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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Magic is Green!...**

It really is!

I just never realized HOW Green! That's 'cause I grew up thinking that the movie EXCALIBUR was supposed to look like it was shot through the lense of a cameraman fond of hangin' about in the local hog-trough gettin' his equipment all messy. Which was, in retrospect, GROSSLY unfair to the mad, lush cinematography of Alex Thomson (also somewhat naughty sounding - not what I meant at all. Seriously. Dudes.).

I will say, in my defence, that I think the weary old pan-and-scan VCR tape I watched a zillion times as a kid and probably still have kicking around somewhere (bought second-hand) had been previously viewed about a zillion times. It squeaked. And, y'know, it was a weary old pan-and-scan VCR tape. See - I know I may not look it (heh!) but I am a child of the Darkness That Went Before the Days of the Mighty Rise of the DVD. (Or CDs for that matter - feel free to squeal in horror, young'uns).

Sure. It was a dark time. Really. But I never knew HOW dark until last night when John and I sat down and watched (and, here, superlatives fail me) some HD-DVDs on our spankin' new HD-DVD PLAYER (is that a choir of angels I hear? Is it?).

It ain't a dark time no more, kids.
See this poster?

That is how EXCALIBUR should look.
On an HD DVD, that is how it does look.
And - believe me - I was sceptical. I mean - Happy Feet? Sure. That better dang well look good.

But Excalibur? C'mon. The movie was released in 1981. It was shot on film and with techniques that never even considered the possibility of High Definition. It has never been anything to me but a dearly-loved muddle of foggy/smoky/ill-lit/hazy/twilight-begloomed UTTER MAGIC --

(oh - sorry - did I forget to turn on my flashing ARTHUR-GEEK alert? Yeah - I have me a BIG LOVE for this movie. For a lot of reasons. Buy me a beer and I will - no doubt - tell you ALL of them. And then I will cackle with deranged glee and dance on your mangled corpse when, in careless jest, you scoff and say "First Knight was better" or "Clive Owen kicks Nigel Terry's butt" - consider yourselves warned...)

Uh... where was I? Lessee... mangled corpse... oh yeah! You get to actually SEE all of the mangled corpses in this movie when it's in HD. Along with, well, everything else. Including all of the GREEN Magic. Cause it is. See?


See that intense, insanely verdant shining aura as young Arthur pulls the sword from its stony sheath? Yeah? It's even greener in HD. It is almost unbearable. And it's everywhere. And, as John said to me, you never really notice it all that much. Except NOW you do.

I really didn't think that it would make that much of a diference. I thought that they'd clean up the print and it would look - y'know - nice. I didn't expect that I would be able to count the tassles on the tapestries in the background. I didn't expect that I would see people in scenes that I had never noticed were even THERE before.

I didn't expect a WHOLE NEW MOVIE.

It was...

It was wow.

That is all.

(Except for a Gratuitous Nigel Terry Publicity Still):


OOh. Shiny.

**And a shout-out to Matt Wagner for the whole "Magic is Green" thing (which I'll have to explain in a whole 'nother post for those who don't know what I'm talking about):

ARTHUR LIVES!!! (in High Definition *grin*!)



3 comments:

adrienne said...

Wow HD. I'd say let's do a movie night . . . but . . . well . . . we know how those work out . . .

I honestly can't imagine how much clearer HD would be compared to normal DVD, but that just reveals my ignorance I suppose.

S.K.S. Perry said...

I so have to get The 5th Element od HD-DVD!

(As soon as I buy an HD-DVD player, which should be about--checks watch--any minute now...not yet....soon...)

Kevin said...

Excalibur in HD? Sweet! Should have known you two would love that movie. Can I just camp in front of your tv for a while and watch it a few times? Please?

And as a side note...woot Belak!