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Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This evening I watched "In Old Chicago" (1937) starring Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Alice Faye, Brian Donlevy, Alice Brady and Andy Devine. A film about the O'Leary family settling in Chicago in 1854. The film fast forwards 14-15 years as it deals with the three sons grown up and their influence and ambition about Chicago. Plus, the fictional tale of Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocking over a lamp in the barn that started the great Chicago fire in 1871. I watched my HD digital copy on iTunes and it was better than the DVD, but was at best, mediocre compared to other HD transfers on iTunes. No doubt due to it being an older HD transfer and the fact that Fox doesn't have any original film elements from that era. Another thing, the film doesn't quite hold up well for me as I liked it more when I was younger. Furthermore, that toupee on Donlevy's head looked bad.:)

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  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I'm afraid I jumped the gun tonight and put in my DVD of The Damned Don't Cry to listen to Vincent Sherman's commentary. I got impatient with it after about twenty minutes. He shared some anecdotes in that time but also spent too much time describing what was on the screen. I switched audio tracks and just watched the movie to its conclusion. Played well and looked good. I'll look at some of it again this weekend in case it's an HD transfer, and naturally will record to hear Eddie's before and after comments.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I paid a visit to my second favorite cinema which I haven't been in a while because it's about 15 miles away and noticed that they're adding on another theater. Hopefully, it's a theater with Dolby Atmos as they only have one theater with that audio codec. Anyway, I saw "Venom" in that Dolby Atmos theater with about 5 other people in the entire audience. An entertaining, but forgettable film. Not as good as I hope, but I got my $5.00 worth. I might not buy this on 4K/UHD disc, but I might purchase the 4K digital copy. Either way, I can afford to wait until the pricing is reasonable to me.

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  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    After "Venom", I decided to watch a really good film which was "Man Hunt" (1941) on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. A Fritz Lang directed thriller in which a British hunter in Germany is accused of trying to shoot Hitler. He escapes from the Gestapo and they track him back to Britain. Most of the film takes place shortly before the start of WWII when Germany invades Poland. The film stars Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine and Roddy McDowall. Not a believable film, but well done and highly entertaining. I always thought Bennett looked better in this film than any other of her films even with her attempted cockney accent.

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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This morning I watched "The Proud Rebel" (1958) on Amazon Prime in HD. The film takes place right after the Civil War and is about a former confederate officer, Alan Ladd with his young, mute son, David Ladd traveling town to town in search of a doctor that can treat the boy's inability to speak. They end up in an Illinois town when they meet a woman farmer, Olivia de Havilland as she bails him out of jail, after he got in a fight on the street. The film also stars Dean Jagger, Cecil Kellaway, Henry Hull and Harry Dean Stanton. I haven't watched this film in about 20 years since the DVD came out, but when I saw it on Amazon Prime in HD in 1.85 ratio, I had to watch it again. A pretty good film with Olivia about 42 years old appearing in a film without much makeup. She's always been a favorite actress of mine since I first laid eyes on her in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

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  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Last night, I re-watched "Bad Lands" (1939) western starring Robert Barrat, Douglas Walton, Noah Beery Jr and a host of other character actors in a Western take of "The Lost Patrol". An Arizona posse is after murderer out in the middle of the desert. They have their horses stolen at a water hole and are surrounded by Apaches while slowly being picked off one by one by them. This "B" Western from RKO is entertaining, but it's no where in the class of John Ford's classic "The Lost Patrol". By the way, Frances Ford (John's brother) plays a member of the posse. By the way, I watched this using the TCM app on iTunes.

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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yesterday was "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936) starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Henry Stephenson, Nigel Bruce, Donald Crisp, David Niven, Robert Barrat and C. Henry Gordon. A riveting adventure film directed by Michael Curtiz that takes place during the Crimean War about the famous charge immortalized by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem. I always loved this film since I was a small boy. However, I'll be remiss if I didn't mention the negatives about the film. First off, the mistreatment of horses during the battle scenes in which the "Running W" was used as a trip wire to make horses fall during battle charges. The second thing was the inaccurate portrayal of historical events in this film. Both issues are major negatives, but it's still among my favorite adventure films. I watched my HD copy on iTunes and I must say the movie looked so good, I'm going to compare it to my DVD sometime this weekend. Somehow/someway I wish Warner releases this on Blu-ray. I think this film has one of Flynn's better acting performances as he shows a wider range of emotions in this film than many of his other films. It's hard to believe that Olivia de Havilland was only 19 years old during the filming of this movie and only turned 20 when the movie wrapped up production.

