Vanessa Appassamy

Site Reviewer

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Vital Statistics

Age Group 20 something
Video Likes Anamorphic 16:9 Widescreen Enhancement and clear and crisp transfers
Video Dislikes Poor MPEG encoding and improper picture enhancement
Audio Likes

Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, THX (Tomlinson Holman Experiment) certified,

Ultimately the sound mix should have good channel seperation and bass response.

Audio Dislikes Poor sound mixing and the recent trend of placing DTS and Dolby Digital tracks on the same disc, therefore sacrificing video or audio quality.
Favourite DVDs

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection

The Machinist (Region 2)

Ed Wood - Special Edition

Brazil - Criterion Collection

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Criterion Collection

Empire of the Sun SE

David Bowie - Best of Bowie

The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Time (Radiohead)

Almost Famous Untitled - The Bootleg Cut (Director's Edition) (2000)

Least Favourite DVDs

War Of The Worlds (SE) (Mpeg Compression) (2005)

The Fisher King (1991)

Black Rain (1989)

Fearless (1993)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

Beetlejuice (1988)

Mars Attacks (1996)

The new OFLC ratings are becoming a deterrent of R4 DVD's.

Most Eagerly Awaited DVDs

Each of the films listed in "Least Favourite DVDs" are in desperate need of better treatment on DVD.

Uncut version of Sleepy Hollow.

Criterion Collection's 2006 range and recent release's including Le samoura´, The Wages of Fear and The Man Who Fell to Earth

Opinions About Specific Movies and their DVDs

Titanic James Cameron's love of the deep sea was perhaps best realized in The Abyss (1989), nevertheless Titanic (1997) is an ambitious melodramatic film which demonstrates Cameron's excellence as a director. The film is to be released in a 4-disc set, further demonstrating it's wide appeal. The original Fox DVD release left much to be desiered.
The Matrix The Matrix (1999) is the original and the best of the trilogy. This was the Wachowski's fan letter to Japanese animation, science-fiction and the superhero genre. The Matrix films on DVD have unsurprisingly spawned into anime (The Animatrix) and videogames. Predictably fans are faced with updating their collection with either The Matrix Trilogy Collection or a ten disc Ultimate Matrix Collection which contains all-new audio commentaries. The films have had a new life on DVD and are widely considered reference quality. One would assume DTS tracks would be considered for future releases.
Terminator 2 James Cameron's T2 is still a remarkable film more than a decade later. The most recent DVD incarnation was the Ultimate Edition which contained DTS ES 6.1 along with a remastered Director's Cut. It was impressive but I am anticipating the future Blu-Ray DVD.
Star Wars George Lucas' epic tale has now come to an end. Yet fans are still waiting for the release of the original Star Wars films in the theatrical cuts. The special edition of Star Wars - A New Hope made a great transition to DVD. One can predict many different DVD releases in the future as the DVD technology progresses.
Godzilla Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's monster film failed to impress film goers in 1998. The film's transition to DVD was sufficient but ultimately it was all hype without substance.
Independence Day ID4 is another Emmerich and Devlin collaboration which was incredibly successful in 1996. Unlike T2, the special effects film has aged but its transition to DVD was impressive, Independence Day: Extended Edition (DTS) and the Special Edition allowed the film to make full use of the DVD technology. Independence Day will forever be a mindless popcorn film but nevertheless an enjoyable one on DVD.

Equipment

DVD Player ctor , using HDMI output
Display Mitsubishi Electric HC6800 1080P Home Theatre Projector . Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio Decoder Built in to amplifier/receiver . Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
Amplification Onkyo TX-SR800
Speakers (Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Top 10 DVDs

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1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Criterion Collection: a wonderful treatment of a brilliant film with the kitchen sink included.
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2. Dead Man (Directors Suite) (1995)
Jim Jarmusch's misunderstood masterpiece, a perfect film. Should get the Criterion treatment
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3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
Criterion Collection offers the perfect treatment of a wild sea adventure with Bowie works in Portuguese
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4. Brazil (1985)
Criterion Collection offers a breathtaking treatment of a true modern classic.
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5. The Fly: Special Edition (1986)
An important film recieves PERFECT treatment on DVD
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6. Batman: Two-Disc Special Edition (1989)
This and the Batman Returns SE were worth the wait. Plus we got Prince videos! Both excellent 2 Disc Sets
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7. Trainspotting: The Definitive Edition (1995)
Choose Life. Choose this DVD. Drive boy dog boy dirty numb angel boy
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8. Very Long Engagement, A (Un Long Dimanche de Fianšailles) (2004)
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's extravagant tale, An excellent 2 Disc Set with great behind the scenes footage.
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9. The Hunger (1983)
Nothing Human Loves Forever. Tony Scott's take on Vampires. Colors are very natural and black levels are outstanding.
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10. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
PTA knows the DVD format well. The palette of colours used by the film are well presented

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