Phantasm series on Bluray

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Zombie Dude, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it's only available to buy at BB now.(and the price is $79.99) Amazon doesn't even say back order anymore.
     
  2. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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  3. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Despite differing in bitrates, they both seem to look the same. Definitely a shame Arrow couldn't do anything more with this one.
     
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  4. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Yeah, it's not too surprising since they're both sourced from the same master. The Arrow encode is slightly better though, and a little more grain comes through in some comparisons.
     
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  5. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. It's subtle, but more grain is there. II definitely doesn't look as good as the original, 3, or 4. But it's not a train wreck. I just wish they did a better job with the equalization of the surround track. I haven't watched Ravager yet, but the rest are fine.

    Phantasm II always seems to get the short end of the stick in one way or another, which is a shame because I think it's exponentially better than the other sequels. I'll post more detailed thoughts after I squeeze in Ravager.
     
  6. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Having just rewatched all, part 2 is my least favorite of the series. I appreciate the scope but it just doesn't do much for me.
     
  7. satans-sadists

    satans-sadists Ghost

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  8. Natas

    Natas Theres no such thing as the boogyman

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    Best Buy has dropped the price again to 59.99. I believe that's the Well Go set. I'm still trying to watch at least the original before I splurge on the whole set. 60 bucks is a little more reasonable though.
     
  9. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so now Amazon sent me a shipping date for the WellGo set. I never cancelled the order after I bought it at BB. But it's still NOT available to buy from Amazon. Confused. Marketplace sellers are ALL over $100. Wondering if I should let them ship it, to sell off later on ebay or whatever. Or just cancel the $59.99 order. I mean is this collection going to be out of print? Truth be told I hate the hassle of selling the set. Any advice?
     
  10. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    After re-watching the first four films in hi-def, and viewing Ravager for the first time, I'd rate the series as follows:

    tie: original & II
    IV
    V
    III

    The original and first sequel play equally well for me, but they have completely different strengths. The original is, by far, the best HORROR movie of the bunch. It establishes a genuinely creepy atmosphere and makes the best use of Scrimm, who's less verbose and much the better for it. Phantasm is also a very good-looking film full of interesting and flat-out iconic shots. Sadly, Coscarelli's skill with compositions doesn't extend to most other areas. Dialogue and acting are generally poor, and some scenes give off an amateurish vibe that seems especially noticeable because of the striking cinematography. Phantasm often feels like the work of an inexperienced director, and too many scenes pad the run-time without contributing much to the characters or relationships (the outrageously goofy impromptu jam session between Jody and Reggie springs immediately to mind). Worst of all is the giant bug scene. Fortunately it's relatively brief, but it still brings the film to a complete halt.

    There's nothing creepy about II, but it's a far more professional effort. It's a much leaner film, and dialogue and acting are no longer major detriments. Although people complain about the recasting, I think it's a major plus. Le Gros makes Mike a far more relatable character, and his chemistry with Bannister is much better than Baldwin's. The byplay between Mike and Reggie is so strong that II is essentially a riff on the buddy cop genre, and I think Bannister and Le Gros make one of the better lead duos in horror. I enjoy the bigger-is-better approach to the spheres, too--and despite a campier approach, Scrimm is still a menacing presence. Is any of it really SCARY? No, but at least Coscarelli resisted the urge to go COMPLETELY overboard.

    Sadly, that restraint is nowhere in evidence in III. Coscarelli seems to be shooting for an Evil Dead II vibe, but that type of approach suits Raimi's sensibilities and talents a whole lot better. There's a tiresome, frantic quality to way too many scenes, and the whole thing is reminiscent of a rock band trying to enliven stillborn material by playing louder. The Tall Man becomes an outright goofy presence, and some of Scrimm's facial expressions defy belief. What exactly is he trying to express in the scene where he's stroking the mini-brain? Worst of all is the treatment of Mike. Coscarelli was apparently thrilled to return Baldwin to the Mike role. If that's true, why did he give him so little to do? Mike is practically an after-thought, constantly wriggling in restraints or staggering in a semi-conscious state--and he's replaced by annoying sidekick characters that don't bring much to the table. Reggie continues his depressing metamorphosis into a cartoon charater, too. Unlike all of the other films in the series, I rate this one a complete misfire.

    IV and V aren't much better, but they're more enjoyable than III. It's fascinating to see the outtakes from Phantasm in IV, and the absence of excessive camp is most welcome. But the most striking of the excised scenes (the Tall Man's hanging) makes even less narrative sense than usual in a series that's not exactly built upon logical plot progression. Does anyone really buy Mike releasing him the way he does? Somnambulant pacing makes this a "for fans only" affair, and the adult Baldwin's acting is a bigger problem here than in the other sequels. He's such an inexpressive actor that it's very hard to care about his character. Where Le Gros was so human in his interactions with Bannister, there's no spark between the two characters in IV. There doesn't seem to be any genuine affection between them, and they're no longer the funny duo they were in II. I think the slow pace would be more tolerable if Baldwin was a more likable hero. I get that they're trying to show that Mike is at the end of his rope. But Baldwin projects zero personality, and it makes the movie inert.

