What DVD have you just watched?

MDS posted:

Watched this again last night, prompted by Tabby Cat posting about the sound-track earlier.  I'm always impressed by the rich dialogue and the skilful weaving together of initially unconnected mini-stories. A classic. 

Reminds me of when, years ago, working in the Middle East, I bought a dodgy VHS rip-off copy of this.

The person at the copying facility must have checked his work, and confused by the "unconnected mini-stories", had re-edited the whole thing to join each of them together in sequence, resulting in a movie far removed from Mr. Tarantino's intentions!  

Deliverance: 

Hearing the news of Burt Reynolds' death, I did a quick mental roundup of his films, and thought I'd dig out a few to view in the next few days or weeks.  Top of the list was Deliverance, a film I have seen many times, have owned on VHS twice (Standard and then the widescreen version), on DVD, and also had bought on Blu-ray.  The Blu-ray I realised was still wrapped in its cellophane, so what better excuse than to crack it open and toast Burt with a glass of wine while I watched the film.

The film itself is both engrossing yet unsettling - and that pivotal scene, still as shocking as ever. They're in the great outdoors, miles from civilisation, and yet the atmosphere is one of claustrophobia. Throughout the film you can detect elements so successfully utilised by John Boorman here, that he repeated them in later films such as Excalibur. Of course, I'm not sure whether the Georgia Tourist Board (if such a thing exists) have ever forgiven him for making the film.  I'd imagine ever since Deliverance, most people would cross camping or canoeing  in Georgia off their holiday wish list. The most remarkable thing about the film is that in spite of its age, it seems quite timeless - a sure fire sign of a true classic.

As for the Blu-ray, well thank fully it hasn't been cropped so retains its widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. However the picture itself does not seem like such a big step up from the previous DVD.  There's a fair bit of print damage and colour instability in the first few minutes, which improves, but still has a greenish tint to the picture.  There's a softness to the picture too that may have been there all along - Boorman uses the effect of depth of field a lot and so often you find whole scenes where most of it is out of focus.  And some of the night time effects were pretty poor - Blu-ray only makes them more noticeable.  However, none of that really matters because you get the feeling its about as good as it gets (and it is otherwise very good and with no nasty compression artefacts neither), and you have to keep reminding yourself that this is a 45 year old film, not one made recently. So to sum up, one of the great classic films of our time, and the Blu-ray, while not perfect, is likely the best we will see it.  

Rest in peace Burt.

"Beaufort"  (2007)  movie of the book of the same name.  My thanks to Haim for recommending  the books "Beaufort" (fiction) and "Pumpkin Flowers" (non-fiction).  Powerful movie, I was glad I had read the book before watching.

Haim, I have filled my meager brain with quite a lot of information about unfamiliar places and unfamiliar events with tons of information and references in a fairly short period of time.  As I contemplate these readings and the movie, I am left wandering if I am making connections that are appropriate and accurate.  Can you confirm for me that both of these books are about the same conflict at the same location ?  Sorry if that is a stupid question.  I am currently under the impression the answer is "yes".  If not the same, I will pick-up the differences when I reread Pumpkin Flowers fairly soon.

Haim Ronen posted:

Jeff, both books are about the same conflict, taking place toward the end of occupation of  southern Lebanon in 2000 (which started with the war in 1982).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Lebanon_War

What I watched in the movie is a (at least a partial) visualization of what you and Matti experienced during your active duty period there ?  Correct ?    That is all I want to ask right now. I am just trying to integrate the fiction with the non-fiction.    Seems like essentially it is all very, very real and the movie took that experience for me as a reader/viewer from my head to my heart.  Beyond that at this point, I am quite speechless.  My respect, sir.

Richard Dane posted:

Deliverance: 

Hearing the news of Burt Reynolds' death, I did a quick mental roundup of his films, and thought I'd dig out a few to view in the next few days or weeks.  Top of the list was Deliverance, a film I have seen many times, have owned on VHS twice (Standard and then the widescreen version), on DVD, and also had bought on Blu-ray.  The Blu-ray I realised was still wrapped in its cellophane, so what better excuse than to crack it open and toast Burt with a glass of wine while I watched the film.

The film itself is both engrossing yet unsettling - and that pivotal scene, still as shocking as ever. They're in the great outdoors, miles from civilisation, and yet the atmosphere is one of claustrophobia. Throughout the film you can detect elements so successfully utilised by John Boorman here, that he repeated them in later films such as Excalibur. Of course, I'm not sure whether the Georgia Tourist Board (if such a thing exists) have ever forgiven him for making the film.  I'd imagine ever since Deliverance, most people would cross camping or canoeing  in Georgia off their holiday wish list. The most remarkable thing about the film is that in spite of its age, it seems quite timeless - a sure fire sign of a true classic.

As for the Blu-ray, well thank fully it hasn't been cropped so retains its widescreen 2.40:1 aspect ratio. However the picture itself does not seem like such a big step up from the previous DVD.  There's a fair bit of print damage and colour instability in the first few minutes, which improves, but still has a greenish tint to the picture.  There's a softness to the picture too that may have been there all along - Boorman uses the effect of depth of field a lot and so often you find whole scenes where most of it is out of focus.  And some of the night time effects were pretty poor - Blu-ray only makes them more noticeable.  However, none of that really matters because you get the feeling its about as good as it gets (and it is otherwise very good and with no nasty compression artefacts neither), and you have to keep reminding yourself that this is a 45 year old film, not one made recently. So to sum up, one of the great classic films of our time, and the Blu-ray, while not perfect, is likely the best we will see it.  

Rest in peace Burt.

Great review Richard.

Yes, a very unsettling film i've not seen for a long time. Hopefully it'll be shown with on tv soon.

 

RIP Burt Reynolds. 

