Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The X-Files: I Want To Believe


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 06/27/2017


FORMAT: BluRay

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 49 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 23.2 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6995.3 miles

SYNOPSIS: Two ex-FBI agents team up to find a kidnapped agent with the help of a pedophile psychic.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Solving mysteries with a bit of the para-normal thrown in along with some interpersonal tension between the two protagonists.

PROS AND CONS:  Not a bad film, although I have never been a fan of the series.  Conspiracy and mumbo-jumbo have never been my favorite suit.  

What separates this from the torrent of mystery dramas on television today is the higher level of production value.  The cinematography, the score, the direction is all notched up a bit here to give it a slicker ‘Silence of the Lambs’ vibe.  

That said, the whole Skully / Mulder relationship is getting a bit long in the tooth folks. These two are destined to be albatrosses around each other’s necks for all eternity at this point.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Snowpiercer


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 06/23/2017

TITLE: Snowpiercer

FORMAT: BluRay

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 11 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 28.1 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6970.3 miles

SYNOPSIS: A repressed minority struggles to fight their way to the top of the heap.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: A mirror of society and the concept of class struggle and perception of purpose.

PROS AND CONS:  I had heard that this was a sleeper film that bombed at the box office, but was actually very good.  The rumors were correct.  This is a thinking man’s science fiction film that leaves you pondering a lot of things when it is over.  

This film is not for everyone.  It has an odd style with a lot of subplots that go nowhere.  Which in the end is true of life, you don’t get to see how every side-story ends.  When the film ends there is no conclusion, but you are left to ponder a lot of possibilities.

Be warned that this is a violent film.  The violence here is not gratuitous though.  Here the repressed savagely beat their oppressors, but for good reason.  One particular stand out in the cast is Tilda Swinton.  Every time I see this woman on screen, her performance usually outshines her cast mates.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The Matrix Expeirence


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 07/20/2017

TITLE: The Matrix Experience

FORMAT: HD-DVD

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 40 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 8.8 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6947.2 miles

SYNOPSIS: Collection of short animations made in connection with the Matrix Trilogy

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Adult cartoons that are both artistic and extremely graphic.

PROS AND CONS:  A companion disk that came with a box set for the movie series.  Providing different views and backstory to the Matrix films.  

This appears to be one of the early attempts to really engage social media and the internet during the marketing of the film franchise.  These videos appear to be squarely aimed at young boys between the ages of 12 and 21.  

While these are interesting films to watch from the artistic point of view, I found them to be extremely graphic and depressing in their nature.  You are fighting an enemy of your own making, in a battle that you cannot hope to win, because you have already lost.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Monday, June 19, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The Great Gatsby


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


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DATE REVIEWED: 06/19/2017


FORMAT: BluRay

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 26 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 31 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6938.4 miles

SYNOPSIS: An ambitious young man goes to great lengths to woo the girl of his dreams, with tragic consequences.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Being the pawn in a high stakes game of illicit romance is never a good thing.

PROS AND CONS:  A fun film to watch with a few flaws.  The story and acting are overshadowed by the overwhelming special effects.  

I will give Baz Luhrman kudos for making films that are always fun to watch.  He is like the anti-Michael Bay.  This film suffers from being a little bit too over the top regarding the special effects.  

My major drawback here is how the story line and acting are presented.  In some scenes the motivation and behavior of the characters does not seem right and you are left scratching your head as to why they said / did something.  


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Thursday, June 15, 2017

The New Rack

Forget Streaming / Physical Media Is The Way To Go


Half way through a particularly good Laserdisc (see review), my trusty Laserdisc player decided to give up the ghost and would not eject side three of the disk.  The player is a Pioneer DVL 909, that flipped the disk and also played DVDs.  


I figured this would be a good time to upgrade the shelving since the old television stand from Walmart was just not cutting the mustard.  So thanks to some old ¾ inch plywood I had hanging around and a $25 gift card for Home Depot that bought me some Cinder Block, I now have a much more secure, stable and wider shelving unit.  

(Ava off to the right)

Much to my surprise, my back up Laserdisc Player seems to have a better picture than the DVL-909.  I have to flip the discs and no DVD functionality, but so far this has been a win-win.


My focus has always been getting through my library and not to pour a lot of resources into making the ultimate display system.  Functionality is my aim here, and with the surround sound mounted in the ceiling and the bass reflex, it is very functional at this point.

The Current Lineup:

  • Pioneer LD-870 (Laserdisc)
  • Sony SLV-R1000 (VHS)
  • Pioneer GR-555 (Graphic Equalizer)
  • LG  SuperBlu (BluRay / HD-DVD / DVD / CD)
  • Denon Surround Sound Receiver (HDTV / USB) 5 speaker / sub-woofer
  • Apple TV (Gen3)
  • Google Chromecast
  • Samsung HDTV




Cinema Cycle - Otello


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

Verdi: Otello: Vickers/Freni/Glossop/Malagu: Berliner Philharmoniker: Karajan
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DATE REVIEWED: 06/14/2017

TITLE: Otello

FORMAT: Laserdisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 24 Minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 33 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6907.4 miles

SYNOPSIS: A Moorish King is tricked into killing his wife for alleged infidelity.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: High emotional drama backed up by a swelling score and expert staging.

PROS AND CONS:  One of my goals has been to experience more of the classical music in my media collection.  Today the Random Media Generator granted that wish with an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, conducted and directed by Herbert Von Karajan.

I was not familiar with the work but quickly became wrapped up in the story and the music.  This is not an opera from the perspective of an audience, but from the perspective of a cinema director.

The film is engrossing and sweeps you along quickly with rousing music and elaborate staging.  The work is slow and emotional, but that was the style of opera at the turn of the last century.  After watching this, I am eager to see more, especially produced and directed in this context.  


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Maggie


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)
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DATE REVIEWED: 06/06/2017

TITLE: Maggie

FORMAT: Blu-Ray

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 44 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 21.7 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6874.2 miles

SYNOPSIS: A farmer must watch his daughter slowly die in a post apocalyptic world that has been decimated by a pandemic.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Depression, death, despair.  This is a dark, dark work.  

PROS AND CONS:  I am not quite sure what to make of this film.  It is well done, with cinematography and score that really set the mood.  Unfortunately, the mood is very depressing.  

About 20 minutes into the work, it dawned on me that this is just an updated Bergman film, dealing with human perception of and dealing with imminent death.  

Technically the film is very good and Arnold is very good as the lead character, but I can’t imagine what the target audience is, maybe those contemplating euthanasia?  


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.