tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:18am on 08/01/2011 under , , , ,
Sixty seven films watched this year, down from ninety five last year. None at the cinema; mostly from DVD, Blu-ray and TV, with a handful from iTunes and watched on the Apple TV. My film watching fell away in the second half of 2010, as I spent more time watching old TV series downloaded from iTunes.

Worst film I watched this was Lesbian Vampire Killers, which was dire. Highlights were Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which was a delight, and seeing The 39 Steps on Blu-ray — it is wonderful to watch a favourite film looking better than I’ve seen it before.

My mission for 2011 is to rip all my DVDs to my Drobo, so all the films and TV series will be accessible from the Apple TV.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Farewell, My Lovely (1944)
Corpse Bride (2005)
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
Near Dark (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Serenity (2005)
Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009)
Sweeney! (1977)
Gambit (1966)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Cobra (1986)
The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)
Alien Nation (1988)
In the Loop (2009)
Inside Man (2006)
The Quest (1996)
Fast Food Nation (2006)
Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
South Pacific (1958)
Planet Terror (2007)
Army of Darkness (1993)
My Name is Bruce (2007)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Barb Wire (1996)
A Mighty Wind (2003)
The Mummy (1999)
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Dreamgirls (2006)
The Sea Wolves (1980)
Death on the Nile (1978)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
The Wolfman (2010)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Dr Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Day of the Dead (2008)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Ring (1998)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Diagnosis: Death (2009)
Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2002)
Murder, She Said (1961)
Carry On Abroad (1972)
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Snake Eyes (1998)
Clue (1985)
Murder by Death (1976)
Shock Treatment (1981)
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The 39 Steps (1935)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Wild Wild West (1999)
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Twins of Evil (1971)
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Night of the Demon (1957)
Doom (2005)
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Con Air (1997)
Caddyshack (1980)
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:18am on 08/01/2011 under , , , ,
Sixty seven films watched this year, down from ninety five last year. None at the cinema; mostly from DVD, Blu-ray and TV, with a handful from iTunes and watched on the Apple TV. My film watching fell away in the second half of 2010, as I spent more time watching old TV series downloaded from iTunes.

Worst film I watched this was Lesbian Vampire Killers, which was dire. Highlights were Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which was a delight, and seeing The 39 Steps on Blu-ray — it is wonderful to watch a favourite film looking better than I’ve seen it before.

My mission for 2011 is to rip all my DVDs to my Drobo, so all the films and TV series will be accessible from the Apple TV.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Farewell, My Lovely (1944)
Corpse Bride (2005)
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
Near Dark (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Serenity (2005)
Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009)
Sweeney! (1977)
Gambit (1966)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Cobra (1986)
The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)
Alien Nation (1988)
In the Loop (2009)
Inside Man (2006)
The Quest (1996)
Fast Food Nation (2006)
Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
South Pacific (1958)
Planet Terror (2007)
Army of Darkness (1993)
My Name is Bruce (2007)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Barb Wire (1996)
A Mighty Wind (2003)
The Mummy (1999)
The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Dreamgirls (2006)
The Sea Wolves (1980)
Death on the Nile (1978)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
The Wolfman (2010)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Dr Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Day of the Dead (2008)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Ring (1998)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Diagnosis: Death (2009)
Elvira’s Haunted Hills (2002)
Murder, She Said (1961)
Carry On Abroad (1972)
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Snake Eyes (1998)
Clue (1985)
Murder by Death (1976)
Shock Treatment (1981)
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The 39 Steps (1935)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Wild Wild West (1999)
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Twins of Evil (1971)
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Night of the Demon (1957)
Doom (2005)
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Con Air (1997)
Caddyshack (1980)
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 01:25pm on 01/01/2010 under , , ,
Ninety five films watched this year; increasingly watched in HD, either on TV or on Blu-ray. Modern films look as good as expected, but I am finding the real joy in high definition to be finding older films that look wonderful. Highlights this year have been the Blu-ray of North by Northwest, and seeing the original Star Wars trilogy in HD on ITV.

