Category Archives: Movies & TV


DVD rot in action

This pisses me off…I just lost my second DVD to the little-known phenomenon that is DVD rot. Most people don’t even know it exists but my Terminator Special Edition succumbed a couple of years ago and I just tried to watch Silence of the Lambs only for it to start skipping less than half an hour in. It can’t be coincidence that they’re both MGM special editions released around the same time.

There are varying stories regarding what causes it but from what I can tell the consensus seems to be that it’s to do with the adhesive that holds the disc layers together failing/oxidising/being shit. That doesn’t seem to fit with my experience however, which is that the actual surface of the disc goes foggy as if someone someone had breathed on it (click the image for a bigger version to really see what I mean). It’s only when you notice that it doesn’t wipe off and that it feels slightly rough to touch that you realise that you’re going to be rebuying that movie. Just for the record they’re stored in the same place as the rest of my 350+ DVDs, all of which are perfectly fine.

I managed to blag a free replacement of The Terminator when that happened (bought a new one from HMV, swapped discs over, took the rotted ones back for a refund) but my version of Silence of the Lambs is OOP. Thankfully CD Wow still have it in stock for £6.99 so I’m hardly breaking the bank to replace it.

The moral of the story? Check your MGM DVDs and back those bastards up.

What The Hayes?

I had to laugh at this. Isaac Hayes has quit his role as Chef in South Park because he objected to the “intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs” of the show.

That’s fair enough, but he didn’t have a problem with the jokes about Christians and Muslims, or the jokes at the expense of Kyle’s Judaism in pretty much every episode, but only decided to quit when the show inevitably turned its sights on his own religion, Scientology. With Tom Cruise’s well-publicised descent into madness continuing it was only a matter of time. Matt Stone put it best:

“[We] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”

Hypocrites can suck on my (white) chocolate salty balls.


I picked up the second season of Deadwood on DVD yesterday, and I have to say that I think this is one of the finest shows on TV at the moment. I don’t get to watch it until it comes out on DVD because it’s shown here on satellite, but I’m not bothered because I love DVD as a medium for TV shows.


I’m always up for a good western, preferring the more gritty ones like Unforgiven to the older, more quixotic ones, and Deadwood does nothing if not fall into that bracket. I’m not entirely convinced that conversation in the real Old West was quite as populated with “fucks” and “cocksuckers” as it is in Deadwood, but the setting is still remarkably authentic. The characters are similarly believable, all painted in varying shades of grey and subject to their own numerous vices. If you haven’t seen it and like westerns at all, definitely check it out.

The show is obviously a western but often seems to turn into something of a political series, as much of the storyline is based on the struggle for power and wealth in a soon-to-be-but-not-quite legitimate frontier town, complete with the necessary negotiations and murders that this entails, usually with an especially gruesome method of disposal. Even though HBO DVDs never seem to drop in price, the first season is still readily available and worth every penny.

Now I just want to see HBO’s Pacific War miniseries. It’s the spiritual follow up to Band of Brothers, which probably is the finest thing ever to be on TV.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

On Saturday I grabbed the Wallace & Gromit movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit, on DVD. I missed it in the cinema even though most reviews seem to think that it’ll be a Best Animated Picture come next Sunday, but I’ve loved Aardman’s stuff since The Wrong Trousers way back in 1993. I’d seriously put Nick Park up there with John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki as one of the greats of modern animation.

Gromit vs the Bunnies

Anyway, I thought the film was excellent. Maybe not the all-time classic that it’s been hailed as, but it’s by far the most impressive claymation that I’ve ever seen and the humour in it is absolutely great. Wallace is funny but as always the taciturn Gromit steals the show – even with nothing to emote with but body language and an eyebrow he has more personality than a lot of the generic CG characters that are being churned out. The scene in the image above has no dialogue at all (it’s rabbits and a dog, after all) but still manages to be extremely funny through music, slapstick, and Gromit’s cynical reactions.

One other thing that should be mentioned is that the DVD has a really great video transfer, and claymation seems to be a medium that likes DVD: the vivid colours of animation that can be shown off, but by nature of the fact that it’s three-dimensional none of the common issues of animated DVD transfers are present. The quality is good enough that you can see fingerprints on the models occasionally which actually helps to give it all some added personality and a “homebrew” feel. A great movie and well worth picking up.

Paging the Razzies

Seriously, don’t even bother running the Golden Raspberries next year. Team Xbox have gotten their hands on some photos of the Dead or Alive movie which can be viewed in all their glory (in the loosest possible sense of the word) here. Even if they bring out Swept Away 2 in the next twelve months just give them all to DOA – just take a look at this one and tell me if there’s any way it can possibly come out well.

Pyramid Head

Information on the Silent Hill movie is scarce and pretty much limited to a few photos and a trailer, but the more I see of it the more it looks like it could actually be a decent game adaptation. It’s fairly true to the game which is a good start and seems to be taking the Japanese horror route which is popular at the moment. Plus of course Uwe Boll has no involvement whatsoever.

The promising trailer was one thing but what’s sure to set fanboy tongues wagging is the first image of the series’ most famous enemy, the Pyramid Head, last seen…uh…raping mannequins in Silent Hill 2. It remains to be seen how much of that the movie rating boards will stand for (not much is my guess), but they’ve very much got the look suitably macabre and without a hint of CGI – always nice to see. This may actually be one to watch.