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Le Cercle Rouge (Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]
Le Cercle Rouge (Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Alain Delon
Price: £14.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the film, but the Blu Ray transfer from Studio Canal is a botched job, 13 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Typically of Studio Canal's offhand treatment of their back catalogue treasures, their Blu Ray transfer of Le Cercle Rouge, while excellent until almost the very end, then delivers a whopping letdown: the last scene, where Delon and Volonté are trying to escape the police trap, is pitch-dark: you literally cannot see what the hell is going on. I've seen the film print several times, but to make sure that memory wasn't playing tricks on me, I checked the Criterion DVD version for a comparison - and of course the last scene is only semi-dark, with figures and faces perfectly visible. Somebody at Studio Canal should be tarred and feathered for bungling this one.


Dead of Winter (Slasher Classics) [Blu-ray]
Dead of Winter (Slasher Classics) [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Mary Steenburgen
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £9.49

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay no attention to the negative BD review, 28 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The user who is dissing the Blu-Ray transfer doesn't know what (s)he is talking about. Certainly this is not a 4K restoration, but then the original cinematography was probably intentionally a bit soft-focussed (helpful, among other things, when the same actress is supposed to be three different people). The DVD transfer of this one was particularly poor, and the amount of extra detail on Blu-Ray is staggering. Particularly the many striking scenes with mirror distortions, unusual angles or action in the background of the frame - these gain immeasurably. I watched this on a 65 inch screen and have no complaints. The film itself is one of the best claustrophobic thrillers ever made and a class act all around - though NOT a 'slasher', contrary to the statement on the BD cover (oh well, we know you have to pick a label that sells).


In The Heat Of The Night [Blu-ray]
In The Heat Of The Night [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sidney Poitier
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment on BD, 30 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Five stars for the film, but not a showcase blu ray disc. This is probably due largely to the way the film was shot and the colour process that was used. In interior scenes especially, colours often appear dirty or splotchy and contrasts are not pleasing. Not sure how much of a problem this is going to be on smaller TV sets, but on a big one the effect is really disappointing. Exteriors look much better and presumably show that mastering is not at fault. 60s filmmaking was often technically slapdash - the other side of the newly won cinematic freedom.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2015 7:13 AM BST


Five Deadly Words
Five Deadly Words
by Keith Colquhoun
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.06

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure, 3 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Five Deadly Words (Paperback)
The story of the curious relationship between a deposed and mildly homicidal Asian dictator living in London and a female constable assigned to him for protection. Perhaps a bit carelessly structured, but funny in subtle, intelligent ways, very engaging, with appealingly ambiguous characters and a quietly absurdist ending.


Blood and Black Lace: The Definitive Guide to Italian Sex and Horror Movies
Blood and Black Lace: The Definitive Guide to Italian Sex and Horror Movies
by Adrian Luther-Smith
Edition: Paperback

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Criminal spoilers, 24 May 2009
This is an indispensable reference guide to the Italian giallo films, covering a lot of ground that has not been covered even by IMDb. However, I am giving it the lowest rating to draw attention to the fact that it includes unpardonable spoilers to some of the best gialli. Another gripe is that the author's evaluation of particular films is sometimes way off the mark because he obviously saw them in inferior, pan&scanned VHS copies. Finally, the book badly needs updating as far as DVD availability is concerned.


Battle Of The Bulge [DVD] [1965]
Battle Of The Bulge [DVD] [1965]
Dvd ~ Henry Fonda
Price: £5.95

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unintentionally hilarious, 2 May 2009
Maybe I misread this film, and it was intended as a spoof of the war epic genre. Then it should rate 5 stars, being utterly hilarious.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2012 6:12 PM BST


Robbery [DVD]
Robbery [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stanley Baker
Price: £7.00

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic, 21 Aug. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Robbery [DVD] (DVD)
Amazingly, the dumb morons at Optimum still think there is a market for widescreen films panned&scanned to 4x3. Even if this is open matte, it's inexcusable - the film is meant to be seen the way it's projected theatrically. A plague on those cretinous brainless congenitally stupid idiotic imbeciles.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2009 12:03 AM BST


The Encyclopedia of British Film (Methuen Film)
The Encyclopedia of British Film (Methuen Film)
by Brian McFarlane
Edition: Paperback

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A tragic misfire, 13 Dec. 2003
"This is a book I've been waiting for all my life," says a back cover quote from Philip French. Well, so have I, and after waiting all that time, I couldn't be more disappointed.
The editor of the book has given almost all of its space to the enumeration of the actors' and directors' most notable films. Yet doesn't it stand to reason that the obvious target audience of this volume, fans of the British cinema, would be aware of those titles anyway? And in any case, in the era of the world wide web and IMDb, wasn't he doing a lot of work that had already been done by others? While the most important thing that I expected to find here, lots and lots of biographical information, is almost entirely missing, so the many fascinating but obscure faces of the British cinema have remained obscure, and even the well-known ones do not fare much better. The best you can hope to get are the birth/death years and brief details of the person's education. The rest, while taking up a lot of space, is mostly useless. What a pity, and what an awful lot of totally misguided effort.


The Vampire Lovers [DVD] [1970]
The Vampire Lovers [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Ingrid Pitt
Offered by Disc-uk
Price: £16.75

8 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sad, pitiful mess of a movie, 10 Oct. 2002
This is a film about breasts. There is no earthly reason to see it unless you happen to be curious about the actresses' anatomy. Cushing, Cole and some other excellent character actors are given nothing to do whatsoever, there's no plot, no atmosphere, no style and not a single scary moment. To make matters worse, the transfer is a shameful pan&scan, and although brighter colours look vivid, there's a digital mask over the picture in dark and foggy scenes (fog is used a lot for atmosphere, if you haven't guessed, and no, it doesn't work). If you want to see Hammer at its best, take a look at Gilling's REPTILE and PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, and avoid this dud.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2016 5:42 PM GMT


The Man From The Sea (Inspector Appleby Mystery S.)
The Man From The Sea (Inspector Appleby Mystery S.)
by Michael Innes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page-turner, 7 Sept. 2002
A naked man appears from the sea at night on a lonely beach and interrupts another naked man's illicit love tryst: Innes was a master of a startling and intriguing opening (apart from many other things). This book, although very different in tone from much of what he wrote, is one of his best. It's a chase thriller in the John Buchan tradition, which Innes explored several times, and while being nothing like "real life", it is still much more convincing and, well, sombre (complete with a downbeat ending) than Innes's fans have come to expect. There are some interesting psychological motivations here, and a lot of the tension is derived from the uneasy relationship between the two main characters, which gives the plot an additional edge. In effect, this reads like a cross between Buchan and Le Carre; and while the former is an acknowledged influence, I never expected to be comparing Innes with the latter - not until this book, that is. The suspense is handled admirably, but it is really the characters that make it work the way it does; two of them, John Day and Georgiana the Sun Goddess, are somewhat extraordinary, and will stick in memory long after the book is finished.
Curiously, when writing of this book in his autobiography, Innes says that his favourite bits here are precisely those that annoyed me, involving a local character called Sandy Morrison, speaking an enormously broad version of Scottish English. Both the character and the dialect may be very authentic, but approach dangerously the kind of ethnic humour which instantly alienates anyone not native to the tradition. Fortunately, there is not very much of Mr. Morrison in the book, and the rest of it is terrific entertainment.


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