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Blu-ray Review- 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE
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PHOTOGRAPHY

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 154 minutes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, trailers

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles:  English

 

STUDIO: KL Studio Classics/ Kino Lorber/ Paramount pictures/ Percy main/ Legende

RELEASE DATE: 6- 6-2017

Director Ridley Scott has a wide range of movies in his filmography and one of them that never saw release on DVD and blu-ray in the United States ahs finally saw release 25 years after the movie’s release is 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE.  It isn’t one of his worst or best movies.  It is neither a so-so film.  It is a movie that is almost great with the first two hours being very compelling and the last half hour feeling rushed and fragmented.  It features a beautiful score by Vangelis (which is 180 degrees away from the futuristic sound of BLADE RUNNER) and gorgeous cinematography.      The diverse cast (Gerard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Tcheky Karyo, Michael Wincott, and Sigourney Weaver) is also what makes this overlooked Ridley Scott film a treat to watch even if you have never seen it (or haven’t watched it for a long while).   It is the better of the two Christopher Columbus movies released back in 1992 (with the other Christopher Columbus movie being just terrible).

 

Christopher Columbus (Gerard Depardieu) is a dreamer who searches for a route to the Far East and instead he finds part of the New World which is besieged by hope, tragedy (and carnage), and conflict with nobility (and religious people) who have a different view of what the new lands for Spain should be.   He convinces Queen Isabella (Sigourney Weaver who was the third choice for the role) to fund three voyages to this New World which will bring him into conflict with the Spanish nobles like Moxica (Michael Wincott) who want to rule over the natives with force.   1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE focuses on the first two voyages that Christopher Columbus made and it is what makes this movie a compelling historical drama, but I do think it would have made this film a classic if they also focused on the third voyage Columbus made near the end of his life (instead of briefly touching on it).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary with film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson which gives insight into the production history of the movie  (and Ridley Scott was first approached to direct the rival Christopher Columbus movie but the producers wanted too much control) as well as an analysis of the films of Ridley Scott from the look to the details to the themes in the movies.

 

Eight deleted scenes which are under nine minutes total with the last two scenes being alternate scenes

 

Theatrical trailers for other releases from KL Studio Classics (MULHOLLAND FALLS, WILD AT HEART, NEEDFUL THINGS, HIDDEN AGENDA, THE HOUSE ON CARROL STREET, ROSARY MURDERS ), but no trailer for 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE is included.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  I’m happy that 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE is finally on blu-ray.  It is a striking movie that is almost a great film marred by the fragmented ending which too briefly touches on the last years of Christopher Columbus in relation to what happened after his first two voyages to the New World.   The extras are good and the picture looks great on blu-ray.   I do wish longtime Ridley Scott extras producer Charles de Lauzirika was involved with the extras (but I’ve heard he isn’t involved with producing any of the extras on ALIEN: COVENANT or the upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2049), but smaller labels like Kino Lorber have smaller budgets and yet Charles would have put together a great making-of documentary on this movie.

 

This review is 6-21-2017 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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