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The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  East on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:09 pm

Nice, What has PO been up to anyway? He sure hasn't had time to come around here.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:45 am

Well, we have not really "chatted" that much other than the occasional commenting on each other's posts, but I will let him know to drop by!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:24 pm

That is super cool.

Regarding Great Escape: I'm not entirely sure, as it's been some time since I watched the DVD and I did not compare the DVD to Blu-ray. However, I'm not sure there is much improvement in the Blu-ray release. The picture still seems a bit soft, although colours might have more punch now. Overall, I think they could have done a better job here. The audio seemed okay, but again, I didn't do a comparison.

I've yet to see Man of Steel, but no doubt my dad and Seajunior would enjoy watching that one, so I might give it a go.

The news is a little old now, but that was quite a shock about Paul Walker. What a horrible way to go.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:48 am

Horrible, but certainly appropriate.

So have you finished Breaking Bad? I just watched the last episode and the special features on Friday. Curious what you think.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:51 pm

I don't know about appropriate. I know he liked fast cars and liked to drive fast, but I don't think he was into underground racing. That was just his character. I don't think he deserved to go up in flames. He wasn't even driving.

I have finished Breaking Bad. Overall, I was quite pleased. The last episode certainly had a wrap-it-up feel, but it still worked for me. And I thought the team did well to essentially leave no loose ends. I was also well pleased that Jesse got his own with Todd. I was cheering him on.

That said, I found the last half of Season 5 dragged. The first half, by comparison, was far stronger, as were previous seasons.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:05 am

You are taking that comment way, way too literally. Of course his death is tragic and he did not deserve it; it was just an in-character way to go. Not like slipping on a bar of soap in the shower, or something off-character like that.


Yes, I thought that the second half of the season was far weaker than the first, and it felt to me like the whole show, the writers in particular, ran out of gas -- and just about the time of the scene where Walt runs out of gas. That scene was drearily predicable, and set the tone that there would be more predictable twists to follow; the show almost became "conventional" at that point, unlike all prior seasons where they did such a spectacular job of defying convention. And the ending seemed far to McGuyver-ish to me. (Interesting to note in the special features that Vince Gilligan said that when they had the scene at the beginning of season five with Walt and the big gun, they had no idea what they were going to do with it, but they knew that they would have to use it eventually. Not sure that they came up with the best possibility there.) Still, it was not exactly an unsatisfying conclusion, and things could have been much worse.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:42 pm

I suppose you're right. I get what you're saying.

I agree about Breaking Bad. On the one hand, I am glad that they wrapped things up without leaving loose ends. But you're right that the whole second-half of the last season was quite telegraphed, especially the finale. Still, I'm glad Todd bit it, even if it was obvious.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:49 am

Well, again, I think that you are still taking my comment far too seriously, and I am sorry if I gave offense. It was not exactly a joke, but it was just a tongue-in-cheek reference, no different than saying that if Hitchcock had been stabbed to death in a shower it would have been oddly appropriate. I probably accidentally touched a nerve because of your father's accident, which was poor thinking on my part.


I was glad to see Jesse get his cathartic moment with Todd at the end, though in a way I was sorry to see Todd go. He was arguably the most interesting character in the last season of the show. He was an interesting counterpoint to his uncle Jack. It is sort of a Lewis Carrolian "Walrus and the Carpenter" ethical comparison between the two. Jack was simply a bad man, but he knew it -- an old-fashioned psychopath. Todd, on the other hand, really had no conception of morality whatsoever; he just did whatever he thought needed to be done without a second thought -- a pure sociopath. So you can make the argument, who is worse -- the man who does bad things in full knowledge of what he is doing, or the man who does even worse things, yet does not intend evil. In other words, the basic ethical argument that Carroll never resolved in his story: which is worse, intentions or actions? In a weird way, Todd actually does the "right" things in every case, from the standpoint of their criminal activities. Shooting the kid, for instance, was a horrible thing to do, but in their situation as criminals, the witness had to go, and he "took care of it" with no hesitation or second thought. In an even weirder way, Todd is the criminal that Walt imagines himself to be. His greatest weakness as a master criminal is that he can never quite fully turn himself over to being a master criminal, though he fantasizes that he has done so. Up to the end, though, it is clear that there is still a sliver of "redemption" available for him, in the psychological sense at least (though certainly not in the moral sense.) I think that is why there is the strange sort of bond between Walt and Todd; Todd respects Walt more because of what Walt believes himself to be, and Walt recognizes that he needs Todd to do the things that he still struggles with doing. Though at the end, it was really interesting to see Walt's absolute indifference to Jesse strangling Todd -- he literally turns away as if he could not care less. So maybe they had more in common than they thought.


