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Two quick science-fiction DVD reviews

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by PoochJD, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    HI,

    Just thought I'd let you all know about two titles I bought today.

    1) Metropolis (Rintaro's latest Anime movie)
    It's another good Columbia Tristar Region 2 double-DVD release, and the great news is, it's slightly better than the Region 1 equivalent.

    Firstly, it has the exact same extra features as the US release, but also has the benefit of an additional DTS soundtrack that was NOT on their version. However, the DTS track is for an English dubbed version, not the original Japanese track, which is in DD 5.1.

    Depending on how you choose to watch the film, you can choose:
    - English language, with 5.1
    - English language with DTS soundtrack
    - Japanese language, DD 5.1 with simplified English subtitles
    - Japanese language, DD 5.1 with the original and more literal Japanese translated English subtitles.
    - In Either English 5.1, English DTS, or Japanese 5.1 with Hard Of Hearing English Subtitles!
    - Additional subtitles in Dutch, Spanish and Hindi!

    The extras are good, but not the best ever. a 30 minute, subtitled documentary, interviews with the director, a comparison feature, (allowing viewers to compare artwork with finished work, and all the processes inbetween), and some trailers.

    Still, it's better than the US version, and it's in 16:9 anamorphic PAL format, for even greater picture quality. 8 out of 10.


    2) Terrahawks: Volume 1
    Yep, Gerry Anderson's 80's puppet series gets both a DVD and VHS release. However, it's disappointing. Firstly, the picture has not been digitally remastered. As such, it's full of scratches, dirtmarks, and other little glitches, that really don't help. Even for an 18 year-old series, the prints used are heavily grainy, and look no better than a rough copy on VHS! Secondly, the sound is stereo only, not stereo surround. And the extras, are naff: 4 scripts, a short bio on the main characters, and a pitiful navigation system to boot!

    I quite like the series, and I remember watching it on Sunday afternoon TV, back in the mid-1980's, but this is not a good release at all, especially after the wonderful work done by Carlton on "Captain Scarlet", "Stingray" and "Thunderbirds", which all looked infinitely better, and were given 5.1 sound as well!

    The company releasing "Terrahawks" has not done a good job. Not to mention the fact, they are a company I've never heard of before, or know anything about. The on-screen menu's are cheap and nasty, and look like they were designed by a 10-year old on a BBC Micro computer!

    Seriously, unless you are a die-hard fan, avoid the DVD release, and go for the VHS versions instead. They'll cost you less, and you won't miss out by not having the extras. A miserly 4 out of 10! My copy will be returned tomorrow, for a full refund!

    Pooch
     
  2. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Pooch,

    Bit of a cheek to call a new sf movie Metropolis, isn't it?

    I've always been something of an Anderson fan, but didn't care for Terrahawks at all.

    Which retailer is it who will accept back a DVD merely because you don't happen to like it?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  3. rob_w

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    pooch,

    you`ve managed to review a dvd without telling me whether its a good film or not:)

    i am considering buying this, so is it a good'n?

    cheers
    rob
     
  4. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    Bert - Technically, no retailer would take back a DVD, just because I don't like it. However, I can state that I am returning the "Terrahawks" disc, because the picture quality is so bad!

    DVD's should be better than their VHS brethren. This is not the case with "Terrahawks", hence I am going to return it.

    Rob - "Metropolis" the anime, is good, but is complex! It's not an easy film to watch, in the sense that it demands both patience, intelligence and attention! So, don't put this on, one Saturday night, post-pub/club thinking you'll be in for a nice little Japanese movie. This is really, really mature film-making of the highest order, and thus, you need to be in the right frame of mind.

    Oh, and the 104 minute running time, is a lot longer than it sounds. The story unravels slowly. However, it is a great film, as long as you are willing to devote time and energy to it. Also, the mixture of CGI and old-style hand-drawn animation seems jarring at first, but it does work, especially if you know anything about Osamu Tezuka, and his style of work.

    Hope that helps.

    Pooch
     
  5. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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  6. rob_w

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    yep - cheers for the answer pooch !

    will stick that on the wish list

    rob
     

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