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Slippy (Santa Clara, CA United States)

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Ingmar Bergman Giftset [Import]
Ingmar Bergman Giftset [Import]
DVD ~ Max von Sydow
6 used & new from CDN$ 59.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Great Movies....MGM sucks, Feb. 2 2004
I, along with many film buffs, could not preorder this item fast enough when news came out that several of Bergman's greatest films would be released in a SE box...along with Serpent's Egg. Many of us subsequently canceled those orders when it became apparent that MGM committed one of the greatest offenses to cinema: they cropped the images of two of the films. Hour of the Wolf and Shame were filmed and intended to be viewed in full-screen Acadamy aspect ration...not widescreen as the monkeys with scissors at MGM are offering us. They claim OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) on the box and subsequent press releases: this is a lie. Numerous scenes now have feet and heads cropped. Sven Nykvist, one of cinemas greatest cinematographer, is taking it to the jaw with this travesty of a set. Again, these are great films! Irresistable to the film buff...but, please, let's send a clear message to MGM: NO! don't mess with the magic.

Grateful Dead - The Closing Of Winterland (2DVD)
Grateful Dead - The Closing Of Winterland (2DVD)
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 66.60
10 used & new from CDN$ 33.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful set, but, Nov. 26 2003
First off, I'm not a deadhead so I'm not going to give you an analysis if why this is a great set, I just know that I enjoyed a vast majority of the songs on there.
Secondly, the sound is simply spectacular. Nice mix. Not over the top 5.1, but there are some nice effects and I enjoy how it opened up through the back. I only listened to the DTS so can't comment on the 2.0 or the regular 5.1.
Great special features, particularly the winterland documentary. well done. too bad the NRPS track is a compilation video rather than footage from the actual show, but as far as video go it was well done.
Why the loss of a star? Because they chose to cram this on 2 discs rather than boost the video quality over three. If you check out the bit-rate it is about half what movies are, particularly on the first disc. Picture quality improves somewhat in the third set. I know that they didn't have the greatest elements, that this was shot for low-resolution tv, but the digital noise that you see there, particularly in the darker shots would probably disappear for the most part if you raised the bit-rate. I know the music comes first, second and third, but the discrepency between the beautful soundtrack and the poor video was distracting. But I will say that the editing was very nice.
All-in-all, this is not only a great document, but a very enjoyable dvd and well worth the price of admission.

Three Brothers
Three Brothers
DVD ~ Francesco Rosi
Price: CDN$ 38.67
16 used & new from CDN$ 15.49

3.0 out of 5 stars good movie but...., Nov. 17 2003
This review is from: Three Brothers (DVD)
Hands down the worst transfer to dvd I've ever seen. If you know Italian you'll still have the subs on because the sound is totally messed up. Dialogue comes in ever so faintly through the front left speaker instead of the center (and all the speakers are providing hiss. 5.0 surround hiss sound. and the image appears to be transfered from a video source instead of original elements. Result: video burps and vibrating black bars. Ridiculous. Normally I fall back and say: hey, at least it's available at all...but in this case I won't. This is very unpleasant viewing experience.

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
DVD ~ Otis Redding
Price: CDN$ 67.99
26 used & new from CDN$ 60.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Far beyond my expectations, March 31 2003
I bought this mostly as a pop culture document: jimi going nuts during wild thing, footage of flower power--but what i got was so much more. Smoldering sound. I have DTS and this sounded unbelievable. Very pleased. The outtakes disc is a pleasure as well. Ravi Shankar's performance was a pleasant surprise.
Oh, and to a previous "reviewer": no, Pennebaker doesn't utilize "his" technique later used in Woodstock. To my knowledge he never placed multiple images on the screen as he had nothing to do with Woodstock (other than influence those filmmakers).
Yes, too bad about the Dead playing beyond the limitations of the camera crew and thus winding up on the cutting room floor. They still could have added the existant 10 minutes of footage as a suppliment, even if it ends abruptly.

Mulholland Drive (Sous-titres français) [Import]
Mulholland Drive (Sous-titres français) [Import]
DVD ~ Naomi Watts
Price: CDN$ 19.34
29 used & new from CDN$ 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars lynch, March 12 2003
good stuff. not great, but definitely good. No, I don't get it; kind of a Lost Highway kind of mind-blast.
No chapter stops and no director's commentary: those of you familiar with Lynch should know that this is how he likes his releases. He doesn't like people skipping about in his films and doesn't like to provide interpretation.

Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition) [Import]
Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition) [Import]
DVD ~ Brigitte Helm
Price: CDN$ 30.55
23 used & new from CDN$ 11.95

4.0 out of 5 stars fps...oops, Jan. 30 2003
Heard it's beautiful. But...unfortunately the folks at Kino decided to present the movie at 24 fps rather than the original 20 fps. 4% difference in length of film and the film will draw snickers during certain key sequneces. Why oh why did they do this? Speeding up the film. Kino toured the film at it's original 20 fps format at considerable inconvenience. Why they didn't just keep it faithful for the end product is beyond me. Keep it real!

