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Mr. M. S. Mckinnon "MM" (London, England)

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R Plus Seven
R Plus Seven
Price: £12.30

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Demo CD, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: R Plus Seven (Audio CD)
It's not really fair to judge an album by its press, but this has to be the biggest 'Emperor's New Clothes' album of 2013. People seemed overly keen to praise this to the skies as a masterpiece, even before they'd heard it.

It's not bad as such, but it sounds very much like a Synclavier demo CD from about 1983. Or a library CD from the same era. Sampled and synthetic voices are chopped up, alongside occasional Philip Glass-style arpeggios and organs. And that's it, pretty much.

Contrary to the great depth and import people seem to be ascribing to this album, it simply is what it is.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 9:57 AM BST

Upstream Color [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Upstream Color [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Shane Carruth
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £12.57

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic film. Poor Blu-ray., 19 July 2013
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An amazing film, about which the less you know going in the better. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Unless, of course, you're one of those 'Man Of Steel' types, in which case there may not be enough explosions and fighting for you.

However - and it saddens me to say this, as the film's apparently self-distributed - the Blu-ray has some frequent picture/sound sync issues, and suffers from some really bad compression artifacting and banding.

That said, it's still a stunning film. The last shot had me quite choked up.

Dark Star [Blu-ray] [1974]
Dark Star [Blu-ray] [1974]
Dvd ~ Brian Narelle
Price: £7.00

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK., 25 Jan 2012
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I realise there's going to be people who were involved in the production of this Blu-ray reading this, so I'll try to be as polite as possible... I know it was a labour of love, with a smaller production budget than many other releases out there. So I know you did what you could. Not everyone can be Criterion. I'm a big fan of the film, and I've even seen it theatrically a couple of times, so I want to like this...'s OK. It's not great, but it is an improvement on the DVD. The sound quality is definitely as good as it could ever be, and even then it just is what it is: it sounds like a pretty shaky 70s student effort.

The picture is improved, particularly in terms of dirt and damage removal. There's clearly been some extensive frame-by-frame clean-up here, and it shows. Aside from that, however, it looks soft, hazy, but I guess as good as non-professional 16mm blown up to 35mm can look.

What worries me is a smeary softness to the picture that suggests DNR, and I can't see much in the way of film grain. An earlier comment [now removed, but quoted by a later reviewer] suggests that DNR was used and then fake grain added back in. If this is the case - and the grain that is there looks suspiciously even for such a raggedy film - then that's a very stupid thing to do. No-one who's ever seen this film expects it to look pristine, and you must be aware that it's going to be more film-literate viewers who are the target audience for this. Grain removal is widely regarded as an unwise practice, and if you did that here you've disappointed a lot of people, including me.

The documentary is super-informative, but feels padded [with some ugly, repetitive computer-generated visuals and endless montages and clips of the movie], and I ended up listening but not watching.

So while I'm pleased with the package overall - it's a big improvement over existing DVD releases - realistically, it's just OK.

Buyers: temper your expectations accordingly.

Though if you've never seen the film, watch it immediately. It's a lovely, funny, sad, clever little movie, overflowing with creativity.

We Are What We Are [Blu-ray] [2010]
We Are What We Are [Blu-ray] [2010]
Dvd ~ Francisco Barreiro
Price: £6.50

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough., 1 May 2011
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On the strength of good reviews [Sight & Sound's Film Of The Month... have to dig that issue out again and see what that was all about], and having missed its release in London cinemas, I snapped this up on Blu-Ray. I wish I'd rented now.

Many things that can often be strengths in an intelligent horror film are present and correct, but some vital spark is missing. The result is that the film's inert, a bit predictable and boring. The one-note characterisations grate, and don't go anywhere, and the film's murky and unpleasant-looking. But not in a particularly interesting way.

An average, very mildly interesting film that's being oversold to an audience hungry for intelligent horror.

THX 1138 [Blu-ray] [1971] [Region Free]
THX 1138 [Blu-ray] [1971] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Robert Duvall
Offered by Mactheknife71
Price: £22.00

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware - Blu-Ray is problematic with some players, 19 Oct 2010
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I can't comment on the quality of this disc, as I had problems getting it to play. The piracy warning loads, as does the WB logo, after which the disc cycles endlessly and won't load. After a bit of online investigation, it seems the disc is so full, it requires an SD card/extra memory for some players to load it up.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2013 2:11 PM GMT

Sony DSCHX5VB Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Black (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
Sony DSCHX5VB Cyber-shot Digital Camera - Black (10MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD

12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Serious Drawbacks You Won't Read About In The Blurb, 26 May 2010
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I'll keep this as brief as I can...

I was very excited by the prospect of a digital panoramic camera, and one that also shoots 1080HD movies & 10MP images. So I snapped this up. After a day's experimentation, I returned it.

The panoramic function is a brilliant idea, easy to use and it really works. However, the images are downscaled to something like 2 or 3MP, so they come out extremely low quality. Comparable to a bad iPhone photo. Low resolution, blurry detail and lots of video noise. So - nice idea, but useless in practice.

The 1080HD movies are easy to shoot, but you can only get them off the camera if you have a PC. The camera isn't Mac-compatible. I called up the Sony help centre and talked it through with them. The software they provide allows you to pull photos off the camera on a Mac, but not the HD films. Neither iMovieHD or Final Cut Pro could get at the movies. Nor could my flashcard reader. Sony suggested I should speak to Apple about it [OK,thanks - like Apple are going to help me with the limitations of a Sony camera: yeah, right...].

I'm sure there might be an elaborate workaround for getting the files off the camera, but to be honest, an elaborate workaround shouldn't be necessary for a basic non-professional camera.

Packaged it up and sent it back. Many thanks to Amazon for their no-quibbles return. I'm very grateful.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2010 12:00 AM BST

Red Riding Trilogy [DVD]
Red Riding Trilogy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paddy Considine
Price: £10.00

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, over-rated adaptation., 23 July 2009
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This review is from: Red Riding Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
Just finished reading the original novels after watching these films first...

Overall, far too much has been omitted and cleaned up for these films. It just isn't the total hell that's on the page in Peace's books. The quartet made you feel like you need a shower, like you needed to rinse the filth and blood off your hands after reading. These films just leave you feeling, 'Hmm, nice photography". You need to watch something like 'Irreversible' or 'Bad Lieutenant' to even get near the feel of the novels.

Farming out the stories to different directors turns out to be a bad move, as each film has a different visual style, and the continuity of tone across the novels evaporates.

Although the acting is often very good indeed, there's some serious miscasting, as well as some softening and rewriting of characters. Andrew Garfield as Eddie [in 1974] is far too young and innocent. Along with the chic ugly/beautiful photography the general smug tastefulness of the production, and the odd melodramatic ending, he kills 1974.

Shame 1977 never made it to the screen, due to budget cuts. But 1980 nearly makes up for it. Paddy Considine is excellent as Peter Hunter, the nearest to a genuinely good man in the books. Although the evil's still too mild [though the Bob Craven character is wonderfully nasty], the film's at least more concerned with telling the story concisely, and not getting excited about it's own importance: the stylistic flourishes are kept to a minimum. The best by far.

1983 is a disaster. As a result of losing the book's fill-in-the-gaps flashback structure, elements from the novel are left dangling oddly and ineffectively [BJ wanders around a bit, the Reverend Laws is suddenly revealed as..., the lead character's romance with a psychic suddenly takes place in the present rather than back in 1974]; and the rewriting of the ending - because screenwriter Tony Grisoni felt he wanted to save one of the missing little girls - exhibits a staggering loss of nerve, and is totally unconvincing. And again, the lead's cleaned up way too much.. writers: we can deal with unsympathetic characters. Honestly.

All in all, the lavish praise heaped on the series is pretty unwarranted. It's alright. Everyone making these films is trying really hard - perhaps too hard - to impress, but the bottom line is that Grisoni's scripts are a very poor adaptation, a misfire on too many levels.

Read the books. You'll hate the experience, but you won't be able to stop.

Dark Star, 30th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD] [1974]
Dark Star, 30th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Dan O'Bannon
Price: £6.20

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Anamorphic, 14 Jun 2007
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Having been waiting for a decent edition of this movie on DVD since the format was launched, I was pleased to see this package with "anamorphic widescreen' plastered across the front, so I picked it up straight off.

Unfortunately, it's a port of the original US edition. Pretty good in and of itself - 2 versions of the film, a handful of extras - but NOT anamorphic/enhanced for 16x9 format.

The film itself is terrific. Funny, touching, tense, imaginative, beautifully designed, raw, bleak. And surprisingly sad coming from Howard Hawks-worshipping man's man John Carpenter. Dan O'Bannon's so funny, you wonder why he didn't really act again.

So... best available edition, but not what it claims.

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