The Good

This is just a very well done film.

The Bad

No commentary track?Robert Downey, Jr. plays the title role in this Richard Attenborough directed film. Chaplin s the tale of one of cinema's first legendary heavyweights. We see his rise from poverty to standing alongside some of moviemaking's elite players. From there we see how fame can have it's pitfalls as the rug is pulled out from under Chaplin by his personal life. What ensues is a 135 minute look at an actor who defied (and defined) what it really means to not only be a performer but an artist.

Chaplin is the the kind of movie that needs to be in every DVD lovers and cinephiles collection.

Features

Featurettes

This DVD offers up 3 featurettes and since they are all basically connected I figured I would just review them all together. There titles are:

- Strolling Into the Sunset

- Chaplin the Hero

- The Most Famous Man in the World

These featurettes give us an insight into who Chaplin was as a man and as a performer. They show how and why he worked the way he did, how he was able to be who he was both on and off the screen, and how he became the lynchpin of popular culture that he still is.

"All At Sea" Chaplin Home Movie

Video

16x9 Widescreen - 1.78:1. This movie looked really good on this disc. Richard Attenborough is a very strong filmmaker. He is in command of screen space and that really showcases itself here. How he shoots is perfectly suited for the subject matter in this film. I often felt that Downey as Chaplin was greatly aided by Attenborough's innate sense of mise en scene.

Audio

Dolby Digital. The audio on this DVD is also really well done. There is a richness to the sound that gives this film a large gravitas. This movie feels very epic in that it spans a long time period across generations. All of that is on display here and the audio only underscores that.

Package

This is artfully done packaging. Downey is seen on this front cover dressed up as Chaplin. The back features a shot of him as the Little Tramp, a Special Features listing, a description of this movie and technical specs.

Final Word

I was really excited to get to see this film on DVD. I remember when it came out in the theater and I wanted to see it but that never happened. It is ironic that it comes out now just as Robert Downey, Jr. is again displaying why everybody loves him so much. His work in this movie really showcases just how varied he is an actor. Even now, as he reasserts himself via comic book films, the actor brings something to those roles that his contemporaries just can't (except for Edward Norton). When watching this movie (or really any of Downey's performances) I never get the impression that I am watching somebody act. Rather Downey seems to embody his roles and that is why his work in Chaplin is so fantastic.