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Excellent film against the backdrop of Dresden bombing in the II World War, based on the memorable novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr . Beautiful classical music for the soundtrack by Glenn Gould. The dvd arrived very soon and in perfect condition. No subtitles in Italian, though. No extras except the trailer.
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79 di 83 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Billy Pilgrim Lives...from Time to Time26 maggio 2004
Michael R Gates
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
A faithful adaptation of the novel by celebrated American author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (1972) is about the life of one Billy Pilgrim, a milquetoast of a man who has somehow become "unstuck" in time and therefore randomly ping-pongs back and forth to relive various events in his life. Although the film does depict instances when Billy re-experiences a few snippets from both his childhood and the moments immediately preceding his death, most of the time he is relegated to three major periods of his life: His tour of duty in WWII, during which he is a POW in Dresden, Germany, as it is bombed by Allied forces; his mid-life era, in which he suffers from suburban ennui while he labors in an unsatisfying career and contends with his overbearing, overweight wife; and the time he spends as a captive of extraterrestrials on the distant planet Tralfamadore, where he is kept in a dome-like cage and "forced" to mate with a beautiful soft-core porn starlet. As bizarre and confusing as this summarization may sound, the unusually structured plot is not all that difficult to follow, and the film is actually quite excellent. This cinematic success can be primarily attributed to the skills of screenwriter Stephen Geller, director George Roy Hill, and film editor Dede Allen. Due to their strong understanding of the novel and a good sense of aesthetics, they are able to seamlessly shift the story from one era or event to an ostensibly disparate one by intercutting one scene with another while attention is focused on some detail common to both. This circular narrative better serves the message of the film than the more common linear (i.e., natural moment-to-moment flow of time) plotting, as it makes it possible to juxtapose events that, while separated by years or even decades chronologically, are similar in theme. And just what is the message this surreal film is trying to convey? As with the novel upon which it is based, the primary message is a nihilistic one, to wit, that life and the absurd events of which it is comprised are meaningful only because humans impute meaning to them. However, the film also has a subtle but complex existentialist and ontological subtext. Just below the nihilistic façade is the suggestion that humans should be willing to assume ultimate responsibility for the consequences of their actions. In addition, the non-linear plotting suggests that living beings are not disconnected entities WITH a history, but are, instead, comprised OF their history. In other words, a being is not an objective, corporeal identity existing in a state of temporal flux; a being is an abstract entity that is simultaneously all the different things he has done, is doing, and will do. Heady stuff, that. The acting in SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE is top-notch. As Billy Pilgrim, Michael Sacks epitomizes the naïve, baby-faced child-soldier Billy in the WWII sequences, but he also gives very believable performances when portraying the listless middle-aged Billy and the Billy living as a zoo specimen on Tralfamadore. Sexy Valerie Perrine plays soft-core porn actress Montana Wildhack, Billy's "mate" in the Tralfamadorian zoo. A one-time topless dancer herself, Perrine infuses her character with genuine emotional depth and complexity rather than playing it as the stereotypical porn bimbo. Ron Leibman chews the scenery in the supporting role of Lazzaro, Billy's comrade-in-arms-cum-assassin, and Eugene Roche gives a very affecting performance as Billy's wartime mentor, Edgar Derby. There are also cameos by very notable thespians such as Sorrell Booke, Roberts Blossom, John Dehner, Lucille Benson, and British actor John Wood. The new DVD release from MCA/Universal is a no-frills disc offering only the theatrical trailer as bonus material. However, unlike previous DVD releases of the film, the widescreen presentation is anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The digital transfer is good, but there are noticeable filmic and digital artifacts. Nonetheless, the disc is offered at a very reasonable price, and the film itself should have a spot in the collection of any serious film lover.
54 di 61 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
A Job Well Done20 giugno 2004
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
After seeing the mess that was "Breakfast of Champions," I was really skeptical about how the film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's masterpiece, "Slaughterhouse-Five" would turn out. It isn't the easiest book to translate into film, after all. So, I think it's fair to say that I had my doubts at first. I finally found this available on DVD, and to my surprise it was a faithful and well done adaptation. While it may not be absolutely flawless or spectacular, it does its best to stay true to the source. Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time. This meaning that he relives certain parts of his life in random order. There is no beginning, no middle, and no ending for Pilgrim. His life plays in scrambled portions in a continuous loop. This is something that Billy has no control over and he never knows what part of his life he will revisit next. Sometimes he relives the time he was in WW2 and was a P.O.W. in Dresden. Other times it's to his life shortly after the war where he is married and has children. Then there are times when he relives the moment where he is taken to the planet Tralfamadore. Filled with humorous and heartbreaking moments, Billy is forced to live his life like a scrambled puzzle that is never-ending. Directed by George Roy Hill, this is a pretty powerful and smart adaptation of a true literary classic, which isn't the easiest task in the world. While it's not word-for-word and things are changed around, the film does a more than decent job of staying true to the book for the most part. The only thing that bugs me a little about it is that the film plays more like a drama rather than the satire that is the book. Still, I have to applaud the director for doing a very good job of bringing to life a marvelous book. Michael Sacks is great as "Billy Pilgrim" and really becomes the character. If the wrong actor was used for that part, this movie would be a complete disaster. As with any film that is based on a book, it is always sad to see things that didn't make it in the movie. There were a lot of things that happened in the book that didn't make it on screen. While I understand that this is necessary, it still makes a little sad. The stuff that does make it onto film plays out very well. People may be confused with the movie if they haven't read the book beforehand, but it is not impossible to enjoy it without reading the actual book. I think the people who have read the book will possibly enjoy this more, however. The only thing that sort of disappointed me was the ending. I know that it probably wouldn't had translated well on film had it ended the exact same way the book does, but I found the movie's ending to be a little corny. Despite that, I think this was a very valid and successful effort, even if it isn't perfect. Other than the theatrical trailer, this DVD offers no special features whatsoever. The picture is pretty good, considering how old the movie is. The newest version that has come out on DVD is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen, which really does help bring clarity to the picture. I wasn't really expecting too many features to be included on this DVD, but it would've been nice if a few were added in. I'm sure something could have been done to make this DVD release better. So, does "Slaughterhouse-Five" provide a faithful and true depiction of Vonnegut's classic novel? In my opinion, yes. It may not be flawless, but it's definitely a great achievement. Despite some of my minor--and they are minor--problems with the film, I found it to be surprisingly good. If you have read the book, then I encourage you to check it out, of course keeping in mind that it won't be a complete replica of the book. If you have seen the movie and have yet to read the book, then I encourage you to check out the book, which will definitely answer some of your questions about the film and fill in some of those blanks. It was a treat to watch a movie that did its absolute best to never tread away from the written word. -Michael Crane
23 di 24 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
How's this for rare...a quality Vonnegut adaptation.22 ottobre 1999
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Kurt Vonnegut is one of those writers who, when you hear about a movie adaptation of one of their works, you always immediately think "How the Hell are they gonna manage that?". His books are stream-of-consciousness tirades against the madness of mankind...not exactly cinema-ready audience pleasers. This has been proven by experimental disasters such as "Slapstick (of Another Kind)". But under the expert and fearless direction of George Roy Hill ("The Sting", "The World According to Garp", "Slap Shot", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), the movie version of "Slaughterhouse 5" has nothing to feel embarassed about when placed next the the excellent novel. The key to this, as in all great novel-movie transfers, is a worthy cast. And here we have one in spades. I don't think there's another movie made that has done such a bang-on job at matching the flesh and blood actors to their literary equivalents. Protagonist Billy Pilgrim is played perfectly withdrawn by Michael Sacks, with Sharon Ganz as his overweight, overprotective wife. He has become unstuck in time, forever bouncing around his own life. From the horrors of WWII to the mundane insanity of marriage, the film masterfully transitions between these random chronological events, till Pilgrim eventually ends up on display on the distant planet Tralfamadore, paired together with barely-clad sexpot Montana Wildhack. Viewers can enjoy the same laser-like accuracy in casting with the various supporting characters. Newcomers to Vonnegut might find themselves slightly unstuck through the meandering narrative, but the inherient quality of the film should see even confused moviegoers to the end of this cinematic Vonnegut masterpiece.
8 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me They Made A Movie Of This?9 dicembre 2005
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Why am I only finding out now that there was a film of `Slaughterhouse Five'? The advent of DVD has brought back some great films that have been lost or forgotten.
Everywhere I go I'm told that `Slaughterhouse Five' was the greatest book ever written. But I've never gotten around to reading it. The film leaves no doubt that in print or on film this is one of the greatest stories ever told.
The Plot: This is what I've always asked. "What is this great story `Slaughterhouse Five' about?" Now that I know I can see why all my friends were at a loss to explain it.
The story does not sound intriguing in theory but is great in practice. `Slaughterhouse Five' is about a man Billie Pilgrim who is "lost in time" that is, every 30 seconds he jumps forward or backward to a different time in his life. Somewhat similar to `Memento' except it was 5 minutes and he was always going backwards.
Billie Pilgrim's life has three main settings. He was drafted into WWII and taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge. As a POW he is taken to Dresden and survives the single worst massacre of WWII. In the 1950s he experiences suburban life as a father. And in his later years he is abducted by aliens and enslaved with a topless movie star to reproduce.
See what I mean, these are three very odd stories that shouldn't work together. There is the very serious issue of Dresden, the "open city" in Germany with no armed forces or war production which was inhabited by European refugees hoping to wait out the war in peace. But on February 14 1945 the Allies decided to destroy German moral by ordering hundreds of British and American bombers to fire bomb the city. On February 15 they returned, and on the 16th they sent in American fighters to machine gun as many survivors as possible. 135,000 civilians died, more than Hiroshima or Nagasaki. A rather serious issue for a sci-fi film.
Why is Billie lost in time? We never know but suspect it may be because he's abducted by aliens where he says time does not exist. Or it may be that after a plane crash he has brain surgery.
Billie is a likeable character because he doesn't really say or do anything on his own. Billie does not shape events, events shape him. He didn't go to Dresden because he wanted to, he gets married and works only because that is what's expected of him. And the aliens abduct him.
Billie is not so much an actor as he is an observer. And his loss of time is just like everyone else. One moment I'm writing this review and the next I'm back to last night watching this film. Our minds jump to different times in our lives.
As for the production quality of this film, it's great. The WWII scenes are very authentic and high budget. The acting is good although there are no notable actors. Billie is played by Michael Sacks whose filmography is thin and unotable. I only remember him as the hostage cop in `Sugarland Express'. The topless actress is played by Valerie Perrine who you may remember as Lex Luther's girlfriend in the `Superman' films.
`Slaughterhouse Five' may sound as bizarre as its title named after Billie's POW barracks, but it's a very powerful story that will make you laugh, cry, and smile. I can't believe a film buff like me didn't know about. It just shows you how many lost gems are being found on DVD.
8 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
Slaughterhouse Five full of irony2 luglio 2004
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Slaughterhouse Five is an excellent adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel about one man's journey back and forth in time between World War 2 and present day (1970's) America. If you haven't read the novel, you will spend the first part of the movie trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together which make up the sequence of his life. The movie deals with a number of different themes; the horrors and injustice of war, the possibility of time travel, space travel and premonition. The movie is full of ironies; Billy Pilgrim, an American of German ancestry, is sent to fight Germans in WW2. He is captured and becomes a POW in one of the "safest parts of Germany" - Dresden. It turns out Dresden suffered higher casualties than Hiroshima. As an American POW, he is bombed by his own people, the British and Americans. A good-natured POW is shot for looting while the bad Paul Lazzaro survives and prospers. A small figurine survives the bombing only to be broken afterwards. The figurine is symbolic of the city of Dresden itself; innocent, fragile, a senseless victim of the war. Billy Pilgrim survives the trauma of the war, a plane crash, losing his wife in a car crash and then takes a trip to Tralfamadore. The viewer is left to decide whether his space travel is really happening or the hallucinations of someone trying to cope with life's experiences. The story does have a positive message: try to put things into perspective; look at your life as a whole and not get bogged down in the day to day trials and errors. There is also a certain fatalism going on; things are going to happen that are outside of your control, there will be nothing you can do about them, just try to get on with it and enjoy the good times.