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At 3.99 an issue, it was a little disappointing that there was no cover dvd or similar incentive. That said, the film reviews are good enough to save you a bob or two on some duff films and the next issue is due to have a cover disc, which I hope will become a regular feature. The review formats are not at-a-glance and therefore, some key points may be missed. For instance, we use DVD specifically because they come with subtitles and whilst this magazine is one of the few places that actually mentions that there are no subtitles on some of the reviewed films, there's no table, so I would not be confident if there is no mention. Also the languages featured in audio and subtitles would be useful since this information is not provided as standard except on the actual DVD sleeve (a problem for mail-order/internet customers). However, film reviews do include information about the film, the picture quality, sound quality and what extras you can expect. The front of the magazine has an at-a-glance list of the films reviewed. Also included are region 1 dvds and various suggestions for methods of making your player multiregion and the degree of success. Numerous competitions are handy if, like me, you have decided to buy a complete home cinema system under the category "If I win the Lottery"! Hardware is also reviewed although the model we are getting was not featured. We currently use our PC to play DVDs and there has been no mention in any of the mags I've read so far targeted at this end of the DVD market. The current subscription offer seems to be something of a bargain at £6.99 for 3 months. Otherwise, the look of the magazine is good, it's easy enough to find what you're looking for and the style would suit anyone. There's none of the rather patronising attitude towards people who are not total film buffs. There's no real tendency towards any particular genre. In fact, Antz is reviewed with
more than a nod towards oft-neglected adult tastes in kids movies (if you've got kids, you really want to know whether you are going to be able to stomach sitting through it for the umpteenth time or not, or, in the case of my partner and I, whether it will appeal to big kids!).
The main reason I buy this magazine is because it is very cheap when you subscribe. I think the cover price is 3.20, but the subscription offer means that you get if for something like five pounds per quarter, making it something of a throwaway purchase. All in all, I still think that the DVD revolution need something more highbrow than anything that's currently out there. If you look at cinema, you have Sight and Sound at one end, Film Review at the other, with Empire and Total Film somewhere in the middle. With DVD, they're all pitched around the same level - very glossy, very picture orientated, not a brilliant range of criticism. DVD Review is a classier looking magazine, but none of them really strike me as excellent, equal to either Empire or Total Film in having real insight, or real personality. Total DVD does have the advantage of some superb competitions, and covers both hardware and movies quite comprehensively. In terms of knowing what's coming out, what kind of picture you get and and what extras are included, it does the job well, especially at the subscriber-discount price. But the reviews certainly suffer from that dubious DVD-nutter failing, in that the extras, picture and sound quality are rated separately from the movie. Obviously, you want to know whether your copy of Manhattan of Gladiator will look and sound good, but here, you frequently get reviews praising the excellent sound mix on a film they have already acknowleged is a turkey. A bad movie is a bad movie no matter how well presented it is. This seems to be appealling to the vaguely trainspotterish tendencies of a minority of DVD enthusiasts who seem to be more interested in the technology than in the films they will be watching on it. This is emphasized by the occasionally puerile features (the current issue has a feature which is just a list of movies which feature foxy women which is a bit witless). All in all, this isn't a
bad magazine, but it's best feature is the cheap price you can get.
I have just bought Total DVD for the first time. I haven't seen it before so maybe it's a new magazine? Anyway, you will find all the info you need on DVD's in here. They have reviews on hardware as well as films. There are Region 1 and 2 comparisons and the actual reviews are very detailed. They also review many different makes of DVD player not just the norm like Sony. There are not too many adverts, which is good, but enough to be useful without being annoying. They list places where you can buy discs/players/upgrades etc. Overall this is a brilliant magazine and I will definately be buying it again.
This magazine follows a very simple format every month, which seem's to work as it is a very informative read. In the first couple pages of the mag is all the latest news flashes in the world of DVD with stories on new releases(movies and hardware), region free hacks and all the major release date of region 1 and 2 disc's. Each month the mag also has a region 1 and region 2 film of the month where a good couple of pages are used in great detail to describe all the features of each disc, now and again posters of the movies are given away as well. Aong with many other reviews of hundred's of other R1 and R2 movies. There is always a very good hardware section sometimes recommending players or amps, speakers or just the optimum ways of setting up your home entertainment system. The mag also has a very good question and answer section where readers ask question, give tips, recommend hacks and where to find easter eggs. Every month the mag reviews and rates every available DVD player on the UK market this is excellent for people who are looking at purchasing their first player. There are also many advertisments for buyers looking to upgrade their systems, or range of titles