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X-Men: First Class - Triple Play
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This film has officially been crowned my favourite X-Men film to date. Everything is just spot on with this film. The acting, the story, the effects, the music...everything!Fassbender is fantastic as the troubled Erik/Magneto and is the main event of the film. Jennifer Lawrence plays the character of Mystique well and it adds a whole new dimension to the character. It really gets you questioning as to who is doing the right thing in what will become the mutant war.
I feel as though the package could have had a bit more in terms of special features. No commentary track which is disappointing - this film would have been an interesting watch with a commentary. You get about an hours worth of behind the scenes, just over 10 minutes of deleted scenes, and isolated score and 'Cerebro' - a mutant fact finder.
Great film, which deserved a better release.
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Saw this at the cinema and picked up the Blu-Ray yesterday. I have to say, I'm shocked to see that so many people think this is on par with the original.In my opinion it is about as weak as the third installment and has some equally hammy acting, matching Parker Poseys in Scream 3.
Storywise, it isn't bad - until the end. I found the twist ok, but from then on, it all gets a bit silly. Also, there isn't enough chilling phonecalls from Ghostface taunting his victims - the only one worth any credit is when he calls from the closet early in the film.
Marley Shelton is terrible as she constantly overacts and even David Arquette loses all his charm as Dewy, that he had in the first three chapters.
It could have been a great film, but its a shame parts of it seem wasted. It has its moments, but stops short of living up to Scream and Scream 2.
The DVD and Blu-Ray releases are completely barebones in terms of special features, apart from a trailer. Think this was a rushed job to make up for poor cinema takings upon release. I dare say they will release a special collectors edition soon enough complete with the three previous films.
I'd wait to see if that ever surfaces...
Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989 - 1997 (4 Disc)
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There has been a lot of negativity around this boxset - namely concerning the two weaker installments - 'Batman Forever' and 'Batman & Robin.'Whilst those two films have (deservedly) received bad reviews from film fans worldwide, I don't see why so many people are annoyed of their presence in this boxset. The set costs the same as if you were to pick up the Burton helmed films individually - so I simply look at them as bonus discs.
Visuals are fantastic on the first two films, considering their age. There are still a few shakey scenes which is to be expected, but on the whole - this is such a good transfer. It is so good, however, that it highlights some of the mat paintings used on set for backgrounds. This was a minor detail though and didn't distract from the enjoyment of the film.
Another negative review I have seen is that the picture for the last two films isn't improved. I would say this isn't accurate. The colours are bright and the image is sharp. Perhaps the improvement isn't as noticeable from a standard DVD copy because they are newer than the Burton films and because the image improvement is so much more evident on the older titles. These two films are also very good looking Blu-Rays.
Again audio all films is very good and Elfmans opening score sounds better than ever.
The special features make for a great watch and highlight all the variations of Batman throughout the years, in both the comic-book world and recorded media.Cast and crew reflect about their time on set and the challenges of bringing the legend to life and trying to escape the campy image of the television serials. Storyboards, music videos and commentaries are also included and make these discs essential to any Batman fan.
Highly recommended - great value for money!
Lucky Number Slevin
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This is a well crafter piece of cinema, but beware - this film is not for the casual viewer.. It begins in such a way that it makes you feel dazed and confused at first, much like Hartnetts character Slevin. But as the plot progresses, everything slowly comes together. It is such a tightly woven story, that it requires complete attention from the audience. It is very much a 'blink and miss a vital part of the story' kind of film.Having said that - at the end you will be rewarded with a very clever finale which will leave you wanting to watch it again.
In terms of the Blu-Ray quality, to be completely honest - I can't tell that much of a difference between this and a DVD copy I rented when I first saw it. The image doesn't jump off the screen as being amazingly sharp. But, it is available for a great price - so is worth having on Blu just incase DVD is ever phased out in the near future.
Great film...but not the type of Blu-Ray quality worth bragging about.
Apocalypse Now: Special Edition (3 Discs)
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This film is very much like Marmite. You either love it or hate it. But by now, most people are familiar with the film itself, so I will review the package itself.
First of all, the price for what you get is a bargain! It's nice to see they have released the film on Blu-Ray for the first time in such a lovingly put together package - instead of milking the fans as much as they can buy going down the multiple-releases route.
