Profile for J. Greif > Reviews


J. Greif's Profile

Customer Reviews: 5
Top Reviewer Ranking: 21,638,709
Helpful Votes: 41

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
J. Greif "reader" RSS Feed (Canada)

Page: 1
They Saved Hitler's Brain
They Saved Hitler's Brain
DVD ~ Walter Stocker
11 used & new from $11.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable even for bad movie buffs., February 26, 2011
This review is from: They Saved Hitler's Brain (DVD)
I don't know what most of these other reviewers were smoking (come to think of it),that's probably the only conceivable explanation for their unfathomably positive reviews! Now, I LOVE bad movies. Some the biggest stinkers ever made, usually on non-existant budgets, are (unintentionally) hilarious and make for great viewing. Not this, however. First of all, this incomprehensible mess drags on for an hour and half during which little of any interest whatsoever happens. Perhaps edited down to, say, ten minutes, this turkey would provide a few moments of hilarity from its sheer ineptitude. But the camp elements that might have made "Brain" at least midly entertaining are almost completely absent, i.e. Hitler's head, when it does finally appear, says virtually nothing. A large part of the running time is of cars driving around or people walking. Pointless. The dialogue and acting lacks the requisite outrageousness that would have put this up there in the "Plan 9" or "Robot Monster" ranks. A complete waste of time, even for lovers of bad film. Rhino should be ashamed for puttin' this out. The one star rating that is the least that Amazon allows for a product is too generous. Rhino's dvd might have been worth a star had they bothered to provide an original edit of "Madmen" sans the god-awful later additions as a supplement to the print included on this disc. Avoid.

Early Ellington: The Original Decca Recordings (The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931)
Early Ellington: The Original Decca Recordings (The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931)
14 used & new from $29.97

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL ELLINGTON - GOOD SOUND!!, April 14, 2005
Don't be scared off by the negative reviews. YES, there is a good deal of surface noise. But it's removal doesn't necessarily mean that it would be an improvement. Although I am not knowledgable about sound engineering, I do know that there is considerable debate about the merits of excess noise reduction and/or digital removal of surface noise. It is not perfect. A good deal of the original sound, particularly of the higher frequencies can be lost. That said, I love discs by PAST PERFECT and other fine labels who go to great lengths to remove surface noise. But there is no consensus as to this being an ideal solution to reproducing old 78s.

That said, this CD of "Early Ellington" sounds fantastic to my ears, surface nosie or not. In fact, there is some variance in the amount of surface noise. Some tracks sound quite clean, and I certainly prefer hearing the original recording without excess sound reduction that takes much of the 'life' out of these old discs.

This is an absolutely essential purchase of some of Ellington's greatest sides (particularly as there is no other comprehensive cd of this material available that I am aware of). It also comes with a very informative and attractive booklet.

Buy it while it is still available!

The Thing (Collector's Edition)
The Thing (Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Kurt Russell
Price: $9.19
98 used & new from $1.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC HORROR FILM, January 15, 2005
Just watched this again for the nth time on SCREAM television. I can't comment on this DVD release, as I have not seen it. As for the film itself, it never fails to enthrall. This is absolutely one of the best horror films ever made, and John Carpenter's finest effort. For atmosphere, suspense, acting, grotesque effects, music, this film is tops. For whatever the reason, after this it was abruptly downhill for John Carpenter. His subsquent films range from barely watchable to absolutely, unbarely awful.

HOWEVER, this film is a masterpiece of its type.

One final note: BEWARE a butchered version of this film that was slapped together for television in the early eighties. It features additional footage whilst removing much of the horrific effects and ruined the movie.

Not to be missed!

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)
The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (The Cocoanuts / Animal Crackers / Monkey Business / Horse Feathers / Duck Soup)
DVD ~ Groucho Marx
Offered by Media Favorites
Price: $14.99
17 used & new from $11.00

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PRINT OF HORSE FEATHERS IS TERRIBLE, January 13, 2005
First let me add to the chorus that these five films are all classics. Other than "A Night At The Opera", the Marx Brothers were never again to reach such heights.

As for the DVD set itself, it is certainly welcome and the graphic artist who designed the package did a fabulous job. It looks splendid!

But as mentioned countless times, the discs themselves contain only the films (sometimes from inferior prints or poorly mastered), trailers but nothing else(except for the paltry but still enjoyable twenty minutes on an extra disc). The booklet is ok but pretty flimsy.

Despite some legitimate complaints, most of these prints are very watchable.

With one major exception.

Below is an email I just fired off to Universal Studios:

"re: Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection

I purchased this item via recently. This handsomely packaged set is certainly not perfect but it is largely fine.

HOWEVER, I am very unhappy with the print used for the film HORSE FEATHERS.

There is a five minute sequence about half way through (i.e. scene with the Marx's in Thelma Todd's apartment) that is chopped up, diced up, scratched, unwatchable and absolutely appalling! I previously had MCA's VHS release of HORSE FEATHERS (which I stupidly gave away upon buying this DVD set) and NONE of this damage was on the print. The splices, missing dialogue, grainy image, and horrendous quality during this five minute sequence is INEXCUSABLE. This is the type of low quality product more usually associated with bargain basement companies that put out cheap public domain prints. NOT the work of a major company like Universal.

I certainly expect that UNIVERSAL will be remastering HORSE FEATHERS from a superior print for the DVD set as a FREE REPLACEMENT COPY for its customers. No doubt there are other complaints to made about this set but the problems I mention about HORSE FEATHERS are really unacceptable and should be rectified.

Otherwise this customer(and no doubt others) will certainly avoid purchasing Universal products in the future.

I should also mention a similar instance in the past few years that I purchased a badly mastered CD from Blue Note Records (Bobby Hutcherson's "Dialogue"). That company immediately sought to rectify the situation and remastered the CD from superior materials and sent out replacement copiees to its thousands of loyal customers.

I should expect nothing less from Universal.

Thank you for your attention to this matter."
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2009 9:48 PM PST

The Wages of Fear (The Criterion Collection)
The Wages of Fear (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Yves Montand
5 used & new from $3.93

6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars William Friedkin's "Sorcerer" is VASTLY SUPERIOR, December 29, 2004
This was no doubt a suspenseful nail-biter in its day. But, come on! This film absolutely PALES next to Friedkin's astonishingly intense remake from the '70s. This film certainly stands on its own, but in light of the Friedkin remake it seems flat and and lifeless. The characters lack the desperation, the animal instinct, the tortured recklessness to do whatever it takes to get out of their South American hell. There is none of the violence, the risk-taking, the bravado of these men in Clouzot's original that would make it plausible that they would risk life and limb and drive a truck full of explosives for a measly $2000 bucks! The explosives themselves don't seem so threatening as we are rarely reminded of the extreme danger of this particular cargo. Friedkin's film never lets us forget for an instant how fragile and combustible this precious cargo is. And neither do the characters, are they are hot tempered and sweat gathers on their brows from the very beginning. Clouzot's film certainly broke ground and is a minor classic in the suspense genre, but it is Friedkin's riveting, overpowering and grim remake that is the CLASSIC. A new DVD version of Friedkin's great work (his best film, IMO) is due to be released in early 2005.

Page: 1