December 18th, 2013

marcus 2013

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters...

...is a VERY silly film. Gratuitously violent and bloody, deliberately anachronistic and full of in-jokes for the 21st century cinematic audience. It isn't great art, but it's a lot of fun - if you liked Van Helsing you'll love it. It stars Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton in Avengers Assemble) and Gemma Arterton (Kelly Jones in St. Trinians) and a wonderful cast of grotesques. Where it really seems to score for me is that a lot of the stunts are done using wire-work etc., not CGI, and feel much more realistic than the equivalents in Van Helsing. The plot sort of makes sense, the lead characters' resistance to vast amounts of damage is a bit hard to swallow but otherwise it works pretty well, and there are some awesome steampunk weapons despite it being set much earlier.

Bottom line, it's worth seeing if you can get the DVD cheap, or rent it.
marcus 2013

More Laserdiscs - starring The Beatles!

Saw these on Gumtree, held off for a couple of weeks since the vendor was in Slough and it's a moderate trek, then realised he had some other stuff that interested me and ended up getting the following - mostly music, all PAL except for the ones marked NTSC

PLFEB 34311 - Hard Day's Night, A (1964)
PLFEB 34301 - Help!: The Beatles (1965)
PLFEA 34321 - The Beatles: You Can't Do That!: Making of A Hard Day's Night (1995)
ML100166 - Compleat Beatles, The (1984) - NTSC
17004 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) - NTSC
PLMCC 01031 - Verdi: Aida: Studer: Royal Opera (1994)
072 148-1 - Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine (1989)

Also
90-0509-5 - The Pied Piper plus Cinderella - two shorts by Cosgrove Hall, a company that made stop-motion animation films for children
BBCV 1016L - Paint! - film about painting techniques

Haven't tried playing them yet but they all appear to be in excellent condition, no signs of rot etc. The last two look like they may be analogue sound only, which means I won't be able to play them, but you can't have anything. There's a local charity shop that will welcome them if it comes to that.

The guy also sold me a VCR/DVD player for £15 - I see interesting tapes dirt cheap occasionally, but haven't had a player for the last few years - which more or less made the trip worthwhile. Annoyingly he'd sold the Rolleiflex SL35 (with two lenses) he was offering for a tenner, or I would have probably made a hefty profit on the trip.