Glen Randall

Site Reviewer/Proofreader

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Vital Statistics

Age Group I was born when
Video Likes Correct aspect ratio, the best possible transfer from the available original.
Video Dislikes Incorrect aspect ratio, restorations that try to "improve" the original (eg colourisation), transfers that are sloppy and don't make the most of the format.
Audio Likes Clear, enveloping sound that draws you into the film. Music that suits the movie and is sympathetic to the period and atmosphere of the film.
Audio Dislikes Use of rears and sub-woofer just because they are there. Surround should not draw undue attention to itself except for special effects that are important to the story or atmosphere.
Favourite DVDs See my top 10.
Least Favourite DVDs So many bad movies, so little space. Basically movies that treat the viewer like they are stupid irritate the daylights out of me.
Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs Hmmmmm, can't think of any at the moment.

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic Great true story ruined by shallow love story. The sinking was great on the big screen, but the DVD was disappointing. At least Leonardo dies, so that's a plus.
The Matrix From a technical standpoint, an excellent DVD. As a movie; grossly overrated and conceited. I really don't understand all the fuss about it.
Terminator 2 I'll admit up front, I'm not an Arnie fan. Fabulous special effects for its time makes this technically very good but - it's an Arnie film so leave the brain in neutral.
Star Wars Saw the original in the theatre and loved it although I'm not fanatical about it. Haven't seen the DVD yet. As far as the series goes, the first three (episodes 4-6) were fun but episode one took itself far too seriously, tried too hard and was disappointing. I haven't bothered with episode two or three.
Godzilla Haven't seen it all through as my intelligence was insulted. At least the old Japanese versions KNEW they were rubbish.
Independence Day If only they spent some of their mega-budget on a script. Lots of special effects to distract you from the lack of decent plot, character development or talent.

Equipment

DVD Player Toshiba SD-1200Y , using Component output
Display Panasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Built in to amplifier/receiver . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification Yamaha RX-V596
Speakers Richter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

Top 10 DVDs

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1. Schindler's List: Special Edition (1993)
Brilliantly told true story of a man of contrasts in a time of insanity.
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2. Citizen Kane (Warner) (1941)
Voted best American film in 100 years - what more can I say. Ground-breaking film when released, it's still a great story. The extras are brilliant and enhance the movie by putting it in its historical context.
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3. The Eagles-Hell Freezes Over (Warner) (1994)
Reference DVD for sound. Brilliant DTS track and a great concert. I go back to it again and again.
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4. The Godfather-DVD Collection (1972)
It was an offer I couldn't refuse. Great story, brilliant acting, extras galore.
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5. Lawrence of Arabia: Collector's Edition (1962)
One of the great epics. Stunning cinematography, inspired editing and a restoration that is near perfect.
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6. The Great Escape: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1963)
In an era that churned out war movies galore, this is one of the best. Great ensemble cast telling a story all the better because it's true.
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7. North by Northwest (1959)
The master at his peak. No-one comes near Hitch for suspense and just enough humour to keep it fresh. Plus, you can play 'Where's Alfred'.
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8. Saving Private Ryan (DTS) (1998)
One of the best modern war films made. Graphic without being gratuitously violent. Emotional moments that are not overdone. The DTS sound is amazing.
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9. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
One of THE best political thrillers. Skillful editing of the dream sequences is a highlight.
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10. Ronin (1998)
Intelligent spy film with a car chase sequence even better than 'Bullitt'. Superb video transfer and sensational audio.

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