on April 1, 2011
The movie looks sharp overall (a few grainy spots) but for an 18 year old movie it still looks pretty damn good on blu-ray and the sound is superb, thundering of the classic shoot-outs is top-notch in blu-ray.
My complaint is that this is the theatrical cut of the film and not the extended cut. While there's nothing too significant cut out, aside from the scene where Doc basically dumps Kate to go on the Earp Vendetta Ride there's one scene in particular that I wish they had left in; when McMasters responds to a parlay by the cowboys and Ringo asks him to re-join with them, when he refuses, Ike sticks a shotgun in McMaster's face and says "Just one question, how you gonna get back to them?" Then the film cuts to where McMasters has been dragged to death behind a horse. Without this scene I found McMaster's death very random as we saw him moments earlier at the Hooker ranch with Earp and the others, then all of a sudden he's dead, being dragged by a horse? Bwah?
Aside from that scene, and the previously mentioned "Doc dumping Kate" scene, I don't think there's anything else left out. So just know this when you buy this movie on blu-ray.
on May 20, 2004
In 1993/94, the already controversial story of Wyatt Earp got a big boost with the almost back to back theatrical debuts of two (hope to be) Hollywood blockbusters. Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.
If you dont think the story of Wyatt Earp and the famous gunfight is controversial (or rather the telling of it) then you have not read through the reviews on Amazon for either film. Then go look up books on the subject and the furr flies. Now the controversy comes from there being two side to the story.
side 1. the most famous side has of couse Wyatt and his brothers as reluctant lawmen defending the town of Tombstone against a band of ruthless outlaws led by Ike Clanton and Curly Bill Brooches.
side 2. the side rarely taken by Hollywood (a surprise in this day of revisionist history) has Wyatt as a opportunistic criminal who wore a badge when it suited him, and hid behind it in order to dispatch his enemies. To this day the kin folk of the Clantons tell this version of the story...and believe it!!
When ever a book or movie on the subject is released the two factions (just like the two factions of Tombstone) start verbally swinging. Now I'm a sideone person,as are most folks I have met, more or less. So both of these films appealed greatly to me. Although they are distinctly different.
Tombstone is in many ways the classic western, bright(read Technicolor), loaded with plenty of humor, plenty of action, and several big name stars. But unlike westerns of yore it is bitingly violent at times, and violence lies just under the surface waiting to spring. Much like I imagine Tombstone was like in the 1880s.
This film was also the first to show drug use of the period, and to make homosexual references about a few of the characters. Both of these things certainly exsisted in abundance in the west, and kudos to Cosmatos and the producers for allowing them into the film.
All of the acting is very good here with the performers obviously having fun Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday is by far the most memorable performance. He should have been nominated for an Oscar. It is far superior to Victor Matures(Darling Clemintine), Kirk Douglas(Gunfight at OK Corral) and yes better than Dennis Quaids( Wyatt Earp). While many will hail Quaids as much more realistic ( and I believe this is probably true), Kilmers certainly had an edge of realism but at the same time was very entertaining. It was easy to forget you were watching Val Kilmer.
I believe the story when properly told revolves around Wyatt and Doc, and their friendship. The chemistry between Russel and Kilmer is terrific, and is noticeably missing with Quaid and Costner.
This brings us to the most argued point, Wyatt Earp himself. Well, I never knew Mr. Earp, and the professional historians cannot agree, was Wyatt the silent, stoic, and haunted man of Costners portrayal, or the tough when he had to be, money making, somewhat charming, very reluctant lawman. Who knows, from the histories and archived newspaper reports it could go either way. But if I had to choose one over the other I would certainly choose the Wyatt of Kurt Russell, I mean boil it down which one would you want to kickback with and have a shot of whiskey, smoke a cigar, and play a round or two of Faro??
As far as this DVD release it is excellent, great picture and audio.The extras are fairly intresting, the commentery track by Cosmatos is ok.
I say saddle this one up and enjoy.
