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'Jesus: His Life' [DVD]
(Houda Echouafni, Cassie Bradley, Greg Barnett, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / History Channel - LGF)

Overview: 'Jesus: His Life' explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him.

Each of the eight chapters is told from the perspective of different biblical figures, all of whom played a pivotal role in Jesus’ life including Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene, and Peter.

DVD Verdict: OK, let's get something straight here from the off: This is not a documentary. Rather a dramatization supported by commentary about life in Biblical times.

Whenever a dramatic production approaches the Christ story people become outraged. Such is the way of the world. They responded the same way with Jesus Christ Superstar.

If any aspect plays contrary to the way they want to know the characters and events involved, emotions take over, of course.

That all said, onward and upwards now as this series 'Jesus: His Life' is spectacularly cast and produced, in my humble opinion.

For one of the first times the viewers get to see what people in that time and era might have actually looked like. And the first person perspective is a unique and different view on the greatest story ever told.

That being said, the content was confusing a good deal and contradicting the sources which it claims to have sited. I can only speak from a Biblical point of view, being a scholar myself, and say that many of the portrayals contradict things that are portrayed in all the gospels (therefore should be included/referenced, at the very least).

As opposed to portraying characters as being confused when all sources indicate they were sure. I speak primarily of the John the Baptist episode that portrays John as not knowing who Jesus was after baptizing him let alone claiming Jesus did not know who He was until he was baptized - which contradicts the primary sourcing of this docuseries.

Anyway, this 6 hours and 44 minutes long production is supposed to ONLY cover what others could have thought and does not have the authority to say Jesus thought anything aside of what the Bible says of him.

But, we will never likely see a perfect piece of this genre in this mode ever in our lifetimes (how could we) so for now I'm rather happy to say that the makers have made the story and the words have power again.

The actor who plays Jesus is wonderfully believable. He manages to portray Jesus as a real individual, a combination of divine love and purpose, but filled with joy and sorrow and compassion.

So, for those who have not yet seen this docuseries I HIGHLY recommend it and hope you watch it with loved ones throughout all its chapter. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

The remarkable 'Jesus: His Life' DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

Official 'Jesus: His Life' Trailer

'The Secret Life of Pets 2: 4K Ultra HD'
(Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / PG / 2019 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' continues the story of Max (Patton Oswalt), Gidget (Jenny Slate), Snowball (Kevin Hart) and the rest of the gang as they take on new adventures and are pushed to find the courage to become their own heroes.

Explore the emotional lives of our pets - the deep bond between them, the families that love them - and find out what your pets are really doing when you’re not at home.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of a sequel within their widely-beloved series, 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' in this wondrous 4K home video format on August 27th, 2019.

For my money, this 'The Secret Life of Pets 2: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265; Resolution: Native 4K (2160p); HDR: HDR10; Aspect ratio: 2.35:1; Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like when the one cat is teaching the three smaller dogs (!) how to "act like a cat"! It just all comes more vividly to life now there in the forest. Which is amazing to see, in truth.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine fur and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes, much like the scene where Snowball welcomes back to the table White Thunder - who after a washing machine run in with a red item is now being know as Pink Thunder!) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

. Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray feature Dolby Atmos® immersive audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, while the 'Despicable Me' franchise continues to reign as the commercially successful non-Disney animated franchise, Illumination gives the sequel treatment to their previous projects, including 'The Secret Life of Pets'.

Looking back at the first film, I still find it cute for its interesting premise, colorful animation, catchy musical score and a cast of memorable, side characters. My only issue(s) were that the plot was predictable and Max & Duke, while not intolerable, didn't leave much an impression for me.

However, my expectations began to blossom ever since the marketing for the sequel came out. After months of anticipation, the movie took me by surprise on how much it improved.

The sequel has three stories: 1. After Katie got married and has a son, Max (Patton Oswalt) became overprotective of his new playmate and must learn to overcome his fears. 2. Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max's favorite toy from an apartment room full of cats. 3. Reformed villain Snowball (Kevin Hart) dons a superhero alter-ego and must save a tiger from an abusive circus owner (Nick Kroll).

In hindsight, the plot would sound like a mess and have a lack of focus on which story to follow. In practice, however, the stories intertwine pretty well and does deliver an entertaining and intense climax in the third act.

The plot is one of the major improvements over the original. The stories are more character-driven and sticks more close to the title of the franchise more than Max & Duke's buddy-comedy journey, which took majority of the first.

The comedy is also a set-up from the predecessor where the jokes are more hit than miss. In fact, laughed out more than chuckling a few times in the past.

One of the highlights of any Illumination movie is the animation. Sure, some may argue that the Illumination animation quality and the character designs are too simplistic and doesn't visually stand out comparing to other animation studios.

As an animator myself, I sense that the animators continue using heavy emphasis on shape on the animals' design that are executed well in their movements and humor.

You can tell the animators had fun referencing how the animals move and behave, and animate them to their full potential. As for the setting for New York City, it retains its colorful appeal from the first film.

They also added new scenery to give a different atmosphere from a pet's perspective. It can whether Max & Duke visiting the upstate farmland or Snowball venturing through the carnival fairgrounds. For the latter, it also provided some decent and energized action sequences.

Most of the characters return and they are still likable and funny, thanks to the actors' performances. There are couple of characters worth mentioning.

I'll start off with Max. First, he is now voiced by Patton Oswalt replacing Louis C.K. after exposing his … history! He is, for the most part, a fitting replacement.

But, there are times when his voice can be a little noticeable since both said actors have different pitches and deliveries. Outside his performance, Max goes through a major character development where he and Duke become friends with Katie's son, Liam.

But, Max slowly and progressively becomes brave and less worried. I consider Max to be more likable than he was last time. Snowball went through a major transition from villain to a happily living as a pet while determining to helping others as a superhero (though at times, pretends for fun).

As the for the new characters, they are mostly welcoming additions and provide their own charm. The only exception(s) that I felt weren't interesting enough were Katie's husband Chuck and son Liam.

Again, not bad characters, they didn't leave much of an impression. On Snowball's side of the plot, we have Daisy, a kind-hearted Shih Tzu who idolizes Snowball's alter-ego and wants to be like him.

Hu, the captive white tiger that gives out more personality than words with behaving like a house cat and having a childlike innocence. If I had to pick two of my favorite new additions of the pack, it would be Rooster and Sergei.

Rooster (voiced the first time and remarkably well by Harrison Ford) is the farm dog that acts as Max's mentor on how to overcoming fears. I'd classify Sergei as the most menacing villain in Illumination history for his dark and threatening design and nature, comparing to the comedic, over-the-top villains from other movies.

Overall, 'The Secret of Life of Pets 2' is a major improvement over the first film, thanks to a well-thought out story, appealing animation, good laughs and great performances.

If you are an animal lover, Illumination fan, or have kids, I'd definitely recommend this movie. It'll be fun to sit through and a good appetizer before 'Toy Story 4'.

Anyway, that's that and now for a delve into the mighty special features included here on this great 4K Ultra HD edition.

The first are the Mini-Movies and in this case, up first is "Minion Scouts" where Margo, Agnes and Edith return from Badger Scout camp and three of the Minions are entranced by the girls’ merit badges.

Their own attempt at scout camp results in attracting a bear, eating poison berries and eventually blowing up a dam, creating a massive flood.
But, when they arrive back home, the girls share their badges, encouraging the rest of the Minions to try their hand at scouting.

The other Mini-Movie is "Super Gidget" where Max is kidnapped by an army of squirrels and Super Gidget is the only one who can save him.

It turns out that Max’s captor is a flea with the power of mind control so Gidget must use her pluckiness, strength and smarts to save her one true love!

The four (4) deleted scenes are: "Wake Up" – Max and Duke have a new morning routine with Liam; "Duke Explores the Farm" – Duke has a funny interaction with a goat; "Snowball Karate" – Snowball does his superhero warm up; and "Secret Confessions" – Dogs gather to talk about their deepest secrets.

And so not to give all the goodies away here, and leave you a few to explore for yourselves, the other stand out one is Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart where comedian Kevin Hart hilariously shows off his dog training skills!

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'
The Making of the Mini-Movies
Deleted Scenes
A Tapestry of a Tail - The Making of
How to Draw
Frame by Frame - How to Make a Flip Book
Character Pods
My Buddy and Me
The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball
Pets with Jobs - A Documentary
A Party Fit for a Pet
Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pet Massage
Pops' Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart
Production Pets
Pet's Yule Log
Lyric Videos
A Party Fit for a Pet

Amazon Purchase Link

'The Command' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Colin Firth, Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux, Peter Simonischek, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: Colin Firth stars in the unforgettable true story of the K-141 Kursk, a Russian flagship nuclear powered submarine that sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in August 2000.

As 23 sailors fought for survival aboard the disabled sub, their families desperately battled bureaucratic obstacles and impossible odds to find answers and save them.

Blu-ray Verdict: Directed by the highly attune and skilled Thomas Vinterberg, 'The Command' (aka 'Kursk') offers excellent production values, cinematography and performances, but falls victim to its own conceit in attempting to interweave muddled, inconsistent political statements; resulting in a film that alternates between tense action and maudlin sentimentality.

As aforementioned, as the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them. Ergo, as we quickly discover, the futile and ineffective efforts of the families have little to do with the through line.

But considerable attention is devoted to opening and closing scenes presented in a distractingly claustrophobic cropped frame, as well as raucous town hall meetings evocative of contemporary meetings disrupted by virulent activists promoting radical political ideologies.

The Russian bureaucracy is presented again, again and again as obstinate and deceitful, leaving one to wonder if the filmmakers are attempting to make a statement about contemporary claims of Russian interference and hegemony.

Although framed as a tragedy, the film isn't in the classical sense of a noble hero brought to ruin by a personal flaw. However, there is a tragic element in a recurring plot device concerning timepieces which in a minor way impedes the protagonist's ability to perform his duties.

In the denouement, this device is woven into an apparent call out to the Resist! Movement. A scene evocative of the Sermon on the Mount seems to advocate income redistribution.

Yet, these apparent efforts to espouse liberal political ideologies are confused by other elements. The disaster is exacerbated by the Russian Navy's failure to properly maintain its fleet, suggesting more money should have been spent on the military.

The socialist/communist bureaucracy is depicted as corrupt, ineffective and incompetent, possibly as a cautionary note to accepting the political policies of Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, and possibly even leftists like Warren and Pelosi.

The Russian military is depicted as ineffective and a theme is that all sailors are brothers, regardless of nationality, possibly suggesting that we should consider Russia a potential ally, rather than our natural enemy.

The movie joins a large group of recent films that seem compelled to make political statements at the expense of plot and character development. It could have been a much more effective thriller by focusing on the disaster and the efforts by the crew to overcome impossible odds.

Alternatively, it could have been a melodrama, focusing on the efforts of the wives to persuade intransigent bureaucrats, particularly Max von Sydow's Petrenko, to admit failure and take the moral high ground instead of blind obsequiousness to party dogma.

Ergo, and in closing, 'My Command' (which is based on Robert Moore's book "A Time to Die") is the happenings aboard a ship that are mostly speculative, at best.

In this sense it follows other sea-disaster films such as 'Titanic' and as aforementioned, becomes overly politically sensitive in its portrayals right from the off.

I mean, perhaps given the current Russian political climate, in relation to the West it could have ridden the gas pedal a wee bit lighter, but that all said the film truly does not deserve to become a political tool for any side in the new Cold War.

At worst, or best, this film is a single insight into how the Russia of today became the Russia it is today.

Oh, and as a capper, it's interesting to know that all families of the dead sailors received, which was for the very first time in the history, serious monetary compensation (a ten-year salary per sailor) and an apartment each based within major Russian cities. Almost all of them accepted this compensation. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'The Command' Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will include the “Human Costs: Making The Command” featurette and will be available for the suggested retail price of $22.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Official 'The Command' Trailer

'The Jungle Book And Friends'
(DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Beloved stories are lovingly retold in this delightful animation collection!

Tales as old as time come to life in this enchanting assortment of animated feature films.

'The Jungle Book', 'Cinderella', 'The Legend of Snow White' and Simba The King Lion - The Last Battle' are all assembled on one fun-filled DVD.

DVD Verdict: First up is 'The Jungle Book' (2000). Based on the famous book by Rudyard Kipling, 'The Jungle Book' tells the story of a lost boy named Mowgli, who is adopted and raised by a family of wolves and Baloo the bear.

Running at an incredible 97 minutes, this standalone animated title is really not all that bad. Sure some of the character designs are rather stiff and the dialogue does have moments of corniness, but in the whole it pans out rather nicely for the viewers.

With some of the story being rushed to me and Shere Khan's voice seeming slightly over done, the backgrounds make up for that ten-fold. All suitably colorful, the dialogue also has moments of wit and the story will appeal more to the main target audience of the little ones.

The music is catchy enough as well, if not as much as Disney's well known version, and the characters are quite likable. Overall, the voice work from the main leads is good too.

All in all, nothing great and nowhere near the best version but a decent enough animation on its own terms.

'Cinderella' (2005) is up next and runs at a lovely 90 minutes. Cinderella, an orphan, is now under the control of her evil stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of her friends, she is able to fall in love with the Prince, while helping him win over his own obstacles.

I have always loved the story of Cinderella and so whilst not my absolute favorite version, this 2005 animated version is still a very good one.

Indeed it is closer to the story than Disney's overall, with Cinderella's mother dying of an illness and the business with the lentils in the ashes, but still as enchanting; which in my mind is more important.

The animation is not perfect, lacking the color and fluency of Disney's more glamorous version, but at least the character designs are less forced than even the Mouses' Alice in Wonderland.

The script has a lot of nice humor with the stepsisters while never feeling over-simplified and overall the story is sweet and moves along swiftly.

'Cinderella' is just so warm-hearted and the stepsisters in their appearance contrasts nicely and so with the additional bouts of humor you simply cannot go wrong with this animated tale.

Next up is 'The Legend of Snow White' (2005) that runs for a wickedly brilliant 94 minutes. We join Snow White in this high-quality animated feature for your kids and family and watch as she escapes her evil stepmother, finds comfort in a cottage with seven dwarfs, and finds her Prince Charming with the help of her friends.

In some respects the plot of 'The Legend of Snow White' develops scenes that are productive of an intense emotional sort. There are some beautiful snow scenes, also home scenes that remind one of bygone days.

These is a double visualization that is very beautiful, but which is ruined in the finale (due to obvious "reveals", shall we say and leave it at that!).

Regardless, this 2005 version will definitely still please the wee ones that sit in front of it, of that you have my word.

Lastly we get 'Simba The King Lion: The Final Battle' (2005) which itself runs for an incredible 118 minutes! Here we join in the adventures of Simba and his jungle animal friends in this high quality entertaining animated feature for your kids and family.

When I first saw the original 'The Lion King' in cinemas at the age of four, I'd been hooked. Ever since then, my favorite movie has always been the Disney classic.

The sequel came out when I was seven, and for a cheaply made direct-to-video movie, was quite enjoyable to watch. Subsequently they mined the whole Lion King / Simba vault thereafter, bringing this direct-to-DVD one out in 2005.

Basically, the story follows on from the original film and thus is nicely tied in with the original film. With the concept of Scar, the antagonist of the first film having a family bent on revenge over Simba, the protagonist is seen here now within some very moving moments going toe-to-tow with young Simba; in what will be their final battle! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

DIGITAL BONUS: This new DVD includes Digital Streaming Access to 6 additional adventures via redemption insert including: Welcome Back Pinocchio, Pocahontas I: Princess of American Indians, The Thief of Baghdad, The Three Musketeers, Hercules, and Robin Hood.

'Anastasia - The Mysteries of Anna'
(Amy Irving, Rex Harrison, Olivia de Havilland, Omar Sharif, Susan Lucci, Christian Bale, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: In July of 1918, the Bolsheviks shot Russian Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children during the Russian Revolution.

So begins the epic saga of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed until the day she died in 1984 that she was truly Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest child of Czar Nicholas II and sole survivor of the family's execution.

Her story became one of the greatest romantic mysteries of the twentieth century.

This breathtaking adaptation of Anna's journey is also a depiction of a lost era, from her days of Russian royalty, her flight from execution and her years of struggle to reclaim her royal heritage.

Amy Irving leads a luminary cast in this spectacular drama filled with triumph, tragedy, mystery and hope.

DVD Verdict: This is a richly produced, atmospheric telling of the Anastasia legend set against the time of the Russian revolution.

It has the look of an authentic, handsome movie of the kind made during the golden age of Hollywood.

In the title role, Amy Irving gives what is probably one of the finest performances of her career.

Others around her are equally impressive: Rex Harrison, Olivia de Havilland, Claire Bloom, Omar Shariff, Jan Niklas and Susan Lucci.

The epic story begins with the start of the revolution and the exile of the family of Nicolas and Alexandra.

After fleeing execution, the story follows Anastasia's years of struggle to regain her royal heritage - and the opposition of forces around her who call her an imposter.

In truth, it was probably watching this TV movie that got me interested in the debate as to whether "Anna" was really Tsar Nicholas's daughter Anastasia.

Since seeing it I have made a point of watching various documentaries and also bought a book. Despite the evidence that has been discovered since the film was released, I sometimes still think she was.

Such is the power of Amy Irving's acting in this 2-parter which is somewhat liberal with the historical facts, but packed to the brim with tear-jerking drama and Irving's totally convincing performance.

I was not consciously aware of Irving before this, though I must have seen her without realizing it in 'Carrie' (another favorite film of mine).

In 'Anastasia' I never felt for one moment that it was only a film or a TV movie. For me this woman WAS Anastasia, and when the first part ended with her in the railway carriage meeting members of the royal family, I knew that come hell or high water I had to see the second part.

I just wanted to see how she would prove that she was who she claimed to be, and as the story progressed I felt an intense hatred of Rex Harrison's character; though I greatly admire him as an actor, of course.

In closing, winner of two Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and much acclaim from critics and public upon its video showing in 1986, 'Anastasia - The Mysteries of Anna' I for one will always believe that HIH Anastasia Nicolevna Romanova and Anna Anderson were indeed the same person; and I will never be swayed to the contrary! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Pan Am: The Complete Series'
(Margot Robbie, Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Annabelle Wallis, David Harbour, Mike Vogel, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: The Jet Age just hit full swing and leading the way are Pan Am's elite stewardesses who can navigate any culture and overcome any challenge.

From New York City to the edge of the world, they will discover romance, natural dangers and exotic intrigue in a lush recreation of 1963 that will take your breath away.

Christina Ricci (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) leads an accomplished cast including Karine Vanasse (Midnight in Paris), Kelli Garner (The Aviator), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Mike Vogel (The Help) and Michael Mosley (The Proposal).

Join the journey in all 14 exciting episodes collected in this complete edition of the original series 'Pan Am'.

DVD Verdict: It's 1963. Laura Cameron (Margot Robbie) is a runaway bride following her black sheep sister Kate (Kelli Garner) to be a Pan Am stewardess.

Kate is recruited by government agent Richard Parks (Jeremy Davidson) to be a secret courier. Maggie Ryan (Christina Ricci) is the sassy wild one.

Colette Valois (Karine Vanasse) is the worldly French one. Ted Vanderway (Michael Mosley) and Dean Lowrey (Mike Vogel) are pilots.

Simply put, 'Pan Am' is a glossy mix of disparate and clashing story styles. The family drama of Kate and Laura is probably the most compelling and starts the show on the right foot.

The cold war espionage drama is probably the most clashing which means what you are getting is a tonally and completely different show to the "flighty" one you believe you might be seeing from the cover art and such.

To my mind, Annabelle Wallis haunts the show like a ghost. Colette is probably the darkest where, again, her dark tones clash with the bright shiny show.

That said, Christina Ricci is probably the most disappointing because the show struggles to find a long term stable story for her. Dean is weakly written or weakly performed for even after just the series run of 14 episodes I still cannot figure out which!

Ted has some fun daddy issues, but he gets annoying way too quickly in most scenes. But, 'Pan Am' is still a delightfully glossy shiny recreation of an era that may well have gone, but still lingers in the minds of all who lived through it.

All that in mind, I actually really enjoyed 'Pan Am's attention to period detail, loving the costumes and the sets. The flight attendant uniforms are slightly different from the originals and they are missing their in-flight smocks, but this is a TV series not a documentary.

Actually a lot of thought and research went into bringing the early '60s back to life and this was most evident in the first episode. Subsequent episodes have brought increasing disappointment; hence the cancellation after just this first season.

What could have been a great show has turned into a melodrama that has little to do with the airline industry with the story lines quickly becoming far fetched; leaving 'Pan Am' bordering on becoming a weak soap opera.

I mean, sure, the individual episodes continually provide different examples of the international relations of the time as well as the way it felt to be an American in the 1960s.

But as much as these story lines developed with each episode and subsequently become overlapped, they never quite gel successfully. Otherwise it's a pretty compelling, beautiful and accurate depiction of the 1960s! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Hart To Hart: Movies Are Murder Collection'
(Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers return after a successful series run as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart for 8 feature-length mysteries that will entertain and thrill you.

See everyone's favorite crime-solving couple along with their loyal butler, Max (Lionel Stander), and their dog, Freeway in these eight whodunits.

Hart to Hart Returns (1993) - Home is Where the Hart Is (1994) - Crimes of the Hart (1994) - Old Friends Never Die (1994) - Secrets of the Hart (1995) - Two Harts in 3/4 Time (1995) - Harts in High Season (1996) - Till Death Do Us Hart (1996).

DVD Verdict: Up first in this quite wondrous new collection from Mill Creek Entertainment is 'Hart to Hart Returns' (1993). As Jonathan Hart contemplates what to give Jennifer for their anniversary, a murder is committed and Jonathan is being set up to take the fall. It all has to do with codes, cave-ins, burnouts, and bugging's!

What can I say the "Return" was like they never left. I really enjoyed the story line and especially the last scene which was true 'Hart to Hart' style.

The writers again captured the essence of what the series was really about love, adventure and mystery. The characters, Jonathan, Jennifer and the late Max is timeless.

As a baby boomer this is what I call good television. There are very few good shows on today so I am finding myself going back to the '70s, '80s and '90s for good viewing pleasure.

Then comes 'Home is Where the Hart Is' (1994) where the Harts travel to Kingmans Ferry a town a quaint little town where people know Jennifer Hart as Jennifer Edwards.

Here the sleuthing couple attend a funeral of a friend but are forced to stay in town when they learn they've inherited a seat of power from the dearly departed. But, when Stephanie receives some threatening messages, it's clear someone in town wants them to leave!

Next up is 'Crimes of the Hart' (1994) in which are rich married sleuths uncover a sabotage plot in N.Y.

With yet another appearance from Lionel Stander as Max it seems to me that the Hart's must be on lean times here as there are no more private jets and they are actually flying via Delta Airlines!

That aside, I love the love they shared as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. Not too many shows have the kind of chemistry they had.

They actually loved each other which gives hope as to what the future could potentially hold those looking for that legit kind of love in their marriage and relationships!

Then comes 'Old Friends Never Die' (1994) where our intrepid duo show up for a literary weekend and overhear a plot for murder.

Once Jennifer happens to overhear two men discussing a murder they plan to commit and discovers it sounds like it might well be her very own Jonathan, suddenly the Harts have to find out why he has become a marked man while staying out of harm's way as they track the killers!

In 'Secrets of the Hart' (1995) Jonathan and Jennifer Hart are in San Francisco to help with a charity auction. Jennifer picks up an old locket for auction and shows it to Jonathan.

Jonathan quickly recognizes a picture of him and his sister who he hasn't seen since he was a child, inside. Stuart Morris approaches the Harts claiming to be Jonathan's nephew.

Stuart tells them that his aunt is Mr. Harts long lost sister but perhaps, this family reunion isn't quite what it seems!

Then comes 'Two Harts in 3/4 Time' (1995). When the Harts accept a clock left to them by Max, their recently deceased valet, the timepiece becomes the centerpiece of a case involving blackmail and murder.

