DVD REVIEW: The Marlon Brando Collection

Warner
Movie ••• Picture/Sound •••½ Extras •••
Spanning 27 years, this six-disc, five-feature set provides an ideal showcase for the legendary actor's versatility. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), a gargantuan blockbuster, looks the best with its lavish 65mm Technicolor imagery remastered to pristine crystal clarity. In comparison, The Formula (1980), a pedestrian greed-within-the-gasoline-industry thriller, resembles a well-produced TV-movie.

Julius Caesar (1953) comes in stark, immaculately detailed black-and-white, marred only by slight grain. Its sound, like that of Bounty, is splendid, with dynamic multitrack surround elements remixed in flawless Dolby Digital 5.1 - particularly sonorous in Miklós Rózsa's magnificent score.

Of special note is the DVD of John Huston's psychosexual guilty pleasure Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). It recreates the ugly, muted-yellow tint the director had originally intended for the film. (Check out the 1967 trailer for the studio-decreed lush rainbow-palette images.) Although the mono sound is crisp and clean, you might want to turn on the English subtitles to decipher Brando's heavily Southern-accented mumbling. Lastly, The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) remains a charming CinemaScope souvenir, presented in refurbished MetroColor and modestly directional Dolby Digital stereo.

Standout extras include the long-lost prologue and epilogue to Bounty, whose two discs also include five vintage documentaries and a new one - but none of them is anything special. The same is true of vintage featurettes on the Reflections and Teahouse discs and a Formula commentary by director John G. Avildsen and screenwriter Steve Shagan. Bounty: [R] English and French, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.55:1) and anamorphic widescreen; two dual-layer discs. Julius Caesar: [NR] English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 2-channel mono; full frame (1.33:1); dual layer. The Formula: [R] English, Dolby Digital 2-channel mono; letterboxed (1.78:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer. Reflections and Teahouse: [R] English, Dolby Digital 2-channel mono; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.

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