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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 05:06 
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Been binging on a lot of different stuff, mostly streaming but a few DVDs no LDs over the past week.
Did pickup a cheap copy of Hard Boiled, ended up being a wrong disc inside the case and it was dubbed English only.
Watched parts of Once Upon a Time in America, OK film but I just don't get the feel like Leone's other films for me.

12 Monkeys, great for what's going on the past year and this year.
Some other stuff that was just scanning through on streaming, bad British horror that I can't remember, one was with Pleasence's daughter.
Another one with the woman from I think Logan's Run as a young girl but it was a horror killer mystery film, again scanned through it.

Also watched Watch out we're mad on LD, such a fun film, I can't really say anything bad about the film, even if its missing the hot dog competition.

Seems like these streaming services if free give you more commercials than regular TV used to, almost one every 3-5 minutes when I was trying to watch once upon a time in america.

Duck you sucker is on right now and its such a great one that I can't stand the commercials so I'll probably watch the DVD I own tomorrow
as its such an amazing classic, I think his last best film personally, even with poor accents from the two leads.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 14:30 
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I never watch anything with commercials anymore. Ever. I have five streaming services and 1000 things on disc and whatever I want to pirate. Never ever ever again am I watching ads.

That goes times a million for music.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2021, 15:49 
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rein-o wrote:
Also watched Watch out we're mad on LD, such a fun film, I can't really say anything bad about the film, even if its missing the hot dog competition.


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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2021, 11:59 
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Dug out the German Blu Ray of In Bed With Madonna, sorry, Madonna: Truth Or Dare, a couple of nights ago. I remember this one from when it was first released back in 1990/1991. I think it coincided with the release of her infamous Sex book. You know, the one with the staged photos with Vanilla Ice, Naomi Campbell, Udo Keir etc. Co-incidentally that book now seems to command a hefty sum over on Gr€€dBay. I'm puzzled as to why, I recall flipping through it when it was released and it all seemed a bit tame in comparison to, say, a Paul Raymond skin rag.

Until now I had never seen the film before, and after watching it was rather pleased that I finally had. I remember the frenzy around it (and the book) at the time, and in fairness when you look back at it today it does command a certain respect. The whole black and white thing, reflecting (according to Madonna) a feeling of Cinema Verite (sic), the staged tantrums and fooling around that are stuffed in to so many 'reality' television shows today. It does look like a real precursor to reality television and for that it should be commended for breaking new grounds, however strongly you feel about the genre (either negatively or positively).

Use of colour for the concert footage makes for a nice change, taking you out of the documentary feel momentarily before switching back to black and white. For the most part it's a pretty well shot film, although some scenes are not shot quite as well and it's very clearly been staged. That's possibly a trait that is easier to spot after the average Joe/Josephine has been exposed to so much so-called reality television.

I forget why I went for the German Blu Ray now. There is a good reason for it; perhaps it's the audio track mix or the AR? I'm not sure, but whatever. The disc is entitled In Bed With Madonna, yet the actual print of the film used for the disc is the USA title Madonna: Truth Or Dare. The title card does have a German subtitle that is burned in to the negative but other than that you get both German and English DTS-HD-MA tracks as well as German subtitles. For what it's worth I did check out the German audio track to see how it was handled. I will simply say this, if you want a German audio track simply walk away from this disc. The dub is absolutely atrocious. What you get here is the original English audio, slightly lowered in volume below an utterly dreadful German dub. Not only is the dub terrible (and I don't even speak German but the voice acting alone was vomit-inducing) but the levels between the two audio tracks are so close together that it makes it sound like both audio tracks are being played together at the same time. Think of the opening sequence of Ghost In The Shell where Motoko Kusanagi pulls the wires out of her neck to eliminate the noise and you have a fair idea of what this German dub is like. Walk a million miles away from it and just go for the English audio track and German subtitles if you need those.

I can't get used to the odd USA title of the film either. It assume that it stems from a scene that features in the documentary about 2/3 of the way through. To me it's always been called In Bed With Madonna, and will continue to be. It's a half decent documentary that does shine a (albeit carefully positioned) light on one of the biggest pop stars in music history which, although ground-breaking for it's time does seem a little tame today. Well worth a watch though and do pick up the German Blu Ray if you can. I still can't remember why though!

