Monday, February 14, 2005

Yucky poos!

From Monday - Blogger wasn't working again last night.

What a hideous day, weather-wise! 38c and very, very humid. That's why I simply HAD to have an icecream at 3pmish.

There was a parcel on the doorstep when I got home - I couldn't think what it was as I'm sure everything I've ordered on line recently has arrived. It was my birthday present from Ashley in Midds. Thanks Ash!!

The second goodies DVD has been released, in the UK and US anyway. I'll have to check out the ABC shop this Saturday. The extras sound very cool indeed. From The Mausoleum Club: "There is a very healthy portion of extras - or “Goodies” - on At Last A Second Helping, with a good mix of archive items, documentation and newly recorded audio interviews and commentaries.

The latter are, I feel, an improvement on those on the first set, which were a little lifeless, with occasional pregnant pauses. The new audio tracks are informative and entertaining, as is the twenty-minute The Goodies In Conversation – The Goodies are definitely on form here.

The archive extras are invaluable: The Gym extra, originally from Engelbert With The Young Generation, is a short ‘silent movie’ to music, and hugely entertaining to boot.

Even better is The Goodies' Travelling Instant Five-Minute Christmas, the team’s entry in the 1972 Christmas Night with the Stars anthology. Unseen in its unedited form since the original broadcast, and quite possibly the jewel of the whole collection, it’s fast, it’s furious and it’s very, very funny indeed, not to mention remarkably inventive. The musical performance of A Man’s Best Friend Is His Duck from the long-running Crackerjack series represents a change of pace and is great to see, even if the single itself was one of the weaker Goodies recordings. Hopefully we can expect Funky Gibbon on Top of the Pops next time round?

The other extra is a Restoration Featurette, which, as usual, causes the jaw to drop. The work performed on this title is impressive to say the least and those responsible deserve a massive vote of thanks. The episodes look better than ever, and even though the film inserts will never look incredible due to the appalling standard of the original telecine transfers, they do look considerably improved and are much, much easier on the eye than ever before. Detail is improved and the colour is corrected. Most impressive of all is the amount of clean-up performed on the Christmas Night with the Stars sketch, which has always looked diabolical in the clips that have appeared in TV programmes over the years. The version on the disc is a huge improvement. The videotaped studio sequences on all episodes (with the obvious exception of Come Dancing) look breathtaking, too.

Readers will also be pleased to hear that the authoring appears to be of a good standard throughout, with only a few isolated instances of very minor artifacting. So minor in fact, that you have to be looking out for it to notice it. The only other minor authoring issue is with The Goodies In Conversation, which features an audio track recorded at a considerably lower level than the other extras, meaning that after cranking up the volume for this extra, the next has me lunging, panicked, for the volume control - I’m sure someone is conspiring to blow my speakers! Last but most definitely not least is the booklet – a guide to the disc contents by the indispensable Andrew Pixley that is simply bursting with what Peter Cook might have termed ‘interesting facts’ about the series. Researched with the dexterity one has come to expect and rely upon from Andrew, this booklet is a valuable addition to the set. Rob White’s gloriously appropriate design for it and Graeme Garden’s amusing sketches are simply the icing on the cake. Top notch! " Can't wait! has got the 2 disk 'collectors edition' Sky Captain for 15 quid, that's about A$45. have it for US$21. More of the BBC Shakespeares are being released next month - Othello, Richard III, R and J, the Tempest. And the only version of Bedazzled worth speaking of is out in May.


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