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Eating Raoul (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I have a dream. I have a dream that, one day, I will not have to sadly report that yet another DVD technican on crack has butchered a five-star movie. As much as I love Paul Bartel's "Eating Raoul", I have already returned my copy for a full refund, and here is why: Columbia/TriStar (a major film company who should know better) took a movie that was NOT shot in widescreen, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the image without properly matting it. As a result, tall and leggy Mary Waranov looks about three feet tall (and just as wide) because of the horizontal compression. My fellow reviewer who timidly stated that there is a "slight" problem with the picture is being much too kind and forgiving. The movie is NOT WATCHABLE and this transfer is NOT ACCEPTABLE to anyone who has even an inkling about proper screen ratios. In case you think I'm the one on crack, I did an "A/B" comparison with my s-vhs full screen copy taped from cable, and it is far SUPERIOR to the DVD version! When are film studios going to get over this presumption that every film ever released has to be in "widescreen", even when it was not the director's oriignal intent (witness the DVD version of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"-it is available in "Full Screen" only, because THERE ARE SOME FILMS THAT MORE ACCURATELY RETAIN THIER ORIGINAL ASPECT IN FULL SCREEN PRESENTATION!!) This is also a shameful insult to the memory of the late great Paul Bartel, whom I am sure would not have allowed this, had he still been alive to supervise the DVD transfer. Buyer beware.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID: Bad Transfer April 19 2004
This long awaited DVD is an incredible disappointment. The major problem that makes this unwatchable is that somehow this movie has been stretched horizontally to fit a widescreen TV. The result makes everything look distorted. I don't know what the original aspect ratio was but this presentation is an abomination. I tried running it on my computer software to manually adjust the picture dimensions. The film does appear to be wider than the standard screen size but not the ratio as presented on this DVD.
And to top it off the print appears to be something of the VHS quality (i.e. poor) with color and resolution deficiences. There appears to be a gash in the screen as if the video was shot from a movie screen with a tear in the top middle. The sound appears to have been mono that someone has doctored up by added fake stereo and reverb, then steering the dialog from side to side. Warning: Listening to this may cause sea sickness.
Sony should be sued for selling this junk. I probably will be returning my copy. One thing for sure: if you are unable to manually adjust the aspect ratio with a computer, do not buy this. I will be anxiously waiting for this to be remastered - this is a good and funny film.
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The 1982 low-budget outré comedy EATING RAOUL from writer/director Paul Bartel, who also stars, is an outrageously funny satire that needles such diverse elements of American culture as the concept of The American Dream, high-society status symbols, overzealous capitalism, racial stereotyping, and sexually deviant subgroups.
Paul and Mary Bland (Bartel and Mary Woronov) are a conservative, happily married middle-class couple who share an interest in fine wine, good food, and sexual repression. They also share entrepreneurial dreams of opening their own restaurant for epicures. Unfortunately, the Blands are flat broke. Paul is an unemployed wine connoisseur, and Mary only makes a pittance working as a Nurse's Aide. To make matters worse, the building they want to purchase for their restaurant has also caught the eye of another buyer, so if Paul and Mary don't raise the $20,000 down quickly, they'll watch their hopes and dreams turn to dust.
Things actually take a turn for the better one evening when a "swinger" mistakes their apartment for the location of a wife-swapping party and elbows his way inside. Assuming that Paul and Mary are the party's hosts, the horny gent tries to put the make on Mary, and in a passionate, knee-jerk response, Paul beans the guy with a frying pan and kills him. Examining the body, the two discover hundreds of dollars in cash. Surmising that all swingers must carry large sums of money, Paul and Mary employ the personal ads to lure horny men to their apartment, after which they off 'em, take their money, then dispose of the bodies in their apartment building's communal trash compactor. Now their dream finally seems to be within their grasp.
Enter the titular Raoul (Robert Beltran, later a regular on TV's STAR TREK: VOYAGER).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CULT CLASSIC... April 14 2004
One of the funniest films of the 80's is Paul Bartel's "Eating Raoul" starring Bartel and cult actress Mary Woronov as Paul and Mary Bland, an old-fashioned "straight" couple with dreams of owning their own restaurant. Paul is a wine connoisseur working at a liquor store in a bad neighborhood and Mary's a dietician working in an LA hospital. They are bewildered and disgusted by their dead end jobs, crime and the amount of sexual deviants piling into their apartment building. They also don't have enough money to buy the choice property they've found for their dream restaurant. Paul loses his job and things really start to look bleak. But optimistic Mary has high hopes and these come to fruition when they kill a "swinger" with a frying pan who tries to attack Mary and find he has a lot of cash on him. Soon , they're in business thanks to a sexy add in a swinger's trade paper...luring "swingers" to their apartment with fake set ups, whacking them with the frying pan and rolling their pockets. Things are looking good until they meet Raoul, a shyster locksmith with an agenda of his own, a dog food connection...and an attraction for Mary. "Eating Raoul" manages to poke fun at everything and remain consistently entertaining evry time you watch it. The cast is energetic and funny and full of familiar faces: Edie McClurg, Hamilton Camp and many others. Susan Saigler as Doris the Dominatrix is especially funny. The Bland apartment is a delightful nightmare of "fabulous fifties' furniture" and other kitsch. The DVD looks good and Mary Woronov's incredibly long and tawny legs seem to fill up the screen. She's sexy yet the kind of girl you'd like to know. She's a thinking man's sex symbol and an excellent comic rolled into one. "Eating Raoul" may be this underrated and underused actress' finest hour. So for anyone who hasn't seen this, it's a rare ode to everything tacky and a very funny film. Enjoy and Bon Appetit!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Even though one has a feel for the ending, it is still spine-chilling. A superb vehicle for black humour. A classic.
Published 15 months ago by Diran B. Horozian
5.0 out of 5 stars Black humor
Black humor at its best. Saw this movie years ago and wanted a copy for our library. Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel are great together.
Published 20 months ago by shep
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty!
Paul and Mary Bland are a quiet couple who stumble upon a plan to get rich quick: They place a dominatrix ad in the paper to lure rich perverts to their apartment and then bop them... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2008 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars You need to watch this movie!!
Paul Bartel -- a genius. Mary Woronov - one of the best (and, unfortunately, underappreciated) comedic actresses of our times. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Film Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie, but could have been a better DVD.
I have waited long for the release of Eating Raoul for years to come to DVD. Now that its here, I have forgotten what a great and funny film it actually is. Read more
Published on April 21 2004 by J. A. Stankunas
3.0 out of 5 stars I Agree with D. Hartly!
5 stars for the movie/1 for dvd. Not only does everyone on this dvd look like oompa loompas, the sound is weirdly inconsistent and there are absolutely no extras pertaining to the... Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by Stacy D'Arc
3.0 out of 5 stars Finally got my DVD - it's nice! but one problem...
I have eagerly awaited this film coming out on DVD for years. I finally got mine in (hooray!) and it's nice, the picture quality is good, sound is good, no extras but thats fine. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Mark Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Non -stop laughs! A CLASSIC
Written, directed, and produced by star, Paul Bartel, this is a "delicious" dark comedy co-starring Mary Warnonov about a broke couple(That sleep in seprate beds) who discover... Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by John Seger
5.0 out of 5 stars Been waiting forever for the DVD
I have loved this movie since I first saw it in 1982. I had the opportuinity to meet Paul Bartel and was able to tell him what an incredible film this was. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Mazel
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