Of Honor (2013/Hollywood
Media Bridge DVD)/The
Secret Of Monte Cristo
(1961/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Extraction
(2015/Cinema Epoch DVD)
C/C/B-/C+ Sound: C+/C/B-/C+ Extras: D/C-/C/C Films:
Secret Of Monte Cristo
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
following are genre films that tried, but did not always succeed...
(2013) starts out as a surprisingly good police drama about a drug
bust/money robbery gone wrong that gets an innocent, unarmed child
shot to death by one of the cops. Turns out his partner knew about
the deal in advance and was trying to get al the money for himself.
Their boss (Martin Sheen) is sure the lie they come up with that he
was armed is true, but another police figure (Patrick Muldoon) is not
taking chances and gets a new gal into internal affairs (the
underrated Mena Suvari) to conduct her own investigation.
course, she starts to slowly unravel that something wrong is going
on, but the bad cop and other bad guys are a bit ahead of her for a
while. The script is not bad and the film has some intense energy,
but its ideas of realism and violence go over the top one too many
times because the makers are trying way too hard and much harder than
they should have. Jesse Bradford, Haylie Duff, Lochlyn Munro and
Nastasha Henstridge help round out a decent cast, but the script and
a director a little out of control, plus one too many cliches pull
this one down when less would have been more. Still, it is worth a
good look for what works and is easily the best release here.
are no extras.
TV super-producers Robert S. Baker (The
Of The Saint)
and Monty Berman (a slew of other ITC action series) co-directed The
Secret Of Monte Cristo
(1961), not a big screen version of the ITC show with George Dolenz
(Monkee Mickey Dolenz's father) from 1956 (reviewed elsewhere on this
site), but a big screen, widescreen semi-actioner with Rory Calhoun
(usually known for Westerns) as a Captain looking for a treasure
hidden in the land of Monte Cristo, so we get no Count here. John
Gregson, Ian Hunter, Peter Arne, Gianna Maria Canale and Patricia
Bredin join in to put together the separate pieces of the map to find
the loot. Can they find it without betrayal and worse?
picked up this British production with a moderate budget and Warner
Archive is now issuing it owning the older MGM films. I give the
makers credit for putting as much money on screen as they could and
trying to make this work, but it is an odd film that tries to do more
than it should and cannot get one thing to work all the way.
However, between its stars and the co-directors, it is a curio I was
glad to see, even if it was ultimately a bit disappointing. Maybe
Baker and Berman learned from this to speed things up, thus joining
Lord Lew Grade in building one of the greatest TV production empires
of all time. Also, Dyaliscope has an unusual look to it, so seeing
it for that is also a good reason for checking it out.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.
C. Miller's Extraction
(2015) has Bruce Willis as a CIA operative who lost his wife years
ago, then goes missing when his son (Kellan Lutz) keeps trying to
join the Agency and keeps getting rejected, Three guesses as to who
is stopping that from happening. From there, we get a contrived plot
where everyone follows a device that can cause cyber-interferrence
that is never conniving, some lame dialogue, some funny moments,
unintentionally funny ones and Gina Carano shows up in a move that
stops this from being worse.
course, she knows Lutz's character form a previous time, so they team
up to solve the problems at hand, but the chemistry does not always
click, while the action is above average at best down to so-so
choreography. By the end, it is just lame and preposterous with
Willis not in it enough and Lutz once again his own worst enemy just
picking up any script that does not help him or his career out much.
With more work, this might have been better, but it wears too thin in
the end and is too impressed with itself to boot.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds extended
Cast/Crew Interviews, a feature length audio commentary track by
Miller & Lutz, a Making Of featurette and Deleted/Extended
Mallory & Ruby Larocca co-directed Sociopathia
(2015), but did this really need two people at the helm? It is a
simple story of a young woman (Tammy Jean) who talks to dolls, cuts
up dolls and also does this to sexy women she beings home to have sex
with. A formulaic tale we've seen better and before in several 1960s
films (and onward), it was amazing how many good-looking women
happened to tbe around to seduce, kill and mutilate, the ending was
predictable like the rest of the film and it is as humorless as it is
unoriginal. Yes, it is more graphic, but to no avail.
won't even go into how it pop trivializes mental illness, with its
retro-stereotypes that are played out on arrival, but with some
concentration and a much better script, this could have worked
because some of the look is not bad.
in include an Original Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scenes and
alternative black and white version that has no difference in its cut
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Extraction
is not perfect and has styled-down shots and some bad digital shots,
but it is the best performer on the list by being the only Blu-ray
and the most pricey of the newer productions by default. Still, some
shots are sloppy and a few moments are flat out lame.
the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Cristo
is lame, it is only because some of the visual effects have dated, as
the film otherwise has the most consistent look of the four releases.
Shot in real anamorphic 35mm Dyaliscope and issued in Eastmancolor
(Kodak) film stocks, this print is a bit inconsistent and the
transfer soft, but you can see some good shots here just the same.
Composition is not bad, but could be more kinetic.
leaves the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the other two
DVDs with Badge
also looking good, but being too soft too often and having its own
motion blur issues. It is with some surprise then that Sociopathia
is the best of the DVDs, in color and black and white, with the color
being fine if not great, while the monochrome is inky and not just
the color turned off for the so-called director's cut.
the sound department, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix
is pumped up for action as expected, but still has some soundfield
issues, inconsistencies and some location audio is not up to par.
The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Badge
showing their low-budgets, yet Badge
manages to be the most consistent of all 5.1 mixes here, leaving the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Cristo
the sonic last-place performer and is as second-generation as its
image. Restoration work needs done for this film, so in the
meantime, be careful of high volumes and volume switching in this
Secret Of Monte Cristo
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: