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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Farinelli
Farinelli
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Review by Blake Kunisch | posted December 19, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie: A Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee in the category of Best Foreign Film, Farinelli is an amazing true story of the famous castrato. Young Farinelli had a most beautiful voice, and to preserve it, he was castrated. This movie tells the story of his life, and everything that came along with it - money, talent, fame, and women (some how). While the movie has its problems, as a whole, the film is held together as we watch Farinelli as he holds the power of voice, but experiences the downfall of fame.

The Picture: The picture features a great transfer from pring, with almost no signs of dust or grain. The anamorphic transfer is gorgeous, but as a whole, the film was a little blurry throughout (maybe the intention of the director). There is a little hint of edge enhancement at times, but it in no way distracts from the film. Had the sharpness been improved a little bit, this would have been a perfect transfer.

The Sound: The sound is unfortunately only presented in Dolby 2-channel. While the movie focuses on Farinelli's singing ability and thus, presents a rather vivid array of sound ranges, there are also many ambient sounds evident throughout the movie. The dialogue is crisp and clear (would have been even clearer if I spoke French or Italian) and syncs up perfectly with the actors. A DTS or 5.1 surround transfer would have made the soundtrack near perfect.

The Extras: The extras are disappointing. While the anamorphic transfer and soundtrack are above average, the special features are not. The trailers offer nothing special, and the talent files, as usual are nothing more than a couple of screens of filmographies. A director's commentary would have been fantastic with this film, or at least a short interview. For such an award winning film, you would think a little more effort would have gone into the extra features.

Conclusion: In conclusion, while Farinelli isn't the kind of movie I usually get in to, I enjoyed it to a point. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - with the quote on the cover being: "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll...18th-Century Style!" Nonetheless, the presentation is a above average with the extras being far below. If you enjoyed Farinelli the first time around, you will enjoy the exquisite audio and video, but be disappointed with the lack of extras, and if you haven't seen it, I would suggest renting it - only if you enjoy foreign movies - because you just might like Farinelli as much as the Foreign Press did.

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