The film thread.

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I reading a book of short essays about science fiction films, bought because of it's arresting title, Jar Jar Binks Must Die. The author says he'll consider his work done if it causes the reader to dust off a few old films and revisit them. So, and I glad I bought the book? Generally, yes. Am I glad I rewatched Forbidden Planet last night? Not really, no...

That said, the author states that Io is the third moon of Jupiter, which is factually incorrect. He also states that Aliens is better than Alien, which to my mind is as close to factually incorrect as you can get with something subjective!
 
This week, I have been mostly watching, the (Arrow) Gamera box sets. (The Fast Show style)

Gamera may be a cheap knock off of Godzilla, but for the most part, it’s been interesting and enjoyable watching them. The first film from 1965 is in black and white, bit grainy, but surprisingly good picture. The monsters, like the Japanese Godzillas are the typical man-in-a-suit type monsters. The rest are in colour running to the early 70s, although only the forst two movies are really worth watching as things get a bit silly and extremely cheesy (more so than a man in a monster suit). The last film later on in 1980 was basically a film put together with various pieces of all the previous films to make a single story.

The second run of four films during the 90s continued the man-in-a-suit approach, but started mixing in CGI for some of the big monster scenes, which is understandable considering the visuals. While the first one is decent, the second one of the four stands out as the best of these.

However cheesy and lame you might think these films are, one thing you have to totally respect is the model making. Men wearing monster suits need a suitably sized city to rampage in - God knows how many huge sets they built with skyscrapers up to chest height, and all wonderfully detailed. And most of them get destroyed or blown up! I remember seeing some extras for Escape From New York, and was gobsmacked when I found out they’d made a large scale model of Manhattan Island complete with all skyscrapers, and used it for long shots and for the glider computer screen - and that was just for a couple of scenes - but with the Gamera films, there’s set after set after set! Must’ve taken them ages.

Likewise, some of the monsters were very well designed and had some interesting features. You can see where Guillermo Del Toro got inspiration for the Kaiju monsters in his Pacific Rim movie. And having not seen these films before, I can now appreciate the various films that have paid homage to what I thought was the Godzilla movies, but turns out it was the Gamera movies, like, presumably, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.

Anyone just catching one of these movies on their own would probably think they’re a bit silly and crap, but you can’t not appreciate the amount of effort that goes into something like this, it’s very impressive.

Unless you’re a real fan of this stuff, or big monster stuff in general like I am, I wouldn’t recommend going out and paying crazy money for the Arrow box sets, but if you can get to see the early couple of films, and the first couple of the later films, they’re worth a watch.
 
Arrow has a good reputation for remasters, as I understand it. The degree of detail that's buried in celluloid really does deserve loving care when making a transfer to blu ray. Never hear of Gamera myself, but it's great when films enthuse people. I'll store the name away as I trawl RT's film section every week for interesting things to watch.
 
Elysium - Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9. Certainly not as good as it's predecessor. I love good SF, but I'm not one to be sufficiently blown away by special effects that I can forgive poor plot/acting/dialogue - I could get all the way through Avatar, for example. But the rendering of Elysium itself is so beautifully-done that I find I enjoy the film more than I think I should.

4k transfer is absolutely fantastic, as it should be with a newer film.
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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Seeing as this is WHF, how about some movies where the audio is incredible:

Blu-Ray
Man From UNCLE -- a mediocre film but fantastic music from the very first second.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows -- the forest scene has some of the best SFX ever.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World -- a good mix of music and film-work.
Kubo and the Two Strings -- simply a great movie for audio, visual and story.

OK, so that may be a little heavy on the Guy Ritchie but, to me, he pays more attention to audio quality than any other director. As a bonus, you can find most of the above in the bargain bin.
 
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Jurassic Park on 4k - not exactly deep but enjoyable nonetheless. 4k transfer is very good for the most part, but it further shows up the limits of CGI of the time - the animatronics, such as the triceratops, look so much better.

EDIT: the sequels become increasingly rubbish. In the third one, I was desperate for Tea Leoni's character to be eaten.
 
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Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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If there's going to be a switch-up to 4K...

Avengers: Infinity War -- the standout moment is the beginning of chapter 4 "Who the hell are you guys" -- introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy team to the sound of The Spinners "The Rubberband Man". If you have a genuine HDR screen that's big enough, when the sun crosses the screen, it's like a searchlight crossing your room.

[Edit]
If you still only have a DVD player and can't afford an HDR screen, you can take comfort and watch:

The Abyss -- all-star cast and epic work by director James Cameron. Only available on DVD.
 
If there's going to be a switch-up to 4K...

Avengers: Infinity War -- the standout moment is the beginning of chapter 4 "Who the hell are you guys" -- introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy team to the sound of The Spinners "The Rubberband Man". If you have a genuine HDR screen that's big enough, when the sun crosses the screen, it's like a searchlight crossing your room.

[Edit]
If you still only have a DVD player and can't afford an HDR screen, you can take comfort and watch:

The Abyss -- all-star cast and epic work by director James Cameron. Only available on DVD.
There are other examples - David Fincher's Panic Room - might not be his best work, but I still wonder why it hasn't gone beyond DVD. And David Mamet's little known but excellent Heist.
 
Antz - I find that DVD starts to look a bit stretched on larger screens, so have bought a few things on BR that are cheap and hadn't seen for a while. Interesting how far Dreamworks was behind Pixar technically, but I think it's probably a better story than A Bug's Life.

Always disconcerting to see a film with the twin towers of the World Trade Center in it though...
 

doifeellucky

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Feb 3, 2016
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If there's going to be a switch-up to 4K...

Avengers: Infinity War -- the standout moment is the beginning of chapter 4 "Who the hell are you guys" -- introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy team to the sound of The Spinners "The Rubberband Man". If you have a genuine HDR screen that's big enough, when the sun crosses the screen, it's like a searchlight crossing your room.

[Edit]
If you still only have a DVD player and can't afford an HDR screen, you can take comfort and watch:

The Abyss -- all-star cast and epic work by director James Cameron. Only available on DVD.
I’ve got a Panasonic Plasma so no HDR, but frankly don’t miss it. Ignorance is bliss. It’s a great intro. I’m also partial to Cap’s entrance behind the train.
 

doifeellucky

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2016
222
132
10,970
If there's going to be a switch-up to 4K...

Avengers: Infinity War -- the standout moment is the beginning of chapter 4 "Who the hell are you guys" -- introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy team to the sound of The Spinners "The Rubberband Man". If you have a genuine HDR screen that's big enough, when the sun crosses the screen, it's like a searchlight crossing your room.

[Edit]
If you still only have a DVD player and can't afford an HDR screen, you can take comfort and watch:

The Abyss -- all-star cast and epic work by director James Cameron. Only available on DVD.
The Abyss is coming to 4K, AVForums mentioned it recently in their podcast. Quite expensive though. £60 box set I think. Don’t recall who’s done it.
 
The Abyss is coming to 4K, AVForums mentioned it recently in their podcast. Quite expensive though. £60 box set I think. Don’t recall who’s done it.
Might be Arrow - they seem to specialise in pricy 'collector's' editions. Twelve Monkeys (from which I nicked my name) is up soon at £30 a pop. I'll probably get it, but all I want is the film on 4k.
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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The Abyss is coming to 4K, AVForums mentioned it recently in their podcast. Quite expensive though. £60 box set I think. Don’t recall who’s done it.
Really? I have been waiting for a bluray version for about 15 years but Cameron was always too busy with other projects! I wonder which 'cut' we will get......? 🙂
 

Arron

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Aug 24, 2021
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As I started on a road of only-on-DVD...

FAQ About Time Travel -- great fun, low-budget British comedy sci-fi.

Well, not quite only-on-DVD as you can rent/buy it on Amazon in HD.
 

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