Blu-ray)/The 5-Man Army!
(1969/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/A
Month In The Country
(1987/Euston Films/Film 4/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/The
Surface (2014/E One
DVD)/The Young Lions
(1958/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)
B/C/B-/C/B Sound: B-/C/B-/C/B- Extras: B/C-/C+/C+/C+
Month In The Country
Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time,
limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last,
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.
ambition dramas have their moments, even when they ultimately did not
(2015) is trying to do several things at once and that is where it
gets into trouble. Tom Hardy plays a loyal Soviet soldier doing what
Stalin's party line expects by exposing traitors to the Motherland
and protecting the territory, but what seems like a strange child
death turns out to be a murder, then one that is part of a pattern of
murders that seems to be getting covered up. There is the
overambitious soldier (Joel Kinnaman) who might or might not know
something about this, but the murders have child exploitation
Stalinist policy is that murder is a Capitalist disease, so anyone
who died could not have been murdered, but Hardy's soldier knows
better. From there, the film goes back and forth between the hard
life under Stalin (not enough of it), the murders, the mystery and
who else might not be up to no good including an establishment
military man (Gary Oldman) who may or may not also be hiding
one runs 137 minutes and is a little longish, even with the
additional acting talents of Noomi Rapice, Paddy Consadine, Jason
Clarke, Vincent Cassell and others I had not seen before, but were
pretty effective throughout. When all is said and done, it just does
not mesh, yet it has some good moments and if you are a fan of the
actors or curious about the subject matter, see it. Just be sure to
be awake and have patience.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds the featurette Reflections Of
history about the making of the film and the background it is set in.
(1969) is the capable journeyman's entry into the Professional
Western genre (a gang in it for the money) as Peter Graves (then
having just successfully taken over as the heads of the Impossible
Mission Force on TV's Mission:
takes on four partners to get a fortune in hidden gold if they can
con their way through rebels, killers and other greedy predators.
Bud Spencer, James Daly, Tetsuro Tamba and Nino Castelnuovo play the
rest of the title team, but the action is not always as spectacular
or the plotting as rich and clever as it could have been. Thus, it
is a bit disappointing and I had not remembered it well despite
seeing it eons ago. I see why. However, it is a curio and worth a
look for better and worse.
trailer is the only extra.
Month In The Country
(1987) was considered lost for a good while, produced by the great
British TV production company Euston Films (Van
among others; see elsewhere on this site) making a less edgy, less
violent film with a very young Colin Firth arriving in a town to save
and preserve art hidden in the walls of a church. Living on the
grounds is another man (Kenneth Branagh) already helping the in house
reverend in other matters and follows how his work affects the town
and starts to uncover some of its secrets.
Richardson is also very prominent throughout and it is a good film I
had not seen since around the time of its original release. It is
great that fans, Film 4 and Twilight Time have managed to find the
film, restore it enough and that it is finally back. Though not a
great film, it is a small film that works, is a rare feature film
from an important production company, has some very key talent acting
in it and is not as sappy as most lite British dramatic fare (lite
comedy included or not), so even if it is only arriving as a Limited
Edition Blu-ray, it is long overdue to be reissued and it is another
fine film saved!
include the good-as-usual illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and an essay by Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray disc
adds a feature length audio commentary track by Kirgo & Nick
Redmond, an Isolated Music Score and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
Cates, Jr.'s The
(2014) is the surprise here with the under-appreciated Sean Astin as
a man ready to kill himself out in the middle of a giant body of
water in his speedboat when he finds another man (Chris Mulkey, also
really good here) as the nearly dead victim of a small airplane
wreck. He was out there to increase his personal wealth, but now
he's stuck with tis young man who is now hiding what he was up to.
They are most of the film and instead of this being a dumb formula
stuck-in-a script, we get a real character study of the two men
dealing with their lives, not certain of how to deal with each other
as strangers and both realizing their own dead ends.
of predictability, we get some heart and soul for once, but even at
86 minutes, this work has trouble keeping this and the good ideas
going. The ending is not bad, but I think a few great possibilities
of payoffs and making a few big statements were missed here. Still,
this one is definitely worth a look and Mimi Rogers also shows up.
Give this one a try.
include a feature length audio commentary track, Photo Gallery,
Deleted Scenes, Composer's Sessions featurette
and documentary Inland
dealing with the protection and preservation of the great lakes.
(1958) is a very, very long (167 minutes!), uneven, choppy WWII drama
with Marlon Brando as a (controversially then and now) Nazi played
with some sympathy, Dean Martin surprisingly good as a name star
entering the military and a surviving Montgomery Cliff (who had just
barely survived a hideous, disfiguring accident on the set of the
70mm drama Raintree
a Jewish soldier trying to survive anti-Semitism amongst his fellow
film always has a good scene followed by two poor or flat ones and
many of the bad ones simply do not add up or ring true, which allows
this one to drag on and on and on too much, but it is worth suffering
through the lesser parts once to get to what works. Dmytryk is not
in total control of what is going on here and the screenplay is
overdone and has made all kinds of changes from the
Irwin Shaw book. To its advantage, the full scope frame is used and
the supporting cast includes Maximilian Schell, Hope Lange, Barbara
Rush, May Brit, Parley Bear, Arthur Franz, Lee Van Cleef and an
uncredited L.Q. Jones. Ambitious, but all over the place, even in
text essay by Julie Kirgo in an illustrated booklet on the film
including informative text, while the Blu-ray adds a feature length
audio commentary track by Kirgo, Nick Redman & Lem Dobbs,
Isolated Music Score and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the
and black and white scope image on the 35mm shot Lions
are the best transfers on the list, with only minor issues. Child
has some detail limits, while Lions
can show the age of the materials used at times and the monochrome
gray scale can be a bit off at times, plus have some odd motion blur
in very brief instances.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Month
can show the age of the materials used too, but the color looks good,
especially for a film that was almost lost. However, there are more
than a few rough shots that comes more from the shoot than the print,
but not too often.
leaves both DVDs offering anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image
from 35mm film and Surface
from a digital shoot, but both are a little softer than they should
be and Army
could use a restored print to boot. Both would likely benefit from
the sound department, the three Blu-ray releases tie for first place,
offering DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes that are
has dialogue variances,
comes from its original 4-track magnetic stereo soundmaster with
traveling dialogue and sound effects, for which only so much can be
done age-wise but it is a fine upgrade) and the DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix on Month
can more than compete because the sound has been well recorded
throughout despite its age and budget limits to my surprise. And to
think this was a lost film.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Surface
is very average since there is mostly dialogue to record throughout
most of the film, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Army
is down a few generations and could use an upgrade and cleaning.
Month In The Country
limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these
to order The
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: