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What I Watched Last Night In HD/UHD etc (Review).

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Oh I have man. Head on over to the other ‘what I watched last night’ thread for an in-depth discussion on the key themes, emotional resonance and use of cinematic tropes in the exquisite master work that is ‘Daddy’s Home’.

Ho ho ho.
I knew there was a reason I don't bother with the other thread! Actually...what other thread? :confused:;)
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Have you seen the third installment of his Vietnam trilogy - Heaven and Earth?
You know mate I never have got round to watching it. I feel a cheeky purchase coming up.

How does it stack up against the other two?
 

MacVee

Well-known Member
Born on the Fourth of July (Universal, region free - UK disc)

The second of my double bill of real life pain and misery yesterday (The Impossible was also watched via iTunes), this still manages to pack a punch even if my two serious complaints still stop this from being up there with the very best of Stone.

Cruise really was the only one who could play the lead role - having Kovic be Mr All-American, the very ideal of 50's and 60's Americana, even after his tours and his return to abject misery in the VA hospitals, the weight of Cruise, both in his still much underappreciated acting ability and his persona, makes us believe, where other actors may not. People talk about Magnolia being Cruise's best work, but you can't top this. He is brilliant.

And Stone for the most part does a great job of following Kovic through those stages - the return and upbeat optimism that he will walk again, the struggle with adjusting to home life (the most affecting scene for me is Kovic and his dad just hugging in his room on his return, neither sure of what to say or more importantly how to say it), through to the slow sink into depression and anger. The film always convinces, never suffering huge leaps in the narrative where we're unsure of why Kovic is now the way he is.

In fact the film does such a great job it convinces that even if Kovic hadn't been paralysed, the mental trauma from his tour would have led him down the exact same path - the confession to the family of one of his soldiers is heartbreaking both in terms of Cruise's performance and how the family react.

Which leads to my two problems with the whole thing - I mentioned above about there being no huge leaps......there is one. And its at the very end - after all the struggles we see Kovic go through, the movie cuts from having him nearly arrested at a Democrat rally and be branded a traitor by hundreds of people, to being a celebrated author four years later, with no explanation or description of how he got there. Its such a jarring leap precisely because there isn't a similar one elsewhere in the film and it begs the question of how he got there? The second one is an uncharacteristically overly melodramatic score by John Williams - its theme constantly playing and telling us exactly how to feel, it feels very one note and hammers home what we don't need hammering home from what's on screen.

However its still a hugely powerful piece of work and well worth a watch to remind us all of how good Cruise can actually be.

The disc is fine - the lossless 5.1 track has some nice surround pans and steering as helicopters fly around and gunfire erupts and that sickly score sounds rich and full. Dialogue is always clear and its a decent track from top to bottom. The picture looks nicely detailed and colours rich if occasionally oversaturated (the Vietnam scenes, which I assume are intentional). Grain is present as expected and even though its not a top tier presentation, its still good for a disc of its vintage with no real restoration work done on it. The only extras are a 20 min TV puff piece from '89 that at least had Kovic, Stone and Cruise talking about the film and a Stone commentary: its a film crying out about a real life doc on Kovic at least.

Summary - great Stone is marred by a couple of still jarring (to me anyway) issues. But you can't deny how good Cruise is. Powerful and depressing.
There's a couple of extra featurettes on the US version but unfortunately no definitive piece on Ron Kovic. Some of the oversaturation is intentional and colour is dependent on the mood in the scene, hence the red in the Vietnam scenes. Stone chose either red, white or blue for a scene, matching the colours of the US flag.

I think Tom Cruise should have bagged an Oscar for his portrayal of Ron Kovic, he gets it right from start to finish.
 

davidjohnson

Distinguished Member
You know mate I never have got round to watching it. I feel a cheeky purchase coming up.

How does it stack up against the other two?
I saw it at the cinema on its release and found it very mawkish. I suppose some may find it interesting as it tells a true story and offers an alternative perspective. I have the DVD but have been waiting for a bluray release to give it another chance, but it may never come!
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Awakenings (Sony, region free - UK disc)

This film utterly destroyed me.

Twice.

The first time was, if I'm honest, totally expected - the charming, human and very emotional narrative is so expertly played out that it hit me several times well and truly in what the kids these days refer to as "the feels". Williams' caring but socially inept doctor taking an interest in long forgotten catatonic patients and almost by accident, discovering a wonder drug that seemingly 'awakens' these souls and restores them to some form of normal life; De Niro in a seemingly flashy and grandstanding performance soon giving way to real heart and emotion (one of his anguished cries of "learn....learn.......learn from me" had me sobbing like a small child); even Penny Marshall's unfussy but measured direction and Randy Newman's very un-Pixar piano score just amped everything up and allowed the very human side of the story to shine through.

Forget that the drug, how it worked, how it didn't and any of the technical/medical side of the story was almost completely glossed over - the film simply wasn't interested in any of that. And after the first act, neither was I. Its key themes of families, loss, reunion, acceptance and almost every human shade in between were brought to the screen through a handful of fantastically drawn and played characters that could almost be what a certain Mr Scorcese meant in his denegration of the MCU as being about what cinema should be.

The second time was completely unexpected however.

I just never knew how much I missed Robin Williams.

Of all the actors that have come and gone while I've been a self-confessed movie nerd, I don't think I was ever so acutely aware of such a loss as I was watching this. We all know his comedic genius, but through these characters much like his Dr Sawyer here - flawed humans, damaged almost, but capable of such emotional depth (think here, think Fisher King, think Good Will Hunting and many more) - he had so many more of these characters to give. And he really did give them a life that said so much and it was only watching this that I was suddenly struck by the tragedy of him and his sad loss.

Bloody wuss that I am..........

Anyway, the film is simply marvelous - hugely affecting with two brilliant performance at its heart. Be prepared for dust in the eye..........

The transfer is pretty good too - as early 90's films go on blu, this is one of the better ones: its got some nice detail on show (but not too much), grain is not fine, but its not overtly thick either, colours look robust but robust and there's no instances of blooming or crush that I can remember. The lossless 5.1 track doesn't have a lot to do, but on those occasions where the action steps foot outside of the hospital, the soundstage opens up really rather nicely. There were no extras that I recall on the disc at all. A real shame as the real story behind this would be equally fascinating.

Summary - a wonderful period piece that draws you into its very human story through the good old hooks of great script and great actors. The disc is decent - cheap in HMVs clearance bins and it comes with a digital copy that still works if that floats yer boat - and well worth your time.
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
The Irishman Netflix 4k streaming.

So, i finish work, get in the loft fir xmas tree and decorations for mrs N, have a visit from the eldest and feed them all tea, mrs N had been on nights the previous night and never sleeps when she finishes..Mrs N starts to flag on the sofa, the kids are on their mobiles, so stick Netflix on, and didn't know this was on yet, booyaahhhh, the kids make a sharp exit, Mrs N falls asleep and get sit most of the evening taking in some of my favourite actors of all time, and of course directed by Martin Scorsese.

Its has a runtime of 3hrs28 minutes and i didn't move from my seat from start to finish. How can one not get excited with having Pesci, Deniro and Al Pacino all on the screen in the same film.

So how do we talk about this film? In essence, if you've seen and enjoyed, Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed then you can't go far wrong with watching this i don't think. Its a typical Scorsese flick, but seems a little tamed down from the previous mentioned films, that doesn't mean its not violent, because it is, just not as shocking as some of the scenes on casino etc. It has the usual pacing, the voice over narration from mostly De niro. I for one have always enjoyed this style of story telling.

Its a good old mob film, with violence, paranoia, backstabbing and double crossing. Plenty of trust issues throughout the film, for everyone involved, but loyalty will always prevail!! The power, the money, the hits, the sabotage. Its all there.

De Niro is the main cast, i was very sceptical about seeing the likely lads as you were, for one last hurrah, ageing cast members who were on top of their game 20 years ago, the untouchables. after some of the film's I've seen Deniro take part in over the past decade, i thought he was done, i tell you what, he proved me wrong, as did pesci, he still has his calm demeanour but you know he's a nasty peace of work, and Pacino, who is as ever, full of life and passion, and so watchable..some of dialouge and curse words he delivers just made me laugh, perfect timing. All excellent in their own right, and still have the midas touch.

PQ, the de ageing and ageing CGI is pretty effective, i was a little unsure 10 minutes in, then the music comes on, and i was just zoned in. But the 4k picture with HDR inmust say, looked mighty fine and detailed. Every close up scene was pin sharp with so much detail. Blacks were good and colours were deep.and rich, certainly lending to the time period. I really hope this gets a 4k uhd disc release as did Annihilation.

Only watched through the TV for sound so nothing to.comment really. Could possibly have Atmos but will need to check as.i beleive its only on certain TVs/Devices.

It was never going to reach the highs of Goodfellas or Casino, and it's very similar in tone to both of those. I'm so pleased that I didn't feel disappointed or short changed. Seeing 3 iconic actors back on screen and giving it big licks and producing the goods, it's win win.
 
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Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Gosford Park (Arrow Academy, region B - UK disc)

The birthplace of the current fad of Edwardian/Victorian high society on the small screen (Crown, Downton, esq), this hugely charming yet nicely dark trawl through 1930's high society, told through the prism of a shooting weekend, a juicy murder and all manner of saucy 'small p' politics and the clear divide of Upstairs and Downstairs (that sounds familiar........) still works a treat.

Typically Altman in terms of its sprawling cast, its dense characterisations into which we're dropped headfirst and a focus much more on the people than events, the fact that the murder that supposedly drives the plot (no matter how nominally) takes place over 75 minutes into the 130 minute film and you hardly notice speaks volume to just how well Altman, Fellowes and the cast paint these characters.

Very quickly we get to understand the rules of high society, as well as the natural order of the serving staff and the brief snatches of backstory of each slowly start to come into play as the murder throws light on all manner of scurrilous goings on. That balance of wit and charm and seething darkness is made possible by the stellar cast - anyone who's anyone is here, all having a blast - and even when the resolution of the murder comes to light, its never a traditional 'ta dah' moment, more a quiet acceptance of how these archaic social structures allowed and caused such an act to take place in the first place.

The only bum note for me is Stephen Fry's bumbling detective who seems straight out of Jeeves and Wooster farce rather than the more realistic tone the rest of the characters are aiming for. But that doesn't matter a jot - huge fun and so much better than anything similar that's been on the small screen since.

A decent presentation as expected - grain and detail sit nicely alongside each other, although it is a soft film. Colours are muted and even the rich, lush colours of the countryside don't leap off the screen, but I get the distinct impression that's all part of the design. No print damage and even projected, the film looks pretty nice. The lossless 5.1 track doesn't have a lot of heavy lifting to do but everything sounds clear and full. The only new extras appear to be two interviews with a producer and a nominal cast member - hardly earth shattering, but that's not why we're here: its all about the film.

Summary - scandalous goings on at a country pile on the 1930's, a murder......its Altman doing Agatha Christie, with more emphasis on the characters than the plot. And its works a treat. The important parts of the disc are all fine as well.
 
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MacVee

Well-known Member
Blade Runner (1982) - International Cut 1080P

This is the very month and year it was set, November 2019, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to give this another view. This is the first time I've seen the International Cut, having seen the US Cut and possibly the Director's cut previously, it's like there's more versions of this film than all the tea in China.

I actually like the monologues that are given in this and the US cut, the diction and intonation by Harrison Ford make it seem straight out of a noir, even if it doesn't sound like the usual voice viewers might be familiar with from other films. The studio imposed ending, whilst marmite, I didn't think was controversial. It's only a couple of more minutes, if that, and it doesn't fundamentally alter the film for argument's sake. This film uses mystery as a bedrock so I think any ending is open to wide interpretation anyway, you can make of it what you will. Plus we get to see some of Kubrick's unused footage from The Shining, that has got to be a bonus in its own right.

Blade Runner has so much visual information to gaze at in every scene. From seeing the people milling about in the dark and dingy streets, the Voight-Kampff test or even nonsensical characters like "the Kaiser", who happens to be my favourite. Even better, none of this is shoehorned in, it's a fully realised world from the bottom up. Not one scene felt unnecessary.

From the opening crawl over LA, it's clear the film is going to be something different. The "forced perspective" the audience gets as the camera tracks over the city gives it a heightened sense of realism. Couple that with the Greek God of Synthesisers, Vangelis, providing an immortal score and it is an assault on the senses, in a good way. The synth notes and cymbals he uses seem to "cut" into what we see on the screen. A good example of that is the opening scene. Or that sharp, harsh breakdown when Deckard and Rachel are momentarily unsure of one another. In actual fact, the end titles and the love theme have taken on an identity of their own and are as recognisable as the film itself.

It's flattering to the age of the film as the quality of the special effects make it look far younger. We might often think of this as a typical "80's film" but it is not, it's timeless. The dystopian aesthetics we see as a gloomy, rainy LA, an almost polar opposite of the sun drenched city Hollywood is so keen to push. That strange fusion of Asian and American culture. Effectively reinventing the wheel of "neo-noir". Blade Runner is one of those films where I think far more about it after I have seen it than during it.

At some points in the film I feel it is trying too much to focus on the imagery at the expense of plot progression, something taking place just to get itself noticed. It can cause "dead air". Luckily this only happens a couple of times and it is clear the film is trying to hone that balance between form and function, it just can't always do both at once.

It is only in the time passed since it was originally released that it has built up that level of staying power. Something few films can hold a candle to.

Film 8/10
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
A couple of cheeky recent 4K upgrades to revisit in all their new shiny glory...…..

Hellboy (2004, Sony, region free - UHD, UK disc)

The original and still the best, GDT's loving superhero-monster mash comes across as charming as a movie about Nazi's bringing about the end of the world by summoning tentacled beasties from another dimension can be. And its all down to Big Ron, I mean Big Red himself.

Perlman brings so much schoolboy/puppy dog character that you can't help but be won over by him from the minute you see him. From stalking the love of his life from afar like a lovesick teenager would, to the bored air of someone who'd rather stay at home with his kittens than destroy man eating monster folk, he's wonderfully warm as a character. Kinda like a big, red GDT himself.

And its GDT's love of those old school monster movies from his youth that this warmly apes that also gives this a timeless appeal - sparing CG is muscled out by gorgeous old school practical VFX, meaning this already has aged better than Marshall's abomination from fifteen years later.

A heartfelt homage to the Universal Monsters, small in scale (even if it is about the end of the world) and focussed on a pleasing handful of brilliantly drawn characters. Glorious.

And the UHD is exactly the same - if anyone ever says that the don't understand how grain = detail, show them this disc. Brilliant detail levels are clearly visible under a fine layer of grain and coupled with those blistering colours and rich blacks and of course, its another back catalogue winner from Sony. The Atmos track isn't as immediate an upgrade but the room slowly disappears and the cavernous tomb underneath the Russian cemetery suddenly sounds as huge as it looks. And of course the UHD has all manner of new goodies on, including an intro, a 7-min interview with GDT and a 2.5 hour new making of that I'm saving up for a cold winters night when I can snuggle into it in the lounge with my cocoa.

Summary - Perlman = GDT's monstrous alter ego and its as glorious as you imagine it would be. The disc is another home run too. Can't believe we didn't get number three and got a right royal number two instead...….

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012, Sony, region free - UHD, UK disc)

Unfairly maligned solely because it exists, I like Garfield and Webb's take on the character. You can see the evolution from Maguire/Raimi's more straight-laced approach (heavy focus on the villains and the new fangled VFX), through this slightly more goofy yet focussed on the central duo of Peter and Gwen (thanks to Garfield's and Stone's chemistry and relationship) all the way to the much sillier and frothier MCU version we have now. And without these two film's, we simply wouldn't have as good a Pater Parker and Spider-Man as we do now.

But even by this film, before the MCU had got out of Phase 1, we were starting to get burnt out by another reboot of a character we'd only had brought to the screens first ten years earlier and who had enjoyed three films of huge success since. The question of why reboot it still is a headscratcher to all those who don't understand the ridiculous rights situation between Sony and Marvel that to this day still cause dunderheaded decisions to be made and films we don't need or want being forced upon us for any number of non-creative reasons (cough......Venom...….cough).

But I like these two films. Field and Sheen give good May and Ben (even if we didn't need to see their story again) and even if the action is a little on the light side this time round, due to the expanded character work going on that didn't feel as out of place here as it did in the sequel, it still felt satisfying in every way that the odd design of the Lizard didn't.

Sue me, I still like this even with us all currently basking in the glory of the MCU version.

And as for the UHD BD, its the Spinal Tap of UHD BDs - its just cranked up to 11 in every way possible. Razor sharp, almost to the point where the edges look a little unnatural, colours eye-searingly bright that they hurt and specular highlights the likes of which I haven't seen before (the lights on the cop cars during the first Spidey chase, the light glinting of the spidey suit as Peter scuttles up Oscorp Tower at the finale...…...brilliantly bright)…….the film is a smorgasbord of what HDR/WCG and 4K can all do together. Its not the best image I've seen because its all amped up so far, but it is definitely an example of what this new disc technology can do. A decent Atmos upgrade is just the cherry on the cake.

Summary - the disc is the star, but I still really like Garfield's take. Maybe in the next Spider-verse film we'll get a further taste...…..
 
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Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Man of steel 4k uhd blu ray projected.

So i finally get to watch this on the faux 4k projector as opposed to downscaled on the good old Ben 1080p.

I really think this film grows on me, especially after multiple viewings. I can't help but be enthralled with what happens on the screen. I'm by no means a DC fanboy or a Marvel fanboy for that matter. I just really enjoy what i see. Maybe it doesn't sit pretty with all the die hard superman fans, be it too dark, too violent, far too much destruction? But i dont care, what's going to happen when you have individuals fighting, with superhuman strength? Thing's arw getting to get smashed the F up, buildings are going to get destroyed, it's not like it's his fault. " excuse me Mr S, would you mind not using your strength so much when fighting, could you not play near skyscrapers please?"!!! Somehow, i don't think he meant it lol.

I really like the story in all honesty, it does enough to entice you, be it as a newcomer or having viewed the originals. I also like Kevin Costner, as the grounded, cool and calm father figure, doesn't get a huge amount of screen time, but the film would be worse off without him.

The film moves along nicely, with the right balance of character development and on screen action. It plays out how it should imo, the flash backs, the growing up, the fitting in, and then the coming of age with the full on action.

PQ from this WB 4k disc is lovely, its a darker feel/tone in comparison to.say, some of the Marvel films, but i really admire Zack schynders directing abilities, as well as the tonal look and feel, always has the darker edge, just something a little more sinister than you might be expecting..there's a lovely filmic grain across the image, superman's suit has excellent detail, even with a darkened/subdued colour level, the dark blue and dark red of the cape reveal excellent levels of detail. Sunlight shines upon the suit on the 1st reveal, pittimg emphasis on the S, and on Supes face,man, i love the contrast and detail levels as the screen lights up..HDR shows its hand, as does the WCG, its so lovely to look at in a filmic sense. The CGI is pretty spot on too, never feels out of place.

SQ in the form of a certain upgraded Dolby Atmos soundtrack. This thing is absolutely sensational, i forgot how good it was, from start to finish. There's no end of showcasing, from the memorable score, truly opening up the listening area and engulfing you in harmonic excellence. symbols, deep bass notes, orchestral excellence drawing you in to the heart of the film. I would say its memorable, because I've never forgot any of the score from this film. Add to this the mini guns from the fighter planes, bullets hammering the tarmac with precision, the sonic boom of superman as he punches a hole in the atmosphere, it also punches a hole in the listening area. The dialouge is crystal clear and locked down, and then you have the pounding, throbbing bass of the world engine... this thing rocks!!

I've got the 3D version the standard Blu Ray version, but for me, this 4k version os the best way to watch this film, and boy oh boy, the Atmos rocks.
 
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Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Grimsby (Sony, region free - UK disc)

There are films you watch to learn something - maybe a terrifying socio-political event that only cinema can help get to the heart of; there are films you watch to feel a connection to your own humanity, where relationships and reality combine in a way that can touch your soul and warm the coldest of cockles; there are even films you can watch to just sit back and enjoy the sheer spectacle of, comfortable in the knowledge that your eyes and ears are being treated to the equivalent of the finest wines known to all of humanity.

And there are some films you watch because they are 83 minutes long. With credits.

This is one of those films.

There really is nothing to add about a film where the line "Its an elephant bukkake party!" means exactly what it says. Other than to marvel that Mark Strong signed up - maybe Cohen told him it wasn't a movie at all, more of an extended Bond audition that was going to land him the role after Craig decided he'd had enough. Who knows.......

Its not big, its certainly not clever and I smirked a couple of times. And then immediately felt guilty. Objectively terrible. But still watchable. Just.

The disc is a Sony one so it looks and sounds great. I'm sure there are extras on there but I didn't want the magic of the elephant scene ruined by knowing how they did it - I just want to imagine it was done for real.

Summary - there are no words really..........
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Star Trek 2009 4k UHD Blu Ray projected.

It doesn't matter if this film, or the other 2 for the matter, i always get drawn in and end up watching the whole thing, but its been a while since i sat and watched this from start to finish, and it's a whole lot of fun.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Kirk and spock on this, you can just tell that they don't like one another but Somehow they awkwardly get along. They play their roles with ease and are both really likeable as characters for me and this continues over on to the other films in the series.

As a Star Trek film itslef, it ticks all the right notes for me, the splot is as expected, but the film just feels right, it has plenty of action, some enjoyable moments, when the doc gives kirk a helping hand lol, numb tongue, still makes me laugh everytime i see it. I really enjoy the ditecting style from JJ, he sure knows how to make a Sc fi actioner.

PQ for the 4k disc is very nice indeed, its again my 1st watch on the Faux 4k projector and it was worth the wait, and i for one really dont mind the lens flare style. Resolution is better than the Blu, close up on faces reveals plenty of detail, costumes and the like reveal textures of the fabric, the bridge om the enterprise is bold and bright, but its the HDR and colour that nske the real difference, the film has grain but the image looks so organic and the contrast is excellent.

SQ again with and uorgaded Atmos track, is exactly that, i still thin Star Trek Into Darkness is the Atmos track to beat though, but this is no slouch. Cannons and laser blasts rip through the listening area, its big and bold to match whats happening on the screen, announcements are made on the ship and all the speakers light up with a lovely reverb, LFE is deep and solid, the jump scene is excellent as all 3 fly towards the drill, parachutes open and flutter all around the listening area, dialouge is excellent, its quite a lot of fun in all honesty.

