(Witness For The
Prosecution (1957), Ten
Little Indians (1965),
Appointment With Death
(1988)/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD Set)/Berserk!
Me Kill Me (2015/Embrem
C+/C+/C+/B/B & C+ Sound: C+/C/C+/B-/B & C+ Extras:
D/D/C/B/C Films: B-, C+, C/C/C/B/B-
Import DVD set is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray players that can
handle the PAL DVD and can be ordered from the link below, while
is now only available online from our friends at Movie Zyng and can
be ordered via the order button atop this review or on top of our
right hand sidebar.
up are several thrillers, all usually involving murder...
boldly entitled Agatha
is actually an Region Free PAL Import DVD set of three films you
mostly have not seen, but should once to be a completist. All are at
least ambitious and two we have reviewed before, including a Blu-ray
of Billy Wilder's Witness
For The Prosecution
(1957). See more at this link...
there's George Pollack's Ten
to us is Michael
(1988) now a curio because Carrie Fisher appeared in it and with
Lauren Bacall, Sir John Gielgud, Piper Laurie, Hayley Mills, David
Soul, Jennie Seagrove and Peter Ustinov in his third theatrical
feature film (after the mixed Death
On The Nile
and highly underrated Evil
Under The Sun)
as Christie's legendary detective Hercule Poirot. Though set in the
period of the book decades ago, this ambitious for infamous studio
Cannon Films release including an adaptation of the Christie book by
mystery of Bacall trying to get rid of her husband for his money is
surprisingly stale and unsuspenseful, plus this is eight years after
did not find the audience it deserved, so a certain momentum was
lost. At least it was not set in 1988.
are sadly no extras anywhere here.
(1967) is one of several 'killer in the circus' films especially
being made at the time, but this one has Joan Crawford as the female
ringleader who has to start to confront a series of 'accidents'
killing her crew. As we wonder who and why, we meet all the people
there, eccentric, different and otherwise, though some of the
eccentrics are purely British. The murders are ghoulish and too many
take place in front of families, yet the film is more suggestive than
the good-looking Herman Cohen production (he and Crawford were
friends) include Diana Dors, Ty Harding, Michael Gough, Judy Geeson,
Geoffrey Keen, Robert Hardy, Peter Burton and Philip Madoc. Even
when this gets flat, it gets interesting again, the film is at least
trying and has enough fun moments to give it a look.
are sadly no extras.
Me Kill Me
a murder thriller set in Hollywood and its gay community in part,
entertainment industry otherwise with guys cheating on each other
potentially as one flamboyant old flame unexpectedly gets a reality
TV role. When a dead body turns up, real reality takes over. Dusty
the World Turns
four-time Emmy nominee Van Hansis) blacks out in all this, his
boyfriend Stephen (Queer
gay icon Gale Harold) may or may not be up to no good and thus, who
done it. The cast of relative unknowns (save being known for
gay-themed releases or support in more well-known releases) is not
bad, but any mystery or suspense is killed by the comedy and
Yolonda Ross (HBO's The
Jai Rodriguez (Queer
Matthew Ludwinski (Andreas' previous film Going
Down in LA-LA Land),
Craig Robert Young (The
Kit Williamson (Mad
Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby),
D.J. "Shangela" Pierce (RuPaul's
and Michael Maize (Mr.
make up the rest of the main cast, but they never mesh well here.
Andreas took on too much and did not concentrate enough, but at least
he tried something different.
include a Music Video, Trailers, FilmOut San Diego opening night
clip, Behind The Scenes featurette and feature length audio
commentary track by Andreas and co-writer/co-producer David Michael
(1945) is one of Joan Crawford's great films, an interesting
melodrama with some Film Noir and unintended camp humor as she plays
the ever-suffering title character trying to raise her children and
particularly trying to help and protect her daughter (a young Ann
Blyth) well, but a mysterious murder in the opening Mildred may or
may not have committed gets us off to a memorable start. Then we get
the backstory as flashback throughout. Based on James M. Cain's
book, this critical and commercial smash for Warner Bros. has aged
very well and is a must-see for all serious film fans.
