A big reminder to all those in Australia. Paul McCartney and Wings Rockshow is screening for one night only this week at selected village, hoyts and independent cinemas . It is on thursday May the 16th and most sessions at at 6.30pm. Check local listings and dont miss it one last time on the big screen. The theatrical version screens with a 13 minute introduction from Paul McCartney himself that wont be on the upcoming dvd release.
I am a huge Paul McCartney Fan I have seen him play nearly 10 times. I have a large collection of McCartney memorabilia albums and rare stuff. I have been collecting his archive releases so with much excitement getting the news Rockshow was coming out in cinemas and Bluray was a welcome one. This 1976 concert film of Wings at the absolute height of the powers, is a real treat. It has been fully restored from its 35mm print and judging by its trailer they have done a magnificent job.
For screening times world wide goto rockshowonscreen.com
On May 28th see’s the release of the Live album from the wings over the world tour.
It will come in many configurations .
and deluxe boxset
The box set is a stunner containing 4 books a dvd with a documentary about the tour and different merchandise reproductions from that tour. At US$140 it isnt cheap also considering the last box set in the series ram was under $100. But being the fan I am I cant resist it.
I recently acquired the Blu Ray of Les Miserables. I am not going to go into the film as such as that has been covered elsewhere but what I can say is the transfer is very pretty. It was shot on film but retains that warmth and grain film presents without being soft. The detail is wonderful you can see pours in the actors skin finite hairs in beards. The transfer has a wonderful three dimensional quality to it. I would definitely describe this as a near reference disk . The disc also comes with some great extra material not seen before. These are basically documentaries covering the history of the piece . Life of Victor Hugo and various behind the scenes short features.
Life of Pi took out best director and best film at this years Academy awards. Its different ,its deep and highly spiritual. Described as one of the best uses of 3D I was let down when I saw it at the cinema. The picture was flat and lifeless . Fast forward to the Blu Ray and the story is a whole different kettle of fish “excuse the pun” set on ocean moving on. Start the disk and immediately you are struck with a gorgeous 3d menu and from there it only gets better. As the viewer you feel like your in the picture. Gimmickry is rarely used and the effect is wonderful. This film was shot digitally with plenty of CG work in the ocean scenes . I actually feel here that the 3d helps to sell the fact the kid is on a real ocean. Note the whole thing was shot in a tank. The effects have life and depth. I dont know what was going on when I saw it at the cinema . Maybe it was not set up properly. The Blu ray presents an absolute reference quality transfer. As it was shot digitally its absolutely pristine and crisp. Detail is plentiful and black levels are fantastic.
The Disk comes with a documentary which runs over an hour going into innate detail about how it was made the process of casting the boy and the process of preparing him for the role.
Incase anyone was wondering I loved this film. I thought it deserved best picture . I saw all the other nominees and just felt there was a bit of daring in the film which made it stand out. As much as I loved Les Mis life of pi really connected with me. Lincoln was a so so film with a great performance that fact was recognised on Oscars night.
Yesterday I had the pleasure at of being at a screening of Samsara, in 4k high definition at the Astor Theatre, in St Kilda Melbourne.
Before I write my feelings about the film I have a technical nit pick . The Astor is a lovely theatre but something was amiss with the projection. The film lacked sharpness and at times was very fuzzy. I feel that it possibly was not focussed properly. Its a shame as it didn’t show of the digital 70mm film print at its best. For that I will await the Blu Ray, which by all accounts is flawless.
Samsara is the followup film to Baraka a non verbal documentary which leaves the viewer to make what they will from the way the images are edited together and shot. I enjoyed Samsara a lot more than Baraka. There seemed to be a lot more variety and conceptually I felt it was more human.
The sequences had more synergy to them. For instance you would see a child getting christened then it would follow through to someones funeral. We see religion , consumerism the work place . The film really highlights that as people we are really grains of sand in a far bigger thing that is life. We are diverse and we are complicated.
The film has the amazing ability to almost put you in a hypnotic state and for your imagination to run wild as the images of death and creation flow by your eyes.
Some may say “why no commentary” the fact is , the film doesn’t need it. Its a piece of art that asks you to contemplate your existence and meaning on this earth.
The cinematography is incredible . All budding camera people should see it just for that element alone. The music is sublime . Watch the food factory workers go about there business to the rhythm of the music . Highly recommended go catch it on the big screen while you can.
I just got back from seeing Django Unchained.
I have to say it was an absolute hoot of a film. The characters are strange and bizarre , the violence is over the top almost cartoonish but the story has an underlying message we all should listen to.
Django shares a lot in common with Tarantino’s last film inglorious bastards.
It is about an extraordinary slave befriended by a white german man who rises up to take revenge again his enslavours the white plantation owners. There is something about how Tarentino uses music old style techniques and the spaghetti western. I love his use of language and comedy. He uses over the top violence to convey the stupidity of it. I had a ball with Django its not for everyone but for fans of Tarantino awesomeness abounds. Look out for hi cameo in the film , its great fun. You will know what I mean when you see it.
So you are going to a new 3D movie. Exciting hey?
