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J. Aston

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The Bed Sitting Room [Blu-ray] [1969]
The Bed Sitting Room [Blu-ray] [1969]
Dvd ~ Rita Tushingham
Offered by Macheath Productions
Price: £22.68

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray specs, 4 Jun 2009
Blu-ray specs: Video Bitrate:24 Mbps, Audio: LPCM 2.0 2304Kbps (48kHz/24-bit)


Playlist: 00000.MPLS
Size: 18,898,307,520 bytes (18.89Gb)
Length: 1:31:13
Total Bitrate: 27.62 Mbps
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 23999 kbps / 1080p / 23.976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitle: English / 43.868 kbps

Note that at time of writing the specs on review site 'dvdbeaver' are incorrect - they are the specs of the combined extras (archive HD interviews, ~20Gb, ~1hr 35m, bitrate graph shows the huge dips where film reels are changed).

Info provided by Cinema Squid's excellent 'BDInfo' PC program.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2009 10:50 PM BST

Amadeus - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [1984] [Region Free]
Amadeus - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [1984] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ F. Murray Abraham
Price: £6.30

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 21 Mar 2009
I think this is a good transfer, although I agree with 'hellodavey' and 'K Oppegaard' - the film is not quite what it should be in places (although I think this is due to fairly subtle DNR, not the bitrate, which I think is ample for such a film).

I suppose if you don't know the film and expect a visual feast of background detail throughout, you may be disappointed, since the camera sometimes has a shallow field of focus, with only the very foreground completely in focus. However, this is primarily because the focus is on the player who is currently conversing (or narrating), which is quite appropriate for a film derived from a play. Amadeus is, after all, justly praised for it's great interplay and dialogue.

All that aside, I think it's important to emphasize that overall this is a quite a good transfer, and an improvement, and although DNR is always unwelcome, I don't think it's too obvious here.

Of equal importance, the 'third main character' which is the music, is also improved.

As a general point, I would say even a small improvement is worth having for a film you like, but in this case the improvement is noticeable. Give it a rent and see for yourself!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2009 1:18 PM BST

Reds [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import]
Reds [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Warren Beatty

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pioneering, satisfying drama & documentary, 26 Dec 2008
Thia is a great film which recalls a time when there was generally more patience and respect for intelligent political dramas without predominant 'thriller' or 'action' elements to maintain the viewer's attention.

Love story, satisfyingly detailed political drama, documentary, all elements of the film are satisfied and none dominate. It's beautifully shot also, with some great locations in Europe serving the period detail.

In case you're worried about that fabled 'liberal bias', the film is a model for attempting to represent the real complexity of the 'balanced truth', showing, in both drama and documentary, both idealism and the inevitable disillusionment with it. There is absolutely no sense of that all-too-common 'take home message' here. The documentary elements in particular show more balance than many 'true' documentaries, and do so with great humour and warmth. It gradually becomes very clear Beatty didn't want to heavily edit these to 'bury' contradictory accounts, but instead pay patient tribute to the memories of those surviving members of the original events.

Although, as mentioned in the review above, Reed wrote the undeniably biased 'Ten Days That Shook The World', the drama of this film goes well beyond the idealism of that work, and is admirable in showing at length his colleagues' disillusionment, even when it risks exposing Reed's naivity.

I should finally advise that this film is actually split over two Blu-ray discs (BD-25's) here, so you have to insert the second disc to continue the film.
If you have a computer with a Blu-ray drive, though, it's relatively easy to copy and rename the largest MPEG-2 '.m2ts' files from each disc to hard disk (with programs like 'AnyDVDHD') and join them together.

The Fountain [Blu-ray]
The Fountain [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: £7.00

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In all good faith...sorry, I can't recommend!, 26 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Fountain [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have to generally agree with James' comprehensive review here. I know this film means a lot to people, but I would strongly recommend renting this first.

As much of this has been said, I won't bore with repetition, except to say why the C16 scenes and the ending were the points where it went wrong for me also. Fantastical sequences are notoriously difficult to get right, because here there is a greater need for discipline if they are to remain meaningful, even on an intuitive level. I'm sorry to say that any meaning was lost for me at the aforementioned points, and so the film failed ultimately because of that.

I've written this review purely because, like James, I wouldn't want those coming to this from the 'anything by the director of 'Pi' and 'Requiem for a dream'' angle to waste their money, least of all for the pervasive 'it'll look great on Blu-ray!(tm)'.

I'd say finally this is not a case of 'not liking something different' either, since the director's successive films mentioned above were admirably different from each other. I also hope for more challenging (but consistent) films from this director in the future.

EDIT: I look forward to watching 'The Wrestler' soon!

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