(Stormtroopers of Death cover)
In home movie collection news, my Blu Ray collection is coming long nicely. I've been in the habit for a while now to replace movies I have on VHS straight to Blu Ray. Why fuck with the DVD middleman. I also have about 15 DVD's that my beloved dog Rusty pissed on when he was a puppy, thus ruining all the original packaging. So whenever I find one of those movies on Blu Ray for cheap, I'll go ahead and pick it up.
Rusty (4 years old)
Too damn cute to stay mad at for anything.
Here's a few movie revelations for you from some recent Blu Ray viewings:
1. The scene in Office Space where Peter tells Michael that he's getting laid off at the bar...the bar is actually fake, with a bluescreen background. You can tell because there's bright blue light reflected on both of their backs, along with a part of the bar. When the full bar shot is seen, there's no blue lights anywhere...where's that blue light coming from? Bluescreen of course. I never noticed that before on TV or DVD viewings. It really pops out at you on the Blu Ray. If Office Space were made today, it'd most likely be a green reflection.
I wasn't aware of it in 1999 when this movie was released...
...but that truly is the look of someone who works in an office.
2. Natural Born Killers on Blu Ray looks absolutely no different from the DVD. The only scene where you can see a difference is when Woody Harrellson breaks free from the prison chain-gang and rides a getaway horse towards a tornado (yes, it's one of the most ridiculous/amazing moments in movie history ever). That scene looks absolutely amazing on Blu Ray. Everything else, not so much. Think about it...the movie features a lot of color changes, jerky camera movements run rampant throughout the film and it has a grainy look overall. None of that gets improved with 1080dpi.
Iron Man fucked up.
3. Monty Python & The Holy Grail doesn't look improved all that much either, except for a few small differences. I noticed a lot more detail in the clothing the Knights wore, especially with the wool and stitching. The reflection off King Arthur's crown was extremely radiant as well. Also, the cartoons looked really sharp and well done. You could almost see the brush strokes. Regardless, if you don't own this movie by now on any format then you suck.
Surprisingly, a very delicious beer. If you ever come across it, definitely have one.
4. Interview with a Vampire also looks no different whatsoever. Sure, its a bit "sharper" but its such a dark movie anyway (all filmed at night for the most part), that the transfer really did nothing for it. However, Tom Cruise still chews the scenery (literally) and Brad Pitt still acts like a depressed asshole.
Still unnecessarily gay.
5. Groundhog Day is a massive improvement, which I found surprising. The scene where Bill Murray is doing the ice sculpture is really amazing, as are all the scenery shots. All in all a worthy purchase if you can find it cheap. Its also one of Bill Murray's best performances (next to Ghostbusters of course).
Bestial Fun With Groundhogs Vol. 1
6. Last but not least are the classic Disney cartoon movies. I was skeptical at first, but they all look truly amazing on Blu Ray. I'd have to say that they are worth the extra cash you inevitably have to fork over to get them (as most are around the $30 mark), but only if you want a nice collection of classic Disney movies. Which I do. Alice In Wonderland in particular looked amazing. If that movie wasn't a bizarre nonsensical mindwarp before...well, it still pretty much is. But it looks great.
See the difference? Do you? DO YOU?! OH COME ON!!!!! BLU RAY DUUUUUUDE!!!!
Switching gears....did any of you ever go see DREDD? Well, its out for home viewing now so if you haven't FOR THE LOVE OF GOD watch it! It was seriously one of the best B-movies I've ever seen. It kind of reminded me a bit of District 9 in certain ways (but I'm sure the fact that both were filmed in South Africa has something to do with that). The dirty cityscape also reminded me of Hobo With A Shotgun in a way, as the way that film was shot really added to the dirty/scummy atmosphere of the film. Same thing here with Dredd. Its not campy. Its not lame. Dredd is action packed and just bloody awesome. Karl Urban owned the Judge Dredd character here, and its worth seeing. True, I may be biased because I'm a huge fan of the Judge Dredd comics...but this flick was almost universally praised in the reviews so I'm not alone.
...that kid is going to grow up weird.
While we're on the subject of comics and such, let me officially praise the relaunch of Valiant Comics as being the best breath of fresh air for the comic book world in 2012. I don't think anybody expected the Valiant books to be any good, let alone outstanding. I hope their trend of putting good creative teams on relaunched characters continues to work for them, as any independent company that can take some market share away from DC and Marvel is a good company to me.
True, the Valiant books are $3.99 an issue but you can always do what I do and just read them when they go on sale. Many people will tell you that Harbinger by Joshua Dysart is the flagship Valiant title right now, but I'm a bigger fan of the new X-O Manowar series by Robert Venditti. Simply put, it's awesome. It's the story of an ancient Roman soldier who gets abducted by an evil alien race. After years of enslavement, he obtains a special suit of armor that lets him get free and return to Earth, but when he does it's 2000 years later. The premise really intrigues me, and I have to say that I am an X-O Manowar fan. I never thought I would ever type those words. But there it is.
Its like Conan the Barbarian in space. What's not to love.
Metal Blade Records (1993)