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 Post subject: What is the last laserdisc you watched?
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2022, 04:57 
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Just got done watching The Manitou with Tony Curtis aka Jamie Lee Curtis's estranged father and I don't know how to feel about this movie. It was okay but not great. I feel like it could have been better. It was definitely a strange movie. I like the actor that played the Native American in the movie but I don't know if he was actually Native American in real life. He looked Native American to me but I know Hollywood sometimes dresses up white people or other ethnicities to look Native American. I don't really think that's an issue unless Native Americans are offended by that. I personally don't care if Hollywood cast someone to play a different race as long as they don't totally disrespect Native American culture. With that said the whole Native American Medicine man thing I know nothing about if any of this has truth to it. I watched this movie with my Dad and when the actor was putting magical circle around the bed to keep the bad Native American Medicine Man in it I have no idea if Native Americans believe or believed in this stuff at one time. It's always stuff in tv shows and movies but my Dad said that it's accurate but who knows. Hollywood can just put stuff in their movies and say this is how Native American culture was at one time.
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 Post subject: Re: What is the last laserdisc you watched?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2022, 08:53 
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Have not spun up a LaserDisc in over three months.
Due to changing demographic situation I have most of my media stored until further down the road.
This situation is far from ideal however it does underscore how much I miss and value the LaserDisc experience.
It is said that absence make the heart grow fonder.... In my case I can confirm that ABSENCE does indeed make me miss this media most seriously.
The day when I set up my analog sound system (with the new addition of a turntable for vinyl !) and spin up a large silver Platter will be a day worth remembering.
I am working diligently to HURRY the DAY.

Enjoy your Laserdiscs mates.
Don't know what ya got till it's gone !


cheers
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 Post subject: Re: What is the last laserdisc you watched?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2022, 09:09 
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jesuslovesgood wrote:
Just got done watching The Manitou with Tony Curtis aka Jamie Lee Curtis's estranged father and I don't know how to feel about this movie. It was okay but not great. I feel like it could have been better. It was definitely a strange movie. I like the actor that played the Native American in the movie but I don't know if he was actually Native American in real life. He looked Native American to me but I know Hollywood sometimes dresses up white people or other ethnicities to look Native American. I don't really think that's an issue unless Native Americans are offended by that. I personally don't care if Hollywood cast someone to play a different race as long as they don't totally disrespect Native American culture. With that said the whole Native American Medicine man thing I know nothing about if any of this has truth to it. I watched this movie with my Dad and when the actor was putting magical circle around the bed to keep the bad Native American Medicine Man in it I have no idea if Native Americans believe or believed in this stuff at one time. It's always stuff in tv shows and movies but my Dad said that it's accurate but who knows. Hollywood can just put stuff in their movies and say this is how Native American culture was at one time.



Manitou was a respected and feared entity in Native American tribe circles. Often referred to as appearing in dreams.
To be clear there were good and bad Manitou. There were Male and Female Manitou.
All tribes themes varied however it was observed not to upset but to respect and not anger Manitou spirits.
Perhaps others can weigh in, as my knowledge is quite limited in reference to historical significance or whether contemporary tribal homage is given.
In Hawaii similar spirits have been called Aumakua - Familial guardians or ancestors who can assume the form of animals and plants or other forms occuring in nature. i.e - sharks, owls, plants, or even people.

Loved that movie back in the '70s. Didn't Dick Smith do the make-up effects for THE MANITOU ?

Just finished the Ruth Beebee Hill novel "Hanta Yo" a fictional story about a Lakota Sioux tribe and their migrations in the early and mid 19th century. She researched the heck out of the culture and I can atest that the concept of Spirit and connection to nature involved a cosmology outside the western ability to comprehend. Their MEDICINE MEN were indeed tapped into something seriously metaphysical.
One could spend a lifetime learning even just one tribes "mediciene"

Any way, I second the manitou, check it out for a different thriller for certain.

cheers mates....
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2022, 14:33 
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Watched all of these (in this order) over the last couple of weeks since Stunt Rock was the last film I watched on February 20th. All first-time viewings unless denoted as a re-watch (RW).

