The Massive Heat (1953) (Blu-ray) Encore Edition

Judge Patrick Naugle pitched a contemporary remake entitled The Huge HVAC.

Sergeant Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford, Cowboy) is an truthful cop investigating the death of a fellow police officer, Tom Duncan. What at very first seems like a clear cut case of suicide quickly turns into one thing a lot more sinister as Bannion is given conflicting stories from Duncan’s chilly wife (Jeanette Nolan, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) and Duncan’s possible mistress (Dorothy Green, It Occurred At The Planet Fair). When the mistress is found bound, tortured, and killed on the side of the road, Bannion realizes that there’s much more to this case than meets the eye. His investigations will take him into the heart of the city’s underworld, which includes a fateful run-in with the nearby crime boss, Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby, The Devil at four O’clock), and Lagana’s sadistic second-in-command, Vince Stone (Lee Marvin, The Delta Force).

Although director Fritz Lang will go down in cinema history as the director of two of the most influential films of the 1920s (Metropolis) and 1930s (M), Lang also toiled in a lot of other genres which includes war films (Cloak and Dagger), psychological thrillers (Secret Beyond the Door), westerns (Rancho Notorious), and—most impressively—film noir. Lang’s filmography is littered with gems like The Residence by the River and The Woman by the Window. The director’s largest achievement could be the 1953 Glenn Ford automobile The Big Heat. The film was a hit with audiences, became a essential darling over the years, and was sooner or later included in the prestigious National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

Admittedly, I am not a very large connoisseur of film noir. In truth, I’d venture to guess it really is the cinematic genre I know the least about it is not that I never enjoy it, I just haven’t had the possibility to see a lot of noir films. From what I’ve read The Huge Heat was 1 of the most critical in the genre, a defining instance of film noir at its finest. I can see why critics really feel this way—The Huge Heat is brisk, classic entertainment that does not get bogged down by slow spots or unnecessary exposition. This is, quite simply, a wonderful film with a wonderful cast that never ever overstays its welcome.

Glenn Ford was a rock of cinema, an actor that in no way seemed to reach the heights of Paul Newman or Marlon Brando, but who usually came by way of with a solid functionality no matter what film he was starring in. Ford’s Detective Bannion is not flashy or showy—this is a character who stoically goes by means of the motions of finding out the truth, even when the truth hits so close to property that it almost destroys his entire planet. Ford injects Bannion with a sense of proper and incorrect in a planet that doesn’t seem to follow his exact same rules. It really is a tricky overall performance since Ford keeps Bannion’s feelings so close to his vest the only time we see a crack in that armor is when Bannion is at residence with his wife and kid.

1 of the causes The Large Heat functions so wonderfully is due to a swath of supporting actors who bring menace and mystery to their roles. Very best among them in Lee Marvin as the film’s heavy Vince Stone, a towering and menacing figure whose cruelty appears to know no bounds in one of the film’s most infamous scenes Marvin’s Stone throws a pot of scalding hot coffee into his girlfriend’s face, permanently scarring her. Though the violence is shown off-screen, it really is nonetheless a harrowing cinematic moment and gives the character the proper quantity of viciousness to make him a person the audience loves to hate. Gloria Grahame as Vince’s desirable but abrasive girlfriend and Alexander Scourby as the head crime boss also give the film a varied cast of challenging talking dames and soulless villains.

Twists and turns come rapidly in The Large Heat, with a strong screenplay by former crime reporter Sydney Boehm, based on a serial by William P. McGivern (which initially appeared in the Saturday Evening Post). The highest praise I can give a film like The Massive Heat is that I didn’t know how it was going to finish when a single of the principal characters gets hot coffee thrown on her face, you know the filmmakers are not playing by the normal rules. This makes The Massive Heat is an simple recommendation.

The Large Heat (Blu-ray) Encore Edition is presented in 1.33:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. This Twilight Time release (an encore release, as The Big Heat was released on Blu-ray in 2012) functions a crisp, strong black and white transfer. There’s a fine grain structure to the image that provides the film a warm, ‘filmic’ really feel. The image is clear of any significant defects or imperfections general this is a fantastic hunting image of a classic film. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 1. Mono in English. This is an superb reproduction of the original mono soundtrack recording. Though the track is entirely front heavy, it provides listeners a rich, pleasing single speaker encounter. Also integrated on this disc are English subtitles.

Further features consist of an isolated score track, a commentary track by film historians Julie Kirgo, Nick Redman, and Lem Dobbs, two featurettes (“Martin Scorsese on The Massive Heat” and “Michael Mann on The Massive Heat”), and an original theatrical trailer for The Massive Heat.

The Huge Heat stands as a landmark film noir and 1 of the finest examples of the genre. From Glenn Ford’s pitch perfect hero to the Fritz Lang’s directorial prowess, it looms big and deserves its rightful location in the Library of Congress. Twilight Time’s double dip will make fans who missed this title the first time about pleased, even though the supplements aren’t as plentiful as a single might hope. With only a restricted quantity of copies obtainable, I’d advise acquiring your as soon as possible prior to they’re all gone!

DVD Verdict


Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs: Signature Edition (Blu-ray)

&#13 Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) remains one of the studio’s most iconic animated films for two clear motives: (1) it is the first full-length production of its kind, and (two) it really is nonetheless a lot of fun right after nearly 80 years. Although regarded as a large gamble in the course of its three-year improvement (enough so that Walt had to mortgage his house to help pay for ballooning production fees), the finish outcome was a crucial and industrial smash hit that cemented the studio’s good results for years to come. Serving up beautiful hand-drawn animation with a European flair, powerful use of the studio’s new multi-plane camera technology, memorable music cues, and an accessible story for fans of all ages, Snow White is both a “total package” picture and and a single of the studio’s purest efforts. Not a lot of films can be referred to as an inspiration for MGM’s later adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, but this is a single of them.&#13

&#13 There probably aren’t several new to this production (or at least the characters in it), but initial-time viewers—and those returning to Snow White for the very first time in decades, of course—will instantly be struck by how incredibly basic the plot is, not to mention the slow but deliberate pacing that emphasizes visual gags and character interactions over quick cuts and non-cease action. Anybody can summarize Snow White in 50 words and leave nothing of consequence out right after all, we’re speaking about a film that devotes more than ten% of its 83-minute running time to depict the dwarfs washing up for dinner. Yet it’s the film’s visual prowess and memorable characters that make Snow White such a purely enjoyable knowledge, and not almost as boring or sterile as I am probably making it sound. &#13

&#13 Becoming the very first animated film—princess-driven or otherwise—-in its now formidable back catalog, Snow White also kicked off a quantity of promotional tie-ins and traditions now considered commonplace for most massive-screen productions, especially those aimed at kids. The superb music cues, each sung (penned by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey) and instrumental (penned by Paul Smith and Leigh Harline), birthed the 1st genuine “soundtrack album” and a handful of Leading ten hits. Other avenues of merchandising had been also explored—such as figurines that sold enormously well, even in the course of the middle of a monetary recession. It didn’t finish as the decade drew to a close, either: the studio re-released Snow White in theaters on eight separate occasions (the most current becoming 1987), often in the course of instances of monetary instability or to celebrate anniversary landmarks. Regardless of whether the practices it birthed are a boon or a blemish, Snow White is inarguably a landmark slice of American animation and a actually enjoyably operate of art.&#13

