Michael Giltz: DVDs: "Lawrence Of Arabia" Still Dazzles With Intelligence

97a72012 11 30 51mGsGdN5lL. SL500 AA300 .jpeg Michael Giltz: DVDs: "Lawrence Of Arabia" Still Dazzles With Intelligence

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION ($99.95 BluRay boxed set or $26.99 BluRay; Sony) — It was two in the morning and I just wanted to check out the picture and sound quality of this new restoration. Almost against my will, I was mesmerized once again by one of the most intelligent, complex and fascinating depictions of an historical figure on film. It helps when that historical figure is such a rich and contradictory fellow as Lawrence of Arabia and helps even more when he is captured in lightning flashes of wit and anger and equal parts of self-delusion and self-awareness by Peter O’Toole in one of the great film debuts. The film itself remains one of the champs and this restoration is a stunner, an immediate addition to the short list of “demo” BluRays, those titles you pull out when you want to show off your system. The standard Bluray release has two discs while the deluxe set has even more extras and a soundtrack CD. It’s the film itself that demands the most attention but the extras are strong. But this elaborate boxed set — it’s handsome and grand of course, with a hardback book filled with striking photography and a “still” from the film as well as all four discs of content and score. But again I ask, does anyone who designs these things ever actually take them home? If the film Lawrence of Arabia is the center of your life, I guess you’ll be happy to have a boxed set so bulky it won’t fit onto most bookcases without jutting out. You might dominate a cofee table or build a new table specifically to show it off. Even taking the hardback book out doesn’t help — that too on its own sticks out over the lip of my rather deep library shelves. It’s so big and heavy it’s almost designed not to fit anywhere practical. What’s the point? If you’re like me, you’ll take out the Bluray set, put it on your shelf and store the rest in a closet or basement with all the other ungainly boxes that studios think make a Bluray release special. Read More…

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Michael Giltz: DVDs: "Lawrence Of Arabia" Still Dazzles With Intelligence

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