Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Complete James Dean Collection |
East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition
Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Raymond Massey, Natalie Wood
Directors: Elia Kazan, Ara Chekmayan, George Stevens, Nicholas Ray
Genres: Classics, Drama
No Description Available. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: NR Release Date: 31-MAY-2005 Media Type: DVD
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The Icon Who Never Gets Old
D. J. Zabriskie | Park Ridge, NJ USA | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On Sept. 30, 2005, we mark the 50th anniversary of the death of James Dean. While baby-boomers may find that incredible, what's even more incredible is that throughout those 50 years, Dean's status as the icon of disaffected youth and rebellious adolescence has not only held up, but burnishes itself anew every time it is displayed before our eyes.
In a film career which spanned only 16 months and included only three films, James Dean defined the disorientation of disaffected youth, as one strives to carve out one's identity, separate from one's parents, and discover what values truly define and shape that identity and self. The remarkable thing about his movie roles is that they did this not only for his generation, but speak for each succeeding generation down to the present day. In no small part due to his tragic death at the age of 24, he never ages, and therefore remains the icon of all that is cool to all generations, whether you identify with Elvis, the Beatles, Sting or Kurt Cobain. Onscreen, James Dean remains the Real Thing in a way few other movie stars have ever been.
Bringing what Marlon Brando called "a subtle energy and a sense of intangible injury" to each of his roles, Dean created a cinematic presence which was so compelling, it had few, if any equals. He became at once the gravitational center and the propulsive force of every scene he was in. It did not matter if he was acting with Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Natalie Wood, Rock Hudson or Elizabeth Taylor. For each and every moment he was onscreen, you could not take your eyes off him and what he was doing.
In the process, Dean managed to encapsulate and project all the conflicts and contradictions of youth in a manner and to a degree which remains unparalleled. Dean's characters were full of hurt and hubris, anger and uncertainty, confidence and vulnerability... all at once. Other young actors are merely young, and maybe heartfelt. Dean's characters are young with an experience which defies their years, thereby expressing an intensity of feeling and inner conflict that no one else could match.
This collection of all three of Dean's starring vehicles provides something of serious value to everyone who cares about movies and American culture. The DVD transfers are first rate, and it's hard to believe, for instance, that "East of Eden" has been unavailable to viewers in any format for the past 10 years. Take advantage, movie fans! Even 50 years later, James Dean remains as compelling, as fascinating and as powerful as he ever was, and... HE NEVER GETS OLD."
Terrific collection, finally all on DVD
vintageboy | 06/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've anxiously anticipated this collection of James Dean's films, together in a complete set. Each of the films is presented in a two-disc package, with extras.
"East of Eden" is, for me, the most welcome film in this set, simply because it has been so difficult to obtain a copy of it in recent years. The anamorphic transfer here is stunning, with crisp color and detail. The stereo soundtrack is fine. There is an audio commentary, as well as a wealth of bonus materials. Some of the material here includes screen tests, and wardrobe tests, although strangely some footage included briefly in the included documentaries (Dean's test with Paul Newman, the playful "pinching" footage of Dean and Julie Harris) is not included here.
"Rebel Without a Cause", like "Eden" offers a stunning anamorphic transfer with strong surround sound. The extras include a commentary, deleted scenes for the film (both in the original black and white, and the final color version), and screen tests. There is a very funny and insightful screen test here with Dean, Mineo and Wood. The previous DVD release of this film had only shown portions of this clip, but this release offers the full (some may say 'uncensored') version. There is also a documentary reflecting on Dean's spectacular, but brief career.
Dean's final film, "Giant" is featured here in a very clean, but oddly NOT-anamorphic transfer. This would not be an issue, if the film was not presented in a letterbox transfer. I would imagine this is the same transfer that was done several years back. However, I don't think it's acceptable that any recent widescreen DVD release not be presented in an anamorphic transfer. Additionally, the film's soundtrack has been remastered in a 5.1 mix, that sounds weak at best. I would have preferred to have seen this film released in it's original full-frame image, with a clean mono soundtrack. That aside, there is a wealth of extras here.
All in all, a very nice set, not totally perfect, but the best to date, by far.
It's About Time!!!
J. C. R. | Tennessee United States | 04/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Dean will have been dead for 50 years on September 30th, 2005, and seeing that death has only enhanced his iconic image, even if Dean only starred in three studio pictures, I don't think it too much to ask that these films finally get the recognition they deserve. In fact, fans have had to wait so long for a "Dean Collection" that these discs better be flawless as the films themselves almost are. "East of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause", and "Giant" will be included in this set and the first two mentioned really are screen burners in every aspect.
James Dean made his starring debut in "East of Eden", based on the best-selling John Steinbeck novel which retells the Adam and Eve story, and he was a star from then on. Dean plays Cal Trask, the "Cain" character, to glorious, brooding perfection. In fact, when Steinbeck himself met Dean, he told director Elia Kazan "He is Cal".
"Rebel Without A Cause", probably Dean's best-known film, is a landmark of method acting. Dean as Jim Stark, a pseudonym of James and Trask (as in Cal Trask from Eden), is not the quintessential teenager that everyone paints him. He is so much deeper and older than he appears. "Rebel Without a Cause", directed by Nicholas Ray, is truly a magnum opus of a film. A must see!
"Giant" is a very lush and grand film. Perhaps a bit overdone, but entertaining none the less. Edna Ferber, who wrote the novel, also said Dean was a wonderful choice to play Jett Rink, a common salt of the earth man, who rises to great heights, only to be ruined by his own demons. Dean is the most fascinating thing about "Giant" and easily steals every scene he is in. "The Complete James Dean Collection" is long overdue in any format, let alone DVD. Now, a new generation will be able to experience the myth that is James Dean."
An extras-heavy box set for the Dean fanatic!
Cubist | United States | 06/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For someone who had such a small, cinematic output-only three feature films-James Dean left behind an impressive legacy. Along with Marlon Brando, he best personified the Method style of acting where the individual would go to great lengths to feel and act as their character did. There is something about Dean's brief career and persona that has made him a revered icon. Perhaps it is because he died so young and so tragically. Perhaps it is that he never had the chance to age and his death has immortalized his youthful good looks. Regardless, this year marks the 50th anniversary of his tragic death and in observance, Warner Bros. has released The Complete James Dean Collection, a box set that packages all three of his movies in 2-DVD special editions loaded with extras.
We first see Dean in East of Eden sporting what would become his trademark look: disheveled hair, sitting hunched over on a street curb with his head bowed slightly like some kind of shy, troubled person. His performance oscillates between internalized torment and explosive anguish. It is a very stylized Method performance with Dean sometimes mumbling his dialogue but also a very emoting like crazy. For the time, it was quite realistic and a revelation but now seems, at times, exaggerated. However, no one conveys angst and emotional turmoil quite like Dean, especially when he pleads, "Talk to me!" to his estranged mother at one point in the movie.
Dean expands on the angst and frustration he displayed in East of Eden with a more complex performance in Rebel Without A Cause. Jim just wants to have a strong father figure to admire and not the emasculated one he has (the polar opposite of his dad in Eden) to deal with. Dean conveys a wide range of emotions and even showcases a capacity for comedy. Like The Catcher in the Rye, there is something timeless and universal that Rebel Without A Cause taps into (anyone can relate to Jim, Judy or Plato's feelings) and explains its enduring legacy.
In Giant, Dean plays Jett Rink, a hired hand at the Benedict ranch. His portrayal hints at the versatility he was developing. Finally, Dean doesn't play some angst-ridden youth-although, he still is an outsider, always looking at the action from a distance. Jett is jealous of Bick because his family didn't have the savvy to get rich like the Benedicts and so he resents being their hired help and is determined to become rich. This sets up the opposition between Bick who was born into money and Jett, a self-made man who strikes it rich when he discovers oil.
The East of Eden DVD features an audio commentary by Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel. He delivers all the requisite information (mini-bios on cast members, how people were cast, etc.) but in such a mundane, passionless way.
"Forever James Dean" is an hour-long documentary on the contradictions of Dean's life with interviews with friends and colleagues. The doc also does a nice job tracing Dean's life and his development as an actor with the only blemish being an awfully cheesy `80s song that dates it instantly.
"East of Eden: Art in Search of Life" examines the Steinbeck's novel and how it was not just his take on the Cain and Abel myth but also a commentary on his relationship with his father and family.
In "Wardrobe Tests," we see the cast try on various outfits for the camera in order to see what works and what doesn't. It's interesting to watch Dean's behaviour during these tests: sullen in one segment, goofy in another and serious in yet another.
The Rebel Without A Cause DVD features an audio commentary by Douglas L. Rathgeb, author of The Making of Rebel Without A Cause. The writer speaks very knowledgeably about many aspects (casting, visuals, acting, themes and anecdotes) of the movie in this very informative track.
"James Dean Remembered" is an hour-long look at Dean that was made in the `70s. Co-stars Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo talk about their experiences working with the actor on and off-screen. Even Sammy Davis, Jr., who was with Dean shortly before he died, tells an amusing anecdote about Dean and Marlon Brando meeting at a party.
"Rebel Without A Cause: Defiant Innocents" traces the film's origins from director Nicholas Ray's fascination with juvenile delinquency to the film's legacy. The film's screenplay was very autobiographical of its author, Stewart Stern, in particular, the dynamic of Jim Stark's family and his own. This is an excellent, in-depth look at how this classic movie came together.
There are "Screen Tests" of Wood, Dean and Mineo together that shows early on the terrific chemistry they had.
"Wardrobe Tests" features Dean with the actors who would play Buzz and his gang. Dean goofs around with some of them as he meets them all for the first time.
Also included are 16 deleted scenes without sound, some in black and white and some in colour. There is a lot of boring stuff, here, like kids leaving the Planetarium, complete alternate angles, kids driving up to the school and so on.
The Giant DVD is an existing special edition that came out a few years ago."