The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length film with completely synchronized dialogue and musical sequences, will mark another milestone January 8 when Warner Home Video releases the Blu-ray™ commencing the 2013 year-long 90th Anniversary of Warner Bros. Studios. We here at Cinelinx got the chance to check out the new box set in order to tell you whether or not you should add it to your collection.
There are a myriad of reasons that I love film and decided to get involved in the movie business. One of those reasons is that film gives people the unique ability to actually watch pieces of history. It’s a medium that documents itself and film buffs can go back and see how the film industry evolved over time, just by watching various films from throughout the decades. For this reason, I jumped at the opportunity when Warner Bros asked me to check out The Jazz Singer blu-ray.
This movie is literally history on its own, as it’s the first film to feature synced up audio to go with the picture. Essentially The Jazz Singer ushered in the era of the ‘talkies’ which changed filmmaking forever. To that end, I would say that this brand new boxset is a must have on your shelf at home, especially because the anniversary edition comes with a history booklet and the special features have some amazing content.
Let’s talk about the film itself for a moment. Let’s face it...it’s old, and for many people that’s going to be a problem. The film industry and methods of storytelling have come a long way since Jazz Singer was originally released. Without trying to be too blunt, I could see a lot of people finding themselves bored with the film. Still, if you’re a film buff or filmmaker it’s still something you need to see.
For me, the most value in this box set comes from the special features. The 93-minute documentary about the film and the long history of getting sound on film was a interesting piece. To be honest, I was more interested in watching The Dawn of Sound than I was while watching The Jazz Singer. It’s got interesting facts from the history of the film industry that haven’t been touched on as much, and I found I even learned a thing or two.
The set also features a slew of short films and cartoons that haven’t been released on blu-ray before (and honestly, I don’t know that they have ever been released for home consumption before), so there’s more history for you to pick up in this set. There are many reasons to pick this blu-ray up, even if you aren’t interested in the actual film itself. In my opinion it still deserves a spot on your shelf along with the rest of your collection. Though you may only watch it a few times, it’s practically like having history sitting along with the rest of your movies.
The Jazz Singer on blu-ray (available now in stores or online) gets a 6 out of 10.
A film/video editor at heart, Jordan dips his hands in many areas of filmmaking, including producing and VFX. On top of that he's a huge nerd and cartoonist, though you shouldn't hold that against him. He's been writing on the film industry for a number of years now and has had his worked featured on a number of other major film sites.
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