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Reviews Written by
T. Casey "Tim Casey" RSS Feed (Boston MA USA)
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The Black Cat
The Black Cat
by Philip J. Riley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
30 used & new from $15.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, though without the script, June 28, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Black Cat (Paperback)
This book does not include the script, which turns off a lot of the collectors who have been following this series. However, I found the whole thing a very good read, with some really cool photos and obscure facts. It's definitely worth the money. And if you've been collecting this series, let's face the facts: if you don't buy it now, you'll regret it and end up paying triple for an out-of-print copy ten years from now.


Haunted Honeymoon (1986) [Blu-ray]
Haunted Honeymoon (1986) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Gene Wilder
Price: $29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars This 1986 Gene Wilder movie is not the 1940 film with Robert Montgomery, June 28, 2016
Do not confuse this 1986 movie with a 1940 film of the same name. Many of the reviewers on this page are reviewing the 1940 movie, which is completely unrelated to this title. Perhaps it's the fault of Amazon; who knows?

I own a DVD of this film, and I look forward to the Blu Ray. It's a hilarious movie, much like "Young Frankenstein", spoofing all the "Old Dark House" thrillers of the thirties and forties. Watching it, one realizes how much input Gene Wilder had on "Young Frankenstein", which is definitely a bit different from all of Mel Brook's other films.

Wilder plays a neurotic radio star, married to Gilda Radner, who co-stars with him. Someone at his rich uncle's house (or is it aunt? At any rate, it's Dom Deluise's strangest and funniest performance) is trying to drive him insane.

Wilder is obviously a classic horror film buff, since he knows so much about both the Universal "Frankenstein" movies as well as Universal's "The Old Dark House", a previously "lost" film, which is quoted multiple times in this script. The cast is hilarious, and includes "Carson" from Downton Abbey, though much younger. The jokes are just as funny as in "Young Frankenstein".

Highly recommended. Note: you should turn down the color on your TV and watch it in black and white. The cinematography looks much better, and the movie feels more authentic.


Aqualung (2CD/2DVD)
Aqualung (2CD/2DVD)
39 used & new from $23.57

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the "Aqualung" you need to own!, June 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Aqualung (2CD/2DVD) (Audio CD)
The surround sound mix on this set is perfect, and the price is right (as compared to the older special edition set). It sounds like the original album, but the instruments are everywhere. Very full, very punchy.

I don't get why these albums are being remixed for stereo - the original mix sounds fine to me, and the remix sounds like a different album. At least on this set you also get a flat hi-rez transfer of the original stereo mix.

There is also a wealth of extras that any Tull freak will absolutely drown in.

Unlike the "Thick As A Brick" surround mix, which sounded too harsh to my ears, this surround mix is how I'll be listening to "Aqualung" for the rest of my days. Wilson did a superb job mixing this one.


Carl's FlexiWhite , DIY Standing Projection Screen, White, Gain 1.1 (16:9 | 9x16-Ft | 214-in) Supports HD/High-Definition & Active 3D Projection, In/Outdoor, Portable Movie Screen
Carl's FlexiWhite , DIY Standing Projection Screen, White, Gain 1.1 (16:9 | 9x16-Ft | 214-in) Supports HD/High-Definition & Active 3D Projection, In/Outdoor, Portable Movie Screen
Offered by Carl's Place LLC
Price: $354.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent screen, excellent price, excellent engineering., June 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This screen is amazing. We used it last weekend to watch the Blu Ray of The Beatles' "Help!" with a 1080P projector, and it was like being in a theater.

It was an ingenious move to have the screen come without the heavy pipes. I picked them up at Home Depot for about $65 - if Carl's Place had included them and shipped them to me, the postage alone would have been $65.

You should cut the pipes with a dedicated pipe-cutter, which can be had for about $20 and is easy and safe to use. Cutting the pipes took about 45 minutes and assembling the screen took another 45 minutes. I can't imagine using a hacksaw - it would take all day and you'd be bushed at the end of it.