Superb 2012 doc about the Stones, covering the "early" (ie pre-1982) years. It's actually more of a collage than a documentary (there's no narrator) but it's really well edited and some of the archive footage is amazing. A must for serious Stones fans.

Another day, another music doc. This one's got two strands: it's partly a 'making of' documentary about the acclaimed Broadway show of the same name; and partly a biography of the great man - Fela Kuti - himself> Like the Stones one above, this film has some great footage and plenty of first hand testimony, especially from Fela and his immediate (and large) family, as well as collaborators such as Tony Allen.

I had a couple of friends staying on Sunday night.

Neither of them had seen the film "Crash", so I decided to show them it, one of my all time favourite films.

By the end, they couldn't believe they'd previously never heard of the film!

Crash - 2005; produced, directed, and co-written by Paul Haggis.

Brilliant. 

blythe posted:

I had a couple of friends staying on Sunday night.

Neither of them had seen the film "Crash", so I decided to show them it, one of my all time favourite films.

By the end, they couldn't believe they'd previously never heard of the film!

Crash - 2005; produced, directed, and co-written by Paul Haggis.

Brilliant. 

Great film. 

james n posted:
blythe posted:

I had a couple of friends staying on Sunday night.

Neither of them had seen the film "Crash", so I decided to show them it, one of my all time favourite films.

By the end, they couldn't believe they'd previously never heard of the film!

Crash - 2005; produced, directed, and co-written by Paul Haggis.

Brilliant. 

Great film. 

I've never seen it. Might give it a go.

M

Jeff Anderson posted:

"Band 0f Brothers"  (2002)  disc 1 of 6  Six part HBO mini-series of D-Day.  Hope to watch the other 5 discs over the next week.

Excellent series. I much preferred it to the later Pacific series which apparently cost more money to make.

The use of testimony of some of the participants was used most skilfully.  It often left me with a lump in my throat.

Jeff Anderson posted:

"Band 0f Brothers"  (2002)  disc 1 of 6  Six part HBO mini-series of D-Day.  Hope to watch the other 5 discs over the next week.

What a treat you have ahead of you.  A brilliant series that really does make you feel like you're sitting on the shoulder of Easy Company as they progress from training in the US, through to D-Day, Holland, the Ardennes, and finally Germany. It is up there with that other great series of "brothers" thrust together in war, Das Boot.

Richard Dane posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:

"Band 0f Brothers"  (2002)  disc 1 of 6  Six part HBO mini-series of D-Day.  Hope to watch the other 5 discs over the next week.

What a treat you have ahead of you.  A brilliant series that really does make you feel like you're sitting on the shoulder of Easy Company as they progress from training in the US, through to D-Day, Holland, the Ardennes, and finally Germany. It is up there with that other great series of "brothers" thrust together in war, Das Boot.

Yes, this is a superb box set.  I agree with the comments and the series really brings home the true horrors of war.

MDS posted:
james n posted:
blythe posted:

I had a couple of friends staying on Sunday night.

Neither of them had seen the film "Crash", so I decided to show them it, one of my all time favourite films.

By the end, they couldn't believe they'd previously never heard of the film!

Crash - 2005; produced, directed, and co-written by Paul Haggis.

Brilliant. 

Great film. 

I've never seen it. Might give it a go.

M

Do let us know what you thought once you've seen it :-)
(It's a little slow to start but all makes sense !)

blythe posted:
MDS posted:
james n posted:
blythe posted:

I had a couple of friends staying on Sunday night.

Neither of them had seen the film "Crash", so I decided to show them it, one of my all time favourite films.

By the end, they couldn't believe they'd previously never heard of the film!

Crash - 2005; produced, directed, and co-written by Paul Haggis.

Brilliant. 

Great film. 

I've never seen it. Might give it a go.

M

Do let us know what you thought once you've seen it :-)
(It's a little slow to start but all makes sense !)

Will do, blythe. It's on order from the big river. 

MDS posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:

"Band Of Brothers" (2002)  disc 2 episode 3-4 now in house

Think you've prompted me to dig it out and give it another viewing myself, Jeff.

It is a very good series.  Episode 1 reminded me very much  of my initial 8 weeks basic training in late 1971.  The world looks very different when you are crawling on your stomach under barbed wire with automatic weapon fire passing over your head.  But I had it easy overall as my next assignment was a desk job near Washington DC for the remainder of my two years (drafted service time).  While in DC I came-up on orders for Germany but my commanding officer had the orders changed.

Episode 2 was challenging to watch (and after Beaufort a couple weeks ago).  And that young lieutenant was quiet amazing in his clear thinking and logic in that massive chaos.  The killing is obviously reprehensible, but I have nothing but complete respect for people who voluntarily or involuntarily find themselves in that situation and do what is required.  Courage outweighs arm-chair opinions every time.  Not sure I would have had it and fortunate to not have found out.

blythe posted:
Bert Schurink posted:

Working my way through, still DVD’s i bought when living in Hong Kong 10 years ago...

 

I simply LOVED the first series but somehow lost interest by half way through the 2nd. Possibly because I kept on missing episodes.

It's a strange kind of series with similar types of plot elements in the different series. And I have to say season five was a bit different from the other ones in storyline and the amount of known characters dying. Looking forward to season 6. 

Jeff Anderson posted:

"Band of Brothers" (2002)  discs 5 and 6 are in house

Completed episodes 9 and 10 and the summary 6th disc as well this early morning.  A powerful series, well produced and well acted.  It is a privilege to be aware of all the members of Easy Company but it is especially noteworthy for me to now be aware of Maj Dick Martin. I have been fortunate to know several men of his apparent character in my lifetime.  They are special.  Anyone with a remote interest in the topic should consider watching this.  I believe it was a post by Happy Listener last month that caught my attention, my thanks.

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