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Kevin Berne (Nussloch , Germany)
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Caprica - the complete series [Blu-ray] [French Import]
Caprica - the complete series [Blu-ray] [French Import]
Dvd ~ Eric Stoltz
Offered by DH BLU
Price: £60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and meaningful spin-off, fresh and engaging!, 29 Aug 2014
Being a spin-off from BSG I first had trouble adjusting to this show's premise, which got aggravated by the fact that the first few episodes of this only season's episodes are clearly the weakest of the entire run. But once I got into the proper rhythm I developed an intense appreciation and in fact love for what the creators of Caprica were actually trying to pull off: the first Sci Fi family saga. Fancy words, but contrary to BSG with its military feeling this show follows two families on the brink of the advent of artificial intelligence in their society and the fact that the Cylons were created with the best intentions in mind. I can honestly say that the show, the fantastic actors, the innovative artistic concept and the emotionally gripping soundtrack managed to impress me immensely and I am truly sad that after one season this fantastic prequel got cancelled due to very low ratings. I can easily recommend this to all BSG-fans and actually anyone who likes properly executed drama not necessarily in a semi Sci Fi - setting!

As for this french Blu Ray import, all the menues are french but easy to navigate, the soundtrack ist English 5.1 DTS HD master, the picture 1080p @ 50Hz and all subtitles removable. It is coded region B for european customers and, at least according to Bluray.com, locked region B meaning that America and other parts of the world are unable to play it. Shame on Universal for that by the way, only releasing Caprica on BD in France and then locking it's region code!


Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2012] [Region Free]
Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Luke Pasqualino
Price: £5.00

2.0 out of 5 stars I am actually glad this didn't go to series..., 29 Aug 2014
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I am a huge BSG fan and have watched both the fantastic 2004 reimagining and the genius pin-off Caprica. Tonight I treated myself to this pilot that didn't get ordered to series after all. According to this show's creators they wanted to create an action packed thrill ride in which they totally succeded, hands down. The problem is that by being that and only that no kind of serious story or plot development was allowed or able to take place. After having just watched this failed pilot movie I couldn't even describe its basic plot because I just got hammered with one epileptic and incoherent battle sequence after the other for 90 minutes straight. Where the reimagined BSG series focused on character drama, the sense of being helpless and the true horrors of war this is like a Top Gun wannabe with spaceships and, of course, young main actors. Back in the 90s, the Wing Commander video game series showed how that premise could be brought to fruition in a proper way, on this project however I found that I couldn't connect to the story or tonality of the show at all. One aspect of this is the fact that aside from John Pyper-Ferguson and Brian Markinson not a single actor actually known to me or with some kind of artistic resume was cast in this show. That is not to say that they performed badly, I just believe that a show within the revered Galactica franchise should in fact have some bigger names attached to like Mr Olmos on BSG and Mr Stolz on Caprica. Probably the biggest issue for me however and also one that I would have struggled with immensely had this project in fact been ordered to series no matter if and how the storyline and character interactions would have developed was the fact that the entire show had been shot in front of green screens and that not a single set had been built for it. Don't get me wrong: I have always immensely admired the BSG inhouse effects team for their great efforts on a television budget no less, but this time around they still only had so much time and money and it just shows in the final product I am afraid. The effects are great but noticing that not one frame was shot in a practical set but each and every time in a virtual set that is at least to me clearly recognisable as such was massively irritating for me. This show is not Avatar or Sin City nor do I believe it should be. I must admit I do in fact find it lazy to even consider creating a Galactica spin-off and then be to cheap to build a single set for it. In the bonus features the effects guys are obviously proud that they did pull off creating the entire show in post production, but in the process I believe that most of the emotional value that actually makes a show great gets lost. Of course many of the effects showed things that could not be done practically and they sure evoked a sense of awe, but knowing they were just effects made the experience just stale. The whole thing basically looks like a cutscene from a video game for one and a half hours and comparing that to real acting with real sets, interacting with real objects thorughout BSG and especially Caprica it just falls very flat. A movie maker which I can't seem to remember once stated that a good effect is there to support drama and the movie, here there is basically nothing but one giant effect and believe me, that won't age well. Summing up my review, I found this creation to be a great tech demo for the effects team but largely devoid of any dramatic content whatsoever, obviously aimed at an audience for which the intelligent approach of BSG or the cerebral aspects of the fantastic spin-off Caprica were just a little to complex and that would rather watch a non-stop action generic B-movie instead. Compard to both its predecessor shows I could not find one thing that this show would be superior in and I sincerely hope that this little movie will not be the last we will hear from a franchise so begging to have more of its backstory told. A great TV show works because all the many aspects it is comprised of work great together. On this show, many aspects were coveniently left out and made the final product a rather empty shell I am afraid...


