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Michael Wide (Stockholm, Sweden)

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Biutiful [Blu-ray]
Biutiful [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Javier Bardem
Price: £9.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting film - but with subtitles written all over it, 21 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Biutiful [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I'd give the film four stars - but before you by it, you might want to know that the subtitles are non-optional, yellow and placed about 1/4 up in the frame. I mean, if you have an inkling of Spanish, you might want to watch it without subtitles the second time around - but with this release by Optimum, you will once again have to watch people talking with text coming out of their noses. For crying out loud, Optimum/Studio Canal: this is (supposed to be) a bluray release from the 21st century, not a videotape from the 70's... A pity, since the production is fine otherwise, with superb picture and several extras.

Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004]
Manchurian Candidate, The [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Denzel Washington
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.50

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably unbelieavable, 21 Oct. 2007
Unbelievably unbelievable! With Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep involved in a remake of a classic movie you might hope for something worth while: but this is a severe let-down by any standards. The sci-fi plot played out here could make any James Bond movie look realistic and down to earth, and the inklings of good acting from the stars are drowned in the sheer stupidity of the story. Incredible: if it had been made in 1984 you might have understood it, but what kind of out of date-phantasy is this from 2004? Perhaps the idea here is really to discredit the public's suspicion of authorities and conspiracy theories in general by presenting a downright silly picture of what goes on behind the curtains - if so, the movie is somewhat of a success, simply in virtue of its silliness. One of those you will regret having seen to the end...

Lord Of The Flies [1963] [DVD]
Lord Of The Flies [1963] [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Aubrey
Price: £19.44

0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About the edition, 13 Oct. 2007
Anybody knows how this release fares as compared with the one on Criterion? The movie of course is well worth seeing more than once and a classic of sorts, but I heard this release was not quite satisfactory, with scratches etc? But apparently worth while extras?

Movies Begin [DVD] [1905] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Movies Begin [DVD] [1905] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson
Price: £52.19

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential early cinema, 20 Sept. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This set of five discs, with a total running time of in fact approxim. 7 hours, really is what it says: a treasure-trove of early cinema, all of it essential viewing for anyone interested in the very first "movies". It covers most of the leading names in moving pictures during this period, from Muybridge to Méliès via Edison, the Lumière brothers, Pathé frères, Edwin S. Porter, the Brighton school etc., with well chosen examples which are very instructive for understanding the very first development of the cinematographic techniques and repertoire (actualities, documentaries, narrative features, animation, comedy, trick-shot filming and so on).

A caveat for the general viewer may perhaps be in place, with regard to the basic content of this set. Watching moving pictures from this period is really like watching the "birth" of the movies, or the early stages in the development of a cinematic "language" - and some stages of birth-givning can of course be painful, and the first babbling or stutterings of a child incomprehensible (or unintentionally funny). But if you think of what will follow later, it's well worth seeing it evolve... Having said that, most of these movies are also highly enjoyable in and of themselves.

Only one picture by Griffith is included (from his Biograph-period), but then his work is well represented in separate collections. Of course, you might always want to see more by other directors or firms as well, but this is, I think, the ideal place to start for further explorations (for instance on the beautiful editions by BFI).

The picture quality is often surprisingly good, sometimes quite stunning: for instance, the movies by Méliès presented here (accorded a separate disc, no. 4) are notably better than the same ones on the dvd "Melies the Magician" (which has several more of Melies' films, however, so you might still want to have that one as a complement). Also, the musical accompaniment is carefully chosen (in some cases specially made for this set?), and not just any irrelevant piano-piece tacked on.

The extras are limited to written notes (by Charles Musser), which are brief but to the point (with optional and easy maneuvering between the notes and the movies); one of the discs also has some helpful introductory commentaries to the separate chapters. One might have wished for more (or a booklet), but if you're a film student or otherwise interested in early cinema, you will probably in any case want a more substantial textual introduction than can reasonably be given in this format. And as the visual accompaniment for any written work of film history, this seems to be the perfect first choice. Cudos to Kino!

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