THE SOUND OF MUSIC
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Based on a true story, the classic musical “The Sound of Music” follows a woman named Maria who is struggling with the restrictive life in an Austrian convent that she chose for herself. To help her find direction in life, the nuns send Maria to be the governess for the von Trapp children, whose mother had died several years before. She soon connects with the seven misbehaved kids and charms their father, opening them up to a new world of music. With the Nazi threat overrunning Europe, Captain Georg von Trapp is expected to join the Navy of the Third Reich, but he wants to leave the country with his family.
WHAT I LIKED
It’s been quite a few years since I have seen “The Sound of Music,” and when I had, it was on a crappy black-and-white television in my parents’ house, or across a crowded room at a holiday dinner in the past. Revisiting the film in high definition is a great thing and probably as close as anyone will get to a true theatrical experience.
The movie is still charming after all these years, and even with the near three-hour running time, it plays well and doesn’t bog down too much. The music is, of course, fantastic with the soundtrack producing many pop culture hits over the past 45 years.
My wife and I made a point to show this movie to our kids. Surprisingly, they didn’t get antsy or want to turn it off, showing the a film like “The Sound of Music” can connect with audiences of all different ages even today.
Additionally, the movie looks fantastic on Blu-ray, showing off the gorgeous scenery of the Alps and the countryside. Just watching the first five minutes of the film will show any viewer the majestic scenery, and it’s something you haven’t seen until you’ve seen a projected print or the restored 1080p Blu-ray version.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Like any epic film prior to 1970, “The Sound of Music” was made for an audience who saw going to the movies as a special occasions. Movies like this have the need for an Intermission and an entr’acte. So for the viewer with modern Michael Bay inspired ADHD, this movie will seem slow-moving. That’s not a complaint for myself, but rather for the modern viewer who just doesn’t know any better.
The 45th anniversary Blu-ray includes a nice assortment of special features on two high definition discs. The feature disc includes the film with “Your Favorite Things: An Interactive Celebration,” which includes behind-the-scenes images, on-screen lyrics, a trivia track and a location quiz. There’s a sing-along feature that allows the viewer to participate in the songs as they play in the film. There’s also an audio commentary with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and director Robert Wise.
The second Blu-ray disc includes a long-form documentary called “Musical Stages: Creating The Sound of Music.” This includes a back lot tour, a look at the songs and the stage show, plus a spotlight on the sound restoration and a look at the real von Trapp family. Additional features include “A City of Song” which is a virtual map of the filming locations, vintage Rodgers & Hammerstein programs, screen tests, interviews and photo galleries.
Also included in this set is a DVD of the film with the sing-along feature and the featurette “The Sound of Music Tour – A Living Story.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the classic mid-20th-century musical.