Thoroughly enjoyed watching this on the projector and can highly recommend it, even if you aint a trek fan, its just solid and fun.
 

Gazgum

Well-known Member
Grimsby (Sony, region free - UK disc)

There are films you watch to learn something - maybe a terrifying socio-political event that only cinema can help get to the heart of; there are films you watch to feel a connection to your own humanity, where relationships and reality combine in a way that can touch your soul and warm the coldest of cockles; there are even films you can watch to just sit back and enjoy the sheer spectacle of, comfortable in the knowledge that your eyes and ears are being treated to the equivalent of the finest wines known to all of humanity.

And there are some films you watch because they are 83 minutes long. With credits.

This is one of those films.

There really is nothing to add about a film where the line "Its an elephant bukkake party!" means exactly what it says. Other than to marvel that Mark Strong signed up - maybe Cohen told him it wasn't a movie at all, more of an extended Bond audition that was going to land him the role after Craig decided he'd had enough. Who knows.......

Its not big, its certainly not clever and I smirked a couple of times. And then immediately felt guilty. Objectively terrible. But still watchable. Just.

The disc is a Sony one so it looks and sounds great. I'm sure there are extras on there but I didn't want the magic of the elephant scene ruined by knowing how they did it - I just want to imagine it was done for real.

Summary - there are no words really..........
83 minutes of your life...:thumbsdow.....:D
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Scarface (1983) (4K UHD - US)

I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card... I'm gonna carve him up real nice.

I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.

Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.

Who put this thing together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me!

This town's like a great big chicken just waiting to be plucked.


So we all know this one right? In the modern era of gangster films there are a few that stand out amongst the others and this is certainly one of those. Is it the best one? Not for me. But its certainly worth its near 3 hour running time. Its 1980 and Castro is getting rid of all the 'undesirables' from Cuba amongst which are a lot of low life criminals...step up Tony Montana! :D Tony (Al Pacino) and his best friend Manny (Steven Bauer) are housed with hundreds of others in an internment camp. Manny gets wind that a green card (enabling them to work and leave the camp) is theirs...as long as they take out a certain target who is in the camp with them.

This film really is all about Pacino and its a proper tour de force. Pacino is never less than totally convincing as the Cuban exile who will do anything to get what's coming to him. Tony and Manny quickly fall in with local crime lord Frank (Robert Loggia) and his dodgy sidekick Omar (F. Murray Abraham) and Tony soon climbs up the ladder eliminating anything in his way. I have to say it again...Pacino is mesmerising here. He dominates every scene he's in and even when he's not talking he's like a volcano waiting to go off. Steven Bauer is great as Manny, the ladies man, and provides quite a few laughs along the way. We also have the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer (Elvira) in an early role who spends the entire film coked out of her mind and the equally lovely Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Gina, Tony's younger sister. I also really like Robert Loggia and Paul Shenar (Sosa) in this who make for very memorable drug barons.

Its a long old film at nearly 3 hours but does it get boring? Does it hell! De Palma keeps it moving at all times. In retrospect its a bit rough around the edges these days and the story does jump quite a bit in places. For instance, we never really actually see how Tony accumulates so much wealth so quickly though its heavily implied of course especially with the demise of Frank. I kept getting reminded of The Godfather 1 and 2 (thanks to Pacino) at times and its easy to see the massive impact Scarface has had on the crime and gangster films that came after it. I also kept getting reminded of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul! The violent scenes were extraordinary back in its day, less so now of course, but they still have a huge impact. The acting is superb from everyone involved, even the small parts. I'd forgotten that there are some very funny lines in this film, some intentional and some unintentional, which certainly helped.

I bought the US edition because this one has its own titles and not player-generated titles like the UK one. Its not a huge thing really but if you're a big fan and you're not planning to buy this again (like me) its best to get this one really. What I can say is that whichever 4K disc you buy, you are in for a treat! The old Blu-ray was never great even back in the day and what we have here is another classic given the treatment it deserves. The upgrade in detail here is quite significant and of course the HDR/WCG colour improves things considerably whilst never seeming overdone, totally in keeping with the original look. The black levels are really black....maybe too black? I'm sure I spotted some black crush possibly at times though this could be down to the way it was filmed and lighting etc. No elevated black levels here trust me! It looks a bit soft in places and I think some DNR may have been applied but don't get me wrong - this is by FAR the best this film has ever looked and I cannot see us getting anything better to be honest. At times it looks fantastic but maybe not so good on interior shots at times which is no surprise. The AQ sees another upgrade. I had to whack up the volume for some reason but once I did that, this one sounds better than ever too. That great 80's soundtrack really comes to the fore at times and the surrounds certainly get a workout. I don't think this is the best we have seen and heard on 4K disc but we are talking about a 1983 film don't forget and I think they have done a great job here overall.

Summary? This is a modern classic and certainly gets a good treatment on 4K disc here. Its no reference disc for PQ or AQ but believe me, you have never seen Scarface look or sound like this. A must for any collection and another nail in the coffin of the 4K disc naysayers! :D

Film 9/10
PQ 9/10
AQ 9/10
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Scarface (1983) (4K UHD - US)

I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card... I'm gonna carve him up real nice.

I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.

Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.

Who put this thing together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me!

This town's like a great big chicken just waiting to be plucked.


So we all know this one right? In the modern era of gangster films there are a few that stand out amongst the others and this is certainly one of those. Is it the best one? Not for me. But its certainly worth its near 3 hour running time. Its 1980 and Castro is getting rid of all the 'undesirables' from Cuba amongst which are a lot of low life criminals...step up Tony Montana! :D Tony (Al Pacino) and his best friend Manny (Steven Bauer) are housed with hundreds of others in an internment camp. Manny gets wind that a green card (enabling them to work and leave the camp) is theirs...as long as they take out a certain target who is in the camp with them.

This film really is all about Pacino and its a proper tour de force. Pacino is never less than totally convincing as the Cuban exile who will do anything to get what's coming to him. Tony and Manny quickly fall in with local crime lord Frank (Robert Loggia) and his dodgy sidekick Omar (F. Murray Abraham) and Tony soon climbs up the ladder eliminating anything in his way. I have to say it again...Pacino is mesmerising here. He dominates every scene he's in and even when he's not talking he's like a volcano waiting to go off. Steven Bauer is great as Manny, the ladies man, and provides quite a few laughs along the way. We also have the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer (Elvira) in an early role who spends the entire film coked out of her mind and the equally lovely Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Gina, Tony's younger sister. I also really like Robert Loggia and Paul Shenar (Sosa) in this who make for very memorable drug barons.

Its a long old film at nearly 3 hours but does it get boring? Does it hell! De Palma keeps it moving at all times. In retrospect its a bit rough around the edges these days and the story does jump quite a bit in places. For instance, we never really actually see how Tony accumulates so much wealth so quickly though its heavily implied of course especially with the demise of Frank. I kept getting reminded of The Godfather 1 and 2 (thanks to Pacino) at times and its easy to see the massive impact Scarface has had on the crime and gangster films that came after it. I also kept getting reminded of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul! The violent scenes were extraordinary back in its day, less so now of course, but they still have a huge impact. The acting is superb from everyone involved, even the small parts. I'd forgotten that there are some very funny lines in this film, some intentional and some unintentional, which certainly helped.