Clue (1985)
Ratatouille (2007) (RW)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Sidecar Racers (1975)
The Man From Hong Kong (1975)
Sorcerer (1977)
Corruption (1968)
The Boxer From Shantung (1972)

I'll post a few words about some of these on my blog, if anyone is interested to take a quick look, when I get the hosting sorted again. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2022, 17:02 
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I think I’ve seen Clue like 50 times. I’m pretty sure I have two copies of it on DVD. That and Murder By Death and The Cheap Detective. I love all of those.

Mask of the Phantasm is the best Batman movie. I have the action figures for Batman, Robin, and Phantasm. It took me months to get a Phantasm. (Pre-eBay). It’s think I bought it at a comic book convention for like $25 which was sort of against my way of doing things but it was the only one I could find.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2022, 12:26 
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Could not wait to watch this one I got on Blu yesterday, so while it is fresh in my mind here is a bit of drivel about The Sweeney film (retitled to just 'Sweeney!' here for some inexplicable reason) which I watched last night.

British television cop show The Sweeney was exceedingly popular in the 1970's and at the time it caused quite a bit of controversy given its portrayal of the police force and the public perception of them at the time. Though the television version could only go so far, it was in the cinema that the rulebook was thrown out and that director David Wickes (no, not the bloke who was having it off with Cindy Beale) could really go for it, hence the (well-deserved in this instance) X rating.

I have never held much of an interest in the television series before. I was not there to see it first time round, though given its longevity in the era of 1000's of channels of linear television, to me it was always something that would appear on ITV4, or Forces TV. Usually on a Sunday afternoon between reruns of Dickie Davies World of Sport, tedious BDO darts coverage from somewhere equally tedious, like Luton or Hull, and interruptions for score updates from the World Lawn Bowls championships. Or if you were really lucky and hit the jackpot you might get a British Transport Films documentary. Something to nurse your hangover with equal measures of tedium and nasal commentary yet emboldened by the merest suggestion of intrigue.

Something like the 1987 BFT hyperdocumentary sequel Night Mail 2, for example.

In this instance I am not able to comment on how well (or not) the series made the transition to the cinema. What we have here with Sweeney! though is a solid British crime film. Nothing for the Italians to get worried about, but solid nonetheless. As great as John Thaw is (or was, RIP), Sweeney! simply cannot hope to get anywhere near the crime film work churned out by Italy in the 1970's. I think that was a given from the outset (though watching the theatrical trailer makes me think the marketing team thought otherwise). That goes for Hollywood too in my very humble opinion.

The plot itself is initially straightforward. Lots of sleazy political shenanigans are afoot in the (not at all corrupt) world of the petrodollar. Anyone and everyone is expendable, and Sweeney! takes great delight in exploring this during its 98-minute run time filled with car chases, alcohol, chain smoking, punch ups, prostitutes, and enough spent ammunition that the smell of cordite would knock even John Rambo unconscious.

Alas as the film reaches its climax, I did find it got a bit lost in itself and the ending, although obvious, is very abrupt, leaving the viewer initially thinking "is that it?". I felt this way for a while, and it was not until a good while afterwards that I thought about the ending again and a lightbulb moment occurred in my mind. In retrospect I think now that the ending was quite fitting, especially the final line of the film that is delivered so abrasively. Middling marks for execution, Wickes could have managed the climax better.

