Thursday, February 19, 2009

Murnau, Borzage and Fox (aka Box Sets Sometimes Rule...Sorta)

So starts a series of commentary on the it's-about-damn-time Murnau, Borzage and Fox box set - 12 DVDs and two books honoring William Fox and the geniuses he funded (for a time), F.W. Murnau and Frank Borzage. Check back here over the next few weeks for an in depth look/listen into each film complete with copious screen grabs (I just discovered Command-Option-S on VLC - try it!!!).

For now, though, I want to comment on the box itself. The adjective I've encountered most in reviews of Murnau, Borzage and Fox is "overstuffed." And indeed opening the behemoth burns many calories with the books sliding all over (save those ugly cardboard stoppers - they help!) and the title plaque becoming frequently unglued. Plus the discs are sequestered in thin folders which means that in order to remove a disc, one has to pick at it like chocolate in an advent calendar. (Complaints about the $239.98 list price are silly. How cheap can 12 DVDs and 2 books possibly be? Don't answer that, Mill Creek Entertainment.)

But only cinemaniacs (coughs) would purchase the thing for home consumption. It's ultimately designed for video stores and libraries where the discs only need to be plucked from the box once to begin their rental/checkout lives. And if a box's gotta be stuffed with something, then lordi let it be looooooooooong unavailable Murnau and Borzage films.

I'll work backward so first up next time is Young America (1932). Stay tuned.

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