Motive - Season 1 [DVD] [2013]
Motive - Season 1 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Kristin Lehman
Price: £12.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect procedural, finally!, 26 July 2014
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Motive is a rather small canadian-produced criminal procedural show that focuses on why a killer killed his victim rather than spending the whole episode guessing who did it. In the beginning we learn about both the killer and victim and we are consecutively shown both our investigative team handling the case and flashbacks that explain to us what led up to the murder.
The concept is basically a modern-day version of Columbo. Contrary to the CSI franchise which I stopped watching entirely quite some time ago, both the plots and the characters are not laughably generic but do in fact feel realistic and the series has a strong emotional undertone. All in all, the show manages to pull the viewer in nicely and I could not find a single episode within this boxset that I did not like.
On the production side the show is top-notch, especially the monumentally fantastic photography by director of photography Mathias Herndl stands out which fantastic perception of image depth, great lenses, beautiful colouring and contrast and nicely kinetic pacing. The soundtrack is as good as the editing and I had a ball watching the whole way through. While there are no extras on this boxset, the technical quality of the episodes themselves is as good as it gets on DVD and makes some Blu Rays pale in comparison. I heavily endorse both this show and this DVD release, look forward to next season hopefully on BD and am more than happy to have found a proper procedural show that doen't make me feel like I am wasting my time! What a great show!


Spec Ops: The Line (PS3)
Spec Ops: The Line (PS3)
Offered by Digitalville UK
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Most other games don't get close to this masterpiece!, 22 July 2014
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Having read a recent interview with one of the game designers from this game's developer YAGER and the statement, that the low and disappointing sales of the game would prohibit YAGER from ever even considering a sequel compel me to write this review more than two years after the game's release.
Spec Ops – the Line is a 3rd person anti-war shooter with plenty of style and action that in fact managed to impress me in ways that only the Metal Gear series had before, and that in itself is a huge compliment. The game's storyline is absolute powerful, haunting and deeply meaningful, the whole tone/vibration of the setting in postapocalyptic Dubai is groundbreakingly executed. Both the visual/artistic style and art and the sound/music pull the player deep inside the terrible events the game portrays. The game as well as it's characters feel absolutely genuine and real and I have rarely found playing a game as impactful as having completed Spec Ops – The Line multiple times. While many critics and players critisized some of the rather „casual“ gameplay mechanics I on the contrary found that very aspect of not having to study the control scheme that extensively to be rather accessible and polished. I am a hardore gamer and by no means a casual gamer by the way, but I believe gameplay should be accesible without multiple hours of getting into it.
Summing it up and referencing aspects of the aforementioned interview with one of the game's producers obviously video gamers seem to prefer simple and in fact rather idiotic stories that add nothing to the gameplay experience itself because they are rather perceived as a waste of time anyway. I know I will always love and cherish this game and measure future games to its standard just because it broke the conventional formula as well as the fourth wall and held a mirror to my face as a videogamer: it made me think about myself and my actions within the game's context and it showed me the ugly side of war and human conflict without lecturing me or providing easy answers for me to swallow. I am proud to own this game and very few games can claim to have a similar impact on a player willing to not just be entertained by a game but to actually get a meaningful experience out of playing it. Thanks YAGER, I guess in the future that aspect of videogaming will have to be handled by Kojima productions and their intensely genius Metal Gear series that explores similar aspects of the human cost of war alone...


The Sum of All Fears [Blu-ray] [2002] [Region Free]
The Sum of All Fears [Blu-ray] [2002] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Ben Affleck
Price: £7.70

2.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal picture quality!, 24 May 2014
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I am not commenting about the artistic value of this rather bad movie, I am writing about the incredibly bad picture quality on this BD release. The picture has been so heavily DNRed that it is full of artificial grain static, whenever a person/an object moves through the frame a cloud of grain is being pulled behind it. Not movie grain as found on the celluloid the movie was shot on, I mean digital grain that results from lazy upconverting an inferior transfer for a BD release. To be absolutely honest: This is the worst looking BD I have seen and I found the visual presentation too bad to even watch through the whole (bad) movie!


The Counsellor [Blu-ray]
The Counsellor [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Price: £14.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick yet important note about the two different cuts of this fantastic movie..., 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Counsellor [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a complicated yet great movie, I will not elaborate on that any further and while many people don't seem to get this movie this should not detract anyone from discovering it for themselves.
The reason for me writing this is being fed up with studio politics (again!) concerning the two versions of this movie contained within this edition. I have had it with studios suggesting to us movie fans that obviously and miraculously only inferior versions of their movies are shown in cinemas and that we as fans would owe it to ourselves to buy the consecutive home release of these films because only they contain the only true cut. So, this version features both the 1.57 hrs theatrical cut as well as the 2.17 hrs extended cut. The operative word here is "extended". This longer version contains an audio commentary by the film's director, Ridley Scott. In this commentary, he states multiple times that the extended version is just that: extended. It is not a director's cut by any means, all of the scenes that were taken out were deleted for a reason and are not meant to be within the movie at all. Having watched both cuts I find the theatrical and therefore director's cut of the movie to be perfect at slightly under two hours running time. The extended scenes in the longer version do not add anything substantial, useful or relevant but they slow the movie down quite a bit, which hurts it since pacing is very important in a film that is mostly comprised of people having high end conversations. To sum it up, the extended cut may be interesting in terms of getting a glimpse into the evolution of a movie, the way the movie is advertised however is just misleading and all the numerous internet reviewers that go on about how much better this movie is in its elongated version obvioulsy either do not share the director's vision or simply don't know what they are doing having bought into the studio BS. On a side note, this keeps happening to a lot of Ridley Scott films. Gladiator for example was a fantastic movie in its theatrical version, and even when released also in a extended cut a disgruntled Ridley Scott rang with himself not to say anything wrong in the special edition DVD/BD introduction. He even then specifically stated that the theatrical version was the director's cut and that the longer version was for enthusiasts at best. The same thing happened with American Gangster, in the commentary of which Scott described in detail why which scene had to be cut only to have them reinserted by the studio in the extended cut DVD/BD and sold as the superior version. Same case with Black Hawk Down, by the way. It should also be mentioned that whenever people claim that a longer cut was no problem since it contains anything anyway these people should consider the fact that the movie's soundtrack has to be heavily altered, remixed and repeated to accommodate the additional footage, thereby in fact altering the dynamic of even unchanged scenes. Lengthening a movie is mostly a bad idea contrary to common believe, and if the longer version would be the director's cut it would gladly be called that by the studios: a "director's cut"!
I would like to mention perhaps the most striking example of a director's cut: Ridley Scott's brother, the late Tony Scott and my favorite director, made the movie Revenge in 1990. Due to studio pressure, reshoots had to be done to artificially create a more elaborate love story in the first half of the movie. In 2007 Tony reconstructed his directors cut of the movie by removing almost 30 minutes of material and just reinserting a few new takes, also many takes were altered. This shorter version was much better because it acknowlegded itself as being a movie, not a book and therefore trying to keep a proper pacing without boring the viewer to death. The point I am trying to make is that a movie is basically created three times: In writing, in shooting and finally in editing. While no one would buy a movie the script of which has been changed for the home release or that was reshot with different actors, yet studios have made us believe the heavily recut and elongated versions they sell us would actually improve a movie. They DO NOT and anyone understanding anything about movies knows that. So please, studios, advertise your products correctly and stop misleading us for the extra buck. Movies are an artform, they are basically the director's vision of his/her movie and definitely not meant to be altered at will to maximise profit. Thanks.


