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Victor Victoria [Reino Unido] [Blu-ray]
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One of the world's best-loved performers, Julie Andrews reaches new heights in her most challenging role as a woman pretending to be a man impersonating a woman! Filmed on the Broadway stage, VICTOR/VICTORIA is a warm, funny, wildly energetic look at the nature of love, gender perceptions and the battle of the sexes. Written and directed by Blake Edwards, with an unforgettable score by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, VICTOR/VICTORIA tells the story of an out-of-work singer whose life changes when she meets the flamboyant Toddy. With his help, she becomes "Victor," an overnight singing sensation in the nightclubs of Paris. But success becomes hilariously complicated when she meets the love of her life, King Marchan, a macho Chicago gangster. From the electrifying excitement of Le Jazz Hot to the contemplative Crazy World, from the humor of Chicago, Illinois to the touching Almost a Love Song, this classic musical has it all.
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En 1995, ya no era la misma y deja mucho que desear vocalmente. La prueba está en la supresión de la canción del torero de Sevilla, que ya no podía cantar.
A pesar de ello, sigo siendo un admirador de la inmensa actriz y cantante.
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In my original review I lamented that the sound mix on the Blu-ray is faulty and that the orchestration and audience laughter is so muffled as to be inaudible. I have to correct that: I was watching the Blu-ray with the Blu-ray player hooked to a regular TV using composite audio/video cables. Once I attached the player to a high-def TV and used an HDMI cable, everything played and sounded fine. So the sound is no longer an issue.
But there are other considerations with the Blu-ray version: The performance on this Blu-ray is a different performance than is on the DVD. Same show, different performance. The camera blocking is either different or just edited differently. And there a few quick zooms and jump cuts that look like the show was filmed live but the camera work was not edited before being committed to home video. It plays like this was a live feed (this show was taped for broadcast in Japan -- did they air a live performance live on TV and just suffer with some bad camera goof-ups here and there? If so, this is that performance. The DVD version looks much more polished and professionally shot).
The same distributor that released the DVD also released this Blu-ray, but they didn't include all the bonus features from the DVD. In fact, they didn't include ANY of them. I emailed the distributor for a comment on that but got no response.
The picture quality on the Blu-ray is very good, no question. The fact that you get a different performance from the DVD is interesting and a bit confusing (It's probably a rights issue. Maybe that's why the DVD extras weren't ported over).
I'd advise you to stick to the DVD. The Blu-ray picture is great but the performance in the DVD (and the camera work on it) is better and more polished.
Of all the adaptations from movies to the stage, I have to say that is the best one by far. Staging was excellent as exemplified by the scenes from Paris during the 1930s and the adjacent hotel suites for King Marchand and Victor (where most of the plot takes place). Lighting and dressing/costumes were masterfully adapted to the "stage standards". The dialogue from the movie was mostly preserved but the musical numbers were adapted (and even changed) for Broadway and they were/are superb. The plot is very similar to the movie but there is an unexpected surprise in the grand finale which turns out much better than in the movie version.
Of the original cast from the 1982 movie, only Ms. Andrews made it to Broadway. As much as I would have loved to have seen Robert Preston (Toddy) in the Big Apple, his role was performed by Michael Nouri which was good. The role of Norma Cassidy (played by Leslie Ann Warren in the movie) was played by Rachel York and her performance was perfect as Marchand's girlfriend who did not had much of a brain. I can not think of a better actress for that role.
THIS DVD IS A MUST HAVE FOR ALL BROADWAY FANS AND IS A MUCH BETTER CHOICE THAN THE MOVIE...
The original 1982 film of Victor/Victoria was a film i grew up watching and loved very much. I watched it many many times, and it will always remain dear to my heart, as one of my favourite movie musicals.
When I first watched this version of the Broadway production I was dissapointed in Tony Roberts performance as 'Toddy' from the outset - as he has nothing on Robert Preston who played the role in the film. Tony Roberts is given so much opportunity to make the best out of this role and he just hasn't 'got it' as far as i'm concerned.
The play tries very hard to be the same as the film, but this is ultimately where it fails. This is one of those... 'trying so hard to capture the magic of the original but failed miserably' moments. The moment where this fails in every case is where the writers and directors don't make any real attempt to totally re-invent the show. Which is really what needs to be done when transferring to a different medium, Screen to Stage or vise-versa.
I think Michael Nouri is wonderful, but he again , in this role of King Marchan, the Chicago gangster that falls in love with Julie Andrews' character Victoria - doesn't have James Garner's charisma or sense of style and humour that carried him so well through the original film.
Rachel York gives the best of the supporting performances in this version. Her characterization of Norma Cassidy - the dizzy dame mole of King Marchan - is an impression of Lesley Ann Warren's Oscar nominated performance in the film, but she gives it a good, passionate touch which i really like.
And finally, dear Julie - what can I say... she's still fabulous. She doesn't sing the way she used to, but she still shows the best voice you could hope for at that point in her career - sadly she no longer sings - as we all know - this is one of the greatest tragedies in show business. Her performance in Victor/Victoria earned her a Tony nomination (the only nomination this production received) - which Julie publicly rebuked! At the end of a matinee performance she called for a press conferrence - just after the curtain closed - in costume and all Julie delivered a speech praising her fellow collegues and the creators of the show - and refused to accept the Tony nomination as she felt the Tony committee had seriously overlooked the rest of the cast and crew in not acknowledging them.
The entire theatre community in NY were stunned, and, even though the Tony Awards kept her on as a nominee - she obviously didn't win. Donna Murphy won that year for The King And I.
This DVD is worth buying if you're really a serious hardcore Julie Andrews fan or if you are very keen on the show of Victor/Victoria - i didn't really enjoy the show - the score is ok. Some of the newer songs my Mancini and Bricusse are not as impactual as the original songs, most of which transfer to the stage version, but the score clearly needed filling out for a fully fledged musical. A couple of songs were replaced with other songs as well. The films' score won an Oscar for Best Original Score - but somehow the stage version didn't measure up quite the same.
The Tango sequence is a cute moment - there are many good ideas in the stage version, but alot of the moments look contrived for comic effect, and i don't think Blake Edwards really suits the stage - even though many of his films give the impression that he would suit it.
Edwards has not changed much of the script either - many of the scenes are the same - and the lines literally word for word are mostly the same in many scenes.