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IDB (Warwickshire, England)

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Conan the Barbarian (Complete Score)
Conan the Barbarian (Complete Score)
Offered by screen_archives_entertainment
Price: £18.82

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good yet frustrating release, 18 Nov. 2010
The Conan the Barbarian soundtrack has been my all-time favourite soundtrack. This really is a masterpiece and I was really looking forward to this new release as the sound quality of original release wasn't great by modern standards and there are one of two issues with the polish of the Rome orchestra. The new release is a complete re-recording so would address the sound quality issues of the original release.

Having listened to this a few times, I can confirm that the recording sound quality of the new discs are very good and what we get now are 2 cd's with over 60 minutes on each (though the last 5 or 6 tracks on disc 2 are alternative versions and there's a track from "Conan the Destroyer" which is a bonus).

The frustrating and disappointing aspect for me is the performance or interpretation of the Poledouris score. Too often I found the tempos too slow and wished for those of the original release which is, of course, the benchmark. At time it really destroys the flow of the music. The conductor is the one at fault here and this is a missed opportunity.

I've come to the conclusion that, while, I'm glad I have it for the new previously unreleased tracks and for some of the re-recorded material, this falls short on performance grounds (even with the occasional mistake from the Rome orchestra)and I'll be sticking to the re-mastered extended Varese Sarabande release for my main listening of this great music. This release gets a qualified recommendation and a 3.5 rating.

Gladiator [Remastered] [Blu-ray] [2000] [Region Free]
Gladiator [Remastered] [Blu-ray] [2000] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Russell Crowe

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Remastered Gladiator, 25 July 2010
Further to Chris Wing's information, it's worth mentioning that in the USA a running production change has been initiated, so future copies shipped to retailers will include the new transfer. In other countries around the world, the new disc is being gradually rolled out in each region by Universal so hopefully given time all new BD's should include the new transfer (though this hasn't been officially confirmed by Universal in the UK yet).

Price: £12.35

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great, 1 July 2010
This review is from: METROPOLIS (Audio CD)
From the glowing reviews on here I was expecting vintage stuff from FM (who I saw supporting Magnum in the 80's and great they were) but overall I was slightly disappointed with this.
Unfortunately for me too many songs are just simply average or are mid tempo/slower numbers suitable for Radio 2! It all depends what you're looking for but the first 2 albums for me are the benchmark and, while there are some goods tracks, I felt this fell short of those by some margin. Not bad but not fantastic either.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongest album for years, 11 Jun. 2010
This review is from: OMEGA (Audio CD)
I was in two minds ordering this after having being disappointed overall with the PHOENIX CD but did so on the back of the other favourable reviews. Very glad I got this as this has to be the strongest set of songs for quite a few years. Good on first listening but great on repeated listenings as the songs become more familiar. Strongly recommended.

Predator [Blu-ray]
Predator [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Price: £14.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good BD, 3 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Predator [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I put off buying this BD for quite a while because of the negative reviews on here. I eventually took the plunge as this film is a bit of a classic and love it anyway (and it was in the 3 for 2 offer).

All I can say is that I wouldn't agree with those negative reviews at all as, on my equipment (Pioneer KRP tv and Denon 3800BD player), in all but 4 or 5 scenes the picture was definately HD. The clarity in the jungle scenes in particular was extremely good and at times 3D with excellent colour saturation. Skin tones and clarity also excellent. There were only a few momentary scenes where there was some noticeable grain where the picture looked poor but these only lasted a matter of seconds each so doesn't affect the overall view of the film.

All in all, an excellent release and easily better than DVD. It's a lot better than some other unremarkable BD's I've seen (which have had good reviews) and so would recommend this BD release.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2009 8:45 PM BST

Handel: Ariodante
Handel: Ariodante
Price: £22.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First choice Ariodante disc set, 23 May 2009
This review is from: Handel: Ariodante (Audio CD)
I've been a Handel opera fan for a number of years and have many cd box sets of various Handel operas but Ariodante is probably my favourite opera (and this is my third box set version of this opera).

I can unreservedly recommend this set above any other in my view including the Minkowski and McGegan sets. What sets this Ivor Bolton set apart for me is the lively pace Bolton sets along with the quality of the soloists.

What often spoils a performance is the tempo that the piece is taken and here Bolton judges things perfectly. Where appropriate, I like the orchestral pieces to be lively (e.g. ballet sections) and nothing is worse than dull, slow or lifeless performances where energetic tempos are called for but the latter are never present in this recording. Of course, where feeling and emotion are appropriate as in many of the minor key arias, Bolton judges these very well indeed and these come across with gravitas.

All the soloists deserve special mention - there's not a weak link anywhere. Ann Murray and Joan Rodgers are experienced Handelians and perform superbly as do Paul Nilon, Julie Kaufmann and Umberto Chiummo (as the King) but I do think Christopher Robson is truly outstanding. He performs the deceitful Polinesso part to perfection (check out the 1996 Artisan dvd release if you want to see it too.... a very convincing performance).

I rate the 1996 dvd production as top notch and it's not surprising that there are great similarities here as the cast is pretty much identical (bar Lesley Garrett who is replaced by the excellent Julie Kaufmann on this disc). Bolton conducted both sets hence the near identical performances and tempi.

In short, a 5 star disc set and, for me, the clear no.1 choice of those available.

Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent soundtrack, 17 May 2009
Initially I was relectant to buy this soundtrack after some negative/luke warm reviews but as I own all the original ST 6 film soundtracks, I took the plunge.

I'm so glad I did as I would rate this as good as, if not better than, some of the others. I often think a good indication of a good soundtrack is whether or not after your first listening you want to put it on again. Well, I played it 5 times yesterday and twice today so I'd say I like it.

I'd also comment that my wife (who doesn't usually like soundtracks)commented unprompted on how good it was. Neither of us really noticed the music when watching the film in the cinema but it really does stand alone as a piece of great music. There's a strong recurring theme throughout the cd which quickly engrains itself in your mind and disc is nicely finished off with a track which replays many of the cues from earlier in the soundtrack and includes Giacchino's take on the classic original series ST theme.

Buy with confidence.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut, 8 July 2008
This review is from: Breakaway (Audio CD)
Based on the the previous review, I nearly didn't buy this but I'm glad I did as this is much better than I expected!
Music's always a matter of taste so everyone has different expectations but based on the song "After the Fire" which I heard on a free rock magazine cover cd I looked forward to this.
All I can say is that after one listen, I wanted to put it back on again and have now listened 3x today so that's got to say something. Not a weak album at all. Some very good songwriting by Anders Rydholm including some ballads and rockier numbers. Very melodic throughout. An excellent debut solo cd.

Cloverfield [DVD]
Cloverfield [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lizzy Caplan
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £2.50

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely poor, 21 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Cloverfield [DVD] (DVD)
I couldn't believe how poor this film was. It was described as a horror and had been hyped with 5 stars on the cover. Well I thought it was comedic more than anything else with characters that weren't likeable, poor screenplay and awful story which didn't even explain how such an a funny looking alien came to be stumbling through New York in the first place. I couldn't wait to turn it off. If you want a decent film with aliens that is original, has a good story, characters, screenplay and a film with an added sense of humour buy "Starship Troopers" instead or for a straight "alien" horror film stick to the "Alien" franchise of films or "The Thing"! Cloverfield (where did they get that name from anyway) is car boot sale fodder I'm afraid.

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