Gavin Womersley

Site Reviewer

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Vital Statistics

Age Group 29
Video Likes Widescreen! Correct aspect ratios, clean anamorphic transfers – remember wider is better!
Video Dislikes Anything originally shot in a wide aspect ratio but panned & scanned for the plebs.
Audio Likes I like to see people subscribe to the Ebert approach: “Every movie deserves to be seen on the best equipment possible.” Roger Ebert - US film critic. I’m a realist though and will accept “…to be seen on the best equipment you can afford.” Seriously though, I like creative use of the surround channels and the use of deep bass. There is definitely not too much bass in films but there are people with incorrectly set and/or low quality sub-woofers that can make deep bass sound terrible.
Audio Dislikes Poorly recorded dialogue or Artificial Dialog Replacement that does not blend well with the rest of the soundtrack. I also dislike the under-utilization of sound when its proper use could have made a scene more exciting or immersed you in the picture further. I also dislike soundtracks that are loud all the way through. The dynamic range of DVD is one of the great things going for it. Loud dramatic moments have much more impact and are much more impressive when they are surrounded by quieter passages than anything blasting away without let-up.
Favourite DVDs Alien series, Close Encounters, T2: Ultimate Edition, The Haunting DTS edition (for its ability to help sell subs), The Abyss, Robocop Criterion Edition. Too many others to mention.
Least Favourite DVDs I guess there will be a number of these to come. There seem to be persistent rumours that Avenue One discs can be disappointing. I might as well start my least liked list off with the very first title I reviewed – Saltwater Moose.
Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs Now that Smokey and the Bandit and Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday are available it’s just the usual stuff that everyone else is waiting to see.

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic Great sound, pity about the male lead. I did enjoy watching it but it really could have started with the lookout spotting the iceberg. I am told that the DVD did not do the film justice.
The Matrix Great demo movie, enjoyed it at the cinema but really liked it on DVD. Deservedly one of the top selling discs so far.
Terminator 2 I own the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition. It is a fitting tribute to the film and shows you how far a DVD can go. Before that I owned the earlier Region One version. I have seen the local version at work and all I can say is that it gives me a great reason to be the proud owner of a multi-zone DVD player.
Star Wars I have never bought films on VHS and despite this classic flick's lack of availability on DVD I won’t start now.
Godzilla It was not that bad. It could have been better considering the money they lavished on it, but it still has some great scenes and a ripper audio track.
Independence Day Classic popcorn movie. I liked it a lot and as a Mac owner at the time I thought it was great that an advanced civilization had obviously accepted the superiority of the Mac operating system.

Equipment

DVD Player Toshiba 2109 , using Component output
Display Toshiba 117cm widescreen rear projection TV . Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Rotel RSP-985 THX Ultra certified surround pre-amp .
Amplification Parasound HCA-2003 3x300w THX certified power amp, NAD 208THX 2x300w power amp.
Speakers Velodyne HGS-18 1250w 18” servo-driven subwoofer, Celestion A3 front speakers, A2 rear speaker (full range) and A4c center channel speaker.

Top 10 DVDs

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1. The Abyss: Special Edition (1989)
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2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Collector's Edition (1977)

3.
Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition (R1)
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4. Lawrence of Arabia: Collector's Edition (1962)
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5. RoboCop: Special Edition (1987)
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6. Enter the Dragon: Special Edition (1973)

7.
The Party (R1)
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8. Superman-The Movie: Special Edition (1978)
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9. Alien: 20th Anniversary Edition (1979)
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10. Aliens: Special Edition (1 disc) (1986)

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