No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars Major disappointment, Jan. 28 2003
Except for Helen Hunt and Fawcett's "stroll" I rate this as one of the worst films by a respected auture that I've ever seen. I love Altman, whether kansas city or cookie's fortune, short cuts or The Player...and of course gosford park is one of the best films ever made...but this tripe was such a waste of time. check out the self-satisfied smiles in the first hustle-bustle scene. Really a work of someone resting on their laurals.

Firemen's Ball (Full Screen) [Import]
Firemen's Ball (Full Screen) [Import]
DVD ~ Jan Vostrcil
Offered by torontomediadvd_com
Price: CDN$ 54.88
10 used & new from CDN$ 24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow., Dec 18 2002
How to get busted in a totalitarian regime: make a film like Firemen's Ball. Just watched that last night. Amazed. Brilliant transfer. May not be as poignant as Loves of a Blonde or his later works, but a rousing critique of the regime with some really funny scenes. But, again, that transfer amazed me. Hard to believe it's a 35 year old czech film. Highly recommended. Enjoyed Forman's comments on the film and the debacle that ensued. He was almost locked up for 10 years and was luckily helped out by none other than Francois Truffaut! Beautiful.

The Spy Who Loved Me (Special Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
The Spy Who Loved Me (Special Edition) (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Roger Moore
Offered by vidco
Price: CDN$ 6.64
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars And that's just for the gadgets, Oct. 29 2002
I can't believe there was a time when I loved all the Bond films without reservation. Now that they are being rereleased I started to purchase them...and now have stopped. Goldfinger is still briliant, but TSWLM is just vile. Barbara Bach as XXX is a babe, but one of the most vacuous performances on film. I used to slam on Denise ("I get to play a scientist") Richards in The World Is Not Enough, but compared to Bach she's Meryl Streep with a hot bod. Get a pulse. Roger Moore saunters through this venture in his classic English stoicism with just a bit too much of Al Gore's stiffness. Yes, the gadgets are good, but even they lent themselves to Austin Powers style farce. This flick is too campy for a good action film but not campy enough to be a camp classic. Sad to say, but the more recent Pierce Brosnan Bond flicks far surpass this '70's drivel.

Amadeus (2-Disc Special Edition / Director's Cut) (Sous-titres français)
Amadeus (2-Disc Special Edition / Director's Cut) (Sous-titres français)
DVD ~ F. Murray Abraham
Price: CDN$ 24.95
34 used & new from CDN$ 1.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Oct. 18 2002
I won't go into any explanation of why Amadeus is a great movie; it is, and if you're looking into this new version you are probably already aware of it. What I do want to touch on is the new "Director's Cut":
First off, the transfer is excellent. Deep blacks. Not too much color in this film except when we are in the emperor's court, the opera stage and the robes of the archbishop, but in those more lit scenes the colors are vibrant. This is not going to be like Fifth Element as far as sharpness, but it pleases the eye. But then, the original Amadeus had a fine transfer as well.
As for the extra scenes: they fit into the whole seemlessly. These are not scenes that were cut because they didn't contribute to the story; rather these were cut due for reasons of duration and to avoid an R rating (really, there's only Constanza's breasts that threatened to put Amadeus over the edge--our rating system is stupid). The story is better than ever, and the quality of the footage is in no way inferior to the rest of the film. Seemless cut.
5.1: nice sound. Not too much use of the rear channels outside of soundtrack (enough reason there!) and applause during performances, but this is certainly a treat nonetheless. the LFE .1 channel got some good use. During Don Giovanni the heavy footfalls of Wolfi's Don/Father come booming to life.
The documentary is one hour, not 37 minutes as stated on the amazon description. It is excellent!!! Did you know that Meg Tilly was to play Constanza? No footage of her screentest but there is pics of her in costume. Beautiful. Milos talking about returning to his homeland after becoming declared persona non grata is worth watching.
The commentary: I wasn't able to get more than 20 minutes into it. A shame that Milos couldn't be accompanied by Zaentz or Hulce or the best would be F. Murray Abraham (fat chance on that one), or any minor character or any of the dogs or even the cat from the first scene...anyone would have been better than Schaeffer. All he could say was "That's Right" or simply repeat the last few words of whatever Milos said. What a bore. But as bad as that may be I'd still pay twice the cost for this cut. BRILLIANT BRILLIANT!!!
The trailor: great to see how such a great movie can have such a stupid trailor.
And then there's the awards. The usual.
All in all, this dvd is fantastic. Fully deserving of it's 8 awards. A shame that Hulce didn't get more recognition. many contend that he overplayed his part, but it's his presence that saves it from being a depressing epic. This film really has it all.
Oh, and lest I forget: the music. Mozart. 'Nuff said.

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