Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodies & Recent Viewings...

Lots of new goodies arriving all the time...

Black Books Complete Collection (Australian Release)

Candyman, The Dark Crystal, The Curse of the Golden Flower (Australian)
and Somers Town (UK)

Wholphin issues 1 - 11

If you aren't familiar with Wholphin I strongly suggest you check out their website. It is a great quarterly DVD magazine featuring some amazing short film, doco's animations and much more. Well worth subscribing!

Last weekend saw my PS3 Hard drive give up the ghost, which at first didn't seem that bad given I had back ups, but when they didn't work, things got a little out of hand! So I have spent most of this week building a new drive and copying hex code to try and resurrect the old one to at least get my saved game data out of it, the drive finished compiling last night so the big test will occur this evening, but Sony certainly don't make this kind of thing easy!!

Viewing this week has been fairly sparse, I did watch my Candyman Blu-ray and the transfer is taken from a fairly clean print, there was some film damage around the 1 hour 14 minute mark and it looks like a little DNR has been applied to certain scenes, other than that very little restoration seems to have occurred. The transfer reminded me more of an HDTV transfer than Blu-ray, it didn't exactly pop, but there weren't any compression artifacts which was a bonus.

The DTS soundtrack is very front stage heavy (it is only 2 channel...), but is more than adequate with a decent range, the score is great and certainly benefits from the lossless track compared to my region 1 dvd. Sadly there are no extras from the special edition. In fact the menu is one of the old style Universal menus that doesn't even feature words, just pictograms.

Whilst it isn't a ground breaking transfer, as I said, it is certainly the best the film has looked in the home market.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Episode 102 - It's All In The Making

I have recently spent a bit of time trolling through extra features on some of my Blu-ray discs! I noticed that quite a number of these discs had feature length documentaries regarding the making of the movies (or in some cases relevant to someone who worked on the film) and figured that might make a good topic... so here it is... The How B Grade Movies Saved or Ruined My Life Making Of Special!


Steven – The Snow Ball Effect (2004) - Making of Clerks

– The Guts of the Beast (2001) - Making of Brotherhood Of The Wolf

All of our previous shows can be heard over at B Grade Movies Online! You can also hear us live on 99.3FM in Hobart or streaming live at Edge Radio at 10pm AEST every Sunday evening!

If you like us, why not join us on Facebook, we are generally stuffing around on the book of face whilst we do the show.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Set in 1873 and the wilds of Arizona, a stranger rides into the little mining town of absolution. He has been shot, lost his memory and is a wanted man for a list of crimes longer than his arm, on said arm is a rather out of place piece of equipment. Unbeknownst to him, he was abducted by aliens, a notion far removed from any of the other townsfolk, that is, until it starts happening to them. You see it turns out an alien race has set its sights on the gold in them thar hills and will do just about anything to make sure they get it all and in the process wipe out man kind.

With the help of rag-tag team of local townsfolk and the stolen piece of alien tech attached to his arm, our intrepid abductee heads out to reclaim the captured humans and put a stop to the dastardly plan of beings from another world.

I guess my biggest problem with the film was my expectation, its not like you go into a movie like Snakes on a Plane expecting to see anything less than some snakes on a plane and whilst cowboys and aliens certainly do appear on the screen and even in the same shot, the film just doesn’t live up to the mental image you have just by saying the title aloud.

The film had so much potential and features a great cast including Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell and many TV stalwarts and yet they are given very little to work with! I don't think Jon Favreau really knew if he was making a western or a sci fi as the look of the film kind of fails at both. Whilst we do get some pretty landscape shots and the obligatory Magnificent Seven homage for the most part the film looks quite dull and underwhelming (At least it wasn't in 3D though!).

In the end Cowboys & Aliens should have been a fun ride, but it takes itself far too seriously and has a story that really didn't need to involve aliens at all, which just adds to the fact that it could have been an outright western, but instead leaves you wanting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

E.T Collectibles

I never really got the fascination with E.T, it made millions at the box office, had a tonne of merchandise and yet it was never really that great a movie to me. I was a pretty big fan of Steven Spielberg when I was growing up, that is not to say that I am not still a fan, just certainly not on the scale I was back then. Here are a few things I picked up during my collecting years...

Original Australian cinema poster.

E.T Key Ring (this if from its anniversary re-release in the 90's)

Press Book featuring actor Bios, Plot Synopsis, Full Credits and some photos.

Exhibitor's Campaign Book featuring print ads, posters and lobby accessories to help cinemas promote the film

Region 1 Limited Edition DVD Set

Various figures, a Pez dispenser and Yoyo

Not too many items there, but as I said, I was never a big fan, so I stuck mostly with the harder to find "press" stuff. I will maybe throw up a few pictures of the inside of those booklets when I get a chance!

I will also divert slightly in the next post of collectibles to include some of the stranger things that have crossed my path, but will return with more Spielberg related posts after that starting with Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Recent Viewings....

