So much to see, so little time
It looks as if this is going to be quite a busy month for me as far as reviews are concerned. In addition to Brokeback Mountain (HD DVD) and Waking the Dead: Series 4 (DVD), which are hold-overs from January that I still need to complete (and I really should also do a write-up on last year’s Waking the Dead: Series 3, for the sake of completeness), I’ve also put in reservations for this month’s upcoming releases of Lucio Fulci’s Perversion Story (personally, I prefer its more literal translation title of One on Top of the Other), and Dario Argento’s episode for the second season of Masters of Horror, Pelts. Having already seen both, albeit not in the most ideal form, I’m expecting to lavish praise on the former and deliver a more lukewarm appraisal to the latter, although I am looking forward to seeing them both again.
I’ve also managed to snag a chance to review Paramount’s upcoming (February 20th) HD DVD of Babel, the latest film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose previous film, 21 Grams, I thought was excellent. Incidentally, it’s nice to see Paramount finally releasing something in high definition, even if its arrival does little more than to highlight how threadbare their slate of titles is: barring this, Failure to Launch and Payback are the only titles they have announced for 2007 so far. Oh, and interestingly enough, for Babel they would appear to have abandoned VC-1 as their HD DVD codec in favour of AVC (the Blu-ray variant is MPEG2, because Sony handles their HD release on the Blu front).
Oh, and I finally got fed up waiting for Amazon.fr to ship my copy of Beatrice Cenci, and ordered it instead from Fnac, who actually have it in stock. In the past, I’ve found Amazon (.fr, .co.uk, .com - you name it) to be irritatingly slow for deliveries. Basically, unless it says “Usually dispatched within 24 hours”, it’s more or less a foregone conclusion that it won’t actually ship for weeks, if at all. The same is true of the recently released Grande Collection edition of Asterix and the Goths, which I also cancelled from Amazon and ordered from Fnac (its partner in the February release schedule, Asterix and Obelix All at Sea, did, however, leave Amazon in a reasonably timely fashion). Amazon.co.uk did, however, dispatch my copy of the score to The Iron Giant, which I ordered last night, in less than 12 hours. Luckily, I should be able to afford all these expenses, given that I punted my Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on to a friend for £130 today.