Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blu-ray Update

Hello All, here are some of the latest additions to the blu-ray collection:

First up we have the UK steelbook of Jaws; this is to compliment my Jaws collection the likes of which can be seen here.

Next up we have the exclusive steelbooks for Watchmen and Collateral (Watchman is a double dip as I own the JBHIFI exclusive Director's Cut, but I couldn't resist this awesome steel!)

Next we have a new range of awesome art slip covers that are exclusive to JB HIFI here in Australia, I have only picked up 5 so far, but I will eventually get the whole set, tis just a matter of time.  These have been really popular with folks overseas as I have helped a number of forum members grab complete sets of these!  They are really nice.  The disc and case are identical to the previous releases which is a bit of a shame (and meant I had to double dip on 2 titles), but the artwork is totally worth it! Titles pictured are: Let Me In, Death at a Funeral, Tucker & Dale VS Evil, Requiem for a Dream and Amelie.

and last, but by no means least, I picked up a couple of "standard" releases.  On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Both DVD Upgrades!)

Anyway folks, there will be an update probably next week as I fly out to Sydney tomorrow to see Skyfall in Imax, I also picked up the Hitchcock boxset (watched Rear Window yesterday, which was fantastic) and have the new Game of Thrones limited edition on the way (not to mention an obscene amount of Criterion editions with thanks to the 50% off Barnes & Noble sale!)

So until then - Happy movie watching!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

The Resident Evil franchise has been a bit hit and miss at the best of times, the hit factor was certainly more of a surprise than the miss. For my part, the first film was great entertainment, the second was a massive let down, the third surprisingly better than the second and Afterlife was the best of the sequels thus far. It was the latter film that gave some hope for its continuation in this 5th installment.

Paul W.S Anderson returns as both writer and director, his wife Milla Jovovich also returns as seminal hero Alice as do a number of the cast from the previous sequels, but a little more on that later.

The film starts with a wonderful slow motion action scene depicting in reverse the events on the Arcadia up until the end of the last film  We are then treated to the same scene moving forward in real time, a scene that will see Alice get blown off the Arcadia and into the sea.

She awakens as a wife and mother in a suburban environment in which the world seems normal, normal that is until a zombie attack occurs! During her escape from the zombie imposters, her husband Todd (Oded Fehr - who is in fact Carlos Olivera from the third film) is killed and she bumps into Rain (Michelle Rodriguez from the first film) with whom she continues her escape, albeit a short attempt as they soon crash and get knocked unconscious.

Once again Alice awakens, this time as a prisoner in an Umbrella Corporation holding facility wearing her contractually obliged "white blanket" (see above) in which Jill Valentine (yes the one from the second film who is basically unrecognizable in this film) under the control of The Red Queen (yes the annoying child minded A.I from the first film) attempts to glean information from her. Suffice to say she escapes once again, this time with the help of the bad guy from the last film who apparently is now a good guy in this film and well... you see where this is going....

OK, the real shame about this installment is the potential this film had to be brilliant! We learn that Umbrella have created a massive testing facility in the arctic circle that contains minutely detailed recreations of Tokyo, New York, Moscow and Racoon City for the purposes of testing the impact and spread of the T-Virus.  How awesome would it have been to simply make one or all of the previous films simply a simulation!!  The potential was there and only lightly touched on using the Tokyo opening from the previous film. We have bascially all of the major characters from the previous films returning with only the simple explanation of them being clones (something we previously only knew about Alice).  This strengthened the idea that the first or second films could simply have existed as a mere figment of a clones life.

Unfortunately the film makes absolutely no attempt at using my awesome idea above and instead ops to just provide what can only be considered 2 hours of watching someone play a video game using only cut scenes that don't explain or relate any of the information you require to make any kind of sense of the film.  That is of course, if you could even consider this piece of work a film, but there are others out there who clearly explain this better than I....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Steelbook Bonanza

As promised last week, here are a few of my steel and metal packaged discs from my collection. I have only recently really started an interest in this packaging style and I am still unsure if I like it enough to consider replacing any existing titles I may have already, but these titles were all new releases at the time I purchased them. I did however have some tins from my DVD collecting days so I figured I would start with them!

V For Vendetta (Australian DVD Limited Edition Tin) 

Edward Scissorhands (U.S 10th Anniversary DVD Tin) 

Firefly & Serenity (EzyDVD Tins Australia)

And now onto the Blu-ray steelbooks which I shall present as an outside shot (Front, Back and Spine) and an inside shot with disc art (where applicable).

The Avengers (Australian JBHIFI Exclusive)

I have yet to open any of these and as such I am simply presenting front (above) and back (below) shots. They are: The Hunger Games (District 12 Futureshop Exclusive), Apollo 13 (JB HIFI Exclusive), The Fast & The Furious (JB HIFI Exclusive), Back to the Future (JB HIFI Exclusive), Jurassic Park (JB HIFI Exclusive) and Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (JB HIFI Exclusive). 