on January 12, 2003
I won't wax eloquent about the film itself. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed this movie enough to purchase it's first release on widescreen DVD in 1996, and was very much looking forward to this new Vista Series release. I suppose the commentary and documentary could justify the additional expense I put out for the Vista Series, but I am going to take this opportunity to elucidate some negative aspects of the new release. Since this new transfer is THX certified, I was expecting a very pristine presentation compared to the 1996 DVD release. My main complaint of the new transfer is that it's black level is set waaay too low. You will find yourself cranking up the brightness to see any shadow detail at all, and even then you can't dial it in just right. On the positive side, the color is much, much nicer on the new transfer, and the sharpness is a tad more detailed also. Just a few comments now on some of the "extras". The extra 4 minutes of added footage does nicely fill some gaps in the original version, and certainly does not ruin the experience, as one very opinionated viewer noted below. The commentary by George Cosmatos is entertaining and quite informative, even more so than the three-part "Making of" documentary. The "Tombstone Epitaph" looked very nice, until I actually tried to read it. One reviewer noted that the print was too small to see. I suppose that determination hinges on the size of one's screen and the quality of one's eyesight. All I can add to his comment is that on my 32" monitor the Epitaph print was clearly legible, albeit small. But my one reservation about the Epitaph hinges about how one must navigate to read the print. Imagine that a big picture was taken of the paper, and your screen zooms in on just a portion of it. To navigate up, down, left and right to see the whole thing, you use the arrow keys on the remote. Problem is, some of the columns in the newspaper are divided down the middle by the edge of the screen. So, you can read the left half of each column, or the right half. But to read each line you must constantly be pushing the arrow keys left, right, left, right endlessly. Ridiculous, and I gave up. They should have made one column of the paper fill up one screen's width. Also included as an extra is a map of the beginning of the gunfight at the O.K. corral as penned by Wyatt Earp in 1919. This is printed on very nice looking paper, but all of the small handwriting is illegible as presented. Nice thought, though. It is hard to believe that a Director's Cut Special Edition of a film does not include any cast bio's or filmographies. Sad. Finally, the new packaging is quite slick looking, with both the cover art and internal art having a very nice rustic look to it. Quite classy. The only reservation I have is of the durability of the package. I have not experienced good longevity of this type of packaging, with the plastic DVD trays hot-glued to a paper or plastic backing. They always seem to come unglued eventually with heavy use. Just thought I would cut through the hype and offer some meat-and-potatoes info on this new Vista release.
on April 10, 2011
The best western since Sergio Leone's Once upon a time in the west, The good the bad and the ugly, and For a few dollars more. The story talking about the legendary Wyatt Earp and his 2 brothers who are moving for their retirement in a new city. This movie is a all-star cast with Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Charlton Heston, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton and many more. If you like action, Tombstone is the best western since decades.
on November 21, 2007
TOMBSTONE, one of two epic westerns about Wyatt Earp released within a few months of each other (1993-94) lacks the lyrical, 'warts-and-all' quality of Kevin Costner's WYATT EARP, but is a more successful film, with tighter pacing, more clearly drawn characters, and a reverence to the genre that has made it the most popular Western of the last twenty years.
From the opening scene, narrated by the legendary Robert Mitchum, a nod to the great Hollywood Westerns of the past is evident; a gang of outlaws calling themselves 'The Cowboys' break up a Mexican wedding in a small town, ruthlessly killing nearly all the men, including village priest Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (son of the legendary Western actor), in a scene reminiscent of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Led by two of Hollywood's flashiest character actors, swaggering Powers Boothe, and coldly psychotic Michael Biehn (playing Johnny Ringo), the presence of such pure evil sets the stage for the Earps' arrival in Tombstone.
A powerful cast is essential for a great Western, and you couldn't find a better group of actors as the Earp brothers; Kurt Russell, chiseled, squinty-eyed, and razor-thin, is an ideal Wyatt; Sam Elliott, one of Hollywood's best Western actors, plays Virgil with a growl but a twinkle in his eye; and Bill Paxton, soon to achieve stardom in APOLLO 13 and TWISTER, makes a terrific Morgan. Then there is Val Kilmer, as Doc Holliday...While Dennis Quaid, in WYATT EARP, gave the most realistic portrayal of the dying dentist-turned-gambler/gunfighter ever recorded on film (he was superb), Kilmer, relying on bloodshot eyes, an ambiguous sexuality, and a Brando-esque line delivery, literally steals TOMBSTONE, and has become the 'Doc' everyone remembers. He is so charismatic that you nearly forget that the Earps are the focus of the story! Watch for his early scene confronting a shotgun-wielding (and chubby!) Billy Bob Thornton (three years before SLING BLADE), out to kill Wyatt, and you'll see my point.
The events leading up to the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral are clearly and decisively presented, from Wyatt's first meeting with future wife Josie (Dana Delany), to the murder of Tombstone's Marshal (Harry Carey, Jr., son of another legendary Western star, and a staple of many John Ford films), which leads to Virgil taking the badge and making his brothers (in Wyatt's case, reluctantly) deputies, to the friction with Ike Clanton (GODS AND GENERALS' Stephen Lang) that explodes into the short but bloody shootout that became legendary.
Where TOMBSTONE and WYATT EARP both excel is in presenting the aftermath of the gunfight. Unlike MY DARLING CLEMENTINE or GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, the true story doesn't tie up neatly with a happy ending at the Corral, but becomes darker and bloodier. The Earps are placed under house arrest, and after they are acquitted in court, friends of Clanton (in TOMBSTONE, Ringo and other Cowboys), cold-bloodedly murder Morgan and cripple Virgil. Wyatt explodes, and grimly sets about, with Holiday and a small band of gunmen, to execute every possible Clanton ally he can find ("You tell him I'm coming! And hell's coming with me!"). Becoming a wanted fugitive himself, he only stops his mission of vengeance long enough to take the ailing Holiday to a friend's cabin (Charlton Heston has a brief but memorable cameo as the rancher), but the gambler returns in time for the gunblazing climax of the film.
TOMBSTONE is the kind of Western that critics love to say aren't made anymore, a throwback to the golden days of Ford and Hawks, when Good and Evil were clearly defined. Director George P. Cosmatos grew up on those films, as well as those of Sergio Leone, and he said, of TOMBSTONE, that it was made to honor the Westerns he loved so much.
It is his love of the Western that makes TOMBSTONE a truly superior film!
I'll be damned." Really are the final words of John "Doc" Holliday. To this day, historians have debated on why Doc said that. The main theory is that Doc had become a gunfighter hoping that someone would kill him and spare him the effects of tuberculosis and that he was amazed that that the disease is what killed him: Not the drinking, gambling, or gunfighting
on July 5, 2004
This is probably the best telling of the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holliday saga I have ever seen. I have watched many movies about the legendary fight at the O.K. Corral, but none have been as enthralling as the characters in "Tombstone". Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer are more believable as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday than any other actors portraying those characters. The much praised John Ford Classic "My Darling Clementine" while a great movie, was riddled with inaccuracies even to the point of making Doc Holliday a surgeon rather than a dentist. "Tombstone" tried to stay as true to the actual characters as possible and in my opinion more than succeeded. On the heels of the slow, dragging Kevin Costner epic "Wyatt Earp", "Tombstone" is much faster paced and holds the viewers attention with drama, action and breathtaking scenery all the way to the tearjerking end. Well made movie that should hold it's own for a long time to come, I'm definately a fan.
on July 3, 2004
Val Kilmers performance as Doc Holliday should have gave him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1993.It was clearly the best performance to date of his carreer.Hollywood just seems to ignore and dismiss this type of movie. Kilmer steals the show from Kurt Russell,as Wyatt Earp.The powerful cast includes Micheal Biehn as Johnny Ringo, Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp, Stephan Lang as Ike Clanton, as well as Powers Booth, Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton,Michael Rooker, Billy Zane,Jason Priestley, and last but not least, Charlton Heston in a cameo appearance as rancher John Hooker.Again, Kilmer steals the show as Doc Holliday.His performance as a retired dentist that suffers from alcoholism and tuberculosis, is nothing less than masterful, first rate acting. Dennis Quaid played the same character in "Wyatt Earp" that came out about six months later, and this reviewer thinks his performance, while good, was not up to the same standard as Kilmer.There are many "one liners"that everone remembers and have become classic.A definite "must see" western that I would rate in the top five for all-time for this genre.
on June 7, 2004
This is a fun movie. Kurt Russell is dead-on as a wiley Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer steals every scene he appears in as Doc Holliday. Bill Paxton is good as Wyatt's brother Morgan. Is there anyone that looks better under a cowboy hat than Sam Elliot? He plays brother Virgil Earp. Not so much a true narrative as a series of vignettes featuring the above characters (with the centerpiece Shootout at the OK Corral) the film is nonetheless a very entertaining look at these characters. Powers Boothe is menacingly bad as Curly Bill, the leader of the outlaw Cowboys.
Kilmer's Doc Holliday, in particular, is a load of fun. "I'm your Huckleberry" he taunts Johnny Ringo, and although I have no idea where this saying originated, Kilmer repeats it in this film to entertaining effect. Later on he is asked why he sticks his neck out for Sheriff Earp. "Wyatt Earp is my friend", he replies simply. The other man scoffs "I've got LOTS of friends". "I don't" says Doc.
This is the kind of movie that perpetuates the "Legend of Wyatt Earp", but it's also the kind of movie that grown men still quote liberally with big smiles on their faces more than a decade after it's initial release.
on February 25, 2002
Don't get the wrong idea about that 2 star rating -- we LOVED the movie, have worn out two VHS copies. Have been waiting with excitement for the Director's Cut as we KNOW there are many, many minutes that never made it to the screen. Want to thank all of you who have reviewed it. Will NOT be purchasing it now as not particularly interested in all the trailers, interviews, map, etc. Can only hope now for a Special Edition release. We want all those clips that would fill in the missing pieces, make this a more cohesive film and enhance the characters. As to the movie itself ... it's right up there at the top of our BEST FILM list.
on February 3, 2014
I received the product, but the whole 'get it within the next 48 hours using Prime' was a bogus as one could endure. Days turned into well over a week and some.
The only reason I made the order was to get the products in time before I departed. I was actually delayed in going and still did not get some of the overall shipment, and what did arrive was a nightmare to actually get.
So ... Prime was a waste and I hate, Hate, HATE ... I LLOOOOOOOAAAATHHHHeeeeee UPS.
Otherwise, the products were as advertised.