I grabbed the Blu-Ray for Prisoners, and I highly recommend it as one of the best movies of the year. It is an amazingly tightly-controlled thriller, though from a narrative standpoint it loses that control in the last half hour. But the first 4/5ths of the movie are truly impressive. And, by the way, Eve and I caught American Hustle in the theatre on Saturday, and if you can get out it is also one of the best of the year. Still trying to screw up the courage to go see The Desolation of Smaug, though -- after the first one I have just lost interest.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:40 pm

Like I said: I get what you're saying and it makes perfect sense. And, yes, there is a definite element of humour. I overreacted.

Todd was an interesting character and the type you love to hate. My favourites in the series (other than Jesse and Walt) are still Mike and Fring. Both were simply awesome.

I will check out The Prisoner over the holidays.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:15 am

Well, obviously if you are going to include the whole series, Mike and Gus are clearly at the top for supporting characters. Jack and Todd were not in the same league, but they were still worthy characters for the show. Let us not leave out Saul, either! The great thing about the series and characters like Saul is that in his case, the character is a walking cliché, yet somehow the writers and the actor manage to transcend that cliché and create a living, breathing, "real" person. The actor who played Todd deserves some serious credit as well for underplaying the part just right.

By the way, not sure if I posted this, but the new features on Assault on Precinct 13 are really not enough to make it worth picking up the disc -- without the autographs, that is! Just an eight minute interview with Stoker and a twelve minute interview with Nancy Loomis -- both interesting, but too brief. There is a new commentary track with production designer Tommy Lee Wallace, but I did not listen to it. On the other hand, the new Blu-Ray for Knightriders added some real meat to the mix, including a nearly twenty minute interview with George Romero, and ten minute interviews with Ed Harris and Tom Savini. It was nice to see an actor of Harris' caliber participating in special features for a title from early in his career. Plus, the video quality is truly amazing given the age and budget of the film. Not just more detailed, but the colours are the best that I have ever seen for the film.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:55 pm

I deserve time in the corner for forgetting to mention Saul.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:18 pm

Well, you know who to call.

Actually, Saul is still my prime example of why the series was such a work of genius. His character is a walking, talking cliche, and absolutely should not work at all. Yet he was one of the best in the entire series. Part of that has to be chalked up to the actor bringing him to life, of course, but it was the writing for the character that really transcended cliche. That is why it was so disappointing to me how predictably mechanical the final plotline was. They had consistently beaten convention for four-and-half years. Shame they lost the magic toward the end. But taking the series as a whole, it is still amazing how consistently they subverted expections for so long.

One more month until season three of Game of Thrones. We finally get to see what all the "Red Wedding" fuss was about. I am amazed that I have managed to avoid spoilers for the whole time.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:58 pm

Outside of the last half of the final season lagging, I think the thing that held the finale back was the Breaking Bad team looking to wrap everything up and leave as few loose ends as possible. Nevertheless, there were a few good scenes in the finale. One of the best had to be when Walt was talking to Skyler in the kitchen. The camera is behind Skylar, but we get to see her facial expressions reflected in the microwave. Ironically, I believe that effect was by accident.

As before, I find it hard to get excited for Game of Thrones, but I always enjoy it once it arrives.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:07 pm

Since Vince Gilligan directed the finale himself, and he is in to effects like that, I am sure that the reflection was quite deliberate. Actually, that scene was definitely an example of the positive side of their trying to tie up all loose ends. The whole "I did it for me" thing was a huge moment between Walt and Skyler, and a great payoff for the viewer. Of course, we already knew that from what we have seen in during the series, and from Walt's admissions to others, but up until the end he was still trying to maintain the "I did it all for my family" fiction with her. It was nice to have some closure there.

I got in the mood to watch Warrior the other day, and that put me into a "recent fight movie" kick, and I ended up watching that, Million Dollar Baby, Rocky Balboa and The Fighter back-to-back. That was actually a pretty nice quadruple feature.

Amazon finally had "the right price" for me on the Scream Factory Vincent Price Collection, and I will have that waiting for me when I get back from Vegas. That will be an awesome sextuple feature!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:59 am

Gilligan actually came out and said that the reflection was a happy mistake. They didn't realize it was captured until they viewed the footage after. What's awesome about that is that Anna Gunn didn't know her face would be captured on camera and yet she still acted the scene and portrayed emotion through her facial expressions. Pretty cool.

I watched Titanic this past weekend. I know you love the film, but it still didn't do it for me. Too many flaws that I was unable to look past to enjoy the film. Plus, the ending really bugs me. But, I tried!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:24 am

Not every movie is for every one. Titanic certainly has flaws, but they are not sufficient to diminish my enjoyment of the movie. What bugs you about the ending? Just curious. I have read some criticisms of the ending that miss the point.