Nitro Circus - Vegas Baby / Series 1 Live (Double Pack) [DVD] [2011]
Nitro Circus - Vegas Baby / Series 1 Live (Double Pack) [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Travis Pastrana
Price: £5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great show, flawed technical presentation, 22 Feb 2014
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Nitro Circus Live is a great show and the first of both discs, season 1, just delivers on that end. The second disc however, covering the Vegas show, suffers from a bad NTSC/PAL conversion and has the typical image lag/stutter produced in that case. While many people might not realize the incoherent framerate, I hate it and it distracted me from the show itself quite a lot. Why this kind of footage is produced in HD, only released in SD and then being misconverted is a needless flaw and a really stupid thing to do!


World Rally Review 2013 [DVD]
World Rally Review 2013 [DVD]
Price: £19.22

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More people need to buy this product!, 31 Dec 2013
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Duke WRC season reviews have been great for years and will surely be with this release as well. After the promoter problem in 2012 and no official season review having been created or released because of that Duke delivers the 2013 WRC review with this DVD. The operative word here is DVD, because the whole material is produced in HD as I am being told by Duke themselves, it is just being released in SD on DVD. After inquiring at Duke about that fact I was told that the projected sales for this review were too low to warrant a Blu Ray version being produced. So my point is this: If any rally fan were to acquire this in high definition, he/she could download it from Duke's homepage in HD where they offer it, but in order to really own it with disc, hull and cover as many people as possible would have to buy this years review for Duke to consider a physical HD release in the future. Come on people, F1 has been presented on Blu Ray for years now also from Duke, if we buy enough DVDs maybe next year we can expect a WRC Blu ray release as well. Furthermore, if more people would suggest the 2012 season also to be immortalized in form of a season review, however difficult and improbable this might seem to Duke entertainment, we might also someday get that at least on DVD. I as a rally fanatic own almost all WRC DVDs out there and find the absence of a 2012 review very disturbing, and I also believe that this sport would greatly benefit from a Blu ray presentation. So I guess what I am saying is: Please buy this great product!


Patlabor: The Mobile Police, Ova Series One [Blu-ray]
Patlabor: The Mobile Police, Ova Series One [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Mamoru Oshii
Price: £23.34

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite anime series!, 1 Dec 2013
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I never understood why no other anime series lived up to the quality of Patlabor. This franchise started out with the original OVA (this 7 episode boxset), was followed by the first theatrical installment Patlabor - The Movie, then the hopefully to be released Patlabor on television, the second OVA and then the second and final Mamoru Oshii motion picture Patlabor 2. In 2003, a vastly inferior sequel Patlabor - Wasted XIII was produced without Oshii's or Production I.G.'s involvement, and currently Oshii is shooting both a live action television show as well as a live action Patlabor motion picture.
So this release is the perfect starting point for any aspiring Patlabor fan. This show has it all: A fantastic story and setting, superb animation, incredible soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, lovable characters, meaningful and sometimes melancholic sentiments and so much more. I couldn't believe my luck when I found out about this Blu Ray release in the UK, the US are ahead in terms of Patlabor on Television having been already released there. Sadly, none of the Motion pictures are available on Blu Ray in the english speaking market at the time of this review, which I hope to soon change as well!
I can only encorurage any anime fan to give this show a try, it is by far the best anime I have ever seen and can't wait to continue this collection to completion!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2014 8:59 PM GMT


Dexter - The Final Season [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dexter - The Final Season [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Michael C. Hall
Price: £22.20

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic season, good finale!, 28 Nov 2013
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The Eigth season of Dexter is an appropriate continuation of the show. Many people seem to dislike if because it's more serious tone and it's thematic deconstruction of Dexter's character. Unlike the vigilante-feeling of especially the first 2 seasons the end of the show focuses on the fallout, the consequences of what Dexter is. The final episode exacerbates this and was criticised heavily for it. While I agree that the finale was not perfect, I believe that not giving the show a happy end was quite fitting and that the viewers should indeed have to experience along with Dexter that his actions would have consequences.
Ending a show like Dexter is an almost impossible job, I feel the writers have pulled it off quite well and I can't understand all the negativity about this final season and it's finale at all. Calling the final season unbalanced and some of the twists illogical is preposterous considering what has happened in the previous seasons already, that this show is not too realistic should be clear to any fan by now. All in all, I love this show and feel it ended fittingly with the final season no matter what all these self appointed internet critics have to say.


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