Philip Sawyer

Site Reviewer/Proofreader

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Vital Statistics

Age Group Old enough to know better, too old to do anything about it
Video Likes Correct aspect ratios. Minimal film artefacts.
Video Dislikes Pan & scan. Badly positioned layer changes. Foreign language films dubbed into English. Excessive noise reduction. Aliasing. Poor contrast.
Audio Likes Audio mixes that reflect the original audio configuration of the content.
Audio Dislikes Audible hiss. Excessive sibilance. 5.1 remasters of 1.0 or 2.0 originals where the original is not supplied.
Favourite DVDs Sword of Vengeance (R1), Die Nibelungen (R1), Blackmail (R2), Seven Samurai (remastered)(R1), Ordet (R1), Metropolis (1927), The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (R3)
Least Favourite DVDs Metropolis (1927)(R4 original edition)
Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs The Cecil B. De Mille Collection, King Kong Special Edition, the new R1 Ben-Hur (for the 1925 version included as an extra), anything by Mizoguchi

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic Saw this in the cinema. Any film in which Leo dies and Kate disrobes can't be all bad. I was impressed by the sinking but the lead-up was laughable. Haven't seen the DVD and don't plan to. As a comparison, check out the English version of Atlantic (1929), which is much, much worse, or the 1943 German version, which is better.
The Matrix Second DVD I ever saw. I could understand why people raved about it (the DVD).
Terminator 2 I quite enjoyed this on video, but I haven't seen the DVD.
Star Wars Saw Episode 4 on original release. The earlier sequels were ok, but the three recent films are appalling. The only one I've seen on DVD was Episode 2.
Godzilla I saw this in the cinema. I thought that the filmmakers erred by using CGI instead of a man in a lizard suit. I have watched a few minutes of the DVD, which would probably be worth acquiring if you like the film.
Independence Day Another film that I saw in the cinema. Is it any wonder I rarely go to the cinema any more? Made me wish someone other than the US would save the world once in a while. Like Denmark. Have not seen the DVD.

Equipment

DVD Player Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) , using HDMI output
Display Sony VPL-VW60 SXRD projector with 95" screen . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Built into BD player . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification Receiver: Sony STRDA5400ES; Power Amplifiers: Elektra Reference, Elektra Theatron
Speakers Main: B&W Nautilus 800; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Tannoy Revolution R3; Subwoofer: Richter Thor Mk IV

Top 10 DVDs

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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
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2. Lawrence of Arabia: Collector's Edition (1962)
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3. Verdi-La Traviata (Royal Opera, Covent Garden) (1995)
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4. Richter-The Enigma (1998)
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5. Napoleon (Abel Gance's) (1927)
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6. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
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7. Poulenc-Dialogues Des Carmelites (1999)
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8. Metropolis: Special Edition 2 Disc Set (1927)
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9. The Band Wagon: Special Edition (1953)
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10. The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller's) (1980)

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