As I’m not a professional critic and only get to see movies based on circumstance, then finding the time to watch all the best movies coming out this year is always an uphill struggle. Yet I am hoping that before the end of the year, I’ll get to pass judgement on the following…
Well it was bound to happen someday…a DVD and Cinema enthusiast and not all aboard the HD train? Well fear not loyal readers…The Movie Report is now fully Blu-ray compliant.
Feast your eyes:
I also purchased the following movies on Blu-ray:
Zodiac (Director’s Cut)
and also included free in the box: National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
The player was very easy to set up as I already had a HDMI lead. Strangely the box the player comes in only includes a Composite cable, which cannot be used for HD! Very bizarre. The player is connected to my Samsung 32″ LCD television in the main room of my house, as thats the newest and best TV I own next to the still good quality Philips LCD in my bedroom.
Well I have had a good play around with my Panasonic Blu-ray player and have watched Cloverfield and taken a look at Nation Treasure 2 and Zodiac, and here are my findings:
All 3 films look excellent, and although Zodiac and Cloverfield use subdued colour palettes, little details and close ups did seem an improvement over regular DVD image quality. However I didn’t feel blown-away by the improvement, and when watching some of my regular DVDs such as Transformers and Wall-E the difference seemed minimal (looking slightly soft-focus). This is especially the case as the player also upscales the DVD quality to near-HD and improves what you are looking at anyway. Transformers especially looked incredible.
I am happy with my player and look forward to road testing some other Blu-ray titles in the future, and in a way I am also happy that the difference isn’t so much a leap as to render my existing DVD collection obsolete. The interactivity and new menu features of Blu-ray are still to be fully explored by myself…but so far, colour me HAPPY.
Ok, here it is!!
Note: This list is compiled of movies watched during the year, but some may actually be older than 2008.
- THE ORPHANAGE
- HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY
- THE DARK KNIGHT
- AMERICAN GANGSTER
- EASTERN PROMISES
Ironic really, that (one of) the first movies I watched in 2008 ended up being my favourite of the year.
Viewed 22 Agust 2008 DVD
When a movie is said to be the scariest film of all time – those are big words. The Blair Witch Project, a film this Spanish horror resembles in style but not in subject, was hyped the same but disappointed due to a tiny budget and few genuine scares. Not so for this story of a female reporter, her camera guy and a team of firemen who become trapped in an apartment building after a routine night shift turns into a gruelling battle for survival. The feisty female (Manuela Velasco) at the centre of the action is superbly convincing, all ambition and naivety following these firefighters and trying to make a documentary in the process.
In much the same way as Blair Witch and Cloverfield and more recently Diary of the Dead, this is all hand-held camera work that cranks up the immediacy and intensity – but unlike those films there is more believability and genuine point to the ‘keep on filming’ and the directors here (Jaume Balaguero & Paco Blaza) have nailed the concept perfectly. Now what makes this film so damn effective is the well staged shocks that will have you jumping out of your seat on several occasions even if you can sometimes see them coming. Also add to this the claustrophobic atmosphere of the building, and the use of black outs, night vision and a superb sense of hopelessness – this is easily one of the most terrifying movies I have ever seen.
For full effect watch in the dark with the sound cranked up!!
Verdict: 5 /5