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Autism from the inside


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Wretches & Jabberers DVD – A Journey Into Autism

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A moving and delightful movie and about two men on the autism spectrum who are both “functionally non-verbal” finding their voices through facilitated and typed communication. Debunking the myths that people who cannot speak with their mouths are “retarded” or “intellectually disabled”.

Tracy and Larry are best of friends and their passion for advocacy leads them to meeting others around the globe who are also yearning and fondly sharing their experiences and voices with a wider audience, showing great empathy, compassion, introspection and deepness through the words that they write to a wider audience. Bringing people into their world and inviting others to think, reflect and reevaluate what “autism” and “intelligence” even look like.  Showing great feats of creativity.

There is warmth, humour, sadness and hope sometimes all at once when listening the candid words and hopefully the viewer will come out of this experience with greater level of acceptance and make less assumptions about what is going on on the “inside”. Please all presume competence.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Paul Isaacs 2017

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Dr Who – The Invasion – DVD Review

 

This DVD is a 2-Disc Edition of The Invasion with two missing episodes which have been animated 

PLOT

The is an “Earth Story” and this would become a staple of the 3rd Doctor Era the title suggests the main plot of the story aliens that are preparing for a global invasion starting with the United Kingdom.

The main plot is an expansion on themes used in the Troughton “cyberstories” which includes the dangers of technology and how this has an effect on people, communication devices such as video links are used throughout preempting such devices that we take for granted now, as well as the political dangers of single force wanting to control the world. The cast are colourful, deep and imaginative with enigmatic performances, tight dialogue and atmosphere.

PICTURE 

The picture is sharp, detailed with a good deal of contrast and saturation although at times the picture is a tab soft probably due to age . I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second. Overall there is  higher clearer definition of picture quality.

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ANIMATED EPISODES

The animated episodes are well done with excellent attention to detail, sharp background contrasts, faithful character design and animation lends to the atmosphere of the serial in turns of camera direction which feels less cinematic and more faithful to how it would have looked and excellent job by Cosgrove Hall.

AUDIO

The audio is clear with few hisses and artifactual noise this is something that I have noted in Hartnell and Troughton era that attention by the Restoration Team is paid not only to the image but also the quality of sound which is of course is restricted by technology at the time.

CONCLUSION

This is really classic Troughton at its best a tight another tight endearing story by  Kit Pedler about technology, fabulous direction with stunning visuals and atmosphere, great memorable and enigmatic performances. One of my favorites.  Highly Recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – The Moonbase – DVD Review

 

 

This DVD is a The Moonbase with two missing episodes which have been animated 

PLOT

The plot revolves around the Doctor and his companions landing on the lunar surface were a complex weather station controls and maintains the weather of the entire world through gravitational pull. The cybermen are all but legend destroyed many years ago. However a mysterious illness is plaguing the base and eerie shadows reveal a familiar enemy.

The main plot deals with many interesting aspects of the future, a space station on the moon which is habitable, a weather station that controls and protects the people of earth and the jeopardy of this station failing mixed with whodunit esque subplot which brings both the Doctor and his companions into full and colourful characterisation.

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PICTURE 

The picture is sharp, detailed and well balanced with good colour saturation considering its age with. I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second. Overall there is  higher clearer definition of picture quality.

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ANIMATED EPISODES

The animated episodes are well done with good pathos and atmosphere which matches the feel of the other episodes, I would however say they went more for a cinematic feel in the terms of camera angles and shots which may divide fans. I enjoyed the visual renditions which do stay faithful to the overall character and set-pieces plus the cybermen look amazing and well detailed.

AUDIO

The audio is clear with a few artificial hisses and pops here and there overall a worthy and crisp audio considering its age dialogue is clear  as well as the nerve jangling and atmospheric score which is a treat to hear much like in in Tomb of the Cybermen.

CONCLUSION

With yet another gritty and ambitious story  and script by Kit Pedler about technology getting too advanced and going awry, fantastic set-pieces, sturdy characterisation of the main players and and interesting sub-plot this is Dr Who at its best. Highly Recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – Tomb of the Cybermen – Revisitations DVD Review

 

This DVD is a 2-disc Special Edition of Tomb of the Cybermen with upgraded video and audio as well as new special features.

PLOT

The plot is a dark and brooding entry for the infamous cybermen instilling a sense of dread as an expedition has found a dormant tomb that holds creatures from a distant past who are slumbering. The characterisation is at times dated but the overall composition of technology gone awry is potent in this story, human greed, selfishness and sacrifice are themes as the doctor who in his sage wisdom warns them of the dangers of tampering with technology that they do not understand. A metaphor in itself.

