Summer and sunday topic, steelbooks.

I’ve been way to lazy lately with posting the Sunday topic, but it’s summertime and the weather is just to good to sit at the computer and thinking about blu-ray’s and CD’s. I have my saved searches on ebay and check them from time to time but nothing more.

So today i thought i should do a Sunday topic since it’s been 5 weeks since last post. Todays topic will be about Steelbooks, the little bit more premium releases of movies.

While the steelbooks is one step bellow collectors/limited editions they are one step above the regular blue plastic case that BD movies usually comes in. It’s a good compromise between price and extra features. A good example i just noticed is “Jaws”, the regular boring version costs about US$15, the “Special Collector’s Limited Edition Gift Set” is US$45 which can be a little steep. But then there is the steelbook of the movie, which only is US$22 not much more then the regular version but it’s in a much nicer case which in my opinion looks much better in the shelf then just the blue plastic covers.

When i started being interested in movies i didn’t see the reason for steelbooks, i just thought it was an unnecessary cost for just a steel instead of plastic case. But my opinion have changed, i now always look up just how much big the difference is between regular and steelbook.

I have seen steelbooks going on ebay for very high prices, more then limited and collectors editions, but they have all been from some very small pressing of example 5000 pieces. I think it’s fun that there are people who just collects steelbooks and that keep the price up, but if you’re the average movie viewer and just want a premium version of your favorite movie, it can be a pain in the…

Make sure to watch many movie and have a great summer!

/A

Sunday topic, remakes and new series parts

Today’s Sunday topic is about the what seems to be the year of movie remakes and new installments i.e. lack of new ideas.

I don’t know why, but when glancing through IMDB of movies that are to go up on cinema or have gone up on cinema this year, there are many names i recognized, many new parts of movies series and some concepts I’ve seen before. This is both good and bad, some, most remakes and old concepts, are the movies that i really want to see.

There seems to be empty in the idea office in Hollywood this year or is it the big company’s money cravings that decide which movies is getting produced? Movies like “Fast & Furious 6”,isn’t time to let that series go, it have lost most of the feel that the movie is based around the car. It was a good series until after Tokyo Drift. And a quick look on wikipedia shows that Fast & Furious 7 is due in 2014. The same goes for “A Good Day to Die Hard”, it’s the fifth movie in the  Die Hard series. I was convinced “Die Hard 4.0” was the last movie, but no, someone thought it was a good idea to make another sequel.

It’s not all bad though. There are remakes that i really want to see, both out of curiosity and where the original is getting old. The best example here is “The Great Gatsby”, which i haven’t seen yet. The latest movie adaptation of the novel is from 1974 (i do not count the TV movie from 2000).

One movie where i can feel some light influences from anime and manga hits Neon Genesis and Gundam is the movie “Pacific Rim”. Which i think can be really good, it’s something new, although the concept is old, it has never been seen in a live action movie before.

The fact remains though, I recognize many, perhaps too many of this year’s blockbuster names from the past. I could talk on forever on this topic, this is the same for games, money rules, a little to much.

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Sunday topic, game music

Today’s Sunday topic, i will share my thoughts on game music/game soundtrack. And this is a long one.

Lets start off by saying I’m an long time gamer who started playing games very early, so gaming have a special place in my heart even tough i rarely do it nowadays.

In the early days of my gaming history i never thought the music could have a big impact on a game, it was something that just was silently in the background and sometimes even annoying. But then I played the first Halo game on Xbox back in 2003-2004 and it was after playing that i started to realize how big impact music really can have on a game. After getting Halo 2 and playing the campaign with my brother i was very impressed by the music used in it.

With Halo and especially Halo 2 and 3, the music was a big part of the game and you could really feel the stress when you knew you had limited time and the music started to getting faster and faster. I do own both Halo 2 and 3 OST CD’s and when listening after all these years of playing the game, i still know where in game I am. For me it really was halo that showed how soundtracks was supposed to be done.

