Michael Gauntlett

Site Reviewer/Proofreader

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Vital Statistics

Age Group Early 30s
Video Likes High quality 16x9 enhanced transfers and films presented in their original aspect ratio.
Video Dislikes Pan and Scan transfers and poorly mastered DVD titles.
Audio Likes Well constructed surround sound soundtracks (DTS preferable) that create an encompassing sound field but don't immediately drew attention to themselves.
Audio Dislikes Drop-outs, crackles, tape noise.
Favourite DVDs Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001, Vertigo, Boogie Nights, Almost Famous and Goodfellas.
Least Favourite DVDs The Abyss. Great movie but awful, awful transfer. We need a rerelease.
Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs Remastered Vertigo. I saw a 70mm print of Vertigo a few years ago and the current DVD does not even come close to it. (UPDATE: It's been released in R1 and I have it. A bit dissapointed. Too much edge enhancement and it's been brightened a bit too much.)

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic Take away the interesting back drop of the Titanic disaster and what do we have? Poor boys falls in love with rich girl. Rich girl has mean spirited and nasty boyfriend. And so on. Predictable, cliched and by the numbers. It has one of the best distaster sequences ever when the boat sinks but for the money they spend you'd hope so.
The Matrix Loved the first movie. Really made me think the first time I walked out of the cinemas after seeing it. The sequals have been so average when they could have been so good. A real shame.
Terminator 2 Good fun action.
Star Wars The original trilogy is a favorite of mine but I don't like the new ones much. The story seems to be there only to support the special effects.
Godzilla Saw it once when it came out on DVD. Thank goodness I didn't waste my money seeing this at the cinemas.
Independence Day Fun film if your're willing to leave your brain at the door.

Equipment

DVD Player Pioneer DV-696AV-s, SACD & DVD-A , using HDMI output
Display Panasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector onto 90" 16x9 Screen . Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Logitech 5500 THX . Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
Amplification Logitech 5500 THX
Speakers Logitech 5500 THX

Top 10 DVDs

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1. Vertigo (1958)
I'm a big Hitchcock fan and this is one of his best
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2. Dr. Strangelove: 40th Anniversary Edition (1964)
I've lost count of the number times I've watched this
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3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Special Edition (2004)
I'm not normally a Jim Carey fan, but in this film with a screenplay by the innovative Charlie Kaufman, he plays against type in his best ever performance.
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4. The Silence of the Lambs: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1990)
Another film I've watched many times.
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5. 2001: A Space Odyssey: Collector's Box Set (1968)
Leaves you with more questions than answers, really makes you think
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6. Goodfellas: Special Edition (1990)
One of Scorsese's best.
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7. Gods and Monsters (1999)
Sir Ian McKellen at his very best. Even Brendan Fraser is pretty good. If you have not seen it, rush out and rent (or better still buy) the DVD. Not to be missed.
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8. Star Wars-Episode IV/V/VI Box Set (1977)
I love the original Trilogy. Grew up with it.
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9. Seven: Special Edition (1995)
It's a real toss up between this and Pulp Fiction but I still think this is David Fincher's best film. Probably one of the most erilly atmospheric films of the mid 90s.
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10. Pulp Fiction: 10th Anniversary 2-Disc Collector's Edition (1994)
It may steal shamelessly from other films but it was incredibly innovative at the time and still stands up well.

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