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Marty Gillis (Los Angeles)

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The Sopranos - Complete Collection [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free]
The Sopranos - Complete Collection [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ James Gandolfini
Price: £58.00

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sopranos Beautifully Restored on Blu Ray!, 13 Sept. 2014
For all of you who have wondered whether or not Season One of The Sopranos on Blu Ray would be remastered, the wait is OVER! I am here to tell you that Season One has never looked better. Not even during the original broadcast. It has been cleaned up and restored, ditching all that noise and overt amounts of grain in favor of a highly detailed and simply breathtaking version that is as sharp as it is colorful. All the beautiful high contrast scenes are rendered almost flawlessly with black levels that dig deep and shadow detail aplenty. Images and colors pop right off the screen and motion has never looked as good.

This time Season One got the AVC treatment with DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 and it looks and sounds fantastic... Season one has always been a bit problematic, video wise, but it truly shines on this set. Although the excessive noise and grain have been cleaned up, the fine detail remains.

AVC w/1080p 24 all the way on this one. Very high bit rates are provided, frequently topping off past 33 mbps. It's a textbook example of how to do home video on Blu Ray correctly. Hats off to the engineers who worked on this. Its fabulous.

Needless to say, I found the same level of quality in both picture and sound as the series progressed. I took random samplings of each season and viewed them on my LG OLED 9300 w/video output from an Oppo BDP-95. The results are absolutely stunning. HBO did not cheap out on us. They went the full route here. Excellent revised menus, great disc authoring , high quality packaging and robust media.

Sound is DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 all the way. Sounds fantastic. There is nothing bad to say about the mix and the production sound was always high quality. We get it presented to us in lossless 5.1 and it is excellent!

I Live in the USA but I bought the UK version. I am sure the video files are identical worldwide. My packaging consists of a heavy glossy cardboard outer sleeve for 6 individual amaray cases that hold each season. It is just the right amount of sturdy and convenient. All the disc cases have different art, while the discs remain the same other than printed info. It's a very nice set and looks great next to my UK Godfather Trilogy box set. My UK set includes a nice thick glossy paper booklet with color photos and artwork from the series.

Extras are plentiful and include a great featurette that was made after James Gandolfini's untimely demise. Two round table discussions, a 2 part interview with David Chase and recovered lost scenes. Plenty of disc commentaries and more.

It's The Sopranos. The Sopranos on Blu Ray. The ENTIRE series! Possibly the greatest television drama to ever have been conceived, produced and shown to the American public and the world. The box set is everything we had hoped it would be and HBO is to be commended for providing such a quality rendering of this timeless classic.

Marty G's most highest recommendation!
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2015 2:10 PM GMT


Ghost on the Canvas
Ghost on the Canvas
Price: £9.99

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Record of the Year !, 1 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Ghost on the Canvas (Audio CD)
This album is nothing short of a miracle! Glen Campbell gives us an album that shines bright, showcasing his voice and guitar playing that are both still as strong as they ever were , perhaps even stronger. Glen's commanding voice and his ever present guitar playing speaks with authority. Nobody sings or plays like Glen and it is a most pleasing sound indeed.

I confess that after reading the news accounts and stories about Glen's current health problems I did not expect this level of quality. I am embarrassed to say just how blown away I was when I first heard this album. I should have known better!

Glen played on the soundtrack of my life as a full member of The Wrecking Crew and on so many countless hits from the 60's that anyone would be hard pressed to present a full list. After a twist of fate and a little help from The Smother's Brothers , Glen was given his own television program and he became a household name. Add the Jimmy Webb written hits and the rest, as they say, is history.

This collection of songs , the production, the other musicians and collaborators all work together to present the phenomenon that was and IS Glen Campbell. He simply can not be put into any one category of music. How about the "GREAT" category?

Many of the tunes were co-written by Glen and his collaborators are all top notch. His producer Julian Raymond compliments Glen's talents remarkably. Mixing pop, country, rockabilly , straight up country and even a bit of surf guitar courtesy of Dick Dale, this record runs the gamut of musical styles. Never descending into the syrupy goo of Glen Ballard or the stark sparseness of Rick Rubin, he finds the perfect balance between man, song and performance. It is a Grammy worthy effort.

A highlight of the record for me was hearing Glen playing the guitar.
Glen's guitar solos do not disappoint, steeped in the mold of his classic Wichita Lineman sound played with heavier strings and his trademark classic tremelo/reverb tone. It is instantly recognizable as is his voice and like hearing an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. It takes me right back to the mid sixties instantly. (that's a good thing for me)

This album looks back, and forward. It is a musical journey that will TAKE you someplace. It bears many repeated listens and stands as a testament to Glen's talent and his own deep love of music.
This album deserves as many accolades as can be given it. A Grammy award for Record of the Year would not be out of order.

If this is Glen Campbell's last record, then he surely gave us all something worth remembering and a farewell that shines like the pure gold it is. As I said, Glen Campbell's 'Ghost on the Canvas' is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you so much Glen, you did great!


Original Album Series
Original Album Series
Price: £9.99

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money!, 17 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Original Album Series (Audio CD)
After carefully reading all previously posted reviews for this Monkees set I decided to give it a try. As many have noted it is an overall excellent set including the 5 core Monkee albums from the 60's. I am adding my review to address the quality control issues. I have listened to all 5 albums twice and the only actual 'defects' seem to occur on two songs within the 'More of the Monkees' album with "Sometime in the Morning" being the worst offender. It is hard to know the actual source of what sounds like a cross between a harsh instance (1 second and occurring at least twice in the song) of digital clipping and/or a bad edit of the existing masters. I owned the original Vinyl back in the 60's and this was not part of the original recording. In my opinion I don't think this is a direct result of bad manufacturing other than whoever was in charge of this product just didn't LISTEN to the final product before releasing it for sale.
This audio defect was surely on the master tape they used for duplication. This is a problem I have noticed more and more lately with Rhino products. Bummer, as they used to put out a superior product.

For this reason I have deducted one star as I will need to purchase "More of the Monkees" separately if I want a glitch free audio rendering. Other than that, the rest of the albums all play fine. Yes, some are very distorted at times, mainly the early albums and this is part of the original master as the earlier recordings were rushed and not well recorded to begin with. Once you get to "Headquarters" the overall quality increases greatly with much higher fidelity in the actual tracking and resulting mixes.

For the money this set can't be beat and even with the inherent problems of rushed 60's recording, it is still very nice to own and a pleasure to listen to, instantly taking me back to a happier and simpler time. And the songs surprisingly Do hold up very well, much better than I had expected actually.


Goodnight Sweetheart
Goodnight Sweetheart
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful voice, very nice album........, 2 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Goodnight Sweetheart (Audio CD)
I found this album as a direct result of watching all of Goodnight Sweetheart and wishing to know more about Liz Carling. After hearing her wonderful singing on the show I went straight to Google and searched the web. I was very pleased to see she had recorded this album and couldn't order it fast enough. Her voice is in top form, extremely pleasant to listen to and at times causing me a few tears. She does especially well on all the ballads. The arrangements are for the most part very good, although I found the addition of electric guitar on a few numbers to be both inappropriate and quite distracting. This does not reflect on Miss Carling though. Her contributions to this record are filled with wonderful emotion and tons of vocal control. I have not enjoyed a record so much in years and heartily recommend this, especially if you are a fan of Elizabeth Carling's acting. She really is a multi talent and this CD is far from a 'vanity project'........... GREAT!


Kavanagh Q.C. - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Kavanagh Q.C. - The Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marjorie Bland
Price: £32.00

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four 1/2 stars for the program, 1 star for the transfer!, 4 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a huge John Thaw fan and was led to this program after Inspector Morse and The Sweeney. I like the way the characters develop over the series and have enjoyed watching it in order. I have only two complaints, one being that John Thaw's screen time isn't all that much compared to his other shows and the video transfer is sorely lacking in many of the episodes. Poor contrast and brightness levels pop up after the first series and the overall picture quality can get pretty bad , the result of overly compressing the files. Putting 3 episodes on each disc was pushing it a bit much and it shows. However, the sheer amount of entertainment I am getting with this set is enough to have kept me happy with my purchase. In my humble opinion,John Thaw is excellent in anything he has ever done on the screen. Kavanagh QC is another notch in his unbelievably great CV!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2011 2:04 PM GMT


Bomber Harris [DVD] [1989]
Bomber Harris [DVD] [1989]
Dvd ~ John Thaw
Offered by dvdGOLD
Price: £12.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Portrayal by John Thaw, 4 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bomber Harris [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
I am embarrassed to say that being an American, I knew very little about 'Bomber' Harris. I had purchased this DVD because of my admiration of John Thaw. I found his portrayal to be quite riveting and I didn't once think of Jack Regan or Inspector Morse as I watched this program. John Thaw commanded the screen at all times. This was obviously shot on a very limited budget, but the acting here transcends all of that. Since viewing this movie I have seen the real life Bomber Harris on the History Channel and could see for myself what John Thaw was trying for. I am not sure how much of this movie has been fictionalized, if any at all, but I found the story compelling and the character of Bomber Harris to be sympathetic. The transfer to DVD itself is very sharp although it seems to have been run off from a 3/4 inch video tape master and not the original film negative. I only found one slight video glitch in the entire presentation and was very satisfied with the product itself.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2014 9:53 PM BST


Reminder
Reminder
by Dennis Waterman
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT book, GREAT read, COMPELLING story!, 12 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Reminder (Hardcover)
Reminder is really an excellent read. Dennis Waterman is as entertaining and enjoyable writing a book as he is acting a part. I am a newer Waterman fan, having recently discovered The Sweeney, which led to Minder, On The Up and then New Tricks. I enjoyed Dennis so much in these shows that I had to see more of him and that in turn led me to this book.

It is a true revelation. Being an American, I well remember Johnny Carson making Rula Lenska jokes back in the day, but had no idea WHO she was. After reading what I would consider to be a fair and honest accounting of things (since Dennis let his other Ex's contribute to the book) I can safely say I wish I never DID know who she was, and even more so I feel so terribly bad for Dennis having to have experienced that debacle. On screen he seems like such a warm, friendly and fun loving guy. It is very nice to know that he is indeed as he appears on the screen.

His whole life has been most fascinating. The Television show he did in the states back in the 60's was filmed at what is now known as Sunset Gower Studios, but was then Desilu. I was under contract with Warner Brothers records in the late 70's (our album flopped and you never heard of me) and we rehearsed in one of the sound stages there. Makes me wonder if Dennis was once working there. I can certainly picture him there as a young boy, making his mark and hanging out with Burt Reynolds and Judy Carne. COOL!

His family story was very interesting, at times both highly entertaining and very poignant as well. Honestly, I am no sports fan, but I found myself hanging on his every word including the accounts of his beloved football and golf. I was also happy to find out Dennis is a pub man and I can sure picture him with his friends over endless pints, jokes and stories.

I am one of the few who have read this book without ever knowing anything about Dennis Waterman before reading it, other than the vibe he puts out from the screen and the obvious quality of his work. From George , to Terry , and now Jerry, he has played some of my most favorite television characters and he has written a book that stands up with all his previous work.

I was amazed to learn of all his stage acting as well. This guy has been at it since early childhood and has worked with so many of the 'greats' that it had my head spinning. And all the time, Dennis seems to retain a certain humbleness that ingratiates himself to me even more.

Now , when I pop in an early Minder or the latest New Tricks, my enjoyment AND my deep appreciate for the great talent and person who is Dennis Waterman will forever be enhanced after reading his stirring memoir. THANKS for all you have given us Dennis and for all you keep doing. CHEERS! ( I think you should have told Rula to "shut it" !! Who knows, maybe you did eh?)
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2014 3:12 PM GMT


The Two of Us My Life with John Thaw
The Two of Us My Life with John Thaw
by Sheila Hancock
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, Insightful, Deeply Personal and Ultimately Satisfying!, 29 Dec. 2009
I ordered this book to discover more about one of my most favorite actors , John Thaw. I was pleasantly surprised by the actual writing. Shelia Hancock writes very well making the book is a very good read. At times I thought the author may have revealed a few things that might have made John Thaw uncomfortable , the deeply personal actual texts from some of the cards he sent to his wife stick out in my mind. The book did help illuminate for me WHY John Thaw was and is so very believable in his roles. While he had a wonderfully rich life, it was also at times quite tortured.

