Of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season
(2016/HBO Blu-ray Set)/Hardcore
(1979/Columbia/Sony/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Imperium
Night Of (2016/HBO
Blu-ray Set)/Taxi Driver:
(1976/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)
B/B/B/B/B+ Sound: B+/B-/B/B/B Extras: B-/B/B-/D/B Main
new set of serious, gritty storytelling for mature adults are all
more than worth your time, including a few classics...
start with Game
Of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season
(2016), the latest from the all-time HBO hit in this new Blu-ray set.
The first automatically with Dolby Atmos sound (even better than the
high quality sound the show was already known for), HBO Video has
been upgrading previous seasons with the more dynamic, detailed sound
and you can read about the Third
and Fourth Seasons
in their new editions here...
if you don't start at Season
or are a fan of this genre of storytelling (which the series exceeds
at times), you will get lost quickly, but you can read about the
previous seasons elsewhere on this site to get familiar of you are
not already a fan. For me it is interesting when I am viewing it,
but it does not stay with me as much after despite being superior to
most of its competitors. Yet, I wonder if this is the peak of such
storytelling of its kind on TV for a while. I'm impressed they've
kept the quality so high though and its worth all the effort.
the great writer's second feature film after Blue
and thanks to the critical success of penning Taxi
for Martin Scorsese, reviewed below. An inspiration of sorts of Joel
(also a Columbia Picture), Sony has decided to have this Columbia
Pictures all-time catalog gem issued as a Twilight Time Limited
Edition Blu-ray, though it also has a great set of extras.
C. Scott is the father of a religious, Calvinist family enjoying the
holidays, runs a custom furniture company and all seems well until
his daughter goes missing. Is she dead? Was she kidnapped? He
eventually finds out she is involved in the XXX sex film industry
(they were not using videotape just yet and HD did not exist), so he
decides to go into that dark world and find out where she is and how
she got there before he never sees her again.
some moments push credibility, this still is a creepy eerie work that
got lost in the shuffle of blockbusters like the original Star
Wars (though it was shot at the time and wait until you see how
the film surfaces throughout this movie!) supplanted mature
filmmaking overall. Scott is great here and Peter Boyle, Bibi Besch,
Tracey Walter, Reb Brown (who became Captain America on TV that
year!), Ed Begley Jr., Dick Sargent (no joke, in a serious role, but
not as a sex pervert), Hal Williams and Season Hubley are the more
familiar supporting actor in a really good cast. Like Taxi Driver
and the rest of Schrader's work, you can read more about it in Robin
Wood's great book Hollywood From Vietnam To Reagan [and Beyond]
(reviewed elsewhere o this site) but this is a must-see film that
manages to be a time capsule, yet is as relevant as ever in how dark
the world can be and is.
also dark and has a computer and tech worker (Daniel Radcliffe)
working for the federal government when one of his bosses (Toni
Collette) asks him to go undercover to deal with hate groups and a
possible domestic terrorist attack in the making. He may seem an
unlikely person to do this, but he accepts, studies quickly and is
soon involved with some very angry, crazy, dangerous people who might
just turn out to be up to something more deadly than anyone thought
or wants to believe.
on the real life stories of Michael German (who wrote the
screenplay), Radcliffe is pretty impressive in his transformation to
go undercover, as well as transformation outside of his commercially
safe roles (especially Harry Potter of course), but I was convinced
enough (despite a slightly mixed ending) by much of this and am
impressed how bold and honest the film is able to be. It may not be
the most commercial material and some people would rather not even
deal with such material, but it needs to be dealt with and now that
Lionsgate has issued this fine
Blu-ray of the film, everyone should check it out.
an interesting collaboration by Richard Price (The
Color Of Money)
and Steven Zaillian (Hannibal,
based on a British TV mini-series, but transplanted to current New
York City about a young college student (the underrated Riz Ahmed of
et al) who is going to party somewhere with his friends. Missing his
ride, he unwisely borrows his father's taxi (his livelihood he
co-owns with two other friends), gets distracted by people trying to
get him to ride them to their
destinations and picks up a pretty young gal who is being a bit
self-destructive. He gets involved with her, very much so, then he
wakes up the next morning in her place to find her dead!
