Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy (Blu-ray)

THE FILMS:

Clive Barker’s 1987 British horror film Hellraiser is bloody, bizarre and entertaining, and introduced the globe to one particular of the most memorable second-tier horror villains, Pinhead. Like poor Drew Barrymore in Scream, who misidentified the villain in Friday the 13th, you could be surprised to understand that Pinhead has very small screen time in Hellraiser, and, while he and the Cenobites are present, the accurate villains are human. The violence is usually over-the-prime repulsive, as hooks, chains and clamps tear the flesh from bones, and the mystery of Frank Cotton, his lover and her stepdaughter carries the film. Hellraiser is fashionable, even though not totally logical, and remains an efficient blend of fantasy and horror. Practically twenty years after the film Roger Ebert named a “bankruptcy of imagination” was released, Hellraiser nonetheless frightens.

Cotton (Sean Chapman) has exhausted the carnal and drug-assisted thrills of reality, and opens a mystical puzzle box in hopes of reaching a new higher. What he finds is a fast, painful death at the hands of dimension-traveling Cenobites, ritually mutilated humanoids who can no longer inform the distinction amongst pleasure and pain. The man’s brother, Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson), moves into identical home exactly where Frank Cotton died, and brings with him wife Julia (Clare Higgins). Semi-estranged daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) lives close by but dislikes stepmother Julia, who was sleeping with Frank. When Larry cuts his hand and drops of blood spill onto the attic floor, Frank is awakened and re-animated. The skinless terror then convinces Julia to murder men so he can feed on their flesh and total his transformation. Kirsty discovers what Julia is doing, and realizes that she and her father are in grave danger.

The majority of Hellraiser concerns Julia and Kirsty, and Higgins knocks it out of the park as the cold-as-ice enabler. The relationship in between Julia and Frank is strange and off-placing, but it drives the narrative. Julia is initially frightened of Frank, but swiftly becomes a true femme fatale, luring men back to the home just before killing them for her undead lover. Larry becomes entangled in the mess, and Kirsty re-opens the puzzle box to make a deal with Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and his minions to save her personal life in exchange for delivering them Frank. The Cenobites are creepy, the practical gore effects appropriately disgusting, and the overall mystery is compelling. Barker developed a memorable fantasy globe with this 1st film, and Hellraiser goes to unexpected areas. The pacing in the initial hour is a bit sluggish, but when the film finds its footing, it by no means lets up. Hellraiser: **** (out of *****).

The sequel came a year later, and picks up straight following the events of the initial film. If nothing else, Hellbound: Hellraiser II feels like a Clive Barker film, even though Barker turned the director’s chair more than to Tony Randel. Right here, Kirsty is haunted by visions of her dead father, who she fears is trapped in hell. 1 of her psychiatrists, Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), searches for the Lament Configuration puzzle box, and convinces a mentally ill patient to spill blood on the mattress exactly where Julia died. This awakens the woman, who seduces Channard and kills far more of his sufferers to enhance her strength. Channard’s sins arouse the Cenobites, and Kirsty ends up in their dimension, trailed by Julia, and runs into a really angry Frank. This loved ones reunion in Hell is plagued by low cost sets and dodgy visual effects, but delivers a quicker pace and much more action than its predecessor.

There is a lot going on in Hellbound, and it’s apparent the quick turnaround did not enable Barker and screenwriter Peter Atkins to do a lot polishing of the script. Even so, the film expands the Hellraiser mythology nicely, and Higgins and Laurence once again give efficient performances. I like that Barker and firm took the story in a distinct direction whilst utilizing the original’s important players. Pinhead again requires a backseat to Julia, Kirsty and Frank, but we find out a bit far more about the Cenobites’ origins and the laws of their universe. Some scenes are scantily developed, and the film feels a lot more like a wild chase in its climax than horror. The greatest of the several sequels, Hellbound is a nice companion to the very first. Hellbound: Hellraiser II: ***1/2 (out of *****).

The Dimension Films logo at the starting of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth tells you a lot about what is coming. This second sequel, directed by Anthony Hickox, feels significantly less like a Hellraiser film than one of the studio’s several generic horror films released in the 1990s. Nevertheless, Hellraiser III is not without having its charms. Pinhead finally gets center stage right here, even though it borders on the standup-comedy-Freddy Krueger territory of later Nightmare on Elm Street films. Element three even has a stylish sex scene set to rock music, so you know it is 1992. I actually like a single core element of this story: Pinhead’s soul, or id, or one thing is split in two. There’s the WWI British Army Captain Elliot Spencer and his evil counterpart, present in Pinhead kind. Spencer gets stuck in limbo, and Pinhead is trapped on the Pillar of Souls seen briefly at the finish of the earlier film. A douchey nightclub owner (Kevin Bernhardt) buys the pillar, unaware of its origin, and awakens Pinhead, who forces the man to bring him souls.