&#13 Like a handful of other titles in Disney’s back catalog, Snow White was the recipient of a lavish Diamond Edition Blu-ray much more than six years ago in truth, it was so good that they haven’t added a lot of interest to this new “Signature Edition”. In fact, they’ve even taken away nearly an entire disc’s worth of bonus characteristics, replacing them with a handful of mostly trivial curiosities. There is still some high quality stuff here (and the A/V presentation is nevertheless mighty impressive, that is how excellent it was six years ago), but make no error about it: if you already have the Platinum Edition or can locate a second-hand copy on the inexpensive, there’s no compelling explanation to choose this up. If you can live without having the missing supplements, nonetheless, this is still a decent package for those who missed it the first time around.&#13

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&#13 Disney’s previously issued Diamond Edition Blu-ray was 1 of the very first of its classic titles to get the higher definition remedy, and it met or exceeded the expectations of most fans. So never get as well upset that this seems to be the precise identical transfer as that a single, albeit a single that’s be re-encoded and compressed with slightly more content on a single disc. It is quite considerably a toss-up as far as quality goes but, with out question, this is a terrific seeking disc that fans of all ages ought to appreciate looking at. The earthy colour palette is deep and rich, image detail is powerful and, most importantly, flagrant digital imperfections don’t appear to be an issue here (its only “flaws”, for lack of a far better word, are inherent to the original production and aren’t distracting at all). Also as prior to, viewers have the selection of watching the film in “DisneyView” mode, which adds tasteful sidebar art by the late Toby Bluth that offers a far more colorful knowledge while retaining the 1.37:1 aspect ratio. A good touch, but I’m glad it really is optional.&#13


&#13 DISCLAIMER: The screen captures featured in this review are strictly decorative and do not represent Blu-ray’s native 1080p image resolution.&#13
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&#13 Also identical to the last release, audio options consist of separate DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio and Dolby Digital 1. tracks, along with French and Spanish dubs. The 7.1 option may look like overkill for a 1937 film, animated or otherwise, but this is a tasteful and powerful remix that adds sturdy channel separation, light rear effects, and a nice quantity of low end when the scenario demands it. Never get me wrong: I’d most likely pick the original 1. mix if forced to choose (even although it is not lossless for what ever reason), but it is definitely good to have both possibilities. Purists will flock to the original 1. mix as well, and for very good purpose: it’s nonetheless clear as a bell, with crisp dialogue and music cues to boot. Either way, this is a fine sonic presentation that fans must actually appreciate. Optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles are integrated for the duration of the main function and all appropriate extras, which is often welcome.&#13

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&#13 The fashionable interface is cleanly made and simple to use, delivering separate possibilities for chapter choice, setup and bonus characteristics. This two-disc (BD+DVD) set is housed in a regular dual-hubbed keepcase with desirable cover art and a matching slipcover. In what must be a microcosm for this release in general, we get a handful of ad inserts but no actual booklet like final time. Oh, and there is also a Digital Copy redemption slip, if that floats your boat.&#13

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&#13 Here’s exactly where items go a tiny downhill. The Diamond Edition Blu-ray served up two discs stuffed with extras…but significantly like the re-situation of Sleeping Beauty, some of the very best ones have not been incorporated here. &#13

&#13 Recycled extras: a full Audio Commentary with Roy E. Disney, historian John Canemaker, and Walt Disney himself (through original audio interviews, of course), an abridged version of the exhaustive interactive Hyperion Studios Tour (now just a 30-minute highlight reel), a Snow White Returns featurette, a longer version of “The One That Started It All” (re-titled “Disney’s 1st Function”, and now 33 minutes as an alternative of 16), a pair of Deleted Scenes and Story Meetings, a Voice Talent featurette (six minutes), and “Bringing Snow White to Life” (11 minutes).&#13

&#13 New to this release: mostly a handful of good to not-so-great Featurettes about the film’s production and legacy. The most prominent is “In Walt’s Words” (4 minutes), a brief collection of audio interview clips about the film paired with vintage photographs. “Disney Animation: Designing Disney’s 1st Princess” (5 minutes) speaks with artists Mark Henn, Lorelay Bove, Michael Giaimo, and Bill Schwab as they break down the film’s unique visuals, whilst the like-minded “Iconography” gives a broader examination of the film’s lasting recognition. “The Fairest Information of Them All: 7 Items You May Not Know About Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (5 minutes) is a short and somewhat intriguing trivia session with actress Sofia Carson, even though the significantly less exciting “Snow White In Seventy Seconds” is an obnoxious rap recap of the film (yes, genuinely). Finally, “The Prince Meets Snow White” is a new alternate sequence featuring a deleted meeting in between the two characters, with new vocal dubs and original sketches.&#13

&#13 Missing in action: A very good chunk of the previously pointed out interactive “Hyperion Studios” Tour, which integrated a handful of Storyboard-to-Screen Comparisons, Camera Tests and other pre-production material, “Disney By means of the Decades”, a Scrapbook of memorabilia, vintage RKO Promotional Items, Trailers and Radio Commercials, and much far more, some of which dated back to the 2001 Specific Edition DVD. Some of the lesser vintage extras (Music Videos, Games &amp Activities, and so forth.) are not missed…but most of this material was amazing, and the loss of it greatly reduces this release’s appeal. Luckily, utilised copies of the Diamond Edition are a tiny less difficult to discover now.&#13

&#13 All round, this is a well-stocked release…but if you already personal the superior Diamond Edition, there is actually absolutely nothing to get as well excited about right here (specially considering Disney’s usual price tag point). For collectors and new viewers only.&#13

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&#13 Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a milestone in American animation and holds up extremely well a lot more than 75 years after its original release. Featuring jaw-dropping visuals, memorable songs, and a story that favors tiny information and interactions over non-cease action, it is nevertheless fantastic entertainment for fans of all ages (including my five-year old, who had by no means noticed it and enjoyed herself). This new “Signature Edition” Blu-ray, on the other hand, represents a half-step backwards for the film’s considerable legacy. Much like Disney’s re-concern of Sleeping Beauty, we’re left with the shell of an currently-fantastic release: the exact same excellent A/V presentation has been preserved, but the total package of extras is much a lot more fluffy than historical. If you already own the exhaustive Diamond Edition Blu-ray, there’s quite small cause to choose this one particular up it’s for die-hard collectors and new fans only. Mildly Advised.&#13

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


Blu-Ray Testimonials


Mysterious Island (Encore Edition) (Blu-ray)

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&#13 Loosely primarily based on Jules Verne’s 1874 novel (which was itself a quasi-sequel to each 20,000 Leagues Below the Sea and In Search of the Castaways, the initial of which also featured Captain Nemo), Cy Endfield’s Mysterious Island (1961) has been adapted numerous other times for film, Tv, and other media. The source material is ripe with the possibility of imaginative visuals and…well, mystery, making this film a best showcase for the enjoyable creatures and effects from the mind of Ray Harryhausen. Featuring a terrific score by Bernard Hermann, strong performances, and memorable visuals, there is a lot to like here and it all ties together nicely throughout this brief but sweet adventure. &#13

