phimseto | Chestnut Hill, MA United States | 07/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For any fan of film, this is one of the most impressive, reasonably priced box sets you could ever hope to find. Contained within are all the collaborations between manic, visionary German director Werner Herzog and his crazed, international movie star muse Klaus Kinski. Both men have had prolific careers, yet nothing they have done separately has achieved the splendor of their collected efforts together. Indeed, in his review of "Woyzeck", Roger Ebert says,"It is almost impossible to imagine Kinski without Herzog; reflect that this `unforgettable' actor made more than 170 films for other directors--and we can hardly remember a one." Wherever their individual paths took them, this box set stands as a monument to the magic between them. Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog together created films of extraordinary imagery, significant depth, and possessed artistry of the highest caliber. Included in this box set are the five films they did together: "Aguirre", "Nosferatu", "Woyzeck", "Fitcarraldo", and "Cobra Verde". Also included is one of the most fascinating documentaries about filmmakers and filmmaking ever, "My Best Fiend", Herzog's love/hate letter about his relationship with the volatile actor. Each work is unique in scope, vision, theme and performance. If the documentary explains why no director other than Herzog worked with Kinski more than once, their five films together amply demonstrate why Kinski never lacked for work. His on-screen presence is unparalleled and his performances perfectly measured for each role. The DVD set is a repackaging of their prior individual releases, containing the same extras. All films are presented in their original aspect ratio.In summing up the sheer value of this set, one should consider the sublime effect of "My Best Fiend". In chronicling his relationship with Kinski, Herzog inadvertently shows how he was equally a figure who straddled the line between genius and madman during their productions. Although they gave each other their worst, they also brought out the best in the other. It is as palpable a symbiotic relationship as you will ever see between two human beings, and it can be witnessed on every frame of these five films. As Herzog said to Roger Ebert when describing his first encounter with Kinski as a youth,"At that moment I knew it was my destiny to make films, and his to act in them.''This set is a tribute to that revelation, and a must for anyone who savors the artistry of filmmaking."
Buy this while you can!
Tryavna | North Carolina | 07/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anchor Bay have rereleased this collection (originally released in 2002 and later withdrawn) for a limited time. If you have any interest in it, you should grab it before it goes. The folks at Anchor Bay (bless 'em) have one major fault: they let some of their most interesting titles (Ipcress File, Sleuth, Wicker Man LE) go out of print.
At least three of the Herzog-Kinski collaborations are must-have masterpieces: Aguirre, Nosferatu, and Fitzcarraldo. Since you can get the whole collection for the same price as those three films individually, you'd be silly not to. My Best Fiend comes off well as a sort of "extra" to the whole collection.
As other reviewers have said, the transfers and extras do the films justice. I have only 3 minor complaints: (1) By buying the collection, you don't get the English-language version of Nosferatu. I prefer the German version, but I'm also a completist, so it annoys me. (2) For some reason, Herzog didn't supply commentary for Woyzek. Since he did for the other four features, this is a glaring omission. (3) Why didn't Anchor Bay invest in adding Les Blank's docu Burden of Dreams (about the making of Fitzcarraldo)? It would have made a wonderful extra for this set and could have fit alongside My Best Fiend.
None of these complaints should stop you from getting this collection. Overall, this collection offers fantastic value!"
Great collection, Great Additions and Price
Eric Antonow | Palo Alto, CA United States | 01/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, somebody got it right. Put together a solid, comprehensive collections of films, add a good documentary and then give the dedicated folks a break on the price. Herzog may not be the easiest director to make sense of at first, but over any two of these films you begin to get the power and the vision he was working with. Kinski is no different. It's an intensity that we don't view, let alone experience, enough, and yet seeing it in raw form provides access to more subtle degrees of emotion. Four/five films are exceptional, and the last COBRA VERDE is still worth every minute after viewing the BEST FIEND documentary in the set. Kinski was so exhausted (spiritually) after playing the part that I don't believe he ever acted in a movie again. While both made other films apart from each other, these joint-adventures bring out each of their purity. Taken as a whole, the combination is one of the greats in cinema or any other arts (like Bernstein and Copland). Provides an amazing and unique view of the human endeavor. You'll never forget it."
Kgar | SF, CA | 03/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't help but add my voice to the chorus of positive reviews for this set. It is without a doubt the most well put together dvd box set I have ever seen. Even the packaging is awesome. Whoever is responsible for the physical look of this collection should win a product design award or something. All the movies (except Woyzeck) have very entertaining and insightful herzog commentary and most of the movies have english tracks aswell. I'm not sure what restoration was done on these movies but they all look great! I would say that if you are thinking of buying any of these movies alone on DVD just go ahead and opt for the box set. Chances are, if you like and understand the Herzog aesthetic, you will love all of these movies! Cobra Verde, which I once thought was the weakest of the Herzog/Kinski efforts, has become my favorite upon multiple viewings. Could not have a higher possible recommendation!"
Herzog & Kinski & Yin & Yang
Robert Greenberg | Las Vega$, Nevada USA | 07/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I always think of them together, Herzog and Kinski. Cinematic Yin and Yang. The best and worst that the world has to offer. The films they made together are their respective crowning
achievements, achingly hypnotic, synchronous and chaotic. Their relationship, as explained in "My Best Fiend," was a joyous nightmare, born in a place that resides between heaven and hell. Screaming mad, death threats, insanity, perfection on film. All of Kinski's characterizations are the most believable interpretations of the most unbelievable characters imaginable, several are real people from the cobwebbed corners of world history! Kinski was a timebomb, and Herzog was his fuse, and his muse. Herzog should get a Nobel prize for not having killed Kinski, brought him back to life, and killed him again! He tolerated Kinski's intolerable behavior to make Art. It must have been like painting on a canvas that spits back at you. Herzog rose above it all to helm some of the most amazing films the world has known. 5 excellent and astounding dramas, and a posthumous "love letter," that must be seen. What magic from such an unpleasant relationship, there really must be some kind of balance in nature for such a conundrum to bless us. 6 miracles in a box, how often is that offered us?"