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Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick

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CHICAGO â€Â" Stanley Kubrick's "Dr.

Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb" is nearly as important a film today as when it was released, over 45 years ago.

The Anniversary Special Edition of the comedy classic is now available on Blu-Ray and it's a must-own for any true film historian.Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0Personally, I think ALL Kubrick films are "must-owns for any true film historian".

He is one of the most influential and important voices in the history of the medium.

But "Dr.

Strangelove" has always been one of my personal favorites for a simple reason that's perfect for Blu-Ray - it doesn't age.

If "Strangelove" came out today, it would be just as resonant, hilarious, and brilliant.

Do you know how few films from the early '60s that you can accurately write that about?Dr.

Strangelove was released on Blu-Ray on June 16th, 2009.Photo credit: SonyNominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Kubrick's black comedy is about the war machine and, directly, the paranoia surrounding the cold war, but could easily apply to modern war times (and even our current dynamic with North Korea).

Essentially, "Dr.

Strangelove" is about war-crazy officials who manage to initiate an accidental nuclear apocalypse.

Joint Chief of Staff "Buck" Turgidson (a great George C.

Scott performance) and Air Force Strategic Commander Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) order a bomber squad to attack the USSR and trigger a response known as the "Doomsday Machine," a retaliatory missile system.

The amazing Peter Sellers plays three roles - British Captain Lionel Mandrake, U.S.

President Muffley, and the President's advisor, Dr.

Strangelove, a demented ex-Nazi scientist.The script for "Dr.

Strangelove" by Kubrick and Peter George & Terry Southern is one of the most consistently clever and well-paced in the history of film.

It's so good that I find myself laughing at different elements every time.

And, of course, Sellers' performance is one of the great comedy turns…ever.You probably know enough about the film itself, but what about the Blu-Ray? Do you need to upgrade? Most of the special features have been transferred (with a few notable and bizarre exceptions) from the last DVD edition and the HD video upgrade is definitely worth a look.Dr.

Strangelove was released on Blu-Ray on June 16th, 2009.Photo credit: SonyThere has been a bit of controversy as to the level of grain still clear in the pic for "Strangelove" and I have to admit that I think this is the way Kubrick wanted it to look.

I'm glad that they didn't over-polish the picture.

"Strangelove" is not meant to be a crystal clear transfer.

The grain is a part of the aesthetic.

Yes, sometimes that can be taken overboard, but not in this case.

The 1.66:1 aspect ratio 1080p pic on "Strangelove" looks damn near perfect to me.

There's also been some controversy on the ratio because some versions of "Strangelove" have been presented full-frame.

I'll quote a DVD expert, Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits, "The film is presented here in a steady 1.66:1 aspect ratio.

(So yes, those slight black bars are supposed to be there.) The original theatrical presentation varied between 1.33 and 1.66.

In recent years however, we're told that Kubrick's associates (who manage his estate) have become more comfortable with the 16x9/1.78:1 aspect ratio of HD displays, and they believe that Kubrick himself - if he'd really had the chance to look into it - would have preferred his full frame films to be presented on home video (in HD) at a steady 1.66 to take better advantage of the 1.78:1 frame.

So that's the reasoning for the decision."The Blu-Ray exclusive feature for the good doctor is a picture-in-picture and pop-up trivia track called "The Cold War".

I'm usually a HUGE fan of p-i-p special features but I find this one a bit distracting.

Perhaps it's because I adore the film so much and would rather watch featurettes specifically and let the movie speak for itself.

But that's a rare exception.

I generally think p-i-p extras are the way to go.Special features from previous editions that have been imported include - "No Fighting in the War Room Or: Dr.

Strangelove and the Nuclear Threat," "Inside: Dr.

Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," "Best Sellers Or: Peter Sellers and Dr.

Strangelove," "The Art of Stanley Kubrick: From Short Films to Strangelove," "An Interview with Robert McNamara," and Split-Screen Interviews with Peter Sellers and George C.

Scott.Missing from previous editions are the advertising gallery and the film's trailer.

This may not seem like a big deal but Kubrick collectors are completists and not having those features, including the very unusual and interesting trailer, is a shame.

It means people are likely to keep both the 2-disc DVD special edition and this edition instead of being able to replace the last version they bought.Finally, the package comes with a 32-page booklet of photos, essays, script samples, and more from the film.

So, should you upgrade? If you love the film, definitely.

If not, then think about if the video upgrade is important enough to you.

The "Cold War" featurette doesn't warrant the change for most fans, but Kubrick lovers aren't like most fans.

In my experience, people who love Kubrick films want every possible edition and version of his films that hits the market.

They'll be satisfied with the Blu-Ray release of "Dr.

Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," a movie that has held up for 45 years and will (sadly) resonate just as strongly for decades to come.‘Dr.

Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ is released by Sony Home Video and stars Peter Sellers, George C.

Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, and Tracy Reed.

It was written by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George & Terry Southern and directed by Kubrick.

The 45 Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray were released on June 16th, 2009.

It is rated PG.By BRIAN TALLERICOContent [email protected] this page to a friendYour Email: *Your Name: *Send To: *Enter multiple addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.Message Subject: (Your Name) has forwarded a page to you from HollywoodChicago.com! Message Body: (Your Name) thought you would like to see this page from the film, theater, TV and DVD publication HollywoodChicago.com.

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