Friday , June 14 2024

4K Ultra HD Review: ‘One from the Heart’ – The Francis Ford Coppola Reprise Edition

Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1982 curiosity One from the Heart has been reissued on 4K UltraHD, billed as the “Reprise” edition. The movie’s budget famously ran out of control (its original $15 million had nearly doubled by the time of its release). With a theatrical domestic gross of less than $1 million, it was a resounding flop that had negative ramifications for Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios for years to come.

Its unconventional visual style, with intentionally artificial-looking Las Vegas sets, brings to mind Martin Scorsese’s 1977 New York, New York. Also similar is the tale of a perpetually unhappy, seemingly incompatible couple. Say what you will about Scorsese’s film, it was anchored by the dynamic performances by Robert De Niro and Liza Minelli. One from the Heart‘s couple is Frannie (Teri Garr) and Hank (Frederick Forest). They bicker and decide to split for what they hope will be greener pastures. Frannie takes up with Ray (Raul Julia) while Hank becomes smitten with an acrobatic performer named Leila (Nastassja Kinski).

It’s hard to muster up much of a feeling for Frannie and Hank. Co-screenwriters Armyan Bernstein and Coppola seem to have forgotten to write characters for them to play. Coppola apparently invested far more time cooking up a highly idealized, borderline surrealist take on Sin City. The characters are full of little quirks (including a frizzed-out Harry Dean Stanton, as Hank’s friend Moe). Unfortunately, the whole thing feels like a student “art film,” albeit a well-funded one. Strip away the off-kilter visuals and inventive set design and there’s a very thin sketch of a story here.

The best asset here is the highly prominent and very engaging jazz score by Tom Waits, who received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Country songstress Crystal Gayle sings several songs on her own and provides duet support for Waits on others. The music is far more interesting than anything spoken by Garr, Forest, and company.

The 4K disc features a mercifully shorter cut of the mess that is One from the Heart. Apparently, some of the original negative was thought to be lost, and this cut restores several minutes of original negative elements to ostensibly improve the visual qualities. The point of the “Reprise” cut, however, seems to have been to tighten the pacing of the film. It runs about 93 minutes, while the Blu-ray in this package boasts the ’82 original that runs about 10 minutes longer. There are definitely multiple schools of thought regarding the practice of re-editing films after they’ve been released. Generally speaking from a personal point of view, it seems unnecessary more often than not. Once the film is out, multiple versions can often result in confusion over what version has this scene or that (it seems this is actually Coppola‘s second attempt at recutting Heart). But again, as previously stated, at least the “Reprise” makes for a shorter viewing experience.

For One from the Heart diehards, both the 4K “Reprise” cut and the standard Blu-ray theatrical cut discs includes a wide variety of supplements. The former disc’s bonuses are new for this “Reprise” edition, while the latter disc’s bonuses appear to have been ported over from a previous Blu-ray release.

About The Other Chad

An old co-worker of mine thought my name was Chad. Since we had two Chads working there at the time, I was "The Other Chad."

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