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Anthony Horan
(anthony@dvd.net.au)
  1. Describe your age.
    It's a large broadsheet-format newspaper. Duh. But on the off chance you were not talking about the morning paper but rather wondering how old I am, well, let's just say that I've outdone almost every dead rock icon in years (no, Elvis was NOT rock, he was a cheeseburger in sequins) and still act like I'm 23. I am, though, the square root of 1156. If you're currently going "phwoar" at the phrase "square root", you probably won't "get" my reviews, but that's okay. Because luckily for the planet, Benny Hill isn't on DVD. Yet.

  2. Where were you five years ago?
    Five years ago (in 1997) I was living in the then-newly-created suburb of Southbank, in a newly-created concrete bunker/apartment that was not only soundproof, but airproof as well. This made it great for watching movies loud, but rather bad for supporting human life. I was working as a freelance music journalist (which I still am), and DJing at a city nightclub (which I still am). I was, however, using a Pentium 75 computer with 16MB of RAM and somehow managing to do CD mastering on it, which says a lot about how patient I was five years ago... :)

  3. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
    Having always been one for acting on instinct and opportunity, it's hard to say. But I would hope that I'll still be writing about film and music, and hopefully being paid exceptionally well for doing so. I do refuse, however, to work for The Ridgefield Press as David Manning and myself do not get along very well at all (he just seems so... fake). I can also see myself being involved in DVD authoring in the future, as it's a logical extension of the audio mastering work I've done to date and goes well with my unstoppable technology obsession.

  4. What's a good night's entertainment for you and your friends?
    For me alone, a good night's entertainment involves good music, a couple of great movies, some fine Scotch, a good meal and no-one sending me spam email for at least two hours. With my friends, though - while the above works perfectly well - a good night's entertainment could mean a night at a venue watching and hearing some exciting new music being played, a loud'n'chaotic dinner, a violent game of Uno, or just hours spent arguing the artistic merits of Xanadu.

  5. What got you into DVD and how long ago?
    Being the technology obsessive as mentioned above - and also having been a fan of movies, the large-scale presentation of movies and of really impressive audio since I was a tiny person - as soon as I heard about DVD I was enticed. As soon as a method of playing the things became affordable I jumped in, buying a Creative Encore Dxr2 package shortly after the launch of DVD in Australia. I was hooked within seconds of pressing "play" on the first disc I bought (for the record, it was Columbia Tristar's original release of Legends Of The Fall, which was about as cutting-edge a movie as you could get on DVD at the time!)

  6. What do you love about DVD?
    Like many early adopters of DVD, I was a Laserdisc fan from years back - but the need to pay up to, or sometimes over $100 to see your favourite film in its true widescreen format was getting a bit frustrating, to say the least. DVD offers almost every film in its true theatrical ratio, and that's finally, after all these years, educating both consumers and distributors about the need to see a film the way it was intended to be seen. That alone is a revelation, but as a bonus we get astonishing picture quality on teensy media, affordability, cinema-calibre sound and often extra material that rivals the finest special edition laserdiscs of the '90s. DVD is, for movie fans like myself who've waited for years to see their favourite films treated with the resoect they deserve, like being a kid in a candy store.

  7. Given the advances in DVD over the past few years, does the format still surprise you and why?
    The very first time I was gobsmacked by what DVD is capable of came very early on - watching the US Wedding Singer disc and marvelling at the fact that the image was so detailed I could see the lint on Drew Barrymore's sweater! And even now, years later, I still can be astonished by the image quality on a well-produced disc, whether it be the master-accurate rendering of a super-difficult source on Dancer In The Dark or the sight of Lawrence Of Arabia and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind looking like they were shot yesterday instead of decades ago. The innovative studios' constant pushing of the envelope with both authoring and bonus material is also constantly surprising - we're being spoilt rotten, and we've gotten so used to it there's no way back...!

  8. What title in your collection do you use to introduce friends and family to DVD and why?
    I'll show them A Bug's Life so they can marvel at the picture quality, though Toy Story 2 would do just as well in that department. And then, when they point out that using computer-generated imagery to demonstrate DVD is cheating, I'll pull out Gladiator and watch the picture make 'em go "gaaaa" before the audio mounts the hapless spectator to the back wall by sheer force of sound. If they're still alive, I'll grab an extravagently-featured disc like The Dish and impress 'em with the depth of content that's possible on something that looks and feels like a boring old audio CD.

