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Don Juan Demarco

New Line // PG-13 // April 10, 2012
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted May 10, 2012 | E-mail the Author


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Don Juan Demarco Review


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I
wanted to begin this
review with a slant on how Don Juan Demarco is that rare
exception to
the rule; a genuinely surprising and satisfying romantic comedy. But
it's too
affecting and whimsical to merely be referred to alongside the likes of
schlock
like Fool's Gold (2008), Alex and Emma (2003), and Failure
to
Launch
(2006). Okay, so I technically just did exactly that anyway.
At
least you got the point. Theoretically, that is.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Don
Juan Demarco
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">
uses some fantastic elements
of the classic story of Don Juan and integrates these aspects into a
modernized
setting with Johnny Depp playing a young impassioned lover who is
confused in so
many ways: 1) he thinks he's Don Juan and 2) he's wearing a
costume!
Luckily, this aloof bumblebee is given some therapeutic (i.e. therapy)
sessions
with the great Marlon Brando! Alright, if you insist on getting down to
the
nitty-gritty technical aspects of understanding Don Juan Demarco,
these
actors also have character names: Depp plays the greatest lover on
earth (i.e.
John Arnold Demarco) and Brando performs as the fantastic or overrated
Dr. Jack
Mickler. Personally, given the situation, I thought he was underrated.
I
suppose that's up to each viewer.  style=""> Faye Dunaway continues to be aces with the
role of Dr. Mickler's wife.  Dunaway's
always been an actress of incredible range, depth, and beauty.style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">You
have to hand it to
Jeremy Leven: As writer-director of the cult-smash favorite Don
Juan Demarco
,
Leven created a beautiful film that manages to be as whimsical as it is
poetic.
The romantic-film genre has often been plagued with a number of
disappointments, especially in regards to the so-called sub-genre known
as the
"romantic-comedy".  Don Juan Demarco is perhaps one of the
best
examples of a film that manages to fit nicely within that genre while
managing
to also avoid the looming pitfalls that are typically associated: such
as, you
know, being so unfunny that you start to wonder why said film was ever
really
conceived of as a comedy, especially with no visible chemistry between
the two
leads. Something remotely comparable
to that, I'd say.


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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Of
course,
romantic-comedies can be amongst the best films ever made. It is a
genre that
has in so many ways received a bad-wrap mainly because of the
oversaturation of
the market with the "weekly-date-movies" that don't have as high of an
agenda.
Sometimes studios and filmmakers just want your ten bucks on a
Friday-night
outing with that new someone-special. Other times, you've actually been
granted
a magical access to some of the most beloved romantic films ever.
Period. It's
a matter of priority with the behind-the-scenes folks. Luckily, Don
Juan
Demarco
winds up being on the
good-list with care, compassion, and enthusiastic spirit bolstering
what
already contained fantabulous performances, excellence direction, and
unlikely
scope. It's an entertaining and grand time at the
romantically-cinematic
parade. Ahem: I'll have tickets for two, please!


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Genuine
romance is
something that so often leads to comedic elements in cinema,
anyway. 
Isn't it so much better when you find a beautifully-spirited film with
a
side-helping of whimsy than to experience a typical and mundane
by-the-numbers
film attempting to be successful crossing off the set number of
expectations on
one of those hopefully imaginary  "Hollywood-approved
"or "stamped and ready" lists? Come
on, you know it is. Of course it is. Who would want schmaltz when you
can have romance
so precious that it tugs at heart-strings without any artificiality?*


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Take
a strong premise;
mix it with an effective blend of an entirely genuine romantic mood and
strong
emotions, enjoyable costumes, stellar performances, a creative script,
and
great behind-the-scenes elements (directing, cinematography, music --
plus much
more) and see what that concoction leads to - pure cinematic delight.


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Few
films want to even
attempt to be as charming as Don Juan Demarco.  You want
to feel the
love?  Experience
filmmaking from the heart?
 Here you go. Accept no substitution (unless the substitute
happens to be Benny & Joon - personally, I'd
consider them a great double feature). Even with an eighteen year gap
between
the original 1994 theatrical release and the recently available Blu-ray
presentation,
Don Juan Demarco still manages
to deliver on every level.


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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">style="">


style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
Blu-ray:


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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Video:


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">Don
Juan Demarco
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">is
presented on
Blu-ray by New Line Cinema in 1080p High Definition. The 1.85:1 framed
transfer
preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. Considering when Don
Juan
Demarco
was made in the mid-90s, this presentation is surprisingly
strong
for a catalog transfer. Film grain remains intact and colors are
appropriately saturated.
The cinematography from Ralf Bode is simple but highly effective and it
looks even
better than ever with this High Definition treatment. Fans should be
pleased. style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Audio:


style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; line-height: normal;">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
audio-quality is also quite strong. While it won't be a showstopper, it
sounds
marvelous for something produced in the 90's. The DTS-HD Master Audio
presentation brings clarity, crisp, and satisfying aural sound
qualities to the
table and overall experience. The film is presented: English
(DTS-HD-MA), and
Spanish (Dolby Digital).   


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style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; line-height: normal;">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Subtitles
are
provided in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing), Spanish,
and
French.


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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Extras:


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">This
release contains two bonus
features:


align="center">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Bryan
Adams - Have You Ever Really Loved a
Woman
(Music Video)


align="center">style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Isolated
stereo audio track containing the film's score by Michael Kamen


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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Final
Thoughts:


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">The
Ugly Truth
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">
is that you might want to set The
Wedding Date
after watching this film Made
of Honor
. It's no Fool's Gold,
but it is instead a real treasure. It won't help you to learn style="">How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, but as Rumor
Has It
, Don Juan Demarco might actually prevent a style="">Failure to Launch. Good Luck,
Chuck
! style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">In
other
words, I loved it. style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">


style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Highly
Recommended.



style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; color: black;">*...
Besides Matthew McConaghey?
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Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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