What the cinemas never tell is how the 3D effect drops of the more off axis you are from the screen.
I recently went to see the Life Of PI as it was the first day of the film seating was limited.
We sat on the side aisle . So the film starts I could barely see any 3D depth.
Just consider for a second the theatres told you this was the case they would have to sell you the side tickets more cheaply.
I for one love 3D , but I am also a realist the technology is far from perfect. It doesn’t work for anyone with eye tracking problems.
It can hurt and even make you feel sick if your eyes are not rite. Yes you have to sit straight in front of it.
My 3D tv at home works in a very similar way the effect drops off when off axis. But when I am viewing from straight ahead its very strong.
My other tip is this. When deciding where to sit in a theatre for a 3d presentation , make sure that your field of view is covered by the screen.
Visual distractions can also ruin the 3D effects . Put simply sit back and not to far forward as being to far forward can induce motion sickness.
I love this time of year. Not for the reasons you might think.
I am not a christmas person and hey I dont even subscribe to new years.
What I enjoy and look forward to is movies lots of movies.
This time of year is the lead up to the oscars, all the contenders tend to come out in December through March. There tends to be so many films that come I have to list them and plan out my viewings.
The film was everything I had hoped for,grand powerful and sweeping. It enlarged on the world the stage show presented and changed elements that bought it closer to the story presented in the book. The opening sequence of Jean Valjean in the chain gang pulling in a french ship into dock was amazing, and so well done. The way it was directed was truly daring and different. There were no rapid cuts , the camera would sit on the actors faces . At times it would feel like you could see into there souls . Also I must mention that all the signing was recorded live on the set. This tended to give it a realism that has sorely lacked from other movie musicals. I remember seeing Phantom of the Opera which was completely mimed . You could hear the audio cut from the pre record back to the location sound. It didnt work.
The story of an indian family ship wrecked at sea on there way to canada . The ship sinks and the son being the only surviver along with his tiger funnily named Richard Parker. He goes on a fantastical adventure on the seas where many wild and wonderful things occur. The film starts with the boy now a man recounting his story to someone who is writing a book about his adventure. The adventure on the sea and his relationship to the tiger is very well done. You feel for the pain of the boy who has lost his family. This film was shot in 3d but it wasnt the best example of the 3d I have seen. It was incredibly subtle maybe to subtle to make it worth while. The acting was superb and the lesson in this film is about holding onto ones faith when it is surely tested. Also note the twist at the end is a doozy .
I have had my 3d TV now for over a months. I thought I would ad some further reflections on what I like and what I dislike.
Firstly 3D looks just terrible in light rooms. For it to really take effect the room must be pitch black.
My favourite 3D bluray is Peter Gabriel new blood concert in 3D
The 3D element is fantastic. I was at this concert for the shoot. The depth the lighting really gives you the feeling of being in the theatre. The music is sublime the mix fantastic. It is a true demo disk. I really feel live concerts are really suited to 3d . Where the New Blood concert also works , it avoids rapid cutting. I find rapid editing within the 3D realm can induce headaches. But no it doesn’t happen here.
Hugo was shot digitally using the 3D process. The 3D here is used to create space and give you a feeling of being in the small spaces within the train station Hugo inhabits. I feel the 3D here enhances the story rather than distracts from it.
These two examples are great ones. But I have seen some horrible 3D to.
Anything that is converted to 3D avoid at all costs . It doesn’t look any good it tends to look like multiple layers of flat card board cutouts .
Last week, we acquired a new Samsung 3d smart television .
I have been very excited about the smart television platform as in my opinion and others this is the future of home entertainment and media.
Consider a day when you the viewer can watch what you want when you want.
Consider also no matter what your interest there will be content for you when you want it.
How will this work? Production houses ,organisations small companies and big companies will be able to develop smart apps. These apps will like smart phone apps deliver content via your internet connection. Some will be pay per view some will have subscriptions and a lot will be free.
But and here is the but ,the future is already here. Most television manufactures already have smart tv platforms. They work in mostly the same way to an iphone . They have a app store where you download your apps, you install the app and your away.
Already there are apps for streaming movie rentals , 3d streaming short films an english theatre app to view plays from the UK just to name a few.
3D in your TV, I have the spectacle of 3d since I was a child. I understand why it is contraversial .
Most things they say about 3d are rite. The picture is darker , it can give you a headache and the glasses can be annoying. In my opinion this is the worst case scenario . At its best its exciting ,immersive and genuinely fantastic. There are varying factors as to what you will need to get the best from 3d.
Firstly content, bad 3d will give you eye strain. Forget those silly things flying at you. I hate that. 3d is at its very best when used it a subtle way giving depth to space . I have seen it used brilliantly in a film called PINA which was a documentary about dance. The camera would be in between the dancers giving a feeling of space and depth only possible before by being in the actual theatre.
Gaming is also fantastic in 3d Batman Arkham city is fantastic in 3d. Just watch Batman glide through the city as the buildings pass you by.
I am not saying its perfect or for everyone. But as an added extra that comes with your TV its a fantastic feature. In the end if you dont like it dont use it.