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Buzz Pliskin (London)

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The John Wayne Ultimate Collection [DVD]
The John Wayne Ultimate Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Wayne

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WARNING Great Films damaged by poor packaging design, 2 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, if you are looking at this boxset then I imagine you are already a John Wayne Fan; you will not be disappointed by the set, it's superb.... BUT!

A very brief review of the contents:
The DVD transfers are very good indeed and the special editions included (Mclintock! and Hondo) are un-edited; earlier releases of Mclintock had a huge 20 mins of footage cut unbelievably. El Dorado is also uncut, including in this release is the infamous James Caan flowerpot, Chinese impression which has been missing from some previous releases. This is a must have boxset for all John Wayne fans or lovers of classic Hollywood films when life was simpler and less cynical.

The problem:
The physical slip case is so flimsy that mine arrived crushed like a pancake, not helped by the fact Amazon sent it in a Jiffy bag rather than a box! Secondly the actual design of the foldout inner sleeve means the DVDs are tucked into D cuts in the card rather than on sprockets so they slip out if the box is turned upside down. Inevitably the box being upside down happens in the post resulting in all the DVD coming loose and rattling around in the box. Some of the DVDs had slipped around so much in transit that the scratches on them rendered the DVDs unplayable which is a huge disappointment. I have reluctantly returned the box set and would advise buying one in person if at all possible to ensure everything is as should be.

Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray] [1959] [US Import]
Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray] [1959] [US Import]
Offered by Newtownvideo_EU
Price: £10.52

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ford and Wayne ride again!, 26 Jun. 2011
The Horse Soldiers represents the 11th outing of John Ford and John Wayne. Having created the seminal Westerns Stagecoach, buy the Criterion Blu Ray it's wonderful, and The Searchers some of the other collaborations are a little below par, unsurprising when we have the aforementioned films as benchmarks!
The Horse Soldiers sits comfortably in the upper bracket without ever really reaching the heights of it's predecessors to call it an out and out classic. The story is fast paced and laced with a good dose of underlying humour, most through Constance Towers (slightly miss cast in the role IMO), " Care for some more leg or breast? as she leans over the table with the lowest cut top. Wayne replies "No thank you mam, I've had quite enough". It's a solid Wayne Western.
Onto the Blu ray itself: The colours are vibrant but unfortunately that is where the Blu ray transfer seems to stop. The picture quality is no better than the DVD with the exception of 40% of the close-up scenes which suddenly burst into life and looks great. It is a travesty given the importance of these films and how good transfers can be. If you compare this to How the West was Won, another Ford and Wayne collaboration, albeit John Wayne is only in it for a few minutes, you will see the difference. The Cinerama version of How the West was Won is truly breathtaking and a wonderful transfer. The Horse Soldier alas has been give a cheap update; the film deserves better.
Having said all of the above this version is the best currently available so it's better than not having it at all. We can only hope that maybe a special edition, similar to The Comanchero's digibook a must buy!, may be released in the future. If you can look past the average quality mixed with nice hi def scenes its' an enjoyable film and one which deserves more credit out of the Ford/Wayne collaborations.
4 stars for the film, 3 stars for the transfer


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the Class Old School, 30 April 2011
This review is from: Whodini (Audio CD)
One word.. wow! I have owned this on vinyl since 83 and was one of the reasons for buying a USB turntable so I could convert all my old school rap. This expanded release is well and truly overdue.

Whodini are one of the landmark outfits that represented the emergence from 70s funk into Hip Hop / Rap along with Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, T La Rock etc. Crisp drum machine beats and insanely catchy arpeggio synth lines, thanks to the help of Thomas Dolby: Aliens ate my Buick is def worth a listen for the George Clinton involvement, the whole album is as tight and clean as they come. The musical elements of the tracks are exactly that... music, or should I say funk, there are no samples here! this is original stuff with some superb funk baselines, check out Mr. Magic's Wand, with tinges of Zapp and The Gap Band.

Seminal tracks such as Haunted House of Rock, Nasty Lady, Mr Magic's Wand all appear here, with extended versions of the singles too. Packaged in a card sleeve replica of the original LP, including the dust sheet, this is a nostalgia trip which surely doesn't disappoint. Heavily sampled by the current generation of Hip Hop / Rap artists it's great to hear where it started. For anyone who vaguely remembers 80s Hip Hop this is a must buy, for those who are into Hip Hop/ Rap should give this a listen to hear where it started.

Tarzans Hidden Jungle [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tarzans Hidden Jungle [DVD] [1943] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price: £13.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Scott's less than "magnificent" debut..., 13 Jan. 2011
After the legendary Weissmuller series of Tarzan films and the competent outings by Lex Barker, ignoring the mis-fires along the way, it was time for a new Tarzan... In stepped Gordon Scott; all 6'3" of him! In this first outing in the role he adopts the monosyllabic take on Tarzan, made famous by Weissmuller, and does an admiral job. He looked the part and moved well but, at this stage, his acting was almost as wooden as the trees in the jungle! Scott would later go on to make what many consider to be 2 of the finest Tarzan films of all, so there was redemption after this shaky start. The flimsy plot and daft script keep this adventure safely in the second division of Tarzan films, although it is not without merit. The film deserves a solid 3 stars as it is well filmed with thoughtfully edited in stock footage. The warner archives CD-R is taken from a very good print and I cannot imagine the film ever looking better. Worth adding to your Tarzan collection but not one of the series highlights.

Bela Lugosi Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Bela Lugosi Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price: £16.79

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have collection of Lugosi's work, 28 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There seems to be some confusion on the reviews of this superb box set. I have recently purchased it from Amazon and can confirm it includes: murders in the rue morgue, the black cat, the raven, The invisible ray and Black Friday so am unsure which box set other reviewers are referring to!

With the exception of Dracula and White Zombie the films contained in this collection, in my opinion, represent the high points of Lugosi's career. Unlike many cheaper Lugosi box sets available on Amazon this is a quality affair. The pictures are crisp and well defined with deep blacks, not light grey, whilst the audio tracks are clear and not drowned out by the 'hiss' or distortion often found on cheaper releases.

If you are a Lugosi fan and have bought, and been disappointed by cheaper box sets, this is the one that stands out from the crowd. A must buy!

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
by Gregory W. Mank
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £45.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and illustrated, 28 Dec. 2010
A superbly illustrated book containing many rare photographs focusing on the infamous rivalry between two of universals major players of the 1930s, the birth of the Horror genre and the people who made it happen. A bittersweet tale of how bad decisions and serendipity lead to the ascension of Boris Karloff as a top billing moviestar and relegated Bela Lugosi to the 2nd tier of moviedom, (Something of a iniquity in my opinion when you watch Lugosi's performances in The Black Cat and Rue Morgue for instance).

The writing style is light and informal which makes for a very easy and enjoyable read. Chapters cover specific topics meaning you can dip in and out as you please. The focus lies on the films of the two stars so Karloff and Lugosi's lives are dealt with in broader strokes but this does not detract from the validity of the book, this is the book to have on either stars film career. Buy it and enjoy the stories surrounding their major triumphs and failures, the films they made together and the names associated with them from James Whale, Tod Browning to Carl Laemmle Jr and Snr. An essential addition to any Horror fan's library but I would suggest separate books on each star for those searching for biographies of their personal lives.

For All Mankind [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]
For All Mankind [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Jim Lovell

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone interested in NASA and Space Exploration, 30 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Over the years I have watched and owned many of the various DVD, and now all the Blu Ray, releases of documentaries on Space Exploration and this really is a phenomenal docu/film. As has been stated by other Amazon buyers, the NASA's Greatest Missions boxset on Blu Ray is a superb record of NASA's achievements but, apart from some of the shuttle footage, it doesn't really benefit from the Blu Ray format: For All Mankind is a totally different story! The quality is truly breathtaking. Having wanted the Criterion region A version since release I was thrilled to see the same version being released in the UK by Masters of Cinema. The film footage has been scanned from the, unfrozen, original NASA film archives with eye-popping clarity. This coupled with the candid interview dialogue track from 20 of the 24 Apollo Astronauts has created a cinematic tour de force. If you are at all interested in Space Exploration this is by far the most accessible and visually stunning of any Blu Ray or DVD release you can buy on the subject.

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive - Black
Western Digital My Passport Essential 500GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive - Black

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment, 28 Nov. 2009
As with most of the reviews here it's the same problem... the connection. I bought the WD 500GB portable as I am always on the go and needing to carry large amounts of data with me so this seemed the perfect answer.

On plugging in the micro USB fits snugly with no looseness but for some unknown reason even the slightest movement seems to disconnect it! I am not talking about big brash movements here, examples: Sitting with my laptop on my lap typing away with the hard drive attached sitting next to me. I lean to pick up a pen, disconnected, I answer my mobile, disconnected, I sneeze, and not a violent one at that, disconnected!

How is it possible for a large manufacturer to make something so delicate? Short of welding it to your actual laptop, defeating the object of a portable drive, it is just too volatile for even static home use let alone trains, planes or anywhere else it would actually be useful.

The Godfather Coppola Restoration [Blu-ray]  [1972] [Region Free]
The Godfather Coppola Restoration [Blu-ray] [1972] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Marlon Brando
Price: £14.00

25 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Restoration... what restoration?, 11 Jan. 2009
I have owned most Godfather boxsets over the years and every time I am disappointed on the quality of the transfers. They keep redesigning the packaging and making it more appealing, but the transfer quality never seems to improve. I bought this thinking finally the transfer would be superb... it is not. If you already own this on DVD you only gain marginally by buying it on Blu ray. I cannot believe this is how bad the actual original film quality is, although many sources state this is so. I can only hope that one day Criterion or Eureka manage to get hold of them and do what is sorely needed. 5/5 for cinema 1/5 quality.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2010 9:12 PM GMT

Price: £7.44

5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal return to the music scene, 16 Nov. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hurricane (Audio CD)
What can be said? Grace Jones always has been an individual in a sea of normality. This album, like the track 'Hurricane' pretty much blows everything away. Retaining the reggae beats, care of Sly & Dunbar, but with a much harder edge tracks such as 'Corporate Cannibal' are like a rhythmic sledge hammer through a plate glass window. There aren't any hugely strong songs here but if you are a fan of Grace Jones and her individual style then this was worth the long wait.

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