreaking song, "Far From the Home I Love." Chava, the delicate middle daughter, falls in love with Fyedka, a Russian. Tevye forbids this marriage, for he cannot turn from his faith. Chava chooses love over family as shown through ballet, and Tevye has no choice but to count her as dead.

Tevye's story ends as the Jewish community is forced from Anatevka. Even in this hard time, Tevye is faithful that everything will turn out all right in the end.

The music in this movie is absolutely beautiful. You'll tap your feet to "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Miracle of Miracles." You'll find tears in your eyes during "Sunrise, Sunset," and "Far From the Home I Love." You'll laugh at Yente and during the dance at the bar.

This is a movie that belongs in everyone's movie collection. It is a story that will last forever.

Buy Fiddler on the Roof (Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2011) Now

Despite the reviews of others that noted the audio syncing problem on the Blu-ray disk, I purchased it anyway thinking it may have been resolved. No such luck. It is almost unnoticeable during the first part of the movie, though I found myself questioning whether the audio and video were in sync or not or if it was just me. Halfway through the movie there was NO DOUBT. The lips of the actors were WAY out of sync with the video. Long past distracting, it became unwatchable. I had to take the Blu-ray disk out and put in the standard DVD in order to finish watching the movie. Now I know why they include both DVDs!

What a disappointment. What a Shame. What a waste of money, I already owned the standard 40th Anniversary Edition. Amazon should pull this off the "shelf." This wasbad enough to make me write my first review... I feel cheated. And it is NOT my Blu-ray player. My Blu-ray player is a high end Samsung and it plays all of my other Blu-ray DVDs perfectly.

Read Best Reviews of Fiddler on the Roof (Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2011) Here

I'm not about to review Fiddler on The Roof or a give a complete history of all its various incarnations like other reviewers have. We all acknowledge it's great. One of the best, if not THE best, musicals ever. I'm here to write about this particular packaging of the "DVD with CD". I don't know about you, but I naturally thought the CD was a CD of the soundtrack so that you can then listen to the songs while driving in your car or hanging around the house. No it's not a soundtrack CD, which explains the relatively low price it's a CD of 70's songs. While some are great (Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye and ABC by the Jackson 5), what the heck does "The Night Chicago Died" have to do with Fiddler on The Roof? Or "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb? Maybe they thought Herb worked in the deli down the street!?!?!

I'm not sure if the same CD is included in everyone's package, but here's the listing for my CD:

Billy Don't Be A Hero-Donaldson & The Heywood's

Maggie May-Rod Stewart

The Night Chicago Died-Paper Lace

ABC-Jackson 5

Ant No Mountain High Enough-Diana Ross

Lets Get It On-Marvin Gaye

War-Edwin Starr


To paraphrase Edwin Starr, "What is this CD good for?" Almost absolutely nothing as everybody should already have Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart on their Ipod already!?!?!? If you want a DVD of Fiddler on The Roof and another version is cheaper go for that version. Don't think you're getting anything special with the bonus CD.

Want Fiddler on the Roof (Two Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2011) Discount?

The new blu-ray version arrived, and my first watch was with some mixed emotions. Colors are strong, but it seems to be a bit on the dark side to me. It is also not as sharp as I expected, and seems to be a bit soft on focus. I think I read some time ago that the film was shot through a nylon stocking which gives it an overall cast of a flesh tone, extremely subtle, but it is there. You get a brief view of the stocking in one musical number when the sun hits the camera from the front, just for a few seconds. The package says it is widescreen, 2:35/1, but it seems to be more like 1:85/1. It hurts in some musical scenes, when you get an impression that you are not seeing all the action. The only thing that is 2:35/1 is the image shown while the intermission music is playing. I suspect this was not made from a new Hi-Def master. I was hoping for the improvement that blu-ray made to "An American in Paris" and "Gigi", but it is not here. I am a big believer in wide screen, and want to see all of the director's creation, and not some cut off version.

As to the performance, this is one of the all time best musicals, superbly cast & photographed. I really caught the moment in time perfectly, while delivering some superb entertainment. It's just too bad it isn't all there.

Overall, it is well worth the price, especially with the enclosed DVD version included.

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