&#13 We’re dropped in the middle of a Confederate prison camp for the duration of the American Civil War in 1865, where Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig) and three males are planning to escape in a nearby gas-powered balloon sitting outdoors. Their strategy functions and, with Confederate Sergeant Pencroft (Percy Herbert) reluctantly in tow, the Union prisoners escape into the stormy night. Eventually floating west, high above the clouds (but nevertheless really considerably at the wind’s mercy), they ultimately land on an uncharted volcanic island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Harding naturally assumes command Pencroft (once more, reluctantly) falls in line, as do Union soldiers Herbert Brown (Michael Callan), Neb (Dan Jackson), and war correspondent Gideon Spillet (Gary Merrill). Every single have their own duties, with the typical targets of (a) staying alive and (b) arranging a different escape, given that the balloon’s out of commission.&#13

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&#13 Survival would be difficult sufficient with no a giant crab, dino-sized bird, lurking cephalopod, and marauding pirates, but that pesky volcano begins acting up as well. Even with the assist of two shipwrecked English girls (Joan Greenwood and Beth Rogan) and Captain Nemo himself (Herbert Lom), things heat up once the lava flows. Luckily, they’ve got a strategy: resurrect a sunken ship with that trusty gas balloon and sail to freedom. Simple enough, correct? &#13

&#13 Even those new to Mysterious Island (or the perform of Ray Harryhausen) should have no trouble jumping appropriate in. There’s quite small fat right here…just tons of adventure, amusing interplay among the diverse cast, and no shortage of impressive visuals. In reality, the closest issue to dead weight is a budding romance between young Herbert Brown and the fetching Elena Fairchild: it’s natural that the settings and circumstances would yield romance, but their characters are two of the least developed. As a result, the whirlwind relationship feels far more like a desperate stab at sex appeal than an earned, organic element of an otherwise tight story. But as a whole, Mysterious Island works as nicely as it does due to the triple threat of Harryhausen, composer Bernard Hermann, and director Cy Endfield, who are capable to craft an enjoyable romp via uncharted territory that can make just about anybody feel like a kid at the movies. &#13

&#13 Mysterious Island reappears on Blu-ray as an “Encore Edition” from Twilight Time, who released a a limited edition in 2011 that sold out quickly. These who bought that original disc might be annoyed at the prospect of re-acquiring a film just three years later (specially considering that this one particular offers a modest A/V upgrade and numerous new extras), but it’ll probably hold its value for these hunting to unload their 1st pressing for further pocket money. Either way, this is an incredibly well-rounded disc that fans will appreciate owning and newcomers must think about while it is still in print.&#13

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Video &amp Audio High quality&#13
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&#13 Word has it that this clean and crisp 1080p, 1.66:1 transfer of Mysterious Island looks a small distinct than the previous Twilight Time Blu-ray (and slightly for the far better)…but since I do not own that out-of-print disc, I can not say for certain. It is obvious, even though, that this is a best-top quality effort: image detail and film grain are consistently attractive, the colors are rendered nicely, no main damage is present, and black levels are really very good. The only glaring issues are likely unavoidable and normally due to the effects shots: matte lines are highly visible (and may possibly even be mistaken for heavy edge enhancement at instances), tiny color fluctuations pop up every now and then, and contrast levels do not usually match up evenly. But taken for what it is, Mysterious Island looks amazing on Blu-ray and was realistically never meant to be picked apart by videophiles with high-definition displays and the potential to freeze-frame.&#13


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&#13 The audio’s been provided a small additional enjoy as effectively: there are no significantly less than 5 separate tracks on this Blu-ray, including a brand new DTS-HD two. Master Audio mix that replicates the original two-channel encounter. Still on board, of course, are the lossless mono and remixed five.1 tracks from the early Twilight disc both are superb for completely distinct motives, but it really is hard not to get swept up in Bernard Hermann’s original score in the course of the far more enveloping but tasteful 5.1 mix. An audio commentary is integrated also, as pointed out in the Bonus Features section. Either way, with this a lot of choices obtainable it is nearly impossible to give Mysterious Island anything much less than a ideal score soon after all, what much more could you want right here? Optional English subtitles have been included for the duration of the film as nicely.&#13

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Menus, Presentation, &amp Packaging
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&#13 Not considerably to the menu: it’s just a static interface that’s fundamentally identical to the original cover art with separate possibilities for playback, chapter selection, audio/subtitle setup, and bonus features. This 1-disc release is packaged in a clear keepcase and includes a recycled Booklet with specs, production notes, and an essay by Julie Kirgo. &#13

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Bonus Functions
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&#13 Twilight Time’s original Blu-ray incorporated the previously described Isolated Score track, as properly as an original Trailer and Television Spot for the film those bonus features return right here, along with a number of others for very good measure.&#13

&#13 First and foremost is a function-length Audio Commentary with film historians Randall William Cook, C. Courtney Joiner, and Steven C. Smith, who contribute a solid track loaded with comments about director Cy Endfield’s contributions, the detailed effects operate from Harryhausen and his group, shooting places, Bernard Hermann’s original score, and much far more. Also new here are two short featurettes (16 minutes total): “Ray Harryhausen on Mysterious Island features the effects legend discussing the film (along with storyboards and vintage photographs), and “Islands of Mystery” is a black-and-white promotional piece highlighting the production. Finally, we get a Re-Release Trailer, two Tv Trailers, and two much more Television Spots. Overall, it is a good set of extras that will only frustrate these who have to acquire it once more.&#13

Final Thoughts

&#13 Mysterious Island offers no shortage of escapism, enjoyable adventure, memorable locales, fantastic music, and some of Ray Harryhausen’s most creative and profitable effects shots. What’s more is that these components blend together smoothly, and it really is all sewn with each other by capable direction from Cy Endfield. The end result is hugely entertaining and accessible, regardless of whether the spectacle of Harryhausen’s perform impressed you as a kid or you are just looking for a great jumping-on point. Twilight Time’s “Encore Edition” finally tends to make Mysterious Island available once again soon after their original Blu-ray sold out swiftly this updated package adds in many worthwhile bonus functions and a bit of fine-tuning in the A/V division. For clear reasons, choose this up although it really is nonetheless obtainable! Extremely Advisable. &#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable office 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 free of charge time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs, and writing in third particular person.&#13


Blu-Ray Evaluations


Game of Thrones: Season Two (Steelbook Edition) (Blu-ray)

&#13 But sufficient about a couple of bits and pieces of the 1st three episodes: Game of Thrones‘ second season is all about globe expansion, and this bigger scope appears to suit it just fine. If there’s one particular fault with the show’s formula at this point, it occasionally suffers from the absolute opposite situation that plagued Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit: there’s so a lot density crammed into each and every of these 50-odd minute episodes that this second season could’ve breathed far better with a handful of much more hours of total operating time. This might also explain why my brain occasionally dreads Game of Thrones even even though my eyes and ears rejoice: it is so dense that it virtually requires judicious note-taking to keep track of all the characters, relationships, and locales. And I hate judicious note-taking even a lot more than I hate Joffrey.&#13

&#13 Even so, there’s so a lot to like here that it’s virtually pointless to whine about a couple of pacing concerns. The series’ stunning production and sound design and style are when once more the stars of the show…and even more so this season, as a handful of new places break up some of the familiar very first-season patterns. Whereas the very first season was shot in around around Malta (and has not been revisited), these episodes were largely shot on location in Croatia and Iceland…and, in the case of the latter, at national park glaciers during a handful of Night’s Watch expeditions. This provides Game of Thrones a slightly larger sense of depth beyond its formidable cast of characters: the backgrounds are just as important to the show’s illusion, and the international shooting locations would evolve in later seasons as effectively. For now, it’s straightforward adequate to just soak in the show’s tremendous atmosphere and sort out some of the subplots in later viewings.&#13

&#13 HBO’s re-release line of Game of Thrones Steelbooks certainly targets die-challenging collectors over new fans much more than probably you can locate the original sets for much significantly less cash. But, minor packaging quibbles aside, these new editions have an edge with exclusive Dolby Atmos mixes for every episode (the very first of their sort for a Tv release), and those hunting to save shelf space may possibly find them a lot more desirable as effectively. Either way, the content’s the actual promoting point and Game of Thrones continues to offer you a lot more than sufficient action, drama, and intrigue to justify the price of admission.&#13

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&#13 This re-release is identical to HBO’s 2013 Blu-ray set, but that’s undoubtedly not a complaint. Game of Thrones again looks spectacular in higher definition on these crisp 1.78:1, 1080p transfers, featuring a higher level of detail, powerful textures, and cautiously graded colors that highlight the show’s terrific production design and style. There’s a lot of depth to the image, also: shot on Arri Alexa digital cameras, this is leaps and bounds ahead of non-film productions from years past, and only these with educated eyes will be in a position to tell that Game of Thrones wasn’t shot on the exact same format as a massive-budget epic in the era of celluloid. Not surprisingly, the digital source translates completely to Blu-ray, thanks to cautious encoding that shows no conceivable defects (aside from mild banding on a few occasions). General, these episodes look and sound like a million bucks…and if you haven’t observed the series on Blu-ray before, prepare to be amazed.&#13


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&#13 Honestly, though…as good as Game of Thrones appears, the visual presentation has practically nothing on this new Dolby Atmos remix, which is the 1st of its kind for a tv series. As usually, the mix defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 presentation for these with *ahem* more modest setups, but this is still a space-shaking knowledge either way. Featuring a robust amount of channel separation, thundering doses of LFE, crisp dialogue, nicely-balanced music cues, and just about each and every other good that you can think of, Game of Thrones is effortlessly the best-sounding Tv production ever released on home video and obviously rivals its fair share of function-length epics as nicely. Optional dubs are incorporated in Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1 or two.), French (Dolby 5.1), German (Dolby 5.1), and Italian (Dolby 5.1). Subtitle possibilities incorporate English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish.&#13

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Menu Design and style, Presentation &amp Packaging
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&#13 All five discs, aside from which includes new Atmos audio mixes for each episode, look to be the same as just before with straightforward content material navigation. The other distinction right here, of course, is the packaging: it’s a standard-width Steelbook case with attractive artwork and even a functional magnet stuck on the front cover. How does one match five discs in such a case, you ask? Properly, that is my only gripe: the discs are stacked on two hubs, which most likely will not damage the plastic in any conceivable manner thanks to Blu-ray’s tough coating. It does even so, make for rather unwieldy fumbling when it comes time to switch discs….but that is the value you are going to have to pay for saving shelf space.&#13

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Bonus Attributes
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&#13 Every thing from the 2013 Blu-ray set, so no complaints here. These recycled extras include twelve Audio Commentaries during choose episodes, Previews and pop-up In-Episode Guides, a Season 1 Recap, a group interview with essential cast and crew members entitled Game of Thrones Inner Circle”, seven detailed Character Profiles, an Interactive Guide entitled “War of the 5 Kings”, a handful of behind-the-scenes Featurettes (like “Generating Histories and Lore“, “The Religions of Westeros”, and “Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay”), and even a couple of Easter Eggs. Overall, this is one more amazing group of supplements…and while nothing’s really new to the collection, at least these who will be acquiring Game of Thrones on Blu-ray for the 1st time (or even “trading up”) will not be missing something. &#13

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&#13 Game of Thrones avoided the sophomore slump with another terrific ten-episode run though it sometimes has problems keeping every single ball in the air, this is a respectable translation of tough source material and straightforward to get lost in. The creative team’s commitment to sturdy production values and large-screen theatrics is evident from start to finish, resulting in 1 satisfying tiny mini-film soon after an additional. HBO’s Blu-ray therapy continues to bolster Game of Thrones‘ apparent strengths: none are much more evident than its jaw-dropping sound design and style, once more upgraded to a complete-fledged Dolby Atmos mix for these (hopefully) continuing Steelbook releases. Nevertheless, aside from slimmed-down packaging, this is specifically the exact same as the 2013 Blu-ray set…so if you’re content with that release, never bother. New fans and die-tough collectors, on the other hand, might want to snap this up whilst it is nonetheless very easily accessible. Advisable.&#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable workplace monkey by day and film reviewer by evening (and day, if he’s bored sufficient). He also does freelance design perform and runs a web site or two. In his limited free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs, and writing in third person.&#13


Blu-Ray Evaluations


My Fair Lady (Blu-ray) 50th Anniversary Edition

Judge Clark Douglas could have danced all night.

By my count, this is the fourth time My Fair Lady has been reviewed on this web site. Back in 2004, Judge Mike Pinsky called it, “infectious and entertaining.” In 2009, Judge Christopher Kulik mentioned that, “It’s tough not to marvel at the sheer opulence and extraordinary craftsmanship exhibited by My Fair Lady.” In 2011, yours really (tasked with reviewing the film’s first Blu-ray release) described the film as a, “joyous cinematic experience a delightfully intelligent and thoughtful entertainment that runs circles about the average movie musical.” All 3 of us had a slightly different take on the material (and you can study the complete critiques for more detailed requires on the film’s strengths and weaknesses), but the basic consensus is that it really is a genuine charmer. So, there’s no genuine need to cover the same territory again. As an alternative, let’s answer the genuine question you have: do you actually require to buy yet an additional version of My Fair Lady?

The short answer: Yes.

The longer answer: the film’s original Blu-ray disc was one thing of a disappointment, providing a transfer based on a middling restoration of the film that was carried out back in the 1990s. In an excellent world, that initial version of the movie would have featured a brand-new restoration and a sensational transfer, but alas, the film was more or less treated like a normal catalogue release rather than as one of the most crucial film musicals of its era. Excessive noise reduction, an incorrect aspect ration (two:35:1 alternatively of two:20:1) and middling detail produced a film that must have looked terrific look rather plain. Fortunately, those wrongs have been righted by this new disc.

