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Paul J. Mular RSS Feed (San Carlos, CA USA)
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Looney Tunes: The Platinum Collection 3 [Blu-ray]
Looney Tunes: The Platinum Collection 3 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mel Blanc
Price: $40.48

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four new ones here (marked as such) the rest are Hi-def re-issues of classics from the Golden Collections., April 16, 2014
This would have been a 5-star release if it had new material we have not seen yet.

No DVD version was announced; just a Blu-ray digitally remastered in the original 4x3 aspect ratio, and with an English stereo soundtrack.
Previous DVD release set names are in parenthesis.

Disc 1 (Bugs Bunny cartoons unless noted)
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (Oscar Animation Collection & a bonus on The Maltese Falcon)
Corny Concerto, A (spoof of Fantasia) (Gold 2)
Falling Hare (Gold 3)
Little Red Riding Rabbit (Gold 2)
Hair-Raising Hare (Gold 1)
Acrobatty Bunny (Gold 3)
Big Snooze, The w/ Elmer Fudd (Gold 2)
Hare Grows in Manhattan, A (Gold 3)
Easter Yeggs (Gold 3)
Slick Hare w/ Humphry Bogart (Gold 2)
Gorilla My Dreams (Gold 2)
High Diving Hare w/ Yosemite Sam (Gold 1)
Hillbilly Hare (Gold 3)
Bunny Hugged (Gold 2)
Operation: Rabbit w/ Wile E. Coyote, Genius (Gold 4)
Bully for Bugs (Gold 1)
Bugs and Thugs w/ Mugsy (Gold 1)
Knighty Knight Bugs w/Yosemite Sam (Gold 4)
Honey's Money (Yosemite Sam alone) ***New to Home Video***
Hep Cat, The (non Bugs) - the first color Looney Tune! (Gold 2)
Pigs in a Polka (The Three Little Pigs) (Gold 3)
Ham in a Role (Hubie & Bertie) (Gold 6)
Dog Gone South (non Bugs) (Gold 6)
Bear for Punishment, A (The Three Bears) (Gold 2)
Steal Wool (Sam & Ralph) (Gold 3)

Disc 2
Porky Pig's Feat (B&W Porky & Daffy with Bugs Bunny cameo) (Golden 3)
Scrap Happy Daffy (B&W Daffy Duck) (Golden 5)
Plane Daffy (Daffy Duck & Hitler) (Gold 4)
Stupid Cupid, The (Daffy Duck) (Gold 4)
Draftee Daffy (Daffy Duck) (Gold 3)
Nasty Quacks (Daffy Duck) (Daffy Duck Frustrated Fowl)
Stupor Salesman, The (Daffy Duck) (Gold 5)
Wholly Smoke (B&W Porky Pig) (Gold 5)
Swooner Crooner (Porky Pig) (Oscar Animation Collection)
Life with Feathers (Sylvester) ***First time on DVD***
Canary Row (Syl & Tweety) (Golden 1)
Tree for Two (Syl & Tweety) ***First time on DVD***
Sandy Claws (Syl & Tweety) (Oscar Animation Collection)
Dog Pounded (Syl & Tweety) (Pepe Le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best)
Satan's Waitin' (Syl & Tweety) (Golden 6)
Birds Anonymous (Syl & Tweety) (Golden 3)
Mouse and Garden (Sylvester) (Golden 4)
Pied Piper of Guadalupe, The (Sylvester) (Golden 4)
Gruesome Twosome, A (Tweety) (Golden 3)
Guided Muscle (Road Runner) (Golden 2)
Beep Prepared (Road Runner) ***First tome on DVD***
Walky Talky Hawky (Foghorn Leghorn) (Gold 3)
Rhapsody in Rivets (Oscar Animation Collection)
High Note (Oscar Animation Collection)
Nelly's Folly (Oscar Animation Collection)

26 audio commentaries
12 documentaries, including:
70-minute Mel Blanc Tribute: The Man Of A Thousand Voices
60-minute Drawn For Glory: Animation's Triumph At The Oscars
The Boys From Termite Terrace (1975)
An all-new doc, That's All Folks! Tales From Termite Terrace

