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Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada)
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Complete Atco Singles
Complete Atco Singles
Price: CDN$ 20.71
26 used & new from CDN$ 13.04

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanilla Fudge: Complete Atco Singles: Most complete comprehensive coverage of singles output by Vanilla Fudge; Great sound!, May 23 2014
This review is from: Complete Atco Singles (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

Vanilla Fudge is a psychedelic rock band formed in New York, originally consisting of Mark Stein (vocals, keyboards), Vinnie Martell (guitar), Tim Bogert (bass) and Carmina Appice (drums). Both Bogert and Appice also played with Jeff Beck, and Rod Stewart’s backing vocals. Vanilla Fudge recorded five albums during the years 1966–69, before disbanding in 1970. The band has reunited in various configurations over the years, and is currently operating with three of the four original members, Mark Stein, Vince Martell, and Carmine Appice with Pete Bremy on bass for Tim Bogert who has retired from touring.

CONTENT:

This CD was released by Real Gone Music, which I consider one of the best reissue labels from UK for compilation releases, and interestingly manufactured by Rhino Custom Products. There are 19 songs. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a track listing, I have compiled a detailed song listing (including singles label & number, chart position, year, plus personal comments), which is as follows:

01 You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Atco 6495, 67/1967)(Atco 6590, 6/1968)*their biggest hit; charted twice; original version over 7 minutes long; edited by Arif Mardin (remember his magic with the Bee Gees in Jive Talking?
02 Take Me For A Little While (Atco 6495, b-side, 1967)(Atco 6616, 38/1968)*b-side in 1967; then charted as a-side in 1968.
03 Where Is My Mind (Atco 6554, 73/1968)
04 The Look Of Love (Atco 6554, b-side, 1968)*lead vocal by Mark Stein, who is a great Dusty Springfield fan
05 Come By Day, Come By Night (Atco 6590, b-side, 1968)
06 Thoughts (Atco 6616, b-side, 1968)
07 Season Of The Witch, Part 1 (Atco 6632, 65/1968)*lead vocal by Vinny Martell; but it was Mark Stein who brought Donovan Leitch’s song to the table; one of the coolest live performance was at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just before Jimi Hendrix Experience, with pots filling the air.
08 Season Of The Witch, Part 2 (Atco 6632, b-side, 1968)
09 Shotgun (Atco 6655, 68/1969)
10 Good Good Lovin’ (Atco 6655, b-side, 1969)*you hear what was to become the sound of Deep Purple in the 70s.
11 Some Velvet Morning (Atco 6679, 103/1969)*written by Lee Hazelwood; first American artists to win the coveted Golden Gondola award in Venice, Italy back in 1969 as they performed it live at the international Music Festival in front of 40 million TV viewers worldwide!
12 People (Atco 6679, b-side, 1969)
13 Need Love (Atco 6703, 111/1969)
14 I Can’t Make It Alone (Atco 6703, b-side, 1969)
15 Lord In The Country (Atco 6728, uncharted, 1970)*inspired by the huge gospel hit Oh Happy Day.
16 The Windmills Of Your Mind (Atco 6728, b-side, 1970)*great lead vocal by Mark Stein; an ethereal masterpiece that embodies the “never-ending spiral…a wheel within a wheel” feeling.
17 Mystery (Atco 8-99729, uncharted, 1984)*a single culled from early 1980s reunion LP of the same title, with a haunting, melodic entry inspired by the sounds of Phil Collins and Sting.
18 The Stranger (Atco 8-99729, b-side, 1984)
Bonus track:
19 Some Velvet Morning (DJ promo edit)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 This is truly a “Complete” singles collection, containing the entire singles career of Vanilla Fudge on Atco label, a and b-sides, charted and uncharted, arranged chronologically. This is the way that Singles Collection compilation should be done. Great job!
2 The songs are the original mono 45 rpm single versions, not album cuts. Truly precious! Beach Boys, are you listening?
3 The sound, as per the high remastered standard at Real Gone Music, is first class, with great vibrancy and crisp vocals, plus great bass with no hiss. No re-recorded versions.
4 The 12-page booklet contains track annotation for every song by members of Vanilla Fudge. A lot of great trivia and insight is learned here. The label & no, plus chart positions, are listed.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 The price is a little expensive, cheaper with sellers. I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk for £8.21. But with the declining Canadian $, plus shipping cost, I have to rethink my purchase strategy of future UK releases.
2 Usually with Real Gone Music booklet, there are many 45 rpm single label & picture sleeves and album covers. None here.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is the definitive most complete coverage of the singles output of Vanilla Fudge, simply besting the previous Rhino release: Psychedelic Sundae: The Best Of Vanilla Fudge (1993) with 18 songs. But the latter has a few album tracks. The sound here is truly top-notched, clean, vibrant with great bass. The songs in this CD have become my new reference standard. Vanilla Fudge has been cited as "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal". If you listen carefully to this album, you will agree with the above statement. Now listening to a clean vibrant You Keep Me Hangin’ On really brings back many happy memories of days gone by…I was in university for my bachelor degree studying really hard, trying to get into medicine at University of Toronto. What nostalgia! If you are a Vanilla Fudge fan, this set is a no-brainer. But this CD is also recommended for all music lovers.

Pompeii [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Pompeii [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kit Harington
Price: CDN$ 24.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 16.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pompeii 3D (blu-ray): Beware! Both 3D & 2D in one single BD-50 disc! Fortunately, both video & especially audio are great!, May 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In buying 3D blu-ray movies, one has to be careful. Sometimes, it only comes with 3D blu-ray, with no 2D blu-ray. It is wise to read the top of the front cover carefully. In the past, 3D and 2D are housed in their separate BD-50 discs. Now with the latest releases by Entertainment One: I Frankenstein, The Legend Of Hercules and Pompeii, on the top of the front cover is clearly stated 3D blu-ray + blu-ray. To my surprise, both 3D and 2D are in ONE single disc!!! No wonder the price is relatively a little cheaper (about $20 vs $29).
I hope this is not a new trend, compressing two movies into one disc! If you have 3D blu-ray player & TV, a menu will show up allowing you to choose 3D vs 2D. But if you do not have 3D TV, this menu will not show up. It is automatic default to 2D.

VIDEO (3D):

Pompeii 3D erupts onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. Shot natively in 3D using the Red Epic digital system, the presentation shows excellent, natural-looking separation between objects that penetrate deep into the screen, Mount Vesuvius and random buildings are always shot with a sense of distance and depth while sweeping camera moves of the city and coliseum create an awesome feel of vastness and space. Expected gimmick shots are also employed, though they are thankfully reserved for the second half when scorching billows of smoke rush towards viewers and fireballs come crashing down. This is a very good, very enjoyable 3D presentation from Entertainment One. (4.5/5)

VIDEO (2D):

Pompeii 2D arrives onto blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. All the good qualities described above are present, except in some scenes when compared to 3D, the picture definitely looks more flat. The sense of separation and depth is not as pronounced as the 3D version. (4/5)

AUDIO:

Pompeii explodes onto blu-ray with a fully immersive, engaging, loud, and fun DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This represents the quintessential disaster film soundtrack, putting everything in perfect working order, balance, and volume. The track is certainly defined by the deadly assault of the final act where sonic mayhem surrounds the listener. Everything from explosions to collapsing structures dominates the experience and hurtles the listener into the chaos. It is full and rich and very well detailed for such a calamitous event. (5/5)

MOVIE:

Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator, who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love (Emily Browning). As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena as the once magnificent city crumbles around him. The result in this disaster flick is death, carnage, and pandemonium. The last forty-minutes of flying fireballs, a massive tidal wave, and a gush of scorching ash come alive with larger-than-life, grandiose spectacles of destruction and mayhem. The acting and plots take second fiddle to the grandiose mayhem. (4/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I hope that this is not a new trend – to put both 3D and 2D blu-ray on ONE disc. For high definition movies, this is not acceptable. I wonder if the quality would have further improved if they were on separately discs, and not compressed together. The last forty minutes of destructive mayhem is truly spectacular, grandiose and epic in scale and truly breathtaking on my 12 foot wide screen with anamorphic lens. This segment is demo worthy. If you have a 3D TV, the 3D version is definitely preferred. Entertainment One recently releases 3 movies at the same time: Pompeii 3D, I Frankenstein 3D and The Legend of Hercules 3D (my reviews elsewhere). Pompeii is the one that I enjoyed the most, and is highly recommended.

47 Ronin [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet]
47 Ronin [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet]
DVD ~ Keanu Reeves
Price: CDN$ 29.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 Ronin 3D (blu-ray): Great video especially 3D, dynamic audio; spectacular scenes, but poor editing., May 22 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
VIDEO (3D):

47 Ronin 3D arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The picture was filmed in native 3D. The stereo digital intermediate was produced by Cameron/Place Group and Stereographer John Harper. The spectacular imagery perfectly presents Director Carl Rinsch’s and Cinematographer John Mathieson’s natural, though dusty earthy palette of a time long ago in Japan. The colour palette is warm and richly hued, with strong primaries that boldly accent the picture. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks. Resolution is effectively detailed, with finely resolved textures, exhibited in structures, weapons, clothing, and human features. This 3D native capture provides a naturally, non-exaggerated sense of spatial dimensionality and depth that enhances the realism. (4.5/5)

VIDEO (2D):

47 Ronin 2D arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The good qualities described above are present, except the presentation is flat when compared to the 3D version. (4/5)

AUDIO:

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is dynamic with bold, deep bass. The soundfield is actively engaged throughout, with an aggressive surround presence that defines epic soundscapes. The orchestral music score, punctuated by Japanese Taiko percussion instruments, is expansive and enveloping. Dialogue remains clear. This is an exciting and sensitive sonic experience that perfectly supports both nuanced quiet moments and the gripping action scenes. (5/5)

MOVIE:

47 Ronin is based on an epic story of inspiring courage in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honour. This band of ronin must seek help from Kai (Keanu Reeves) – an enslaved half-breed they once rejected – in their ultimate fight for redemption. The potential for greatness in this Japanese epic is there, but somehow the editing is loose and it seems that many parts are missing. Maybe a Final Director Cut is in the future. (4/5)

PACKAGING:

Unlike Entertainment One’s recent releases of The Legend of Hercules 3D, I Frankenstein 3D, and Pompeii 3D when the 3D and 2D are compressed into one single disc, here Universal puts 3D and 2D in separate BD-50 discs with the Special Features in the 2D disc. There is also a DVD with Digital Copy. The discs and code are placed in a three-disc blue Elite keepcase with a hinged arm disc holder. A cardboard slipcase is included, the cover of which has a 3D lenticular cover. Well done.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

47 Ronin is a above-averaged epic on Japanese samurai. The cinematography of the fighting scenes is quite spectacular on my 12 foot wide screen using anamorphic lens. If you have a 3D TV, the 3D version is preferred. This set is recommended.

Out-A Space - The Spotnicks In London
Out-A Space - The Spotnicks In London
Price: CDN$ 15.19
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spotnicks: Out-A Space The Spotnicks In London: Rare Spotnicks’ first album with budget price and good sound!, May 22 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

The Spotnicks is an instrumental rock group from Sweden, who were formed in 1961. Together with The Shadows and the Ventures they are counted as one of the most famous instrumental bands during the 1960s. They were famous for wearing "space suit" costumes on stage, and for their innovative electronic guitar sound. They have since released 42 albums, selling more than 18 million records, and still tour. Their biggest hits included Orange Blossom Special, Rocket Man, and Hava Nagila. The name to "The Spotnicks", a play on the Russian satellite Sputnik, was suggested by their manager, Roland Ferneborg.

CONTENT:

Out-A Space: The Spotnicks In London was Spotnicks’ first album, first released in Sweden on Karussell KALP 1012 in 1962, then in UK on Oriole PS 40036 in 1963, their only charted album in UK, reaching #20 in 1963. Since Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing, I have compiled a detailed song listing (with the singles chart position and year), which is as follows:

01 Orange Blossom Special (single: Oriole CB 1724, UK 29/1962)
02 Happy Henrik’s Polka (b-side to Telstar, Ariola 454, 1962)
03 Ol’ Man River (b-side to My Old Kentucky Home in Sweden, 1962)
04 Nightcap
05 The Spotnick’s Theme (b-side to Orange Blossom Special, 1962)
06 High-Flying Scotsman (b-side to The Rocket Man, 1962)
07 Moonshot (single: Ariola, 1964)
08 The Rocket Man (single: Oriole CB 1755, UK 38/1962)
09 Dark Eyes (b-side to Johnny Guitar, 1962)
10 My Old Kentucky Home (single: Oriole CB 1784, uncharted, 1962)
11 No Yaga Daga Blues
12 Thundernest
13 Amapola (single: Karussell KFF 498, 1963)
14 I’m Going Home (To See My Baby)(b-side to Amapola in Sweden, 1963)

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 Unlike Ventures and Shadows where their CDs are readily available, Spotnicks albums are much harder to come by and most of the time also very expensive. I am so glad to find Hallmark Records, a budget reissue label famous for releases of individual albums of famous artists, has decided to release this first Spotnicks album.
2 The price is also budget price. Rare for Spotnicks albums on CDs.
3 The sound is surprisingly good with no hiss.
4 There are many Spotnicks CDs out there with re-recorded versions, especially the Greatest Hits or Best Of CDs. Sometimes, you only find out after you have purchased these CDs. Here, all the songs are original versions. Many songs, as indicated above, are charted singles or b-sides.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 The 4 page booklet is forgetful. Fortunately, the original album cover was featured on the front cover.
2 There are no essay and no chart positions. It is forgivable for a budget release.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It is indeed a rare treat to have Spotnicks’ first album on CD at a budget price with good sound. Their catalogue releases are totally neglected, and when some of their albums are available, they are usually very expensive. I have to warn all of you that when you are buying their Greatest Hits, for some of unknown reasons, many of them are NOT original versions, but re-recorded versions. Another way to get original Spotnicks singles is to purchase the British Hit Parade series, when all the charted songs on UK chart, a and b-sides, are featured. If you are an instrumental fan, this budget rare release is highly recommended.

The Amy Records Story 1960 - 1962
The Amy Records Story 1960 - 1962
Price: CDN$ 16.38
20 used & new from CDN$ 3.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riders In The Sky: Amy Records Story: 50 songs with many charted hits plus rare gems; good sound; cheap price through sellers!, May 20 2014
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INTRODUCTION:

The Amy and Mala record labels were formed in 1960 as Bell subsidiaries by co-owner Al Massler who, with Arthur Shimkin, had founded the parent label eight years earlier. But while Bell was to offer versions of the hits of the day to the teenage audience at pocket-money prices (and make a success of it), Amy was to release original songs by a selection of artists, like the Ramrods, Jerry Landis & Tico & The Triumphs (later aka Paul Simon). The label later signed Del Shannon and Lee Dorsey, but both were past their charting days. Larry Uttal, the owner of Madison Records, purchased all three labels in the mid Sixities, and moved his artists to them. Bell was reactivated in 1966 and returned to prominence in the early Seventies with a raft of teen idols including David Cassidy. Amy disappeared from view as the Sixties ended.

CONTENT:

This 2 CD set by One Day Music featured 50 songs on the Amy label from 1960 – 1962.

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 There are quite a few charted hits included: Ghost Riders In The Sky – Ramrods (30/1961), The Madison – Al Brown’s Tunetoppers (23/1960), Motorcycle – Tico & The Triumphs (aka Paul Simon)(99/1962), The Lone Teen Ranger – Jerry Landis (aka Paul Simon)(97/1963), Lisa (b-side to The Lone Teen Ranger, 1963)*rare gem making CD debut, For All We Know – Caslons (120/1962)*rare gem making CD debut, Settle Me Down (b-side to For All We Know, 1962)*rare gem making CD debut, Back Beat No. 1 – Rondells (66/1961).
2 There are also many uncharted hits that are rare gems, like, The Tiger’s Wide Awake – Romeos (answer song to The Lion Sleeps Tonight), Loch Lomond Rock – Ramrods and Satan’s Theme – Rondels.
3 The sound is good and clean.
4 The price is cheap (from sellers).

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 Not all the charted a or b-sides from this label are included. Some uncharted songs are included instead of the charted songs.
2 The period was restricted to 1960 - 1962. (The reason is probably due to Public Domain law, only up to 1962)
3 There is no booklet. But this is the practice of this series by One Day Music. A nice essay by Joseph Adair and names of composers and dates of recordings were included. No chart positions.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

One Day Music, a reissue label from UK under Not Now Music, has released this series on various record labels. So far, I have purchased 89 volumes and am very happy with my purchases. Through this purchase, I get to learn more information and history about each individual label, plus many rare gems to complete my collection. I used to purchase this series through Amazon.co.uk. But with the declining Canadian dollars, plus shipping cost, I am reconsidering my new strategy: keep a listing of prices on my Excel spreadsheet, and wait until the price goes low enough. In this set, the sound is good. The price is really cheap (through sellers). The set is recommended.

50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1962-1972 (3 CD)
50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1962-1972 (3 CD)
Price: CDN$ 47.70
20 used & new from CDN$ 27.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martha Reeves & Vandellas: Singles Collection: 3CDs, 82 songs, complete coverage, good sound; 1 disc (27 songs) unreleased gems!, May 20 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Martha & The Vandellas was a female R&B vocal trio from Detroit, Michigan, consisting of Martha Reeves (born on July 18, 1941), Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford. Reeves had been in the Del-Phis, recorded for Checkmate. She worked at Motown as an A&R secretary and sang backup. Vandellas sang backup on several of Marvin Gaye’s hits. Beard left group in 1963, replaced by Betty Keely (formerly with The Velvelettes). Group disbanded from 1969-71; re-formed with Martha and sister Lois Reeves, and Sandra Tilley in 1971. Martha Reeves went solo in late 1972. The group charted from 1963 to 1972, with 26 charted hits. The initial name was Martha & The Vandellas (1963 – 1967) and later changed to Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (1967 – 1972)(just like Diana Ross & The Supremes).

CONTENT:

This 3 CD set contains 82 songs.

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 Unlike the similar Singles Collection on the Supremes, Four Tops & the Temptations where the later period was NOT covered, this set (the first 2 CDs) covers the ENTIRE career of the group, with songs arranged chronologically, charted and uncharted, a and b-sides (52 songs). There are many b-sides, making their CD debut!
2 The 3rd disc is devoted to 27 previously unreleased songs, now arranged chronologically.
3 Similar to other Singles Collection in this series, the packaging is simply wonderful. Instead of the usual thick CD cases, we have a book, measuring 8.1 x 7.25”, containing 60-page book, with many wonderful pictures of the group, picture sleeve covers covering the entire page (simply gorgeous), and detailed discography essays. This really reminded me of the Bear Family box sets, except this is a smaller size. Very well done.
4 There are 3 special bonus tracks: 2 Spanish Singles (Yo Necesito De Tu Amor (I’m Ready For Love) and Jimmy Mack), plus a previously unreleased stereo single version of Jimmy Mack. Simply precious!
4 The sound is good, with no hiss.

NEGATIVE POINTS:
1 For a 3 CD set, the price is rather expensive. But the high price is balanced by the wonderful packaging. I patiently waited until the price from seller dipped below $40 before I made my purchase.
2 The solo hits of Martha Reeves (Power Of Love, Wild Night and Love Blind) were not included. The inclusion would have made this collection more complete. However, she was on different labels: instead of Gordy, she was on MCA and Arista.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is the most complete comprehensive collection of the Singles output by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, easily besting the previous 2 CD set Live Wire! The Singles 1962-1972 with only 43 songs. Many of the rare b-sides now make their CD debut. With wonderful packaging in the form of a book, with many beautiful rare picture sleeves and pictures of the group, I feel that it justifies the higher price. The sound is excellent, and these songs have also become my reference standard. I am very happy with this set, not perfect, but it does satisfy collectors like myself. After a long hard winter in Toronto, it is time to welcome “Heat Wave.” This set is highly recommended.

The Imperial Singles Vol. 5
The Imperial Singles Vol. 5
Price: CDN$ 26.14
23 used & new from CDN$ 12.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fats Domino The Imperial singles Volume 5 (1962-1964): 12 Rare a and b-sides from 1963-1964 period, not found elsewhere!, May 19 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Fats Domino was born Antoine Domino on February 26, 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a legendary R&B singer/songwriter/pianist, heavily influenced by Fats Waller and Albert Ammons. He joined the Dave Bartholomew band in the mid-1940s. He was signed to Imperial record label in 1949. His charting career started from 1950 to 1968, with 61 entries on the R&B chart and 77 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was signed to two major labels: Imperial (1950 to 1963) and ABC-Paramount (1963 – 1964). He has one charted hit on Reprise (Lady Madonna, 100/1968, his last charted song). He also starred a few movies: Shake, Rattle And Rock!, Jamboree!, The Big Beat and The Girl Can’t Help It. He teamed with co-writer Dave Bartholomew on majority of his hits. One major recent news was that people thought he was dead when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. He did not evacuate because of his wife’s poor health. Later he was found to be alive, his house rebuilt, his medals and gold records replaced. He is still alive at age 86 living in New Orleans.

CONTENT:

If you are looking for Fats Domino’s singles collection, I would recommend the 4 CD set called The Imperial Singles 1950 – 1962 with 122 songs. This 4 CD set replaces the more expensive single CD release on Ace label (from UK) also called Imperial Singles, Volumes 1-4. But if you are a completist like myself, you would buy Volume 5, which also covers his 1963-1964 period with bonus tracks.

POSITIVE POINTS:
1 There are 12 songs from 1963/64 period not found anywhere, containing both a and b-sides. There are also 2 bonus tracks from his album.
2 The sound is very well remastered with no hiss.
3 All the songs are original versions. No re-recorded versions.
4 There is a nice 16-page booklet with essay and detailed discography, plus pictures of his 45 rpm single labels. Precious!

NEGATIVE POINT:
1 The price of this CD is actually higher than the Real Gone Music’s 4 CD set (through sellers)!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Although the price is not cheap, this set completes my Singles Collection on Fats Domino during his Imperial label period. I am happy with the purchase. The sound is good. But the songs are not that familiar and charted only Bubblin’ under the Hot 100. Thus, this set is more for collectors.

Escape Plan [Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
Escape Plan [Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Sylvester Stallone
Price: CDN$ 11.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape Plan (blu-ray): Top-notched video & audio; both Stallone & Schwarzenegger are great together! Entertaining movie!, May 18 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
VIDEO:

Escape Plan arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The picture was photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa camera system, which is now well established as a cinematic replacement for film. The picture displays a cold, metallic, and glass prison environment contrasted with naturally hued monitor rooms. Fleshtones are perfectly rendered. Everything appears realistic, with contrast that is well balanced throughout. Blacks are deep. Resolution is excellent, with exceptional detail exhibited in fine facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. (5/5)

AUDIO:

Escape Plan comes with DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track, which is effectively dynamic yet nuanced during the quieter scenes. Atmospherics and sound effects are convincingly realistic, with effective surround envelopment. The orchestral score is well recorded with a wide and deep soundstage and an aggressive surround presence. This is an excellent soundtrack. (5/5)

MOVIE:

In Escape Plan, one of the world's foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job, breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called “The Tomb.” Deceived and wrongly imprisoned, Ray Breslin (Stallone) must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built. This is a fun and entertaining movie to a certain degree, with two aging actors, Stallone and Schwarzenegger, still kicking butts. (3/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Escape Plan is nothing great, but it is a lot of fun. We finally have Schwarzenegger and Stallone in an action movie together, where the two are the only main stars. There are plenty of fights and action scenes to go around. And these aging actors prove they still have what it takes to make a fun movie. It is not the best action movie you'll ever see, but it's entertaining. The video/audio is top notch here. I bought this blu-ray when it was on a one-day sale for $10.99. Now it has gone back up to $22.99. If you want the best bang for your bucks, it is worth to watch out for special deals. This set is highly recommended.

I, Frankenstein [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
I, Frankenstein [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Aaron Eckhart
Price: CDN$ 22.99
11 used & new from CDN$ 14.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I, Frankenstein 3D + Blu-ray: Beware! Both 3D & 2D in one single disc! Fortunately, video & audio are not too bad! Bad script!, May 18 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In buying 3D blu-ray movies, one has to be careful. Sometimes, it only comes with 3D blu-ray, with no 2D blu-ray. It is wise to read the top of the front cover carefully. In the past, 3D and 2D are housed in their separate BD-50 discs. Now with the latest releases by Entertainment One: I Frankenstein, The Legend Of Hercules and Pompeii, on the top of the front cover is clearly stated 3D blu-ray + blu-ray. To my surprise, both 3D and 2D are in ONE single disc!!! No wonder the price is relatively a little cheaper (about $20 vs $29). I hope this is not a new trend, compressing two HD movies into one disc! If you have 3D blu-ray player & TV, a menu will show up allowing you to choose 3D vs 2D. But if you do not have 3D TV, this menu will not show up. It is automatic default to 2D.

VIDEO (3D):

I, Frankenstein (3D) arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. Post-conversion to 3D was done in the View-D™ Stereo process created by Prime Focus North America and India. The picture exhibits a colour palette cloaked in golden-brownish hues, with dark shadows and solid blacks. Contrast is well balanced. The 3D effect is effectively dimensional with excellent perspective and depth, with a focus on the positive parallax and occasional out-of-screen effects. The action sequences are non-stop, with the enhanced dimensionality created by the 3D conversion. This is an exciting, visually dimensional picture that delivers an engaging 3D experience. (4.0/5)

VIDEO (2D):

I, Frankenstein (2D) arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The digital source is relatively clean. Clarity is good, but lacks the depth in the 3D version. (3.5/5)

AUDIO:

I, Frankeinstein only comes with DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, instead of the 7.1 in the theatre. The soundtrack is infused with a strong, driving orchestral music score that is nicely recorded with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds for strong envelopment. Atmospherics and sound effects aggressively define the soundfield with directionalized impact. Deep bass is a constant strong sonic effect. Dialogue is clear. (4.5/5)

MOVIE:

Based on The Darkness Studios graphic novel I, Frankenstein created by Kevin Grevioux, the thriller takes place 200 years after Dr. Frankenstein's shocking creation came to life. Celestial forces name the creature Adam, and arm him with weapons to defeat the demons that are constantly seeking his destruction, also to uncover the secret of his longevity and use it to sustain their own immortality. The gargoyles were on the opposing end. The script features one of the most random pairings of supernatural creatures to ever hit the screen. (2/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I hope that this is not a new trend – to put both 3D and 2D blu-ray on ONE disc. For high definition movies, this is not acceptable. I wonder if the quality would have further improved if they were on separately discs, and not compressed together. As to this movie, the plot is inexplicably random, paper thin, and dumb. Fortunately, the 3D post conversion is not as bad as I thought. If you have a 3D TV, the 3D version is definitely preferred. I personally did not mind the mindless fun for 92 minutes. Also, I bought this when it was on sale for $19.99, but now the price has gone up to $22.99. For 3D blu ray, it is still relatively cheap.

The Legend of Hercules [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
The Legend of Hercules [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kellan Lutz
Price: CDN$ 23.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 19.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legend Of Hercules 3D: Beware! Both 3D & 2D in one single BD-50 disc! Fortunately, video & audio are top-notched; poor script!, May 18 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In buying 3D blu-ray movies, one has to be careful. Sometimes, it only comes with 3D blu-ray, with no 2D blu-ray. It is wise to read the top of the front cover carefully. In the past, 3D and 2D are housed in their separate BD-50 discs. Now with the latest releases by Entertainment One: I Frankenstein, The Legend Of Hercules and Pompeii, on the top of the front cover is clearly stated 3D blu-ray + blu-ray. To my surprise, both 3D and 2D are in ONE single disc!!! No wonder the price is relatively a little cheaper (about $20 vs $29). I hope this is not a new trend, compressing two HD movies into one disc! If you have 3D blu-ray player & TV, a menu will show up allowing you to choose 3D vs 2D. But if you do not have 3D TV, this menu will not show up. It is automatic default to 2D.

VIDEO (3D):

Shot natively in 3D using a combination of the Red Epic and the 3Ality Technica 3D rig, Hercules flexes his might and brute force on blu-ray with a fantastic and oft-amazing MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. This transfer comes with crisp, brilliant contrast and pitch-perfect brightness. Definition and clarity are top-notch with distinct, fine lines in the costumes and surrounding foliage. Wide and long shots are particularly impressive, displaying large, expansive views that show a clear separation between the background and foreground information. This creates a realistic sense of distance and spatial difference from one object to the next, which penetrate deep into the screen, providing viewers with a sometimes overwhelming and immersive feel of depth. (4.5/5)

VIDEO (2D):

The Legend Of Hercules arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. Similar to the 3D version, this transfer is also crisp with brilliant contrast and pitch-perfect brightness. Compared to the 3D version, the picture is less immersive, especially in the action sequence. Blacks are still inky. There is also tremendous details and clarity. (4/5)

AUDIO:

The Legend of Hercules comes with a thunderous DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track. Right from the start, the movie opens with a sweeping, immensely wide soundstage as King Amphitryon invades and conquers yet another kingdom by force. There is a great scene early in the film where Alcmene goes into labor and we see Amphitryon in his huge court, where Alcmene's painful cries of delivery echo around and through the surround channels. Dialogue is very cleanly presented and frequently nicely directional. This is a very well done reference soundtrack. (5/5)

MOVIE:

This movie is a love story between the son of Zeus and the mortal princess of Crete, who was promised to his older brother despite her love for Hercules. This is supposedly the origin story of the Greek mythological hero, Heracles, or as the Romans and all of western civilization now known him, Hercules. Yet, much of the script, which took four writers, one of which also serves as this disastrous failure's director, to finally realize, largely feels like an amalgamation of other epic sword-and-sandal flicks, like Gradiator, Braveheart and Samson and Delilah. (2/5)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Legend of Hercules will go down as another legendary failure from director Renny Harlin, in large part because it borrows heavily from other movies for a one of the oldest stories ever told. Fortunately, both the video, especially 3D, and the audio are top-notched. Further, I hope that this is not a new trend – to put both 3D and 2D blu-ray on ONE disc. For current high definition movies, this is not acceptable. I wonder if the quality would have improved further if they were on separately discs, and not compressed together. I bought this when it was on sale for $19.99, but now the price has gone up to $21.99. For 3D blu ray, it is still relatively cheap.

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