le 13 septembre 2015
LEGEND  [Limited Edition SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] No Light Without Darkness! The Best Fantasy Film You’ll Ever See!
Tom Cruise stars in this visually stunning fantasy adventure in which pure good and evil battle to the death amidst spectacular surroundings. Set in a timeless mythical forest inhabited by fairies, goblins, unicorns and mortals, the fantastic story has Jack [Tom Cruise], a forest dweller, and chosen by fate to undertake a heroic quest. He must save beautiful Princess Lili [Mia Sara], and defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness [Tim Curry], or the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age. Co-starring Billy Barty and Alice Playten and Directed by Ridley Scott, famed for his remarkable settings and unparalleled imagery, the incredibly realised fable is the stuff movie legends are made of.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Won: British Society of Cinematographers: Best Cinematography for Alex Thomson. Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Makeup. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award: Nominated: Best Makeup. BAFTA® Awards: Nominated: Best Costume Design. Nominated: Best Makeup Artist. Nominated: Best Special Visual Effects. In 2000, Universal Pictures unearthed an answer print of the 113-minute preview cut with Jerry Goldsmith's score. This print had minor visual anomalies that were eventually digitally replaced with finished shots from the 89 minute U.S. version. This edition is Ridley Scott's preferred 2002 "Director's Cut," with the restored Jerry Goldsmith soundtracks. The Director's Cut's source is one of only two prints of this extended version known to exist and used for Universal Pictures 2002 DVD and eventual the Blu-ray disc release of the "Ultimate Edition."
Cast: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo, Tina Martin, Ian Longmur, Michael Crane, Liz Gilbert, Eddie Powell, Ian Stewart, Jeff Davies, Sally Dewhurst, Jane Devonshire, Amanda Rose, Joey Baxter, Sharon Brown, Nicky Dewhurst, Debbie Greenwell, Helene Holland, Anna Kipling, Samantha Newbury, Belinda Payne, Gabriel Piatrowski, Jerome Sax and Mike Edmonds
Director: Ridley Scott
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Joseph P. Grace and Tim Hampton
Screenplay: William Hjortsberg
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith, Eric Allaman (uncredited) and Tangerine Dream
Cinematographer: Alex Thomson
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 DTS-HD, Castellanos: 5.1 DTS-HD, German: 5.1 DTS-HD, Italian: 5.1 DTS-HD, Russian: 5.1 DTS-HD, Polish: 2.0 Dolby Digital and Turkish: 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish, French, Castellanos, Danish, Dutch, Suomi, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese [Brazil], Russian, Swedish, Chinese, Cantonese, Polish, Portuguese, Indian and Turkish
Region: All Regions
Running Time: 1:33.43 and 1:53.11
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: 1985 proved to be an odd year for directors who worked at Universal Pictures. On one hand, one Universal Pictures release ‘Out of Africa’ nabbed the OSCAR® for Best Picture. Another ‘Back to the Future’ took home the crown as the year’s box office champion. On the other hand, a couple of directors had a rough time with their Universal projects in 1985. The most extreme problems befell Terry Gilliam and ‘BRAZIL’ which he experienced legendary battles with studio chiefs over the tone and length of the flick, among other areas; it remains one of the most famous feuds in film history. The term "failed masterpiece" is rather loosely thrown about because the so-called one bad element that ruins or more often simply detracts from an otherwise work of pure genius by a director many consider a god can vary greatly depending on the project.
The story, such as it is, is formulaic and not terribly interesting. An evil demon kidnaps a princess and a unicorn, and a young man must set out to rescue them, accompanied by various fantasy creatures. But Ridley Scott knows his fairy tales well enough to understand that theme and style are more important than plot per se. Legend is primarily a visual film, with gorgeously designed sets and spectacular costumes. It also has a strong soundtrack or, rather, two alternative strong soundtracks, one by Jerry Goldsmith and the other by the ghastly Tangerine Dream.
‘LEGEND’ remains to this day one of the most richly visual films you'll ever see with every scene is filled with so much colour, movement and astonishing natural and magical imagery it’s overwhelming and is rightly considered "music video" in appearance and production design and cinematography in this film are OSCAR® calibre. Indeed Ridley Scott's aiming was high, here is a pure fairy-tale film but with a mean streak, where a demon who seeks to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns and marrying a fairy princess is opposed by the forest boy Jack and his elven allies in this magical fantasy.
‘LEGEND’ places us in a land of faeries and magic. Forest-dweller Jack [Tom Cruise] loves Princess Lily [Mia Sara] and desires to spend all his time with her. Although it’s against the rules, he tries to impress her when he shows her the romping grounds of the unicorns, the most sacred and special of creatures. Against Jack’s warnings, Lily approaches and touches one of the unicorns, an action that messes up the world badly. Concurrently, Blix [Alice Playten], the henchman of Darkness [Tim Curry], slays one of the unicorns and steals its horn. This places the world mostly in shadows, which is what Darkness desires. He needs to kill the other unicorn to finish the job, and Jack wants to stop this.