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  8. Message #1148 of 1195 Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I watched "First Man" at my local cinema on Friday. I enjoyed the film a great deal, but some people might feel differently as a movie about Neil Armstrong might give you a feeling of aloofness to some people due to his personality and how the filmmaker told his story.

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  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My second movie viewing was the Twilight Time Blu-ray of "Breaking Away" (1979) starring Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley and Barbara Barrie. The film is a coming of age movie about four friends that recently graduated from high school trying to figure out what they're going to do with the rest of their lives. One of them is a bicycle enthusiast that emulates Italian bike racers in almost every way which frustrates his used cars salesman father while his patient and loving mother tries to calm the old man down. The film takes place in Bloomington, Indiana. A lovely college town that I once lived for almost ten years of my life. Matter of fact, I moved there about 5-6 years after the filming of this movie so I was very familiar with the city and surrounding area on display in this movie as it was filmed entirely on location there. I first viewed this film during its theatrical run when I lived in Illinois less than 2.5 hours away from Bloomington. Just a great film that was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress. It did win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I highly recommend this film.

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  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This morning's viewing was "For All Mankind". I decided to finally watch my Criterion Blu-ray about the nine Apollo missions between December, 1968 and December, 1972. Of course, I was spurred on by watching "First Man". A great documentary that shows the real events of Apollo 11, 13 and 17 along with those other six missions. This documentary gives you a chance to compare some of what happened on Apollo 11 and 13 with the fact based movies about those NASA missions. Another recommended viewing for those interested in the space program and are fans of those movies.

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  11. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    How does First Man compare to Apollo 13.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Very different. "First Man" is closer to "The Right Stuff" without the humor. It's not a film with celebration which might be its downfall.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    That's interested, considering the film is about one of mankind's greatest achievements. I find the space race fascinating -- plus Armstrong walking on the moon is one of the first major events I can actually remember watching -- so I definitely plan on seeing the film when it comes out on video.

    I do need to dig out For All Mankind and watch that documentary again. It's been a long time since I've seen the film -- I own it on DVD, not BD, so that gives you an idea of how long it's been. Thanks for mentioning the film and reminding me.

    Breaking Away has always been a favorite film of mine. I first saw it in a film class I took for fun in college (I majored in Computer Science) and immediately took to the movie. I'll have to give my Twilight Time copy a spin again soon.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Let me revised that as not being a film of celebration for some people. For me, it was as it's one of those rare movies in which I never looked at my phone for the time even though the movie is about 2.15 hours long. I found it fascinating and it gave me some insight to what kind of man Neil Armstrong was and why I think they chose him to be the Apollo 11 commander. He was a very quiet, pensive man that had little to say and had an aloof personality, yet, he was very bright and able to think fast on his feet.
     
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  15. SteveSs

    SteveSs Stunt Coordinator

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    I, too, recently purchased and viewed Twilight's Breaking Away. A great presentation. I commend them for it. Nice to know about the commentaries. I will have to check that out. I was in school at IU when the film was made, so I like to watch it every year. Quite a few friends showed up to the casting calls, so I can see them in the crowd scenes. I always kind of regretted not doing the same. However, unlike others, I actually went to class every day. What I found interesting about the movie is that I never heard the term "cutters" once in all the time I spent in Bloomington. And I was in a fraternity, where derogatory terms were thrown around on a regular basis. it might be that the term lost it's ooomph in the years between Steve Tesich's (the screenwriter) term at IU, and mine.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I never heard that term used either in all my years living in Bloomington.
     
  17. Message #1157 of 1195 Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm re-visiting the HBO series "From the Earth to the Moon" on DVD. I'm going to try not to binge watch this series, but you know how that goes once you start watching these series available on disc or streaming.:) One episode down with 11 more to go.

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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    HBO has produced some great shows, but I still think From the Earth to the Moon was the best thing they ever did. All twelve episodes are fantastic.
     
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  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's up there for sure. The second episode always gets me emotionally especially at the end when the three widows give Deke Slayton the astronaut pin. I always felt sorry for Slayton, but his contribution to the space program should never be underestimated.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, that Vincent Sherman commentary was rough, he needed somebody else to ask him questions about the film as I viewed the DVD. Eddie's comments were spot on and Sherman mentioned some of the information that Eddie talked about. Sherman was an underrated director that got secondary directing assignments at Warner.
     

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