Not disc-related, but while down here we went to see the 3D, 48fps Imax version of The Desolation of Smaug. I have read a lot of fans who claim that it is a big improvement over the first one, but I did not think so. Still a bloated, unfocused mess. That is only the second Imax 3D film that I have seen, the first being Pacific Rim, and I think that it is really a disappointing presentation. (Keep in mind that I am talking about the "lite" version of Imax, not the handful of true, huge screen Imax theatres out there.) They only use 2k projectors, and the deficiencies show. Even from a moderate viewing distance, the pixel structure is visible, especially during things like titles, which display visible jagged edges. I saw An Unexpected Journey on a Marcus Ultrascreen with 4k projection, and it was much superior. Moreover, I saw Pacific Rim twice, and also on the 4k projectors at the Marcus Ultrascreen. Even though that film was finished at 2k resolution during post-production, the upscaled 4k projection was still superior, with no visible pixels or jagged edges.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:43 pm

Well, I'm sure my criticism misses the point! I recognize that it's ambiguous if Rose dies at the end or is merely dreaming. My understanding is that Cameron directed the scene that way and asked Stewart to hold her breath, so that the audience was left to interpret the ending as they saw fit. I have also since read that Cameron later came out to say that he intended for Rose to only be asleep, which seems like a bit of a cop out after the fact.

Depending on which way the scene goes, affects my reaction. If she's dreaming, fine. She just recounted her time on the Titanic and it makes sense that she'd have a dream as depicted by the ending. However, if she's dead, and the Titanic is supposed to be a heaven of sorts, I'm bugged that she ends up with Jack (a four-day fling) versus her husband (a 60-odd year marriage). And while I get that Jack might have been Rose's true love, I can't help but feel sorry for the unnamed husband. What if he missed out on finding his true love because he married Rose? Is he stuck in limbo waiting for a Rose that while never appear while she's off sailing the seas with Jack?

Now, I can also buy that Jack is merely a chaperone. He offers Rose an arm just like he did before the dinner party, and perhaps he is leading her to her hubby, but that seems a bit far fetched.

I dunno, I get the romanticism of the whole thing, and it makes a good love story, but only from a certain perspective.

Incidentally, I was fine that she tossed the heart of the ocean. It's not like she could have profited from it, and one can certainly argue that it belongs back with the Titanic. On the other hand, it would have made a nice museum piece.

I also watched Desolation of Smaug. Bloated mess is correct!
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:47 am

You certainly have good questions. The one criticism that I usually read is about her tossing the Heart of the Ocean back at the end. Most people seem bothered by that because it was a gift from her fiancé rather than from her lover Jack, but I do think that misses the point. Regardless of who gave the gift, it was an integral part of her adventures with Jack, and the point of her holding on to it for all of those years is that she has been holding on to the secrets of her past, with the Heart representing that past. After finally telling her story, she is able to let go of the past and get rid of the Heart. Incidentally, that is why it makes more sense that she is actually dying in the final shot -- having let go, she can move on. To me, Jack is just a very minor part of the last shot, whether it is a dream or not. It is more about everyone "welcoming" her back, from Jack to Molly, Mr. Andrews, and all the rest. Their warm acceptance of her pays off emotionally for me, but there is no question that her unseen husband of the last many decades gets the shaft in the deal!


Gotta ask: have you seen Man of Steel or Pacific Rim yet? I am still very interested in reading your opinion of both of those. After a second viewing of each, they are now officially in my top ten for the year. MoS in particular really grows on multiple viewings, and it may be on of my favorite overall comic adaptations. But, I can still see why many people do not like it.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Not ignoring you; I just got back from vacation.

I did watch Man of Steel. I didn't have a problem with the film, the directing or the acting. Overall, I thought it quite good. Unfortunately, Superman still doesn't do it for me. The film did downplay his powers and this iteration of Superman certainly wasn't as perfect as Superman of year's past, but he still seems too powerful and lacks that major flaw that I can sympathize with. I even appreciated that we get to see this Superman struggle, but it felt like the struggle was only for dramatic purposes, rather than a real struggle. That alone prevented me from really getting into the film. I will watch it again, and perhaps I will feel differently after another viewing.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:47 am

I will post my defense/explanation of why I loved Man of Steel later when I have a chance. It does gain from a second viewing. Actually, the movie that surprised me in that regard was Iron Man 3. I enjoyed watching it theatrically and certainly thought that it was a worthy conclusion to the trilogy, but watching it a second time at home, the character arcs resonated even more and I found it a genuinely emotionally satisfying experience, which surprised me a bit.

By the way, I know that you will be delighted to hear this: Scream Factory just announced yesterday that they are releasing Lake Placid on Blu-Ray. The comments on their Facebook post were pretty interesting; needless to say, that is a particularly polarizing film. About half the people were thrilled and the other half were questioning why Scream was wasting their time with the release.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:47 am

Oh, and did you see the first real trailer for Gareth Edwards' Godzilla?
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:22 pm

I may or may not have seen the real Godzilla trailer. Is that the one with the men jumping out of the plane, and has them traipsing through what looks to be a sewer system?

