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Star Wars: The Complete Saga (With Online Exclusive Film Cell) (9 Discs)
I was born in 1977 and grew up with the Star Wars movies. Like many, I've bought several iterations of the saga from the VHS release, the Special Editions, the Original Theatrical versions through to the Blu-ray release.
*Packaging*Very neat and each disc is housed in a separate plastic tray rather than a big fold out. Some superb artwork is featured in a small booklet - a double-page image for each movie and then several extra pieces.
*Picture*Picture quality is exceptional and a vast improvement over the DVD releases. Episodes I-III certainly benefit from being made more recently, though Episodes IV-VI certainly hold their own. There is some visible grain in IV-VI but not distractingly so.
*Audio*The audio is where the set really shines, especially during the numerous epic space battles - Tie Fighters whizzing across the sound field and explosions really packing some added depth.
*Bonus features*The bonus features are in-depth (over 40 hours) & very well put together, in particular the vintage behind-the-scenes featurettes from the early 80s. The spoofs section is worth a watch and the 'Star Warriors' featurette, focussing on the 501st Legion, is also excellent.
All in all, a very highly recommended boxset.
A Bug's Life
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A Bug's Life is often considered to be the forgotten Pixar film. Everyone knows the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo & Monster's Inc. but I strongly recommend giving A Bug's Life a chance, if you haven't already done so.
Featuring entertaining voice work, impressive production design & a lot of humour, it really is a little gem. Unsurprisingly, the Blu-ray transfer, as with all CG animated movies, is exquisite and the audio is wonderful too.
The Thin Red Line
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The Thin Red Line was director Terence Malick's first film since Badlands in 1978 and what a fantastic return. It's poetic, beautiful, tragic and focuses on the experience of warfare from an intimate, personal perspective.
The combination of John Toll's stunning cinematography & a subtle score from Hans Zimmer work wonderfully. If this is anywhere near the quality of the recent Criterion release, fans of the film are in for a treat. If only that legendary 6-hour cut was available!
PlayStation Move: Navigation Controller
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The Navigation Controller fits very comfortably in the hand and, without the need for a wire connecting it to the Motion Controller, enables you to move more freely when compared to the Wii. All buttons are well positioned and battery charge lasts a long time. Design-wise it's a very nice looking piece of kit.
In terms of how essential this item is, it all depends which games you intend to play. For example, Sports Champions is designed to work WITHOUT the Navigation Controller. All the activities can be played with a single Motion Controller.
You WILL need the Navigation Controller to play games such as Little Big Planet 2, Resident Evil & Killzone 3, where character movement is controlled directly by the player.
The Book Of Eli
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I went into this knowing nothing about the plot, having not read any reviews beforehand. All I knew was that it starred Denzel Washington & Gary Oldman - two of my favourite actors.
Stylistically, it's a blend of all the *good* things from Mad Max, Terminator Salvation & Waterworld and whilst the pacing will perhaps be frustratingly slow for some, for me it totally worked.
The date in which the film is set is never given, and details of past events are only hinted at. The focus is all on Washington's character and his journey.
As a fan of Bladerunner & The Fountain, I liked this a lot.
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The Delta Force
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Part hijack drama, part all-action extravaganza starring Chuck Norris & Hollywood legend Lee Marvin.
Perfectly watchable & mostly enjoyable. Surprised to see Robert Forster playing the leader of the terrorist group though!
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I was 16 when Jurassic Park hit cinemas and became a worldwide phenomenon and I think it was the perfect age. The action was hugely entertaining, the science was educating in a sense, though preposterous in some ways. I'll never forget the few months of dinosaur hysteria that the film created. And this was a few years before the internet too, so for many it was an introduction to the giants that once roamed the Earth.
Viewing it now, as an 'adult' (and I use the term loosely!) it's as entertaining as it was back then, if not more so. The ethical discussion around the dinner table, Goldblum's talk of chaos theory, "auto erotica"... was all lost on me as a teen, but now it adds even more to the movie.
For a film that is 17 years old with some of the first new generation CGI effects, it still holds up incredibly well. I give complete credit to Spielberg for creating a timeless family adventure movie that I think I will probably love forever.
How To Train Your Dragon
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An unexpected delight. It's good to see animation studios other than Pixar producing such high quality material. Sumptuous production design and a fantastic score courtesy of John Powell.
Friday The 13th: Extended Cut (2009)
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"In my next life, I wanna be one of the buttons on the ass pocket of her shorts."
Yep, one of the great lines from yet another unnecessary reboot of a classic franchise.