AnneCarlini.com Home
 
  Giveaways!
  Insider Gossip
  Monthly Hot Picks
  Book Reviews
  CD Reviews
  Concert Reviews
  DVD Reviews
  Game Reviews
  Movie Reviews
  Check Out Anne Carlini Productions Now!!
  NEW! Chez Kane
  Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
  Michigan Siding Company for ALL Your Outdoor Needs
  '80s - Thomas Dolby (2007)
  '80s - Deborah Gibson (2007)
  '80s - Scorpions (2007)
  '80s - The Bangles (2007)
  '80s - Nils Lofgren (2009)
  '80s - Tears For Fears (2008)
  '80s - Nik Kershaw (2006)
  '80s - Cutting Crew (2009)
  '80s - ABC (2008)
  '80s - Wang Chung (2009)
  '80s - Fŕshiön [Music]
  '80s - Air Supply (2009)
  '80s - Lita Ford (2009)
  '80s - Jonathan Butler (2013)
  '80s - Nik Kershaw (2010)
  '80s - Paul Young (2010)
  '80s - Hazell Dean (2010)
  '80s - Toyah (2010)
  '80s - OMD (2010)
  '80s - Will Powers (2010)
  '80s - Scorpions (2010)
  '80s - Chas & Dave (2010)
  '80s - Sinitta (2010)
  '80s - Musical Youth (2010)
  '80s - The Barron Knights (2010)
  '80s - Level 42 (2010)
  '80s - Brother Beyond (2010)
  '80s - Junior Giscombe (2010)
  '80s - Imagination (2010)
  '80s - Owen Paul McGee (2010)
  '80s - Alannah Myles (2010)
  '80s - Paul Hardcastle (2010)
  '80s - The Original Buck Fizz (2010)
  '80s - Steve Blacknell ('80's VJ /MTV Host)
  '80s - The English Beat (2010)
  '80s - Boy Meets Girl (2010)
  '80s - Jon Lord (Whitesnake) (2012)
  '80s - Modern Romance (2010)
  '80s - Doctor & The Medics (2010)
  '80s - Ex-Simple Minds (2010)
  '80s - Mai Tai (2010)
  '80s - Dexys / Kevin Rowland (2014)
  '80s - Terence Trent D'Arby (2009)
  '80s - Yazz (2010)
  '80s - Jona Lewie (2010)
  '80s - Hugh Cornwell & Clem Burke
  '80s - Blondie (2010)
  '80s - The Belle Stars (2010)
  '80s - DEVO (2013)
  '80s - Big Country (2011)
  '80s - T'Pau (2010)
  '80s - Mr. Mister (2010)
  '80s - Kajagoogoo (2011)
  '80s - Jon Anderson (2011)
  '80s - Katrina & The Waves (2011)
  '80s - Status Quo (Andy Bown, 2011)
  '80s - Status Quo (John 'Rhino' Edwards, 2011)
  '80s - Nazareth (2011)
  '80s - Men Without Hats (2011)
  '80s - John Foxx (2011)
  '80s - ZZ Top (2013)
  '80s - Information Society (2014)
  '80s - Nine Below Zero (2015)
  '80s - Rusty Egan (2015)
  '80s - Tygers of Pan Tang (2015)
  '80s - Holly Johnson (2015)
  '80s - 10,000 Maniacs (2015)
  '80s - Right Said Fred (2015)
  '80s - The Selecter (2015)
  '80s - ZZ Top (2015)
  '90s - Julia Fordham (2002)
  '90s - Department S (2013)
  '90s - Ozzy Osbourne / Black Sabbath (2012)
  '90s - Steve Lukather / Toto (2011)
  '90s - Steel Pulse (2013)
  '90s - Europe (2010)
  '90s - Judas Priest (2010)
  '90s - Marillion (2013)
  '90s - Richard Marx (2011)
  '90s - Hall & Oates (2011)
  '90s - Urge Overkill (2011)
  '90s - Doro Pesch (2011)
  '90s - Queensryche (2011)
  '90s - Hugh Cornwell /The Stranglers (2013)
  '90s - Tracy Bonham (2014)
  '90s - Marcella Detroit (2015)
  '90s - Thunder (2015)


©2021 annecarlini.com
Ghost Canyon

Feed The Gods: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Shawn Roberts, Emily Tennant, Tyler Johnston, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2014) 2021 / Bleiberg Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Two brothers return to a small mountain town in search of their long lost parents only to discover that the place has a monstrous taste for tourists.

Blu-ray Verdict: After the death of their foster-mother two brothers go back to the town where they were born only to find the place holds a deadly secret.

Thankfully, Feed The Gods is not a found footage, hand-held camera movie and indeed is favorably comparable to The Wicker Man, borrowing elements in terms of story.

It is lovingly laced with horror and off beat humor, sure, but writer/director Braden Croft has a lot on his hands and it never quite merges the two tone elements.

Like, for example Cabin in the Woods. Nor is it wacky enough to to be as entertaining as, say, Tucker and Dale Versus Evil.

Indeed, Crofts writing works best when the middle of nowhere towns conspiracy aspects and vigils (reminiscent of Hot Fuzz) are centerstage rather than the shoehorned one liners.

There are some unnecessary moments of POV camera stuff plonked in, but aside from that Shawn Roberts, as the memorable Will, the loser geeky older brother and Erica Carroll both give solid performances.

Crofts direction is great and with the film majority traditionally shot and not another shaky cam film, he creates true atmosphere; especially during the opening and introduction scene to the rural townsfolk, but it never fully reaches its full potential (even with the well designed beast showing up in the latter half).

Halfway through I honestly thought that the film could possibly have worked better as a welcomed and all out serious horror or, on the other hand, a full on comedy?

So, in closing, the main plot reveal is predictable from the outset, given away by the films own title but thanks to the Bigfoot effects and likable lead it is most certainly worth checking out rather than writing it off, of that you have my word. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Surround, 2.0 Stereo Sound (LPCM)
Optional English Subtitles
Feed The Gods Behind the Scenes Featurette (HD) Reversible Artwork
Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition

www.bleibergent.com

www.MVDshop.com





Boogie [Blu-ray+Digital]
(Taylor Takahashi, Taylour Paige, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / 2021 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: From acclaimed writer, producer and restaurateur Eddie Huang comes his directorial debut, Boogie, the coming-of-age story of Alfred Boogie Chin, a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York, who dreams of one day playing in the NBA.

While his parents pressure him to focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.

Blu-ray Verdict: Simply put, Boogie is a dramatic movie in which we watch a teenager living in Queens, New York who is dreaming of becoming a world famous NBA player someday.

However, his parents have put a lot of pressure on him in order to earn a scholarship, because they cannot support him financially.

Although it is nothing new from the genre that we have seen time and time again, I actually liked this movie, because, and despite its simplistic plot, it was interesting enough to be considered something not to break away from (by all of us watching it last night).

I mean, sure, if you have high expectations about what you are expecting from it before going in, you might well want to skip it, because I am sure you will be disappointed by it.

Eddie Huangs direction is spot on, very good and well presented for the majority of the movie and his main characters - along with their problems, thoughts, dreams - all bring them to the fore with bouts of genuine honesty for their chosen craft.

Shout outs especially to Taylor Takahashi, who plays Alfred Boogie Chin, Taylour Paige who plays Eleanor, Perry Yung who plays Mr. Chin and Pamelyn Chee who plays Mrs. Chin, as they were all on point and who all definitely made the movie feel so much more authentic.

All in all, I have to admit that I really enjoyed it, and I am not even a fan of basketball, but Boogie portrays a good insight on Asian American culture and the struggles they face with traditions (and the parents who religiously stand behind their children, albeit waiting to see their investments pay off!). This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

The Road to Boogie-Town
Eddie Huang: Its Personal
Shout Out to Pop Smoke
In-Theater Trailer

From acclaimed writer, producer and restauranteur Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat, Huangs World) comes a rousing and inspiring New York story about basketball, young love, fractious families, and pursuing big dreams against all odds in BOOGIE, available to own for the first time on Digital May 18th, 2021 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand June 1st, 2021 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Boogie - Official Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link

Official Boogie Website

www.UPHE.com





The Daimajin Trilogy (3-Disc Limited Edition)
(Miwa Takada, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Kojiro Hongo, Shiho Fujimura, Hideki Ninomiya, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: The Daimajin Trilogy saw Daieis Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic movie monster to life in a unique but short-lived series that transplants the Golem legend to Japans Warring States period of the late-16th century.

Blu-ray Verdict: In Daimajin (1966), directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda (Yokai Monsters, Zatoichi on the Road), the young son and daughter of the benevolent feudal lord Hanabusa flee to the mountains when their parents are slain by the treacherous usurper Odate.

Ten years later, when the elderly priestess who has harbored them is also murdered, the rage of the slumbering ancient god that lies beneath the crumbling giant stone idol hidden deep in the forests in the mountains is invoked.

Daimajin represents something truly unique and original in the annals of cinema: the fusion of those two most quintessentially Japanese genres, the samurai period piece and the daikaiju eiga, or giant monster movie. More surprising than the juxtaposing of these two genres is that the film actually works quite well as an example of both.

For most of the runtime the movie belongs firmly in the first category, as it tells the story of a feudal lord violently overthrown by his scheming chamberlain Samanosuke, his childrens flight with their bodyguard, Kogenta, and their exile to the top of a nearby mountain said to hold an evil spirit, or Majin, sealed inside by an imposing statue of a god.

Ten years quickly pass as the children grow into adults and the new lord cruelly exploits his unwilling subjects.

When this finally becomes too much for the young prince to stand any longer, he and Kogenta begin preparations to start a rebellion and overthrow the evil Samanosuke.

Sadly, their plan goes badly from the start, and both are soon captured, leaving the princess with no allies and no way of rescuing our heroes - except for prayers to the angry god within the mountain.

Alright, the story is rather broad and predictably, but also quite compelling for all the care and skill with which it is told. The prince is as naive and cocky as they come, but in a relatable way.

Kogenta serves well as the dashing, slightly grim hero. And the princess is so beautiful, serene, and utterly selfless that you cannot help but sympathize with her plight.

The imposing Gomi Ryutaro makes an even stronger impression as the villainous Samanosuke, leering and hamming it up not quite to the point of cartoonishness, but enough that we really want to see him get whats coming to him.

In Return of Daimajin (1966), Kenji Misumi (Tale of Zatoichi, Lone Wolf and Cub) brings his usual stylistic flourish, as the wrathful deity is roused from his new home on an island in the middle of a lake by the violent incursions of a vicious warlord.

In the sequel, villagers defy an evil warlords order to turn over one of their protectors, Lord Juro (Kojiro Hongo), and end up seeing their people being brutally attacked by the warlord and his soldiers. As a result, the villagers pray upon Daimajin, the great stone god, to fight for them.

The plot, I thought, was not as suspenseful and solid as the original movie, as it has more of a general turn over your hero to us or we will screw your village over story line.

But, there is plenty of sword-wielding and good guy vs. bad guy action to keep the film engaging, and the nastiness of the villains will make you want to root for the god to awaken and teach them a lesson they will never forget (yet again!) - showing them that they should not mess with the faithful.

The acting was pretty good too, cinematography was brilliant and special effects were neat. Also, you really cannot go wrong having the great Akira Ifukube score the music soundtrack to this film (although much of the music is reused or reworked from the scores of past Toho films).

In the final film, Wrath of Daimajin (1966), by veteran jidaigeki director Kazuo Mori, four young boys make a perilous trip to elicit the help of the ancient mountain god in freeing their family members who have been enslaved by a tyrannical lord.

As noted, this is the third and the final installment of the awesome Daimajin trilogy, although the three stories are not connected in their plots.

Daimajin, the 50ft tall stone talisman with a spirit of deity residing within, as we know, turns mobile when the innocent people are oppressed to battle evil!

Four kids embark on a journey to rescue their father who is enslaved by an evil warlord in a place called Hells Valley. On their way they pass the mountain where Daimajin resides.

Daimajin sends a hawk to accompany the kids and to protect them, but when things goes badly for the kids, Daimajin turns his fierce face to the evil warlord.

The four kids are unusually resourceful, and gets around where even adults would find it a challenging situation, surviving in mountainous wilderness, and in a snow storm.

Daimajin awakes this time in a snow storm, and rest is a bad day for the evil warlord and his soldiers!

The production is not as good as the previous Daimajin movies, in my humble opinion, as the movie relies heavily on the acting ability of the four very young actors.

That said, they all put in a surprisingly good performance, but they are no Jody Foster in Taxi Driver, trust me!

The special effects are just as good though and it is, for sure one of the best 60s suitmation movies made! It is better, again, in my humble opinion, than the Gamera series done by the same studio around the same time. Not a masterpiece in any way, but a movie that still holds its own after nearly half a century! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation of the three Daimajin films
Lossless original Japanese and dubbed English mono audio for all films
Optional English subtitles - Illustrated collectors 100 page book featuring new essays by Jonathan Clements, Keith Aiken, Ed Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto and Kevin Derendorf
Postcards featuring the original Japanese artwork for all three films Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank

DISC ONE – DAIMAJIN
Brand new audio commentary by Japanese film expert Stuart Galbraith IV
Newly filmed introduction by critic Kim Newman
Bringing the Avenging God to Life, a brand new exclusive video essay about the special effects of the Daimajin films by Japanese film historian Ed Godziszewski
Alternate opening credits for the US release as Majin
The Monster of Terror
Trailers for the original Japanese and US releases
Image gallery

DISC TWO – RETURN OF DAIMAJIN
Brand new audio commentary by Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp
My Summer Holidays with Daimajin, a newly filmed interview with Professor Yoneo Ota, director of the Toy Film Museum, Kyoto Film Art Culture Research Institute, about the production of the Daimajin films at Daiei Kyoto
From Storyboard to Screen: Bringing Return of Daimajin to Life, a comparison of several key scenes in Return of Daimajin with the original storyboards
Alternate opening credits for the US release as Return of the Giant Majin
Trailers for the original Japanese and US releases
Image gallery

DISC THREE – WRATH OF DAIMAJIN
Brand new audio commentary by Asian historian Jonathan Clements
Interview with cinematographer Fujio Morita discussing his career at Daiei and his work on the Daimajin Trilogy
Trailers for the original Japanese release
Image Gallery

www.arrowfilms.com

www.MVDshop.com





Godzilla Vs. Kong [4K Ultra HD+Blu-ray+Digital]
(Alexander SkarsgĂĄrd, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / PG-13 / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond.

But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.

The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the euphorically mesmerizing, and gloriously colorful Godzilla Vs. Kong in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this March 30th, 2021.

For my money, this Godzilla Vs. Kong: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital combo packs 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 Godzila Vs. Kong presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Native 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHDs, 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 is more is that it is 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; such as the truly breathtaking, earth shattering rock em, sock em action sequences between the two foes as they stand (and fall) in the orange morning glow of the cityscape beneath them!

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 fine detail to the face and body of Mecha Godzilla (especially when it is fighting the original, of course!).

As for the audio, well we have a veritable smorgasbord of choice here: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1.

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.

OK, well, as for the actual movie, well, this is the fourth film in Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse and the fourth Godzilla film produced in the west.

Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Alexander Skarsgard, it delivers exactly what it says on the poster - a pair of iconic monsters duking it out in the most epic way possible - and very little else.

Sometime after the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the giant ape Kong is being kept under surveillance inside a large simulated habitat, forming a bond with a deaf girl who communicates with him through sign language.

One day, Godzilla attacks a city in Florida for seemingly no reason and this sparks an international debate over whether or not these huge monsters are a threat to humanities future.

A team of experts soon deduce that Godzilla was actually tracking Kongs energy signal and decide to transport him somewhere secret in an effort to prevent the two of them from fighting each other and causing even more collateral damage!

When it comes to giant monster movies, you simply cannot go too wrong with the ones featuring the undisputed king of the monsters himself - Godzilla.

Since 1954, this giant reptilian has been stomping his way through cities battling various monsters of similar size with his brute strength and trademark atomic breath.

Every time I hear Godzillas signature roar, it gives me chills like the first time hearing a lightsaber turning on in Star Wars or the DeLorean from Back to the Future reaching 88 miles per hour.

Likewise, the enormous gorilla Kong has also had his fair share of time in the spotlight, debuting all the way back in 1933 in the classic film King Kong.

With this in mind, it seems fitting that these two iconic titans of east and west should face off against each other at some point, having previously done so in 1962s King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Now in 2021, we have a brand new reimagining of such a rivalry, complete with better special effects and destruction galore. There is something so mindlessly satisfying in seeing giant monsters beating the hell out of each other while leaving heavy destruction in their wake!

I guess it is all just part of the entertainment value we can take away knowing it is all in good fun and that we can be thankful such colossal creatures do not exist in real life.

However, if you are expecting to be treated to anything else beyond this, you will be greatly disappointed. Regardless, if fighting monsters and gratuitous demolition of skyscrapers is what you crave, then this movie certainly delivers.

In addition to this, the film also touches on the mythology of these strange beasts (known as Kaiju in Japanese), with particular focus placed on Kong and his origins.

I am no expert on Kaiju lore or anything like that but I did enjoy that we got to see how these towering figures are not evil beings with a lust for destroying everything, but rather neutral parties trying to establish their place at the top of the monster food chain.

Of course, the level of neutrality varies for each of the two, with Kong perhaps being True Neutral and Godzilla being Chaotic Neutral. For example, Kong is seen attempting to live peacefully on Skull Island under the pretense that he is in charge and nothing else can take that away from him.

Later on, when Godzilla arrives to challenge this notion, an all out brawl ensues, much like how predator animals like big cats would fight one another to establish dominance.

We are informed it has been like this for thousands of years and that human civilization has only popped up recently, just being on the brink of learning how to co-exist among all this ongoing conflict.

There is not much to say about the films human characters, as they are only there to help move the small remnants of the plot along. Most of them were either generic military personnel marked for death or scientific minds trying to make sense of all this madness!

I suppose Millie Bobby Brown was the only actor in the film with some dimension to her, as anyone who saw 2019s Godzilla: King of the Monsters will recall her character and her importance in that story.

I did also like the films scenes with the deaf girl talking to Kong via sign language, as this reminded me of the famous gorilla Koko who was taught how to communicate with her trainers through similar means.

In spite of all this, by the end of the movie, I could not recall a single name of anybody other than the titular monsters, remembering them by the actors real names instead of their characters.

At the same time though, it did not really matter because at the end of the day we do not pay to see a giant monster movie for the human characters for the same reason we do not go to McDonalds to order a filet mignon.

The Godzilla and Kong names are in the title and it should be obvious by now that they are the real stars here, not the humans.

As far as giant monster movies go, Godzilla vs. Kong does a serviceable job at entertaining us with frequent action and great special effects. It is mind numbingly simplistic, but I would not expect anything less.

At this stage, it is unknown if there will be any more films in this MonsterVerse but I do see potential in the franchise continuing for as long as the demand is there.

I mean, since there are still plenty of threatening monsters out there to be dealt with, I remain hopeful!

Taking a peak at a couple of the Special Features and the lead on is the magnificently explorative and highly informative Audio Commentary from Director Adam Wingard brings us a treasure trove wealth of really engaging behind-the-scenes tidbit nuggets here.

Not top heavy on production stories and/or deep technical stuff, he delves into what shot scenes did not work, what was cut and much more.

He further discusses, in-between action down time (which there is quite a lot of), the Kong introduction and using him as more of a main character, the role of Godzilla in the film, a even throws around some quite interesting budgetary limitations re: location scouting, CGI and practical effects, casting, plot exposition, continuity errors, editing and post-production work, and much more!

Another stand out highlight for me was Kong Discovers Hollow Earth (7:53) where we get a more focused look at Godzilla vs. Kong and the approach to Hollow Earth (including its use in other fantasy films and stories) and the creation of that locale (including its visual effects and how the concept of reverse gravity changed the films initial script).

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

Kong Discovers Hollow Earth
Kong Leaves Home
Behold Kongs Temple
The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World
Godzilla Attacks
The Phenomenon of GOJIRA, King of the Monsters
Round One: Battle at Sea
Round Two: One Will Fall
Titan Tag Team: The God and the King
The Rise of MechaGodzilla
Commentary by Director Adam Wingard (only on 4K and Blu-ray)

On May 21st, 2021 Godzilla vs. Kong will be available for early Premium Digital Ownership at home for $29.99 on participating digital platforms where you purchase movies.

On June 15th, 2021 Godzilla vs. Kong will be available on 4K, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD. Godzilla vs. Kong will also continue to be available to own in high definition and standard definition from participating digital retailers.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Godzilla vs. Kong will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR, which dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

It will also feature HDR10+TM, HDR technology that optimizes brightness levels and contrast for each scene, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker to deliver a lifelike viewing experience.

Official Trailer

Godzilla Vs. Kong Movie @ Facebook





Punk The Capital: Building a Sound Movement
(Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, et al / DVD / NR / (2019) 2021 / PTC International)

Overview: When punk rock erupted in Washington DC, it was a mighty convergence of powerful music, friendships, and clear minds.

This documentary is the first to explore the incredible challenges that this subculture faced when it took root in the Nations Capital in the late 1970s.

DVD Verdict: Punk the Capital situates DC punk within the larger narratives of rock n roll, working as a powerful multi-layered story for both fans and non-fans of punk rock.

Featuring musicians such as Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, and Ian MacKaye, this film dives deep into the ideas and sounds from this transformative music scene which continues to be influential culturally and politically around the world.

Created by James June Schneider (co-director, editor), Paul Bishow (co-director), and Sam Lavine (associate producer, co-editor), Punk The Capital was theatrically released in the US last month and garnered rave reviews from the press and fans alike.

Many of the screenings became special events, with Q&As with the directors and Pete Stahl of Scream, Chris Stover of Void, Nicky Thomas of Fire Party, curator / publisher Roger Gastman, and Hudley Flipside of Flipside fanzine, just to name a few.

Simply put, during the Reagan era, the punk explosion across the U.S. meant that kids finally saw through the wool older generations attempted to pull over their eyes.

They were not going to take it anymore and, instead of operating within the boundaries set by the status quo, they built a new scene on their terms.

It was not defiance for the sake of defiance – they wanted to make something positive that everyone involved could relate to. In the nations capital, a small group of outsiders banded together to create a community that endures to this day under the banner of Dischord Records.

Bands like The Slickee Boys, White Boy, and The Nurses played independent venues and art houses, paving the way for Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and seminal bands like Black Market Baby and Bad Brains.

From there, an explosion akin to The Big Bang occurred. Kids like Mackaye and Rollins felt inspired to do their own thing within this welcoming group of artists and musicians.

Early bands like The Teen Idles and Untouchables spawned Minor Threat and State of Alert, who both helped define what would become hardcore punk and the international straightedge movement.

Kids got together, had fun, and toured the country outside of the established system, as depicted in the heartfelt film Another State of Mind.

In short, Punk The Capital is an in-depth exploration of that seminal time (circa 1976 to 1984) and is one of the most enthralling, addictive flashbacks to an era long gone, and yet still beloved by generations old and new, and therefore is a must-have for all fans, young and old.

As an added bonus, the discs contain 50+ minutes of short films from the archives of Punk The Capital:
Scream Meets The Hangmen: Featuring all of Scream including Dave Grohl
Void and Friends: A portrait of the cult hardcore band from the DC suburbs
The Seminal WGTB Concert: The legendary first punk concert for so many DC kids, The Cramps and total chaos
The Slickee Boys: Extra material on the band who got DC punk off the ground circa 1976

Punk The Capital will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the US for Record Store Day on June 12th, 2021 via Passion River and in the UK for Record Store Day on July 12th, 2021 via Wienerworld.

A portion of all DVDs and Blu Rays sold through Dischord Records will go to the DC based charity We Are Family.

Amazon Purchase Link

www.punkthecapital.info

www.dischord.com





Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park
(Ashleigh Ball, Andrew Francis, Brian Drummond, Kathleen Barr, Jason Simpson, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / PG / 2021 / Lionsgate)

Overview: One year after the events of the original Rock Dog, Bodi and his band, True Blue, have become locally famous in the village of Snow Mountain—they even have devoted fans!

But when a music mogul named Lang gives them the opportunity to tour with pop sensation Lil Foxy, Bodi and his friends learn that fame comes at a price, and ultimately discover that only by staying true to yourself can you unleash the power of rock n roll!

Blu-ray Verdict: Cats and dogs instinctively do not like each other, and Bodi, the Mastiff, and a cat named Angus Scattergood, an aging rock star, were no exception at the beginning of their time together.

Bodi left his home on the mountain to pursue a career in rock n roll, and Angus, with an inflated ego and an emancipated underweight physique, dreaded writing a new song which was so desperately needed to revive his flailing career.

Thus, the first animated film Rock Dog was not a Disney movie, nor a DreamWorks, nor any other big movie studio movie, but it worked like a dream in my eyes.

Relaxing at home watching it for the very first time back a few years ago with our two young kids, I immediately fell in love with the movie and its glorious colors and heartwarming messages throughout.

Well, for some strange reason, it was not a huge box office success, but must have caught on via home entertainment as they have now brought out a quite lovely follow up in the form of Rock dog 2: Rock Around the Park.

This movie picks up one year after the events of the first movie. Bodi is still living on Snow Mountain, playing music with his band, and enjoying life.

However, after an offer from an executive, they work with popstar Lil Foxy. Together, they go on a journey and learn about the realities of fame and staying true to yourself.

This is a premise that is not very original, but there are still movies that make the most out of a formulaic premise. The great news is, this sequel makes the most of a second go around and is just brilliant from start to finish!

The story, the voice acting, the animation, and the colors are all top quality and even though this one is a direct to home video sequel, it is no less as wondrous as the original.

Adults can enjoy the somewhat more mature elements and references and kids can enjoy it due to it being fun and easy to comprehend. So take my advice and give it a look as it is a parent film first, but a teaching element for your kids also.

The True Blue band is back to rock the place when Rock Dog 2: Rock Around The Park arrives on Digital June 11th, and on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD June 15th from Lionsgate.

Official Website

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





Lillys Light: The Movie (Special Edition)
(Sherry Hursey, Jordyn Curet, Fred Willard, Mindy Sterling, Philece Sampler, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Film Rise - MVD Visual)

Overview: When two curious members of Lillys crew discover The Big Book of Little Adventures in the lighthouse basement, the adventure begins!

Blu-ray Verdict: OK, telling it like it is, my kids love this! They watch it over and over again and love to sing the songs!

Sure, I confess, I do too, but with all the video games and technology out there, this movie shows what your imagination can truly create!

Bravo to the filmmakers for making a beautiful movie that empowers kids to navigate life with positivity and love and, of course, I hope they make a sequel!

And about the movie itself, well, it is a great musical movie, and that is coming from someone who does not love musicals! Furthermore, Lillys Light is entertaining from start to finish and will engross anyone, of any age, of that you have my word.

With an interesting mixture of animation and graphics I always wanted to see what would appear and happen next and, of course, hear what new song would be coming along in the storyline! A genuine delight for the child-at-heart of any age, Lillys Light is excellent throughout and even tugged at my old heartstrings so I highly encourage anyone looking for something to watch to check this out (especially with their children) as I cannot recommend it highly enough! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Behind The Scenes
Q&A With The Cast
Photo Gallery
Theatrical Trailer
Digital Activity Book

www.FilmRise.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Camino: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Zoe Bell, Kevin Pollack, Sheila Vand, Nacho Vigalondo, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (2015) 2021 / Bleiberg Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Celebrated war photographer Avery Taggert (Zoe Bell, Death Proof, The Hateful Eight) is on assignment in the Columbian jungle following a group of missionaries led by Guillermo (played by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo) as they bring meds to the poor.

But when Averys lens captures the leader conducting a cocaine deal and murdering a child witness, Guillermo tells his troops that Avery is a threat to locals and, and orders them to kill her.

She now has to flee into the wild jungle and a relentlessly brutal chase begins in this action thriller from director, co-writer and producer Josh C. Waller (Mandy, Color Out of Space, Cooties).

Blu-ray Verdict: Avery (Zoe Bell) is a well-respected war photographer who, after receiving an award, is promptly planted on an aircraft by her editor. The destination is Columbia where she can make a photo shoot of a paramilitary group, led by the charismatic revolutionary Guillermo (Nacho Vigalondo).

They act like local pharmacists in the Colombian jungles. In reality, Guillermo is nothing more than a crazy psychopath who is using this sacred mission as a cover up for his own criminal activities.

When Avery makes some compromising photographs of a murderous Guillermo, he succeeds in convincing his crew that the foreign photographer is the culprit. And that is the beginning of a hunt through the jungle with Avery as a prey.

Until the first encounter with one of Guillermos freedom fighters, this film seemed promising. After the obligatory introduction, you will see beautiful images of the vast jungle. A wonderful mix of images of a subtropical jungle and stylistic black and white photographs.

Even the sometimes exaggerated speeches of Guillermo were acceptable up to a certain level. But when Avery becomes a Rambo-like guerrilla fighter, who can defend herself excellent on unknown territory, the film lost a lot of credibility.

I am sure Zoe Bell can stand her ground as a stunt woman. But when the person Avery, who is a grim war photographer, turns into a talented person who excels in close combat, knows how to use an automatic rifle and uses tactical combat strategies, that is a bridge too far! In reality, she would not even survive her first clash with the lunatic Alejo (Tenoch Huerta).

I was hoping this would be a brooding, exciting thriller, but in the end I only got to see a typical survival film. It made me think of Predator sometimes, but now without an alien.

Guillermos followers are being released one by one to hunt their victim. It is just waiting for the ultimate clash (with a ridiculous outcome) to present itself. The only downside about this taking place in the jungle, is the fact that it is mostly dark. This makes it sometimes really difficult to follow the action.

The performances are proportionate to the level of the film itself, but I need to say there is one thing that really got my attention. The soundtrack. The musical accompaniment is usually not something I pay attention to, but this time I was surprised by the ominous music full of unusual sounds.

Ominous during critical moments and mysterious in between so. for me, the creator of this soundtrack is the true star of this movie! All that said, and as much as Bells character seems a little too skilled in combat for a photojournalist (as aforementioned), the movie is saved by the fact that most of the fighting lacks any crazy martial arts moves on Bells part and instead sticks to dirty, survival style fighting, maintaining an element of realism. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio: English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo Sound (LPCM)
Camino Behind the Scenes Part 1: The Shoot (11:10)
Camino Behind The Scenes Part 2: The Fight (7:20)
Camino Behind the Scenes Part 3: Electro-Jungle-Western (9:15)
Camino - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Promo (3:09)
Original Theatrical Trailer
Original International Trailer
Optional English & French Subtitles
Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition

www.bleibergent.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Adam Resurrected: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Ayelet Zurer, et al / Blu-ray / R / (2008) 2021 / Bleiberg Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Tormented in a World War II concentration death camp by a high-ranking Nazi officer (Academy Award Nominee Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project), Adam spends the next fifteen years tucked away in a remote experimental insane asylum with fellow Holocaust victims.

Clinging to the remains of his sanity, Adam uses his amazing magic and comic skills to entertain the residents and develops a relationship with an attractive nurse (Ayelet Zurer, Man of Steel).

But only when he reaches out to a mentally scarred young boy does he begin to confront his own pain and guilt and start to heal in this extraordinary testament to the fierce resilience of the human spirit.

Blu-ray Verdict: Taking it from the top, the underrated Paul Schrader directed Adam Resurrected, a tale about a Jewish vaudeville entertainer during the Weimar period who later suffered dehumanization at the hands of a concentration camp commandant and survived.

Noah Stollman adapted the screenplay from Yoram Kaniuks novel of 40 years before, Schrader fashions another story with his infamous thematic elements of man vs. himself and man vs. man while simultaneously wavering between reality and psychological breakdown.

Jeff Goldblum is Adam, a Jewish entertainer who is recognized by Commandant Klein (Willem DaFoe), at a concentration, as a talented comedian/musician, etc. from the 1930s.

DaFoe dehumanizes Goldblum by making him mimic the actions of a dog, and years later, Goldblum flashes back to these events as he struggles to maintain his sanity and corral survivors guilt.

Derek Jacobi plays Dr. Nathan Gross at the sanitarium for survivors where Adam (Goldblum) ends up. Once at the sanitarium in the 1960s, Adam (Goldblum) meets a boy who is locked up and acts like a dog. The irony is the boy will become Adams salvation and resurrect his humanity lost long ago.

The subject matter is sure to repel many people and because it is a highly artsy type of film that requires viewers to play intellectual/literary gymnastics with the continuously changing tone of the film and recognizing irony, metaphors, and symbols.

Black comedy, the Holocaust, Jewish guilt, mental illness, and sexual perversion are all woven tightly together and they alternate freely in sharing the focus of any particular scene.

The novel was similar in that narrators appeared who were different from previous narrators in the without readers recognizing them as such.

There is also not a whole lot of action and set changes. Schrader explained the difficulty understanding the film. Confounded viewers expected simple explanations for things instead of discovering something for themselves.

However, this idea of using humor to survive is not new and has been filmed many times before, often to much better effect. Life Is Beautiful comes to mind.

Budget restraints are evident throughout the film with the black and white concentration camp flashbacks masking the modernity of the setting.

Another area in which the low budget is evident is in the Euro-Israeli cast, although it does add an aura of authenticity. Besides the stars Goldblum, DaFoe and Jacobi, the rest of the cast is foreign including the brilliant Ayelet Zurer as Adams (Goldblum) female interest Gina Grey.

As in many lower budget films, the strengths are usually the dialog and acting. In the case of Adam Resurrected, it is mainly the acting of Goldblum and the terrific young boy playing his canine counterpart in the sanitarium: Tudor Rapiteanu. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 2.35:1 aspect ratio
Audio: English 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo (LPCM)
English SDH and Spanish Subtitles
Audio Commentary with Director Paul Schrader
Behind the Scenes featurette
Deleted Scenes
Haifa International Film Festival Q & A
Original Theatrical Trailer
Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition

www.bleibergent.com

www.MVDvisual.com





The Bloodhound [Blu-ray]
(Liam Aiken, Joe Adler, Annalise Basso, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2020) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: First-time feature director Patrick Picard brings a fresh take to one of the best-known stories from the master of mystery and the macabre, Edgar Allan Poes The Fall of the House of Usher, in his new slow-burner horror-thriller The Bloodhound.

Francis (Liam Aiken, A Series of Unfortunate Events), a dispossessed young man, is summoned to the secluded home of his wealthy childhood friend, JP Luret (Joe Adler, The Maze Runner), who is suffering from a mysterious affliction.

Upon his arrival, Francis realizes that JP and his ethereal twin sister Vivian (Annalise Basso, Ouija: Origin of Evil) are the sole surviving members of the privileged Luret family, whose legacy has been one of depression and self-destruction, and the only occupants of their family estate.

As the old friends attempt to reconnect, a number of inexplicable incidents begin to occur within the house, and Francis finds himself drawn into a world of malaise and despair, where an act of betrayal might provide his only way out.

Blu-ray Verdict: Super reminiscent of Yorgos Lanthimos films, specifically Dogtooth - that stilted, other worldly, dialogue with a tone that bounces between absurd hilarity and mysterious horror - this is all emphasized by the fantastic performances and dynamic between Liam Aiken and Joe Adler.

They really do a great job at portraying that intimate yet slightly awkward relationship between two friends who once were very close, but have not been in contact for a while.

