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'Annabelle Comes Home' [BR+DVD+Digital]
(Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino, Samara Lee, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing.

But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens’ ten year- old daughter, Judy, and her friends.

Blu-ray Verdict: Allow me to begin by saying that I had absolutely no idea that the real Lorraine Warren died just a few months before this film was released.

Indeed, she passed on April 18th, 2019, at the age of 92 and thus I feel like this new film was definitely a really nice tribute to her.

As for the actual film, well, this third film in the 'Annabelle' series marks Gary Dauberman's directorial debut and it's a good start for the seasoned and acclaimed horror writer.

This story does echo familiar with certain thematic aspects that we've seen in this film universe, with youth being the focal point surrounded by the paranormal phenomenon.

The plot also does take a little bit of time to develop and maybe spends too much time trying to develop some of the characters before anything really exciting does happen.

But once things do start going bump it does get very fast paced and thoroughly foreboding at times, all while staying grounded with the plot.

In all honesty, the actual "set up" here to the story is largely a gimmick, as two young girls agree to stay at the Warren's house overnight and babysit their ten-year-old daughter.

With only their curiosity and numerous trapped malevolent spirits and demons to keep them company, what could possibly go wrong? However, aforementioned series writer Dauberman, understands what makes these films fun and appealing.

So, when one of the girls wanders into the basement and unleashes Annabelle, so too does she unleash the many other demons trapped below.

Ergo, what ensues feels like a live action broadcast of a puppet master pulling the strings on his favorite creations. Throughout the night, the girls are chased and tormented by the monsters and entities from the Warren's previous cases, and it's the sort of outlandish premise that benefits from the kitchen sink approach Dauberman provides.

That said, the overall setting of the Warren house fits the particular story very well and adds nice substance with the artifacts room. The late '60s/early '70s ambience is perfectly done and sets a terrific tone, and the lighting and camera work is phenomenal as usual for the series.

There are many different callbacks to other films in the universe with familiar entities as well as a few new very creepy ones making frightful sporadic appearances.

It almost acts as a 'Conjuring' universe greatest hits, if you will, which isn't a bad thing and was actually quite fun. The finale finishes off the film in excellent fashion with a fantastic culmination of events; and, once again, I was left wanting more (whether it be another 'Annabelle' or the upcoming 'Conjuring 3'.

Sure, some of the scares were a wee bit cliché at times, but they do enough to keep them fresh a majority of the time. Overall this gets the 'Conjuring' universe back on track after the last two middling-to-decent films released ('The Nun' and 'La LLorona').

So, simply put, if you enjoy the series / universe that 'Annabelle' and 'The Conjuring' bring forth, then this third installment is most definitely for you, my friends! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

- The Artifact Room and The Occult
- The Light and the Love
- Behind the Scenes Part 1: The Ferryman/Demon
- Behind the Scenes Part 2: The Bloody Bride
- Behind the Scenes Part 3: The Werewolf

The 'Annabelle Comes Home' [BR + DVD + Digital] arrives October 8th, 2019 via Warner Bros.

www.WarnerBros.com

Official 'Annabelle Comes Home' Trailer





'Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?' [Blu-ray]
(James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Clarke Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Katharine Hepburn, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1975) 2019 / VCI Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?' is a nostalgic look back at the Great Depression with contemporary archival footage and film clips picturing James Cagney as an American Everyman.

Blu-ray Verdict: In what is, simply put, an amazing piece of work, and one where the material itself provides the narrative ie: there are actual speeches, songs and sounds from an era gone by, but no annoying narration or voice over.

Indeed, the years from The Great Depression up to WW2 come to life with this artful assembly of scenes from musicals, songs, newsreels and speeches.

By juxtaposing contemporary news and documentary footage with extracts from Hollywood classics such as 'Golddiggers,' 'Lady Killer' and 'Wild Boys of the Road', director Philippe Mora offers us an immediate, intricate and evocative scrapbook of the 1930's.

Somehow there are uncanny echoes of some of our current preoccupations: strikers at Ford's, mass unemployment, breadlines, vigilante gangs and failing fortunes … and then two heroes emerge: James Cagney, the rough diamond, hood-with-a-heart-of-gold star of the movies; the little man who won't be beaten, and Franklin D. Roosevelt himself: tough yet benign, stepping into the breach with confidence and determination; yet imperceptibly crumpling under the weight of responsibility as he leads America through her most difficult years until the final humiliation of Pearl Harbor.

All that aside, I particularly enjoyed the segment with Huey Long. What a terrific speaker he was and to see him on stage with Ina Ray Hutton, the woman band leader, was a real treat.

Considering it was produced by an Englishman and directed by an Australian, it has a remarkable sensitivity for its subject and so, at least from my point of view, is highly recommended for lovers of documentary / history documentaries; and all historians of America in the 20th Century. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of One Hour of Rare Pathé Newsreels from the Period.

www.mvdshop.com





'Jirga' [Blu-ray]
(Sam Smith, Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Lightyear Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: An ex-soldier returns to Afghanistan to find the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system - the Jirga.

Blu-ray Verdict: Shot in Afghanistan after the Pakistani Secret Service cancelled permission to film, director Benjamin Gilmour took his star Sam Smith and filmed in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan, using some non-actors, a few being former members of the Taliban itself.

It subsequently became Australia's pick for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2019 Oscars and Winner of the Best Independent Film Award from the Australian Academy (AACTA).

It was also the Winner of the coveted $100,000 prize at CineFest Oz and an Official Selection at Toronto and Palm Springs.

Incorporating both the languages of English and Pashto, 'Jirga' is told with the intimacy and realism of a documentary, but is actually a drama set against the background of the immense Afghan landscape; sharp mountains, buttes, stony deserts and dust.

But there are also surreal moments in a pristine, blue lake with a pink swan paddle boat. The young Australian is the outsider and definitely no longer in the dominant position he was.

It's a measured story of the meeting of cultures and a perspective on Australia's longest war that we have not seen before. The action throws up moral and ethical choices for all, making this beautifully crafted thriller concise, powerful and compelling.

The portrayals are rich and the characters are easy to identify with, the camera work superb.

Indeed, the mix of people, both old and young, is very engaging, and we also try to work out how we would interact with these people in the situations encountered.

In closing, and once again, as they are exquisite and so profound to the story being told, the towns and countryside of Afghanistan also play a vital role in the story; much of it being the aforementioned mountainous desert.

So, in short, 'Jirga' has a great mix of tense relationships, coping with a foreign culture and an unforgiving environment, handled with skill and a lightness of touch. Definitely worth the journey. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Behind-The-Scenes Interview with director Benjamin Gilmour
Theatrical Trailer

www.mvdshop.com





'Lost City of the Jungle: Special Edition' [BR]
(Russell Hayden, Keye Luke, Jane Adams, Lionel Atwill, John Miljan, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1946) 2019 / VCI Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Following the end of WWII, war-monger Sir Eric Hazarias (Lionel Atwill) sets the wheel in motion for WWIII. His search for Meteorium 245, the only practical defense against the atomic bomb, leads him to mythical Pendrang.

Obstructing his sinister plan to rule the world are Rod Stanton (Russell Hayden), United Peace Foundation investigator, Tal Shan (Keye Luke), Pendrang native, and Marjorie Elmore (Jane Adams), daughter of scientist Dr. Elmore (John Eldredge), unwilling assistant to Sir Eric.

Blu-ray Verdict: Since I've now done my homework on this film before actually watching it, I can safely report that this serial was made at a moment in time when at the end of World War II, and before the Cold War really went into deep freeze, it was thought that the United Nations could develop into a world government with a chance for world peace.

The good guys in this film are the United Peace Foundation and while they have no troops they do have agent/operatives like Russell Hayden dedicated to tracking down those who would bring about war for their own profit.

One of those is Lionel Atwill who faked his own death and is now in the remote country of Pendrang somewhere in the Himalayas. Under an alias he's financing archaeologist John Eldredge's expedition to uncover a lost city.

What Atwill is looking for is something called Meteorium, a radioactive substance from which he can construct a defense against the atomic bomb. If he gets and develops this counter weapon any country he does business with will rule the world. I've got to say the man dreams big, but all power to him!

But not if Hayden and the United Peace Foundation have anything to say about it. The Foundation has a man on the ground in Keye Luke in Pendrang's capital of Zalabar.

The capital has an unofficial ruler in Helen Bennett who runs a the gambling action and even controls the local law enforcement. Imagine if the folks in Shangri-La had brought in casino gambling and this is what you have!

What I couldn't figure out is that if Pendrang is as remote as the serial makes it out to be, just where does the fresh money come in which is necessary for casinos to survive?

In truth, that was only one of many things that had me puzzled throughout all 13 chapters of 'Lost City of the Jungle,' but, and thankfully, the good guys win, of course.

I felt sorry for Lionel Atwill though. Dying of cancer and having problems getting roles after the sex party scandal in his home came to light, it's a shame that this was what he had to go out on.

Not as bad as his colleague Errol Flynn whom he supported in 'Captain Blood with Cuban Rebel Girl', but not worthy of his talents either, sadly.

Serials themselves are, thank God, a lost art form which means that come the end of this two-night watching fest, I can honestly say that 'Lost City of the Jungle' is no better, or no worse than others of its ilk that I've seen. So, enjoy, one and all. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Original Trailer
Photo Gallery
Liner Notes / Essay by Patrick McCabe (Film Historian & Home Video Columnist)

www.mvdshop.com





'Malevolence: Special Edition' [Blu-ray + DVD]
(Brandon Johnson, Samantha Dark, Heather Magee, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / R / (2004) 2019 / Mena Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: Taken from his backyard swing at the age of six, Martin Bristol was forced to witness and participate in the horrific crimes of a deranged madman.

For years, Martin's whereabouts have remained a mystery... until four bank robbers, on the run from the law, meet up at an abandoned house to split up the loot.

They chose the wrong house!

Blu-ray Verdict: Director, Stevan Mena, did a wonderful job of writing and directing this film, no matter what the oh-so many ill-informed, or naive to the genre, critics have dared to spout down the years, trust me!

For yes, many of the elements of a good horror film ie: 'Halloween,' 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' 'The Shining,' et al are indeed lovingly incorporated into this film, but they play out as homages, at every single shocking turn!

One of the things that surprised me was the absence of sex though for in most horror/slasher films the gratuitous sex with college/high school kids is always there; while the bad guy is running around trying to find/kill them!

But no, 'Malevolence' had its own scary story line and stuck to it through thick and thin! In fact, come the end it just made me jump out of my skin several times, which is definitely the sign of a great movie of this genre, am I right!

When the horror did kick in I was all over the shop! I think the ambiguity of the beginning made me wonder what the hell was going to happen next.

So, in a way, it worked to create a sense of not knowing where the film was going to go next. So when the scares do happen, you're not expecting them! Even the ones I thought I saw coming got me!

I mean, come on now, this movie does has it all - suspense, terror, and an excellent soundtrack. The cinematography really helped to aid in building the suspense and as it was a small indie on a small indie budget, well, I was more than impressed with the cinematic outcome.

Also, all the actors, all unknowns at the time, were perfectly cast. Brandon Johnson, Samantha Dark, and Courtney Bertalone were just electrifying to watch and I had hoped to see them in future films of this ilk down the years, but not so much, sadly.

But, and again I tip my hat to the directing masterclass by Mena for giving true horror fans something worth watching.

Generally noted as actually being the middle part of the trilogy, 'Malevolence 2: Bereavement' has also just been re-released as Special Edition Director's Cut Blu-ray+DVD combo pack along with the just-released third and final chapter, 'Malevolence 3: Killer' -- just in time to get them lined up for Halloween! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

New HD 35mm transfer, supervised by Director Stevsn Mena and Cinematographer Tsuyoshi Kimoto
Stills Gallery
Audio Commentary with Stevan Mena and Brandon Johnson
Trailers, TV & Radio Spots
Leatherface Speaks
Rehearsal Footage
Featurette: Back to the Slaughterhouse
Featurette: The Dark Side of Horror with Samantha Dark
Deleted Scenes

CLICK HERE to read an exclusive interview we did with Director Stevan Mena, conducted a few years ago, when he was initially trying to get 'Malevolence 3' just filmed!

www.mvdshop.com





'Malevolence 2: Bereavement - Director's Cut'
(Michael Biehn, Alexandra Daddario, Brett Rickaby, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / R / (2010) 2019 / Mena Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: 'Malevolence 2: Bereavement' tells the horrific account of 6 year old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.

Blu-ray Verdict: In 1989, a boy Martin Bristol has congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA), a rare neural disorder, in which the patient does not feel pain, heat or cold.

He is abducted by the deranged serial-killer Graham Sutter (Brett Rickaby) and brought to the Sutter Meat & Poultry, an abandoned meat-packing plant in Minersville, Pennsylvania, where Graham slaughters young women that he kidnaps.

Five years later, the stubborn seventeen year-old teenager Allison Miller loses her parents and moves to her uncle Jonathan Miller's house near the decrepit plant.

Jonathan, his wife Karen and their little daughter Wendy welcome Allison, but the teenager does not give much attention to her new family. Allison likes to run alone on the road and she passes by the meat-packing plant and then she meets the mechanic William "Billy" and has a crush on him.

Jonathan advises Allison to avoid running near the old factory and Billy, who is a problematic teenager. Allison does not listen to and soon, well, you know what happens!

Simply put, this film is highly recommended for those who like the old creepy guy doing creepy things to people in a creepy abandoned isolated place where no one can hear your screams!

Again reminiscent of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' 'High Tension,' 'Hostel,' 'Psycho,' etc. 'Bereavement' kickstarts the whole trilogy (although it's titled as a sequel, of course, and is, from start to finish, bloody entertaining and bloody brilliant!

Furthermore, I've been aching to see an unedited, no holds barred version of it since it came out and now we have this delicious Director's Cut to behold for all us fans of the genre and, of course, genius Director Stevan Mena.

The best quote from the movie, and one that will make you think and rethink it over and over is, "If they have not feelings, they can't know fear. But if they can't know fear, why do they run?" pretty well sums what you are knee deep into watching right up!

Again, one of the things that continuously surprises me was the absence of sex, for in most horror/slasher films the gratuitous sex with college/high school kids is always there; while the bad guy is running around trying to find/kill them!

But no, the 'Malevolence' trilogy has its own scary story line and stuck to it through thick and thin! In fact, come the end it just made me jump out of my skin several times, which is definitely the sign of a great movie of this genre, am I right!

I mean, come on now, this movie has it all - suspense, terror, and an excellent soundtrack. The cinematography really helped to aid in building the suspense and as it was a small indie on a small indie budget, well, I was more than impressed with the cinematic outcome.

But, and again I tip my hat to the directing masterclass by Mena for giving true horror fans something worth watching.

As aforementioned, generally noted as actually being the first part of the trilogy, the original 'Malevolence' has also just been re-released as a Special Edition Blu-ray+DVD combo pack along with the just-released final chapter, 'Malevolence 3: Killer' -- just in time to get them lined up for Halloween! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Director's cut with additional footage
Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Stevan Mena
Theatrical Trailer
The Making of 'Bereavement'
First Look: One The Set
Deleted Scenes
Stills Gallery

CLICK HERE to read an exclusive interview we did with Director Stevan Mena, conducted a few years ago, when he was initially trying to get 'Malevolence 3' just filmed!

www.mvdshop.com





'Malevolence 3: Killer' [Blu-ray+DVD]
(Katie Gibson, Kevin McKelvey, Victoria Mena, Adrienne Barbeau, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / R / (2018) 2019 / Mena Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: The hunt is on for Martin Bristol. Tortured and abused at the hands of his psychotic captor, Graham Sutter, Martin is damaged beyond repair.

Lurking in the shadows of suburbia, he stalks and kills without remorse. Special Agent William Perkins follows his trail of terror.

Blu-ray Verdict: Martin Bristol returns to where it all began: the home where he was kidnapped from. But he is not the boy who disappeared over 10 years ago.

Tortured and abused at the hands of his psychotic captor, Graham Sutter, Martin is damaged beyond repair. Lurking in the shadows of suburbia, he stalks and kills without remorse.

Special Agent William Perkins follows Martin's trail of terror, desperate to capture him before he kills again. Martin's family, mourning his disappearance for over 10 years, is informed not only that he is alive, but that he is responsible for the wave of murder sweeping through their town.

Will they be able to reunite with their long lost son before it's too late, or will Perkins have to use excessive force to bring him down?

After the longest wait - some 15 years in fact - the final part of the 'Malevolence' trilogy is upon us!

As I'm sure not going to give anything away here plot wise, I will say that the cast is enriched by the introduction of Katie Gibson as Elle. Her Elle is sweet, strong and a very likable young lady.

That said, she is also tough and resilient when Martin finally moves in for the kill! She's a great final girl in every sense of the word and even gets to play a variation of the traditional babysitter, when, thanks to Martin, her young neighbor Victoria (Victoria Mena) finds herself all alone!

Kevin McKelvey returns for his third go as Perkins and fits the mold of the "Dr. Loomis" of the film. He's tough and strong, yet there is also compassion, as he recognizes that in some ways Martin is just as much a victim as he is a killer.

This touch helps Perkins avoid being a stereotype. The always-brilliant Adrienne Barbeau ('The Fog') is effective in her few scenes as Martin's grandmother, as is Ashley Wolfe returning as Martin long-suffering mom.

As aforementioned, I don't really want to give away anything, because I think they are movies that should be seen with as little information as possible (especially this brand new finale).

They are horror movies, that's all you need to know. They are low budget and works of passion by a director who deserves and rightfully should get more work. I have waited years to see this film and it did not disappoint, of that have no doubt.

Again reminiscent of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' 'High Tension,' 'Hostel,' 'Psycho,' etc. 'Bereavement' kickstarts the whole trilogy (although it's titled as a sequel, of course, and is, from start to finish, bloody entertaining and bloody brilliant!

Again, one of the things that continuously surprises me was the absence of sex, for in most horror/slasher films the gratuitous sex with college/high school kids is always there; while the bad guy is running around trying to find/kill them!

But no, the 'Malevolence' trilogy has its own scary story line and stuck to it through thick and thin! In fact, come the end it just made me jump out of my skin several times, which is definitely the sign of a great movie of this genre, am I right!

I mean, come on now, this movie has it all - suspense, terror, and an excellent soundtrack. The cinematography really helped to aid in building the suspense and as it was a small indie on a small indie budget, well, I was more than impressed with the cinematic outcome.

But, and again I tip my hat to the directing masterclass by Mena for giving true horror fans something worth watching.

As aforementioned, this is the finale in the trilogy with the other two chapters having also been both re-released as Special Edition Blu-ray+DVD combo packs -- just in time to get them lined up for Halloween! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Stevan Mena
Trailers
The Making of 'Malevolence 3: Killer'
Composing the Score
Stills Montage

CLICK HERE to read an exclusive interview we did with Director Stevan Mena, conducted a few years ago, when he was initially trying to get 'Malevolence 3' just filmed!

www.mvdshop.com





'My Samurai: MVD Rewind Collection'
(Julian Lee, Terry O'Quinn, Mako, Bubba Smith, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1992) 2019 / MVD Visual)

Overview: When young Peter McCrea (John Kallo) witnesses a gang murder, he is thrust into a dangerous world where strength and power are the keys to survival.

His only hope is Young Park (Julian Lee, Assassin's Code), a powerful martial arts master with a gift for destroying any opposition. On the run from the gang and the police, Young Park must teach Peter the secrets of self defense - and inner strength.

From one action-packed sequence to the next, Peter learns about courage, force, and himself - so that he may confront the ultimate challenge of his life.

Blu-ray Verdict: The solo directorial debut of Fred H. Dresch - after making his mark as an assistant director on cult classics such as 'Final Exam' and 'Syngenor' and boasting a supporting cast that includes Mako ('Conan The Barbarian'), Terry O'Quinn ('Lost') and Bubba Smith (the 'Police Academy' series), 'My Samurai: Special Edition' Blu-ray is out October 15th, 2019 via MVD Visual.

Taekwondo champ Julian Lee has been appearing in action movies since 1990, but his earliest work readily available in North America was always this under-rated gem 'My Samurai' from 1992.

Simply put, When a young boy (John Kallo) witnesses an underworld crime, his babysitter (Lynne Hart) and he are targeted for assassination and must rely on the protection of a martial arts instructor (Lee).

Young Park's (Julian Jung Lee) fights are certainly the highlights of this film, especially the two fights with Crest (Mark Steven Grove). In what was stunt casting at its finest, Park fights in alleys, up and down staircases, while handcuffed sometimes, in a hospital gown, and on snow-cover mountains while wounded!

Ergo, action fans will find the fights and the car chases they desire aplenty here and while 'My Samurai' is not Academy Award material (and the script has a few holes abounding), there is definitely a slew of good, solid acting in-between.

In truth, lead villain Mako and absentee father, the always-brilliant and believable Terry O'Quinn have relatively few scenes despite their important roles, but that doesn't distract from the plot all that much luckily.

The downside? Well, 'My Samurai' is a low-budget independent production starring a lot of strange-looking non-actors, and features broken-English dialogue on top of a muffled, unintelligible sound recording, at times, sorry.

