(Rhino Home Video)
Quadrophenia, The Who’s all-time classic cinematic rumination on the teenage search for identity in the context of the mid-’60s British Mod scene, is out on DVD. And for fans of great rock ‘n’ roll movies, this is one to own. The soundtrack has been pumped with an enhanced restoration — from a 35mm positive Dolby A optical print, transferred in Pro Tools where it was remastered for Dolby Digital.
Not only is there the music from the album Quadrophenia, but there are a handful of early Who classics and period pop and rock hits by The Merseybeats, James Brown, The Crystals, The Orlons, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Chiffons, The Ronettes, Manfred Mann and The Kingsmen.
For those who always wondered what “Mod” stood for, it was Mode of Dress — I’ve gleaned a lot from the many extra features Rhino has packed onto this release. The extras include commentary with director Franc Roddam, ongoing trivia that can be engaged to run at the bottom of the film screen, an interview with Sting, a Vespa motorcycle short, an extensive overview of great Mod films, and a “test” to see if the viewer is either a Mod or a Rocker. I tested out as neither. Maybe that makes me a “Mocker,” as Ringo stated in Hard Days Night.
Producers: Roy Baird, Bill Curbishley (Who manager at the time). Director: Franc Roddam. Music directors: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Pete Townshend. Music: John Entwistle. Sound recordist: Christian Wrangler. Sound editor: John Ireland. Dubbing mixer: Bill Rowe. Music remix engineer: Cy Langston. Music coordinator: Mike Shaw. Audio: Dolby Stereo and Dolby Digital.
— Rick Clark
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
(Warner Bros. Family Entertainment)
“Ladies and gentlemen, the chocolate room!” When we think of director Mel Stuart’s marvelous adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel, we picture spectacular visions of whipped cream mushroom caps, chocolate waterfalls, and basketball-sized, pudding-filled jawbreakers, but the film is a sonic and musical feast as well. Forget “Candy Man” and give another listen to Gene Wilder’s sweet performance of “Pure Imagination” or Jack Albertson’s joyous “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket.” Though the film was not initially conceived as a musical, the songs were ultimately completed before the screenplay, and they’re a huge part of the movie’s light-hearted fantastical quality, as are the cartoon mechanical effects. The sounds of the inventing room, the squeezing clean of the Wonkamobile, the sterile bleeps of Wonkavision, and the Wonkavator’s rise and crash up into the atmosphere all keep this somewhat disturbing film (remember, the kids drop like flies) from going over to the dark side. Willy Wonka was made on a bit of a shoestring — with a limited budget put up by Quaker Oats, which then put out real-life Wonka Bars — so the sound job is not exactly seamless, but it is enormously inspired and fun. Special features on the DVD include a lightweight but entertaining making-of documentary, feature-length audio commentary by the Wonka actors, a behind-the-scenes 1971 featurette, and sing-along songs for the kids.
Re-recording: Dick Portman. Sound editor: Charles L. Campbell. Sound: Karsten Ullrich. Music supervisor: Walter Scharf. Music editor: Jack Tillar. Lyrics and music: Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.
— Barbara Schultz