remake/Sony/TriStar/Umbrella import Blu-ray)/Bob's
Burger's: The Complete 5th Season
(2014 - 2015/Fox DVDs)/The
Man From Hong Kong
(1975/restored/Umbrella Blu-ray w/Deathcheaters
(2016/Summit/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/The
Trail Of Dracula (2016
Dogs (2016/Warner 4K
Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/C+/B/B & C/C+/B Sound:
B/C+/B/B & C/C+/B+ Extras: C/D/B+/C/C+/C Main Programs:
1988 remake and Man
From Hong Kong Import
Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can play on all Blu-ray players worldwide
and can be ordered from the link below.
a great group of genre releases you should know about, including the
restoration of an Oz-Ploitation classic...
Russell's 1988 remake of The
is not a great remake and did not do well in its original release,
but when Twilight Time issued it on Blu-ray with more copies pressed
than usual it still
went out-of-print. Here's our review of that edition...
Sony/TriStar has issued it in a more basic edition with the same HD
master through Umbrella Entertainment in Australia as an import
Blu-ray, so fans who missed out on the U.S. release can get it. I
hoped in 1988 that it would be a good film and a hit, but it was too
derivative of other horror films, added nothing memorable, TriStar
decided on very limited promotion and the film was a critical and
box-office dud. The latex ans creature work does hold up and the odd
cast keeps this at least odd, so I get the near cut status.
Otherwise, this is for completists.
all the extras the out-of-print Twilight Time Blu-ray had, all we get
here is the Original Theatrical Trailer and an on-camera Chuck
Russell interview not on the Twilight Time release. Note that Rob
Zombie wanted to do a 3D remake a few years ago, but that was
Burger's: The Complete 5th Season
(2014 - 2015) continues the winning ways of the moderate hit animated
TV show, one I was never a fan of, that we've never reviewed before
and one that is consistent if nothing else. Considering it is
produced in the shadow of the Big Three animated series (The
the latter succeeding Beavis
spiritually) and competes with its spin-offs and imitators, that is a
quiet victory in itself.
those who have missed the award-winning show, this is about the
trials and tribulations of the Belcher Family selling burgers, for
better and worse, with the usual side plots, gags, subplots and
twists. You don't necessarily have to have seen the series from its
first episodes, but I have and that made little difference to me as I
simply could not get into the show. We get 21 episodes in all, so at
least fans will be happy.
are no extras.
Man From Hong Kong
(1975) is back in an incredible new 4K picture and sound restoration
from Umbrella and its home country of Australia, for the first time
ever on Blu-ray. We previously reviewed the film in a deluxe DVD set
a few years ago at this link...
have seen a slew of restored and upgraded films in recent years,
including some very high profile classics, but it has been years
since a restoration was so amazing that it actually had me enjoying
and liking a film more than I already did. This is such an
improvement because this fixed up, it is a whole new film and whole
new experience. Though I've been talking about the film for years as
an underrated genre gem (I'm not the only one), there's so much to
see (scenery, fight scenes, acting, stunts) and enjoy that very few
have been able to get out of the film since its worldwide mid-1970s
you can see how this is up there with the original Mad
as one of Australian Cinema's best action films and one that was even
closer to the Bond films than its many imitators then and mow, even
with its ironic satire. More on how technically impressive this is
below, but just weeks after Arrow issued a great upgrade of
(1986, reviewed elsewhere on this site) we get this even more
impressive upgrade that reestablishes Trenchard-Smith as one of the
key genre directors worldwide and an Australian original.
Wang-Yu remains hilarious in the lead (intentionally and
unintentionally) in his best attempt to become a big international
action star, as a Hong Kong detective who has to go down under to
investigate a series of murders and corruption led by an evil arms
dealer. George Lazenby is the villain, more fondly remembered now as
James Bond in On
Her Majesty's Secret Service
(1969) than then when he left the role in one of the greatest
mistakes in cinema history. He too wanted this to be a big hit
badly, but it was not to be. But watch both try hard to make this
work, even though they reportedly despised each other.
are many, starting with a repeat of some of the previous DVD sets
goodies such as a feature-length audio commentary track led by
Trenchard-Smith with legendary stuntman Grant Page & co-star Hugh
Keays-Byrne, the Australian trailer (now in HD) and Kung
making-of featurette directed by Trenchard-Smith. New extras
including Trenchard-Smith talking about the trailer for this film in
segment, a Making Of featurette, alternative trailer that puts
Lazenby's name first (!), the section from the great Not
documentary (reviewed elsewhere on this site) on this film, a
newsreel of the films premiere and FOUR MORE (that makes six films by
Trenchard-Smith in all!!!) in standard definition. We get two other
Trenchard-Smith classics we reviewed as separate 2-DVD import sets.
are great and also repeat Trenchard-Smith audio commentary tracks
from those sets, Trenchard-Smith's Dangerfreaks
from the Deathcheaters
set, then the Stunt
set repeats Trenchard-Smith's The
film with Page, Cannes promo reel and original theatrical trailer.
Easily, that is one of the best sets of single Blu-ray extras in
years and tops off an incredible upgraded reissue of an action
classic. Now everyone can really enjoy The
Man From Hong Kong
like never before!
(2016) is the kind of resurrection we don't need, with Jason Statham
very bored reprising his assassin role from the disappointing first
film, a semi-remake of the 1972 gem that we suffered through on
Blu-ray a few years ago at this link...
was issued by Sony, but though it seemed that was that, Summit (via
Lionsgate) has decided to pick up the sequel six years later (!?!)
and it barely looks better than the 2010 film. Also trying to
emulate a Bond and Bourne film, but failing miserably at both, the
nonsense plot has our would-be hero/anti-hero has retired and left
the rough secret life of work behind, but Jessica Alba is a woman who
pulls him back in, leading him to a skyscraper swimming pool murder
stunt that is the only interesting part of the film despite Tommy Lee
Jones (in ornery auto pilot mode like never before) and Michele Yeoh
(the Bond film Tomorrow
among other hits) showing up.
had this talent and did nothing much with it, leaving us with a
boring package deal as empty as any of them. See it at your own
risk, even if you're a fan of anyone here and don't operate heavy
machinery while viewing.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs add five Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurettes.
Mitchell & Jamie Lockhart's The
Trail Of Dracula
is not another dramatic film on the evil count, but a 2016
documentary that looks at the history on and behind the iconic
figure. It starts with myths and history involving vampires in fact
and fiction, plus events and historic figures that contributed to the
build-up of whom we know as Dracula via film clips (including
stills and expert interviews. Then they cover three eras of Dracula
on the big screen, starting with Bela Lugosi, how Universal did not
rehire him to play the character again as you might think and despite
that, how his 1931 debut performance still defined the character for
an entire era down to TV syndication.
when it seemed Dracula had see the light, Christopher Lee revived the
character and created another golden age for Bram Stoker's legend
that powered Hammer Studios, Lee and vampires into the 1970s. Again,
some amazing work and classic films resulted, but even the lesser
works were interesting and the interviewees have much to say.
However, the era after with key works starting in the late 1970s,
like John Badham's Dracula
remake, are brought up, not examined and the documentary ends too
soon. What we get is fine, but too bad they ran out of time and/or
money as 15 to 25 more minutes would have made this even more amazing
since they were on a roll. Still, this one is definitely worth your
include 94 minutes of Original Theatrical Trailers from several dozen
Dracula feature films, separate vintage audio interview with
Christopher Lee and Francis Lederer (from Return
reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site), plus separate vintage
on-camera interviews with Werner Herzog (the 1979 Nosferatu
remake) and Udo Keir (from Blood
directed by Paul Morrissey).
