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Profile for Buzz Pliskin > Reviews


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100 Greatest Western Movies of All Time: Including Five You'Ve Never Heard Of
100 Greatest Western Movies of All Time: Including Five You'Ve Never Heard Of
by Philip Armour
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.37
59 used & new from $3.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Greatest Westerns Mmmm?, June 5, 2012
This book is as lighthearted as the cover implies.

The small, square, thin tome outlines, in very broad strokes, the films the author's deem to be the 100 greatest Westerns.

Being a big Western fan I was hoping for an in depth 'experts' review of the films and the genre as a whole, instead this book delivers little more than the notes you'd get on the back of a DVD, or Imdb synopsis.

Ok if you want a little stocking filler but will leave you disappointed if you want more.

I recommend 'A rough guide to Westerns' as a little book which delivers far more.

Fort Apache (BD) [Blu-ray]
Fort Apache (BD) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ John Wayne
Price: $13.89
33 used & new from $7.49

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ford, Wayne and Fonda at their best on Blu ray., June 5, 2012
A true John Ford classic. Some films are classed classic due to their age and people involved: this film actually deserves the monicker.

I won't dwell on the film as its the Blu ray I'm reviewing here!
First the transfer:
The transfer is excellent, rich blacks and monument valley looks stunning on a big screen TV: the best the film has ever looked. A worthy updated on the DVD which was pretty washed out.
The sound:
Nothing to write home about but it's clear and not full of hiss.
A great documentary on John Ford and filming in Monument Valley which includes Fort Apache.

We could always do with more extras and behind the scenes but, all in all, as good a Blu ray release of a true classic as you could wish for.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2015 4:26 PM PDT

Rio Lobo [Blu-ray]
Rio Lobo [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ John Wayne
Price: $13.92
34 used & new from $13.88

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Average John Wayne / Howard Hawks film, superb transfer, March 10, 2012
This review is from: Rio Lobo [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I won't waste time reviewing the film, as most of you will have seen this countless times, and concentrate on the Blu Ray itself.

The picture:
The transfer is superb, far superior to the recent Horse Soldiers Blu Ray release, the picture is bright, rich and not overly sharpened. The blacks are pretty solid and the picture holds together in the dark passages, there is obvious grain in certain scenes but this should be expected due to the age of the film.

The sound:
5.1 surround on a John Wayne film! They've done a pretty good job on this, adding sound effects and splitting the soundtrack to give it a sense of space, the spurs literally jump out of the speakers and Jerry Goldsmith's score sounds superb! Don't expect this to be like a modern film, it's not true 5.1 but it does the job.

If only they could enhance the woeful acting by Jennifer O'Neil, however pretty she was I've see chairs with more talent, and a pretty poor effort by Jorge Rivero, the film would get 4 stars. Look out for Mike 'Tarzan' Henry as a sheriff!

All in all an excellent Blu Ray release which is encouraging for future John Wayne releases. 3 out of 5 for the film, taken up to 4 out of 5 as looks and sounds so, so good it actually enhances the watching experience.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2012 12:57 PM PDT

Island In The Sky (Special Collector's Edition)
Island In The Sky (Special Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ John Wayne
Price: $6.43
106 used & new from $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a 'must see' John Wayne non western, September 30, 2011
Why, oh why has this been overlooked in the canon of John Wayne movies for so long!? This has to rate IMO as one of the very best non War/Western films John Wayne made in his long career, in fact it's better than a lot of those too. The story, script and cinematography are all of a higher standard than many of Wayne's better known films. Everything seemed to come together on this one. Seminal supporting cast, genuine drama and what I genuinely think is one of John Wayne's best acting performances: this is a real treat.
The transfer is beautiful and I cannot imagine it being improved upon. The black and white is crisp and the blacks are deep, not grey and washed out. The audio track is clear too, and with the decent extras too, this really is a great release. Let's keep our fingers crossed that subsequent Blu Ray releases follow suit as some have been pretty disappointing. 5 stars on every level

The Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray]
The Horse Soldiers [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Wayne
Price: $9.97
45 used & new from $5.37

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wayne and Ford ride again!, June 26, 2011
The Horse Soldiers represents the 11th outing of John Ford and John Wayne. Having created the seminal Westerns Stagecoach, buy the Criterion Blu Ray it's wonderful, and The Searchers some of the other collaborations are a little below par, unsurprising when we have the aforementioned films as benchmarks!
The Horse Soldiers sits comfortably in the upper bracket without ever really reaching the heights of it's predecessors to call it an out and out classic. The story is fast paced and laced with a good dose of underlying humor, most through Constance Towers (slightly miss cast in the role IMO), " Care for some more leg or breast? as she leans over the table with the lowest cut top. Wayne replies "No thank you mam, I've had quite enough". It's a solid Wayne Western.
Onto the Blu ray itself: The colours are vibrant but unfortunately that is where the blu ray transfer seems to stop. The picture quality is no better than the DVD with the exception of 40% of the close-up scenes which suddenly burst into life and looks great. It is a travesty given the importance of these films and how good transfers can be. If you compare this to How the West was Won, another Ford and Wayne collaboration, albeit John Wayne is only in it for a few minutes, you will see the difference. The Cinerama version of How the West was Won is truly breathtaking and a wonderful transfer. The Horse Soldier alas has been give a cheap update; the film deserves better.
Having said all of the above this version is the best currently available so it's better than not having it at all. We can only hope that maybe a special edition, similar to The Comanchero's digibook a must buy!, may be released in the future. If you can look past the average quality mixed with nice hi def scenes its' an enjoyable film and one which deserves more credit out of the Ford/Wayne collaborations.
4 stars for the film, 3 stars for the transfer

Price: $13.99
28 used & new from $6.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the Class Old School, April 30, 2011
This review is from: Whodini (Audio CD)
One word.. wow! I have owned this on vinyl since 83 and was one of the reasons for buying a USB turntable so I could convert all my old school rap. This expanded release is well and truly overdue.

