MOVIES AND PHYSICAL MEDIA RECOMMENDATIONS AND INSIGHTS
GREAT MOVIE TRAILERS OF THE DAY
Sports and Competition
AUTO AND HOME IMPROVEMENT NEWS AND INSIGHTS
INSIGHT AND NEWS YOU CAN USE
ART BOOKS AND COMIC BOOKS
All these releases have been selected and vetted by me. On top of which, for my personal collection all the tacky, bottom dweller blue cases that any of these may have come with, have been replaced with stylish, bookcase ready, clear or black cases.
Only thing worse than a person displaying Blue Bluray cases is… oh yeah, that’s right— there’s nothing worse. 🙂 .
Most of these are still, while getting pricey, available. You will need, at a minimum, a multi-region blu-ray 3D player, 3D projector and 3D glasses.
Check the Links, and best of luck!
I, in the last 48 hours, have decided to jump into 3D TV. I’ve had a 3D capable Blu-ray player for several months. and just this week ‘engaged the engines'(yeah that’s going to catch on) on getting a 3D projector that does native 1080p. Should be here next week.
And along with that, I have begun compiling a list of recommendations of must own Blu-Ray titles.(ie I jumped on Youtube, via Roku, and found a bunch of recommendations)
And a word on that region free Blu-ray player, I picked up.
I purposely sought out a Blu-ray player that, in addition to being region free, also does 3D; as I knew eventually I wanted to cross that bridge. In fact, being I have been a life long 3D fan, from stereoscopic comic books and Art-books, to the old Anaglyph 3D presentations that would come on tv, every blue-moon, when I was a kid (Invariably the 3D over the tv, never worked great; using those funky red and blue glasses) it is funny that it has taken me this long to jump into 3D.
Part of it is, even though I was in the theaters, with everyone else that snowy winter, when AVATAR made its way onto our screens and became a world wide phenomenon, kicking off this latest 3D craze; I didn’t hop aboard the 3D train. While a fan of AVATAR, and thought its 3D was ground breaking; I was never sold on the idea of everything needing to be in 3D. I am still not. However I am far more compelled by the idea of being able to also do 3D in the home. Not all the time, but occasionally.
In the 10 years since AVATAR’s success, while hundreds of films have been foisted on us at increased ticket prices, I probably went to see easily less than 2 dozen films in the theaters. 3D is great for 45 minute IMAX films (in real IMAX theaters that are in science centers, not the retrofitted baby Imaxes that are in your local multiplex) but for (closing in on 2 hour) blockbusters, it has to be done well; and not everything lends itself to 3D.
3D when done brilliantly needs to be in the movie theaters, not in our homes, and needs to be done sporadically. At least that was my feeling for the past 10 years since AVATAR, and in the theaters I have seen some good uses of 3D since then.
However these days while I still believe a real theater is the best place for 3D, and that viewing should be sporadic, what supercedes that… is me being a collector. And no, I refuse to use supersede, I am going with supercede. It was good enough in the 17th century, it is good enough now. :).
Being a collector (which I have been since my grade-school days of comics and books and vhs tapes and records), I like having the ability to not rely on gatekeepers. if I do choose to revisit an especially impressively made 3D film on my Blu-ray player, in my home, I don’t want to have to vet that choice through anyone else; or wait on licensing agreements for movies to become available.
I do not like having to rely on gatekeepers for anything, not my entertainment, not my news, not my liberty. 3D tvs have in the US gone the way of the Dodo, and the older models that you can get are prohibitively expensive. Manufacturers of Blu-ray players, are closing up shop. Big business has obviously passed around a memo, “let’s phase out this physical media nonsense, and make them come to us for everything; where we can monitor, we can control, we can edit material, as necessary.”
A noble memo. But I don’t think they got my memo.
So job one, was to pick up a multi-region Blu-ray that could also do 3D. I saved up and got that done a few months ago. ‘What about 4K?’ I hear someone asking.
4K? I don’t really care about 4K.
“What?? Oh no he didn’t??!!! Get me a knife, I’m gonna cut this fool!!!”
Wait. Bear with me Trumpian mob.
Let me explain,
I do not care about 4K, as it is really negligible improvement over a well mastered Blu-ray.
Shhh. Adults are talking.
There is a difference between a well mastered 4K and a well mastered Blu-ray, viewed on the median residential monitor display size of 55″ to 65″, at a viewing distance of 8 to 10 feet; but that difference is not pixel density, is not screen real estate. That difference is not 4k pixel count, vs 1K pixel count. With 20/20 vision viewing any modern display of the size I listed, from the distance I listed, if you can see a difference at all… it will be negligible at best.
You have to remember you don’t actually see very well, even with 20/20 vision. That’s why the illusion of movies even works. Because our brains are very good at taking the upside down nonsense our eyes sends them, and crafting a world view that makes sense.
That is the reason 24 static images, moved at speed (a movie), can fool us into believing there is motion going on. If our eyes were really any good, we could never fall for the lie of motion, we would register movies for what they are, 24 static images , flipped one after another.
We would be, how Alan Moore, that mad scribe, describes the Flash.
One of the most beautiful, and horrible lines I have ever read, I read at a time when we read most of the horrible things that form us. I had read Flash comics as a kid, and thought them and the character way cool. And with scant lines, Alan Moore taught the young tike I was, the meaning of existential dread.
‘There is a man who moves so fast that his life is an endless gallery of statues.’
I understood then, a concept I had not thought of till that moment, the horrible constraints of perfection.
However we, perhaps thankfully, do not perceive the world clearly, we as a species, even the best of us, see relatively poorly.
However, our brains are fantastic for compensating for our deficiencies. Making a truth, out of the lie of our eyes. And with television and the difference between pixel count between 1080p and 4K that occurs at speed in real time, our brain is just as adept in that situation, at lying to us. You are unlikely to see any difference in pixel count.
“But I’m telling you I see a clear difference between 1080p and 4K when I watch BOO BOO GOES TO HOLLYWOOD!!!!!”
Yes, I know. But that difference (using the parameters previously stated) is not pixel density. The difference you are seeing is color grading and picture processing applied by technologies such as HDR. That is why HDR is there, to give you the difference that 4K by itself cannot.
But here is the thing, they could have just as easily applied HDR to work with Blu-ray, made HDR an evolution of Blu-ray, solidify Blu-ray as a format, and help it finally supercede Dvd, as the most popular format. But then they could not sell you new tvs, and new incompatible 4K media, which requires all new players.
4K is a cash grab. And it is a road of diminishing returns.
While concepts like 2k and 4k and even now 8k, have a useful and needed place in production and mastering and editing, and real theatrical showings. On the residential/consumer side it is simply superfluous. And companies harangued into tying up limited resources re-releasing the same 10 titles in yet another format, just take money and resources away from titles that are still awaiting… their first Blu-ray release.
So that is why 4K is not a priority for me. I don’t hate it, I’d just rather solidify the formats we have, than further fragment an already fragmented market. However if studios can make 4k work for them, and make money off it, a niche of a niche, good for them.
I don’t care if 4k, 8k, 16k players exits, there will always be people putting the stupidest things in their homes (“So let me understand this. Every device inside my house will now have a microphone built in, that can not be hardware disabled? And a camera? And be able to call out back to it home servers? And all data is potentially saved? Is this a Bob Newhart skit? A Bill Cosby skit? I’m sorry son, no one is going to believe that science fiction story. 1984 is one thing, but that story you are talking about would have required an entire generation to not have the common sense that God gave a rock. Next thing you are going to tell me is they let a reality tv star steal the election and run the country into the ground!!! Ha! Ha! What an imagination!”).
Leave me the ability to watch what I want, when I want. Without having to vet my viewing through gatekeepers and their servers; and the rest of the world— can keep spinning.
Yeah give me region-free Blu-ray any day. And yeah, I’ll even take a side of 3D. :).
If that is not the longest digression in the history of the world, it has to be in the top 3. But finally, you made it to what you really came for. The tits— oh wait, I meant the list. There are no Mammary glands below. I repeat, there are no Mammary glands below. Go ahead and unsubscribe, see if i care!!!
Yes, yes. It has been a long week.
Oh ps, the items in bold in the lists below, are titles that in my research I think are the ones to start with, and they just so happen to be ones that I have ordered and are on the way. So if you can’t find em, I bought the last ones. HA! HAAHA! HA! HA! HHAHA! HA! HA! HEE! HO! HA— hmm this is surprisingly difficult to keep going. You get the picture, maniacal laughing. Sheesh!
Humor, look it up.
