12/21/2014  
Dallas: The Complete Third And Final Season on DVD Jan 13Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Dallas: The Complete Third And Final Season on DVD Jan ...
Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can thin...
The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
THE MAGIC OF FLIGHT (BLU-RAY)...
JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES (BLU-RAY)...
A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: LOST KEATON



Studio: Kino International
Year: 1934-1937
Cast: Buster Keaton, Warren Hymer, Dorothy Dix, Leo Willis, Dorothy Sebastian, George Lewis, Myra Keaton, Joe Keaton, Louise Keaton, Bull Montana, Lona AndrČ, Jane Jones, Dorothea Kent, Vernon Dent, Broderick O'Farrell, Harold Goodwin, Diana Lewis, Marilyn Stuart, Grant Withers, Bud Jamison, Al St. John, Gloria Brewster, Barbara Brewster
Director: Charles Lamont, Mack Sennett, Raymond Kane, Al Christie
Release Date: July 06, 2010
Rating: Not Rated for (slapstick violence)
Run Time: 05h:07m:30s
Genre(s): comedy

The Girl Downstairs:So it's you. I might have known. You've not only annoyed me at work and on the street, but you're keeping me from sleeping.
Elmer: How about a little dinner and a show?
- Diana Lewis, Buster Keaton in Grand Slam Opera

LOST KEATON

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
  

Fans of Buster Keaton can rejoice, for Kino has brought to DVD all 16 of the rarely-seen short films Buster Keaton made for Educational Pictures in the mid-1930s. Despite the studio's name, there's nothing educational here, except lessons in comedy timing from the Great Stone Face himself.

Movie Grade: A+

DVD Grade: A+

Keaton had sunk to his lowest depths just before these films were made, after making some of the greatest comedies ever to grace the screen. In the wake of a nasty divorce from Natalie Talmadge, Keaton got a well-deserved reputation for being an unreliable drunk, and he was widely considered completely washed up by 1934. After making a few unsuccessful pictures in Europe, Keaton returned to America where he got a contract making short films for Earle W. Hammons' Educational Pictures, a studio that made Poverty Row look like Main Street USA. Filmed in a couple of days for a few dollars, these shorts did have the merit of allowing Keaton to do his thing with relative freedom from interference; as long as the films were finished quickly, cheaply and with a minimum of trouble, Educational didn't seem to have much to say about them. As a result, some of these shorts are a good deal better than Keaton's MGM films, which were subject to a good deal more studio interference.

The sixteen shorts cover a period of about three years, and inevitably we find Keaton borrowing from his silent-era work. The last picture repeats several gags from his first film, The Butcher Boy, made for Arbuckle in 1917. Some of the stories feel a little rote, with Keaton (invariably as a sad sack character named Elmer) competing with some wealthy oaf or good-looking socialite for the hand of the girl. Keaton was no longer a young man, so these plots stretch the patience a little, but he still makes do with what he has for scripts and decorates the barren spine of the tale with plenty of comic gems. The ridiculousness of his situation is pointed up in Three on a Limb, in which Keaton is dressed in a ludicrous Boy Scout uniform while he tries to impress the ladies. In the first short, The Gold Ghost (1934), a particularly fine sight gag about a game of cards with an incredibly dusty deck isn't germane at all to the story but it definitely inspires plenty of laughter.

The best pictures in the set are those that reflect Keaton's own interests: One Run Elmer, which centers on a local baseball game featuring many stunts culled from the charity Hollywood baseball games Keaton helped arrange. Grand Slam Opera is one of the best in the set, showing off Keaton's skills as a juggler and a dancer (he even does a Fred Astaire impression). Several themes are repeated, such as the demolition of houses, and the pursuit of the female. But there's never a sense of being repetitive, even when the shorts are seen together in short order. Given his background in silent comedy, it should be no surprise that there's not a lot of humor derived from the dialogue and the best segments are almost entirely silent. These include the baseball game in One Run Elmer and long sections of Blue Blazes, among others. The war of dialogue and silent comedy is at its best in Grand Slam Opera, as Keaton absurdly tries to be a juggler on a radio show.

The supporting casts are frequently of interest; Dorothy Sebastian, who co-starred with Keaton in Spite Marriage some years before, makes an appearance here shortly before her retirement. Keaton's family makes two appearances, with their line delivery in Palooka from Paduch being particularly painful. Clearly their old vaudeville act wasn't dependent on credible recitation of dialogue (primarily it consisted of Father Joe Keaton hurling young Buster around the stage). Bud Jamison and Vernon Dent, who would be foils for the Three Stooges, make prominent appearances here, as does Keaton's old co-star in the Arbuckle comedies, Al St. John (who would go on to be a western sidekick in 1937, the same year as his appearance here in Love Nest on Wheels). Even Mack Sennett of Keystone Kops fame gets into the act as director of The Timid Young Man.

Video & Audio: As orphan films, these shorts are predictably not in the best of condition. There are a number of tears and jumps that indicate significant chunks missing (most noticeable in Allez Oop, from which there's clearly a substantial piece missing since we go immediately from Buster having lost his tickets to the circus, to being at the circus with the love interest (Sebastian). Beyond that, however, these are reasonably attractive prints with modest speckling. Greyscale is excellent, since these are fine-grain or early generation prints from Keaton's own collection for the most part. The audio is pretty noisy and hissy, with the dialogue nearly getting drowned out at times. But absent a major restoration effort, this is about as good as these pictures are likely to get.

Extras: There's not a lot here, although David McLeod provides substantial notes on each of the films (though he seems to be unaware that the final gag in Ditto is a reference to the Dionne Quintuplets). Disc 1 includes a small photo and poster gallery with about two dozen images. Why They Call Him Buster is a short selection of pratfalls from these pictures set to music. But the star of the show is Keaton himself, and this set is sure to be a treasure for any fan of Buster.

Posted by: Mark Zimmer - August 5, 2010, 5:50 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: keaton, educational pictures, slapstick, sennett, keystone




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, television, stephen colbert, final show, kareem abdul-jabar, jj abrams, alan alda, christiane amanpour, many more, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store