I was disappointed with Iron Man 3 for two reasons. First, it reflected back on Avengers, which I thought a tad risky, since not all viewers will have seen that film. Granted, knowledge of Avengers isn't necessary to watch Iron Man 3. Second, it seemed the cheese factor was upped considerably. Were the previous films that over-the-top? I've watched the film three times now (once in theatres; twice at home), and it gets worse for me with each viewing. The first entry in the series is still my favourite, and I enjoy going back to it from time to time.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:59 am

It did not escape notice, of course, that you disregarded my exciting announcement. . .

Yes, that would be the Godzilla trailer. The Comic-Con teaser from 2012 finally leaked onto the internet just prior to that (strange that it took so long.) But that had no actual footage from the movie. The trailer that you saw is indeed a real trailer. Not sure how I feel about the HALO jump deal, but I am willing to give Gareth Edward the benefit of the doubt at this point. He has made it clear that he thinks that the events in a Godzilla movie should be truly paradigm-shifting; he said that he wanted to give a post 9/11 type "hairs going up on the back of the neck" kind of feel to it. Whether he succeeds or not remains to be seen, but he certainly proved with Monsters that he can pull off that kind of eeriness. Plus, Godzilla appears that he is going to be huge, a humanoid shape, and kick very large amounts of ass. Nothing wrong with that.

I suppose that Iron Man 3 could be called cheesy, but not too much more so than the other two. I do certainly agree that the first is the best, but I did like the way that the third one paid off some of the arcs that were begun in that film. We are hardly talking about the Dark Knight trilogy here, but it does some similar things. Or else it just caught me at the right time. I do freely admit to being a ginormous Shane Black fan, so I am predisposed to like it. (If you have not seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I ask, nay I demand, that you grab it right now and watch it tonight. No excuses.) As far as it reflecting back on The Avengers, I rather liked the whole PTSD angle, given the fact that Tony Stark is the one Avenger who is really an outsider to the whole battling super-aliens thing. Yes, Hawkeye and Black Widow are both just as non-superpowered as he is, but their prior experience with S.H.I.E.L.D. gives them an edge -- to say nothing of the fact that they are both more emotionally mature than he is! I would, however, disagree that there were any risks involved with Marvel going that route; quite the opposite, given the smashing success of The Avengers. Despite lacking any other characters from that film, Iron Man 3 is as much The Avengers 2 as anything else, and there is nothing else that can explain its astonishing box-office success -- it currently sits at #5 all-time worldwide. You have to drop all the way down to #79 to find Iron Man 2.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:55 pm

I was so excited that I forgot to reply.

I'm not the biggest Godzilla fan, but I'm cautiously optimistic and excited to see this film, solely because Edward is involved.

I might have been swayed (unfairly) about The Avengers, since I've watched Iron Man 3 with two people who had not seen The Avengers. Both times I had to explain the story arc.
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Re: The miscellaneous Blu-Ray/DVD thread

Post  Iago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:34 am

Well, that would be confusing for some. I guess that Marvel figured that The Avengers was such a monumentally huge hit that there was no need to explain what happened. And really, all that matters as far as Iron Man 3 goes is that there was a huge alien invasion of New York, and Tony Stark has PTSD as a result.

Have you seen the trailers for Captain America 2 yet? I am surprised at how good they look. I was completely disappointed by the first film. It was not bad as such, but it was completely flat and lifeless. I had high expectations since it was directed by Joe Johnston, who directed one of my favorite comic book adaptations of all time: The Rocketeer. I hoped that he would bring some of the period flavor and style from that film into the Marvel universe, but it was not to be. The sequel is directed by a pair of first-time feaure directors, Joseph and Anthony Russo, which is a concern on a movie of this scale. But the trailers so far look promising, with an emphasis on practical effects and stuntwork in the actions scenes -- but plenty of CGI spectacle to back it up for the kids. (I much prefer practical stunts with digital wire removal to using fully CGI characters.) Supposedly Marvel is so happy with the early cuts of the film that they have already greenlit Captain America 3 with the Russos back at the helm.





And I am a hardcore Godzilla fan, of course, so I am thrilled that we may get a proper American remake this time, with a serious tone and solid effects. The original monster was a metaphor for the atomic bomb, of course, and the tone of the original film is dark and even somber -- there are no evacuations in the Japanese version; Godzilla strikes like the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki with massive death tolls as a result. (The Terry Morse-produced American version of the original "fixed" that by adding scenes and dialogue about evacuating cities before Godzillia strikes. Apparently that anti-American subtext was not lost on him!) So that is why the comment from Edwards about raising the hairs on the back of your neck with something of post 9/11 magnitude really resonated with me. New trailer on February 14!





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