Presentation of the film is good. There is some great stunt set pieces and a couple of interesting uses of the camera and editing. Again though I find myself referring to the work coming out of Italy at the time which was head and shoulders (in my opinion) above anything else in the genre. Look at Enzo G. Castellari's magnificent Street Law, or (and I am a broken record at this stage I know) the magnificent Mario Merola ultraviolent hyperfiesta Napoli La Camorra Sfida La Cite Risponde which were made either side of Sweeney! Heck, even take a look at the tremendous La polizia è sconfitta (aka Stunt Squad), released in the same year as Sweeney!, 1977, and with the added hyperbonus of one of the best endings to a film ever (you will see what I mean if you watch it). It's quite clear looking back that Sweeney! would have to be quite some masterpiece if it was going to waltz in past the velvet rope and in to the VIP room with Italy's finest (okay, I'll throw The French Connection and the incredible Puppet On A Chain, which features one of the greatest chase sequences on film ever recorded, in to the mix too just to keep everyone happy!).

A couple of words on the Blu Ray presentation for those keen to know more. Network commissioned the scan and restoration themselves. This was done from the original 35mm camera negatives, and it must be said quite firmly that the scan and restoration job here is quite remarkable. Picture quality is spot on with a nice balance of original grain and no pissing about with DNR and fiddling with everything to ruin the presentation. I said this before with their previous work on Wilt and especially with the brilliant Death Line, Network are fast becoming one of my favourite boutique labels (note: I buy all my stuff myself; this is not paid influencer b******t, I watch, read, and play everything I buy, or try to! I don't buy to surround myself in things and let them gather dust). I've yet to be disappointed by a Network on Air release where they have commissioned the scan and restoration work themselves. Also, they pack in as much as they can with lovely colour booklets crammed with information. On Sweeney! and Sweeney! 2, both Blu Ray discs have PDF media on them that you can access via Blu Ray drive on your computer too. It is great to see and especially as their titles are so keenly priced for the content you are getting, and the arduous work conducted to make it look and sound as best as possible.

Sound is one area though that I do think Sweeney! struggles a little. Maybe it was down to the condition of the original recording(s) at the time, or the ravages of time, but the mono soundtrack can get a little bit scratchy and busy at times. It's nothing to go and jump out of a window over but does detract a little from an otherwise excellent audio-visual presentation, especially the vomit-inducing fashions and home decor of the late 1970's!

I always like to dig a little deeper in to films post-viewing, usually to find out any cast or production insights. Two things caught my interest, though may not be of interest to either a) anyone else in the world and/or b) more of an interest to folks from the UK/Ireland. Firstly, the bloke who plays the keynote speaker at the opening convention was played by Nadim Sawalha. UK/Ireland folks should instantly recognise that surname as he is father to both Nadia and Julia Sawalha. The latter being the more well-known as she starred in Press Gang (alongside the now very well-known director, and The Rachel Papers actor, Dexter Fletcher) and Absolutely Fabulous, to name just two credits to her CV. Her sister Nadia is more well known for her work on daytime television.

Another nugget that caught my eye is that the key part of prostitute Janice, was played by none other than the late Lynda Bellingham (RIP). I mostly knew of her from her role as the 'Oxo Mum'. I found it saddening to read that during the peak of her stint as 'Oxo Mum', and being voted as Britain's favourite on-screen mum, she was suffering horrendous domestic abuse from her then husband which apparently continued even after they divorced. Incredibly sad to read about that and the other complications that ultimately ended her life at the much too young age of just 66.

Back to Sweeney! though, and it should be noted that this film is a valiant effort at a British crime film. Filled with a stack of hits, and the occasional miss, it is a film certainly worth hunting down (even if only to support the magnificent work that Network on Air are doing). I understand that Sweeney 2 is reportedly the superior/preferred of the two films. Sweeney! was a great start, so I cannot wait to see what the sequel holds!

Side note. I always enjoyed the talents of John Thaw alongside Reece Dinsdale (he of I.D. fame) in the sitcom Home To Roost. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2022, 11:17 
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Rounded off yesterday with a viewing of Sweeney 2 on Blu Ray, again from the lovely folks over at Network on Air. Here's some drivel about it.

1977's Sweeney! was somewhat of a success at the cinema, complimenting the juggernaut that was the television series thus a sequel was inevitable. Sweeney 2 would be shot over 5 weeks at the very end of 1977 for release in 1978, just after the television series had finished it's final season. Along with a new film would come a new crew, in particular a new director in Tom Clegg, replacing Cindy Beale's bit on the side, David Wickes, at the helm (not true I made that up).

