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The Buster Keaton Collection Volume 3: Seven Chances and Battling Butler Blu-ray Review

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“The Buster Keaton Collection Volume 3” offers up plenty of laughs.

While the third volume doesn’t feature any of the silent film director, actor, and comedian’s iconic work, “Seven Chances” And “Battling Butler” are both still notable films nonetheless. “Seven Chances” in particular is an underrated gem. In this 1925 feature, the story revolves around a man named Jimmie who has long been in love with a woman named Mary but can’t seem to tell her. Later on, Jimmie’s law firm is going broke, but he gets a chance to save it when his grandfather leaves him 7 million dollars. The catch? Jimmie has to be married by 7 PM on his 27th birthday…which happens to be the day he receives the notice. Naturally, Jimmie asks Mary immediately, but it backfires when she thinks she is being used. When she learns the truth, however, she tries to find Jimmie while he is on his race against time quest even though he too would rather spend his life with Mary. Aiding Jimmie are his business partner and lawyer. Can Mary and Jimmie reconnect before 7 PM? I’m sure you know the answer.

Why the fast paced and genuinely funny “Seven Chances” isn’t talked about more, I do not know. It’s a delightful rom-com from start to finish that contains a scene stealing Snitz Edwards as the lawyer and one of the all-time great chase sequences in cinema history. It’s also a lengthy one to boot! Without spoiling it too much, I’ll say it’s a stunning visual and directorial achievement that finds Keaton’s Jimmie and his NUMEROUS suitors on a massive chase across town. They go everywhere from a football field to a big boulder falling hill.

1926’s “Battling Butler” has been met with a lot of acclaim over the years, but it’s never quite resonated with me like others. Don’t get me wrong, Keaton’s physicality and ever impressive comedic antics are on full display here especially during the training, fighting, and duck hunting sequences, but, from a story perspective, this feels like a minor work. The story, for those that aren’t aware, revolves around a young man (Alfred) who comes from a wealthy family. His father tries to toughen him up and sends him camping (although Alfred’s idea of camping is far from traditional). While out in the wild he meets a young “mountain girl” who he begins to fall for. Alas, her bro and father think he’s a weakling unsuited for her, but, after some fibs, they are led to believe he’s a boxer who happens to have the same name and share a resemblance too. This complicated lie to win the girl grows even more complicated when Alfred encounters the real boxer and even has to fight.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: “Seven Chances” 1.33:1 1080p and “Battling Butler” 1.32:1 1080p. How do they look? Both prints are positively stunning. I’ve seen some truly awful prints of these films over the years, but the clarity here is well worth upgrading these titles.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA for ‘Butler’ and 2.0 DTS-HD MA for both films. How do they sound? The scores by Robert Israel are crisp and clear in 2.0, but the 5.1 track obviously has more depth.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring credits
* Cohen Media trailers
* Restoration trailers for “Seven Chances” and “Battling Butler.”
* “Buster Keaton: The Daredevil”- Celebs talk about Keaton’s daring stunts in this featurette

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August 21, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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