Again though, there are lots of close-quarters street fighting and even some show-off flashness - like when the glam gang brings forth several acrobatic tricksters to take care of business - so the purist in all of us that loves all that kind of stuff is going to be very happy with this new-to-Blu-ray release from MVD Visual. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p, 1.78:1) Extended Cut presentation of the main feature
English 2.0 Stereo Sound (LPCM) Audio
Optional English Subtitles
NEW! Interview with stars Julian Lee & Mark Steven Grove (HD, 45:18)
NEW! 'Watching My Scenes' with actor Jim Turner (HD, 23:58)
NEW! Interview with actor Christophe Clarke (HD, 28:40)
The original R-rated version of the film (SD, 1.37:1, 85:12)
Photo Gallery
Julian Lee Photo Galley
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 01:30)
Collectible Mini-Poster

www.mvdshop.com





'Killer Nun: Special Edition'
(Anita Ekberg, Joe Dallesandro, Alida Valli, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1979) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: A demented nun sliding through morphine addiction into madness, whilst presiding over a regime of lesbianism, torture and death. Sister Gertrude is the head nurse/nun in a general hospital, whose increasingly psychotic behavior endangers the staff and patients around her.

Aging blonde-bombshell Anita Ekberg ('La Dolce Vita'' 'Pick-up Alley') gives a full-bodied performance as a sex-crazed sister with some seriously bad habits in the lurid cult classic 'Killer Nun.'

Blu-ray Verdict: In my humble opinion, 'Killer Nun' (aka 'Suor Omicidi' is a stylish and pleasantly demented "Nunsploitation" horror flick that is quite vastly underrated.

While it is certainly not very typical for the Nunsploitation-sub-gene, this is a very atmospheric, at times mesmerizing, and very well-acted psychological horror film that lovers of exploitation cinema should certainly not miss.

The great Anita Eckberg, cult-actress of the '50s, stars in the lead role of Sister Gertrude, a nun working in a Christian mental hospital.

After having a tumor removed, Gertrude is convinced that she still has cancer and along with a proceeding morphine addiction, gradually gets more obsessed with this idea.

Suddenly, people at the hospital end up dead and although she is always in the middle of things, nobody could ever suspect a nun of such atrocities!

Unlike most other "Nunsploitation" films, 'Killer Nun' is not about devil-worshiping or satanic possession. While the film does include sex and nudity, as well as a variety of perversions, the sleaze-level is maybe not quite as high as in typical "Nunsploitation" flicks.

Sure, it is rather demented throughout, given its over the top storyline, however, and even though sometimes a bit slow, 'Killer Nun' always has a tense, creepy atmosphere to guide us along.

The score by Alessandro Alessandroni is downright ingenious and effectively enhances the films eeriness in a brilliant manner. As mentioned, Anita Eckberg is outstanding in the lead, and beautiful Paola Morra is also great in the role of her young roommate and fellow nun Sister Mathieu.

The supporting cast includes a bunch of familiar faces for fans of cult-cinema, such as Joe Dalessandro ('Blood For Dracula'), Alida Valli ('Suspiria,' 'Inferno'), Lou Castell ('A Bullet For The General'), and Massimo Serato ('Macchie Solari,' 'Solamente Nero').

Over all, 'Killer Nun' is a creepy, atmospheric and effective flick with a very strong lead that I highly recommend to all my fellow fans of exploitation ("Nunsploitation" or otherwise), and Italian Giallo horror, in general! 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:

New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (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 Italian genre film connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint
Beyond Convent Walls, a new video essay on Nunsploitation and 'Killer Nun' by critic Kat Ellinger
Starry Eyes, a new interview with director Giulio Berruti
Cut and Noise, a new interview with editor Mario Giacco
Our Mother of Hell, a new interview with actress Ileana Fraia
Original Italian and international Theatrical Trailers
Image Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Daryl Joyce
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich and Roberto Curti, original reviews

'Killer Nun' Original Movie Trailer

www.MVDshop.com





'Awake' [Blu-ray]
(Jonathan Rhys Meyers, William Forsythe, Francesca Eastwood, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Cinedigm)

Overview: A man wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. His nurse Diana (Eastwood) is unable to find any identification and refers to him as John Doe (Rhys Meyers).

The police barge into the hospital, accusing John of being a serial killer responsible for the murder of several young women in the area. As the Sergeant ushers John into a private room for questioning, he manages to escape with the help of Diana, who is convinced of his innocence.

The fugitives then set off for the last crime scene in search of clues and answers to clear John's name but the benevolent nurse will soon uncover the shocking truth behind the amnesiac's identity and the web of deceit that will lead him to a final fight for his survival.

Blu-ray Verdict: For all intents and purposes, 'Awake' is quite an interesting take on what is obviously a familiar movie/TV plot line.

That said, I didn't personally see many of the twists coming (ok, sure, I saw one obvious one a mile off, but definitely not a couple of the others), although I like to pride myself on being able to do just that!

The characters, well, for fans of movies and TV you will know them, otherwise you'll be unaware of their talents. Rhys-Meyers isn't the greatest actor in the world, his roles now reduced to B-movies and such, but he pulls his weight here and gives a decent performance nevertheless.

Francesca Eastwood, although herself not given a lot to work with in her role, is, for my money, the ongoing best part of the entire movie.

For the most interesting character of 'Awake' is indeed her character of the nurse named Diana, who believes in the innocence of a man brought into the hospital after a serious car crash.

The man is identified as "John Doe" because he has suffered from memory loss after the crash. Also, we know that the auto wreck was not an accident, as he was intentional pushed off the road by another driver intent on killing him.

There's good, seemingly genuine chemistry between the two leads and what I also liked here was that they didn't try and force a love story to come from their thrown-together connection.

And lest we forget that the wonderful character actor William Forsythe is in this movie too, playing Officer Roger Bower, a man who wakes up to the reality that his son (played by James Austin Kerr) is, well, let's call him "disturbed," shall we!

On the outside, this is a person who has lived his life in the right direction and been a normal family person. Now he’s covering up this dark secret.

Filmed beautifully within both the wide open spaces and small rural towns of what one assumes to be the Midwest, with these two aforementioned actors leading the way, the fact that the plot isn't exactly mind blowing doesn't detract from the fact that its far from being a predictable one either.

Packed with some good, creepy scenes, gritty moments, well-scripted with some good suspenseful moments, for what 'Awake' pertains to be it does a good job of staying on those rails. It's a really well done action/thriller/drama that keeps you guessing.

So, in conclusion, if you're a fan of 'Prisoners,' 'Mindhunter,' or even 'Se7en,' then 'Awake' is the perfect movie for your Saturday night entertainment. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Awake' Official Movie Trailer

www.cinedigm.com





'The Ring Collection' [3-Disc Blu-ray]
(Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yukie Nakama, Kôichi Satô, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: In 1998, director Hideo Nakata ('Dark Water') unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences, which redefined the horror genre, launched the J-horror boom in the West and introducing a generation of moviegoers to a creepy, dark-haired girl called Sadako.

The film's success spawned a slew of remakes, reimaginations and imitators, but none could quite boast the power of Nakata's original masterpiece, which melded traditional Japanese folklore with contemporary anxieties about the spread of technology.

Arrow Video is proud to present the genre-defining trilogy 'Ring,' the film that started it all, plus Hideo Nakata's chilling sequel, 'Ring 2,' and the haunting origin story, 'Ring 0,' as well as the lost original sequel, George Iida's 'The Spiral', gathered together in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials.

Blu-ray Review: Well, for all fans of this series, let alone the horror genre at large, this brand new Blu-ray Box-Set from Arrow Films (UK) and MVD Visual is the ultimate one for the whole 'Ring' world, trust me!

We begin with 'Ringu' (1998), where a reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

Nakata's original is a masterpiece of the genre. Without a doubt, this is the scariest film ever made (in my humble opinion). It also marks the only time in my entire life when, upon finishing the film, I rewound the tape and WATCHED IT AGAIN without moving a muscle!

A low budget film, sure, but the lack of money helps rather than hinders the project. For a start the film seems realistic, shot in real houses instead of sets, and with actors who turn in accomplished performances as normal, everyday people.

The slow pacing makes this feel like a documentary and it's actually refreshing to see a film without needless car chases and fancy FX sequences.

The videotape is always the center piece of attention in the movie and the images we see on screen are deliberately thought-provoking, bizarre, abstract, almost dream-like shots which have the power to send a chill down the spine of the most stalwart watcher.

The spooky bits get better as the film progresses: the interlude in the soggy well is a frightening set-piece although nothing happens, just the suspense of the situation is enough to make it work.

The scenes involving the child apparition Sadako are superbly portrayed and should get a reaction out of the most hardened watcher.

Up next is 'Ringu' (1999) which finds Mai Takano trying to learn more about the death of her boyfriend, Ryuji. She soon hears stories about a videotape haunted by the spirit of a girl named Sadako, who died many years earlier.

Supposedly, anyone watching the tape will die of fright exactly one week later. After some investigating, she learns that Ryuji's son, Youichi, is developing the same psychic powers that Sadako had when she was alive.

Mai must now find some way to keep Yuuichi and herself from becoming Sadako's next victims.

Following up the infamous original was never going to be an easy task, but this sequel is generally regarded by critics as being even better.

However, in truth, I felt a little let down. It was still creepy and occasionally scary but the images are now too familiar from the first film to be really unnerving and it loses a little of it's impact.

Mind you, there's still plenty of scary bits or bits that just are creepy, so don't worry about that!

The plot is a lot bigger and suffers a bit as a result, however it is interesting to find out more about the legend of Sadako. The cast are all very good again, despite many of the characters being minor in the last film they still do well.

It's definitely one of the best recent horror sequels I've seen, but then again it doesn't feel like a sequel as it seems to fit in like it was the second half of the original's story.

The trilogy ends with 'Ring 0' (2000) which is actually the prequel to the horror film series and provides the background story of how Sadako later became the vengeful murdering spirit.

The story starts with her as a shy, somewhat withdrawn, college student who nonetheless gets involved in a drama club. The director thinks she has talent, but some of the other performers start to get jealous of the attention he gives her.

Meanwhile, a reporter investigating Sadako's spiritualist mother thinks there's something very suspicious about the young woman, and arrives on campus to confront Sadako just as a series of strange deaths start sweeping through the drama club.

As with the others, 'Ring 0' is a fairly slow-moving film, and a surprise revelation concerning Sadako that comes halfway through is very hard to swallow.

But since it effectively doubles the Sadako quotient, why quibble? Sadako is certainly a fascinating character, and the film's final half hour does repay the slow buildup.

Coming full circle (closing the ring?), the film culminates with the terrible act of attempted murder that we partially witnessed in the original 'Ringu.' I would also like to give a shout out to the lead actress here, Yukie Nakama, as a shy Sadako, for she is really rather good; even though it's obvious she's a Japanese version of Carrie White ie: misunderstood, creepy and with gifts she never wanted.

This brand new 3-disc Box-Set rounds out with the lost original sequel, George Iida's 'The Spiral' (1998), where a young pathologist seeks answers to the mysterious death of a friend and soon comes into contact with the same cursed videotape that caused the death of the friend's wife and son; which, of course, is haunted by the curse of Sadako, a relentless spirit.

Otherwise known as 'Rasen,' the film delves deep into science-fiction territory with constant talk of viruses, cloning, and so forth. And without spoiling anything, the final act is very much a cautionary tale about science gone out of control.

Which is why it conflicts with the ghost-story established in the first film. This is not a horror movie. This is a Sci-Fi film in the vein of 'The Matrix' or 'Dark City,' though the battles are fought with words and not fists.

However, I personally enjoyed the different direction the story took and the ending had me in tears, not with fright but in joy. The very last scene is extremely predictable, but this didn't stop me from having a good cry! But if you find it hard to even consider a film about a cursed video, then you'll probably really hate the ending! Also, you'll probably be irritated by the story change if it took some time for you to digest the original story.

All now gathered together in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials, these are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) 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 of Ring, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi
High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
Lossless Japanese DTS-HD master audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 soundtracks
Optional English subtitles
Bonus feature: Spiral, George Iida's 1998 sequel to Ring
New audio commentary on Ring by film historian David Kalat
New audio commentary on Ring 0 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
The Ring Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy
A Vicious Circle, a new video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata
Circumnavigating Ring, a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the evolution of the Ring series
Spooks, Sighs and Videotape, a new video essay by critic Jasper Sharp on the J-horror phenomenon
The Psychology of Fear, a newly edited archival interview with author Koji Suzuki
Archival behind-the-scenes featurette on Ring 0
Ring 0 deleted scenes
Sadako's Video
Multiple theatrical trailers for the Ring series
Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Violet Lucca, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jasper Sharp, Kieran Fisher and Kat Ellinger
Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

www.MVDshop.com





'GG Allin: All In The Family'
(GG Allin, Merle Allin, Arleta Baird, Dino Sex, The Murder Junkies, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / MVD Visual)

Overview: The late American extreme punk rock musician, GG Allin, is best remembered for his notorious live performances, which often featured transgressive acts, including self-mutilation, eating his own feces, and attacking the audience.

In 1993 he died of an heroin overdose.

In director Sami Saif's documentary 'GG Allin: All In The Family' we meet the two remaining family members, mother Arleta and brother Merle, who is still active in GG Allins backing band The Murder Junkies.

It is the story about an extraordinary loving family, whose departed son and brother has left a trail of unanswered questions, and how we need to feed our own version of the past to overcome the present and the future.

DVD Verdict: Assuming the reason you are interested in this documentary is that you know all about the man himself, GG Allin, you'll instantly know what to expect here.

I mean, the man was possibly one of the most, shall we say, notorious, rockers of the '80s and '90s and given his stage antics, has gone down in history as one of the most "entertaining" rockers there has ever been!

That said, here in 'GG Allin: All In The Family' we get to see a far more intimate look at the legend, where we end up spending quality screen time with his brother and mother; which gives us a better understanding of just what made GG Allin tick, so to speak.

Running at a healthy 74 minutes, the documentary is a rather sweet overview of not only GG Allin, but his mother and her family. Indeed, and furthermore, it is chock full of sentimentality, which is all down to the screen time devoted to his mother, of course.

Directed by the award-winning director Sami Saif, some twenty years on from his all too premature passing in 1993, his mother Arleta and brother Merle (each of whom, in their own personal way, has tried to come to terms with GG's death), are shown as compassionate humans throughout.

Although the staged segments that resemble more like so-called reality television, and utterly doctored footage of GG Allin, didn't sit well with me, sorry.

Anyway, getting back on track, and Arleta tackles her grief by having her son's gravestone removed from the cemetery in New Hampshire for she is tired of watching his fans pay tribute to GG by vandalizing his grave!

That is not the son she wants to remember. She wants to remember GG, the man - a loving son and brother. Brother Merle, on the other hand, keeps himself and the myth about the world's most destructive rock 'n' roll musician going by selling merchandise and be breathing life into their old joint band, The Murder Junkies.

Ok, sure, 'GG Allin: All In The Family' leaves too many topics underdeveloped, focusing more on the man than the music, but the fact that there's also plenty of performance footage (including prime scatological bits), I came away feeling like I understand what was really going on in those turbulent years prior to his untimely death. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'GG Allin: All In the Family' [DVD] is out October 15th, 2019 via MVD Visual

www.MVDvisual.com





'Toy Story 4' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / G / 2019 / Walt Disney Studios)

Overview: Pixar Animation Studios proudly presents the adventure of a lifetime! When Woody, Buzz and the gang join Bonnie on a road trip with her new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky, the innocent little spork's hilarious antics launch Woody on a wild quest filled with unexpected new characters - and one long-lost friend!

Blu-ray Verdict: 24 years ago, Pixar's Toy Story quite literally changed the face of animation as we know it. The film presented an entirely new way of telling a story, bringing characters to life via CGI - pixels over pencils, so to speak.

At the same time, Toy Story set a new high standard for storytelling in film, proving conclusively that animated movies aren't just for kids. In the intervening decades, the franchise has even made a strong case in favor of sequels - demonstrating that they're not necessarily soulless cash-grabs.

'Toy Story 4' is very much a part of that grand tradition. This is smart, soulful, sublime film-making: somehow entertaining and profound all at once.

Sheriff Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is trying his best to adjust to life with Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) - the little girl who inherited Andy's beloved childhood toys at the end of Toy Story 3. Even though he's forgotten more often than not, Woody remains intensely focused on Bonnie and her happiness.

This means going into full babysitter/bodyguard mode when Bonnie creates Forky (Tony Hale), a spork with twists of wire for hands and clumsy wooden popsicle sticks for feet.

As Woody tries to keep the trash-oriented Forky safe, he's swept into an accidental adventure - one in which he meets old friends and learns new truths about who he is and who he has yet to be.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about 'Toy Story 4' is the fact that it feels like the natural, necessary final chapter of a story told in four parts.

There's no way that any of this could have been planned when Pixar first introduced us to Woody in 1995, but the progression in both narrative and character development feels utterly organic.

Woody has spent the last three films grappling with his existential fear of being lost, forgotten or replaced, from his first meeting with the brash Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) to the day Andy outgrew him and went away to college.

This film challenges Woody - and his audiences - to think hard about second chances, about changing how you look at yourself, about finding and embracing a new purpose in life.

As such, 'Toy Story 4' might be the most philosophical movie you'll see this year, in the best possible way.

So, in truth, there actually isn't all that much to complain about. The plot machinations can feel a little clunky at times, but Stephany Folsom and Andrew Stanton weave so much joy and humor into their screenplay that the film still zips along.

As this is very much Woody's movie, fan-favorite legacy characters like Buzz and Jessie (Joan Cusack) inevitably end up taking a back-seat. Even then, however, they each still get moments to shine.

You might find yourself both thoroughly amused and mildly annoyed by the antics of Ducky (Keagan Michael-Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele), a symbiotic pair of new characters who were clearly inserted into proceedings for comic relief.

Also, come on now: Give it up for Forky! Surely the best new animated character of the year. Voiced with a bewildered tenderness by Hale, Forky is a delight - a walking, talking identity crisis created out of one little girl's love and imagination. Even better?

With his magnetic attraction to all nearby trash-cans, Forky is a fandom meme just waiting to happen. A close runner-up is daredevil stuntman Duke Caboom, who reportedly owes his ridiculously charming posing and personality to current internet darling Keanu Reeves' commitment to the role.

'Toy Story 4' even manages to make its main antagonist, Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks), both terrifying and endearing - although there are fewer shades of grey when it comes to her ventriloquist-doll minions, led by the determinedly creepy Benson.

Ultimately, 'Toy Story 4' belongs to Woody, and rightfully so. He is this franchise's Captain America, in more ways than one. This film pays loving tribute to Woody's big heart and unwavering, self-effacing loyalty, even as it shakes up his life and world-view when he encounters old friend and possible paramour Bo Peep (Annie Potts) again. (Bo, by the way, is now super-cool and as far away from a fragile damsel-in-distress as anyone can be.)

Woody's decisions and revelations about himself will make you weep with the most complex and bittersweet of emotions. There is joy and sorrow here, hope and heartbreak, final farewells and new beginnings, often in the same moment. In other words, it's the stuff of life itself, and it's glorious.

In closing, you'll definitely want to stay put on your sofa throughout the credits of the film, which are peppered with closing scenes that are essential to tying up the overarching narrative. At the very end, you'll even be rewarded with a happy ending for one of 'Toy Story 4's most minor of characters.

So, yeah, this movie is recommended in every possible way for 'Toy Story 4' is a masterpiece of film-making, story-telling and animation. Delightful and devastating in equal measure, it might well be the silliest and most soul-stirring film you'll see this year. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Blu-ray & Digital:
Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters
Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film
Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and lovable
Let’s Ride with Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team
Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley, including: Scamming Playtime, Bo Knows Hippos, Desperate Toys, Knock-Offs, Recruit Duke and She’s the One
Audio Commentary, Trailers and more!

Digital Exclusive:
Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue – Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life
Additional Deleted Scene – Bonnie’s Playtime

The 'Toy Story 4' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital] releases October 8th, 2019 via Walt Disney Studios and will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.96.

www.DisneyBluray.com

Official 'Toy Story 4' Trailer





'Il Divo - Timeless, Live In Japan' [Blu-ray]
(Il Divo / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: To celebrate their 15th Anniversary and the release of their TIMELESS album, the groundbreaking classical crossover group Il Divo embarked on their 6-continent tour in 2018 bringing them to Tokyo's Budokan Stadium for this magical concert.

Blu-ray Verdict: Released on October 11th, 2019 on DVD, HD Blu-ray and digital via Eagle Rock, 'Il Divo - Timeless, Live In Japan' is one of those rare musical masterpieces of sight and sound that once witnessed you simply can never, ever forget.

The songs are a classic mix of favorite pop and traditional standards in four languages, including 'Regresa a Mi (Unbreak My Heart),' 'What A Wonderful World,' 'Smile,' 'All Of Me,' 'Angels,' and their acclaimed cover of Adele's smash hit 'Hola (Hello),' and this live setting allows us to see how much they truly adore their worldwide fans.

Backed by a full orchestra, when they are not serenading their adoring fans, Il Divo are laser focused on stage, mid-song, expertly handling all the swings, dips, heights and breadths of where their group and solo numbers vocally take them.

Watching the show is a spectacle unto itself as not only does it feature the four original members - Carlos Marin, Urs Buhler, Sebastian Izambard and David Miller - we are also further visually stimulated by the rather magnificent, and at times dramatic stage production re: including dancers, acrobats and big screen video elements.

So, whether as solo artists, or as a whole, Il Divo truly shine here on stage live in Japan. Their audacious blend of classical and contemporary songs are delivered, one and all, with an undeniable passion, while their crowd-pleasing musical theatrics are a pure joy to behold.

Indeed, Il Divo themselves have said about this live show, and this subsequent home entertainment release, "We very much enjoyed performing our live show TIMELESS, now we're really excited that all our fans will get the chance to watch it on DVD and Blu-Ray".

