Halloween [spoRv]

_,,,^..^,,,_ presents Halloween [spoRv] – special preserved or Restored version

| Released projects | Projects in progress | Future projects | Mission & Setup |

Mission: to restore John Carpenter’s Halloween, to recover the 1999 THX DVD color grading, and to add the Criterion laserdisc original soundtrack.

Video sources: 35th anniversary BD; 1999 THX DVD as color reference.

Audio sources: uncompressed PCM captured directly from laserdisc, along with commentary and isolated score from the analog tracks; other soundtracks from BD and DVD.

Subtitles sources: to reflect soundtracks.

Continue reading

L’arrivo di Wang (2011) – review

English title: The arrival of Wang

DVB – original italian audio track

Long story short: an interpeter got a new urgent work, where she have to translate from Chinese some strange question posed to a mysterious Mr. Wang

I missed the film at the time, and when I noted it on the TV, I said myself: “You HAVE to watch it! After all, is one of the very few sci-fi movies made in Italy!”

So, I watched it, and I must say it’s not bad at all! At the contrary, it’s quite good; the idea is not usual, acting is very good – and I’m lucky to hear the original voices, that are really convincing, don’t know about the English dubbing; SFX is not top notch but, again, it’s an Italian small sci-fi production, not a multi-million dollar Hollywood one, so it’s more than what you could expect from it, and also from many cheap american sci-fi flicks of the latest decade.

Dialog is central in this film, as almost all the first half of it is around the interrogation of Mr. Wang by a man that is presumably from an Italian secret agency – even if no one has clearly stated it. There is tension, drama, and even a touch of dark irony at the end – that I will not reveal it, to not ruin your vision!

Reccomended to all sci-fi lovers, in particular the ones who can live without a lot of action.

My vote: 7/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1712502

88 minutes (2007) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: nine years ago, a serial killer was imprisoned; now, a new murder happens with the same modus operandi…

Last night I was still awake (as many other nights) so I decided to watch TV, and stumbled upon this movie; it was passed under my radar at the time…

Well, a very good, psychological thriller with a perfect Al Pacino fitting the main character really well, supported by a lot of other good actors; story is good, even if a bit forced, and the end was uxepected (strangely, to me at least, where I almost always spot the guilty in the first half time of the movie…)

Music is good, locations in Seattle are convincing, and the whole lot works very well; reccomended to any thriller fan, in particular to the ones who love machiavellian movies!

My vote: 7.5/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411061

Lucky Luke (2009) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: direct transposition of a famous french comic; a cowboy saves a small city without killing anyone… until now…

A good comic-to-film version – the only things missing are the Daltons and the stupid dog, even if I must admit I’m happy about the fact the latter is not here…

This is a mix of drama and comedy, located in the old Far West; locations are good, ideas are quite fresh, music fits well, SFX are more than adequate; actors did a good job, too.

The only thing I didn’t like are the French writings (often with the English translation near them) on the wall, signs etc… I understand this is a French movie, after all, but, as it’s located in the U.S.A., a better choice would be to use subtitles… apart that, it’s a mildly entertaining movie, with some laughter here and there; I loved the cinematography, that in few instances reminded me Bunraku somehow, and it was always over the top, to subtly remember the viewers they are watching a movie based on a comic.

Greatly reccomended to any comic lover (anime fans may not enjoy it too much) and of course to the kids of all age!

My vote: 7/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235536

Monsters (2010) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: a fotoreporter should bring back home his boss’ daugther, crossing the zone infested by huge alien creatures.

I love aliens, creatures, monsters, so I was forced to watch it again; and, as the first time, I liked it, even more thinking about the fact its budget was around $800,000 – they made a very good use of it, instead burning millions for useless blockbusters…

Wonderful photography, gorgeous landscapes and right locations, perfect music, good acting, believeable CGI effects (apart few instances) made this ultra low budget movie looks like a multimillion Hollywood sci-fi flick; this is an example to follow!

Every sci-fi lovers should watch it, but beware: despite the title, you will see few monsters, and for few minutes during the whole film, but it’s the only fault is has, and it’s forgiveable, given the money they spent for this.

For all non-sci-fi fans: it’s a drama with some extraterrestrial life, so you could check it and be surprised how good it is, even if you don’t like monsters…

My vote:8/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1470827

Cujo (1983) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: a St. Bernard dog went crazy after he contracted the rabies, and entrap a mother and her son inside her car.

I saw this movie almost 30 years ago, and forgot anything about it apart the dog… so, I decided to rewatch it, to discover why I liked it so much at the time; well, simply because it’s a good movie!

OK, to tell the truth, I was 100% sure it was an horror movie, but definitely is not; yes, it’s terrifing, but because it could happen in real life, and to me, this is more terrifing than any hypotetical scenario seen in an horror film.

Acting is average, but there is an outstanding performer: the dog – or, better, the dogs – who impersonated Cujo… apart few shots when you could clearly state that he’s playing, thanks to his tail, the other times he’s so frightening and menacing… music is often boring and flat, special effects are good, in particular the dog’s point of view.

All in all, a good drama movie for everyone who likes to watch a “based on a true story” film – even if this is not the case – but with some blood as a bonus!

P.S. The director is not among the most known, but he directed another small jem: Wedlock; sadly, this is (still?) not available in HD…

My vote: 6.5/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085382

Død Snø 2 (2014) – review

WebDL – norwegian & english audio track + italian subtitles

Long story short: after a platoon of nazi zombies almost killed a man, he drive away, thinking to be safe, but it can’t be more far from the truth…

I saw Død Snø some months ago, and I laughed a lot; it was since maybe Braindead (that accidentaly appears on a printed T-Shirt of one of the characters) that I had so much fun watching an horror-comedy, a not so easy to find genre indeed…

So, I was eagerly awaiting Død Snø 2 – a.k.a. Dead Snow: Red VS Dead – and I chose to not read ANYTHING about it, to be surprised at the moment of the first view, in a good or bad way… luckily, I was really happy to discover that this movie is stronger and funnier than its predecessor!

Usually I don’t spend much time for a brief synopsis – you could always read IMDB of one of the other million reviews in the wild – but I want to do for this movie, to give you an idea of what kind of weird one it is…

Near the end of Død Snø, Martin was forced to chop his own right arm to avoid the spread of the zombie infection; after that, he run away from the nazi zombie platoon to save his life; Død Snø 2 starts where the first movie ends; while Martin is driving away, Herzog, the nazi commander, grab himself on the car door; a truck smash him out, leaving one of Herzog’s arms inside the car; then Martin has a car accident, finds himself in a hospital, and discovers that doctors reattached his arm to the body… the bad thing is that this is not Martin’s arm, but Herzog’s!

From that point, anything happen; zombie arm with its own will, a so-called Zombie Squad – three American teenagers – fly to Norway to help Martin; zombie platoon remember their original mission was to kill every inhabitants of a small village, to stop them our heros should awake a soviet platoon killed by the nazis during WWII, turning them in zombies, too… it seems an intricated story at first, but really it is not; it flows from the start to the end in a so good way; I had so much fun, and found myself laugh loud a lot when some surreal things happen…

At the end, story is really good; acting is convincing and dialogs are strange and amusing; makeup is better than the first film, and they used a real tank, too… so, what do you want more from an horror comedy?

An absolute little masterpiece mix of black comedy and horror; a “must see” for anyone who think Braindead is a masterpiece itself; reccomended of course to any zombie aficionados and horror fan that are capable to elevate their suspension of disbilief to a totally new level… “Zombies? OK, I can get it, but… nazi zombies? Are you kidding?!?”

My vote:8/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2832470

Halloween (2007) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: a 10 year old child massacres half of his family; after more than 15 years in prison, he escapes, committing new massacres...

I like John Carpenter’s movie – in particular, I love The Thing and Escape From New York, but most of you are aware of this; admittedly, the original 1978 Halloween was not a masterpiece; yes, it was scary (for these years), story was interesting and music was simple but extraordinary, could also be considered an horror milestone, but watched nowadays, is not so scary as one hoped for, and not gruesome enough for today’s standards of violence and blood…

At the contrary, this Rob Zombie movie is much better; this is not a mere remake, but more an homage to the original movie; indeed, some music cues are the same, and some scenes are acted almost exactly like the original ones.

But there is more than this; we discover more of Michael’s early life, and some of the reasons he brought him to do the massacre – added to the fact he’s a psycho, of course; in this movie, kills count rise, as violence and gore; in comparison, Carpenter’s Myers is almost an absolute beginner…

Actors are very good and believable – Malcom McDowell, Brad Dourif, Denny Trejo… enough? – story is not a simple verbatim copy of the original, but adds a lot, in particular at the beginning – even if cut many of almost useless scenes of the original, it still retain the most important ones, plus new unexpected plot twists; music is a perfect addition, make up and practical effects are excellent.

I should admit I was pretty sure to watch a simple and awful remake of an important film, and I was pleasently surprised to be completely wrong! Reccomended to any horror fan – in my humble opinion, a modern time small but important milestone in the horror movie history.

My vote: 7/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373883

The Dictator (2012) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: a dictator who loves to oppress his people is forced to go to America to talk at ONU summit.

Yes, yes, not my kind of movies, but sometimes I like to turn off my so busy brain, and try to laugh a bit; with this movie, I have some laughters, but I’m sure it should be pretty better when listened to original language audio track… nevertheless, Sacha Baron Cohen did his job well, as Anna Faris (Scary Movie saga).

Story is simple but nice, acting decent, music good, as photography; gags work, so, what do you want more from a no-brainer like this? Not reccomended to anyone who pretend to be always a serious person…

My vote: 5/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645170

Okhota na Piranyu (2006) – review

DVB – italian audio track

Long story short: an army captain and his female scientist companion are involved in a secret mission, that will turn into a manhunt with them as preys!

When Mission Impossible meets Deliverance in Russia! A not so ordinary story, a lot of action and violence, beautiful landscapes all adds interest to this long (125 minutes) movie; made in Russia with local actors, they do their job quite well; charactes are well designed; the only thing subpar was the CGI, really poor even for a 2006 movie…

The main actor incidentally worked to Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, his companion is a gorgeous actress sadly not well know outside her country, and another actor worked on the two parts movies The Inhabited Island and Black Lightning, two of the few Russian movies I ever watched, and I liked them both quite a lot!

So, if you have two hours to spend, and like secret missions, manhunt & manhunter, and don’t mind to watch a foreign movie, go for it!

My vote:6.5/10

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477349