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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of Africa (blu ray) Universal 100th Anniversary Edition...vast improvement over 2010 BD release.
VIDEO:

This Universal 100th Anniversary Edition release of Out Of Africa arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.85:1 encode. Universal's ground-up restoration and subsequent transfer represents a significant improvement over its previously released BD in 2010. Colours have been fine-tuned and primed to perfection. Skin tones are natural. Black levels are...
Published on April 1 2012 by Dr. Joseph Lee

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars An Epic with blemishes
This is indeed a beautiful movie. I saw it for the first time last night and its comparable to 'The English Patient' in more ways than one. Undeniably, it is Meryl Streep who holds the film together, as the supporting cast does her no favors. The direction is superb and the background score is very captivating. Universals' DVD presentation of the film is commendable,...
Published on July 3 2003 by Marc Cabir Davis


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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, adult romance. Beautiful DVD., Feb. 19 2003
This movie puts Isak Dinesen's "Out of Africa" up on the screen, and for my money it is the finest filmed version of a book ever done. The reasons for this do not come from Sydney Pollack's vision of the book being "faithful" exactly (although it is pretty faithful). It is more that he perfectly captured the feel of Dinesen's Africa. The characters in the movie are all based on real people, primarily Isak Denisen (real name Karen Blixen), her husband Bror Blixen, and Denys Finch Hatton. Suffice to say that Meryl Streep, Klaus Maria Brandauer, and Robert Redford all give great performances. In real life both Hatton and Blixen were great white hunters who, despite sleeping with one another's wives and acquaintances, (including aviator Beryl Markham) somehow remained good friends. For me, despite great, intelligent acting from Streep and Brandauer, this is a Robert Redford film. Redford's intense, understated style was never put to better use (Pollack always seemed to know the best use for this actor) and it is a pleasure to watch the way he says so little, but you can see a rich, internal life happening all the time. Plus, it is a kind of kick to see Redford, a staunch conservationist and liberal, playing a great, white hunter in end-of-Empire Africa. Finally, if you own this film on VHS, it is worth going for the DVD. It is simply beautiful looking.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Life In Kenya, Jan. 8 2003
Sydney Pollack's 1985 film Out of Africa is a beautifully filmed epic of the true-life story of Karen Blixen-Finecke. Blixen moves from her native Denmark to Kenya to marry and live with the Baron Blixen-Finecke. At first she is wary and unhappy with her new home, but eventually, she comes to love the land and its people. Along the way she must deal with her unfaithful and she herself starts a relationship with a dashing Englishman, Denys Finch Hatton. The romantic relationships are just minor subplots to the film's overall theme of Blixen finding her own place in the world and one that would lead her to become a writer (the film is based on her own book of the same name). Meryl Streep is winning as Blixen and shows why she is such a great actress. She is a true chameleon as she adopts a completely credible Danish accent and tone. No one can mold their voice like Ms. Streep can. On the flipside, Robert Redford plays Hatton with an English accent that fades in and out. It's tough to believe him as an Englishmen because he has the quintessential All-American look. Klaus Maria Brandauer is excellent as the smarmy Baron. The movie is lushly filmed and the cinematography is in places, breathtaking. Mr. Pollack uses the grand African Plains to perfection and this helps as the film tends to drag in places. The movie swept the 1985 Academy Awards, winning seven Oscars including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Romantic Movies Ever Made!, Aug. 5 2002
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
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This is undoubtedly one of the finest movies made over the last twenty years or so. Both Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are absolutely terrific in playing star-crossed lovers who are also intellectual soul mates in what has to be one of the greatest and yet saddest of all movie love affairs. This is a dramatization culled from the memoirs written by Isak Dinesen about her fateful decision to leave her comfortable but boring life in Scandinavia behind in favor of a much more dangerous and adventurous try at a new life as a married woman in Africa. Blowing her inheritance trying to support her philandering new husband's ill-advised business ventures, she falls in love with the land, the people, and the times. Indeed, out of Africa comes the experience of a young lifetime.
In fact, the topography of Africa provides the perfect background and the most splendid of opportunities for her to live her life on her own terms, out of the long and suffocating shadow of family and social convention. And the journey taken by Karen Blixen is a long, joyous, and eventful one, a trip that literally takes her breath away with its rich, varied, and enriching experiences. Yet all this adventure has its cost in pain and suffering, and her growth into a woman of substance who eventually finds her way into a dreamy intellectual played so well by Redford also fates her to become a woman bereft of that that means most to her; her lover, her farm, and her place in Africa itself.
This is a lovely film, one that capitalizes by using the dramatic and primitive backdrop of wild Africa in painting a period piece that is unparalleled in its graphic portrayal of life on the very edges of civilization in an epochal time of Africa's evolution to modernity. The cinematography alone is worth the price of the DVD, for anyone who loves nature will recognize Redford's steady hand in influencing the way the fragile yet exquisite sub-Saharan environment is depicted. I have seen the movie a number of times, and each time come away with a renewed sense of how fragile and wondrous the ecology of this part of Africa is. This is a wonderful movie I can heartily recommend. Enjoy
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5.0 out of 5 stars My absolute favorite movie of all time !, June 18 2002
By 
"usamom" (Wichita Falls, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This story would touch your heart, even if it wasn't based on true life events. The breath taking scenery and beautiful music are rival to Dances With Wolves.
Meryl Streep gives another great performance in her role as Karen Blixen, a woman who just can't seem to get a break in life. Set in the early 1900's, she deservingly earns respect from the native and foreign citizens (including the men) - unheard of at that time.
Robert Redford is definitely the handsome leading man once again. Despite great resistence from Blixen, Denys finally wins her heart but refuses to "commit" the way she wants him to. This ultimately ends the romance but not the love affair.
Several years ago, I taped the "uncut, director's version" of Out of Africa. There are several important scenes I've been unable to find elsewhere, including the Collector's Edition DVD. They develop intricate relationships with several other main characters. If you ever see that version, you'll know what I mean.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deserving of all seven Oscars!, May 11 2002
By 
Bert McCarthy "Mystic Road Warrior" (Santa Rosa, CA) - See all my reviews
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Several false starts over the years in attempting to put this challenging story on the screen finally led to Sydney Pollock's masterly production in 1985. Previously, screen-writers had great difficulty connecting the dots of this highly anecdotal and wide-ranging, subtle story.
If Pollock had done nothing else in his career, this great accomplishment alone would make him a towering figure in his field. The DVD features an extensive commentary wherein he provides us with a wealth of enriching material describing the full story of the production. This commentary alone is probably worth the price of the DVD. We learn of Pollack's collaboration with the great John Barry, resulting in what is undeniably one of the most lush and romantic soundtracks to date. We also learn of the difficulties of dealing with lions, hippos, water buffaloes -- and African microbes!
Pollack provides a fascinating and lengthy explanation of meeting the challenges of photography at high altitudes near the Equator, where the light is impossibly bright and therefore harsh. He speaks in detail about the wonderful sets and spectacular costumes.
He highlights the incredible courage and versatility of Meryl Streep (three "lion scenes" - no digital magic in 1985!) How is it possible that our greatest actress has only one Best Actress Oscar? Meryl provides commentary (as do John Barry and Karen Blixen's able biographer, Judith Thompson).
And, yes, Robert Redford's "American accent" is discussed, and it is hoped that others' silly quibbles about this entirely trivial point can be laid to rest. Redford is magnificent, as usual. The supporting cast is superlative as well.
As is the case with "The English Patient," which is the obvious comparison film, "Out of Africa" is populated with characters that one would love to have over for dinner: they are very "real", unfailingly charming and intelligent.
The film is shot on location in Kenya, and, if one can take one's eyes off Streep and Redford, the vistas are unparalleled.
I must insist that this film is truly one of the Great Ones.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the movie, but learn the history, Jan. 14 2002
"Out of Africa" has lots to admire; clearly director Sydney Pollack knows what he's doing, and the acting of Meryl Streep, as Karen Blixen, and Klaus Maria Brandauer, as her husband, is excellent. The African landscape is beautifully rendered in David Watkin's cinematography and complimented by John Barry's music. Kenya's colonial past is well evoked in this production. However, on the other hand: Robert Redford is nowhere near believable. Remember he is supposed to be playing Denys Finch Hatton, someone who was born and raised in England and educated at Eton and Oxford. Compared to Streep's efforts Redford seems to be just walking through this role. As it becomes clear that Finch Hatton and Blixen have different ideas about what course their relationship should take, some of the dialogue between their characters is very hard to take, falling just short of laughably ridiculous. Finally, it's hard for a thinking person not to see "Out of Africa" as an apology for European colonization of Africa. Like the way the romance and nostalgia of "Gone with the Wind" quickly whither when you stop to think that it is the harsh reality of slavery that makes possible the good life at Tara, so it is with Blixen's farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. Her comforts come at the price of dispossessed Kikuyu, who work as laborers on land they once owned. True, Blixen gave "her" Kikuyu some medicine, and she gave "her" Kikuyu children a school (i.e., a shack that would fit between the couches in her living room), which is probably more than other European settlers did. But is it right that she should refer to any people as "her" Africans? It's impossible to get around the fact that in colonial times the Europeans took the Africans' land, crowded them into designated areas, and exploited their labor. Enjoy the movie, but make an effort to learn the history.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Abusive to Karen Blixen, Jan. 9 2002
By A Customer
This movie's opening scenes of colonial East Africa are lovely, but over the years when I try to watch this film again I never get past the middle. I've finally decided that the Robert Redford part of the story is boring. Redford plays the same character in every film. His character is perfect, and he spends the movie explaining to his female counterpart what is wrong with her and how she can become a better person.
I'm surprised that no academic has analyzed this film as abusive to Karen Blixen. She (never Redford) is made to look ridiculous in many scenes. Her fear of lions was invented for the movie; the real Karen Blixen was unafraid of lions, as her letters show. Starting a school for the Africans on her farm came as a request from the Governor of Kenya, yet she is mocked for this in the film. She is belittled for missing her husband when he goes hunting, she is fabricated as getting lost and needing Finch Hatton's compass, she is criticized for making a scene about getting land for "her Africans" (a misinterpretation of the language of her time), and she is made to look as if Finch Hatton gave her the idea to begin writing--a lie.
It seems to me that the men who made this movie fictionalized a true story as a vehicle for their prejudices.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Abusive to Karen Blixen, Jan. 9 2002
By A Customer
This movie's opening scenes of colonial East Africa are lovely, but over the years when I try to watch this film again I never get past the middle. I've finally decided that the Robert Redford part of the story is boring. Redford plays the same character in every film. His character is perfect, and he spends the movie explaining to his female counterpart what is wrong with her and how she can become a better person.
I'm surprised that no academic has analyzed this film as abusive to Karen Blixen as a woman. Karen Blixen (never Redford) is made to look ridiculous in many scenes. Her fear of lions was invented for the movie; the real Karen Blixen was unafraid of lions, as her letters show. Starting a school for the Africans on her farm came as a request from the Governor of Kenya, yet she is mocked for this in the film. She is belittled for missing her husband when he goes hunting, she is fabricated as getting lost and needing Finch Hatton's compass, she is criticized for making a scene about getting land for "her Africans" (a misinterpretation of the language of her time), and she is made to look as if Finch Hatton gave her the idea to begin writing--an annoying lie.
It seems to me that the men who made this movie fictionalized a true story as a vehicle for their prejudices.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The romance with Africa as well as the romance with the man, Sept. 16 2001
By 
Linda Linguvic (New York City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out of Africa (VHS Tape)
I saw this film when it first came out in 1985. It was a romance set in Africa and starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. At the time, I thought it was two long and couldn't understand how it won seven academy awards. Well, time marches on. I read "Out of Africa" and "Shadows on the Grass" just a few weeks ago and loved them, and knew that I had to see the video through fresh eyes. When I saw that it would be a full two hours and 41 minutes, I must say I was a little put off. I've been known to fall asleep during boring videos. But I decided to take a chance. I sure was in for a surprise, because not only did I stay awake throughout, I also enjoyed it completely.
The film is based on several works of Karen Blixen, who wrote under the pen name of Isak Dinesen after she returned to Denmark from Kenya in the 1930s. In Africa, she had a loveless marriage to a cousin, a coffee farm that failed, and lived through WW1 there and the resultant changes it brought. In the book she didn't go into any detail about her relationship with the Robert Redford character, Denys, except to talk about how he stayed at her house and the way he loved hunting and flying a plane. It was in her other writings that she described their romance, which is the focus of the film.
Meryl Streep is a fine actress and was excellent in the role, and the director, Sydney Pollack did a wonderful job of evoking the essence of the Africa that Karen Blixen knew. Robert Redford is a good looking man, but he can't do an English accent or stop being Robert Redford, and I never really understood what made him tick. The film was more than just about their romance though. It was about Ms. Blixen's romance with Africa and that is where the beauty came in. I recently read a book entitled "Rules of the Wild" by Francesca Marciano, about modern white Kenyans, and how they romanticize Ms. Blixen's experiences, watching the video "Out of Africa" over and over and deploring that the farm that was so dear to her heart is now a shopping mall.
It's too bad this film didn't go into more detail about the Africans as there was a lot in the book that could have been included. But the Hollywood writer opted for the romance between Streep and Redford instead. I let myself relax though, enjoying the film for what it was, letting myself learn about her relationships with the men in her life, which were only hinted at in the book. Quickly, I found myself identifying with her as a woman. And I now well understand why the film was such a success. It brought me right into a world that doesn't exist any more. And let me experience the person that was Karen Blixen. I therefore do recommend this video. It might be long, but it needed all this time to tell its story. Coming from me, that's a big compliment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD!, April 2 2001
By 
This is a great movie and a great DVD. Like most collector's edition DVDs from Universal, this DVD has an original documentary that is just AWESOME! It runs about 50 minutes and narrates the story of the real life Karen Blixen and how they adapted it for the movie. It features the director, Sydney Pollack, the composer, John Barry, Meryl Streep, and a Karen Blixen biographer. It doesn't go into much "behind the scenes" type footage (for which I'm glad) but instead tries to tell the story of Blixen, with input from the director, Meryl Streep, and the biographer. I especially liked how many excerpts from her actual writings are narrated throughout the documentary. There are also old photographs of Karen Blixen, the other major characters (mostly of Dennys and the people who worked on her farm), and the farm. And amazingly, they have video footage, taken recently it seems, of the real life boy who had the injured foot she took care of!
The DVD also has a "funny" trailer full of 80s synthesizer music, some cast/crew bios, production notes, and audio commentary by Sydney Pollack. But overall, this documentary is the real highlight of this DVD. It is really awesome and is definitely a must have for any Out of Africa fan.
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Out of Africa [Blu-ray]
Out of Africa [Blu-ray] by Meryl Streep (Blu-ray - 2010)
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