Blu-ray Review “Camelot: 45th Anniversary Edition”

Directed by: Joshua Logan
Starring: Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running Time: 179 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

This film was based off the classic Broadway musical and it definitely has it problems overall but still manages to entertain. The film runs a very long three hours and definitely drags in parts. The saving grace for the film was the musical numbers and the performances.  I really enjoyed the music and Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave are just stunning. You can just see the amount of production that went into this film, no expenses were spared. The Blu-ray itself is worth picking up if you are a fan of this film for sure and it is a great way to introduce the film to you if you have never seen it.

This 45th Anniversary Edition comes with a Digibook packaging, which contains a lot of great images and information. Also included is a separate CD containing four songs from the score, though I wish they would have included the full CD. The video resolution on the Blu-ray looks great with its 1080p transfer and presented in an 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The audio included is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is fantastic, especially with the film’s musical sequences.

The special features are decent at best with only two new features for this release. There is a new commentary track by Stephen Farber, which is interesting and very in-depth. There is also a new featurette called “Camelot: Falling Kingdoms”, which runs about 30 minutes and includes interviews and some interesting production information. There are also two featurettes included that were on the previously released on DVD and are only presented in standard definition. The first is called “The World Premiere of Camelot” and takes us back to to 1967 for the premiere of the film. The second is “The Story of Camelot”, which focuses on the “real” Camelot. Lastly there is four theatrical trailers included. Since this film is known for its music, it is sad that their is no Isolated Score track that was on the DVD release.

Synopsis: The oft-told tales of Arthurian legend have always been fertile ground for art. With countless books, films and songs on the subject, there have been many interpretations of Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, the glories of the kingdom of Camelot and the doomed love triangle of King Arthur, Lady Guenevere and Sir Lancelot du Lac. The musical Camelot, however, remains the most iconic. Consider the historical context of the piece. Originated for the stage in 1960, Camelot coincided with the presidency of a young John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a big fan of Camelot; he identified with King Arthur and, according to the First Lady, she and the President would often listen to the soundtrack before going to bed at night. Tragically, and ironically, just as Arthur’s rule lasted for one brief, shining moment, so did Kennedy’s, and the press forever linked the two legendary leaders many hundreds of years apart. Camelot is emblematic of JFK and, as such, it is emblematic of an era.

Camelot celebrates its 45th anniversary with the Blu-ray debut on April 24th !

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