In Tom Clegg the film would be getting a director far more familiar with the source material of the television series, which I think is both a blessing and a bit of a curse in equal measure. Sweeney 2 thus has much more of a feature-length television episode feel to it, as opposed to a true cinema presentation. I think this gave fans of the television series more reassurance due to the familiarisation with how the film was put together and the tone that it sets. It's also why I think there appears to be a resounding preferance for Sweeney 2 over the first film among audiences.

After watching both films I think the first film is the better of the two. Sweeney 2 is certainly a more polished production, sure. There's more stunts, a wider cast, remote locations (a lot of filming was done in Malta) and a spiffier soundtrack (composed by the returning Tony Hatch).Yet I feel the film can't shake off the overbearing tone of a feature length television episode. In comparison the first film feels far more gung ho, more acidic and abrasive. A harder, dirtier picture. More gritty and garish. Willing to take more risks. In contrast Sweeney 2 comes across as more procedural and a little more 'beige' in comparison to it's foot to the floor of the Ford Granada, trousers down, tackle out, glassed in the face with a bottle of Bells raw and savage prequel. That's not to say Sweeney 2 is a dull and dire film, far from it. I just think it's more refined production takes the edge off of what made the first film so effective, despite both films having somewhat muddled plots.

Regarding the Blu Ray disc, it's another stellar effort from Network on Air. I don't know what magic process they use for their scans and restoration work but it's just wonderful. Sweeney 2 looks just as immaculate as the first film. Nice and sharp, great colours and no pissing about with the grain and DNR. Audio troubles do continue on this release though, like the first film the mono track is a little busy and can get distorted/muffled at times. I would imagine that the best results possible were acheived here, per the first film too. Like the first film, the disc is fairly bare bones in terms of extras. You get a theatrical trailer, an image gallery and some PDF materials accessible via Blu Ray drive connected to your computer. It would have been nice to have commentary tracks with surviving cast and/or crew or perhaps even a film or television historian in order to find out more about each production. Alas many of the key cast and crew are sadly no longer with us, though I think Dennis Waterman is still pottering about so it would have been nice to get a few words from him perhaps.

A couple of nuggets I spotted while watching the film. First up is that (a very young) Diana West is in this as an air stewardess (alas doing some rather blatant tobacco product placement) on the flight to Malta. One for the UK/Ireland audience who would likely know Diana from the very popular 1990's sitcom The Upper Hand. The show was essentially a UK reimagining of the USA series Who's The Boss? with Diana West playing the equivalent role of Angela Bower (played by Judith Light in Who's The Boss?). There's also Denholm Elliott who film fans would surely recognise immediately as the brilliant Coleman in 1983's Trading Places, one of his more infamous roles during his career in my opinion. His character Jupp was actually based on a real life disgraced Flying Squad commander, Kenneth Drury.

One other nugget to look out for is near the end of the film in the Irish pub scene. If you look carefully, in the background you will spot an older lady who is an extra, sat down at a table enjoying a drink and clapping to the music and dancing. Now go back to the first film, specifically to the scene where Regan is drunk and about to leave the pub and drive home. During his conversation with Carter if you look in the background the same lady is drinking in the pub. Note that Sweeney! was shot in 1976 and Sweeney 2 in 1977 so fair play to the old girl for being an extra in both films! By the looks of things I imagine that the extras probably got free drinks and bags of crisps. Great stuff if that was the case!

It's worth mentioning that Sweeney 2 was given an AA certificate by the BBFC as opposed to an X certificate for the first film. Reviews often mention that the sequel is much more violent than the first film. To that extent I'd have to agree and given there are some particularly gory moments, particularly towards the end, it makes me wonder how Sweeney 2 was granted a softer AA certificate than it's predecessor. Title card fans will be pleased to know that the original BBFC AA card is present and intact at the start of the film, just like the X certificate card of the original.