The increasingly unusual goings on during their time together really do keep you wondering where things will end up.

Major props to the production design on this one. There is some really great costume choices and a really great filming location, that being this 60s or 70s era home that looks like it was a passion project by an architect.

It is not a long movie, at just some 70 minutes, but it is engrossing from start to finish and is also extremely sweet. If you do not mind some purposeful slowness, this film deserves a watch, especially considering that I have not heard anybody talking about this (so I went into it completely oblivious to external thoughts, which was very refreshing!)

In closing, if you like Poe, or you love the Gothic-style, then this is a great little film, just perfectly tailored for your visual desires, and one that certainly does not outstay its welcome. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary by director Patrick Picard and editor David Scorca
Four experimental short films by director Patrick Picard: bad dream, the muffled hammerfall in action, the mosaic code and wiggleworm
On the Trail of The Bloodhound: Behind the Scenes of a Modern Chiller, exclusive 45-minute making-of featurette
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel

www.arrowfilms.com

www.MVDshop.com





Perdita Durango (aka Dance With the Devil)
(Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, James Gandolfini, Demian Bichir, Harley Cross, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1997) 2021 / Severin - MVD Visual)

Overview: A psychotic criminal couple kidnaps a random teenage couple. The woman rapes the male captive, and lets him watch his lover being raped by the man. They then plan to sacrifice the couple!

Blu-ray Verdict: For his English-language debut, writer/director Alex de la Iglesia (DAY OF THE BEAST) chose novelist Barry Giffords prequel to WILD AT HEART featuring sociopath priestess Perdita Durango.

But when the U.S. distributor saw the finished film, they slashed 10+ minutes of gleefully profane sex & violence and dumped it under the title DANCE WITH THE DEVIL.

Severin is proud to present the complete Directors Cut starring Oscar nominee Rosie Perez and Academy Award winner Javier Bardem in the amoral love story (DVD Talk) filled with human sacrifices, kidnapping, murder, fetus trafficking and the dogged DEA agent (James Gandolfini, THE SOPRANOS) on the trail of it all!

Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) is an attractive and exotic Mexican girl with violent past and future, as we soon learn. She meets mysterious Romeo Dolorosa (Javier Bardem) who practices some strange and bloody voodoo/Satanism rituals and also needs human victims for his acts he performs for and with some cult.

They team up, and start their violent journey near the border of Mexico and the USA in order to steal a huge truck carrying loads of human fetuses for some sleazy pedophiliac mafia boss. Yes it sounds very outrageous and once all the characters are introduced the level of wildness reaches its most breathtaking level.

The film is pretty empty in content for sure, unlike David Lynchs film, for example. It has one quite funny bit of commentary about stupid mediocre TV audience that gets its meaning for life through various TV shows and commercialism related to it, and that is exactly the kind of humor that can be found in Iglesias another outrageous (gore) comedy Accion Mutante (1993).

But mostly Perdita Durango seems to concentrate on sudden and rather shocking bursts of violence and steamy sex that will definitely annoy censors throughout the world.

There is a silent moment at the end which tells something about what is happening inside the characters head and what she has learnt but still it could have been a whole serious theme for the film.

Also the way how the kidnapped couple change in their dangerous situation is quite repulsive as in that world it seems like the more selfish and mean you are the more you will succeed and survive.

The young couple is not used as it should have been if Iglesia would have liked to include some serious and dramatic elements to the film and characters and thus make a more noteworthy piece of powerful film.

The other characters are also very nasty and perverse, completely unable to control their violent and sexual instincts, but they are also quite blackly humorous (the mafia boss, the two FBI agents etc.) and so the tone of the film is not too serious at all.

Most of the characters are just animals in the burning heat of the border trying to exploit and survive from each other. Romeos character is definitely as wicked as they come but still he is far from the effect of Willem Dafoe in Lynchs film, where the character was the other side of human nature; whereas Igleasia never seems to be interested in depicting things so deep in this film.

His characters are just bad, violent, miserable and selfish scumbags and there are not too many, or any, normal and safe feeling individuals in the film. The FBI caricature played by a film maker Alex Cox (Repo Man) is quite funny and makes fun on all the serious agent characters of the cinematic history!

The film is far from the greatness of Iglesias wonderful El Dia de la Bestia aka The Day of the Beast (1995) with its philosophic elements and incredible atmosphere with great visuality.

Perdita has not got any genuinely interesting and inventive camerawork or cinematic magic and even the rites Romeo commits are not as chilling as in, for example, Wes Cravens Serpent and the Rainbow (1987).

The soundtrack by Simon Boswell is mediocre, nothing too special in my opinion even though the director praises his work for this film and in general very much. He is a talented composer but his soundtrack for this film is not so memorable. 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 Perdita Durango
On The Border - Interview with Director Alex de la Iglesia
Writing PERDITA DURANGO - Interview with Writer Barry Gifford
Dancing With The Devil - An Appraisal By Film Scholar Dr. Rebekah McKendry
NARCOSATANICOS: PERDITA DURANGO and the Matamoros Cult - Interview with Canciones de Amor Maldito: The Music of PERDITA DURANGO - Interview with Composer Simon Boswell
Shooting Perdita Durango - Interview with Director of Photography Flavio Labiano
Trailers

severin-films.com

www.MVDshop.com





A Scream In The Streets [Blu-ray]
(Joshua Bryant, Frank Bannon, Rosie Stone, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1972) 2021 / Severin - MVD Visual)

Overview: Two Los Angeles detectives are assigned to track down and arrest a brutal rapist-murderer terrorizing the city.

Their job is complicated by the fact that the killer is able to avoid capture because he can pose as a woman.

Blu-ray Verdict: Jaded veteran detective Ed Haskell (a solid performance by Joshua Bryant) and his eager new partner Bob Streeker (likeable Frank Bannon) go after a crazed transvestite psycho rapist (a hilariously unconvincing portrayal by Con Covert) who has been terrorizing LA.

The pair also deal with other assorted criminal riffraff along the way, of course, but Director Carl Monson relates the enjoyably sordid story at a constant pace, maintains an appropriately in-your-face raw n scuzzy tone throughout, and delivers more than enough tasty bare female skin and scorching semi-hardcore sex to satisfy grindhouse cinema fans!

Moreover, we also get lots of hysterically profane dialogue along with a pretty good and exciting car chase. Vibrant redhead vixen Sharon Kelly lends delightful support as sassy police dispatcher Jenny while soft-core regulars Sandy Carey, Sandy Dempsey, and Angela Carnon supply extra sizzle!

The funky-throbbing score hits the get-down groovy spot which all adds up to A Scream In The Streets being one totally trashy blast of 70s retro cinema! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

The Peeper - Two Sexy Shorts Produced From A SCREAM IN THE STREETS Outtakes
Trailers

www.severin-films.com

www.MVDshop.com





Omerta: The Act Of Silence
(Paulie Malignaggi, Will Wallace, Joe Estevez, Adam Nelson, Joe DOnofrio, Carmen Argenziano, et al / DVD / R / (2011) 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: At a time when political power and legal jurisdiction rest in the hands of men connected on the inside, one man discovers that the Omerta of loyalty and respect is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

DVD Verdict: And so the stage is set in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn during a time when the neighborhood is run like its own city-state rather than a residential community.

The Mafia built invisible walls of security for those who resided within its borders, it was easy to gain the trust of the community because you were either with them or against them.

What happens when you realize firsthand that becoming a soldier in the Mafia, is nothing more than a pawn in a deadly game of street chess, where money is worth more than life, and empty promises are your only reward.

In business, as in life, even those with a monopoly on power are subject to failure. Reno was given a taste of power at the age of 18 and never looked back.

Despite the bloodshed and incessant street warfare, the biggest battle Reno ever fought was the internal bout with his lifelong friend and confidant Tommy.

We see, however, that their relationship was toxic from the beginning.

There is something special about a director ie: Craig Syracusa, returning to collaborate with a trusted actor they have worked with, in the past. The style of storytelling becomes more adventurous and the scope for the actor to shine grows exponentially, if the director trusts the actor to raise their game as and when the script demands.

In Omerta: The Act Of Silence, which finally landed on MVD Visual after a long ten year wait, this game of trying to get the best out of ones actor reaches a new, emphatic level.

Simply put, Omerta: The Act Of Silence is a compelling film about a man who charmed his way into committing some gruesome crimes It is a film that needs to be seen to understand the ease with which an intelligent mind can be misguided into a force of criminal activities by those friends around him. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MVDvisual.com





Threshold (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
(Joey Millin, Madison West, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2020) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: When a phone call from out of the blue brings Leo (Joey Millin) back into contact with his sister, Virginia (Madison West), long estranged from her family due to years of drug abuse, he arrives to find her alone in a bare apartment in the midst of an apparent overdose.

After the convulsions and nausea subside, Virginia insists to Leo that she has been clean for 8 months due to the help of a mysterious group.

She confides to her cynical brother that her edginess and paranoia actually stem from a sinister ritual conducted by the group that took her in at her lowest and eventually revealed themselves to be a cult.

This curse bound her emotions and physical sensations to a man she has never met before.

With his marriage on the rocks Leo has his own demons to face. That said he is reluctantly persuaded by Virginia to embark on a cross country road trip to track down this shadowy stranger under the guise that if he has nowhere to be found and it With his marriage on the rocks, Leo has his own demons to face. Nonetheless, he is reluctantly persuaded by Virginia to embark on a cross country road trip to track down this shadowy stranger under the caveat that if he has nowhere to be found and its all in her head, she will go to rehab.

However, as their date with destiny draws nearer, Leo begins to suspect his sisters tall tale might have some substance.

Blu-ray Verdict: Revealed in an interview I had previously read by the film makers that the title was only made with a brief outline of the plot, and no scripted third act, but an extensive workshop session with the cast leading to detailed biographies which the cast regularly refereed to during filming, Threshold finally arrived here on Blu-ray for review.

The method that writer/co-director (with Powell Robinson) Patrick Robert Young decided to sketch out the relationship between brother Leo and sister Virginia with works rather brilliantly here in creating a spur of the moment openness in the largely improvised dialogue.

Keeping the spiky surreal Horror and Sci-Fi elements on the edges until they crash into Leo and Virginia in the starkly creepy final twist, Young sends the duo on a Mumblecore Road Movie of self-discovery, where their laid bare discussions on family trauma and harrowing memories are dipped in the threat of a supernatural cult lingering at the side of the road.

The interview also detailed that the entire film was shot with just two iPhones over 12 days and a crew of just three people, it makes what we are viewing all the more impressive.

Powell Robinson, Patrick R. Young and producer Lauren Bates give Leo and Virginia (played with a excellent, vulnerable rawness by Joey Millin and Madison West) adventures on the road an impressive shine, with the size of the cameras allowing for fluid close-ups inside the car.

Filmed in real locations on the growing trust between the duo, as they get out of the car, and under a reflecting sun, reach their threshold, sure, ok, it is not a traditional horror film, but builds to a pretty thrilling dense, dark and chilling ending regardless. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R. Young, producer Lauren Bates and lead actors Joey Millin and Madison West
Brand new audio commentary with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R Young, and editor William Ford-Conway
Crossing the Threshold - a feature-length documentary on the making of Threshold
Elevating iPhone Footage - Color Correction Breakdown
Something from Nothing - Indie Genre Director Roundtable moderated by Scott Weinberg with directors Powell Robinson & Patrick R Young (Threshold), Brandon Espy (We Follow You), James Byrkit (Coherence), Zach Donohue (The Den), and Elle Callahan (Witch Hunt)
The Power of Indie Horror - Acting for Unconventional Film roundtable discussion moderated by Zena Dixon with the actors Madison West and Joey Millin (Threshold), Kelsey Griswold (Followed), Gabrielle Walsh (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and Ryan Shoos (The Gallows)
The Sounds of Threshold - original soundtrack
Threshold - original outline script
Trailer and original teaser
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Coffee and Cigarettes
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated Collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel

www.MVDvisual.com





15 Sports Stories!
(DVD / TY / 2021 / PBS Kids)

Overview: Strap on those soccer cleats, grab your bike helmets and head outside for fun and games as it is time for 15 Sports Stories!

