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Mark Herman's British comedy Brassed Off comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions available on this release. Supplemental materials include the theatrical trailer. Although the film looks and sounds fine, there is nothing extra here to recommend this disc. Fans of working-class British comedies will certainly enjoy the disc, but there is nothing here to draw in the average consumer.
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Rated 4 out of 5 stars
A film as powerful as its soundtrack.
Posted . Owned for 5 months when reviewed.
A confession first. I am a brass music fan. I originally bought this film for the sound track. The quality of the story totally surprised me. It’s backdrop is the impact on working class coal miners of the United Kingdom’s “green” program to shift from coal to nuclear power. We see middle aged, middle class, union workmen facing mandatory retirement due to their jobs and their industry going away forever. We see this through the eyes of miners who play in the town band, the Grimley Colliery Brass Band. I was totally blown away by how well the film’s cast portray the emotions and motivations of those miners. The quality of that cast is spectacular. Most of their faces are very familiar thanks to previous roles. (Just to name some of the principals, the butler from “Downton Abbey,” the Detective Chief Inspector from approximately 70 Hercule Poirot mysteries, Obi-Won Kenobi from “Star Wars, episodes I-III,” and the great white hunter from “Jurassic Park II.) The event this cast focuses on is the forced closure of Grimley Colliery, the town of Grimley’s principal employer. A closure that actually happened in real life. And a closure the Grimley Colliery Brass Band survived. The band exists today and is a multiple time British Brass Band national champion. It also provided the sound track that I bought this film to hear. A very entertaining soundtrack. However, the film itself is equally good.