1. 'Overture Medley: Toi Et Moi (The Way We Were Theme)' / 'Angels' / 'Grazie Amore Mio (Love Story)'
2. 'Hola (Hello)'
3. 'Aquí Esperándote (Right Here Waiting)'
4. 'Pour Que Tu M'aimes Encore'
5. 'Angels'
6. 'Die Bildnis Aria'
7. 'Come What May (Te Amare)'
8. 'All of Me'
9. 'Love Me Tender'
10. '¿Quien será? (Sway)'
11. 'Granada 12. My Heart Will Go On' (w/Reprise)
13. 'Grazie Amore Mio (Love Story)'
14. 'Unforgettable'
15. 'Unchained Melody (Senza Catene)'
16. 'Smile'
17. 'Kingdom Come'
18. 'Que Bonito Es Vivir (What A Wonderful World)'
19. 'Furusato'
20. 'Toi Et Moi (The Way We Were Theme)'
21. 'I Will Always Love You'
22. 'Vesti La Giubba'
23. 'La Vida Sin Amor'
24. 'Somewhere' (w/Reprise)
25. 'Regresa A Mí (Unbreak My Heart)'
26. 'My Way (A Mi Manera)' (w/Reprise)

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Feature of an Interview with the band, filmed in Japan.

www.IlDivo.com

Official Presentation Trailer

www.Eagle-Rock.com





'Anna and the Apocalypse' [DVD]
(Ella Hunt, Ben Wiggins, Paul Kaye, et al / DVD / R / 2019 / Cinedigm)

Overview: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones.

But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

DVD Verdict: Beginning like many teen flicks, we meet the teenagers who each believes they are the center of the universe, and during this opening act, we only get a single fake zombie tease (but it's a good one).

Anna (Ella Hunt) is a high school senior preparing to take a year and travel to Australia - against the wishes of her protective widower dad (Mark Benton).

Anna constantly hangs out with her friend-zone buddy John (Malcolm Cumming), whether at school or at the bowling alley where they both work.

Their friends are lovebirds Chris (Christopher Leveaux) and Lisa (Marli Siu), and Steph (Sarah Swire) the American-social activist- recently dumped lesbian who is an outsider to both her peers and the tyrannical school principal Savage (Paul Kaye).

Ms. Siu takes center stage at the school's Christmas production and beautifully performs one of the more double-entendre laden Santa songs you've likely ever heard.

The other musical highlight occurs the next morning as Anna and John skip off to school blissfully unaware of the carnage occurring all around them ... a nice statement on how teenagers view the world.

What follows are some gruesome and creative zombie kills, especially those featuring a snowman and the bowling alley.

The jokes, pop songs and grizzly kills keep things zipping along as the teenagers try to save themselves and their loved ones, although when the school Principal veers towards maniacal psychopath, he becomes a bit of a distraction.

For those not in the know, co-writer Ryan McHenry passed away in 2015, and his 2011 short film ZOMBIE MUSICAL is exactly what has been lovingly adapted here to become a feature-length movie by director John McPhail and writer Alan McDonald.

The songs are co-written by Tommy Reilly and Roddy Hart, and the result is a delightfully entertaining movie that will likely find a long shelf-life in the midnight slot for many holiday seasons to come.

It likely would have benefited from another song or two, and remains an oddball mash-up of Glee, High School Musical, Sweeny Todd, and, of course, the reigning king of this genre, 'Shaun Of The Dead.'

In closing, 'Anna and the Apocalypse' certainly deserves bonus points for creativity and so please just keep in mind those footsteps on the roof might not be Santa!

Indeed, you best be prepared to sing and swing a candy cane, as there are no Hollywood endings in real zombie-killing life!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Feature of Anna & The Apocalypse: Behind The Scenes featurette.

Official 'Anna and the Apocalypse' Trailer

www.WarnerBros.com





'The Dead Center: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Shane Carruth, Poorna Jagannathan, Jeremy Childs, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: A hospital psychiatrist's own sanity is pushed to the edge when a frightened amnesiac patient insists that he has died and brought something terrible back from the other side.

'The Dead Center' is a smart supernatural thriller that explores the demons that live inside all of us from writer-director Billy Senese, recently hailed as a masterful new voice in terror.

Blu-ray Verdict: Troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth, 'Primer') is drawn to help a mysterious patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward in a catatonic state with no memory of how he reached the hospital.

As if to exorcise his own demons, the doctor feverishly tries to break through to his mysterious patient.

But as a spate of mysterious deaths shake the ward to its core, Forrester comes to suspect that there is more to his new ward than meets the eye.

As he comes to realize what he's unleashed, a desperate race against the forces of evil threatens to swallow him whole.

In truth, and from the very onset, we know that there is something seemingly preternatural going on in 'The Dead Center', the second feature from writer/director Billy Senese ('A Frankenstein Story' aka 'Closer To God').

From the opening bloodied scenes to a now-catatonic state transferee to the hospital’s psych ward, the narrative, like so many of the disturbed, dissociative characters who populate it, becomes split.

On the one hand we have the Medical Examiner, Dr. Edward Graham (Bill Feehely), a man searching for the missing cadaver whilst also investigating the John Doe’s history and final movements.

On the other we have psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth), a man struggling to get to the bottom of who his confused, amnesiac patient might be.

The result is a phenomenal masterclass in building tension as two medical professionals come, slowly and separately, to realize that they are dealing with something beyond the remit of their rational frameworks.

But don't fret all you lil' horror junkies out there, for no matter what you may think you have read, 'The Dead Center' is a horror film, trust me!

With a rising body count, an ancient mythology, and a spiral-like symbiology reminiscent of Akihiro Higuchi’s Uzumaki, Andy Duensing’s sinuous, highly mobile camerawork circles the characters while keeping the most awful spectacle just out of frame - thus craeting an almost unbearable mood of unease around events that we are not even sure are taking place anywhere but in the imagination. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) Blu-rayTM presentation
5.1 DTS-HD master audio and lossless stereo audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Commentary with writer-director Billy Senese, producer-actor Shane Carruth and co-star Jeremy Childs
Commentary with writer-director Billy Senese, producers Denis Deck and Jonathan Rogers, and cinematographer Andy Duensing
A Walk Through The Dead Center, an in-depth making-of documentary featuring new interviews with writer-director Billy Senese, producer-actor Shane Carruth, cinematographer Andy Duensing, and many others revisiting the locations and discussing the production
Nine deleted scenes, including an alternate ending
On-set interviews with actors Shane Carruth and Poorna Jagannathan
Head-Casting with Jeremy Childs, a brief look at the creation of the make-up effects seen in the climax of the film
Intruder, a short film from 2011 directed by Billy Senese and starring Jeremy ChildsThe Suicide Tapes, the original short film from 2010 directed by Senese and starring Childs that later inspired The Dead Center
Midnight Radio Theater, six chilling radio plays (Insomnia, The Long Weekend, Disposable Life, The Suicide Tapes, The Woman In The Basement, Blood Oath, and Flu) written, produced and directed by Billy Senese
Theatrical trailer and teasers
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jamie Graham

'The Dead Center' Original Movie Trailer

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'Man Of A Thousand Faces: Special Edition'
(James Cagney, Dorothy Malone, Jane Greer, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1957) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: 'Man Of A Thousand Faces' is the life and career of vaudevillian and silent screen horror star Lon Chaney, including his contentious relationship with his neurotic wife and his premature death.

Blu-ray Verdict: Over the years it's been quite interesting to see the difference of opinion between people/fans about this cinematic work of art, 'Man of a Thousand Faces.'

Personally, I fall into the category of loving this particular film and furthermore, I think it was James Cagney's finest piece of thespianism. How he was overlooked in the Oscar sweepstakes for this performance is beyond me though.

It's so far from anything Cagney had ever done before. And he got to use all his talents, acting and musical, as the beginning had Lon Chaney on the vaudeville stage doing his pantomime act.

Lon Chaney's was born to deaf mute parents and learned to sign to communicate with them. That led to his interest in pantomime, a stage career in vaudeville and finally silent movies.

The film plays fast and loose with the facts of Chaney's life, but I think it captures the spirit of the man who created for the silent screen so many tortured souls.

Dorothy Malone and Jane Greer play wives one and two. Dorothy Malone had just come off an Oscar the year before in Written on the Wind. This is a marvelous follow up part for an actress that for ten years was thought as little more than ornamental.

Jane Greer is also good as the wise and patient second wife who knows she's playing second fiddle to the relationship of father and son.

Irving Thalberg is played by Robert Evans, whom Norma Shearer spotted by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel and promoted him for the role of her dead husband. Roger Smith plays Chaney's son. He was "discovered" by Cagney in Hawaii and promoted for the role of Chaney, Jr.

Others in the cast include Jim Backus as the press agent, Marjorie Rambeau as the old-time actress, Marjorie Bennett as Vera the maid, and Celia Lovsky as the mother.

However, one thing I didn't appreciate was that the film seemed to exploit Chaney's parents. Creating problems that did not exist in real life. For example, when Chaney's first wife meets them, she has no idea they are deaf, but this was simply not the case in real life.

Thus, it just felt cheap and like they were capitalizing on their deafness for the sake of a plot gimmick.

But, and regardless, 'Man With A Thousand Faces' - whether accurate or not - was, without a shadow of a doubt, a loving tribute to Chaney that was instrumental in a revival of interest in his films. 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 restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by film scholar Tim Lucas
The Man Behind a Thousand Faces, a newly filmed look at Lon Chaney and his legacy by the critic Kim Newman
Image gallery
Original trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully Illustrated booklet with a newly commissioned essay by Vic Pratt of the BFI

'Man With A Thousand Faces' Original Movie Trailer

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'Flowers In The Attic: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (1987) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: When her husband dies in a tragic accident, widow Corrine Dollanganger (Victoria Tennant, The Holcroft Covenant) takes her four children to the ancestral family home she fled before they were born.

Locked away in the attic by their tyrannical grandmother (Academy Award® winner Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest), it falls to older brother and sister Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams, The Goonies) and Cathy (Kristy Swanson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to care for their younger siblings.

But with their mother growing increasingly distant and erratic and a mysterious sickness taking hold, will any of the Dollanganger children survive to escape the clutches of the house's cruel matriarch?

Blu-ray Verdict: Just to set the scene for you, I personally read and absolutely loved the V.C. Andrews book (and the others in this series) on which this movie was "based".

For that reason I admit I might tend to judge it a bit more harshly than someone who hasn't read the books, sorry.

Simply put, this is a book that simply NEVER should have been made into a movie. It was fantastically written and very detailed, so there was absolutely no way to fit it all into a two hour movie.

Oh yeah, and to anyone who knows the whole story, the movie was seriously lacking. Further, the results of a young, impressionable brother and sister being forced to live in such circumstances during their formative years led, in the book, to a situation that would have been very hard to get past the censors at that time and had to be left out!

Then, matters were made worse by the absolutely stupid ending (although the way the filmmakers chose to end the movie eliminates any possibility at an equally painful to watch sequel! (although if you watch the Special Features, which I implore you to do, there is actually the ORIGINAL, abd stupidly studio-vetoed ending to view!)

Oh yeah, and the acting was also pretty awful, and the ONLY thing about the casting of the children that was right was their hair color!

The house was appropriately spooky looking, and that is about the best thing I can say about the whole experience, sorry (again).

So, for anyone who might consider trying again at making this book into a movie (and yes, I'm stepping over the 2014 remake with Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn), DON'T do it unless you are willing to stick to the real story; no matter how unpleasant some of the details might be. (and find someone who can act, of course!)

The other things is for anyone who saw this movie without reading the books go read 'Flowers In The Attic' today! If you didn't like this movie, like me, you'll like it even less after reading the book - and if you did like it, you'll wonder why! 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:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original lossless 2.0 stereo audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine
Home Sweet Home: Filming Flowers in the Attic, a new interview with cinematographer Frank Byers
Fear & Wonder: Designing Flowers in the Attic, a new interview with production designer John Muto
The Devil's Spawn: Playing Flowers in the Attic, a new interview with actor Jeb Stuart Adams
Shattered Innocence: Composing Flowers in the Attic, a new interview with composer Christopher Young
Production gallery of behind-the-scenes images, illustrations and storyboards
The original, studio-vetoed ending
The revised ending with commentary by replacement director Tony Kayden
Original theatrical trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love

'Flowers In The Attic' Original Movie Trailer

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'Apprentice To Murder: Special Edition' {Blu-ray]
(Donald Sutherland, Chad Lowe, Mia Sara, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (1988) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Based on a true story, fire-and-brimstone preacher sees Satan everywhere, trains gullible young boy to "detect" evil, and the two of them commit several murders in the name of Jesus.

Also starring Mia Sara (Legend) and featuring a powerhouse performance by Donald Sutherland - reunited here with 'Don't Look Now' screenwriter Allan Scott - 'Apprentice to Murder' is a chilling and unforgettable tale of the macabre that blurs the lines between conventional notions of good and evil.

Blu-ray Verdict: In my humble opinion, 'Apprentice To Murder' is quite a "weird" little film that thankfully combines three major elements that I always deliberately seek out within horror/cult movies; but rarely ever find together!

And yet, in spite of featuring this rather unique potpourri, the film sadly left me Siberian cold! Firstly, the film has always been so very obscure and prior to this wonderful Arrow Films (UK) and MVD Visual new Blu-ray release, has been incredibly hard to find.

Usually there's a good reason for this, but now this highly underrated and before now undiscovered film has finally seen the light of day, perhaps more people can get on visual board and explain certain aspects of it to me better!

Secondly, the story is based, or at least loosely inspired, on true events. More than often, facts are far more astounding than fiction could ever be, so that always appeals to me.

Finally, and foremost, as it happens, 'Apprentice To Murder' takes place in the 1920's and I personally think this is the most suitable time to narrate a tale of the macabre.

The ambiance that comes with this decade is like automatically melancholic and downbeat. The people were poor, vulnerable to all sort of illnesses and petrified of God. Why there aren't any more horror movies timed in the 1920's is completely beyond me!

For the record, 'Apprentice To Murder' has all this, except that, well, the story, inspired by true events, remember, as they supposedly took place in Pennsylvania in 1927, honestly isn't worth telling!

It's fairly dull and commonplace. Definitely not something to consider as thought-provoking or recognize as one of the darkest pages in recent history, that's for darn sure.

Donald Sutherland, who couldn't look less interested in starring in this film, depicts a so-called "Powwow Doctor" practicing in a rural Pennsylvanian county, a few days of traveling away from Philadelphia.

After he "cures" the father of a young illiterate adolescent with a drawing talent, he takes the boy under his wing as an apprentice. Dr. Reese teaches Billy to read and write and also gradually becomes convinced that he can also become a blessed healer; much against the will of Billy's girlfriend Alice.

But Dr. Reese and especially his methods are unorthodox and often abased as witchery by the superstitious and deeply religious communion. When some of his cases don't end well, Billy is dragged along in a downwards spiral of accusations, curses and punishments.

Director R.L. Thomas obviously treasured the best of intentions, but sadly doesn't manage to make full use of the contemporary folklore mysticism and small-town paranoia.

For way too long, the screenplay exclusively focuses on the bonding sessions between the Dr. and his young acolyte. I swear, the undertones even get homosexual at certain moments, whereas the really interesting aspects of the story remain untouched.

The actually disturbing ordeal our "Powwow" has to face (a creepy local hermit who may or not be the Devil himself) is incomprehensibly pushed to the background, like it's some kind of insignificant sub plot.

The filming locations and set pieces are terrific, but apparently R.L Thomas and his crew had to travel to the beautiful region of Hordaland in Norway in order to recreate the rural Pennsylvania of 1927.

In closing, 'Apprentice To Murder' definitely remains a curious '80s feature, well worth checking out if you cherish cheap, but ambitious cult cinema, but overall it's a missed opportunity in my book. 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 of the film from the original 35mm interpositive
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original lossless mono soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by author and critic Bryan Reesman
New video interview on religious horror cinema with Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine
New video interview with cinematographer Kelvin Pike
New video interview with makeup supervisor Robin Grantham
Theatrical trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Paul Corupe

'Apprentice To Murder' Original Movie Trailer

www.MVDshop.com





'An American Werewolf In London: Special Edition'
(David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1981) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: American tourists David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are savaged by an unidentified vicious animal whilst hiking on the Yorkshire Moors.

David awakes in a London hospital to find his friend dead and his life in disarray. Retiring to the home of a beautiful nurse (Jenny Agutter, Walkabout) to recuperate, he soon experiences disturbing changes to his mind and body, undergoing a full-moon transformation that will unleash terror on the streets of the capital.

Blu-ray Verdict: I first saw this movie as, well, probably TOO young of a child. What can I say? My parents didn't baby me as far as film went.

I've since re-watched it maybe three times now and it just gets better every viewing. This movie is a goddamn CLASSIC and if you haven't seen it yet, go do so RIGHT NOW (it's on Amazon Prime!).

As soon as it started up and 'Blue Moon' came belting out (the first of a ridiculous number of moon-centric pop songs), I felt all nostalgic - and seeing David (played by David Naughton) and Jack (played by Griffin Dunne) in their matching puffy coats just drove it home!

Ultimately it's just impressive how well this movie balances comedy and horror. The scary scenes can be downright terrifying — the sounds of the werewolf howling in the distance are some of the most chilling I've heard in ANY movie — and the comedy is clever and sharp.

From the very first few scenes, we go from hilarious banter between the two to a truly haunting trek through the foggy British moors. It's a damn shame when Jack gets mauled by an unidentified wild beast, but thankfully we still see him later on, as witty as ever even with flaps of skin dangling from his torn open neck.

You never know what emotion you're going to feel next, whether it's sharing in David's frustration over the law enforcement not believing his story or being surprised by how sexy it is to see his nurse, Alex (played by Jenny Agutter), feeding him while he gazes at her with those big brown doe eyes.

The standout scene of the movie though is, by far, his transformation scene, thanks to Rick Baker. Set in a fully lit living room, you sit through almost THREE painfully uncomfortable minutes of his bones breaking and snapping into place, his hands and feet extending to a freakish length, and lots of sweating and body hair!

Definitely one of my most vivid memories of watching the movie as a child (I'm surprised it didn't give me more nightmares), and just another example of how brilliantly the horrifying and hilarious are merged — he even manages to sneak in a joke in between pained screams, "I didn't mean to call you meatloaf, Jack"!

I mean, truthfully everything in the film builds up to this shock and awe moment, but sure, up until then it's a fairly low key, atmospheric affair in which you never quite see the beast that kicks off the inciting incident.

Griffin Dunne and David Naughton play the two American backpackers who find themselves wandering the moors of northern England, positive there is some kind of creature hunting them.

The crusty locals avidly deny any such presence, but aren't convincing and furtively shift their gaze, clearly not being honest. Sure enough, Naughton is attacked and bit one night, and he begins to exhibit those good old symptoms!

Even the ending manages to be perfect. I won't spoil it for you, but it's great. Just a joy from top to bottom! I mean, this is a film full of memorable moments that gel superbly; the dream sequence is fantastic, the subway murder suspenseful and engrossing, and the aforementioned transformation is, as I truly hope I expressed to you earlier, rather quite astonishing for its time (it still holds up today.)

But the film is always laced with dark humor and thusly, even the final tragedy of David's fate does not over shadow things too much.

The 1980's did not produce many good horror films, but this is certainly one of them. Superb. Simply superb!

Supposedly the director, John Landis's, son, Max, is slated to do a remake. That is a high bar, though, even for a blood relative of the director! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

New 2018 4K restoration from the original camera negative supervised by John Landis
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed 1.0 mono and optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Optional subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
New audio commentary by Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis
Audio commentary by actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne
Mark of The Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf, newly produced, feature-length documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with John Landis, David Naughton, Joe Dante and more
An American Filmmaker in London, a newly filmed interview with John Landis in which he reflects on British cinema and his time working in Britain
I Think He's a Jew: The Werewolf's Secret, new video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976) about how Landis film explores Jewish identity
The Werewolf's Call, Corin Hardy, director of The Nun, chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with Landis film
Wares of the Wolf, new featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of The Prop Store look at some of the original costumes and special effects artefacts from the film
Beware the Moon, Paul Davis acclaimed, feature-length exploration of Landis film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews
Making An American Werewolf in London, a short archival featurette on the film's production
An Interview with John Landis, a lengthy archival interview with the director about the film
Makeup Artist Rick Baker on An American Werewolf in London, the legendary make-up artist discusses his work on the film
I Walked with a Werewolf, an archival interview with the make-up artist about Universal horror and its legacy of Wolfman films
Casting of the Hand, archival footage from Rick Baker's workshop as they cast David Naughton's hand
Outtakes
Original trailers, teasers and radio spots
Extensive image gallery featuring over 200 stills, posters and other ephemera
Reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys
Double-sided fold-out poster
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
Limited 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Travis Crawford and more!

'An American Werewolf In London' Original Movie Trailer

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'Ultra Q - The Complete Series'
(Kenji Sahara, Hiroko Sakurai, Yasuhiko Saijo, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / (1965) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: After co-creating the iconic movie monsters Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra for Toho Studios, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya launched his own company, Tsuburaya Productions.

The first production under his new label was 'Ultra Q,' a 28-episode series that brought the theatrical spectacle Tsuburaya had become known for to television.

The black & white sci-fi drama focused on Mainichi Shimpo photojournalist Yuriko Edogawa (Hiroko Sakurai, Ultraman), Hoshikawa Airlines pilot/SF writer Jun Manjome (Kenji Sahara) and his co-pilot Ippei Togawa (Yasuhiko Saijo), who partnered to investigate mysterious events occurring in and around Japan.

