Simon Magus And The Nine Lives Of Thomas Katz

Simon Magus And The Nine Lives Of Thomas Katz

DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Read Keith Dudhnath's film review of Simon Magus And The Nine Lives Of Thomas Katz

With two films on one DVD, the major worry is that the video quality will suffer. There are no major compression errors in either film. Unfortunately, Simon Magus isn't anamorphic, which lessens the quality as one has to zoom in. It's never a problem, but it's a shame it wasn't done properly.

The audio quality is perfectly serviceable. The stereo mix isn't ever used to great effect on either film, but by the same token, there isn't anywhere that it would benefit from being any different to how it is.

The two commentaries are almost entirely worthless. The commentary on Tomas Katz is primarily whinging and bitching, and only serves to distance the viewer from the film. The commentary for Simon Magus is turgid for all but the final ten minutes, when director Ben Hopkins actually has something worth saying, and eventually provides some insights into his motivation and methods in making the film. Most commentaries tend to be worthless pap these days; these are no worse than the average, but that average isn't good enough to warrant spending an hour and a half of your time on.

National Achievement Day, the short film that is included on the DVD, is a creditable extra. It doesn't pique the interest in the way that either Simon Magus or Tomas Katz do, but it is fascinating to observe the progression from this, to the more rounded Simon Magus, and then back to the almost rough and experimental Tomas Katz.

The biographies are excellent. Crisp, concise, informative. No one would flick through them more than once, but for what they are, they tick every box perfectly.

A good solid DVD package if you forgive the commentaries for being just as bad as most other commentaries. That Simon Magus isn't anamorphic is very disappointing though.

Reviewed on: 08 Jul 2007
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Two films by director Ben Hopkins.
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Product Code: FHED1987

Region: 2

Ratio: 4:3 full frame (Tomas Katz), 16:9 non-anamorphic widescreen (Simon

Sound: Dolby Digital Surround

Extras: Commentaries on each film. Short film 'National Achievement Day'.

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