  

PICTURE 

The Revisitations DVD is a worthy upgrade from the earlier edition with a sharper picture, deeper colour saturation, minor enhancements to the images when the the title are overlaid is a worthy mention too. I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second. Overall there is  higher clearer definition of picture quality.

AUDIO

The audio is clear with a few artificial hisses and pops here and there overall a worthy and crisp audio considering its age dialogue is clear as well as the nerve jangling and atmospheric score which is a treat to hear.

CONCLUSION

With polished and ambitious story  and script by Kit Pedler with high tension and plenty of bite to a worthy video and audio upgrade as well as a host of extras this a must see for fans of classic Who. Recommended

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Dr Who – Power of the Daleks – DVD Review

 

This DVD is a treat BBC Animation team have wonderfully restored via animation The Power of the Daleks which Patrick Troughton’s first serial as the Doctor.

PLOT

The plot starts off at the end of The Tenth Planet a mysterious new figure emerges from the floor looking rather different, both the companions are confused and shocked by this new person who doesn’t look nor act like “their doctor”. The have landed on a planet called Vulcan with an earth space colony settlement already established there.

I have to say the plot is well crafted, eerie, ambitious, dark and full of melancholy with a tremendous amount of deep clever exposition within the story the new doctor, the whodunnit style back story, the power conflicts between primary characters and the introduction of  daleks that are far more devious, deceptive and clever  than in previous serials this is a really mature and adult which is both refreshing and well-suited.

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ANIMATION & PICTURE 

The animation is superb it is filmed in a 16:9 frame (rather than the conventional 4:3 of the time). I viewed this in HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second.  The intros are retained in film and the credits faithfully restored. The animation itself is shot in black and white with a mixture of 2D and 3D animation which is faithful to the story, the sets and the actors who appeared in them.

AUDIO

The audio (from the original serial) matches perfectly with animation all the set and character idiosyncrasies are perfectly retained. It is a clear a lot of love and care had gone into the recreation and it shows. I choose the 5.1 downmix and it has a lot of activity, detail and depth with good bass and a cinematic feel.

CONCLUSION

With an amazing video and audio display and a hefty lot of extras this is truly and must buy for any Doctor Who fan or science-fiction buff. This shows off what the BBC restoration team can do for future “lost episodes” in the future.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Tokyo Godfathers (2004) – Film Review

OVERVIEW

Tokyo Godfathers’ premise is a gritty, unsettling, sad and ultimately raw Christmas time movies set in the lonely and dark streets of Japan it follows three unlikely heroes on their quest to bring an baby back it it’s parents and also find themselves in the process.

PLOT

Social profiling is a difficult subject to portray in a “live action” movie but this adventitious and progressive anime sets a tone that is real and provocative the three main characters are a transgender drag queen who longs to find a partner, a girl running away from a Father who never listens to her and a man whom felt a failure as “family man”.

The movie has depth and clarity it is talking about family ties, relationships, companionship loss and hope, new beginnings, frail futures and concrete pasts all the characters have a story to tell with them looking back and moving forward. The commentary is vast it is about the middle class looking down on the poor, transphobia, homophobia,  the young preying on the weak, and young feeling they are not listened to by their elders, the system of money that seems to be more important than love with an westernised construct.

This movie on a social commentary fulfils all it goals with grace, eloquent, grit, wit and affection the overall message right down to the last scene is the importance of true love, autonomy and hope.

ANIMATION

The tones, colours and hues are excellent, crisp and vivid with a mixture of tradition cell animation, painted backdrops and CGI that complements the tone of the movie the level of detail is amazing. The movie was viewed on a HD TV (1080p  50fps upscaled from a standard definition Region 2 DVD Release of the movie by Sony in 2004) this was an very impressive experience with clear and balanced colours and crisp and clear audio.

CONCLUSION

The late Satoshi Kon has made some truly memorable anime spectacles during tenure as a director primarily dealing with the blurring of reality, in this movie he does the complete opposite showing a stark unapologetic social landscape with endearing characters that tap into the human spirit. Highly recommended.


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Tom Baker – The Fourth Doctor – Top 10 Stories

Tom Baker’s performance as the the Fourth incarnation of The Doctor is an impressive, quirky, odd idiosyncratic performance her is my person list of my favourite stories.

  1. Ark in Space
  2. Genesis of the Daleks
  3. Planet of Evil
  4. Pyramids Of Mars
  5. Hand of Fear
  6. The Deadly Assassin
  7. The Robots of Death
  8. The Leisure Hive
  9. The Keep of Traken
  10. Logopolis

Paul Isaacs 2015