The Fog (1980)
Carry On Screaming (1966)
Die Another Day (2002)
Carry on Cleo (1964)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Goonies (1985)
Dr No (1962)
Thunderball (1965)
Love Happy (1949)
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
St Trinian's (2007)
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Ghosts of Mars (2001)
The Pink Panther (1963)
Mama Mia (2008)
Manhunter (1986)
Stormbreaker (2006)
Silver Streak (1976)
Robocop (1987)
Bugsy Malone (1976)
Batman (1966)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Crooks in Cloisters (1964)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Escape from New York (1981)
Hairspray (2008)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
The Peacemaker (1997)
Jackie Brown (1997)
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Fathom (1967)
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
My Name Is Bruce (2008)
Red Heat (1988)
My Name Is Bruce (2008)
Carry On At Your Convenience (1971)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
The Golden Compass (2007)
Gladiatress (2004)
The Name of the Rose (1986)
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Urban Legend (1998)
From Russia With Love (1963)
Night at the Museum (2006)
Total Recall (1990)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Carry On Up The Khyber (1968)
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
Evil Dead II (1987)
Grease (1978)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Resident Evil (2002)
Army of Darkness (1993)
The Faculty (1998)
St Trinian's (2007)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Death Proof (2007)
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Planet Terror (2007)
Ghost Rider (2007)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
The Thing (1982)
The Dam Busters (1954)
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Purple Rain (1984)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Hellraiser (1987)
Pinocchio (1940)
Enchanted (2007)
First Blood (1982)
The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
Dragonwyck (1946)
Day of the Dead (2008)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Brief Encounter (1945)
The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
North by Northwest (1959)
The Dam Busters (1954)
Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
Star Wars (1977)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Return of the Jedi (1983)
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 01:25pm on 01/01/2010 under , , ,
Ninety five films watched this year; increasingly watched in HD, either on TV or on Blu-ray. Modern films look as good as expected, but I am finding the real joy in high definition to be finding older films that look wonderful. Highlights this year have been the Blu-ray of North by Northwest, and seeing the original Star Wars trilogy in HD on ITV.

The Fog (1980)
Carry On Screaming (1966)
Die Another Day (2002)
Carry on Cleo (1964)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Goonies (1985)
Dr No (1962)
Thunderball (1965)
Love Happy (1949)
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
St Trinian's (2007)
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Ghosts of Mars (2001)
The Pink Panther (1963)
Mama Mia (2008)
Manhunter (1986)
Stormbreaker (2006)
Silver Streak (1976)
Robocop (1987)
Bugsy Malone (1976)
Batman (1966)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Crooks in Cloisters (1964)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Escape from New York (1981)
Hairspray (2008)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
The Peacemaker (1997)
Jackie Brown (1997)
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Fathom (1967)
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
My Name Is Bruce (2008)
Red Heat (1988)
My Name Is Bruce (2008)
Carry On At Your Convenience (1971)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
The Golden Compass (2007)
Gladiatress (2004)
The Name of the Rose (1986)
Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Urban Legend (1998)
From Russia With Love (1963)
Night at the Museum (2006)
Total Recall (1990)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Carry On Up The Khyber (1968)
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
Evil Dead II (1987)
Grease (1978)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Resident Evil (2002)
Army of Darkness (1993)
The Faculty (1998)
St Trinian's (2007)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Death Proof (2007)
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Planet Terror (2007)
Ghost Rider (2007)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
The Thing (1982)
The Dam Busters (1954)
Thirteen Ghosts (2001)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Purple Rain (1984)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Hellraiser (1987)
Pinocchio (1940)
Enchanted (2007)
First Blood (1982)
The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
Dragonwyck (1946)
Day of the Dead (2008)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Brief Encounter (1945)
The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
North by Northwest (1959)
The Dam Busters (1954)
Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
Star Wars (1977)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Return of the Jedi (1983)
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:49pm on 04/12/2009 under , ,
With the news of the death of Richard Todd, we took the opportunity to re-watch his finest film this evening: The Dam Busters.

It is a film that is always a pleasure to watch; the performances are uniformly excellent, its connection with history (and the resources provided for the filming) could never be repeated, and the emotional power of the sense of loss expressed in the final scenes is astonishing. There is no celebration of victory; only an acknowledgement of the importance and sadness of sacrifice.
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:57pm on 27/11/2009 under , ,
I rather liked The X-Files. I spent much of the mid to late 90s looking forward to the next episode appearing on a Wednesday evening on BBC1. To my taste the ‘monster of the week’ episodes worked best, with the fantastic thrown up against the real world of the FBI. I found the ongoing alien conspiracy episodes weaker, although some were good.

In later years I found the series became rather bogged down in its mythology, and what were aspects of the characters in early episodes became heavily defining features in later episodes (Scully and her religion, Mulder and his bloody sister). Some time around series six I stopped watching, but a couple of years ago I picked up the full nine series in a DVD box set, and [personal profile] kateaw and I watched them through in order. I was surprised to find that the last two series, featuring the agents Doggett and Reyes, brought back some of the energy and interest that had been lost from Mulder and Scully.

I was excited when a new X-Files film I Want to Believe was released last year. As is my wont, I didn’t see it at the cinema, and popped the Blu-ray on my Amazon wishlist, to pick up when it dipped below a tenner. And so it did, and I was delighted to watch the film this week.

Unlike the earlier X-Files film, Fight the Future, this new film didn’t engage in the ongoing conspiracy story line, and was better as a result. Rather oddly, given its source, it barely touched upon science fiction themes or settings — it was more of a straight serial-killer thriller.

It felt rather like a good multi-episode story from the television series, and that is a good thing. The look of the film works well, with a fair number of scenes in a threateningly snowy environment. There is some development of the relationship between Mulder and Scully, but they retain the characteristics that I found unappealing in later series of the television show. To my taste, David Duchovny is a little wooden at the best of times, and he suffered from trying to act behind a wooly beard for the early part of the film. Gillian Anderson is much more interesting on screen, although she doesn’t seem to have been given much to work with here.

There are unsubtle parallels drawn between perhaps unnecessary medical procedures performed by the Scully (which seem somewhat contrived in the plot) and those performed by the villains. The script is weakest in its treatment of Scully, her medical career, and her religion. Scully’s conflict with a priest running the hospital and the references to stem cell therapy are rather feeble. Religion is seldom seriously tackled in thrillers, and it isn’t seriously tackled here. The nuns looking into an operating theatre are unnecessary.

Still, I am glad they made the film, it is good to see the old characters back in action, and I hope there is more X-Files to come. Not a classic, but I’ll look forward to watching it again.
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)
I picked up the Blu-ray of North by Northwest earlier this week, and watched it with [personal profile] kateaw this evening. My second-favourite Hitchcock film, I have owned it on video tape, DVD, and now the high-definition glory of Blu-ray. And glorious it is. The film may be fifty years old, but it looks bright and fresh and alive. One of the great joys of Blu-ray is being able to watch older films presented in a quality that belies their age. The picture and sound are fantastic.

Even better are the performances. Hitchcock may be famous for his blondes, but as with many of his films, it is the precisely mannered performances of the male actors that I find most appealing. Cary Grant and James Mason are masterful in their roles, and the supporting Leo G. Carroll and Martin Landau both shine. There is so much to like — the music, the opening titles, Cary Grant’s suit, the action sequences, the flirting on the train, the comedy, and the believability of the preposterous plot. I’ll look forward to watching this disc again and again. And again.

Now, when will Hitchcock’s Notorious be released on Blu-ray?
location: KY16 8JY
tobyaw: (Default)

This week’s acquisitions, originally uploaded by tobyaw.

Curse you, Amazon, with your cheap prices and free next-day delivery.

location: KY16 8JY

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