Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Buster Keaton Collection - 15 Shorts 5 Movies|
Actor: Buster Keaton
Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Reviewed on 3/15/2010...
I will only provide negative comments, because Buster is great, as anyone who has ever watched him knows.
First off, the music is unforgivably bad. Not only is it poorly selected but it is inappropriate to the scenes upon which it is overlain. They use several songs repeatedly and absolutely none of them are 'ole-timey' piano pieces of the early 20th century but classical pieces- though I love classical music slapstick is not meant to be so serious.
Secondly is the selection of movies. Two movies are from later in his career as bit parts and one 'the villain pursued her' is unwatchably bad. I mean it is Ed Wood bad. It is Mystery Science Theater bad. I would have been okay with 'a funny thing happened on the way to the forum' which is buster's last movie and is actually a funny movie but as it is it is a waste of space.
NOTABLY NOT INCLUDED: Convict 13, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr., and The Cameraman. Those four are unforgivably missing since their sum duration is less than the two other monstrosities - others which I don't like as much which are missing: The Navigator, College, Three Ages, et al.
Lastly is the editing of the movies. I have seen better versions elsewhere. The editpr sometimes cuts off parts of the tableaux and sometimes entire scenes.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great little package but it is ultimately unsatisfying because the collection is imperfect and the producers did a shoddy job.
Cara F. (dichten) from PRT WASHINGTN, WI
Reviewed on 10/25/2009...
While the music choice for the soundtrack to this package is way off at times, this remains a great sampling of Buster Keaton's work without the monumental price tag.
The greatest of them all -- Buster Keaton
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 08/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buster Keaton wrote and directed most of his two and three-reelers with Eddie Cline, who also appears in several of them (as Edward F. Cline). Keaton is considered one of the Big Three silent-era comedians, along with Harold Lloyd and Charles Chaplin.
Highlights of this marvelous three DVD set:
"The General" is a cinematic classic-- nothing less. This is a movie everyone should see. It's a great introduction to the silent film genre. Keaton's amazing acrobatic skills, his dead aim, pantomimic ability and expressive mannerisms have never been put to better use, or topped by anyone, anywhere.
"The Play House" is a most remarkable short. In the space of 20 minutes, Keaton manages to portray 20 different roles: he's the audience, actors, orchestra and a stagehand. A tour-de-force!
"Steamboat Bill Jr." contains Keaton's most dangerous stunt. A wall topples over and the stationary and upright Buster is positioned precisely so that he passes harmlessly through an open window, the wall landing on the ground around him. This was such a hazardous trick, half of the production crew walked off in protest rather than be witness to Keaton possibly getting killed by this plummeting object.
"Parlor, Bedroom & Bath" is a pre-code comedy that showcases Keaton's comedic talents in a speaking part. Also in this film is Cliff Edwards, who was once known as Ukulele Ike. Edwards' most famous role was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in PINOCCHIO. His recording of "When You Wish Upon a Star" won an Academy Award in 1941.
In "Li'l Abner," Keaton has a supporting role. In this one he's a dead ringer for Lonesome Polecat, the little Indian who brews Kickapoo Joy Juice in an enormous cast iron cauldron. The other actors here are also remarkable look-alikes who bring to life their comic strip characters. Although the script is slight, this is still a fun movie.
For more superb silent movie comedy, SMILES & SPECTACLES - The Harold Lloyd Treasury is just the thing!
Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings gathered at a film resource website.
(6.9) The Balloonatic (silent-1923) - BK/Phyllis Haver/Babe London (uncredited)
(7.2) The Blacksmith (silent-1922) - BK/Joe Roberts/Virginia Fox
(7.4) The Boat (silent-1921) - BK-- uncredited: Edward F. Cline/Sybil Seely
(8.0) Cops (silent-1922) - BK/Joe Roberts/Virginia Fox/Edward F. Cline
(7.2) Daydreams (silent-1922) - BK/Renée Adorée uncredited: Edward F. Cline/Joe Keaton/Joe Roberts
(7.4) The Electric House (silent-1922) - BK-- uncredited: Virginia Fox/Joe Keaton/Louise Keaton/Myra Keaton/Joe Roberts
(6.6) The Frozen North (silent-1922) - BK/Joe Roberts/Sybil Seely/Bonnie Hill
(8.1) The Goat (silent-1921) - BK/Virginia Fox/Joe Roberts/Malcolm St. Clair
(7.1) The Love Nest (silent-1923) - BK/Joe Roberts/Virginia Fox
(6.7) My Wife's Relations (silent-1922) - BK-- uncredited: Wheezer Dell/Monte Collins/Kate Price/Harry Madison
(8.3) One Week (silent-1920) - BK/Sybil Seely/Joe Roberts
(7.1) The Paleface (silent-1922) - BK-- uncredited: Virginia Fox/Joe Roberts
(8.1) The Play House (silent-1921) - BK-- uncredited: Edward F. Cline/Virginia Fox/Joe Roberts
(8.2) The Scarecrow (silent-1920) - BK-- uncredited: Edward F. Cline/Al St. John
(8.2) The General (silent-1927) - BK/Marion Mack/Charles Henry Smith/Frederick Vroom
(4.9) Li'l Abner (1940) - Jeff York/Martha O'Driscoll/Mona Ray/Johnnie Morris/BK
(5.5) Parlor, Bedroom & Bath (1931) - BK/Charlotte Greenwood/Reginald Denny/Cliff Edwards
(7.9) Steamboat Bill, Jr. (silent-1928) - BK/Tom McGuire/Ernest Torrence/Tom Lewis
(5.6) The Villain Still Pursued Her (1940) - Billy Gilbert/Anita Louise/Margaret Hamilton/Alan Mowbray/BK
Disc 1: Buster Keaton gallery (3 min)
Disc 2: Buster Keaton posters (2 min)
Disc 3: Triva quiz"
Cost effective introduction to Keaton
calvinnme | 09/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you'd like to familiarize yourself with Buster Keaton's work this is a great place to start. For ten dollars you pretty much get to sample the works of his entire career. Of course you don't get the video quality you have in "The Art of Buster Keaton", but then you don't pay one hundred plus dollars either. You get fifteen of the two reelers he made from 1920 - 1923 when he was getting started as a filmmaker, plus two of the feature films he made as an independent - "The General" (1927) and "Steamboat Bill Jr." (1928). "The General" is touted by many as his finest achievement, and "Steamboat Bill Jr." is the last film he made before he was forced to go to work for MGM in 1928 due to the withdrawal of financial support he had from his benefactor and brother-in-law, Joe Schenck. From the years 1920-1928 Keaton had complete creative control of his films.
Chronologically speaking, the next feature is "Parlor, Bedroom, & Bath" (1931), Keaton's third talkie and his fifth feature film for MGM. Although Keaton had been promised some creative control of his films at MGM, it never came to be, and by the time "Parlor, Bedroom, & Bath" was made Keaton had been relegated to the role of performer. The film has some funny parts, particularly when Keaton is on screen with Charlotte Greenwood, but overall Keaton is relegated to the role of a naive man-child in a farce. Keaton hated farces, and being put in films and roles he hated with absolutely no say is part of what drove him to drink.
The other two features - "Lil' Abner" and "The Villain Still Pursued Her" from 1940 are examples of Keaton's post-MGM work. Here he is in supporting roles - he never stars in another American-made feature film for the rest of his career after 1933 due to the beating his reputation took after he was fired from MGM because of his alcoholism.
If you like what you see, particularly in the silent shorts, The General, and Steamboat Bill Jr., you might think about saving your pennies and investing in "The Art of Buster Keaton" and see the rest of the shorts and features Keaton did when he had complete control - you won't regret it. If you watch "The General" and then "Parlor, Bedroom, & Bath" and wonder "what happened in between these two films???" I also recommend TCM Archives' Buster Keaton Collection. It contains the first three films Keaton did for MGM (The Cameraman/Spite Marriage/Free & Easy) and contains commentary for the two silent films in the collection. Plus there is a documentary included that explains MGM's role in dismantling Keaton's career."
Right Films Wrong Music
Magi Speelpenning | 04/20/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While it is a delight to see Buster Keaton and his masterful comic timing, the music chosen for these masterpieces is ALL WRONG! It is truly annoying to have the music from the Douglas Fairbanks' Thief of Bagdad playing while watching The General--where is the Civil War music that went with the film? ( When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Dixie are painfully missing )
would it really have been too much to have music that fit with each film? This is enough of an omission to lower my vote to 2 stars."