I dismissed the preceding transfer with an “eh, it is okay” shrug, but My Fair Lady (Blu-ray) 50th Anniversary Edition gives a brand-spanking-new 1080p/two.20:1 4K transfer that makes the 2011 disc look like an embarrassment. There is a huge uptick in high quality this time around, with bright, vivid colors and beautiful detail. The film’s organic grain structure has been left intact, as well, providing the film a warmth and richness that tends to make an huge difference. Darker scenes benefit from deep, inky blacks and robust shadow delineation. This is every little thing the disc need to have been from the beginning. The new DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio mix is sensational, as well, also enhancing tremendously on the original disc’s (respectable) 5.1 mix. The music sounds so wealthy and full, there are occasions when you might wonder if you’re listening to a modern day musical. Dialogue is crisp and clean all through, as well.

The other reason to verify out the disc is that it comes with a new batch of supplements, although the preceding Blu-ray release limited its bonus features to old stuff from the special edition DVD. The new stuff: two featurettes (“The Story of a Lady” and “Design and style for a Lady”) a Rex Harrison radio interview (1 minute), production tests (7 minutes), footage from the British premiere (two minutes) and a host of trailers. It’s absolutely nothing as well substantial, but most of the older material is incorporated, as properly: an hour-long making-of documentary, a lot more featurettes and lots of intriguing archival footage. All of the old functions have been upgraded to HD this time around (they have been presented in dismal 480i on the original disc), which tends to make a huge difference. Disappointingly, the commentary from the initial disc is not integrated this time around—the 1 fault of an otherwise-terrific release.

The new bonus characteristics are not as substantial as I’d like, but the distinction in audio/video quality is so striking that this is an important upgrade. It really is one of the finest HD presentations of the year, even if it is arriving a few years too late. Highly recommended.

DVD Verdict


Forbidden Zone: Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray)

The Movie:

A grotesque, absurd, musical trash masterpiece, Forbidden Zone was also upsetting to gain a Rocky Horror-size following when it debuted in 1980 — hell, it is nonetheless very uncomfortable to watch now — but it has gradually grown an appreciative cult, thanks in portion to a nicely restored and effectively-supplemented 2004 DVD release, as nicely as a slight redux in 2008 which augmented the film’s stylized black-and-white photography with some stylized pc colorization. This new “Ultimate Edition” Blu-ray slaps on numerous (even though not all) of the bonuses from the old DVD, and even adds a CD of the out-of-print soundtrack album that was put out by Varèse Sarabande in the ’90s.

Director Richard Elfman’s debut is an onslaught of perverse sexuality, gross-out visuals, racist and sexist jokes, outlandish acting, and unfiltered imagination. The visual style grabs from ’50s sitcoms, Fleischer brothers cartoons, underground comix, and German Expressionism, but on a greatly decreased price range. The sets by Marie-Pascale Elfman (who was the director’s wife at the time and also stars in the film as Frenchy) appear precisely like what they are: sets. But this effectively adds to the bizarre theatricality and otherworldliness of the entire enterprise. Animations by John Muto — which combine cut and pasted photographs with airbrushed drawings — assist to bridge sequences and expand the palette of the flick.

The film is an offshoot from a musical-theatrical cabaret act referred to as the Mystical Knights of the Oingo Boingo, which incorporated old-timey, ’20s- and ’30s-style jazz and pop. The film features lots of music in this vein, courtesy of composer and arranger Danny Elfman, but it also involves more spasmodic new wave sounds that one would tend to associate with Elfman’s rock band (newly formed in the course of filming), referred to as just Oingo Boingo.

The story of Forbidden Zone is largely beside the point but, in a nutshell, right here it is. There’s this group of oddballs, the Hercules loved ones: Swedish-accented Pa (Gene “Ugh-Fudge Bwana” Cunningham), secret drinker Ma (Virginia Rose), brutal mute Grampa (Hyman Diamond), 12-year-old Flash (Phil Gordon, who is decades older than the actor playing Grampa), and daughter Susan B., aka Frenchy, so named because she went to France and began being all French. They lately moved into a residence that has a portal in the basement to the sixth dimension.

Right after hearing about the fate of Renee Henderson (co-writer Matthew Bright, making use of the name “Toshiro Boloney”), a cross-dressing kid who got sucked into the portal, Frenchy decides to verify it out, against her parents’ wishes. When she gets to the sixth dimension, she catches the eye of the diminutive King Fausto (Fantasy Island‘s Hervé Villechaize). Regrettably, Fausto’s queen is the large, brassy, and intensely jealous Doris (Fat City‘s Susan Tyrrell, who was dating Villechaize at the time). She locks Frenchy up in the dungeon and has the Princess (Gisele Lindley, consistently clad only in panties, gloves, and high heels) prep her for torture. Flash and Grampa go via the portal to save Frenchy but they get distracted by raping prisoners and beating gorillas to death. Chicken boy Squeezit Henderson (Vibrant once more) have to then build up the courage to enter the portal and save everybody.

Oh, plus there is a dude with a giant frog head. And efficiency art duo the Kipper Kids. And Viva from Warhol’s motion pictures and Lions Adore. And Joe Spinnell from the Rocky motion pictures and Maniac. And Danny Elfman shows up as Satan, singing the Cab Calloway classic “Minnie the Moocher” with modified lyrics about how he desires to do the Princess.

And that is really only a mildly sufficient sum-up of all the weird and wild shit that goes on in this flick.

The acting capacity of the cast members varies wildly from “early John Waters” to “late John Waters.” Susan Tyrrell appears to be getting a specifically very good time, hamming it up as Queen Doris, while Hervé Villechaize seems right at property ogling the flesh of the several oft-naked young women surrounding him. Matthew Bright, who later directed the film Tiptoes and brought the world Gary Oldman as a dwarf, is consistently funny and really sometimes sweet and affecting in his dual part as the downtrodden Squeezit and pleasure-driven Renee.

Considering its unrelenting oddity and irreverent obscenity, Forbidden Zone is not for all tastes. I take into account myself a fan of the film, and even I was taken aback by some of the sicko humor on this distinct re-watch. Even so, if your preferred Baltimore filmmaker is John Waters and not Barry Levinson, or you prefer James Gunn’s Troma output to his current Marvel blockbuster, or you consider that Peter Jackson hasn’t produced a excellent movie given that Meet the Feebles, nicely then, friend, Forbidden Zone is definitely for you.

The Blu-ray
The Forbidden Zone Ultimate Edition consists of the film and bonus characteristics on one area A/B/C-coded BD, and the film’s soundtrack album (operating about 40 minutes) on a single CD. It may possibly just be the evaluation copy I was given, but the booklet talked about in the box copy was nowhere to be located.

The Video:
Forbidden Zone is presented in both its original black-and-white version and the 2008 colour-tinted version. Each AVC-encoded 1080p 1.78:1 presentations are surprisingly clean and clear. I watched half of the film on a smaller sized monitor, and it looked spotless to me. When I put it on a larger screen, I noticed subtle dirt and scratches, but for a low-price range cult film from 35 years, it looks very spiffy. The film grain is desirable with out overwhelming the image and the blacks are inky with very good shadow detail. The color-tinted version looks sort of like old hand-colored postcards:


This is intentional, but I still do not favor it to the original monochrome. I will admit, although, it does definitely make for some striking photos:

The decision, dear viewer, is yours.