Yet another delightful portrayal of how a relationship can be successful no matter how much external strain you put on it (!), it was very sad to know that Max (Lionel Stander) had passed away around the time of this TV movie. But it was rather lovely to see some of Montreal!

In 'Harts in High Season' (1996) when his old enemy Elliot Manning goes missing in Australia, Jonathan Hart is suspected by the Australian police of having done away with him.

With help from his wife, Jonathan turns sleuths in order to prove himself innocent. The couple go through a few adventures while trying to clear Jonathan's name.

As the TV films had progressed over the years since the very first one, Stephanie Powers amazingly still looks great, but Robert Wagner does look well aged here!

I also missed Max and Freeway as the former had passed away by now and the latter had "retired" from showbusiness but all in all this is yet another fun, and therefore typical 'Hart to Hart' TV film.

Finally we get 'Till Death Do Us Hart' (1996) where the Harts go to Munich where Jennifer is to donate bone marrow to a little boy who has leukemia.

The doctor is amazed that Jenifer looks like his fiancée who is missing just before the wedding. There is a party and the doctor will be embarrassed if he comes without his fiancée.

OMG, what is Jennifer thinking? Another great and what was to be final story that, once again, showcases the fact that Hart's never got to be alone - even when they were celebrating their Anniversary! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Roxanne: Retro VHS Style'
(Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Shelley Duvall, Fred Willard, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1987) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: The large-nosed C.D. Bales is in love with the beautiful Roxanne; she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Blu-ray Verdict: Steve Martin (The Man With Two Brains) stars as fire chief Charlie Bales, a man with a rather big nose! Indeed, this unusual feature makes him believe he will never be able to be with a girl - especially the one he has just met; the beautiful Roxanne.

Martin gives a good performance as the insecure but happy fire chief. His best moment is the famous bar scene where he is challenged to think of 20 insults regarding his own big nose!

The oversized nose is the big talking point of the town and the use of it was quite interesting as it brought out a touching subject regarding appearance and what other people thought of it.

As the film is a comedy that is where its focus lies with pretty much all of the jokes involving Martin's comedic timing. At all times proving vital to make the nose jokes work he is on the ball and punchline perfect here in 'Roxanne.'

Indeed, his reactions are excellent, especially the aforementioned bar scene and the opening sequence with the two men. The fact Martin did all of his own stunts was knowledge I couldn't believe because there are some very difficult maneuvers that he has to do; but all are executed brilliantly, of course.

The plot is consistent, with many good jokes and a sweet storyline regarding the fire chief and the woman he subsequently falls. Sadly though, it follows the conventional romantic story line that has been tried and trusted for 100+ years.

Now, don't get me wrong I love romantic films, but a bit of variety every now and again wouldn't hurt.

Rossovich and Hannah are good enough in their roles but are completely outshone by Martin. They have pretty conventional roles and always seemed to give the film predictability rather than spontaneity. Though that is also down to some cheesy and poor dialogue at times!

In closing, Martin's performance is obviously enough to carry the film from start to finish, but had the film been rather more shy from the usual romantic conventions, to my mind, then this would be the "perfect" romantic comedy. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Roxanne' [Retro VHS '90s Style Blu-Ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'The New Kids' (Retro VHS Style)
(James Spader, Lori Loughlin, Shannon Presby, Eric Stolz, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1985) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A brother and sister arrive in a small town to help their relatives run an amusement park, and they find the town is terrorized by a local street gang.

Blu-ray Verdict: Teenage orphans Abby (Lori Loughlin) and Loren (Shannon Presby) go to live with their aunt and uncle in Florida, who run a combination gas station and amusement park.

Abby attracts the attention of scumbag Eddie Dutra (James Spader) and his redneck buddies. When Abby rejects them, the punks harass her and her family.

Loren tries to get even which leads to Abby being kidnapped. Now it's a life or death showdown vs the rednecks.

Not a horror movie like the poster implies but an action-thriller that sadly has nothing to do with New Kids on the Block!

The '80s was a decade full of revenge movies. Most were more brutal than this. But I suppose that might make this more accessible than, say, the Death Wish series.

The cast here is decent. Shannon Presby had a short-lived career but that appears to be by choice as he does fine here. Lori Loughlin is very pretty and personable. Every time I see one of her pre-Full House movie roles I have to wonder what the world she was smoking in the '80s that prevented her from becoming a bigger star!

We're also teased with a nude shower scene from her in this but, alas, it's just a tease. Carrot-topped Eric Stoltz plays Lori's boyfriend. I doubt I'll ever fully get his appeal.

Eddie Jones plays the likable but irresponsible uncle ("Soon enough, we're gonna be fartin' through silk") and Tom Atkins appears all-too-briefly.

The guys playing the rednecks are over-the-top goofy and not the least bit scary. The standout of the movie is, obviously, a scenery-chewing platinum blonde James Spader as the creepy villain.

It's his movie, really. This was written by Stephen Gyllenhaal, father of Maggie who would later have her first big role in 'Secretary' - which starred Spader! Two degrees of separation right there, boys and girls!

Anyway, getting back on track and the gang of school toughs that back up Spader do not seem like the kind of dudes a guy like him would be hanging with. Also, something tells me the part Spader was cast for and the part he played weren't exactly the same!

In closing, 'The New Kids' shares that special charm and energy that most of the classic from the '80s held. It's lively, it's interesting, the characters are fun and over-the-top, and it had some pretty sweet scenes too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'The New Kids' [Retro VHS '90s Style Blu-Ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'White Line Fever' (Retro VHS Style)
(Jan-Michael Vincent, Slim Pickens, Kay Lenz, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1975) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: In the 1970s Arizona, a young married man becomes an independent long-haul driver and he risks his life fighting the corruption in the local long-haul trucking industry.

Blu-ray Verdict: Jan-Michael Vincent stars in this B-movie from the Redneck Renaissance which has an ex-military man buying a rig to achieve the American dream along with his doting wife.

Corruption rears its ugly head when his unscrupulous owners try to force him to do the wrong thing but with a granite jaw and rather a handy dandy shotgun, he prevails!

'White Line Fever' came out with the CB fad and is really a vintage film now. Is it a classic? Well, the truck driving scenes are classic. The other stuff like the plot and ending are apparently fabricated just so we could have a place for the great action to take place, in all honesty!

Where else can you see someone climb from the cab of a moving truck onto the van trailer's roof? Where else can you see a semi hit a bobtail truck tractor in the tandems and spin it off the road?

Where else can you see a diesel truck burn? Where else can you see a truck tractor jump through the air? Funnily enough, 'White Line Fever' tries many times to get the point across that truck driving is a great way of life and yet constantly shows us that it's also so hard for someone like JMV to make a living at it too!

In closing, and in truth, it's also a little uncomfortable to see JMV in several scenes drinking alcohol knowing what eventually happened to him in real life.

Also, it's not clear if the chief bad guys get punished in the end or not, but if you can overlook minor flaws like those the movie is still enjoyable to watch. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'White Line Fever' [Retro VHS '90s Style Blu-Ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'The Ugly American' [Blu-ray]
(Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Pat Hingle, Arthur Hill, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1963) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Marlon Brando stars in this volatile political thriller based on the critically acclaimed best-selling book.

As a compassionate American ambassador to the strife-torn Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan, Brando tries to keep the Communists in the north from overrunning the weakened democracy in the south by making sure a vital road into the country's inaccessible interior goes through.

But, from his very arrival, The Ugly American is met with suspicion and hate even by an influential freedom fighter now suspected of being a Communist agent.

Intrigue and danger surround Brando and co-stars Pat Hingle, Arthur Hill and Sandra Church, in this tense story of Cold War politics that remains all too real today.

Blu-ray Verdict: Despite 'The Ugly American' being filmed in a fictional Southeast Asian nation, the parallels between this film and Vietnam in the 1960s are quite obvious.

It's obviously NOT about this fictional place but is a commentary on the American government's reaction to nationalism and revolution.

While this nation was founded as a haven for revolutionaries, by the time the film was made, the policies were generally reactionary - bolstering up ANY government that was seen as keeping the status quo so long as they weren't communists.

Yet, like in the case of this fictional land, many revolutions had nothing to do with communism and SHOULD have been welcomed by the US but weren't.

This film begins with Marlon Brando playing a new ambassador to the tiny nation of Sarkan. Some of the senators at his confirmation hearing were not impressed - Brand's character appeared to be a political liberal and looked favorably upon the nationalistic movement growing within Sarkan.

After all, the leader was his old and dear friend. However, after assuming the post, both the friend and Brando behave quite stupidly. They should have been friends but very soon become bitter enemies.

Brando brands the ex-friend a communist and the friend rushes to the communist camp for assistance.

Several scenes in this movie are so vivid they are unforgettable. The airport demonstration that turns into a riot is unusually realistic for a movie of this period.

I should know as I've seen more than my fair share of riots in Asia and Central America. The attack on the opening ceremony of the Freedom Road is also realistically played out.

The eerie silence right after the attack is suddenly interrupted by wailing from the wounded. As the Ambassador's wife tries to tend to one of the casualties, a relief worker walks by and casually tells her, "Don't bother, she's dead."

The chaos at the besieged embassy near the end of the movie opens with the face of a bewildered and frightened child as US nationals scramble in the background to leave a country descending into hell.

My biggest problem with the film was its pacing. Brando - whose performance as the American Ambassador is one of his best portrayals, in my humble opinion - goes from close friend to bitter enemy VERY quickly - too quickly. Things escalate wildly out of control in an interesting manner but it's all just too rushed to be realistic.

But, aside from this, the acting is decent and the story quite compelling - especially the film's commentary on the apathetic American public.

Clever and insightful, this one probably looks a lot better today in hindsight then it did back in 1963 before the Cold War in Southeast Asia really heated up significantly. This is a New High Definition Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'The Ugly American' [Blu-Ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Shiraz: A Romance Of India' [Blu-ray+DVD]
(Himansu Rai, Enakshi Rama Rau, Charu Royet, Seeta Devi, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / NR / (1928) 2019 / Juno Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: Based on the romance between 17th-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film 'Shiraz: A Romance Of India' is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world's most iconic structures: the Taj Mahal.

Blu-ray Verdict: This intriguing 1928 silent film, now restored by the BFI and released via Juno Films and MVD Visual on Blu-ray, is a startlingly ambitious epic weepie-romance, filmed entirely on location in India – and is of far more than just archival interest.

Taking creative flight from the historical record, it reimagines the story of the Mumtaz Mahal, the 17th-century Mughal empress in India whose death so devastated the emperor that he commissioned the monument to her in Agra, now known as the Taj Mahal.

The film invents a new backstory for the empress: as a little girl she is ambushed with her mother by bandits in the desert and rescued by a family with no clue of her noble identity (although an amulet is to be the proof).

They bring her up as a little sister to their son, Shiraz. In adulthood, Shiraz (played by the film’s producer-star Himansu Rai) remains deeply in love with this girl, named Selima (Enakshi Rama Rau).

When she is kidnapped by slavers and sold into the harem of the emperor, poor Shiraz hangs around the palace gates, trying to gain admittance, even as the emperor falls in love with her and she with him.

Shiraz is threatened with all sorts of punishments and tortures and grows old and blind as a beggar outside the palace – because Selima could only think of him as a brother.

But after her death, he is to achieve a redemption by designing her famed marble mausoleum in a blind, visionary ecstasy. The crowd scenes and the location work in this film are a real marvel, and there is great tenderness to its final act.

As aforementioned, 'Shiraz' was shot entirely on location in India and features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings - all the more impressive in this 2K restoration by the BFI National Archive; which also features a specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-winning Anoushka Shankar.

Produced by and starring Indian film legend Himansu Rai, the film is performed by an all-Indian cast, featuring Rai as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart Selima (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she's sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).

This is a brilliant new 2K restoration Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• Presented in High Definition and Standard
• Restoration Demonstration (2017, 3 mins)
• Temples of India (1938, Hans M Nieter, 10 mins): Indian travelogue featuring beautiful colour footage of the Taj Mahal shot by Jack Cardiff
• Musical Instruments of India (1944, 12 mins): public information film made by the Government of India to promote Indian arts and culture
• Illustrated booklet with essays by Bryony Dixon, Simon Broughton and Gautam Chintamani
• Silent with English Intertitles

'Shiraz: A Romance Of India' [Blu-ray+DVD] is out August 13th, 2019 via Juno Films / MVD Visual.

Official Trailer

'Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League'
(Anti-Nowhere League, et al / DVD+CD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League' tells the full uncensored story of how a biker, a skinhead, a grammar school boy and a Persian exile came together, with no musical talent or ambitions and even less respect for anything or anyone, to burst into the UK charts with their debut single!

DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, the Anti-Nowhere League are an English hardcore punk band, formed in 1979 by lead singer Animal (Nick Culmer), guitarist Magoo (Chris Exall), Bones (Tony Shaw) on drums and Chris Elvy on bass.

Their first gig was as a three piece at the 1980 Chaos Show at St Mark's Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells on 31 March 1980. They later managed to get a slot in Discharge and The Exploited's Apocalypse tour, along with Chron Gen and Anti-Pasti.

Chris Elvy was replaced by Clive Blake (Winston) and Bones (Tony Shaw) was replaced by PJ (Persian John) as they moved towards going pro (which ultimately led them signing to John Curd's record label WXYZ Records).

November 1981 saw the release of their first single, a cover version of Ralph McTell's 'Streets of London'. The single peaked at No. 48 in the UK Singles Chart and spent five weeks in the listings.

Funnily enough, the profanity-laden B-side of the single, 'So What' later became the group's anthem. In 1982, ANL took part in the 'So What Tour' alongside groups such as Chelsea, The Meteors, Chron Gen and The Defects.

This very same year also saw the release of their debut album, We Are...The League. It reached No. 24 in the UK Albums Chart and spent eleven weeks in the chart.

This brand new DVD + CD package 'Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League' showcases the uncensored story of how this band of misfits came together to form not only a chart band, but an ongoing musical outlet for fans (old and new) even today!

Here via a scattering of various interview snippets we hear that some fans first saw ANL back in 1982 and how the young teens of today relate to them because, as one red-haired Mohican lad puts it, "They're f**kin' good 'cause they piss people off!".

As inflammatory lyrics are casually read out by senior citizens and further stories are spun of how fans came to fall in love with the band ("It's that f**k off attitude that I loved", being a constant running theme), the fact that when they play their home town they are known as "local heroes" says it all really.

Interestingly enough, as Magoo (Chris Exall) reveals, he may well have started and created the band, got them some gigs and such, but without lead singer Animal (Nick Culmer), the band wouldn't have gotten past Tunbridge Wells!

Stories are told, reminisced in most part by ex-band members of just how good the band had it back in their heyday. Of how they could get away with murder on stage, drink all day and all night, cop off with fan's girlfriends and play the music that they had written. As they put it themselves here, How many people get that chance. So yeah, it was good. It was very, very good".

And as ex-drummer PJ (Persian John) perfectly sums up, "Anti-Nowhere League just exploded like a star and the ripple will carry on forever". This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• Additional Interview Footage
• 19 Track CD of Previously Unreleased 1982 Live Performances

'Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League' [DVD + CD] is out August 9th, 2019 via MVD Visual.

Official Trailer

'Skateboard: Special Edition' [DVD]
(Allen Garfield, Kathleen Lloyd, Leif Garrett, et al / DVD / G / (1978) 2019 / Liberation Hall - MVD Visual)

Overview: A Hollywood agent finds himself in debt to a powerful bookie so to make a fast buck, he creates a team of exceptionally talented skateboarders and enters them in a downhill race. If they win, they will get $20,000!

DVD Verdict: The phenomenon of skateboarding which blossomed in the '70s gets a look in this G rated film about a down and out promoter who sees a bunch of kids doing their skateboard thing and turns them into a team.

Allen Garfield stars as the promoter who gets to like the kids no matter how much he first sees them as just a cash cow.

Garfield's probably a decent enough guy under ordinary circumstances and considering what he does for a living. But these times aren't ordinary, Garfield is into Anthony Carbone for some bucks and then borrows some bigger bucks to promote the team.

The leg breakers will be paying him a call if he doesn't succeed!

Which explains the pressures he puts on the kids to win although they don't understand it. Neither does Kathleen Lloyd, team nurse and guardian and all around confidante to Garfield though he levels with her.

Leif Garrett who was on the cusp of bubblegum stardom plays one of the kids and Garfield's eventual savior. The rest of the players are skateboarders first and barely handled the dialog, it has to be said.

And although billed as a Leif Garret vehicle, the bulk belongs to character-actor Allen Garfield as the tubby, struggling talent agent.

While Garrett meanders in the background as one of the younger skaters, too shy to really take chances, the true hotshots are real life rollers Richard Van der Wyk, Tony Alva and Ellen O'Neal.

And while the trio skate better than act, there's something genuine in the deadpan deliveries: after all, it's their territory more than Garfield who, with a constantly frantic bicker, seems more part of a low-rent gangster flick than skateboarding propaganda: which this needed more action shots of.

But Manny's a likable antihero, especially after Kathleen Lloyd joins the ranks as the chaperon/nurse. Although scenes where Manny attempts talking ingénue Pam Kenneally from sleeping with Van der Wyk seem a bit creepy, he eventually becomes the endearing sloppy uncle; as the team climbs to the final competition where – after the star skater drops out – it's up to underdog Garrett to win a do-or-die downhill race, providing more suspense in the buildup than the real thing.

Still, it's skateboarding and Leif Garrett combined that people paid to see and 'Skateboard' gives them their money's worth. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• Audio Commentary Track with George Gage and Tony Alva
• Interview with George Gage
• Interview with Tony Alva
• Theatrical Trailer
• Photo Galleries of Lobby Cards and Posters
• Scene Selection Menu

'Skateboard: Special Edition' [DVD] is out August 27th, 2019 via Liberation Hall / MVD Visual.

Official Trailer

'Cruising: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1980) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Academy Award-winner William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) directs Al Pacino as an undercover cop pitched into New York's seedy underbelly in 'Cruising' - available for the first time on Blu-ray in a brand new director-approved transfer.

Blu-ray Verdict: Body parts are being found in the Hudson River and there have already been two recorded homosexual murders that show signs of being done by the same killer.

With no leads in the case, Captain Edelson offers Officer Steve Burns the chance to go undercover on the basis that Steve looks similar to the victims that the killer tends to pick.

Steve goes undercover with no badge and no gun, only reporting to Edelson; meanwhile the murders continue as Steve begins to lose himself little by little.

I had never seen this film until just a few weeks ago but I was looking forward to it now that it was here on Blu-ray for review.

The film opens with a similar enough premise: cop goes undercover to try and catch a killer. We have all seen this genre before and think we know where it is going to go - cop will start to `go native' gradually and will struggle with it even after he has caught the killer - right?

Well, yes and no. The film tries to do this but it manages to make a real pigs ear of it throughout, coming across like it really didn't know what it wanted to do.

In truth, the film is all over the place. Burns' investigation goes nowhere for the vast majority of the time and just seems to focus on gay clubs with lots of men in leather or jock straps.

Meanwhile the killer continues to carry out his murders and the rest of the police sort of float around in the background.

For the most part it is rather difficult to really get into the film because the narrative is so very disjointed and it is almost impossible to have anything to follow or care about: basically the first 90 minutes is `There's a guy out there killing and a cop going to gay clubs - oh, look what they do!'

And then the final 20 minutes is `Oh, we got him now' - and that's it! So with no traditional narrative I assume that the film wanted us to follow the character of Steve.

However, Steve is a nonentity, even being played by Pacino! He has no "character" and we see nothing to suggest that he is really being either attracted or repulsed by the life he sees.

The end of the film is so open in regards him and just doesn't make sense for the most part, sorry! With these two threads going nowhere, all that remains is a film that looks at the gay scene in the city.

In this regard I was worried that it was going to be all PC when the film opening with a disclaimer that I assume was put on to placate gay groups.

However I immediately understood why the makers had put this caption onto the film - and it wasn't even enough! The homosexuals in this film are, to a man, deviants who all hang out in clubs having anonymous sex with multiple partners in clubs and parks.

I know the film apologizes for this but it doesn't excuse the sheer lazy clichés that it wheels out and seems to just hope that we are shocked by the repeated graphic image.

The seedy nature of the film means that it hasn't lost it's shock ability (even with gay relationships no longer a taboo in the media or normal life) - but if this is all it has then it is hardly worth it.

If director Friedkin had a vision then it has been lost because there is no sign of life in this film as by the end of the film everyone seems to have given up on it and it just, well, grinds to a halt.

I won't even go into the various threads that just seem to go nowhere - DiSimone turning up all over the place for no reason being just one of them!

Pacino is a great actor but he cannot do anything with a character he cannot understand. He is absent from the film and is given nothing to work with.

Certainly the slow burn he is required to do is not fitting his style, but it is made harder considering the script doesn't know about Steve either and Pacino has nothing to build to.

Sorvino is OK but has nothing to do, likewise Allen is just floating around as well. The only thing that really kept my interest was how many famous faces were in early roles here - Powers Booth, Mike Starr, Spinell and Weeks to name but a few.

Overall I was looking forward to this film and wanted to enjoy it. I was not let down, sure, I'll admit that on a higher level of the screenplay, but when it failed to do the usual things I expected from the genre set-up, well, it was then I was let down (by the fact that Friedkin did nothing else with it).

The plot is all over the place and the performances are poor simply because they have no characters. Steve is impossible to understand and every gay character is a cliché.

An amazingly inept film when you consider the names attached to it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, supervised and approved by writer-director William Friedkin
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Newly remastered 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio supervised by William Friedkin
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Archival audio commentary by William Friedkin
The History of Cruising – archival featurette looking at the film’s origins and production
Exorcizing Cruising – archival featurette looking at the controversy surrounding the film and its enduring legacy
Original Theatrical Trailer

'Cruising' Original Movie Trailer

'Batman: Hush: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Digital'
(Jason O'Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Stuart Allan, Sachie Alessio, Geoffrey Arend, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / NR / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: When threads from Batman's past begin to unravel, the race is on for the Dark Knight to crack Hush's deadly game.

Based on the tour de force graphic novel, 'Batman: Hush' ranks as one of the greatest Batman stories ever told.

A virtual who's who of DC - including Superman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Joker and more - is woven into this twisting tale of murder, mystery and romance that will create strange alliances and reveal shattering secrets when Hush's silence is finally broken.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Warner Bros. continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the quite stunning 'Batman: Hush' in this wondrous 4K home video format on August 6th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Batman: Hush: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Batman: Hush' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10 and Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K presentatons, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like when the bright city lights unveil themselves beneath the Bat and the Cat's running, jumping, swinging bodies high atop the rooftops of Gotham. It just all comes more vividly to life now there in the forest. Which is amazing to see, in truth.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the green hue and vapor trail, for instance, of Poison Ivy when she is asking Catwoman if Batman is her new "boy toy." Furthermore, scenes like this one and whenever there is gun fire or fires are lit now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the usual appearance on regular Blu-ray presentations.

As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

. Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray feature Dolby Atmos® immersive audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, in truth if you loved the outstanding graphic novel you may not like the liberties the creators of this film have taken!

In many ways this film is like last years 'Batman: Gotham by Gaslight' as in it pulls punches in the story which turn out to be different than the original graphic novel originally brought forth.

'Hush' (inspired by the acclaimed 2002-2003 storyline written by Jeph Loeb, penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams, and colored by Alex Sinclair) also elaborates on the Batman/Catwoman romance angle more than previous animated media, which I am actually not against due to the fact that it shows the creators are starting to show as much interest in the Bat/Cat angle as the fans themselves have done over the decades.

So, sure, I get that this new rendition of the villain Hush may seem a bit underwhelming and disappointing to fans of the comic book with the story feeling a wee bit overstuffed with characters and plot twists.

However, if you are a fan of the character and world of Batman, and can separate this from the comic book that inspired it, you should probably have a fun time with it!

The storyline takes place after the events of 'Reign of the Supermen', highlighting the interconnection of these movies. Indeed, having Batman go to Metropolis and meet Superman all in the purpose of showing Clark's relationship with Lois, might be the flare to suggest that 'Batman: Hush' might be a bridge to a greater storyline re: 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'.

Although we don't yet have a strong bromance between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight (to justify Clark wanting Bruce to be the godfather of his unborn child), this connection will possibly be the object of future films in preparation for the masterpiece that is 'Injustice'.

For now, it is satisfying to see that Clark's relationship with Lois is well established for it to soon bear a child.

Another hint includes two events that happened at different times in the movie: The first is Superman being controlled by Poison Ivy using "Synthetic Kryptonite" and the second is Nightwing being exposed to Scarecrow's fear toxin.

Does this ring any bells? Hint: Kryptonite-laced fear toxin! Also, it is no coincidence to have the Joker, Poison Ivy and Scarecrow all in one place now (Arkham Asylum) following their encounter with Batman or the Bat-family.

Additional clues that suggest this is movie is a buildup for 'Injustice' is having Dick Grayson prevalent throughout the film and briefly featuring Damian Wayne; as both of them play big roles in the Injustice storyline.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Bruce and Selina's relationship is well manifested in 'Injustice', and as aforementioned 'Batman: Hush' makes sure to introduce it in the DCAU once and for all!

Finally, last but definitely not least, the final hint for this direction is Batman's stress on "code" at the end of the movie, something that resonates to the events of 'Injustice'.

As familiarized fans recall, that code is the basis of the entire 'Injustice' storyline.

Regardless, and in closing, it was nice to have a cameo from Batgirl, Night Wing, Damian Wayne, along with classic Batman villains: Bane, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, The Riddler and his minions wearing their Riddler costumes, the Penguin, and Clay Face, amongst others.

And the final battle in the warehouse/factory, though a setting that's exhausted at this point, is really well done and exciting here, thankfully.

Some changes are acceptable, like Lex Luthor just being a business man instead of the President (which he was at that time in the comics) and replacing Talia's role of helping Batman find Poison Ivy.

Batgirl replacing Huntress is fine, though the latter's absence is kinda disappointing. Also, having Catwoman jump down to protect Batman from the street thugs is also a welcome addition!

Finally, merging the scenes with Catwoman and Poison Ivy and the scene where Ivy and Hush meet were good, as it shows how cunning and ruthless Hush is. Enjoy!

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film 'Batman: Hush' is available August 6th, 2019 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of 'Batman: Hush'
DC Showcase Short - 'Sgt. Rock'
Batman: Love In Time Of War
Audio Commentary With Filmmakers
A Sneak Peak At DC Universe's Next Animated Movie: Wonder Woman: Bloodlines
From The DC Vault: Bonus Cartoon

'Batman: Hush' Trailer

'Batman: Hush' Clip - "Uncovering Hush's Plans"

'The Last Black Man in San Francisco'
(Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: After Jimmie enlists his best friend Mont to help reclaim the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco, they begin a search for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.

A wistful odyssey populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights, and other locals on the margins, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' is a poignant and sweeping story of hometowns and how they’re made — and kept alive — by the people who love them.

Blu-ray Verdict: Telling it like it is, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' is by far one of the most stunningly beautiful films I have ever seen.

The masterful work of cinematographer Adam Newport-Berra is a monument for modern filmmaking. This tale of longing, love, and hate, captures the complexity and mercilessness of displacement.

The performances from the likes of Tichina Arnold and Danny Glover stand out, sure, but all the cast have incredibly solid supporting roles for the two leads, Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors.

Indeed, Majors presents one of the most intricate and delicate performances of this year, as Montgomery Allen and Jimmie Falls as the lead is also astounding, playing a version of himself in the film.

With regard the cinematography, all the poeticism of this piece is carried by its enthralling, detailed and ornate visuals. Its use of color, composition and light far surpass the rest of the major films from this year, and to an extent most films from this decade.

So, if you are still a wee bit unknowing of what to expect to find here with these 121 minutes, well, and simply put, this is a heartwarming tale about a man and his family who have been affected by gentrification.

It is difficult to explain the mental effects of gentrification, many people just see a developing community in terms of dollars and cents. As someone who lives in a gentrified area which is also a huge tourist city (DC area), the impact from gentrification extends generations.

This story shows how gentrification affects a person, affects a family and a community. It shows differences between those who were originally there and the gentrifers, small conversations between characters and family members show how families have been fractured and people changed forever.

In closing, this loving and sensitive portrait of San Francisco is authentic, sobering and luscious. From its quasi-wildlife portraits of people in the city, to its sweeping camera pans, this film is an augury of the future of filmmaking. I encourage everyone to see this quite stunning, wondrous and enthralling new film out now from Lionsgate Films. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Blu-ray+Digital and DVD will include an Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Joe Talbot and the "Ode to the City: Finding The Last Black Man in San Francisco" featurette and will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Official 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Trailer

'American Gods - Season 2' [3-Disc Blu-ray]
(Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray + Digital / NR / 2019 / Starz - LGF)

Overview: We were forged in God’s image, but the Gods are also made in ours — and in Season Two, the battle moves inexorably towards crisis point as the destinies of gods and men collide.

While Mr. World plots revenge for the attack against him in Season One, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday’s attempt to convince the Old Gods of the urgency for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow.

A council at the House on the Rock explodes into chaos, sending deities both Old and New on quests across America that will converge in Cairo, Illinois.

Shadow is forced to carve out a place as a believer in this strange new world of living gods — a dark world where change demands commitment, and faith requires terrible sacrifice.

Blu-ray Verdict: In truth I really enjoyed the first season of the show as it mostly followed the excellent narrative and themes of the Neil Gaiman novel.

However, this second season obviously was left with a lot of story to fill for time's sake, so the plot is interrupted with a lot of political propaganda that does nothing to forward the narrative, characters or interest, in truth.

While the novel explored a variety of themes) the heavy-handedness used in the last few episodes of this second season two not only clash jarringly with where the story started, to my mind it drowned the themes the novel was written on.

Thus, and for all those of you not in the behind-the-scenes know, 'American Gods - Season 2' is a great example of how if the ENTIRE creative team from Season 1 departs that you should just end the show right there and then!

But of course today - with the endless hunger for content - that could never happen. But let's face it, we all know that Season 1 was sensational.

The digital effects were off the charts excellent, the roles were perfectly cast and the characters uniquely written, but most of all there was a dark, witchy energy seldom seen on television: the Gods were intimidating.

Oh, not to mention aloof, cold, imperious, dangerous, seductive, scary, and sexy!

All of that is gone in 'Season 2,' replaced by a show that seems to aspire to the chirpy patter of 'The Magicians' and shows the Gods with far too many smiles, laughs, and soap opera-worthy facial expressions!

This new effort by the team and the actors to humanize the Gods admittedly works intermittently, but not overall, sadly. Put it this way, the "secret sauce" found within the first season has been heavily diluted and spread too thin here in the second season.

Meanwhile the writers seem to know of the problems, but readily dust over them hoping that the on-screen antics move fast enough that whatever you were thinking about has quickly gone.

Such as in the third episode of this second season when Media reappears, rechristened as New Media, after Tech got wind of her new incarnation, and he asks: "How is that an upgrade?"

This is a clear reference to the fact that Kahyun Kim - and really through no fault of her own, and enduring a tired harajuku girl costume - doesn't hold a candle to the first season's BRILLIANT, departed Gillian Anderson (and lest we forget Old God Easter, Kristin Chenoweth has departed too!).

But, as noted, 'American Gods' isn't all that bad. A true fight between the Old Gods and the New Gods, the series questions our believes and keeps us on the edge of our seats with its breathtaking visuals and cinematography.

The scene with Laura Moon laying on the field of flowers was just beautiful, it has to be said. And there are many scenes that will keep you guessing as to what's coming which is always a burst of giddy pleasure when it comes to shows like these.

Another way to look at this series is that it exposes myths and superstitions that have been embroidered in American culture and which melt here in the most imaginative and surrealist of manners.

Ergo, and for that alone, the show is visually astonishing. The storyline vague at times, sure. The characters shallow, especially here in the second season, sure.

But then I'm guessing that that is precisely how it is supposed to be for its structure borrows from the Greek and other mythologies (think, for instance of the Mabinogion) where Gods, heroes and simple mortals get entangled in plots that, unbound to any notion of logic or realism, may well appear childish absurd to a modern day audience.

In closing, 'American Gods - Season 2' is bizarre, strange, weird, lopsided, weakly scripted, explosively colorful, and yet at all times extremely well crafted with a premise, that we give power to that in which we believe, setting the roadmap for our own journeys through life. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'American Gods - Season 2' [3-Disc Blu-ray and 3-Disc DVD] will include "The House on the Rock: Setting the Stage" featurette, "The Second Coming: Neil Gaiman on Season Two" featurette, and a "Gods and Ends: Musings from the Cast" featurette, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $34.97 and $34.98, respectively.

Official 'American Gods - Season 2' Trailer

'Poms' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston, Phyllis Somerville, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: From the studio that brought you 'Bad Moms' and the producer of 'Book Club' comes an uplifting comedy about a woman who starts a cheerleading squad at a retirement community.

Starring Academy Award winner Diane Keaton, Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston, and Rhea Perlman, 'Poms' is a "heartfelt and hilarious" (Hollywood News Source) story that proves it's never too late to follow your dreams.

Blu-ray Verdict: Diane Keaton is always fantastic in any project she's involved in. Even in this stage in her career. I liked 'Book Club' from last year and felt like 'Poms' was in the same category.

A film about older woman being funny and bonding with one another over an activity. Its a new genre of film, really. I wanted to see 'Poms' because it looked like a simple fun way to kill time, even here in the house.

It still managed to exceed my expectations which means that this is a fun 90 minutes to be had that will ensure your living room gets filled with laughs and all around sweetness.

The film is about a woman with cancer, who moves into a retirement community. In the beginning she is closed off and not excited but they she begins to pursue a passion of her past: cheerleading.

She recruits 7 other elderly friends and soon they go from doing cheerleading for fun, to entering professional competitions. The woman begins to understand and revel in the bond she has with these women while also learning the importance of living your life now.

Diane Keaton and especially Jackie Weaver are fabulous in this film. The women are generally all lovable and have quirks to them that make them funny.

Admittedly, the script is simple and often unremarkable but the characters excel in bringing the film to life. Side note, Alisha Boe is very attractive and a joy to behold on the screen, but I felt like she was pretty bad in this film. (It doesn't require a lot and is just a minor point).

The film isn't really about the cheerleading competition. Its not a film about the activity like 'Bring It On'. This is more so a backdrop for the development of the womanhood and the bond between the characters.

The film is sweet and cute and funny for a good amount of time. Its basically nice harmless fun, which is necessary especially in an action packed month full of home video blockbusters. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of Subtitles in English SDH and Latin Spanish.

Official 'Poms' Trailer

'The Vanishing Shadow' [Blu-ray 2K Remaster]
(Onslow Stevens, Ada Ince, Walter Miller, James Durkin, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / NR / (1934) 2019 / VCI Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: VCI Entertainment is pleased to present this classic cliffhanger from Universal Pictures, which has never had an official video release on any format, now available for the first time on Blu-ray and produced from the original studio film elements!

'The Vanishing Shadow' is a 12-episode Universal serial in which a son avenges the death of his father at the hands of corrupt politicians.

He develops a wide variety of complex devices in his crusade - ray guns, robots and even a 'vanishing belt' - and the serial also features what is believed to be the first appearance of a hand-held ray gun in film!

Blu-ray Verdict: It has been a journey of over 40 years, but fans of the classic theatrical serial genre are being rewarded for the long, long wait.

Back in the 1970s, VCI Entertainment acquired the “non-theatrical” distribution rights to 48 serials from Universal Pictures through a third party.

After an arduous struggle with “chain-of-title” documentation, Universal Pictures has finally turned over the original film elements to 38 of those serials and is currently working on tracking down the materials for the remaining ten.

VCI Entertainment will be bringing the entire collection to market as either 2K or 4K scans from either the original negatives or remaining fine grain elements (35mm black and white positive elements) during the coming months.

First up is 'The Vanishing Shadow' [Blu-ray 2K Remaster] from 1934 where an electrical engineer, Stanley Stanfield (Onslow Stevens), brings his newest invention to the famous electrical wizard, Carl Van Dorn (James Durkins) - a vest-like apparatus that enables the wearer to vanish, leaving only a shadow.

Of course, Van Dorn is vastly impressed and with the aid of the machine, the pair set out to bring about the downfall of power-crazed Wade Barnett (Walter Miller) and his crony Dorgan (Dick Cramer); whose political-group activities, through a vicious smear campaign, had hounded Stanfield's father to death.

Stanfield's efforts are complicated by the fact that his girlfriend, known to him as Gloria Grant (Ada Ince), is really Barnett's daughter, who has rejected her father and goes by an alias.

Wizard Van Dorn also stays busy inventing new gadgets to fight the gang with but, someway or another, he or Stanfield or Gloria always end up as the victim rather then Barnett, Dorgan or their hench men!

Going back to the drawing board in chapter 10 (The Iron Death), Van Dorn comes up with a short-wave radio controlled robot and, in chapter 11 (The Juggernaut), he remotes it into a room to kill Barnett; but by mistake, the robot attacks Stanfield, who is tied helpless in a chair. Barnett was long gone.

In my opinion, they would have been better served by spending all their time and energy in trying to get rid of the shadow caused by the invisibility vest.

Toss in Ada Ince in the highest-budgeted "film" she ever made, and Edmund Cobb as a derby-hat wearing hench man (looking a lot like "Doiby" Dickles, the Green Lantern's cab-driving pal), and add Kenneth Strickfaden's art-deco lab and amazing electrical gadgets and this little-seen gen is a real Keeper, my friends! This is a brand new 2K Remaster from the Original 35mm Fine Grain enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Original Theatrical Trailer
Liner Notes by Ralph Tribbey
Poster and Photo Gallery
Classic Cartoon & Newsreels

'Ladyworld' [DVD]
(Maya Hawke, Ariela Barer, Ryan Simpkins, Odessa Adlon, Annalise Basso, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Eight teenage girls become trapped in an endless birthday party after a massive (imaginary?) earthquake.

The girls' sanity and psyches dissolve as they run out of food and water. Eventually, they regress to their baser instincts, exploiting each other's fears and insecurities.

This critically acclaimed thriller features a great cast that includes Maya Hawke (Stranger Things), Ariela Barer (Runaways), Annalise Basso (Ouija: Origin of Evil), Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man) and Odessa Aldon (Nashville).

DVD Verdict: My goodness! This low-budget, single-setting feature debut of theatre veteran Amanda Kramer (which has already been quoted in the same reminisces of an all-female 'Lord of the Flies') plays out in a rather disturbing way; so much so two of those watching it in my front room got up and left halfway through (the tension got to them both!).

Brought forth as the aftermath of a natural disaster coupled with an overflow of young girl adolescence as the tension on screen builds, the need for answers build, the dense, dank isolation grows (all the windows are suddenly covered by dirt), 'Ladyworld' starts to exhibit and showcase a most surreal and savage emotive display from its characters.

I mean, let's not beat about the bush here for 'Ladyworld' is a very disturbing film that gets into the ugliness of humanity. When the lights go out and food runs short, our suppressed inner selves start to come out and with eight teenage girls all coupled together in an "unknown shelter", well, it's only a matter of time before hot and sweaty teen angst rises to the top.

Opening with a black screen and the sounds of crashing and crumbling, the scene is set, even if we cannot physically see it that for ourselves. But, as we soon discover, Eden’s (Atheena Frizzell) party has been interrupted by shaking walls and falling chandeliers.

After finding the doors and windows blocked, the friends somewhat reluctantly elect a leader to oversee their time in limbo. The calculating Piper (Annalise Basso) wants the job, but the more pragmatic Olivia (Ariela Brady) narrowly emerges victorious, although loner Romy (Maya Hawke, 'Stranger Things 3') proposes that the whole notion is unnecessary ("Nobody needs to be in charge if everyone has a knife.")

Trying to act "normal" they spend time rather harmoniously eating birthday cake for breakfast and singing songs, but with no wi-fi or cell tower connections, all that is short-lived once a "figure" is spotted inside the house with them!

Or was it? As all sense of certainty dissipates, the now overly-make-up'd, lipstick-smeared girls swiftly splinter into factions and their already fragile mindsets begin to shatter. Their setting becomes a battleground and soon all hell has broken loose between them.

With an eerie score (that's admittedly a wee bit too loud at times), there are definitely a few mysteries to keep you wondering about various things here, and with a cast of characters who are unlikable in their own precious way, 'Ladyworld' will make you uncomfortable through to the very end! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Image Slideshow
Theatrical Trailer

'In The Aftermath: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Tony Markes, Rainbow Dolan, Kenneth McCabe, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1988) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Following in the footsteps of Francis Ford Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman protégé Carl Colpaert (The Crew) made his directorial debut by combining repurposed excerpts from a foreign film in this case, Mamoru Oshii's (Ghost In The Shell) spellbinding 1985 anime Angel's Egg with new live-action footage shot in America.

The result is 'In The Aftermath', a haunting post-apocalyptic vision like no other.

In a radiation-soaked wasteland, two surviving soldiers, Frank and Goose, search for essential supplies amid the rubble. After a violent confrontation, Frank is haunted by visions of an angelic young girl holding a giant egg, herself a refugee from another world altogether.

Could the egg be the key to saving both their worlds?

Blu-ray Verdict: Most who are interested in this film have come this way due to curiosity due to it containing images from Oshii's surreal masterpiece 'Tenshi no Tamago.'

Which is just fine for whatever explored avenue brings you to this gem take it and don't look back!

In truth, and not knowing much about this film before it arrived here for review, the anime sections actually caught me off guard as I had gone to get a coffee and sandwich and thought the film had ended … and was surprised to find it hadn't!

The music also caught my attention a lot of the times, especially one beautiful, poignant classical piece played on the piano by one of the main characters (which I have since discovered was not written for the movie as I had first thought).

And ok, yes, it's low budget and creaky, but even so 'In The Aftermath' is still one of the most effective films I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

The whole premise of the story by Carl Colpaert being wrapped around 'Angel's Egg' works tremendously (now that I've since done my homework and have revisited the Blu-ray for a second, much closer viewing).

For me, at it's core it is a story about the hope and redemption of the human race, that a benevolent race of alien beings (my opinion of the story there) who have placed themselves as saviors of doomed races, takes pity on us after seeing the love that we humans give one another.

Beautiful, effective and severely underrated I would highly recommend you purchase this brand new Blu-ray from Arrow Films (UK) / MVD Visual (USA) and bring some friends round for an evening's viewing that will fast become water cooler chat tomorrow! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed stereo PCM audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
The Path To Aftermath, a newly filmed interview with producer Tom Dugan
Apocalypse Then, a newly filmed interview with star Tony Markes
Before The Aftermath: The Influence of Angel's Egg, a new appreciation of Mamoru Oshii's original film by anime expert Andrew Osmond (author of Arrow Books Ghost In The Shell)
Still and Poster Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: booklet featuring essay on the film by Jon Towlson

Official Blu-ray Release Movie Trailer

'The Hustle' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Dean Norris, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: Josephine Chesterfield (Anne Hathaway) is a glamorous, seductive Brit who defrauds gullible wealthy men. Penny (Rebel Wilson) amasses wads of cash by ripping off her marks in neighborhood bars.

Despite their different methods, both are masters of the art of the fleece so they con the men that have wronged women.

Wilson's talent for physicality and Hathaway's withering wit are a combustible combination as the pair of scammers pull out all the stops to swindle a naïve tech billionaire (Alex Sharp) in this hilarious comedy.

Blu-ray Verdict: For those not in the know, the con artist comedy 'The Hustle' is a remake of the brilliant 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' with Michael Caine and Steve Martin; which was itself a remake of 'Bedtime Story' with Marlon Brando and David Niven!

The lack of advertisement for this didn't leave me with high hopes. However, the movie was better than expected. Still, it was also a pale imitation of DRS.

The movie's biggest issue is that the plot from it's predecessor is basically replicated point-by-point. Everything is too expected. The reason DRS became more entrenched in public memory than Bedtime Story was because it was willing to take the story on a different trajectory.

I mean the general idea of two con artists competing over a mark is a general idea that could've been reinvented in multiple ways. They could have at least changed geographic locations. If you haven't seen DRS, you'll probably get a lot more entertainment value out of this.

Rebel Wilson plays the Steve Martin/uncouth, small-time con artist role. The problem is that the film relies too much on her. It's clear, that a good portion of filming involved director Chris Addison just having Wilson ad-lib.

When Wilson is funny, she is very funny. She can have such a delightfully sharp tongue. But she produces a lot of groaners, too. In fairness to Wilson, it was up to the director and editor to which material showed up on film.

Doesn't help that the actress' character and a lot of her material feels recycled from previous films. They try to make her character sympathetic in the end, but the character is so acidic the audience's empathy isn't earned.

Anne Hathaway fairs a lot better as the Michael Caine/classy and haughty con artist. Her posh British accent is clearly fake, but she's so committed to the role that I couldn't help enjoying it. (The same can't be said for another accent she uses later on though!)

She also has a great control of non-verbal mannerisms. The best difference between this and DRS is that unlike with Michael Caine's total straight man 'The Hustle' isn't afraid to knock Hathaway's haughty character down a peg and make her the butt of the joke at times.

It's fun to see the character's rare moments where she loses her temper and drops all sense of control and class.

Alex Sharp plays the mark, and I'm afraid the character isn't very interesting or really leaves much of an impression.

I know I have a lot of complaints about this film, but the reason I didn't give this a complete raspberry of a review is because when it was all said and done I didn't have a that bad of a time!

I mean, when it's funny, the movie is very funny. Oh, and it also doesn't hurt that since this is set in the French Riviera, the whole thing looks nice too!

This is by no means a great movie, but I didn't finish the film feeling cheated either. Thing is that I can see some people really liking or disliking this. I say take a chance and you might just surprise yourself!

In some of the additional Special Features, we get a quite brilliantly revealing one in Hitting the Mark where the production team show the plans behind the film: from Anne Hathaway’s initial discussions with Jac Schaeffer and Rebel Wilson about updating the story for a modern era to Chris Addison’s collaboration with the cast to craft the comedy on set.

Another great one is the Comedy Class featurette which showcases every actor in the film bringing a very different comedic style to their roles. This comic clash also helps sell the conflict between Josephine, Penny, and the other characters in the film, of course. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Includes Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy of 'The Hustle'
Hitting the Mark Featurette
Comedy Class Featurette
Con Artists Featurette
Feature Commentary with Director Chris Addison

Official 'The Hustle' Website

Official 'The Hustle' @ Facebook

Official 'The Hustle' Trailer

'The Sun Is Also A Star'
(Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton, John Leguizamo, Camrus Johnson, Gbenga Akinnagbe, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: “What if I told you I could get you to fall in love with me…?” College-bound romantic Daniel Bae (Melton) and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Shahidi) meet—and fall for each other—over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City.

DVD Verdict: Based on the book by New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon, this fate-filled, star-crossed romantic drama features two good-looking people who fall in love against all odds.

So unique, right? If you enjoyed her story and movie 'Everything, Everything', you'll enjoy this too. If you thought that movie was silly nonsense, you'll feel the same about 'The Sun Is Also A Star.'

Directed by Ry Russo-Young, it feels very much like her other movies 'Before I Fall' and 'You Won't Miss Me,' but it does have its very own discerning features too.

Their story holds some unique flavor to it compare to others by offering a twist in the form of a very set timeline along with an ending that offers a refreshing take on these types of films.

My favorite part would be more so the background details that somehow tell another part of the story, hidden nods for details that will later be revealed in the ending.

Yet, the film does not quite deliver in the usual pizazz that these movies hold, getting too caught up in the one-day time limit to deliver on the quality cries and emotions these films like to use.

Still it does not escape the predictable and cliché story telling that fans love, but rather than true love and a believable romance we instead get a very cheesy tale that offers little sustenance.

The film feels more like two friends starting out on a friendship, that rapidly changes as each hour passes.

In addition, many of the tales have blunt finishes, with the secondary characters adding little to the movie overall, which was a shame given all the personal problems the leading characters had with their family's style of raising them.

Overall, the movie is not bad and is a very nice attempt at changing the formula that has been a staple in the genre. Sadly, the movie feels a little rushed, leaving much of the meat of the book remaining in the pages instead of onscreen.

In closing, this adventure is not quite the epic love story that so many fall in love with, but at the same time it at least brings some emotional moments and a relationship that has believable components to it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

Love Is a Universe Featurette

'The Sun Is Also A Star' EST contains the following special feature:
• “The Chemistry of Casting” featurette
• “Love is a Universe” featurette
• Alternate Scene – “Five Years Later”
• Deleted Scene – “Korean Restaurant”

On August 6th, 2019, 'The Sun Is Also A Star' will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others.

On August 20th, 2019, 'The Sun Is Also A Star' will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

Official 'The Sun Is Also A Star' Trailer

'The Major And The Minor: Special Edition'
(Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1942) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Legendary actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (Monkey Business) stars as Susan Applegate, a struggling young woman who pretends to be an 11-year old girl in order to buy a half-price train ticket.

Fleeing the conductors, she hides in the compartment of Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland, The Big Clock, The Pyjama Girl Case).

The Major believes Susan is a child and takes her under his wing, but when they arrive at the military academy where Kirby teaches, his fiancée (Rita Johnson) grows suspicious of Susan's ruse.

Blu-ray Verdict: Billy Wilder began his career in Hollywood as a screenwriter. However, dissatisfied with how directors were treating his screenplays, he yearned to have greater creative control over his films.

Though he had co-directed a single film in the past, the ultra-obscure French drama 'Mauvaise graine (1934),' it wasn't until 1942 that he was given a genuine opportunity to display his directorial talent, and a penchant for audacious comedy.

On the surface, 'The Major and the Minor (1942)' might easily be mistaken for a silly, fluffy screwball comedy - and it works quite effectively when viewed as such - but closer inspection reveals an abundance of mature, and even slightly scandalous themes coming into play.

Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland co-star in Wilder's improbable but highly entertaining satire of inherent human sexuality, loaded with unsubtle innuendo ("Why don't you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?") and difficult romantic situations.

It must have taken a bold director, indeed, to present a grown man falling in love with (what he believes to be) a twelve-year-old girl; a contentious subject even today.

Ginger Rogers plays Susan Applegate, a proud and independent woman living in the city. Wilder doesn't shy away from revealing the darker, even somewhat predatory, sexual nature of most men, and the camera shows countless male heads turning towards Susan as she passes through a hotel lobby, each pair of eyes eagerly passing over her attractive body.

When a married scalp-massage client (Robert Benchley) mistakes their appointment for something more than a massage {the early stages of Wilder's preoccupation with marital infidelity}, Susan decides to return to her quaint, uncorrupted hometown, only to find that she lacks the money for an adult train ticket.

In a burst of genius, she decides, in order to claim a half-fare ticket, to masquerade as a twelve-year-old, her appearance drastically altered by styling her hair into pigtails, wearing children's clothing and carrying a balloon.

That any intelligent human being would actually be fooled by such a scheme is highly debatable, but if the viewer learns to suspend ample disbelief, then many laughs are due to follow.

Ray Milland plays Major Philip Kirby, a handsome and respectable military man, who meets Susan {now using the childish moniker "Su-Su"} on the train, and takes to her almost immediately.

After intense flooding brings their train to a halt, Kirby agrees to bring Susan back to his residence at a boy's military school, where she is immediately the sensation of the college.

As a young girl, Susan's experiences with male sexual desire change little: the hordes of gawking and opportunistic men give rise to equally-rapacious hordes of gawking and opportunistic boys, and even Major Kirby himself, to his horror, finds himself becoming attracted to Su-Su; as her "mature charm" begins to exhibit itself.

In a particular sequence, one that the censors no doubt would have watched warily, Kirby attempts to explain to Susan the "birds and the bees," likening her female attraction to a light bulb surrounded by moths, and, one eye clamped firmly shut, suddenly declares her to be a "knock-out!"

Ergo, and in closing, Billy Wilder's first feature film is audacious, well-written, brilliantly-acted, and, most importantly of all, very funny - and it deserves to be seen alongside the director's other various classics. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
Half Fare Please!, a newly filmed video appreciation by film critic Neil Sinyard
Archival interview with Ray Milland
Rare hour-long radio adaptation from 1943 starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland
Image Gallery
Original Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet with essay by Ronald Bergan

'The Major And The Minor' Original Movie Trailer

'The Hills Have Eyes, Part II: Special Edition'
(Robert Houston, David Nichols, Penny Johnson Jerald, Michael Berryman, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2007) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: The hills are once again alive with the sound of screaming in Wes Craven's hugely entertaining follow-up to his own groundbreaking 1977 'The Hills Have Eyes'.

A motocross team on their way to trial a new super-fuel head out across the desert lead by Rachel, who, unbeknownst to the rest of the group, is a survivor of the cannibal clan which menaced the Carter family several years before.

Opting to take an ill-advised shortcut across the desert, the busload of youngsters drive straight into the path of the remnants of Rachel's demented cannibal kin - the menacing Pluto, and a hulking, blood-hungry brute by the name of The Reaper.

Blu-ray Verdict: Trying to get over his fear of the desert, Bobby, (Robert Houston) agrees to go on a dirt-bike expedition with friends Roy, (Kevin Spirtas) Cass, (Tamara Stafford) Harry, (Peter Frechette) Rachel, (Janus Blythe) Hulk, (John Laughlin) Foster, (Willard E. Pugh) Jane, (Colleen Riley) and Sue, (Penny Johnson) and get lost on a side road.

Searching an abandoned house, Pluto, (Michael Berryman) and Reaper, (John Bloom) attacks them and begins systematically killing them one by one. Gathering every ounce of strength they have as a group, they fight back against the murderous pair.

As one of the most maligned films in the genre, this wasn't expected to be all that good. Made by Wes Craven immediately prior to his smash-hit 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', 'The Hills Have Eyes, Part II' diverges from the grim tone of its predecessor in favor of fun action-horror thrills and spills replete with mutants, motorbikes, and - oh yes - dog flashbacks!

The fact that its mostly just a carbon copy of the first isn't really that damaging, as it allows for a constant stream of action scenes throughout the film.

The dirt-bike and ensuing foot chase through the mountains through various caverns is a wonderful action sequence. The large amount of suspense played out in the cavern sequence in the end was a great highlight, as the novel idea of having the main character in that sequence being blind was able to make some new ideas out of a clichéd experience.

It's quite nice to see something that had been taken through all of the possible explorations, but then to add a great new gimmick that actually adds some suspense to the proceedings.

In fact, it's quite nerve-wracking to see them wander through the situations unaware of what's out there and there's no way for it to change.

The fact that it changes styles over the first one and becomes more of a stalk-and-slash film is a nice change of pace and adds a little more to the film.

Now playing Devil's Advocate here, even though it wasn't all that bad, there's still a couple things wrong. The plot is a virtual retread of the first one, and the situation to get them involved with the group is a step-by-step repeat of before too!

Ergo, it really doesn't try anything new here and instead goes mainly for new traps and more characters. The fact that it's so maligned is based mostly around that and it's cheese factor, which doesn't bode too well for most movies.

Indeed, this one tries to rise against it with a couple of great moments, but the fact that it's so cheesy and clichéd is the major source of complaint. That said, and as I hope you can tell, I didn't have too many problems with this one overall.

In closing, 'Part II' is far better than it's reputation will give it, but don't compare it to the original and it might be interesting. Take it on it's own merits and you might find yourself enjoying it a lot more than you would. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
Blood, Sand, and Fire: The Making of The Hills Have Eyes Part II - brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with actor Michael Berryman, actress Janus Blythe, production designer Dominick Bruno, composer Harry Manfredini and unit production manager/first assistant director John Callas
Stills Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer
6 Postcards
Reversible Fold-Out Poster
Limited Edition 40-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes and an archival set visit from Fangoria
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper

'The Hills Have Eyes, Part II' Original Movie Trailer

'Mayans M.C. - The Complete First Season'
(Jd Pardo, Clayton Cardenas, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: Set in a post-Jax Teller world, 'Mayans M.C.' sees EZ Reyes, a former golden boy now fresh out of prison, as a prospect in the Mayan MC charter on the California-Mexico border who must carve out his new outlaw identity.

DVD Verdict: Personally, I knew 'Mayans M.C.' would be a hit when Kurt Sutter decided to go into the Mayan's way of life in an M.C.

If you're expecting this to be identical to 'Sons Of Anarchy' (SOA) you have no imagination, sorry! Sutter can pretty much write anything and if you have substance and intelligent thought you'll understand and enjoy this explosive action.

From the very beginning, Kurt identified a "mole" in the club and he's built on this storyline, adding into the fray the other club members. He brings mistrust, angst, bloodshed, loyalty and non-stop action along for the ride too!

I appreciate the subtitles as a white non-Mexican speaking man, as they help me understand a lot of what goes on. Although listening to the Mexican dialect isn't difficult, it's nice to have the subs in case I missed something that is said crucial to the plot line.

The women in 'Mayans M.C.' are tough as nails, intelligent and undivided in their causes. New characters are introduced and have exactly what it takes to make you feel what is happening in their lives.

There are some faces from the SOA past, which shows how the Mayans maintained a close association with Samcro after Jax's death. There's other clubs as well, but the Mayans are being presented as how the Mexican lives are different to every day white class lives re: their struggles, their love, their families, their friends and their enemies all give us an entirely new take on the way the Mayan's differ from other clubs.

That said, and it bears paying heed to once more, if you seriously cannot get past this show not being an SOA series you will not be able to enjoy this great TV extravaganza.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to Season 2 (September 3rd, 2019) as this first season flew by for me, which is why having it here now on DVD is a most perfect way to relive all those plot moments that I thought I had comprehended (but in some cases have since discovered I had gotten wrong!).

In closing, I would like to say a big thank you to Kurt Sutter, Elgin James, Emilio Rivera and to the entire cast and crew who have worked diligently for a very long time to make 'Mayans M.C.' a success. Your hard work is paying off, my friends. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Creation of Mayans M.C.
Hit the Ground Roaring
Customizing the Mayans' Signature Bikes
Promotional Featurettes

'Mayans M.C. - Season 1' Official Trailer

'Godzilla - King of the Monsters: 4K Ultra HD'
(Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed Ghidorah.

When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Warner Bros. continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this August with the release of this quite stunning 'Godzilla - King of the Monsters' on their new 4K home video format on August 27th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Godzilla - King of the Monsters: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10+, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like the delicious hues and nuances of Rodan's fiery volcanic "basecamp" and the hole that is put through it by Mothra in battle!

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes where Godzilla is looking directly at either the humans or his titan enemies; and his face can clearly be seen as either "wearing" a smirk or not!) now have been tinged with a glorious kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos and English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself. Well, Do you like loud booms? Do you like big visual spectacles? 'Godzilla - King of the Monsters' certainly delivers an audio and visual treat that can't go unnoticed, but there are elements of the film that stand out for all the wrong reasons.

I've heard (and seen) a big number of high praising reviews for this film and although I can appreciate the that the film certainly delivers on the titan battles, and the Godzilla on-screen time moments, the general takeaway from the film is somewhat of a 'meh' feeling - purely due to what happens between those giant fighting spectacles.

The pacing of the film is somewhat fast, which of course isn't necessarily a bad thing when we all know that the real meat of the film lies in the main event.

That said, I would have really liked the film to have slowed down to explore the unique moral issues that they had decided to feature, but again I understand that this is mainly monster film and such exploration of themes isn't crucial to the film.

The human characters mostly all fall flat, with the main father character being especially cringe worthy. A lot of the so-called experts in the film (the scientists, military personnel, et al) have been given comedic traits which often results in jokes that are completely out of place and consequently devoid of all humor (Yes, that's right Mr. Whitford, I'm looking directly at you!).

For example, during one point in the film they're talking about the name of an ancient creature which is pretty significant, and due to not being able to understand the scientists accent, one of the comedic characters (Yes, Mr. Middleditch, I'm looking directly at you!) interprets the name as gonorrhea!

Now, I understand that this is meant to be a film about giant monsters, but the performances provided by the human cast really are painful at times, sorry!

Anyway, leaving the human cast issues aside, I have to give credit where credit is due, and that is in regards to the CGI, VFX, and audio work.

Although the CGI isn't drastically different from the 2014 film, where it is noticeable is when the live footage of the humans is interwoven with the monsters trampling above them.

It really was impressive to see the actors in the same scene as the monsters, with debris flying, and not really being able to tell that it's all CGI (although that may just may be the inner nerd in me paying too much attention to the details!).

Although the moment when Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) is running down the stairs at Fenway Park to escape the crumbling announcers office and she is hit by a mighty large slab of concrete, which she just brushes off and allows to "bounce" off of her, is a scene that reeks of 'Seriously?!"

Anyhoo, back on track and the audio is really fantastic in terms of the sound effects and the overall mixing. The roars are loud, and the general sound of destruction has depth and impact (especially if you have a nice sound bar and surround sound speakers, of course).

What's nice is that there are a few moments of silence, and some choir-esque soundtracks to lift up bring life and meaning to some scenes.

I suppose my main issue with this film is tied to my initial expectations. The trailers showed something quite poetic and moving with its dramatic soundtrack and beautiful artistic aesthetic in terms of how the monsters were portrayed.

But what you get is more of a generic monster movie, with some promising moments that never quite deliver anything meaningful or new.

In closing, having your hairs stand on end and your breath stuttered is a common occurrence during this film! The monsters are beautiful and terrifying and they really do embody nature's wrath in all their glory. Enjoy, I know I did!

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on a few of the Special Features that are included.

The Commentary by Director Michel Dougherty, Executive Producer Zach Shields and Actor is amusing, entertaining, enlightening and most importantly inclusive of so many behind-the-scenes moviemaking gems that you could easily watch the movie straight away again afterwards just to pick up on them all!

For the most part it's both Michel Dougherty and Zach Shields who do the talking and reveal the insightful elements to the movie, whereas O'Shea Jackson Jr. speaks of wet set days and feeling the heat from the fire cannons!

The extensive mini-featurettes are fantastic also, in all their own rights, especially the beastly ones such as King Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine, Making Morthra, Creating Ghidorah and Reimagining Rodan. Wow, the art and craft that goes into digitally bringing them together is quite amazing to behold.

That can also be said of both the longer featurettes Godzilla 2.0 and Mothra: Queen of the Monsters which concentrate more on the heroes of the peace! The Deleted Scenes don't add, or take away much save for time on a long movie, I guess, and the Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature mini-featurette is both fun and inspiring.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of Godzilla - King of the Monsters
Experience a World of Stunning Visual Effects, Secret Monarch Locations and Monster Mythology Behind the Ultimate Battle of Titans:
• King Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine
• Rodan: Airborne God of Fire
• Making Morthra
• Creating Ghidorah
• Reimagining Rodan
• The Yunnan Temple
• Castle Bravo
• The Antarctic Base
• The Isla de Mara Volcano
• The Undersea Lair
• Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature
• Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight
• Monsters Are Real
• Godzilla: Nature’s Fearsome Guardian
Welcome to the Monsterverse
Godzilla 2.0
Mothra: Queen of the Monsters
Deleted Scenes
Commentary by Director Michel Dougherty, Executive Producer Zach Shields and Actor O'Shea Jackson Jr.

Own 'Godzilla - King of the Monsters' on DVD Special Edition, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and 4K UHD Combo Pack on August 27th, 2019, or Own It Early on Digital on August 13th, 2019.

Official 'Godzilla - King of the Monsters' 4K Ultra HD Trailer

'Into The Badlands - The Complete Third Season'
(Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Nick Frost, et al / 4-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Starz - Anchor Bay - Lionsgate Films)

Overview: AMC’s groundbreaking martial arts drama comes to an end when 'Into The Badlands - The Complete Third Season' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) and DVD August 27th, 2019 from Lionsgate.

Sunny’s son contracts a mysterious illness that pressures him to join forces with Bajie. They journey back into the Badlands, where The Widow and Baron Chau are entrenched in a drawn-out war that has destabilized the entire region.

Blu-ray Verdict: Well, this third season of 'Into The Badlands' is the final season so this is now a chance for all you collectors to complete your series sets (or wait for the inevitable "complete series" box-set at, I assume, Christmas, of course!).

Thinking aloud, colorful, greatly choregraphed, I simply don't understand why this great series never quite received the praise it fully deserved.

The action scenes and fights are really original and well done by the actors. The story is rather interesting and captivating, despite it taking a strange development here in the third season and it turned out to be a must-see for anyone who likes battles and medieval fantasy universe scenarios.

Again, and for the record, this series has excellent direction, writing, cinematography, choreography, score, special effects, settings and acting with all of the actors delivering exceptional performances.

In particular Wu, Knight, Beecham, Ionnides, Frost and Csokas stand out for me, but all the others held their collective own too.

As a quick series summary to those not initiated, the plot is set in a futuristic medieval civilization known as the Badlands. The world is ruled by a feudal system consisting of barons, viceroys, regions and clippers A.K.A. assassins.

One of the most feared and notorious clippers is Sunny who has gone rogue after the murder of his wife. Sunny soon meets up with a young man M.K. who becomes his protégé.

Eventually the two take separate paths and M.K. learns that he possesses a power known as the gift. There are other clippers in the Badlands who also possess this most wanted gift as it enables them to overpower any opponent that stands in their way.

For decades the Badlands had been ruled by the most powerful baron Quinn who was always able to outmaneuver his rivals until he is eventually confronted by a new baron The Widow who proves to be a much more cunning and powerful ruler than Quinn.

Barons come and go as the series continues and the battle for control of the Badlands continues. There are also many characters that are introduced.

There is Badji who is the only somewhat of a friend that Sunny has. Badji seems to know more about the Badlands then any other character even though he navigates the world in a whimsical manner always finding himself in precarious positions but somehow always surviving.

The most recent character is Pilgram who is vying for control of the Badlands using a different powerful approach based on faith. While this is going on baron Chau has risen and is proving to be a contender for control over The Widow.

As the battle continues Sunny and M.K. are eventually reunited under not so welcoming circumstances. Sunny is also reunited with his son and is trying to save him as he possesses the black gift which is killing the infant.

Sunny still refuses to bow to any man and simply put wants to live as a free man with his child. As Sunny is seeking a cure for his son with the help of Badji by traveling to Azra and eventually feeling he needs the help of Pilgram, he learns that he has always been the catalyst of the black power which he possesses deep inside.

At this point enters The Black Lotus who have been seeking out Sunny since his disappearance as a child. So the battle for the Badlands continues on.

Will it be The Widow, Chau, Pilgram or could ironically Sunny end up ruling the civilization. Time will tell, within it's own cinematic world only though, of course.

The plot is clever, witty, action packed, has unparalleled martial arts, is consistent, artistic, formidable and addictive. Sure, it's no big secret about AMC's decision with the series so the ultimate savior of the Badlands may come down to another network adopting the series in order to let the saga continue!

Regardless this is a magnificent series in it's genre and it will be sorely missed. This is a Widescreen 1080p High Definition 16x9 Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced an August 27th release date for AMC’s 'Into The Bandlands - The Complete Third Season' on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) and DVD August 27th, 2019 from Lionsgate.

'Into The Badlands - The Complete Third Season' Official Trailer

'Blue Note Records - Beyond The Notes'
(Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: 'Beyond The Notes' is a revelatory journey behind the scenes of one of the most important labels in the history of jazz - and by extension, that of American Music - Blue Note has been home to groundbreaking legends as well as present-day luminaries.

Blu-ray Verdict: Founded in New York in 1939 by German-Jewish refugees, the history of the label goes beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom, the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative and revolutionary force.

Early on wise words are spoken and suddenly we all reflect back on a business that we had taken for simply an entertaining friend: "Why would anyone start up a record company not to make money?"

It's a very true statement and one that German-Jewish refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolf took to heart from the off. But it wasn't obviously all about the money, because as another persona says in this quite revealing new documentary, "They were just fans and there were records that they just wanted to hear, so they decided to make them".

These two knew the value in trusting their musicians at Blue Note, encouraging them to push through boundaries in search of uncompromising expressions. The result, as we all know now, was music with heart, originality and social conscience.

Ergo, 'Blue Note Records - Beyond the Notes' is a rather stylish, and totally engaging new documentary by Sophie Huber that not only explores the past of the little label that could, but the inquires into the future also.

Opening inside a recording studio where a motley crew of modern jazz musicians are coming together, behind a keyboard set up American singer, pianist, record producer and multiple Grammy-winner Robert Glasper suggests ideas for a new arrangement to the gathering.

Early on producer and saxophonist Terrace Martin sums it all up quite succinctly: "A lot of the artists that found their home on Blue Note understood that we all had the survival situation in common," he says, "and that came out through their music."

The man currently serving as Blue Note's president, Don Was (American musician, record producer, record executive and founder of the brilliant Was (Not Was) group) hovers around, ready to input from his mind at any time.

Indeed, as we progress, Was clearly remembers the first time he heard a Blue Note record. It was 1966 and the experience resulted in an epiphany that awakened him to the visceral – and spiritual – power of jazz.

Understandably, perhaps, it changed his life forever. “I was 14,” he reveals, “and I was just riding around in the car with my mum when she was running errands on a Sunday. She left me in it with the keys so that I could play around with the radio and I landed on a jazz station.”

That was when the Detroit-born Was chanced upon a piece of music that he later found out was called ‘Mode For Joe’ by tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. Was found it eerie and otherworldly, but also hypnotic. The music gripped him and commanded his attention.

Was also remembers that he and several of his like-minded jazz-digging friends would go on a pilgrimage to track down Blue Note LPs in Motor City. “Me and my buddies, we’d get on a bus and ride 45 minutes across town just to hold a record,” laughs Was.

“We couldn’t afford to buy them. We’d just hold and look at them and read the liner notes and maybe, if we were lucky, we could get the store owner to break the shrink wrap and play it for us. So it became a mission to find and save up for these records.”

Simply put, 'Blue Note Records - Beyond The Notes' which Huber and her editor, Russell Greene, keep brisk and fluidly ticking over, never hovering or staying too long in one magically captured moment, is an incredible look back at a time a lot of people thought had gone by; but is revealed here to still be influencing the music of today in oh so many ways.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs to 1080p High Definition and comes with the Bonus Feature of: Blue Note All Stars perform 'Bayyinah' and 'Masqualero.'

About the Director: The Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber gained her filmmaking experience as a member of an award-winning Berlin film collective, for which she co-directed several films before directing her debut feature documentary, the critically acclaimed 'HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION', which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2012. 'BLUE NOTE RECORDS - BEYOND THE NOTES' is Sophie's second documentary.

'Nova: The Planets' [2-Blu-Ray]
(2-Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / BBC Earth - PBS)

Overview: The four planets closest to the sun, called the rocky planets, were born from the same material in the same era.

Only on Earth do we find the unique conditions for life as we know it.

But why only here? Were Earth's neighbors always so extreme? And is there somewhere else in the solar system life might flourish?

Blu-ray Verdict: Among the stars in the night sky wander the worlds of our own solar system - each home to truly awe-inspiring sights: a volcano three times as tall as Everest, geysers erupting with icy plumes, a cyclone larger than Earth that's been churning for hundreds of years, et al.

In this engaging and rather terrific new five-part series, NOVA explores the awesome beauty of The Planets.

With special effects and extraordinary footage captured by orbiters, landers and rovers, you'll get up-close look at Saturn's 45,000-mile-wide rings, Mars' towering ancient waterfalls, and Neptune's supersonic winds.

For me, one of the most amazing stand out segments here is the one on Saturn's 45,000-mile-wide rings. For nearly a billion miles from the Sun lies perhaps the most captivating and beloved planet: Saturn.

Over the past 40 years, a handful of space probes has given us glimpses of this gas giant, relaying tantalizing discoveries like a massive hexagonal jet-stream that caps its north pole.

But it was NASA¡¯s Cassini, which toured Saturn¡¯s realm for 13 years, that delivered the most astounding new insights. Saturn¡¯s icy rings¡ªabout 45,000 miles wide and only 30 feet thick¡ªturn out to be younger than the dinosaurs, raising questions about their origins.

This new documentary ponders the theory that perhaps they could be the remnants of a moon ripped apart by Saturn¡¯s gravity. No matter what caused it though, NOVA takes you inside Cassini¡¯s epic journey as it makes its most stunning discovery yet: geysers of ice and gas on the moon Enceladus show that it could have all the ingredients for life.

Another segment that is sure to enthrall you is all about Mars' towering ancient waterfalls. Hot on the wet heels of the recent discovery of blue pools on Mars comes images - via Google Mars, I kid you not - of what looks like a blue waterfall cascading over the edge of a Martian crater and down its sides.

OK, sure, it's not the first waterfall discovered on Mars, but it sure is the bluest! Images resembling waterfalls have been found on Mars in the past with the initial one from the Mars Global Surveyor at the time making the discovery in 2003 (before the advent of Google Mars!)

Getting technical about it for a second, the waterfall was discovered by Argentine UFO researcher Marcelo Irazusta at the Google Mars coordinates: 7¡ã 38¡¯31.40¡åN 166¡ã14¡¯3.57¡åE. That location is the Zunil Crater, a 6.5 mile (10.4 km) wide crater named for a town in Guatemala. First spotted by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars orbiters, the current images were taken by the Mars Global Surveyor¡¯s Mars Orbiter Camera in 2000.

Neptune's supersonic winds is another wondrous chapter here too for as we quickly discover, Neptune, the eighth and farthest planet from the sun, has the strongest winds in the solar system.

At high altitudes speeds can exceed 1,100 mph. That is 1.5 times faster than the speed of sound. In 1989, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft made the first and only close-up observations of Neptune.

Detailed images taken by the spacecraft revealed bright, white clouds and two colossal storms whipping around the planet's atmosphere. Neptune is a gas giant composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.

Methane gas makes up only one or two percent of the atmosphere but absorbs longer wavelengths of sunlight in the red part of the spectrum, giving the planet its brilliant blue color.

In 'Nova: The Planets,' scientists share the inside story of the missions that revealed everything from methane lakes on a distant moon to the mysterious unfrozen sea in Pluto's heart.

Furthermore, along the way, NOVA reveals how each of these spectacular worlds has shaped our own planet: Earth. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs to 1080p High Definition.

'Knightfall - Season Two'
(Tom Cullen, Mark Hamill, Padraic Delaney, Simon Merrells, Julian Ovenden, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: The march to war begins between King Philip of France and his sworn enemies, the Knights Templar. As the Templars prepare for the storm to come, Talus (Hamill), a battle-hardened veteran of the Crusades, trains the next generation of men he calls “God’s Executioners.”

There will be a reckoning between long-standing rivals – Landry (Cullen) and fallen-knight Gawain Delaney), De Nogaret (Ovenden) and the Catholic church – while Princess Isabella (Gaunt) takes her first steps to becoming the “She-Wolf of France.”

As King Philip (Stoppard) works to destroy the reputation of the Templars to the public at large, Prince Louis (Forbes), his sadistic young son, unleashes the dogs of war on the legendary Knights, reaching a brutal, final climax on Friday the 13th, 1307.

DVD Verdict: In the beginning of every episode of 'Knightfall', it reminds the viewer that while based on some characters and events of history, it is a fictional tale.

So yes, from the off the show is clear and upfront about being historical fiction; if one chooses to watch it, acceptance of this fact is assumed.

That said, wow, 'Knightfall' is plagued with some rather shocking historical inaccuracies! Of course, the most shocking of all is the reference to the kingdom of Catalonia, which never existed!

Catalonia was a county (not a country), part of the kingdom of Aragon. In 1469 the kingdom of Aragon and the kingdom of Castile, joined through the marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, a.k.a. the Catholic Monarchs, thus becoming the kingdom of Spain, which remains to our days. Anyhoo, other narrative is manipulative also, but that said, and for my money, the show is very good and gets better and better with each episode. Indeed, the final episode is excellent and leaves a lot of intrigue open which I hope continues into a third season.

There are a satisfying number of unexpected twists and turns. Sure, there is some predictability at times, but it doesn't take away from the entertaining value of the show. The costumes and scenery are excellent and believable. The acting is very good and believable.

This is not 'Game of Thrones' in terms of the number of utterly shocking twists and turns and highly intense character development. But then NOTHING out there is like 'Game of Thrones'!

I would say this is similar to Spartacus in terms of the drama, acting and action. Less violence than Spartacus.

Also, there is no nudity in this because it is the History channel. But there is a good love story, and tension throughout, and good guys who do bad things and bad guys who do good things which keeps it from being simplistic.

Some highlights of the show for me include Ed Stoppard's performance as King Philip, who is at times likeable and other times morally ambiguous as he develops over the season, and Julian Ovenden as the sneaky snake William De Nogaret, who was by far my favorite character.

I always love the beguiling characters best, and De Nogaret shines as the character causing chaos and mucking things up for the rest of them.

The hero Landry (played by Tom Cullen) is also interesting in his own right; one would assume Templars would be absolutely boring righteous people, but Landry struggles with his own demons which help to provide a philosophical look into how such vows to a God rarely work as intended.

There was also a pretty fantastic kill in a later episode of this season (carried out by Parsifal, if you'd like to keep an eye out for it) that as a lover of gore I greatly appreciated. In wrap, and in terms of the historical accuracy - who cares? If you want historical accuracy then watch documentaries or read a pile of history books.

If you want to watch dramatic period depictions with a few historical facts here and there and lots of fiction, drama and action, all in a believable period setting, then watch TV shows and movies.

For, as the second series progresses, the story builds nicely and you get a real feel of love or hate for most of the characters that just wasn't there in the first season.

The series found something it hadn't yet managed to do in creating a real tense, dark and visually disturbing set of episodes that really draw you in. Indeed, when one particularly dark episode had ended I felt emotionally torn by what I had seen! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and contains all 8 of the Season Two episodes on 2 discs.

With tensions at an all-time high at the Knights Templar, stars such as Tom Cullen (Downtown Abbey), Simon Merrells (Spartacus, Dominion), and even Mark Hamill (Star Wars Franchise) deliver an intense performance in HISTORY®’s 'Knightfall: Season Two', coming to DVD on August 6th, 2019 from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

'Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?'
(Clarence Clemons, Jake Clemons, Nils Lofgren, Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, et al / Blu-ray + DVD / NR / 2019 / Virgil Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's marathon 'Rising Tour' came to an end in 2003, Clarence Clemons felt like he needed a break.

So he packed up his saxophone and voyaged to China, where he could be more-or-less a nameless traveler in a foreign land.

This incredible, and so revealing new documentary 'Who Do I Think I Am?' continued to follow Clarence after China and document his transcendent awakening and then tragedy struck; for whilst in Florida, Clarence suffered a stroke and passed away aged just 69.

Blu-ray Verdict: Simply put, having passed away (too early) eight years ago from a stroke, the legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons now gets his time back in the spotlight with his very own documentary, 'Who Do I Think I Am?' (out now via MVD Visual).

This wondrously revealing, and endlessly fascinating new documentary (that runs for a lovely 90 minutes) focuses on Clemons' four-decade-long career as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s beloved sax player, whilst at the same time stars and even a former President alike talk about him as if he were still sat there in the room.

Directed by Clemons’ friend, Nick Mead (director of the narrative films 'Bank Robber' and 'Swing', as well as another doc 'The Colony') it chronicles his mass of artistic achievements and at the same time examines the musician’s so-called “transcendent awakening” and burgeoning spiritual life before his 2011 death.

Also known as "The Big Man", sax player Clemons was obviously best known for his stage persona, but what this documentary tries to do (and succeeds, might I add) is showcase a whole other side of him that not too many other saw when he was away from a stage.

"It's an intimate portrait of a man who searched for enlightenment at the unknowingly final years of his life" explains producer Joe Amodei. Indeed, and with that in mind, having just watched it twice through, back to back, I can honestly say that this new documentary is way more than just a document of Clemons' stage time - but is lovingly embedded in his burgeoning spiritual journey too.

It's biography for his life and a love letter and farewell from those that knew him best, that's for damn sure. Watch it today and become instantly converted within the ways of Clarence Clemons, my friends.

Featuring interviews with former President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, E Street Band member Nils Lofgren, Clemens’ nephew Jake Clemons, and others, 'Who Do I Think I Am?' it's actually one of Clemons' very own quotes that gets the most attention here: "Find your own true destiny and purpose in this life, while the book is still open." Amen, my brother. Amen.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs with 5.1 Surround Sound and comes with a DVD of the documentary also.

'Who Saw Her Die: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(George Lazenby, Anita Strindberg, Adolfo Celi, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1972) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Sculptor Franco Serpieri (Lazenby) welcomes Roberta (Nicoletta Elmi, Deep Red) his young daughter from a failed marriage to Venice, unaware that a disturbed child-killer is stalking the city's canals.

When Roberta s body is found floating face-down in the river, the lives of Franco and his estranged wife Elizabeth (Anita Strindberg, The Case of the Scorpion's Tail) are ripped asunder.

Desperate for vengeance, Franco turns detective in a bid to track down his daughter's killer, and in the process unearths shocking evidence of depravity and corruption which implicates some of the most respected figures in Venetian society.

Blu-ray Verdict: Well, for those of you wondering whether George Lazenby ever made another picture after incarnating the most under-appreciated Bond ever in 1969's 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' well, here's your answer!

Three years later, in the Italian giallo 'Who Saw Her Die? he reappears on our big screens, this time playing a sculptor named Franco, living in Venice.

When his cute little red-haired daughter is murdered and found floating in a canal, Franco naturally embarks on a quest to find the demented child killer.

Lazenby, it must be said here, is almost unrecognizable from three years before. He sports a sleazy handlebar moustache in this film and looks decidedly thinner, almost gaunt; as if he'd been afflicted with a wasting disease in the interim.

And the film itself? Well, it's something of a mixed bag. Yes, it does feature stylish direction by Aldo Lado, as well as a pretty freaky score by master composer Ennio Morricone, consisting largely of echoey chanting.

We are also given plentiful scenery of Venice, which looks both beautiful and seedy here, an intriguing story to set our mental teeth into, and Adolfo Celi, always a welcome presence (and another Bond alumnus, from 'Thunderball'), here playing a mysterious art dealer.

On the down side, I must confess that I was at a loss to understand what the hell was going on throughout most of the picture; what explanations do come toward the end are either half heard from distant rooms or grunted out during fisticuffs!

Dubbing doesn't help matters either, sadly, and as much as the film is never particularly scary or suspenseful I have to say it has stuck with me since I watched it last night (even permutating my dreams in some weird way that I won't go into here now!)

In closing, 'Who Saw Her Die?' remains an interesting, nice-to-look at giallo, nicely captured through the cinematography of Venice, and is yet another fine example that the good people at Arrow Films UK and MVD Visual are choosing the great, most understated films of the day to bring forth to a whole new generation today on Blu-ray.

This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film from the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by author and critic Travis Crawford
I Saw Her Die, a new video interview with director Aldo Lado
Nicoletta, Child of Darkness, a new video interview with actress Nicoletta Elmi
Once Upon a Time in Venice, a new video interview with co-writer Francesco Barilli
Giallo in Venice, a new video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie
Original Italian and English Theatrical Trailers
Poster and Fotobusta Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love

'Who Saw Her Die?' HD Movie Trailer

'The Iron Orchard'
(Lane Garrison, Ali Cobrin, Austin Nichols, Lew Temple, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Santa Rita Film Company)

Overview: 'The Iron Orchard' is the story of Jim McNeely, a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939, who works his way through the ranks to ultimately become a formidable wildcatter.

DVD Verdict: As aforementioned, 'The Iron Orchard' tells the story of Jim McNeely, a dropout dumped by his girlfriend's parents for not being good enough for their daughter.

McNeely is a fictional character, but similar stories (some better, many worse) have played out in real life many times over the years. It's 1939, and the country is trying to dig out of the depression.

McNeely heads to west Texas in hopes of escaping his personal life and capitalizing on the new oil boom - a boom not unlike the gold rush of California almost 100 years prior.

Frank Pickrell's Santa Rita No. 1 spewed forth boldly (in 1923) announcing the Texas Permian Basin as oil rich. Since then, the area and work have made and broken folks, and that pretty much sums up the story of Jim McNeely - played here by native Texan Zane Garrison ('Prison Break').

His initiation to the oil field crew is not kind, as the roughnecks don't take kindly to the city boy. Of course, McNeely holds his own until he is ready to head out - and he takes the lovely wife of a local engineer with him. McNeely and Lee Montgomery (Ali Corbin) are soon setting up house and a new business.

It's McNeely's first drill and it leads to the obligatory oil gusher shot. This initial luck or success (depending on how you view it) reconnects him with a couple of buddies from his original oil field days: Dent Paxton (Austin Nichols, 'Ray Donovan') and scruffy oil field veteran Ort (played by familiar face Lew Temple).

Dent is the dusty road philosopher while Ort is the one who understands drilling. What follows is a case study of how a person reacts to good times and bad. When dreams come true, does corruption of self follow?

Director Roberts is himself a Midland (West Texas) boy, and the excellent opening sequence of the windswept plains proves he has a feel for the area. His black and white shots slowly fade to color as we meet McNeely.

Mr. Roberts not only directs, but also co-wrote the script with Gerry De Leon, produced the film, and edited it as well. Such is the life of a low budget production, and though he accurately captures the feel of oil fields, the film would have benefitted from a lead actor who could better pull off the charisma required to accomplish the fundraising and networking of the McNeely character - a man so unlikeable that we never understand why some remain loyal to him.

The film does a nice job of showing the rise and crash, as well as the life lessons that prove one is never too old to come of age. It must be stated that following in the footsteps of Jett Rink (James Dean) in 'Giant' (directed by George Stevens), Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) in 'There Will Be Blood' (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), and Larry McMurtry's 'The Last Picture Show' (directed by Peter Bogdanovich) is a perhaps a task too tall for even a Texan. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Bonus Features on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital:
• Director/Actor Commentary

'The Iron Orchard' @ Facebook!

Official 'The Iron Orfchard' Trailer

'True Believer: Retro VHS Style' [Blu-ray]
(James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1989) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Blu-ray Verdict: The last decade of the twentieth century is known for the millions of courtroom dramas produced. At the turn of that decade, 'True Believer' was released and countless numbers followed.

For the film itself, it was actually pretty good though it seems no one has seen the film. It has all what you would expect in a courtroom drama and it was done fairly well.

The film was tense and it has some stirring moments. However, the film needs editing work done as there are many continuity issues and it gives the overall story arch some unnecessary problems.

'True Believer' is about a lawyer named Eddie Dodd who used to be a Civil Rights lawyer and now he is a worn-down defender for drug users. With the help of a younger lawyer just out of grad school Roger Baron, Dodd decides to open an eight-year-old case involving an Asian guy who was wrongly convicted of a gang hit.

Now Dodd must fight against wormy prosecutors, corrupt cops, and racial Nazis just to even stay alive.

Roger Ebert had the perfect quote for James Woods performance as he called him "hypnotically watchable." I happen to agree that Woods deliver an excellent performance as he does not hold anything back.

Plus you have to give credit to his hairstyle making him look like a lawyer from the 1970's! On the other hand, I didn't quite buy Robert Downey Jr's performance. He is a fantastic actor, but his role here irritated me. He has some good moments, but not enough to prove his worth.

Overall, 'True Believer' is a fine courtroom film that is energized by the fiery James Woods performance. If he was not here, this movie would have been mediocre at best.

But the film itself is thrilling and there are even some chilling aspects to the film, almost horror-film like. But there are also some action scenes and chases that will keep normal filmgoers interested.

In closing, I thought the actual court case was interesting and it shows how racist Americans can be (sorry, but y'all know who you are), even all these decades after the Civil Rights Act. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'True Believer: Retro VHS Style' [Blu-ray] is out August 13th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'I-Spy' [Blu-ray]
(Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (2002) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A super powerful experimental spy plane is stolen by an evil arms dealer and is about to be handed over to an international terrorist.

The U.S. Government drafts an egotistical boxing star (Murphy) to join a suave special agent (Wilson) on a dangerous top secret mission to get the plane back. Armed with the latest high tech gadgets and a whole lot of attitude, this ultimate odd couple might be able to save the world - if they can just get along!

Blu-ray Verdict: The story here involves Eddie Murphy as Kelly Robinson, a braggart boxer recruited to help save the world. Murphy is teamed with Owen Wilson, a semi-inept special agent, and Famke Janssen, his partner in the field.

Together they must find an invisible jet that an arms dealer is auctioning off to the highest bidder. It's your basic spy movie plot.

Walking somewhere between James Bond and Austin Powers, 'I Spy' lives in a Bond type spy world, but with second-rate employees in all aspects. In one scene that is a complete spoof, Wilson maneuvers through the gadget factory as the usual wacky experiments are ongoing.

But most of them backfire, as a technician firing a gun is blasted backwards without explanation, etc. That's an example of the off-the-wall humor prevalent through the good parts of the flick.

The humor is why the film is half good. Murphy and Wilson play themselves, using the same outlandish humor (Murphy) and dry jokes (Wilson) that we've come to expect from them. It's not surprising, but they are both at the top of their games.

Wilson, as he has been for several years; Murphy, at his best since at least 1999's Life and possibly since the late 1980s. The reason, as explained in one of the featurettes I've seen over the years, but sadly not one included here on this new Blu-ray, is that director Betty Thomas let the pair improvise frequently. The movie definitely has that feel, and the duo's wacky chemistry appeals and entertains.

The movie takes a wrong turn at almost exactly the halfway point, following a watchable if mostly unoriginal chase scene. Wilson and Murphy are trapped in a sewer for some time, and with nothing else to do, decide on the typical males-baring-their-souls talk.

This sequence and the next few that follow, including an awkward semi-seduction between Wilson and Janssen, are like puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together, but are forced to coincide anyway.

These lead up to a decent final confrontation in which everyone arrives to figure out who is on whose side. The first couple double-crosses seem cliché, but as they continue to pile up, the comedy continues to rise, eventually reaching a chuckle-inducing point.

In closing, 'I-Spy' is pretty darn good. OK, it's not a great movie by any means, but the charisma and humor of Murphy and Wilson make it worth the purchase of this new Blu-ray on a night that you want mindless entertainment to wash over you. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'I-Spy' [Blu-ray] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Guns' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / (1990) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: South American criminal Juan Degas has been using the Hawaiian Islands as his base for smuggling weapons from China to Latin America.

Tracking their target from Hawaii to Las Vegas, our agents must watch their backs while attempting to take down their prey.

Blu-ray Verdict: Personally, I am a HUGE fan of Andy Sidaris and his work. His films are simple and to the point. There are no pretensions.

He has a basic formula and even the same core groups of actors so Sidaris fans expect nothing less than the high caliber norm from him. He always has large breasted women, many loud and colorful (and most times needless!) explosions (again, whether they make sense or not), big guns and former TV actors (this one has Erik Estrada).

The basic plot here in 'Guns' involves a groups of female agents who also run a plane chartering company in Hawaii. They have to hunt down a gun runner who has ordered hits on a few people and leaves a Jack Of Diamonds as his calling card (hence the character's name Jack Of Diamonds, of course!).

Ergo, a bad guy wants to smuggle next-generation technology weaponry into the United States, but he's decided to do it through Miami, which means that he needs to get the L.E.T.H.A.L. Agents out of the way - starting with Donna and newcomer Nicole (Roberta Vasquez, who was Pantera in the brilliant 'Picasso Trigger').

So, we get to fly to Vegas where we also see action in Lake Havasu. A large part of the Vegas scenes were also filmed at the just opened (as of filming) Rio Hotel, if that fact tickles you to know!

Again, and personally, I enjoyed the scene of the bazooka shooting in the showroom with no one else in the hotel hearing it! The scenes of them running into a Las Vegas hotel with a crap load of guns, Cynthia Brimhall singing offkey (again, as she sings in just about every Sidaris film and always a wee bit offkey for some reason!) and, oh yeah, the transvestite hitmen!

So, even though this isn't the best Sidaris, it's still excellent for those seeking mindless explosions, motorcycle chases, nudity and the aforementioned transvestite hitmen!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris
Audio Commentary
Behind The Scenes Featurette

'Guns' [Blu-ray + Digital] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Duplicity' [Blu-ray]
(Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (2009) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Oscar winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star as two sexy spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair.

When they find themselves on either side of an all-out corporate war, they'll put everything on the line to remain one double-cross ahead in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse.

Blu-ray Verdict: Ray (Clive Owen) and Claire (Julia Roberts) are in the spy business. At a huge party in Dubai, Ray propositions Claire and he succeeds in getting her back to his hotel room.

However, not realizing that Claire is an agent, Ray makes a huge mistake and ends up in a drugged-induced slumber while Claire takes some important documents from him. It won't happen again.

Now, five years later, each of them is a corporate spy, on opposite sides, working for two top United States manufacturing companies, whose products run from soap to nuts.

One is headed by the eccentric Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and the other is run by conniving Dick (Paul Giamatti). Now, word comes that Tully's company may have a huge new product rolling out very soon and Dick is livid.

Why hasn't his spy team been able to sniff out the details and prevent his firm from taking a major hit? And, could it be that Ray and Claire are still a "couple", despite the fact that they now seemingly work to the other's detriment?

'Duplicity' is another winner from Tony Gilroy, who gave the world the powerful Michael Clayton. But, while his former film was very dark, this one is fun, fun, fun and games.

As the two principal stars, Owen and Roberts are truly amazing, great-looking, quick-witted, and sneaky. Supporting them greatly, in much smaller roles, are Giamatti and especially Wilkinson, who provides the story's raison d'etre.

In fact, when Wilkinson breaks into a huge, gleeful smile at the end, you can't help but share his nefarious joy. The plot, while complicated, is fairly easy to follow, the settings are terrific (Rome, London, New York), and the costuming quite nice.

If there is any fault to be had, its probably with the direction and/or editing, for the film could have been "snappier". However, its camera work, complete with revolving rectangles of shots, is inspired and admirable.

All in all, if you want to see great actors, saying clever lines in a topnotch film, then, do make time for this one. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Duplicity' [Blu-ray] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Do Or Die: Special Edition' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Pat Morita, Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / (1991) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A pair of female agents is targeted for elimination by an Asian criminal kingpin out for revenge.

The evil mastermind sends out an army of assassins with the same mission, to kill agents Donna and Nicole!

Blu-ray Verdict: Oh my! This movie is so bad that it is actual SO good at the same bloody time! 'Do Or Die' is one of the worst movies of all time, on a par with Plan 9, but Ed Wood didn't have the money these clowns have

And frankly, Ed's story is almost better. This one is so ridiculous, but magically works for what it fully intends to only be!

Ok, how about this for starters? For no reason you can figure out, you're on Hawaii and you're at an outdoor party for a children's charity. Someone out of nowhere approaches two girls sitting at this party to tell them there is someone waiting for them outside.

It is Pat Morita. He has his back to them. He tells them he knows they are high-level operatives for the US government and that they are responsible for ruining his business, and now he intends to kill them - but he's going to make a game out of it, and the game will start tomorrow!

With no further ado the two girls run off, pack their bags, get into some kind of trendy vehicle, and make it for the airport. They're not running from Pat Morita - they have never said if they know who he is - they're instead playing his game without question!

The romp continues through, among other places, a sandy airfield where so-called 'QSA' model airplanes are flown for an audience. Note that this demonstration has absolutely nothing to do with the story or the characters in it - it's just there, and then suddenly it's gone!

Every so often you cut to a new scene with a couple of poor white trash out of nowhere who are sitting around wherever they may be doing whatever they might be doing; and somewhere they have a small black plastic box with a short antenna and two colored lights on top (one red and one green).

And then the green one will start blinking and one of the characters will say "They're almost here!" and that's basically about that! How are these two girls being tracked? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?

The girls fly from Hawaii to the continental US, through Las Vegas, and then for no good reason end up the final 45 minutes of the movie in and around Shreveport, Louisiana.

It's brilliant. It's so bad it's good. This movie should be used in university film classes as a cookbook of how not to make a movie (albeit one that works on all known D-Movie levels, of course!).

Every scene where Estrada blows somebody up has to end with fifteen seconds on his white toothy grin! It's just all too much. And there is also a now classic scene where Estrada kills a bad guy with baseballs!

But perhaps one of the worst is when Estrada is having sex with the odd girl out in a swimming pool somewhere. Suddenly she starts ripping her hair back and forth, and of course there is a strong back light on her, and this creates a spectacular visual effect - but what does this have to do with the story or the characters?!

It's so bad you will laugh. And then after that, Estrada grabs the girl up in his arms, and the girl twists so her feet are away from the camera so she can make more fabulous visual effects by kicking her feet into the surface of the water. You get the picture so now buy the brand new Blu-ray! You won't be disappointed, trust me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris
Audio Commentary
Behind The Scenes Featurette

'Do Or Die' [Blu-ray + Digital] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Dead Don't Die in Dallas'
(Willam Belli, Erin Marie Garrett, Angel Martinez, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A miracle pill that supposedly will cure all viral infectious diseases turns most of humanity into Zombies.

The few survivors in a small Texas town barricade themselves into an abandoned building.

It soon becomes clear that the survivors can be split into two camps: Bible-thumpers and queer folk!

DVD Verdict: As the world comes together to take a miracle pill - one that scientists say will prevent and cure HIV/AIDS just a few hours later (and just after the synchronized celebration ends, there's a sudden; and rather unsettling quiet that enwraps the world.

It's then that the whole project goes pear-shaped as everything turns bad for as it turns out everyone who took the pill now suffers from horrific side-effects!

As a few defiant, non pill-popping survivors emerge in the small Texas town of Eliasville, they find themselves seeking refuge in an abandoned building near the town's center.

Soon after Beth Anne (Willam Belli, Nip/Tuck, Criminal Minds, CSI, American Pie, etc.) and Phil (Angel Martinez) have finished barricading themselves safely inside they quickly realize they are not the sole survivors after all!

For they are now locked inside a small building with Samuel, pastor of the local "Gay is not Ok" Pentecostal church, along with his wife, Janice, and closeted son, Ethan!

While butting their proverbial heads at every turn things get even crazier upon discovering a madcap group of vigilante survivors all of whom are challenged to band together in hopes of surviving the zombie apocalypse!

With a tagline that reads: "In a zombie apocalypse the only survivors are gay people and church people, Lord help us all!" you kinda know what you're in for here from the very off.

And as much as it plays straight (sorry, couldn't resist!) with you most all the way, the dry (and yet at times slapstick) humor actually takes over and away from the zombie "fear" in the last third rather nicely.

Watch it for yourself, as it is now out on DVD and available for all those looking for a fun night in of easy-going zombie celluloid fun! Oh, and there's also a message to be found here too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Dead Don't Die in Dallas' [DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Savage Nature - 4 Deadly Films' [2-DVD]
(Clare Carey, Lance Guest, Billy Aaron Brown, Richard Moll, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: As seen on The Syfy Channel, 'Savage Nature' is a collection of 4 new deadly films!

DVD Verdict: 'Flu Birds' (Starring: Clare Carey, Lance Guest, Jonathon Trent) - A tight-knit group of teens find themselves fighting for their lives when unexpected visitors - a flock of flesh-eating birds infected by a malicious virus - crash their carefree camping trip in the woods. Can a shrinking group of survivors fight back and reclaim the skies?

'Flu Birds' (aka 'Flu Bird Horror') starts as two guys out deer hunting in some isolated forest are attacked by what look like large reptilian prehistoric birds. One is killed whilst the other is badly injured.

Meanwhile several convicted teens on a trip to the woods with a social worker are also attacked by the birds, with their social worker dead these lay about law-breaking teens have to work together to survive becoming bird food.

Back with the fisherman and he is rescued by a local forest ranger who takes him to hospital where the doctors get very worried as he seems to be infected with a highly contagious and lethal mutant strain of bird flu that could start a worldwide epidemic that could kill billions!

Great, just what the world needed. Another Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' with bad CGI computer effects & a totally lame and predictable story full of holes and bad writing! But, luckily for us all, 'Flu Birds' is slightly above all those levels - but only slightly! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Headless Horseman' (Starring: Billy Aaron Brown, Richard Moll) - College friends en route to a party find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere when they take a wrong turn and land in the uncharted town of Wormwood.

As if that weren't weird enough, they're also being chased by a killer who's lost his head!

Now, stop me if you heard this one before. A group of college friends decides to take a shortcut through the woods on the way to a Halloween party, whereupon their truck breaks down, and the inbred inhabitants of a small town set upon them.

Apparently, the SyFy Channel had to film this in Romania, because it seems they couldn't find one of the inbred redneck towns they seem to think dot the countryside of rural America!

Anyhoo, they discover that the Headless Horseman of legend must collect seven heads every Halloween, in order to preserve the town of accursed souls.

Now, this is pretty much the plot of every bad horror movie you've ever seen. What makes this one better than most? I think the characters were more interesting than they usually are in films like this, which is good.

You also have Richard Moll playing the proprietor of the general store, which added some comedy to the film! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Monster Wolf' (Starring: Robert Picardo, Leonor Varela, Jason London, Griff Furst) - A creature of ancient legend manifests, bound to protect the ecological balance of the land and killing anyone that threatens it.

This elusive guardian is initially both feared and celebrated by the locals, but when a deadly curse affects them all, they must unite and recapture the monster wolf's spirit or face their ultimate doom.

Unscrupulous oil company boss Stark (Robert Picardo) orders his workmen to blast an ancient Indian artifact with C4 explosives, unleashing Monsterwolf, a vicious, shoddily-rendered, CGI animal spirit dedicated to defending native Americans in their time of need.

Facts: Monsterwolf doesn't like workmen. Monsterwolf doesn't like litterbugs. Monsterwolf doesn't like sell-outs. Monsterwolf doesn't like drunk drivers. Monsterwolf doesn't like being hit by a truck. Monsterwolf doesn't like mercenaries. Monsterwolf doesn't like Stark, etc.

Some poor performances, a generic script, dreadful direction and cheesy special effects all go to make this one hell of a chore to sit through, sorry!

A heavy-handed score works hard to inject some urgency and excitement into proceedings but is woefully unsuited to the lackluster action. Worst of all, perhaps, is a truly amateurish animated sequence that tells of the Indian legend of the Monsterwolf (sorry). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'WolvesBayne' (Starring: Jeremy London, Marc Dacoscos, Yancy Butler, Christy Carlson-Romano, Rhett Giles) - An arrogant real estate developer, Russell Bayne (Jeremy London of 7th Heaven, Party of Five, Mallrats), is bitten by a werewolf and finds himself mixed up in a supernatural war between vampires, werewolves, and humans that hunt down such creatures that threaten mankind.

In masterful swordfights and bullet-spraying gun battles, they must fight the evil vampire clan to assemble several magical amulets that will stop Lilith's rise to power and put her away for eternity.

Despite it being SyFy, 'Wolvesbayne' did have a decent premise going for it. But for me it fell well short. 'Wolvesbayne' isn't completely terrible, the werewolf transformation is decent - Jeremy London does what he can with an uninvolving leading role (in terms of character that is) - and Yancy Butler as the evil vampire queen is sexy and seems to be enjoying herself even if she does verge on hammy in places.

However, the remainder of the acting is not great at all, Mark Damascos is badly used with his big scenes very poorly written and anti-climatic, while a lot of the female roles read of looking as sexy as possible but little else. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Savage Nature - 4 Deadly Films' [2-DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Houses Of Hell - 4 Movies' [2-DVD]
(Jeffrey Combs, Dean Stockwell, Charisma Carpenter, Corin Nemec, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: As seen on The Syfy Channel, 'Houses Of Hell' is a collection of 4 new horror films!

DVD Verdict: 'The Dunwich Horror' (Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Dean Stockwell, Sarah Lieving, Griff Furst) - An adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's works, 'Dunwich Horror' tells the story of Wilbur Whateley (Jeffery Combs of Re-Animator, The Frighteners) and his sinister quest to procure a copy of the Necronomicon; an ancient, diabolical manuscript that will help him open a doorway to a dimension inhabited by unspeakable creatures known as the 'Old Ones'.

The writings of the great H.P. Lovecraft have lead to some truly great films, but unfortunately his stories aren't always enough to carry a film through, and despite the fact that this film features all the elements of a successful Lovecraft adaptation, 'The Dunwich Horror' is a sadly lackluster movie.

However, it has to be said that the film does look very nice for a low rent early seventies production, the cinematography is surprisingly crisp and the locations look good; but this isn't matched by the story.

A story which is always intriguing but director Daniel Haller lets the suspense build and build and then makes the cardinal blunder of not giving his audience a worthwhile payoff at the end.

'House of Bones' (Starring: Charisma Carpenter, Corin Nemec, Ricky Wayne) - A group of ghost hunters from a nationally syndicated TV show arrive for their latest assignment the mysterious "Wicker House" in New Orleans which has been the site of some of the grisliest murders in history.

While the house has remained uninhabited since the 1950's, locals know to stay away. Will they make it out alive or will this be the last and greatest episode of their ghostly TV series?

This is an interesting take on the haunted house motif. Here the house "lives" off the bodies of its victims. Unfortunately this house doesn't take many victims on its own and when it does, its doesn't do as much as it could with them.

For example, when a couple of bodies are disposed of within the house, there's an off-screen crunching sound and signs that the house is growing stronger from the nourishment, but these scenes are not that creepy.

Also there are a couple of scenes that are entirely pointless and make little sense overall including a black shadow that roams around in a couple of scenes and tries to look scary but ultimately doesn't do anything.

However, the film does excel in showing how the house distracts and separates the group even after the protagonists tell themselves not to split up when searching the house. Also, I'm glad to finally see a movie that realizes that eye trauma does not necessarily equate to death!

'Mask Maker' (Starring: Nikki Deloach, Stephen Colletti, Treat Williams) - A lucky couple hits the jackpot when they purchase a 19th century plantation home for pennies on the dollar. Determined to get rich quick, they invite their friends up for the weekend to celebrate their good fortune.

It's quickly apparent that the plantation home's former residents have not left and the unlucky youths suddenly find themselves running for their lives!

What if your dream turned out to be a nightmare? After Jennifer's (Deloach) boyfriend Evan (Colletti) surprises her with a new house for her birthday strange things begin to happen.

In truth, this is a hard movie to review. It is not that bad, but it drags - a lot. It's another haunted house because of something buried in the land movie that is not that bad, but it would have been a good "Fangoria Series" movie at an hour long; trying to stretch it out for an hour and a half really hurt the movie.

If you are looking for a decent horror movie that is a cross between suspense and a slasher, this is a good choice. If you are looking for a very scary movie then I would go for something else. Not terrible, not great. That said, the ending is GREAT!

'American Horror House' (Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Allesandra Torresani, Ashton Leigh) - Three students strive to be initiated into a sorority on Halloween night. However, they soon realize that they must fight for their lives from ghosts that have invaded and the housemother that has embarked upon a killing spree.

In truth, there is some decent gore on shoe here, both in quality and amount. Meaning that there is a fair bit of it and it doesn't look cheap!

Some of the death scenes (although maybe there were too many because the horror elements outside of them suffered) are inventive and have an appropriate stomach-churning effect. The one with the saw stood out, while the other standout scene was when the sisters dressed as Sweet Alice Sweet.

Morgan Fairchild. Well, she still looks totally amazing! Furthermore, she actually looks younger than she really is! She is also rather chilling as her character and seems to be having a great time = by far the best performance of the movie! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Houses Of Hell - 4 Movies' [2-DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Pup Stars - Triple Feature' [DVD + Digital]
(Kaitlyn Maher, Obba Babatunde, David DeLuise, et al / DVD + Digital / PG / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: From the creators of "Air Bud" and "Air Buddies" comes a new film series where dogs can not only talk - they can SING!

Follow the grand musical adventure of Tiny and her friends with three incredible 'Pup Star' movies.

From finding her voice to becoming a musical icon, it's always an adventure on 'PUP STAR'.

DVD Verdict: 'Pup Star' (2016, Rated G) - Tiny, a cute little Yorkie pup with a big voice, gets a chance to audition for the singing competition for dogs, "Pup Star."

After she earns a place in the finale, she's suddenly dog-napped! But with the help of her new friend, Charlie, a retired rock-and-roller, she escapes.

Together they leave on an incredible journey through some of music's most iconic cities. Filled with all-new songs and the biggest cast of talking and singing canines ever assembled, 'Pup Star' is an incredible family film filled with fun, music and heart.

Without a shadow of a doubt, 'Pup Star' is a fun, fantastic, family-friendly film! It really is an amazing and inspiring movie with talking and singing dogs. I found myself cheering for the super talented Tiny and booing the bad guys, or should I say bad dogs!

The talking and singing dogs are created with amazing special effects. Their mouths move in perfect harmony with the words and lyrics. Also, I love the rich and emotional music composed by Brahm Wenger which draws you in from the get go.

'Pup Star: Better 2Gether' (2017, Rated PG) - After winning "Pup Star" and becoming an international pup sensation, Tiny has her world turned upside down when an evil rival switches her out in competition with a street pup named Scrappy and an incredible journey through iconic cities ensues in this fun and hilarious dog-out-of-water, musical adventure!

I like this follow-up movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the "catankerous" Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so lovable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he's really like a dodo bird.

It's so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky. I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart.

'Pup Star: World Tour' (2018, Rated G) - 'Pup Star' is back and bigger than ever as the hit singing pup competition goes global. After achieving international stardom Tiny joins the inaugural Pup Star World Tour as a celebrity judge.

As they travel the world each judge chooses their favorite contestant to compete for the new title of global pup star champion.

This is yet another great movie in the super cute series and I really hope they can make a fourth to continue the rich comedic doggy goodness!

Like kid movies should, it includes a learning message of fighting for one's dreams and to do it in a fair way. It also includes a lot of adventures that will keep the kids interested.

Us adults will be able to guess how the movie will go, but it is still enjoyable to watch especially if one loves dogs. The dogs are incredibly cute and also get us to laugh. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Pup Stars - Triple Feature' [DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'MVP/MVP 2 - Double Feature' [DVD + Digital]
(Lomax Study, Kevin Zegers, Jamie Renee Smith, et al / DVD + Digital / PG / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: It takes a chimp to be a champ!

DVD Verdict: 'MVP: Most Valuable Primate' (2000, Rated PG) - When Jack, a sign language-speaking chimp, is sold to a research lab, he makes a break for freedom and ends up stranded in the frozen northlands.

Befriended by two teens, Jack's talent for ice skating soon turns him into the local hockey team's secret weapon. Now, playoffs are in full swing and the lab officials are closing in!

And Jack has one chance to prove that when it comes to skating away with the affections of an entire town, he doesn't monkey around!

That's right folks, Jack, a chimp, has been trained by a college professor, Dr. Kendall (Lomax Study) to do various human tasks. Each week, a small gathering of adults and children come to a seminar to see his progress.

But, alas, one night, the prof has a heart attack and passes away. The head of the department wants to sell him to the highest bidder, even if it means Jack will be subjected to experimentation.

That cannot happen, so a janitor, Larry, smuggles Jack out of the lab and puts him on a train to California as that's where Jack's family resides.

However, Jack oversleeps and ends up in British Columbia! There, a California family has just transplanted themselves as residents. The son, Steven (Kevin Zegers) is a hockey player who joins a young adult team.

Of course, they give him grief for thinking a So-Cal guy can compete with Canadian players. Even in a worse situation is Steve's sister Tara (Jamie Renee Smith) who is deaf and has no luck making friends at her new school.

It is Tara who finds Jack and takes him to her room. Before long, Jack is skating alongside Steven and gets himself "placed" on the team. Since the chimp can go through other skaters legs and perform other unusual feats, Steven's team starts winning big.

But, with the college looking for their once valuable primate, will everyone's dreams be spoiled?

This is a cute film with a funny script and a nice cast. It has a bevy of clichés, as to its story, but each one works enjoyably.

'MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate' (2001 - Rated G) - Booted from his hockey team after being wrongly accused of league misconduct, Jack takes to the road.

Along the way, Jack makes friends with a skateboarder Ben and a skate shop owner Ollie. It seems that Jack's hockey skills translate directly into tearing up the half pipe and popping sick grinds!

With his new buddy Ben by his side Jack takes off on a cross-country skateboard competition tour with hilarious results!

If you weren't already aware, the chimps do all their own skateboarding stunts and are pretty good at it too! There are two other films in the series featuring chimps doing extreme sports and they are great in every one.

But the real star here is Louie, who has a true gift for comedy and can act most of the over-paid, wooden, Hollywood heartthrobs off the screen!

And sure, come a certain moment in the movie the Director Robert Vince presents lunacy where a rival team sabotages using a fake injury in order to have chimpanzee removed, but who cares. I mean, would a chimp ever get away with looking like a kid ice skating or riding a skateboard? Of course not, so let it all flow lovingly over you and just have a laugh (I know I did!) These are both Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'MVP/MVP 2 - Double Feature' [DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment.

'Chicago Cab: Do You Dare Pay The Fare?'
(Paul Dillon, Gillian Anderson, Michael Ironside, Michael Shannon, Tracy Letts, Laurie Metcalf, John C. Reilly, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Liberation Hall)

Overview: It's 6 a.m. and 20 degrees below zero on a December morning in Chicago and a cab driver picks up his day's first passengers.

This represents 14 hours in the life of a cab driver as he picks up fares from the good and bad parts of the city while emotionally connecting to many of his passengers including a depressed rape victim, stoners, randy lawyers, a drug runner and a race to get a pregnant woman to the hospital.

DVD Verdict: The film was based on the play Hellcab by Will Kern and was misleadingly marketed as a horror film, which it's not.

Indeed, 'Chicago Cab' is an interesting, and rather well done insight into the human psyche and while we don't learn anything too specific about the cab driver himself, the personalities of his various fares are revealing in their own ways, trust me.

Scenes such as the ones with Michael Shannon (and his manic lift to the grocery store just five blocks away that quickly turns into something completely different), Gillian Anderson (and her Christmas ride home with her boyfriend who seems to forget why he's even with her), and even a well-dressed John C. Reilly explaining about the young woman he was kissing before getting into the cab, that turns out to be nothing more than "... some little chicky I keep around to f**k every now and again!"

All in all, the cab driver reacts well to the madness surrounding him and you can almost share his tiredness at the end of the long, ear-bashing shift!

Crackheads, stoners, posh randy lawyers, irate Pakistani's and the high and lows of the working day are dealt with in this low budget film that is nowhere near the horror film it purports to be - but is, nevertheless, a thoroughly entertaining 96 minutes of tape. This is a Full Screen Presentation (4:3 Letterbox) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Chicago Cab: Do You Dare Pay The Fare?' [DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Liberation Hall.

'Mock & Roll'
(Roger Earl, Michael Stanley, Alex Ortiz, Aditi Molly Bhanja, Chris Wolfe, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Soundview Media)

Overview: Ohio parody band Liberty Mean is tapped out, clueless and struggling to raise the needed money to get to the South by Southwest Music Festival where their dreams can become reality.

Unfortunately, bad decisions and absurd circumstances lead the band down a dark and stormy road in this frenetic caricature of rock and roll reverie.

DVD Verdict: For a native Ohioan who frequents downtown Columbus, the background, sets, as well as the T-shirts, made this a film to enjoy. Some difficulties arose with being imprisoned at a historic site that holds no prisoners (the Licking County Historic Jail), but an overall fun movie to watch.

I'm hard to please, so nothing knocked me out of my chair, but there were quite a few magical moments of easy laughter, and one rewind to verify a scene!

A bit overly silly, as the troupe was then allowed into a stairway (one that is actually marked "Stairway"). Not really the best of doctors offices, so a few of the sets needed a bit of touchup work!

In truth, this film packs a lot of laughs and the cast is terrific. The witty, fast-moving dialogue kept my attention from beginning to end. The only downside is I can’t stop singing the parody lyrics!

A fantastic mockumentary that exemplifies everything a mockumentary should be. A fantastic cast with likable performances topped off with a fantastic soundtrack re: The Black Owls, Foghat and Cheap Trick!

Think of it as: Spinal Tap meets the Monkees! Remarkable. Fun. From start to finish, I enjoyed it. I know you will too. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Mock & Roll' [DVD] is out September 17th, 2019 via Soundview Media.

A Christmas Carol: Collector's Edition [2Disc DVD]
(Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1951) 2019 / VCI Entertainment)

Overview: This is the desert-island choice of the many versions of 'A Christmas Carol', with a magnificent, full-bodied portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge by Alastair Sim that leaves everyone else in the dust.

Lean and direct, this film's version of the story wastes no time trying to impress viewers with the magical nature of the spirits' visitations.

DVD Verdict: In truth, there isn't much to say that isn't written already here, or what is known as regards the story.

Charles Dickens smashing fantasy 'A Christmas Carol' is a story that stands the test of time for generations past and will do so for many generations to come.

This version stands out chiefly because of it's incredible central performance by Alastair Sim as the miserly old misery guts Ebenezer Scrooge.

He perfectly layers the transformation as the tale progresses, from the horrid bitter man at the film's beginning to the joyous man of heart come the finale, Sim convinces in each phase of his stripped bare journey that the ghosts take him on.

The story is full of family values and messages of hope, it makes you sad and then lifts you to a very high place, it is in short, essential viewing at the holiday season, because ultimately it is the season to be jolly.

For me, the first thing one realizes in this particular version is director Brian Desmond-Hurst's "time-marches-on" approach (not to mention his total lack of pretentiousness - a factor which has ultimately felled all other treatments); as well as the screenplay frittering away no time whatsoever in getting to Scrooge's visits with the ghosts.

The penetration into the miser's past is the focal point of the film, and Sim's performance has a through-and-through naturalness that makes his exuberance on Christmas morning that much more palpable.

There's a mechanical nature to the character's near-recitation of his familiar lines at the start, but his sheer vulnerability (something distinctly lacking in, say, George C. Scott's portrayal) from then onward gives it perfect sense; Sim is every inch the visual equal to his radio-Scrooge counterpart, Basil Rathbone.

Other factors contribute towards making the film the complete triumph it is: things like the visit from the ghost of Christmas Present, and the scene in the future depicting Tiny Tim's funeral preparations, which for once are truly heart-wrenching.

In closing, I truly believe that 'A Christmas Carol' set the tone for Christmas movies of that era and of today. It really is the best Christmas movie ever made, and not only that, but it is an amazing movie outside of the Christmas season as well. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.37:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary by Marcus Hearn and George Cole
"Spirit of Christmas Past"--George Cole remembers Alistair Sim
"Richard Gordon Remembers George Minter & Renown Pictures"
"Charles Dickens--His Life and Times"
Bonus: Colorized Version
Before & After Restoration Comparison
Optional Narrative for the Blind
Photo & Press Book Gallery
Cast Bios
Original American and British Theatrical Trailers
"Scrooge" (1935 Seymour Hicks Version)

'A Christmas Carol: Collector's Edition' [2-Disc DVD] is out October 15th, 2019 via VCI Entertainment.

'Teddy Pendergrass - If You Don't Know Me'
(Teddy Pendergrass, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Teddy Pendergrass - If You Don't Know Me' is the untold and ultimately inspiring story of legendary singer, Teddy Pendergrass, the man poised to be the biggest R&B artist of all time until the tragic accident that changed his life forever.

Blu-ray Verdict: The unforgettable voice of hits 'Don't Leave Me This Way', 'If You Don't Know Me By Now', 'Love T.K.O' and 'Close the Door', Teddy was the first male African American artist to record five consecutive platinum albums in the US, but his career was struck by tragedy in 1982 when a car accident left him paralyzed at the age of just 31.

He later made a triumphant comeback in front of a global audience of 1.9 billion at Live Aid, but what happened in between has largely just been kept under wraps; until now.

Now, I don't want you all to think that watching this documentary will reveal everything that happened to teddy in those dark years, but it will show you a little more about his life, times, and struggles, that's for sure.

At all times direct and to the point, the documentary doesn't overly dwell or, interestingly, and thankfully, sensationalize on the accident. His always great, buoyant and fulfilling music is played throughout and as an accompaniment for such a documentary, well, it is just seamlessly perfect.

Simply put, 'Teddy Pendergrass - If You Don't Know Me' is a documentary that remains very respectful to Teddy and his enormous musical legacy and yet, at the very same time, allows u into his world, those aforementioned dark times, without trying to hide.

Especially the last 30 minutes of it as they truly go well beyond music and into the times surrounding his accident. Then we see, and witness how he breaks through depression after such a life-changing accident; a moment of celluloid that will definitely give everyone an example of love and spirit they will not soon forget.

Featuring revealing interviews with his family, friends and colleagues alongside industry legends, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, rarely seen archive footage and a soulful soundtrack, this insightful and moving documentary captures Teddy's rise to fame against the complex backdrop of 1970s America and his victorious comeback after his life-changing accident.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs with 5.1 Surround Sound and comes with the Extras of:

Theatrical Trailer
Five Deleted Scenes (including Teddy Live in US TV, "Wake Up Everybody" Dance sequence and Interviews with Teddy's musicians and his widow).

'The Prey: Special Edition' [2-Disc Blu-ray]
(Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond, Lori Lethin, et al / 2-Disc Blu-ray / NR / (1983) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: It's not human, and it's got an axe! One of the most underrated efforts to hail from the slice-and-dice boom, 'The Prey' at last emerges from the VHS wilderness in a brand new 2K restoration from the recently unearthed original camera negative.

Three young couples set off into the mountains for a weekend of climbing, drinking and lovemaking. But little do they know that they are stumbling into the terrain of a fearsome predator - a wild man, horrifically burned as a child many years ago in a fire which engulfed his gypsy camp and left only him alive. Now he roams the woods in search of his next human prey.

Blu-ray Verdict: Horror film makers had it right in the '80s. Maybe they weren't the most talented directors and they probably had one movie to their credit, but what they did, they did a pretty good job of.

'The Prey' is a typical '80s effort for horror films. But what makes films like this so fun and actually quite scary is the location. The forest is a perfect setting for horror films. It is actually too bad that more films don't utilize the forest more.

But if you think of some of the good scary films from the early '80s, they utilized a forest in some way. Think of 'Evil Dead', 'Friday the 13th's and even films like 'Sleep Away Camp'.

There is something sinister and mysterious about a dark forest, late at night. You never want to walk alone in the woods. Even now later in life, no one wants to.

What is good about this film is some of the mystery and the gore is great. You can tell this film wasn't blessed with a huge budget, but what it had it did quite well with.

I'm not saying that this is classic cinema, even in a horror genre, but it is scary and it is effective with what it wants to be. And now that it's been brought "back to life" on crystal clear Blu-ray by those fine folks at MVD Visual, well, buy it and settle in tonight with it (and some friends, of course!)

I mean, come on now, you just might have some fun, because if you are one of the people that think 'Urban Legend' and 'I Know What You Did ...' are scary films, then check out a REAL film that knows how to frighten you. This is one of those films, trust me!

OK, sure, in closing, there definitely are much better films in this vein, but over all 'The Prey' may be watchable enough for die-hard slasher fans. Although one might be more rewarded to watch 'Just Before Dawn' (1981), 'Wrong Turn' (2003), or even 'The Final Terror' (1983) again. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Exclusive slipcover featuring original UK home video artwork
Three versions of the feature: Original US Theatrical Cut, International Cut and Composite cut!
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ewan Cant
Disc One - US Theatrical Cut:
Brand new 2K restoration of the filmmaker-approved US Theatrical Cut from the original camera negative
Brand new audio commentary with producer Summer Brown
Brand new audio commentary with Amanda Reyes and Ewan Cant
Audio Interview with director Edwin Scott Brown
Brand new on-camera interview with actress Debbie Thureson
Brand new on-camera interview with actress Lori Lethin
Brand new on-camera interview with actor Carel Struycken
Brand new on-camera interview with actor Jackson Bostwick
In Search of The Prey - Ewan Cant and actress Debbie Thureson revisit the original shooting locations in Idyllwild, California
Q&A from Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 with Lori Lethin, Carel Struycken and Jackson Bostwick
Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 Audience Reaction Track
VHS Trailer and TV Spot
Original Script (BD-ROM Content)
Disc Two - International & Composite Cuts
Brand new 2K restoration of the International Cut featuring the infamous gyspy flashback footage, added at a later date by the producers without the approval of the original filmmakers
Composite Cut combining footage from both the US Theatrical and International Cuts, for the ultimate The Prey fan experience!
Extended Outtakes reel - 45 mins of never-before-seen outtakes

'The Prey' Original Movie Trailer

'Dead Water' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Casper Van Dien, Judd Nelson, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: When a relaxing getaway turns deadly, a former Marine must risk his life once again to save his wife and best friend from a modern day pirate; all the while trying to hold himself together as he faces the ghosts of the war he left behind.

Blu-ray Verdict: So, a former Marine, his wife, and his best bud go on a boat trip only to be confronted by a pirate bent on robbing and killing them.

That's just the surface view for with these wishy-washy characters (all pun intended), and running at an overly-long 90 minutes, 'Dead Water' plays out just as you would expect it to. Which doesn't say much for its genre, I'll give you that, but at least Judd Nelson does his best ham job to keep the thing afloat (just).

'Dead Water,' with its overhead vessel shots and its one continuous (and confusing) flashback, feels like a low quota thriller with C-list stars you don't see much of anymore (ie: the aforementioned Judd Nelson and the always-brilliant to watch in anything, Casper Van Dien - 'Starship Troopers').

Part 'Midnight Crossing' and part 1989's 'Dead Calm,' 'Dead Water' has a couple of neat puzzle piece twists - even though you can see them coming a mile away - all wrapped within the safe comfort blanket of knowing that at least one of these lesser-seen actors will pop his clogs at some point in the latter stages!

Directed by an unknown rookie (Chris Helton), shot in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and featuring a military dog tag throwing scene straight from the annals of 'Maverick,' 'Dead Water' feels all too brief while giving us only a conventional level of torrid strain.

As for the acting, well, I love Nelson in anything, for as much as he sleepwalks through most roles these days, his sense of timing (fun or otherwise) is still there - dread, if required, always plastered in just the right slap stick amounts across his facial expression!

The other actors are pretty decent too with Russell Crowe lookalike Griff Furst playing the PTSD-laden Marine named David (mentioned earlier). Nobody else needs to be brought forth here as it really is a three-man movie on the less-than high seas.

All in all, 'Dead Water' is not really noir, it's not really camp, and it's not in any way budget extravagant, but that's what you assume going in so you are never, ever let down.

In closing, it's just the type of flick you watch on a lazy wet Sunday afternoon (alone, or with friends) and allow to wash over you in the most harmless, yet mysteriously enjoyable of ways. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

The 'Dead Water' Blu-ray + Digital and DVD arrives September 17th, 2019 and will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Official 'Dead Water' Trailer

'Pavarotti' [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital]
(Luciano Pavarotti, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: From Academy Award®-winning director Ron Howard comes this wonderfully intimate portrait of Luciano Pavarotti, the most beloved opera singer of all time.

Interweaving Pavarotti’s genre-defining performances with revealing, never-before-seen footage, 'Pavarotti' is a movie experience as singularly entertaining as its legendary subject.

Blu-ray Verdict: In what has to be one of the most revealing movies of the past decade, here in the simply titled 'Pavarotti' the life and career of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti are brought to the fore in this quite wondrous new documentary from renowned actor-turned-director Ron Howard.

Some of the footage within this film includes moments that can easily induce tears, so please be aware. Some of the best include the Three Tenors' 1990 concert (with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras) that followed the FIFA World Cup. While there is fascinating information revealed about Pavarotti's personal history, I get the feeling it could have been given more of a personal touch from those closest to him.

Case in point, compared to the very charming 'Maria by Callas' released a couple of years ago, 'Pavarotti' seems to stay at the surface and misses opportunities to be as magical as its subject.

That said, Director Ron Howard ('A Beautiful Mind') continues his great stretch of documentary films with 'Pavarotti'. A film that will be treasured for generations to come it is superbly insightful and honest; regardless of how much more could have gone into it, of course.

Traveling politely through the ups and downs of the tenor's career without skipping a beat, as aforementioned, the final act almost brought me to tears - so I suggest a box of tissues be beside you also, my friends.

In closing, we get to meet his family, his managers, his celebrity friends and it was rather lovely to see the late Princess Diana during happier times; and awesome to hear the thoughts of Bono who appeared in concert with Pavarotti.

Born during the War and following an early brush with death, Pavarotti grew up embracing life with a zest that rubbed off on many who crossed his paths.

You don't have to be an opera lover or a Pavarotti fan to enjoy this film, but you will come away knowing a lot more about this fascinating larger-than-life human being and appreciating his outsized talent. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• “Friends of Pavarotti” Featurette
• “The Entertainer” Featurette
• “Ron Howard on Pavarotti” Featurette

The 'Pavarotti' Blu-ray + DVD + Digital arrives September 24th, 2019 and will be available for the will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.99.

Official 'Pavarotti' Trailer

'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum'
(Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: Super assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin's guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

Blu-ray Verdict: Following on from two deliriously entertaining, visually gorgeous and blissfully simplistic thrillers, 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' keeps up the franchise's unique appeal in stunning fashion.

Complete with electrifying action, beautiful cinematography, a pulsating score and a great sense of humor, the film is pretty much as purely joyful as action thrillers get, and proves two hours of brilliant entertainment.

Before I get into all of that, though, one of the greatest things about this franchise is just how simplistic it is. You may have seen 'John Wick' and 'John Wick: Chapter 2', you may not have done.

Going into this third film, however, it's all pretty irrelevant, and while the first two films are certainly worth your time, absolutely anybody can go and watch this movie without any prior knowledge, and simply sit back and watch the fireworks.

The plot is effectively laid out for you in the first ninety seconds of the movie. John Wick is excommunicated, and there's a $14m bounty on his head.

That's it.

Following that brief bit of exposition are two hours of beautifully simple yet endlessly entertaining action, and while the film does keep you engrossed with its sense of mystery and intrigue surrounding this world of allegiances and deception, it's the thrill of the chase that really matters.

In that, there's almost never a moment where storytelling takes precedence over action thrills, with the movie bursting into life by way of an exhilarating opening act.

However, much like the first two films, not every moment is fighting and shootouts, with the mystery, the tension and the intrigue all playing a part as John Wick encounters numerous people from his past in all manner of different scenarios.

There are moments in its middle portion that do drag a little more than others, and where the story perhaps gets a little self-indulgent, however there's no denying just how slick and purely entertaining a thriller this is regardless.

Of course, the action itself is brilliant as well. The opening act is astonishing, filled to the brim with insane action that features seamless fight choreography, brilliant camerawork and a fantastic sense of self-awareness that allows you to laugh at the most ridiculous moments.

From then on, the film continues to burst into life with mad, energetic and dazzling action sequences again and again, only furthering the sheer entertainment appeal of the whole affair.

Also, there's no getting away from just how good-looking a movie this is. The camerawork in the fight sequences is certainly excellent, but it's the film's kaleidoscopic color palette and slick cinematography that makes it a feast for the eyes.

Pulling off the style of a pure pulp thriller in brilliant fashion once again, and with a pulsating, intense score playing throughout to boot, you'll definitely be on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. All in all, 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' isn't much different from the previous two movies. It isn't the world's most intricate or intelligent thriller.

However, with brilliant energy, dazzling visuals, stunning action and an invaluable sense of fun, absolutely none of that matters, and it instead proves a solidly entertaining, manic and dizzyingly joyful thriller throughout. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.38:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• “Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table” Featurette
• “Excommunicado” Featurette
• “Check Your Sights” Featurette
• “Saddle Up Wick” Featurette
• “Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits” Featurette
• “Continental in the Desert” Featurette
• “Dog Fu” Featurette
• “House of Transparency” Featurette
• “Shot by Shot” Featurette
• Theatrical Trailer #1
• Theatrical Trailer #2
• John Wick Hex Game Trailer
• “Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex” Featurette

• “Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table” Featurette
• “Excommunicado” Featurette
• Theatrical Trailer #1
• Theatrical Trailer #2
• John Wick Hex Game Trailer
• “Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex” Featurette

The 'John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum' 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD arrives September 10th, 2019 and will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.

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Official 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' Trailer

'Anna' [4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital]
(Sasha Luss, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: Beneath Anna Poliatova's striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world's most feared government assassins.

An electrifying thrill ride unfolding with propulsive energy, startling twists and breathtaking action, 'Anna' introduces Sasha Luss in the title role with a star-studded cast including Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, and Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren.

4K Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate Films is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the recently announced ‘Lock Up' in the new 4K home video format on September 24th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Anna: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Anna' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color.

None more so than when the tunnel redness "soaks" not only over, but seemingly into Anna in her early car ride. It's moments like that, pure art, if you will, that make this 4K presentation so nicely suffused that it's hard to not want to rewind it and pause it.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material.

Notably within most all of the now infamous one-shot scene in the restaurant where Anna really comes into her own lethal killing machine self! The gold walls of the expensive hang out soon get hazed in blood and bullets, but, and once again, before the mayhem it's a beautiful scene of art, for sure.

As for the audio, well, we have: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby, TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1.

Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray feature Dolby Atmos® immersive audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

As the movie opens, we are told it is "Moscow 1985", when a number of people are rounded up by the KGB and presumably killed.

We then go to "5 Years Later", when a French guy looking for the next super-model by happenstance runs into Anna at a market, and promptly offers her a modeling job in Paris.

Anna is more than happy to accept and escape her bleak existence in Moscow. During her first modeling job, Anna makes the acquaintance of another Russian guy.

At this point we are 10 minutes into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, so you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out!

That said, this is the latest film from veteran French writer-director Luc Besson, who has quasi-trademarked the action movie with strong female lead genre, all the way back to 'Nikita' in 1990 (yes, almost thirty years ago!).

Here he once again pairs up with Russian model-turned-actress Sasha Luss (who also starred in Besson's previous movie, the big budget sci-fi 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets').

The movie's plot is as confusing as it is basically irrelevant. We watch things unfold without having any idea why (Does the KGB really need one of their agents to become a super-model to achieve what they want to achieve? And, Why is the KGB targeting certain people? etc.). This is best encapsulated in the pivotal restaurant scene 40 minutes into the movie (and also featured prominently in the movie's trailer), where Anna needs to take out a guy, but things go wrong and she ends up fighting everyone in the restaurant!

Sasha Luss is nothing short of a formidable fighting machine, in a highly choreographed ballet-like fight to the death, while of course looking drop-dead gorgeous all along.

Frankly, the movie is a mess, but always a beautiful mess that simply has to be watched to be fully admired. Helen Mirren is wickedly fun as the KGB supervisor also, but that you could have guessed without having seen her on screen!

In closing, 'Anna' is another bug budget movie (for European standards) and looks and feels that way, with gorgeous scenery and photography throughout.

It is no accident that this movie is set in the 1985-1990 era, as it seems that Besson is doing exactly the same in 'Anna' that he was doing in 1990's 'Nikita'.

Basically, time has stood still, apparently, and whereas 'Anna' is definitely far too long at nearly two hours I still enjoyed each and every one of the fight scenes the lead was involved in (think 'Atomic Blonde').

As for the slew of Special Features included, well, the stand out for me by a long shot is ;Anatomy of a Scene: Restaurant Fight.' Oh boy, does this reveal so much more about how they got the one shot, from all its angles.

A real gem of a featurette another good one is 'Unnesting a Russian Doll: Making Anna,' where we get to not only know more about Sasha Luss (who I personally know next to nothing about beforehand) and how she was "turned" into her deadly character of "Anna."

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• “Dressing a Doll: Costumes of Anna” Featurette
• “Anatomy of a Scene: Restaurant Fight” Featurette
• “Unnesting a Russian Doll: Making Anna” Featurette
• “Constructing the Car Chase” Featurette

The 'Anna' 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD releases September 24th, 2019 and will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.99, $24.99, and $19.98, respectively.

Official 'Anna' Trailer

'Lock Up: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital]
(Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, Sonny Landham, Tom Sizemore, et al / 2-Disc + Digital / R / (1989) 2019 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: "This is hell and I’m going to give you a guided tour!” With these chilling words, the warden (Donald Sutherland) welcomes Frank Leone (Sylvester Stallone) to Gateway Prison, a nightmare jail where every minute is hard time.

The warden wants vengeance for the past; Leone wants only to survive the present. Their explosive battle of wills is the electrifying heart of one of Stallone’s most heroic thrillers, 'Lock Up'.

Stallone gives a monumental performance as Leone, a convict driven to break his own cherished code by a warden who will stop at nothing to get him.

Sutherland portrays the sadistic prison head in this riveting white-knuckle ride to hell and back.

Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate Films is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the recently announced ‘Lock Up' in the new 4K home video format on September 10th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Lock Up: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Lock Up' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Native 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 and Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color.

None more so that the Reds and oranges throughout this 4K presentation that are very nicely suffused (the cherry red Mustang that plays into the plot is one very notable example).

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material.

Notably within most all the prison sequences that now attain a slight green grading isn't as evident in the 1080p presentation. There are also some interesting, if brief, pops of color in what is often a kind of wintry, tamped down palette, including a short but effective orange tinted flashback Frank experiences when he's in isolation.

As for the audio, well, we have: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.

Additionally, the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray feature Dolby Atmos® immersive audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, Sylvester Stallone plays a mechanic serving time in a minimum-security prison. He's been a model prisoner, liked by everybody, and even allowed to leave the prison on furlough.

One night he's awakened in his bed by armed guards and forcibly taken to a maximum security prison, headed by a sadistic warden (Donald Sutherland) with an ax to grind with Sly.

He's told he will have to serve out the remainder of his sentence there and Sutherland makes it clear life will be hell for him.

Sly's terrific. He's always been an underrated actor. Sutherland, as he often does, overacts and uses at least three different accents before settling on one.

Since Sutherland is hardly a physical threat to Stallone, but his performance as the soul-crushing Warden is superlative. At every point in the film, you want to hate this evil character.

They also added Sonny Landham as the tough-ass prisoner who torments our hero with the always-brilliant Tom Sizemore in as a snitch.

John Amos plays a guard who seems bad but turns out to be okay. My favorite character was probably Frank McRae as a huge prisoner who comes to Sly's aid ("F train, son. F train.").

What would an '80s Stallone movie be without a montage? There's a fun one here as Sly bonds with his fellow cons restoring an old car.

The supplementary characters are hilarious. but especially within that particular scene. The young 20 year-old Chink Weber, who never had the opportunity to drive a Ford Mustang, and tearfully begs Stallone to give him just ten seconds' to rev up a beat up old car in the prison garage, as he may never have the opportunity again, is stand out cheesy brilliance!

Despite being a prison flick, it's not really like the exploitation prison movies of the '70s and early '80s. Implausible to the extreme but also entertaining to the max!

In closing, not dramatic or brutal enough to be considered a serious drama, without enough action to call it an action flick, it's somewhere in between the two; but if you can ignore the implausibility of the plot, 'Lock Up' is very enjoyable.

As for the slew of Special Features included, well, sadly whilst they are all ostensibly 1080p, they are clearly upscaled from older archival video. So, grainy they might well be, but still as informative now as they were back then.

Such as both the 'Making Of' (HD: 6:35) and 'Behind the Scenes' (HD: 8:13) featurettes that both reveal the extensive ways that Stallone ensures the fight scenes are as real as possible.

The better of the two is the latter which complete with its cheesy late '80s narrative immediately makes you aware that 'Lock Up' was not only filmed within the confines of a REAL prison, but the snow scenes were real too!

In the interviews with Stallone, an obviously much younger, less grizzled Stallone, of course, he comes across as both articulate and less "slurry" - one assumes this is down to having not taken as many punches at that time as both Rambo or Rocky though!

The detailed scenes involving the game of American Football in the yard are choreographed to the extreme also, but it's the interviews (albeit just 20 seconds worth) and behind-the-scenes moments with Donald Sutherland that make these featurettes as golden today as they once were.

For he comes across, as I'm sure he is in real life, as a quite, passive, non-confrontational actor who even, whilst off set being filmed, apologizes to the camera man doing the hand held filming as he's called onto set!

s for the other interviews, well, sorry, but I'd hardly call them that, more like quick snippets of bystander chat, for the interview with Donald Sutherland is the aforementioned 21 seconds, with Sonny Landham is 42 seconds, with John Amos is just 17 seconds, and with Darlanne Fluegel at another massive 42 seconds! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

• “Making of” Featurette
• “About Sylvester Stallone” Featurette
• Interview with Sylvester Stallone
• Interview with Donald Southerland
• Interview with Sonny Landham
• Interview with John Amos
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• Original Trailer

Original 'Lock Up' Trailer

'Secrets Of The Dead: World War Speed'
(DVD / NR / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: It's long been known that German soldiers used a methamphetamine called Pervitin in the Second World War. But have tales of Nazis on speed obscured the other side of the story: the massive use of stimulants by British and American troops?

Did total war unleash the world's first pharmacological arms race? Historian James Holland quests to dig deeper and unearth the truth behind World War Speed.

DVD Verdict: By 1941, after rumors swirling about Nazi soldiers on a 'super-drug' were confirmed and the drug was identified as methamphetamine, Allied commanders launched their own classified program to find the perfect war-fighting drug.

They thought Benzedrine was the answer, and its intended purpose went far beyond helping soldiers stay awake.

Medical officers on both sides distributed these stimulants — and others, such as cocaine — to keep weary soldiers awake for days at a time; to enable troops to perform longer under punishing conditions; and to deaden the horrific and debilitating effects of shell shock and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As this officially sanctioned "pharmaceutical arms race" unfolded, soldiers who took these drugs were pushed beyond the limits of their normal capabilities; but the long-term impacts of drug use were largely ignored by military medical officials.

Modern weapons and total war proved so terrifying that almost as many men were shredded by shell shock and combat exhaustion as by bullets and shrapnel. During the Second World War, one in three casualties were incapacitated without a scratch on them.

It was known by a variety of names, but today we call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Speed, it was hoped, might help defeat not just the need for sleep, but anxiety and fear.

By war's end, America alone would dish out as many as 500 million tablets of amphetamines to US servicemen. Just how this drug affected the course of World War Two is an ongoing controversy.

In this episode of 'SECRETS OF THE DEAD', historian James Holland launches into a compelling journey that takes him from German bombers pulled from the depths of Norwegian fjords and obscure European museums, to a modern British military demolitions range and into the belly of a restored Sherman tank.

At each stop, Jim works to connect the dots from both sides, Allied and Axis, and discover the truth behind what one historian calls, the world's 'first pharmacological arms race'. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time'
(DVD / NR / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: They are the most iconic animals on Planet Earth - voracious crocodiles, acrobatic birds, majestic elephants, stupendous whales.

