The Deer Hunter (1978) [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Cimino's epic film about friendship chronicles the lives of three steelworkers and their friends who lives are irrevocably changed by a tour of duty in Vietnam. The film is renowned for the Russian roulette scenes.
Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, The Deer Hunter is simultaneously an audacious directorial conceit and one of the greatest films ever made about friendship and the personal impact of war. Like Apocalypse Now, it's hardly a conventional battle film--the soldier's experience was handled with greater authenticity in Platoon--but its depiction of war on an intimate scale packs a devastatingly dramatic punch. Director Michael Cimino may be manipulating our emotions with masterful skill, but he does it in a way that stirs the soul and pinches our collective nerves with graphic, high-intensity scenes of men under life-threatening duress. Although Russian-roulette gambling games were not a common occurrence during the Vietnam war, they're used here as a metaphor for the futility of the war itself. To the viewer, they become unforgettably intense rites of passage for the best friends--Pennsylvania steelworkers played by Robert De Niro, John Savage, and Oscar winner Christopher Walken--who may survive or perish during their tour through a tropical landscape of hell. Back home, their loved ones must cope with the war's domestic impact, and in doing so they allow The Deer Hunter to achieve a rare combination of epic storytelling and intimate, heart-rending drama. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This US version belongs to the Universal 100th Anniversary Edition set, and arrives at blu ray with VC-1 1080p 2.35:1 encode. This transfer is wonderful looking for a 34 year old film, with nicely saturated colours, beautiful sharpness and pleasing fine detail. The shadow detail is superb, especially in the many dark interior scenes which are quite frequent throughout the film. This is no evidence of excessive DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) applied here, which is a great relief. Universal has been known for such bad practices (e.g. Predator).
As Vilmos Zsigmond mentions in his fascinating commentary, the film utilizes quite a bit of stock footage (mostly for establishing shots), and in order to match the overly grainy look of that footage, he and Cimino found that they had to use copies of copies of prints since the Kodak film was so resilient to attempts to push contrast or exposure. This transfer looks wonderfully fluid and natural in motion, without any plastic smearing quality that would suggest too aggressive DNR. (4.5/5)
The Deer Hunter features a great sounding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix which is incredibly well detailed and immersive. Fidelity is very strong and the ambient environmental effects in both the Pennsylvania and Vietnam sequences are outstanding, offering a consistent use of the surrounds that really helps establish a convincing soundfield. The muffled dialogue is the main negative aspect of the audio. (4/5)
Fortunately, it is saved by the beautiful music score by Stanley Myers. The most memorable part of this movie for me is my favourite classical guitarist, John Williams, playing the Love Theme Of The Deerhunter (Cavatina), plus Sarabande.Read more ›
The film also exhibits the beauty of Meryl Streep, who at the time of the film was a relatively new name in Hollywood. Her acting is subtle and brilliant. The supporting cast including the portly George Dzundza is perfect in this film. Unfortunately, Camino made the dreadful Heaven's Gate after The Deer Hunter, and the former's reputation damaged the acclaim of the latter. The Deer Hunter is a great movie, perhaps one of the best in recent history.
Yes it is a good film. Good, not tremendous drop everything and kneel at the cinema alter. This movie is seperated into 3 hours, each hour documenting a different period in the characters lives. By far the most powerful and redeeming portion of this film (for me anyway) was the 2nd hour which focuses on the characters while serving in Vietnam. I don't think anyone can deny the second hour of this fim is powerful and well worth the praise it receives. But this alone does not make it a fantastic film. I LOVE Christopher Walken. LOVE him. But did he really deserve an academy award for his performance in this film? I can think of 5 other movies off the top of my head that Walken should have received Oscars, or at least a nod for.
And did this film really deserve the best picture of 1978? I am asking this as a legitmate question. 1978 must have had some slim pickin's at the movies that year if these awards were rightly presented. Now I realize that possibly in '78 when this movie was released, it was worthy of everything it received. The conflict in Vietnam was just barely over and it probably touched a chord with many viewers. And many of us also have the benefit of many years of vietnam movies since then to compare this movie against.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you were depressed before watching the flick, you would be really depressed after you watched it.Published 7 months ago by Leonard Tedds