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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old January 16th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #16
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Holy cow, somebody else here knows about Prospero's Books? I'd get that on plain 'ol DVD if I could find it!
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Old January 16th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #17
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The Fifth Element

The Abyss
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Old January 16th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #18
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Ran would look great, no doubt, but I think Kagemusha is a much more compelling film visually. Lots of close-ups and interesting cinematography present, whereas Ran seems, at least to me, painstakingly detached. Don’t get me wrong, it is an absolutely fantastic picture, and probably my favorite Shakespeare adaptation to date.


FYI... have you seen Criterion's new release of Ran? It puts the previous versions to shame!


As for my picks:

Kurosawa: (definitely Kagemusha... maybe Dreams, too).
Sergio Leone's stuff... ie, The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Star Wars, obviously. While you don’t have to like them, II and III would look stunning. Revenge of the Sith already looks like a hi-def broadcast on its current dvd incarnation.
Likewise, all the Pixar animated films would look great.

Last edited by Jeff McElroy; January 16th, 2006 at 12:10 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #19
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Thanks for the tip on the Criterion release of "Ran". I wasn't aware they had one.

I watched "Kagemusha" again this year and I still prefer "Ran" visually. Although the story of "Kagemusha" appeals to me, there are more set pieces in "Ran", more spectacle and more visual poetry. There isn't much in "Kagemusha" that matches the attack on the third castle scene in "Ran", the one that is played out against music without sound with the burning castle, the showers of fire arrows, the bright blood and the smoke obscuring the sun.

Chris, I'm glad someone brought up "Prospero's Books". That movie blew my mind when I saw it in the theatres on its first release. I remember checking two years ago to see if there was any kind of DVD release for that film. Has there since? BTW, I can't stand "Pillow Book". "The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover" would be a good one to demonstrate color on an HD screen.

I'll add more to the list:

"Lawrence of Arabia" / "A Passage to India" / "Bridge Over the River Kwai"
"Last of the Mohicans"
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
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Old January 16th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #20
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The previous two dvd’s were notorious for their bad transfers, so definitely pick this one up if you are a kurosawa fan (awesome cover, by the way):

http://www.criterionco.com/asp/release.asp?id=316

There is also has a documentary, ‘AK’ ,associated with it, which is in itself incredible.



I think you are right… the scope of Ran totally surpasses Kagemusha. However, at its root, Ran seems so much more elemental than the film that preceded it. It is as if the visuals compliment this baser delve into archetypal storytelling. Kurosawa just seems to be so detached from his characters (no close-ups at all, and a very still camera… even for him). Kind of like in Doudesuka, in which you get the feeling that the screen is trying to hurt you, or something. I am only 17, and not a film expert… so this is just my base opinion, and will probably change. : )


Some more for the list:
Big epics like ‘Spartacus’, the aforementioned ‘Laurence of Arabia’, and ‘Ben-Hur’ (1950-something version).

Those super-wide shots with thousands of extras will actualy have discernable detail in HD!


EDIT: Oops! Not 'Doudesuka'... I meant Dersu Uzala, the russian one.

Last edited by Jeff McElroy; January 16th, 2006 at 06:23 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #21
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Sneakers, American Beauty, Jimmy Hollywood, Kieslowski's tri colours, back to the futures...

Don't you judge me...
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Old January 17th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff McElroy
... have you seen Criterion's new release of Ran? It puts the previous versions to shame!
It knocked my socks off when I saw the new version of Ran, I was leaning forward the whole time while I watched it. Very amazing transfer. Ran will probably come out first since it was re-mastered in HD.

Kurosawa's work will come across so much better in HD because of his awesome use of deep focus. I'll probably have to re-buy my whole Kurosawa collection in HD, just based on the deep focus shots.

Nick, Sneakers caught me off guard, but yeah that's one of my favorite movies, definitely a great one to initiate an HD player purchase.

And now thanks to you guys, I have to go and track down a VHS copy of Prospero's Books. Sheesh.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #23
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Barry Lyndon definitely. I'm with Chris on that one.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #24
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"Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas"... loads of good trippy scenes.

And "Apocalypse Now"... what a film

Andy.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham
"Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas"... loads of good trippy scenes.

And "Apocalypse Now"... what a film

Andy.

Yeah, I was gonna say "Fear and Loathing..." Anything by Gilliam for that matter. 'Cept for "The Fisher King". I don't know how much more detail one needs of the scene where Robin Williams trounces around naked in the park before cloud bursting with Jeff Bridges.

"Amadeus" might be worth seeing in HD.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #26
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I'll add another one.
Wong Kar Wai's "In the Mood for Love". Really sumptuous photography by Chris Doyle.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 04:45 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Loh
I'll add another one.
Wong Kar Wai's "In the Mood for Love". Really sumptuous photography by Chris Doyle.
I thought 2046 by Wong Kar Wai, the 'kind of sequel' was visually much better! The colors were much more brilliant! Have you seen it?
If not, be sure to do so!
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Old January 19th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #28
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how about... ALL of it? hahahah. i don't have a lot of DVDs (under 100) compared to friends. the minimum amount of DVDs any of my friends have is 500. one of them has at least 2000 (he's got several walls worth).

in fact, i have already sold off a great chunk of it and i plan on parting with most of it by the end of this year and stick with rentals until BR&HD-DVD comes down in price. i'll probably be left with LOTR, Star Wars, Matrix, Indy and Back to the Future just in case I get the itch to watch any of them right away =).

meanwhile, there are a few of my DVDs that i wanted in HD and couldn't wait. so i have 720p versions of them. Minority Report, 5th Element to name a few. =).
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Old January 19th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #29
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Throw in some George Pal and Ray Harryhausen films! :)
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Old January 19th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
I thought 2046 by Wong Kar Wai, the 'kind of sequel' was visually much better! The colors were much more brilliant! Have you seen it?
If not, be sure to do so!
I think they are comparable. Both Christopher Doyle, of course, but I think the entire look of "In the Mood for Love" was much more coherent. "In the Mood for Love" had its reds and yellows. "2046" was a much cooler-toned film. I prefer the warmer tones of "In the Mood for Love". Story-wise, "In the Mood for Love" was much more refined and less indulgent. "2046" has its flashes of brilliance and is memorable in its own right.
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