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Michael Barry
(mike@dvd.net.au)
  1. Describe your age.
    I recently turned 31.

  2. Where were you five years ago?
    In my second year of uni. That was a good year! Geographically, I was - and still am - living in Sydney. (Although everyone tells me Melboune is better. What's your take on this? I wouldn't know - I've never been there. Feel free to mail me with your point of view!)

  3. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
    Depending on the results from the survey being conducted (see previous question), perhaps in Melbourne? All my jobs so far have been movie-related...so I'm sure it will have something to do with that, whatever it turns out to be. Two other conditions that I set myself for any job are that it must be as much fun as what I'm doing now (if not moreso) and/or pay at least as much (if not more).

  4. What's a good night's entertainment for you and your friends?
    Getting together at someone's place to watch DV...no, no, wait...I'm supposed to show some 'range' here, aren't it? This is where I get an opportunity to sound balanced and well-adjusted...normal, even! OK, well...I love cafes and restaurants and basically any venue that lends itself to lively conversation. Of course, a regular trip to the movies goes without saying. I must also say that just being with my friends - irrespective of activity or venue - is guaranteed to result in a great night. Yep, that's me in a nutshell! (And no, I'm not going to reference that Austin Powers joke.)

  5. What got you into DVD and how long ago?
    I was a laserdisc collector from 1989, and when DVDs became available, I saw what a huge improvement there was in picture quality, and that was it. My first two purchases were 'The Sweet Hereafter' and 'Boogie Nights' in 1998, and I simply couldn't believe that they only cost me $US20 each - and with all those incredible supplements to boot. (Prior to that, I had paid $US125 for the Criterion laserdisc of 'Taxi Driver'.) At the time, region 4 consisted of a handful of releases from Columbia/Tri-Star, and so it's amazing how it's absolutely exploded in just 3 years!

  6. What do you love about DVD?
    I love the ability to have a collection of my favourite movies on a format that doesn't degrade by playing it. Laserdisc kind of gave you that too, but even the best laserdisc pressings had trouble faithfully reproducing 'hot' colours like oranges and reds without tearing. The transfers we're getting on DVD are far more consistent, too, with most titles being of extremely high quality. Even less-than-stellar DVDs are still better than the best laserdiscs in my opinion. What's not to love about this format?

  7. Given the advances in DVD over the past few years, does the format still surprise you and why?
    It always amazes me every time I go to play a disc - I just can't take it for granted, probably because I've always wished for a technology like this and now it's actually happened. Everytime a favourite movie of mine is announced for release, my enthusiasm is fully rejuvenated.

  8. What title in your collection do you use to introduce friends and family to DVD and why?
    'The Sweet Hereafter' is my reference disc (also, one of my first). It's a fairly low-budget Canadian film ($5M) by an incredible filmmaker, Atom Egoyan. For some reason that I haven't been able to figure out, it has the kind of soundmix that makes you wonder what they did to achieve it, and more to the point, what every other movie isn't doing to not achieve it. It makes you realise that 99% of movies don't realise anywhere near the potential of the Dolby Digital system. A few other soundmixes have this kind of fullness, but the vast majority, quite frankly, sound anaemic by comparison. The same goes for the picture (the cinematography, by Paul Sarossy, CSC, won the Canadian Oscar that year) - it's the reference transfer to which all other reference transfers must pay reverence.

  9. Outside of DVD, what keeps you entertained?


  10. Have you ever met someone famous before and/or wish to meet someone famous?


  11. What is your current method of transport and what would you like to upgrade to?


  12. What is your favorite recipe/meal/take-away?


  13. What is the only joke you seem to remember when people around you are telling jokes?


  14. Can you juggle? Can you juggle knives? Can you still juggle?


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


  16. What was the first video game you fell in love with, on what machine? What is your favourite now?


  17. What are your favourites? (Music, movies, books, anything!)


  18. What DON'T you like about DVD?


Michael's recent reviews:

Jackie Brown
"A contemporary, highly underrated classic."

The Virgin Suicides
"Perhaps the most impressive directorial debut in years."


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