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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:13 pm 
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What's Bruce Block's commentary like?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:27 pm 
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ellipsis7 wrote:
What's Bruce Block's commentary like?

I found it to be disappointing. He too often narrates the film or says things that are entirely obvious. If I remember correctly, he's also one of those commentators who likes to tell you exactly when and where a particular scene was shot and how closely it resembled the script (which, with Wilder, it always did).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK
Wow - I saw this at the cinema recently and had an extremely negative reaction to it. The dialogue is so cute it's unbearable and Jack Lemmon's performance made my heart sink with his overbearing schtick - the scene where he's ringing up his various superiors to rearrange the use of his apartment with a sniffly nose is absolutely wretched. It's a rehashing of most of the elements from The Shop Around the Corner for the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit era, but with a fraction of the delicacy and heart (and laughs) of Lubitsch's masterpiece.

I knew I was in trouble when the opening started and Jack Lemmon delivers the entire concept of the film using that device that screams "can't be bothered", a voiceover. (Wilder's "What would Lubitsch do?" sign must have been stored in the garage by that stage.) I don't know what's more wearying; the score made up of a single phrase reworked over and over or the still-mystifying ending (I can't work out Shirley Maclaine's rush of feeling is triggered by that final incident instead of all the other, far more significant things that Lemmon's already done for her).

I'll give it this; I've never seen a romantic comedy whose target audience was "nice" men before, especially one which stokes their masochistic side so systematically.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:21 pm 
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I'll second that. I found The Apartment predictable, and pretty humdrum-- not a bad movie but I just could never understood the awe people feel for it.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:55 am
Make it three. As much as I love Wilder (as a kid I saw the '50s Paramounts on network TV) I've always felt strangely put off by THE APARTMENT. Unlike others who've posted here it has less to do with Sarris downgrading him in THE AMERICAN CINEMA than curmudgeon critic par excellance Dwight MacDonald puncturing his flimsy premises in ON MOVIES, a book filled with pithy reviews which I can recall almost verbatim. MacDonald gets right to the heart of the matter by pointing out how ridiculous it is that Lemmon gets promoted by pimping his digs to his executive level bosses for their sexual assignations, as if they needed "his ratty little apartment for their amours . . . in the non-Hollywood world there are other solutions open to the rich." Once you allow that this foundation is flawed everything else (plot, behavior, psychology) becomes artificial in the extreme. Even if one allows that Wilder is making a modern (swinging '60s) sex comedy based on leftover patterns from the bad old Wiermacht (sp) days it still seems false.

FWIW my favorite Macdonald piece is his skewering of Modern American Theatrical Realism, "Kazanistan, Ingeland and Williams, Tenn." :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:18 pm 
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I don't know what's predictable about this film. It takes a whole lot of twists and turns in the span of two hours, especially for a romantic comedy, and is on the verge of pitch darkness at certain points. It was certainly ahead of its time and still holds up astoundingly well.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Wow, I thought I was the only one that found this film somewhat boring and mediocre; though, not terrible. It is my least favorite Wilder film out of his heavy hitters.

I have been living a life of silence and shame due to what I perceived as everyone thinking it is the best thing since sliced bread and it making numerous Top 10 lists of the 1960s.

My favorite Wilder film is Ace in a Hole (or maybe Double Indemnity).


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:15 am 
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I view Wilder as the cinema of delusion. Often his cynicism runs too deep, even curdles, but in The Apartment it is balanced beautifully by a healthy dose of romanticism. Two great moments. Baxter handing in his executive washroom key, his delusion of careerism - any means justifying the end - over, transforming from a nebbish to a mensch. Then the closeup of Miss Kubelick in New Years party hat, hearing the news, realizing it was all for the love of her, the blinders falling from her face, her delusion with the odious Sheldrake over. A small, but still glorious, reordering of priorities in a crummy universe. Love is all there is, Beatles-wise.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:35 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK
But that moment doesn't make sense. She knows how much he's done for her - saved her life, her honour, etc, at considerable loss of face (in more ways than one). I don't get why realising he's not handing out the apartment any more makes her go mad for him. He's already offered her all the support and caring she could want. It's a screenwriter's twist, not a character moment.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:31 am
Location: San Diego
Much of what Baxter had already done for her by that point, from her perspective (as well as from his, as expressed to her), would have seemed to be in service of helping to cover things up on Sheldrake's behalf--and thus, on Baxter's own behalf, to keep himself on the good side of his powerful boss. Preventing her from killing herself in his apartment was clearly in Baxter's own corporate-climbing self-interest, as was taking some heat on behalf of Sheldrake.

So when she learns that Baxter has become so disgusted with the whole thing that he threw Sheldrake's patronage back in his face, it makes all the difference to her.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:27 pm
Location: London, UK
Well, it's plausible, but if someone I knew and had asked me repeatedly out on a date saved me from an attempted suicide, I wouldn't think they were trying save face on the boss's behalf.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:31 am
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But he had asked her out all those times before he knew she was the boss's girl, and before she knew that the apartment was his. So it made sense for her to reason that once Baxter realized those two things were in direct conflict for him--his interest in her vs. his desire to get ahead with the boss--he wasn't going to be throwing his career away for her. She appreciated his willingness to take a punch from her brother-in-law, but that's not the same thing as leaping off the corporate ladder.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:42 am 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
If anyone has the US Blu-ray, When scanning the disc via BD-ROM, are there Japanese language options available or not? Thanks.

