Warner Archive DVD)/Rise
Of The Krays
(1975/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition
Blu-ray)/Stakeout On Dope
C/C+/C+/C+/B+/C+ Sound: C+/C/C/C+/B-/C Extras:
D/C-/C-/C-/C-/D Films: C+/C+/C+/C/B+/C+
The reissued Rollerball
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is
limited again to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies
last, while all DVD releases (except Krays)
are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
our latest look at genre films, we start with three heist films, then
a gangster film, upgrade of a science fiction gem and conclude with a
crime drama on illicit drugs...
Great Jewel Robber
(1950) is about a jewel thief (David Brain) who loves freedom and
valuables so much, he breaks out of the Canadian prison he is in and
resumes his heisting crimes, based on a true story that just happened
at the time of release. With mostly unknowns (save Marjorie
Reynolds), the film is not bad, intelligently written and it takes
its audience seriously for its 92 minutes. However, the Warner
production is not very distinguished, though it also has some amusing
moments and a little suspense. Borden Chase (Red
wrote the script that helps make this worth a look.
are no extras.
(1968) has Peter Ustinov coming out of prison legitimately (after
helping his warden fix the books, apparently) up to new schemes and
landing up at a monied company with a newfangled computer and the
potential to skim a chunk of it for himself. He falls for a
secretary there (Maggie Smith), has to deal with the man who runs
things (Karl Malden) and his assistant (Bob Newhart) in this British
production with a whimsical score by Laurie Johnson (The
particularly similar to his work on Jason
and has some fin moments for the actors and in the storyline.
the script gets sidetracked, though later appearances by Cesar Romero
and Robert Morley help. It is worth a look for its energy and the
many things that do work, but I wished it worked better.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.
(1967) was another leading role for George Hamilton, whose star
appeal could carry a film, here a jewel thief stealing from actual
movie stars (Zsa Zsa Gabor, Lilli Palmer and Caroll Baker show up as
themselves) in this drama/comedy with Hamilton as a smart cat burglar
who has to start dealing with a new age of devices called sensors and
computers to get the goods. Joseph Cotten is his mentor (King of
Diamonds), Maurice Evans and Marie Laforet play accomplices and it is
one of those globe-trotting films that play as part travelogue. I
liked the star power, some of the performances and some of the
also has some good, if not overt humor, so this is made for adults.
However, it is no Topkapi
taking somewhat of a leisurely Hollywood-style route (despite being a
German co-production) but is also worth a look for the things that
work. At least they were trying.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.
Of The Krays
(2015) apparently is part of a U.K. gangster crime series of films
that began with Rise
Of The Footsoldier,
but this has to compete with the recent Krays film Legend
(which we look forward to catching soon) and the underrated 1990
Peter Medak film (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and comes up with
Cotton and Kevin Leslie are the deadly brothers in this very violent
take that has some good moments, but also more than a few flat ones.
Besides being late in telling the story, we never see their prominent
mother much and Ronnie was gay and psychotic, but the film wants to
make him super-psychotic to negate and erase the former for some odd
reason. They have both been accused of worse since and who knows
what is true and not at this point.
film is also a bit mechanical after a potentially good start, but I
was disappointed in the end. This one runs 115 minutes.
Scenes and a Trailer Gallery are the only extras.
has us revisiting the underrated Science fiction gem a third time
after Twilight Time's first Blu-ray Limited
the import Blu-ray edition from Arrow in the U.K. only....
as the awful remake is continuously forgotten and has no defenders,
this reissue proves the film has a larger following than may realize
or want to give the film. Even James Caan himself may not realize
how great this key death sport film really is.
are the same as the
previous Twilight Time edition
illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and
another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie
Kirgo, as well as the two strong feature length audio commentary
tracks (one by Jewison, the other by author/creator William
Harrison), TV Spots, Trailers, vintage From
Rome To Rollerball: The Full Circle
To The Arena: The Making Of Rollerball
featurette (all featured on the DVD version) and an Isolated Music
Score track featuring the underrated music of Andre Previn. Though
some may have hoped one or more of the new Arrow extras would be
here, that is not the case, but it remains an excellent special
edition all serious film fans should own.
On Dope Street
a still-decent drama about some teen friends (Johnathon Haze, Morris
Miller, Yale Wexler) who find some dangerous drugs and not
considering the violent owners might want the product back, start to
sell it bit by bit. From the man who later directed Loving,
Empire Strikes Back,
Say Never Again,
Eyes Of Laura Mars,
'Kersh' (as he was known by his friends) had a knack for directing
and you can even see it here in this early work.
his work, another reason this is a curio outside of any unintentional
items about the drugs is an early acting turn by Abby Dalton, who was
even sexy here in this early role. You can see along with the drugs
why the one guy started to think he was going to have it all!
runs a smart, tight 83 minutes and is as good as just about any
are no extras.
1.33 X 1 black & white on Jewel
is obviously well-shot, but is just much softer than I would have
liked and is the poor performer on the list but the anamorphically
enhanced 1.85 X 1 black & white image transfer on Dope
is more like it, clearer and more consistent from a solid film print
that shows few flaws. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 color image and playback quality of
the remaining DVDs are as good as Dope,
claims it is shot in Panavision in its poster art, it is NOT a 2.35 X
1 scope film, but an anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image not
uncommon by that time due to the company's success.
are in MetroColor, so expect a lack of detail and some color flaws,
while the often darker-than-needed-to-be Krays
is the one digital shoot on the list. They are all watchable for the
leaves the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
the same nice (despite a rough start) 35mm film print master used on
the previous Blu-ray editions, sometimes showing the age of the
materials used, but great for its age. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the film is also a
repeat of the previous Blu-ray editions, but I hope a new soundmaster
is created for any 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version as this is not showing
off the full dynamics of the music and some other sound still on the
original sound materials.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 in Krays
is as good as any of the DVDs, yet not so great (due in part to its
silent moments) that the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Jewel cannot
compete with it. However, the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Hot,
are all down a generation and are in need of sonic upgrades next
order the Rollerball
limited edition Blu-ray reissue, buy it (among other great
exclusives) while supplies last at these links:
to order any of the four Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for
them and many more great web-exclusive releases at: