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Everything posted by Inky

  1. This Gun for Hire - IMDB Alan Ladd's first leading role, and his first pairing with Veronica Lake. This wasn't quite the noir mystery I thought it would be, and instead took a patriotic wartime tangent midway through. A little bit preachy at times, but then probably no moreso than Casablanca. Ladd is pretty good as mentally traumatised, socially distant hitman Philip Raven, on a revenge path after being saddled with phoney bills as payment for a job. Lake plays a nightclub magician who gets mixed up with him and manages to humanize him a little. Less than two minutes in and Raven has already slapped a dame across the mush, and shortly after seriously contemplates blowing away a kid who may or may not be able to ID him. Nice guy! Ladd's appetite for the set comes to the fore in a couple of scenes but it's all in that good old histrionic tough guy fashion. I really enjoyed Laird Cregar as the nervy, slightly pompous executive who gets way out of his depth by dealing with Raven, and his chauffeur/bodyguard/goon was played with some relish too. In fact it's a quite entertaining bunch of characters all round. The only thing that sat poorly with me was the very odd reasoning by which Raven's employer would choose to pay him off in stolen bills ($10,000), thereby ensuring his eventual capture, but offering a $5,000 reward for it. Why not just legitimately pay him and not have a psychopathic hitman on the warpath? At one point Lake wears an outfit that makes her look like Ursa from Superman II though, so all is forgiven.
  2. PixelJunk Shooter 2 is up on the US store, so I guess Europe is getting it this week too I love how some things just turn up without warning. Nice surprises.
  3. Quick rundown of some recent Blu-rays that impressed the devil out of me, and that I recommend without hesitation: The Red Shoes (Criterion) - looks like it was filmed last year. Astonishing. Charade (Criterion) - Likewise. All About Eve - the picture is wonderfully crisp and detailed, but does tend towards the overexposed. Faces in bright light seem very blown out. It's a long time since I saw it last so I couldn't say whether it's the source material, but such a good job seems to have been done on every aspect of the package that I suspect that may be so. Sunrise, City Girl, Metropolis, M (Masters of Cinema) - All of these look absolutely gobsmacking and I can't recommend them highly enough. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Park Circus) - Despite sporting some of the ugliest Blu-ray packaging out there* and the source print being quite worn throughout, this nontheless shines magnificently as an example of technicolour photography. Luminous and rich. Grain is prominent throughout, but to my personal preferences that's a good thing. Institute Benjamenta (BFI) - I didn't expect this to look anywhere near as good as it does to be honest, because in my mind the film revels in a sort of low-fi presentation. Most of that is probably borne out of the fact that I've only ever seen it on TV, so this was a revelation to say the least. Strikingly detailed and dense. *If Microsoft made Blu-rays - level bad.
  4. I have that Criterion Red Desert, and it is indeed lovely. Has it been noted in here that Apocalypse Now has a UK date of June 13th? Looks to be the same set as the US 'Full Disclosure' package, which turned out to be absolutely magnificent despite my being violated in the most extreme manner at the hands of customs. Akira is also supposedly getting a summer release over here, which is amusing to me as I only imported it a couple of weeks ago after waiting two years with no news.
  5. Vagrant Story (greatest Playstation game ever) is on US PSN this week, finally.
  6. Sara? Hmm... are the minor character names consistent then? I had assumed everyone outside of the story characters had random names for some reason. Do you have a cleric called Hilda also? The game is a complete triumph. I've plunged 12 hours into it over two days, which is unheard of between myself and handhelds. I must admit I am a bit grind-happy with anything like this (to the extent that I kind of ruined FFT for myself, as once I hit a particular spot that was convenient for random battles I just stayed there for hours upon hours levelling everyone into armour-wearing, dual-wielding ninjas, and consequently cakewalked the rest of the game).
  7. Thanks and, well... I irretrievably killed the old one in a new year frenzy of modern life is rubbish. The ironic thing is that in freeing up a whole load of time by not gluing myself to the internet I've managed to burn through dozens of films - many new to me, some old favourites revisited - but found I really missed coming here to talk about them.
  8. (Formerly) Sabreman here, returning from a self-imposed exile from the wilds of the internet (something that's definitely for another thread, though it does kind of tie in with the rampant consumerism that befalls many a film buff). My film collection has varied wildly in size over the years and formats, as I'm constantly struggling with the mental drama of having too much stuff around me, but balancing that against my easily-ignited desire to have all my favourite stuff. This time last year I owned well in excess of 600 DVDs. Looking over my shoulder now I see... approximately 80 (a couple of which are sets such as the LotR or Alien films) between DVD and Blu-ray. I actually do immediately gun for the best new release of my most treasured favourites (there are only 8 of my top 20 that I don't own on Blu-ray yet, and only because they aren't yet available). My main weaknesses with the format are those that I expect many fall victim to - the habit of buying things that are technically impressive but probably not particularly favoured, and buying films that we really just fancy watching (the main reason I recently reactivated my Lovefilm account). Like lordcookie, there are plenty of films I admire greatly but am perfectly happy to view maybe once or twice a decade. And of course there are many, many more that I'm fine to only watch once in my lifetime. The relatively modern notion of owning a collection of films just ties in with many aspects about commercialism and a hoarding mentality. I owned DVDs for years that I watched the day I bought them and never touched again. They sat on my shelves in ridiculous numbers until as a halfway measure I stored the cases in the loft and the discs in wallets, and ultimately sold almost the entire lot. I'm trying so hard to maintain some kind of order to my purchases. Since Christmas I bagged a multiregion Blu-ray player and have started a mild Criterion habit, but to me those represent the reason to own a physical item - the wealth of supplemental material unavailable from any rental service in this country (would that I could somehow hotwire my way into a US Hulu account at this point). Some films I just feel comfortable knowing I have immediate access to, should the sudden need to watch them arise. Things like Jaws, Star Wars and Indiana Jones fall into this proverbial 'never get tired of watching' category. I think a part of it also comes down to something as basic as having things on display, akin to a collection of books that a visitor could pore over and form a rushed mental picture of your character. Was that relevant? I went on a bit of a ramble there...
  9. 1. 2001 A Space Odyssey 2. Seven Samurai 3. Casablanca 4. Jaws 5. Apocalypse Now 6. Lawrence of Arabia 7. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) 8. Aliens 9. Fight Club 10. Bringing Up Baby 11. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 12. Taxi Driver 13. The Red Shoes 14. Hannah and her Sisters 15. The Fountain 16. Akira 17. Rear Window 18. The Natural 19. It's a Wonderful Life 20. The Royal Tenenbaums
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