    V is a largely superfluous affair. Too many situations give off a "been there, done that" vibe, and much of the climax seems inspired by the Half-Life video game series. The thing that redeems this one for me is a surprisingly resonant denouement. There's a warmth to the character interactions in the final minutes that's largely absent from III and IV, and it makes for a more fitting send-off than the emotionally stunted final act of IV. For the first time in several movies, I found myself actually caring about these characters again.

    I'm happy to own the whole series, and I'll undoubtedly continue to revisit the first two films on a semi-regular basis. I just don't see a lot of replay value in the last three entries.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  11. Swampthing82

    Swampthing82 Active Member

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    Very well thought out post sir. I totally agree with everything you said too. Also, I enjoy LeGross way more than adult Baldwin. He's a much better actor too.
     
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  12. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    WellGo set looks like it's sold out on BB. Says "check stores"

    Amazon has 13 copies left (fulfilled by Amazon sold from 3rd party) ........................ $103.99
     
  13. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Not that this means anything but the WellGo set appears to be sold out now. Arrow set, only sold 70% (obviously they both may had different set LE numbers) Not bad for a collection that a lot of people initial thought would be outdone by Arrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  14. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    On a related note, Well Go will be releasing a DVD set of all the philms on September 12th. No word if they'll have the same extras in the box set (save for the bonus disc).
     
  15. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    "Philms"? Jesus.

    Does this news include blu ray editions?
     
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  16. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    That scene always yanked me right out of the movie. Otherwise, I'd be inclined to say that artistically, the first is easily the most interesting of the series. For me, Phantasm is the most magical, with the sequels perhaps functioning better as an extended exploration of the themes and characters than they do as individual movies.

    I like your breakdown of the series. III had the whole Home Alone bit with the goofy intruders (who later turned into unstoppable zombies). I didn't mind that the story featured a child character - after all, Phantasm starts out with a child dealing with the loss of his family - but Tim seems awfully chirpy for someone who by all rights should be frightened and grieving. I actually think Ravager is successful in terms of storyline and theme. After all, the series is about death and loss. Is Reggie losing himself to dementia while inching towards death, with the Tall Man a product of his mental state, or is he mentally under siege by the Tall Man, who has now brought death to the world on a grander scale than ever before? Aesthetically, of course, Ravager has some CGI that is every bit as jarring as the bug in the original, only there's so much more of it. I did enjoy the return of Kathy Lester, who is miraculously still able to pull off the femme fatale.
     
  17. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I must say I didn't think that fly scene was so bad the last time I watched it. I remembered it being worse. Though I love the song, the jamming scene still feels out of place and random.

    I like the 3rd one and enjoy the characters. I think there's a lot of really great scenes in it like the Tall Man with a group on dewarfs by his side during the beginning. Love that shot. I'm surprised it gets so much hate.

    Ravager like you say has some really jarring CGI work. I don't have any real desire to revisit it after seeing it twice. It's easily the worst sequel for me and I see it as more of a fan film.
     
  18. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    While the jamming scene seems superfluous, I think it is an important scene because it is the little things like this that makes the characters so likeable and relatable. I've gone back and forth over the years in regards to III, and ultimately I decided that it was a keeper even though Mike is hardly in the picture and the gangster trio has horrifically dated wardrobe. Seriously, their clothing didn't even look good by the time the film was released on VHS.

    And I agree with you totally with Ravager. To me the series ended with Oblivion. Ravager is an interesting epilogue, but stylistically it doesn't really feel the same as the first four.
     
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  19. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I don't hate the scene and quite like the song they sing as I mentioned. It just feels like a home video bit the way it's done but like you say, it's part of the charm. I would like to know where all those deleted scenes are ment to take place in the film. Like the Tall Man's hanging for instance.

    Ha, the gangster clothing never bothered me in 3. I figured they were just weirdo scavangers. They have their own goofy charm to them that I enjoy.

    I wasn't big on Oblivion the first time I saw it but I rather like it now and think it sends off the series quite nicely. Those deleted scenes from the original really make it interesting and are integrated into it quite well. Ravaged doesn't stand close to it.
     
  20. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    You know what, I rewatched Phantasm last night (been a few years since I last saw it), and I actually agree with you. It's not a very convincing special effect, but it's not as bad as I remembered it. I maintain that Phantasm is the one masterpiece in the series. It's got some good scares, but it's also a much more layered movie than II or III in particular. IV has a very poetic ending, something which V tries to incorporate. V also revisits the layered structure of Phantasm, but - not least due to the aesthetic flaws (the CGI) - to less effect. I don't actually dislike any of the Phantasm movies, but I probably like III the least.
     

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