Go To Blazes Fires On All Cylinders ? DVD Review by Neil Gardner

Go To Blazes [DVD]
Go To Blazes DVD
It had been a bad day, no, make that a BAD day. I had been caught in terrible traffic and ended up late for an important meeting (with a lawyer, even worse!) which then made me late for a studio recording session, and then I was caught in some more terrible traffic trying to get home again. My fianc?, and erstwhile editing cohort, back home was having an even worse day?she was supposed to be editing a new audiobook but the editing software kept crashing, the new and expensive PC we?d just bought wouldn?t work and generally everything went mammory-glands-up! So as 8pm rolled around we plopped ourselves down on the sofa, both in grumpy moods and tired. It seemed as if this day would end with a dark cloud over it for us both. But then I suggested we pop in the new shiny DVD review disc I?d been sent from the lovely people at studiocanal and see if the film might lighten the mood. And you know what? Cor blimey guv?nor, it only darn well worked, didn?t it, eh? Phwoar!

January 30th 2012 sees the release on DVD of the classic British comedy GO TO BLAZES, on its 50th anniversary. This is a perfect example of how 1960s British comedies, Ealing comedies no less, brought joy and pleasure to millions. It tells the tale of three loveable ne?er-do-wells, Bernard (Dave King from The Long Good Friday), Harry (Daniel Massey from Bad Timing) and Alfie (Norman Rossington from The Longest Day) who keep failing in their smash-n-grab burglaries, but one day come upon the idea to use a fire engine as the perfect getaway vehicle. Of course, being an Ealing comedy, slapstick, japes and a constantly unravelling plan all get in the way of success, as does the gorgeous Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Harry Potter) who plays a French/Cockney fashion designer. Throw in to the mix a peach of a mad-scientist/pyromaniac played with relish by Robert Morley and plenty of fire engine antics and you have a perfect cure for what ails you.

The story is simple, but a lot of fun. Watching these foolish chaps have to learn to become real firemen is hilarious, while all the time you can enjoy the sights of London in the early 1960s?we played the old favourite game of ?Oooh, that?s, um, that?s?.oooh? while trying to spot streets we knew, or half built landmarks that we take for granted today. Maggie Smith (always a favourite in this household) is sexy and sophisticated, bringing some much needed glamour to an otherwise ?blokey? film, but don?t be fooled, she?s not there just to look pretty, there is a wonderful subplot involving her shop and an insurance claim, and she gets to show off some of those incredible acting chops she is so highly regarded for. This is high farce, true British comedy classic and perfect viewing for all ages. It will bring a big smile to your face, and is just the tonic after a long tough working week. I have to disagree with some other reviewers who say this film doesn?t stand up to many of the other Ealing comedies or the Carry On series. Personally I find this film tighter, more specific in its comedy, better written and broader in ambition than many of those other films. It also has very little of the infantile and sexual ?comedy? that pervades so much of the 1960s British comedy film catalogue?such a nice change, and one for the better.

But but but?a 50 year old film, transferred to DVD in the HD world of today?is someone having a laugh? Well, surprisingly, no. This is a beautiful upscale, with vibrant colours, a killer audio track (mono 2.0 not surround, but it really doesn?t matter) and absolutely no sign of film degradation or noise. To put it bluntly, it is a gorgeous viewing experience. The reds of the fire engines spring out of the TV, with no bleeding or softness. If I had to find fault, it is that on two or three short occasions there is either a strange rippling effect (such as on a close-up of a fire engine bell), or an off-putting wide fisheye lens effect. The first I am sure is an artefact of the up-scaling/restoration process and can be forgiven easily (it happens once) and the second comes from the original film and the lenses used, the odd quality being more manifestly obvious on a large wide HD TV. Again it doesn?t detract from the enjoyment of the film. This is the film?s first ever release on DVD and it is a corker. Well worth watching. Be warned though, the DVD has no extras so it may feel a little expensive in this world of bonus features, triple-play packs and 3D releases. Is it worth buying? If you are a fan of Ealing/British comedies I would say buy it immediately. If you are looking for a good enjoyable film to rent, go for this one. As a casual purchase, the price feels a little steep, but you most certainly get a great movie for your money.

GO TO BLAZES is a wonderful example of British comedic film-making at its finest. Superb actors, fun script, all the fun up there on the screen and no padding in sight. The only downside is you?ll start thinking about buying your own fire engine?now, is there an ebay for old fire engines?

