(Image DVD)/The Cottage (E1 DVD)/Enemy Mine (1985/Fox/Twilight Time
Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Excision
(Unrated/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)/Prometheus
(Ridley Scott Alien prequel/Fox
Blu-ray w/DVD)/The Raven (Fox
Blu-ray w/DVD)/247º[Degrees]F (Anchor Bay Blu-ray/all
C/C/B/B-/B & C+/B & C/B-
Sound: C+/C/B/B-/B+ & B-/B & C/C+ Extras: D/C-/C+/D/C/C-/C- Films: C/C-/C+/C+/C-/C-/C-
NOTE: The Enemy Mine Blu-ray is limited to 3,000 copies and is available
exclusively at the Screen Archives website which can be reached at the link at
the end of this review.
for more Science Fiction and Horror in time for Halloween 2012…
with the silly Dominic Burns’ Airborne
in which Mark Hamill must watch over air traffic control as an airplane they
are watching gets into trouble when a murderer is loose on board, but something
worse and mysterious seems to actually be happening. Is it a terrorist takeover, something
supernatural or worse?
fluff, though the cast is amusing and veteran Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only) turns up among the
passengers who are a mix of British and American actors throughout. The visual effects are silly and the script
goes not where fast, but this is at least semi-competent at best, but it was
dull overall. There are no extras.
Jaymes’ The Cottage is a thriller
where people keep kidnapping and turning on each other as the film tells us
happy family life is a lie. It might
even be cynical if it had a smarter script, but there is a vague suggestion of
the supernatural that may or may not materialize and this is more of a run on
bore than expected. I liked the cast,
including David Arquette among the unknowns, but this was quickly forgotten and
has a dumb ending to boot. A trailer is
the only extra.
Peterson’s Enemy Mine (1985) was
never one of my favorite films and it never seemed to know if it was for a
young audience, family audience or if we were expected to believe it was for a
wide audience. However, we have Dennis
Quaid as a spaceman who is not happy with invading aliens and when one of them
(Louis Gossett Jr. in a ton of latex) shows up in trouble on an unstable
planet, they eventually have to help each other against any prejudice.
there, this becomes a harrowingly melodramatic and overly-involved tale about
family, prejudice and relationships that plays like a B-movie that I can only
take so seriously. Still, it has a
following and that is why it is a limited edition Blu-ray from Twilight Time
via the Fox catalog. Brion James (Blade Runner) shows up as a villain and
the extensive latex is interesting enough to make one appreciate the efforts in
making this film, even when some visual effects (never that good to begin with)
have not aged very well.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and
another fine essay by Julie Kirgo, plus the disc adds the Original Theatrical
Trailer and Isolated Music Score of the well-liked music by Maurice Jarre.
Bates Jr.’s Excision (unrated in
this edition) is supposed to be about the problems of a young lady (AnnaLynne
McCord) having more than puberty and personal sexual issues, but visions of
blood, mutilation, death, decay, surgery, carnage, murder and violent delusions
that put this in the category of the genres here. The director wants to combine elements of
Polanski’s Repulsion, Tarsem’s The Cell and various Stanley Kubrick
films into this tale of mental illness and violent sickness, but it is a very
mixed work despite its ambitions.
thing, the director and script (by the director) misses the boat in deeply
dealing with a female point of view, so all we get is the psychosis, psychotic
visions and blood without enough character development despite good acting by
McCord. Malcolm McDowell, Ray Wise and
Traci Lords also turn up in the supporting cast, but even that cannot save this
from being an amalgamation of too much of what we’ve seen before. You can see it for yourself, but expect more
blood than most releases of late. There
are no extras.
Prometheus is the latest by Ridley Scott,
who said this was not a prequel to his 1979 classic Alien, yet it in some ways still tires to be, but no one could
settle exactly on what it is or was, which turns out to be the problem for the
entire production and it turns out to be one of the biggest disappointments of
the year and then some. Perhaps 33 years
was too long to come near the original classic.
After all, it has two great sequels, a third tolerable one and those two
“Versus Predator” spin-off films, not to mention the hundreds of imitators
in the later 2000s when young woman scientist (Noomi Rapace) finds a clue that
could answer some big truth about man and the universe, so fascinating in fact
that the giant Weyland mega-corporation applies it to a big space mission which
includes her and a crew prepared to find out what is really going on. This includes Michael Fassbinder as an
android (he was inspired in part by diver Greg Louganis he said) running the
ship and waking up the crew slowly for the mission.
there, this plays like any imitator of the 1979 film, then goes off into a
dozen directions that have nothing to do with anything important, we get hardly
any character development, Charlize Theron also turns up in a cold performance
and Idris Elba is among the wasted supporting cast.
lots of visual computer graphic displays, the 3D design worked often in the 3D
version and some of the shots are not bad, but the longer this goes on, the more
of a mess it is. There is some nonsense
of remystifying religious context that has nothing to do with thrillers of any
kind, this has hardly any suspense, any surprises, limited horror and is never
even dark enough to create any suspense.
they reach the iconic “space jockey” ship, it lights up like an Atari 2600 with
goofy holograms and this eventually becomes a big joke and package deal that I
still cannot believe was greenlit. Fox
wants to make big money and extend the franchise, but like Planet Of The Apes, it is more like a goofy, dumbed-down reboot
than anything that the original trilogy stood for. In addition, the music was mixed, ending
stupefying and has so many holes in logic that often inept is an apt description
of the illogic at work in the screenplay.
It did not do well at the box office, but with overseas, home video and
the fact that it is a decent demo for 3D, it will at least break even. However, the alleged sequel sounds like a
hideous idea and all should quit while they are ahead.
include Ultraviolet Copy, a mix of Deleted Scenes that might have partly helped
out but not much, two feature length audio commentary tracks and The Peter Weyland File. For more on the original films and this one,
try these links:
Alien Anthology Blu-ray set
Prometheus: The Art Of The Film by
Mark Salisbury hardcover
McTeigue’s The Raven wants to take
John Cusack and put him in a Robert Downey Jr./Sherlock Holmes-type situation by treating Edgar Allen Poe’s books
in a loose amalgamation and creating a serial killer movie out of them. McTeigue helmed the influential ‘V’ For Vendetta (reviewed on Blu-ray
elsewhere on this site) but has yet to duplicate that success. Though Poe’s work has usually not been put on
the big screen faithfully, the script here is all over the place and after some
early starts that might have picked this up, it all eventually slowly implodes
shame, because if the material had been taken more seriously instead of
superfluously, this could have been a nice surprise. However, it never works, a supporting cast
including Brendan Gleeson cannot help it and all I had left were fond memories
of The Hughes Brothers’ far superior From
include five featurettes, a feature length audio commentary track and Deleted
& Extended Scenes that show this might have worked with much more work,
plus Digital Copy for PC and PC compatible portable devices. For more on Poe done well, try this link to
the 1995 Christopher Lee Poe TV
series that not enough people saw, though The Raven is not one of the adapted
we have 247ºF, which was co-directed by Levan Bakhia and Beda Jguburia, a
drama and sort of thriller about some young adults who rent an isolated cabin
with a sauna and (surprise?!?) get stuck in it, almost getting killed. Despite the presence of Scout Taylor-Compton
and a not-bad supporting cast of unknowns, the co-direction is a wreck, the
script is a wreck and results are an idiot plot that is an unconvincing
bore. It is also yet another stuck-in-a
story that gets played out early on. The
result is a very long 88 minutes and after they are in there a while, I could
have cared less.
when you are very awake and don’t operate heavy machinery when playing it. Extras include lame Deleted Scenes and a feature
length audio commentary by Bakhia that is at least as boring.
Though Prometheus has been issued on Blu-ray
3D, our edition only has the 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 28 MBPS, 2D digital High
Definition image transfer version, which was an all HD shoot and has some good
shots, but nothing special overall. 3D
helps this one to some extent, but I was not impressed overall and though the
digital effects were overdone. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 32 MBPS digital High
Definition image transfer on Raven
and 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Enemy Mine are the equal to Prometheus despite the darkness on Raven and age on Enemy Mine with a surprisingly colorful, clean and clear HD
master. Still, the latter two don’t have
many demo moments, while the anamorphically enhanced DVDs of Prometheus is soft and Raven much softer to the point it
almost earned a lower rating.
leaves the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on 247ºF
being softer with motion blur, detail and depth issues that made it less
exciting to watch. The anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Cottage and 2.35 X 1 on the Airborne DVDs tie with the Raven
DVD as the softest presentations were, which are all dull and colorless.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix with D-BOX motion bass functions on Prometheus is easily the most sonically
accomplished entry here, far ahead of the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on its DVD
version and with a non-stop soundfield.
However, it has limited character or memorability as a soundmix and the
music score by Marc Streitenfeld didn’t do much for me either.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Raven and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 4.0 lossless mix on Enemy Mine are the runners-up with
excellent, consistent soundfields throughout.
The Raven DVD offers lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 that is some of the harshest and most shrill I have come
across in a while. Enemy Mine is also here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless
Stereo, but the 4.0 likely comes from the 70mm blow-up soundtrack (though not
all sources could confirm it made it to print) in a mix featured in 6-track
magnetic sound. Fans will be very
surprised and happy with that one.
Excision and 247ºF offer lossless
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes, but both disappoint and 247ºF is especially
weak throughout, sounding very weak and with location audio issues as well as
mixing issues. The lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 on the Airborne and Cottage DVDs are also very weak, with Airborne as bad as 247ºF and Cottage tying for worst sound on the
list with the shrill Raven DVD
above, Enemy Mine can be ordered
while supplies last at:
- Nicholas Sheffo