Actually, nevermind. Found my answer here


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:56 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Image


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 Post subject: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:37 am 
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Synopsis:
In 1960, following on from the success of their collaboration on Some Like it Hot, director Billy Wilder (Ace in the Hole, Sunset Boulevard) reteamed with actor Jack Lemmon (The Odd Couple, Glengarry Glen Ross) for what many consider the pinnacle of their respective careers: The Apartment.

C.C. “Bud” Baxter (Lemmon) is a lowly Manhattan office drone with a lucrative sideline in renting out his apartment to adulterous company bosses and their mistresses. When Bud enters into a similar arrangement the firm’s personnel director, J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray, Double Indemnity), his career prospects begin to look up… and up. But when he discovers that Sheldrake’s mistress is Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine, Irma la Douce), the girl of his dreams, he finds himself forced to choose between his career and the woman he loves…

Winner of five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, The Apartment features a wealth of Hollywood’s finest talent – on both sides of the camera – at the top of their game. By turns cynical, heart-warming and hilarious, Wilder’s masterpiece now shines like never before in this all-new, 4K-restored edition from Arrow Films.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

• Limited Deluxe Edition Blu-ray [3000 copies]
• Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
• Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
• Optional 5.1 remix in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
• Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary with film producer and historian Bruce Block
• New appreciation of the film and select scene commentary by film historian Philip Kemp
• The Flawed Couple, a new video essay by filmmaker David Cairns on the collaborations between Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon
• Billy Wilder ABC, an overview by David Cairns on the life and career of the filmmaker, covering his films, collaborators and more
• New interview with actress Hope Holiday
• Inside the Apartment, a half-hour “making-of” featurette from 2007 including interviews with Shirley MacLaine, executive producer Walter Mirisch, and others
• Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon, an archive profile of the actor from 2007
• Original screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond (BD-ROM content)
• Theatrical trailer
• Special collector’s packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
• Collector’s 150-page hardcover book featuring new writing by Neil Sinyard, Kat Ellinger, Travis Crawford and Heather Hyche, generously illustrated with rare stills and behind-the-scenes imagery


https://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/shop/index ... ct_id=1052


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:41 am 
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
Looks like Arrow nabbed this for both the UK and US. Quite a coup, and surprised that this didn't come from MOC considering the Wilder films they've released in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:14 pm 
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MoC do have another Wilder title coming up, which I suspect is most likely going to be The Fortune Cookie. Arrow have been better at snagging 'big' MGM/Fox titles of late, so I'm not too surprised they got this over MoC, but I will admit this is a Criterion-level classic I'm pretty surprised they bagged for the US as well as the UK.

Does the current wording imply they're doing a new restoration themselves? I can't tell. If so, that could explain things. They've started to do more in-house restorations of MGM/Fox titles with very strong results: To Live and Die in LA, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Terror in a Texas Town, Ronin, The Big Knife, A Fish Called Wanda, Pulp. Do we know if there has been a more recent restoration of The Apartment than the one already available from MGM (released 5 years ago)? If not, this could be a new scan from Arrow themselves, although it already looked pretty great.


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:19 pm 
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I don't think it implies they did the restoration. Ronin's page includes the words...

Quote:
produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Robert Fraisse


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Drucker wrote:
I don't think it implies they did the restoration. Ronin's page includes the words...

Quote:
produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Robert Fraisse


Ah yes, as do all the other titles I listed, I just noticed.

The bits that throw me on The Apartment specs are "this all-new, 4K-restored edition from Arrow Films" and "Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative". So is this a new scan from MGM themselves, or just the same one as before? How new is 'brand new/all-new'?


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:18 pm
That cover is great!


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:37 pm 
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rapta wrote:
The bits that throw me on The Apartment specs are "this all-new, 4K-restored edition from Arrow Films" and "Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative".


The wording is what it is, but to me, the "from Arrow Films" bit relates to the edition, while the lack of specificity for the restoration itself makes me think it has been done by the studio itself (or some other third-party).
Looking at how the older disc looks, I doubt this was a 4K resto.


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Wilder's best comedy. As a film, only Sunset Boulevard is better still. Glad to be able to replace the US BD with the ridiculous cover. Two pieces by David Cairns AND a 150 page book - bring. it. on.


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:14 pm 

Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm
Drucker wrote:
I don't think it implies they did the restoration. Ronin's page includes the words...

Quote:
produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Robert Fraisse


Actually, the restoration for THE APARTMENT is done by James White and team for Arrow. It's not a bought-in master.

It's the first scan from the OCN ever for home release. All previous transfers were made from internegative or dupe negative elements. Accordingly, I'm told the upgrade in quality is pretty staggering.


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Will it be released in the US as well?


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 Post subject: Re: The Apartment
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Yes, this is US/UK.


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