The packaging is very nice. Sturdy cardboard slip case with tasteful artwork a cardboard digipak pull out to hold the three discs (also with nice artwork of various characters.)Also in with the boxset is a collectors booklet that contains notes on production and scripting as well as some legal documentmentation that floated around on set. There is also a reproduction of the theatrical release souvenir which is a nice touch. Finally, a few postcards are included.
The discs themselves - disc one contains both the theatrical and Redux versions of the film. Unlike other films with multiple cuts - this film really differs when both versions are watched. Audio and Visual quality are amazing and greatly improved upon from the DVD release.
If you already have the DVD version, sell it for a couple of quid and pick up this Blu-Ray version. You wont' regret it!
Leon: Director's Cut
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I'm always fascinated by the differences between directors cuts and original theatrical cuts of films and really appreciate having both versions in one package.Leon is a great example of how a different cut of the film can make you see the film in a completely different light.
Without giving too much away, the theatrical version of the film makes the relationship between Mathilda and Leon seem like an innocent childhood crush. But the directors cut explores this further and made the whole thing seem a bit uncomfortable. Not to say it wasn't an enjoyable viewing - but it was definitely interesting to see what a difference it made to how you view their relationship. I prefer the theatrical version but recommend watching both.
Picture quality is improved in some scenes, but grain does appear in darker moments of the film. But this does not distract from the film at all. Audio quality again is good and improved from the previous releases.
Battle Royale: Limited Edition Box Set (3 Discs)
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Arrow have certainly pulled out all the stops for this release.
Three discs, two versions of the superb film and a whole host of informative special features to check out - as well as some cool additional bits and pieces.
The packaging has been carefully prepared with original artwork inspired by the films featuring some of the students and various weapons...and blood. Lots of blood. The single digipaks for each disc is a nice touch as well rather than the usual fold out style boxsets.
A nice feature that appeals to most fans of any film is a limited numbered edition. This package contains a certificate with your own sets reference number.Also included is a double-sided poster, comic book which acts as a prequel to the film, a booklet with artwork and another booklet with critical response/reviews.
The picture quality looks great and is vastly improved from the DVD version. Audio is good, although this isn't what I'd class as an audio dependent film - so can't really hear much a difference between this and my DVD copy.
The one thing I will say is keep your original DVD copy as this Blu-Ray features new translations on both versions of the film. So it is interesting to watch both versions to see the differences they made with the dialogue.
Stand By Me
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I already had the DVD copy of this film, which I upgraded from a VHS copy I recorded from television when I was younger. And I didn't consider whether it was worth double dipping for the Blu-Ray release. Amazing film.
For those of you hoping for a crystal clear picture, I am afriad, you will be disappointed. There is some improvement on the picture quality but it is not dramatic. But for me, a film like this retains its charm with a bit of grain here and there.
A few colours seem more vibrant in certain scenes and the train and its billowing smoke seem to be the centre piece and appear remarkably crisp.
Well worth picking up for the picture in picture commentary featuring Rob Reiner, Wil Wheaton and Corey Feldman - it comes with a quick introduction, where the actors meet each other for the first time in 15 or so years.
Great package. Although could have done with a few more retrospective documentaries, etc.
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Admittedly, the film wasn't as great as I was expecting - although, in my opinion, it tops the A-Team film!It blends the humour, action and drama nicely - whilst throwing in a few (sometimes predictable) twists to boot.
In terms of picture quality, I'm not too sure the Blu-Ray really adds much in terms of detail - except perhaps during the stylised credit sequence.The sound however, as with most action Blu-Rays is slightly better than that of the DVD counterpart.
At any rate, with the price you can pick this Blu-Ray disc up at, you might as well choose the Blu-Ray over the DVD for the sake of a few pounds.
The Adjustment Bureau: Triple Play - Limited Edition Steelbook (3 Discs)
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From the trailer, I expected much more of a chase movie than I got - but this isn't to say that's a bad thing. But I think it explains why some people didn't like the film.
It's very much a romance film with sci-fi undertones through-out - so if you're expecting action and thrills, I'd just skip to the final 15 minutes.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt both put in fine performances, my only disappointment with this film is that the Bureau aren't as sinister as they could have been. The trailer really made them out to be a force to be reckoned with, whereas they don't quite live up to that in the film itself.
Well worth a look in my opinion - and the steelbook is a very nice addition to my collection!