The protagonist right here is a young reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), who witnesses a Pinhead victim get ripped apart in a hospital emergency room. With the support of the victim’s friend, Terri (Paul Marshall), Summerskill begins rooting about the nightclub, which becomes the scene of a violent massacre. Hellraiser III floats the concept that this Pinhead is breaking the rules of the Cenobite universe with no the humanity of Spencer to hold him in verify. That is fine, but I’m not certain the filmmakers even saw the preceding films if they think that Pinhead was some law-abiding Cenobite. This entry is also full of undesirable acting and over-the-best kills, which both aids and hurts the film’s entertainment worth. This is a silly film that feels out of place in the original trilogy, but it is responsible for bringing us leading-man Pinhead. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth: **1/2 (out of *****).

THE BLU-RAY COLLECTION:

Picture AND SOUND:

Horror fans waited numerous years for Arrow to release its Hellraiser box set in America. Released in both elaborate “Scarlet Box Restricted Edition” and standard trilogy variants in the UK, the trilogy initially receives only the much more elaborate release in America. Sadly, Arrow Video only provided verify discs for overview, hence I can not comment on the ultimate good quality of the image and sound. Nevertheless, even these screeners offer exceptional technical presentations, so I assume the final item is impressive. If I obtain a retail version in the future I will update this review.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

Even though I did not obtain the retail version, fans need to appreciate the elaborately packaged set, which includes all 3 movies on separate discs, a Blu-ray bonus disc and many physical extras, such as art cards, a booklet and poster. I can comment on the on-disc content material, which is excellent. On the Hellraiser disc you get Interviews with Sean Chapman, Stephen Thrower and Doug Bradley (26:24, 18:11 and 12:31, respectively) an substantial documentary, Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser (1:29:18) an Image Gallery, Television spots, Trailers, an Original EPK Featurette (5:58), a vintage featurette, Hellraiser: Resurrection (24:26) a Commentary with Writer/Director Clive Barker and a Commentary with Clive Barker and Ashley Laurence.

On the second disc you get a Commentary with Director Tony Randel and Writer Peter Atkins a Commentary with Tony Randel, Peter Atkins and Ashley Laurence Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II (two:00:46) Interviews with Sean Chapman and Doug Bradley (11:35 and 10:53, respectively) an excised Surgeon Scene (4:49) a Lost in the Labyrinth featurette (17:03) an On-Set Interview with Clive Barker (3:18), On-Set Interviews with the Cast and Crew (four:45) Behind-the-Scenes Footage (1:51) Storyboards Tv Spots and Trailers.

On disc 3 you get an Alternate Unrated Version (96:38) a Commentary with Writer Peter Atkins a Commentary with Director Anthony Hickox and Doug Bradley Hell on Earth: The Story of Hellraiser III (32:01) Interviews with Paul Marshall, Anthony Hickox and Doug Bradley (14:55, 14:00 and 13:46, respectively) SFX Dailies (23:49) an EPK featurette (five:12) the Theatrical Trailer and an Image Gallery.

The fourth disc is the Clive Barker Legacy bonus material. It contains featurette Books of Blood and Beyond (19:25) documentary Hellraiser: Evolutions (48:17) and 3 Short Films (31:40, 18:29 and 42:59, respectively).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Fans of the Hellraiser series will want to speedily order this Limited Edition Scarlet Box Trilogy before it sells out. Though a normal Blu-ray trilogy is likely on the horizon, this version is reasonably priced and handsomely packaged. Clive Barker’s original film is daring, bloody and unique, and the two integrated sequels offer their own thrills. If the final solution mirrors the screener discs sent to DVD Talk, the technical presentations should impress, and the set includes a daunting quantity of bonus characteristics. Extremely Advisable for horror fans.

William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and appears forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

What Do You Consider?


Blu-Ray Reviews


Jerry Maguire [20th Anniversary Edition] (Blu-ray)

The Film:

I was recently at an occasion where I was meeting some members of a single of my favourite pro sports teams, and I was having a good conversation with 1 of the newer players. But it’s not like that ought to be a surprise to me, due to the fact I am a fan of lesser common sports on the American sports scale, in big part since the athletes of these sports are far a lot more approachable and modest than the run of the mill football or basketball player. As it turns out, the guy I was talking to wasn’t even creating half of the money I was he was playing for the enjoy of the game, and the funds will sort itself out. Isn’t that how athletes must be? It really is with that tiny powder keg of discussion that enables me to segue into revisiting Jerry Maguire. Cameron Crowe, who wrote and directed the film, possessed expertise writing quirky films that just happened to have components of comedy and romance in them, with out getting full-fledged romantic comedies. His earlier life as a teenaged staff writer for Rolling Stone afforded him the opportunity to have music as the background of several of those films (like Say Something and Rapidly Instances at Ridgemont High), but he used sports as the backdrop for this one.

