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Discussion Starter #1
Since many of us are buying so many cheap HD-DVD's I figure we should also have a thread where we talk about the handful of them we actually watch from time, and whether we liked the flick/concert/TV show/etc. or not. It's clear that a lot of us buy way more HD-DVD's than we watch (with few exceptions). So here's a place where we can say 'it stunk,' 'it rocked' or simply 'it was OK' about the actual movie, not the deal. Since most HD-DVD's now cost less than a Blockbuster rental fee we can also be honest with ourselves and say whether the movie was worth the cost and effort. I'll start with a few I've watched recently.


I just saw Midnight Run (1988) over the weekend and WOW, it was pretty mediocre. Neither violent-enough or funny-enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Martin Brest's "Beverly Hills Cop." It doesn't help that Danny Elfman delivers an 80's rock soundtrack so generic and filled with punctuations/guitar riffs to highlight the so-called funny moments that during the first half of "Midnight Run" I felt I was watching a movie sitcom. I hated the forced Grodin-DeNiro banter and ridiculous circumstances in George Gallo's screenplay that sent them on their cross-country road trip. At the halfway mark the movie gets better though: Grodin becomes a little more endearing, DeNiro's then-new comedic persona eases up a bit and the action scenes/banter (particularly with John Ashton's rival bounty hunter) get better and better. Some rather unbelievable leaps-of-movie-logic notwithstanding (why doesn't Yaphet Kotto see Walsh and Mardukas from his helicopter when he's surveying the wrecked cop cars just a few yards behind where the duo crashed their car?) and a too-convenient happy ending aside "Midnight Run" is polished-but-still-brain-dead typical 80's buddy formula template material. The high-def transfer is very soft and mediocre for HD-DVD; it only shows its true colors during the nighttime Vegas outdoor scenes (which rock). For less than four bucks though I can't complain I was stiffed because I got exactly that: $4 worth of entertainment... barely!



I just saw Galapagos (2007) and WOW, it was really good. Much better than Disney's "Earth" movie, this 150 min. travelogue about the natural life in Ecuador's coastlines is good enough to have along "PE." Tilda Swinton's narration is better than Sigourney Weaver's for the US version of "Planet Earth" (though not as good as Sir Attenborough's in the BBC version) but it takes a backseat to the stunning high-def photography that shows you little details on turtle shells, lava sparks and water ripples that seem tailor-made for flat screen displays. Nothing original here (just another National Geographic nature special) but a good-looking time capsule of a spot on Earth with unique-enough animal/weather combinations to make me want to schedule my next vacation down in Ecuador. For $9.99 it was money well spent.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 /forum/post/16540664



I just saw Midnight Run (1988) over the weekend and WOW, it was pretty mediocre. Neither violent-enough or funny-enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Martin Brest's "Beverly Hills Cop." It doesn't help that Danny Elfman delivers an 80's rock soundtrack so generic and filled with punctuations/guitar riffs to highlight the so-called funny moments that during the first half of "Midnight Run" I felt I was watching a movie sitcom. I hated the forced Grodin-DeNiro banter and ridiculous circumstances in George Gallo's screenplay that sent them on their cross-country road trip. At the halfway mark the movie gets better though: Grodin becomes a little more endearing, DeNiro's then-new comedic persona eases up a bit and the action scenes/banter (particularly with John Ashton's rival bounty hunter) get better and better. Some rather unbelievable leaps-of-movie-logic notwithstanding (why doesn't Yaphet Kotto see Walsh and Mardukas from his helicopter when he's surveying the wrecked cop cars just a few yards behind where the duo crashed their car?) and a too-convenient happy ending aside "Midnight Run" is polished-but-still-brain-dead typical 80's buddy formula template material. The high-def transfer is very soft and mediocre for HD-DVD; it only shows its true colors during the nighttime Vegas outdoor scenes (which rock). For less than four bucks though I can't complain I was stiffed because I got exactly that: $4 worth of entertainment... barely!

Ironically I watched this just last night for the first time, and I am going to have to disagree. I absolutly loved this film, and I actually loved all the things that rubbed you the wrong way such as the banter and the score. It was a fun film for a brainless evening that moved at a good pace and kept me entertained. Great cinema? No, but it was a whole lot of fun. Always nice to see Joey Pants and a young Deniro. If I have to complain, I will complain about Moron #1 and Moron #2, as well as the lead FBI agent, they were pretty bad and overdone, but the good made up for the bad. To each his own. HD-DVD Quality is what I would expect from a film I had never heard of, better than DVD, and it looked like 80's cinema. Couldn't ask for more.
 

