08/30/2014  
Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Sep 2Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Dinosaur Train: Buddy's Halloween Adventure on DVD Sep 2Hangmen Also Die on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Young Frankenstein: 40th Anniversary One-of-a-kind Blu-ray Sep 9Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD Aug 26

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9...
'Rosewater': Gael Garcia Bernal in Jon Stewart's Direct...
Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ra...
Joan Rivers hospitalized in critical condition after sh...
Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: 3 WOMEN
(Criterion Blu-ray)



Studio: The Criterion Collection
Year: 1977
Cast: Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall, Janice Rule
Director: Robert Altman
Release Date:
Rating: Not Rated for
Run Time:
Genre(s): drama

"You know what? You're the most perfect person I ever met." - Pinky (Sissy Spacek)

3 WOMEN

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
   

Robert Altman's ruminative, moody vision all souped up in Criterion Blu-ray.

Movie Grade: A-

DVD Grade: B+

Late in his career, Robert Altman became the aging lion of American cinema, which lost sight of the fact that he was very much a renegade—he was little too old to include in the film generation of Coppola, Spielberg, Bogdanovich, Friedkin and the like, but he was surely not an old studio hand in the tradition of, say, Ford and Hawks. As was Fellini, Altman seemed frequently more interested in behavior than in story; and many of his most successful and popular films (M*A*S*H, Nashville, Gosford Park) succeed best as portraits of communities and institutions. We come away remembering the place, the feel, the ambiance, more so than the characters and how they change.

So 3 Women differs in some significant respects from some of the better known Altman pictures, but it's a moody and intriguing piece nonetheless. Altman's sense of geography is especially keen here—we're in the California desert, in and around the Desert Springs Rehabilitation and Geriatrics Center. Among those employed there is Millie, who happily chirps along to herself, holding up her end of the conversation even if she's blithely talking to people's backs; amazingly enough, Millie gets herself a #1 fan in the new girl, Pinky. The psychological intertwinings of Millie and Pinky, two-thirds of the title characters, is the pole around which this film revolves.

But it's not really a movie about its story; much of it has a dreamy, almost hallucinogenic feel, and Altman is clearly more interested in moments and moods than he is in conventional structure. And frequently here that's wonderful—his sinuously moving camera takes in the landscape, and becomes a meditation of sorts on the end of the myths of the American West. Pinky and Millie are a pair of odd and memorable characters, and your reactions to them will probably be caught up in your iconic consideration of the actresses in the roles. Altman frequently displayed a fascination with Shelley Duvall, in Nashville especially; but he may have fixed her forever in the popular imagination by hiring her to play Olive Oyl, a decision from casting heaven. She's a strange, ghostly presence, and what starts as eccentric can, with the run of the picture, become downright irritating, if not maddening. (It may be cruel to say so, but Kubrick was on to something when he cast her in The Shining. Even if you're not as unhinged as Jack Torrance, you can almost understand wanting to go after Shelley with a hatchet.) And Spacek is intriguing as well—these were the years of films like Carrie and Badlands, in which her seeming innocence belies something much deeper and more disturbing. Janice Rule is the third woman, a specter, a nearly silent desert artist, whose symbolic significance is far greater than her screen time.

There are times, certainly, when Altman's concern about other things results in the movie not making a whole lot of narrative sense; and there are many moments that would probably have a great deal more clarity and resonance and import if the bong had just come around the circle back to you. It's really more of a chamber piece, and in Altman's canon probably most resembles other character studies, like Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. I know a couple of folks who call this their favorite Altman picture, which I admit to finding kind of an odd choice; I can also understand Criterion wanting to get the director in their DVD catalog, and this upgrade to Blu-ray is a very handsome one. It's a reminder that Blu-ray is more generous with sound than with picture—the shimmering new transfer makes the desert look even more hypnotic, the Southwestern palate that much more captivating, but the audio problems from the previous release are still evident.

The extras have also been transferred to Blu-ray essentially intact, most notably the commentary track from the director, which, like the movie, is sort of freewheeling, with a decided stream-of-consciousness aspect to it. Altman talks about the idea for the film coming to him in a dream, and while he's known for the loyalty he inspires in his colleagues, he's a little pejorative about writers (Altman thinks that scripts are overemphasized; it shows, for good and for ill) and cinematographers (he nearly gleefully reports on how he's fired them). Temporality is a big theme for him, too: "My ideal film would be a painting with music." You’ll also find an original trailer; a teaser and two television spots; and seven chapters' worth of images in the stills gallery, mostly from the set.

In a funny way, this movie is almost closer to theater; it shares some obvious affinities with, for instance, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, and not just because of their titles. So this sure isn't a fun-for-the-whole-family kind of movie, but it is challenging and intriguing and frequently beautiful.

Posted by: Jon Danziger - November 23, 2011, 12:35 pm - DVD Review
Keywords: altman, criterion




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, movie, rosewater, maziar bahari, jon stewart director, gael garcia bernal, celebrity, joan rivers, comedian, cardiac arrest, mount sinai hospital, 81 years old, horror, television, full house, revival, john stamos, candace cameron bure, jody sweetin, andrea barber, bob saget, dave coulier, pierce brosnan, the november man, luke bracey, james bond, olga kurylenko, roger donaldson, kids, music, justin timberlake, iceland, 90 minutes, korinn auditorium, shake your body, take back the night, box office, movies, movies. richard attenborough, actor, director, brighton rock, gandhi, oh what a lovely war, jurassic park. in which we serve, comedy, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, teenage mutant ninja turtles, guardians of the galaxy, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact