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Marlene Dietrich's debut hits high-def, but is this Blu-ray set worth the investment....?
Kino / 102 Minutes / 1930 / Unrated / Street Date: December 4, 2012
It's great to have The Blue Angel on Blu-ray - it really is. Josef von Sternberg's 1930 film is the one that opened our eyes to one miss Marlene Dietrich, one of cinema's most stunning creatures. The movie isn't sensational as a dramatic standalone - both von Sternberg and Dietrich would peak later - but as a slice of movie history, it's quite a fun little romp.
But Criterion should have gotten to it first. While the film is absolutely more impressive here in terms of video and audio than this writer has ever experienced, the thud of zero bonus features hits like an uppercut. I know that many people don't view supplements the way we at DVDFile do, but a commentary or even a quick featurette about the movie or von Sternberg or Dietrich would have gone a long way here.
And after looking at the details of a German 2001 DVD release of the movie, it's clear that there are copious bonuses available out there. That disc came with interviews, stills galleries, a commentary, trailers, bonus Dietrich song performances - it's clearly the version to have (well, maybe). With Kino's new Blue Angel, you get the movie itself in blooming high-def sans bonuses, and with the Region 2 import, you get a standard-def version of the movie (meh), but one that's flanked by hours of goodies.
Can't we just meet somewhere in the middle?