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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Apple [Blu-ray]

 

(Menahem Golan, 1980)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cannon Film Distributors

Video: Kino Lorber / Scorpion

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:28:06.322

Disc Size: 24,888,195,576 bytes

Feature Size: 22,068,387,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.32 Mbps

Chapters: 15

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 27th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2154 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2154 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Star Catherine Mary Stewart, moderated by Film Historian Nathaniel Thompson
On Camera Interview with Star Catherine Mary Stewart (47:07)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:49)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In the glitzy, glittering futuristic world of 1994, music is king -- and the man who controls it is all-powerful malicious mogul Mr. Boogalow. Now he has his eye on two fresh-faced young singers, Alphie and Bibi, who score a hit at his WorldVision Song Festival and fall under the irresistible spell of fame, money, and temptation. As Bibi becomes a mammoth superstar, will Alphie be able to save her soul before it s too late? Jammed with songs that will stay in your head for days, this cult classic musical blast directed by 80s cult legend Menahem Golan (The Delta Force, Enter the Ninja) and starring Catherine Mary Stewart (The Last Starfighter, Night of the Comet, Nightflyers) is a rocking, rolling, pop-tastic midnight hit like no other. Once you ve taken a bite of The Apple, you will never be the same! Now see this amazing film from a brand new HD master!

***

Young singers Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart) have big musical dreams when they leave Canada to compete in the Worldvision Song Festival. Though the festival's organizer, Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal), rigs the contest for others to win, he shows an interest in Alphie and Bibi, offering to sign them. But then Bibi is taken in by the evil, wild world of rock 'n' roll, and Alphie is determined to save her -- even though Boogalow says he owns both her and her soul.

 

 

The Film:

Unleashed just as the disco phenomenon had peaked and was slipping out of public favor, this one-of-a-kind pop musical is set in 1994, when a Mephistophelean entrepreneur named Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal) controls the international recording industry through the Worldvision Song Contest. Boogalow's wildly theatrical protégés, a decedent dance-pop group called Bim, seem a sure bet to walk off with the grand prize and worldwide fame, but at the last minute Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart), a folk duo from Canada, nearly steal their thunder with their song "Love, the Universal Melody." While Boogalow rigs a victory for Bim, he sees moneymaking potential in Alphie and Bibi and offers to sign them to a contract. Alphie, suspicious of Boogalow, declines, but Bibi leaps at the chance, and is soon remodeled into a stylish pop star while heart-broken Alphie throws in his lot with a gang of hippies living in the park. Bibi comes to regard fame and wealth as hollow and empty, but discovers walking away from Boogalow is easier said than done. Featuring an inarguably remarkable finale, The Apple was shot primarily in Germany, despite being set in the United States; while George Clinton is credited with writing lyrics for several of the original tunes, be advised it's not the same George Clinton who led Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s and '80s.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

This 1980 attempt to cut in on the "midnight movie" market created by The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become a camp classic for all the wrong reasons. The Apple is fascinating because it takes a conceptual wrong turn at every angle: the 'futuristic' production design looks garish and cheap instead of sleek, the tone constantly veers back and forth between comedy and melodrama and the script is a mind-boggling muddle of religious overtones, heavy-handed "showbiz" satire and silly attempts at an anti-totalitarian message. The Apple's serious intentions are further crippled by weak performances: George Gilmour makes a stone-faced, emotionally inert hero and Catherine Mary Stewart is too bland a romantic lead to inspire any interest in the film's romantic subplot. The only actor who escapes unscathed is Vladek Sheybal, who applies a light comedic touch to the villainous Mr. Boogalow that escapes the rest of the cast. Despite these seemingly insurmountable flaws, The Apple remains surprisingly watchable if one has a taste for schlock: director Menahem Golan keeps up a speedy pace that delivers the film's bizarre melange of mismatched elements at a breezy clip and the outrageous musical score delivers an unintentionally funny but always catchy musical number every few minutes. The finished product seldom makes sense but delivers so much sheer oddness at such a high speed that it is virtually impossible to be bored by this film.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Apple looks decent and consistent in 1080P. There may be a touch of digitization but generally the image exports some depth, has realistic colors, is clean with no damage and is a shade dark and seems faithful in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image isn't super-dynamic but the film's visuals are so over-the-top that it still shows an impressive presentation. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the HD picture quality.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2154 kbps (24-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - but mostly the music is the focal point of the audio. The soundtrack of The Apple is credited to Coby Recht with lyrics often by George S. Clinton - and many performances from Allan Love & Grace Kennedy, Mary Hylan & George Gilmour, Vladek Sheybal & Ray Shell, George Gilmour, Joss Ackland and others of the cast. It sounds very strong, buoyant carrying some potent bass via the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

There is an enjoyable audio commentary with Catherine Mary Stewart, moderated by film historian Nathaniel Thompson. They cover a lot of the production, Golan and Globus, her being dubbed, the experience of making the film, The Apple's unusual niche fanbase, and many interesting stories. I enjoyed it. There is also a 3/4 hour interview with Catherine Mary Stewart and she continues to share information beyond details discussed in the commentary. Lastly, there is an original theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen The Apple before. It's a wild ride - very bizarre and extravagant but exactly the type of film that would establish a cult following. By taking itself seriously there is a 'camp' value that translates very effectively. The popularity and burlesque of The Apple are fascinating. It is more a genre spectacle than a cohesive film. It has a tongue-in-cheek quality and I'm glad I saw it.  The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray seems the only way to see this in 1080P. The film is unique and the commentary and interview certainly add value. If you are prepared to see a wayward Busby Berkeley as glitter-rock epic with wild make-up and crazy costumes - this is for you!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 43% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

June 21st, 2017

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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