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Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Just bought a new Sony multi-region DVD player, from those agreeable chaps at Techtronics.com, purveyers of cool DVD players, and stuff, and I'm feeling a mite financially fragile as a result.

I think that I may have to live on snack-sized portions of cardboard and sawdust for a week or so, but I deserve a Sony DVD player, dammit!

This will be the third one that I've owned, which is quite some burn rate, considering that many a sensible soul of my acquaintance hasn't yet joined in all the fun that we DVD geeks are having - K, just bite the bullet and go to Richer Sounds, yes? Think "Jane Espenson commentary tracks", why don't you? - and some folks don't even want to. Which is a mindset that I can't quite get my noggin around, but never mind.

My mum currently uses my first DVD player, the trusty and oft-lamented Samsung DVD-709, versions of which tripped up when confronted by copies of the just-released "Matrix" disc in 1999. I never had a problem with mine, but the digital audio gubbins on the back of my player crapped out one day and it couldn't talk to my amp anymore, hence early retirement and a swiftly purchased CyberHome cheapie, which did everything I wanted it to, but wasn't magnetically-shielded.

Basically? It sent my telly nuts and I had to sell it on, which sent me in the direction of the X-Box that I've been using for the last couple of months to watch my flicks on. A neat little player it is, too, but for the fact that it resolutely can't be hacked to play US Region One discs, and is stubbornly a Region Two machine.

Hence the Sony, which should do everything that I need it to and comes region-adjusted courtesy of the guys who modified the DVD players in use on the International Space Station.

Yep, you did read that part right. Let's just hope that they're not stuck up there with a bunch of Steven Seagal flicks and a waggishly-included copy of "Armageddon"....


Monday, July 01, 2002

Jeepers and Jehosephat, people are actually reading this and posting their comments accordingly!

It's like one of those crazy, multiple-directional communication scenarios that I keep reading about in those expensive newspapers that I buy (Y'know, the ones which have the audacity not to print half-nekkid pictures of young women in their opening pages?)! I write this stuff, folks read it, and then post their responses to my blitherings in a multiplicity of opinionated ways - How eccentric and future-stick is that, already?

Power, lovely, lovely power! Well, of sorts, anyway.

Why, it's almost enough to make me forget that I should be going home and watching that lavishly-packaged US-released, Vista Series edition of "Pearl Harbor" , which I bought the other day, despite my better judgement.

It's a Michael Bay thing -- You probably wouldn't understand.

Well, if I have to sit down and explain his appeal for me, to you, it's altogether possible that you probably wouldn't care, either. I know that this epic, very expensive, 'Mills & Boon'-style potboiler meets the opening twenty minutes of ' Saving Private Ryan' hybrid is generally regarded as the very least of his body of work, and had most sane critics yearning for the subtle layering and dramatic irony of his previous flick, "Armageddon", but I had to pick up this edition when I saw it online. It's a DVD made by people who know how to put together a package which makes even those highly-desireable Criterion editions look undernourished.

Being one of Touchstone's characteristically exquisite Vista Series of director-approved DVD releases, "Pearl Harbor" arrives in a new, lengthier cut, spread over two discs, with an 2:35:1 anamorphic transfer to die for, and ear-pummellingly intense Dolby and Dts 5.1 audio mixes. There are three audio commentaries (Bay and a film historian; Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett & Jerry Bruckheimer; And a bunch of production folks, including DP John Schwartzman), and that's just the movie discs - There are yet still more extras running fit to burst over another two discs. All this for a film that most people couldn't bring themselves to sit through in the first place.

I'm going to attempt to wade through the rest of the discs during the week, but I don't particularly want to bet on my chances of doing so. This may be the first time that I've ever bought a DVD package which has too much stuff on it - But, at £21.99, on the very agreeable Future Entertainment website, I wasn't about to say "Ni!" to the chance to complete my collection of Bay flicks once and for all.

Which means that I now own four more Michael Bay movies than anyone really should do. Intriguing, non?


Sunday, June 30, 2002

Wanna read some really snarky reviews about your favourite Sky shows? Feeling a craving to read some pithy uber-geek's witsome take on "Angel", "Buffy" and an 18-page-long take on the "Alias" season finale?

Of course you bloody do.

"Click here for the real guff on Sidney and The Man..."


So, I go to all the trouble of hanging out online at a really awkward time, I go through the step-by-step process of signing up for a comments facility, install the blessed thang and get all kinds of excited about the thing and what happens?

Nobody notices.

Or so I must imagine. Does my devoted audience really care so little for the posts contained herein that they are quite prepared to blank me in such a public fashion and ignore their opportunity to get their opinion on? A pox on you, especially if you actually, like, have lives and stuff and have only just gotten around to checking in with me.

Having a life is no excuse, people! Don't rub it in!

If things get any worse on this 'Blog, it might just turn into one of those personal journals on this fine service which consist entirely of the author posting grim threats of self-immolation and general badness if nobody signs their guestbook. Can you imagine?




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