THE FAILED JOURNALIST
TRON LEGACY, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, HOBBIT BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, AVATAR, HUGO, POLAR EXPRESS, GRAVITY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, THE WALK, LIFE OF PI
3D BLU-RAY BUNKER
NEED FOR SPEED, INFERNO(1953), THE WALK, HERCULES(2014), THE LEGEND OF HERCULES (2014), AVATAR, STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS, XXX RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER DAY OF RECKONING – his 2020 selections
A quick caveat about BT. You think I’m offensive, I’ve never known anyone use the term b*tch as often as he does. 🙂 Seriously, his early videos I left thinking, “Did they delete the other words from the dictionary?”. Joking. But seriously, stick with this show, they are informative and fun. His BLACK PANTHER 3D Blu-ray review is hilarious, and he rates it as superior to the 4K. He hasn’t done a 3D review in 11 months, but I hope new ones are on the way.
THE LAST JEDI, FORCE AWAKENS, BLADE RUNNER 2049, BLACK PANTHER, THOR RAGNAROK, AVENGERS ENDGAME, KONG SKULL ISLAND, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, XXX THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, THE GREAT WALL, GHOST IN THE SHELL, DOCTOR STRANGE, TRANSFORMERS THE LAST KNIGHT
All humor aside, there are a lot of great selections, and great videos to peruse . Do me a favor, if moved to, and not offended by my whimsy… like, subscribe, and support using the links below. Further go subscribe to all four of the channels listed above. They possess just a monumental amount of info on 3D Blurays. I am subscribed to all these channels and consider them, essential. I’m first in line to like their new 3D related videos.
DEAL OF THE DAY 2! Like I said I don’t find 4k a necessity, however I found this player that includes necessities like region free, and 3D, but it also includes 4K at an affordable price. At this price it is a bit of a no-brainer.
This one has steadily increased in price. The model 700 is cheaper, but what I like about the specs on this one (the 706) is it is a short throw, which just means placement is easier as you can place it right near the screen or wall to be projected on.
p.s. And if you like this blog, support this blog, by supporting and patronizing the sponsor link below. There is a great sale on posters going on. Thanks!
“Millions of people being lied too. Taken for suckers.
You know it’s a funny thing. They have pure food and drug laws, to keep people from buying poison to put in their stomachs, and you’re pedaling poison to put in their minds!”
Dana Andrews in FEARMAKERS (1958)
A good film by the always impressive Jaques Tourneur. Currently available via Amazon Prime. But against the day when it becomes unavailable on streaming (which happens often), get your DVD (is not available in Bluray) here.
-Wow that quote could be directed at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FACEBOOK and FOX.
Okay I am about to rant here. So if you don’t want to hear one of my always outrageous and “witchhunt society incorrect” rants, then enjoy the above poster and quote, and come back next installment for more cuddly teddy bears. For those masochists and sadists among you who get off on my occasional tirades… enjoy the following.
One thought on FOX… people tend to toss the ‘fake news’ appellation at FOX, when every other network is just as guilty of it. Do you think it is coincidence that when a major story breaks, NBC, CBS, and Disney owned ABC, are reporting the same news, at the same time, using nearly the same sound-bites?
Without a doubt FOX and Sinclair Broadcasting have agendas, and positions to pedal, but I appreciate the fact, that they are at least original when composing their coverage, rather than just a member of a ‘greek chorus’, that the other bought networks are a part of.
I hate slavery, and I hate programming, and I hate the stupidity of the mob, and network news relies on all three.
So yes FOX news, culpable and biassed, but do not fool yourself into thinking CBS or ABC or NBC or CNN is any less culpable and biased.
I wish Bill Cosby — back in the day, before he became the pariah for this witch-hunt generation, had bought CBS (he was always an excellent businessman), and this idea of a major network in the US, not part and parcel of the Industrial War Complex, would have at least given us some modicum of balance in our ‘news’; instead of what we have, which is… who we should deify and who we should demonize, being fed to us by multi-national corporate interests and the children of slavers.
The Truth is out there, to borrow an old slogan. But so are lies, and determining the one from the other, takes being informed as much about yourself, and your prejudices, and biases , and agendas, as it does being aware of other peoples.
We have to work harder at finding the news, and not trust that we will get it delivered to us. We have to some extent — be our own journalist, and for medical issues, don’t accept the regurgitation of middlemen be it newscasters or youtubers or personalities or bloggers. Go to the source for any rumor or ‘news’ you hear.
You want to know about the state of the Covid Virus, you don’t watch the effing news, you go to the World Health Organization and the Center For Disease Control. This is for everything, crime, movies, weather, employment, entertainment, you see a headline, you fact check it, and cross check it with multiple established and respected resources.
Yes it requires work.
And no, it is not as much fun, as joining the mob, and playing “who do we lynch today”, who do we pile on and castigate for their sins, so we do not have to look at our own.
Bill Cosby recently came up in the news, a letter from his representation, requesting release due to this Covid situation.
For those of you who do not know, America has one of the highest prison populations in the world, and one of the most corrupt and mismanaged. The endpoint of this being it is a hotbed for the current outbreak.
So Bill Cosby’s representation, naturally put in motions for release.
Any of you reading this blog for any length of time, know where I stand on Bill Cosby.
Namely a lot of people rushing to castigate Bill Cosby. And if none of them have done the accused evil of a Bill Cosby, I guarantee you, no ten of them have done the good.
But it is easier to pretend that a man’s falling down exists, and his standing up never did. His honors and accolades removable, his faults are all… they are to be weighed above and beyond all… they eradicate the good, so all we see is the bad.
Is that the measure by which we judge, and should be judged?
If guilty — treatment is what he needed, not prison. But America continues to use the media for lynching, and the legal system for enslaving, and between the two… justice is a distant land, and the echoes of Jim Crow and slavery… alive.
Hopefully the new motions from his representation will get Mr. Cosby, who is not a violent criminal, released.
And to the rest of us, those who are quick to judge, and damn, and delight in a person’s fall.
Be hopeful you be not judged, as harshly as you judge.
Or none of us will escape crucifixion.
None of us will escape the fires.
Here endeth the Rant.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION – come back tonight about 10pm for finished version
The last few years, I have been discovering new passions, or interests.
2018 was really me getting into slabs (sealed and protected graded comics) as well as headphones and to a small degree statues.
Buying my first 3 statues (and as of this writing still my only 3 statues) in 2018. It was also the year I began my dive into graded or slabbed comic books. I started 2018 with 0 slabbed comics and ended the year with over 2 dozen. I also got into headphones big that year, getting about half a dozen audiophile quality headphones.
By 2019 I had put the brakes on the slabbed comics, as well as the headphones (selling most of the headphones, only keeping a couple). Instead in 2019 I got bitten by two new collecting bugs, folding knives and Blu-ray Steel-books. Managing to control my collecting bug a little more in 2019, I only treated myself to one folding knife, my first new knife in over 10 years, but on the Steel-book front I have jumped in with both feet.
Having only owned one steel-book going into 2019, and having largely just not made time for physical media in the last several years, since 2014, by the end of 2019 I had definitely made up for lost time, i had amassed a collection of over 3 dozen mostly steel-books, with a smattering of digi-books thrown in. I won’t bog you down in all the great items I picked up in 2019, but will just shut out some that put a smile on my face every-time I see them, and that I highly recommend to other collectors out there.
THE THING – I saw this steelbook, a mingling of beautiful art piece, and quality remastered and feature rich version of one of my favorite movies, on someone’s youtube channel and I was blown away. While I appreciate the improvement of Bluray over DVD, I was never a fan of the Bluray packaging, branding. It looked cheap, it looked ugly, and in the age of streaming, you do have to justify what you allow to take up space in your home. So while not one of those extolling ‘physical media is dead’ for me at least, it had slowed down to absolute must haves, that I did not want to leave to the vagaries of streaming licensing deals, to ensure I could view it.
But with this Shoutfactory/ScreamFactory release of the THING I was introduced to something new in the market, boutique companies treating these Blurays as quality works, deserving of quality branding. So yeah, as funds allowed in 2019 I picked up ShoutFactory steelbook after steelbook, and they have just been homeruns. And 2019 was a particularly good year, because they were doing the John Carpenter series of films, and his work in steelbook… well let us say i can not think of many other genre filmmaker that I would have been as passionate about collecting as John Carpenter.
As of this writing there are only a couple of his films, that I still need from Shoutfactory. So big kudos to that Youtube channel and to ShoutFactory for making steelbooks a definite passion for me (and seemingly many others) in 2019.
And naturally Shoutfactory’s Steelbooks opened the door for me to great and must have steelbooks from other quality Bluray labels, such as Universal, Criterion, Disney, Indicator, Arrow and many more.
Some quick shoutouts for 2019:
THE THING -ShoutFactory
PRINCE OF DARKNESS – ShoutFactory
LIFEFORCE – ShoutFactory
THE LAST JEDI – Disney
ROUGE ONE – Disney
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA -Zavvi
Under Construction- Come back tonight 10pm EST for completed post
In the meantime check out these 2020 DEALS!!!
After 22 movies, THE AVENGERS is still the movie I saw the most in the theaters, a record three times (I almost never see a movie in a theater more than once), and the one I had the most fun with. And that is because Director Josh Whedon delivered the film of his career, the writing was brilliant, actors and effects phenomenal, and the characters… literally the stuff of Myth. And the most memorable scenes of a very memorable film revolve around Tom Hiddleston’s completely crowd pleasing performance as Loki, that sets up such memorable lines as ‘Mewling Quim’ and ‘Puny God’.
Like the best of all Villains, the two other names on this list; the Loki character while wrong, there is something compelling and seductive, and relateable in Loki’s mania. Driven by some hurt he seeks to fix, some reason that reason knows not of, that makes him more than a stock villain, but someone more complex, and someone that in moments… seen from some angle, is understandable, if not approvable.
BLACK PANTHER is a film that I loved the action in, loved the fight scenes, loved the story, loved the scale, but what really sets it apart from every other MCU films before it (with the exception of THE WINTER SOLDIER, which did it in a smaller way) is the sophistication of how it is told. The murky grey areas where good and bad become… unsound. It’s a great film, that becomes stronger every time you watch it. Like leather curing in the sun.
It is a 2 film culmination of a 22 film, 11 year unequaled and un-thought of cinematic achievement, and it sticks the landing. And Thanos quite rightly gets catapulted into the conversation of most iconic cinematic villains of all time, up there with Darth Vader, Dracula, Dr. No, Dr. Mabuse, Khan, Hannibal Lecter, Joker.
So that is it guys, the 3 best villains of 22 movies, and 11 years of cinematic gold!!!
And for Honarable Mentions:
Thanks for looking, feel free to comment with your favorite villain or villains, and if you enjoyed this post give some love to this installment’s sponsor:
I tried quite a few shows in 2019 UMBRELLA ACADEMY, LUCIFER, GOOD OMENS, THE WITCHER, BLACK MIRROR, GAME OF THRONES but my favorite TV shows, BY FAR, were the following:
THE TERROR 1st Season – One of the most grueling and terrifying and brilliant things I saw on TV in 2019
BODYGUARD 1st and only season- One of the best action/spy shows I’ve seen since SPOOKS and the first season of JACK RYAN.
THE GRAND TOUR – One of the worst mistakes TOP GEAR made was pissing these guys off and forcing them out. TOP GEAR has become an un-watched joke, and THE GRAND TOUR … simply fun and brilliant.
HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE Season 1- After THE TERROR, the 2nd most terrifying tv show I saw in 2019. And that one episode with the reveal of the hanging lady, is just horrible to think about. The more you think about that episode the more effed up it becomes, and the more you feel for that character. A brilliantly written show.
LUKE CAGE Season 2- Speaking of a brilliantly written show, LUKE CAGE season 2 when you get past some cringe worthy scenes in the early episode ( I do not want to see Shades and Black Mariah kissing on each other, the less of that the better) but when you get past that bit of self indulgence, it really takes off and has a story that is more complex than people hitting each other. Which kinda is why I lost interest in the other Marvel/Netflix shows. It is the small moments where this series sings, like the scene of Cage and Rand just talking as they overlook Central Park. That is one of my favorite scenes, and not a punch in it, just people talking. And the Antagonists were so rich, no clear good, or clear evil, but people in varying degrees of pain. Add to that just the best ending/cliffhanger of any of the Marvel/Netflix shows. Really hope this comes to Bluray soon.
MANDALORIAN Season 1 – Baby Yoda Rules! And the show is great, a nice back to basics western in space.
THE BOYS Season 1 – Jaw Dropping, and one of the best examples of the adaptation being superior to the source material. Not a fan of THE BOYS comic, loved this show,
THE EXPANSE (Seasons 1-3) – I’ve praised this show often. It is the best scifi show currently being aired.
PENNYWORTH – Only saw 3 episodes, that was all that was available for free, but what a 3 episodes. Phenomenal and fun and gripping.
WATCHMEN – Only saw the first episode, but what an episode. Had my doubts about this show, the first episode made me a believer.
With an honorable mention to BABYLON 5 as a show I revisited in 2019. Currently on season 4. Holds up as one of the best shows of all time. Straczynski creating the first novel for TV.
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