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Man in the Iron Mask [1939] (DVD)

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3 Reviews

Genre: Drama / Director: James Whale / Actors: Reginald Barlow, Joan Bennett ... / DVD released 01 March, 2005 at Legacy Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Animated, Black & White, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC

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    3 Reviews
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      09.03.2006 23:04
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      four musketeers are in a spot of trouble

      Man in the masks sounds like one of those old boring films. But its great and filled with action. It is set in France at the time of the French Revolution. The king is not treating his people very well and there are riots and gangs set out to bring down the king. The king tells his priest who is a musketeer to kill the leader of this gang. But there is a catch. The priest is the leader of the gang. The four musketeer go to the prison and set the man in the iron mask free and find out that it is the kings identical twin brother. How they use him to restore peace to France I think you can work out. But you've got to watch it, its an awesome film.

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        10.08.2004 05:12
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        The Man In The Iron Mask My brother has brought a few new DVDs to add to the family film collection which I think has reached triple figures by now or is getting very close I should have a good count sometime soon. One of these films that caught my eye was ?the man in the iron mask?. What I expected was a nice pleasant film nothing to violent or would require too much thinking. I just came back from a full game of tennis I was in the mood to just relax to a nice film. ~ Plot ~ Ok this all comes from the trailer so shouldn?t give anything away. In a time of trouble for France at war while they people go hungry and starve. A king stands proud and unwilling to listen to the poor he is only interested in himself and living grand himself. This King holds a secret a man of very similar appearance of which he has hidden away in an iron mask in a prison so that no one will ever know that another possible King lay in wait. But some do know and they have grown tired and ashamed of the current King and try to bring his demise. Wondered what happened to the four musketeers? Well this film answers that as well. > Verdict: The storyline moves along at a nice pace, the story is well written. It presents much in the way of unexpected twists, apart from the big ones that are given away in the trailer anyway there is a lot you just not going to expect. I enjoyed the storyline proving it to be pleasant and it kept me interested from start to finish, it does not move along at the fastest pace that as ever been seen but it does present you with continual unfolding and unravelling plot. ~ Cast ~ Leonardo DiCapro heads the cast playing both King Louis and Phillippe. I am not a big fan of Leonardo and I am verbal about it but I am willing to put my
        hands in the air and admit that he has proved me wrong in this film delivering a great performance playing 2 characters of whom are suppose to be the complete opposites of each other. He has to bring of every kind of scene in this film from the deep emotional caring character of Phillippe to the harsh King Louis who just does not care and I believe him highly in both characters. Jeremy Irons plays Aramis one of the musketeers of the old realm but took retirement when the King and the ideal of a better course died. He turned his attentions towards his priesthood and become a man of the church respecter of life in the search of forgiveness for his sins. Aramis holds 2 big secrets in the film both of which I do not wish to indulge to you in fear of giving away the plot and ruining you?re the enjoyment of watching for you. Jeremy Irons plays this witty, quick thinking, plotting character with the out most honour and respect for himself, but takes himself very lightly at the same time. I think it is in the way slightly slower then normal way in which Irons talks that brings this off very well as if he is thinking about every possibility before he even speaks. Gerard Depardieu plays Porthos best friend to Aramis and will follow him to hell and back if Aramis asked it, well he would moan all the way their and back but he would still follow, he is another ex musketeer. He enjoys life; he drinks too much, flirts too much and doesn?t take anything too seriously except the idea of growing old that he repents with all his souls. Gerard pulls it off well in the slightly sluggish way he moves it shows a slight drunkenness all times except when action kicks in which Porthos lives for then his character springs from his bored state into a great fighter. Gabriel Byrne plays D?Artagnan the top musketeer he has devoted his whole life to the surface
        of the King and is now the head of the Kings bodyguards. He would do anything for the King and betrays his friends to his oaths to serve and protect the King at all costs. His character and Queen Anne (Louis? Mother) are very close but because she is the widow of a King and him a musketeer they can never be together. D?Artagnan presents the biggest twist in the storyline and one I would not of even expected, you have to wait till right at the end for it but when it comes it was so worth the wait. Gabriel doesn?t have many different emotions to portray he is the wise fighter and whom prefers to let people live then to kill unless it is needed, so his emotions are kept pretty much well hidden all film so he plays a cold character whom only seems to show emotion to Queen Anne. His stern and stiff appearance in the way he stands to the formal way he talks brings across the characters life in service very well and proves to be another great performance. John Malkovich played by Athos who leaves the musketeer to raise his son Raoul. Athos whole life is about his son, his wife died giving birth to Raoul and know he wants his son to grow up the best he can and is going well when his life is unfairly taken from Athos that turns him into a different man. John Malkovich has the hardest job in this film his character goes through so much and changes the way he is about 6 times in the film having to portray every emotion in the book, and I have to say John was my favourite to watch his wide and deep character is followed up by John?s breath taking performance and complete realism he entertained me from start to finish with a flawless performance. Another great performance came from Christine, Raoul?s girlfriend who also has to deal with the loss of Raoul as her husband. She plays a very emotional character and brings acros
        s great emotion in her acting that may have the weaker of us reaching for tissues. > Verdict: The acting in this film was some of the best that I have seen in a long time and a film that doesn?t rely on big sound track or cutting edge technology it really needed great acting to make it a great film. I would of maybe only changed one of the side characters that being Queen Anne whom was a cold character but when she had to portray emotion she just still seemed so cold and unconvincing about what she was trying to bring across to the audience. ~ Sound Track ~ Nothing major in the film sound wise, background music is used in emotional scenes you do not even really realise it is there but I feel it did add to these few scenes they introduced music into. But that is about it, wish I had some more to write about here but that is about all I can say. ~ Graphics ~ None at all really used all shot on set, nothing groundbreaking as it wasn?t an action or sci-fi flick. The sets looked really good from the grime of the Paris city to the lovely palace, it all looked like it was suppose to, normally scenes can look repetitive with each room in a palace really looking the same they didn?t not fall into this trap with each room having almost its own character. The dressing of the character baffled me a little bit everyone looked smart even the peasants in their own way, it wasn?t easy to tell they were poor if the story hadn?t of told you. I feel they could of put some more thought into the wardrobe to set the characters apart and add to their personality but they didn?t. ~ Directing ~ The film was directed by Randall Wallace and I don?t know much about the guy really but I can comment upon his performance with how the whole film came across to me as this is his job to take the storyline and bring it across to the
        audience in a way to entertain but to capture the whole of the point of the film still. The directing in this film was spot on the comedy was brought in at the right places to keep you smiling but does not tamper with the serious mood of the film. The storyline made complete sense and the story came together in a way that made sense all the way through but didn?t give away too much at any one time. It was an enjoyable watch and came across amazingly well. ~ Extras ~ This film offers nothing great in the way of extras, a voice over by the director Randall Wallace that just prove annoying, if I wanted someone to talk over my film I would of watched it with my brother now wouldn?t I? Other extras are a 8 page booklet revealing an insight into the making of the film which involves a lot of reading into the insight of a film that didn?t have any cutting edge techniques in. Original Theatrical Trailer, correct me if I am wrong but you have brought the film so why contain the advert that sells the film? They even scraping so much for extras they include ?Chapter Search? in the list of extra?s, Chapter searches really have become the norm and are more expected rather then consider an extra. Overall the worse extras I think I have seen on a DVD they could of put some thought into it to maximise the DVD sales, just get the VHS really its cheaper none of these extras are breathe taking at all. ~ Overall ~ It is a great old-fashioned film that used a great storyline to bring across a sheer height in entertainment to the audience. The acting was supreme; the one poor character was even masked by the sheer greatness of the acting from every other character. Its not the type of film I would watch over and over but I see myself getting it out again in about 6 weeks t
        ime or so. My only doubt about the film was the wardrobe and this is what brings it down from a full 5 stars to a 4 for me, so close to perfection but so far again. ~ Boring Bits ~ Running Time: 2 hours 12 minutes Viewing: Wide screen 16:9 Pal Area: 2 Sound: Dolby Digital Distributor: MGM Director: Randall Wallace ~ Audience ~ This film really appeals to people who like a good story, its nothing world changing and there isn?t the greatest amount of action except one or two sword fights. But the storyline proves good and I stamp at as a ?David Must See? film because I really enjoyed it and if you enjoyed reading this review you should look into getting the video. ~ Price ~ You can pick up the DVD for about £5 on Amazon used, I pick up most of my stuff used as I don?t mind if someone has watched it before as long as it all works. £5 for such a timeless classic in my mind is a great deal but you can pick up the tape for £0.50 on Amazon and to be honest the DVD doesn?t offer anything special that the VHS can not give you, so purchase the video and save yourself £4.50 and get all the same enjoyment Have a nice day © David Clark ~ Electronics Guide (DavidJamesClark@hotmail.com)