Shelia Hancock writes from the personal knowledge of much of this, and even manages to tie up a few loose ends for the reader by her quest for information about John's mother after John had passed away. The fact that she shared this with the reader makes this book very satisfying and gives the reader much more than they would get from some sort of unauthorized biography. IN addition to helping me to learn more about John Thaw, I also learned quite a bit about Shelia Hancock in the process. (at least the bits she wanted to reveal)

I just recently discovered Inspector Morse after thinking for many years that A Touch of Frost was the best there was ( !!!) and then progressed to The Sweeney , Kavanagh QC , Home to Roost and his great TV movies such as Bomber Harris and Goodnight Mr. Tom. The average American has only heard of Inspector Morse so finding these shows with John Thaw was like finding buried treasure. Reading this book has increased my enjoyment of all of the above and has given me a small amount of understanding into the mind and method of one of the worlds most powerful actors. GREAT BOOK, GREAT job Shelia! Thank you very much!


Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection (Digitally Remastered) [DVD]
Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection (Digitally Remastered) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Basil Rathbone
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £17.65

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful films, superior product!, 18 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sherlock Holmes -The Definitive Collection is a wonderful boxed set of classic films from the 30's and 40's , painstakingly preserved and presented in their original glorious black and white.

I will assume for the purposes of this review that it goes without saying these 14 titles are true classics. (ok, maybe 1 or 2 are a bit borderline) Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce have a chemistry that is hard to deny. While I also fully enjoy Jeremy Brett's gold standard performance as Holmes, these earlier films remain dear to my heart with Rathbone forever being `my' Sherlock Holmes.

Being in my mid 50's I never had the chance to see any of these films in a theatre, but only on television in their chopped up and incomplete versions. It is a delight to finally be able to enjoy these films as they were meant to be seen. While the work done on them can not be called `restoration' (many blemishes of all types common to old film still exist) the cleaning and scanning done on all the 35mm negatives and in some cases 16mm film elements have been of the highest quality available when the work was done.

While it is true that today's computer and film scanning technology has advanced greatly since most of these films were preserved by UCLA (they took approximately 1 year for each 2 films to accomplish this feat) the end results are nothing short of revelatory.

I have personally watched these films in excess of 10 times each over the years and I am have never seen them looking or sounding so good. Well done UCLA!

The packaging is very nice and a real plus. I would have been happy with just the films in plain DVD boxes for this price. The same collection of titles is sold in the US with inferior packaging and in many cases manufacturing errors in the discs themselves. They are also priced at 4 times the cost of this version. It is such a pleasure to own this collection and be able to enjoy `classic" Holmes whoever I feel the need.
Being an American I greatly appreciate the extra resolution that PAL video affords and it enhances my enjoyment of these films even more. EXCELLENT!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2014 5:46 AM BST


Agatha Christie's Poirot - Collection 7 [DVD]
Agatha Christie's Poirot - Collection 7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Suchet
Price: £13.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another four classics from Christie and Suchet!, 3 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Poirot Collection 7 adds to the wealth of quality efforts from David Suchet!
Being an American it is not as easy to SEE new Poirot episodes as it is in the UK. Our Public Television stations dole them out to us at a substantially slower pace and always a few years behind the rest of the world it seems. I was delighted to be able to purchase the last 4 Poirot features from Amazon UK and enjoy the latest masterful performances from the great David Suchet. Mr. Suchet IS Hercule Poirot for all intents and purposes.
I enjoyed all 4 episodes. As usual, the casting was excellent, the locations interesting and the photography suitably atmospheric. The acting is unquestionably and uniformly excellent! Using an all region DVD player and a multi system capable display, I am happy to be able to enjoy these great region 2 Pal discs with their enhanced resolution. (compared to our much inferior NTSC system here in the States)
I anxiously await the next installments and hope Mr. Suchet realizes his goal of completing all of Miss Christie's Poirot stories. If you are a fan of David Suchet's Poirot, then this set is a wise investment.


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