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The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:45 pm

I enjoyed GOT Season 2 as well; just not overly excited about it at present. I'm sure that will change. As for Boardwalk, I completely agree with you. Season 2 was far stronger than Season 1.

Scream Factory is going mental this year!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:39 am

Indeed. The very underrated Psycho II and the not-so-underrated Psycho III street tomorrow, along with Q: The Winged Serpent. I will probably order the latter. Plus, tomorrow is the day for Walking Dead season three, and I have only finished three episodes of Boardwalk Empire!

The joker in the pack is that a Blu-Ray edition of the complete Prime Suspect hits tomorrow as well. It is around $80 on Amazon, which is a bit on the high side; on the other hand, that is a helluva lot of great television for that price. I am also looking at the new Doctor Who series 1 through 7 box set, which is sitting at a nasty $314 right now. I check Amazon daily for a "surprise" pre-order price on that one, but so far no luck. I have yet to see any of the new episodes, mostly because of how astronomically expensive BBC discs tend to be, even DVDs. If I am going to spend the money on them, I may as well get them on Blu. But yikes, that is a lot of change.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:38 am

I'm not enough of a Doctor Who fan to pony up that kind of coin. Unfortunately, BBC discs rarely go on sale, so the box set is likely to stay at a high price for a long time.

Have you checked out Newsroom? It's an HBO drama centred around a fictional cable news network. It tackles popular political debates and other high-profile news items from the past few years and intertwines them with the main story. It has it's weak moments, but overall I find the dialog and story tight, if a little excessive at times. Cast includes Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, John Gallagher Jr., and the wonderful Olivia Munn.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:58 pm

Never watched it, but many of the political blogs that I read talk about it often. I know that it is well-regarded. I may give it a try someday. And I did end up finishing my new Blu-Rays of Justice League season one and two, and STILL have not gotten those discs off to you! I suck. I will get it done.

I hope to watch Pain and Gain this weekend.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:30 am

Same for me with Pain and Gain. The latest season of Walking Dead is also out.

Don't feel bad about the discs. 'Tis all good.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:54 pm

I watched the first episode of Walking Dead last night, and it was pretty unexceptional. But there is a ways to go; it looks longer than the usual 13 episode cable run. I am also four episodes in to Boardwalk Empire, and so far it has been less engaging than last season. But again, I have a way to go.

Hey, did you ever make it to Pacific Rim?
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:37 pm

That is disappointing. Hopefully the season picks up.

Seajunior and I have been opting more for hikes and the like since our weather actually took a turn for the better. But I told him that we're going this weekend!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:09 am

They both get better, pretty quickly. Boardwalk Empire cheesed me off by writing out one of my favorite additions from season two, in very short order, but it easily made up for it by adding Stephen Root and James Cromwell to the cast, both of whom are excellent -- especially Root.

Walking Dead sets up a new situation in the first couple of episodes that seems to drag a bit, and there is a really ham-handedly shot and edited situation with one character that was annoying (and also a bit illogical, given the slightly different mythology of the zombies in the show) but it has taken off in the last couple of episodes that I watched.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:31 pm

I think I will be cracking the seal to my set of Walking Dead: Season 3 this evening.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:20 pm

It is definitely worth it. Each episode has gotten more involving; I watched three in a row at one point. I think that I am now seven episodes in. Let me know when you get past the first episode; I want to discuss the zombie lore thing. I may simply have forgotten something from the CDC episodes, but something is just not adding up for me. But it has been awhile since I watched season one.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:40 am

I'm past the first episode . . .
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:01 pm

O.K., so maybe I have forgotten something about the mythology, but since the whole point of the CDC episode (as I remember it) was that everyone is infected and will turn when they die, then what is the point of cutting off a limb when someone is bitten? Maybe they talked about it, but does a bite accelerate the infection? It was a nice nod to Day of the Dead but one that made no sense to me. But maybe I am missing something. (Plus, the setup for the bite was telegraphed rather ham-handedly.)