These phenomena often involved aliens and giant monsters, many of whom would return in future 'Ultraman' shows and movies.

DVD Verdict: In 1964 newly formed Tsuburaya Production was looking to make Japan's first sci-fi TV series. The series that was tentatively named "Woo" was canceled, but Tsuburaya Production already spent considerable cash to purchase the optical printer needed for the special effects.

So Tokyo Broadcasting Station paid for the optical printer, and advanced the money needed to film the new series called 'Unbalance.' Initially the program was modeled after the 'Twilight Zone' and 'Outer Limits' that was popular in the US, but due to the producer's desire to target specific audience, the program was changed to feature much of kaijyu style monsters in the episodes.

The series name was also changed (again) to, of course, 'Ultra Q.'

The story features pilot Jun Manjyome (Kenji Sahara), assistant pilot Ippei Togawa (Yasuhiko Saijyo), and a news reporter Yuriko Edogawa (Hiroko Sakurai), with other supporting cast.

The story featured ancient kaijyu coming to life, invasion from outer space, invasion from the future, mutated monster, a boy that turned into a monster, a boy that befriends a giant turtle, battle with giant octopus etc. and was a veritable smorgasbord of kaijyu related topics.

The TV series that had unknown potential frequently rated over 30%, and became a huge success. This lead to the follow on program the Ultraman - of which variation still continues to this day.

As noted, a total of 28 episodes were aired, and all the episodes were filmed in black and white, but recently, a colorized version has been released (although that is not part of this beautiful new box-set from Mill Street Entertainment).

Looking back at this series now, the rough edges are evident at various places, but it filled the need of young viewers to see exciting new monster every week.

Quality of the stories varied, but they were all very experimental, and difficult to rate either by their effort or by their quality. By today's standard, they were all of low budget nature, but at the time, this was one of the most expensive TV series to be produced.

All of this makes this series difficult to rate. Depending on who sees it, it might be taken as a low budget crap or highly experimental masterpiece.

In truth, my own opinion varies between the episodes. The focus of the stories varied from episode to episode. Some were bona fide sci-fi, others were like fantasy, but the series lacked focus compared to 'Twilight Zone' (a series that had intrigue at the center of each episode).

That all said, the cast is filled with familiar faces from other Japanese science fiction and monster movies. The lead pilot (Kenji Sahara) was in a ton of these movies, from the first Godzilla ('GOJIRA', 1954) to the last ('GODZILLA: FINAL WARS', 2005).

Jun Tazaki, a regular cast member given to playing generals or authoritative scientists ('DESTROY ALL MONSTERS'), turns up as a general in ep. #3.

The newspaper editor who publishes the heroes' articles and photos is played by Yoshifumi Tajima, another regular in kaiju movies. The lead actress, Hiroko Sakurai, also turned up as one of the Ultra crew in 'Ultraman.'

In closing, copies of this series have been so rare to find, let alone watch outside of Japan, but now that Mill Creek Entertainment have brought this wondrous box-set out (along with 'Ultraman: The Complete Series),' well, my long lost inner '60s child has come back home and is very content; thank you, Mill Creek. Thank you. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Complete, original Japanese broadcast edits - fully remastered and restored in HD
Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
28-page collectible booklet
Digital Redemption on movieSPREE!

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Ultraman - The Complete Series'
(Akiji Kobayashi, Susumu Kurobe, Masanari Nihei, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (1972) 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: 'Ultraman,' a giant alien from the Land of Light in Nebula M78, enters Earth's atmosphere in pursuit of an escaped space monster.

In the skies above Japan he accidentally crashes into a Jet VTOL piloted by Hayata, a member of the Science Special Search Party (SSSP), an international research and defense agency that protects the world from monsters and aliens of all shapes and sizes.

To save Hayata, Ultraman merges his life force with the dying human and vows to stay and fight for peace on Earth. Now, whenever the Patrol faces a threat too great for them to handle, Hayata transforms into Ultraman to save the day!

DVD Verdict: Created by Eiji Tsuburaya in the 60's and brought over to the states in the 70's' 'Ultraman' is a show that's like a PG-rated prehistoric version of 'The X Files' ... with Godzilla monsters! Oh, and a GIANT super hero who saves the day every episode, and all the craziness cranked to 11!

To be more precise, in the then not too distant future of the early 90's, an international police group called The Science Patrol investigates strange phenomena like aliens and cryptids.

One night two lights - one red the other blue - arrive on Earth, but the red light accidentally crashes into the jet of Science Patrolman Shin Hayata killing him.

The red light reveals that he is Ultraman an alien from the Land of Light, in Nebula M78, beyond the 40th Galaxy and the blue light is an evil space monster called Bemular.

Feeling regretful for Hayata's death, and unable to survive Earth's atmosphere for more than three minutes at a time Ultraman fuses his life with Hayata's, and together (along with Hyata's fellow Science Patrol members) defeat Bemular; and then go on to face more aliens, and monsters with Hayata becoming whenever all hope seems lost.

Ergo, 'Ultraman' is classic 60's and 70's era sci-fi goodness, my friends. Every episode is like a 30 minute Godzilla movie with paranormal stuff like aliens, The Loch Ness Monster and more being the explanation for the monster!

It's hard to pick just one monster or episode I like more than another, because the show has a lot of good ones; one way or another.

I mean, from the very first episode which sets up the show and gives us a cool monsters (and Bemular), to the very second with Ultraman's most iconic enemies (the Baltan aliens), there is nothing but classic richness here to be viewed, trust me.

Perhaps some of my favorites of the series are the episodes with Jirass, because it captures the show in a nutshell. With the Science Patrol and Ultraman fighting The Loch Ness Monster (who turns out to be Godzilla with a frill!), as well, as the episode with Red King (that's like a 30 minute version of The Lost World with Godzilla monsters!), the complexity behind each monster and its myth is breathtaking for the era.

And the characters are all cool with both Hayata himself and Ito (the comic relief science expert) stand outs, for sure. Plus there's always some fun to be had watching guys in rubber alien and monster suits beat each other up for three minutes every episode!

Of course, Ultraman himself has some cool powers, like his signature Specium Beam and his shredding Ultra Slicer!

All in all, 'Ultraman' is a great show that if you like 'Godzilla' movies, weird stuff shows like 'The X Files,' 'The Outer Limits,' and superhero movies, in general, you will definitely LOVE this sci-fi hem, believe me!

In closing, copies of this series have been so rare to find, let alone watch outside of Japan, but now that Mill Creek Entertainment have brought this wondrous box-set out (along with 'Ultra Q: The Complete Series),' well, my long lost inner '60s child has come back home and is very content; thank you, Mill Creek. Thank you. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Complete, original Japanese broadcast edits - fully remastered and restored in HD
Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
28-page collectible booklet
Digital Redemption on movieSPREE!

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Tone-Deaf' [Blu-ray+Digital]
(Robert Patrick, Amanda Crew, Annalynne McCord, Ray Wise, Kim Delaney, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / LGF)

Overview: After being dumped by both her boss and her boyfriend, Olive (Amanda Crew) flees the city for the weekend and rents an ornate country house from an old-fashioned widower named Harvey (Robert Patrick).

She’s hoping for a few days of peace. What she gets is a weekend of sheer terror, as Olive awakens Harvey’s darkest urges—and is plunged into a blood-soaked fight for her life.

Blu-ray Verdict: Having seen 'Excision' and 'Trash Fire', I was expecting another oddball horror from Richard Bates Jr. (although thus far his debut remains his best. Nevertheless, 'Tone-Deaf' is a fun, albeit and instantly forgettable experience.

The main selling point for me was Robert Patrick (as I'm sure it's for the lot of you) and the pretty decent trailer, but having now watched it I have to say that I'm slightly disappointed.

Sure, Patrick was awesome, of course, but most of the characters, the story and the whole point of the plot arc wasn't too great or imaginative, sadly.

An old-head hating on millennial's and taking action is an old, but fun concept, sure, but for my money 'Tone-Deaf' didn't give it a new spin at all.

Too many of the millennial characters were lame, unsympathetic and annoying, but that could've been the point, I guess! However, it's not much of an excuse for the main character being the same kind and I didn't really feel for the protagonist either.

The plot is also predictable enough and doesn't go to unexpected and surprising places, but despite the wobbly characters, overall the acting was relatively good.

I mean, the "story" is a right royal mixed bag of mediocrity! It is all over the place and changes tone several times during the film. At some points it tries to be a serious thriller. At other points it is a light-hearted dramedy. Yet at other times it's an arthouse parody that really makes little sense.

To sum it up, it's all a bit wonky regarding the script. Visual style, cinematography and FX were of no bother, but rather well done overall. The soundtrack was colorful and peppered with a few songs that can only be associated with millennial's, me thinks.

But hey, it's the whole theme of the flick so it actually works nicely, in my humble opinion. In closing, well, here it is: The widower (Patrick) is suffering from dementia, but is able to observe things like a detective and then get away clean after committing murders! A role fit perfectly for Patrick, don't you agree! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

The Struggle Is Real: Making Tone-Deaf

It won’t be a quiet death when 'Tone-Deaf' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD, and Digital October 22nd, 2019 from Lionsgate.

www.LGF.com

Official 'Tone-Deaf' Trailer





'Madness In The Method'
(Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Gina Carano, Vinnie Jones, Jaime Camil, et al / DVD / R / 2019 / Cinedigm)

Overview: Iconic stoner character actor Jason Mewes is tired of Hollywood's perception of him. Upon advice from Kevin Smith, Mewes tracks down a secret method acting book in order to reinvent himself as a serious actor - with disastrous consequences!

DVD Verdict: As long as he is remembered at all, Jason Mewes will be known as Jay of 'Jay and Silent Bob'. In that cycle of movies from 'Clerks' through to 'Clerks 2' (and soon 'Jay and Silent Bob Reboot') , two things were clear: the guy was genuinely funny and not a professional actor. This wholly fictional movie kind of takes that and runs with it.

Mewes is desperate to break out as a serious actor and gets hold of a legendary book on method acting that will change his life. Yes, this entire movie hinges on a paperback book with a forgettable title. And that book literally drives Jason Mewes insane.

The shocking thing is that Mewes is a literal sociopath in this movie as he rather violently rampages through Hollywood trying to get a coveted role in a buzz filled drama being directed by his frequent costar Brian O' Halloran (of 'Clerks', 'Mallrats', etc.).

First off, in true Kevin Smith fashion, every name actor in this movie is a cameo, including, oddly Kevin Smith. I actually thought based on the advertising that this movie was going to be an interesting, fictionalized retelling of their long time friendship and working relationship. It's not.

This is strictly a vehicle for Mewes and, as an actor, the guy actually shows surprising range and ability. But as a director he falls flat.

This movie is slapstick as hell sometimes, but gets oddly dark in other places and Mewes cannot handle the tonal shifts at all. Honestly, by the end, I was more than ready for the thing to be over and a little surprised by how real the movie gets in some places, (Smith and Mewes get into a screaming match over the latter's well publicized struggles with addiction) followed by something really silly like Mewes going to murder a professional rival with a nail!

Along the way one of the guys who wrote the movie keeps popping up as an annoying and unfunny idiot detective determined to bring Mewes down. Tough guy character actor Vinnie Jones ('The Midnight Meat Train', 'Snatch') gets blamed for his crimes at one point, and the late Stan Lee wonders into one scene for a title drop moment!

I laughed a few times, sure, I'll admit it, but the flick just isn't that good. I think with better writing and direction Jason Mewes actually could turn in a really solid performance, but this isn't the movie that will break him through. Although he may get more work off it in the future. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

'Madness In The Method' is releasing - on both DVD and Blu-ray - this coming September 24th, 2019.

www.cinedigm.com

Official 'Madness In The Method' Trailer





'3 From Hell: 4K Ultra HD'
(Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Richard Brake, Sid Haig, Danny Trejo, Daniel Roebuck, et al / 2-Disc + Digital / NR / 2019 / Lionsgate)

Overview: After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) are behind bars.

But pure evil cannot be contained, and a firestorm of murder, madness, and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to Hell … and back!

Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the glorific '3 From Hell' in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this October 15th, 2019.

For my money, this '3 From Hell: 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 '3 From Hell' 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 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; like the various archival TV footage from KVXT News of the original arrests and such. It just all comes more vividly to life now, 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 facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where - and trying not to give too much away here for those unseen - a barrage of junk yard and fun ground executions are brought forth, and the blood combines with the colorful scenery to make a complete canvas art, so to speak) 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 just English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

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, Rob Zombie returns to the characters that first gave him true fame as a director: the Firefly family. It's been 14 years since we last saw the Rejects in what was, in my opinion, the best film of his career 2005's 'The Devil's Rejects'. So is the third entry in this series worth checking out?

Well, in truth, yes and no.

There is a lot to love for Zombie fans. Bill Moseley is once again the highlight as Otis B. Driftwood. He is having a ball in this role and is always the most interesting part of the film.

The addition of Richard Brake as younger brother Winslow is a solid addition to fill the void left by Sid Haig's Captain Spaulding. Haig does appear in the film for a short time and was nice having a last moment to honor his recent passing.

FYI: Captain Spaulding/Sid Haig was meant to continue his character arc in this one as part of the "three from hell", but unfortunately just weeks before shooting, he became too ill to work.

Rob was able to get him cleared for just one day of shooting to at least have him in one scene in the movie. In fact, Rob had to completely re-write the script right before they were to start shooting, so considering the circumstances, I still think he did a great job.

So, as mentioned, enter Richard Brake as Foxy. He is the new character that will fill the Captain's shoes. Now, he's no Spaulding, nor is he as interesting as the other two characters.

Still, I enjoyed having a new character and getting to meet yet another member of the Firefly clan. It was actually kind of funny watching him try to fit in with his sadistic half-siblings. His crimes (prior to this movie) were "two bit crimes", as Otis states.

You can tell he's trying to compete with, but also impress, Otis throughout the film. The film even jokes about him being somewhat of an outsider when Baby and Otis refer to themselves as "the two of us" and Foxy says, "What am I, f------ invisible?".

Sheri Moon Zombie's performance as Baby Firefly, however, is a mixed bag. She isn't a very strong actor, never has been, but she obviously loves this character and puts her all into it.

The movie is split into two halves. The first half follows where the characters ended up after the events of Devil's Rejects and how they came to reunite over the span of a decade. While the second half is the Firefly family's past catching up to them.

The first half is the weakest as it moves really slowly and the story struggles to get going. The second half, however, is a lot stronger. More fun and feels like 'The Devil's Rejects,' but more light hearted.

Overall, I don't think this film needs to exist. It doesn't add anything new or interesting to justify its existence. Seems to just be Zombie wanting to reunite with old friends and have some fun with them (which is fair enough if you have the money and a studio's backing, I guess!).

'The Devil's Rejects' ended on such a perfect note I can't really understand the exact reason to do this film. It feels as though this film is mainly for hardcore Rob Zombie fans.

Not as good as 'The Devil's Rejects,' but far better than 'House of 1000 Corpses,' of that there is no doubt, my friends! Some people have been complaining that it's too much like Rejects, but if it had been totally different, they would be complaining about that too!

In closing, and as I'm sure you all know by now, you just simply can't win with some people. Personally, I think this was a great (although, as mentioned, an uneven and unnecessary) follow up. It was extremely fun seeing the Firefly clan back in action and causing destruction.

As for the Special Features the best by a long shot of (sadly) just the two is 'To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell' Featurette which runs at an INCREDIBLE one and a half hours!

Chock full of pre and post production goodies, plus behind-the-scenes on set shots, conversations and actual filming, it's a "fun" look at the production.

Encompassing an awful lot of wondrous, revealing candid footage it also features a nicely hefty look at the late Sid Haig. Now sure this might be a wee bit bittersweet for fans of the great actor, but it also serves as a lovely testament to the actor too.

Special Features:
Audio Commentary with Rob Zombie
'To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell' Featurette

Official HD Trailer

'3 From Hell: 4K Ultra HD' Amazon Purchase Link

www.LGF.com





Nekromantix - 3 Decades of Darkle: Special Edition
(Nekromantix / Blu-ray+DVD+CD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Records-MVD Visual)

Overview: Danish-American Psychobilly heroes Nekromatix celebrate their 30th Anniversary by storming thru a 19-song live set at the Observatory Theater in Santa Ana, California.

Captured in all its glory by famed director Vicente Cordero ('Room 37: The Mysterious Death of Johnny Thunders'), the once-in-a-lifetime concert features band founder/bassist/vocalist Kim Nekroman, guitarist Franciso Mesa and recently-crowned drummer Rene De La Muerte ripping thru the band's glorious nine-album catalog; much to the delight of their enduring, adoring fans!

Blu-ray Verdict: With their lyrics generally structured around monster and horror themes a central icon of the band's image has always been its founder and front man Kim Nekroman's "coffinbass"; a custom-built double bass with a body in the shape of a coffin and a headstock the shape of a cross!

Indeed, Nekroman has been the sole constant member of the band with the current line up on show here within this incredible Blu-ray+DVD+CD package Nekromantix - 3 Decades of Darkle: Special Edition being aforementioned guitarist Francisco Mesa and drummer Rene "Delamuerte" Garcia (known as a guitarist and singer of the Canadian band The Brains).

1. 'Struck by a Wrecking Ball'
2. 'Nightnurse'
3. 'Alice in Psycholand'
4. 'Brain Error'
5. 'Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend'
6. 'Driller Killer'
7. 'Nekrotastic Extacy'
8. 'See the Devil Smile'
9. 'Nekrofelia'
10. 'Gargoyles Over Copenhagen'
11. 'Subcultural Girl'
12. 'Sea of Red'
13. 'Glow in the Dark'
14. 'Brought Back to Life'
15. 'Horny in a Hearse'
16. 'Alive'
17. 'Nice Day for a Resurrection'
18. 'Haunted Cathouse'
19. 'Who Killed the Cheerleader'

In what is a most perfectly timed release re: Halloween, the never-too-sleazy, always-on-the-cusp of being unhinged, but never corrosive enough to step over a G.W.A.R.-style line, Nekromantix conjure Psychobilly's hellacious energy here in this thunderous live show just perfectly.

Sporting the spunky abandon of a man half his age, the gnarled Kim Nekroman conducts a hi-octane grindhouse gathering with indomitable exuberance, each and every track slamming into one another, the macabre pop-punk and vintage LA hardcore cross pacing seemingly not giving the band any time to breath at all!

“It took us 30 years to finally make an official full on live video and audio recording and I can’t think of a more thrilling way to celebrate this three decade anniversary, than an immortalized show consisting of songs from our very first album, in 1989, up until today,” Kim Nekroman has said about this new release.

"What an awesome and horrifying joyride. Now you can watch or re-live the show over and over again from the convenience of your couch!”

This incredible, and limited-edition Blu-ray+DVD+CD package includes exclusive interviews with the band, and some rare photos.

Official Trailer

Official Blu-ray+DVD+CD Purchase Link

www.nekromantix.net

Nekromantix @ Facebook

www.CleopatraRecords.com





'Scarface - Gold Edition: 4K Ultra HD'
(Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / R / (1983) 2019 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: In the spring of 1980, the port at Mariel Harbor was opened, and thousands set sail for the United States. They came in search of the American Dream.

One of them found it on the sun-washed avenues of Miami - wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreams. He was Tony Montana. The world will remember him by another name ... Scarface.

Starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana along with Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Robert Loggia, Scarface has become a cultural phenomenon brilliantly directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings next month with the release of the brilliant 'Scarface - Gold Edition' in the 4K home video format on October 15th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Scarface - Gold Edition: 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 HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Scarface' 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 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 when the infamous machine gun scene plays out, and the newly remastered "spit" of the bullets leaving the barrel now look like mini fireworks!

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, much like the scenes where Tony is wounded, his left arm in a sling, aiming his gun at the bad guys, with that Tropicana orange and deep yellow sunset mural splashed out behind him on the wall) 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:X, English: DTS-HD Master, Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English: DTS 2.0, French: DTS Mono, and Spanish: DTS Mono.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR10 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, Brian De Palma's 'Scarface', a remake of the 1932 gangster classic by Howard Hawks, changes locations to Miami where Tony Montana (Al Pacino) arrives without much going for him.

Soon, under circumstances at his disposal, gets to the reign of the gangster's world of '80s cocaine, soon having a sort of empire around him that soon becomes too much to control under the influence of snow.

The elements that kept me interested the most while watching this film were Brian De Palma's direction and certain aspects of Oliver Stone's adaptation on Ben Hecht's material.

The direction by De Palma (which owes a little credit to the cinematography by John A. Alonzo and the splendorous production design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti) is always at an edge and style to kept the audience hooked into where the story is going even if it seems inevitable in the sort of rise, seize, and fall saga of the money dream.

Even though De Palma's presenting us with a more-often-than-not despicable character in Tony Montana, the techniques aren't tiresome or boring in the near 3-hour length of the film.

It was by De Palma - and Stone's script, which delivers some good, tongue-in-cheek dialog, and tries to understand the scope of the characters in this world - that I stayed through till the end of this film. There were also a couple of surprises amid the conventions (i.e. the infamous "Chainsaw" scene).

And yet, I was not one of those who thought that Pacino's performance was something incredible. I'm sure it's been influential in the twenty years since the film's been out there (the DVD did a whole tribute special by various rappers and real-life hoodlums), but from my perspective it served as something of a big liability.

