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Joe The Waiter "joethewaiter" (Bedfordshire, England)

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It's a Wonderful Life (Black & White and Colourised Versions) [Blu-ray] [1946]
It's a Wonderful Life (Black & White and Colourised Versions) [Blu-ray] [1946]
Dvd ~ James Stewart

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and white or colour?, 9 May 2012
Without a doubt one of the best films ever made. A true classic.

I already own the DVD release and was initially uncertain whether to buy the Blu-Ray release or not. I'm so glad I did.
For a film that is 60 years old it looks incredible. Why can't all Blu-Ray releases look this good?

Black and white or colour?
I have to be honest and admit that I am one of those people who has never been a fan of the 'colourization process'. If a film was originally shot in balck and white, then I see no reason for it to interfered with. As another reviewer has stated, "Psycho" just wouldn't look the same in colour. Neither would "The Bride Of Frankenstein" or "King Kong".Having said that, out of curiosity, I did start to watch the colour version of It's A Wonderful Life and was...amazed! I really had been expecting the worst, having previously seen colourized versions of Laurel and Hardy films, but with Life I was totally blown away by just how good it actually looked. The colourization technique has clearly improved massively. If you hadn't previously known that it had been made as a black and white film, then you would have no reason to doubt that it was a genuine colour film. I now love both versions. Either way, the picture quality is stunning.
As noted elsewhere the film is in it's original aspect ratio, which is no bad thing in my opinion, even on a 50" Panasonic screen. Black bars at the top or side of the screen don't make me enjoy a film any the less.

Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert [Blu-ray] [1994] [US Import]
Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert [Blu-ray] [1994] [US Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars Priscilla, Queen Of Blu-Ray., 2 Jan. 2012
Firstly, although listed as being a Region 1 disc, this Blu-Ray will, and does play on a Region 2 machine (at least it does on my Sony machine).
Unavailable on Region 2 Blu-ray at the present time (January 2012), the fact that it is available as an unlocked Region 1 disc is therefore fantastic news.

The film itself is an absolute classic and watching it on Blu-ray for the first time, rather than DVD, is almost like watching a completely different film. It looks and sounds stunning in my opinion.

The three male leads, Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, give incredible performances as the transexual Bernadette (just don't call him Ralph) and two drag queens Mitzy and Felicia respectievly. Stamp was Oscar nomninated for his role and really deserved to win it. In the 1960's he was considered to be something of a heart-throb (voted the most beautiful man alive), before playing General Zod in Superman 1 and 2. Since Priscilla, he has tended to play 'heavy' type roles.
Hugo Weaving was unknown to me at the time, but he has since become known as being an incredibly versatile actor, appearing in the Matrix trilogy as Agent Smith, The Lord Of the Rings trilogy as Prince Elrond and more recently as The Red Skull in Captain America.
The biggest surprise however was Guy Pearce, who, until Priscilla had only been known for his role in Neighbours as Mike. No one would ever have suspected that he was such a talented actor. His performance was a revelation. Since Priscilla, he has appeared in such films as LA Confidential, Ravenous and Memento.

For anyone who doesn't know the story, the film is about the three main characters trip from Sydney to Alice Springs in a bus that they christen Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, in order to perform at the hotel where Weavings ex wife works.
It's funny, it's sad and it has great songs. As a bonus you also get breathtaking Austrailan scenery.

Flash Gordon - 30th Anniversary Ltd Edition - Special Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
Flash Gordon - 30th Anniversary Ltd Edition - Special Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sam Jones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A load of camp old nonsense!, 20 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've never been entirely sure why, but I love this film.
Released in 1980, the same year as The Empire Strikes Back, the two films couldn't be more different.
Although millions of dollars was spent on Flash Gordon, it still manages to be gloriously tacky and completely over the top. A load of camp old nonsense basically.
Although Sam J Jones is pretty wooden as Flash, the film does have the wonderfully voiced Peter Wyngarde as Klytus and the scenery chewing brilliance off Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan, the rather portly leader of the Hawkmen.

I have had the film on DVD and was keen to get it on Blu Ray, and despite what some peope have said, I think it comes up pretty good.
I'm old enough to have seen it at the cinema when it was originally released and remember that even then, the picture quality was variable. Blue screen was used extensively during filming, and I believe this is the reason why. In some scenes the colours are rich and strong, with deep blacks, whereas in others, they have a 'bleached' look about them. Also, and it does seem to be more noticeable on Blu-ray, you can often see backgrounds through characters or spacecraft etc. With the War Rocket Ajax, you can even see the support that held the model in front of the blue screen in a couple of scenes.
We should remember though that the film was made 30 years ago and therefore didn't have the luxury of being able to use CG enhancement. I suppose it's possible that Universal could have done a Ridley Scott or a George Lucas and spent some money correcting the colour variations, matte lines etc., but in some ways, these faults add to it's enjoyment.

My only criticism concerning the Blu-Ray release is the lack of any extras. If something is being advetised as a 30th Anniversary edition, then surely some decent extras wouldn't go amiss. At the very least, include the extras that are on the 25th Anniversary DVD release.

Friday the 13th 2 [Blu-ray] [1981]
Friday the 13th 2 [Blu-ray] [1981]
Dvd ~ Amy Steel

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Runt of the litter?, 22 Mar. 2011
Apparently, Friday 13th Part 2 is considered to be the 'runt' of the litter by Friday 13th fans, but for me, it's actually my favourite. It's often been criticised for it's lack of gore, which admittedly, is a little on the slim side, but this criticism could be equally applied to the sequels that followed.
It is a shame that Paramount haven't been inclined to release full uncut versions, especially Part 2, because according to various people who worked on the film, it was originally extremely gory, especially the double impaling.

As far as sequels go, Part 2 is in many ways an improvement on Part 1. Steve Miners' debut as a director devotes more time to the characters, which for a slasher film is quite rare. Admittedly, some of the acting isn't particularly good, but Aimee Steele makes a good heroine.

The ending is a little confusing because you never know for sure if Jason actually kills Paul Holt or not, he just dissapears.

Sad to say that after this film the series went into rapid decline, so I would certainly recommend this and the original.

Panasonic TX-P50S20B 50-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 600Hz Plasma TV with Freeview HD
Panasonic TX-P50S20B 50-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 600Hz Plasma TV with Freeview HD

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 20 Mar. 2011
Having been a Sony fan, Panasonic wasn't a brand that I had ever considered before, but, after doing some considerable research, I decided to 'give them a go'.

I've only had the tv a couple of days, so haven't familiarised myself with it completely just yet, but I'm impressed so far.

I read a review elsewhere that stated that the tv was 'ugly'. I disagree. As far as tv's go, it's an attractive one. It appears to be very well made and doesn't look in any way 'cheap and nasty'.

The set up is relatively straight forward and you are ready to go in a very short time. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people that can't really be bothered to read the instructions, but I would suggest that you do. They do make things so much easier. I'm actually going to sit down and read it through completely.

My main reason for buying the tv was because I had recently bought a new Blu-Ray player and being a film fan I wanted to be able to see films in the best possible way.
I've just watched Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland" and I was totally blown away. The picture was absolutely gorgeous. Pin sharp image, deep, rich colours, especially reds, which usually tend to look rather weird.
I'd also read that Panasonic were particularly good at reproducing blacks and this would certainly appear to be true. I really cannot rate the picture quality highly enough.

Another review stated that the tv sound was awful, but it is possible to adjust the sound to your liking. When I first switched it on, the sound was on the tinny side, which worried me slightly, but after going to the menu and sound settings, I was able to refine it to my liking. When watching Blu-Rays etc, I have it running through a home theatre system anyway, so I'm not particularly bothered, but for general tv use it's more than adequate in my opinion.

For the price (and Amazon are currently the cheapest at the time of writing), it is more than worth it. A truly fantastic tv, with loads of features.

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