Side note: This film scores 10/10 purely for exposing Kevin Costner as a total and utter dork! Neat. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2021, 11:25 
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Dawson City: Frozen Time is another superb title from the Kino Lorber stable, and another that took me by surprise. Another blind stumbleview. It's essentially a 2 hour documentary with next to zero commentary; text on the screen unfolds the story. It tells of Dawson City, a town up in the Yukon and the incredible discovery in 1978 of a swimming pool buried under an ice hockey rink that was filled up with silent movies back in 1929.

What I enjoyed most about this film was the detail to the back story. How and why 533 silent films ended up being buried in a swimming pool for half a century, but also the history of Dawson City, right from day zero. I learned a lot about Dawson's poignancy around the Klondike gold rush. The devastating fires and loss of life. The way a city swelled with prospectors, but once the big corporations took over and ravaged the lands, a City of 9000 or so nosedived to under 1000 almost immediately.

One of the more harrowing facts I learned from this film (with regards cinema) is that it is thought that over 75% of all of the silent films ever made are now lost forever. A mix of variables are at play here, from the danger of nitrate film and it's handling and storage, down to the perception back then that these films had a shelf life and once they had run their course they were simply disposed of. It's incredible to try and comprehend how film makers and distributors saw these works as disposable, yet when we look back today all we can see is that they were destroying history.

2 hours flew by relatively swiftly. A couple of sections I felt dragged a little longer than they perhaps should have. There appeared to be more dwelling on the founding of Dawson than the discovery and preservation of the lost reels. I'd have preferred if this section was given more time, however given the story behind how the reels ended up where they did is of great importance then it is essential to tell the complete back story so I can see why the film ventured this path. I'm keen to learn more about silent films and perhaps watch a few more off of the back of this film. It's an era of cinema that I've explored very little of aside from the obvious candidates, Metropolis, A Trip To The Moon and so on.

I'd urge anyone who enjoys film to watch this documentary. It's a good one.

SIDE NOTE: If you are a baseball fan (and who isn't? :thumbup: ) you may appreciate the footage of the 1919 World Series that was found in the swimming pool.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/fo ... -1.2635519
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2021, 17:54 
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I'll have to check that out, I love silent films and its one of the few reasons I still have an LD player.
Anime, Silent, theatrical releases and then the random film with no other release.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2021, 17:07 
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I have never in my life heard of the film My Name Is Pecos, I thought it was perhaps a documentary about the guy that invented Old El Paso dinner kits or something. Excuse my utter ignorance. :oops:

What we have here is a half decent spaghetti Western that, while not in the moody, ultra serious tone of Clint Eastwood's most famous turns and nowhere near the level of gung-ho, balls out utter lunacy of the brilliant Santana films, My Name Is Pecos lands somewhere between. Which is perhaps why it's been overlooked since it's release way back in 1966.

The film is fairly unforgiving and is presented in such a way that you don't ever feel like you bond with or care about the cast. From the very start the film doesn't mess about. It opens abruptly. It's an urgent, angry and unforgiving film. Pecos is one super pissed off bloke. He arrives in town to get revenge on the man who killed his family but ends up helping many others out too. There's no messing about here. No flim-flam. My Name Is Pecos has an objective and it gets there with the least fuss possible.

My Name Is Pecos is rather violent too. Not in a slick, outlandish way (and most definitely nowhere near Santana-level ultraviolence), it's more straightforward. More blunt. More cold and bleak. In this film if you happen to be stood in the way of a rifle or revolver and a trigger is pull then that's just too bad. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I watched a film where around 90% of the cast is killed. Rambo (2008) perhaps?

Oh actually no, the last film I saw that had this high a body count was Double Target (watched on April 21st, 2021). That said though Double Target had a cast of about 650 billion and every single one of them is wiped out in about 5 seconds of the film starting. My Name Is Pecos has a miniscule cast. For reference though (and because this took me bloody ages to make) here's a previous comparison (in deaths per minute) I made between the body counts of Rambo: First Blood and Double Target. Please look forward to it!

