The Mission (1986) Blu Ray review

The Mission (1986) Blu Ray review

This movie starts off with a poignant scene where a Jesuit priest plunges to his death, and you can hear the rousing soundtrack from Ennio Morricone in the background. With such a start, it is hard to go wrong and the movie does not disappoint. it is a movie in which you will need to return for repeat viewing and as the first viewing can be quite painful given the ending. However when you appreciate the other scenes, and the awesome soundtrack, it grows more on you and moves you to no end.

The music here is distinctive and you will have no trouble recognising the oboe notes. Jeremy Irons gives the performance of his life and Robert De Niro does better here, than even Godfather. The supporting actors including some notable names like Liam Neeson and they all add to a performance which I feel deserved an Academy award.

Plot 4.8/5

There isn't too much action, and yet the few scenes are quite gripping. The vintage of the film shows itself here, whilst the soundtrack is pretty awesome, there is precious little sound effects and it is almost entirely limited to the front soundscape. 

As for the picture, it is pretty decent for a movie which has been around for more than 25 years. Its no demo disc, but the details are better than some others.

PQ: 3/5
AQ: 2.5/5

Should you buy it, well I would and I did once the disc was released. I remember almost standing up to clap and weep when the first notes of the oboe floated around the cinema.

Recommended for the plot and music.

Silence of the lambs - BR review

Silence of the lambs US release
This show is all about the plot great acting and a superb mood. It defined the whole Cannibal genre, and these days, people will still shudder when they see Anthony - its his whole facial expression, and in particular, his eyes and the benign look which strikes fear in your heart.

PQ is above average for a show which is almost 20 years old but there was no special remastering.
AQ is mainly frontal and does not envelop you like modern thrillers.
The action comes in spurts, but it relies less on shock tactics, and instead the whole mood is dark and yet it draws you in, in a way that cheap slasher movies cannot.
Chick factor: well Jody Foster looks good still but in 1991, she was hot. Plus the fact that she was a wonderful actress, you have the makings of a real diva. At the time, she campaigned actively for this role, even after winning for "The Accused".
Seeing an engaging and lovely Jody Foster sparring with the awesome Anthony Hopkins who really looks menacing was sufficient to make up for the prosiac PQ and AQ.
PQ 3/5
AQ 2/5
Plot 4.5/5

Worth a rental and you may end up keeping it.

Dragon Hunters - Blu Ray review - English DTS HD MA 5.1

Not often do you see an animation that does not come from Pixar do well and this one is not even American. The French it seems are perfectly capable of some rather good animation with equally good stories.

I had a chance to buy this over the weekend and I agree, its easy to dismiss this as a kiddie thing, but its pretty entertaining. Although the main plot is pretty standard, the characters are nicely fleshed out, the humor is good and when you add in the action sequences, plus the sound, its a keeper. An unlikely motley crew of dragon hunters, consisting of a pig-tailed behemoth of a man Lian Chu, his side-kick Gwizdo, and a furry dog-like mutt, plus the intrepid niece of the Lord who sent them forth. The ensuing adventures form the story as they overcome obstacles to face the World Gobbler.

Plot: 3/5

Chick factor - nil

Action: now this is where things get exciting. Literally....there is very exciting bass, filling in the moments of suspense and of course when the action begins, the bass is sub-sonic. You will need something which goes down to SVS sort of levels to enjoy this French hit. the bass is used not only to the explosions but also to widen the sound stage and the rear channels are constantly used, either to add ambience, or to give bite to the action, making the dragons come from all direction, the flying bats encircle you and basically create a cohesive soundfield. Very nice 4.5 / 5

See it, buy it.

Getting cornered

Most of us live in relatively small places. a few more have more generous spaces, but the majority live in apartments and space is a premium.

So here are some personal views on this which are meant for discussion and not directed at any particular setup.

No matter how small our apartments, we still like large speakers and find ways to place them in the smallest of spaces. Thats where the trouble begins.

I had helped a member not long ago, who had complained of boomy bass, and he was using a pair of floor-standers which were known for a prominent bass in his 4 room HDB apartment. And no matter what he did, it was still boomy.

The issue was simple, there was no space for his speakers and unless he converted his living room to a serious soundroom, possibly with the aid of experts like econav or joamonte, it was going to be bad. And those room treatment don't spell WAF.

Its one of the reasons why a simple pair of PC speakers can actually sound better than a much more expensive speaker.
I used a JVC sake speaker mini-compo in the same room and the member nearly fell off his chair. Sure there wasn't much bass, but the pinpoint sound from the tiny speakers drove him mad with envy.

So if you have one of these floor-standers, you may need a metre to the sides and the back, and 2-2.5 metres between them, which means that unless you have a room which is at least 4-5 m wide, there are going to be problems.

When members show their setups and its a beautiful living room with clean lines, top marks on aesthetics, But the speakers pushed all the way to the corners of the room, esp large floor-standers, then you know the speakers are usually not in the optimum position.
And you can expect the usual complaints of bass issues if the owner has a discerning ear.

So how did I resolve the member's bass issue?
Well first he got rid of the speakers, then bought a new setup based on speakers which were more room friendly. He was not willing to compromise the decor and so the priority was set.

The same will go with all members who will need to decide what matters most. Many of the most awesome setups I have heard are in dedicated sound rooms, which have been well treated for acoustics. They are not the same living rooms which appear in "Home Decor" magazines or the like. I like the sound in my room, but it looks like a bomb went off it in it.

So the choice will need to be met somehow and the sonic consequences to be faced.


My current gear - 10 / 2010

Home Theater --
Denon AVR 2809;Monitor Audio GS10,LCR; Mission 30i; PSB 10s dipoles; SVS PB 12+; Velodyne miniVee
Toshiba Xe1; Oppo Nuforce BDP 83; Belkin PF50 PureAV Power Console; QED XT tube 300/micro for rear; GW TD 1000 conditioner;

Audio --
Oppo  BDP 95; B&W amp;W 805s; Musical Fidelity A 5.5; Sangean DDR-3 DAB tuner; PS Audio Juicebar, Wiremold power brick, PS Audio Power Cables (amp), Oyaide 750 interconnects and power cable, XinDak Coaxial Cables, Jumper cables; Anticable speaker cables;

Pioneer 507 XG; Panasonic DMR - EX85

Food joy kitchen

Simple decor but the prices are reasonable and the food isn't bad. Parking is easy and the place is kid friendly too.