The Audio:
Both versions of the film come with a number of audio choices — none of them HD lossless. The black-and-white version functions both a DTS 5.1 surround remix that is pretty center-focused but offers Danny Elfman’s music space to breathe and the original DTS 1. mono mix, which is also completely successful. On the basis of the music alone, nevertheless, I’d go for the remix. The colour version also features the five.1 surround mix, but it also splits the difference with a DTS 2. stereo remix. No subtitle options or closed captioning.

Particular Characteristics:

  • Richard Elfman Intro

(HD, three:46) – A spazzy tiny homemade intro, in which Elfman welcomes viewers and segues into a montage of notion drawings for the impending Forbidden Zone 2.

  • Audio commentary by director Richard Elfman and writer-actor Matthew Vibrant – Carried over from the original DVD, this commentary plays over only the black-and-white version. It’s informative, sure, but mostly just funny and entertaining, this track features Vibrant acting grumpy and horny whilst Elfman tries to pull reminiscences out of him.
  • A Look Into Forbidden Zone (HD upconverted from SD, 37:15) – Also carried more than from the DVD, this documentary includes interviews with director Richard Elfman, his brother and composer Danny Elfman, and various cast members. It also contains plenty of vintage video of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo in overall performance.
  • Isolated music track – Danny Elfman’s music in DTS five.1 surround.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:46) – A scattered collection of stray brief bits. Worth a appear.
  • Outtakes (11:17) – Oddly, this is actually a meatier collection of cut scenes than what was truly labeled “deleted scenes,” despite the fact that these appear to be from an earlier version of the production, which has a slightly distinct appear and characteristics a distinct actress playing Squeezit’s mother.
  • Scenes from The Hercules Family members (five:39) – Silent footage from an uncompleted early version of this production, shot in 16mm.
  • Japan Promo (4:01) – A filmed intro Richard Elfman recorded for a Japanese screening of the film, in which he runs down the history and background that led to its creation.
  • Trailer
  • Final Thoughts:
    Forbidden Zone is an undeniably exclusive cinematic expertise, brought to life with good humor, bad taste, a healthier sense of absurdity, low-price range creativity, and seemingly no filter. Very Advisable.

    Justin Remer is a filmmaker, oddball musician, and frequent wearer of beards. Check out his band’s new Nick Lowe tribute album.&#13

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    Blu-Ray Evaluations


    The 10th Kingdom (Blu-ray) 15th Anniversary Edition

    Judge Dawn Hunt can find less difficult methods to destroy a residence aside from huffing and puffing.

    “When I say ‘rare’ I mean just let it appear at the oven in terror then bring it out to me!”

    When I 1st saw The 10th Kingdom miniseries back in the course of its original run in 2000 I totally loved it. I purchased and nevertheless personal the VHS which incorporated a CD of the soundtrack as effectively as the novelization. However, at this point it is been years given that I’ve observed it, so I was anxious to revisit it and see if it holds up right after all this time.

    The 10th Kingdom has so numerous by way of-lines more than the nearly eight hour runtime that to try and detail them all would not convince anybody to watch the miniseries. Realizing that any attempt on my element to go into the intricacies of the plot is an workout in futility I am just going to give you the broad strokes of the miniseries. The show focuses on a handful of major characters we adhere to more than the course of the 5 parts of the miniseries. We have Virginia (Kimberly Williams-Paisley, According to Jim), her father Tony (John Larroquette, The Librarians), Wolf (Scott Cohen, Necessary Roughness), Prince Wendell (Daniel Lapaine, Moonshot), Relish the Troll King (Ed O’Neill, Modern day Household), and lastly we have the Evil Queen (Dianne Wiest, Life in Pieces).

    The Evil Queen is the a single who begins off our story. In the 4th kingdom of a land comprised of nine kingdoms which contain all the descendants of the fairy tales we enjoy such as Cinderella and Small Red Riding Hood, the Evil Queen breaks out of Snow White Memorial Prison with the help of the Troll King. She times her escape to coincide with a pay a visit to from her step-son Prince Wendell, who she bewitches so that he becomes trapped in her dog’s physique. But Prince Wendell breaks free of charge and by way of a series of twists and turns makes his way to New York City which becomes recognized as The 10th Kingdom. There he meets Virginia and Tony and that trio returns to the land of the nine kingdoms in an try to get away from the trouble that has befallen them because Prince Wendell arrived. That problems comes in the type of the Troll King’s three youngsters and Wolf. Each parties are tasked by the Evil Queen with retrieving Prince Wendell since if he isn’t under handle then the Evil Queen’s plans to take more than the entire land will be for naught. Virginia and Tony must try to discover their way back to our globe although Wendell must locate a way to turn out to be human again.

    So that is the gist of the story. There are a lot of characters and plenty of side trips and subplots which make up the miniseries but that is the guiding by means of-line for the five components. This is a family members-friendly escapade with silly overtones to just about every thing, although there are some adult things. There are sexual innuendos which are glossed more than in throw away lines, off-screen lovemaking, and references to cutting and suicide which are presented as story beats and probably will not be caught by younger viewers. But what will be noticed by younger little ones are the cursing and murders. When I say cursing I mean specifically the word hell and The 10th Kingdom‘s personal version of the f-word, namely the phrase “Suck an elf!” which litters the landscape, generally spoken by a troll. An impressionable youngster may possibly nicely choose up this phrase and commence utilizing it. Though not overly violent there are some on-screen deaths and attempted murders as properly so keep all these items in thoughts.

    I never advise binge-watching The 10th Kingdom. For one particular point there is no function to let you to watch all the components on a single of the two integrated Blu-ray discs without having interruption as one extended film a la The Lord of the Rings series. At the end of each and every of the 5 components you are taken back to the root menu. I am fairly sure the DVD release allows you to watch all the components on a distinct disc without having interruption but as I only personal the VHS I could be incorrect so forgive me if I am. Regardless, I do not know why allowing me to watch a lot more than one particular part conjoined isn’t an selection here. Since this was originally a television broadcast the fade-to-black moments which precede commercial breaks are still incorporated so anytime you see a single you have a organic break in your mind so to see also several of them would signal a stop. Plus every single part of the miniseries replays the introduction with the theme song so it really is however one more organic new starting. With the intro credits before each component is not like this was restructured as one particular complete movie with the industrial breaks taken out so it does not truly lend itself to the kind of mindless watching that you can get into with, say, the auto-play function on Netflix. With this there is no auto-play function you have to physically tell the Blu-ray player you want to move on and confident that is just pressing a button but there is nonetheless a moment when you are taken back to the menu and it just seems like there is a good break. Each component is about an hour and a half extended so you can simply get through the components I just do not consider it really is required to watch all 5 at as soon as.

