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Magician: The Astonishing Life And Work Of Orson Welles Blu-ray Review

Magician- The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles Blu-ray

“Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles” is a well constructed documentary.

In “Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles,” viewers get a crash course history of Orson Welles’ family, childhood, personality, marriages and children, his troubles in the film industry, his love of food, his influence on cinema and pop culture, and his dedicated and often brilliant work in theater, radio, film, and TV. The documentary film is entirely comprised of film clips, interviews with actors, filmmakers, family members and artists and archival photos/interviews/footage of the late Orson Welles.

For film buffs and anyone who has ever taken a film class, there’s not much in the way of new information provided here. The docu is essentially a Cliff Notes overview of Orson’s life and career. As one might expect, all of his achievements are touched upon here such as the iconic “War of the Worlds” radio drama, “The Third Man” (in which he starred), the masterpiece that is “Citizen Kane,” and the underrated “Chimes at Midnight.” There are, however, a few nuggets of gold sprinkled here and there such as tidbits about never made or unfinished projects as well as footage of his incomplete “Don Quixote.”

Perhaps the film’s most involving aspect is the exploration of Orson as a sort of tortured artist. In his quest to create, Welles had a lot of deeply frustrating experiences in the film biz which is even more heartbreaking in hindsight given the director’s brilliant talent. As most people know, not only did Welles have projects taken away from him, but a lot of his dream work never came to fruition. Granted, Orson’s behavior often caused issues, but it’s still disheartening to see an artist unable (or wait) to do what he is driven to do.


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? As with any docu, the quality is rather irrelevant given the use of stock footage. Still, it’s still a solid looking documentary nonetheless.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD. How does it sound? The dialogue from interviews and stock footage sound commendable.

Extras include Cohen Media trailers, a “Magician” trailer, a 9 minute conversation with director Chuck Workman, and a booklet featuring pictures, chapters, and credits.

July 9, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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