Sweeney 2 is another slice of solid entertainment. Per the original film, it can't hold a candle to the fare being pumped out of Italy in the 1970's (in my opinion). Yet I don't think it really needs to because of the success of the television series it was more it's own thing instead of trying to compete where it clearly wouldn't have won. These are two solid titles and thanks to the excellent work by Network on Air, well worth adding to your Blu Ray collection as soon as possible.*




* I bought this stuff myself. I'm not some paid-youtuber influencer knobhead shilling junk. I'm just sharing my views of stuff I bought and watched. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2022, 01:38 
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firehorse_44 wrote:
thestudioghibifa wrote:
Do Blu-rays count?



Of course they do !

Just viewed Hellboy (original) and the blu ray extra suppliment installment for Hellboy Golden Army.
Really enjoyed all the extra content especially all the thought and creativity that went into Blink and all the Troll Market extras. Del Torro is literally a creative GENIUS. (ALONG WITH HIS ARMY OF TEAM MEMBERS).

Also just viewed the blu ray Fifth Element and Valerian and the City of 1000 planets.
Luc Besson classics.
Also that week, Kurt Wimmer epic "ULTRAVIOLET"
Mia Jovovich utterly epic performance of the comic heroine VIOLET Song Jat Shariff....
Check it if ya haven't.

Cheers mates !


Hear have been my last few titles I have watched
Mitchells vs the machines
Spider Man No way home.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2022, 17:11 
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Watched The Great Silence last night.

I didn't like it.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 23 Apr 2022, 13:29 
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Well, I'm going to watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit tonight. The first sale in my shop, and I want to double check for lack of rot (don't remember any issues).
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2022, 11:23 
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I received InTo The Night on Blu Ray earlier this week. I'd been meaning to get round to this film since I saw it on 101 Films' Web site a couple of years ago. I've never seen or heard of this film before so went in totally blind. I liked the premise, I didn't mind the director (though do take issue with the Twilight Zone tragedy that rightly stains John Landis's person in my opinion) and Michelle Pfeiffer is probably my biggest film crush of all-time. So lots to like about this film before even going in to it.

InTo The Night was released in 1985, his first directorial debut (aside from the Michael Jackson Thriller video) just 3 years after the appalling tragedy that occured on the set of The Twilight Zone, a film which Landis was at the helm for in one segment. The film is loaded with cameos from notable directors and actors/actresses, many or all of whom apparently agreed to cameo in the film as a show of support for Landis post-Twilight Zone tragedy. Some of the names to appear in this film alongside Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer include Dan Ackroyd, David Cronenberg, David Bowie, Kathryn Harrold, about 8 or so 'then well-known' Playboy Playmates and so on, Note, I don't know whom in the cast agreed to appear as a show of support, I've not come across any specific details yet.

Plot-wise it is relatively straightforward. A man suffering from insomnia is deperate to sleep. One night he drives to Los Angeles airport to kill some time when a terrified woman lands on his car bonnet (or 'hood' as you strange American folks call it :lol: ). He speeds away from the airport along with the terrified woman and the story begins...

That's basically all there is to it, but I feel for the most part the film is executed really well. As I watched the film I got a sense that the film could work brilliantly as a thriller or a more light-hearted comedy. InTo The Night veers towards the comedy vibe and while the majority of light-hearted moments do work, and relieve some of the pressure and intesity from the drama unfolding, I didn't feel all the gags worked. Indeed some of the could have been trimmed out of the film altogether and it would probably have flowed better and taken on a more appropriate, darker tone. A good example of contrasting humour in the film, for me, would be the car that Diane (Michelle Pfeiffer) 'borrows' from her brother. When I first saw it I nearly lost my spleen through laughter. But then on the flip side I found the four goons were sometimes too idiotic in their chase of the lead characters and it tarnished the effectiveness of their threat and their menace. Had the role of the goons been more serious, more aggressive and violent it would have made for a better film overall in my opinion.

