Blast From The Past … Genesis of a Calibrator … Part 3

ANASTASIA                                           Fox

A105

7.5

2.35

5.1/DPL

Mitsubishi Japan

A106

8.0

2.35

5.1

Extras

RSDL

Category: Comedy / Fantasy / Documentary / TV

I think I will add this Laserdisc to the collection at some point.  There will not be a DVD release of the film for a while since FOX does not support DVD.  I’ve seen the tape in stores now, but I have not heard a word about the Laserdisc release.  What happened to that announcement?  In FOX treating the film like Disney?  Ken Cranes has not heard any announcement on this title yet.  Look for a special CAV edition to be announced whenever the CLV version is announced.  I taped this one off of DISH pay per view on the DVHS format to pass the time while I wait for the Laserdisc release.  It is not scheduled to appear until sometime in 1999.  The PPV was the way to go because it offered the absolute best image quality I could get for the film until the disc arrives.  To my surprise though, the film is a cinemascope effort in the flavour of the old Disney efforts like Lady and the Tramp.  I thought I saw some panning and scanning in this film.  We are into February 1999 and still no announcement of this one on Laserdisc or DVD.  The announcement finally came for a March 4 release in its widescreen glory.  No special editions though, just the film itself.  I’ve placed the order for the Laserdisc with C & L out of Vancouver.  The disc will sell for $35.  C & L is Video Library on Marine Drive.  After a bit of a delay, the film made it to my door.  The image is excellent for a Laserdisc release wilt well saturated reds that do not bleed.  No chroma noise.  It’s funny how sharp the disc looks on a tube set and then how different it looks when played through the line doubled projection set.  The disc came by itself and effectively increased the individual unit cost up to $45 or so.  The DVD has finally been announced for November 1999 and for $20 or so, I won’t cry too much about the lack of 16:9 enhancement.  The disc looks nice and there is a game on the disc.  Both widescreen and cropped versions are presented, but the cropped version is actually 1.5 or something like that.

 

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN:

I got this one last week and it is deserving of the 5.0 rating because it is very grainy in spots.  The third side is presented in CAV and the disc is thoroughly chaptered.  The audio is mono.  The film is a definite widescreen effort as witnessed by the montage sequence.  The trailer is rather hokey with the director trying to drum up excitement for the film.  “You will not be allowed to leave your seat during the final 10 minutes.”  I was a bit young to see this one in 1971.  I just remember the sequence where they slit open the doctor’s wrists … yuck.  This one does not hold up too well on repeated viewings as one realizes just how contrived the story gets.  “Contrived …”  So says Jeff Kelley on such films.  The story is like a set of dominos with each one (contrived event) falling into place when needed.  Some dilemmas were just a bit too convenient for me to suspend belief.  There is actually only one particular shot in this one that might make a good bitmap.  This one is coming out on DVD and it may be worth considering again at some point.

 

ANGEL OF DARKNESS #1:

AB      Video Rating: 5.0                 A. D. Vision

Category: Science Fiction / Fantasy /OAV / Adult

Another Anime title for my wish list.  This one is about two lesbian lovers in some type of girl’s college setting fighting demon hordes.  Funny how it’s always some teacher feeding nubile young girls to those hungry beasts.  A familiar concept for this genre of films.  Maybe this series won’t make the mistake of having some oversexed young male pervert like the Twin Dolls series or the La Blue Girl OAV series.  The bad news about this program is that the trailer for the show as presented on the other programs shows all the good parts and really leaves very little new material to be explored.  Somewhere down the line, ADV will decide to issue this program in the DVD format, but hopefully as one complete trilogy of shows on one disc and not three separate purchases.

 

ANGEL OF DARKNESS #2:

AC      Video Rating: 5.0                 A. D. Vision

Category: OAV / Fantasy / TV / Adult

It was purchased, but somehow it turned into the same show as the first one literally too.  The box says number two, but they have mistakenly recorded the first episode on this tape.  Perhaps one day I will be able to do something about it.

 

ANGEL OF DARKNESS #3:

AD      Video Rating: 5.0                 A. D. Vision

Category: OAV / Fantasy / TV / Adult

I purchased this one along with the above two titles in Los Angeles.  Although all the characters are new, the actual setting remains the same as the second outing.  There is a sequence following the end credits which truly ends the story or does it?  By the way, why does this girl keep her glasses on at all times and just how do they remain on her face at all times?  The only way to differentiate her from the other female characters is to add the glasses.

 

ANIMAL HOUSE (1.85:1) + Extras:

A110   Video Rating: 7.5                           MCA

Category: Science Fiction / Fantasy / Documentary / Comedy

This is another one of those alternates that I got on a return shipment from LDCA.  It is defective on side one during the Delta Open House sequence.  Otherwise, the film is sharp with acceptable grain and subdued colors.  The mono track is just that … mono.  The film is mildly funny with some gratuitous flesh thrown in.  Mary Louise Weller has a fabulous form.  I did not see this one in the theatre since it was restricted adult and I was only in grade 7.  I got the title back from LDCA and so far it seems okay in terms of corrosion.  I will have to find the time to watch it through one day.  I went through this one again recently (March 93) and it still seems okay.  I have not noticed any inclusion problems yet.  Must find the time to watch this one again.  There is one extended sequence in this film that will surely provide for some tasty video stills for the computer.  This one has been released on DVD.  Perhaps I will pick it up again one of these days.  MCA has released a collector’s edition of this film on DVD as well.  Look for commentary and deleted scenes.  I wonder if the duplicate television scenes would be included as well?  The special edition is also 16:9 enhanced.

 

ANNA AND THE KING                                      Fox

A115

7.0

2.35 16×9

5.1

Extras

RSDL

Category: Drama / Comedy / Fantasy / Documentary

This one came from Future Shop for $22.99 and change.  The tape has been available for a few months now, but the disc is only now making it into release.  A special edition which is reputed to look great.  The film does not look quite as pristine as some other recent releases out there.  There are quite a few extras on the disc including deleted scenes and numerous featurettes.

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

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