Archiv vom April 2014

DVD-Review: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Each year around this time I try to post a somewhat vaguely Easter-related review, but this year I have nothing new written or translated, so I’ll just do a rerun: Last year I posted an updated and translated article about Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which is not exactly Easter material, but has a certain cartoon bunny as its star. It’s also not typical Disney stuff, instead the story is more a satirical and even cynical take on the whole cartoon film industry paired with a hard-boiled 1940s film noir thriller. It was also a brilliant technical achievement, seamlessly blending animated characters and scenery with real footage, all done without the help of computers. While the DVD is now over ten years old, it’s still amazing in quality and content and since last year the movie is also available on Blu-Ray with all the great extras from this old Vista Series release.

Continue to Review »

Comments off

DVD-Reviews: Yuri’s Night Edition

Fifty-three years ago, mankind had reached space for the first time when Yuri Gagarin had made his flight and since about a decade, this event has been celebrated as Yuri’s Night all over the world. I have already written another article on my other blog about the event, but for this occasion I’d also like to bring a little something together from my archives, because this year I at least have some new English-language reviews. There is nothing specifically about Yuri Gagarin, but the movies and television series are covering the early years of spaceflight very well.

Documentaries and Dramatisations:
The Right Stuff » – The Mercury program, as told by Tom Wolfe (1959-1963)
From the Earth to the Moon » – Gemini & Apollo – the way to the Moon (1963-1972)
For All Mankind » – The Apollo Program in original footage & sound (1969-1972)
The Dish » – The moon landing from an Australia perspective (1969)
Apollo 13 » – Dramatisation of the near-catastrophy (1970)
Although I have never written about it before, I can also recommend the BBC six-part miniseries Space Race, an excellent docudrama about the beginnings of spaceflight from the perspectives of the rocket designers Sergei Korolev and Wernher von Braun.

More Fiction than Science:
Space Cowboys » – Clint Eastwood, the Space Shuttle and a broken Soviet satellite. A fond spaceflight comedy from the shuttle era.

And in closing another tip: First Orbit was made for the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagrin’s flight in 2011 with footage from the ISS, recreating his flight in space with amazing visuals and original sounds. The 99-minute movie can still be viewed on Youtube for free, but it is now also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Comments off

DVD-News: Criteron does A Hard Day’s Night

I’m not posting a lot of news these days, actually I’ve pretty much given up on it save for special occasions – like this one: there had already been some rumours about a new restoration of the first Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night since the beginning of this year, but now it’s certain: Criterion will release the movie on June 24th as a Blu-Ray and DVD combo set. A new 4k transfer has been made, this time apparently in the correct aspect ratio of 1.75:1, and in addition to a remastered mono track, new stereo and 5.1 mixes have been produced with the music this time coming from the original multitrack masters and with the involvement of Giles Martin, the son of the Beatles’ producer George Martin. There will also be numerous extras, including an audio commentary, some of the interviews from the 2002 release, the 1994 documentary You Can’t Do That (which has been out of print on DVD for a long time) and a lot more.

The press release from Criterion has all the details, and the announcement on the Home Theater Forum has the full poster including the crucial information that the two DVDs of the set will include all the extras of the Blu-Ray. There will also be a single-disc DVD release, but it will be sadly missing most of the extras. The price on for the three-disc set is $34.99, but if you ordered early enough you were able to get it for about $25 plus shipping. A full review of the new release will be coming in July!

Comments off