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Profile for Keith Paynter > Reviews


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Keith Paynter "videoplusdvd" RSS Feed (Regina, Sask. CANADA)

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In Mono [14 LP Box Set]
In Mono [14 LP Box Set]
Price: $364.10
33 used & new from $79.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way Beyond Compare!, September 11, 2014
This review is from: In Mono [14 LP Box Set] (Vinyl)
It's amazing how much consumer opinion can change some 27 years after the Beatles finally debuted on compact disc. The first four Bristish albums debuted in mono, and EMI, The Beatles and George Martin were given a drubbing for committing musical heresy for putting them out that way. Never mind that the sonic quality was terrible to begin with, but, why not stereo - that's how they'd remained available on vinyl for years, with mono having fallen out of favor. However, for hardcore collectors, there had always been a want for lost mono, even from the first UK red box mono LP set, which included a "fold-down" fake mono "Yellow Submarine".

Audiophiles now have the Beatles mono catalogue in ways they could never have dreamed - vastly superior vinyl, played on high end turntables and rich, warm tube-driven amplifiers are a night and day experience from sample-rate compromised compact discs played through big-box dealer solid state amplifiers, let alone compressed digital files (.mp3 and AAC .mp4) for the portable generation. Vinyl Beatles still sounded better back when MFSL was given the rare opportunity to make limited pressings of their UK stereo albums from the original master tapes (except for 'Magical Mystery Tour' which was made from the Capitol second generation masters).

By following the original mastering notes, and going direct to the cutting lathe, bypassing any sort of digital conversion, people who buy the set or its individually available albums get a sound as close the the original master tapes as they are ever going to get. It goes a long way to help explain why a band with recordings from up to over fifty years ago can still find relevance, and sell their complete catalogue and rarely rely on compilations (which now be meant as introductions to influence new generations).

Congratulations to Apple for for hitting this one out of the ballpark, and not screwing it up like they did with the stereo vinyl box set...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2014 10:53 AM PDT

New World In The Morning
New World In The Morning
Price: $4.99
59 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars If you need the original 70's hits, they are here!, March 19, 2014
If you were listening to AM Radio in North America in the early and mid-seventies, and are looking for those versions of Roger Whittaker's best knowm songs (New World In The Morning, Durham Town, The Last Farewell), this is indeed the one to get...Roger hits the low notes in the early chorus of 'The Last Farewell', as was heard on the RCA label LP's, including the 'Greatest Hits'. If you know your label history, RCA was absorbed into BMG, and thanks to a copy of this CD being in one of my local libraries, I can hear the song I know so very well...I have loved it dearly - more dearly than the spoken word can tell...

Rodeo Song
Rodeo Song
Offered by Cosmic-King llc
Price: $21.99
7 used & new from $21.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GL&S's second album, plus a re-recorded "Rodeo Song", March 6, 2014
This review is from: Rodeo Song (Audio CD)
In actuality, this CD was really Gary Lee and Showdown's 2nd album "Wanted!/Loaded, Loose and Rowdy". With the success of the 'Rodeo Song' from their debut album "Welcome To The Rodeo", they were able to take liberties with more "adult" content the second time around. Not since Chinga Chavin's cult classic "Country Porn" has there been a good ol' boys album with a flair for flair for raunch. Even the straight ahead traditional country kicks butt on this album.

'The Rodeo Song", as featured here, is not the original as played (or more often, censored) on Country AM radio. It is a re-recording. You have to look to vinyl to find the original version. The second album did feature the song, but in a "chipmunk" novelty style (featuring The Canadian Beavers).

The U.S. Albums
The U.S. Albums
Offered by KDS Warehouse
Price: $145.00
32 used & new from $96.49

93 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the real US albums (in some cases)!, January 21, 2014
This review is from: The U.S. Albums (Audio CD)
If auditioning these albums on iTunes is anything to go by, I'm glad I have kept my original Capitol mini box sets, as some of them are better representations of the original US albums than what Apple has put together here.

Finally available in their North American form are albums not issued in the two 4-disc volumes: A Hard Day's Night, Yesterday And Today, and Revolver, plus the Hey Jude compilation and documentary snoozer The Beatles Story, But, instead of choosing to use American masters as they did ten years ago, they've used many UK mono or stereo masters in lieu of duophonic/stereo versions from the US.

The original US 'A Hard Day's Night' had no stereo Beatle tracks. United Artists only had mono masters that were used for the film, so their stereo soundtrack album featured duophonic versions along with true stereo orchestral tracks, and this remained the same when Capitol Records eventually acquired United Artists and finally issued the album with their own label. Capitol didn't issue "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better" in stereo until the 'Hey Jude' album, and 'A Hard Day's Night' didn't appear in stereo in the US until the "1962-1966" compliation. The other 5 Beatle tracks appeared in stereo on 'Something New'. At least they had the decency to include the long mono version of 'I'll Cry Instead' on both mono and stereo versions of the soundtrack. (What, not 'the misprint 'I Cry Instead'?)

