David L

Site Reviewer

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Vital Statistics

Age Group Just getting to the stage where this question bothers me.
Video Likes Great remastered transfers of old movies. There's nothing like watching a classic film presented with vibrant colours, black blacks, and in all its 16x9 enhanced glory.
Video Dislikes Lazy transfers - lots of compression artefacts, not bothering to clean up the source material, and so on. I also find continuous, serious aliasing takes me right out of a movie, because I start to focus on all the jaggies.
Audio Likes Crisp clear dialogue that isn't drowned out by sound effects and music. Good subtle use of the surrounds that immerses you without making you stop and think "ooh, my surrounds are kicking in now".
Audio Dislikes Excessive increases in volume levels during action scenes. I really dislike the way some tracks suddenly over-crank the volume as soon as something remotely dramatic is happening, and you have to constantly have your finger on the remote.
Favourite DVDs I'm a sucker for big blockbusters presented on dvds with all the bells and whistles, so T2:UE, Gladiator, Attack of the Clones, and Matrix are up there. I also like oldies done properly: Zulu, Lawrence of Arabia, Singin' in the Rain, and suchlike.
Least Favourite DVDs Any decent movie given a lazy dvd treatment: such as non-16x9 enhanced, Pan & Scan, dodgy sound transfer, and the list goes on.
Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs I guess I'm with everyone else waiting for the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. Probably my number one eagerly-awaited though is the complete "Goodies" on dvd. Endless Summer II, with a decent video/audio transfer, would make me very happy indeed.

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic Why they needed to put in some sappy love story to try and make a genuine tragedy seem more tragic is beyond me. Last 40 minutes of the movie were ok, if you could stay awake through the rest of the dross. Never even bothered renting the dvd to be honest.
The Matrix I first watched this at the cinema with absolutely no idea what it was about, and having heard no hype whatsoever. I was blown away the first time, but the story loses its impact after repeated viewings. The action scenes are timeless though, and make great demo material. This dvd should be in everyone's collection.
Terminator 2 One of the ultimate chase movies, although I thought the first one was more menacing. I recently bought the R1 T2:UE dvd and it still holds up very well as one of the best examples of a complete dvd package, despite its age.
Star Wars Grew up with the originals and have been a little disappointed with the new episodes, but not to the extent that most vocal fans have been. The dvds are still must-haves in my opinion, due to the wealth of extras and the AOTC digital video transfer. Why they can't release bare-bones versions of the originals though is a mystery to me, and I don't think I'm alone there :)
Godzilla Rented it once just to see if it could really be as bad as everyone said. Having such low expectations I was pleasantly surprised. Sure it isn't good by any stretch of the imagination, but it had its moments.
Independence Day I first watched this movie in Canada, and the rather acid response of the locals to this piece of pro-US fluff was pretty appropriate. The dvd has good seemless branching though, and some of the action set pieces still make good demo material to this day.

Equipment

DVD Player Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) , using HDMI output
Display Panasonic TX-86PW100A . Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Built in to DVD player . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
Amplification Yamaha RXV-3800
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

Top 10 DVDs

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1. The Bridge on the River Kwai: Collector's Edition (1957)
A great old film, given the treatment it deserves.
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2. Gladiator: Deluxe Collector's Edition (2000)
My first 2-disc set - it blew me away at the time, and is still very impressive in video and audio departments.
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3. Jurassic Park: Collector's Edition (1993)
I'm a sucker for a bit of dinosaur action, and I still think the first one does it best.
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4. Futurama-Season 1 (Box Set) (1999)
One of the funniest cartoons in recent years in my opinion. The video presentation on these discs is awesome.
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5. Zulu: Special Collector's Edition (1964)
This classic movie has finally been given a decent DVD treatment. It's just a shame about all the aliasing.
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6. The Matrix (1999)
Gave the DVD medium a bit of a kick in the pants, and still has some of my favourite demo scenes.
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7. Back to the Future: Trilogy Boxset (1985)
These movies were part of my teen years, and the DVD transfers are superb (framing issues aside).
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8. The Great Escape: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1963)
Another classic film given a great DVD treatment. The extras on the second disc are worth the price alone.
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9. The British War DVD Collection
About time some of these old British war movies made it onto DVD.
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10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Ultimate Edition (1991)
I only have the Region 1 version, but to this day I think it is one of the most complete DVD packages.

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