The supporting roles are alright, but his bravado, heavily-dramatic style seems like it COULD fit this revised version of Paul Muni's performance. BUT the accent and accentuations he uses from start to finish become distracting, and overtly comical, very quickly.

And his booming persona is misused here, I can think of at least a dozen other performances where Pacino's been able to utilize his presence and style magnificently for the sake of a picture (The Godfather movies and his movies with Sidney Lumet are great examples, but so are some of his recent films like 'Insomnia' or even the 'Devil's Advocate').

This isn't one of them- here he confuses theatrical, operatic acting with ridiculous showmanship. What's even more interesting to me is that Pacino and De Palma's second collaboration - 'Carlito's Way' - was a bit more mature in dealing with the conventions within the crime genre, and found that balance of forceful directing and acting.

I do recommend 'Scarface' and yet I don't recommend it as well. There were elements about the film that kept sturdy, even gripping (the last fifteen minutes or so is rather bloody though brilliantly filmed).

However the film does have a number of flaws, and not just in Pacino's work (some scenes are a little too much for me, and I get a kick out of most crime films).

Either way, it is entertaining, and people should see it to see the memorable violent scenes and quotes, "Say hello to my little friend"!

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on the 4K Ultra HD's "Gold Edition" special features. Although none of them are truly that exciting (especially given that this is a "Gold" edition, the first one I took a peak at was Scarface: 35th Anniversary Reunion. Featuring a coming together of stars such as Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham and producer Martin Bregman, it only runs a few minutes, but shows the love between them all, as friends and actors, is still as rich as ever.

Featurettes such as The World of Tony Montana, The Rebirth, The Acting and The Creating are quick nosedives into all aspects of Tony, and primarily for those uninitiated, of course.

The last one I'll delve into here for you is Scarface: The TV Version, which features a lot of (and I mean a LOT of) stupid words being spliced into the film where once very rude words used to exist! Renowned within the Scarface community as just downright hilarious, if you are bored on a wet/snowy Sunday afternoon and want to have a gentle giggle at all the ways they tried to sue stupid words for "f-bombs" and such, then this is the TV movie for you, my friends.

'Scarface - Gold Edition' will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of Scarface (1983)
Features High Dynamic Range (HDR10) for Brighter, Deeper, More Lifelike Color
Scarface: 35th Anniversary Reunion
The Scarface Phenomenon
The World of Tony Montana
The Rebirth
The Acting
The Creating
Deleted Scenes
Scarface: The TV Version
The Making of Scarface: The Video Game

Official HD Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link





'Animal Babies: First Year on Earth' [PBS]
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: The first year of life is the toughest. Four cinematographers follow six iconic baby animals as they face the challenges of surviving their first year on Earth.

For these animal babies, this is the story of what it takes to survive in the wild.

DVD Verdict: Here within the luscious 'Animal Babies: First Year on Earth' we meet six baby animals from across the globe. We follow along as they experience joy and hardship, confront near-daily adversities, navigate their habitats, and overcome challenges in their first year of life.

As always with nature shows from PBS, this is a true little darling of an insight into these adorable newborn animals.

Like all babies, young animals can have a first year filled with joy, love and play. To survive, however, they must also overcome threats and challenges, from rivals, from the elements, and predators.

To tell the stories of these magical months, renowned wildlife cinematographers travel the globe to follow the lives of six iconic baby animals as they grow and develop.

So what we get is an intimate look at six iconic baby animals as they grow and develop before our very eyes. Broken up into three parts, 'Animal Babies: First Year on Earth' is the story of what it takes to survive in the wild in this, their first year on earth. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'Raúl Juliá: The World's A Stage'
(Raúl Juliá / DVD / G / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: 'Raúl Juliá: The World's A Stage' is a revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor's journey from his native Puerto Rico to the creative hotbed of 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, Raúl Juliá was a Puerto Rican actor who received international recognition. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he took an interest in acting while still in school.

Upon completing his studies, Raúl decided to pursue a career in acting. After performing locally for some time, he was convinced by entertainment personality Orson Bean to move and work in New York City.

Raúl, who had been bilingual since his childhood, soon gained interest in Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He took over the role of Orson in the Off-Broadway hit Your Own Thing, a rock musical updating of Twelfth Night (he also performed in mobile projects, including the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater).

In 1991 and 1993, Raúl portrayed Gomez Addams in two film adaptations of The Addams Family and in 1994, he filmed The Burning Season, for which he won a Golden Globe Best Actor award, and a film adaptation of the Street Fighter video games.

Later that year, Julia suffered several health afflictions, eventually dying after suffering a stroke. His funeral was held in Puerto Rico, being attended by thousands.

For his work in The Burning Season, Julia won a posthumous Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award.

Directed by Ben DeJesus, 'Raúl Juliá: The World's A Stage' traces Raúl's personal and professional journey, showcasing his groundbreaking performances and humanitarian activism.

Before diversity and inclusion were part of the national conversation, Raúl with his magnetic personality and charismatic talent was able to amass a varied body of timeless work that helped pave the way for many Latino actors today.

Ergo, this 95 minute documentary showcases an artist driven by immense hunger and passion, with the man himself shown here under a reverential magnifying glass. The people gathered to offer up commentary and anecdotes do so out of love and admiration, clearly happy to be there.

I've been beating the drum for years, that he's often the shining star in an otherwise great cast, for the man has Charisma for days! So, in truth, I truly hope this marks a newfound recognition of his legacy, even if it's taken twenty-five years to happen.

Put simply, if you only know the man as Gomez Addams, do yourself a favor and give this a watch. It traces his arc from birth to tragic death, and I guarantee you'll walk away with a newfound appreciation for his art. Also, keep a tissue handy! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'The Magical Land of Oz' (PBS)
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: 'The Magical Land of Oz' is a continent-wide series ranging from the land's highest snow peaks to the depths of the frigid and wild southern seas.

The series both entertains and deepens our understanding of how the natural world is made up of not just unique species, but distinct individuals, whose lives are far from predictable.

DVD Verdict: Within this 165 minute delve into the magical land of Oz across Australia, we watch as the dawn rises and the marsupials go to bed - except for the ones that don't - because there are exceptions to every rule in this land of ancient wonders, big skies and jeweled seas!

Magic does not have rules, as we all know by now, and furthermore here in Oz, it has splendid dragons, saltwater monsters and dancing spiders, amongst a bevy of other wondrous creatures.

Ergo 'The Magical Land of Oz' (which I have to fully admit I initially thought was a documentary about the landscape inhabited by those characters from a film back in the day!) offers a blue chip, continent-wide series ranging from the land's highest snow peaks to the depths of the frigid and wild southern seas; from its last populations of wild numbats to its largest diorama of giant cuttlefish.

It's a land of diverse beauty, that delights and surprises. Indeed, the series both entertains and deepens our understanding of how the natural world is made up of not just unique species, but distinct individuals, whose lives are far from predictable.

Narrated by Barry Humphries (he of the infamous Dame Edna persona), 'The Magical Land of Oz' is broken up into three episodes: Ocean, Land, and Human Shift.

The first two are standard nature shows. It's beautifully filmed and narrated excellently by Humphries (complete with his usually dollops of gravitas, of course).

The third one was the most interesting for me. It shows how nature evolves in different ways in the cities and the man-made world is forcing nature to adapt.

The trick of the third episode seems to be that it starts as cute happy fish out of water stories and turns into something with a more serious environment bent.

It tries to stay with happier side by finishing with a success. It's not just beautiful, but also an episode to make one think. That's the mark of a good nature show.

So, using the latest camera technology, we capture animal populations only recently discovered and behaviors not associated with species we thought we knew well.

We meet animal characters so enigmatic, most Australians are unaware they share not just their island continent - but their own suburban backyards.

What also gets revealed are the ongoing challenges these animals must navigate in a land of extremes, and extreme human-induced change. Indeed, to do this, the screen is filled (at times) with color, dance, acrobatics, music, mating and murder - all performed by the animals which make Australia a truly magical land! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'America's Test Kitchen: Home For The Holidays'
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: The entire cast is home for the holidays, and they're revealing their all-time favorite holiday recipes from the test kitchen archives.

DVD Verdict: This delicious special hour-long holiday episode features hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison and the rest of the America's Test Kitchen cast gathered in a casual behind-the-scenes setting while sharing the warmth of the holidays with viewers.

Personally, I find these shows to be rather excellent. I find the quality of the production to be very good, the recipes are great, the episodes are fun to watch and they are often humorous.

That said, and again, personally, I would prefer more cooking and less equipment and product taste testing, but that is just a personal preference.

This hour long holiday special also features five of the test kitchen's favorite holiday recipes, including new twists on classic holiday fare like Turkey En Cocotte and Beef Tenderloin with Smoky Potatoes and Persillade Relish.

The Porchetta recipe offers a flavor-packed alternative to traditional holiday roasts, and elegant desserts like Millionaire's Shortbread and Gateau Breton are surefire favorites to consider anytime you're trying to please a crowd.

What I love about America's Test Kitchen is that it takes the guessing out with detailed step by step instructions on how, and importantly why a certain ingredient, recipe and equipment is used; along with a sleuth of informative factual and scientific tidbits explained in an easy-to-understand manner.

Recipe 1
Turkey Breast en Cocotte with Pan Gravy - Cooking a turkey breast is a great alternative to tackling the whole bird; it’s easy to handle and full of white meat.

Recipe 2
Beef Tenderloin with Smoky Potatoes and Persillade Relish - For special occasions, few cuts top a beef tenderloin. This elegant roast cooks quickly and serves a crowd, and its rich, buttery slices are fork-tender.

Recipe 3
- Hailing from France’s Brittany coast, gâteau Breton boasts a bright jam filling and a rich, dense texture, which elevate this rustic cake to a first-class confection.

Recipe
Millionaire's Shortbread - Britain’s triple-decker combo of buttery cookie, sweet caramel, and dark chocolate makes a perfect holiday gift. But only if every layer is flawless.

Recipe
Porchetta - Italy’s rich herb-and-garlic-infused slow-cooked pork is one of the world’s best street foods. We wanted to transform it into a roast for company.

Complete with an outtake reel over the credits, this warm, inviting, and fun-filled hour of cooking with the whole America's Test Kitchen family will get you in the mood for the holiday season! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'Masterpiece: Press' (PBS)
(Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin, Priyanga Burford, David Suchet, et al / 2-DVD / PG-13 / 2019 / PBS)

Overview: 'Press' is a sharp, fast-paced series from acclaimed writer Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster) that rips aside the front pages of rival newspapers to reveal the lives, loves, and lies of a dynamic group of journalists.

DVD Verdict: To my mind, and simply put, 'Masterpiece: Press' features excellent casting, great writing, and terrific acting.

I'm no expert on the big bad world of minute-to-minute newspaper journalism, but I do know a good series when I happen upon it. There is just enough edginess to keep you guessing and wanting more and the characters all find their way into your head, one by one.

The basic story line here is that there are two daily papers in London - The Herald, the ethical paper with lower readership, and always on the edge of bankruptcy; and The Post, the newspaper that does whatever it needs to make headlines.

The leaders of the paper’s follow the personality of the editors, thus you have the unethical vs the ethical. Of course, the Post has the charismatic editor, a cheater, who will do whatever is needed, Duncan, played by Ben Chaplin.

The Herald-run by Aminia, and played by Priyanka Burford. The big difference is the journalist, Holly, played by Charlotte Riley, who writes and edits for the Herald. She is the superwoman, who seemingly works night and day to bring the human emotional stories to the fore.

David Suchet plays the owner of the Post, close to the government, and knows every one who can be of use. Powerful and wealthy, of course, is still the name of the game.

This six part series plays Holly against Duncan and it is a relationship that gives us the meaning of ethics. I absolutely loved this series, the acting superb, we root for the good and pure, but we also root for the unethical soul of Duncan, weirdly!

It's difficult to pick out a favorite, but somehow I ended up slightly smitten with (in a platonic way) Leona/Ellie Kendrick.

At first I thought Leona's character was a bit of a drip, but she grew on me. By the end, I was thrilled to see her get more time on screen. Ellie Kendrick is wonderfully talented and highly watchable. I do so love great acting.

Although this series is obviously intended to expose the dilemma of the journalist in balancing the ethical with the sensational and 'fake news', I feel that this interrogation is impeded by the superfluous nature of the way in which this is addressed.

All the usual slings and arrows at all the usual targets - if only we all had the integrity of journalists, all would be well with the world - so if you have the time and you want to see something loaded with intrigue and some fun twists and turns, I recommend 'Masterpiece: Press.' (Not sure I got the bison/buffalo joke, but I think it has to do with "bison" sounding like "basin"!) This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

Get the inside scoop on the filming of Press from Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin, Priyanga Burford, David Suchet, executive producer Faith Penhale, and many others!

www.PBS.org





'Splash and Bubbles: Pole to Pole'
(DVD / G / 2019 / PBS KIDS)

Overview: The Reeftown Rangers set off on a migratory adventure from the Antarctic to the Arctic in this new one-hour Splash and Bubbles event.

They will encounter narwhals and penguins and humpbacks on the way.

DVD Verdict: For those not yet in the know, a yellow fusilier fish named Splash and his friend Bubbles, a Mandarin dragonet, explore life under the sea with their pals in "Splash and Bubbles," the newest series from PBS Kids.

Co-produced by The Jim Henson Co., the animated series is designed to teach children aged 4-7 about marine life and the ocean and help them build social-emotional skills.

The series features the voices of John Tartaglia (who also created the series), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Raymond Carr and Aymee Garcia.

In their brand new adventure, complete with three other new stories to tell within 'Splash and Bubbles: Pole to Pole,' we join the infamous Reeftown Rangers set off on a migratory adventure from the Antarctic to the Arctic to experience migration for themselves!

Migration Vacation
Pebbles
The Whistling Whale
The Big Krill

The kids will love this show as we watch as Splash, Bubbles, and Dunk encounter narwhals, penguins and humpback whales along the way!

Created by the late Jim Henson, the show explores fun facts about sea creatures and marine environments. Yes, that includes reproduction, parasites, and parrotfish poop because, well, it's true that the fish have no lofty goals for their lives; but they are fish, after all!

Furthermore, this lovely, colorfully animated series inspires respect for marine life and the ocean's diversity by pairing the characters' comical adventures with more traditional educational segments.

Splash and Bubbles entices youngsters much the same way Finding Nemo's vibrant scenery and endearing characters did, bringing a certain intimacy to the vast expanse of the ocean through its friendly characters.

Reeftown is a bustling community of all different kinds of marine life, but when Splash and Bubbles explore beyond its boundaries, they discover even more diversity and fascination.

Chock full of wondrous close-up views of the wonders of marine life that will amaze preschoolers and inspire curiosity about more wonders of the underwater world, once the gang returns home to Reeftown, the friends also manage to find the time to listen to the beautiful music of the humpback whale! Well done, 'Splash And Bubbles,' for this show is just incredible and a joy to behold for all kids.This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBSkids.org





'Them That Follow'
(Kaitlyn Dever, Olivia Colman, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman, et al / DVD / R / 2019 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, a pastor's daughter holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart.

DVD Verdict: For those not yet in the know, 'Those That Follow' is a quite beautiful and deeply felt look into a small subculture of America; charismatic Christian religious cults which revolve around the handling of poisonous snakes.

It is not an expose by any means, please understand that going in for each person is acting from sincere emotions and beliefs, however misguided they may appear to most of us. For instance, they reject modern medical care, preferring to rely on the Holy Ghost to heal people.

As in 'Witness' years ago, the cohesion of the group is the predominant factor in all aspects of the lives of its members. The story focuses on the daughter of the charismatic preacher. She is a strong believer, and yet is attracted to a youth who has rejected the religion.

The movie is superbly acted, with Oscar winner Olivia Colman, the always memorable Walton Goggins as the preacher, and Kaitlyn Devers from the TV show 'Justified'.

With that said, Olivia Colman is outstanding, but that's no surprise since she won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 'The Favourite.'

What is surprising is how she has transformed into a backwoods store owner and community matriarch with a southern twang. She's truly amazing.

Walton Goggins is the perfect southern pastor in his role as Lemuel. He's creepy and sincere at the same time. Australian actress Alice Englert gives a subtle, but powerful performance.

Kaitlyn Dever was great in 'Booksmart' - although I hated that movie - and her character is the polar opposite here in this movie; furthermore attesting to her talent.

The movie was filmed in Youngstown and Salem, Ohio although the story is supposed to take place in Appalachia. I love symbolism. The snakes in this movie are real, but they also represent the first "sin" of Adam and Eve., as well as being deceived, of course.

So yeah, this film is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, trust me in this. Many will say that nothing really happens and that it's boring. It's always a bit odd to see comedian Jim Gaffigan in dramatic movies.

Don't get me wrong as I absolutely love his stand-up comedy specials. The first time I saw him in a drama was in the movie 'Chappaquiddick' and he actually has some really dark roles upcoming too.

Anyway, I'm not saying he doesn't do a good job in dramas. He does. It always just throws me off. Good for him for being such a versatile performer regardless.

In closing, 'Them That Follow' does feature elements of terror, but that is not the main theme. It's a love story. A coming of age story. An insight into a real, but generally unknown sect. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

Cast Interviews with Alice Englert, Thomas Mann and Walton Goggins.

www.LGF.com





'Pretenders'
(James Franco, Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox, Shameik Moore, Jane Levy, Juno Temple, et al / DVD / R / 2009 / Cleopatra Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: In James Franco's 'Pretenders,' life imitates deadly art as a French new wave-obsessed film student finds his muse in a mysterious actress that both he and his best friend fall in love with.

After years of sex, betrayal, and collateral damage, the three end up in a dangerous situation that leaves one of them fighting for his life.

DVD: Once again, actor James Franco steps behind the camera to bring us another imaginative tale straight from the colorful, and at most times highly trippy head of his.

Having been put together and filmed back in 2016, 'Pretenders' isn't the best film on earth, but (and by quite a long shot) it's also not the worse!

It all kicks off with an interesting ode to new wave French cinema, forming a soft-focused love triangle full of fresh faced hope, aspiring arteests, and constant chain smoking; but it all too quickly dissolves and devolves into a torrid wants-to-be-something-else mess, sadly.

In truth, the first half of the movie is pretty descent as it sets the scene, building its blocks, cementing into our heads who we should root for and who we should boo at as the film progresses.

As aspiring filmmaker, Terry (Jack Kilmer, son of Val, inheritor of stoic face and acting skill) falls for an Anna Karina lookalike in the theatre crowd whilst watching, wait for it, 'Anna Karina' on the big screen!

They meet over a crafty cigarette (obviously), but poor Terry is rather shy and desperately needs some nudging and prodding from his Casanova photographer pal Phil to get to first base. Anyway, frenzied bed hopping ensues, feelings are viciously attacked, confusion prevails, time passes, and just when everything seems to be coming full circle for the could-have-seen-this-coming ending, we find a red herring swimming in the soup!

Again, it's a damn shame as where it was headed was at least palatable, but what it eventually spews up ie: that aforementioned "red herring" is a great letdown and worse yet, questionable re: real life (yes, I know it's a movie, but you know what I mean).

In closing, anyone fond of the French will surely be pleased with themselves pointing out the stream of referential material, but is it enough when the clumsy wrap dethrones all that throning? Probably not, sorry.

Still worth it for breakout star Jane Levy as the mysterious object d'amour, and the puzzling and super short appearance by wizened Dennis Quaid as the grumpy dad; which makes absolutely no sense at all, but there it is. [JS] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Theatrical Trailer
Image Slideshow

www.Cleopatra-Entertainment.com





'Double Feature: Avenging Angelo & Shade'
(Sylvester Stallone, Madeleine Stowe, Anthony Quinn, Jamie Foxx, Thandie Newton, et al / DVD / R / 2019 / MVD Marque Collection)

Overview: Sylvester Stallone brings the heat in this action-packed double feature: 'Avenging Angelo' and 'Shade.'

DVD: First up is 'Avenging Angelo' (2002), where action superstar Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Rambo), stars as Frankie Delano, a tough as nails bodyguard, protecting a mafia kingpin's (Anthony Quinn) daughter (Madeleine Stowe) from being the next hit.

Now this is what is termed a "screwball comedy", my friends! So know going in that's all this movie is. So expect nothing but foolish silliness and just enjoy with bouts of laughter!

If you don't like foolish silliness then don't bother watching this film, because most scenes are funny just because they are so ironic, in truth.

Sylvester Stallone plays the straight man to Madeleine Stowe's zany character and both are great in their roles. I found myself laughing at things I normally would not laugh at, but the timing was perfect and completely caught me off guard.

This was yet another example of how Stallone was moving away from the stereo typical characters he had helped create. Not to say he didn't exactly stockpile any great ones thereafter, but at least he continued to branch out.

Dedicated to the memory of Anthony Quinn, as this was his very last film appearance, to my mind his work on this film was long enough; considering his health and age.

In closing, there's a little mystery thrown into the movie, but if you watch for clues here and there, I'm sure you can solve the mystery long before Stallone does!

The other movie is 'Shade' (2003), where here the hand is quicker than the eye in L.A.'s underground gambling scene. Hustlers get hustled and fortunes ride on every deal.

Three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic - The Dean (Sylvester Stallone). But a seat at the Dean's table doesn't come cheap.

It's not original, by any means, but it's sharp and has good dialogue and interesting characters. Secondly the cast is excellent. When you think straight to video you think of Eric Roberts, Gary Busey, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, headlining and perhaps one or two other recognizable faces.

But this one has a great cast, with Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith and of course Sly Stallone.