  9. Outside of DVD, what keeps you entertained?
    Music - it's been a part of my life since before I could talk, and I've worked around it nearly as long. Outside of that, though, I can often be found hooning along on a mountain bike, trying as always to get from A to B without ever once going even vaguely uphill. I read a fair bit, both fiction (everything from Clive Barker to Ben Elton) and non-fiction (pretty much everything), and spend a fair bit of time in front of the computer just doing the stuff that people who spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer tend to do a lot of the time. I also view art, lie on grass, play psychological games with small kittens, and formulate policy just in case someone gives me my own country to play with.

  10. Have you ever met someone famous before and/or wish to meet someone famous?
    When I started writing, I was reviewing movies and interviewing the people that made them and acted in them; more recently I've done the same with the music world. In the course of all that I've met quite a substantial amount of famous people, in varying degrees of famousness. It's often exciting, but mostly just part of the job - but meeting and talking to the fascinating ones, like Sarah McLachlan or Tori Amos, is a genuine thrill. There's still one person I'd very much like to meet and have a long, long chat with, though - George Martin, The Beatles' long-time producer.

  11. What is your current method of transport and what would you like to upgrade to?
    Having lived in the inner suburbs or city areas of Melbourne for most of my life, I've never felt a great need to drive a car, and for the past eight or so years I've lived quite literally in the city, where a car's about as useful as a slab of concrete at a ballooning convention. I use Melbourne's quirky but lovable public transport system to travel when I need to go distances, and if the weather's good, the bik's always an option. As for upgrading, well... I've thought about a motorcycle, but trust me, hell will freeze over and be served as ice cubes before you see me on one of those scooters with a lawnmower motor strapped to the back.

  12. What is your favorite recipe/meal/take-away?
    Everything Chinese (both real Chinese and "American Chinese"), Pasta (especially Tortellini), Sushi, Mexican Everything, Seafood, Corn on the cob, Fish and chips, KFC, Pizza, and Triple-Spun Inverted Black Vodka Ground Duck.

  13. What is the only joke you seem to remember when people around you are telling jokes?
    A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender looks up and says enthusiastically "hey, we've got a drink named after you!!!" The grasshopper, surprised, says "What? Kevin?"



  14. Can you juggle? Can you juggle knives? Can you still juggle?
    I can't juggle at all. But I can boggle.



  15. What are the most memorable nicknames you've had in your lifetime?
    "Sir".

  16. What was the first video game you fell in love with, on what machine? What is your favourite now?
    Arcade "Pong," of course! As far as home video games go, it'd have to be good old "Combat" on the Atari VCS 2600 - the thrill of navigating your big square pixels around other big square pixels to shoot your opponent's big square pixel was magnificent. These days, I don't play video games much (heathen!); I'll happily get consumed by Gran Turismo 3 if someone would like to donate me a PlayStation 2.

  17. What are your favourites? (Music, movies, books, anything!)
    I like too many different types of music, too many different artists and too many actual records to even dare to nominate favourites in that department; as for movies, well, there are dozens. I'd start with Wings Of Desire and Until The End Of The World, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Lost Highway, Almost Famous, Say Anything, Being John Malkovich, American Beauty, Schindler's List, Star Wars episodes 4,5 and 6, all of Kubrick's films and Annie Hall.

  18. What DON'T you like about DVD?
    Layer change pauses, non-skippable studio logos or copyright notices, and over-animated menus that make you sit through bad gee-whiz 3D every time you choose an option.

Anthony's recent reviews:

Immortal Beloved
"For two hours, this film will transport you..."

Pet Shop Boys - Pop Art
"A must-buy for Pet Shop Boys fans, Pop Art is also highly recommended for those who remember how good pop music could be in the 80s."

Alias - The Complete First Season
"One of the most addictive and entertaining US television series' in many years... Buena Vista's DVD set gets almost everything right."

R.E.M.: In View - The Best of 1988-2003
"Every home should have one."

Queen Margot
"A spectacular, enthralling masterpiece..."

Carry on Screaming
"In an attempt to find humour in this film - just a giggle, a small titter, even a simple smile - I decided there was only one thing for it. I was going to have to get drunk."

25th Hour
"A sad and poetic story... stunningly made and intelligently played."

Igby Goes Down
"A good - but not quite great - social satire, saved by the all-or-nothing approach of its cast."

Secretary
"That rarest of things - an original idea - brought to life by intelligent writing, brilliant direction and, in Maggie Gyllenhaal, one of the most eye-opening lead performances in a very long time."

24 - Season Two
"Brace yourselves, here we go again... (and relax - it's a spoiler-free review!)"


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