In Arthur, Kate appears to be hypnotized by the soccer game on television! Then, in Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Dad Tiger gives Daniel his old bicycle. And then there is oh-so many more stories from such favorites as Hero Elementary, Arthur, Wild Kratts, Lets Go Luna and more!

DVD Verdict: Soccer comes to the fore in Elinor Wonders Why when Elinor and Ari see how good their friends are at the game. Then, we see Molly and her friends from Molly of Denali raising money to attend a regional basketball tournament, the gang from Nature Cat playing in a volleyball championship match and much, much more!

My toddler love PBS and she really likes watching this DVD because of all the sports that her PBS kids heroes get involved in (she is starting to get very sporty minded herself these days!)

It keeps her thoroughly entertained and every show has some kind of lesson built in also, so she is learning at the same time. That is pretty awesome in my book!

The 15 episodes included are from the following TV shows: Arthur / Daniel Tigers Neighborhood / Elinor Wonders Why / hero Elementary / Lets Go Luna! / Molly of Denali / Nature Cat / Pinkalicious and Peterrific / Wild Kratts / Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

DVD Purchase Link

www.PBSkids.org





Grizzly: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Christopher George, Andrew Pine, Richard Jaeckel, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1976) 2021 / Severin Films)

Overview: Christopher George (PIECES), Andrew Prine (BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD) and Richard Jaeckel (THE DARK) star in this bloody, sexy and immortal trash classic (Mondo Digital) about an 18-foot-tall ursus arctos horribilis on a carnivorous rampage through a state park full of campers, and the ranger, chopper pilot and naturalist who must stop it!

Grizzly now roars with a 2K scan from the internegative plus Special Features produced exclusively for this edition.

Blu-ray Verdict: Less than a year after the release of Steven Spielbergs shark blockbuster, director William Girdler (DAY OF THE ANIMALS) and infamous distributor Film Ventures International (GREAT WHITE) brazenly unleashed their own JAWS with claws sensation that would become one of the most successful independent horror films in history!

Everything is dandy for forest ranger Kelly (Christopher George) and his helicopter pilot mate Andrew Prine (Don Stober) until two girls get gorily dismembered and eaten by a giant grizzly!

In a plot point never done before in another film, the park owner does not want to shut the park down due to tourist revenue, so it is up to Kelly, Prine, and some guy who walks around pretending to be an animal to find the Grizzly and put a cap in his ass!

The bear, however, is super smart and chows down on rangers and tourists alike, killing one ranger while she rather unwisely takes a topless shower under a waterfall. In another plot point never thought before, some hunters set out to bring down the bear which just leads to more trouble.

Two scenes have stayed with me over the years. The part where the bear attacks a small child and his mother, and the bit where one of the trackers is mauled, buried alive, and gets back up again to find the bear is waiting for him.

There is something rather intimidating about a crazed, giant bear chasing people through a forest - unlike the film Grizzly rips off, which I think is Bruno Mattei and his Cruel Jaws, because we all know that once you are on land, a shark cannot chase you! But a giant bear in a forest seems like a bit more desperate situation especially as this one can tear down walls!

In truth, it is a lot gorier than I remembered, as limbs are torn off, including a child losing a leg, a horse having its head torn off, and faces being clawed. I could not believe it when after the film a notice came up saying the film was a PG! Maybe my parents should not have trusted such notices when I was a child!

If Christopher George has made a bad film, I have not seen it. Just watch Pieces, Enter the Ninja and City of the Living Dead for further examples. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary with Nathaniel Thompson (Mondo Digital) and Film Writer Troy Howarth
The Grizzly Details Interview with Producer David Sheldon and Actress Joan McCall
Towering Fury Interview with Actor Tom Arcuragi
NIGHTMARE USA Author Stephen Thrower On William Girdler
Movie Making in the Wilderness Vintage Behind-the-Scenes Making Of Featurette
Jaws with Claws Archival Making Of Grizzly Featurette
Radio Spots
Trailers

www.Severin-Films.com





Deep Blood: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Charlie Brill, Mitzi McCall, Frank Baroni, Cort McCown, Keith Kelsch, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1990) 2021 / Severin Films)

Overview: Several young men have to stop an ancient native American evil in the form of a killer shark which is attacking a small beach community.

Blu-ray Verdict: In a career that forever raised the bar for everything from hookers, cannibals and necrophiles to Ator, Emanuelle and Caligula, this long-unseen chum bucket from producer/director/EuroSleaze master Joe DAmato may be his most bizarrely entertaining anomaly ever.

Shot on location in Florida surf and Rome swimming pools, DAmato combines 80s teen movie tropes and Native American mysticism with stupefying dialogue, over-the-top performances and shark footage that Bruno Mattei would later swipe for CRUEL JAWS to create what Oh, The Horror! calls "a weird, demented experience that begs to be discovered and embraced."

A cast of local unknowns - along with, inexplicably, the 60s comedy team of Charlie Brill & Mitzi McCall - star in this last word in Italian Sharksploitation, now scanned in 2K from the original negative for the first time ever.

Admittedly this film is not the elite of shark movies but, trust me, it is a bona fide masterpiece in comparison to this shameless Italian piece of junk from the dirty hands of Joe DAmato!

Deep Blood (I mean, even the title is ridiculous!) is a Jaws imitation that is at least 8-10 years overdue. The Italian shark movies from the early 80s are (for example, Great White and Devilfish) also of questionable quality, but at least they are amusing and over-the-top cheesy!

Deep Blood, on that other hand, takes its own approach to cinematography with some low-ebb special effects and the only sharks that we get to see were all previously featured in National Graphic documentaries of which Joe DAmato bought the stock footage!

The wraparound story is also completely unbelievable, which is fine as that also goes for about 98% of everything else ever made out there like this! A bunch of young idiots living in a small and insignificant beach community take an oath to remain best friends for life and look after each other.

But their buddy pact is immediately put to severe test when one of them gets eaten by a shark. At least that is what you have to assume happened, because the actor simply vanishes in the water and the next shot just shows a puddle of red liquid instead!

Either way, the rest of the losers decide to go shark hunting themselves, obviously against the will of local authorities.

Oh, and if the scene of the shark blowing up at the end - sorry spoiler warning - looks familiar, it is because DAmoto just recycled the effect from the end of The Last Shark. Yes, the Italian film industry is not above ripping itself off! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the Special Feature of a Trailer.

www.Severin-Films.com





Day Of The Animals: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
(Leslie Nielsen, Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Richard Jaeckel, Andrew Stevens, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1977) 2021 / Severin Films)

Overview: A battle for survival ensues after a group of hikers encounters a chemically imbalanced forest.

Blu-ray Verdict: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the wilderness, director William Girdler and producer Ed Montoro sought to top their surprise blockbuster Grizzly with a bigger budget, larger cast, and even more nature-gone-berserk carnage!

When a hole in the Earths ozone layer triggers bloodthirsty madness throughout the animal kingdom, all mankind - particularly a group of tourists on an overnight hike - will become their prey.

Christopher George, Lynda Day George, Richard Jaeckel, Michael Ansara, Andrew Stevens and Leslie Nielsen - in his now-legendary pre-AIRPLANE! performance that is "worth the price of admission alone" (DVD Talk) - star in "one of the most outrageous offerings the drive-in has ever known" (Pop Matters), now featuring a 2K scan from the internegative and howling with Special Features produced exclusively for this edition.

A motley crew of whining city-slickers on vacation traverses the wilderness at altitude under the watchful eye of guide George and his faithful American Indian companion Ansara, until the animals that inhabit the region turn rabid.

Despite its ominous prediction, Day of the Animals remains a fairly low-key action thriller, tame by both the genre and Girdlers standards.

Director Girdler continues to promote a perverted conservation agenda by using animals to inflict the natural worlds revenge on mankinds neglect, highlighting the message he more vaguely introduced in Grizzly.

Much of the same personnel were employed for this outing, although his earlier success with the predecessor allowed him to boost his acting stocks, resulting in a veritable sampler plate of character actors and B-grade leads (Ansara, Neilsen, Mantee, Roman and Barnes in addition to the return of leading men George and Jaeckel).

As the characters succumb to the harmful rays caused by damage to the ozone layer, they engage in strange and in some instances, downright absurd behavior - Cedars hallucinations and violent mood swings while Nielsen goes "nutsville" first murdering one of his stricken companions, then sexually assaulting the victims wife, and in a corny contest, going mono-a-mono with a towering Grizzly bear (which for me was the films crowning highlight).

There is a lot of time devoted to the carbon emissions debate and the impact of mankinds toxic lifestyle on the earths fragile atmosphere, well ahead of the populist campaign. Had Girdler lived longer, perhaps this message would have become more prevalent in mainstream films, such was the momentum and success he was building up to his untimely death.

Photography is a highlight and while the film employs the tired disaster movie formula, the real stars are still the hawks, cougars, bears, dogs, rats and the rest of the menagerie that turn on the 70s star-studded cast in some well-staged attacks. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary with Lee Gambin, Author of Massacred by Mother Nature: Exploring the Natural Horror Film
Animal Boy Interview with Actor Bobby Porter
Against Nature Interview with Actor Andrew Stevens
Unleashed Interview with Stunt Coordinator Monty Cox
Something Was Out There: Day of the Animals 30 Years Later Archival
Making Of DAY OF THE ANIMALS Featurette
Still Gallery
TV Spot
Trailers

www.Severin-Films.com





Action U.S.A. [Blu-ray]
(Ross Hagen, Cameron Mitchell, Barri Murphy, Gregory Scott Cummins, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1989) 2021 / MVD Visual Rewind Collection)

Overview: After her boyfriend is murdered by the gangsters whose diamonds he stole, a girl is protected by two FBI agents who plan to keep her from sharing the same fate.

Blu-ray Verdict: Billy Ray is a bad risk. He took the mobs family jewels, now they want his! They tried beating and scaring it out of him, but he is not giving them up.

So they kill him and now everyone believes Carmen must know where the jewels are. The Mafia boss has brought in his top gun to find her and the jewels.

This slime-ball and his trained killers follow our heroes through car chases and gun battles across the state of Texas leaving a trail of fireballs and hunks of twisted metal!

Stuntman-turned-filmmaker John Stewart created one of the most dangerously high-octane action films of the 80s with Action U.S.A. A non-stop barrage of daredevil stunts, practical explosions, outlaw gunfights and wild chase sequences.

Unfortunately for Stewart, Action U.S.A. did not get the appreciation it deserved back when it was released in 1989 and slipped under the radar until Vinegar Syndrome rescued it from oblivion. This is a diehard action junkies wet dream and a real monster truck of a film that has to be seen to be believed.

Opening with "Long After Midnight" by Urban Shocker, a gorgeous blue-coated 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray fires on all cylinders, much like the film is about to.

In the first twenty minutes, the audience is treated to a full-on assault to the senses with an insane showcase of vehicular stunt work.

The opening chase scene moves from cars to a helicopter and back to cars before inevitably ending in a balls-to-the-wall blaze of glory.

Action U.S.A may hit its peak in the first twenty minutes but everything that comes after is definitely close enough to matching its level.

With a hackneyed script from David Reskin that is every bit as worn and forgettable as they come, Action U.S.A. simply is not the type of film to watch for the plot.

However, considering how much it is lacking in that department, the film bombastically skates by on its pure machismo and action dynamics.

The holy trinity of Gregory Scott Cummins, William Hubbard Knight and Barri Murphy are a charming trio to ride this rollercoaster of a film alongside. Ross Hagen, who plays our villainous assassin, steals the show from them as the stoic badass, Drago!

In closing, Action U.S.A. is a violent extravaganza of adrenaline-fueled mayhem, buddy-cop tropes and beefcake heroics and is a true hidden gem in every sense of the word!