To see them is to marvel - and to ask a surprisingly challenging question: Where did these amazing creatures come from?

DVD Verdict: Did you know that whales once walked the earth and crocodiles were once bipeds? Or that 95% of the bird population was wiped out in the last mass extinction? Or that elephants have grown shorter tusks to survive poachers?

For generations, the histories of our planet's greatest creatures were a mystery, but thanks to new fossil finds and modern science, we're piecing it all together (via PBS, of course).

Witness the surprising evolutionary stories of four remarkable creatures and the role humans may play in their next chapters here in the quite eye opening 'When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time.'

Traveling millions of years into the past, PBS unravels these iconic creatures' lineage - a story full of twists and turns, punctuated by dramatic events in earth history.

Along the way we meet an extraordinary cast of ancient characters, from a croc that ran like a greyhound to a primitive whale that walked on land.

These lost creatures from the past come to life in dazzling 3-D animations based on the latest scientific research.

We quickly discover that although whales are expert swimmers and perfectly adapted to life underwater, these marine mammals once walked on four legs.

Their land-dwelling ancestors lived about 50 million years ago. Meet, for example, Pakicetus, a goat-sized, four-legged creature that scientists recognize as one of the first cetaceans (the group of marine animals that includes dolphins and whales).

Pakicetus, for example, looked nothing like a whale, but it would have felt at home in the water. It lived on land, on the edge of lakes and riverbanks in what is now Pakistan and India.

It hunted small land animals and freshwater fish, and could even hear underwater. Eventually the relatives of this animal ventured further into the water and evolved to cope with their new environment.

How Pakicetus' descendants evolved into whales is one of the most intriguing evolutionary journeys known to science and delved into here in this breathtaking new DVD from PBS. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'8 Days: To The Moon and Back'
(Rufus Wright, Jack Tarlton, Patrick Kennedy, et al / DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: Join the historic 1969 journey of Apollo 11.

Seamlessly blending mission audio featuring conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins with news footage, NASA archive, and stunning CGI, '8 Days: To the Moon and Back' stars Rufus Wright (EastEnders), Jack Tarlton (The Imitation Game), and Patrick Kennedy (Mrs. Wilson) in a stunning recreation of the first moon landing.

DVD Verdict: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing '8 Days: To the Moon and Back' has lovingly recreated the events with the audio tapes and some lookalike actors in a recreation of the capsule which was mixed with historical footage.

The documentary has no narration, so be fully aware of that aspect. Indeed, you rely on captions which gives some factual information as well as footage of the television coverage fronted by Walter Cronkite (with the US network's coverage sponsored by Kellogg's on the day of the launch).

In the build up to the launch, the three astronauts had been constantly paraded on TV and the press. They must have been the most interviewed people in America, giving the same bland answers to the same questions. No wonder Armstrong eventually withdrew from the limelight!

Neil Armstrong was the most inexperienced of the three astronauts in terms of actual time spent in space. It showed when he mentioned his excitement of the prospect of seeing the sunrise from space.

Buzz Aldrin was expecting to be the first man to walk on the surface of the moon but NASA had other ideas.

What comes out of this documentary is just how much seat of the pants the mission was when it reached its critical stages as the lunar module approached its moon's orbit.

The module overshot its planned landing site. A warning light came on and nobody knew what it meant. When a switch broke during take off from the moon, Aldrin improvised by using a pen while NASA boffins searched for an answer!

Luckily, the three astronauts had a sense of calm and practicality throughout the mission.

After 50 years you would have thought there was little new to say about the first moon landing. This documentary proved me wrong as it provided new insights and I know it will for you too. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs Big and Small!'
(Ian James Corlett, Claire Corlett, Laura Marr, Erika-Shaye Gair, Colin Murdock, et al / DVD / G / 2019 / PBS Kids)

Overview: Learn all about dinosaurs of different shapes and sizes! First, Mikey Microraptor is visiting Tiny at the family nest when next-door neighbor Larry Lambeosaurus tells Mikey he is too small to be a dinosaur.

Then, Buddy and Tank Triceratops are best friends who share a love for comparing features. Buddy, Tank, and the kids go on a quest to track down Ceratopsians with horns numbering 1-15!

DVD Verdict: Dinosaur Train is, as its heart, a tale of friendly dinosaurs who climb aboard a train to visit different times throughout the prehistoric age, learning about dinosaurs and having fun adventures.

Indeed, Dinosaur Train completely changes how kids learn about dinosaurs. Finally, all the mistakes I was taught as a kid are repaired! Dinosaurs use tails for balance, have proper names, sometimes are tiny, have feathers, fly, are birds, swim, hunt, etc.

Mix in some really well done music and clear, quality animation, and you've got a great show.

Best of all is a moment after each episode with a real paleontologist who clears up fact from fiction and even gives great details about what was learned in the cartoon.

Finally, a TV show is using standard teaching methods like reinforcement and repetition without boring us to death!

In brand new collection 'Dinosaur Train: Dinosaurs Big and Small!' we join the gang for 10 fun adventures, big and small, where they discover a new species, meet a small mammal friend, and lots more!

The ten (10) episodes included are:
The Tiny-saur Train
How Many Horns?
Mom Was a Kid Once, Part 1
Mom Was a Kid Once, Part 2
Gilbert the Conductor
A Clubhouse of Their Own
A Brand-New Species, Part 1
A Brand-New Species, Part 1
Don's Hole-iday
We're Not All Dinosaurs

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Berenstain Bears: Tales From the Tree House, Vol 1
(2-Disc DVD / G / 2019 / PBS Kids)

Overview: It's time for Bear Country adventures with Brother and Sister Bear and 'Tree House Tales, Volume 1' contains 26 stories from the beloved animated series.

Sister visits the dentist for the first time where she learns there is nothing to be afraid of; Brother and Sister both try out for the last spot on Bear Country's baseball team; Papa and the bear scouts find themselves lost when exploring a cave, and so much more!

DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, 'The Berenstain Bears' began as a children's literature franchise created by Stan and Jan Berenstain and continued by their son, Mike Berenstain; who assumed partial authorship in 2002, and full authorship in 2012 following Jan's death.

The books feature a family of anthropomorphic grizzly bears who generally learn a moral or safety-related lesson in the course of each story.

Indeed, since the 1962 debut of the first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt, the series has grown to over 300 titles, which have sold approximately 260 million copies in 23 languages.

Of course, as we know, 'The Berenstain Bears' franchise has also expanded well beyond the books, encompassing two television series and a wide variety of other products and licenses.

While enjoying decades of popularity and receiving numerous awards, the series has been applauded for portraying many tales of bravery, caring for others, and learning responsibility well beyond The Bears' young years.

Furthermore, 'The Berenstain Bears' is sensibly written to appeal to younger children (preschool and kindergarten age) and teach them values at the same time.

In this age of redundant stupidity in entertainment, parents need a show like this one to help illustrate how fair life should be, and give a firm footing to children, not overwhelm them with glitz, glam and gloss.

By keeping plots simple and allowing children to follow along at their level, this show simply teaches children how to be fair, consider other's feelings and have good sportsmanship.

These are core values which are not being taught to children at daycare dumps or underfunded public schools, in my humble opinion.

Here in 'The Berenstain Bears: Tales From the Tree House, Volume 1' we get an incredible 5 hours of tales encompassing 26 singular episodes! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Shaft' [Blu-ray Combo Pack]
(Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Richard Roundtree, Alexandra Shipp, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide.

Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly.

Blu-ray Verdict: At the height of Blaxploitation in '70s cinema John Shaft was born and suddenly Richard Roundtree was a bad mother**ker!

When the new millennium came to be the torch was passed to Samuel L. Jackson, who truly actually is a bad mother**ker!

And thus here now in the age of iPhones, apps, and millennials, the torch is passed to Jesse T. Usher, who is ... well, let's say he needs some schooling from two generations of ass-kicking!

Let me just say I haven't had this much fun watching an action packed movie in a long while! 'Shaft' is truly a man's man movie and is a combination of '70s, '90s and 2019 guns and fighting overload era action!

Also chock full of sex, drugs and bullets it also has a healthy dose of dark humor directed toward the "snowflake generation" - which I personally loved!

The movie has solid performances, a lot of the aforementioned dark humor keeping it watchable throughout and together with some terrific pacing, to be quite honest, it was nostalgic and even a wee bit cathartic even to remember those great action movies that have been long since forgotten; or sacrificed to the God of Political Correctness! (but there is not an inch of political correctness in this movie, trust me!)

The plot is a mix-up of terrorist, drug addict mixed in with veterans suffering PTSD. This starts off a series of events connecting father and son to notorious drug pin Gordito.

OK, sure, there was an opportunity for some great storytelling toi be had here, however, it was never executed. JJ is everything Shaft Jr isn't. He grew up in the suburbs, attended college and is a data analyst for the FBI.

He solves crimes via intelligence, unlike his father who likes to knock heads. JJ was sheltered and protected by his mother. John Jr. wasn't coddled. So naturally, upon the first contact, it sets up for a humorous interaction.

Although, and telling it like it is, Regina Hall coming off a great year was misused here. She has great comedic timing, but was relegated to a "dumb chick" role.

In other words, she wasn't given much to do. Alexander Shipp is Sasha Aries JJ's childhood friend and crush and she too was relegated to playing "the pretty girl."

All that said, 'Shaft' (2019) is great action, great story and great laughs from start to finish. And, once again, I love how the film isn't completely politically correct, given that it's now 2019 and you seemingly can't get away with saying anything without offending someone!

As for the Special Features, which there are actually more of than I initially gave it credit for expecting it to have, the best is the triple feature of 'A Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy – Part's One, Two and Three.'

A fun, albeit too short for my liking, trio of featurettes that examine the movie birth of the great legend throughout the stages of his evolution.

Another good one is 'Can Ya Dig It> The Making of Shaft' where we go behind the scenes with Director Tim Story and take a seat alongside him as street scenes, fight scenes and just closed set dialogue scenes are recorded.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Can Ya Dig It? The Making of Shaft
A Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy – Part One: A Bad Mother Born
A Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy – Part Two: No Questions Asked
A Complicated Man: The Shaft Legacy – Part Three: A Legend in His Time
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel

The 'Shaft' Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD arrives September 24th, 2019 and will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Official 'Shaft' Trailer

'Find Me Guilty: Special Edition'
(Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Annabella Sciorra, et al / DVD / R / (2006) 2019 / MVD Marquee Edition)

Overview: In the late 1980s, a low level gangster named Jackie DiNorscio defends himself in court in what became the longest criminal trial in American judicial history.

Blu-ray Verdict: For my money, in an ambitious bid for credibility as a serious actor, Vin Diesel tries hard here, but despite his imposing physical stature he just doesn't have either the finesse or the gravitas to carry off the role of Jackie DiNorscio; a pivotal member of the true-life New Jersey Lucchese crime family who have been brought to court on 76 charges of various crimes.

This resulted in the longest criminal trial in U.S. history. No stranger to the courtroom (12 Angry Men, The Verdict), veteran filmmaker Sidney Lumet helmed this 2006 dramedy, and while some of his prowess is evident on the edges, the film is a relatively lifeless slog through the exhausting duration of the trial.

Lumet, who co-wrote the script with T.J. Mancini and Robert J. McCrea, seems to think the story is compelling enough itself without having to invest much in terms of story structure to the production. It turns out to be a key error in judgment.

The problems start with the toupee-challenged Diesel who seems to be left out to dry by Lumet, as his lunk-headed, clownish presence makes DiNorscio's dilemma less than palpable.

After refusing a plea bargain from hyper-obsessed federal prosecutor Sean Kierney, DiNorscio chooses to represent himself in court, and it would have taken a more outsized personality than Diesel's to emphasize the dramatic impact of this ploy.

Fortunately, Lumet still shows an idiosyncratic sense in casting many of the other roles, and three actors stand out. First, Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) lends a becalming authority to the role of one of the defense attorneys and as it turns out, the one ally DiNorscio can trust.

That he is a dwarf comes up only when a platform is wheeled into the courtroom for him to provide arguments. Second, Annabella Sciorra has a powerful cameo as DiNorscio's embittered ex-wife whose visit with her cheating ex-husband becomes a chain-smoking rite of passage for her.

Finally, in his film debut, Broadway sensation Raúl Esparza (Company) plays the key role of DiNorscio's greasy, drug-addicted cousin Tony Compagna with surprising relish.

His character's desperate act opens the film, but it's the brief climactic cross-examination scene that finally brings the trial to life with Tony visibly breaking down under the weight of his betrayal to DiNorscio.

I just wish the rest of the movie was as involving. The usually low-key British actor Linus Roache is a surprising choice to play Kierney, and he provides the necessary bombast but with a wavering accent.

The rest of the casting is more typical with Alex Rocco playing head gangster Nick Calabrese and Ron Silver as the often exasperated presiding Judge.

Lumet unwisely uses musical cues to punctuate the action, though the music often overwhelms the dialogue to the point of distraction.

OK, so the bottom line here is that we are shown that there is no black and white reality out there, but one of varied, subtle hues and tones on both the destructive and the constructive sides of the forces that are metaphysically opposed to each other. Lesson learned either way, I guess.

In conclusion, it's not every day you can actually want a case such as this one to go well for the defendant. Especially when it's such a known and true case about people who lived and breathed the term of being really "bad people"!

This brand new Special Edition Blu-ray from MVD Visual comes with 'A Conversation with Sidney Lumet, which strangely has been broken up into multiple parts, despite the cursory nature of Lumet's comments in each section, I might add. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

A Conversation with Sidney Lumet (4:43)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:27)
3 TV Spots (SD)

'Find Me Guilty: Special Edition' Blu-ray will be released on September 27th, 2019 via MVD Visual.

'Toys Are Not For Children: Special Edition'
(Marcia Forbes, Harlan Cary Poe, Evelyn Kinglsey, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1972) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Emotionally stunted child woman Jamie Godard not only suffers from an unhealthy fixation on her long absent father, but also has an obsession with all the toys he gave her as a little girl.

After getting a job at a toy store, Jamie decides to marry co-worker Charlie Belmond.

When the marriage doesn't work out, Jamie runs away to New York City and becomes a prostitute who specializes in servicing perverted old men who want to play daddy with her.

Blu-ray Verdict: Emotionally stunted child woman Jamie Godard (a solid and touching performance by adorable brunette Marcia Forbes) not only suffers from an unhealthy fixation on her whoring no-count long absent father Philip (well played by Peter Lightstone), but also has an obsession with all the toys her wayward pop gave her as a kid.

After getting a job at a toy store, Jamie decides to marry co-worker Charlie Belmond (a sturdy and likable portrayal by Harlan Cary Poe). When the marriage doesn't work out, Jamie runs away to New York City and becomes a prostitute who specializes in servicing perverted old men who like to play daddy with her.

Although the seamy premise sounds like ideal grindhouse fodder, director Stanley H. Brasloff and writer Macs McAree surprisingly deliver very little nudity and no simulated soft-core sex.

Instead they tackle such dark and disturbing themes as incest, pedophilia, sexual repression, childhood trauma, kinky fetishism, and arrested adolescent syndrome gone tragically wrong in an unflinchingly stark and head-on confrontational manner.

Naturally, this makes for decidedly grim and uncomfortable viewing, but the sordidly engrossing story and alarming array of almost universally miserable, messed-up, and unsympathetic characters give this picture a certain bitterly potent sting (the uncompromising bummer ending in particular packs a devastating downbeat punch).

Moreover, the fine acting from the capable cast holds the movie together, with especially praiseworthy contributions from Evelyn Kingsley as brash and worn-out hooker Pearl Valdi, Luis Arroyo as scuzzy pimp Eddie, and Fran Warren as Jamie's shrewish mother Edna.

Also bringing forth some solid performances are Tiberia Mitri as the frail and vulnerable little girl incarnation of Jamie, and N.J. Osrag as jolly toy store owner Max Geunther.

Rolph Laube's competent cinematography and the brooding score by Cathy Lynn and Jacques Urbont are both up to par and 'Toys Are Not For Children' also features a beautifully haunting theme song too.

In closing, this is an unusual and interesting little curio, but isn't a movie that's going to appeal to everyone. The low-budget look of the picture does make it appear more raw, but overall I think you'll be amazed at just how damn captivating the film is. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain
Newly-filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower
Dirty Dolls: Femininity, Perversion and Play - a brand new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Original theme song 'Lonely Am I', newly transferred from the original 45-RPM vinyl single
Original Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Vanity Celis

'Toys Are Not For Children' Original Movie Trailer

'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky'
(John Lennon, Yoko Ono, et al/ Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: In 1971 John Lennon's most successful album lmagine was released. The title track has become one of the most iconic Lennon songs.

The underlying message of the song and the album however was one of radical engagement and is as relevant today as ever.

This film reveals the depth of the creative collaboration between John and Yoko and examines how the art, politics and music of the pair are intrinsically entwined.

Blu-ray Verdict: Being a HUGE Beatles and therefore John Lennon fan for the longest of years, it's been whispered that Yoko always said she had a lot of never-before-seen footage of John tucked away somewhere nobody would ever find them.

Well, this is it here, proudly displayed within the quite magnificent and certainly wholly eye opening "new" documentary 'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky.'

As we all know by now, John Lennon's Imagine album was his first record after the Beatles break-up. Recorded at his home studio, a process that was, thankfully recorded on film, we can all now get to see a musician at his peak no having gone solo and needing to strive to bring forth a hammer blow of an album.

Remastered as 1080i HD what we have here is a magnificently captured moment in time where recording an album meant a different kind of team work. For this time he only had Yoko alongside him, but that was clearly all he needed.

Inclusive of a few musician and men-from-the-business pop up interviews, this is, and without a shadow of a doubt, a man at his peak. And whereas the fellow musicians were happy just to heap praise on Lennon, for me it was far more interesting to hear the stories from the engineers and studio staff that were around during Lennon's recording process.

And for us mere mortals peeking over his shoulder as he writes, plays piano, scribbles, plays guitar, then scribbles some more, we get to hear how now know songs originally started.

Funnily enough it also poses a strong case for the quite clearly seen positive influence that his wife Yoko had on him around that time (and, perhaps throughout their entire relationship, who truly knows?).

The film goes a long way to persuasively suggest that the album was very much a product of their shared life, although once it was completed they abandoned their English country home forever.

In conclusion, 'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky' [Blu-ray] is a very distinctly human overview of a musical and lyrical genius. These clips given up by Yoko were obviously cherished memories that she had held close to her heart for oh so long, but has now decided to lovingly share with the world.

And so, I will close by thanking her for having opened her heart, and that place where they had been so secretly secured down the years, and for sharing with us these precious visual memories of the great John Lennon. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and 1080i HD and comes with the Special Features of:

How Do You Sleep? (Takes 5&6, Raw Studio Mix)
Oh My Love (Raw Studio Mix)
Oh Yoko! (Bahamas, 1969)
Conversation with Curt Claudio

'Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life’
(Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Maurice Bejart, Jorge Donn, et al/ Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: 'Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life’ was a unique collaboration between three cultural brands: Queen, Versace and the visionary choreographer Maurice Bejart, celebrating the life and talents of legendary performers, Freddie Mercury and dancer Jorge Donn, both of whom died of AIDS.

Blu-ray Verdict: Releasing the day after the birthday of Freddie Mercury (September 6th, 2019, via Eagle Vision), a day that is marked each year with a series of Freddie For A Day events, from the off it's important to know that 100% of royalties from the 'Ballet For Life' release that are payable by Eagle Rock Entertainment to Tonleigh Ltd and thus will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which fights AIDS worldwide.

'Ballet For Life' was first performed at the Théâtre de Chaillot, Paris in the presence of Madame Chirac, Elton John and John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen.

This magnificent new Blu-ray (that also comes housed within a spectacular 36 page photo book), features the entire story of 'Ballet for Life' along with some rather wondrous interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor, plus a full-length performance of 'Ballet for Life.'

In what is a masterful performance of live art at that, this energetic footage from the performance following the premiere is also now know as being John Deacon’s very last with Queen.

At its heart a ballet about youth and hope, as hopeless and optimistic as they are, and yet inspired by Queen's very own euphoric, fist-pumping stand on the subject, of course, the show must go on here.

'Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life’ actually features two programs: The documentary by Lynne Wake and Simon Lupton (2017), and the aforementioned full 1997 performance of the ballet by the Béjart Ballet of Lausanne.

1. Play
2. It's A Beautiful Day
3. Time / Let Me Live / Brighton Rock
4. Heaven For Everyone
5. I Was Born To Love You / Così Fan Tutte
6. A Kind Of Magic / Thamos
7. Get Down, Make Love / Piano Concerto N°21
8. You Take My Breath Away / Death On Two Legs / Masonic Funeral Music
9. A Kind Of Magic (Ay-Oh) / Sinfonia Concertante / Radio Ga Ga
10. A Winter's Tale
11. The Great Pretender / The Millionaire Waltz
12. Brighton Rock / Bohemian Rhapsody
13. I Want To Break Free
14. The Show Must Go On
15. The Show Must Go On (Credits)

Having now watched this documentary twice, for me the stand out footage is that of the band with Elton John rehearsing and performing 'The Show Must Go On' at the Paris performance of the ballet.

As already noted, it was to be Deacon's last performance and in the interviews both May and Taylor comment about how Deacon had taken Mercury's death extremely hard; which bled through to his last few performances, I feel.

'Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life’ is presented in 1080i High Definition for 16:9 TVs and even the archival footage seems to have been remastered as best it could be - given that the source material was from 1997 and in its original 4:3 scale, of course.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1), remastered and enhanced for 16x9 TVs and 1080i HD.

'Slash featuring Myles Kennedy: Living The Dream'
(Slash, Myles Kennedy, and the Conspirator, et al/ Blu-ray + 2CD / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: 'Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators - Living the Dream Tour' captures the band’s incendiary performance on their sold-out 2019 tour, in front of a rabid crowd at London’s legendary Hammersmith Apollo.

Blu-ray Verdict: Roaring through a highly charged 2-hour set of tracks from all four Slash solo albums, the musicians tear up England's beloved Hammersmith Apollo with staggering solos, while dropping giant slabs of riffs with casual ease, delivering the essence of rock 'n' roll in this show.

In what was just a very exhausting 2 hours spent in front of my TV watching this intense Blu-ray (let alone what must have been overly physically exhausting for all those men on stage that night, of course), this 'Living The Dream Tour' is chock full of Slash and company at their musical finest.

But, and let's get one thing straight here, for everyone that says Myles Kennedy is nothing more than an Axel Rose wannabe can now, please, take a step back!

Sure he has the same vocal chops as Rose, just maybe not a younger Rose at the height of all the G 'N R madness, but here Kennedy uses it to his advantage to come across more as an everyman's Bruce Dickinson

Bathed under intensively colorful, yet darkly blanketed shades of stage lights, some songs are nearly 10 minutes in length, but that's what we've all come to expect from the guys by now.

Including tracks from all four of Slash's solo albums, the set opens with the massive, full force riffage OF 'Call Of The Wild' and the guitar intensity of 'Halo' and backs them up seamlessly with tracks such as 'Standing In The Rain,' 'Ghost,' 'Back From Cali,' and further on the brilliant 'Driving Rain,' 'By The Sword,' and 'Starlight,' before bringing the set to a close with both 'Avalon' and the powerhaus 'Anastasia.'

It should also be pointed out that on the simply searing live version of 'Shadow Life' as well as 'We Are All Gonna Die' and 'Doctor Alibi' that during these titanic anthems Myles Kennedy switches vocal duties with bassist Todd Kerns.

With the lead vocals, at times, being dark, meaning the guitar solos have Slash reaching for notes all over the fret board, this just adds to the manic, frenetic even, and yet also controlled and masterful musicianship on display here.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators - Living the Dream Tour will be released on DVD+2CD, Blu-ray+2 CD, 3LP Black Vinyl, limited edition 3LP Red Vinyl, digital video and digital audio, on September 20th 2019.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of Live In London: Behind The Scenes Featurette.