Note: since the transfers made for the Golden Collections were already in Hi-definition, the improvement will only be seen on large screen HD-TVs and video projectors for those titles.
The NEW TO DVD titles show the most improvement over previous releases.
All have vibrant colors and crisp sound. Blu-ray audio is better than the compressed DVD audio so these do sound better.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2014 9:59 AM PDT


Hunchback of Notre Dame [Blu-ray]
Hunchback of Notre Dame [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Lon Chaney
Offered by ClassicFlix
Price: $32.66
19 used & new from $24.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New HD scan of classic film provides a sharper image., March 17, 2014
Blackhawk Films has moved distribution over to Flicker Alley and this new HD transfer shows much improvement over the pervious, still good, Image DVD.

To understand this presentation, I will give a brief history lesson. In the 1920's 35mm was on Nitrate film but 16mm was on safety film.
Universal Pictures fortunately saw a value in the secondary markets and created a 16mm home movie division called "Universal Show At Home". These 16mm safety films were created directly from the 35mm Nitrate Negatives. The original tints from the 35mm theatrical run were also used in these early 16mm home movie prints. The print for this Blu-ray was manufactured in 1926.
Sadly when Sound Films over-threw Silent Films Universal, as well as many other studios, saw no value in their library of silent Nitrate films and had them destroyed. Many films that had not made it to the home movie market were lost.

The only surviving materials for this title are the 16mm tinted prints.

THE VIDEO QUALITY: While 16mm is not as sharp as 35mm, with the proper scanning it can give a very good Blu-ray image. And here it does. This is the best quality 16mm HD scan I have seen. Many times I felt I was watching a 35mm print. Since these early 16mm prints were made directly from the 35mm Nitrate Negative they are much sharper than the conventional 16mm prints that were made for Television (TV prints were made from 16mm safety negatives). It is apparent that by 1926 the original 35mm Nitrate negatives had suffered some wear in their brief 3 years of existence. Small white negative scratches & blemishes can be seen in many scenes. These were already in the negative in 1926, Flicker Alley's Press Release claims that "Visible Wear in the source material is diminished with a moderate amount of digital restoration." The film does not look like it was attacked by DNR, so their moderate amount keeps the details in the image.
The Image is quite stable with few jumps & sways. I imagine some image stabilization was used.
The sharpness varies. Outdoor shots look quite sharp like a 35mm print would be. But indoor shots tend to be a little softer. That is the nature of the original 16mm film print. I doubt we will see anything better until a lost 35mm print is uncovered.

THE AUDIO QUALITY: This is a modern soundtrack, not a vintage Victor recording (there was non for this film) so it sounds crisp & clear. The score was arranged by Donald Hunsberger, conducted by Robert Israel, and the orchestra was recorded in the Czech Republic. It seems a but too happy and not representative of what most audiences would have heard in 1923.

THE BONUS MATERIAL: Most of the bonus material from Blackhawk's old DVD distributed by Image Entertainment has been carried over here. All are in standard definition except the photo gallery which has been re-scanned in "Dynamic HD". The 20 page souvenir program is a digital reproduction on the disc.

Missing from the previous DVD are the 3-D original stills! I will have to keep my old DVD just for these.

THE MOVIE: This Lon Chaney version is still THE best movie version of this story. And it is the film that put Universal up with the other major studios. This was officially a "Universal Super-Jewel" picture, which meant that Universal spent a lot on the production for a quality movie. Sure the acting in silent films tends to be over-done, expressions fill in for the missing sound, but Lon Chaney IS the best hunchback.

Until a 35mm nitrate print turns up, or technology develops to remove white negative wear without compromising the details in the picture, this is the best there is!


Fleischer Classics Featuring Gulliver's Travels Plus Eight Fantastic Cartoons From the Golden Age of Animation Blu-ray / DVD Combo [Blu-ray]
Fleischer Classics Featuring Gulliver's Travels Plus Eight Fantastic Cartoons From the Golden Age of Animation Blu-ray / DVD Combo [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Jack Mercer

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality transfer from 35mm I.B. Technicolor print. Great collection of bonus materials., March 17, 2014
Thunderbeam has searched the world for quality 35mm I.B. Technicolor film prints for this transfer. Their hard work was worth it.
In a few brief shots a 16mm Agfa-Color print was used to replace missing footage. The transfer of the 16mm image is so great that I dare you to find the scenes (they last less than a minute each).
The image transfer is sharp and stable with great colors.
The audio is crisp & clear.
While image stabilization was used, no DNR was used and you will still see the very occasional brief scratch.