Harry Potter – Looking Back Video Feature



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The ?Boy Who Lived? comes face to face with the enemy of the wizarding world for a final, epic battle in ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2? when it arrives on Blu-ray 3D Pack, Blu-ray Triple Play, DVD and Digital Download on 2nd December from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson return for the closing installment of the most successful film franchise of all time. ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2? has earned more than $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2? is directed by David Yates who also helmed the magical blockbusters ?Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,? ?Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? and ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.? Returning from previous ?Harry Potter? films is an all-star supporting cast, including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright.

The collective Harry Potter films are the highest-grossing franchise of all time, a global record it has held since the success of the sixth film, 2009?s ?Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.?

The release of ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2? will also be marked by a special celebration at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, where the Harry Potter stories live on. The Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration will consist of a series of special events to be attended by cast and filmmakers from the Harry Potter films. The three-day celebration will take place from Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 13.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 NEW Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2 – ? 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. (or J.K. Rowling)

Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and ? Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.

In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort.

It all ends here.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, reprising their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film?s ensemble cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Ciar?n Hinds, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright.

The film was directed by David Yates, who also helmed the blockbusters ?Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,? ?Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? and ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 1.? David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, produced the film, together with David Barron. Screenwriter Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the book by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer



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Behind the scenes, the creative team was led by director of photography Eduardo Serra, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, composer Alexandre Desplat, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, and costume designer Jany Temime.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films production, ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,? which marks the last installment in the most successful film franchise of all time.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? will be released worldwide in theatres and IMAX, in 3D and 2D, beginning July 15, 2011.

The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Premier Info…

Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that the world premiere of the final instalment of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, will take place in London?s Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square on 7th July 2011.

This will be the first red carpet film premiere event in Trafalgar Square, the instantly recognisable landmark providing the iconic backdrop for one of the biggest film premieres to ever take place in the capital.

The cast, filmmakers and guests attending the final Harry Potter premiere will begin the night on the red carpet in Trafalgar Square with the world?s media in attendance.? Special areas will be reserved within the square for fans and competition winners from all over the world to see the actors and creators of some of the most beloved characters of all time.? Cast and guests will then make their way to Leicester Square?s cinemas to watch the film.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “For the last decade we’ve been gripped by the on-screen battle between Harry Potter and his arch enemy Lord Voldemort and this is one of the most eagerly awaited films in history. As befits a great British triumph, I can think of no better venue than the iconic surroundings of Trafalgar Square in which to stage the most spectacular of send offs for this dramatic finale?.

Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Pictures UK commented ?We are delighted that our plans for the finale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will take place in such a spectacular venue.? We pride ourselves on the creativity of our premieres and the space within Trafalgar Square will lend itself to being a magical experience for both guests and fans.?

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

The final part in the film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2 is directed by David Yates, director of the last three films.? The producers are David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, David Barron who has produced six of the films and J.K. Rowling.? Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling.? Lionel Wigram is the executive producer, with John Trehy and Tim Lewis as co-producers.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opens in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on July 15th 2011.

Harry Potter Fans Asked To Choose Blu Ray Art Work

To celebrate the countdown to the Blu-ray and DVD release of the record-breaking ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,? Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Granger, announced today that fans will be given the opportunity to choose the cover art for the UK and Irish Blu-ray release via the Harry Potter UK Page on Facebook.

A poll within the Facebook page will give fans in the U.K. and Ireland the chance to vote for their favourite artwork with the winning choice reproduced on the Blu-ray edition. The official Harry Potter UK page on Facebook currently has 913,439 fans, breaking all previously held records for a UK Facebook film page. www.facebook.com/HarryPotterUK

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Sarah Bird, Marketing Director, Warner Home Video UK said: ?We?re delighted to be offering our UK and Irish Harry Potter fans the chance to get more involved in the film franchise. This exciting and innovative Facebook initiative for the Blu-ray launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is the first of its kind and further demonstrates our commitment to loyal fans?

In ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 1,? Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort?s power ? the Horcruxes. On their own and on the run, the three must rely on one another more than ever?but Dark Forces threaten to tear them apart. Part 2 in this epic finale to the Harry Potter film series will be in cinemas from July 15th 2011.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? is directed by David Yates, who also helmed the blockbusters ?Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? and ?Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.? David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, produced the film, together with David Barron. Screenwriter Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the book by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer.

Heading the cast, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film?s ensemble cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Bill Nighy, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright.