Wednesday, May 08, 2013

buying things for having Kubrick and/or A Clockwork Orange written on them......

hi there

the otherwise forgettable Mel Gibson film Conspiracy Theory had two redeeming was that scene where Mel is stalking the female lead (Julia Roberts, i think?) and he frantically tunes his radio around to work out what she is singing along to. good bit of film making, that was. the other was his characters' desire to keep buying copies of The Catcher In The Rye, a rather clever play on the various theories around that book.

in respect of the last one, i would confess to having a similar issue with A Clockwork Orange.  well, issue is the wrong term i suppose, as i rather like my Clocky collection and i do not think any item has been purchased as part of some mind control exercise.

my most recent purchase in this regard is this.

yep, that is one of those seemingly now defunct UMD video releases for the Sony PSP. i purchased it as i was around and about looking for something else, paying what i thought was a rather good price for it - about £3.50. as it turns out that's not all that great a price as in the UK you can get it for a mere £1.99 over at amazon, although with shipping i suppose i would have paid more than i did if i went that route.

for what reason did i buy it? well, James does have one of those PSP things, but of course there is absolutely no way he is getting his hands on this. as i held it in my hands i did think "there's no way i am ever going to sit and watch this on a PSP", but such thoughts did not see me return it to the shelf!

bought then, to be honest, purely as it has A Clockwork Orange written on it and it looks rather impressive.

i must say i am baffled by the choice of film one could or can get for a PSP. they all seem to be for a mature, adult audience really. not a Disney film in sight for the thing, and no Dreamworks either, at least as far as i am aware. yes, grown ups like games too, but surely the target market for a PSP is the young kids and early teens?

hey ho, the disc looks cute and pretty too.

as for the quality of the film playback, i have to say it seems to match the "DVD quality" it claims on the back of the box. i've tried to do some screens for you, apologies for my reflection featuring in them.

here's the menu screen, if i can call it such.

pretty basic - when you select Chapters off that it just gives you a list of numbers to click! oh well, i am from that generation that owned and loved VHS - there was no such thing as a menu back then!

on pressing play, one discovers that the default setting for the film is to make a mini-screen in the centre and widescreen the movie. a rather clever way of saving much needed space to get the film on to one disc, i suppose, but not the greatest way to watch a Kubrick film.

when you hit the zoom option, however, i must say it expands the picture very nicely to use the whole screen and does not give all that much distortion. the picture is so good on zoom, in fact, i have no idea why they didn't just make that the default playback option. oh, of course - Sony product.

as i said, however good the quality is of this PSP UMD thingie, it is exceptionally unlikely that i will find myself watching this Clockwork Orange disc on it. why would i, exactly, when i have one of them fancy LED sets and a Blu Ray player?

and yes i have the film on that Blu thingie format.

quite a nice set, really, the Kubrick blu ray box. missing one or two films, Dr Strangelove in particular, but it does the job just fine.

if for some reason i wanted to watch the DVD of it, perhaps on one of them portable players or just to see what a blu ray player does to a DVD, then i have that covered too. twice, as it happens - i have the first edition USA Kubrick DVD box set (thanks Dad), but somewhat easier to grab is the UK edition i suppose.

if for some reason i wanted to remind myself of the excellence of A Clockwork Orange during one of the frequent power blackouts here, assuming i have daylight or candles i can always turn to this rather splendid hardback edition of the Anthony Burgess novel.....

.....or indeed any of my paperback copies of the book!

why the infatuation with A Clockwork Orange? not sure, really. with my love of film stretching quite far back, in the mid-80s i was aware of a controversial and apparently banned film of that name. when a very dear friend suggested i read the novel as part of my education (hello Mandybabes if you are reading), i was farily quickly seduced by it. it's neither my favourite Kubrick film, Burgess novel or McDowell performance, and obviously it is not what i think of when i think David Prowse. it is rather brilliant, though. i suppose i love the sheer audacity of the simplistic "what goes around" story, and of course the controversy and mythology surrounding the film version.

people, every now and then, feel the need to get me some sort of gift. they shouldn't really, but if we get past that then they are often stuck as to what to get me. well, let the internet record that anything with Kubrick and/or A Clockwork Orange on it is the right thing. it matters not, apparently, if i already have it.

viddy well.

be excellent to each other, o my brothers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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