Though not exactly an original story, I have no great quibble with the plot. On the positive side, I must admit that ‘LEGEND’ looks absolutely fantastic. Clearly a lot of work went into the production design, and the results are excellent. The forest and other settings seem lush and lively, and they create a fine environment for the action, especially as it was all filmed on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios.
Tim Curry does an exceptional job as the Lord of Darkness, though he’s totally unrecognisable beneath many layers of makeup. Sara seems less satisfying as Lily. While she appears pretty enough for the part, she lacks much charm. Frankly, I could never understand why Jack loves her so much; because Lily comes across not very caring or her surrounding environment. Here in her film debut, Mia Sara couldn’t seem to find any depth or heart to the role, so Lily remains a beautiful but unlikable character. ‘LEGEND’ is an amazing experience and Director’s Cut version is the ultimate edition, as Ridley Scott has been able to add in lots of extra scenes that were missing from the previous Blu-ray Ultimate Edition. One massive bonus is that this Blu-ray does not include the original disastrous US theatrical version, which was a total insult to the brilliant director Ridley Scott, but had to be released in America in that horrible insulting version, as for some unknown reason American’s are not intelligent enough to understand the Director’s Cut version. Ridley Scott created something timeless in 1985, a luminous treasure of fantasy and colour, and if you haven’t had the chance to experience the visual dream that is ‘LEGEND,’ then I suggest you get this "Ultimate Edition" Limited Edition SteelBook Blu-ray disc.
The Director’s Cut: For years before its release on DVD, the ‘LEGEND’ Director's Cut was thought to have been lost forever. However, in 2000, it was miraculously located in the form of a pristine answer print, which was later transferred for DVD. Answer prints by their nature offer limited latitude in the transfer process, commonly resulting in less-then-optimal picture quality. Such is the case with ‘LEGEND’ Director's Cut. Newly re-transferred in 2011 for this Blu-ray release, the limitations of the answer print are now even more apparent in high definition. However, given its one-and-only source element, the Director's Cut looks as good as it possibly can and I am pleased to include it on this Blu-ray release as both an archival curiosity for fans and a digital preservation of my original vision for the film. – Ridley Scott
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘LEGEND’ appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Sharpness usually seemed positive. A few shots came across as a little soft due to the spotty nature of the Director’s Cut’s source material. However, those instances remained modest, as the majority of the film seemed distinctive and well-defined. Jagged edges and moiré effects caused no concerns, and I detected no signs of edge enhancement. Colours appeared very strong in this ultimate version. The film utilises a glowing tone that made sense within the fantasy framework, and the various hues came across as rich and vibrant. The colours always looked clear and attractive, and they exhibited no issues like noise or bleeding. Black levels also were deep and dense, and shadow detail seemed appropriately heavy but not excessively opaque; the Blu-ray presented a solid image.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround audio track sounded absolutely brilliant, but I am very angry it is only available on the European Theatrical Cut and a massive improvement over previous Surround Sound releases. But if you watch the Director’s Cut you can only get to hear it in the English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound audio track. Dialogue came across very natural and distinct, with no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Surround effects seemed more hit or miss, despite this some of those elements appeared nicely clear and rich, but others sounded thinner and more dated. For the most part, however, the effects remained fairly accurate and vibrant, though high-end sounds occasionally were a little brittle sounding. Music showed positive fidelity, especially with Jerry Goldsmith’s awesome score seemed very bright and lively. Bass response was fairly warm and natural. After 27 years, the audio of ‘LEGEND’ has held up well.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
European Theatrical Cut
Director’s Cut [English Audio Only]
Theatrical Trailer  [408i] [4:3] This is of very poor quality and with this upgrade, couldn’t of anyone done some homework and found a better copy?
Finally, ‘LEGEND’ remains one of my all-time personal favourite film and, while it hasn't weathered the ages as well as other films of the era, it stands out as both a fantasy classic and a memorable Ridley Scott production. Both versions have their lovers and haters. Personally, I like the “Director’s Cut” for its length and the more beautiful images you get to view. Taking nothing away from the late, brilliant Jerry Goldsmith, the swelling synths and mysterious pads of Tangerine Dream just jive with the dream-like fantasy that is ‘LEGEND.’ Honestly, it's worth the price of admission for Tim Curry's performance alone. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Blu-ray release doesn't disappoint either. It not only delivers two versions of the film, each one is backed by an excellent video transfer, a solid English 5.1 Dolby Digital Master Audio track, but very disappointing they could not of include the extras with the previous Blu-ray release and they should of supplied and extra Blu-ray disc and I feel this has been a slight let down, especially as the Trailer is a totally shoddy quality. But despite this, I am extremely proud to add this to me ever increasing Blu-ray Limited Edition SteelBook Collection, as this is definitely THE Ultimate Edition as it is such a beautifully designed inside and out of the Limited Edition SteelBook, as it has lots of extra scenes added in with the Director’s Cut and certainly made it a totally magical experience. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom