(2015/Universal Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D and DVD)/Ice
(1984/MGM/UA/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Mysterious
Island: Encore Edition
(1961/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition
Picture: B Picture: B/B & C/B/B/C Sound: B-/B &
B-/B-/B-/C+ Extras: C-/C/C-/B-/D Films: C/C/C/B-/C-
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is
limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last,
while the Ice
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.
latest round of genre releases have big casts in common, but you'll
notice that the actors in the newer productions get lost in the bad
writing and digital effects, while in the older films, they manage to
get (without deep character study or big chunks of time) their own
Earle Haley's Criminal
(2015) has the actor co-starring and co-producing a film where he
tries out handling things behind the camera and though consistent, is
badly laid out, we've seen this all before and even with Michael Pitt
showing up and the attempt to push Dan Stevens (of Downton
to the fore in this too-Tarantino-for-its-own-good crime film, they
can't take it anywhere new.
steals more than a few scenes when he does show up and Travolta does
show up, but nowhere nearly enough to sit through this one. Dialogue
is also forgettable and the ending contrived. Still, Haley can
direct just enough that he should try again, but he'll need a much
better script. None of the characters really get developed either,
so things blur too much.
Scenes and a Travolta/Haley interview clip are the only extras.
(2015) is a film that cannot decide whether it is a drama, action
film, comedy, adventure or what it wants to be, but the script
borrows from some of the 1996 IMAX film of the same name covering a
1996 climb that did not go a planned and manages to dull the story
down. It also does this to real life people played by the likes of
Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Emily
Watson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and some other
actors, all of whom deserve better.
the waste of actors is as problematic as the waste of story and
again, the characters (based on real people here) become a tired blur
and I was very disappointed overall at the lack of energy, dullness
and the actors did try but they could not overcome something tougher
than the title mountain... An overall very bad production with
hardly any energy. This version is the Blu-ray 3D release with
Blu-ray 2D and DVD, but everything eventually is cardboard-flat 1D
and we ain't talking about that boring boy band either. Skip it
unless you must see it for some reason.
Copy, a feature length audio commentary track, two making of
featurettes and two more Blu-ray-exclusive featurettes are the
(1984) has a very bad critical reputation, yet never necessarily
makes any worst 10 lists I have seen, but now, it also has a cult
following. Made by MGM/UA before the company was split in two,
Warner landed up with it as one of the last MGM films before the
current MGM was split off and eventually became a production company
when bankruptcy killed them as a studio after some rough decades.
This spoofy space opera was issued by the studio the same year as
Peter Hyams' 2010,
an unnecessary sequel to Kubrick's 2001,
but both films bombed (MGM though 2010
would be a smash it and it was not).
before it, it looks good, but is hardly ever really funny and
sometimes really bad, but MGM/UA would try one more time with Mel
which disappointed at the time only to become a belated hit. This
film did not, but casting including the late Robert Urich, Mary
Crosby (both TV stars from Vegas
respectively from a time you could NOT work in both mediums
successfully without being penalized for being on TV), Angelica
Huston, Michael D. Roberts, Jack Matuszak and Ron Perlman (looking
like a cousin of John Oates) make for a good cast and that helps.
More surprising, they get more character development and
individuality than their many serious sci-fi counterparts, especially
the more serious ones that land up being dull.
Broughton's score is also a plus, but the script is still dumb, even
with politically incorrect parts we might not see today. Bruce
Valanch also shows up as a gay character with mixed results.
Production design is a plus, the film borrows from every major sci-fi
film it can (2001,
TV hits Space
Of Star Command,
and literally, the original Rollerball
(that is the death sport everyone is watching on TV, a United Artists
film) and Logan's
(recycling interior and exterior footage of the Dome City (in
admittedly great shape) from that MGM hit) and the robots and
costumes are just so wacky (like the 1980 Flash
et al) that the film has actually aged better than anyone could have
imagined at the time.
Archive has issued this in a pretty basic Blu-ray with a surprisingly
strong transfer that will surprise many. A theatrical trailer is the
only extra, but a making of featurette would have been nice. See
Island: Encore Edition
(1961) is a well-done version of a later Captain Nemo tale that
rightly has a loyal following and after being issued as a limited
edition-only Blu-ray years ago that quickly went out of print,
Sony/Columbia has collected enough new extras that they allowed
Twilight Time to issue an upgraded limited edition Blu-ray worth your
time and worthy of the film.
group of people escaping the Civil War on a ship that lands up
wrecking on what seems like a beautiful island, until weird things
start to happen and giant creatures start attacking them, thus the
film's title. The adventure just keep getting more harrowing when
Nemo (the great Herbert Lom) shows up for better and worse for them.
Despite the limited budget, production design is really good, the Ray
Harryhausen stop-motion animation is classic and the supporting cast
(all of whom get a chance to develop their characters, however
limited) includes Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary
Merrill, Beth Rogan, Percy Herbert and Dan Jackson play it seriously
and that is why it still works enough to this day.
are some off moments by Zulu-director
Endfield does a nice job and Bernard
Herrmann's beloved score still works well to this day. All in all,
at least a minor fantasy and adventure classic whose following is
fully understandable, nice to have it in print one more time.
include another illustrated booklet on the film including informative
text and the continuing series of Julie Kirgo's top-rate
essays, while the Blu-ray adds Original Theatrical Trailers, TV
Spots, Isolated Music Score of Herrmann's work, Ray Harryhausen on
the film, Islands
clip and feature length audio commentary track by film historians
Randall William Cook, C. Courtney Joyner and Steven C. Smith that is
informative and shows how much they love the film and those involved
in making it.
of all is Peter Winther's Painkillers
an all-unknown cast that plays too-similar soldiers who wake up at a
medical facility and cannot remember why they are there, how they got
there or the traumatic events that landed them up there. The rest of
the time is trying to enact and explain this contrivance and instead,
the only way to kill any pain is to turn this DVD off because it is
boring torture to suffer through this one that drags on and on and on
and on and on... you get it.
Penikett of the forgettable, if very commercially successful
mechanical, dark, tired reboot of Battlestar
heads the cast, who talk at each other, but with this teleplay, what
else could they do. This is bad and you should pass on it, but don;t
operate anything dangerous if you watch aa you may fall asleep in the
process... or throw a brick through your HDTV.
are no extras.
1080p 1.85 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D - Full Resolution digital High
Definition image on Everest does not really do much for it with all
of its darkness and many boring shots, which more than carry over to
the Blu-ray 2D version with the same aspect ratio. Both are
competent at best, but make the mountain look boring, kills any
wonderment and makes you want to stay away as much as possible. The
anamorphically enhanced DVD is the weakest of all and any IMAX
mountain footage is the cure for this dud of an experience.
remaining Blu-rays are marginally better performers and not bores
including the 1080p 2.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer
not always being perfect, but consistent for an HD shoot, while the
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can on Island
and the 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
may have prints that show the age of the films at times, but these
are really surprisingly strong transfers (from new HD masters that
work) that land up being the best here by a narrow margin. Pirates
color is better than Criminals,
has an interesting color history.
by the great Director
of Photography Wilkie Cooper, B.S.C. (Hitchcock's Stage
Voyage Of Sinbad,
& The Argonauts,
Men In The Moon,
was not happy with the PatheColor 35mm film stocks cheaply acquired
due to the low budget, but pushed them the best he could and Columbia
landed up using them for other films versus using black and white
stocks, extending into their Screen Gems TV division, resulting in a
special, unique look to their product. Despite Cooper's unhappiness,
I like this in color and this transfer is remarkable (and allegedly
the same high quality master Twilight Time used in their older
limited edition with less extras) so don't expect to see it looking
better anywhere else.
in the U.S. as 'Eastmancolor by Pathe' as
it likely was in most markets, our research says that the film
apparently got the best release treatment in the U.K. with
higher-quality 35mm, dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints
that likely did away with grain the most. We get some grain here,
but we also get shots that show off how good the color is overall.
Fans should grab this extended new limited version while they can.
leaves the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Painkillers
almost as bad as the Everest
DVD, save it has a little more color, but is as soft and hard to
Blu-ray has a Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix, but from what we got in the 7.1
mixdown in Dolby TrueHD lossless sound, it does not sound like we're
missing too much throughout as if the extra tracks were an
afterthought. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD version is not as good
by any means, but beats the same 5.1 on Painkillers,
our sonic disappointment on the list.
remaining Blu-rays have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mixes with
offering a 5.1 mix, Island
offering 5.1 (the best choice), 2.0 Stereo & 1.0 Mono (!) mixes
offering a 2.0 Mono mix. The 5.1 on Criminal
(mixing issues, including the dialogue weaker than the rest of the
mix) and Island
(showing its age) cannot match the limited Everest
to the point that the surprising clarity of Pirates
can match the other films. I cannot imagine any of these sounding
better than they do here.
limited edition Blu-ray, buy them while supplies last at these links:
to order the Ice
Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive