60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all reviews etc here are BS
All comments and reviews on this film are about other versions of the movie. this includes the write-ups for the previous Kino Video release of this film, which is also for other crappy versions of this film. Epic fail, Amazon! The Kino versions are the only ones worth owning. As proof that the reviews on this particular item are crap, it has not even been released yet,...
Published on Oct. 12 2010 by Rondini
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the Kino DVD
If you're reading this, you doubtlessly know already that Metropolis is a magnificent classic of the silent era. No definitive version is available yet, they're all incomplete, but this DVD is especially atrocious. The picture quality is an insult to DVD technology. I just saw the theatrical release of Kino International's new restoration, and it's a beautiful,...
Published on Sept. 22 2002
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5.0 out of 5 stars So glad that I finally saw this "must-see.",
I'm not knowledgeable enough in cinema history and technique to give this film a just review, but I will mention a few things that touched me on a very personal, mental level.
The theme of mediation between hand and heart is genuinely touching, and it reminded me of Hegel's notion of synthesis as well as his master/slave dialectic. Not literally, of course, since in the film, the workers don't actually come to the conclusion that the results of their labor belong to them, and mediation is touted as being more desireable than conflict, but overall, I couldn't ignore the Hegelian implications the film depicted.
While reading 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand, though she described (at length, I must lament) what her fictional world consisted of, I could never really visualize it in any meaningful way. Well, 'Metropolis' has certainly shown me what Rand's ideal universe would be--a grand construct borne of a reigning ubermensch who lives on the backs, flesh, blood, and sweat of human cogs who are expected to gratefully "contribute" to the comfort and luxury of those more "rational" than they. Fortunately, 'Metropolis' does not force us to choose sides in this tale, and it decidedly refrains from proselytizing to its audience. We can completely sympathize with the workers and their plight, and their horrendous working conditions, their hapless melding with machine, is intolerable. But at the same time we witness the efficiency and splendor of Metropolis, and Frederson doesn't seem to be an evil man. It's obvious that he loves his son, and he can almost be seen as more of a workaholic and overachiever than anything else.
As others have mentioned, the film speed seems distorted in certain scenes, and I was unfortunately reminded of those humorous old "cops and robbers" chase scenes where everything is comically jerky and spastic. Not the most dignified cinematic imagery to say the least, but I tried my best to overlook it.
The special effects, sets, costuming and score are wonderful, and I haven't seen many silent films, so I can't compare the acting in 'Metropolis' to the acting in other silents, but I thoroughly enjoyed the work of every actor in this film, especially that of the woman who played Maria. Her Machine-Man was brilliantly creepy and diabolical, and I loved her facial expressions and body-language. And in regards to the sets and art, I couldn't believe the complexity and vitality of Metropolis. Countless incredible images can be found in this city, and even its macabre destruction was more the death of an organic entity than the mere crumbling of wire, steel, and asphalt.
There's no question in my mind why 'Metropolis' is considered one of the greatest films of all time, and it is such works of art as this that can so successfully evoke the tragedy of the human condition and then redeem it in one fell, glorious swoop. There's no reason not to see this movie, period.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Film Restored,
Though my experience with silent films is minimal, a youth spent as a science fiction buff introduced me to this film. I had seen bits and pieces of it growing up but had never sat down to watch the entire thing until I obtained this DVD. What an amazing experience! I am sorry I waited so long to see it. This film intertwines a love story, revenge story and social commentary with amazing special effects to create a powerful movie experience. Few movies today can achieve the kind of success that Lang was able to create over 70 years ago.
It is a bit sad to come across those moments in the film where text has to break in and explain what happens in footage that has been lost. (The intriguing character of "the thin man" has been almost entirely lost.) Still, the creators of this cut have done Lang yeoman's service. You have not seen Metropolis until you have seen this cut.
This DVD also contains an excellent documentary that details not only the making of Metropolis but the trends in the German arts that led to its creation. We also get information on Lang's career after Metropolis and the work done to restore the film. I highly recommend this DVD.
4.0 out of 5 stars The City Of Metropolis is alive again!,
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth collecting,
A couple of observations first, the quality of the film is excellent thanks to an assiduous remastering. Sound is good for the score (it is a silent movie after all), titles are the originals as printed, and the whole effort has been to recreate authentically a truncated masterpiece. I've seen a number of different prints of the film over the last twenty years, but the quality of this presentation is unbeaten. The only negatives are the scanty biographies of the principals, which any devotee would dismiss as insubstantial, and the failure to use some of the stills Moroder used back in 1986. There is at least one tracking shot in the Moroder colourised version, of the Hel sculpture (and that is spelt "Hel"), which has been left out of the Kino disk.It can be argued that using stills would only detract from the objective of re-creating as fully as possible the "moving picture" of Metropolis. A more fulsome extract of the original plot at the end would have been appreciated. There are a number of out of print books (by Ace SF and Lorrimer Classic Film Scripts) including the screenplay and the novelisation which could have been used for an explanatory synopsis.
These are minor misgivings, the disk recaptures the wonder of the original as much as possible. It is unlikely that any devotee could acquire a better record of this relic of the silent era. I can heartily recommend it, and hope all viewers experience the enjoyment I felt as a teenager going to a midnight showing in a seedy part of town of the renowned "Metropolis"...
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Accomplishment!,
Finally, I understand. I have never seen the movie the way it was intended!
The best part of this version is all the restored scenes! Granted, not all are even available any more, but I can finally follow the book.
The second best part is the score! What a great piece of music which was actually written for the film. In fact, much of the success of the restoration is due to the score, since the detailed cues and scene descriptions in the score gave the restorers a perfect, original overview upon which to base their work.
Last, but not least, the picture quality is miraculous. Watching the featurette concerning the restoration showed what meticulous care went into it. And it shows! Crisp Clear better- than-your-average-'50s movie with great care to retain the depth of the animated portions - while maintaining consistency throughout.
Kudos and Thank You for finally making the film come back to life!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Restoration,
5.0 out of 5 stars This re-release made me very happy...,
As for my feelings about Metropolis itself, I love this film. The heart mediation theme is touching and hopeful, and the characters of Freder and Maria are adorable. Additionally, the visuals are stunningly relevant to our postmodern sensibilities - the robot is chillingly beautiful...Yoshiwara is mysteriously exquisite...and the new Tower of Babel is simply gorgeous in an overdone, overbuilt urban way. The city visuals are very compelling, influencing our future-notions even today (remember Horizons at Walt Disney World? The future home of the 1920s? VERY Metropolis-looking!).
Particular scenes I love include Maria's flight throught the catacombs, with Rotwang's flashlight of evil (tm). The darkness, the shadows, the movement...everything conspired to make the scene undeniably frightening.
3.0 out of 5 stars "Restored" Yes, "Original" No,
This is basically the dilemma that presents itself to anyone who attempts to re-create METROPOLIS.
The "Restored Authorized Edition" is the umteenth release of a "version" of Thea von Harbou's and Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS. And, again it's a not the "original" release. It's someone else's idea (in this case Enno Patalas's) of what METROPOLIS was supposed to look and sound like in 1926/7. Still, the Patalas' version-- in stark contrast to other famous re-releases such as the Giorgio Moroder version released in the 1980's-- actually shows a more faithful adherence to the von Harbou/Lang vision and offers the viewer a closer approximation to what they intended. In comparison to the Patalas release, Moroder's version is nothing more than historically anecdotal. The color tinting and the grotesque, "modern" soundtrack Moroder added were totally inappropriate. Thankfully, the Patalas release avoids such self-aggrandizing vanities. On the very big plus side, the Patalas version uses the original Huppertz soundtrack.
Did these restorers have the presence of mind and the personal integrity to re-create METROPOLIS without diluting it, adding their own personal "stamp" on the restored version? Sadly no. Perhaps, someday someone will. Until then this is an enjoyable alternative. The process of "restoration" and transfer to DVD are not without their flaws, but given the fact that the orginial is nearly 80 years old, the copy is clean, crisp, and worthy of kudos.
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last,
A great chunk of METROPOLIS--perhaps as much a quarter of more--has been forever lost, but this Kino Video DVD release offers the single best version of the film available. The previously cut footage that still exists has been restored; gaps in the film have been bridged by the occasional use of stills and explanatory title cards; the film itself has been painstakingly and digitally restored; and the soundtrack is the Gottfried Huppertz original created for the film's 1927 Berlin debut. In seeing this version of METROPOLIS, I was struck by how very differently it reads from the previously available truncated version. The visual style and the story itself are much more exciting and cohesive, and in the wake of this restoration it becomes impossible to deny the film status as landmark of international cinema.
Freder Fredersen (Gustav Frohlich) is the son of Joh Fredersen (Alfred Able), who reigns over the great city of Metropolis. Freder is surprised to discover his lifestyle has been built on the unseen but backbreaking labor of an entire class of unseen workers who tend the machines that make the city run--and he descends to the subterranean levels of Metropolis in an effort to understand their lives... and, not incidentally, to find the mysterious but beautiful woman Maria (Brigitta Helm) who has inspired his interest in the workers' plight. But his father is concerned by both Freder's interest and Maria's activities among the workers, and he turns to scientist C.A. Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) for aid. Rotwang has created a robot, and he agrees to give it the likeness of Maria in order to undermine both Freder's love for the girl and her own activities. But Rotwang has a hidden agenda of his own: once the robot has been unleashed, he will use her to destroy Metropolis and thereby exact revenge on Joh Fredersen for past transgressions against him.
In many respects the story is simplistic, but the film's visual style and connotations are anything but. Deeply influenced by such art movements as Expressionism, Objectivism, Art Deco, and Bauhaus, the film is visually fascinating--not only in its scenic designs, but in director Lang's famous skill at creating the powerful crowd scenes that dominate the film and building the pace and tension of the film as it moves toward an intense climax. But while one can--and many do--admire the film purely at this level, there is quite a lot going on in terms of philosophical content as well: while it offers few viable solutions, the film raises such issues as the relationship between capital and labor, the place of religion in modern society, human reaction to overwhelming technology, and (perhaps most interestingly) the drift of government into a class-conscious corporate entity. And religious motifs abound in the film: a largely deserted cathedral; Moloch; the Tower of Babel; and crosses--intriguingly juxtaposed with a repeating motif of the pentagram-like designs associated with the robot. It is fascinating stuff.
There has been complaint that this restoration runs at incorrect speed and the performances are therefore unnecessarily jerky. I did not find this to be the case. In certain instances the movement is deliberately jerky and mechanical--the workers are a case in point--but beyond this there is nothing for which the difference between silent acting and modern acting techniques cannot account. There has also been some complaint that the title cards should have been left in their original German and translated via subtitle. There is a certain validity to this, but it seems a minor quibble; title cards were typically translated in the silent era itself. The DVD includes a number of extras, including still photographs, biographies of the major figures involved in the film, and two interesting documentaries-one on the restoration process and one on the creation of the film itself. Both are interesting; the audio commentary track by film historian Enno Patalas, however, is mildly disappointing. But when all is said and done, it is the film that counts. And this restoration is a remarkable achievement, to say the least, a project which brings a great landmark of world cinema back from the edge of the abyss. Indispensible; a must-own.
--GFT (Amazon Reviewer)--
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Restored Classic By This Visionary Director,
Set around the year 2000 (though still remaining visionary), the sci-fi film employed a staggering cast of 37,383 and used creative, cutting-edge effects to tell the story of the city of Metropolis (originally inspired by the Manhattan skyline). Here, Utopia (filled with 'thinkers') is supported by the underground (filled with 'workers'). All is running smoothly until the workers - spurred on by an evil robot replica of their leader Maria - decide to revolt...
Approximately two hours long, the film is set to its original score (composed by Gottfried Huppertz), and this DVD edition has been painstakingly restored and digitally remastered to make it the closest version yet to the director's original cut. Bonus features include a nine-minute piece The Restoration on how various copies of the original film were gathered from around the world and restored to create this edition. It also includes The Metropolis Case, a fascinating 44-minute documentary on its making, that also puts it into a historical context.
Included is how Lang's overtly anti-Nazi film The Testament of Dr Mabuse (1933) had been banned by Joseph Goebbels yet he was later asked to direct propaganda films for Adolf Hitler. Lang explains in an interview how, when he was approached, left Germany the same day...
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The Complete Metropolis [Import] by Fritz Lang (DVD - 2010)
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