I bought the US edition because this one has its own titles and not player-generated titles like the UK one. Its not a huge thing really but if you're a big fan and you're not planning to buy this again (like me) its best to get this one really. What I can say is that whichever 4K disc you buy, you are in for a treat! The old Blu-ray was never great even back in the day and what we have here is another classic given the treatment it deserves. The upgrade in detail here is quite significant and of course the HDR/WCG colour improves things considerably whilst never seeming overdone, totally in keeping with the original look. The black levels are really black....maybe too black? I'm sure I spotted some black crush possibly at times though this could be down to the way it was filmed and lighting etc. No elevated black levels here trust me! It looks a bit soft in places and I think some DNR may have been applied but don't get me wrong - this is by FAR the best this film has ever looked and I cannot see us getting anything better to be honest. At times it looks fantastic but maybe not so good on interior shots at times which is no surprise. The AQ sees another upgrade. I had to whack up the volume for some reason but once I did that, this one sounds better than ever too. That great 80's soundtrack really comes to the fore at times and the surrounds certainly get a workout. I don't think this is the best we have seen and heard on 4K disc but we are talking about a 1983 film don't forget and I think they have done a great job here overall.

Summary? This is a modern classic and certainly gets a good treatment on 4K disc here. Its no reference disc for PQ or AQ but believe me, you have never seen Scarface look or sound like this. A must for any collection and another nail in the coffin of the 4K disc naysayers! :D

Film 9/10
PQ 9/10
AQ 9/10
Thanks Jim, i ordered this from ebay a couple of weeks ago, never turned, beacuse some douche fleeced me..i will have to pick this up soon.
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Crank 4k UHD blu ray projected.

Who doesn't love a bit of high octane jason statham? I know i do, and at 87 minutes long, its perfect for a warm up viewing before the main event.

The story is bonkers, stath is a bad boy, a hitman, but after doing wrong, he awakes to find that he's been poisoned, and the only way to stay alive is to keep moving, he needs adrenaline fueled action to keep his heart rate up and pumping adrenaline, let the mayhem commence lol.

I love everthing about this, the fast quick snap editing, which fits perfectly with the highly fueled stath, caffeine, energy drinks, standard stuff...driving a car through the mall and getting chased by the police, hahaha. shall we say, a public display of a affection? That will get ghe heart pumping. Moving on to a high octane stath, doing what he does best, smashing the living daylights out of people trying to pursue him, its just one of those daft action movies that ticks the boxes, everything is done at break neck speed.

PQ, this film was never going to win awards, just the style of the film, but you know what, there's certainly an uptick in detail on quite a few scenes, certainly betters the Blu Ray..there's some nice glimpses of HDR usage, sunlight shing theoigh the car and on to Staths face, it's blisteringly bright and reveals plenty of detail, stubble on his face is very well defined, i think this has Dolby Vision for those that can access it. Colours are fine without every jumping off the screen, grain is present and correct. Its quite a gritty looking film but i honestly thought it looked half decent considering the stylistic choice.

SQ, now this was another reason for the upgrade, a bonkers Dolby Atmos soundtrack to go with a bonkers film, literally everything is ramped up to the 9's, for the whole film, if you can handle it? Lol, i loved it, the overheads are used at every opportunity throughout the film, from cars, the drone of the ringtone, and the constant beating of staths heart, it pulses, it pounds and never lets up..fight scenes have real oomph, car chases and glass breaking spread around the room effortlessly, gun shots have great reverb. Swooshing sound effects, music, just everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in. As i say, it's a perfect accompaniment for the crazy on screen action, without a dout, and oral upgrade.

Cracking bit of daftness at 87 minutes, decent picture and crazy soundtrack. Im off to check if Crank 2 high voltage has a 4k release. Stath, you rock!!
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Fast and Furious Hobbs and Shaw Blu ray projected.

My second statham outing for the day,Wow!! utterly OTT as expected, but this is way OTT, even by fast and furious standards, decided to save £10 over the 4k version for this as i had a feeling it would be a watch once film, and it is lol..more fool me, what else could i have expected? Lol.

It's on for 2 hours 20, and i did find myslef clock watching a touch nearer to the end, don't get me wrong, stath and the rock are both watchable, just some of the gags seemed a little forced, and as someone mentioned on another thread, which made me laugh..why does the stath talk out the side of his mouth like popeye?:rotfl:

The plot is ridiculous, nothing new there, i just started to think, "what the hell is going on here?" Idris elba had turned into the guy from upgrade, and then some lol, sounds cool right? Well it is, but where the hell does it fit in a fast and furious spin off? Oh yeah, he has a motorbike, that's why..but it's not just any motorbike, i will say no more before I start laughing lol.

So idris is a bad guy, the stath and the rock have to work together to save the world from a crazy virus which also involves the staths sister, it's as simple as that really, but obviously it's never that simple, cue loads of explosions, flights etc, these aren't too bad really, it's just some of the crazy ideas and subplots that i rolled my eyes at lol..yes some parts were funny, mainly the parts where the rock and stath have lad banter, flexing there egos and turning everything into a competition.

PQ on this universal blu ray is exactly how you would expect from a modern day block buster. Pin sharp, digitally shot im guessing, no sign of grain. Its a beautiful looking blu ray and I'm certain If you have the 4k disc, you are in for a treat..detail and blacks are perfect, the cool hue and colour during the night time scene, the lighting etc, on the Staths Mclaren look sumptuous, down right gorgeous. Close shots reveal loads of detail, even on the standard blu, helen Mirren sits with plenty of light shining on her, and it reveals every wrinkle and pore on her face. Explosions are bright, orange flames standout and punch a bright light in the nigjt sky.

SQ again, another lovely Dolby Atmos soundtrack, dialouge is excellent, sound effects and sound steering are 1st rate, there's plenty to enjoy, be it the pounding music, sexy engine sounds from cars and bikes, computerised voices during scenes with Idris Elba sound rich and full bodied in a complete immersive way, sounds from above and around just gel together to form that bubble.

I don't know, you might enjoy this, i didn't hate it as such, i just thought "What the Hell" lol and is a watch once for me, i wanted to like it, but it didn't gel as much as i would have liked.
 

Tim2049

Well-known Member
Border:

Extremely interesting Swedish film about a somewhat deformed customs officer & her obsession with a mysterious stranger, with whom she shares an increasingly strange connection.

Mixing deep character drama, a sprinkling of Cronenbergian horror & a brilliantly balanced magic-realism/fantasy undertone, Border is one of the most interesting, disturbing films I've seen all year.

The less you know going in, the better...

I rented the blu ray from Cinema Paradiso, but wherever you may stumble cross this understated gem it's well, well worth 90 minutes of your time.

8/10
 
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Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Breakfast at Tiffanys (Paramount, region free - UK disc, part of The Audrey Hepburn Collection)

A pop culture touchstone for aspiring fashionista's, folk song classic lovers, future A-Team fanboys and casual racists alike, the depth of Capote's novel seems to make it to the screen broadly intact.

The central relationship between two gigolo's trapped in their depressing cycle of casual sex, huge amounts of cash and amazing parties (hang on...….) feels really nicely drawn and eerily real even if the world they exist in is anything but. Hepburn and especially Peppard draw their relationship together through little droplets of information about their lives as they criss-cross each other and its brilliant chemistry between them that holds the whole thing together.

It doesn't do a lot, but it does have a lot to say - about the shallow lives many were living heading into the Summer of Love and about those an awful lot older taking full advantage of this. And its all about that central two - Hepburn launches a thousand magazine covers with her flaky, ditzy clothes horse with HUGE sunglasses, while Peppard is, well, just trying to hang on for dear life frankly. While Hepburn gets a huge amount of backstory thanks to the sub-plot about her past life, Peppard isn't given the same amount to work with. But that's ok, because we get just enough of his writing ambition to know that he and Hepburn are made for each other.