Over the weekend I sat down to watch a few movies, some on Blu-ray, some at the cinema.. here is the breakdown:

Reign of Fire (2002)
This has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, picked up the Blu-ray during a sale awhile back and have only just gotten around to watching it. I was surprised by how well this film holds up, the effects are pretty impressive, the end is still a bit of a let down, but it is very much an enjoyable film!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
I was sadly disappointed by this film, the CGI is pretty damn impressive, but it just isn't a Planet of the Apes movie... in fact it doesn't even act as a prequel to the original film as its title strongly suggests. I must admit, I was pretty amazed by how irresponsible the adults in the film are, whether that was intentional or not I don't know, but it really distracted me and just took me out of the film, which is interesting given that I would have bet money on the fact that the CG was going to do that! (2010)
So this film suprised me! I wasn't expecting this to be very good at all, but found myself pretty much enthralled for the majority of its duration. Not at all what I was expecting. This was a really solid Blu-ray too with great picture quality and a thumping soundtrack!

The Beaver (2011)
What the hell? I mean seriously. I don't even know what to say about this really just left me wondering why... What was it trying to say? Who was this targeted at? There are so many things wrong with this that I just ended up with a bad taste in my mouth.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)
I have been playing a fair bit of Red Dead Redemption lately, so it makes sense that I was in the mood for a western. I really enjoy this film and it is quite honestly a stunning Blu-ray... the cast is great, the story (although it is a remake) is great and the film is a great revival to the genre!

Infernal Affairs (2002)
Remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed, words cannot describe how much better Infernal Affairs is than its western counterpart. Great acting, a tight script and some awesome tension make for a fast paced thriller the likes of which have been ripped off numerous times since!

Insidious (2010)
Seriously the entire score and sound design for this film sounds like someone locked 2 stray cats and a violin under the hood of a grand piano and recorded it... lame remake of Poltergeist with such a predictable plot... really disappointed.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010)
Interesting little movie, not really anything special about it, but it was certainly entertaining and had its own style which I appreciated. I guess it is trying to cash in on the current Vampire / Werewolf trend sweeping the planet, and it does have some originality. Kind of reminded me of the old 40's noir movies, but in present day.

In the TV department, I have just started watching Haven, after a number of people recommended it. It reminds me a little of Eureka (at least in formula) and also bears a few similarities to Happy Town. I note it is based on a Stephen King story so I will be interested to see where it goes... it also helps that I have a soft spot for Emily Rose...

Will be off to the cinema again tonight to see Cowboys & Aliens....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red Dog (2011)

Putting aside the fact that Red Dog is (very loosely) based on a true story, something that many of you know I take particular issue with, it is otherwise a very entertaining and beautifully shot film.

Red Dog is a kelpie / cattle dog cross that became a part of the wider Western Australian community as a result of his travelling ways. A young truck driver walks into the local pub at Dampier, in Australia's far north west, amid what appears to be a brawl, it soon turns out that it is an attempt to put down a dog that has been poisoned. We soon learn that this isn't just any dog though, as more and more people turn up at the pub and relate to the truck driver the many adventures of Red Dog and the many ways in which he touched the hearts and minds of the wider community.

With a considerable Australian cast featuring the likes of Noah Taylor, Leone Carman, Luke Ford, Rachel Taylor and a cameo by the late Bill Hunter, all strutting their acting ability with veritable ease, it is not even the American that steals the show, even Josh Lucas must bow before the might of the acting provided by Koko the dog, who shows considerable emotional range and makes for a wonderful central character that is able to carry the film with ease.

The film is magnificent to look at with some excellent cinematography by Geoffrey Hall who recently proved his noir ability with Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. Unlike Dylan Here we have bright colourful outback shots with vast expanses and roads that go on for miles. Not to mention plenty of red dust and scorched earth! The music selection is also great with a perfect selection of 70's tracks scattered through out.

Red Dog is being touted as a family movie, which is a little interesting given some of the more adult themes that are present throughout, so whilst I wouldn't recommend it to younger children, jt would certainly entertain from ages 8 or up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love Crime (2010)

Asian cinema has been a leader in revenge story thrillers for the past few years, most violently so, it was a nice change to get to sit down with a more methodic revenge thriller in the form of Love Crime, I must say that this film took me back to my Cinematheque days spent watching new wave French cinema from the likes of Francois Trauffaut, Jean Luc Goddard and in this case more specifically the great Claude Chabrol.

I am talking specifically about the French thrillers where characters and their motives are more important than gratuitous gore and violence; something that has become inherent in the thrillers of late. Love Crime bears a number of similarities to the films of Chabrol, from its strong lead female cast, to its thoughtful pacing and even the sad fact that both Charbol and Comeau passed away last year.

Christine is a successful corporate account executive who wants to get to the top and is ready to do anything to get there. This includes taking the credit for the work of her assistant Isabelle. When Isabelle realizes what is going on the two women play a dangerous game of cat and mouse in an attempt to one-up each other, a game that doesn’t end well.

The performances by both leads is strong, however neither character is likeable which created a problem for my investment in where the characters were going. The elaborate and frankly way over the top second half of the film muddies what is otherwise an interesting premise and the outcome is regrettably just as predictable. Love Crime is still an entertaining film and one especially worthwhile for those interested in character driven thrillers or those who like the French new wave thrillers of which this could certainly have been one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Episode 101 - Trapped In The Wilderness

When pitching this idea, Matthew claimed we would be doing a "Cabin in the Woods" special... that got extended to simply people in the wilderness after he chose to give me Cold Prey as my challenge...

