05/04/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...
Ripa's return to 'Live!' is all smiles following Straha...
10 Juicy Lyrics From Beyonce's New Lemonade Album That ...
Prince's last days: What we know ...
Jason Bourne Trailer and Poster Released!...
Why I quit 'Game of Thrones'...
Stephen Colbert teaches Hillary Clinton the proper way ...
'Jungle Book' ensures it: Parade of Disney-classic rema...
Captain America: Civil War reactions ...





Microsoft Store

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

music, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, television, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, movie, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, hbo, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, melissa mccarthy, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, cannes film festival, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively, reality, the voice, alicia keys, miley cyrus, blake shelton, adam levine, marvel, georgia, gov. nathan deal, anti-gay, chad griffin, lollapalooza, chicago, red hot chili peppers, radiohead, lana del rey, ellie goulding, major lazer, dance competion, jodie sweetin, kim fields, sasha farber, paige van zandt, erin andrews, ariana grande, dangerous woman, a cappella, sxsw, drake, fader fort, know yourself, legend, energy, jumpman, hulk hogan, gawker, sex tape, florida jury, $15 million, melissa rauch, the big bang theory, the bronze, captain america: winter soldier star sebastian stan

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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