Last Tango in Paris

Best in Blu-ray sifts through the week's new releases, recommending titles for both the Blu-ray veteran and newbie, and reporting on the most intriguing rental. Look for it every Tuesday.

For Blu-ray Vets:

'Last Tango in Paris'

What It's About: A man, a woman, an empty apartment and a stick of butter. With Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

New Features: None; only a trailer is included.

Transfer/Audio: "The film is more akin to loss and pain and the image is meant to reflect the emotional response," says Gary Tooze at DVD Beaver. "This Blu-ray exports the film's painterly qualities as strongly as possible." Jeffrey Wells wrote at Hollywood Elsewhere, "I loved the look of this disc. I've never seen 'Tango' look better."

Replay Value: Limited. On a superficial level, 'Last Tango' is neither romantic nor sexy; the characters are unhappy and desperate, the visuals dark and gloomy. On closer examination, it's still not what anyone would call "an easy watch." It puts you through an emotional wringer, and you tend to come out feeling battered and torn.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times recently observed, "What's striking about the film, beyond that it was an American (X-rated and then R) hit, beyond Brando's beauty and Ms. Schneider's too-tender youth, is its blissfully un-self-conscious sexism, its celebration of maudlin masculinity and warmed-over crazy chick clichés."
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