The lovely rat-a-tat dialogue isn't quite up to the 40s screwball comedy level, but it does breathe life into these two potential stereotypes and throw in the single best performance in film by a ginger moggy (sorry Jonesy), its got that 'classic' stamp all over it - you know the one, you're told you're watching a 'classic', you don't want to believe its a 'classic', but goddamn it, you bloody well know it is.

It looked wonderful with some obvious care and attention put into a decent restoration and clean up - colours, detail, grain, all are here and its a heady brew of visual delight. Its not quite My Fair Lady or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang levels, but its pretty sumptuous, even blown up to 92". The lossless 5.1 track doesn't try and do too much either, just opening up the soundstage nicely. As for extras there's a boatload of them, the only ones I checked out were the look at it from the Japanese American perspective......yeah, its still not very pretty is it?

Summary - considering you can pick up three Hepburn classic for less than £8 at HMV, all with decent transfers and some nice extras, this is a must for fans of cultural touchstones of the 60s. This still works thanks to that adorable, if very Hollywood, central pairing. I'm off to throw my ginger moggy out in the rain and see how he greets me when I go pick him up...….o_O
 
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Garrett

Moderator
Breakfast at Tiffanys (Paramount, region free - UK disc, part of The Audrey Hepburn Collection)

A pop culture touchstone for aspiring fashionista's, folk song classic lovers, future A-Team fanboys and casual racists alike, the depth of Capote's novel seems to make it to the screen broadly intact.

The central relationship between two gigolo's trapped in their depressing cycle of casual sex, huge amounts of cash and amazing parties (hang on...….) feels really nicely drawn and eerily real even if the world they exist in is anything but. Hepburn and especially Peppard draw their relationship together through little droplets of information about their lives as they criss-cross each other and its brilliant chemistry between them that holds the whole thing together.

It doesn't do a lot, but it does have a lot to say - about the shallow lives many were living heading into the Summer of Love and about those an awful lot older taking full advantage of this. And its all about that central two - Hepburn launches a thousand magazine covers with her flaky, ditzy clothes horse with HUGE sunglasses, while Peppard is, well, just trying to hang on for dear life frankly. While Hepburn gets a huge amount of backstory thanks to the sub-plot about her past life, Peppard isn't given the same amount to work with. But that's ok, because we get just enough of his writing ambition to know that he and Hepburn are made for each other.

The lovely rat-a-tat dialogue isn't quite up to the 40s screwball comedy level, but it does breathe life into these two potential stereotypes and throw in the single best performance in film by a ginger moggy (sorry Jonesy), its got that 'classic' stamp all over it - you know the one, you're told you're watching a 'classic', you don't want to believe its a 'classic', but goddamn it, you bloody well know it is.

It looked wonderful with some obvious care and attention put into a decent restoration and clean up - colours, detail, grain, all are here and its a heady brew of visual delight. Its not quite My Fair Lady or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang levels, but its pretty sumptuous, even blown up to 92". The lossless 5.1 track doesn't try and do too much either, just opening up the soundstage nicely. As for extras there's a boatload of them, the only ones I checked out were the look at it from the Japanese American perspective......yeah, its still not very pretty is it?

Summary - considering you can pick up three Hepburn classic for less than £8 at HMV, all with decent transfers and some nice extras, this is a must for fans of cultural touchstones of the 60s. This still works thanks to that adorable, if very Hollywood, central pairing. I'm off to throw my ginger moggy out in the rain and see how he greets me when I go pick him up...….o_O
I don't think they get away with the Mickey Rooney character these days. :eek:
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
A triple bill of action cinema's past and present this weekend, with some interesting results...…...

XXX (Sony, region free - UK disc)

For a film that tries to show how different it is from Bond with its not very clever opening (showing a tuxedo'd spy meeting his untimely demise at a Rammstein gig), its amazing how slavishly it sticks to the classic Bond template - suave, confident super spy, with a car packed full of gadgets, has to stop a terrorist group who has an underground lair and a gormless spaceship-styled superweapon that needs destroying to save the ever-so-misogynist world.

But man, as to the whole 'extreme' angle.....sigh........its about as extreme as an accountant at a conference. After a couple of shandies. Point Break was way more extreme and all Swayze needed was a bloody mullet. All the tats, skateboards, industrial music and 'sports' styled action scenes do not 'extreme' make. And the film is now a hilariously outdated relic to a time we thankfully very quickly grew out of. Deisel is ok, but his scary face eating with Asia Argento (who we all know is way scarier than anyone involved with this film) remains the thing that haunts nightmares.

The action scenes are ok, with a pleasing emphasis on practical effects, but its constant attempts to try and justify to us how 'extreme' it all is is just laughable. Not worth a revisit, unless you want to see where the F&F franchise could so easily have gone...…..be thankful for huge bloody mercies!

The disc looks ok (this is the 15th anniversary, remastered edition) and sounds ok - its not one of Sony's best looking catalogue titles, but detail and colours are all ok and expected for a film of this vintage. The lossless 5.1 track is mostly front focused, but has some pleasing AV moments of surround activity and LFE (the avalanche scene in particular).

Summary - about the best thing I can say is its infinitely better than its sequels...…...

Charlie's Angels (2000, Sony, region free - UK disc, part of the Angel's twin pack)

From just a couple of years earlier, the complete antithesis - one of the most feminist movies ever made, this remains a massive dose of knowing nods (pop culturally and otherwise), huge amounts of fun and a an approach that many films today could do with learning a thing or to from.

The approach McG took - day-glo colours, split-screens, you name it its all thrown in here - pays off a treat as it wrong foots us all from the start. Sure, its very good looking central threesome spend most of the film in some form of skimpy outfit, gyrating at both the audience and the legion of dumb men-folk that line up to be taken down by our heroines...….but it knows this and it cocks a snook at it all by acknowledging that yes, the world we live in can be hugely sexist.

And these women know this and play the idiot menfolk, including us in the audience, like a cheap fiddle. And most importantly, the film does it in a way that doesn't instantly set the audience's teeth on edge like every single goddamn interview Emma Watson ever does where she preaches from her pulpit of sanctimonious piousness about 'women' (has anyone read her interview in last month's Empire? The only interview in that I've ever skipped it was so toe curlingly bad...…..).

The film is a perfect example of a game cast having a huge amount of fun (even the wire-covered action scenes carry this over, with us not caring a jot that none of this is remotely possible in the real world) and still able to convey a string message. Like Josie and the Pussycats, when are Hollywood gonna wake up to the fact that messages don't have to be carried in serious, po-faced films that are so woke it hurts...…..

Or have I just got this wrong and its just a leering male fantasy dressed up to throw modern a women a bone (sorry)?

The picture isn't great on this to be honest - its soft as hell and the whites are massively blown out (in the mainframe sequence especially). Given the 4K disc is getting rave reviews I can only assume this is from the original master from a hundred years ago. The lossless 5.1 track is better.

Summary - a superbly entertaining film that can be enjoyed on every level. Great cast and a wonderful tone shows how an old TV show can be rebooted into something different and infinitely better. Bust of a disc though...…..I'll defo grab the 4K version when it comes down in price.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (Universal, region free - UHD, UK disc)

Almost the perfect mix of the two, this exhausting, overlong slugfest scrapes a pass thanks to the chemistry of its four leads.

Pilfering the plot from the worst of the Mission Impossible movies isn't a good start, but once The Stath and The Rock start in on each other, you cant help but be entertained by the potty-mouthed (but not too much) bickering. Throw in a gloriously stunning Vanessa Kirby and Elba and his CG and real stunt doubles working for a huge pile of cash and its vacuous stuff.

But the action scenes have a swagger to them that almost dares us to not be entertained by them. Taking its cue from the tone of the rest of the film, they are as preposterous as they are joyful - the helicopter/car chain of the Samoa-set finale almost stretches things to breaking point but even then, a moment of pure Rock-ness brings it all round and we're punching the air before our brains have stopped to think about what we've just seen.

Mirren, Marsan, Reynolds, Hart.....even the cameos are all in on the gag and thank god, because there's no way you can make a modern day action spectacular like this without the nods and winks. Sure its stupid, but for most of last week, so was I. So that's alright then. Utterly enjoyable tosh.

The UHD is very good but not quite up there with the best. Great detail and rich colours are the cornerstone of the image, while obnoxiously loudly mixed music is the backbone of the Atmos track. Its as brash and stupid as the film itself.

Summary - looking back at the early 00s, thank god we seem to have embraced the tone started into by Charlie's Angels and not Deisel's po-faced and hideous 'extreme' bro-dude one. Now if we could have had this be 1 hour 45 mins, it would have been a classic...…...
 
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Nayfne

Distinguished Member
:thumbsup:Once upon a time in...Hollywood Blu Ray Projected.

Finally, we have Tarantino's 9th Film. Its nothing new that a tarantino flick will bring about controversy, mixed reviews and that marmite flavour. Well I love controversy and love marmite.:smashin:.

Ok, its a slow burner, but aren't they all? I have always enjoyed the pacing of his films, I just sit there and soak it all up, trying to figure out which angle the film is coming from. It also helps that a tarantino film always looks good, with fine attention to detail, period settings and unique camera work. Mrs N sat with me on this, but was not as impressed as I was.

DiCaprio and Pitt are just excellent, and from what has been said about pitt stealing the show, DiCaprio is right there with him imo. So DiCaprio plays a washed up actor, looking for work, and pitt is his Stuntman/ Best friend/ PA/ Driver lol. The chemistry is spot on, its like they are true best friends, through thick and thin, looking for work in Hollywood, we are taken on a timeless tour, set in the late 60s. the hippy movement is strong, love and peace man, but its the intertwining stories of a certain set of people that start to raise the interest levels. The Manson cult were out and about as was Roman Polanski, in true Trantino style, theres a trio of stories and how they all cross paths, just like in the classic Pulp Fiction. Theres lot sof random driving about, lots of unrelated chit chat, but I was trying to explain to mrs n that the story is mainly about 60s movement and DiCaprio/pitt are the backdrop, with extra elements added into enjoy, that's the way I saw it.

Theres the classic Trantino dialogue levels/ chit chat that I love when its delivered so expertly, yep, half of it leads to nothing, bit its just awesome to watch and listen to. DiCaprio had me in stiches when he starts giving himself a good telling off, cursing himself in the trailer. Then theres the pitt and famous martial arts expert meeting, I will say no more..

the 2nd half of the film starts to pick up though, theres some great cameos from some of my favourite people, which I loved. Theres a far more sinister feel during certain parts, the errie feel of a dusty village where brad pitt is seemingly lured to, I felt some tension during this part, things are so drawn out, but so watchable man!! and it leads nicely to its conclusion, theres not a lot violence, but when it comes, it comes in true tarantino fashion, and I bloomin loved it.


PQ from the blu ray disc is very nice, the 60s have never looked so good, thanks to the excellent shooting style, from all the period vehicles to pitts cool sunglasses and levis jeans, every little detail is overseen, from shop signs, to the look of the towns. detail is excellent, from looking at the gorgeous face and legs of Margot Robbie, and yes, theres a lot of leg looking going on lol, to the ageing brad pitt but still in excellent shape, fine detail is easy to make out and theres a slight fine grain if I remember correctly. Sunlight blasts across the city giving everything in its path a rich golden tone to it. I mean, who else could make me enjoy watching pitt pouring dog food into a bowl lol, that's right, I'm not going to lie or try and hide it, I'm a tarantino fan boy. I'm actually contemplating getting rid of the Blu Ray and upgrading it to the 4k to watch it on the projector again. I actually watched the last half hour again after it finished, because I freaking loved it lol.

SQ, Its a shame there was no immersive audio on the film, but I see tarantino as a bit of a purist, the DTS HD track is fine though, as expected, its a dialogue heavy film, but the track does a fine job, throw in some trademark 60s music, decent surround steering and effects when called upon. car engines have decent bite and grumble, punches and gunshots have nice levels of LFE and a certain flame propelled gadget engulfs the listening area, all in all, a very nice soundtrack.

I really think this worth a watch, you will love it or hate it. I personally really enjoyed it, and as long as it is and takes its time to get going, I just find it intriguing and will certainly be watching several more times, hopefully on 4K next time, noting wrong with the blu at all.
 
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lionmistress

Standard Member
The Godfather = Best. Film. Ever. (IMHO)

Maybe it has a little to do with perspective.

The point could be argued that there are "better" films than Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Halloween or Alien, but very few films since have had the impact on me that they did when I saw them as new releases in the cinema and I watch them today with the same loyalty, possibly while wearing my middle-aged rose tinted spectacles :D
I think art is subjective. It opens for different interpretations. I wouldn't make comparisons with other films and label one of them as the best. Each has its own feathers. But I should say The Godfather is one of my favorites.
 

cezarL

Member
:thumbsup:Once upon a time in...Hollywood Blu Ray Projected.

Finally, we have Tarantino's 9th Film. Its nothing new that a tarantino flick will bring about controversy, mixed reviews and that marmite flavour. Well I love controversy and love marmite.:smashin:.
[...]

I really think this worth a watch, you will love it or hate it. I personally really enjoyed it, and as long as it is and takes its time to get going, I just find it intriguing and will certainly be watching several more times, hopefully on 4K next time, noting wrong with the blu at all.
Thanks! Wholeheartedly agree... easily one of the best movies of the year for me, and I'm not even a Tarantino fan boy :)
Between this and Ad Astra, Brad Pitt has been on a roll.
Both movies look great in 4k HDR by the way, with Ad Astra having the edge in PQ. Once upon... doesn't come with an object-based audio track, but doesn't really need it IMHO. Atmos on Ad Astra is great though.
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
The Haunting of Hill House (Blu-ray) 2018

So this is one of the reasons why I have been 'quiet' in terms of reviews here lately (any old excuse will do right? ;) ). Has it been worth my time? Well...

I heard loads of good things about this Netflix series but I don't need the added distraction of Netflix so rented the series on Blu-ray instead. What we have here is a reimagining of Shirley Jackson's classic book which was adapted to great effect in The Haunting (1962) - easily one of my favourite horror films and certainly one that helped define the haunted house genre. Could this top a classic favourite of mine?

Well....early days in the series I had high hopes. It starts very well. There is an almost bewildering cast of characters but I soon worked out who was who despite getting a bit confused as some of the cast looked fairly similar. Linear this isn't. In fact this becomes a bit of a problem as the series goes on. It jumps back and fore in time so much it actually begins to annoy you. And the monologues....oh the monologues.... :rolleyes:. Anyway, it starts like a rocket and I was totally glued to the screen early days. And then...not so much. It soon becomes apparent that this is a family drama set in a haunted house rather than a horror tv series. And there are some bits in the series that frankly wouldn't look out of place in one of those awful daytime tv dramas that your elderly auntie probably watches. Almost soap opera like at times. And yet....there are scares here. And some original scares too. Its riveting at times and at other times I was watching the clock big time. A conundrum indeed! The acting is excellent for the most part, especially the child actors who are superb. The effects are excellent too. There are a fair few plot holes and even more plot conveniences but I can get past that. Some of the other stuff? Not so much. This certainly borrows from other stuff namely The Shining, The Haunting (naturally) and The Dead Zone. All of which are superior to this...