has issued this fine Blu-ray edition that is the one to get if you
love or have never seen the film. With new interest in Crawford via
the TV movie on the making of Whatever
Happened To Baby Jane?,
the timing is excellent. Jack Carson, Zachary Scott and Eve Arden
include a paper foldout on the film including an
essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith, while the Blu-ray adds a new
conversation about the film with critics Molly Haskell and Robert
Polito, an excerpt from a 1970 episode of The
David Frost Show
featuring actor Joan Crawford, Joan
Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star,
a 2002 feature-length documentary on Crawford's life and career, a
Q&A with actor Ann Blyth from 2002, conducted by film historian
Eddie Muller, a segment from a 1969 episode of The
featuring novelist James M. Cain and an Original
Theatrical Trailer. If only the brilliant Carol
spoof were added.
even more, read about the cable TV mini-series remake from HBO on
Blu-ray at this link...
last but not least of our ambitious mysteries, trying to do a book
within a movie versus movie within a movie with Any Adams as a woman
of means in higher society in an unhappy marriage that puts her at a
crossroads. Her husband (Arnie Hammer) is in fact up to things with
another woman, but before she can get into any of that, an old flame
sends her a manuscript for an unpublished novel that is supposed to
be fiction, but as she reads it, it starts hitting close to home.
She actually dumped the author for her new husband and now might be
regretting it, but the tale of a young woman and her husband (played
by Jake Gyllenhaal, who might also be the author of the book) are
driving along an isolated highway when a group of 'hick' types start
messing with them in awful ways. This includes a daughter, then
things go form bad to worse and he has to call a police officer
(Michael Shannon) for help as things spiral out of control.
is fiction enough that we know not all of it happened, but it sure
upsets her, affecting her in ways we can only being to imagine why
about. Thus, this is not only a mystery of what is the real story
and not, but of the character of all involved. Though this has some
lag and holes at the end (some open-endedness intentional), I liked
what did work and definitely think it is one of the years better
films. Ford can direct and even skipped doing any clothing to
rightly concentrate on the narrative, plus the acting talent and look
of the film are all a plus. To say anything else would ruin things,
but you should definitely see this one all the way through with
undivided attention to get the maximum impact out of it.
Fisher, Laura Linney, Andrea Risborough and Michael Sheen also star.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the discs add three Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurettes in Building
Look Of Nocturnal Animals
Filmmaker's Eye: Tom Ford.
with the picture quality, the two Blu-ray releases here look really
good, even dealing well with darkness and Video Black as well as any
films in the format. Both are also entirely shot on 35mm film. The
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Mildred
hardly shows the age of the materials used, is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the film on home video and comes
from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative with a 35mm fine grain
safety master when needed. The result is great and like never having
seen the film before and has some of the best work ever from Director
of Photography Ernest Haller, A.S.C., from his long career.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Animals
was shot on Kodak's advanced Vision 3 color 35mm negative stocks
offering all kinds of detail, range and nuance, even from the Super
35mm format. Director of Photography Seamus McGarvey, A.S.C.,
B.S.C., also delivers some of his best work to date. The
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image DVD version tries to present a
decent picture, but cannot come close to what the image should look
like and is a bit soft too.
three PAL format DVDs of Agatha Christie films are not bad, though
the anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image on Prosecution
looks like the same older transfer used for the Blu-ray we already
reviewed, if not as clear. The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1
image on Death
is not bad, but nothing special either, representing the decent shoot
it is. That leaves the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on
looking like the same transfer and print that the U.S. Warner Archive
DVD has, which is fine, but I bet it would look really nice on
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Kill
is an HD shoot that is not bad, but has some off shots and a few bad
edits, but is fine otherwise.
the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Berserk!
was originally a dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor 35mm release
and this transfer often Director of Photography Desmond Dickinson,
Of The Black Museum,
Of The Dead,
Study In Terror
(all reviewed elsewhere on this site), Konga,
uses color and angles very effectively throughout, along with his
usual compositions showing off the actors to best effect. This one
needs a Blu-ray at some point too.
for sound, Animals
is easily the sonic winner on Blu-ray with its DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that has its silent moments
and kicking ones, well recorded, mixed and presented, but the
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 often misses how well that works. The PCM
2.0 Mono on Mildred
comes from the original optical soundmaster and is actually the
second-best sonic performer here being pretty close to the original
sound recording, offering more clarity and impact than you might
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Kill
DVD matches that of Animals
for all intents and purposes, though it has some off moments in the
editing. That leaves lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on all three
films sounding as good as expected and on Berserk!,
which comes form as clean a source, yet sounds slightly low and
compressed as if the transfer was being done to conservatively
volume-wise. There's more sound here and we should hear it, so be
careful of volume switching or high playback levels.
Umbrella import DVD set, go to this link for it and other hard to get