Best Left Unanswered

I love The Italian Job. Not the 2003 remake but the original filmed in the 60’s with Michael Caine. In a documentary celebrating his 70th birthday he’s revealed the ending that was filmed and then scrapped.

“I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out,” he said.

“The van bounces back up so we can all get out, but then the gold goes over.”

There’s more detail on the BBC site and also some info on a competition to come up with an ending next year to mark 40 years since the Italian Job was made. I’m so glad the film cut the ending as it sounds terrible. I also wish the ending had always remained a mystery – so much better to leave it to everyone’s imagination.

Top Sci-fi Movie

Ok, I’ll take the bait. BBC reported that readers of SFX magazine had voted Serenity as best sci-fi movie. Eh? Bloody fanboy’s. It’s good but not that good. So if it was me choosing the top ten it would be, in particular order…

  1. Blade Runner
  2. The Empire Strikes Back
  3. The Matrix
  4. Star Wars
  5. Terminator
  6. Aliens
  7. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  8. Serenity
  9. Back to the Future
  10. Starship Troopers

Anyone like to add one I’ve missed or should have considered?

Packaging and other rambles

I’ve always had a thing for nice packaging. The Apple packaging is hard to beat and gives you a great impression of the product you’ve bought before you’ve even switched it on. Likewise a great CD case (Thom Yorke, Lemon Jelly) has always given the CD a greater worth. All in the head as it doesn’t change the music, but there you go. My first Blu-Ray movies have now arrived and again the packaging is interesting. The cases are smaller than DVD, nicely rounded, slightly transparent and just feel better quality than a DVD. Which ties in with the fact it should be of better quality. All in the head but I like it.

Thats why I’ve always liked Japanese game packaging. Far smaller than western equivalents and to be honest far better. I look at my DVD collection – it could take up a quarter of the room that it currently does. Nevermind.

Speaking of room, I’m still tempted to ditch all my cd’s as I have them all digitally available. I would probably re-encode some of the disks at a higher rate but apart from that I have no need for the physical disks. Apart from the nice packaging that in my head adds value. Doh. So do I dump the disks and save room or not?

Finally, a quick bit on the Blu-Ray disks. I imported them from the states using DVDWorldUSA. They delivered within 7 days and there was no import duties to pay. They also guarantee to pay import duties if you do have the misfortune to get caught. It’s a long time since I imported and I was a bit worried about region playback issues. However this site lists the region free or restricted titles released so far. Very handy. Just need the player now.


and that was 2006

Happy 2007 folks. I was going to do a ‘best of 2006’ but to be honest I can’t be arsed and there’s not a lot of Wii time left. So, some things you should have watched, played heard in 2006 were…

Thom Yorke, Life on Mars, Planet Earth, Arctic Monkeys, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, United 93, Low Winter Sun, 24, Bodies, Children of Men, Snow Patrol, Prime Suspect, Razorlight, Gears of War, Battlestar Galactica.

Time to look forward – no resolutions but some goals which I’ll keep private for the moment. Gives me a bit of leeway for failure 😉

Star Wars Revelations

With the news that there is to be a Star Wars TV series (been watching Battlestar George?) and the immenent Episode 3 you may have missed the release of Star Wars Revelations by Panicstruck Productions. This is an independently made 45 minute production that captures all that’s good and bad about Star Wars, namely:

  • Great special effects – the CGI used in this film is impressive, most impressive
  • Good use of sound
  • Crap storyline
  • Poor dialogue
  • Questionable acting ability
  • That’s maybe a little harsh as the CGI is amazing for a free film but to ‘star’ in the film it looks like you had to be American, fat, ugly and have facial hair…and that’s just the girls. Seriously though it’s well worth a download at around 250Mb just for the CGI alone – best to grab the torrent though as most of the mirrors aren’t reliable.


    I’ve been contacted by Anup Kurian who is the writer director of Manasarovar asking for a plug…so here goes:

    Manasarovar was made for about 30000 pounds on a 16MM camera bought from EBAY and has won many awards and participated/selected in prestigious festivals.

    – Aravindan Puraskaram for Best Debut Director in India
    – Gollapudi Srinivas National Award for Best Debut Director in India
    – Official Selection – London Film Festival 2004
    – Opening Film, Indian Panorama, International Film Festival of India, Goa, 2004
    – Best Film and Special Jury Prize, International Film Festival of Mumbai, 2005
    – Fukuoka International Film Festival, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005

    If our film attracts a good crowd in Glasgow we can get more theatre bookings in UK. It would be great if you can mention the film and the screenings in Glasgow in your blog.

    – Sunday February 27, 2PM and Monday February 28, 8.45PM at Glasgow
    Film Theatre.

    Needless to say we do not have a marketing budget and the only marketing is contacting bloggers like yourself and requesting reviewers from main stream media to watch the film. Later the film continues at Dundee, Brentford, Kilburn etc. In April Manasarovar will release in India and later this year hopefully in USA.

    Denon 2910

    I’ve finally succumbed and bought a new dvd player. My old player (Sony 725) was getting on a bit and I was annoyed that I couldn’t play mp3’s, ripped dvd’s on it plus the fact that £30 jobs out of Asda had a better picture. Progress, eh?!? So I sniffed around and went for the Denon 2910…in black of course.

    It will play practically anything you can throw at it. Firstly, the picture is lovely and that’s on my ageing Sony CRT wide-screen. However it does come with progressive scan and all the necessary support for a future plasma/lcd investment. Well I can dream, can’t I? Another reason for choosing this model is that the audio playback is superb and it would allow me to replace my Marantz (now for sale on eBay as would the old dvd player if it wasn’t for the fact it’s worthless). The player also comes with DVD Audio and SACD support assuming either format actually takes off.

    The current verdict is that it was a superb buy. It has played dvd-r rips with no problem at all (Team America screener if you must know) and the audio is as good if not better than I had previously. DVD playback is also much improved. The only disk I’ve not tried is a RCE disk but as I’ve none in my collection, who cares. I’ve even managed to update the Pronto with the new device. Joy.