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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Drama > Civil Wars > Crime > Murder > Battles > Epic > Swords > Thriller > Psychopath > Echoes Of War (2015/Arc DVD)/Last Knights (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Signpost To Murder (1964/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

Echoes Of War (2015/Arc DVD)/Last Knights (2014/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Signpost To Murder (1964/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

Picture: C/B-/C+ Sound: C/B/C+ Extras: C-/C+/C- Films: C/C+/C

PLEASE NOTE: The Singpost To Murder DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a selection of dramatic thriller releases in different genres...

Kane Senes' Echoes Of War (2015) is a post-Civil War drama set in Texas have two families with losses when one is stealing form the other, leading to a predictable conflict. There is a little character development, but this seems too contemporary in the acting and how it is blocked, so I was disappointed and it gave us nothing new. James Badge Dale, Ethan Embry and William Forsythe make for good leads, but the script gives them little to really do.

Kaz I. Kiriya's Last Knights (2014) has Clive Owen as a fighter, swordsman and fallen warrior (no one talks ronin much, oddly), in this battle epic film (set centuries ago) that takes a few cues from the played out & over-imitated 300, but has some interesting moments when it tries to be its own film. The ruler in power actually had something to do with the fall of Owen's boss, so he goes for revenge, but it will not be that simple. Morgan Freeman heads the rest of an international cast that makes this worth seeing for fans of the genre along with some acting and battle moments that work. Too bad it did not have more.

George Englund's Signpost To Murder (1964) is a thriller trying to be another Psycho or Diabolique with its twists and turns as a criminal (Stuart Whitman) outwits his therapist (Edward Mulhare) and escapes prison, finding a lone married woman (a really good Joanne Woodward) waiting at home in her big house for her husband, who is away. Then he turns up dead and the escapee is suspect #1, but something else is going on here.

From there we get some mystery and suspense, but the script puts the film in a corner where it becomes too predictable, but the actors turn in top rate work and also include a pre-Batman Alan Napier, Murray Matheson and an uncredited James Doohan (just before Star Trek). Though it ultimately falls short, see it for the acting.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Echoes is a stylized digital shoot that is just too soft and sepia-toned throughout, though some shots with candles are not bad, it just does not look that good.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Knights is not a bad use of scope, but some shots are poor and a little degraded, often on purpose. When the makers skip that nonsense, you get some great shots, but they are interrupted too often by the lesser moments, hurting the film overall.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 black & white image on Signpost might have some softness, but is a solid shoot with some memorable shots and some that have much better detail than others.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Knights is well mixed and presented, easily the best sonic presentation here and is very well recorded, mixed and presented. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Echoes has some surround information, but is on the lite side, but the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Signpost is a little weaker than expected and could use an upgraded remastering.

Extras on all three releases include Original Theatrical Trailers, while Knights adds Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable devices, Cast/Crew Interviews, plus Visual Effects and Making Of featurettes.

To order the Signpost To Murder Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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