Townsend is excellent as the mechanic, basically the guy who can manipulate a deck of cards to his advantage, he is the key to the group of grifters consisting of him, Newton, and Byrne.

They have a big score in mind, to take down master cards-man and king of all mechanics, the Dean played by Stallone. Now Byrne and Newton are both excellent, but this is a great role for Stallone.

Sly gives a great performance in this and it's a role that requires an inner depth and a subtlety and Stallone delivers. This is a Widescreen Presentation ('Avenging Angelo,' 2.35:1 - 'Shade,' 1.85:1), both enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MVDvisual.com





'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' [BR + Digital]
(Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / NR / (2003) 2018 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: The "Angels", three investigative agents (Barrymore, Diaz and Liu) who work for the Charles Townsend Detective Agency, return for another high-octane series of adventures as they investigate the theft of a database of witness protection profiles, after five of the people on the list are murdered.

They're aided by a new Bosley (Bernie Mac), in an adventure which pits them against a "fallen angel" (Moore), their old nemesis, the Thin Man (Glover), and others.

Blu-ray Verdict: 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' is, much like the original 2000 film, something of a masterpiece of goofy surrealism!

Say what you will, but the spectacular action scenes in this movie, as well as the comedy and often the "drama" are as off-the-wall and flat-out weird as anything in a David Lynch movie.

In particular there is an action scene at a motor cross that obeys the laws of physics in about the same way that 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' does, and by doing so it's one of the most exhilarating action sequences I've seen in a long time.

It's also a perfect summer movie. Funny, fast-paced, exciting, colorful, and with a soundtrack that just won't quit throwing great, classic songs at you, this is a hell of a fun movie.

Of course Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu reprise their roles as Nat, Dylan, and Alex, but this time Bernie Mac takes over as Bosley. As much as I loved Bill Murray in the original, Mac really rocks this role and brings a spin to it that matches the tone of the movie better than Murray did.

Like the original, 'Full Throttle' is thoroughly derivative, but in so many ways that it's completely unique also. It's like watching your favorite goofball martial-arts movie, going to a beach party, playing a video game, and listening to a great '80s mix tape all at the same time.

Playing Devil's Advocate here, much like the 'Fast & Furious' franchise forgot how physics work as the series progresses, 'Full Throttle' takes any smidgen of credibility the first one had (i.e. not much) and throws it out the window.

The trouble with that is that to pull this off the effects often look REALLY bad, sadly.

For example, in one late-in-the-movie scene, the Angels get shot in mid-air by a powerful pistol. Their bodies (again, in mid-air) jerk back in reaction to the bullet while still twirling back.

The effect is so badly done (not to mention the green screen in the background this whole time) that any sense of immersion is broken. This isn't just an aging thing because I still remember seeing this in theaters with my friend and thinking the effects looked bad even then!

'Full Throttle' had a larger budget than its predecessor, but its effects are worse and sometimes verge into awful territory. As a kid, I called BS on one scene near the end featuring Demi Moore in a wingsuit because it was too ridiculous to be real.

However, as an adult, I understand wingsuits ARE a real thing, but the effects are just bad to the point that it looks fake!

So, in conclusion, yes, good and bad here on display, but this was only 2003 after all and the CGI and such as taken incredible leaps and bounds to get where it is today. A time capsule of a movie that got horribly panned at the time, 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' is a bubblegum cinematic experience that is GREAT for everything that it never shirks away from being i.e. just fun!

As for some of these lovely Special Features, well, the stand outs to me (and aside from the McG audio commentary, that contains far too much "me, me, me"), include the Angel-Vision Trivia Track (where we learn so much about some of the more interesting shots of the film via pop up blurbs of trivia) and the trio of featurettes: Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel, Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam and Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

Each one contains show pieces from the film that are very colorful, very painstakingly created and fit the Angel's to a tee! Also, the Pink video single 'Feel Good Time' (which was also her European lead single for the album Try This) is still a right royal pop song to here today!

Out now via Sony Pictures as a wonderful new Blu-ray + Digital Edition that includes both the Theatrical and Unrated Versions of the film, plus a whole host of great Special Features, this is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with those Special Features of:

Check out the new Charlie's Angels!
Theatrical Trailer
Telestrator & Audio Commentary with Director McG
Writer’s Commentary
Angel-Vision Trivia Track
Full Throttle: The Cars of Charlie’s Angels
Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel
Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam
Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Learn Why: There’s No Such Thing As a “Short Shot”, Only an Overworked Producer
Music Video: Pink "Feel Good Time" Featuring William Orbit
Cameo-Graphy
Turning Angels into Pussycats Dolls
Rolling with the Punches
XXX-Treme Angels
Full Throttle Jukebox
Angel Scouts: A Look Into the Gorgeous Locations

'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' [BR + Digital] arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), October 22nd, 2019 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' Trailer

www.sphe.com





'Red Heat: 4K Ultra HD + BR + Digital'
(Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Larry Fishburne, et al / 2-Disc + Blu-ray + Digital / NR / (1988) 2019 / Lionsgate)

Overview: A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the always-retro-brilliant-to-watch 'Red Heat' in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this October 29th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Red Heat: 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 'Read Heat' 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, 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; like the scenes shot at night on the streets of Chicago and all those chase scenes! It just all comes more vividly to life now, 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 facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where Danko is striding around like the Terminator - come on now, he has exactly the same walking stance to him here! - and firing off bullets at his nemesis like they are going out of fashion), as those guns fire back and forth they now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance at their tips. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have just English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

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, an extremely disciplined and businesslike Russian cop Ivan Danko (an earnest and effective performance by Arnold Scwarzeneggar) and sloppy, but competent Chicago detective Art Ridzik (a nicely coarse portrayal by James Belushi) have to put their differences aside and work together in order to catch ruthless drug smuggler, Viktor "Rosta" Rostavili (superbly essayed with smack on the money snarly relish by Ed O'Ross).

Director Walter Hill, who co-wrote the familiar, but still perfectly serviceable script with Harry Kleiner and Troy Kennedy, handles the enjoyable premise with his customary tight and streamlined manner: the quick pace rarely flags for a minute, the style is slick and polished, the action set pieces are exciting and expertly staged (a wild climactic bus chase rates as the definite stirring highlight), and there's a funny sense of crude humor sprinkled throughout.

Big Arnie and Belushi display an engagingly relaxed and natural chemistry; the begrudging respect and friendship that develops between these two radically contrasting police officers gives this picture a substantial emotional heft and helps the movie transcend its formula plot.

A fine cast qualifies as another major asset: Gina Gershon as Viktor's foxy and unsuspecting dance instructor wife Catherine "Cat" Manzetti, Peter Boyle as the stressed-out Commander Lou Donnelly, Laurence Fishburne as the nerdy, bespectacled Lt. Charlie Strobbs, Richard Bright as Ridzik's gabby partner Detective Sargeant Gallagher, and, in a truly stand-out cameo, Brent Jennings as smooth and assured blind jailbird criminal kingpin Abdul Elijah.

Popping up in nifty bits are Hill film regulars Peter Jason, Luis Contreras (reprising his Lupo character from 'Extreme Prejudice'), and Brion James (the latter in a deliciously wormy part as a slimy and sniveling snitch).

Further enhanced by Matthew F. Leonetti's glittery cinematography and a rattling and spirited score by James Horner, 'Red Heat' may not break any new ground, but it does overall still today size up as a solid and satisfying outing.

As for the Special Features, the two stand outs are also the most engaging given todays times: both the “Political Context of Red Heat” and “East Meets West” Featurettes. They both, albeit skimmingly, delve into the logistics of Russian vs. America stand points from back then and now, along with wonder aloud as to how things would play out now between the big Ruskie and the lackluster Chicago cop.

Another good pairing are both “I’m Not Russian, But I Play One on TV” and the behind-the-scenes look at “Making of Red Heat" Featurettes. The former is a quick expose of Arnold "perfecting" his Russian accent before going on set, explaining a little that begin Austrian helps him "perfect" the Russian accent a lot easier, the latter a fun look back at how a late'80s classic was prepped for its now-infamous scenes.

Special Features:
• “Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Man Who Raised Hollywood” Featurette
• “Political Context of Red Heat” Featurette
• “East Meets West” Featurette
• “A Stunt Man for All Seasons” Featurette
• “I’m Not Russian, But I Play One on TV” Featurette
• “Making of Red Heat" Featurette
• Original Trailer

'Red Heat' Trailer

www.LGF.com





The Wizard of Oz: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital
(Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, et al / 2-Disc + Blu-ray + Digital / NR / (1939) 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the always-retro-brilliant-to-watch 'The Wizard of Oz' in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this October 29th, 2019.

For my money, this 'The Wizard of Oz: 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 Wizard of Oz' 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+ and Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1.

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 all the magical scenes in Oz where Dorothy encounters her soon-to-be new friends; whilst also encountering the noticeably now richer colors of her foes too! It just all comes more vividly to life now, 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 facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where the main colors such as the green of the Emerald City, the red of her ruby shoes and the yellow of the brick road), as those scenes have now become alive, crystal clear and sparklingly brilliant - even containing a kind of honeyed amber appearance at their tips. 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 (48kHz, 24-bit), French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono.

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, as I think we can all agree on here today, 'The Wizard of Oz' is probably one of the greatest movies ever made.

It's full of life, energy and heart and this alone is probably what defines the term "movie magic."

There are so many classic moments here, after all this movie is still heavily quoted in pop-culture, 75 years after it was first released!

The story is basically about a girl who longs for somewhere over the rainbow, and then gets what she wants ... or is it really what she wants?

"And you, and you, and you were there." All of Dorothy's friends look at her as if she was crazy, assuring her that her adventure was just a dream.

Was it really just a dream? How could it be, when it seemed so real? In Viktor Fleming's, 'The Wizard of Oz,' dream is made into reality and reality into dream.

'The Wizard of Oz' is a classical masterpiece in which breathtaking design, performance and a heart-warming storyline combine to create a movie in its very own category.

In Kansas, a twister hits Dorothy's home and she is hit by a window, falling into her dreamland of Oz. We follow Dorothy (Judy Garland) on her quest for the Wizard of Oz, in the land of munchkins, evil and good witches, and many more interesting characters.

The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and Tin Man (Jack Haley) are just some of the friends, with their own problems, that she meets on her way.

The story is all about "following the yellow brick road" as "we're off to see the wizard."

The screenplay was adapted from Frank T. Baum's story chronicle, The Wizard of Oz. It was produced by Mervyn Leroy and acted out by a first class list of actors.

Perhaps the most important factors of this movie are the Technicolor (this is the first movie in color), the songs (that you'll never forget and never get enough of), and the ubiquitous theme/moral of "there's no place like home."

The plot is very easy to follow and straightforward. Despite the seemingly unrealistic storyline of wizards, a land of munchkins, flying monkeys, and bad witches flying on broomsticks, viewers can't help but fall into the fantasy of it all and imagine there really is such a place "somewhere over the rainbow."

The characters are all believable and you seem able to relate to them and know at least one person in your life like them. People love the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion for their loyalty and personal quirks, and loathe the Wicked Witch of the West for being so sinfully evil.

The dialogue is also very amusing, with a deeper meaning than most would conceive at first. There are many hidden messages of friendship, loyalty, and seeing what's right in front of you all along.

The actors are very convincing as their characters, all seemingly to step right out from the original story. Judy Garland perhaps was the best choice for Dorothy because the viewer just can't help but fall in love and sympathize for her when they see those big brown eyes staring back at them from the screen.

She has a raw performance in which you can feel each emotion through her expression. From the moment Dorothy opens her front door after landing in Oz and exclaims "Oh!" the screen is filled with bright and vibrant color, a sharp contrast from the dull black and white from a second before.

The significance of this is not lost, as the use of color is artfully done throughout the movie. The Technicolor sets the film apart because it is the first picture to be in color.

During the movie the ever present yellow brick road takes the viewer through a journey of colorful and unique places, like the charming Munchkin Land and eerily spooky Haunted Forest.

This film is one that's timeless for a good reason. The acting is wonderful as is the set, themes, and dramatic aspects. 'The Wizard of Oz' was one of a kind when it first came out and 75 years later it still touches people's hearts.

The movie keeps the audience's interest and you walk away from it smiling. After watching the movie, it will give you a deeper respect for what you are and have. As Dorothy says, "There's no place like home," well, there's no movie like the Wizard of Oz either, trust me!

Directed by Victor Fleming ('Gone With the Wind'), Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just released this acclaimed and beloved 1939 classic as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital (October 29th, 2019).

'The Wizard of Oz' received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars® -- Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score -- plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Judy Garland.

The film was an overwhelmingly popular and critical success upon its initial release and repeated its ability to captivate audiences when MGM reissued the film in 1949 and 1955.

Using state of the art technology, a new 8K 16bit scan of the original Technicolor camera negative became the basis for the 4K UHD scan. The process was overseen by MPI colorist Janet Wilson, who has overseen every remaster of 'The Wizard of Oz' for the past 20 years.

Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

This quite wondrous 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of 'The Wizard of Oz' features Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen — frame by frame.

As for the slew of Special Features, the stand outs for me are both the Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren, and the quite stunning 1990 CBS Special “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic.”

Both, in their own sweet ways, highlight just how powerful a movie it was for both the actors and the general public. The former highlights the love and dedication shown within the making of the film via the commentary from Oz historian John Fricke and friends (especially Barbara Freed-Saltzman, the daughter of writer Arthur Freed), and the latter allows the film's Cast and Crew to gush via the 1990 CBS Special.

Also, in reflection, the series of mini featurettes We Haven’t Really Met Properly… is definitely a lovely way to find out more about the major role players here in Oz. Finally, the quartet of: Special Effects, Post Production, Deleted Scenes and Original Publicity are pure and unadulterated delights to behold today as they showcase a world that was raw in its filmmaking and yet still managed to bring forth an incredible film that still barely has a naysayer amongst its critics/viewership.

Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Elements:
'The Wizard of Oz' Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:
• Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren.
• 1990 CBS Special “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic.”

'The Wizard of Oz' Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:
• Commentary- Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren
• The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook (narrated by Angela Lansbury)
• We Haven’t Really Met Properly…
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Frank Morgan"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Ray Bolger"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Bert Lahr"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Jack Haley"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Billie Burke"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Margaret Hamilton"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Charley Grapewin"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Clara Blandick"
o We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Terry"
• Music & Effects Track
• Original Mono Track
• Sing Along Tracks
• Audio Jukebox
• Leo is on the Air Radio Promo
• Good News of 1939 Radio Show
• 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Broadcast
• Stills Galleries
o Oz on Broadway
o Pre-MGM
o Sketches and Storyboards
o Richard Thorpe’s Oz
o Buddy Ebsen
o Oz Comes to Life
o Behind the Scenes
o Portraits
o Special Effects
o Post Production
o Deleted Scenes
o Original Publicity
o 8/15/1939 Hollywood Premiere
o 8/17/1939 New York Premiere
o 2/29/1940 Academy Awards® Ceremony
o Oz Abroad
o Oz Revivals
• Trailers

Original 'The Wizard of Oz' Trailer

'The Wizard of Oz' will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $41.99 SRP and features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc of 'The Wizard of Oz'.

Fans can also own The Wizard of Oz in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on October 29th, 2019.

www.WarnerBros.com





'The Cure - 40 Live: CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY'
(The Cure / 2-Disc + Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Rock Entertainment)

Overview: In 2018 The Cure performed two historic shows celebrating a 40-year career. ANNIVERSARY: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London - a 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert; and CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There - captured on the tenth and final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival.

Blu-ray Verdict: Directed by Tim Pope the long-time collaborator behind many of The Cure's music videos and their award-winning 1986 film In Orange Anniversary is chronicled in 4K with a 5.1 surround sound mix by Robert Smith and Paul Corkett.

As Pope himself has since revealed, "I went to rehearsals in a very cramped studio just the day before the show. I knew as the set list unfolded that the only way to show people the real Cure was to capture not only the grand, epic dimension of their stage show, but also the close, intimate side of this band simply making music together."

Curated by lead singer Robert Smith at London's Royal Festival where they were performing a song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, displaying the evolution of The Cure's music live on stage, this incredible 2-Disc Blu-ray package runs at a wondrous 280 minutes long and is true and unadulterated value for money, trust me!

CURÆTION-25 (Meltdown): 1. Three Imaginary Boys 2. At Night 3. Other Voices 4. A Strange Day 5. Bananafishbones 6. A Night Like This 7. Like Cockatoos 8. Pictures Of You 9. High 10. Jupiter Crash 11. 39 12. Us Or Them 13. It's Over 14. It Can Never Be The Same 15. Step Into The Light 16. The Hungry Ghost 17. alt.end 18. The Last Day Of Summer 19. Want 20. From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea 21. Disintegration 22. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep 23. Sinking 24. Shake Dog Shake 25. One Hundred Years 26. Primary 27. A Forest 28. Boys Don't Cry.

To my ears and eyes, here on CURÆTION-25 and ANNIVERSARY (which is filmed in a more traditional live gig style), the picture/audio quality on both Blu-Ray discs is simply divinely perfect, but I'm hearing from others that the audio contracts for the CD packages are not as crisp, sadly.

Regardless, as I don't believe that anything in this world is truly perfect, these Blu-rays are as close as we get to such a term, in my book!

Fantastically captured, and brilliantly performed, both shows are simply Heaven to behold as a Cure fan that wasn't at either live show, and the fact that the fans are entranced as they too watch their musical heroes perform, means a great experience; with tons of memories for all, is being had all over again with these new releases.

In fact, as I've now watched both shows twice over, there's a quite lovingly created depth to the imagery in these concerts. All be they shuffled in alongside so questionable "effects" that have been added for "extra cinematic value," of course.

Presented in HD with 5.1 surround sound, Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O’Donnell, and Reeves Gabrels perform a song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, displaying the evolution of The Cure’s music live on stage.

At the core of the set, they broke the cycle with some new, unreleased songs – offering a glimpse into the band’s future – before retracing their steps with another song from each album, ending with 'Boys Don’t Cry.'

ANNIVERSARY (Hyde Park): 1. Plainsong 2. Pictures Of You 3. High 4. A Night Like This 5. The Walk 6. The End Of The World 7. Lovesong 8. Push 9. Inbetween Days 10. Just Like Heaven 11. If Only Tonight 12. Play For Today 13. A Forest 14. Shake Dog Shake 15. Burn 16. Fascination Street 17. Never Enough 18. From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea 19. Disintegration 20. Lullaby 21. Caterpillar 22. Friday I’m In Love 23. Close To Me 24. Why Can’t I Be You 25. Boys Don’t Cry 26. Jumping Someone Else’s Train 27. Grinding Halt 28. 10:15 Saturday Night 29. KAA.

Released in theaters globally only last week, ANNIVERSARY: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London features the band’s acclaimed 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert.

Filmed in one of London’s Royal Parks to a crowd of 65,000 fans, The Cure presented a four-decade deep set on July 7, 2018, including 'Just Like Heaven,' 'Lovesong,' 'High,' and 'The End Of The World.' If you are a fan of The Cure and have seen them live yourself, you'll already know that they don't hurtle around the stage, don't prowl their audience like caged tigers and so forth. They simply stand and perform, no bells and whistles, with their stage lights set on dim to foreshadowing, to say the least.

So yeah, as both a Cure fan and a live performance Blu-ray collector, 'The Cure - 40 Live: CCURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY' on all cylinders! The stage set up, the clarity, the audio quality, the song selection, and last but certainly not least, the band is in top notch fantastic form.

Robert's understated, and at times subtly growling vocals are at their majestical best throughout and the rest of the band just ignite each and every time a different song is brought forth from the set list.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate 40 years of the band,” Smith has since said. “It was a fabulous day none of us will ever forget!”

The Cure - 40 LIVE: CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY limited edition Deluxe Box includes gatefold 2x Blu-ray/DVD and 4x CDs, covering both concerts with nearly 9 hours of content, plus a 40 page hardback book.

The limited edition Hardbook includes 2x Blu-rays/DVDs and 16 page booklet. CURÆTION-25 and ANNIVERSARY are available as standalone concerts on Digital.

For the tech geeks out there, both concerts in this set feature either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or LPCM 2.0 tracks and, let's be honest, you just can't really go wrong with either of these created within those levels.

Official Trailer

www.Eagle-Rock.com





'Humble Pie: Life And Times Of Steve Marriott'
(Blu-ray + DVD + CD / NR / 2019 / Cleopatra Records)

Overview: 'Humble Pie: Life and Times of Steve Marriott' is a compelling documentary about one of rock's most dynamic, exciting, and sadly; unsung heroes of rock and roll.

Blu-ray Verdict: Showcasing revelatory interviews with Humble Pie's Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley, and Greg Ridley, the Black Crowes's Chris Robinson, Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, John Waite, Bad Company/Free drummer Simon Kirke, Quiet Riot's Kevin Dubrow, Ricky Byrd and Marriott historian John Heller among others, this incredible documentary vividly tells the tale of Steve's tragically short life via the use of previously unseen photos, memorabilia, and home movies.

Tracklisting: 1. Tin Soldier 2. Itchycoo Park 3. Lazy Sunday 4. Paradise Lost 5. Take Me Back 6. Natural Born Woman 7. Alabama 69 8. Sad Bag of Shaky Jake 9. Stone Cold Fever 10. For Your Love 11. 4-Day Creep 12. 30-Days In The Hole 13. I Don't Need No Doctor 14. Hot n' Nasty 15. Black Coffee 16. Bigger They Come 17. I Won't Let You Down.

Running at just over the hour mark and filmed in Full Screen (1.33:1), 'Humble Pie: Life And Times Of Steve Marriott' is, as a fan of their music and the guitarist himself, a pure joy to behold.

Always remembered for his powerful singing voice (which totally belied his small stature), and for his aggressive approach as a guitarist in mod rock bands Small Faces and Humble Pie, Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces.

As we watch along, we quickly discover in a studio interview that Marriott actually started out life as child actor the man could reach notes that would have dogs sitting up on their hind legs!

Obviously, a lot of this interview space is filled with memories of his Humble Pie days and how he had actually asked Frampton if he could join him (along with his bass player from Spooky Tooth).

A heavy metal rock star trapped in the body of a "popsmith" of the highest order, Marriott never let anyone down and always impressed with every song and at every performance.

So Humble Pie, with his inclusion, quickly became a harder sounding band, with Frampton taking up the more melodic slack of the recordings.

But, as is life within bands, working that closely together with one another and touring the world living out of suitcases (let alone the drugs hat must have been passed around), Marriott's undeniable amounts of raw energy were becoming hard for his band mates to continue to see (as they liked to "switch off" after shows).

So, as Marriott himself says in the interview, the only place for them to go (if it carried on like it was) was down - and it obviously did. Sadly thereafter Marriott passed away and as they say in this engrossing documentary, "The rest is rock 'n' roll history".

Inclusive of some rather rare, and ultimately fiery performance footage of The Small Faces and Humble Pie, we also get treated to 'Hot N' Nasty 1973, the complete Winterland Show where some uber powerful, and show stopping live tracks frame his brilliance in perfect rock action pose; drawing the viewer closer to this wonderful and underrated artist.

The ultimate Collector's package includes Blu-ray disc, Standard Definition DVD plus the audio CD Soundtrack in a gorgeous six panel digipak!

Official Purchase Link

www.CleopatraRecords.com





'The Kitchen' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen. But for mob wives Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elizabeth Moss), things are about to take a dramatic and radical turn.

When the FBI sends their husbands to prison, the three women take business into their own hands by running the rackets and taking out the competition.

Blu-ray Verdict: Crime tales are ones the American public drinks up, with the promise of a dark tale with tons of drama to drink up.

Yet, not every tale has the makings of a legendary film like the Godfather, trying too hard or going too political that it becomes a giant statement that is not entertaining to many.

So 'The Kitchen' had me concerned that a political thriller was on our way and potentially a slow-moving film like Widows before it.

Can an all-star cast and the mistakes from the last attempt be learned, or are we going to be stuck with a carbon copy cinematic mess?

Well, for a movie set in a specific time and place, 'The Kitchen' most definitely accomplishes the task of stepping back into the past.

Costumes, editing of footage, and props once more teleports us to the America of the past and brings you into the harsh streets of the Kitchen and it's denizens.

While the setting helps add a story telling element, the reality is the Kitchen has a decent story component to it. Like the Godfather, but not as monumental, 'The Kitchen' is a story of family, power, and threats as the various pieces move about in the fight for territory and respect.

A character centric story, the movie focuses much on the three primary characters, each going through their own struggles as they try to push their own agendas into the mix.

It's those dramatic, character developing arcs that seem to crisscross quite nicely, leading to subplots that actually do well to connect into the grander story line, and brings a few twists to the mix to jazz up the linear plot and help give that dynamic of the mafia family.

It works well, and the acting in particular manages to bring the characters to full life, each bringing a unique style to the character that helps add the personality a film like this needs.

McCarthy was my favorite, but Haddish was amazing, casting her sass in a new light that was less funny and more threatening. Without these ladies bringing their "A game" the movie may have suffered a lot more.

Of note, the sound track was probably my favorite thing, classic '60s-'70s songs coming in hard to give the emotional flare and toe tapping mixes that I love to see in a film, after all who does not like a good Fleetwood Mac song?

Yet, the movie still suffers a bit from some other components that did not quite entertain me.

First off, the movie suffers from linearity and predictable components. From the moment the tides change you can see the ending coming a mile way, the Shakespearian plot elements beginning to fall into place.

As such, waiting for the ending was a little boring, stuck in the artistic and political components that it was a little slow and drawn out for me. It felt much longer than the actual run time and I did not quite get into the film as much as I wanted too.

Perhaps a few shoot outs, a job gone wrong, or even some sort of defense to get the plot moving. Instead, the political moments of the tale comes breaking right in to take center stage.

'The Kitchen' is not the most preach from soap box delivery I have seen, but the focus on the various battle of sexes and girl power motif could have been curbed a little more to not deviate from the story components I enjoyed.

In addition, the movie suffers from the non-centered antagonist, choosing to go more towards a symbolic route, that possessed various characters that were more of a throw away than meaningful inclusion.

Had there been a bad guy to ultimately focus on, we might have had an easier time keeping things moving.

In closing, 'The Kitchen' is a indeed a rather good portrayal of being able to dive back into history and uncovering stories that are believable, dramatic, and the crime family aspect we love.

The three leading ladies are truly the stars that made it special with me alongside character centric stories that will appeal to those who like books or character focused shows.

Yet, the movie is still not quite the spectacle I was hoping for, getting caught in the symbiology and politics that lead to rush plot elements and lacking suspense. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

'The Kitchen' Blu-ray contains the following special features:
• Running Hell’s Kitchen
• Taking Over the Neighborhood
• Deleted Scene

'The Kitchen' DVD contains the following special feature:
• Running Hell’s Kitchen

On October 22nd, 2019, 'The Kitchen' 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 November 5th, 2019, 'The Kitchen' will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles, and via both Blu-ray and DVD.

www.WarnerBros.com

Official 'The Kitchen' Facebook Page





'The Far Country: Limited Edition 2-Disc'
(James Stewart, Walter Brennan, Ruth Roman, John Mcintire, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1954) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: An archetypal example of its genre, 'The Far Country' is one of five superb westerns the screen legend James Stewart (Vertigo, Man of the West) made with acclaimed Hollywood auteur Anthony Mann (El Cid, The Man from Laramie).

Blu-ray Verdict: The fourth of five westerns Anthony Mann did with James Stewart, this one involves a hard bitten cattleman named Jeff Webster who takes a cattle drive from Wyoming to Alaska, via Seattle.

He hooks up in Seattle with his partners Ben Tatum (Walter Brennan) and Rube Morris (Jay C. Flippen) that he has sent ahead of time in order to make preparations for the boat trip, north.

But first, he has to put up with insubordinate trail hands, cheating riverboat captains and the charms of coy, manipulative Ronda Castle (Ruth Roman) who believes Jeff could be a valuable ally in the future.

That's why she hides him out on the boat while the captain's looking for him for the earlier (and justifiable) killing of a trail hand.

Jeff also has the misfortune of running into sleazy Judge Gannon (John McIntire) who runs the town of Skagway, Alaska. Gannon locks Jeff up for disrupting his public hanging by running his cattle through town.

He fines Jeff the ownership of his cattle and Jeff just has to eat crow for the time being.

In the meantime, Jeff agrees to ride point for Ronda up to Dawson in order to deliver supplies. But this is just a ruse so Jeff, Ben and Rube can slip back into Skagway and steal his cattle back.

Of course Judge Gannon finds out about this and is right behind but is delayed by Jeff with a rifle while Ben races the cattle over the Canadian border out of Gannon's reach.

After avoiding an avalanche and another shootout with some other Skagway men, they finally reach Dawson where Jeff sells his cattle to the highest bidder, which just happens to be Ronda who then promptly sets up a new gambling house in Dawson.

Jeff then takes his money and buys himself a claim and starts panning for gold.

But then Judge Gannon comes up to Dawson to get in on the gold action up there, and tells Jeff that he was getting a little bored with Skagway and wants to try his luck up in the Klondike, himself.

That involves bring some hired gunman with him and forcibly stealing some of the other miner's claims. Jeff and Ben now feel it's time to clear out while the goings are good, leaving Rube to fend for himself as a most ineffective sheriff against Gannon and his gang.

They look for a back way out only to find themselves ambushed by Gannon's men because Ben made the mistake of opening his big mouth. Ben is killed and Jeff is severely wounded but that doesn't save Judge Gannon from his just due.

The ending shootout at night on the muddy Dawson street pretty much takes care of that. First Jeff kills two of Gannon's best gunman (Jack Elam and Robert Wilkie).

Then as Ronda comes out to warn Jeff that Gannon is trying to slip around behind him, Gannon shoots her in the back and she dies right there in Jeff's arms. Then Jeff kills Gannon as he's hiding under a wooden sidewalk. Revenge has spoken.

This is another rip-roaring western that's right up there with THE NAKED SPUR and THE MAN FROM LARAMIE. Featuring some glorious Alberta cinematography by William Daniels, 'The Far Country' is one of the best, and well-written '50s westerns ever made. To me, it's an A-list keeper of the genre, and of films in general.

This film can be seen in both 1:85.1 and 2.00:1 presentations enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:

Brand new 4K restoration from the original film elements by Arrow Films
Original 1.0 stereo audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Limited edition booklet with new writing on the film by Philip Kemp and original reviews
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Two presentations of 'The Far Country' in both original aspect ratios of 1.85:1 and 2.00:1

Disc 1:
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1
New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
American Frontiers: Anthony Mann at Universal, an all-new, feature-length documentary with Mann biographer Alan K. Rode, western author C. Courtney Joyner, script supervisor Michael Preece, and critics Michael Schlesinger and Rob Word
Mann of the West, a newly filmed appraisal of Far Country and the westerns of Anthony Mann by the critic Kim Newman
Image gallery
Original trailer

Disc 2:
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film in the alternate original aspect ratio of 2.00:1

'The Far Country' Original Movie Trailer

www.MVDshop.com





'Double Feature: Eye See You / Reach Me'
(Sylvester Stallone, Tom Berenger, Robert Patrick, Jeffrey Wright, Stephen Lang, et al / DVD / R / 2019 / MVD Marque Collection)

Overview: Sylvester Stallone brings the heat (and the cold, funnily enough!) in this action-packed double feature: 'Eye See You' and 'Reach Me.'

DVD: First up is 'Eye See You' (2002), where action superstar Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Rambo), stars as lead detective, Jake Malloy, being stalked by a serial killer, who is asked to check into a clinic treating law enforcement officials who can't face their jobs.

This action packed thriller from director Jim Gillespie features and all-star supporting cast that includes Tom Berenger, Charles Dutton, Sean Patrick Flanery, Robert Patrick, Courtney B. Vance, Jeffrey Wright, Dina Meyer, Stephen Lang and Kris Kristofferson.

In a movie that was always called 'De-Tox' until it was shelved by Universal for 4 years and then thrown straight out onto DVD, what we get is a plain and simple whodunnit that also contains a fair few shock and awe moments too.

A serial killer who was stopped from murdering prostitutes by a determined Federal Agent Jack Molloy (Stallone), take up killing policemen instead, just to get under Agent Molloy's skin.

The killer goes as far as murdering his live-in girlfriend Mary, Dina Meyer, as Jack is forced to listen in on the phone helplessly and being unable to save her drives him to have a nervous breakdown.

Becoming an alcoholic and suicidal Molloy finally agrees to be sent to a De-tox center in the wilds of Wyoming at an old underground command post converted into a hospital for burned-out and severely depressed law enforcement officers.

Molloy feeling that he'll get help for his mental illness as well as much needed rest at the center soon realizes that the killer who made his life hell and put him there in the first place is there himself impersonating a burnt out police officer!

The movie keep the audience guessing to who the killer is as he knocks off the policemen at the center as well as the attendants that work there one by one.

It's true that 'Eye See You' is a little unconvincing in certain aspects of how things play out, especially like when the killer is finally revealed towards the end of the film you almost forgot what the movie was all about in the first place to really care!

In closing, tensions run high in the center as the temperature drops below zero and Malloy and the other 9 patients struggle to adapt to life without alcohol (before they get bumped off, of course), which means this is a pretty decent wet Sunday afternoon movie.

The other movie is 'Reach Me' (2014), a mysterious author's (Tom Berenger) self-help book inspires a journalist (Kevin Connolly), his editor (Sylvester Stallone), a former convict (Kyra Sedgwick), a mobster (Kelsey Grammer) and others to re-evaluate their choices and work toward creating better lives.

This thrilling drama from writer / director John Herzfeld (Escape Plan: The Extractors) features an amazing supporting cast that includes Danny Aiello, Terry Crews, Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore and Danny Trejo.

When a cast of stars come together, interest is, inevitably, garnered. Most people do a double take at the poster anticipating the possibilities that a powerful ensemble can bring, much like the excitement basketball fans feel when all-stars join together in the off-season to create a "super team."

However, this excitement is not without trepidation: many times have ensemble films, and for that matter "super teams," failed to reach the level of success anticipated at their conception.

There are times when everything goes right - when the cast on screen makes everything better and is not fighting over the proverbial ball.

The fundraised 'Reach Me' is a film that gets it right. Films like Crash and Two Days in the Valley (the later of which was written and directed by John Herzfeld) are good representations of the quality of 'Reach Me,' and thus any film lover should be able to appreciate what this film will bring to them.

Namely, inspiration, understanding, and a look behind the curtain at real people, who struggle and persevere like anybody else.

The story of how a self help book written by a mysterious author, which, through its strong message brings an unlikely cast of characters together, their stories interweaving and building a wonderfully moving narrative is a good one though, of that have no doubt.

These people are all rich characters who learn to and desire to better themselves. The effect wad not only felt by the characters but also by me, as I ended this viewing and got up from my sofa actually feeling rather nourished.

Furthermore, I found that I couldn't stop smiling after seeing this movie, and I really felt like I had gained something after having watched it, which I hope you all do too. This is a Widescreen Presentation ('Eye See You,' 2.35:1 - 'Reach Me,' 1.85:1), both enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MVDvisual.com





'Shade: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Sylvester Stallone, Melanie Griffith, Jamie Foxx, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2013) 2019 / MVD Marque Collection)

Overview: The hand is quicker than the eye in L.A.'s underground gambling scene, hustlers get hustled and fortunes ride on every deal.

Three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic - The Dean (Sylvester Stallone). But a seat at the Dean's table doesn't come cheap.

Blu-ray: In truth, 'Shade' is not and original concept for a movie, by any means, but it's sharp and has good dialogue and features some rather interesting characters.

Secondly the cast is excellent. When you think straight to video you think of Eric Roberts, Gary Busey, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, headlining and perhaps one or two other recognizable faces.

But this one has a great cast, with Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Thandie Newton, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith and of course Sly Stallone.

The card scamming "team" is introduced with some comic book-like announcement schtick, where just as the villain enters the scene, their title flashes across the screen under their face (e.g.: Tiffany as "The Turn").

It was nice though to see Hal Halbrook as "The Professor" still doing films back then as he does a good job of lending an old world charm and decency to the film.

Townsend is excellent as "The Mechanic," basically the guy who can manipulate a deck of cards to his advantage, he is the key to the group of grifters consisting of him, Newton, and Byrne.

They have a big score in mind, to take down master cards-man and king of all mechanics, the Dean played by Stallone. Now Byrne and Newton are both excellent, but this is a great role for Stallone.

Also the intro is really cool. An old scene of people playing cards with the young Stevens, who get's busted by palming a card while some mugger tells him to put his hands in the air.

A gun fight begins and then the demonstration of bottom dealing, push-through shuffling, revelations reveals itself (with a very nice Shade sound at the back ground, if yer know what's I mean!).

And yes, Sly gives a great performance in this and it's a role that requires an inner depth and a subtlety and Stallone delivers.

That said, there is a ridiculous reunion/old flame air with Stallone and Meg Ryan, although it is intended to add weight to the Dean's character to balance that of Townsend's.

I guess you could really say the movie about these two. Everything else is just decoration in the movie's attempt to try and involve more conflict and character developments. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2:35.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio Commentary with writer/director Damian Nieman and actor Stuart Townsend
The Making Of Shade featurette (SD, 8 min)
Tricks Of The Trade featurette (SD, 14 min)
Interviews with Cast and Crew including writer / director Damien Nieman and stars Sylvester Stallone, Stewart Townsend, Thandie Newton, Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith (SD, 18 min)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
Subtitles: English and French
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 & Spanish Dolby Surround Stereo

www.MVDvisual.com





'A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints: Special Ed.'
(Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Channing Tatum, Dianne Wiest, Chazz Palminteri, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2006) 2019 / MVD Visual)

Overview: A coming-of-age drama about writer/director Dito Montiel's (Fighting) youth, the film captures the mid-1980's in the toughest neighborhood of Astoria, Queens.

Dito (Academy Award Nominee* Robert Downey Jr., Avengers: Endgame) called home after 15 years because his father (Academy Award Nominee** Chazz Palminteri, Bullets Over Broadway) is ill, encounters old friends - the ones he lost, the ones he left behind, the ones he can't help but remember.

These are Dito's saints. An honest account of a bittersweet return to a neighborhood where relationships can never be what they once were, Dito's story is about to come to terms with a father's rage and a father's love.

Blu-ray: In The Who song, "My Generation", lead singer, Rodger Daltrey stammers in frustration as he struggles to describe his own youth. He stutters until he eventually blurts out the message he hopes to convey.

In one of the early scenes in Dito Monteil's film, 'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,' we are introduced to the adult Dito, sitting in the shadows on a stool wearing combat boots while he prepares to give a reading from his book by the same name.

He is uncomfortable, he is anxious, and he is hesitant because what he is about to read isn't merely ramblings from a fiction novel. What he is about to read is an excerpt, a real life essay torn from the pages of his own life.

After a series of what feels to the audience like false starts, his words begin to formulate, staggered at first, not unlike Daltrey, until they finally come, thoughtful, yet jagged.

Montiel abruptly begins, "I want to remember these people and what they meant to me ..." which makes 'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints a brilliant montage of memories that might resemble broken glass if it could assume a tangible shape.

It's not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who live in fear of one day confronting what we've tried to safely tuck away in the recesses of our repressed memories.

It's a story about youth, and hurt, and anger, and jealousy and a longing for freedom. It's about love and it's about tribal warriors. It's about territory and family codes and it's about unwavering, undying friendship.

These young teenagers and the people of Queens in the 1980's inhabited a world that embodied the graffiti message, "Your live here. You die here." Their lives revolved around family and interpersonal relationships and rotated the inside pocket of their neighborhood.

There's is a life where everyone knows your name and you are bound to a sense of duty to the place that has spawned you. But, sometimes the things that give us our identity and provide us with security can become stifling, and threatening and tough and frightening.

And sometimes the pain of watching a friend die, or losing someone to an accident, or having to live with the knowledge that your best buddy is going to prison for manslaughter can be too much for a young person to bear.

There's a scene in the 1982 movie, 'Rumble Fish,' where Motorcycle Boy explains that two fighting fish cannot co-exist in the same bowl because when living things are in too close in proximity, they will kill one another.

Shia LaBoeuf, as young Monteil doesn't wish to become a victim of his surroundings, that could end up suffocating and choking him. He wants to go to Coney Island and he needs to experience Manhattan, and the beaches of sunny California.

LaBoeuf as Dito, holds the audience captive to every emotion he experiences as he moves in slow motion through the film like a detached observer to mayhem.

That is, until he is finally constricted by the beat of the street and can no longer avoid his desires, or pretend things are right. The love Monty and Florrie have for their son, Dito, is never in question, but must parental love exist only under the condition that a child does what is expected of him?

Should he stay behind and forfeit life experiences and liberation in order to uphold family traditions? Even when he's dying inside?,p> There's a point in the film when Dito's childhood girlfriend Laurie tells him he left a trail of blood behind when he deserted his parents, but one might argue that the trail of blood left behind in Queens is what perhaps paved the way for Dito's final retribution.

When Monty becomes ill, Dito (Downey) returns as the prodigal son to the nest he left behind. In Downey's supreme understated performance we are immediately treated to a Zen-like calm. But we quickly determine who this young man has become.

The world he turned his back on is reflected in every single laugh line, and in the essence of his beautiful but tormented face, because those lines serve are a reminder of who he is.

Dito's frail sense of security unravels shortly after he arrives home because he knows he will have to face all that he put behind him. When he reunites with Laurie, their conversation quickly evolves from sharing mutual memories to accusatory and angry words.,p> Laurie, like Monty, cannot comprehend a world that doesn't include family and clusters and ties. Soon enough and surely enough, he and Monty are again embroiled in a confrontation, re-opening the wounds from their past.

The climatic moment between father and son is realized when Dito learns that Monty truly did love him. He knows it because his father tells him so.

Dito sensed it all along, but because of the fragmented events of his teen aged years, the daily battles, sometimes won and sometimes lost, he and his father lost sight of what their true feelings were for one another. Love had became a word employed to inflict hurt, rather than a source of comfort and sanctuary. As it turns out, love was not lost on Antonio either.

Spending a life sentence at Riker's, we see the familiarity, the warmth and the connection between two friends exhibited with ease when the adult Antonio takes his place across the table from Dito.

Not many words are spoken between these men, but like with any bond that is thicker than blood, words aren't always the most effective method of communication. In this case, their eyes say it all and Dito understands.

As writer and first time director, Dito Monteil convincingly brings us to the heart of the New York groove here within the most extraordinary 'A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.' This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Audio Commentary by Director Dito Montiel and Editor Jake Pushinsky
Shooting Saints: The Making of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints featurette (SD, 20:10)
11 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Director Dito Montiel (SD, 19:19)
1 Alternative Opening & 4 Alternative Endings with optional commentary by Director Dito Montiel (SD, 13:30)
Sundance Labs: Rooftop Scene with optional commentary by Director Dito Montiel (SD, 6:02)
Young Laurie audition played by Diane Carcando (SD, 1:52)
Full Monty (Montiel's father) interview (SD, 1:31)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)

www.MVDvisual.com





'I'll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours ...'
(Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gene Odom, Leslie Hawkins, Lynda Haun, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / MVD Visual)

Overview: At the height of its fame in 1977, the popular southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, was struck with tragedy - a plane crash that killed the band's founder and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant along with Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.

