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Author Topic: Dave's DVD/Blu-ray Reviews  (Read 53509 times)
dfmorgan
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« on: February 11, 2010, 08:51:51 PM »

Decided it was about time I added some of my own reviews.

Dave
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 09:19:43 PM »

Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnęamise


Year: 1987
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga
Overview: Acclaimed by anime fans all over the world, Royal Space Force—The Wings of Honnęamise comes back to life 20 years after its original release!
The stirring odyssey created by nascent anime masters at GAINAX is still unsurpassed for its meticulous artistry and heartfelt drama of a young man's coming of age in a turbulent world!

Watched: 6th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: This anime I first saw in 1995 on a VHS released in the UK by Manga Video, this version was cut and dubbed. I then got the uncut US R1 DVD in 2000 released by Manga Entertainment and again there were problems, Manga badly transfered this film onto DVD and were castigated by the fans and many review sites. Now finally I have a version which should be near perfect. Colours and images were nice and sharp generally, some evidence in places of dust but not too obtrusive. Sound was good, I watched it in Japanese but my amp doesn't support HD sound so only had the downmixed Dolby Digital 5.1 from the PS3, not a lot of surround effects but when used it added to the ambience. One thing that was strange though was that it was window-boxed, i.e. a border around the whole image on screen. Checked up on a couple of review sites and that was intended to ensure that the original aspect ratio was fully shown.

At its heart this is a love story. A young man, a member of the recently formed Royal Space Force, meets a young woman, distributing pamphlets, and their romance follows a slightly tortuous path. Mixed in with this is a secondary story about the nations ongoing troubles with a neighbouring country and their first launch into space. Of course there is also duplicity within the government which leads to a interesting conclusion to this film.

My Rating: Not too sure about the window-boxing so 4

Dave
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 09:54:28 PM »

Thank you, Dave! Good to see new blood and a great film to start with...  Thumb up !
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 10:43:04 PM »

I'm adding this anime to my 'Plan to Watch' list.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 12:05:55 AM »

I'm adding this anime to my 'Plan to Watch' list.

Hope you enjoy the film, like I did, when you get round to watching it.

Dave
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 02:02:19 PM »

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs


Year: 2009
Director: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Mr. T
Overview: When eccentric wannabe scientist Flint Lockwood’s (Bill Hader) latest contraption accidentally destroys the town square and rockets up into the clouds, delicious cheeseburgers start raining from the sky. But when Flint bites off more than he can chew, his miraculous machine starts to run amok, unleashing spaghetti tornadoes and giant meatballs that threaten the world! Now it’s up to Flint, with the help of weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and Steve, his talking monkey assistant, to prevent a global disaster of epic proportions.

Watched: 7th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: A nice animation based on a childrens book but not having read the book, or even previously heard of it, I can't say how close or different this film is to the book. It revolves around an inventor, who never quite gets thing right, and his attempt to solve his town's problems after the local sardine factory closes down.

My Rating: Overall an enjoyable 90mins so 3

Dave
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 08:43:18 PM »

In the Electric Mist


Year: 2009
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard, Mary Steenburgen
Overview: New Iberia, Louisiana. Detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) is on the hunt for a serial killer who preys on young women. Driving home from another gruesome crime scene, Dave meets charismatic Hollywood star Elrod Sykes (Peter Sarsgaard). Sykes is in town shooting his new movie, with backing from local crime kingpin Baby Feet Balboni (John Goodman). He tells Dave he saw a body lying in a swamp - the decomposed corpse of a black man in chains. The discovery brings memories hurtling out of Dave's past... he senses the two cases are linked.

But as Dave gets closer to the murderer, the murderer gets closer to Dave and his family...

Watched: 11th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: A very interesting film, not a typical detective film. Tommy Lee Jones plays a recovering alcoholic, Detective Dave Robicheaux, who is looking for a serial killer. Whilst this investigation is ongoing memories are stirred with the discovery of a corpse in the swamp. Overall I enjoyed this film and have committed to memory a new favourite line from a film, Mary Steenburgen to Tommy Lee Jones: "Drink your milk and get to bed... I'm horny". It was a pity though that in that scene Ms. Steenburgen was slightly out of focus. As to the role played by Mr. Jones it reminds me somewhat of his role in "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada".

I wasn't aware that this film was based on a book but for reference it is "In The Electric Mist With Confederate Dead" written by James Lee Burke. This the 6th book in a series, currently there are 17, featuring Det. Dave Robicheaux.

By the way this is a bare-bones release - just the film, some trailers, a choice of DD2.0 or DD5.1 sound, no subtitles.

Further Musings: There were some idiosyncrasies within the film (1: no apparent resolution to his being shot at in the bar and 2: his appearance in a photograph) which made me look up further information on this film in the IMdB. There I found that Messr Tavernier, the director, had problems with the US film editor and disagreed with what he had done so he went back to France and employed a French film editor to edit the film the way that he wanted. This means that there are 2 versions of the film available a 102min US/International cut and a 117min French Director's Cut. The Director's Cut may be available in other territories but is definitely available in France. I have ordered the Director's Cut from France and look forward to comparing them.

My Rating: Very interesting and overall enjoyable so 4

Dave
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2010, 03:26:15 AM »

Thank you, Dave! Very intriguing. I'm probably reading too much into it, but have you seen Christopher Nolan's Insomnia? There's something about what you say that makes me think of that, which would be good as I love that film.
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dfmorgan
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2010, 04:51:50 PM »

Thank you, Dave! Very intriguing. I'm probably reading too much into it, but have you seen Christopher Nolan's Insomnia? There's something about what you say that makes me think of that, which would be good as I love that film.

Yep I have seen Insomnia, both the original Norwegian and Mr. Nolan's, and you are reading too much into it. Although Mr. Jones' character does have involvement with the corpse found in the swamp it is not direct like Insomnia.

Although it is not a major spoiler, the requisite fact is mentioned about halfway into the film and there are a couple of earlier clues, I will detail his involvement here
Spoiler (hover to show)

Dave
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2010, 09:20:07 PM »

Kamikaze Girls


Year: 2004
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Cast: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya
Overview: Meet Momoko (Kyoko Fukada from 'The Ring 2' and 'Dolls'), a self-absorbed dreamer who fantasizes about fleeing her backcountry home and living life in 18th century Versailles. When she unexpectedly meets the rebellious Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya from 'Dororo' and 'Sakuran'), a rough-and-tumble biker chick, the two misfits form a unique friendship – together, nothing can stop them!

Born from the pages of favourite cult author Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls is a frenetic roller-coaster ride brimming with day-glo visuals and wild hilarity that you will never forget!

Watched: 13th Feb 2010
My ThoughtsHmmmm ! an interesting film. At its basic level a 'buddy' film but it's much more than that. We have 2 disparate teenagers Momoko, a Lolita fan, and Ichigo, a biker girl, who meet when Momoko starts to sell her fathers Versach, or Ver**ce, clothing to fund her Lolita habit. From there a friendship builds up leading to a climax set to Johann Strauss II's The Blue Danube. For those who are not aware Lolita is a fashion style/subculture, popular in Japan, based on Victorian and Rococo eras of clothing and not related to the book or film of the same name.

Like the recently reviewed Royal Space Force this film is window-boxed. Initially it started full 1.77 for the studio credits but once the cartoon element of the opening started then it went window-boxed and stayed that way for the rest of the film  Huh?

My Rating: Interesting and enjoyable so 4

Dave
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 08:27:33 PM »

Coraline


Year: 2009
Director: Henry Selick
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David
Overview: From Henry Selick the visionary of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and based on Neil Gaiman's best-selling book, comes this spectacular stop-motion animated adventure!
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) is bored until she finds a secret door and discovers an alternate, better, version of her life on the other side.
When this seemingly perfect world turns dangerous, Coraline must use her resourcefulness, determination and bravery to save her family.

Watched: 3-D - Jan 2010, 2-D - 14th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: Decided to watch this again in 2-D as I wasn't impressed by the 3-D colours although the effects were not too bad and looking around various reviews on the interweb it would appear that the general view was that the 3-D colouring was bad. I do realise though that this is due to current technology in having to have Red/Blue glasses doing the filtering rather than the polarising glasses as used in the 3-D cinema presentations.

Yes in 2-D the film comes alive with clear colours. A magical film with excellent voice acting. I was really glad I decided to reappraise it soon after my initial 3-D viewing. Although I was aware that this was based on a book by Neil Gaiman I hadn't read it so didn't know the story. Just to be clear I have read books by Mr. Gaiman and also have seen the marvellous Stardust so I was aware of how he can twist fantasy.

My Rating: Marvellous a 5

Dave
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Dave

Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2010, 08:41:45 PM »

Up


Year: 2009
Director: Pete Docter
Cast: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson
Overview: From the revolutionary minds of Pixar Animation Studios and the acclaimed director of Monsters, Inc. comes a hilariously uplifting adventure where the sky is no longer the limit.
Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal, part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, Russell, an overeager 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is in the wrong place at the wrong time - Carl's front porch! The world's most unlikely duo reach new heights and meet fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, a rare 13-foot-tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realises that sometimes life's biggest adventures aren't the ones you set out looking for.
Up reaches new heights with a pristine picture, theatre-quality sound and hours of never-before-seen bonus features available only on Blu-ray™ Hi-Def. It's an adventure that will send your spirits soaring!

Watched: 18th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: Disney/Pixar do it again. I don't think I've failed to like a Pixar film since they appeared and this just continues the run. As usual there is pathos and eyes welling up with tears and not just towards the end but also within the first 10 minutes or so. The characters worked with the voice acting and Ed Asner played an excellent curmudgeonly Carl Fredricksen.

My Rating: Excellent 5

Dave
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Dave

Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 11:43:29 AM »

Ocean Waves


Year: 1993
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Cast:
Overview: Rarely seen outside of its native Japan and never before released within the U.K, Ocean Waves (also known as Umi Ga Kikoeru and I Can Hear The Sea) is one of Studio Ghibli's most obscure and sought after titles. Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (Princess Nine) and based upon author, essayist and playwright Saeko Himuro's most popular, best selling novel, Ocean Waves is one of the most poignant and unsung masterpieces within Studio Ghibli's legendary creative output. Wonderfully detaailed and incredibly subtle, there are very few films in the histroy of animation that have managed to capture so well the joys and drama of adolescence and teenage alienation.

Kochi is your average coastal town on the sleepy, idyllic island of Shikoku and young Taku is definitely your average high school student. But soon his quiet life will be turned upside down with the arrival of Rikako: a beautiful, female student recently transferred fromTokyo. By the end of term Taku will have learnt a valuable lesson in love and friendship.

Watched: 20th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: Well it's Studio Ghibli so I had to watch it early. Basic story is a love triangle, boy meets girl and introduces girl to best friend. From there you have the ususal up and downs of relationships but with a few detours thown in. Only problem with this film is its length, only 72 mins, which seems to result in some character and storyline developemnt being left out especially the 2 years that the 3 participants were apart at university. Of course it is possible that the film is true to the original novel and that the gaps existed there as well.

My Rating: Overall a very good film so 4

Dave
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Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 09:08:37 PM »

Pandorum


Year: 2009
Director: Christian Alvart
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Cung Le, Antje Traue
Overview: Two astronauts (DENNIS QUAID, G.I. JOE and BEN FOSTER, X-MEN 3) awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seeminly abandoned spacecraft. It's pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the ship. They have no memory of who they are or what their mission is, but one thing they do realise very quickly is that they are not alone.
Slowly the spacecraft's shocking, deadly secrets are revealed and the astronauts find that they must fight to stay alive and that their survival is more important than they could ever have imagined.

Watched: 21st Feb 2010
My Thoughts: Went for something a bit different after 3 animations. A mix of Horror and Science Fiction that I found interesting.

My Rating: Quite interesting so 3

Dave
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2010, 08:39:27 PM »

9


Year: 2009
Director: Shane Acker
Cast: Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer
Overview: 9 is an action-packed animated fantasy adventure, set in the near future. The world's machines have turned on mankind and sparked social unrest - decimating the human population. But as our world falls to pieces, a mission begins to salvage the legacy of civilization and a small group of "stitchpunk" creations is given the spark of life by a scientist - and they successfully survive the apocalypse!
With their group being so small, these creatures must summon individual strengths well beyond their proportions in order to outwit and fight the still-functioning monster machines.
9 dynamically explores the will to live, the power of community, and how one soul can change the world.

Watched: 27th Feb 2010
My Thoughts: Wow really enjoyed this. Although the themes employed of man being man's worst enemy and that one person's sacrifice can save the world have been used many times, and in many different ways, this film still added a slightly fresh spin to them. This film has very dark and gritty imagery, probably due to its dystopian theme, but that didn't stop it being well drawn with plenty of details. The voice acting didn't grate and came over well. Although one could probably identify other films within this and its themes one scene in particular caught my fancy and that is when we meet the twins, 3 and 4, I was reminded of the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with the Binars.

My Rating: An excellent film so 5

Dave
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Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

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