The third season gets much, much stronger after that. There are still major flaws, but there is some stuff in episode eight that would have made an awesome climactic episode -- and that is halfway through the season. Curious where they will go from here; it could be very, very good or very disappointing. You never know what you are going to get with the writing on that show.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:19 pm

The mythology is that everyone is already infected. I didn't really get the need to chop off the leg either and the only way I can explain it ends with me making excuses for the storyline. For whatever reason, even a non-lethal bite ends up killing the affected person. The bite seems to trigger a fever, and then the person dies. Cutting off the leg seems to have prevented that fever; therefore Hershel doesn't die. It's weak and something I think we just have to ignore.

I'm not quite at Episode 8 yet, but I'm not surprised that it ends on a cliffhanger, as Season 3 was split into two parts when it aired (similar to what they did with Breaking Bad, only with a much shorter break in-between).
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:46 pm

Well, no, it is not a cliffhanger -- or rather, most of the episodes so far end on a cliffhanger of some sort. I just meant that it was a really dramatically climactic episode, with a spectacular assault that could have easily been the season finale.

By the way, I did watch Pain and Gain a couple of weekends ago, and while it is no masterpiece I really enjoyed it. I would say that it is my second-favorite Michael Bay movie; admittedly, I only like two of his movies, so that may not be saying much. But I enjoyed his willingness to go down a very dark path for a comedy; in a way, it reminded me of the underrated Peter Berg movie Very Bad Things.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:58 pm

Fair one. I guess what I meant is that I wasn't surprised that they chose to end Episode 8 on a high, since the show went on a short hiatus at that point.

I still haven't gotten around to Pain and Gain, but plan to in the next week. I have seen stills, but did Johnson and Wahlberg step it up for their roles? In the pictures I've seen, it looks like both packed it on.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:43 pm

They really beefed up. I wish that there were ANY special features on the disc; I would have liked to have seen a discussion about that.


New recommendation for you: the latest Rob Zombie movie Lords of Salem. I was a bit surprised how much I liked it, given how much his last two movies have disappointed me, and the fact that I generally do not care for "satanic activity"-type horror movies. So it says a lot that two of my favorite horror movies in the last fifteen years or so were both from that genre! (The other, of course, being Ti West's House of the Devil.) Mind you, I consider Zombie's The Devil's Rejects to be one of the best horror movies of the 2000s, so Zombie is certainly capable of doing great work, but his remake of Halloween was simply terrible. His gritty "white trash" aesthetic just did not work in the Halloween universe, as what worked about that series (or at least the first film) was the way that it made a normal, "safe" suburban environment to be ultimately terrifying. Plus, Zombie made the same mistake of all of the sequels by explaining Michael Meyers too much. He is only really frightening when he is an enigma.

Anyway, Zombie completely changed his milieu and his style for Lords of Salem. It may be sacrilegious (pun intended,) but it could best be described as Kubrickian. He drops the grit and the hand-held camera work in favor of a lot of slow dolly shots and slow zooms, much like Kubrick used. Plus, the cinematography by Brandon Trost is really quite good, with a heavy use of practical light sources, once again a la Kubrick. He channels a lot of other directors such as Roman Polanski, Mario Bava and even Ken Russell, but the style is mostly influenced by Kubrick.

The movie is more about mood than it is about shocks. I would not describe it as a "slow burn" horror movie like House of the Devil, but rather one that trades in most of the scares for an atmosphere of complete dread and hopelessness. It is as truly atmospheric as any other (new) horror movie that I have seen in many years. It is a shame that this one was completely overlooked in the theatres, while uninspired derivative movies like The Conjuring have been smashes. Not for all tastes, but highly recommended for those who can take this kind of thing.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:30 am

Well, first review of the new Halloween is up. . .


http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Halloween-Blu-ray/54082/#Review
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:16 am

Not sure if you are reading this thread, and doubtless you are not exactly overflowing with free movie-watching time right now, but I did pick up the Halloween disc, and overall I think that the transfer is a winner. The night scenes are NOT significantly more blue than they were before, certainly still less so than the older laserdisc and VHS transfers. It may well be the same transfer as the old Anchor Bay Blu-Ray with new color timing. The biggest difference is that it is cooler overall. The colors on the old disc were pretty vivid, and while it did not bother me there is no question that you can make a case that it makes things look even less like October in Illinois than they already do. The trees and grass are still green, but a much more tame shade of green, so it makes the northern California locations look a bit less obvious. (Unless you know where to look for the palm trees, and they are still there.)

I also picked up Prince of Darkness, and it is a great disc. It is probably Carpenter's most problematic film (not his worst, just his most problematic) but no complaints about the transfer, which blows away the Scream Factory version of They Live. Well worth a look.

I also finished season three of The Walking Dead, if you are ready for a spoiler-filled discussion.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:21 pm

Catching up on threads now.

I haven't picked up the new Halloween disc, but I might just have to now. Ditto for Prince of Darkness.

I'm done watching Season 3 of Walking Dead, so I'm ready to discuss.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:41 am

Prince of Darkness is a must, Halloween perhaps a bit less so, if you have the old disc. But while that color timing never bothered me before, comparing it to the overall cooler look it is now a bit distractingly summer-looking.

Ah, where to begin on The Walking Dead season three. . . there was some great stuff in this season, along with the usual frustratingly bad stuff. The biggest problem with the writing tends to be how they handle the characters, who are wildly inconsistent. In a way, Andrea's death was finally a relief, as I no longer have to pull my hair out on the things they have her doing. She would have been my favorite character on the show, if the writers did not keep bungling her. In this season, the way that she was so easily taken in and seduced by the Governor just never felt properly in-character. I never bought that she would have been fooled so easily, as it just does not wash with how her character has been portrayed in other episodes.

Same thing with Rick this season. The whole Rick-goes-dotty plotline was tiresome at best (raise your hand, anyone, if you did not see what was coming with the ringing telephone) and it got worse when they had him tempted by the deal to trade Michone. Not just from a moral standpoint, though it was clearly out-of-step with his character, but more so because he while he has made mistakes, he has never been that jaw-droppingly stupid as to even believe the Governor for a second.

Darrel also got shafted in the writing, mostly because they have been doing such a great job with his character arc up until this point. I know that they have repeatedly set up his devotion to his brother over the prior seasons, but they have developed him into such an equally devoted member of Rick's group that the relative ease with which he leaves them was just not believable given all that has transpired in the previous seasons. They fix that eventually, of course, but by having Merle act out of character as well. Why he reverses himself at the end and goes out like a hero was strange enough, but then to undercut it by making his sacrifice all for nothing really makes you wonder what the point was.

All of that said, there were some extremely strong episodes in season three, and the overall prison vs. Woodbury dynamic was a welcome one, in that with all of the classic Romero zombie films, the living were always more of a threat to each other than they were threatened by the living dead. Not sure if it was a good idea to let the Governor live, though; the whole Rick vs. the Governor arc played itself out well enough and I would hope that they would move on to new things in the next season.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:53 pm

Walking Dead is entertaining because it is about zombies. Unfortunately, the writing isn't as tight as it could or should be. It certainly doesn't rival Breaking Bad, for comparison.

Andrea was far too tough of a character for what happened to her. (I'm referring more to the build up than her actual death.) I'm not really sure what happened there, as I haven't kept up with reading the graphic novels. The TV series has always gone down its own road, but it's possible this is one area where they aimed for consistency. Regardless, I would have liked to have seen something else play out for her character, even if it still ended in death. Personally, I think she should have offed the governor, but I suppose that would have been too obvious.

I agree that Rick's character has faltered. I think the Walking Dead team were aiming to show us how despondency has kicked in, how the plight of it all has changed people. Instead, it resulted in a plight for the viewer as we've had to sit through some slow episodes, or episodes that offered up something tasty, only to abandon it. For example, I really enjoyed the episode, "Clear" and I thought it was one of the best episodes this season. I always wondered when we would return to the character or Morgan. Unfortunately, we left him as soon as we found him. And while I understand the reasons why, I wanted something more.

I'm happy Mearle is done. He bothered me. It will be interested to see where they take Darrel now. I wonder if he is being set up to be the group's next leader, since Rick appears to be breaking? I also hope the series moves on and past the governor arc.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:06 am

Yes, I agree that Merle was an irritant (to say nothing of a cliche.) I was actually kind of dreading the eventual Merle/Darrel reunion just because I knew that it would sidetrack the show and damage Darrel's character arc. So getting him out of the way to allow Darrel to move forward was a good thing for the show.

My issue with Andrea was not so much whether she was tough or not, or whether she died or not. I just wish the writers figured out what to do with her and stuck with it. I really have no issues with characters going directions that I would prefer that they not, as long as it is internally consitent with their essential natures. For instance, I finished the last season of Spartacus last weekend, and a couple of the characters went directions that were sad and disappointing, in the sense that I wish they had not, but that nevertheless made sense within the arcs of how those characters had developed over the course of the show. But with Andrea, it was almost like, O.K., which Andrea are we going to get this week? But yes, having Andrea take out the governer, even at the cost of her own life, would have at least given her an arc that made sense in terms of how she has been in some other episodes.

Speaking of zombies, I finally got around to picking up The Dead. It was interesting, but a bit clumsily directed. Worth watching, though. I also finally got around to World War Z, which was NOT worth the time.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:12 am

I liked The Dead because it was a bit different from the recent standard fare of zombie flicks, but still very traditional. What I didn't like was how the film opened. That really spoiled the show for me and removed a lot of the tension. Fast-forward peaks don't work so well with survival films, unless done with care.

World War Z didn't bother me so much, but that's because it was the first zombie flick that I got to take Seajunior to, so I went in with different expectations, and I came out with a different memories from most people who saw that film. I had also checked reviews beforehand to be sure it was okay for a younger audience, and so I wasn't disappointed on that front. I think I commented a while ago that it was an okay zombie flick. I think it still is, although I know it has many flaws. Nevertheless, as I said, I'm now biased.

Before Halloween I got around to watching Stalled. It might be worth your time to check out. It's a British zom-com, which appears to have been shot on a limited budget. The setting is pretty simple (and silly), but works because it's meant to be a zom-com. Basically, a janitor gets trapped in an office building bathroom during a Christmas work party. Cue the cliches. It's not as clever as Shaun of the Dead, but it pulls off it's simple story, even if it is a little slow at times, despite its short run time.

Yesterday, I finally got around to watching The Great Escape on Blu. I will always love that movie. I haven't gotten around to watching all of the special features yet, but it looks like some have been added since the last release on DVD.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:52 pm

Stalled sounds interesting. So what did you think of the transfer on The Great Escape?

I did like The Dead; it just had too many ackwardly directed sequences to rise any higher. I do agree about the bumper at the beginning, though; it made the rest of the film drag a bit since you knew that whatever happened, it was going to end up in a certain place.

Did you ever end up catching Man of Steel? I just picked up the Blu-Ray and am looking forward to re-watching it this weekend. I absolutely loved it, despite a couple of definite flaws. It has been fun debating that movie with people who hated it. In fact, I saw it theatrically with my dad, and when we left the theatre he said that it was disappointing. We discussed it for the entire drive home, and by the time we got back I had changed his mind!

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits had a good review of the disc that summed up my feelings about it pretty well, but I will refrain from posting the link until I know that you have seen it. I know how you feel about that.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:06 pm

Well, I made the decision to let the double-dip of Assault on Precinct 13 go. Then I saw a post on Facebook last night that Austin Stoker was going to be at a store in L.A., autographing copies of the disc. On a lark, I "shared" the post, with a comment asking any of my L.A. FB friends if they could run over and get me a signed copy. I was really only kidding, and it was a mere three hours before the event, so I just went to bed. I got up this morning, and guess who took his kids out last night and got me a copy? None other than the utterly awesome PhotoOtaku. He posted a picture of the signed disc, with the new artwork side "personalized" to me, and the flip side with the theatrical artwork "generically" signed. (He also posted a fantastic picture of his kids posing with Stoker!) So, I have a copy of the new disc coming to me -- and he will not let me pay him for the damned thing, either!


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