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Room At The Top [1959] [DVD]
Room At The Top [1959] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simone Signoret
Price: £8.30

3.0 out of 5 stars Beware the aspect ratio..., 26 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Room At The Top [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
Superb film, an iconic and influential piece of film making from the 1960s, but I'm giving three stars for the presentation, which is terrible.

Though released in 2009, hardly the Dark Ages in terms of widescreen development, the feature is presented in 4:3, letterboxed to the original ratio of 1:66:1. At least the quality of the print is sufficient that it can comfortably be zoomed to 16:9 on my 50" LED TV, but that still means cropping the image top and bottom; what a short-sighted decision by the usually reliable Network.

Hopefully they'll release a decent anamorphic blu-ray sometime soon...


Rebelión en Fort Laramie (Revolt at Fort Laramie)
Rebelión en Fort Laramie (Revolt at Fort Laramie)
Dvd ~ John Dehner
Offered by Xenon Books
Price: £6.99

1.0 out of 5 stars In living black and white!, 23 Aug 2014
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Experience has taught me not to expect too much from Spanish DVDs, but boy, am I feeling burned! I used to watch this movie when I was a kid and had fond memories. At least one gory one, too, as the bright red of a bloody knife is wiped on a blanket. Not on this DVD! Not only is this 4:3 movie cropped top and bottom to fill the 16:9 frame, but the image is rendered in black and white. How's that for a double swizz? Shame too, as the entire movie was shot on location in Utah and the scenery is gorgeous. On the bright side, I really enjoyed seeing the movie again after so long.


Island of Terror (Import with english audio)
Island of Terror (Import with english audio)
Dvd ~ Peter Cushing
Offered by dvd-uncut
Price: £11.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware the German import..., 26 Jun 2014
The film is a blast if you're a lover of 60s British B-movie horror, with a decent script, a great cast and one of the most splendidly daft monsters on film (and that's just Edward Judd's toupee). Unfortunately the German import (with cover art showing a woman being attacked through a window) is rather spoiled by giving the viewer burned-in German subtitles when viewed with English audio. Since the print is only average, the disc isn't exactly a bargain.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2014 8:25 PM GMT


Michel Thomas Method: French Vocabulary Course (Michel Thomas Series)
Michel Thomas Method: French Vocabulary Course (Michel Thomas Series)
by Helene Bird
Edition: Audio CD

3.0 out of 5 stars Included in the new Total French..., 21 Jun 2013
For anyone considering purchasing this product, it's worth knowing that the material now forms part of the Michel Thomas Total French package; therefore if you're new to Thomas's methods you might want to consider paying a bit extra for the re-branded article containing his entire intermediate course (it's well worth the money).


Duellists [Blu-ray] [1977] [US Import]
Duellists [Blu-ray] [1977] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Keith Carradine
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £9.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Duellists Blu-Ray, 18 April 2013
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For my money, Ridley Scott's little masterpiece has never looked better than on this Shout Factory Blu Ray. Yes, the film itself was shot with a deliberately soft and luxuriant look, yet the image here is pleasingly sharp and stable with just enough noise reduction to eliminate the worst of the wear and tear. The colour palette meanwhile takes your breath away.

The disc is Region A locked, therefore if you're a European buyer you'll need a multi-region player - but if you have one, take my advice and upgrade. You'll be transported.


The Message (Blu-ray) [DVD]
The Message (Blu-ray) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Quinn
Price: £9.91

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anchor Bay deserves a good kicking!, 1 Mar 2013
Anchor Bay presents a 2:35:1 film in 16:9? On Blu-ray? In this day and age? Glad I bought this from the bargain bucket...

Even more bizarre is the fact that AB has previously released a letterboxed DVD in the correct aspect ratio. Such a shame the print has been butchered, because this is an otherwise very reasonable release.

As to the film itself, the scriptwriter manages a unique challenge rather well: trying to film the biography of a man who cannot, for religious reasons, actually be shown. Try to imagine "The Ten Commandments" without Charlton Heston, or "Jesus of Nazareth" without Robert Powell, and you'll get some idea of the problem. And yet anyone who gives the film a chance will find this a well-intentioned and sincere attempt to bring the story of Islam to a Western audience.


The Curse of Frankenstein (Blu-ray + DVD) [1957]
The Curse of Frankenstein (Blu-ray + DVD) [1957]
Dvd ~ Christopher Lee
Price: £17.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., 23 Feb 2013
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Well, I read the reviews and hummed and hawed before buying the Blu Ray; in the end I decided to throw caution to the wind.

I'm afraid I have to side with the nay-sayers. While it may be true that a top quality rendition of poor quality elements can at best yield a beautifully bad image, I find it hard to believe the restorers couldn't do better than this, even if it meant a greater amount of digital tweaking. As several other reviewers have pointed out, the Warner DVD appears sharper and with better colour.

The extras certainly are amazing, but really the sole reasons for buying this disc.

One hopes the upcoming "Dracula" will be an improvement (a major one).


Hellbenders [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Hellbenders [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Julian Mateos
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £3.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Westlake Budget Edition, 23 Aug 2012
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Not a review of the film (which has an unusual slant and is not half bad), but of the Westlake Budget DVD. This is an incredibly poor transfer and not even worth the low price. Avoid.


Wide-eyed in Babylon (Coronet Books)
Wide-eyed in Babylon (Coronet Books)
by Ray Milland
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost World of Hollywood, 27 Sep 2009
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I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into old Hollywood, told from the point of view of a Brit who made the place his home and became a star through dogged perseverance rather than blazing talent. Very much a time capsule, with Milland quite happy to air his prejudices (homosexuals get an uncomfortably hard rap) but withal a charming, buccaneering tale.


Guns for San Sebastian
Guns for San Sebastian

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful vintage Morricone, 7 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Guns for San Sebastian (Audio CD)
Ever since I was a kid I've loved symphonic film music, and one of the first LPs I ever possessed featured the overture from this suite. Even after forty-odd years I still think it's quite simply one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. Quite why I never tracked down the entire score I cannot think, but I recently purchased and it's stunning - there's no other word. Treat yourself to a piece of vintage Morricone. Now, if only I could track down the film itself...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2012 8:20 PM BST


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