Thursday, July 25, 2013


hi there

many, many thanks indeed to the takealot website for their assistance in reducing my bank balance a bit. there isn't as much sarcasm in that opening sentence as you might have thought, for they had an amazing special on recently that enabled me to in effect get two very smart things for the collection for the usual price of one of them. well, "smart" is qualified with the first one, but we will get there. i have no idea if they are still available at the prices i paid, but the general browser might be considering either anyway.

first up is the one i am least impressed with and, to tell the truth, could have had a happy life not owning, ever. my (considerably) better half, however, thinks different, so here it is - the extended (!) editions of The Lord Of The Rings in blu-ray (or however one writes blu-ray. bluray? Blu-ray? blu ray?) format. or mostly in that format.

yes, yes, very impressive films and an incredible achievement in cinema, most say. far be it from me to disrespect Peter Jackson (Bad Taste is king of films) but for me they are remarkable, accurate and astonishing film adaptations of books that were not all that impressive. the basic premise of the story, that of a gang of midgets or dwarfs walking across a field to throw a ring into a volcano and exploring their homoerotic tendencies as they did so, did not really require 3 books and it certainly did not require 9 hours of cinema. the mind boggles at just how much more homoerotic it all gets in 12 or so hours of extended dwarf action.

i am pretty sure anyone looking at this via google has little interest in my thoughts on the film, so let us move on. here's the back of the box so you can see what's in it, and you will note it is just a bit cheeky.

i am sure you have spotted it. if not, whilst it makes a lot of noise about being a blu-ray set and containing 15 discs, it's slightly less forthcoming in saying that 9 of the 15 are DVD rather than blu-ray. i suspect, then, than those 9 are not newly pressed as such, but rather hail from any of the large number of different re-issues of the films over the last ten years.

people with technical skills are far more time than me reckon that if you play a DVD through a blu ray HDMI cable the picture quality is "same difference" as an actual blu-ray disc anyway. maybe, maybe not is my view on that. all i know is that the film people are pushing us all to blu-ray by offering extras and the proper versions of films (notably Mad Max 2), increasingly offering just a basic film-only DVD, frequently on a single layer disc too.

what's it all like inside the box? no idea, it is still sealed and if i have my way it will remain so. i think my (considerably) better half will want to watch it again; i wish her luck in finding someone to sit through it all.

a happier, and for me much more impressive, purchase was this beauty.

yep, that's what it says on the box and what it looks like. the two disc blu-ray set of The Dark Knight Rises in a stunning as far as plasticy stuff can be stunning statue like box of the broken Bat-Mask. looks rather impressive, no? well, to me it looked very much like it was saying "please buy me".

i am almost certain that the two discs inside will contain the two discs from the Dark Knight Trilogy blu-ray set i already have, but as you can guess it did not get bought for the disc content. here, for your interest, is the back of the box, obscured somewhat by the flash of the camera. sorry.

i have no idea what that "ultraviolet" copy is, bar an idea that it's something to do with a digital or "streaming" copy of the film. lovely, whatever it turns out to be.

you wish to have a look at the front from another angle? no problem, i am much happier to post pictures of this set than i am the midget festival we started with.

there is a fine tradition that states the third film of any trilogy is going to be weak and disappointing. this is usually because they cram so much in to "resolve" whatever the story is it gets to be a mess. the biggest and best culprit of just how bad a 3rd film in a series can be is of course The Godfather Part III, a film that at no point does anything but desecrate the magnificence of the first two films. Superman III is often given as an example too, but i liked it. of relevance here is probably Spiderman 3, which busied itself with far, far too many villains and plot deviations. as that had two excellent first films and a brilliant director the comparison to The Dark Knight Rises is somewhat obvious.

happily, Christopher Nolan got the third film note perfect right. there was a great danger that this could have been a stupid chase film if it continued directly from The Dark Knight, with a lot of people for some peverse reason wanting to see a movie about Johnny Depp as The Riddler chasing down Batman. skipping eight years and creating a reason why Bruce Wayne would return as The Dark Knight was very wise.

a big part of getting it right was this chap on the side of the box.

there was, as much as fan boys may have cried for it, no way at all of replicating or mimicing The Joker from The Dark Knight. with Bane they went the very wise way of creating a threat that was entirely different, getting rid of the problem of comparisons being drawn for the rather more sensible film lover. one cannot say Bane was better or worse than The Joker with any sort of sensible evidence to back it up.

i very much indeed liked the character of Bane. for all the nonsense spoken in advance - you can't understand what he is saying, he always has the mask on, etc - he was a formidable, fearful character. well done Mr Tom Hardy indeed, and good luck with stepping up a level to play Mad Max just now.

and, for your pleasure, on the other side of the box is you know who....

much as was the case with Tom Hardy and everyone else involved in the film, Christian Bale was spot on casting. the part needed someone to be Bruce Wayne, as the Batman part was easy - it's a man in a suit, after all.

i hope that has helped out anyone considering buying either set, at whatever price. i am led to believe that Warner, usually more consumer friendly than this, are about to unleash yet another variant of a Dark Knight trilogy box set. they seem keen to milk it, but there's obviously a market for different versions so good luck to them.

righty-ho, let me sit and admire them!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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