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My Name Is Pecos opens really strong but I felt tended to lull a little in the mid-section and became almost processional as it depicted the tussle between Kleine (the villain) and Pecos. That said, the film finishes on a superb high with a fantastic climax scene to wrap things up. I had read somewhere that a segment of the film was edited from A Few Dollars More but I wasn't sure where (it's been a while since I've seen it).

I had a bit of a hard time rooting for Pecos though. I think the problem stems around the fact that he's dressed more like a junior minister on a fact-finding mission rather than a chiseled, bitter gunslinger. There were also a couple of moments of comedy that I felt were unnecessary and took the edge away during key scenes. One scene in particular in the saloon I felt was totally ruined by this. The jokes, although few, I felt were not warranted and the film would have been far better off without them.

With regards sound and image there is little to fault here. You get a choice of Italian and English audio tracks. I prefer to watch films in their native tongue and was not disappointed with the clear and nicely-eq'ed Italian mono track. No problems here at all. The English subtitles had a couple of spelling and grammar issues. I'm that pedantic that when I dump my discs to NAS I go through the subtitles with a spell check (yes, really). Picture quality it has to be said is absolutely astounding here. Considering the age of the film you get a razor sharp image here with fine natural grain that does not become problematic during darker scenes at all. You get proper aspect ratio too and some luscious colours to boot. As far as sound and image go I think this presentation is pretty much faultless.

My Name Is Pecos did spawn a sequel Pecos Cleans Up that was released the following year in 1967. I would be keen to see this film to round off the set. Jeff has them both on his subscription service if you are interested. You can also get My Name Is Pecos as part of the Arrow Vengeance Trails box set (which looks like a stellar buy incidentally).

As far as spaghetti westerns go, I don't think this one ranks up there with the best of them. It does have it's moments though and for those alone I would say this is well worth a watch. Get it in the best quality possible though as the HD restoration is a treat. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2021, 13:35 
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Have you ever popped a new film purchase in to your media player for the sole purpose of having a quick look at it, only to find you end up watching the whole thing? Me too. Often. It happened most recently to me last night when I put in the German Blu Ray disc of the 3+ hours, full-fat, full beans, 'giving it the slipper' edition of Grindhouse.

What started off as an overwhelming curiosity to explore the disc and the bonus features ended up in my sitting down to watch the full 3+ hour long feature, from the first second to the very last (including all of the end credits for pure 'I've sat here this long I may as well complete the whole thing' sake :oops:). That's both films back to back, all the trailers, adverts, credits, everything.

I didn't intend to. It kind of just happened.

I'm glad I sat through it though, I hadn't seen Grindhouse in it's full, directors-intended theatrical run form since it's release in 2007. It was great to be able to do it again in one sitting and it was just as enjoyable to watch as the first time round. Opening with a trailer for Machete, then straight in to Planet Terror, a break for some adverts and future features before rounding off the extravaganza with Death Proof. It's quite the journey but one hell of a ride along the way, especially if the genre is your thing.

First time around, and to this day, I had always favoured Death Proof between the two films. However upon a second viewing (and multiple viewings of the films in their extended individual releases) I think I slightly favour Planet Terror more now. Death Proof aesthetically feels more 'authentic' as a tribute to the genre, but I think Planet Terror is just so wild and extreme that it comes off as the better film even though it does teeter on losing it's way a little from time to time.

It's when you begin to cross examine both features that you start to notice (and to quote Pulp Fiction) "the little differences". No, not putting mayonnaise on French fries in Amsterdam (I've seen 'em do it man, they f***in' drown 'em in that s**t! :lol: ). Things like the doctor appearing in both films in the same role, the drinks cup in Death Proof that's from the adverts section, the Jungle Julia billboards, the restaurant in the second half of Death Proof where if you look closely you will see Stuntman Mike eating his lunch at the counter and so on. I'd have to conduct some research for confirmation but I strongly believe that Rosario Dawson's line about getting a foot massage is a reference to Pulp Fiction. There's so much more to learn from the entire production, and that is where the wonderful hardback book comes in to play. There's more interviews in it than an annual review at the local dole (re: welfare) office. More articles, features and photos than even the weightiest copy of Smash Hits magazine. If you love Grindhouse or just film in general I would strongly suggest picking up a copy of the book before it goes out of print, it's been around a good while now.

