The Legend of Tarzan (Blu-ray 3D) (2016)
Featurette-Making Of-Tarzan Reborn (15:10) : 1080p
Featurette-Making Of-Battles and Bare Knuckle Brawls (15:05)
Featurette-Making Of-Tarzan and Jane's Unfailing Love (6:01)
Featurette-Making Of-Creating the Virtual Jungle (15:16)
Featurette-Making Of-Gabon to the Big Screen (2:28)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Stop Ivory (1:30)
|Year Of Production||2016|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||David Yates|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Samuel L. Jackson
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Title only at 8 mins in.|
If you measure franchises by the number of entries under a particular banner, then surely the greatest movie franchise of them all is the one featuring The Lord of the Jungle. The first movie Tarzan was Elmo Lincoln in the 1918 silent Tarzan of the Jungle, long before the term "franchise" was ever coined. Since then we have had approximately fifty more Tarzan movies, more than double the number of novels penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, featuring a long line of muscular leading men. Perhaps the most famous of them all was Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller who took over the role in 1932's Tarzan, the Ape Man. However by the mid 40s Weissmuller was becoming too beefy, and was replaced by a younger, leaner Lex Barker - boy friend and spouse of Lana Turner. Others have followed, both on movie and TV screens, their torsos reflecting the growing obsession with the cult of the body. Now Roadshow brings us the latest ape man in the chiselled shape of former vampire Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), and for the very first time Tarzan is swinging through the trees in 3D.
The plot, with screenplay from Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow) and Adam Cozad (Jack Ryan : Shadow Recruit) has elements of various Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan tales, including the flashbacks which establish the origins of Tarzan and his mating with Jane. The "contemporary" flavoured plot of this movie begins with a lengthy written prologue, a far too frequent and cinematically lazy device - and I include Star Wars in the list of offenders. Considering the effectiveness of Margot Robbie's voice-over narration at the end of the film, how much better it would have been, from the very first seconds, if we had been led into the yarn by the dulcet tones of Miss Robbie. As the film stands, we read that the Belgian King, Leopold II, who was also ruler of the Congo Free State, is in financial straits primarily because of huge expenditure on infrastructure, including railways. To fix his finances, Leopold sends his envoy Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to Africa in order to secure the fabled diamonds of Opar. With the exception of Rom, the expedition is massacred by a tribe led by Chief Mbonda (Djimon Hounsou) who trades the diamonds for Rom's promise to bring back to the Congo, the killer of the chief's son, Tarzan, who, for eight years, has been living in his ancestral home as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (Alexander Skarsgard), happily married to his American wife, Jane Porter (Margot Robbie). King Leopold, via the British P.M. (Jim Broadbent), invites Clayton to visit the Congo. After initially declining, Lord Greystoke is persuaded by American envoy George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) who tells him that he suspects that the Belgians are enslaving the Congolese population.
As you can see, we have a rather standard Tarzan plot . Back in the 40s it would have been the nasty Nazis plundering diamonds and enslaving the natives. Tarzan would intervene and we knew exactly what the remaining screen time would reveal. It's a pity that a more original plot could not have been found for this handsomely mounted production. It is true that the story has been garnished by elements which reflect modern day sensitivities. Racial equality enters Tarzan's world with words of wisdom uttered at appropriate moments by Jackson's character, while the feisty and assertive Jane certainly reflects today's woman. The annihilation of the African wildlife is an admirable issue to take up, but here it merely receives a casual nod. It is a shame that the basic plot was not more imaginative. This is made a deeper regret when so much that we have on the screen is admirable. The dialogue is not stilted and the performances are solid, with Skarsgard a majestically tall figure as he strides, clothed, across the landscape. When he finally bares his torso he is an impressive sight, physically matched by the beautiful Margot Robbie, whose Jane is warm, smart and strong. Even Jackson and Waltz are fine, and they are two actors who frequently fall into very predictable performances. Evidently director David Yates, veteran of four entries in the Harry Potter series, knows how to handle actors.
Physically the film looks very impressive. Shot in the UK, with six weeks of location backgrounds filmed in Africa without actors, there are beautiful African vistas and very impressive soundstage reconstructions. I admit to being a fan of 3D and the added dimension here certainly increased my enjoyment of the film, and not only in the big action sequences. The earlier interior dialogue scenes soon made it evident that director Yates, and his cinematographer Henry Braham (Flyboys) know how to use the added depth, with a real sense of immediacy given to these dialogue scenes. The Legend of Tarzan was not actually filmed in 3D, instead the third "D" being added in post production. This technique has become so expert that I usually find it difficult to distinguish between "real" and "fake" 3D. In some scenes I did get the cardboard cutout sensation with figures against landscape, and I suspect that this came from the melding of location backgrounds with studio actors in the foreground. 3D gimmick shots are happily kept to a minimum, which made the "coming at you" explosions late in the film much more effective. My only complaint technically would be that some of the CGI effects are not up to the highest standard - the wildebeest stampede at the end of the film comes immediately to mind. Also, some of Tarzan's stunts really just look like total animation, with Skarsgard performing absolutely impossible feats swinging on vines. CGI enhanced stunts are effective if we are conned into believing, even for a moment, that, what we are watching is real, even though it may be amazing beyond belief.
This latest Tarzan was a box-office success, and I believe that a sequel is in the offing. Here's hoping that the makers manage to find a better screenplay for any second outing. This initial offering is a welcome piece of escapist fluff, for the most part beautifully mounted and well performed by an impressive Tarzan, an appealing and intelligent Jane, a good black sidekick for the white ape man, and an impressive villain. Long live Tarzan of the Jungle - but next time give him a better plot!
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu screen features the still of "Tarzan" and "Jane" featured on the slick, but cropped to include more of the surrounding image. Options are :
* Scene Selection : Selecting brings up an overlay of thumbnailed chapters, two sets each of five scenes.
* Audio : English Dolby True HD 7.1 encoded at 48K
English Descriptive Audio : Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 48K
Italian : Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 48 K
Spanish : Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 48K
* Subtitles : English for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hard of Hearing
On 2D Blu-ray disc only :
* Special Features : See below for details of the six making-of featurettes.
Included only on the 2D Blu-ray disc are half a dozen making-of featurettes, adding up to 55:30 of bonus material.
All are presented in brilliant 1080p high definition with interview footage at the ratio of 1.78:1 and excerpts from the film itself at the original theatrical ratio.
In effect it really is a one hour making of featurette which is divided up into particular sections. There are talking head contributions from the stars, the director, the producer, the writers, the action choreographer and others involved in the artistic design and the creation of special effects. All in all an attractive and entertaining bunch of making-of featurettes with a considerably better than is usual look into the special effects, primarily CGI, created for the film.
Tarzan Reborn : (15.10)
There is a nice look at posters and stills from old Tarzan movies, leading into on set interview contributions from just about everyone involved, either in front of or behind the camera. We even get to see and hear from Alexander Skarsgard's trainer and choreographer. There is a lot of talk about the deeper and more meaningful qualities of the plot, qualities that are too easy to miss when you watch the film.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The local Zone B release appears to be identical to the US release.
|DVD||OPPO BDP-103AU, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 60UF850T 4K. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)|