The title character is played by Tom Cruise Oblivion), a sports agent in a high-powered firm who continues to assistance and advocate for his client, often at all physical fees to the athlete. In a moment of revelation, he thinks that the firm can do better, be much more human, as it had been, and one night writes and publishes a manifesto of sorts that illustrates how to do this. Of course, the firm’s primary motivation is to be profitable and not good, so he is unceremoniously dumped, and he is unable to retain his customers either, except for one, a middle-of-the-pack football player named Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr., Selma) whose mouth appears to have a lot more talent than he does. He also has Dorothy (Renee Zellweger, Bridget Jones’s Baby), a secretary who study Jerry’s memo, enjoyed it and leaves the firm with him. From there, each of the male characters seem to have separate revelations from their operate Rod’s willingness to take a hit or two quietly elevates his status within the NFL, and Jerry’s private adaptation into a partnership, where he had previously feared commitment, but was nearly addicted to companionship that was far from serious.

Take into account the scene exactly where Dorothy’s son Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki, Stuart Small) asks to come into the bedroom exactly where Jerry and Dorothy are speaking about Jerry’s thoughts on a dinner with Rod and his wife Marcee (Regina King, Ray). Dorothy asks him to wait, Jerry basically invites him in, and Ray comes in and plops down in the middle of the bed. Jerry’s attempting to steer clear of his feelings, so when the time comes in the film to celebrate, Jerry doesn’t have anyone to celebrate with. This reality dawns on him just as clearly as the moment to write his memo did, and he acts accordingly. In the end, whilst Crowe’s story may not deliver the “anti-greedy sports athlete” message as I may well have inferred earlier, the underlying message is the very same. Never forget what’s critical, and in no way forget what makes you into the person or athlete you are. It really is the people you happen to be around, and the really like of the game that you possess, that drives you into the positions that you attain. That is a lesson we could all understand from.

A actual fast word on all of the transcendent stuff from the film, like the popular lines, and Gooding’s functionality. While “show me the funds!” was a funny line and all, I think it was the late Gene Siskel who helped describe the sequence it was shown in with a lot higher clarity. The utterance is a opportunity for Jerry to evolve from getting cold and calculated, always searching to spin something no matter how silly it is, to a person who acts with a lot more feeling and impulse. When Dorothy says “you had me at hello,” it is simply because of the gesture that Jerry created, not because of the speech he delivers afterward. It’s those moments that make Jerry Maguire nevertheless watchable soon after so several years, along with the charm and wit that Crowe has been identified for delivering for over two decades now.

The Blu-ray:
Video:

For the film’s 20th anniversary, a new transfer primarily based on a 4K remaster was included in this release. I do not have the old disc any longer for a comparison but this release is extremely great. Film grain is visible via the film and colors are reproduced vividly without noise or saturation problems. Image detail is the star on this, with factors like Tidwell’s tattoo being far more clear when viewing. Fabric textures and wood grain is even discernible on this also, along with stubble on Cruise’s face. It appears excellent.

Sound:

There is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless surround track which replaces the TrueHD one on the final release. The music sounds fantastic from the jump and the songs by way of it sound clear and possess solid dynamic variety. Immersion in the events in the course of the games and on the last a single consist of channel panning and possess a greater than expected level of immersion. I never bear in mind how the very first film sounded but this a single is solid listening to.

Extras:

So all of the extras from 2008 release return for this release, and the image-in-picture commentary with Crowe, Cruise, Gooding and Zellweger restored for this release.

The new release includes a couple of factors: “We Meet Once more” (38:54) is a new retrospective appear at the film, which consists of a lot of footage and interviews from the time of the production. Crowe includes interviews then and now and the piece recalls how the film came together and the NFL’s participation in it. The initial casting suggestions are shared and the evolution to the actors they landed on shown. There is a ton of on -et footage as the cast talks about 1 an additional and the film, and it really is a good sufficient piece. Much more deleted/extended scenes are right here with an introduction by Crowe (20, 55:38) and there are some things here that extend the Kush character a little more, but they are largely extended scenes, with an alternate ending. A photo gallery is the last issue on the disc. Along with a digital copy of the film, there is a CD that houses the soundtrack, and a booklet that consists of the oft-recalled ‘memo’ and an introduction to this new release by Crowe.

Final Thoughts:

This new incarnation of Jerry Maguire consists of an outstanding transfer and an OK lossless track, and if 1 were to upgrade on the past release, it would be quite a lot for and transfer, as the extras do not supply a lot added justification either. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of the film who has by no means purchased a version on Blu-ray, this has got to be as definitive a version as you happen to be going to get. In sum, if the transfer is worth it to current holders of the film, go for it. For initial-timers? Simple acquire.

What Do You Feel?


Blu-Ray Testimonials


We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! – Collector&#039s Edition (Blu-ray)

The Movie:

Like a lot of folks around my approximate age, I keep in mind the days of Twisted Sister in the early and mid-1980s, and the launch of their careers into the stratosphere by means of comprehensive airplay of their videos “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” one of which included Mark Metcalf, who played Neidermeyer in Animal Residence. Like a lot of individuals around my approximate age, I had little information of the story of the band and their existence to that point, and Andrew Horn’s documentary (titled “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!”) tries to explain this.

Rather than serve as a career retrospective, the story of Twisted Sister began a decade before the release of its very first album, in clubs in Lengthy Island, New York and New Jersey. The band played covers from David Bowie and Mott the Hoople among other individuals and ultimately hired Dee Snider (then in a band of his own in the location at the time) to front the band. The group began their ascent as Dee and guitarist Jay Jay French would do what they could to stir audience response, and a single night they held up a ‘Disco Sucks!’ sign and that began to plant seeds of interest from the individuals.

Even though the band had not recorded an album, they have been carrying out just about almost everything else in the course of their decade ahead of stardom. They did merchandising, had a fan club, toured England, and although they didn’t have a lot of nationwide or international reputation, these who did see them have been their most significant fans, like a record executive who was threatened with his job if he didn’t cease talking about them at 1 point. They got to England, caught the eye of an executive over there, and dominoes sooner or later started to fall.

Horn interviews the band’s existing and former members along with management and fans as they speak about some of the items they did and the memorable experiences in the years just before generating it large. And all through the film (a mammoth two hours and thirteen minutes, I’ll add), you can see that it really is not just a really like letter to the band but its need to show that there was some sense of…nightlife(? Society?) in that area and what folks liked and did not, the lengths that the musicians took to do some of the things they did, and the film captures these issues nicely. The final thoughts from Snider and French about the break to stardom is a little bit telling too there is some regret in producing some of the choices they did, and possibly they alienated some of their longtime fans in the process, but Twisted appears to have identified a sense of closure to their arc as a band and continues playing today.

In a quiet and wise way “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!” both covers the roots of the band and also serves as a statement by those still related with them now. It not only gives the novice a deep dive into the workings of the band but shows their motivation and desires in playing, laughs at their errors and revels in their judgments. It is a film by a fan, for the fans.

The Blu-ray:
The Video:

The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and makes use of the AVC codec for its 1080i presentation, with the disc seeking just fine. It juggles a variety of sources like camcorder footage at club shows, stills, old British television show footage is all incorporated into the mix with the modern interviews and factors appear fine all through. Interviews look extremely good and possess ample color reproduction with tiny noise or saturation troubles that weren’t already inherent in the source. This is quality viewing.

The Sound:

Two DTS-HD Master Audio lossless tracks, and I went for the 5.1 over the two-channel selection. The music sounds clean as can be and the interviews are related. There is a lack of channel panning or directional effects to this track, and the subwoofer does engage, albeit sparingly more than the course of the film. But it is fine listening.

Extras:

You get extra footage. A LOT of extra footage. It’s thrown into a variety of topics (“The Clubs,” “The Fans” and “Attitude” amongst them) and there are a number of interviews in every single. Operating a little longer than the film itself (2:21:44), it is a worthy complement to the film. Horn also contributes a commentary which touches on his connection to the band, how he got some of the interview subjects and material for the film. He supplies backstories on a lot of folks and stories in the film, even though calling it the “Ben-Hur of rock documentaries.” It is a track that is much more remembrance of the events than on the production which is fine. There is also a trailer (2:23).

Final Thoughts:

I came into “We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!” not realizing what to expect of a band that had a couple of hits then went away. I left with a deeper appreciation and understanding of their story and feel that the film does a good job in illustrating that they could deserve a deeper spot in rock history than what they have. Technically, the disc is strong and the additional material and commentary are good. The film has been out for some time now and if you happen to be searching for a alter of pace (and a pleasant surprise), this may possibly be the factor for you.

What Do You Feel?


Blu-Ray Testimonials


Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Large Hairy American Winning Edition) (Blu-ray)

THE FILM:

My buddies and I incessantly quoted Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby for a good two years right after its 2006 release. It is not higher art, but may be Will Ferrell’s funniest film (sorry, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, I still like you, as well). Complete of memorable one particular-liners and playful digs at Southern NASCAR culture, Talladega Nights gives a winning cast in Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Leslie Bibb and Jane Lynch. This story of a bone-headed stock vehicle driver and his redneck loved ones has a beating heart, and supplies sufficient absurdist humor for the most inebriated viewer. Hey, if you do not chew Large Red then f**k you!

From a young age Ricky Bobby (Ferrell), the man with two 1st names, wanted to go rapidly. He ultimately graduates from the pit crew to driver and earns himself a hot NASCAR wife, Carley (Bibb), and lots of income and fame. Ricky’s two boys, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell), are small assholes who consistently irritate their grandfather, Chip (Ted Manson). Carley’s idea of a home-cooked meal is a table stacked with Taco Bell, KFC, Pepsi and Pizza Hut. Ricky’s greatest buddy, Cal Naughton Jr. (Reilly), is just as dim as Ricky, but Cal quickly grows tired of sharing the spotlight. An openly gay French driver, Jean Girard (Cohen), challenges Ricky, who turns to his assistant, Susan (Amy Adams), for inspiration. Hilarity ensues.

Even though Ferrell has proved himself with dramatic roles in films like Everything Must Go and Stranger Than Fiction, comedy remains his bailiwick. What makes Talladega Nights perform is the speedy-fire, frequently ad-libbed dialogue, from Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay. Ten years later, the film nonetheless feels fresh, and is miles funnier than far more recent Ferrell comedies Daddy’s House and Get Tough. The writing, direction and acting all click, and Talladega Nights offers repeat laughs.

NASCAR and Southern excess are ripe to lampoon, but the film does so with out malice. Ricky is dumb but loveable, and Talladega Nights wisely avoids creating him some Bible-thumping, gun-toting nutjob. Highlights of the film include Ricky’s ridiculous endorsement commercials, scenes with the late, natural and surprisingly funny Duncan, and the back-and-forth digs among Lynch and her two on-screen grandsons. The film tends to make you yearn for 2000s Ferrell. Calling this a new classic comedy is overselling the solution, but Talladega Nights is a consistently funny film with a lot of replay value.

THE BLU-RAY:

Picture:

Sony offers the theatrical cut of the film a new two.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image that is remastered at 4K from the original unfavorable. The extended edition retains the identical 2.40:1/1080p/MPEG-two transfer from the original Blu-ray release. The new 4K remaster is better, but neither transfer is exceptional. For the 4K image, fine-object detail and texture are enhanced, but the image has an general flat appearance and is plagued with blown-out highlights that rob the image of nuanced, refined particulars. Colors are bolder and much better saturated in the remaster, and black levels are steadier. Compression is also much better thanks to the AVC encode. This is not a negative image, but it is surely middle of the road. I noticed some minor edge enhancement and aliasing, which is toned down in the 4K remaster.

SOUND:

The theatrical cut gets a five.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. The extended cut retains the same 5.1 LPCM mix, which is really slightly much more impressive. Each provide reasonably immersive listening experiences, with whizzing stock automobiles to surround the viewer. Ambient and action effects make use of the surrounds and subwoofer, and dialogue is crystal clear from all channels. The score and well-liked music soundtrack are layered appropriately, and I noticed no technical flaws. The discs offer a number of lossy dubs and subtitle options.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This two-disc “Big Hairy American Winning Edition” is packed in an Elite case that is wrapped in a slipcover. The 108-minute theatrical cut is on Disc 1 and the 121-minute extended cut is on Disc two. I feel the theatrical reduce is tighter and operates greater, but it’s nice to have the alternative to watch each. As for extras, Disc 1 involves a “25 Years Later” Commentary with Director Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, which is sporadically amusing Adam’s Video Diaries (11:46/HD) Line-O-Rama (4:45/HD) Raw Requires (16:44/HD) Deleted and Extended Scenes (42:36/HD) Auditions (9:16/HD) Interviews (12:28/HD) and the Teaser (two:16/HD) and Theatrical (two:32/HD) trailers. Disc 2 involves a Commentary by the Director and Close friends a lot more Deleted and Extended Scenes (25:54/HD) a Gag Reel (two:27/HD) Will Ferrell Returns to Talladega (five:26/HD) Ricky and Cal’s Commercials (1:38/HD) Ricky and Cal’s Public Service Announcement (2:38/HD) Bonus Race Footage (1:18/HD) and the Theatrical Trailer (2:32/HD).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Ricky Bobby endures. It is tough to think this Will Ferrell comedy is now ten years old. I quoted the shit out of this absurdist, improv-heavy film in 2006, and it holds up surprisingly well. Sony’s new two-disc Blu-ray offers a remastered but mediocre picture and lots of supplements. Advised.

William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and appears forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

What Do You Feel?


Blu-Ray Critiques


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The Member of the Wedding: Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

&#13 Frances “Frankie” Addams, the lanky and reckless 12 year-old tomboy at the heart of Fred Zinnemann’s The Member of the Wedding (1952). is uncomfortable in her personal skin. She’s not afraid to let everybody know it, either: her patient housekeeper Berenice Brown (Ethel Waters), her sickly but precocious young cousin John Henry (Brandon de Wilde), her “pals” from college and the neighborhood, her all-but absentee father (William Hansen) and, most lately, her dear older brother Jarvis (Arthur Franz) and his lovely fiancée Janice (Nancy Gates), who will be married within the week. It is this latest event that is gotten Frankie (Julie Harris) particularly worked up: there is nothing at all for her in this modest Southern town—at least nothing at all she desires, apparently—and one particular of her final remaining remnants of a content childhood is leaving for his honeymoon in a matter of days. For Frankie, The Member of the Wedding is a turbulent coming-of-age story for the audience, it really is a litmus test for anybody who thinks they are prepared to raise a teenager.&#13

&#13 Primarily based on Carson McCullers’ extremely effective 1946 novel (and in turn, the well-known 1950 Broadway production that also starred Harris, Waters, and de Wilde), The Member of the Wedding remains a spirited slice of Southern drama that, despite a quantity of nagging faults, does a decent job of adapting the source material. It’s not possible to get by way of any write-up of the film without mentioning that the 12 year-old Frankie was portrayed by Harris at age 26—and to her credit, it’s a nicely-which means and memorable performance that is much more genuine than distracting. Nevertheless, there are issues right here: Harris—and to a lesser extent, her two returning co-stars–look so comfortable with the material in its stage format that they typically aim for the back seats: this is in no way much more evident than Frankie’s violent outbursts, which sooner or later wear thin on the ears of all but the most patient viewers. I quickly found myself far more interested in Berenice (along with her foster brother “Honey”, played by James Edwards), John Henry, and the newlyweds.&#13

&#13 Nonetheless, The Member of the Wedding has far more than its fair share of excellent moments: the lead trio usually impresses when they are in the identical area, and the downward spiral of Frankie’s emotional balance as the wedding approaches is fascinating in its raw, unfiltered presentation. It really is the type of film that’s effortless to get wrapped up in engaging sufficient the first time, but 1 whose bleak backdrop and steady, unsettling momentum is not specifically high on replay worth. It really is suggested to mature viewers who went via a equivalent knowledge for the duration of young adulthood…but for every person else, The Member of the Wedding will likely maintain you at as well considerably of a distance to make a lasting effect.&#13

&#13 Luckily, Twilight Time’s sparkling new Blu-ray package guidelines the scales in its favor, serving up a pristine A/V presentation and a properly-rounded collection of old and new bonus characteristics that dissect the film and its source material in fairly sturdy detail. It really is at least worth a rental for any person halfway interested in this production…but considering its final house video release was a 2008 DVD (portion of a boxed set highlighting the profession of producer Stanley Kramer), this belated but welcome bump to high definition will make Twilight Time’s disc a have to-have for die-difficult fans of the film.&#13

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&#13 Presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, this crisp 1080p transfer is a fine work that eclipses Sony’s 2008 DVD in every division, even although it seems to be taken from the very same source elements. Image detail and texture are quite impressive with strong black levels (specifically throughout the outdoor scenes), great contrast, and no glaring amounts of dirt and debris along the way. Digital imperfections are kept to a minimum, with no excessive noise reduction, contrast boosting, or compression problems to speak of. Either way, this is prime-tier work that represents The Member of the Wedding‘s ideal house video presentation to date for that alone, lengthy-time fans need to be thrilled.&#13


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&#13 DISCLAIMER: The nonetheless pictures and promotional pictures on this page are decorative and do not represent the Blu-ray below assessment.&#13
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&#13 The principal alternative (aside from an Isolated Music Track, presented in lossless two.) is a DTS-HD Master Audio 1. mix that preserves the film’s one-channel roots. This is a relatively sturdy work with crisp dialogue and occasional moments of depth, whilst background effects and Alex North’s music cues rarely fight for interest. Volume levels and dynamic variety are steady from start to finish even though it is obviously significantly less wealthy in comparison to larger-spending budget films, The Member of the Wedding sounds younger than its age implies. Optional English SDH subtitles are incorporated in the course of the film.&#13

