The Buster Keaton Collection debuts with Volume 1. This Blu-ray sports two of the bigger Keaton films with The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr. These are the films people think of when calling Keaton a genius. If you know nothing of Keaton, this is the place to start. My only question is…why haven’t you started watching already?
The General is the last great comedy of the Silent Era. Rejected by the Confederates, engineer Johnny Gray has to deal with a girlfriend that kinda hates him. Eventually he learns that he was rejected because his engineering trains was way too important for the War effort. This leads him on a journey of eventually becoming a Confederate war hero. Somewhere, a 19 year old Liberal Arts student is already foaming at the mouth typing a tweet.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. was a bomb when released, but it’s probably my favorite Keaton film. Featuring the famous wall fall stunt, the movie might be more memorable for the visuals that have been parodied by everyone from Steve McQueen (the director) to Arrested Development. It’s a cute movie that plays under 80 minutes and plays broad. Plus, all of those cyclone stunts still hold up.
Cohen has me sold, but then they add into trailers and deep featurettes. The 1080p transfer is impeccable and that DTS-HD 5.1 track holds water with anything Criterion could release. Bring on Volume 2 in July. This might be one of the best releases of 2019.