The German Blu doesn't disappoint. You get the full fat, uncut, uncensored, full beans, drenched in saturated trans fats goodness of Grindhouse here. All 191+ minutes of it in it's original theatrical version. You get superior, lossless audio in both the German and the English audio tracks. You get commentaries on both features as well as the fake trailers and advertisements as well as a bunch of other featurettes. One extra feature that is exclusive to the German Blu is a jukebox feature. You get an interactive jukebox styled the same as the one in Death Proof where you can listen to music from the film. There is also a BD+ Live section but that is no longer online which is very sad to see. I would love to know if anyone is actively archiving BD+ Live content as it's otherwise going to be lost forever. Very sad and a nod to the throwaway, digital-based society we live in, as well as another reason to use your voice and your wallet and continue to champion physical media. The only other edition of Grindhouse that matches the German Blu is the Japanese Blu, which has one extra fake trailer commentary but omits the jukebox feature from the German Blu,

The one (and it depends on your take on this) downside to sitting through the full-fat double feature is that both films are heavily edited, nay, the edits are replaced with 'Reel Missing' title cards. I think 30+ minutes is missing from both films combined. One lengthy scene missing from Death Proof is the lap dance with Stuntman Mike, that's about 5 or so minutes chopped out in this one example. To get the extended versions you will need to purchase both films again in their solo editions. I didn't mind the edits so much, I think it improves the flow of both features. However if I want to watch one of the films in it's own right then I would default to the extended version for that experience.

I think looking back at Grindhouse today, nearly 15 years later (yes it's hard to believe it's been that long), it holds up very well. I've read comments about some sequences being inappropriate in 2021 (and of course the Weinstein affiliation, but that's an entirely different matter) but I think in a way that it works to the films advantage. By that I mean that back in the 1970's and early 1980's, these 'grindhouse' features were pushing the boundaries of taste and decency too and it's something that can perhaps be retained as a positive in terms of this modern interpretation of the grindhouse. It's a great shame that the production didn't do as well as what was hoped. I think it's a wonderful homage to a time past, when film pushed and in some cases broke through certain perceived limits and boundaries. I think Grindhouse, away from the whole homage thing, is a fantastic production and brave and credible attempt in it's own right to try something different.

I hope that one day we may see a Grindhouse 2, though given how fickle the industry is and how ideas and perceptions have moved on over the last 15 years I hold little hope. I'll always have this disc, the book and an absolute trove of sub par films from days gone by though. You'll never take those away from me.

Viva sub-par cinema. Viva the Grindhouse. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2021, 05:27 
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I watched a couple of Russian sci-fi movies today.

Attraction (2017) was an extra terrestrial first contact movie. It was a bad movie. I enjoyed the few scenes with Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, Kamov KA-51 attack helicopters and MIG-35. That’s all.

Spacewalker (2017) was the Voskhod 2 mission with the first ever space walk. This movies was excellent in every sense.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2021, 07:25 
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Just re-viewed AMERICAN BEAUTY on glorious LaserDisc.

Really cannot relay the emotion felt during the roller coaster ride of epic art craft given by Spacy, Bening, and Thora Birch. Not to mention Wes Bentley in a standout performance.
Perhaps because I am entering my twilight years, the sublime message of a ever surrounding "love" and "benevolence" conveyed by Wes's character through his video medium really struck a chord within me.
The push back against fear could not be underscored enough driving the climax of the film home.

If any members have not viewed this late 1990's gem, please check it out. There is something for everyone !

Cheers mates,
Hang tough out there ....