more mistakes, it looks like he may have murdered her, but he does
not remember, has no reasons or motives to do so and gets slowly by
surely into trouble. John Turturro plays a lawyer who happens to
notice him and takes on his case, knowing something is wrong. What
plays out plays nicely against the endless (and endlessly dull)
police procedurals on TV (on both sides of the Atlantic, by the way)
and has important things to say about justice, injustice and bad
situations good people land up in when they should not have. Racism
is also addressed well here and we get some mystery and suspense well
is impressive, underseen, not being talked about and HBO has issued a
solid Blu-ray set of the show, however basic. The result is one of
the best TV series of the last few years, worth going out of your way
we have an updated version of Martin Scorsese's Taxi
(1976) on Sony Blu-ray with more extras than any and all previous
editions (if missing a bit from earlier releases, as you would expect
for a classic this important). This is our second time looking at
the film, with the maxed-out film-only Blu-ray with zero extras
reviewed at this link...
may not look as good as the previous Blu-ray, but its pretty close,
both from the new 4K HD master. Thus, see more about picture, sound
and the many extras below.
the Blu-ray releases here look fine with solid playback throughout
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition images on Game
two of the best HBO productions on their network. Game
has the money on the screen, its digital work is never too
distracting and it is consistent with the high quality of the
previous sets, while Night
is an all-HD shoot that can look odd at times, but is fine otherwise.
Some may not like the look, thinking it is strained, but it is
consistent if nothing else.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Hardcore
can show the age of the film a little bit at times, but this is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film despite
Schrader now thinking it was a little too bright visually in
hindsight. I agree to some extent but am glad he didn't go and
artificially darken it for this release.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Imperium
is as consistent an HD shoot as Night,
but comparatively more naturalistic and better than you might expect.
the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Driver
is from the amazing new 4K master of the film by Scorsese we
previously reviewed in the high-bitrate Blu-ray with zero extras
linked above, but the extras here get in the way of maximum
performance a bit as they did on the 2011 extras-filled edition.
Despite that, it is still the best picture playback performer here
and impresses enough throughout.
for sound, Games
continues its Dolby Atmos 11.1 rollout, still the only TV series to
do so so far, making it the sonic champ again throughout. Again, the
makers are not just enhancing the sound to show off gimmickry, but
honestly enhancing the narrative.
rest of the Blu-ray are here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless
mixes, save the 2.0 Mono on Hardcore,
with the 5.1 films tying for second place and Hardcore
a not so bad last/third place, sounding as good as it ever will.
Sound is not as different between the three versions of Driver
we've discussed, while Night
have fine, professional, consistent soundfields that deliver very
well for such serious material.
sadly has no extras, but the rest of the releases offer audio
commentaries, with 15 of them on episodes of Game,
two new feature length audio commentary tracks on Hardcore
(one by Director Schrader, the other by Lee Pfeiffer, Eddy Friedfeld
& Paul Scrabo), one on Imperium
by Director Ragussis & Writer Michael German and three on Driver
by Scorsese (from the 1986 Criterion 12-inch LaserDisc edition, one
by writer Schrader and one by the great film scholar Robert Philip
are the only discs here with Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC
portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices.
also has Blu-ray exclusive In
features, then also adds Deleted Scenes, the amusingly entitled The
Battle Of The Bastards: An In-Depth Look,
Hours At The Paint Hall
The Dothraki World.
also adds a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the
great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while its Blu-ray disc also offers an
Isolated Music Score and Original Theatrical Trailer.
also adds a Living
featurette and Cast/Crew Interviews, while Driver
also an all-new 40 Minutes Taxi Driver Q&A with Scorsese, De
Niro, Foster & more taped recently, then adds previously made
Scorsese on Taxi Driver,
New York Locations and
an Original Theatrical Trailer on the Blu-ray. The DVD of only
extras adds Animated Photo Galleries, Scorsese introducing his
Storyboards for the film and Making
Most of this did appear on the 2011 release with a nice set of
postcards not here, but this version easily has the most extras.
order the Hardcore
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and many more great exclusives while
supplies last at these links: