Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD discs' started by Garrett, Mar 28, 2012.
Continued from part 8
Continued from a definitive recommendation for The Innkeepers
I watched disc 1 of Trek NG season 1 that includes Encounter At Farport and 2 really dull regular episodes. The PQ is an overwhelming improvement over my old LD's.
I loved The Innkeepers, even if it may not be the scariest horror film ever made. Unlike a superficial spook-show like the recent remake of The Woman in Black (the 80s ITV original is great BTW), which is all set dressing and rattling skeletons with characters and a plot that make little sense, there are intriguing ambiguities in The Innkeepers and the horror grows out of the psychological states of the characters, as they do in classic haunted house films like The Innocents or The Haunting. That said, I found that the film works better on a second viewing, when a lot of things fell into place which I didn't quite notice the first time round. As a fan of more subtle horror films, this has been my favourite horror film this year so far.
There is a dedicated thread for the film btw. and most people there rather liked it
I have the LD's too but I wasn't that impressed with the DVD's "better quality" either. Is the BD really worth it? Also taking in to account that many of the early episodes were pretty naff.
I've never seen the DVD's. On the LD's the red uniform shirts are quite runny and there a great deal of video noise. I concur that the first season is no great shakes other than the Q episodes. I prefer seasons 2-5 myself. I think I'm gonna be inclined to buy seasons 2 & 3 and maybe 4 & 5. I have every single episode on LD. That's why I never bothered with the DVD's.
Woman in Black two nights ago, nice transfer, I do like Ciarán Hinds, but overall I thought the film was average, not as frightening as some reported. Looked the piece but just didn't do it for me.
Last night, The Grey, loved it, very entertaining.
Liam was great just playing with his N.Irish accent, every film I see him in, I always hear his accent even if he is trying to be from elsewhere.
I even felt part of it (from a laughing waiting for the next story pov) when the campfire scene played out and they talked about what they had at home.
I was worried it was going to be some sort of man turns to werewolf nonsense, thankfully it was a straight forward story. Only had the rental, so no behind the scenes extras, would have been interesting to see.
Im going to have to rent this after all now!
There have been some ambivalent reviews of this story of a corrupt Chicago mayor, but after an admiittedly slow first episode by the third I was totally hooked. Great to see Kelsey Grammar playing a very dark character that's very different from his role in Frasier. Good writing too - not Aaron Sorkin, but not far off it and the score of 8.1 on imdb shows I'm not alone in thinking so.
Picture quality is great - pin sharp detail throughout, although the very desaturated colour is a bit tedious.
Cost me about £26 for eight one hour (full one hour, not the usual American "42 minutes") episodes as a US import via Amazon which I think is good value. For me this is yet another high class US show and I can't wait for Season 2 on Blu.
My BD double feature was A Night To Remember and Flowers Of War. Flowers Of War was a good but depressing film. I knew that the Japanese ravaged China during the 1930's going in. This flick slaps ya in the face with that, hard.
A Night To Remember is certainly one I remember well but I don't know Flowers Of War. I'll have to consider getting it. It does sound very interesting.
Jules Verne's Journey To The Center of the Earth for me tonight. Very much a nostalgia fest (last saw this when I was a kid) and impressive for its time, if somewhat dated now.
Blu-Ray is not a "show case" transfer. Soft throughout with rather muted colours and occasional dirt and scratches, but given the age and budget (this title, an import, was limited to 3000 copies and sold out within a few weeks) about the best we can expect. Certainly better than a DVD.
No extra's other than trailers and an isolated music score.
The 50s Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Still great and my favourite of the 50s sci-fi films. PQ fluctuates and I've seen better looking B&W films from the 50s, but I believe that's down to the Superscope process which resulted in a soft image. Still a good upgrade over the DVDs.
A great film. Why on Earth did they remake it so many times?
I suppose its because its a universal story about the primal fear of losing one's individuality which could be adapted to fit different decades. I like the 70s version just as much, if not more than the original. While closely sticking to the plot, it still feels like a completely different film. The first film is like a 50s film noir, while the 70s version looks very much like the conspiracy thrillers of the time.
The other two versions are less successful and just recycle the premise rather than sticking to the plot.
Flowers of War is a Chinese film. They imported Christian Bale to play in it. It's a mixed affair converationally, part English, part Chinese (I'm not sure if it's Mandarin or Cherry ), and a touch of Japanese for the antagonists. I heard someone on the forum say their disc looked badly and that it was hard-matted. Dude said he turned it off halfway through. I think he missed a decent moving picture, know what I mean, "does she go", yeah, I thought she go'ed...
I would not have a strong opine about the PQ. I watched it on my 34" relic Sony tube. It's shot in gritty fashion, well the outdoor scenes surely are... It didn't look much different than most digital "films" on my little set.
2 films last night,
The Bourne Identity - HD-DVD
The Tournament - Netflix Canada
HD-DVD may be a dead format but picture quality was fantastic and boy do those discs load quicker than Blu-Ray!! Bourne Identity good as always but still the weakest of the original 3 Bournes. Just getting ready for Legacy.
I remember reading the review on The Tournament on here a couple of years ago and it intrigued me. Well it's on Netflix in Canada and it's very enjoyable. Ving Rhames, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu and bucket loads of gore
2010 - The Year We Make Contact
Thought I'd already reviewed this, seems not!
After being letdown badly by Sunshine (after previously liking it to a point) I had to see this one again for a comparison of sorts.
This one fared much better. Roy Scheider helps of course, I think without him this film wouldnt be as good. The rest of the eclectic cast are very good too. I was particularly struck by the pace in this one - its neither too slow or too fast but gets the job done without a really long running time (which you could imagine this film to have).
Note to Danny Boyle - look! No Space Zombies needed! Wow!
Its not 2001 of course but its a completely different film in almost every way anyway despite being a sequel. Id say any sci-fi fan should have this in their collection.
PQ? Well this isnt a demo disc! PQ really varies on this one - one minute its a grain-fest (and I like grain) and looks pretty bad for a blu-ray. Next minute it looks very good considering. The space bits are all noticeably sharper than interior shots too. Weirdly though, some bits even on the same scenes and interiors look better than others for no apparent reason. Its obvious that no DNR/EE was applied here and yes it could definitely benefit from a careful remaster but I doubt that will happen. It doesnt look as good as 2001 of course. AQ was pretty good, not great by any means but not bad at all - Note that you have to switch to the TrueHD track manually as the lossy 5.1 is the default. This is an old disc of course.
Summing up? I think any sci-fi fan and particularly any 2001 fan should have this. Its not as good as 2001 of course (it would have a hard job there!) but its definitely a very good film in its own right and completely different to 2001. Its also a good Cold War/80s type film for those who like this genre. Its a definite jump up from the old really murky DVD. Its a lot better than Sunshine for sure...
Watched the Norwegian film Headhunters this afternoon and really enjoyed it.
Ostensibly a thriller, this has black humour and a love story at its core, along with enough twists and turns to keep you gripped throughout.
Apparently Mark Wahlberg signed up the rights as soon as he saw it and we're going to get the Hollywood remake shortly. If Wahlberg plays the lead it won't work. Watch this instead (there is an English audio track if you can't stand subtitles)
Picture quality is excellent, although it's yet another Scandinavian "let's desaturate the crap out of this" release.
The only extra's are a "Behind the scenes" (which is good and in HD) and a trailer but it's the film you'll be renting/buying this for. Good stuff.
Well well well, what can I say. Jaws on Blu Ray is Absolutely stunning, just stunning.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen this movie since I saw it for the first time on TV 31 years ago. I have grown up with the VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and I finally saw it at the cinema with my family a few months ago. But nothing in the world could have prepared me for what Universal Studios have done with this 37 year old movie. It's a stunning job to say the least.
There will always be one or two scenes that are soft in focus but even these scenes have new life and depth to them. The Rest of the movie looks like it was shot yesterday as a movie that's based in the 70s. I had to do a double take in most scenes as the movie just looks so clean and colorful, the depth to the picture is unreal.
Another area that has always been a dog with a bone area for me is the audio. I have always stuck with the original mono track on the DVD as I hated the remix, due to the whale sound edit, removal of the fog horns and the slurp of the Orca sinking. 99.9% of the Audio issues I had with the DVD 5.1 track have been rectified in this 7.1 mix for the Blu Ray and what we are left with is a kick ass assault on the senses. One scene nearly had me ducking for cover and that's the scene where the shark comes at the camera just after Quint hits it with the second barrel, the sound of momentum and crashing water just cuts from the front into the rear left speaker, Unreal!
The original whale cry is back, thank god? But the Orca still slurps when sinking lol.
The music is unreal, it's almost like you have all the dialog and sound effects locked to the usual speakers but with John Williams and the orchestra sat all around you beyond the walls in a big circle.
I'll shut up now as I know I can get a bit giddy when it comes to Jaws lol.
The Grey this morning. Rental. Thought it was pretty good. It really benefitted from the presence of Liam Neeson and may have been quite average otherwise. Nice BD as well. Excellent sound quality and very effective picture. Not a typically 'great' HD picture but a very good representation of this film.
I watched Dario Argento's Cat O'Nine Tails which I'd never seen. Apparently he thinks its his worst film, but despite some scary 70s hairstyles, it's actually a decent enough giallo even if it isn't up there with ...Crystal Plumage and Deep Red. But then judging by his work of the last three decades he doesn't seem to know how to make a good film anymore, so he doesn't seem to be the best judge of his own work.
I then went much further down the trash scale and watched 70s schlock fest The Thing with Two Heads which I'd recorded of MGM HD. Has to be seen to be believed and its absolutely hilarious. Racist surgeon Ray Milland is dying and has his head transplanted next to the head of a black death row inmate. They go on the run and their heads keep on bickering. Much more fun than Guess Who is Coming to Dinner. For something so low budget, this looked quite impressive in HD.
I really like MGM HD btw. it comes up with some real surprises and the most obscure films (and some genuine classics) keep getting the HD treatment. It's a treasure trove for B-movie hounds like me.
Dracula Prince of Darkness for me today. Went in with low expectations as this disc has received a lot of criticism.
In fact I was pleasantly surprised. The story's a bit tired (on the excellent accompanying HD documentary one of the talking heads points out this is "the perfect" Hammer film, but only in the sense it contains every "trademark" Hammer trick, the plot itself is thin and slow to start) but the disc picture quality was better than I was expecting. Grainy, soft (especially the shots of the castle which look like someone forgot to focus properly) with a hair in the gate here and there, but otherwise pretty dirt- free, colorful and half-decent contrast. I'd rate it as better than "Jules Verne's Journey To The Center of the Earth" which I'd just watched before it.
The extra's are pretty good, although the commentary is a waste of time with Christopher Lee dominating with tedious sermons about his acting career mostly excluding Dracula, and the other technicians too frightened of him to say "Shut it! We've got something about the film we're actually supposed to be commenting on to say" which is a great shame. The accompanying documentary has some rather caustic comments to make about Lee's memory of the shoot vs those of everyone else, but I guess Lee's "the star" so they just had to indulge him.
Think it's overpriced for what it is though. Definitely a rental rather than a purchase. Can't imagine wanting to sit down and watch it again.
Le Havre, a charming French language "feel good" movie about a small community who help out an illegal immigrant who needs to get to London.
Charming and beautifully told, although the director seems to have an odd stylistic tic where he prefers not to have characers speak, which at times comes across as "unreal" or "wooden" performances. Didn't entirely work for me, especially where the lead character's wife was concerned.
Aside from that thought this was great, with good picture quality, although completists may prefer to import the title on Criterion which I suspect is the same transfer, but includes the press panel at last year's Cannes Film Festival in its entirety which is missing from this British release.
2001 managed without him. But yes, he's a watchable presence. His Floyd is still Chief Brody in a space suit, but that's no bad thing .
But then, 2010 was written by Arthur C Clarke, not Alex Garland
I've never seen this movie as a sequel to Kubrick's film. Rather, its an adaption of Clarke's 1982 Novel, which was a 'sort-of' sequel to 2001. And the story is (IMO) just as strong as that of 2001, if not stronger.
And holy hell, what an ending...
Jim, you should stop with the 'of courses'. There is no cast iron rule that says 2010 can't surpass 2001. In some respects, I think it does. In others, its measurably inferior (the cold war angle is OTT and slightly irritating). And you don't need to keep comparing all space films to Sunshine! I get it- you didn't like Boyle's film. Would you prefer if 2001/10 were the only space films out there? Im just glad the genre is alive and well .
And there are two more novels in Clarke's series... here's hoping.
This isn't a science fiction film, it's a Hollywood love letter to the Navy (and military in general) with shots of US navy warships, aircraft carriers, destroyers and military pageantry on display that would give Michael Bay a hard-on the size of the Washington monument.
The actual plot- an unexplained Alien invasion- is irrelevant. The aliens' motivations aren't even alluded to, and the creators don't seem to give a crap one way of the other. Once again, Hollywood's depiction of alien invasion is astonishingly unimaginative. Generic, all-too-human-looking (and strangely compassionate) aliens, clunky post-transformers spaceships and very low-tech weapons. ‘Alien-vision' consists of red targets (threats) and green targets (safe). Why that way round? The excuse for a plot is loosely hung on the real-life discovery of ‘goldilocks zone' extra-solar planets, and scientist's SETI attempts to broadcast to them. Hollywood's loathing of science is front and centre here: Yet again, those reckless scientists have got everyone in trouble (oh, the hubris!) and its up to the military (headed by John Carter/ Maverick) to sort it all out, aided by an all-inclusive cast of disabled black people, geriatric navy vets and the Japanese. Pro-science this is not, but top marks for political correctness.
Then again, we are talking about a soggy fusion of Top Gun and Transformers with an (unintentionally) comedic script full of dialogue that belongs in speech bubbles. So is there any reason to watch this at all? Yes. ILM's navy v aliens carnage is super spectacular. Scriptwriters? Pfft. Waste of an effects budget. The combat and visuals really are something to behold (despite some absurdly over the top lense flare), but like a lollypop sucked of all it's juice, once the effects have been watched there's nothing left.
PQ is the mutts nuts, and sound is immense.
Sounds good to me.
SUPERB ..... Should have my steelie by the weekend
Explosions , nukes , missiles and a dozen cans of cold lager = PERFECT
Stop with the 'of courses' ? Of course I wont! I find myself editing some out quite a lot so youve got off lucky in fact!
2010 isnt 2001 for the vast majority of people I suspect, myself included. And I have been comparing anything roughly comparable to Sunshine recently to remind myself why Sunshine isnt good - and guess what? It isnt.
And yeah, Floyd is Chief Brody in a spacesuit and it isnt a bad thing at all - I certainly agree with that!
Love the responses to Battleship!
Lucasisking gives it a bad review...people get excited!
It sounds exactly how I imagined it, Im sure Ill see it at some point but it certainly wont be anywhere near a priority watch for me.
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