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on March 25, 2004
...Everyone praises this movie, but no one can ever tell you why they liked it, unless it's to repeat Truffaut's opinion that Renoir's work is to be praised for having sympathy for every humanly possible point of view. But isn't that opinion contradicted by the fact that the movie is a social satire in which no character escapes looking like a fool? We root for Octave right up until the end, but in the end even he disappoints us.
Jean Renoir was the most philosophical of all filmmakers and this is probably his least accessible film. The film shows human society with cold detachment and no small amount of disgust. In it, people are cynical, bigotted, blind to the casual cruelty and murder upon which their civilization is built, and trying to fight off the boredom of their existences by pursuing one meaningless entertainment after another. All to no effect. They're all damned. And Renoir shows it all with a bloody and frightening irony that is worthy of Sophocles.
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on January 22, 2004
This is yet another fabulous DVD from the Criterion Collection. The packaging is neat: presented in a fold-out case enclosed within a blue plastic outer-shell. There's two disks in this set - the film itself and some extras, such as interviews and a BBC bio of Jean Renior's career as a filmmaker.
This classic film is a look at class divisions in France between the world wars. It's similar in style to the recent "Gosford Park" but with a whole lot more poignancy. Whereas Gosford looks back nostalgically, Rules of the Game does so with a judgemental vengence. There's a lot of passion behind this film, which is probably what initially scared most reviewers when the film first premiered.
Great movie - Great DVD
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on December 14, 2002
I watched this mov, knowing it was called a masterpiece, but guessing that it would be boring like all french films. How wrong I was! I actually liked the style, it almost looked like some american comedies from the 30's!
Well, the major importance of the mov is social critique and the behaviour in the best families of that time and Jean Renoir manages to it well. You see for instance the character of Marcel Dalio fighting with a guy then offering him a cigarette few moments later. Attention to the symbols of the hunt for the rabbits like it would be the party.
The mov simply doesn't hit me as some brit and american masterpieces. By the way, I found the actress who played Lisette very pretty too.
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“The Rules of The Game” is both a dramatic and enticing film about men and women from high French society who become involved in shocking exploits of their time. There ends up being more than one romantic affair that starts up during the events and the ending unfolds completely different than what is let on during the middle part of the film.
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on December 30, 2003
One of my favorite films. Intelligent? Yes. Effective social criticism? Yes. But most notably (and perhaps least appreciated), it is a film with a big heart. Renoir shows a fascination with and a fondness for the complexities and weaknesses and absurdities of human kind. Here he touches on the universal, making the film far more rewarding than what I expected from a 65 year old piece of "social criticism."
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on February 4, 2004
Great movie, great DVD. The reason it's expensive is because Criterion has to license the films they distribute and also because they put out some lesser known titles (compared to this relatively well known film, that is), thus the added cost. You really do get your money's worth and support a great company.
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on January 29, 2004
This is the best DVD release I have ever seen. The print quality is better than new, and the extras are endless. We are lucky that Criterion acquired this movie, which has been universally praised. If there were such a thing as a 'priceless' DVD, this would be it.
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on February 24, 2004
Beautiful packaging, very clear and stable transfer, nice bonuses/extras. It'll impress your friends... Don't forget Grand Illusion, also on Criterion!
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on May 21, 2004
When affluent Marquis Robert de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) hosts a party at his sprawling property, emotions run high. Guests include Robert's mistress Genevieve (Mila Parely) and pilot Andre Jurieu (Roland Toutain), who fancies Robert's wife, Christine (Nora Gregor). Meanwhile, Schumacher (Gaston Modot) is trying to keep Marceau (Julien Carette) from hitting on his wife (Paulette Dubost). All the while, the servants watch with great interest.
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on March 24, 2004
Here it is, in all its Criterion Collection Glory: La Regle du Jou, considered by critics worldwide as one of the greatest movies ever! Don't hold your breath, but this film is probably one of the most overrated in the history of cinema (along with Sunrise, Metropolis, or anything by Ron Howard). I challenge you to read all the glowing five star reviews and tell me what exactly it is that people like about this movie. Glowing generalities are usually a sign of people who are just mouthing what they were told to think. At least Renoir's Grand Illusion was mildly entertaining, this film doesn't even have that going for it. The funniest thing here is in the special features when a pompous Renoir blabbers on endlessly about how important this film was... he reminded me of Nigel from Spinal Tap.
Regarding the Criterion DVD, its good to see they are finally lowering their prices a bit, although its still not enough to make up for all the bad energy from their past rate hijackings. And the Criterion tradition is maintained here of very poor subtitle options (English only), which limits my ability to experience this film with foreign friends... I mean, really, how much would they have to spend to add Spanish subtitles on these discs? Isn't that the least they could do at these prices?
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