The Story of Richard and Karen Carpenter
James Koenig | Minnesota | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Close To You - Remembering the Carpenters", is a touching DVD that recalls the career of the Carpenters and the life of Karen Carpenter. Richard Carpenter is the primary "host", although there are many others who contribute stories and information about the Carpenters, such as Petula Clark, Joe Osborne, Les Paul, Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, and members of the Carpenter band.
The DVD tells the entire story of Richard and Karen, from their childhoods in New Haven, Connecticut, their family move across the country to Downey, California (to further Richard's budding career as a musician), their meteoric rise to the top of the pop music charts, and finally the tragic end with Karen's death from complications from anorexia nervosa. Along the way, there are wonderful clips from many of their major hit songs, how the songs were "born", and how Richard's genius at arranging the songs made them hits. It is all very well done, a quality production in every detail, and it does an excellent, although brief job at introducing the Carpenters career. I had hoped that there would be more details of the Carpenters personal lives, but this is just barely touched upon or hinted at in the DVD. Personal details would have so enriched this DVD and helped the fans of the Carpenters understand the duo even better. The DVD states that for additional information, one is directed to the book by Ray Coleman, "The Carpenters: The Untold Story : An Authorized Biography". I highly recommend this book to any fan that wishes more information about the Carpenters, as it provides additional details about their lives.
To anyone who views this DVD, please do not turn off the TV after the post-production credits run! There is an encore after the credits that you will not want to miss! I missed it the first time I watched the DVD, as I was partially overcome with grief at the scenes of Karen's funeral.
For Carpenter fans, this DVD will be a cherished item in our collections. I would like to give it 10 stars if I could.
Jim "Konedog" Koenig"
Lots To Like, But Lots Hidden
A. Wolverton | Crofton, MD United States | 01/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of the Carpenters, this DVD will be a welcome addition to your collection. The disc offers quite a lot of information and footage: the documentary itself covers the Carpenters from their beginnings as a jazz trio to the A&M hits to Karen's tragic death at the age of 32. The disc has lots of extras too: A portion of the Carpenters performance at the White House, some of their commercials, and a listing of singles and albums in the discography section. Really a lot to like...Being a documentary, fans should understand that this is NOT a concert film. Some reviewers are upset that the songs aren't played in their entirety. Again, it's not a concert DVD. Buy the CD's.The biggest disappointment for me is the lack of understanding we come away with of Karen (and Richard too, for that matter). The DVD tells briefly about Karen's wedding, but doesn't even mention who she married!!! What was it that made Karen such a tragic figure? What is Richard doing now and how did the end of the Carpenters change his life? Maybe I'm asking for too much and maybe all this is still too painful for the family to deal with. I don't think fans are asking for tabloid-type reporting. I do think a lot of fans sincerely want to know what was going through Karen's mind, what demons she was dealing with and what Richard is dealing with now. Maybe that's too much for them to present to the general public. Be glad that the Carptenters gave us some great music and some great memories, many of which are captured on this DVD."
Excellent excerpts of The Carpenters Music and TVs.
C.T. | Queens, NY | 08/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to the Carpenters since I was probably 14 or 15, now I am 26 - that is a long time. I was not even exposed to their music directly, but rather got drawn to it through a movie called The Karen Carpenter Story (but strange I can't find that movie anywhere!) Anyway, what I am trying to say is that having been a big fan of the duo for over ten years says something about the quality of their music. I have just seen this DVD and this has fulfilled my dream of seeing them performing live from their earliest days. Sure these are not complete music videos, but the story, interviews, footages (the White House concert, etc.) presented are a thrill to watch. Any of us can listen the Karen's music anytime on CDs, but seeing her live when she was alive and well is priceless. And oh, that hauntingly, angelically beautiful voice !!!The thing I like most about the DVD is how it makes you love the Carpenters even more after watching it. Own it and you will fall in love with the Carpenters all over again."
Remembering the Carpenters with love yesterday and today
C.T. | 03/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first time I saw "Remembering the Carpenters" was on TV. I was flipping channels, bored with commercials, and for a flash I thought I saw the Carpenters. "No way" I thought, then putting the remote into reverse, and to my surprise "Yes" it was "The Carpenters", and for a moment I was back in time; remembering exactly where I was the first time I heard "Close to You". I was a teenager again ready to graduate from high school, and now I was seeing my favorite brother/sister duo again, singing some of my most favorite songs. They had my undivided attention, and I only hoped I could someday have a copy of this on tape. Karen and Richard have always been #1 in my heart and their music will always live on and be a part of my life and that of many people who remember the Carpenter's Legacy. I can relate many of the Carpenter's songs in the video to a particular year or event within my life. The traditional "Merry Christmas Darling" is played every year at Christmas and this release has made special memories for many people, including myself. Christmas would not be the same without hearing this song. When listening to their sound in the video, you know they were unique and the lyrics are those you need not worry about playing with mom and dad and even the kids around. Their music will make you laugh or cry and even sing along in your car. Role models such as the Carpenters are unheard of today. Their sound was fine tuned, original and could never be replicated. I love Richard and Karen and would like to thank those who made this video "Remembering the Carpenters" possible and for sharing all the songs I grew up with, treasure and continue to listen to today."