25 February 2009 | dan1664
Beware of Image's DVD of "Puccini"
It's nearly impossible to judge the true merits of "Puccini", which appears to be an attractive, old-fashioned, Hollywood-style bio pic, due to the disastrous DVD mastering done by its U.S. distributor Image Entertainment. This usually reliable company has really dropped the ball this time by releasing a disc that has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. Only the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers, in their prime, could have put together a mess of a disc like this, with scenes wildly out of order, characters appearing, disappearing, then meeting again, as if for the first time, scenes stopping in mid-sentence practically, only to resume some 10, 20, or 40 minutes later, characters aging, then growing young again, well, you get the idea. As for the film's memorable music, well, as lovely as it may be, the presentation of the famous operas now makes absolutely no sense at all. In the end, if you care anything about Puccini, the man and his music, you'll most likely be pulling the hair out of your head by the time the last curtain finally falls.
Now, whether the multitude of errors on this disc were human or technical or a combination of both, Image Entertainment needs to do something about them, and right away! This disc has been on the market for a couple of years already, and I'm rather surprised it hasn't been recalled before now. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be, because any company that would let this mess out the door likely doesn't care much about the product itself in the first place. After all, time is money, and Heaven forbid someone might actually have to waste it by watching the DVD before it's sent off to market. Too bad they didn't though because it's likely a pretty good flick, at that. Sweet-natured, old-fashioned, filled with some of the most beautiful music ever written. Maybe someday, somebody somewhere will care enough to sort this thing out, and the real "Puccini" will be available once again, but until then, all I can do is offer that old adage, "Buyer Beware!"