'The Beatles Second Album' suffers misrepresentation as the US version in stereo here. Gone are the versions of 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Thank You Girl', 'You Can't Do That', and 'I Call Your Name' awash in excessive reverb, as well as the duophic messes of 'I'll Get You' and 'She Loves You'.

The most anticipated of the US Albums, "Yesterday and Today", gets the short shrift by using a "corrected stereo" version. Until the album was available as part of the Capitol Records Club, three songs that were intended for the UK 'Revolver' album were rushed mixed to help fill this US release - 'I'm Only Sleeping', 'And Your Bird Can Sing', and 'Dr. Robert' were in duophonic stereo for original pressings.

I can't confirm this by the samples on iTunes, but if the false starts for "I'm Looking Through You" are missing on the stereo version of Rubber Soul, then you definitely don't have the Capitol version.

'Hey Jude' is really a non-starter, because the only important factors are that this is technically an Abkco release, and all tracks are previously released singles and 'A Hard Day's Night' tracks that appear in stereo in the US for the first time. If the discs are labelled "The Beatles Again", as some versions were, that might make it more collectable.

I had such high hopes for this set, since the UK Mono Box was produced with collectors in mind and even had the original UK stereo 'Rubber Soul' mix. So successful was the limited edition that the set has been successfully counterfeited. Apple has really let US fans down by keeping this set (to quote "A Hard Day's Night") 'very clean'. This will not stem the flow of counterfeits and bootlegs on ebay - Dr. Ebbetts will live on...
Comment Comments (29) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2014 2:38 AM PST

The Beatles Christmas Album
The Beatles Christmas Album
2 used & new from $195.71

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't put money in the pockets of bootleggers, December 14, 2012
As much as I want to give the album 5 stars (I own a legitimate original vinyl copy), this release has been counterfeited many times, and many CD bootlegs exist. There are no official editions other than the original vinyl from Christmas 1970, a compilation of all 7 annual fan club messages from 1963 to 1969, issued simultaneously in England and the US (the latter obtaining this material for the very first time via the album's fan club release). "Bonus" tracks are a clear indicator that this is a counterfeit/bootleg.

Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Takashi Shimura
Price: $26.19
28 used & new from $22.19

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Gojira' good, 'Godzilla' bad..., February 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, the good news...both films are a major improvement over the Sony Classic Media DVD release a few years ago. The original release looks fantastic.

The bad news? While the American version looks better as well, it suffers from a jerkiness that is akin to de-interlacing video to remove the field lines, far more noticeable in tracking shots, and less noticeable in stationary shots...but you can tell it's there. So, no five stars this time, Criterion...sorry.

Happily, I paid almost half of what I would have by buying it on Amazon's U.S. website than I would have through their Canadian site, even at virtually par.

The Phantom of the Opera Supreme Collector's Edition
The Phantom of the Opera Supreme Collector's Edition
DVD ~ Lon Chaney

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proud collaborator on this project, October 21, 2011
Since Mark Roth and ReelClassicDVD released this package nearly a couple of years ago now, it has become the label's best selling disc. Many who have reviewed it point to the side-by-side comparison disc as its best supplement, and while I'm very proud to have produced that extensive comparison for Mark's inclusion, for me, the best thing about this edition is the musical contribution by the late Lee Erwin, who had been performing organ on radio and television as far back as the 1930's. He accompanied silent movies in theatre revivals beginning in the 1970's, for films from Chaplin, Keaton, Pickford, von Stroheim, Chaney, and many others, even accompanying Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' at Radio City Music Hall in 1975 - the first time a silent film ever played there.

Erwin composed scores for many silent films that would circulate in 16mm to private collectors, film libraries and television (back when local stations filled the late night and early morning airwaves with movies for insomniacs like me - a landscape now dominated by endless infomercials looking to part any fool with his money). 'Phantom' may be a film that is mercilessly recirculated on public domain videos and DVD from dupes of dupes of 16mm prints, and lifted (or more accurately, stolen) from one release to another, the ReelClassicDVD edition is unique in that it is the only version permitted to use Lee Erwin's copyrighted, original score. Television audiences often saw this version on late night television, many public libraries often had this version in their 16mm library (others may have had a Blackhawk version with Gaylord Carter's organ score - where the color Bal Masque footage first became available to the public, which itself became the source for further duplication), and it was the first version I saw as a youth in the early 1970's.

ReelClassicDVD's original single-disc 'Phantom' featured (along with its supplements) only the version with Bob Lee's copy of the color footage and Erwin's re-recorded score for this new section, although the color section was manipulated in such a way that it did not represent the color segment as originally issued, with time streched music. Not only was I fortunate enough to convince Mark to issue the film as a 2-disc set, with separate color and original b&w versions in their original forms, but I convinced him to include a 3rd disc, featuring the comparison that I had worked on for several months as a labour of love, after noticing many differences between the two surviving versions - the 1925 show-at-home (which itself is cobbled together from many sources) and the more common version, a silent-only-of-sound reissue, which included some footage re-shot for the film's re-release in sound, but no actual surviving soundtrack, lost for many years but rediscovered, although the sound version itself is definitely a lost film. I also provided my personal print of the 1925 show-at-home to allow him to make this a 4-disc special edition, with a newly recorded score by Ben Model.

16mm prints will never provide the image quality of the pristine 35mm print kept by the George Eastman House, used for The Blackhawk versions and Milestone DVDs, but for me, having the Lee Erwin scores available again after so many years is my primary motivation for enjoying this film. I have 2 16mm prints of my own of Bob Lee's Essex Film Club Griggs-Moviedrome print (John Griggs provides the voice of the 'Lantern Man', and provided the original print source from which the movie was sold to collectors). My contribution to this set may be singled out by others as its best supplement, but, once again, I have to be thankful that Mark Roth made this version, a long-sought after edition of this favorite of afficionados and collectors like me, available to the public again. What it lacks in image quality (due to the source material) it makes up significantly in a memorable music score.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2013 11:47 AM PDT

Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Gustav Frohlich
Offered by Jumpin Joes
Price: $18.28
23 used & new from $5.98

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time to retire my laserdisc..., September 16, 2011
Yes, I'm reviewing a product before it's even released...

I first saw 'Metropolis' on video sourced from a low quality public domain 16mm print, with replaced intertitles and incoherent plot, in a university library in 1982. I was lucky enough to see Moroder's revision in Winnipeg when it was first released theatrically, and I was hooked. Color tinting was used to establish mood or setting (a common practise in the silent era, so this was nothing new or blasphemous), subtitles replaced intertitles, an original score was supplied (essential to a silent presentation) that did not rely on previously composed music that may be familiar and therefore distracting, and while Moroder took some liberties with a few additions, such as: adding a moving skyline to the coliseum, embellishing Metropolis' Tower of Babel, and animating the living robot's eyes as it comes to life (to name a few), he did restore one thread long missing from the film - the triangle that was Joh Frederson, Rotwang, and their rivalry for Hel. It would not be properly realized again until the discovery, restoration and re-release of 'The Complete Metropolis'.

Moroder's 1984 release, as equally loved as it is loathed, may still be divisive some 27 years later, but it had a very important impact, by introducing a near-60-year-old silent movie to a whole new generation who wouldn't have given it a second thought, at a time when it could be bought for cheap as a public domain videocassette with unrelated stock music accompaniment.

Yes, I own both of Kino's restoration releases, but I look foward to adding Moroder's labor of love to my library. It's just depressing to know that my out-of-print laserdisc copy will see its potential resale value drop from $250 to $10 once it's released, but that will be offset by the fact that the upcoming Blu-ray will look and sound so much better than the laserdsic ever could, which says a lot, since, until now, the Image/Vestron laserdisc was the best version to own of Moroder's cut.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2012 7:25 PM PDT

Citizen Kane (Amazon Exclusive 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition + The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD) [Blu-ray]
Citizen Kane (Amazon Exclusive 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition + The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Orson Welles

4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The 'Citizen Kane' of movies!, September 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is for the 70th anniversary 2011 Blu-ray set with 'The Magnificent Ambersons', if anyone besides me is tired of the generically lumped reviews that go back ten years...

Let me get this out in the open - why invest in a box set that only really offers 2 new items (there's no improvement over 'The Battle...' or 'RKO 281', which have been in circulation for years)? Everything that could possibly be said about 'Kane' has been said, and people still either love it or hate it (I am in the former camp). It's highest possible resolution with the most current technology is the only real draw here, but the icing on the cake is the first ever domestic DVD (not Blu-ray? Come on!) of 'The Magnificent Ambersons' in North America. I'm tired of looking through bootlegs or DVD-R's from TCM broadcasts. 'Ambersons' is just as ambitious, and probably more entertaining than 'Kane', but it still has all the hallmarks of Welles' production - carefully planned photography, lighting, a fine adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, and the return of Welles' ensemble Mercury Theater cast. It is interesting to speculate on what might have been if Welles had not had the footage taken in his absence, re-cut and given an ending that is totally incongruous with the rest of the film.

It's a crap shot to wait for 'Ambersons' to be released individually, and even the cheaper box set without it only is worth the expense of upgrading 'Kane'. Ultimately there's only one place to get it, and oddly enough, only the US Amazon site has it - what, Canadians don't deserve it? It's a good thing both currencies are pretty even right now.

Anyway, a toast to the box set on my terms...those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own.

Oh, and another thing..."Rosebud"'s the sled! ;)
Comment Comments (21) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2011 11:20 PM PDT

The Little Rascals Vol 1
The Little Rascals Vol 1
DVD ~ George
Offered by Surplus DVD Source
Price: $4.27
38 used & new from $0.50

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simply the first disc from the chronological box set..., January 26, 2011
This review is from: The Little Rascals Vol 1 (DVD)
If you're waiting for Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, and Buckwheat, this is not the disc to get. It is the first of 7 chronological discs in the 8-disc box set, which is a better bargain and still available. The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2012 11:09 PM PDT

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