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Mr. Michael R. Evans (Melbourne, Australia)

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Sayonara ((Region B)
Sayonara ((Region B)
Offered by Arco Celeste Dvd
Price: £11.61

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A blu ray transfer in name only., 1 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Sayonara ((Region B) (Blu-ray)
Great movie. Appalling blu ray transfer. Has all the sharpness of a VHS tape. Stick with the non-anamorphic Letterboxed dvd released years ago in the USA. Far superior.. Possibly the worst image quality I have seen on a disc passing itself off as a blu ray. Coaster material.

Roadshow!: The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s
Roadshow!: The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s
by Matthew Kennedy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very entertaining treatise on the spectacular fall of the big budget Hollywood musical in the '60's and early '70's.
Having grown up in this era I saw most of these movies either on their first release in Australia or at special revivals in cinemas in the pre-home video era. Some were bona fide hits and improvements on their Broadway originals (egs THE SOUND OF MUSIC, OLIVER!, FUNNY GIRL), others were undeserving flops which were either ahead of their time or seen as old-fashioned by the 'now' generation of their day (egs SWEET CHARITY, GOODBYE MR CHIPS) while others again were generally undervalued and have been more appreciated-in spite of their flaws- in later years (egs. STAR!, CAMELOT, FINIAN'S RAINBOW). There are also the 'guilty pleasures' of the last gasp of the traditional Hollywood musical (egs. LOST HORIZON, MAME), some of which were not Road Show attractions but are nevertheless given interesting critiques, Nonetheless even these notorious musicals have their moments (and cult followings) and were made with the kind of studio professionalism sorely lacking today. The rundowns of recent musicals (CHICAGO, LES MISERABLES) are astute- despite better box office returns and awards etc, any of the flops from the Road Show era are more watchable than these over-edited, poorly sung monuments to cinematic tedium. (as a 19 year old I recognized that GREASE had officially caused the Hollywood musical to become extinct- surely one of the most overrated, unendurable (Eve Arden's efforts notwithstanding) and anachronistic movies ever made).
Mr Kennedy writes with affection, honesty and wit and has created the definitive account of a fascinating era in motion picture history.
Some of the quotes provided by acidic critics are hilarious (eg. "The souvenir program for CAMELOT is a far more successful work of art than the film itself)', as are the awards given by publications such as the Harvard Lampoon ( DOCTOR DOLITTLE won the 'Best Argument for Vivisection Award'). The trivia content is pleasingly high- even those who can't stand musicals but were dragged along to them by determined parents should find this book a fun read. One of the best books in my somewhat numerous collection of volumes devoted to the cinema of yesteryear.

Deep End
Deep End
Offered by horizons-usa
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, subtle, under-appreciated Elmer Bernstein score, 28 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deep End (Audio CD)
I am a huge fan of the film scores of Elmer Bernstein. Some of my favourites include THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, FAR FROM HEAVEN, BY LOVE POSSESSED,HAWAII.
I only saw this movie recently and had no idea until I began to play it that Bernstein had done the score. Needless to say, he elevates this well-acted soaper to a much higher level than any other composer could have. It is a score which can stand alone and provide rewarding listening enjoyment. It is one I find myself playing repeatedly.I am surprised that it was not nominated for an award by the Academy or another body which gives awards for achievement in film music, but maybe the film was unfairly dismissed as a "glorified TV movie" and its qualities ignored or overlooked.
Two endings were shot and Michelle Pfeiffer went on record saying that she preferred the more downbeat ending which was not used (and probably more realistic than the one we have, yet after two hours of seeing characters suffer emotional trauma I can understand the studio opting for the happy ending). I would nonetheless be very interes6ted to hear the cue conducted for the alternate ending by Mr Bernstein, which is sadly not included on this cd. Nevertheless, for devotees of classic movie scoring, this one is a MUST.

King's Rhapsody [DVD]
King's Rhapsody [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anna Neagle
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £5.80

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly acceptable transfer of unrestored original elements..., 6 May 2014
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This review is from: King's Rhapsody [DVD] (DVD)
It would seem that some dvd collectors have been spoiled by pristine, expensive restorations of classic movies like GONE WITH THE WIND, THE ROBE and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Not every old movie has a fan-base which is going to make hours of costly restoration worthwhile for the company releasing it on dvd. The hit-and-miss Herbert Wilcox adaptation of Ivor Novello's operetta KING'S RHAPSODY is a case in point. Errol Flynn is well cast (if a mite too old and showing it) for the lead role and obviously did not wish his singing to be dubbed. (His brief ,self-deprecating attempt at vocalizing in Warners' THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS was fun but did not lead to a singing career......). Thus his songs are sung by other characters and the device of having a wandering minstrel sing from the streets was employed which was obviously not in the original stage version. (On the positive side of things, this minstrel has a great voice).
Good location shots are mixed with stylized sets - nothing unusual in many big budget Hollywood musicals. Anna Neagle does well with both the dramatic and musical demands of her role and good British character actors (such as Finlay Currie and Martita Hunt, "re-united" 10 years after Lean's GREAT EXPECTATIONS) give able support. Errol's real-life wife at the time- Patrice Wymore (a Warner Bros discovery)- playing the princess Errol is expected to marry for the sake of his country- is beautiful and effective in her supporting role.(Miss Wymore passed away recently).
The print is imperfect but I have seen much worse. The colour palette is strong (ie. not faded) and the image is quite sharp for early CinemaScope. It appears to be either a newly struck print from the preservation elements made from the (impermanent and unstable) Eastman colour negatives or a 35mm archive print in "pretty good nick" (The cover notes indicate the former).
If I saw this print screened in a film festival somewhere, I'd be quite impressed.The sound elements have deteriorated so the dialogue etc is not as clear as originally recorded, however it can be understood. Admirers of these stars and British musicals of this era should be thankful that a nicely-presented, very watchable studio release has taken place at all.(The cover art both inside and outside is great).Those wanting it to look as good as a restoration of a classic like THE WIZARD OF OZ will be waiting a long time.......
Thanks NETWORK for releasing 16:9 CinemaScope transfers of this and the remake of THE GOOD COMPANIONS.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2014 11:36 PM BST

King Of The Khyber Rifles [DVD]
King Of The Khyber Rifles [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tyrone Power
Offered by 101Trading
Price: £6.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's wait and see re the ratio, 31 Oct. 2013
Sometimes 4:3 means that the film is being released in non-anamorphic LBX. The (stereo) Spanish release and the (mono) Australian release (of this good Tyrone Power ,'Kipling-esque" adventure yarn) were both in 4:3 LBX. The image quality is quite good on both transfers (though if they restored this movie as they did THE ROBE it would look much better- highly unlikely however!). I upgraded to the stereo version. Fox is not going to any great trouble to give dvd companies remastered ,16:9 transfers of their classic 'Scope films. Their own MOD label (Fox Cinema Archives) releases panned+ scanned versions of CinemaScope movies, sometimes even when Wide Screen versions have been released abroad and previously by Fox in the USA. A few-like UNTAMED- come out in Letterbox format (as this title was released in Spain,though in this case the Spanish soundtrack was in mono and the US version in stereo). A handful have come out in 16:9, 2.35:1 (eg THE MARRIAGE GO ROUND).
I am writing this on Oct 31st. In a few days we'll know what sort of master was offered this dvd company in the UK. THEN, we can either be pleasantly surprised or gripe!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2014 12:23 PM GMT

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