Whodini are one of the landmark outfits that represented the emergence from 70s funk into Hip Hop / Rap along with Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, T La Rock etc. Crisp drum machine beats and insanely catchy arpeggio synth lines, thanks to the help of Thomas Dolby: Aliens ate my Buick is def worth a listen for the George Clinton involvement. The whole of this album is as tight and clean as they come. The musical elements of the tracks are exactly that... music, or should I say funk, there are no samples here! this is original stuff with some superb funk baselines, check out Mr. Magic's Wand, with tinges of Zapp and The Gap Band.

Seminal tracks such as Haunted House of Rock, Nasty Lady, Mr Magic's Wand all appear here, with extended versions of the singles too. Packaged in a card sleeve replica of the original LP, including the dust sheet, this is a nostalgia trip which surely doesn't disappoint. Heavily sampled by the current generation of Hip Hop / Rap artists it's great to hear where it started. For anyone who vaguely remembers 80s Hip Hop this is a must buy, for those who are into Hip Hop/ Rap should give this a listen to hear where it started.

For All Mankind (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
For All Mankind (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Jim Lovell
Offered by amazingmedia
Price: $23.15
25 used & new from $23.15

5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone interested in NASA and Space Exploration, January 13, 2011
Over the years I have watched and owned many of the various DVD, and now all the Blu Ray, releases of documentaries on Space Exploration and this really is a phenomenal docu/film. As has been stated by other Amazon buyers, the NASA's Greatest Missions boxset on Blu Ray is a superb record of NASA's achievements but, apart from some of the shuttle footage, it doesn't really benefit from the Blu Ray format: For All Mankind is a totally different story! The quality is truly breathtaking. Having wanted the Criterion region A version since release I was thrilled to see the same version being released in the UK by Masters of Cinema. The film footage has been scanned from the, unfrozen, original NASA film archives with eye-popping clarity. This coupled with the candid interview dialogue track from 20 of the 24 Apollo Astronauts has created a cinematic tour de force. If you are at all interested in Space Exploration this is by far the most accessible and visually stunning of any Blu Ray or DVD release you can buy on the subject.

The Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Black Cat / The Raven / The Invisible Ray / Black Friday)
The Bela Lugosi Collection (Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Black Cat / The Raven / The Invisible Ray / Black Friday)
DVD ~ Bela Lugosi
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $19.48
22 used & new from $11.88

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The must have collection of Lugosi's work, January 13, 2011
There seems to be some confusion on the reviews of this superb box set. I have recently purchased it from Amazon and can confirm it includes: murders in the rue morgue, the black cat, the raven, The invisible ray and Black Friday so am unsure which box set other reviewers are referring to!

With the exception of Dracula and White Zombie the films contained in this collection, in my opinion, represent the high points of Lugosi's career. Unlike many cheaper Lugosi box sets available on Amazon this is a quality affair. The pictures are crisp and well defined with deep blacks, not light grey, whilst the audio tracks are clear and not drowned out by the 'hiss' or distortion often found on cheaper releases.

If you are a Lugosi fan and have bought, and been disappointed by cheaper box sets, this is the one that stands out from the crowd. A must buy!

Tarzan's Hidden Jungle
Tarzan's Hidden Jungle
DVD ~ Gordon Scott
Price: $14.99
35 used & new from $5.52

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Scott's less than "magnificent" debut, January 13, 2011
This review is from: Tarzan's Hidden Jungle (DVD)
After the legendary Weissmuller series of Tarzan films and the competent outings by Lex Barker, ignoring the mis-fires along the way, it was time for a new Tarzan... In stepped Gordon Scott; all 6'3" of him! In this first outing in the role he adopts the monosyllabic take on Tarzan, made famous by Weissmuller, and does an admiral job. He looked the part and moved well but, at this stage, his acting was almost as wooden as the trees in the jungle! Scott would later go on to make what many consider to be 2 of the finest Tarzan films of all, so there was redemption after this shaky start. The flimsy plot and daft script keep this adventure safely in the second division of Tarzan films, although it is not without merit. The film deserves a solid 3 stars as it is well filmed with thoughtfully edited in stock footage. The warner archives CD-R is taken from a very good print and I cannot imagine the film ever looking better. Worth adding to your Tarzan collection but not one of the series highlights.

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
by Gregory W. Mank
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $50.00
35 used & new from $35.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and well illustrated, December 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A superbly illustrated book containing many rare photographs focusing on the infamous rivalry between two of universals major players of the 1930s, the birth of the Horror genre and the people who made it happen. A bittersweet tale of how bad decisions and serendipity lead to the ascension of Boris Karloff as a top billing moviestar and relegated Bela Lugosi to the 2nd tier of moviedom, (Something of a iniquity in my opinion when you watch Lugosi's performances in The Black Cat and Rue Morgue for instance).

The writing style is light and informal which makes for a very easy and enjoyable read. Chapters cover specific topics meaning you can dip in and out as you please. The focus lies on the films of the two stars so Karloff and Lugosi's lives are dealt with in broader strokes but this does not detract from the validity of the book, this is the book to have on either stars film career. Buy it and enjoy the stories surrounding their major triumphs and failures, the films they made together and the names associated with them from James Whale, Tod Browning to Carl Laemmle Jr and Snr. An essential addition to any Horror fan's library but I would suggest separate books on each star for those searching for biographies of their personal lives.

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