What's on your Daily Viewing List?

Robin9

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I re-watched The Guns Of Navarone today. I was just suddenly in the mood for it and I enjoyed the film enormously even though Carl Foreman's huge limitations as a screen writer are constantly obvious. I think the damage done to this film's OCN are tragic and unforgiveable. I'd love somebody suddenly to discover an unknown dupe negative! Those people hoping for a 4K transfer of this film are deluding themselves. A 4K transfer of seriously substandard elements is pointless.
 

Dave Moritz

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October 25th, 2020 Sunday

Just purchased Back To The Future 4K steelbook trilogy from BB last night and watched the first film today. My first time owning this trilogy was on DVD and then again on HD blu-ray disc. This is by far the best release of the trilogy I have seen so far based on what I have heard and seeing the 4K blu-ray transfer. I believe I might have the 2002 DVD release of the BTTF trilogy and then the later blu-ray trilogy. Am looking forward to seeing the second and third film of the trilogy with the new transfers. I think I will be more than happy with the new 4K transfer so I do not see myself buying this trilogy again. ;)

Back To The Future
4K Blu-ray / Dolby Vision
Dolby Atmos to Auro 3D

Back To The Future Trilogys 002.jpg


Star Trek: Picard
S1 E1 Remembrance
1080p Blu-ray
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 upmixed to Auro 7.1

MV5BMjAzYmQ4NTUtMGVjOS00OWRhLTlmYjktZDlkZTk2OGQ2YjE5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODkzNTgxMDg@._V1_.jpg


Beatlejuice
4K Blu-ray / HDR10
Dolby Atmos to Auro 3D

Beetlejuice.jpg


Heidi (1937)
HD Digital via iTunes
Mono

Heidi.jpg
 
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Robert Crawford

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This weekend I watched a lot of football with college on Saturday followed by the NFL on Sunday. However, I was able to watch the following movies on Blu-ray or DVD or TCM and their app.

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Jake Lipson

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I continued with the new remastered Blu-rays of Back to the Future tonight. This time it was Part II. Spoilers below for a 31-year-old movie.

BTTF Part II.jpg
The first film is the tightest, cleanest, most traditionally "perfect" film in the trilogy. But the second one is clearly the most ambitious. Both in terms of its technical achievements and the scope for its storytelling structure, everything just got bigger. If you go through the making-of material for the first film, everyone keeps saying how difficult the film was to get made and how nobody knew it was going to resonate the way it did until it came out.

In contrast, with this one Zemeckis and Gale knew they were working on something that was going to be successful. You can see how they took advantage of being an anticipated tentpole to do something more complex and challenging than the previous film, and I appreciate that. Even when they literally go back into the previous film, they don't rest on their laurels. This very much provides a new experience. It is a testament to their skill as storytellers that, despite having so many distinct time periods and plot elements to cover, it is actually the shortest movie in the trilogy.

It is unfortunate that the producers could not come to terms with Crispin Glover to appear in the sequel. It would have been better if they had been able to bring back George in a meaningful way in the 1955 sequences in particular. However, I think Jeffrey Weissman does as good of a job as anyone could with a somewhat thankless task of basically mimicking him. The film is very clearly designed to distract you from the fact that it isn't Glover, but his absence makes clear that it isn't. Still, this really seems like the best they could do, and I'm so invested in what is being shown on screen that I don't really think about the lack of George while watching it. I don't think Zemeckis and Gale could have done much better given that he was unwilling to return. Also, they at least turned the loss of Glover into something compelling for the alternate 1985 in which George is dead. That is a really good example of using the circumstances they were given to their advantage.

The new Blu-ray really pops, especially in the bright and colorful 2015 sequences, but it really looks great throughout. I think the film has aged really well, and the effects (like when Thomas F. Wilson gives the sports almanac to himself).are still seamless for me. Zemeckis has, later in his career, become increasingly obsessed with CGI and in particular motion capture technology, but some of those films (The Polar Express, Beowulf, etc.) got into creepy, uncanny valley territory. That isn't the case here. Obviously there are a lot of effects going on, but they never take me out of the storytelling. I kind of wish Zemeckis would go back to this more oftren. Anyway, it looks great and I'm glad I upgraded it from the 2010 edition.

The only thing I don't really like about the Blu-ray is its inclusion of the trailer for Part III at the end of the film. I understand that it was like this in the original theatrical release, and I respect Zemeckis and Gale for wanting to preserve that on disc. But still, I wish we could choose to move seamlessly from Doc fainting to the credits if that's what we want. They could easily do this with seamless branching to just have that chapter skipped over if you want.

The trailer was a good idea in 1989 in order to tell audiences that another one was coming, but it has outlived its purpose at this point in time. Because all we have to do now is switch discs, there is really no need to see a preview of what is on the next disc. I especially don't like that they included the shot of Marty kissing Jennifer in 1985 in the trailer. Of course the movie is going to have a happy ending for characters we like, but there's a difference between knowing that in an abstract sense and seeing it before it happens in the storytelling. I think the cliffhanger of Doc fainting would be much more effective without the trailer being shown next. So I do wish it was skippable. (Yes, I know I can probably chapter skip over it by hitting the fast forward button on the remote at the exact right moment, but that's not really the point.)

Anyway, even though I don't like its trailer being on this film, I do like Part III itself very much. I look forward to completing the trilogy experience and watching it tomorrow (or, today, since it ticked past midnight while I was writing this post.)
 
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DFurr

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Last night was a first time screening of "Identify Thief". It was fun seeing all the shooting locations around Atlanta where we lived for almost 25 years before moving to southern California.
Funny as hell.....I'm still smiling. BD 2:35:1

id thief.png
 
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bujaki

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Fargo (FX) The war is escalating.
Topaze (DVD) 1951. Pagnol's second version of his stage hit, this one starring Fernandel. There is a very good 1933 US adaptation featuring one of John Barrymore's best sound performances. This one is far more cynical and, of course, hews closer to the Pagnol play. An innocent man of fine morals is corrupted by money and the world around him. A powerful indictment of society that is as relevant then as it is now.
XXY (TCM app) 2007. From Argentina, directed by Lucia Puenzo. The story of a 15-year-old hermaphrodite or intersexual. Will she/he be a man or woman? Will he/she decide or will it be decided for her/him? Will she/he have sex with the young man visiting her/his parents home? And will there be a surprise in store for that young man when the tables are turned (literally) on him? It's also an exploration of teenage sexuality and its many confusions. Is the visitor gay? Bisexual? Confused? Is his father ignoring him and giving him the support he needs? It is a very sensitive film filled with painful and moving images. And love, love for the different that needs to be accepted.
 

Jake Lipson

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Tonight, I completed the trilogy of remastered Back to the Future Blu-rays with Part III.

BTTF III.jpg

The last time I saw this one using my previous 2010 Blu-ray edition was actually last month on September 7, for the occasion. So that really wasn't too long ago at all. Still, I never tired of this viewing or was anything less than invested in watching it.

The first film is the best in the series for its bracing originality and airtight storytelling. The second one is the most ambitious in scope and complexity, both in terms of its storytelling and visual effects. But the third one just might be the most beautiful to look at, with its striking outdoor Old West visuals. The transfer was gorgeous to watch and seemed bolder and brighter than I remembered the previous disc being. That one was no slouch either, and if this edition hadn't come out, I would not have considered anything to be wrong with it. However, I am glad I upgraded. As a side note, after buying the new set, I gave my previous edition to a friend who has only seen the first film once and the sequels not at all. I'm really curious to hear what she thinks of them.

Even though we know the characters of Marty and Doc very well before entering this movie, Gale and Zemeckis do a great job of expanding and deepening them throughout. The idea of them "switching roles" so that Marty becomes the pragmatic one and Doc becomes more irrational and emotional is a great twist. Doc getting a love story with Clara is the film's best new element. Although I am very happy with this as the conclusion to the trilogy and don't want a fourth one, I could have watched Mary Steenburgen as that character for another couple films without complaint. Her chemistry with Christopher Lloyd is wonderful, and there is never a moment where you don't buy the relationship. I would love to see those two actors work together again now on some other project. Thomas F. Wilson is again great here as Buford. He feels like a genuine threat to Marty and Doc, and he doesn't feel exactly like Biff, which is impressive. The rest of the cast is good too, and Lea Thompson makes the most of her reduced role of Maggie McFly, even though the narrative focusing on Doc naturally meant she had less to do in this film than she did as Lorraine in the previous two.

I first saw these films on VHS around the summer of 2002, slightly before the DVD release. I liked all three of them immediately. This is as good of a finale as I could imagine for the series, and I am very glad that it is, indeed, the finale. It is so much more satisfying to have a complete journey and an ending that really stuck the landing than having the series opened back up decades later to produce something inferior or divisive. I really respect Zemeckis and Gale's decision to leave this here. It is a trilogy that I have revisited, and will continue to revisit, frequently.

The only way I could be happier with this release is if the crappy "disc book" packaging were changed to a more functional keepcase (or even a digibook with trays and hubs), but that's a discussion we've been having in another thread, so I'll leave it there.
 

Matt Hough

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A couple of days ago, I watched The Ipcress File on a UK Blu-ray that had been sitting on my shelf for months. Tonight, I wanted to watch the next in the series Funeral in Berlin, but I only had the DVD of it that I hadn't watched in a couple of years at least, and I thought I remembered the quality wasn't so hot. I found out that Amazon Prime has the HD version available for subscribers, so I watched it there tonight. Looked far better than the DVD and was a solid encode without knocking off my socks. Wonder if the Blu-ray that's available is superior to the Prime transfer?
 
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Walter Kittel

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Recently viewed The Way I See It a documentary by Pete Souza who served as an official White House photographer in the Reagan administration and documented Barack Obana's time as a senator and became the official White House photographer in 2008 during Obama's second term. It has a definite point of view that will split audiences but some of the photographs featured in the documentary are iconic and many I had never seen before (from both the Reagan and Obama terms in office.)

A secondary aspect of the documentary details Souza's life and his progression in his role as a photographer. Quite the life.

Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it immensely.

- Walter.
 
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Robin9

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I re-watched the Blu-ray disc of East Of Eden yesterday for the first time since I bought the disc in 2013. I've always liked the film and have never complained about it dealing with only one part of John Steinbeck's novel which I also like a lot. Jo Van Fleet was a superb actress! I wish she'd made more films.
 
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bujaki

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I re-watched the Blu-ray disc of East Of Eden yesterday for the first time since I bought the disc in 2013. I've always liked the film and have never complained about it dealing with only one part of John Steinbeck's novel which I also like a lot. Jo Van Fleet was a superb actress! I wished she'd made more films.
Which I saw for the first time in 1955 aged 5 at the Star in Brooklyn, where my mother and I spent that hot summer. I knew no English so I could only view the images, some of them indelible: the opening shot of Dean sitting curbside as a woman garbed in black walked behind him and he turned to watch her; his conversation with the barmaid (Lois Smith!); his confrontation with his mother and her arthritic hands as she threw him out of her room; the Ferris wheel sequence with Abra; but I had no clue what was going on! Not until I saw the film again in 1965, and by then not only did I understand the dialogue in English, but the film was also subtitled in Spanish! This was in my boarding school in Puerto Rico, by the way, where I was programming the films at age 15. I was really surprised by how many scenes had been imprinted in my young memory. I loved the film; the performances; the direction; the music. The Warnercolor hadn't yet faded 10 years later so it was still easy to appreciate the cinematography.
I wish both Van Fleet and Lois Smith (I did get to see her on stage) had made more films!
 

bujaki

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Monday:
Araya (TCM app) 1959. A documentary from Venezuela. Two families living off the coast: one mining salt; the other fishing. Both depending on nature; both making their living the same way, going back centuries, depending on a delicate balance, soon to be destroyed by industrialization. Extraordinary B&W images. Nominated for the Palme d'or at Cannes.
Stray Dogs (Criterion Channel) 2013. Tsai's film is composed of long, static shots. Long, beautiful, static shots. Not for everyone. An alcoholic father trying to subsist doing menial, undemanding jobs. Two kids left to fend for themselves for the most part, all 3 living in squalor in an abandoned, makeshift place. A lonely female supermarket employee notices the children and decides to rescue them and, by extension, their father. We don't know the beginning; we don't know the end. Such is life. Superb acting.
The Deep (Criterion Channel) 1977. Jacqueline Bisset's wet T-shirt. Need we say more?
Mr. Topaze (iTunes) 1961. Directed by Peter Sellers and starring himself as the eponymous hero of Pagnol's play. Shot in 'Scope, probably not a good idea for such a story. Filled with great British actors. Sellers doesn't overact the moral fool, nor the transformation to capitalist cynic by film's end. This version is less stagebound than Pagnol's 1951 version. However, the ending is softer, not as cynical, but still an indictment of money as a corrupting agent.
Copper Canyon (iTunes) 1950. Hedy Lamarr, oh so beautiful in Technicolor, so who cares if it's not the best western around? Macdonald Carey is a very villainous villain; Ray Milland is a reluctan hero; Mona Freeman is cute as a button; Hope Emerson is like an Ogre's Wife (but she's a good egg); and Harry Carey, Jr. is a nice Yankee cavalry soldier. It plays out alright. And then there's Hedy.
 

bujaki

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Tuesday:
Women Make Film (TCM) Very educational series. It makes you want to see all the films featured.
Fools in the Mountains (TCM) 1957. Directed by Norway's first woman director. A farce, nothing more, nothing less, about two lookalikes in a hotel, creating confusion and complications. It's charming, it's funny and it succeeds at what it sets out to be. Immensely popular in Norway, it plays TV every year around Christmas. Look hard for Liv Ullmann in her first film role.
Madhouse (TCM app) 1974. Price and Cushing together again! Creepy horror and murders. Cushing is fine; Price is good but overacts at times. Old transfer.
 

Robin9

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I re-watched Hilda Crane today. If, like me, you enjoy very personal dramas this film is irresistible. David Raksin's score is excellent and so is the screenplay. The entire cast is good. Guy Madison, an actor the camera didn't like very much, is really good in a role difficult to pull off. Most of all there's Jean Simmons. I'm going to watch another of her films tomorrow: possibly Desiree, possibly Guys And Dolls, perhaps The Robe.
 

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