It is honestly upsetting that John Stewart did not have much of a directorial career following this film for his death-defying direction and impeccable focus on stunt work is incredible throughout.

The wise will inject Action U.S.A. directly into their veins with this Texan blend of fun for eternal stimulation. Its recklessness is addictive, endlessly rewatchable and worth the trip every time! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.78:1 aspect ratio
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround
Optional English Subtitles
Audio Commentary with Director John Stewart, star Gregory Scott Cummins and cinematographer
Thomas Callaway moderated by filmmaker Steve Latshaw
Interview with Director John Stewart (HD)
Action U.S.A. Behind the Scenes - Stunts Featurette (SD)
Theatrical Trailer
Collectible Mini-Poster
Reversible artwork
Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition.

www.mvdshop.com





Santa Sangre [4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + CD]
(Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray + CD / NR / (1989) 2021 / Severin Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".

Blu-ray Verdict: It has been hailed as "extraordinary" (The Guardian), "visionary and haunting" (Rolling Stone) and "a grand work of art, full of symbols and imagery that reach beyond language to something primal and original" (AV Club).

director Alejandro Jodorowsky returns like never before, with 8+ hours of archival & all-new Special Features.

Severin Films is proud to present this 4-Disc Deluxe Edition of Jodorowskys epic odyssey through ecstasy and anguish, belief and blasphemy, beauty and madness - and the surreal genius behind it all - now featuring a 4K scan from the original negative supervised by the director himself!

Santa Sangre was Chilean-born director, Alejandro Jodorowskys fourth film in a twenty three year span since making Fando and Lis. It reportedly took six years to write, however, lucky us Jodorwsky does not rouse himself to make a movie very often.

This heady mix of circus freaks (a tattooed lady, an exotic midget, sad-faced clowns) and weird religious and hallucinatory imagery (an armless virgin saint, writhing snakes, zombie brides) is pregnant with disturbing psychological undercurrents.

The result of Santa Sangre can be considered complete nonsense of a very extravagant, alienating, private sort. It is as familiarly esoteric as Jodorowskys other efforts, but it possesses very pronounced influences, including Psycho, Freaks (Tod Browning is Jodorowskys cinematic father), Tommy, The Invisible Man, and even Fellinis partiality to the circus. Nonetheless, citing influences for this film only contests its individuality and imagination.

At best the movie can be embraced as colorful, lavishly eccentric non sequitur. In the basic narrative sense, Santa Sangre never comes close to making sense. Or at least not any sense that would not require a monumental decoding. And who would want to go to the trouble?

In the place of a coherently ordered story, the picture strings together a series of banal Freudianisms involving a circus family that falls into ruin when the father, the Great Orgo (Guy Stockwell), is caught by his aerialist wife, Concha (Blanca Guerra), in flagrante delicto with the Tattooed Woman (Thelma Tixou), and as revenge for being doused with acid, slices off Conchas arms, then kills himself.

Enough of this horrific bloodletting is witnessed by the couples young son, Fenix (Adan Jodorowsky, the directors son), who grows up to be a raving mass murderer (played by Axel Jodorowsky, the directors other son) who believes he is driven by his rampaging, armless mother to kill every woman who attracts him.

Never mind that (shades of Psycho) the mother turns out to be a puppet. Or that Fenix is rescued from madness by Alma (Sabrina Dennison), the white-faced, deaf and mute girl he fell in love with as a boy.

Though often lacking a concise, cohesive narrative for the average, typical mind, but for one with an eye for bizarre and surreal visuals, you will understand there is an intriguing story buried inside of Santa Sangre.

Also, Jodorowsky, near the end, includes a certain twist to the story, but unlike many other films I could mention, I did not mind when it came around.

If anything, it helped put another high level of pure surrealism to the subject matter. And ironically, there is nothing way over the top about Jodorowskys style (aside from maybe the violence and a tragic-comic funeral of an elephant) in terms of the camera.

Simply put, here his drama is at a level of potency that comes from the emotional strengths on the actors faces and mannerisms, as well as just the choices of the actors themselves on appearance.

Whether you come out of Santa Sangre feeling you have seen a work of a master director or the un-Godly harpings of a madman of cinema, it is definitely not like much else out there today. For me, it is the peak of Jodorowskys small body of work (although Holy Mountain comes close, perhaps). This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features* of:

4K Ultra HD Disc featuring a 4K scan from the original negative supervised by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Presentation of Santa Sangre on Blu-ray
Soundtrack CD
FORGET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN: The World of Santa Sangre
Feature length documentary with Co-Writer / Director Alejandro Jodorowsky, Actors Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Thelma Tixou, Sabrina Dennison, Adan Jodorowsky, Elenka Tapia, Teo Tapia
New Blood - Alejandro Jodorowsky on the restoration of Santa Sangre
Like A Phoenix - Interview with Producer Claudio Argento
Holy Blood - Interview with Cinematographer Danielle Nannuzzi
Mexican Magic - Interview with Executive Producer Angelo Iacono
The Language of Editing - Interview with Editor Mauro Bonanni
Innocence in Horror - Interview with Screenwriter Roberto Leoni
Santa Sangre 30th Anniversary Celebration at Morbido Festival, Mexico City
Audio Commentary with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Journalist Alan Jones
Goyo Cordenas Spree Killer - Documentary on the Real Life Inspiration for Santa Sangre
Jodorowsky 2003 Interview
Jodorowsky on Stage Q & A
Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Commentary
ECHECK - Adan Jodorowsky Short Film
Simon Boswell Interviews Jodorowsky
"Close Your Eyes" Simon Boswell Music Video
BLINK JODOROWSKY Short by Simon Boswell
Theatrical Trailer

www.Severin-Films.com





Years Of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thriller
(Enrico Maria Salerno, Sal Borgese, Brigitte Skay, Martine Brochard, Gianfranco De Grassi, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: The 1970s were a time of intense uncertainty and instability in Italy. Political corruption and widespread acts of left and right-wing terrorism, alongside a breakdown in social cohesion and a loss of trust in public institutions such as the government and police, created a febrile atmosphere of cynicism, paranoia and unexploded rage.

Throughout this period, these sentiments found expression in a series of brutal, often morally ambiguous crime thrillers which tapped into the atmosphere of violence and instability that defined the so-called Years of Lead.

This box set gathers five films from the heyday of the poliziotteschi, the umbrella term used to describe this diverse body of films. In Vittorio Salernos Savage Three (1975) and Mario Imperolis Like Rabid Dogs (1976), random acts of violence committed by vicious young sociopaths threaten the fragile fabric of respectable society.

In Massimo Dallamanos Colt 38 Special Squad (1976) and Stelvio Massis Highway Racer (1977), renegade cops battling against red tape and political corruption turn to new and morally dubious methods to dispense justice.

Finally, class dynamics are explored in Salernos No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973) as an innocent man finds himself under suspicion for a savage crime committed by a highly respected member of society.

Blu-ray Verdict: Described by critics for their supposedly fascistic overtones, the poliziotteschi were in fact more ideologically varied and often considerably more nuanced than such superficial readings would suggest, and proved a huge hit with theatergoers, who responded to their articulation of present-day social concerns.

Featuring an impressive line-up of Euro-cult stars, including Joe Dallesandro (The Climber), Ivan Rassimov (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key), Maurizio Merli (Violent City) and Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), this collection of stylish, hard-hitting Euro-crime thrillers showcases the range and breadth of the genre and is a must-have for newcomers and grizzled veterans alike.

It opens on Savage Three (1975), who are three young men, fresh into the world, who work together at a computer analysis company. All three appear to be calm, level-headed, well-educated young men with the world at their fingertips.

They are best friends, working together by day and playfully carousing at night. Dominated by the Ovidio, played by the handsome Joe Dallesandro, the three young men soon evolve from well-mannered professionals to violent criminals.

Simply put, this is a really demented film, but incredibly well-made and original! The social commentary also really works in this film for the three young men seem to be killing random people for no reason; although they most certainly have a motive, of course.

Savage Three describes a situation that rarely happens in real life, but anything is possible right? There is plenty of violence and gore here, but there seems to be a good excuse for all this mayhem to take place.

The upbeat, progressive hard rock score by Franco Campanino (The Climber) is a winner also, but in truth I am not sure if Savage Three can be categorized as a standard Italian crime film as it avoids the expected bank robberies and car-chases!

But it will definitely appeal to fans of the genre, especially to the ones with a taste for real sleaze. A really special obscurity that deserves wider recognition.

Then we get Like Rabid Dogs (1976) where Tony is the young member of an upper class Roman family. He lives a hectic double life, and under the guise of good student, he likes to persecute and kill prostitutes in the company of a couple of friends!

Here we float into the sub-genre of Rich Kids Thrill Kill films where three kids, who all belong to rich families, have taken to robbing places and killing people for kicks; starting off with a robbery at a football stadium where a cop takes a gunshot to the face. Shortly afterwards, his pregnant wife takes a very realistic dive out of a window.

This does not go down well with Inspector Muzi, a downtrodden police officer who thinks he knows whose behind the killings - a young, rich, thin, sporty, arrogant, high-cheek boned, self-confident jerk by the name of Tony, son of a rich businessman and probably heavily influenced by his fathers ruthless approach to life.

Other than being a part-time armed robber, he also likes to kill women, and so does his girlfriend Sylvia, and her other boyfriend, as the three of them share everything. In fact, as we will find out, Sylvia shares everything with everyone and spends a lot of this film starkers!

Muzi cannot find any real proof that Tony is behind the killings, but when Tony takes to killing his fathers favorite prostitutes, Muzi gets a brain damaged idea to have his female associate go undercover as a hooker that almost gets her raped, which she recovers from fairly quickly in time to get it on with Muzi.

There is not much plot in this one but there sure is a lot of violence and nudity, somehow seemingly justified by Tony and Muzi having discussions about the political climate of mid-seventies Italy and how Tony things they are similar in nature.

As these murderous rich kid theme goes, at least this one attempts to give us some background on the kids and show things from their end, as they discuss their hate for everything and their wish to live in a world devoid of other people. Plus, one of them blacks up as Othello. Ah, the seventies!

The gore level is higher than usual too as people are blasted with shotguns, hit in the face with spiked planks or shot through the head. What was going through the heads of people in Italy to produce so many of these nihilistic films?

s a film which exemplifies the best of a genre that is still hidden from most film fans today, who are missing out on the delights of Maurizio Merli and his contemporaries beating the hell out of criminal scum.

Although this film does not boast any roles for big Hollywood names or familiar genre fans, it proves to be distinctly above average. That is because it tells a complex, action-packed story at speed, never slowing down for a second.

There are robberies, kidnappings, assassinations, terrorism and even a bombing campaign, all delivered in a typically gutsy, as-it-is kind of way, free of sentimentality, the focus on the realism.

Massimo Dallamanos camera never sits still for a second in depicting a kinetic struggle between criminals and the police.

The essential story involves Marcel Bozzuffi (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) playing a tough Inspector with a personal vendetta against a criminal gang.

He sets up a special squad, all armed with powerful handguns and motorbikes, to track down and take out the criminals, but of course it does not go according to plan.

Although the way, the haunted Carole Andre gets caught between cops and bad guys, and Ivan Rassimov once again tackles the role of criminal mastermind.

It goes without saying that the various action bits (shoot-outs, car chases, you name it) are second to none and miles ahead of most of what Hollywood churns out today.

Another stand out film in this brilliant collection is Highway Racer (1977) where a hot-shot police driver has more guts than brains, often landing him in hot water with his middle-aged mentor, who was once a legendary police interceptor responsible for numerous large scale arrests.

The majority of the plot revolves around the obsessive manhunt by Merlis ageing superior (a legendary iconoclast himself in the old days) for a notorious criminal/ace driver emanating from Nice.

After some initial aggravation between Merli and the Chief (the hero even causes the death of his perennially scared-shitless partner when their inadequately-empowered police car overturns during a chase), the old man is quick to realize that if he is to fight Il Nizzardo tooth and nail, Merlis the one to do it!

Cue the young cops intensive training to maneuver the revved-up engine on the road and other even more treacherous terrain. Merlis also given an obligatory romance, supplied by lovely Euro-Cult starlet Lilli Carati, but her part is so underwritten as to be almost an afterthought!

Incidentally, the hero eventually made to infiltrate the villains gang, but he is unwittingly exposed by the girl herself prior to their next hit.

By now, Merlis so intent on testing his acquired skills with those of the criminal that he even lets the latter go when cornered instead of arresting him - only for the two to meet up for a duel-to-the-death with their cars in a canyon!

Lastly we get No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973) where when the eyewitness to a brutal murder decides not to testify, the actual murderer chooses to finger him as the murderer and claim eyewitness status for himself.

While fishing at a quiet lake, a blameless civil servant happens to witness a murder. Although he and the killer suddenly stand in front of each other, the witness (Signore Santamaria) manages to escape.

At home, however, he decides not to call police, assuming that he will not be bothered by the incident any further. The murderer, on the other hand, plays his only card: He goes to police, claiming that he is in fact the witness and the Santamaria the killer.

Following the honorable professors description, police go on a hunt, forcing the real witness to destroy all evidence. As journalists write about the witness, Santamaria confronts the killer, only to learn that the truth has been turned around: The professor tells him to keep his mouth shut, otherwise he, Santamaria, will be the one to end up in jail.

Still, after speaking to a priest, the witness finally confesses to police, only to be arrested and sentenced to 24 years of prison. In a manner that sometimes looks a bit humorist, this rarely seen picture portrays the witnesses fear of being confronted with any trouble.

In his attempt to live on with his unvaried life, he wants to avoid uneasiness at any cost. The killer is shown as a cold blooded intellectual capable of deceiving everyone of his false innocence.

From a psychological point of view, the characters are to one-dimensional, and the build-up of the story leaves many (plot) holes to be filled.

Then again, it is a quite an entertaining film. Although the political message is no very strongly displayed, this one still has the special aura Italian political films used to have back in that era. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all five films, restored from the original camera negatives, including a brand new 2K restoration of Colt 38 Special Squad exclusive to this release
Original lossless mono Italian audio
Original lossless mono English audio on Colt 38 Special Squad
English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack on Colt 38 Special Squad
New visual essay by critic Will Webb
Interview with director Vittorio Salerno and actress Martine Brochard on Savage Three
Interview with actor Joe Dallesandro on Savage Three
Interview with cinematographer Romano Albani and historian Fabio Melelli on Like Rabid Dogs
Interview with assistant director Claudio Bernabei on Like Rabid Dogs
Like Rabid Dogs music sampler
Interview and introduction by composer Stelvio Cipriani on Colt 38 Special Squad
Interview with editor Antonio Siciliano on Colt 38 Special Squad
Interview with historian Roberto Curti on Highway Racer
Interview with director Vittorio Salerno on No, the Case is Happily Resolved
No, the Case is Happily Resolved alternate ending
Trailers
Poster galleries
Reversible sleeves featuring original artwork
Booklet featuring new writing by Troy Howarth, Michael Mackenzie, Rachael Nisbet, Kat Ellinger and James Oliver

www.MVDvisual.com





Zeroville [Blu-ray]
(James Franco, Megan Fox, Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Danny McBride, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2019) 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: Vikar (Academy Award Nominee James Franco, 127 Hours) is a lost soul journeying through a land of myths, beauty and monsters Hollywood, 1969.

The studio system is in decay, and a new generation of brash filmmakers are on the rise. With his shaved head marked by a tattoo from his favorite film (1951s A Place in the Sun) Vikar is a bizarre presence even amid the freaks and dreamers.

He finds work first building sets, then as an apprentice editor obsessed with wielding the power of moving images. As his involvement in the creative process deepens, so does his fascination with a tragic screen goddess named Soledad (Megan Fox, Transformers).

Together they discover just how hard it is to live in the blurred boundary between reality and fantasy.

Blu-ray Verdict: Filmed in late 2014, the film was going to be released by independent distributor Alchemy in early 2016, but the company filed for bankruptcy shortly after. In April of 2019, it was announced that myCinema would finally release the film in September and now MVD Visual has brought it out on wondrous Blu-ray.

James Franco has put together a most unusual career as both actor and director. Here he takes on both in this adaptation of Steve Ericksons novel, with a screenplay by Paul Felten and Ian Olds.

It is a movie seemingly made for movie nerds, but this particular movie nerd, while enjoying some of the homages, mostly found it a wee bit too quirky to completely embrace it.

James Franco plays Vikar, a socially inept loner with a shaved head and permanent scowl. On that head is a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift from A PLACE IN THE SUN, the first movie the sheltered Vikar ever saw (11 months ago), and the one that initiated his obsession with movies.

Vikar finagles his way into the industry - first as a set builder, and then under the tutelage of veteran film editor Dotty (Jacki Weaver) - reaching award winning status as a filmmaker.

Along the way, the character of Vikar recalls Chauncey Gardner in BEING THERE. Is he a genius, or so simple-minded that his thoughts are accepted as brilliant?

It is 1969, and in an early scene, Vikar is interrogated by police regarding the murder of Sharon Tate. This is our first indication that fact and fiction will be blended here to make whatever points the film is trying to make.

Vikar befriends Viking Man on the set of LOVE STORY, and we soon realize John Ford wannabe Viking Man (played by Seth Rogen) is a stand-in for John Milius ... a Hollywood legend worthy of his own film.

The two new friends attend a beach house party where a group of up-and-coming filmmakers are brainstorming in the living room. Represented are Steven Spielberg, spit-balling a shark movie; George Lucas, yammering about robots; and a young Scorsese and Coppola.

Vikar is soon attracted to and dreaming of a beautiful actress named Soledad Paladin (Megan Fox). This shift of gears to romance from industry commentary does the film no favors.

The film is at its best when Vikar is navigating the waters of a Hollywood in transition, including an old school power producer played by Will Ferrell.

One of his scenes has him singing Lum-de-lum-de-lai in an odd show of power as he attempts to win the girl. Others making an appearance include Danny McBride, Dave Franco, and Craig Robinson - as a burglar who educates Vikar on the nuances of SUNSET BOULEVARD, Erich Von Stroheim, and MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. Joey King also has a key role as Soledads daughter Zazi, and she even sings on stage.

There are so many nods to Hollywood, that the film plays more like an experimental art project or trivia game than an actual story. The famed Roosevelt Hotel is featured, as is Frances Ford Coppolas (played by Horatio Sanz) out-of-control film set of APOCALYPSE NOW.

A quite colorful description of John Wayne is offered up, and the silent classic THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST takes center stage. We even get Iggy Pop and The Stooges at CBGB, and the first song we hear is Its My Life by Eric Burdon and The Animals.

A key note here is that this was filmed in 2014, and has been caught up in a quagmire of bankrupt distributors ever since. That could explain the questionable flow and editing, but we can assume the wild camera angles were all part of Francos plan.

Indeed, it really plays like an experimental film and it covers a few years, though we are never really sure how many. The twist at the end is pretty easy to predict, and unfortunately, it leaves us wondering where an obsession with cinema is likely to lead us. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

Original Theatrical Trailer

www.MVDvisual.com





Who is Harry Nilsson-And Why is Everybody Talking
(Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2010) 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: The Beatles said that Harry Nilsson was their favorite American musician. Nilsson won two Grammys and was the recipient of seventeen gold records, yet he is relatively unknown today.

Who is Harry Nilsson?, a wildly entertaining, star-studded documentary, tells the story of one of the most talented singer-songwriters in pop music history.

His hits includes the Grammy-winning Everybodys Talkin and Without You, as well as Coconut and One (Is the Loneliest Number).

The film reveals to what extent his personal life was as complex and contradictory as his music, from his spirited relationship with John Lennon to his close bond with Ringo Starr.

Blu-ray Verdict: The best documentaries about music make you want to explore the artist further (two examples: The Bands The Last Waltz and Rush Beyond The Lighted Stage) and intrigue you as to the person and their vision.

This is a great documentary about a true American original who had major talent both as a singer and songwriter. Ironically, his two biggest hits Everybodys Talking and Without You were not written by him, but that is neither here nor there.

You get a lot of rare footage, as well as interviews from people who knew him and worked with him. These interviews are excellent, as some are from people whom you rarely see, with the two most insightful comments by songwriter/artist Jimmy Webb and record producer Richard Perry.

Nilssons idiosyncrasies are explored (he never gave a concert and he was an unusual person), as well as his substance abuse. However, you can tell the people who speak about him love him.

Rather than this being about a slightly crazed person who could not always control his demons, you get a glimpse into his personal life, including interviews with his widow and even his children.

Indeed, I was touched by so many of the comments from his friends and family. The Blu-ray has even more to offer and is very highly recommended. A very good compilation of his hits called Nilssons Greatest Hits is a great complement to watching this film. Do not miss it.

In fact, and simply put, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin About Him)? is UNMISSABLE!

The Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin About Him)? master source was originally produced on standard definition video.

This Blu-ray disc contains the standard definition movie re-mastered and upscaled to high definition, approved by the filmmaker, which was completed using an up-conversion process from the original 172,800 pixels per frame to 2,073,600 pixels per frame of full HD.

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

Deleted Scenes (SD)
Additional Interviews (SD)
Music Video for Loneliness with Introduction by Yoko Ono (SD)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)

www.MVDvisual.com





Puzzle (Luomo Senza Memoria): 4K Restoration
(Anita Strindberg, Umberto Orsini, Luc Merenda, Senta Berger, Bruno Corazzari, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1974) 2021 / VCI Entertainment - MVD Visual)

Overview: Stranded in London with no memory and no identity that he can recall, a man who believes his name is Peter (Luc Merenda) struggles with amnesia after a car accident.

With little information to help him solve the puzzle of who he is, an attempted murder and a strange series of events lead him to the discovery that his name is in fact Ted and that he has a beautiful wife, Sara (Senta Berger), waiting for him in the world-famous Italian resort town of Portofino.

Traveling to Italy in the hope of unravelling the mystery of his identity, he finds that the hurt, lonely Sara - believing that she had been abandoned by her husband knowingly - has made tentative steps to rebuild her life with the help of her best friends Whiskey the dog and Luca (Duilio Cruciani), the straight-talking and slightly infatuated young child to whom she lives next door to.

With the Hitchcockian flair of the absolute best gialli from the 1970s, Sara and Ted together try to unravel the mystery of his missing months - and they have their hands full.

Not only are there murders, international criminal plots, betrayals, but they are tormented by a mysterious woman with a hidden agenda (Anita Strinberg) and a mystery man with chronic allergies (Bruno Corazzari).

Things only continue to get even more increasingly peculiar, more complicated, and more dangerous for the newly reunited couple.

Blu-ray Verdict: This Giallo is practically unknown, and that is a real shame as Puzzle is an outstanding example of the genre.

Director Duccio Tessari made the excellent Giallo The Bloodstained Butterfly three years before this film, and the two share the same keenness to buck as many plotting trends as possible; as while this film firmly fits into the Giallo in terms of style, the plot takes the focus away from common Giallo elements such as sex and murder and puts it more on the characters and an intriguing plot involving amnesia.

The film is also known as Man Without Memory, and that is wholly down the fact that the central character, Peter, has lost his memory. He is being treated in a hospital, and it is not long before a mysterious stranger turns up and accuses Peter of double-crossing him.

We later learn that Peter is really Edward, and he is married to the beautiful Sara! He finds out about his wife and travels to Italy in order to meet up with her; although she has chiseled out a new life for herself which involves a male friend named Reinhardt, and a young kid with a crush on her.

Director Duccio Tessari uses the first half of the film to get the plot basics in place, and as a consequence it is not always exciting. However, the director manages to hold the audiences attention long enough for the film to begin revealing itself in the second act.