I used to think the old Winstar DVD restoration was the best, but viewing it again today I fand that DVD soft with analogue tape noise in the blacks. This new Blu-ray surpasses that old DVD form a decade ago.

Thunderbeam has also searched various collections and libraries for rare promotional material, radio shows, phonograph records, and toys from 1940. We get treated to a bonus section like no other on this title! Only complaint: The audio files are not time-coded so you have to listen to the entire audio file in one sitting, no pause of fast forwarding.

A good selection of cartoon shorts from the various Max Fleischer cartoons are included, starting with a silent Koko The Clown cartoon mastered from a vintage Kodascope film print. The only disappointment in these cartoons is the Betty Boop print of "IS MY PALM RED". There are better copies of that cartoon on other Betty Boop DVDs, this copy is soft and a little washed out.

While this GULLIVER'S TRAVELS Blu-ray doesn't equal the quality of a modern film on Blu-ray, it is the nicest it has ever been. One complaint I might make about the transfer is that I remember seeing deeper blacks in the night scenes when I saw a I.B. Technicolor print at the theaters. Here the night scenes are a deep blue.

There is a strange GREEN SPOT on the center of the very far left side at the 30 minute mark that lasts for about 3 1/2 minutes. This appears to be a printing flaw in the 35mm master film.
At the 40 minute mark some "pops" and "clicks" can be heard briefly in the soundtrack.

Disclaimer: While I have no financial interest in this release, I was involved in the restoration work.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2014 10:38 AM PDT


Nancy Drew Diaries #1
Nancy Drew Diaries #1
by Stefan Petrucha
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.80
41 used & new from $5.76

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just a 2-in-1 re-issue of the Nancy Drew Girl Detective Graphic Novels #1 & #2, March 5, 2014
This review is from: Nancy Drew Diaries #1 (Paperback)
Don't be fooled! The Editorial Description makes this sound like the start of a new Graphic Novel series. IT IS NOT!

This is just an omnibus 2-in-1 re-issue of the first two Nancy Drew Girl Detective Graphic Novels:
#1 "The Demon of River Heights"Nancy Drew #1: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew Graphic Novels: Girl Detective)
#2 "Writ In Stone"Writ in Stone (Nancy Drew Graphic Novels: Girl Detective #2)

I give this two stars instead of one because you get two graphic novels for the price of one (but in a much smaller pocketbook format).


Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 7 & 8 [Blu-ray]
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 7 & 8 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Agatha Christie's Poirot
Offered by rightpricedvd
Price: $26.02
36 used & new from $19.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-master of the old A&E DVDs is a major improvement! WIDESCREEN image is restored!, March 4, 2014
Series 7 & 8 were filmed in WIDESCREEN and the previous A&E DVDs cropped the sides off to give a square picture.
A&E also censored the audio for language they felt offensive and re-edited the shows to put in commercial breaks.

But now we can rejoice! Acorn has gone back to the original British masters, restored the widescreen image as it was produced, and the audio is uncensored.

These new transfers also refine the picture, sure there is some film grain but it is a lot sharper than the previous A&E DVDs and the colors are brighter.

Ignore any false statements suggesting that series 7 & 8 were filmed in the 4x3 square picture that the old A&E DVDs presented them. A quick comparison of the two releases shows that these brilliant new Acorn Blu-rays lose nothing at the top or bottom, but they do gain much picture on the sides.

Anyone who thinks these Blu-rays are a disappointment doesn't understand the production budgets of British Television and should take a look at the old A&E DVDs.
These new Blu-rays make the old A&E DVDs look like old VHS tapes!


Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9 [Blu-ray]
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 9 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Agatha Christie's Poirot
Offered by rightpricedvd
Price: $19.49
37 used & new from $15.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-master of the old A&E DVDs is a major improvement. WIDESCREEN image is restored!, March 4, 2014
Series 9 was filmed in WIDESCREEN and the previous A&E DVDs cropped the sides off to give a square picture.
A&E also censored the audio for language they felt offensive and re-edited the shows to put in commercial breaks.

But now we can rejoice! Acorn has gone back to the original British masters, restored the widescreen image as it was produced, and the audio is uncensored.

These new transfers also refine the picture, sure there is some film grain but it is a lot sharper than the previous A&E DVDs and the colors are brighter.


Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 10 [Blu-ray]
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 10 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Agatha Christie's Poirot
Price: $24.99
23 used & new from $20.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-master of previous A&E DVDs is a major improvement! WIDESCREEN restored., March 4, 2014
Series 10 was filmed in WIDESCREEN and the previous A&E DVDs cropped the sides off to give a square picture.
A&E also censored the audio for language they felt offensive and re-edited the shows to put in commercial breaks.

But now we can rejoice! Acorn has gone back to the original British masters, restored the widescreen image as it was produced, and the audio is uncensored.

These new transfers also refine the picture, sure there is some film grain but it is a lot sharper than the previous A&E DVDs and the colors are brighter.


Agatha Christie's Poirot - Season 12 ( Agatha Christie: Poirot ) ( The Clocks / Three Act Tragedy / Hallowe'en Party / Murder on the Orient Express ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, Blu-Ray, Reg.B Import - Spain ]
Agatha Christie's Poirot - Season 12 ( Agatha Christie: Poirot ) ( The Clocks / Three Act Tragedy / Hallowe'en Party / Murder on the Orient Express ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, Blu-Ray, Reg.B Import - Spain ]
DVD ~ David Suchet
3 used & new from $29.98

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Acorn re-issues the old Blu-rays: "Poirot Movie Collection set 6" along with "Murder on the Orient Express", March 4, 2014
Of all of the Poirot re-releases, this is the least important. It is merely a re-issue of the previous Blu-ray releases of "The Poirot Movie Collection set 6" along with "Murder on the Orient Express".
Since all of these had already been released in HD on Blu-ray there is NO upgrade here. This replacement set is only to keep the series uniform. You have NO reason to replace your old set!

The previous Blu-ray releases included in this new set:

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (also available on The Poirot Movie Collection volume 5) Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express [Blu-ray]
DAVID SUCHET ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS - documentary of David riding the real train (also available on The Poirot Movie Collection volume 5.)
POIROT MOVIE COLLECTION volume 6 Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 6 [Blu-ray]
1) THE THREE ACT TRAGEDY
2) THE CLOCKS
3) HALLOWE'EN PARTY

The next "Must Get" Poirot set will be the final "Series 13" which will include the final episodes produced in 2013. Agatha Christie's Poirot, Series 13 [Blu-ray]
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2014 10:25 PM PDT


Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 11
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 11
DVD ~ Tim Curry, Elizabeth McGovern, John Hannah, Harriet Walter, Si‚n Phillips, Peter Bowles, James Wilby, ZoŽ Wanamaker David Suchet
Price: $24.96
11 used & new from $15.62

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re-issue of Poirot Movie Collections 4 & 5, but no image upgrade., March 3, 2014
This is a supposed HD re-issue of Poirot Movie Collections 4 & 5 (minus Murder On The Orient Express which has already been issued on Blu-ray).
Unlike Poirot Series 1 through 10 (which were produced on film), Series 11 was produced on PAL (Phase Alternate Line) Standard Definition Video with a resolution of 576i. So that means this HD re-issue must be an up-conversion and not a new transfer of original film elements.

There is little, if any, improvement over the previous DVD releases. The absolute ONLY improvement I can see is better color balance for the blacks. Some shadows appear dark blue on the previous DVD, here they are black. The rest of the colors appear the same, NO improvement. The Blu-ray is surprisingly SOFT in focus, identical to the previous DVD.
Think twice before re-buying these mysteries. If you have not bought them yet, then price wise this is the version you should buy. However, Acorn has not yet announced any re-issue of the old set 4 DVD's bonus documentary.