    I do suggest The 10th Kingdom (Blu-ray) 15th Anniversary Edition. There are not a lot of household-friendly fantasy films with this kind of scale out there, and it is effectively carried out. The only successor I can readily call to thoughts in terms of a household-friendly grand adventure film is an additional miniseries, Galavant, which is a musical so it offers a bit of a distinct feel. The 10th Kingdom stands as an example of a sort-of goofy household film with hints of adult undertones. I take pleasure in the imagining of fairy tale descendants, a trend which has definitely been well-liked via the 2010s. The cast is vast and talented and there are sufficient characters that I daresay it is not possible not to locate 1 you connect with. Scott Cohen’s Wolf steals the show with his scene-chewing, the trolls constantly amuse (especially something in relation to the Bee Gees) and John Larroquette’s portrayal of Tony demonstrates a broad variety of emotions. Nonetheless I’ve constantly had a soft spot for Snow White (Camryn Manhein, The Practice) which is only reinforced by this most recent viewing. But I feel my favored portion of The 10th Kingdom is just how reluctant our heroes really are. For at least 75 % of the miniseries, all Tony and Virginia care about is acquiring back to New York. They’re sidetracked by their personal vices and foibles and they do not commit to saving the nine kingdoms until properly into the story. The 10th Kingdom is a story of increasing up and facing who you genuinely are and of finding and accepting your spot in the world (whichever one particular you live in). It’s nicely-acted, effectively-written and well shot.

    Speaking of properly shot in terms of the visuals some of what almost certainly stands out the most are the special effects. Some are extremely dated although other folks nevertheless hold up actually nicely. The Beanstalk Forest and the opening titles most likely have the most obvious examples of effects that do not perform quite as effectively nonetheless they aren’t poor they are merely dated. They call focus to themselves merely simply because you can easily see how they could be made far better. But in terms of the rest of the photography there is a lot to like right here. The base video is a 1.78:1 aspect ratio transfer and it is very clean, quite crisp. The audio is a bit of a disappointment only simply because one particular of the two unique characteristics is the isolated score track and so you think if that was going to be a specific function on the Blu-ray that they would go ahead and upgrade the audio but no it’s nevertheless a Dolby Digital 2. track which certainly can sound hollow and lack some of the richness that you would anticipate from a Blu-ray soundscape. It’s clear neither audio nor visual tracks had been remastered even so aside from occasionally dated material you’re not genuinely going to complain also a lot.

    So I just mentioned 1 of the unique characteristics is the isolated score track and the other is a behind-the-scenes featurette detailing the generating of The 10th Kingdom which lasts about 45 minutes. I may possibly be wrong but I think earlier DVD releases also contained a gag reel? There are no specific functions on the VHS tapes so forgive my confusion. Honestly I’m disappointed with the unique attributes. Not only is this the very first time The 10th Kingdom is becoming released on Blu-ray it’s also the 15th anniversary of the film. You’d feel that would warrant a little a lot more fanfare in the special characteristics division at least.

    I came into this film with a lot of love for it and left with a hefty amount of residual affection.

    DVD Verdict


    Vampires (Limited Edition Series) (Blu-ray)

    THE FILM:

    John Carpenter directed my favorite film, Halloween, and many others that I love, including The Fog and The Thing. That earns him a permanent pass on lesser projects, at least in my book. Carpenter’s more recent films lack the legacy and longevity of his earlier works, but Vampires is a solid B-movie for an A+ director. Released in 1998 before the onslaught of terrible vampire movies that continues today, this gory Western is the rare film in which James Woods plays the good guy. Based on John Steakley’s novel “Vampire$ ,” Carpenter’s film stumbles over its convoluted plot and unlikeable characters but is a bloody, often-exciting homage to legendary Western filmmaking.

    Carpenter had a hell of a run in the 1980s, when his career peaked, and released a handful of interesting projects in the early 1990s, including Body Bags, In the Mouth of Madness and Village of the Damned. The plot of Vampires is uncharacteristically complicated for a Carpenter film and involves a lot of hastily explained backstory. Jack Crow (Woods) and Anthony Montoya (Daniel Baldwin) are vampire hunters paid by the Catholic Church, which long ago created the first vampire. Crow’s boss, Cardinal Alba (Maximilian Schell), urges Crow to allow Father Adam Guiteau (Tim Guinee) to join the hunt for Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), the original, all-powerful vampire. The film retains hints of the novel, but loses much of its plot about the monetization of vampire hunting.

    The opening sequence is thrilling: Crow and company roll up to a vampire safe house in daylight to execute a cleanse. There are human casualties, but Crow manages to harpoon several bloodsuckers and drag them to a fiery death. Later, Crow and Montoya party with strippers at a seedy hotel, where Valek attacks them. One of the women, Katrina (Sheryl Lee), is bitten, and becomes a human compass of sorts, as she is able to forecast Valek’s location and behavior. The guys use her to track Valek as she comes closer to turning into a vampire. The middle of Vampires is somewhat dull, and the film spins its wheels with too much character building for Crow and Father Guiteau. The chase to locate Valek is what viewers want to see, and Vampires never lays the appropriate groundwork to make the Catholic-warrior mythology compelling.

    Obviously emulating the works of John Ford and Sam Peckinpah, Carpenter nicely weaves the supernatural into the Western framework. Vampires rise from the desert sand to serve their master, and Carpenter stages a number of impressive action set pieces in the final act, where the film’s pulse quickens considerably. I wish these characters were better written, as I enjoy watching Woods and Baldwin no matter their roles. As they stand, Woods’s Crow is ceaselessly grouchy and one-dimensional, and Baldwin’s Montoya does a near-instantaneous 180 from potential rapist to knight in shining armor. Katrina turns into the film’s unlikely hero. Leave it to Carpenter to empower the stripper. Vampires is technically strong, which is no surprise given the talent behind the camera, with a sparse, unique Carpenter score and some impressive practical effects from Greg Nicotero and KNB Effects. This is lesser Carpenter, sure, but that makes it better than most horror films.

    THE BLU-RAY:

    PICTURE:

    Twilight Time releases Vampires on Blu-ray for Sony, which provides a strong 2.35:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfer. The entire presentation is pleasingly film-like, with evenly resolved grain and excellent fine-object detail. The desert landscapes are sharp and deep, and the image lacks aliasing and shimmer. Carpenter gives the film a desert-tan look, which occasionally results in blown-out highlights and hot skin tones. Black levels are inky, but black crush does at times creep into the image, which creates heavy shadowing. This is not a big problem, and I did not spot DNR or edge enhancement.

    SOUND:

    The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix benefits from good fidelity and balance. Dialogue is clear and uninterrupted by effects and score. Carpenter’s score is given appropriate respect, and action effects are quite raucous. Gunfire, hand-to-hand combat and vampire shrieks pan the sound field, and the subwoofer rumbles to life throughout. A 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is also included, as are English SDH subtitles.

    PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

    Released as part of Twilight Time’s “Limited Edition Series,” Vampires arrives in a clear case with an accompanying booklet. Extras include Twilight Time’s trademark Isolated Score Track, in lossless audio; The Making of John Carpenter’s Vampires (5:53/SD), a vintage EPK featurette; and the film’s Theatrical Trailer (1:41/SD).

    FINAL THOUGHTS:

    My favorable opinion of John Carpenter’s filmmaking probably sways my judgment on his Vampires, which is far from his best film. Even so, this bloody Western has its moments. The plot is overly complicated, and James Woods and Daniel Baldwin deserve better characters. The action and nods to John Ford and other Western filmmakers are pleasing, and Twilight Time’s Blu-ray is an excellent way to enjoy this B-movie. Highly Recommended.

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

    What Do You Think?



    Blu-Ray Reviews


    Devil in a Blue Dress: Restricted Edition (Blu-ray)

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    &#13 Far more than a decade following his debut as a Television actor, Carl Franklin attempted his hand at directing films. His fifth large-screen production, 1995’s Devil in a Blue Dress, may well just be remembered as one particular of his greatest: filled with a great cast and primarily based on the entertaining supply novel by Walter Mosley (his 1st of 13 installments), our story follows Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins (Denzel Washington) around the streets of 1948 Los Angeles. He’s one particular of the couple of black property owners in the neighborhood and takes pride in his residence, and doesn’t want to drop it right after his job at an aircraft manufacturer dries up. He receives a new job offer you even though drowning his sorrows at a bar owned by fellow Houston native and veteran Joppy (Mel Winkler): the mysterious DeWitt Albright (Tom Sizemore) is hunting for a missing white lady, and Rawlins seems like a great enough candidate to support out. Cash payments are usually sufficient to persuade any out-of-work man, but Rawlins has a gut feeling that he’ll almost certainly regret what the job will sooner or later entail.&#13

    &#13 If you enjoy fantastic performances and terrific production design, Devil in a Blue Dress has got you covered. Denzel Washington carries most of the weight with his magnetic and entertaining presence alone, providing his character weight as a central figure who’s straightforward to root for: as “Straightforward” Rawlins, he’s a relatable man who oozes charisma. He’s powerful and determined, but a person who nevertheless makes mistakes along the way. Likewise, Tom Sizemore turns in a fine overall performance as the sleazy DeWitt Albright he’s every single bit as two-faced and difficult as he needs to be. Jennifer Beals shines in the title role of Daphne Monet, especially the handful of scenes she shares with Washington. Meanwhile, future A-lister Don Cheadle scored a breakout function here as “Mouse” Alexander, Rawlins’ violent and unpredictable appropriate-hand man, and it is effortless to see why he’d be moving on to bigger and much better items quickly enough.&#13

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    &#13 Add in some of the ideal production and costume design you’ll see for a modestly-budgeted period piece, and you have got a detailed and believable planet for these memorable characters to inhabit. Cinematographer Tak Fujimoto (The Silence of the Lambs) captures the atmosphere completely: a lot of outdoor scenes are bathed in hazy, orange light, while indoor and night sequences are lit well enough to make sure that absolutely nothing of value gets lost in the shadows. The score by Elmer Bernstein and period-distinct hits by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Thelonious Monk, and Duke Ellington also do their part to create the suitable atmosphere, so at least your eyes and ears will appreciate the ride.&#13

    &#13 My primary gripe with Devil in a Blue Dress is that, even though there is an apparent attempt to distance itself from film noir cliches, it never ever completely commits to the activity. The film’s voice-over narration is its biggest handicap: though Washington’s delivery is fine enough and it seldom dominates any given scene, this sort of hand-holding speaks down to the audience and serves no objective aside from clarifying specifics that could not be explained otherwise. As a entire, the story itself is a small by-the-numbers but still intriguing as a entire either way, there is not adequate meat here to make Devil in a Blue Dress a film you will revisit typically. When you do, it’ll possibly be for the performances and production design…and even though that’s still a valid explanation to appreciate any film, it prevents Devil in a Blue Dress from crossing into “memorable classic” territory. Nonetheless, this is a really great effort overall, and often that is far more than sufficient.&#13

    &#13 Devil in a Blue Dress was released as soon as on Particular Edition DVD by Columbia/Tri-Star all the way back in 2000, sporting a decent 16×9 A/V presentation and a handful of effectively-rounded bonus features that showed faith in a film that barely earned back half of its spending budget at the box workplace. Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray package shows improvement in all places, which will hopefully bring the film to a whole new generation of viewers…or at least 3,000 of them.&#13

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    Video &amp Audio Good quality&#13
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    &#13 Presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Devil in a Blue Dress looks mighty fine on this new 1080p transfer from Twilight Time (presumably on license from Sony). While there’s a particular something that makes Devil in a Blue Dress appear like a product of its time, that is by no implies a complaint. The film’s superb production and costume design are really offered a chance to shine right here thanks to strong image detail, texture, and shadow depth, and the colour palette appears amazing, also. No clear digital imperfections could be spotted along the way…which isn’t surprising, as this 101-minute film is allowed to fill out an whole dual-layered disc practically by itself. General, I cannot picture that any seasoned fans of the film will be disappointed at all, and first-timers should be suitably impressed, too. &#13


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    &#13 Twilight Time does not skimp on the audio, either: all four tracks are presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. The 1st 3 include a full-bodied five.1 mix, a much more standard 2. option, and an superb Isolated Score featuring Elmer Bernstein’s score and lots of period-certain classics, plus an audio commentary discussed below (yes, even the commentary is lossless). I enjoyed the default five.1 option for the duration of the bulk of my viewing it was effortless to appreciate its fine balance of dialogue and music, as well as the strong quantity of rear channel activity and robust separation effects. The two. track was briefly sampled too it seems to be a two-channel quasi-surround track rather than a mix-down of the five.1 choice, but it’s very good to have both either way. English SDH subtitles are also integrated.&#13

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    &#13 The interface is plain but completely functional, with quick loading time and the bare minimum of pre-menu distractions. This 1-disc release arrives in a clear keepcase with two-sided artwork and a good small Booklet featuring production stills, vintage promotional artwork, and the usual essay penned by TT normal Julie Kirgo.&#13

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    Bonus Characteristics
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    &#13 Not much on paper, but what’s here is undoubtedly worth a after-more than. The ideal is a feature-length Audio Commentary with writer/director Carl Franklin it really is not clearly described when precisely this session was recorded…but it was included on Columbia/Tri-Star’s respectable Specific Edition DVD back in 2000, so any retrospective comments were certainly fresh in his thoughts. Franklin offers plenty of nicely-organized comments detailing the casting approach, production design, adaptation and changes from the supply novel, music, costume design, the on-set experience, and a lot more. He also has a warm, easygoing delivery that undoubtedly makes this commentary easier to listen to than most aside from possibly adding Washington, Sizemore, or Cheadle, there isn’t much area for improvement here.&#13

    &#13 The rest of the tidbits (aside from the Isolated Score track, described above) are also recycled from the prior DVD, like a Don Cheadle Screen Test (14:51) and the film’s original Theatrical Trailer (2:30). Overall, it is certainly a small disappointing that we couldn’t get any new supplements right here, but at least nothing’s been lost. &#13

    Final Thoughts

    &#13 Devil in a Blue Dress is overlooked but not precisely underrated for the duration of the final 20 years, it’s aged better than most and must be easy for genre and cast fans to jump proper into. The film’s top-notch production and costume design produce a terrific sense of atmosphere, and performances are sturdy all across the board. But the actual story and the way it really is presented is a tiny by-the-numbers, even even though there are clear attempts to set it apart from standard crime and suspense noir-style films set throughout the time period. Either way, it really is nevertheless an engaging and entertaining production that has held up well more than the years likewise, Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray serves up a solid A/V presentation and a handful of thoughtful supplements (most of which are recycled from Columbia/Tri-Star’s 2000 Unique Edition DVD). New viewers might want to rent it initial, but there’s enough here to warrant a acquire. Firmly Suggested.&#13

    &#13

    &#13 &#13


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


    Blu-Ray Reviews


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