Suffice to say, many a teen slasher involved a bunch of horny kids going out to a cabin or house or even just camping in the woods, so we take a look at some of those as well as a few lesser known movies involving things all things wild!

B Grade Movie Challenge

Steven – Cold Prey (2006)

Matt – Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010)

Take a listen below:

All of our previous shows can be heard over at B Grade Movies Online! You can also hear us live on 99.3FM in Hobart or streaming live at Edge Radio at 10pm AEST every Sunday evening!

If you like us, why not join us on Facebook, we are generally stuffing around on the book of face whilst we do the show.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Goodies - Paul, The Big Lebowski & Dead Snow

Here we have some more additions to the movie collection...

Paul - Top Secret Collector's Edition
The set features the Triple Play Blu-ray with steel slipcase, a T-Shirt, Bumper Sticker, Poster and Art Card

The Big Lebowski - Slipcase and Limited Edition Digital Copy
I have seen lots of reviews complaining about the DNR on this title, but I love the film and it was only $15, so I am willing to check it out for myself.

Dead Snow (UK)
I added this to a recent order just to bump it up to the free shipping option, but I did quite enjoy it. It is a nice silly zombie romp. You can read my previous review here.

Whilst there are copies of The Godfather trilogy in the first image, I bought those for someone in the U.S, I am undecided about whether to keep my own copies at this stage, so I have added them simply because I did buy them, but until they get moved into the collection, I won't post them here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Episode 100 - Jump the Shark

Join Matt & I in our celebration of our 100th episode, over the course of the show we will take a look back at the things we have enjoyed about the last 99 episodes as well as some of the things we feel just went the wrong way completely. Erin also joins us to help put our Psycho challenge from a few months ago to bed, the challenge was put forward for us to find someone who had never seen the original or the remake of Psycho and then tells us which was better the 1960 version or the horrid 1998 remake, the catch is she had to watch them backwards, i.e. the remake first.

We also discuss our favorite challenges and not so favorite challenges over the past shows with the claws coming out on some titles once again. So make sure you tune in to celebrate with us the milestone as we attempt to jump the shark. (I always thought you jumped crocodiles myself?)

You can listen to all 100 episodes of our show over at B Grade Movies Online! You can also hear us live on 99.3FM in Hobart or streaming live at Edge Radio at 10pm AEST every Sunday evening!

If you like us, why not join us on Facebook, we are generally stuffing around on the book of face whilst we do the show.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Episode 99 - Eat My Shorts

We celebrated our 100th on air episode this past weekend, but before I can post that, we must get through episode 99's podcast! This week we discuss a feature that started with this very blog! That's right, Eat My Shorts gets a radio outing. This episode came about because Wholpin have a great sale on their DVD magazine, something I cannot recommend buying enough... so I felt we should celebrate with some short movie goodness. We each had 2 challenges and the only stipulation was that they must be under 30 minutes!

Steven – Within The Woods (1978) & Larger Than Life (1997)

Matt – Sparks (2009) & I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

Click below to listen to the show:

Don't forget you can find, listen or download all of our past episodes over at B Grade Movies Online! You can also hear us live on 99.3FM in Hobart or streaming live at Edge Radio at 10pm AEST every Sunday evening!

If you like us, why not join us on Facebook, we are generally stuffing around on the book of face whilst we do the show.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goodies Galore!

Well it has been awhile since I posted an update to the ol' Blu-ray collection, but over the weekend I got a chance to catch up on a few titles and here they are:

Pushing Daisies Season One (UK Edition)
From the mind of Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls) comes a sweet little tale of death, love and pie. This kind of show is ideal for the Blu-ray format with its technicolour costumes and sets, having just re-watched the series I was once again reminded of how annoyed I get when TV companies don't give original shows enough time to flesh out their ideas. Whilst it did get a second season for the most part Pushing Daisies was never given enough time to flourish.

Sucker Punch
Extended Cut (U.S Edition)
As I stated previously on this blog, Sucker Punch was an oddity for me when I saw it in Imax, clearly the film had been tampered with or at the very least something important was missing! As it turns out the extra 20 minutes of footage added to this release makes the film a far more enjoyable experience and one that makes a lot more sense than its theatrical counterpart.

Event Horizon (German Steelbook Edition)
Event Horizon is one of those movies that always sounds better when you tell people about it. Whilst it isn't a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, it still has a number of weaknesses, but given the lack of decent sci-fi horror of late, it was certainly a nice addition to the collection. (And is certainly better than Pandorum which was technically a knock off)

The Brit Indie Collection (UK Edition)
I mainly picked up this set for Trainspotting and Shallow Grave, probably just as well as I am a bit disappointed that Sexy Beast is presented in the wrong aspect ratio and 1080i and Gangster No. 1 (which I have not seen as yet) is 1080i also. Given I paid under $20 for this, it was still a bargain!!