Halo 3 Soundtrack

Games came and went past for some years without much attention. Until a friend thought I should give The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a try. I was blown away by the music, i hadn’t felt the same since Halo 3. The soundtrack of Skyrim is amazing with a total of 52 songs on 3 CD’s, each one composed for specific parts of the game. And one whole CD with one 42 min long “song” with the sound and music for the atmosphere in the game.

Skyrim Soundtrack

So nowadays, the music in a game is very important, good music can take the game to a whole new level and it’s a big part of the overall impression of a game for me.

Will update with images when i find the Halo and Skyrim OST CD’s
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Sunday topic, why i hate translated movie titles, Part 1

Todays Sunday Monday topic is about translated titles of movies, since it’s where you’re most likely to encounter it.

One of the worst, if not THE worst, ok probably the 3rd worst thing i know about movies is the use of translated titles. It may seem a small and insignificance thing. But it can be really annoying for us consumers, it means that we need to take one extra step in finding the right name of the movie we want and it can sometimes even be very confusing. There are movies that are pretty much translated right over from English to another language and they’re easy to find. But there are movies like “The Shawshank Redemption” when translated straight over from my native language have the name “The Key To Freedom”.

I’m the kind of person who love lists, i have lists of everything possible, a list over what movies i own and a list over my most wanted movies. When adding lets say 10 movies to my wanted list and i just know them in my native language it take some time to look up the “real” name on either wikipedia or IMDB. And the same goes the other way around, i want to find out which store have the desired movie cheapest in stock and i just know the English name.

The best, or should i say worst, example of a title translation that somewhere must’ve gone horribly wrong is Makoto Shinkai’s anime movie “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”. The original Japanese title is 星を追う子ども, which literally means “Children Who Chase Stars”. The English title that’s used the most is “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”, BUT, in the UK it’s known as “Journey to Agartha” (sure, it describes a part of the movie, but i think the real name have a deeper meaning then just describe it). They basically changed the whole name of the movie, which to me is strange, why would you deviate from original name that much.

Maybe I’m just very picky, but i can’t be the only one that wants the movies with the right titles in my movie shelf instead of some translated title. I can’t see why all movies just can’t have their real names, let the English movies have the English name, the French movies have their French names and so on. Can’t be that hard.

This is part 1 of 2 on why i don’t like translated titles, there are more then just the title itself.

/A

Sunday topic, return of the vinyl records

Todays Sundays topic is about the return of the vinyl records into the the home of music lovers.

While I’m a bit to young to fully remember and buying vinyl records, i do know my dad used to play some when i was a kid, you had to walk through the living room calmly, so you didn’t make the pick-up jump. After that i rarely saw records, i bought all my music on CD’s and eventually moved on to digital media such as iTunes and similar services. I was one of the people that said that physical media was dead in just a few years and that everything would be digital in the future.

But a couple of years ago when i got my first stereo setup, although without a turntable, i started seeing more and more albums released as digital download, CD and VINYL!? And i still see them coming. I often look up a release on discogs.com, where you can find good info about different releases. And I’ve noticed that vinyl is coming back, The Rolling Stones is a good example here they are starting to release albums and compilations on vinyl again. There were a couple of years with CD as the only format but that is changing.

One more big indication that vinyl is coming back is the lack of second-hand vinyls. Just 5-10 years ago, i often saw in the local newspapers “buy & sell” section that people were selling or giving away plastic crates full of vinyls, just because they took up so much space. In the same sections nowadays it’s “looking for crates of vinyl” or “looking for vinyl collections”. For me as a collector this is both good and bad, it’s fun to see vinyl coming back, it really is, the more support it has, the longer it lives. But at the same time it’s hard to do find the super deals you could find a couple of years ago with a crate full of vinyl for 5-10$ or even free.

Even if it’s only a return into the homes of audiophiles and collectors, it’s still a return and i think it’s great that the future not just holds digital formats.

I’m a big supporter of vinyl records, i think the sound is slightly better then a CD, but of course it depends on the song as well as the quality of the original recording. But there is something strangely satisfying with putting down the tonearm and hear the pops and crackle as the needle make contact with the vinyl and that’s what keeps me playing a vinyl rather then a CD when it’s time for some fine listening.

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Sunday topic, exclusive rights.

Well, since I’ve been lazy as [insert word of choice] last time and missed 2 Sunday topics and almost 3. it’s time to step up the game.

Today’s Sundays topic (if a little late) is, exclusive rights on movies. The reason for this topic is what horrible things i found out when searching for a Blu-Ray release of Akira Kurosawas movie “Ran”.

Everything started after i borrowed a DVD version of Ran and really enjoyed it and thought it would be a really nice movie to have in the collection. So i began searching for a BD version, i stumbled upon “Criterion Collection” and their DVD (the one i borrowed was not a criterion) and after reading all good reviews of it i had high hopes that they would release it on BD. And Criterion have a very good goal with their releases, mess nothing with the movie, no cutting, no editing.

But i soon found out that they lost their rights to StudioCanal and that there in fact were a BD version. Fine and dandy i thought, but when i started reading reviews on the StudioCanal version, it turned out to be a really bad release, way to much EE (Edge Enhancement) and so on.

This is a very good example of why i really hate exclusive rights to movies and basically anything, if the release or what it may be is bad, there’s nothing for the consumers to do, there is only this version. Some of the reviews on the StudioCanal BD version even suggested it was an upscaled DVD with lots of EE and other filters to try and make it look better. Another good example is Disneys exclusive rights to all Studio Ghbili films release after 1996. The cause was good, getting more money to be able to cover the production costs. But it feels like the have sold their soul to the devil.

I should rename this blog to “Ranting for my eyes”, because it feels like i just rant about things.

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Sunday topic and Dir En Grey.

Well since i realized I’m not very good at keeping content coming all the time, i decided to try and post something every Sunday, it could be about a music group, a movie, a special release and so on.

So, this Sunday’s topic is about a music band. It’s the Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. (hopefully later this week, you’ll see why)

Short history, Dir En Grey was formed in 1997, the groups lineup has remained the same till this date. They have released 8 full length albums and 3 EP’s. Their musical style have changed throughout the years. In my opinion from not so hard metal to very hard/experimental metal. -Yes, i looked this up on wikipedia.

Dir En Grey is among very few bands that always been in my play list regardless of what genre I listened exclusively on at different times. I had a period with almost only hardstyle, a period with only techno and so on, but Dir En Grey was always mixed into the play list. It’s a very good example of where you don’t know the lyrics but you can still enjoy the music very much, and maybe that’s what kept me listening?

I’m not really sure when i started listening to them, but i think it was somewhere back 2004-2006ish. It was my, at the time “wapanese”, cousin that introduced me to them and also dragged me along to a Dir En Grey concert back in 2007, which was a really cool experience. I’m not completely sure but i think the first album i got was “Withering To Death” from 2005, but I’m not 100% sure and after that i was hooked. The small problem of living in Europe is that only 6 of their 11 EP/studio albums have been released outside of Japan. Luckily, when a relative were in Japan on a business trip he bought 2 of their albums; “Macabre” and “鬼葬/Kisou”, their both compilations “Decade 1998-2002” and “Decade 2003-2007” along with their “1999.12.18 Osakajo Hall” DVD, as a present since he knew i liked Dir En Grey.

So while my album collection is far from complete, I’m really glad that I’ve been able to get as many album as I have. But since I’m at the moment is very much into Japanese culture, music and movies, I thought I would try to extend the collection by trying to find the missing albums and since I’m 50/50 between a collector and a music listener, i will try and find first presses of the albums as they often are limited editions that often are very nice.

An image of the current collection and what it contains;

Dir En Grey Collection

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