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John Frame "There Is No Substitute For Equality" (Brisbane, Queensland Australia)

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Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (The Motion Picture Soundtrack) [DVD] [2007]
Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (The Motion Picture Soundtrack) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ David Bowie
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £10.42

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DA Pennebaker's definitive live film with stunning quality audio and very clear video, 12 Jan. 2016
Last night (11th January 2016) my brother Peter and I once again watched this DVD of the 1973 DA Pennebaker live concert film "Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture" - on a big screen, in glorious 5.1 surround sound and loud enough to shake the house. Bowie's set is drawn from all his albums to Aladdin Sane, and includes the heart breaking Jacques Brel "My Death" - a searing challenge to be as mindful of the joys in life as of the inevitability of death. He loved that several in the audience took the initiative to end that song so enthusiastically, affirming mutual devotion. This is a damned fine performance and film, which captures the full aura of stage, backstage and audience - and the unrepeatable fashions. There's also Mick Ronson's angst wrought guitar solos which allow David plenty of time for costume changes. Bassist Trevor Bolder and percussionist Woody Woodmansey are just as good of course, the essential core of a very tight and powerful rock band.

Years earlier I had bought the VHS tape of this film, and the quality of this DVD is infinitely superior in both video and audio. A "must see" event for any Bowie fan.

Wilde [Blu-ray]
Wilde [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Stephen Fry
Price: £17.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a "bare bones" Blu-ray release (no extras), but genuinely high definition video and audio, 31 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Wilde [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This 2015 "Altitude Film Distribution" debut Blu-ray release of the 1997 feature film "Wilde" is a bare-bones affair - offering just a menu with a scene selection option and subtitles for the hard of hearing, on a single layer 25Gb disc, However it is also a remarkable and very significant improvement in video and audio quality when compared to both the first DVD version (a 1999 PAL release from Universal, which was a 4:3 letterboxed single layer, Dolby stereo disc) and the second "special edition" DVD (a 2002 NTSC region 1 release from Sony, which was 16:9 letterboxed dual layer, Dolby stereo disc). The 1920x1080 50i AVC transfer is crisp and very clean - and there is a great deal of detail to fully justify the high definition release. The Blu-ray has LPCM stereo only - but this stereo is "Dolby Surround" encoded and produces a very effective surround soundscape when you tell your amplifier to process it using "Dolby Pro-Logic ll". The complete lack of extras on the Blu-ray is disappointing - and means that owners of the Universal and Sony DVD editions should hang on to them and store them with the Blu-ray. NB: the 2002 Sony NTSC DVD includes all the extras from the 1999 DVD, plus lots more material.

Cucumber / Banana [DVD] [2015]
Cucumber / Banana [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Vincent Franklin
Price: £12.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the highest quality DVD products I've seen - BAFTA winning production quality all round, 19 May 2015
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I've thoroughly enjoyed watching the DVD boxed set of the new Russell T Davies series of "Cucumber" and "Banana". Watching a few of them on Australia's SBS TV convinced me I needed to see these without the intrusion of advertisements - and there are other distinct advantages to the DVDs. However the strange thing is that even though these were filmed in High Definition - and justify all the benefits of that format, the production studio has decided against releasing a Blu-ray edition. So it's odd that a "made for TV" series which aired as 16:9 full-screen (1.78:1), is released on DVD letterboxed to display it's original cinema-style aspect of 2.39:1.

On Blu-ray you'd get the benefit of the extra visual information with no loss of detail - it would have looked perfect. Sadly the five times lower available pixels and similarly reduced sample rate of DVD does allow visible and slightly distracting distortion - not terrible enough to ruin the experience, but on Blu-ray you wouldn't even see a hint of it. Of course size isn't everything - quality and content are what matter most. The scripts, acting, direction, editing and set designs of Banana and Cucumber are all of BAFTA Award winning class. It's a must own for any person who even liked the series - and I loved them.

The bonus material with the boxed set is excellent (interviews, behind the scenes etc), the subtitle option certainly came in handy for a few scenes where I simply could not understand what was being said, and this is all-round definitely one of the highest quality DVD products I've seen (NB: the limitations of DVD are more apparent in the extras than the actual program material). It would have looked better on Blu-ray, but since that's not being offered as an option, I highly recommend this DVD boxed set.

The Truth About Climate Change [DVD]
The Truth About Climate Change [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Attenborough
Offered by preownedcdsdvdsgames
Price: £7.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a 5 star production in terms of accuracy as well as presentation, editing, camera work and audio, 17 July 2014
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"The Truth About Climate Change" is without a doubt a 5 star production in terms of accuracy as well as presentation, editing, camera work and audio. Beautiful and passionate delivery reinforces the absolute integrity of this information. Today - 17th July 2014 - my heart shrank with disappointment and acute embarrassment over the complete disregard for the planet and future generations of humans which has been so callously demonstrated by my home nation Australia's ultra-conservative Liberal/National Party government, when they scrapped the previous Labor government's Carbon Pricing legislation. Australia - one of the world's highest per capita producers of carbon emissions - has now declared that they won't do anything to reduce carbon emissions until virtually all of the rest of the world has done so. Soon after the start of part 2 "Can We Save Planet Earth" David Attenborough states that the scientific truth is that "the impact of Global Warming will be somewhere between severe and catastrophic." We are later told that the technology exists for a solution to leveling out carbon emissions within our current generation "if we develop the collective will to implement it". Sadly Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his MPs and all who voted for him, are willing to settle for a severe outcome for their children and all future generations, and they are happy to risk that future being utterly catastrophic. This film needs to be widely viewed and fully appreciated.

Lord Of Illusions [Blu-ray]
Lord Of Illusions [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Scott Bakula
Price: £9.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a single Blu-ray disc of the 109 minute "theatrical release", with very good quality but no DVD., 3 Mar. 2014
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Buyers ought to be aware that the information on the packaging for this Blu-ray contains a lot of errors, and that (according to IMDB.com) there have been three different runtime versions of this film. They list 109 minute for the theatrical release, 119 minutes for a "director's cut" and also a 121 minute "unrated director's cut". On the back cover of the 1998 "Unrated Director's Cut" (MGM, Region 1, 24fps prog scan, 121 minutes), the first item listed under "Special Features" is: <"Contains footage not seen in theatres or as part of the "Director's Cut">

This Blu-ray is definitely the 109 minute "theatrical release" - and it is not likely to be the "definitive" high definition version for long. On 14th February 2014 Clive Barker made the following announcement on his Facebook page (which was later confirmed by USA distributor Scream Factory who anticipate a mid-2014 release of a definitive collectors edition): "The other movie of mine that Shout is preparing a definitive new edition of (I've just seen the art-work for the DVD. It's superb ) is indeed LORD OF ILLUSIONS, as many of you have already guessed. The edition will have both cuts of the film, interviews, analysis, a profile of D'Amour traced through all his literary and cinematic journeys and Nix knows what else...It's going to be a whole new vision of D'Amour's world, all the way up to, and including, THE SCARLET GOSPELS. My love to you all, Clive Barker"

I own the 121 minute 1998 "unrated director's cut" DVD so I've been able to compare it to the Blu-ray edition and make a confident positive recommendation for the quality of the Blu-ray. The 101 Films Blu-ray is brighter and has significantly greater detail - however after closely comparing the two in "A-B" fashion on my PC, I'm suspecting that the darkness of the DVD was might have been an intended element of the style of the film - and that the brightness of the Blu-ray edition might be due to the clever new high definition transfer technology (Clive Barker would know).

The Blu-ray is AVC encoded 1920x1080 24p, letterboxed slightly to the original film aspect of 1.85:1 and with 48kHz 16 bit PCM stereo audio - whereas the 1998 "Unrated Director's Cut" edition is 720x480 24p anamorphic 1.77:1 (no letterboxing) with a choice of three audio tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround for the isolated music track, and Dolby Digital 1.0 for Clive Barker's commentary.

I was surprised that there was only the Blu-ray disc, in a single disc case, even though the cover states that it ought to contain a second disc - the "Director's Cut DVD". Amazon UK lists a "101 Films" DVD version as a separate item. The Blu-ray cover also claims that the film is just 87 minutes (when it's really 109) and that it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, when the only soundtrack is PCM stereo (only).

I will be hanging on to my 1998 "Unrated Director's Cut" NTSC anamorphic widescreen DVD for all the extras that you do not get with this Blu-ray - the three above-mentioned audio options, an 8 page booklet, 32 chapters (about 4 times as many as the Blu-ray) and for the 12 minutes of extra material which does significantly contribute to the story.

If you loved the experience of Lord Of Illusions in the cinema, then you will love this 2014 101 Films Blu-ray edition. If you want all the extras though, you will have to buy the "unrated director's cut" edition DVD - or wait till mid-2014 and see what the "Scream Factory" USA collectors edition Blu-ray has to offer.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 11, 2014 12:57 PM BST

Handling Edna: The Unauthorised Biography
Handling Edna: The Unauthorised Biography
by Barry Humphries
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars Barry allows us to see Edna's world unfiltered (something she is incapable of). Delightfully entertaining., 1 Mar. 2014
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I'm loving listening to the audiobook by Barry Humphries of his revelatory 2009 unauthorised biography "Handling Edna". Always entertaining, and very often hilarious - but all beautiful spoken as both Barry and Edna. Barry Humphries, as personal manager and co-star of Dame Edna Everage, shares his intimate perspective of the housewife gigastar - and allows us to see her world unfiltered (something Edna is incapable of). Edna saw the world through heavily framed heterocentric glasses: "Fancy a woman wanting to play "Doctors And Nurses" with another woman!" - and one of the many moments I like this book (the audiobook in particular) is when Barry tells us how a blinkered Edna moved in a decidedly gay world.

A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman 3D (Blu-ray 3D + Blu Ray)
A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman 3D (Blu-ray 3D + Blu Ray)
Dvd ~ Graham Chapman
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely the best bona fide 3D artwork throughout, highly entertaining, 12 Jan. 2014
Graham Chapman sensibly recorded for posterity the audiobook version of his autobiography - in which he quoted lots of lines originally spoken by his fellow Pythons. The makers of this animated feature have enhanced Graham's story by employing the voice acting talents of those other Pythons to read their own quoted lines - and they do so brilliantly. No one is more qualified to play Graham Chapman than himself and he does not hold back from revealing the intense and at times shocking truth of his life. The stunning state-of-the-art 3D visuals were created by various teams of graphic artists as a labour of true love - and they proudly showcase what is wonderful about 3D, as much as they celebrate what is wonderful and unique about Graham Chapman. I have never witnessed a more intensely engaging biography - and the fact that it is a "no holds barred" autobiography is an added bonus. We are truly blessed that Graham existed in the first place and that these passionate talented film makers have so lovingly presented his story to us.

On The Beach [DVD]
On The Beach [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gregory Peck
Price: £5.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars annoying inferior 4:3 letterbox format - not 16:9 as Amazon described, 12 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: On The Beach [DVD] (DVD)
I was very disappointed to find that this 2004 MGM edition DVD was not 16:9 widescreen as claimed in Amazon's product description, but rather the inferior 4:3 letterboxed format (which offers about half the resolution of a true 16:9 widescreen format). There is no way that I can get my Samsung TV to properly display 4:3 letterboxed DVDs (i.e. make the film content use the maximum screen space in the proper proportions). So that's why this is a 3 star DVD for me instead of 5. At least it's a dual layer (DVD-9) disc - some small compensation. It is also annoying that because this is a mono soundtrack they only provide audio to the centre speaker - as a prime example of how to present a mono soundtrack to best effect I cite the superb DVD of "A Night To Remember" - which used "3.0 mono" (feeding the same signal to left, centre and right speakers). It wouldn't only be us Australians who cringe at the excessive use of the song and music of "Waltzing Matilda" in this film - providing many with a very good reason for the human race to come to an end, but it does not ruin the film or diminish the drama and relevance of its message.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2015 12:07 PM BST

Dune - Real 3D Blu_Ray Edition (Cinema Edition)
Dune - Real 3D Blu_Ray Edition (Cinema Edition)
Dvd ~ Francesca Annis
Offered by adabola1
Price: £12.90

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Phony cheap 3D trick effect is not worth putting on glasses for, 11 Jan. 2014
I really love the movie - but the German made Blu-ray 3D version of David Lynch's "Dune" was disappointing in that their "3D" treatment consisted of merely applying a constant trick effect to make the middle half of the screen appear to curve backwards (on a vertical plane). It's no better than the trick any 3D TV can apply in order to make 2D images appear kind of 3D-ish. You'd get the same effect by projecting any 2D movie onto a screen which had been bent back slightly in the middle - and it is the lamest excuse for 3D I've ever witnessed. It reminds of the time before colour TV was available in Australia, when my uncle bought a product that was supposed to turn your black and white TV into "colour" - and it was a translucent sheet of lightly coloured film which had three horizontal bands of colour - blue for the top third, brown for the middle and green for the bottom third (which worked as well as you'd expect).

It is entirely possible to do truly astounding and impressive post-production 3D rendering of movies which were originally filmed in 2D - however that requires a combination of highly skilled artist/technicians and very large amounts of money (the 75th anniversary 3D edition of "The Wizard Of Oz" is a prime example of how that is achieved). This "3D" edition of Dune is simply not worth the bother of putting glasses on for - because it offers no visual advantage whatsoever over the 2D editions which we have on Blu-ray and HD-DVD.

25 Live [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
25 Live [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Morrissey
Price: £16.37

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars big performance, huge concert sound, articulate camera work and editing, 26 Aug. 2013
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I was privileged to be among the 20 or so true few at the only Brisbane screening of "Morrissey 25:Live". Anyone else who was also at the December 2012 show at the Brisbane Convention Centre would know that they will love this - having the best seat for all angles of the band, stage and house, with perfect huge concert sound, intensely detailed and articulate camera work and award winning editing. We get up close and personal with Morrissey and his band - and feel welcomed to join in with his enthusiastic diehard fans (of all ages, genders, and cultures).

In the closing credits a punter predicts that in 20 years time people will say "I saw Morrissey" with the same intense reverence as those who can say that they saw Elvis Presley. The trailer doesn't do the film justice really - but the big screen certainly did (the quality of this film is superb). I was happy to order the Blu-ray before seeing the film, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again, along with all the extras - which are: "Studio In Session: (1) The Kid's A Looker (2) Scandinavia (3) Action Is My Middle Name (4) People Are The Same Everywhere / Behind The Scenes At Hollywood High / Grissle Bandage Present Lord Mudslide"

My sincere praise and gratitude to all the artisans and producers involved in realising such a state of the art recording of the phenomenon which is Morrissey. There's a highly emotional moment in the encore worth the shedding of tears.

BTW: The initial June 2013 word on this film was that it was recorded in 3D, and was likely to be screened in 3D at some iMax cinemas - but there's been no mention of a 3D release since then. The 2D version is perfect, but if a Blu-ray 3D edition ever happened to be released I'd still buy it - however I could easily believe that an executive decision may have been made that the 2D version was superior anyway.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2013 11:42 AM BST

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