Event Horizon (German Exclusive)

The Hunger Games (Futureshop Canada Exclusive)

Hanna (UK)

Knowing (Australia)

Metropolis (UK Unopened)

The Muppets (Futureshop Canada Metal Pack)

Resident Evil: Afterlife (JB HIFI Australia)

Sucker Punch (JB HIFI Australia)

Terminator Salvation (Greece)

So there you have it, my steelbook and metal packaging collection thus far!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trailer Alert - Silent Hill Revelation (2012)

 One of my all-time guilty pleasure films has to be Silent Hill.  Whilst it doesn't make a lot of sense and clearly a tonne of studio intervention occurred before its release, I still find it highly entertaining and it looks and sounds fantastic on blu-ray.  With that said, I am not sure how I feel about this trailer.  For one thing I hate 3D so I seriously hope a 2D version will do the rounds locally upon release. It is nice to see most of the cast returned (even funnier to see Stark and his Bastard in a film together), but I guess we shall have to wait and see what the film is like before passing judgement!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Snakes...Why did it have to be snakes?

That's right folks Indiana Jones has finally come to the Blu-ray disc format.  Whilst I had intended to pick up the super duper limited edition, it turns out that it will not be released for another month yet, so whilst I normally would wait, I was actually quite happy with the local standard release.  This is the JBHIFI limited edition set that comes with a film cell (as seen above) And here is the rest of the set:


I sat down and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and I must say the first 1/2 hour had me a little perplexed in terms of picture quality (something about it seemed a little off, but I can't quite put my finger on it) and I am not too sure how I feel about having the score mixed into the surround channels the way they have, but after that first 1/2 hour thing were vastly improved in the picture department. Suffice to say Paramount have come out in defense of the opening scenes stating that it is the first time they have been restored to their original colour palette, which makes sense given that I couldn't actually tell what felt wrong about it and the transfer quality itself was fantastic.

Having come from VHS, then Laserdisc and then DVD, I can certainly say that this release is definitely the best Raiders has looked on a home media format that I have seen. It is also the first time I can recall the opening credits not being a cesspool of moire effect!  Now I just have to make the time to watch the rest!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shiny New Things....

September is upon us and what a massive month for Blu-ray August was!  Of course September shows no sign of slowing down with the releases of Indiana Jones and Titanic this week alone! With that said though, here are a few releases I have picked up over the last few weeks:

First up we have the Lethal Weapon series. This release was only $20, although I am a bit miffed that it was advertised incorrectly. (The discs for 1 & 2 are the previous release, not the newly remastered versions)

Next up we have a few imports... From Criterion we have Fanny & Alexander, Shock Corridor and Kiss Me Deadly. From Fox I did end up getting Margaret, but this release pisses me off immensely as it is a DVD/Blu-ray combo that includes the Theatrical and Extended Cut, however the latter is only on DVD. I mean seriously, an over 3 hour version compressed to within an inch of its life on DVD whilst a perfectly good Blu-ray sits in the same set.  Why is it that Sony can fit three versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind on one disc (using seamless branching), yet we can't get the extended version of Margaret in HD.  Moving on, I was also happy to finally pick up the steelbook edition of Metropolis, but I will be doing a special post on steelbooks next week so more on that one later ;)

After a few weeks delay after a replication error, the Aussie horror flick The Tunnel has finally made its high definition disc debut and what a doozy.  It is worth it for the DTS-HD Master Audio track alone!!  Turn off the lights, crank up the sound and make sure you have a clean pair of underwear handy!

And last, but by no means least I grabbed Lollipop Chainsaw and whilst it was fun, the game play only lasted around 4-5 hours and there was a lot of key thrashing frustration, still a cool concept and the only game I have actually seen through to the end since Red Dead Redemption!

Well as I stated above, I am working on a post regarding steelbooks so whilst I did buy The Avengers and The Hunger Games (because I know you were all wondering), I will save my pics until that post as I did manage to pick up both Futureship CA steelbook editions! So until next week, happy watching!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to watch a blu-ray...

Last week saw the release of quite possibly my favourite Steven Spielberg movie, Jaws. Hopes were very high that this release would get the treatment it deserved and boy did it ever!  This is the best Jaws has and probably ever will ever look  The transfer is mind blowing in how much it adds to the movie going experience and the soundtrack make-over is just as good as the picture!

The release in Australia is a wonderful digibook with some interesting pictures and info included in the book. Here is a preview of a few pages:

Of course Jaws has been released to home video in many variations over the course of the years.... I personally have owned at least 4 copies on VHS, the Signature Collection Laserdisc and 3 separate DVD releases.  I also have the UK steelbook blu-ray on order so that will make 2 blu-ray copies as well! As well as owning the actual film, I have on occasion spent up on Jaws Memorabilia... some of which I will share below for you!

 Signature Collection Front & Back (Above)

 Signature Collection Contents (Above)

 Region 1 DTS Release & 30th Anniversary DVD Release (Above 1st Line)
Jaws paperback, Jaws BFI Classics & The Jaws Log paperback (Above 2nd Line)

Jaws Pressbook - features cast & crew information, plot synopsis and advertising supplements. (Above)

 Jaws Video Game (Above)

 Neon Magazine (Jaws is No 1 on the list of 100 films!)

And what Jaws collection would be complete without an all-singing all-dancing shark on a mount!
Singing Jaws (Above)

I was going to upload a video of the above, but if you search Youtube for singing Jaws you will find one easily enough! (Of course!)