we have Todd
(2016), based on a true story about how a young Florida massage
therapist and guy just trying to find his way (Miles Teller), lands
up meeting up with an old friend (Jonah Hill) who is taking advantage
of a crazy George W. Bush-era loophole that anyone
can bid on military contracts to supply arms to the U.S. Military via
a government Internet site and if worked properly, can make serious
course, the old friend is up to no good, his company is a joke out of
rented office space where the meaningless company name is written on
a Post-It and yet, he's making money. Who wants to do massages when
you can make thousands and thousands of dollars off of this? Of
course, things get more complicated, even as they start to rake in
the cash, even having to go overseas too assure those involved get
what they want.
leads are well-cast and they have their moments, we get some good
moments here and there, but the script and director so over-imitate
Martin Scorsese's gangster genre films (and this is really not a
gangster genre film, humor intended or not), that it sabotages a
great story that would have worked better if the makers did not try
so hard and let the film be itself. They stunted its growth and the
missed opportunities pile up, even when we get fine turns by Kevin
Pollock and Bradley Cooper. Still, it is a mixed success worth
catching at least once, but it could have been so much more.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds two brief Behind
The Scenes/Making Of featurettes and an animated dark comical film
which has the leads as rats, describing what they did to make the
money via contracts, but it is actually a clever spoof of the classic
animated shorts series, but things do not work out here as they did
on the show.
2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra
High Definition image on Dogs
is just good enough to be the best performer on this list, an HD
shoot that can look phony (especially versus Scorsese's films and
in particular), but has just enough good shots to keep it moving
along. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition regular Blu-ray
version's image lands up having limits, some of which are a bit
annoying despite the difference between the two not being that huge,
but noticeable enough.
four regular Blu-rays just about tie for second place in performance,
but the 1080p 2.35 X 1 restored in 4K digital High Definition image
transfer on Hong Kong is slightly above the others, though it can
show the age of the materials used as noted. However, besides being
far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film on home
video anywhere, the color and the best shots here are often stunning
and amazing, worthy of the grittier bond films and its grittier
1080p 2.35 X 1 restored in 4K digital High Definition image transfer
is trying to look less gritty, but still be gritty and fails all
around visually. It is competent, but looks less slick than Hong
with limited good form and is very forgettable visually when you
finish watching it. The anamorphically enhanced DVD version included
is unusually soft and the poorest performer on the list, even against
the other DVDs.
leaves the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer The
1988 remake that can also can
show the age of the materials used, but looks
exactly like the Twilight Time HD transfer and that is a good thing,
even if I was not as impressed as my fellow writer with it. Color is
pretty consistent and this is what the film looks like for the most
part from everything I have seen on it over the years.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image performance on Burgers
(all animated) and Dracula
(a mix of newly video-recorded interviews and a bunch of film clips)
have some flaws here and there, but look about as god as they
possibly could. Dracula
is a compilation, so expect some analog videotape flaws, video noise,
video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded
color, tape damage and 35mm and 16mm film that show their age,
especially coming from trailers.
for sound, Mechanic
is actually here in a Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless mix, but it sounds
like an afterthought, not very effective or imaginative, so don;t
expect much of anything you could think of as demo moments. However,
the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on both the 4K and
regular Blu-ray of Dogs
is the real sonic champ here, very well mixed and presented, with
strong sound, usually impressive location audio and a stronger mic
that really delivers and is a very pleasant surprise.
also impress despite their age in upgrades of their older audio that
surprises in both cases. Blob
has the same 5.1 upgrade from its old analog Ultra Stereo sound mix
that the Twilight Time edition offered, but Hong
surprised me even more by even being in 5.1, as it is originally a
monophonic theatrical release as reflected by its older DVD version
and some serious effort was put into this to deliver a really fun,
even strong upgrade despite the age of a good amount of the original
sound materials. It was worth all the trouble.
for the DVDs, Burgers
has a sometimes laid back, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that has some good
moments, but other times seems to be missing punch, while Dracula
is in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo even though the trailers and
clips are often monophonic. The mix and melding of the two is as
good as you could expect for such a documentary and it is fine.
order either of the
Umbrella import Blu-rays, The
1988 remake and/or The
Man From Hong Kong,
go to this link for them and many more hard-to-find releases at: