'Tombstone' [Blu ray]
(Kurt Russell, Val Kimer, et al / Blu ray / R / (1993) 2010 / BVHE)
Overview: Kurt Russell (Miracle, Death Proof) and Val Kilmer (Deja Vu, The Missing) will blow you away in this explosive, action-packed adventure! And now, the legendary battle for justice in Tombstone hits home on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever. Russell is U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp; Kilmer is the outrageous Doc Holliday. Together, they team up to lay down the law in a notorious showdown with ruthless outlaws at the O.K. Corral.
Blu ray: I doubt that anyone will be ordering this Blu-Ray disc just for the sake of ordering Blu-Ray. If that were the case, why order THIS rather than some OTHER Blu-Ray? No, you're here because you're considering the movie, and that's what I will describe.
First, you should know that the film is historically very accurate. There are a few lines put into other people's mouths, or this guy escapes with his life when in reality it was that other guy, but you can pretty much find all those details in the trivia page for this film on the Internet Movie Database (www dot imdb dot com). Indeed, one of the potential weaknesses of the film is that it is so accurate a portrayal. It doesn't just lead up to the apocalyptic gun battle at the OK corral and end there, with the good guys winning; it follows the characters for years afterward, in most cases right up to the moment of their death.
Along the way it portrays a number of unbelievable scenes that eyewitnesses confirmed as truth, not legend. What this means is that about the last 45 minutes of the movie may feel like it goes on too long. In fact, this long denouement gives "Tombstone" some of the wistful feel of "Unforgiven," another Western that does not glamorize violence.
Next, you should know that Val Kilmer takes the world to acting school in this film. As Doc Holliday he breathes so much life into this character that everyone else on screen seems to fade into the woodwork. Kurt Russell is an underrated actor; he's actually pretty bleeping good. But next to Val Kilmer he looks like a community theater extra next to Olivier. I have about a dozen scenes from this movie stuck in my head, as if they were engraved. One features Kurt Russell. The others all feature Kilmer. Among others, you should play and re-play and re-re-play the moment where Klimer says, "you may go now." It is the finest portrayal of polite contempt I have ever seen, live or on film.
Third, as Westerns go, you can take the first half or so as a good old-fashioned western and the second half as a more modern Greek tragedy. As long as you're up for that, this is one of the best films you could choose, which repays multiple viewings. If you want a western more like John Wayne and John Ford made, this probably isn't for you, but if you enjoy a postmodern Western morality play, you can't go wrong. Kudos for this re-release of a genuinely great film! [DG] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: