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4 items from 2009

Blu-ray Review: Howards End (Criterion Collection)

3 November 2009 3:30 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

My experience with Merchant/Ivory Productions is limited to say the least as Howards End now marks the second film of theirs I have seen, with A Room With a View being the other. While elegantly made, A Room With a View didn't move me that much, but I can say Howards End did a lot to squelch my fears it too would bore me more than engage me. Criterion brings Howards End to Blu-ray following their previous two-disc DVD release back in 2005, and while the only new feature is a video appreciation of the late producer Ismail Merchant by director James Ivory, this is a film ripe for high definition.

Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, Howards End takes a look at class divisions in Edwardian England and the inheritance of England by the working/lower class. The film centers on the well-to-do Wilcox family and the relationship »

- Brad Brevet

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Howards End: Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

29 October 2009 1:46 PM, PDT | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

With a 40-plus year run resulting in over 30 motion pictures, Merchant Ivory productions is best known for period pieces emphasizing award winning sets, cinematography and adapted screenplays. For my viewing preferences, these facets were rarely compelling enough to make a movie worth sitting all the way through such that the thought of taking in a back-to-back marathon of their catalog is not something I would wish upon an enemy. The independent film company did hit their stride in the early 1990's with the one-two punch of Howards End (1992) and Remains of the Day (1993) both starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. The former garnered Oscars for Best Actress (Thompson), Art/Set Design and Screenplay and is now brought to Blu-ray by Criterion.

Based on E. M. Forester's novel of the same name, Howards End is set against the backdrop of Edwardian England where two families highlight the clash of values within the decaying social system. »

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Howard’S End Criterion Blu-ray Review

27 October 2009 10:27 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

To American audiences, the late producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory are best known for their trio of E.M. Forster adaptations - which is telling for careers spanning 40 years and nearly 30 films together (almost all with writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala), making their Forster output roughly ten percent of their body of work. But then again, the names “Merchant and Ivory” are a sort of cinematic shorthand used to denote British films about boring people. My review of Howard’s End after the jump.

That’s not fair, it’s shorthand for particular literary works set at the turn of the century that depict the British class system in all of its repressive reputation, making it impossible for anyone to express their true feelings. To be fair, M&I’s Forster adaptations have been because of their most successful entries, with both A Room with a View and Howard’s »

- Andre Dellamorte

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Criterion's October Blu-ray Slate Includes Wings of Desire

18 July 2009 2:29 AM, PDT | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

Criterion has announced a trio of films that will join their Blu-ray Disc Criterion Collection with all new filmmaker approved high definition transfers this October. The first film, Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding, will be released on October 13 with 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio. A week later on October 20 will see the release of staff favorite Wings of Desire, also with 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio, and Howards End with Helena Bonham Carter and uncompressed 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. Complete disc specs for each release are as follows: Wings of Desire

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders Audio commentary featuring Wenders and actor Peter Falk The Angels Among Us (2003), a documentary featuring interviews with Wenders, Falk, actors Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander, writer Peter Handke, and composer Jürgen Knieper Excerpt from "Wim Wenders Berlin Jan. 87," an episode of the French television program Cinéma cinémas, including on-set footage Interview with »

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