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Eastern Promises - gritty showcase for one of my favorite actors, Viggo Mortensen great story, outstanding PQ and AQ.


I've been trying to watch as many of my HD-DVD's as I can, but the at the volume I've bought, it'll take a bit.


So far in the last month or so:


That's Entertainment

Robin Hood

Terminator 3

Matrix (defective disk
)

V for Vendetta

Viva las Vegas

Galapagos


Any more and my wife files.


A sample of still unwatched purchases on HD-DVD (not all):


Elizabeth the Golden Age

Zodiac

Hot Fuzz

Black Snake Moan

The Ant Bully

Grand Prix

The two later Matrix movies

Casino

.

.

.

etc.
 

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This is a pretty neat idea. I'll have to watch some movies this weekend so I can post about it.
 

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The Skeleton Key was a "different" movie. It definitely had the shock factor going though if I don't see another lock and key in my life it'll be too soon. lol. The ending, I gotta say, I didn't see it coming. I mean I REALLY didn't see it coming and usually I'm good at that. Pretty good flick and the picture quality and sound was great IMO. The plot twists were good and didn't seem "forced" like alot of movies. They pretty much blended in. Now I'm off to buy some red bricks.
lol
 

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I just watched Smokin Aces and WOW i really liked it. Not sure what kind of expectations people set for themselves when they watch these types of movies, but it was fast paced and filled with A list actors, very pleased.

I also liked the Interpreter, despite the bad reviews it got. Nice hd on both movies!


I also didnt think I would like Black Snake Moan as much as I did due to the content/storyline, but I really liked it as well. Super hd as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jra166 /forum/post/16540869


Ironically I watched this just last night for the first time, and I am going to have to disagree. I absolutly loved this film, and I actually loved all the things that rubbed you the wrong way such as the banter and the score. It was a fun film for a brainless evening that moved at a good pace and kept me entertained. Great cinema? No, but it was a whole lot of fun. Always nice to see Joey Pants and a young Deniro. If I have to complain, I will complain about Moron #1 and Moron #2, as well as the lead FBI agent, they were pretty bad and overdone, but the good made up for the bad. To each his own. HD-DVD Quality is what I would expect from a film I had never heard of, better than DVD, and it looked like 80's cinema. Couldn't ask for more.

+1

I love it. It is actually a critically acclaimed film, particularly for its humour and the Deniro / Grodin banter! But its not for everyone, I'm sure!


I owned it on DVD before but the HD DVD looks way better!
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by tg5spd /forum/post/16544054


I also liked the Interpreter, despite the bad reviews it got. Nice hd...

Also saw "The Interpreter" recently (last month) on HD-DVD for the first time and liked it with some reservations. Equals parts political thriller and character study between the leads (Kidman and Penn bring their 'A' game to their roles even as the script lets them down), Sydney Pollack's last movie as director is a handsome-looking studio production that feels a tad preachy and short on actual thrills (except for that standout bus sequence, which was scary). Watching the anamorphically shot movie in high-def brings the best from its actual UN locations, which only makes Pollack's plea in a bonus featurette to eliminate full-screen butchering of widescreen movies all the more reasonable. Pollack didn't go out with a directorial bang (the movie is kind-of a dud) but at least he went out classy.


Other HD-DVD's I've seen recently (not recent-enough for a full review) that I only bought because they were cheap: The Untouchables (as an A-to-Z story it's pretty shallow and superficial, but the signature pieces/action scenes and good casting sell it; one of the better-looking catalogue titles on either HD format), Flags of Our Fathers (preachy, clunky and everything that "Letters from Iwo Jima" was but this one can't be: memorable, touching, disturbing and even uplifting; Adam Beach steals the movie), Letters from Iwo Jima (a slightly-flawed but finely-crafted masterpiece; both "Flags" and "Letters" look good in HD but the draining of color from both masters doesn't to the high-def transfer any favors), Bonnie and Clyde (never seen it before and experiencing it for the first time in high-def was a revelation; funny, touching and disturbing in equal measure, this landmark movie is an awesome catalogue title to show-off high-def can enhance the enjoyment of an already-loved classic), Pride & Prejudice (not as good as "Atonement" but a classy cliffnotes version of the classic Austen novel; great visuals, nice camera work and great performance by Keira Knightly) and a couple more that I've forgotten.
 

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For my most watched HD DVDs, music concerts lead the way. However most cost over $10 so I'll leave them out. And of course classic movies are much watched but there are so many I can't begin to list them. Instead I'll go with cheap movies I hadn't seen but recently gambled on.


For dirt cheap HD DVDs that performed way above their pay grade, I have to tip my hat to Shooter, Black Snake Moan, The Manchurian Candidate, Transformers and Dreamgirls. I hadn't seen any of these and for about $5 they are excellent additions to my HD library, great PQ and AQ and interesting enough you'll want to watch again or show to friends. You gotta say WOW seeing Shooter's girl in bra and panties with her 12 gauge pump shotgun!


Glad to see totalownership's recommendation of The Skeleton Key. Thanks, I have it but haven't watched it yet. Moving it to the top of the "to watch" list.
 

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Forgot about Traffic, WOW...got to be the worst looking "hd" movie ever, intentional or not. Not really big on the subject matter either. I turned it off after ffwd-ing thru most the movie and sold it the next day.


Thumbs up on Skeleton Key as well^^^! Actually a pretty cool movie, looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just saw Next (2007) over the weekend and WOW, it sucked. Here's a big-budget action sci-fi flick (loosely based on Philip K. Dick's 'The Golden Man') so enamored with its own CGI-enhanced stunt sequences and/or visualization of lead character Cris Johnson's ability to see two minutes into his own future that it steamrolls over a stellar cast of supporting actors (Peter Falk, José Zúñiga, etc.) to rush to an ending that, while quite clever, feels like one of those great ideas on paper that don't translate as envisioned to the screen. If I had been in a movie theater when the ending of "Next" happened I would have been half-tempted to march to the box office and ask for my money back (something I never even think of). Only Julianne Moore (as a Scully-like FBI agent) completely sells the motivation behind her character's actions like if she actually believes Johnson's future-seeing ability will help her save Los Angeles from nuclear terrorists. Everyone else (Nicolas Cage, Jessica Biel, director Lee Tamahori, etc.) seems to be on auto-pilot and/or thinking about the studio paycheck they'll cash as soon as filming of "Next" wraps up. That Cage's character doesn't care about and is forced to track down the terrorists against his will (not because he wants to help save fellow Americans from being nuked) is another strike against a movie with too many cakes baking in its already overheated boilerplate of a crammed narrative.


For the couple of bucks it cost me though I got a handful of decent action scenes (the log avalanche scene was pretty cool) and some high-def sights of the always-pleasing-to-the-eye Ms. Biel. But man, what a waste of everybody's time (and Paramount's money).
 

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watched The Host last night and it was pretty good, but the WOW is for the picture quality. Definitely reference material for me, and it's not too hard to get for around $5.
 

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The Searchers is one of the best discs ever in red. It's amazing how good an older film can look if it gets a great restoration and transfer. Double WOW for this one.
 

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I don't know where you guys are finding these movies but everytime I look on bestbuy.com or even amazon (i think) hd dvd's are like $30! I wish i could buy the Elizabeth movies on hd dvd, i own about 20 but still want certain titles on hd dvd. Any of you saw "kiss kiss bang bang" with robert downey jr? I thought it was a fun movie
 

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John Carpenter's the thing - of the 100+ I've bought over the last few months, might be my favorite on this format. Something about the subtle yet definitely apparent video and audio improvements.


Makes me really wish Alien (very similar atmospheric sci-fi horror flick with a killer score) was available in HD.
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdelatl /forum/post/16575103


I don't know where you guys are finding these movies but everytime I look on bestbuy.com or even amazon (i think) hd dvd's are like $30!

Specific vendors within amazon sell much cheaper than the 'general' price that appears on amazon when you type 'HD-DVD.' Traderbora is such a seller: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&rs=...RTJ&rh=&page=1 . Check out the prices for the "Elizabeth" HD-DVD movies at Traderbora, add shipping and see if it's more within your range. Internet stores like InetVideo (they have an ad running on AVS right now), eBay and a few discount stores around the country is where most of us have been getting out HD-DVD's. Check them out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdelatl /forum/post/16575103


Any of you saw "kiss kiss bang bang" with robert downey jr? I thought it was a fun movie

I love it. I've been meaning to watch it again lately, making it the 4th time I've seen it.
 
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