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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 Oct 2021, 02:19 
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Volcano (1997) [0603984]
:crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

I suppose it is just worth watching it for Tommy Lee jackhammering and the closeup shots of some velcro shoes melting.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2021, 12:30 
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Finished watching all 11 DVD's of the Goodnight Sweetheart box set last night. Chalked off a disc and a half a day. The discs are authored as such that you can use the next chapter button in the same way as a 'skip intro' feature for each episode, which is a nice touch.

Great to see the show again in it's entirety. That said, some of the content is a bit 'near', plus I can envisage some music rights issues would likely present themselves too. With those points in mind I would imagine any potential Blu Ray release that could appear one day would likely be cut. Similar to how the BBC shredded the beloved series Only Fools And Horses which, oddly enough, is only available uncut on either old VHS home made original TV broadcast recordings, or via a long out of print part-work magazine with cover-mounted DVD's. One scene in particular, featuring a cameo from a well-known convicted Australian wobbleboard-loving paedophile shitcunt has already been removed from repeat TV airings along with his name being blurred in the credits. This DVD collection though is uncut.

Dirty old man aside, this is a great DVD collection for a great 1990's television series. It has loads of great extra features and commentaries too. Great stuff. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2021, 13:44 
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I thought I was in the mood to watch the Hobbit (there is only one in my eyes and its not PJ's) since I was listening to the ost on youtube namely the greatest adventure but I got the riddle part with gollum and got tired for some reason. I hope to get back to it but one thing that's annoying is the way they treated this. Its not preserved well and I am afraid they don't care about this version when in fact its the superior one. I want to track down the record but it seems rather expensive but I do have the disney one's with a little book that is read along.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2021, 01:11 
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I finished the Columbo box set. Well…I skipped almost all of the 90s stuff. Some of those are OK, some are wincingly bad. Next time I’m only doing the original series.

I recently watched Only Angels Eat Beans, a Bud Spencer movie with a guy who isn’t Terrence Hill but he does a good job. I liked this movie a lot and consider it one of his best.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2021, 05:46 
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signofzeta wrote:
I finished the Columbo box set. Well…I skipped almost all of the 90s stuff. Some of those are OK, some are wincingly bad. Next time I’m only doing the original series.

I recently watched Only Angels Eat Beans, a Bud Spencer movie with a guy who isn’t Terrence Hill but he does a good job. I liked this movie a lot and consider it one of his best.


Coincidentally I've been watching Columbo on Peacock for the past few months here and there. I'm literally on the last episode of the original series and am probably going to call it a day there. The modern series wasn't the best. Did you know that there was a series called Mrs Columbo, the lead was played by yer wan who played Catherine Janeway in Voyager.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2021, 11:58 
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Yeah, the DVD has some episodes on it. It’s not good on any level, unfortunately. I can’t even imagine recommending it as a curiosity.

When they created Mrs the original had gone off the air. It hadn’t yet gained the respect it has today so at that time the name was just something to use to maybe make more money. They didn’t…put a lot of effort into it. The actress is massively massively too young, for one thing. They change the show as it goes on, including the name. It only took them a few episodes to drop the Columbo name, just calling her “Kate” and then eventually they dropped the whole show. At least 90s Columbo shows respect for the source material. A divorce…are kidding me? Ridiculous.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 14 Oct 2021, 12:08 
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signofzeta wrote:
Yeah, the DVD has some episodes on it. It’s not good on any level, unfortunately. I can’t even imagine recommending it as a curiosity.

When they created Mrs the original had gone off the air. It hadn’t yet gained the respect it has today so at that time the name was just something to use to maybe make more money. They didn’t…put a lot of effort into it. The actress is massively massively too young, for one thing. They change the show as it goes on, including the name. It only took them a few episodes to drop the Columbo name, just calling her “Kate” and then eventually they dropped the whole show. At least 90s Columbo shows respect for the source material. A divorce…are kidding me? Ridiculous.



What about Columbo Jr? Often aired on Z-TV circa 1984. Were you a fan? I was. Particularly when Columbo Jr would get up to hijinx and out do his Dad, who often made cameo appearances. Alley Sheedy and Cynthia Rothrock were delightful. Thanks.

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