Puzzle was scripted by Giallo luminary Ernesto Gastaldi, and the film represents one of his best works, which says a lot considering the other films he penned.

While the plot does take a while to get going, once it does the film becomes a real thrill ride, and this both offsets the sombre tone of the first half and is hugely entertaining.

The main influence would appear to be the American classic Wait Until Dark, although the film does not take too much from the Audrey Hepburn film.

The acting is above average, with Senta Berger, Luc Merenda and Umberto Orsini delivering fine performances in the central roles. The ending is superb and ensures that the film ends on a high, as a chainsaw revs into action and the film makes up for its lack of bloodshed.

Overall, now that Puzzle has been given a righteous 4K Restoration via VCI Entertainment and MVD Visual here on this lush new Blu-ray (and DVD, in this combo pack), I really hope that it gets a wider audience - because it truly deserves to be seen more. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary Track by Kat Ellinger, Editor-in-Chief of DiaboliqueMagazine.com and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS Podcast Host
Italian and English Theatrical Trailers of Blood and Black Lace and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
Liner Notes by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of The Giallo Canvas: Art Excess and Horror Cinema
Giallo Poster Gallery

www.MVDvisual.com

www.vcientertainment.com





Resurrection
(Juan Pablo Di Pace, Joanne Whalley, Greta Scacchi, Jodhi May, Vincent Regan, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: From the producers of The Bible and Son of God comes a biblical epic on the aftermath of the earth-shattering event of the crucifixion of Jesus in first century Jerusalem.

Over a gripping 90 minutes we experience the emotional turmoil faced by Jesus and his followers as they attempt to come to terms with the loss of their leader.

His death leaves them disillusioned, hunted and afraid; his resurrection triggers a new age of hope, faith and love that changes the world [Adapted from AD: The Bible Continues].

Blu-ray Verdict: As you can well imagine, Resurrection, at one hour and 35 minutes, is fairly compact for a biblical epic. In fact, you could watch it three times in the time ABC always puts aside for its annual Holy Saturday TV pilgrimage of The Ten Commandments (albeit that comes chock full of adverts, of course).

But here in this new, tighter mini-series from Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, is a much condensed story that, miraculously does not seem to have lost any of the emotional punch it has delivered over the decades within its various incarnations.

Indeed, Resurrection comes together so beautifully, and throughout, that it is something you can easily watch a few times a year, and not feel overwhelmed with at any time.

Reprising his portrayal of Jesus is Juan Pablo Di Pace. He had played Christ in A.D.: The Bible Continues, which also was produced by Downey and her husband, reality-show producer Mark Burnett.

The Argentine-born Di Pace, who was born in 1979 - one year after St. John Paul II was elevated to the papacy - is simply amazing here in his undertaking of the main role.

Furthermore, as this new miniseries opens with the crucifixion, which, as sacrilegious as it may sound, is naturally the big scene for Di Pace, to make it happen it has been revealed that he had to endure six hours in the make-up chair for two days hanging from a cross in the Moroccan desert (a harness was secured around his lower back!).

And as an added tidbit, in that very same crucifixion scene, if you look closely enough you will see his real life mother at the foot of the cross!

A very talented person in her own right, his mother is a painter of religious art with one of her pieces currently residing at the Vatican.

Other actors of note in the cast include Greta Scacchi as the mother of Jesus and Joanne Whalley as Claudia, the wife of Pilate. Whalley also played Priscilla in the 2018 biblical film Paul, Apostle of Christ, starring Jim Caviezel and Olivier Martinez.

As we all know what subsequently happens going into Resurrection, given that pretty much all of Christianity already knows, dramatically, the title event happens 40 minutes into the movie which obviously leaves some time to fill.

The movie then takes in Jesus appearing to his disciples after he leaves the tomb, his ascension to heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room, and the healing of a lame-from-birth beggar at the temple in Jerusalem.

Oh, and there is also time to fill in the motivations and machinations of Pilate, Caiaphas and the wife of Caiaphas, of course.

In closing, and under the assumption that Resurrection had also brought in some theological advisers to guide the script - for it truly is a quite magnificently smooth mini-series to adorn any day with visually - as they say, the story remains the same, it is just the actors who have changed. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

The Biblical epic Resurrection, about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the team behind the hit Emmy-nominated miniseries The Bible, will be available on Blu-ray on June 15th, 2021. The Blu-ray disc features the film in hi-definition.

Amazon Resurrection Blu-ray Purchase Link

Resurrection Official Trailer

www.WarnerBros.com





City of Lies [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Rockmond Dunbar, Neil Brown Jr., Xander Berkeley, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / (2018) 2021 / Saban Films)

Overview: What is worse, the crime or the cover-up? Based on the book, LAbyrinth, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Randall Sullivan, this compelling crime-thriller follows the investigation into the infamous murder of iconic rap artist Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G.

Oscar-nominee Johnny Depp stars as determined LAPD detective Russell Poole, who spent nearly 20 years trying to solve the murder, and Oscar and Primetime Emmy-winner Forest Whitaker as Jack Jackson, a journalist who teams up with Poole in search of the elusive truth.

Blu-ray Verdict: I must admit, what intrigued me about this movie was less the subject matter (I am neither a big fan of rap nor conspiracy theories), but rather the fact that it was shelved immediately after production.

It just is not that common for a big budget movie featuring A-list actors to get completely shelved - particularly in this day when Netflix and Amazon are always a way for studios to recoup production costs on movies they do not think will earn a profit.

One had to wonder whether the movie was just a complete train wreck in terms of quality, or whether the content was just too controversial for the studios involved.

So I was eager to see for myself. Having now seen it, sure, it was a little disappointing in that it is neither a train wreck (furthering nails into the coffin of Johnny Depps disappearing career), nor was it particularly explosive in terms of content.

It was, however, a rather compelling and insightful docu-look into what is believed to have happened and the aftermath thereafter, albeit one heavily sprinkled with top notch Hollywood actors, of course.

In terms of conjunctive quality, to me it is rather reminiscent of Zodiac, but lacked the pathos that Fincher was able to imbue to characters who similarly could not put an unsolved murder behind them.

In terms of content, Lt. Pooles story has been out there for quite some time and this adds nothing new.

The first half of the movie involves Depp and Whitaker reminiscing about the facts of the Christopher Biggie Smalls murder case, which are related in a series of flashback scenes to 16 years earlier.

This part of the movie is successful and engrossing, but unfortunately the second half of the movie really stalls out, as one cannot help but wonder what the two main characters have been doing over the past 15 years.

Why are they still obsessed? What leads have they been trying to turn up? What compulsions are driving them? Indeed, rather than explore this, the movie spends too long on a seemingly pointless side-plot about Pooles estrangement from his son and some minor troubles the reporter has with his boss and the police (some 16 years after the facts of the case).

The finale is as unsatisfying as the actual investigation in the murder, but again, City of Lies works when it is engrossing and educational, but falters in its follow-up and resolution.

This, and in conclusion, ultimately viewing it gave me no insight on why it was shelved as everything about this production seems like it deserved a better fate than it has subsequently received. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

7 Deleted Scenes
Crafting the Characters in City of Lies
Audio Commentary with Director Brad Furman and Author Randall Sullivan

Some secrets just will not stay buried! City of Lies reveals all when it arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD on June 8th, 2021 from Saban Films.

City of Lies will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

City of Lies Official Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link

www.sabanfilms.com





Power Book II: Ghost - The Complete First Season
(Michael Rainey Jr., Shane Johnson, Gianni Paolo, Mary J. Blige, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / Artisan - Lionsgate)

Overview: Power Book II: Ghost picks up after the events of Power as Tariq St. Patrick grapples with his fathers death while his mother, Tasha, faces charges for the murder her son committed.

Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean, the defense lawyer who is Tashas only hope of escaping prosecution by U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe.

Tariq turns to the drug game, entangling himself with a family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada. He figures out the only way to avoid the same fate his father met is to become him - only better.

DVD Verdict: In truth, we all knew they were going to do a spin-off on Power since they have already got a built in audience, but this was the wrong way to go.

Tariq was one of the main characters I liked the least, especially as Michael Rainey Jr. (Tariq) seemed to be a rather one dimensional as an actor in Power.

Always the same demeanor and facial expressions which is not a huge deal for a side character, especially a young actor. But to make him the lead and main character was a bad choice in my opinion.

I never criticize shows for being unrealistic as most good shows have to be in some sort of way, but Power made you believe these guys were so good they could pull off the crazyish shit they do because the actors were so good!

Naturi Naughton is a good actor, but everything about the dynamic between the two just seems off to me. Tasha was tolerable in her role in Power, but again as a lead it feels repetitive and she is not a character you root for.

I would have loved a prequel where they show how Tommy and Ghost came to be who they were in Power or even follow Tommy after he takes off for California, but Power Book 2: Ghost is just too far out there for even me to believe.

And as it seems to be the common thread through a lot of the notice boards I frequent about this show, there is simply zero interest in the main character and we all just keep hoping for Tommy to show up again!

Furthermore, the only fabulous and well played characters are Davis Maclean (Method Man), Cooper Saxe (Shane Johnson) and Tameika Washington (Quincy Tyler Bernstine), who all come together to remind me of what the original Power was about.

That all said, this series is now showing how Tariq is slowly on a path of becoming just like his father. It has a more modern outlook on how drug dealing is done in recent times and is portrayed in a humorous way (at times) where viewers can engage with the show.

Tariq is becoming smarter, better, faster and it is shown here well, but his pulling of moves just like this dad must feature an outcome of sorts - so like me, just be curious, not over-judgmental, and try not to ghost this second season completely! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

A favorable spinoff of one of Starzs most highly rated shows, the Power Book II: Ghost: Season 1 DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $34.98.

Power Book II: Ghost: The Complete First Season Official Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link

www.LGF.com





MacGyver - Season 4
(Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Henry Ian Cusick, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / CBS - Lionsgate)

Overview: In this action-packed fourth season of MacGyver, ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor recruits former Phoenix Foundation members Mac, Riley, Bozer, Matty, and Desi to hunt down a bioweapon that is planned to be used by a mysterious organization for a devastating attack on a major U.S. city.

DVD Verdict: OK, just putting it out there like it is, I remember the original MacGyver. I could not stomach the milquetoast performance of Richard Dean Anderson - he will always be the timid, Dr. Jeff Weber from General Hospital to me.

That being said, I enjoy the science behind the reboot and the idea that Mac has a team and is not a one-trick-pony who rushes in with a paper clip and bubble gum to save the world.

Furthermore, watching MacGyver you have to cut them a little slack on the science and the hacking stuff. Same thing you do with police procedurals who just catch the luckiest breaks.

Putting that aside, MacGyver is (or was, as the fifth and final season has just ended on CBS and luckily its finale, which was actually filmed before the cancellation was announced, plays out nicely for all us fans, and does not leave us with yet another cliffhanger), highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining.

Whether that be in the relationships (platonic or romantic), the plots or the actors (for the record, Levy Tran and Tristin Mays are terrific actresses), but more than that, the whole MacGyver fandom itself has always been a fun ride!

I mean, even the love triangle of Mac/Desi/Riley was not as divisive as you would think, meaning fans of MacRiley and fans of MacDesi were pretty chill compared to other fandoms!

Anyway, back on point here now, and on a deeper level, MacGyver shows that people who are broken can carry on and still do important things in the world. It shows that a troubled youth can go on to make a positive impact on others.

It shows that family is so much more than just blood and how to respect each other. It shows the importance of finding another way. This is a lesson we all need in our current times.

In closing, the show appeals to a younger audience and very specifically is not trying to be the original. The actors are all great, and the characters are likable.

It is just a fun show that keeps you guessing and gets you emotionally invested, and even though it has indeed received its unwarranted cancellation notice from CBS, I can definitely see it popping up again sometime soon on another platform. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

MacGyver: Season 4 DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.98.

MacGyver Season 4 Official Promo Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link

www.LGF.com





...Archives