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Film

Arguably an even bigger influence on me than television was film. Old favourites that few seem to have seen include The Big Bus, Silent Running, Capricorn One, Yellow Submarine, Gumball Rally, and other more popular ones like Star Wars, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Tron, The Black Hole, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Live And Let Die, War Games, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Flash Gordon, Where Eagles Dare, Time Bandits, Alien..... and so on and so on. For the most part I like sci-fi, comedy and the odd musical (like Grease). I also find that I enjoy watching old British black & white films, Ice Cold In Alex probably the favourite.

Other less heard of short films also linger in my memory, such as Glitterball - a cheaply made kids sci-fi about two teenagers who discover an alien in the form of a small shiny ball which feeds off anything to get energy, including an electricity pylon; the kids and the ball help to stop the local thief (called "Filthy Potter", who is called Filthy "because he is") from stealing the weeks' takings from the Tron local supermarket. Favourite line is when the Glitterball eats one of the boy's packet of crisps: "Oi! Those crisps cost me 5p!"

These days I own quite a number of my favourite films on video, many were bought second hand for next to no money and might normally be very difficult to get hold of - videos and DVD's tend to get deleted a lot in the UK (not making enough money, obviously), and they sometimes change bits here and there when they remaster them (Star Wars is a prime example of this); the limited edition The Black Hole boxed set (pictured below) is only available in America, so I'm told, and before you ask, yes it is in widescreen (2.35:1) NTSC format. If you like The Black Hole then go out of your way to get this - it's really worth while! With the current technology switch to DVD and the lack of VHS player availability, I'm gradually being forced to switch to the new format; I hope to eventually get a DVD recorder so that I can transfer my rare old videos to disc - they may not be DVD quality but at least I will be able to play them once my VHS finally gives up.

The Black Hole
Silent Running

I used to watch DVD's on my PS2, but in recent times it has refused to play half of the video discs I put in so I got myself a very nice Pioneer player from eBay, the dv-360. I must admit that I have been slightly disappointed in the lack of extra features on some releases (wasn't that the whole idea?) but the quality is amazing. I wouldn't mind paying extra to get a few movies on one DVD (like films in a series) but nobody seems to do this yet. There are lots of older TV series making an appearance on DVD too, which is nice! I recently picked up Buck Rogers Series One - biddi biddi biddi! I also have the extended DVD editions of Lord of the Rings, E.T. (special edition and original feature), and of course The Big Bus and The Gumball Rally.

Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Return of the Jedi