The Dangerous Mind
(2013/Well Go USA Blu-ray)/John
(2013/Rapidfire/Main Street/Arc DVD)/The
(1946/Universal/Arrow U.K. Region B Import Blu-ray)/Roadside
RoomMates/A Woman For All Men
(1972, 1974/Gorgon Blu-ray)
B-/C/B/C+/B & C+ Sound: B/C+/B-/C+/B- & C+ Extras:
C-/B-/B/D/B Films: C/C+/B/C/C+ & B-
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Arrow U.K.,
can only play on Blu-ray players that can handle Region B-locked
Blu-rays and can be ordered from the link below.
is our latest look at thrillers on home video...
Delara and Victor Teran have co-directed the off the wall Enter
The Dangerous Mind
(2013) with a young man named Jim (Jake Hoffman) stuck to cyber
computer entanglements too much for his own good, isolated and not
well. The title of this release tells us he is not well and
immediately, odd things (and not just the jumpy, sloppy editing) tell
us he is at least partly not connected to reality. However, by the
first reel, we have clearly entered territory we have sen before in
films like Pi,
For A Dream.
Then it cannot make anything it does gel and it just slowly implodes
predictably no matter what the makers try.
is a solid choice for the title role, but the overly derivative
script cannot be overcome by the fancy approach or some good
supporting turns by Thomas Dekker, Gina Rodriguez, Joe Egender, Jason
Priestly and Scott Bakula. There is some energy here, but it is at a
dead end eventually. Oh well.
trailer is the only extra.
Dolen's thriller John
(2013) comes from Australia and wants to be a smart thriller about
what a serial killer thinks, especially if he is one who operates
under a moral code (we've seen this in films like Uncle
reviewed elsewhere on this site). Instead of being formulaic in what
is a played-out concept, the makers actually tackle this with some
energy and ideas, smartly casting Jamie Bamber in the title role.
This also gets a bit graphic as expected, but like Mind
above, choppy editing does this one in. However, we get some good
moments and this is one of the better genre works we have seen out of
Australia of late, for what that's worth.
moments have Kubrickian aspirations and the fact this takes itself
seriously is a plus, along with its underutilized locales.
Ultimately though, we have seen most of this, but the makers are on
the correct track and I look forward to see what they do next.
include two feature length audio commentary tracks (one by Dolen and
Screenwriter Stephen M. Coates, the other by Bamber), three Interview
clips and three Behind The Scenes clips.
(1946) is one of the great Film Noirs that also marks the feature
film debut of Burt Lancaster as Swede, a criminal some hitmen are
looking for, but they may not want to find him. He's ready to fight
back, but the past gets in the way, including his former involvement
with Kitty (Ava Gardner), who is the kept woman of the kingpin
pulling the strings of the guys trying to get him.
on the Ernest Hemingway novel, this first film version of the novel
holds up really well, even in the face of the later Don Siegel remake
and the changes in crime films decades later like other ones on this
list. Lancaster become an instant star, Gardner his equal and we get
great supporting work from Albert Dekker, Edmond O'Brien, Sam Levene,
Jack Lambert, William Conrad, Charles McGraw, Charles Middleton
(uncredited, the original Ming The Merciless from the Flash
serials) and Jeff Corey (also among the solid uncredited actors).
Add the twists and turns in the smart script and you've got a
must-see classic, now in a special edition with as many extras as a
Criterion Collection release.
include a reversible
sleeve featuring one of the original posters and newly commissioned
artwork by Jay Shaw, a collector's booklet containing new writing by
Sergio Angelini and archive interviews with director Siodmak,
producer Mark Hellinger and cinematographer Woody Bredell (The
illustrated with original production stills, while the Blu-ray adds
an Isolated Music & Effects soundtrack to highlight the great
Miklós Rózsa's famous score, Frank Krutnik on The
a video piece by the author of fine Noir book In
A Lonely Street,
which introduces the film and offers a detailed commentary on four
key scenes, Heroic Fatalism, a video essay adapted from Philip
Booth's comparative study of multiple versions of The
(Hemingway, Siodmak, Tarkovsky, Siegel), Three archive radio pieces
inspired by The
the 1949 Screen
radio adaptation with Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters; a very
funny 1946 Jack Benny spoof; the 1958 Suspense
for the Road
which reunited original killers William Conrad and Charles McGraw, a
stills and posters gallery and trailers for The
(2014) is part of a cycle of isolated harassment thrillers where the
usually unseen antagonist torments 'common folk' just trying to get
somewhere, often by motor vehicle. These are also variants of the
stuck-in-a cycle and we have seen a new cycle of such films. This
one has some nice shots in its camera work and reproduces the
plotting common in these thrillers, but the acting, writing and story
are flat with two-dimensional character development.
never bought this once the actors started talking (they talk at each
other so oddly, it stops you from being invested when trouble starts,
especially when they say dumb things in bad situations you would not
hear in real life versions of said situations) and the result is a
run-on until the ending... which I did not buy. Maybe this seemed
like a good idea on paper, but it never escapes that, remaining as
flat and disappoints.
are no extras.
we have a double feature of Arthur Marks films: The
(1972) and A
Woman For All Men
(1974), both starting out with pleasant, inviting images of female
sexuality, then moving on to their stories. RoomMates
has five female friends (including Roberta Collins, Marki Bey and
Christina Hart) looking for good men and a good time, but not
necessarily commitment. They are very laid back and the film is a
timer capsule of an easier time of more fun, but that is a sad
reminder of how bad things have become since the 1980s, then we get
this turning into a thriller with a killer on the loose stabbing
women to death.
is cheap, cheesy and dates the film the most, though this might have
been more shocking then. Now, it plays badly and too stereotypically
as if it does not belong to the rest of the film. Still, it has some
jokes and is worth a look.
fares better, especially with its cast. Judith Brown is Karen, so
sexy that men want her all the time, but she meets a rich man (Keenan
Wynn in one of his best later performances) marrying her all of the
sudden despite their age difference. This does not sit well with his
three children who stand to inherit his millions, but one of the two
sons (Andrew Robinson from Dirty
also decides to get involved with her and all hell breaks loose!
gets as cheesy, but the actors play it seriously all the way and the
sexy, coy performance by Brown is in the same league as what we would
see from Jill St. John, Melanie Griffith and Hallie Berry in this
respect. It is not a perfect film and is also its own kind of time
capsule, holding up better than RoomMates
and even more worth revising. Together, both make a solid double
feature for viewing.
featurettes for both films, with RoomMates
adding a feature length audio commentary track by Marks, then Woman
adding TV Spots and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Mind
is on the pale side, in part from being an HD shoot, but also because
it is stylized that way, but it is ultimately not a plus for the
production. Therefore, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 High Definition image
transfers on RoomMates
may the age of the materials used at times, but they look better
overall, have the best color on this list and will surprise those
used to poor prints of both. The
anamorphically enhanced DVDs are not bad for the format, but look
weaker by comparison and the
1080p 1.33 X 1 black and white digital High Definition image on
is a solid new transfer even offering some demo images. However, the
print sometimes shows its age, but not often and looks as good as
stand-alone DVDs offer anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 images are
new digital shoots, but Vigilante
is softer and weaker than I would have liked, plus its editing
approach adds inconsistency to its issues and that's a shame.
is more consistent, yet it also has some softness here and there.
for sound, Mind
offers a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that is the best
on this list, with a solid soundfield, though some of the sound is
overdone and too loud in unbalanced ways that backfire. RoomMates
offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes on Killers
PCM 1.0 Mono that are all surprisingly good for their age and in the
case of the double feature, their budgets. The lossy Dolby Digital
2.0 Mono on the DVD of the double feature is weaker as expected, but
for both stand-alone DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are not
much better and might reveal more in lossless versions, but will work
well enough here for what you get.
can order The
(1946) Region B import Blu-ray among other great extras-loaded
Blu-rays from Arrow U.K. (only some of which will come to the U.S.;
this one will not due to rights issues) at this link: