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Mania Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction (Article) - 6/29/2014 2:19:26 PM

This review encapsulates almost everything I feel about this series. On top of everything, though, what's most disturbing to me is that they've turned Optimus Prime into kind of a jerk. Outside of a few fleeting moments in the first one, the noble (albeit corny) leader from the classic cartoon is nowhere to be found in these films.

Incidentally, if you want to hear Peter Cullen's talents put to a more positive use, check out the animated Transformers Prime series on Netflix. It's imperfect, but it's a hell of a lot more fun than the movies, and its creators understand things like basic narrative structure and intelligible visual storytelling.

Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Doctor Who - Time of the Doctor (Article) - 3/11/2014 5:27:26 PM

Time of the Doctor just felt overstuffed to me. For example, I think it could have done without the business with Clara's family at the start. Still, there was a good deal of it that I enjoyed.

However, what I really don't like at all is the practice recently implemented by BBC of slowing down their shows for their Blu-ray releases (at least in the US). Before, they had a process of taking the 50i original and converting it to 60i by duplicating fields. It still yielded an interlaced picture, but it looked pretty good and ran at the correct speed. Their last several releases, however, have been slowed down to 23.976 fps. This allows a progressive presentation, but the tradeoff is that it extends the show's runtime by about 4%. It's basically the opposite of the traditional "PAL speedup," but IMO it's worse, because it makes the action and especially the music feel, for lack of a better word, groggy.

This has happened on The Day of the Doctor, Sherlock Season 3, the "remastered" Doctor Who Series 1-7 box set (meaning they went back and ruined the entire series this way), and now Time of the Doctor. What's more, at least on Day of the Doctor, the audio has been pitch-corrected in such a way that it sounds flanged when downconverted from 5.1 to stereo. It's quite difficult to make Murray Gold's music sound bad, but this accomplishes just that.

I really wish they'd go back to the other process; it was working fine.

 

31 Days of Horror Movies: The Fly (1986) (Article) - 10/7/2013 12:11:00 PM

 Speaking of LOTR, Tolkien himself once wrote that he wasn't all that interested in allegory, but "applicability." He was just trying to tell the best story he could, and then the reader could infuse the story with a personal meaning that meant something to them. I'm paraphrasing, but I think it was something like that.

The Summer of '83: Superman III (Article) - 6/17/2013 5:41:06 AM

I agree that this is not a good movie, but I must confess to a nostagic fondness for it; I really enjoyed it when I was younger, and Christopher Reeve is pretty terrific in it.

This sounds weird, but I tend to think of Superman III & IV as similar to Jaws III & IV and The Omen III & IV. Each of those series had a spectacularly bad third film that should have destroyed the series completely, but then they made a fourth film that somehow made the third one look halfway decent.

The Summer of '83: Octopussy (Article) - 6/10/2013 10:35:24 AM

 As silly as his movies could get, I agree that Roger Moore was the right Bond for the 70s and early 80s.

I took a few months last year and rewatched the whole series in order. The Spy Who Loved Me is still one of my favorites, and even A View To A Kill isn't quite as bad as I remember. And Diamonds Are Forever is worse than anything Moore ever did.

 

Agents of SHIELD First Promo (Article) - 5/13/2013 12:36:39 AM

Sorry, WarCry; Coulson does indeed die on camera. He stops moving, his eyes stay open and do not blink (we even see him sitting motionless from two different angles), and then the camera follows Nick Fury as he stands and the medical crew steps in. In simple film language terms, he's as dead as Charles Foster Kane or Anakin Skywalker.

However, as Shogunn mentioned, I'm perfectly willing to accept with that the way this universe is set up, there are ways to convincingly bring him back.

DVD Shopping Bag: Universal Horror Collection Blu-rays (Article) - 7/5/2012 1:31:52 PM

They may not be getting single-edition releases (at least not yet), but DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN (along with the Spanish DRACULA and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) are indeed part of the list of 13 films getting special restorations this year (the others are ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, THE BIRDS, BUCK PRIVATES, JAWS, SCHINDLER'S LIST, OUT OF AFRICA, PILLOW TALK, THE STING, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD). There are additional films getting special edition Blu-ray releases that haven't gone through the same all-out restoration process (E.T., etc.).

Also, I think that the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in this set is actually the 1943 version starring Claude Rains, rather than the silent Lon Chaney version (which Image released last year).

Overall, this sounds like a pretty great set to me.

 

Disney Jumping TIME ZONES (Article) - 10/1/2011 9:06:53 PM

The concept actually sounds almost identical to the book "Time's Eye" by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, in which Earth is carved up into different time periods in an event called Discontinuity. I'm sure the plot will be totally different, and I'd love to see the concept played out on screen, but they might owe Clarke and Baxter a "Suggested by" credit.

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Date Joined: October 1, 2011