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Another of director Francis Ford Coppola's noble failures, this MGM DVD release of The Cotton Club shows that Coppola's misfires often contain more entertainment value than other people's successes. While the movie contains way too many subplots and characters, it contains first-rate production values, great music, and wonderful sequences. Originally released in 70 mm, the DVD's widescreen anamorphic transfer finally restores the visual luster to the movie and shows off Richard Sylbert's sumptuous production design. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is flawless and really showcases the movie's crackerjack jazz score. The case says that deleted scenes are included on the disc but unless they are purposefully hidden on the DVD as "Easter eggs," they are not on the disc. This is a shame because Coppola reportedly had to cut out many of the movie's best musical numbers and they should be restored to a future DVD for the movie that revolves around a famous jazz club.
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Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Owned for 1 week when reviewed.
Having essentially retired from active moviemaking, famed director Francis Coppola has taken to tinkering with some of his movie canon. He recently gave us a "Final Cut" to "Apocalypse Now" (that was actually a trimming of "Redux," which in itself was a director's cut of his theatrical release) and now he gives us an "Encore" to "The Cotton Club," an ambitious period musical drama about the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1930s, which stars Richard Gere in one of his best performances as a white jazz musician involved in an interracial relationship. There's a great supporting cast around him (Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Lonette McKee, and the great Gregory Hines) and the production quality (cinematography, set design, costumes, sound) is lavish. This new disc is actually a director's cut remastering of the theatrical release, which Coppola was long rumored to have been unhappy with. Some musical numbers have been extended, and character relationships explored with more detail. This new disc doesn't give us all the other versions of the film that the new Apocalypse blu ray package did, which is a shame. I suppose we'll have to wait for the "Second Encore" for that, when and if there is one.
Disclaimer: this review will contain a few spoilers that are necessary to convince you it's worth the purchase.
Been awhile since I've seen this film; but, I've watched it so many times in the past, it was easy to see where new footage was added and what was taken out. This film is a must-own simply for the extended/alternate scenes with the late, great Gregory Hines AND his real-life estranged brother Maurice alone!!! But, when you add in additional performances of Lonette McKee and a surprise appearance by Jackee (227), it truly heightens up the appeal of purchase. The restoration truly gives this film a new look: colors are exquisitely vivid, blacks truly pop (lots of fine lines in the suits/tuxes), and facial details aplenty (I've noticed quite a bit of dimples, beauty marks, etc. that I don't remember seeing before). Definitely recommended!!!
So glad that this classic period piece is available for purchase. F.F.C. brings us his original vision of his attempt at a Gangster/Musical. I remember owning the theatrical version on vhs tape. This bluray stands head and shoulders above that studio hack job. Amazing performances by the late Gregory Hines and Fred Gywnne. Lonnette McKee gives a star-making turn that was lost in all the controversy surrounding the pictures production. The high definition picture and sound looks amazing on my 4k and 7.2 surround setup. Extras include the director along with Maurice Hines, ( Gregory's brother) and James Remar discussing the making of the film. A must have collectable.
I had the Cotton Club on DVD but The Cotton Club Encore is the finest version of the film ever. Coppola has been able to expand the film with 40 minutes that add so much to the enjoyment of the movie. The Cotton Club Encore is breathtaking on Blu Ray but also the whole film is a more fleshed out edition of now a great film that is on several levels. Its a gangster film, a jazz extravaganza and a star filled period piece of the 1920 1930s as well as a story of the Real Cotton Club. There are also an introduction by Coppola and a question and answer talk about the film. The Cotton Club Encore is now a wonderful film to enjoy over and over again for its many levels
The original theatrical version of The Cotton Club was a mess, but it was never a boring mess... But Encore is simply a better film, transforming a collection of moments into a strikingly concise whole.
Jazz, race relations, and bootleggers burn up the screen in Francis Ford Coppola's newly restored and greatly improved The Cotton Club Encore. With restored plot lines and important character moments, a beautiful mess of a film finds its soul. Lionsgate delivers The Cotton Club Encore to Blu-ray in a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD set. The A/V presentation is beautiful material highlighting the beautiful visual styling. Bonus features are sadly on the light side. If you only remember the original 1984 cut, it's time to give The Cotton Club Encore a chance to impress you. Highly Recommended.
While the Cotton Club may have it's detractors, to me it was a great film. The casting was excellent and the story was good, about crime in the 30s with "Dutch" Schulz trying to get rid of his romantic rival Dixie Dwyer. The story revolves around the Cotton Club, a night club which featured black entertainers.
While it is good that the film was released on Blu-Ray, the transfer leaves a bit to be desired. Individual scenes are sharp and clear but scenes at night and in the Cotton Club are soft in comparison.
The Cotton Club Encore, is a look back in time to what life in the 20’s and 30’s was like. This movie is somewhat historical, in the way it depicts some of the known characters of this era. This was a time when entertainment was staged not so much on a large stage, but in a relativity small room, close to the performers, something which is rarely done today. The Tap Dancing scenes, featuring Gregory and Maurice Hines were especially outstanding.