When The Great Gatsby arrived in theaters earlier this summer, it was a spectacle to behold on the big screen. It was a visual marvel that pushed the limits of what filmmakers do with framing, color and yes… even 3D.
So, when we were asked to do an early review of The Great Gatsby on Blu-Ray and DVD (it arrives to the public August 27), it was with a bit of hesitation that we took on the challenge. But, we have to say that with the modern marvel that is HD television and the forward thinking of filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby home video release is as gorgeous as ever.
As teased in the theatrical The Great Gatsby trailer, Leonardo DiCaprio is the title character and he plays it onscreen as if F. Scott Fitzgerald had been giving him direction. The late legendary author would be incredibly proud of DiCaprio’s performance as the fictional man who came to personify the roaring 1920s in America.
The Great Gatsby is all too familiar to all of us who had to read it in school. What you don’t know about one of the greatest American stories ever told is that there is a vibrancy to it that has only been previously eluded to in prose before Luhrmann picked up his camera and shot this uncanny masterpiece.
And it isn’t just DiCaprio who captures the nuances of Fitzgerald’s characters. Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke all went into the effort knowing that there was an American legend looking down on them who would judge their handling of his greatest work.
Our theatrical The Great Gatsby review found the film as beautiful as can be captured on screen. Coming home, the film -- believe it or not -- does not lose any of its visual electricity.
The real reason to grab this home video release is the extras. It should be no surprise that a filmmaker as visionary as Luhrmann would unveil such a gorgeous film that is so technical in its creation without having a beautiful bounty of extras.
The highlights for Movie Fanatic are the special features The Greatness of Gatsby and The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby. Both take the viewer inside the mind of Luhrmann as he plans out how to bring a modern masterpiece into a new century. The Greatness of Gatsby in particular dissects the powerful prose of an American icon and leaves the viewer with an even further appreciation for the master.
The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby illustrates how Luhrmann brought the music of the era to his film, while still keeping it modern with a soundtrack that topped the charts with some of music’s hottest acts.
Given how visually brilliant the film is, it is no surprise that the fashions of the film get a close-up on the outstanding Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the ‘20s. We would be hard-pressed to find a better bonus feature focused on costuming in recent memory.
Then again, the entire DVD and Blu-Ray set is one for the ages.