Archiv vom February 2013

Lost & Found: 500 Free Movies Online

Since I’ve decided to skip the Oscar coverage this year and there’s no new review ready this weekend, I’m going to introduce the new catergory Lost & Found for all the great stuff I’ve encountered somewhere on the web worthy of sharing. I’m probably not going to make this a regular feature, but once in a while there will be posts like this with interesting links, videos and other things.

Today’s find comes from the wonderful website Open Culture – which everybody should have in their Facebook or Google+ streams – and contains reportedly 500 free movies on the web. I must admit that I have not counted through the list, but it is utterly exhaustive and has an amazing collection of vintage and not-so-vintage movies from all genres, which are partly stored on Youtube and partly in other archives. Of course these are mostly not high-quality transfers, but in almost all cases still watchable, making them a wonderful starting point to browse for amazing movies and later look for better commercially released versions.

In addition there are a couple of other more specialized movie lists on Open Culture, whose contents are all contained in the big 500 collection: some of Alfred Hitchcock’s earlier movies, many Charlie Chaplin classics, a Film Noir section and even a couple of early Westerns with John Wayne. And for the current occasion there’s also a list of 33 Oscar-winning movies and short films. Unfortunately not everthing is still online – some of it has been taken down for copyright reasons, some are not playable in Germany because of the Youtube-Gema feud. But even with some entries missing, the movie collection from Open Culture is an amazing treasure trove for every movie enthusiast.

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DVD-Review: Ice Age – Continental Drift

The first exclusively english-language article on DVDLog is also one of my very few negative reviews: I’ve actually been a big fan of Blue Sky Studio’s Ice Age-Franchise up to now and I still like the first three movies, but Ice Age – Continental Drift was a big disappointment. There’s not much left of the witty and satirical humour of the predecessors and the still stunning visuals can’t hide the problem that the story and particularly the dialogue seems to be written for pre-schoolers only. It’s just another mindless computer-generated action-adventure and the old-established characters are only shadows of their former selves. While technically more than acceptable, the German DVD also suffers from the lack of good bonus materials – but even the Blu-Ray does not have an audio commentary. One of the very few instances when I wish I hadn’t bought the disc unseen.

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DVD-News: First of 2013

Es wird langsam mal wieder Zeit, ein paar DVD-Neuigkeiten zusammenzusuchen, aber bis jetzt habe ich noch nicht viel für den Anfang des neuen Jahres gefunden – es sind allerdings noch ein paar Reste aus dem letzten Jahr übrig. Einen richtigen Überblick habe ich im Moment allerdings nicht mehr und auch 2013 werde ich die zahllosen Blu-Ray-Neuauflagen weitgehend ignorieren, da ich immer noch nicht auf den HD-Zug aufgesprungen bin und dies bis auf absehbare Zeit auch nicht passieren wird. Aber ich denke, daß es hin und wieder mal ein paar interessante DVDs geben wird und schließlich ist das britische Fernsehen, insbesonders die BBC, ja auch noch da. Außerdem noch in diesem Artikel: eine Warnung vor einer Welle von Billig-DVDs und ein paar Sachen zur Webseite. [Die Poster-Grafik habe ich übrigens aus Spaß mit der wundervollen Seite Pulp-O-Mizer zusammengebastelt!]

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DVD-Reviews: English Collection

 Because I haven’t got anything new ready this week and there are so many English-speaking people in my circles over at Google+, I’m going to try an experiment and repost the few reviews which I have already translated into English. I’ve been writing about DVDs, movies and tv-series for more than ten years now, but my articles are usually in German. If there’s at least some interest in my English-language reviews, I could translate more of them or switch languages altogether in the future. My reviews are always of specific DVDs, but they are also articles which are not primarily criticism, but rather reports with lots of background information to get readers interested in great movies and television.

First, there are a couple of movie reviews: Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece Metropolis in its restored 2010 incarnation, the wonderful 1974 adaption of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express with Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and a trio of articles about Jacques Tati’s first three movies, Jour de Fête, Les Vacances de M. Hulot and Mon Oncle.

There are also two very different television reviews: everybody at least in the USA might be familiar with the one and only spy-sitcom Get Smart, but the classic German science-fiction-show Raumpatrouille Orion is virtually unknown in English-speaking countries – but unfortunately equally hard to view.

And there is also the very popular Film Format Guide, a detailed article about most major film processes both historic and modern, complete with recreated example graphics of film strips, technical data and much more information.

If you are a “movie connoisseur” like me and interested in more articles about classic and current movies on DVD, I would appreciate a +1 on Google+ or a quick comment here on the blog or on G+. I’ll even take requests – a somewhat disorganized list of my archive is here.

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