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DVD Review: THE CHAIRMAN

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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 98 minutes, audio commentary, Chariman mini-film, alternate scenes, trailers

STUDIO: 20th century Fox

RELEASE DATE: 11-7-2006

Professor Hathaway (Gregory Peck) is sent a letter from an old colleague (Keye Luke) who lives in China. Hathaway is sent ion a secret mission with a transmitter in his head (but he doesn't know it is also a bomb that will kill him if things get too hot). He enters Communist China to retrieve information on a formula that would mean food can be grown anywhere in any climate. He faces a hostile country where he can trust no one and might not escape alive.

TEH CHAIRMAN is a thrilling Cold war spy thriller than shows how politics can kill and betray. It is scary to see hwo the people in China at the time waved their red books and did what the Chairman told them making theme into enemies of each other if someone didn't follow the politics of the Chairman. THE CHAIRMAN is a film plagued with production woes and it featured a heavy cast of Asian actors.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Fox's restoration job is great as usual. image detail pops out but dark scenes do exhibit lack of detail or heavy noise (it might have to do with teh film stock more than the transfer).

AUDIO: English Stereo, English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Dialogue is very clear and the audio track features no audible hiss.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The audio commentary with film historians Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer is an entertaining track for any film buff. they talk about the politics of the time, the film, and the box office mentality of Hollywood today.

The Chairman mini-film is a shortened version of the movie composed of alternate and deleted scenes. This 17 1/2 version isn't bad to watch and you think Hathaway might have had sex with Ting Ling. The two alternate scenes (included in international versions) aren't a bad addition to the extras and I wouldn't have minded if they were in the film itself.

Also a short booklet on the film's production can be found in the DVD case.

FINAL ANLYSIS: THE CHAIRMAN is another great DVD from 20th Century Fox's Cinema Classics Collection. A solid spy action thriller with a worthy selection of extras and a great DVD cover (probably old movie poster art).

this review is (c)11-27-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com