"Series 11" of Poirot is the only series produced in Standard Definition PAL Video. Series 1 through 10 were produced on super 16mm FILM and can be scanned to HD Video at a High Resolution. Series 12 & 13 were produced on High Definition Video.

The only other difference to note is that the old DVDs started with the PBS Masterpiece Mystery logo, this re-release starts with an ITV Studios logo.

Blu-ray fans will be disappointed at the DVD quality of the image. One wonders if the directors were intending the hazy effect, but all four mysteries look this way.

***** = for the mysteries themselves.
** = for this re-issue.

From set 4:
MRS. McGINTY'S DEAD
CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS

From set 5:
THE THIRD GIRL
APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH.

Missing from set 4:
SUPER SLEUTHS: A documentary about the entire series with David Suchet, with interviews from the cast. (Hopefully it will get re-issued in "Series 13", it is different from the documentary in "series 10".)

Missing from set 5:
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (already on Blu-ray and due to be re-issued in "series 12")
DAVID SUCHET ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS documentary (already on Blu-ray and due to be re-issued in "series 12")

The next "Series 12" will be the first Poirot's produced on Hi-Definition Video.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2014 1:42 PM PDT


Carol Burnett Show: Carols Crack-Up
Carol Burnett Show: Carols Crack-Up
DVD ~ Carol Burnett
Offered by vsource
Price: $42.59
31 used & new from $32.48

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (Get the 8-disc set for more new-to DVD shows!) 6 disc has 10 NEW-TO-DVD EPiSODES, 7 re-issues of Columbia House releases., February 12, 2014
***4/15/14 update: Costco has released an exclusive 8-disc set with 3 more new shows and bonus material! See the comments for details.

This review is for the 6-disc version:
10 OF THESE HAVE EVER BEEN RELEASED TO DVD! Neither by Columbia House, Guthie Renker, or previous Time-Life sets!
This is great news for us fans!
I wish Time-Life didn't re-use the collection title for their 12 disc set as it has nothing to do with that set!

DISC 1:
Show #605 (Original Air Date: September 27, 1972): Andy Griffith, Helen Reddy
Show #1107 (Original Air Date: October 22, 1977): Family Show
Show #615 (Original Air Date: January 6, 1973): Tim Conway, Jack Cassidy

DISC 2:
Show #603 (Original Air Date: November 29, 1972): Carl Reiner, Melba Moore
Show #705 (Original Air Date: September 29, 1973): Gloria Swanson (Previosuly on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #11 & a Canadian Wal*Mart exclusive DVD)
Show #701 (Original Air Date: September 22, 1973): Tim Conway, Charo

DISC 3:
Show #712 (Original Air Date: December 15, 1973): Ruth Buzzi, Richard Crenna (Previosuly on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #29 & a Canadian Wal*Mart exclusive DVD)
Show #711 (Original Air Date: December 1, 1973): Family Show
Show #815 (Original Air Date: January 11, 1975): Tim Conway

DISC 4:
Show #617 (Original Air Date: January 27, 1973): Tim Conway, Kaye Ballard
Show #1115 (Original Air Date: January 8, 1978): Roddy McDowall, Ken Berry (previously on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #13)
Show #1014 (Original Air Date: December 18, 1976): Dick Van Dyke (previously on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #13)

DISC 5:
Show #1103 (Original Air Date: October 1, 1977): Steve Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke (Previously on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #28)
Show #1105 (Original Air Date: October 8, 1977): Family Show
Show #619 (Original Air Date: February 10, 1973): John Byner, Petula Clark

DISC 6:
Show #723 (Original Air Date: March 23, 1974): John Byner, Francine Beers (Previously on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #31)
Show #1011 (Original Air Date: December 4, 1976): Alan King (previously on COLUMBIA HOUSE disc #26)

Bonus Programming (spread among the above six discs):
Five specially-produced featurettes:
"Almost Live"
"Breaking Up Is Hard...Not To Do"
"We Love You, Harvey"
"Tim Conway: Chief Cracker-Upper"
"Tim on the Street"
Bonus Sketches:
"As the Stomach Turns"
"Two-Man Sub"
"The Interrogator"
"The Oldest Man: Fireman"
And others!
Exclusive interview: Tim Conway
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2014 9:58 AM PDT


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