Caligula (Unrated Twentieth Anniversary Edition) DVD USED

Type: Used Movies

This unrated DVD edition of Caligula runs more than two and a half hours, which might be more Caligula than most people will be able to stomach. Technically, things aren't rosy, except for some thorns. About all the video transfer has going for it over VHS editions is the 1.85:1 widescreen presentation. Grain litters the screen, giving the entire movie a fuzzy quality. The resolution appears to be lower than TV broadcast quality. The sound isn't up to par either. Whenever the soundtrack gets loud, the sound becomes distorted. The dialogue and original score both suffer from a general lack of dynamics. Still, Malcolm McDowell and company overact to such an extent that the visual and audio distractions seem somehow appropriate. Supplemental material is rather lackluster. The "Making of Caligula" documentary is an hour of sometimes humorous fluff. For all that Gore Vidal has done to distance himself from the movie, he sure was a trooper back when the movie was known as "Gore Vidal's Caligula," as it was during the production of the documentary. The interactive menus betray the production's origins -- just as Caligula pretends to be a classical movie, the interactive menus have the kind of not right air that screams low budget. Filmographies are included for Malcolm McDowell, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, and John Gielgud, and the scene-access menu gives instant access to the DVD's 30 chapters, via full-motion video and chapter titles. Caligula, for all of its controversy and bombast, suffers as much in this DVD edition as it does as an accurate historical depiction of ancient Rome. Still, the movie's strange vision is intact.