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&#13 The interface is plain but perfectly functional, with fast loading time and the bare minimum of pre-menu distractions. This 1-disc release arrives in a common keepcase with striking black-and-white artwork and a good little Booklet featuring production stills, vintage promotional artwork, and the usual essay penned by TT typical Julie Kirgo.&#13

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&#13 Aside from the Isolated Score described above and a new Audio Commentary with Suzanne Vega, Derek Botelho, and David Del Valle, everything of interest from the 2008 DVD is also on board (with the exception of a quick Julie Harris video clip, but it did not add much). These recycled extras contain an older Audio Commentary—this time with Virginia Spencer Carr, author of Carson McCullers’ biography—as effectively as two mid-length Featurettes (“The Journey from Stage to Film” and “The Planet of Carson McCullers”, 25 minutes total), a brief Introduction by Stanley Kramer’s widow Karen, and the film’s original Trailer. Overall, it’s a effectively-rounded collection of bonus attributes that fans must take pleasure in from start to finish they look and sound quite excellent too, although the lack of optional subtitles is disappointing.&#13

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&#13 Fred Zinnemann’s The Member of the Wedding examines a quantity of universal themes that still carry weight today, making this turbulent drama a serviceable adaptation of the original Broadway play…and porting more than the three lead performers seems like a logical fit. Yet its stage roots are all as well evident in some respects: Julie Harris aims for the back seats, whilst many moments really feel overly rehearsed as an alternative of all-natural. Due to the intensity of its central character, The Member of the Wedding must appeal far more to those who went through a similar predicament in the course of young adulthood I didn’t, so Frankie’s plight didn’t resonate as deeply as it may well for a person else (it is also why I identified myself much a lot more interested in the largely neglected supporting characters). Nonetheless, it really is aged effectively sufficient for a 64 year-old period drama, and Twilight Time’s Blu-ray is a perfectly nicely-rounded effort with strong A/V marks and a handful of sturdy bonus attributes. Firmly Advised to established fans newcomers could want to rent it very first.&#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable office monkey by day and film reviewer by evening. He also does freelance style function, teaches art classes and runs a site or two. In his restricted cost-free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs and writing in third person.&#13


Blu-Ray Testimonials


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Lilies of the Field: Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

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&#13 Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field (1963), adapted from William Edmund Barrett’s novel from a year earlier, remains one of star Sidney Poitier’s most memorable and iconic roles. Of course, it is virtually better recognized as the one particular which earned him the Oscar for Ideal Actor that year, a historic win that hadn’t been matched since Hattie McDaniel’s efficiency in Gone with the Wind virtually 25 years earlier. Lilies of the Field is also notable for a folk-tinged, memorable score by the late Jerry Goldsmith, then just nine years into his prolific profession that would last four far more decades.&#13

&#13 The story is about as simple as motion pictures get: it really is got the absolute bare minimum of setup, permitting this character-driven drama to unfold at a relaxed pace. Ex-G.I. Homer Smith (Poitier) stops for water at a farm in Arizona, obliged by a group of European nuns led by “Mother Maria” (Lilia Skala). There’s an apparent language gap as the women know quite small English, but Maria instantly understands one point: the strapping young Smith (dubbed “Schmidt” by the group) has been sent by divine circumstances to create a chapel on the property. He’s a skilled handyman—a jack-of-all-trades, even—but reluctant to assist: it’s a large job for a single man, they have quite tiny funds, and he doesn’t share their Catholic faith. But pride wins out: before he knows it, “Schmidt” is laying bricks and sharing meals with his new hostesses, unsure of exactly where they’ll get the rest of the considerably-required supplies. He’s also teaching them a bit of English along the way, whether by means of conversation or song (in certain, Southern Baptist gospel music).&#13

&#13 Most movies, message-driven or otherwise, reside or die by their lead functionality and Lilies of the Field is no exception. Luckily, Poitier is his usual magnetic self and carries the film with a charismatic, quickly accessible performance. It’s the film’s most apparent saving grace (pun intended), and a single of the causes why Lilies of the Field is still enjoyable in spite of getting so firmly rooted in the previous. It may possibly as effectively be a hundred years old at this point, but that is just element of the charm. Goldsmith’s score is not far behind it’ll most likely be stuck in your head for hours afterward.&#13

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&#13 New audiences unfamiliar with Lilies of the Field‘s message, on the other hand, may not be entirely won over. I first saw it throughout my late single-digit years and enjoyed the surface-level story, in no way fully processing that the film was truly playing to a particular kind of religious audience. Whilst the back-and-forth debating among “Schmidt” and the nuns can be appreciated by those of all beliefs (or lack thereof), there is a robust undercurrent of higher school-level philosophy that actually rubbed me the wrong way one particular man even describes his faith as “life insurance coverage” by way of Pascal’s paper-thin Wager. It is just one particular of several eye-rolling moments for those who cannot fully embrace Lilies of the Field‘s sometimes narrow sentiments…but to the film’s credit, it overcomes the restricted scope with (largely) 3-dimensional characters and a slow but steady pace that feels excellent for a relaxing weekend matinee. &#13

&#13 Initially released on DVD by MGM back in 2001, Lilies of the Field was offered a slight DVD upgrade by Kino significantly less than six months ago of course, any person familiar with MGM titles should’ve recognized a Twilight Time Blu-ray was right about the corner, as they at present hold exclusive high-def rights to the studio’s huge back catalog. It really is been worth the wait, too: Twilight’s Blu-ray serves up an improved A/V presentation, even adding a few thoughtful extras for very good measure. Those with fond memories of the film (followed by a 1979 sequel starring Billy Dee Williams, yet to be released on disc) need to definitely contemplate an upgrade, thanks to its straightforward charms and apparent replay worth.&#13

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&#13 Presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio, this crisp 1080p transfer (supplied by MGM, and exclusive to this release) is a extremely good work that easily eclipses both Kino’s 2015 DVD release and the much older MGM disc. Image detail and texture are quite impressive with sturdy black levels (specifically throughout the numerous outdoor scenes), good contrast, and no glaring amounts of dirt and debris along the way. Digital imperfections are kept to a minimum in truth, my only nitpick is what appears to be trace amounts of noise reduction…despite the fact that to be quite truthful, it could just be that the film grain is much a lot more noticeable in particular shots. Either way, this is nonetheless best-tier function that represents Lilies of the Field‘s ideal property video presentation to date for that alone, lengthy-time fans must be thrilled.&#13


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&#13 DISCLAIMER: These compressed and resized screen captures are strictly decorative and do not represent the Blu-ray beneath overview.&#13
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&#13 The major option (aside from an Isolated Music Track with limited effects, presented in lossless two.) is a DTS-HD Master Audio 1. mix that preserves the film’s one particular-channel roots. This is a relatively strong work that attributes crisp dialogue and occasional moments of slight depth, even though background effects and Jerry Goldsmith’s music cues (and, of course, the on-screen singing) rarely fight for attention. Volume levels and dynamic variety are steady from start off to finish even though it’s naturally significantly less complete and wealthy in comparison to much more contemporary films, Lilies of the Field sounds a decade or two younger than its age implies. Optional English SDH subtitles have been included throughout the principal feature.&#13

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Menu Design and style, Presentation &amp Packaging
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&#13 The interface is plain but perfectly functional, with rapid loading time and the bare minimum of pre-menu distractions. This a single-disc release arrives in a standard keepcase with striking black-and-white artwork and a good little Booklet featuring production stills, vintage promotional artwork, and the usual essay penned by TT normal Julie Kirgo.&#13

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Bonus Features
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&#13 Aside from the Isolated Score described above, we also get a full-length Audio Commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman, as properly as the film’s lengthy Theatrical Trailer. The commentary, as expected, is a properly-rounded and entertaining track, with lots of historical tidbits and dissection of the principal themes. Even though more first-hand participation or vintage extras would’ve been appreciated (Poitier’s Oscar acceptance speech?), the simple reality that there’s far more work here than both prior DVDs ought to please die-hard fans of the film.&#13

Final Thoughts

&#13 Ralph Nelson’s Lilies of the Field isn’t star Sidney Poitier’s greatest film…but it is one particular of his ideal performances, and that alone makes it worth watching. The film’s charm can be a tiny deceptive, although: it tries attractive to all audiences but might distance those who never share its faith, drawing a line in the sand that most likely should’ve been left alone. Yet this clearly dated production still endures due to Poitier’s terrific (and rightfully award-winning) lead efficiency and Jerry Goldsmith’s memorable score. Either way, Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray must appeal to established fans, serving up a robust A/V presentation and more bonus characteristics than both earlier DVDs. Those new to the film should try out the considerably cheaper DVDs first, but interested parties will get their money’s worth. Suggested.&#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable workplace monkey by day and film reviewer by evening. He also does freelance design function, teaches art classes and runs a website or two. In his restricted cost-free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs and writing in third person.&#13


Blu-Ray Critiques


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