We bought about 12 bags of sand and laid them over the front and the rear of the stand. Strong winds (>25 mph) are a problem - this is like a sail on a boat. Make sure you put the screen in a spot where it is perpendicular to the prevailing winds in your area; most of the time, the screen will be slicing the winds instead of facing them. On the day we assembled the screen, we had unusual wind gusts of 30-40 mph, and the screen was facing these winds. The sandbags were straining to keep the pipes down, and the pipes started to come loose. We laid the screen on the ground, and on the next day we tightened the connectors like crazy and then set the screen up perpendicular to the winds. We haven't had a problem since.

This is an excellent screen for an excellent price. I can't imagine buying anything else. Now go have a movie night!!!


The Creature from the Black Lagoon in Blu-ray 3D [Blu-ray] (Region Free)
The Creature from the Black Lagoon in Blu-ray 3D [Blu-ray] (Region Free)
2 used & new from $34.17

3.0 out of 5 stars Zooming in to make the Blu Ray 16:9 ruined the transfer!, May 4, 2016
This is a great sci-fi horror flick, make no mistake. And having it in 3D must make a lot of 3D enthusiasts very excited. My problem with this Blu-ray is that they've made this 4:3 film 16:9 by zooming in, thereby cutting off information from the top and the bottom of the picture. For about 70% of the movie, it seems correct, but the underwater scenes were definitely framed for 4:3 viewing - many times swimmers have their heads cut off or you can't see what they're doing on the bottom of the picture. Also, since all crossfades and fade outs involved second-generation print material, those scene look REALLY soft when enlarged for widescreen. On a large monitor (60" in my case), it's really annoying. The picture keeps going from pristine sharp to DVD-quality fuzzy from one shot to the next. I could accurately predict when a fade was coming by the quality of the picture.

Maybe they needed the 16:9 ratio to make the 3D work correctly (I don't have a 3D TV, so I profess ignorance of the technology), but they lost a lot of quality in doing so. So is this the definitive version of the film? No way. The definitive version has not been released yet.


Chaplin's Essanay Comedies (Blu-ray/DVD Box Set)
Chaplin's Essanay Comedies (Blu-ray/DVD Box Set)
DVD ~ Charlie Chaplin
Price: $51.89
14 used & new from $38.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious films in great condition!, November 24, 2015
For the most part, the picture quality is stunning, though the source material itself varies during the run of each short - some of the sources are lighter or have less contrast than the others. However, the overall gray scale is gorgeous and the detail is superb. Keep in mind that these are 100 year old films; they're scratched and are missing frames here and there. Still, I've never seen these films look this good. I remember seeing high-contrast fuzzy prints of these when I was a kid; I never thought I'd see prints like these.

And let's not forget - these are very funny films. I was laughing out loud many times just watching the first two films.

Well worth every penny.....


The Beatles 1+
The Beatles 1+
Price: $50.27
82 used & new from $29.99

7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big disappointment in surround-sound..., November 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Beatles 1+ (Blu-ray Audio)
If you don't care about surround-sound, then this review won't apply to you.

This disc has the lamest surround mix I have ever heard. The new stereo mix comes out of the front speakers and the rear speakers have the ambience of Abbey Road Studios as the stereo mix is played over big loudspeakers in the room. This is akin to taking the original mono mixes, adding some stereo reverb to them, and calling them new stereo mixes. What on earth was Mr. Martin thinking? The surround mixes on the four available Beatles films found elsewhere on Blu Ray are stunning. These mixes on "1 +" are a drag.

So that would give it a 2 stars in my book.

But on top of that, they used a battered 16mm 4:3 print of "Let It Be" for all the videos from that film. I have a 16:9 bootleg of the film which is in much better shape and has more info on the sides, so a much better print exists. And Apple/The Beatles couldn't get their hands on that print? WTF?

And the menus on this Blu Ray are dead-slow in loading. It's like listening to a Beatles greatest hits album with 30 seconds of silence between each song. Excruciating. Boring. C'mon, Apple - get your act together!

The biggest disappointment, though, is just how this set plays out. I thought it would be more interesting, but a lot of the videos are of poor quality, as they come from NTSC or PAL video tapes from the sixties. I can't blame Apple for this; that's just the way it is.

"Hey Bulldog", the 1st alternative "Hello Goodbye", and the final "Get Back" make this set worth the one star, but that's it.

I have trepidation about how they may someday release the regular albums on Blu Ray. I'd love to hear a robust surround mix, a new stereo mix for those who want it, and the original 96kHz/24bit stereo and mono transfers they did for the CDs back in 2009. I would be bitterly disappointed if the eventual Blu Ray catalog was only lame surround mixes and new stereo mixes. I buy everything Beatle but I wouldn't buy those.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2016 9:56 PM PDT


The Phantom of the Opera (2-Disc) [Blu-ray]
The Phantom of the Opera (2-Disc) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Lon Chaney
Price: $25.29
23 used & new from $17.62

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the British Film Institute Blu Ray, October 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review refers to the 2015 Blu Ray disc of "The Phantom of The Opera".

I absolutely love Kino and all the wonderful things they've done for my film collection over the years, so it pains me to say that this isn't a very compelling Blu Ray disc. The print isn't in very good shape, and when transferred to video, the center of the image seems to have been a bit "lifted" from the gate, so the edges are in sharp focus, but the center is a bit blurred.

This alone would have bothered me, but I also have the BFI Blu Ray of the same film (it's an import from Europe), and the image quality on that disc is absolutely stunning. That disc also features a surround-sound orchestral score from Carl Davis, which is much better than either stereo soundtrack on the Kino blu ray (as much as I enjoy the Alloy Orchestra, this score is just run-of-the-mill). In fact, the BFI disc is so good that when I compared the Kino to the BFI just out of curiosity, I ended up watching the whole BFI movie.

Having the film available on the Kino disc in two speeds (20fps and 24fps) sounds great, but the 20fps version suffers from the "stuttering" motion that others have complained about when referring to the earlier Milestone DVD. The motions of people do look more natural, but the stuttering is just too distracting. The BFI blu ray has a wee bit of the stuttering effect, but it's not objectionable.

Both the BFI and Kino versions have one reel of the 1929 sound release that was discovered recently in the Library of Congress. It's really interesting and is of the same quality on both presentations.

The Kino version has a great 53-minute extra that contains a lot of the 1929 audio track to listen to. When appropriate, it's synced to footage from the 1929 film, but for the most part it's just audio. Still worth listening to, though.

Again, I don't like criticizing Kino*, but this disc ain't the one to get. Buy the BFI import from amazon.co.uk if it's still available; you won't regret it. (NOTE: The BFI print is region-free, but it includes a PAL DVD version of the whole package as well, and also a PAL DVD of the "Lon Chaney: Man Of A Thousand Faces" documentary from TCM and Kevin Brownlow. If your bluray player can't handle PAL DVDs, you won't be able to view these two DVDs.)

* my package also contained "Diary of a Lost Girl" from Kino on Blu ray, and that disc is stunning!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2016 7:53 PM PDT


White Woman
White Woman
DVD ~ Carole Lombard
Price: $19.49
15 used & new from $15.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great companion to "Island of Lost Souls"!, October 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: White Woman (DVD)
What a movie! Way over the top and much better than I had expected. Charles Laughton completely dominates this Paramount film which looks a lot like the more famous "Island Of Lost Souls" from the same period. This was so good I watched it two nights in a row. Laughton is as vicious as they come in this film; he seems even more so after starting to earn some sympathy from the viewer before he lures Carole Lombard to his own private "Heart of Darkness" upriver. Read the other reviews for the plot, but if you like "Island of Lost Souls", you'll like this one as well (and it's a beautiful print).


The Bat Whispers
The Bat Whispers
DVD ~ Chance Ward
8 used & new from $70.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this for the 16:9 version - it's a 4:3 DVD!, October 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bat Whispers (DVD)
This review refers to the Milestone Collection DVD from 1999, which I recently popped into my Blu Ray player to enjoy the widescreen version. ARRRGGG! This is a letterboxed 4:3 DVD; the widescreen version is surrounded by huge black bars and only utilizes about 33% of your widescreen TV. You can zoom in if you'd like, but the resolution will suffer greatly.

In Milestone's defense, this type of thing happened a lot back in the nineties. But if you're planning on spending big bucks for this out-of-print DVD just to watch the rare widescreen version, save your pennies until they re-release it on a proper 16:9 DVD or, better yet, a Blu Ray.


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