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Being There [Blu-ray]
Being There
Actor: Peter Sellers
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG     2009     2hr 10min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/03/2009 Run time: 130 minutes


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Movie Details

Actor: Peter Sellers
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Satire, Peter Sellers, Love & Romance
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 02/03/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 10min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Deluxe Edition? Bluff package!
coma | berlin | 05/20/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I don't intend to question the movie, which is excellent indeed. My rating is based on the fact, that this so-called "Deluxe Edition" is only a hoax, a bluff package.

The only bonus material are the recollections of Melvyn Douglas' granddaughter (16 minutes runtime, intercut with scenes from the movie) and the trailer.

Sorry, that's not luxurious, but simply ridiculous. Thanks Warner Bros. for another rip-off."
Great film; mediocre Blu-ray
nathan | Singapore | 02/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a comedy classic. It is arguably the best film about television ever made. And it is clearly the best film about "the suit makes the man" to the extreme.

And it looks better than it ever has before.

But it could look better. Black levels are poor, with murky grays everywhere, and noise reduction has been over-used. One professional review notes: "the studio applied some aggressive Digital Noise Reduction. The problem is quite severe in some scenes, especially the opening. Film grain freezes in place while the action of the scene moves around it. Detail is mushy, and objects smear when in motion."

The sound is good. You really get the clear-but-clanky presentation of the TV shows that form the backgroun or foreground of many scenes. But beware, for some bizarre reason, the default soundtrack is not the lossless track, but the DD1.0 track. Whose silly idea was that?"
Great movie, blu-ray transfer so-so
YetAnotherITGuy | Central Texas | 09/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Great movie. Peter Sellers delivers an outstanding performance. The comedy is muted; the movie goes from being serious and thoughtful to screamingly funny (the "bear rug" scene with Shirley MacLaine for example).

Regarding the blu-ray -- I found the digital transfer lacking. Specifically contrast, depth and detail (edge sharpness). The picture had a muted, washed out, grainy look to it that was, while better than DVD, not up to the level I've seen with transfers of other movies which are much older. One reviewer here mentioned excessive use of DNR -- I'm wondering if perhaps the master they had to work with was degraded and required serious work to make it presentable. Whatever, I am not an expert, just giving my lay impressions.

Despite the lackluster video quality, still a great movie to own."
Beautiful and Thoughtful
Karen Joan | Texas | 07/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"BEING THERE is a wonderful film; simple, quiet, and extremely though provoking. One of Peter Sellers' final and, perhaps, best performances, the role of Chance the gardener is a huge departure from the typical, over-the-top, slapstick comedic roles for which he is so well known and loved. An amazing mixture of political satire, social commentary, and Biblical metaphor, BEING THERE is strangely prophetic and very relevant to our own current political drama.

In BEING THERE, we meet Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers), a mentally handicapped man who has learned everything he knows from TV and has had no other interaction with the outside world. Chance appears to have been born in the garden, and has never been outsides its walls. When his employer, the Old Man, dies, Chance is thrown into the real world. Chance's initial interactions with the outside world are very innocent, simplistic, and very literal. When the wife (Shirley MacLaine) of a wealthy power broker (Melvyn Douglas) accidently hits Chance with her car, he finds himself mingling with the rich and famous. To Chance, these are just people, people whose kindnesses and words he takes at face value. Yet these people believe that Chance is great man and a great scholar; they believe that his simple observations about plants are rich metaphors for life, business, and politics. Chance becomes a valued and well known advisor to the rich and famous, to the country, and to the world.

While Peter Sellers is always fun, in BEING THERE the humor is more muted and subtle. BEING THERE is a successful mockery of political conceit and the effects of seeing what you want to see. The character of Chance is a mirror; the people who go to him for advice see what they want to see - what they NEED to see - whether the subject is political, business, or just plain life. To me, BEING THERE is a new, updated version of the old fable The Emperor's New Clothes.

Peter Sellers is outstanding in this, his penultimate role. His performance is subtle, calm, and nuanced to near perfection. He makes you want to laugh, to cry, and to just plain hope. Shirley MacLaine as a woman looking for love and Melvyn Douglas as her dying, powerful husband are both superb. In fact the entire cast does a marvelous job.

As previously stated, BEING THERE is thoughtful, understated film, brilliant in its simplicity. The finale of the film is a subject of much debate, but like Chance, himself, I think the ending is what you want it to be. However, if you take the metaphors of the Old Man, the Garden, etc, to their natural conclusion, the meaning of the ending is quite clear. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.