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R. Curzon "hammeramicus2002" (UK)

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Nighthawks [Blu-ray] [Region B German Import]
Nighthawks [Blu-ray] [Region B German Import]
Dvd ~ Sylvester Stallone
Offered by DH BLU
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 3 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Be warned, this is not a genuine HD transfer but an upscale.

Inspector Montalbano: Collection One (2 Disc) [DVD]
Inspector Montalbano: Collection One (2 Disc) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luca Zingaretti
Price: £14.10

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why no 16x9 enhancement?, 15 Aug 2012
This is a fabulous series, and it is great that Acorn have released it here in the UK in nicely affordable editions.

But why have they decided to release it in 4x3 letterbox and not full height, 16x9 anamorphic to maximize the picture resolution? The inherent prints of the episodes are in good condition (as they ought to be as the oldest episode only dates from 1999) and the release is watchable, but in this era of HD why are they releasing them in a massively outdated and substandard format?

I can understand why they haven't gone to the expense and trouble of a Blu-ray release due to the ridiculously high costs for what is after all a niche product. I can only assume that the license holders in Italy only provided widescreen masters prepared for old 4x3 TVs. However, when BBC4 screened the first ten episodes they screened them properly enhanced for widescreen TVs, so go figure. Couldn't Acorn source the BBC masters?

Disappointing. I hope the second volume is enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 5, 2012 6:14 PM BST

The She Beast [1966] [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
The She Beast [1966] [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Barbara Steele
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £5.56

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She-Beast in Cinemascope at last!, 8 Jun 2009
Michael Reeves's (1944-69) seminal first film finally gets the proper treatment. For man years (since it was made in 1965) the original Techniscope/Cromoscope negative has languished in a storage vault in Italy with a massive lab bill to pay, and as a result most versions available on video and DVD formats over the years have been culled from terrible panned-and-scanned prints.

This Dark Sky DVD is the full widescreen version, presented in the full ratio of 2.35:1, and is actually in pretty good condition considering the film's ultra-low budget and age. I don't know whether this has been taken from an archival print, a dupe negative or from the original negative, but it is a fantastic presentation. There is also a great commentary with stars Ian Ogilvy and Barbara Steele and producer Paul Maslansky as icing on the cake. Highly recomended.

Evil Animals Triple Feature [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Evil Animals Triple Feature [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Andrew Prine

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money triple pack., 8 Jun 2009
The Day of the Animals is a 1-disc edition with 2 versions of the film on the disc, with only one version worth watching. The theatrical cut of the film (under the resissue title - Something is Out There)is in the proper 2.35:1 Panavision aspect ratio, but is taken from an archive print which bears signs of the ages.

However, it is very watchable if not up to the pristine standards expected of brand-new film to DVD transfers. Apparently the original negative has been lost, and this is the best we can expect. It is missing a brief few seconds of dialogue (which you can see in the TV print), and has a bizarre black screen (for about 1 minute) right after the credits (so fast-forward).

The TV print is an awful 1.77:1 detail extracted from a panned-and-scanned version of the film. This is to say, they have taken the original 2.35:1 image, cropped it by 40% to fit an old 1.37:1 TV, and then further chopped off the top and bottom to make a fake 1.77:1 16x9 TV image! This version has less damage, but is the worst possible version of the film to view. The extras are all fine (commentary, documentary, trailers etc).

Both the Grizzly and Devil Dog discs are first class, the Devil Dog being a two-disc set.

Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Complete BBC Series 1 Box Set [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billie Piper
Offered by Helgy
Price: £26.75

3 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Big disapointment, 1 Nov 2007
After sixteen years of virtually nothing, and a mountain of hype we got this new 2005 series of Doctor Who. Sadly, it is designed to compete with the US sci-fi TV productions rather than retain the charm and wit of the old series (1963-89). We now have to suffer gurning laddish Doctors and cockney stereotype companions, and the whole thing is designed for someone with the attention span of a millisecond.

Puerile, childish humour with farting aliens and pigs in space suits; angst-ridden daleks and the constant threat of relations between the Doctor and the companion.

Great special effects and widescreen presentation are no match for charm and wit. For examples of the original series' superiority: The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Logopolis, Inferno, Genesis of the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars, Horror of Fang Rock....

All'onorevole Piacciono Le Donne (the Senator Likes Women) [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
All'onorevole Piacciono Le Donne (the Senator Likes Women) [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Lando Buzzanca

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fulci directs political/religious sex comedy!, 27 July 2006
This rare 1972 Italian sex comedy is a bizarre entry from Lucio Fulci, better known as a horror/thriller specialist (Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Seven Notes in Black, Zombie,The Beyond). The film is sporadically amusing, and is filled with nudity. However, the DVD is not of the best quality as the print is in very poor shape, and the transfer may not be the greatest as well. It is letterboxed at 1.85:1, and the subtitles are optional and in the lower black widescreen bar. The running time is only 75 minutes, and this is much shorter than many listed running times. For more information see Stephen Thrower's 1999 book, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci.

The Black Cat [1981] (REGION 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [1984] [US Import]
The Black Cat [1981] (REGION 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [1984] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Patrick Magee

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fulci's Black Cat, 15 Feb 2005
An unusual entry in Fulci's colourful series of exploitation style horror films. Atmospheric and well acted especially by Patrick Magee, with a fine catchy score by Pino Donaggio (The Howling, Dressed to Kill, Trauma). Great widescreen Techniscope (2.35:1) photography.
Those expecting the usual Fulci gorefest will be sorely disapointed, however the film still earns it's UK 18 certificate with a few violent and mildly gory moments (there is also some brief nudity). David Warbeck features as an intrepid Scotland Yard detective, and Mimsy Farmer is her usual wan self. An entertaining take on Poe's classic tale, updated to 1981 rural England. Make sure you get the US Region 0 Anchor Bay DVD though.

Phantom of the Opera [DVD] [1998] [US Import]
Phantom of the Opera [DVD] [1998] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Julian Sands
Price: £4.96

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Argento's Phantom, 15 Feb 2005
This is easily the biggest disapointment of Argento's long career, and definately his worst film in my opinion. Great production values, and a fine Ennio Morricone score count for naught when faced with such a terrible script. Who's idea was it to have the Phantom raised by a family of rats? Why would anyone want to see the Phantom pleasured by rats? Why do we have sub-James Bond style rat catching machines used by the rat catchers? I could go on.
For some reason, director Argento insisted on using his daughter in most of his 1990s films, and although she is well suited to the role here, he could have chosen someone better. Julian Sands is useless as the Phantom, and the whole film is a dispirited mess.

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