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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deerhunter (blu ray)...Winner of 5 Academy Awards, plus a beautiful Love Theme (Cavatina) by John Williams
VIDEO:

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...
Published on March 8 2012 by Dr. Joseph Lee

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars In a way... i haven't seen this film yet
I haven't seen this film... but i like the reviewer that talked about Casino instead of The Deer Hunter... i gave this 3 stars, cause its average... i did see the film, but i was too dumb at the time to understand it, so i will see it again and probably change my rating... looks good though.
Published on April 24 2004 by Joe Fino


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deerhunter (blu ray)...Winner of 5 Academy Awards, plus a beautiful Love Theme (Cavatina) by John Williams, March 8 2012
By 
Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (#1 HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Deer Hunter (1978) [Blu-ray + DVD] (Sous-titres français) (Blu-ray)
VIDEO:

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)

AUDIO:

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. (Music 5/5)

AWARDS:

Winners of 1979 Academy Awards:

Best Picture:
Barry Spikings
Michael Deeley
Michael Cimino
John Peverall

Best Director:
Michael Cimino

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christopher Walken

Best Film Editing:
Peter Zinner

Best Sound:
Richard Portman
William L. McCaughey
Aaron Rochin
C. Darin Knight

Nominations for Academy Award:

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Robert De Niro

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Meryl Streep

Best Cinematography:
Vilmos Zsigmond

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Michael Cimino (story)
Deric Washburn (screenplay/story)
Louis Garfinkle (story)
Quinn K. Redeker (story)

TRIVIA & GOOFS:

Director Michael Cimino convinced Christopher Walken to spit in Michael's face. When Walken actually did it, Robert De Niro was completely shocked, as evidenced by his reaction. In fact, De Niro was so furious about it he nearly left the set. Cimino later said of Walken, "He's got courage!"

The deer which Michael allows to get away was actually an elk - the same one often used on commercials for Hartford Insurance. The crew had a very difficult time trying to get the elk to look at them, as it was apparently used to various noises; it finally looked at them when someone in the crew yawned.

John Cazale was very weak when filming began, and for this reason, his scenes were filmed first. Michael Cimino knew from the start that Cazale was dying from cancer, but the studio did not. When they found out, they wanted to replace Cazale. When Meryl Streep learned of their intentions, she threatened to quit if they did. Cazale died shortly after filming was completed.

During some of the Russian Roulette scenes, a live round was put into the gun to heighten the actors' tension. This was Robert De Niro's suggestion. It was checked, however, to make sure the bullet was not in the chamber before the trigger was pulled.

The wedding sequences were filmed in the summer, but were set in the fall. To accomplish a look of fall, leaves were removed from trees and painted orange. They were then reattached to the trees.

The deer hunting scene was actually shot in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The mountain shown in the background is Mount Baker.

Cavatina was first written for a film called The Walking Stick. Stanley Myers then wrote the whole piece and much later it was used as the theme to the movie The Deer Hunter. And the rest is history.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Deer Hunter is a classic war film that chronicles with unflinching realism the horrors of battle and the mental and physical toll combat exacts on both the soldiers who fight and the loved ones they leave behind. This US blu ray version is superior to the UK version, and definitely much better than the previous DVD release. To listen to John Williams (not the Star Wars guy) playing the haunting and beautiful Cavatina is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.

Finally, I do not understand why Amazon.ca would put the "old" reviews for the DVD version of the movie in the blu ray section. This is very confusing for all the readers. So, look at the date of the review before you read further, so that you do not waste your valuable time. I hope this point and the above review are helpful to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes You Can Never Go Home, July 11 2004
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
Director Michael Cimino made this masterpiece and it seems to have drained all his talent, as he followed it up with the legendary "Heaven's Gate". Put that aside, as this is a riveting and thorough examination of a group of small town Pennsylvania steel workers that go to Vietnam with varying end results. Michael (Robert DeNiro), Steven (John Savage) and Nick (Christopher Walken) are the best of buddies that regularly go deer hunting and bar hopping. The first hour of the film dives deeply into the personal aspects of each characters personality and make-up, including a long wedding scene that is preciously real. Suddenly the film turns from American normalcy to the horrors of the war. All three men are prisoners of war in hellish conditions, forced to take part in a cruel and devastating game of Russian roulette with their captors. The scenes of war are brief but to the point. It is pure madness and although the men 'survive', they are in differing states of change. The final act shows Michael desperate to get Steven back into the real world, but his biggest challenge is to rescue Nick, who, severely disturbed by his ordeal, has stayed back in Vietnam. The last scene with DeNiro and Walken is nerve wracking and heart-breaking. The ending is unforgettable. This is the kind of film that rarely comes along - the kind of movie that makes you feel like you are there. Trivia: The Pennsylvania mountains scenes are beautifully filmed, but it's painfully obvious it's the Cascades of Washington.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A movie every American should own, May 21 2013
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This review is from: The Deer Hunter (1978) (DVD)
I have wanted to see this movie for a long time. It was heart wrenching to watch what these soldiers had to endure. The worst part of it was the way they were condemned by people like Jane Fonda and their country men. They fought for their country they didn't ask to go to this foreign place and endured incredible hard ships and were spit on when they came home. I think they should show this movie in schools and we should never forget how these veterans were treated. Excellent movie.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie - EVER!, Nov. 5 2011
By 
H. Boehm "Hopebo" (Ennismore, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
I have seen a lot of movies but this movie is the best - young Christopher Walken and a yummy Robert Deniro, Meryl Streep is young and beautiful. My favourite movie of all time!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some part of the film might seem like fillers but it gives great intensity, Aug. 16 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A good number of viewers believe that "The Deer Hunter" is overlong and a bit overrated, probably due to a handful of scenes, but beside that its an important film that was the first commentary on the topic of Vietnam. It wouldn't have worked nearly as powerfully if the first hour been trimmed down a bit. It wasn't the director's attention because he meant to focus on "character development," base on the lives of three all-American friends, Niko (Christopher Walken), Michael (Robert DeNiro) and Steven (John Savage) through the affects of the war.

We have to sense the careless and frat-boy-like immaturity of these young men. That's why the scenes all revolve around frivolity and seemingly senseless boyish behavior; it creates such a stark contrast to the devastated characters of the three who went to war (and the relatively unaffected personalities of those who stayed behind, like Stanley). Although both De Niro and Walken have made a lot of great films after this movie, I have to say that this is one of their best movies in their career. They both give powerful performances and are the ones who were the best things about this movie. Both actors are at the top of their careers and were wonderful together.

Director-write Michael Cimino doesn't try to turn this into one of the goriest movies ever made. It's quite the opposite. Although there were a few bloody scenes throughout the movie (which I didn't mind), all of those scenes were done in a realistic portrayal of the war (or any of the other bloody scenes, such as the Russian Roulette scene at the end of the movie). Because of this, the movie doesn't become a disturbing war film, yet respectable.

"The Deer Hunter" is important film that wasn't done for nothing because it carries a strong message about life, death and love. It is a movie that should be experienced by everyone at least once, and if you like movies dealing with the Vietnam war several of them, like "Full Metal Jacket", "Platoon", and "Apocalypse Now," should also interest you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning accomplishment in modern American cinema, May 4 2004
By 
Derek Lipman (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
The Deer Hunter is a poignant, stunning achievement. It contains some of the most memorable performances in recent history. The story centers around a group of working class steelworkers and their girlfriends during the time of the Vietnam War. Three of the men leave for Vietnam, while their tightly knit group of friends stay home. The first act of the film chronicles the events leading up to the departure of De Niro (Michael), Nicky (Christopher Walken) and Steve (John Savage). There is a scene in the local bar where the pals gleefully sing Frankie Valli's Can't take my Eyes off you" in their excited anticipation of combat and their friend's wedding. The actual Vietnam scenes are brief, yet there is one harrowing, controversial scene where a group of Viet-Cong supporters use captive American and South Vietnamese soldiers as sacrificial lambs in a game of Russian Roulette. This scene exhibits perhaps the best acting of De Niro's career. He and Walken are at the bring of death. This scene is so intense, so calculated you actually feel you are sitting in the ramshackle hut on the Mekong Delta.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars russian roulette, July 10 2004
This review is from: Deer Hunter, the (VHS Tape)
this movie is about 4 buddies who get shipped to nam and really showcases the horrors of war.this is not for children.even big kids could get messed up with this one.the only people iknow who really like it are marines.in it,the captured are forced to play russian roulette while the gooks bet on the outcome.i think it is a very emotional movie and also very intense.there is a sequel called deer slayer but ive never sen it.the movie is very long.it is the 2nd best nam movie ever!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Long wait for one shot, but worth it., July 6 2004
By 
M. Buisman (Amstelveen, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
The Deerhunter is ranked among the best movies ever made about Vietnam and deservedly so. There are almost no war scenes, only scenes about the friendship of 5 mine, three of them going to Vietnam.
While serving they are made POW and have to play in the sick Vietcong game of Russian Roulette. One (De Niro) has least trouble, the other is physically altered for life, the other (Walken) mentally.
It's a little long, almost three hours. Some of the scenes, especially in the beginning are a little long. Still it is a great movie, which has to be seen next to Platoon, Apocalypse Now and Full Mental Jacket.
The part played by Casale is interesting because it is his last before he died. He of course is also known as Fredo in the Godfather.
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5.0 out of 5 stars humanity, frailty, etc..., May 22 2004
By 
Gilman Gunn (allston, ma) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
This movie is about man and his inherant condition of weakness not rat-a-tat watch the GI's bleeed war. If you liked born on the 4th then you will probably like this.. very though provoking, doesn't pull punches. After watching this platoon seems soft "GI's are the best, they can take anything.." right right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Shakespeare, May 6 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Deer Hunter (Widescreen) (DVD)
This is my all time favorite movie. I have actually convinced people that this was the best movie they had ever seen, after they had told me otherwise. I won't try that here. ;)
On the surface this movie is about war. But the real subject of the movie is love. Isn't this a far more tragic love story than even Romeo and Juliet?
The hope, the fine line between life and death, the despair, the self-sacrifice, all come to a maddening climax in a scene that will be etched in your mind for the rest of your life.
Did I mention the acting?
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