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          07.05.2001 19:11
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          Featuring an all star cast of seasoned actors and the youthful Leonardo DiCaprio, this ought to have been a movie which could hold its head up high. Couple this with a rather decent sounding storyline and it could easily have been a great movie...it isn't. The Man In The Iron Mask documents the historically innacurate story of the tyrannical Louis XIV(DiCaprio) and his wronged twin brother(DiCaprio again), the eponymous man in the iron mask. Apparently 'lost' Louis' twin is instead imprisoned, kept encased in an iron mask through which food can pass by he can in no way be recognised. Louis carries on him womanising tyranny with little regard for this fact, but never fear, because the Musketeers are on the case... As a period drama, filled with lavish sets, lush dialogue and deep intrigue, this may have worked, and been as good a movie as the excellent Elizabeth. Instead, yes we have the sets and the costume, but thats about as far as it goes. DiCaprio is ridiculously miscast as the cruel, vain and blantantly evil King Louis XIV, although he fits the other role of the vulnerable, caring twin perfectly. Obviously not a strong enough actor(yet at least) to carry thse two roles he looks completely out of his depth and faintly ridiculous for most of the movie. The Musketeers, played again by superb actors (Gabriel Byrne as D'Artangnan, Jeremy Irons as Aramis, Gerard Depardieu as Porthos and John Malkovich as Athos to be exact) simply do not gel together and their roles seem to be played more for laughs than anything else which simply does not work - especially since its not funny. Stupid little sub-plots like Porthos trying to commit suicide by hanging himself, but failing because one of the others has weakened the beam, causing it, and the entire barn to collapse around him do nothing to either raise a smile or move the story along. Depardieu is by far the worst of the bunch, playing his drunken character to ridiculous excess, but
          the others fare little better even Irons playing the straight role looks uncomfortable. The main problem here is that the actors chosen for the four musketeer roles are simply so vastly different in acting style and personality that they do not know how to act around each other, the result being a mess of different characterisations which mix like oil and water - and ultimately a farcical mess of a movie. Randall Wallace, director of Braveheart amongst other things, completely fails to make this movie work. HE has assembled a good cast of actors, obviously spent a little cash on the costumes, sets, etc. and then hired the worst script writer in the world and discovered that his chosen set of actors find it difficult to work with each other. The result? A movie you do not want to watch. DVD Features? The usual. You get a widescreen or normal sized version of the movie, the ability to watch in french or english as well as having spanish subtitles, a trailer for the movie and a bunch of trivia notes which is particularly boring(eg. did you know 1400 costumes were used in the movie? ZZZzzz...).

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