Minor quibbles aside though I have to say that I came out of this film absolutely delighted with it. It's won a place in my favourite films of all-time pile without a doubt. It's not an all-time, award-winning masterpiece of cinema. Far from it. But after you've seen the film, it's very hard to say that it doesn't deliver, because it does. In droves. I loved almost everything about it. The soundtrack is great. The opening is great with the airport at night. David Bowie's role in the film is very well played, he does a good turn here. The film is loaded with trivia too. For example:

  • John Landis is one of the four hired goons.
  • In the airport scene there is a call over the PA system for a "Mr. Frank Ozkerwitz". It's a reference to Frank Oz who frequents many John Landis' films. The same PA call is heard in the Eddie Murphy film Coming To America.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer's sister DeDee plays a hooker in the film that Diane asks to leave her and Ed alone.
  • The crew of the film being shot in InTo The Night w as played by the actual crew of InTo The Night!

There's lots more little titbits of trivia and information around the film when you look in to it's history a bit more. I'm not quite sure why it went under the radar as it was released months before Back To The Future in 1985, which as we all know would dominate the box office that year (and indeed become one of the most beloved films/trilogies of all-time). InTo The Night wasn't really jostling for position in the box office when it was released either so it's difficult to say what the root cause was for the film not becoming a big success.

It's great to see this film on Blu Ray and in high definition and fully restored, though I would hasten to add that if you were to pick up a copy of the film you would probably be better off with the Shout Factory collectors edition. Reason being that it features a few nice extras. In comparison, the 101 Films dual format release comes with a lovely poster packed-in (I'm tempted to buy a frame for it as I love the poster), however the discs have absolutely ZERO extras. None. Zip. Zilch. It's just a menu and a Play icon. That's literally it. A very scabby disc on the extras front!

As previously stated though, InTo The Night was a blind buy, a first time view and one I am absolutely thrilled with. Despite the handful of minor quibbles I have with the film I still highly recommend it (for whatever my lowly recommendations are worth!!! :lol: ), even rent it on a streaming service or whatever works best for you but certainly hunt this one out to watch it. It's great fun and 117 minutes fly's by, another sign of a good film.

Get it watched today!!!! :thumbup:

Oh, and one more thing to add. If you let the disc run it's course all the way to the very end, you can see where the telecine of the film negative ends. It then goes to a black screen for about a minute. Leave the disc running and you'll see the film starts to play the opening airport sequence again, though this time with no audio and no opening credits! The sequence then ends abruptly and the disc stops. Not sure if that's lazy mastering on the part of 101 Films or Shout Factory, or if it's an Easter egg of sorts. It's interesting to see though all the same.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2022, 19:12 
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i actually rented that from my local library about a year back myself. indeed, it was surprisingly good!!!
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 May 2022, 18:29 
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As of late, I have just finished the THX boxset of the Godfather trilogy.
Last night I really enjoyed the 10th aniversary Highlander, and im now debating on what to watch tonight... I think I have wittled it down to a few choices. Its either going to be Leaving Las Vegas, Se7en (criterion) or something a little lighter that requires less critical concentration... eitherway, its a safe bet somethings going to get a spin this evening as its a public holiday here tomorrow so no pressing need for an early night.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 May 2022, 18:33 
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[quote="gypsy"]Going to watch Top Secret shortly. Did end up going with the DVD as I just don't trust random eBay sellers anymore for LD./quote]

Ive only had a couple of bad experiences as of late as I try to fill some gaps. Ironically both criterion. One was a Big Chill, arrived with a massive split in the disc. Seller immediatly sorted it out. The other was Forbidden Planet from a charity shop ebay seller. Severe rot. All sorted though.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 08 May 2022, 17:43 
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teddanson wrote:
I think Dennis Waterman is still pottering about so it would have been nice to get a few words from him perhaps.


RIP Dennis Waterman. :(


https://news.sky.com/story/dennis-water ... 4-12608623
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