'I'll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd' chronicles the story of three survivors: security guard Gene Odom, lead backup singer Leslie Hawkins and guitar tech Craig Reed.

These survivors give their firsthand accounts of the wild times of the band, the 72 hours leading to the crash, the harrowing crash itself and its aftermath.

DVD: As is told through the eyes of the survivors, Ronnie Van Zant’s bandmates were anxious as they prepared to board their leased plane at Greenville, South Carolina’s Downtown Airport on the afternoon of October 20th, 1977.

And they had good reason to be: Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s rickety Convair 240, pushing 30 years old, was obviously past its prime. “We were flying in a plane that looked like it belonged to the Clampett family,” drummer Artimus Pyle says.

The 10-foot flames seen shooting out of the right engine two days earlier had done little to inspire anyone’s confidence. The scary incident convinced the group that they needed to upgrade their vehicle to something befitting their status as one of the biggest acts in music.

Their latest album, Street Survivors, had gone gold upon its release three days earlier, and the first five dates of the accompanying tour had been met with rapturous crowds throughout their native Southland.

The ambitious trek, their largest to date, would see the band achieve its dream of playing New York’s Madison Square Garden. Surely they needed something better than a bucket of bolts to shuttle them there?

After making the 600-mile trip from Greenville to Baton Rouge, where they were due to play the following night at Louisiana State University, Lynyrd Skynyrd planned to acquire a Learjet, the air chariot of choice for the Seventies rock elite.

Still, one final hop on the Convair felt like one too many for most in their entourage. “Our wives, everyone were afraid for us to get on this thing, but we didn’t know any better,” keyboardist Billy Powell recalls.

Cassie Gaines, a member of the backing vocal trio known as the Honkettes and sister of guitarist Steve Gaines, was so petrified that she nearly squeezed in the band’s cramped equipment truck until she was reluctantly persuaded to board the aircraft.

Guitarist Allen Collins was equally apprehensive. “He didn’t want to get on that plane,” Gary Rossington told the Orlando Sentinel in 1988. “He said, ‘I’m not gonna get on it because it’s not right.'” But the band’s front man remained almost eerily calm. “Ronnie said, ‘Hey, if the Lord wants you to die on this plane, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Let’s go, man. We’ve got a gig to do,'” remembers Rossington.

Forty years later, his words resonate like a dare to the gods. Less than three hours later the twin-engine would plummet from the sky and into the darkened swamps of Gillsburg, Mississippi, claiming the lives of Van Zant, Steve and Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray Jr.

The 20 survivors endured shattered bones, torn flesh, lengthy hospitalizations and grueling rehabilitations. While their bodies recovered, they’d never again be reunited with the voice that made songs like 'Free Bird' and 'Sweet Home Alabama' perennial anthems of Southern rock.

This hour-long documentary features original behind-the-scenes film footage of life with the band before the crash, dramatic reenactments illustrating key dramatic scenes, and high-end CG animations - including a simulation of the plane crash that matches the NTSB report.

It also features rare interviews with four first responders were also captured, filmed on location at the crash site in Gillsburg, Mississippi.

Based on Gene's book, I'll Never Forget You, this documentary offers the fond remembrance of one man's journey with this legendary band, but more importantly, the loss of his dearest friend.

Gene's unique perspective and down-to-earth sensibility grants unique access to the behind-the-scenes story, the celebration and the tragedy.

The film weaves the three survivors' stories together to paint a picture of what might have been and the web of tragic decisions leading to the plane crash that forever altered their lives - and Lynyrd Skynyrd's place in history. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

40th Anniversary Event in Jacksonville, FL
Tennessee Iron Cold Dark Mississippi Night Music Video
Gene's Fishing Advice

www.MVDvisual.com





'Eegah: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Arch Hall Jr., Marilyn Manning, Richard Kiel, et al / DVD / NR / (1962) 2019 / The Film Detective)

Overview: Seven-foot-tall Eegah the prehistoric caveman (Richard Kiel) is out on the prowl in his desert domain when Roxy (Marilyn Manning) runs him down with her sporty little roadster.

The brute survives, but he s soon holding both Roxy and her father captive in his lair.

It's up to Roxys boyfriend Tom (Arch Hall Jr.), a gas station attendant who moonlights as a rock 'n' roller, to subdue the rampaging man-beast.

What Tom doesn't bargain for is Eegahs extreme interest in stealing his girl!

DVD: That's right, boys and girls, the "name written in blood," 'Eegah', returns to the spotlight for a special-edition release from The Film Detective (TFD); a leading classic media streaming network and film archive that restores classic films for today's cord-cutters.

Releasing November 26th, 2019, TFD will bring us a simply must-have collector's set for any cult fan that includes a 4K restoration of 'Eegah' (1962); the 1993 Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) version of the film; and exclusive interviews with star Arch Hall Jr., who portrayed the local teenage hero, and MST3K creator Joel Hodgson.

As for the movie itself, and aside from the whole MST3K angle, it's basically the aforementioned plot of Richard Kiel as a giant, prehistoric man (dubbed Eagah) discovered living in the rocky wilderness outside LA.

Following a chance sighting by Marilyn Manning on the road, her father (Hall Snr) ventures into the desert in search of the giant Neanderthal, but when he fails to return, Manning and her crooner boyfriend (Hall Jnr) jump in the dune buggy and camp out at his last known location.

Manning is eventually abducted by Eagah, held captive in his cave dwelling while Hall Jnr scours the rocky terrain in search of the missing link.

Hall Jnr seems to be promoting his singing/strumming career more so than acting, while Manning has some provocative scenes in bathing suits and torn blouses which might raise some temperatures.

Kiel is suitably confused as the lonely giant, the last surviving link to a lineage of now mummified corpses that he keeps to inhabit his cave home for company.

There's an awful lot of nothing happening for the most part, and when it does begin, it's corny stuff - teaching caveman how to shave, showing off trinkets, making music, etc.

It's quite obvious that Kiel's character is overly infatuated with Manning, being that it's his first encounter with a woman, so much so that he leaves the safety of his remote wilderness sanctuary to search for her in the unforgiving burbs of LA.

As mentioned, it's cheap, cheesy drive-in fodder with a trio of tunes from Hall Jnr to punctuate Kiel's unintelligible grunts, and what one assumes to be the-then audience's frequent groans!

Right from the opening scene of a flower being panned up and away from, the MST3K trio are off and running (in this case, announcing Goldie Hawn in Cactus Flower!).

Once the "leaking" title comes up its suggested that they are in for a game of Scattergories (a creative-thinking category-based party game originally published by Parker Brothers in 1988, for those of you playing along at home), and then with the reveal of the, well, whatever it is in the mud, by the late TV host and creator, Joel Hodgson, provokes him to add that this was Art Clokey's first study of Gumby (re: the popularization of stop motion clay animation).

Ok, I know, I could go on like this all day revealing every single outburst and fun barb, so I won't - but what I will say is that watching this version back now, some 26 years later, the show still resonates as warm, cozy and totally delightful to sit and follow along with.

As we get our first look at Kiel's character, "Jim Morrison, the Paris years" is how Hodgson describes him whilst as he is about to smash Manning over the head (and possibly the nice sports car she's in too), she screams and Tom Servo shouts out "I'm still making payments" and adds that she screamed due to a polka song being played on the radio"!

In the fun desert car ride scene, Manning is moaning and shrieking with delight (about, well, everything), and so Tom Servo (or Crow T. Robot) suggests that she must be in pain and to "put a wallet under her tongue"! (never heard that expression before!)

Anyway, so I don't continue to give away the fun bits here, suffice to say that come the end, once Kiel has tried to take Manning away from a very swanky suited do, he returns to a pool party followed by the police (or, as Robot calls them, the Hat Squad) to reclaim her (and does so, even though Crow suggests to "push him in the pool, he's probably got tubes in his ears!"

Come the final moments, watch out for the fabulously sardonic, but spot on "Whoops-a-Daisy" moment as when you hear it and see why it was put out there, well, it will make the entire cinematic event beyond worthwhile (and will have you chuckling for days too!).

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Version, 1993
An Interview with Mystery Science Theater 3K Creator Joel Hodgson
An Interview with Star Arch Hall Jr.
4K Resolution
Only 1,500 Blu-rays Made!

Original 'Eegah' Movie Trailer

www.TheFilmDetective.com





'The Thing: Special Edition'
(Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Kristofer Hivju, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2011) 2019 / Mill Creek Home Entertainment)

Overview: From the producers of 'Dawn of the Dead' comes the chilling prelude to John Carpenter's cult classic film.

When paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery.

Their elation quickly turns to fear as they realize that their experiment has freed a mysterious being from its frozen prison.

Paranoia spreads like an epidemic as a creature that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish in this spine-tingling thriller.

Blu-ray Verdict: There is something fundamentally disturbing about a predator alien that can copy exactly anything it devours.

John Carpenter's 1982 version of 'The Thing' was all at once scary, disturbing, and psychological. The hysteria of cabin fever mixed with the slimy, grotesque mechanics of the alien created one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

This prequel, however, takes everything that was great from its predecessor and throws it out the window!

Carpenter's film hinted at a Norwegian outpost in Antarctica that had first discovered the alien. This film gives a disappointing and predictable account of what may have happened there.

The first of many flaws in the script comes when Americans travel several thousand miles to help dig up the alien space ship. Now we know they aren't cut off from the rest of the world, so what's the big deal?

Much of the suspense seems to take place in broad daylight, which makes being scared more of a hassle than something the audience would enjoy.

And as the film goes on, it becomes clear that Carpenter's building of suspense among the characters is now gone in favor of a stupid slasher plot.

The acting is dull and uninteresting — far from the bad ass, bearded Kurt Russell. Instead we get Mary Winstead, who seemingly only got the part because she acts like Jodie Foster.

Heijningen's direction is so boring and dry that it becomes nearly impossible to focus on the screen. So, with a poor script, bad acting, and worse direction, what is to be liked about this film? But, of course, it's not! The original version was helped tremendously by the fact that the Thing was actually there for the actors to look at.

It made the alien feel more real—seeing the slime and blood covered monster as it sucked up its victim. But in the prequel all we get is a computer animated blob of grossness that is too far mobile to be frightening.

Furthermore, the visual effects are now a computer equation. Gone are the need for complex puppets and molds (though unless I'm mistaken there are a few seen here).

Horrific transformations as the creature fuses with victims are now a render away. All the visuals are serviceable and some as convincing as one would want to see, but to me the closest door to reality involves application of actual objects.

Sure the razor-toothed mouth moves more realistically, but the teeth are more telling than dentures!

Not to mention, the most boring parts of the film are when the Thing is attacking.

Ergo, 'The Thing' prequel suffers from one fundamental flaw — it seeks to answer questions from the original that were far better being left to the viewers' imagination.

As a result, the movie shows us too much, and one can only leave the theater disappointed, and imagining far scarier ways this prequel could have happened.

In closing, and playing journalistic Devil's Advocate, John Carpenter's work was great, but it simply didn't have the magnitude of horror that the original movie had and comparing this prequel with Carpenters version just does the viewer an injustice.

Simply put, everything came together quite well in the ending five minutes here which quickly defined this as a prequel. So, yeah, it's not all that bad, but as a devoted fan of the original, well, it's something that didn't need to be created in the first place (let alone called the exact same thing!) This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Feature Commentary with Director Matthijs van Heijningen and Producer Eric Newman
The Thing Evolves
Fire & Ice
Deleted / Extended Scenes
Trailer

Official Blu-ray Purchase Link

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Hitchhike To Hell: Special Edition'
(Robert Gribbin, Russell Johnson, John Harmon, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1977) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: Be careful who you hitch a ride with!

All roads lead to terror in 'Hitchhike to Hell,' the delightfully sleazy cautionary tale from cult director Irvin Berwick (Malibu High, The Monster of Piedras Blancas).

Blu-ray Verdict: Robert Gribbin stars as Howard, a bespectacled dry cleaning delivery man and mama's boy whose interests include making scale models, picking up hitch-hikers, rape, and murder.

Howard, you see, has issues: six years ago, his sister ran away from home, leaving his poor mother absolutely distraught.

Now, whenever Howard sees a young lady by the roadside looking for a ride, he picks her up; if, during conversation, he discovers that the girl is running away from home, his rage takes over, and he proceeds to sexually assault and then kill his unfortunate passenger!

Following the discovery of one of Howard's victims, Captain J.W. Shaw of the Crescent City Police Department (Russell Johnson) launches an investigation fearing that a serial killer is on the loose.

With Gribbin putting in a wonderfully overstated performance, leering like a demented loon through his mega-thick spectacle lenses, a steady supply of (mostly) pretty nubile teenagers all willing to get their breasts out to play the helpless victims of his frenzied attacks, this film, distributed by legendary exploitation producer Harry Novak, is a real treat for fans of down 'n' dirty drive-in fodder.

Howard's nasty attacks are naturally the dubious highlights of the film, with our psycho opting to choke or strangle his victims (having first ripped open their tops, of course), before callously dumping their bodies in the dirt.

However, there is also much fun to be had from our psycho's strange relationship with his overprotective mother, who constantly worries that her boy is not eating enough, gives his boss an earful whenever he gets told off at work; and even hops into bed with her son for a cuddle when he has nightmares!

On the other hand, the movie's final death is not quite so funny: Howard loses his temper with an 11-year old runaway in a scene that one cannot quite believe is happening.

I kept expecting director Irvin Berwick to wimp out, and allow her to escape, but, to his credit, the little girl gets it. Of course, the actual killing isn't shown, but we do get to see Captain Shaw taking a look at the girl's body in a dumpster whilst her mother screams hysterically in the background!

This punch-to-the-gut scene is truly disturbing, and more than makes up for the film's lackluster finale - in which Howard is finally arrested and committed to a looney bin! These are Widescreen Presentations (1.33:1 + 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
1.33 and 1.78 versions of the feature
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Newly-filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower
Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell - brand new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the dark side of hitch-hiking in the real world and on the screen
Original theatrical trailer
Original press book (BD-ROM Content)
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 Heather Drain

'Hitchhike To Hell' Original Movie Trailer

www.MVDshop.com





'Rolling Stones - Bridges to Buenos Aires'
(The Rolling Stones / DVD + 2CD/ NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: Bridges to Buenos Aires captures the complete Rolling Stones show from April 5th, 1998, the last date of the band’s five-night sell-out residency at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina’s capital city.

DVD Verdict: Released on November 8th, 2019, this previously unreleased concert film from their Bridges to Babylon Tour has been completely restored, remixed and remastered and looks and sounds incredible, trust me.

From the explosive opening salvo of '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction,' 'Let's Spend The Night Together,' and then-new song from Bridges To Babylon 'Flip The Switch,' it’s evident that both the band and the crowd mean business.

The latter are packed in like sardines at the River Plate Stadium, all of them moving as one, welcoming back the Stones with the warmth of long-lost brothers.

Bridges to Buenos Aires came just months after the Stones announced the release of Bridges to Bremen, which captured a stop in the German city on the same tour behind Bridges to Babylon.

Like its Bremen counterpart, the Buenos Aires concert film has been lovingly restored from original footage, and the audio remixed and remastered from live multi-track recordings.

The band start off fully clothed and after a quarter of the show have removed top layers, and come the midway point are in tshirts and shirts as they work their internal heat levels to capacity!

'Its Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)' seems to spark a fan frenzy within the crowd as constant shots of them, girls high atop the shoulders of their male companions, showcase endless, beaming smiles and emotive, wide open sparkling eyes.

Backing that up with the wondrous trio of the new-at-the-time 'Saint Of Me,' 'Out Of Control,' and the brilliant 'Miss You,' next comes the obvious stand out highlight. For just before that midway point, Bob Dylan, who had played an opening set, later returns to the stage to perform ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ with the band.

Watching this two-hour concert – which, as aforementioned, was the last of a five-night, sold-out run at Buenos Aires’ River Plate Stadium – sure we get all the hits, played and performed at the most highest of the Stones' passion, but it's like watching a work of art unfold before your very eyes.

Come the final third of the show and, well, all the stored hits come a'tumblin' out, such as a blistering 'You Got Me Rocking,' an emotionally charged 'Sympathy For The Devil,' a quite stunning 'Tumbling Dice,' and a buoyant 'Honky Tonk Women.'

This emphatically stupendous live show then rounds out with one of my all-time Stones favorites, their latter day hit 'Start Me Up,' and then a trio of crowd sing-along pleasers in the form of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash,' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' and a show stopping 'Brown Sugar.'

The Rolling Stones have always preferred to cross bridges rather than to burn them. By the time they said buenas noches to Buenos Aires that night in '98, they had left Latin America a love letter to be treasured.

This latest release from Eagle Rock Entertainment’s acclaimed Rolling Stones archive series will be available on DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, digital video, limited edition blue translucent 180gm triple vinyl, and digital audio.

DVD:
1. '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' 2. 'Let's Spend The Night Together' 3. 'Flip The Switch' 4. 'Gimme Shelter' 5. 'Sister Morphine' 6. 'Its Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)' 7. 'Saint Of Me' 8. 'Out Of Control' 9. 'Miss You' 10. 'Like A Rolling Stone' (featuring Bob Dylan) 11. 'Thief In The Night' 12. 'Wanna Hold You' 13. 'Little Queenie' 14. 'When The Whip Comes Down' 15. 'You Got Me Rocking' 16. 'Sympathy For The Devil' 17. 'Tumbling Dice' 18. 'Honky Tonk Women' 19. 'Start Me Up' 20. 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' 21. 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' 22. 'Brown Sugar'

CD 1 - 1. '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' 2. 'Let's Spend The Night Together' 3. 'Flip The Switch' 4. 'Gimme Shelter' 5. 'Sister Morphine' 6. 'Its Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)' 7. 'Saint Of Me' 8. 'Out Of Control' 9. 'Miss You' 10. 'Like A Rolling Stone' (featuring Bob Dylan) 11. 'Thief In The Night'

CD 2 - '1. Wanna Hold You' 2. 'Little Queenie' 3. 'When The Whip Comes Down' 4. 'You Got Me Rocking' 5. 'Sympathy For The Devil' 6. 'Tumbling Dice' 7. 'Honky Tonk Women' 8. 'Start Me Up' 9. 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' 10. 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' 11. 'Brown Sugar'

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.Eagle-Rock.com

www.rollingstones.com





'Blinded By The Light' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, et al / Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: The film tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British teen of Pakistani descent growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987.

Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father (Kulvinder Ghir).

But when a classmate (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in the powerful lyrics.

As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice.

Blu-ray Verdict: Based on the semi autobiographical by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, 'Blinded by the Light' is about Javed (Viveik Kalra), a teenager who has started college in 1987 in the town of Luton which is facing industrial decline and the rise in racism.

Javed grew up in a traditional Pakistani family, his dad works in a car factory and is soon to be made redundant. His dad would like Javed to have a professional job where he can earn good money, but Javed wants to write instead - but he thinks no one would be interested.

When a college friend introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed finds the Boss's music talks to him directly and it enables Javed to find his own voice.

My parents used to talk about living in Luton. They must have hated it as they only stayed there for a few months and soon returned up north! Life in Luton during Mrs. Thatcher's 1980s was not too different from many other towns in the UK, to be honest.

No jobs, no money and fascists wanting to blame immigrants. It is notable that this film is set in 1987, but the yuppies have yet to get to places like Luton. They only seemed to have existed in London at that time.

'Blinded By The Light' is a feel good movie with undercurrents of the political and economics circumstances of the 1980s. It is a fertile ground to incorporate Bruce Springsteen songs, particularly from albums such as The River and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

These albums had songs which resonated with blue collar workers in the USA that were facing job insecurity and young people heading towards a life of uncertainty.

The film also shows that Springsteen's songs cuts across class, nationality, race and religion. It is this which elevates the movie. Javed, a young lad of Pakistani origin and his friend Roops, a sikh are inspired by the Boss's music and find meaning in their lives.having differences when it comes to growing up.

Regardless, the film contains twelve Springsteen songs including an unreleased song that he originally wrote for the first Harry Potter film, but that went unused!

Given that The Boss can be notorious in allowing clearance for his music to be used in movies, in effect this film had his blessing and I was surprised he did not end up with a Producer credit.

In closing, Viveik Kalra plays the title role with spot-on sincerity and wide-eyed stardom. He is believable, and likable, and kindles the passion that burns within all Springsteen fans regardless of age, gender, and nationality.

The film is successful in showing that Bruce's music adheres to no borders yet gets all Disney friendly with relationship resolution.

Ergo, as you can now tell, 'Blinded By The Light' preaches the Gospel According to Bruce in a typical Hollywood fashion. The believers may nod with righteous hallelujahs while praying the uninitiated turn from their heathen ways.

The Holy Land might be in Freehold, but truly exists in speakers and ear buds belonging to us all, trust me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

- Behind the Scenes: The true story behind the film
- Making-of Featurette
- Deleted Scenes

Own 'Blinded By The Light' on Blu-ray and DVD on November 19th, 2019 and Digital on October 22nd, 2019.

www.WarnerBros.com

Official 'Blinded By The Light' Trailer





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