I was expecting the PQ to be excellent for a new production like this and...it wasn't. Maybe I have been spoilt by some excellent 4K releases lately but this wasn't great at all. Elevated black levels right from the off. A gauzy soft look to all of it (not just the earlier time setting which you would expect) doesn't help. I actually thought I had my TV on the wrong setting once or twice (which I cannot remember thinking before). I had a quick look at the other site's PQ review and I really don't know where they got that rating from. Poor. When I put the TV back on normal TV after one watch, the broadcast TV PQ seemed better than this Blu-ray! The AQ may 'only' be a 5.1 lossless track but it upscales very nicely and certainly bursts into life at times with some really great surround and subwoofer action that really feels disorienting at times - in a good way! The dialogue was great and I never felt the need to switch the subtitles on to catch what was said.

Summary? I have to mark this down as a letdown to be honest! And to think I nearly blind-bought this - if I had, I'd be moving it on as we speak as I never want to see this again. What really capped it off for me was the ending - so BAD I was actually laughing at the screen (and not in a good way!). Its a shame because I like the director and a LOT of this is very good. But a lot of it really isn't too. I think this one has been overhyped quite a bit in all honesty. Not bad. If I had to guess I'd say they were aiming this at the largest demographic they could. Which is fine if you aren't fussy but some of us are...

Series 7/10 (I'm being generous, I was actually thinking 9 early doors but that came right down towards the end!)
PQ 6/10
AQ 9/10
 
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Coz22998

Distinguished Member
The Invisible Man Returns/The Invisible Woman (Universal, region free - US disc, part of The Invisible Man Legacy Collection)

Two very different sequels to the classic original and both falling way short of the mark I'm afraid, as both try to take the formula (natch) of the first and inject it into different genres of film.

The first sequel opens with Vincent Price on Death Row for murdering one of his employees at the colliery he owns. One not-so-mysterious vanishing trick later, he's escaped and on the run in an attempt to find the real killer.

What should be a pacey whodunnit is little more than a plodding VFX showcase. We know after the fist few minutes who the killer is and unfortunately there's too much time spent on this leaden plot element and not enough time on Price - we're told he's going mad, but aside from a few cackles, there's little in the way of glorious character insanity that Claude Rains showed in the first film. If anything, this bears more in common with Verhoeven's Hollow Man than the first film does, with a showcase becoming visible scene and the use of animals to test antidotes being the highlights, replacing any decent character work and a sense of delicious foreboding.

To be fair, the VFX does stand up and a final chase through the pit at least brings some much needed energy to the whole thing. But its a real disappointment after the wonderful first film - Price is woefully underutilised and the rest of the cast are as unfortunately anonymous as our titular character.

But its a masterpiece compared to the second sequel. For some insane reason, Universal decided to go down the romantic comedy route with this one and its a risible failure on every level. The titular protagonist answers a newspaper ad to become invisible and given that she's a brattish fashion model, within this first act you can clearly see everything that's wrong with this take on the subject.

The humour fails miserably and instead of the potential of a classic screwball comedy and all that entails, the film throws a ridiculous subplot at us about criminals wanting to steal the now invisibility machine to use for nefarious means - its all so thinly sketched, there are no outstanding setpieces, the VFX is dialled down noticeably from the previous film and most crucial, its not amusing in the slightest. Again, this has all the hallmarks of a later take on the subject, complete with all its mistakes - this time its Carpenter's and Chevy Chase's take on the subject. Just poor.

With both films on one disc, they both looked pretty good (am without projector again so its 43" LCD time again......boo). Detail and contrast were both spot on and even though the old VFX work softens things up a touch, both still look very good. Lossless mono tracks are clean as a whistle and while there are no extras on this disc, given the the questionable quality of both films, I cant say I'm that bothered.

Summary - of all the Legacy collection sets, the drop in quality between first film and its immediate sequels is far greater in this set unfortunately. The first sequel is passable but just ignore the second one completely - it took me five attempts to get through its 72 min runtime......…..
 
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mark6226

Well-known Member
The Bishops Wife blu Ray
One of the most beautiful, enchanting and meaningful movies ever made.
 
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Nayfne

Distinguished Member
The Purge 4k uhd blu ray projected.

Finally get to watch this on 4k, managed to pick the 4k trilogy up on black Friday.

I think for me,.this is the best of the rest, i really like the premise, and certainly wouldn't put the good old US of A past doing this for real at some point lol. It's simple, for 12 hours, every single year, people get vent their frustration, annoyances, hatred for everyone and everything, for these 12 hours, Murder is legal!!!

The more i sit and think about it, the crazier it sounds, murder is legal!! You don't need to be a police officer or in the military , the government sees fit for you to purge!!, regardless of age, gender or race, if you've got the urge, its time to purge..damn, my talents are wasted, what a tag line that is lol.

So here we go, we follow Ethan Hawke, who i really like in this, he's a good old fashioned family man, lives in a beautiful neighbourhood, with a fantastic home, but the street has that fake " hollywood" feel, where the only thing that seems to matter are material things, who has the nicest car? Biggest pool etc, and this is made evident during the early scenes. Ethan sells security systems and apparently half the neighbourhood have invested in said security, but it's not gone unnoticed that Mr hawke has a nice new extension on his house. What a perfect market to be involved in also, especially during the annual purge, selling security systems, where there's violence, there's also money to be made!!

i really like the tone of the film, it's pretty tense, as soon as the sun starts to descend, doors are locked, windows bolted and the shutters go down. Needless to say, it's going to be a long 12 hours, you might be thinking the king is in his castle,. Snug and safe,with all the modified security systems, but never take things for granted, most things are penetrable..

PQ, wow, i was rather very happy with this,.for some reason, i wasn't expecting such a clean looking disc, especially when the majority is set at night, it looked excellent projected in 4k. Detail is prominent, from.every pore on faces and hsir follicles, to hair strand separation. Blacks are great and shadow detail is also lovely, colours certainly pop, check Ethan's Son's lottle robot gadget, the colours of the leds against the dark backdrop really standout and are very well defined. Crimson blood oozes a deep satisfying dark red, it just glistens lol. All in all, very happy with the PQ.

SQ again, an upgraded soundtrack to compliment the PQ, in the form of a rambunctious DTS-X soundtrack, dialouge is excellent and on lock, easy to follow, sound effects are nicley aggressive, never OTT but vertainly hit hard and pack a punch. Check out the Sirens for the commencement of the purge, so life like and room filling, then the metalic shutters come down on Ethan Hawkes residence, leaving a hefty and satisfying LFE thump as they engage with the locking mechanism. There's excellent surround steering as bullets let rip, excellent clarity and realism. This is a certain upgrade over the DTS-HD track.

Really looking forward to the other films now that I've watched this. Its also a certain upgrade for both PQ and SQ, happy with the purchase.
 
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Garrett

Moderator
The Bishops Wife blu Ray
One of the most beautiful, enchanting and meaningful movies ever made.
Of the many years on this Earth I only saw this for the first time a few years ago.
A non trailer trailer for the film.
Anybody else think the first shot looks a bit like an early scene in Psycho.

 

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