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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Drama > Thriller > Horror > Supernatural > Reincarnation > Fantasy > Horror > Serial Kil > Listening (2014/MVD Visual DVD)/The 9th Life Of Louis Drax (2016/Summit/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Ozland (2014/MVD Visual DVD)/Dario Argento Presents Sergio Stivaletti’s Wax Mask (1997/One 7 Movies Blu-ray)

Listening (2014/MVD Visual DVD)/The 9th Life Of Louis Drax (2016/Summit/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Ozland (2014/MVD Visual DVD)/Dario Argento Presents Sergio Stivaletti's Wax Mask (1997/One 7 Movies Blu-ray)

Picture: B-/B/B-/B Sound: B-/B/B-/B Extras: B/C/D/C Film: C+/C+/C/C

Here's a new round of genre film releases for you to know about...

No doubt inspired from the works of Philip K. Dick is Listening (2014), an independent Sci-Fi thriller from filmmaker Khalil Sullins and stars Thomas Stroppel, Artie Ahr, Amber Marie Bollinger, Christine Haeberman, and Arn Chorn-Pond. For anyone who has wondering what it would be like to be able to read the minds of others, this is defiantly a thought provoking film that will entertain.

When a group of broke college students invent a device that can read minds and take influence over other users to perform whatever they are commanded, the government steps in and decides to use the technology as a weapon. Fighting against time and his friends, David must fight to protect his own mind and stop his invention from falling into the wrong hands.

Presented in standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, this is definitely a film that could benefit from 1080p high def version. For being an indie, the color correction isn't half bad throughout, with several sequences that mimic the look of a bigger budgeted production. A winner in the festival circuit, I wouldn't be too surprised to see this film on Blu-ray sooner or later.

Special Features...

- British Film Institute Q and A with Director, Cast, and Crew at the International Premiere at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival

- Making the Score with Composer Edward Patrick White

- A Look into Editing Listening with Editor Howard Heard

- Theatrical Trailer

- Alternate Posters

- BTS Photos

Better than expected, Listening is a solid concept and screenplay that could be taken a step further and made into a bigger budgeted film with a more renowned cast if given the opportunity.

The 9th Life Of Louis Drax

From Director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes remake) comes the drama/thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2016). Interesting from a story and visual perspective, the film stars Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey), Oliver Platt (Lake Placid), Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). I hadn't heard much buzz on this film prior to the Blu-ray release but found it to be a pleasant and interesting surprise and a nice welcome back to form for Aja. In many ways, I could see Tim Burton making this film in a bit more of a weird and stylized way and its interesting on many levels despite an at times dodgy screenplay.

Louis Drax has had a tough childhood and many close to death encounters. When he falls off a cliff on his 9th birthday and ends up in a coma, many question if he will bounce back - with many fingers pointing as his dad (Paul) as the one who pushed him. Under the study of Dr. Allan Pascal (Dorman), Louis is given special treatment that allows one to dive into the boy's unconscious mind. While the kid's beautiful mother Natalie (Gadon) lies waiting and falls for Dr. Pascal, stunning revelations about the case emerge. Will Drax regain his former memory and self or be forever lost in a coma?

Presented in 1080p high definition, the Blu-ray disc has a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding English, lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that looks and sounds standard for the format. The presentation shines on some of the films more surrealistic scenes with high contrast and cinematic tones and the exteriors balance whites and skin tones well. Also includes is a Digital UV copy.

Special Feature: The Making of The 9th Life of Louis Drax

An interesting film that's worth checking out for its visual flair alone.


Michael Williams' independent post apocalyptic thriller Ozland (2014) is an interesting character study and a interesting re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz without all of the special effects and magic. Sporting interesting cinematography and production design, the film rests on the shoulders of its two leads Casey Heflin and Glenn Payne - who aren't bad, but don't give performances that will blow anyone away per say. Relying more on visuals to tell the story, Ozland looks great but falls short in some of its writing and more dramatic scenes.

Two loners wander a dry and dusty world that has seen the fall of mankind. When one of the men finds a copy of The Wizard Of Oz, he begins to grow optimistic that there could be a better world for the two of them out there. Against loneliness and impossible odds, the two men struggle to survive and find their place in the harsh new reality they are stuck in.

Presented in standard definition with a 1.77:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track the film looks and sounds fine for DVD but lacks the detail seen in 1080p. An upgrade would do nothing but improve the presentation, however it isn't too bad all things considered.

No extras.

Dario Argento Presents Sergio Stivaletti's Wax Mask

Boasting some cool practical effects but far from perfect is the Dario Argento (Suspiria) produced Wax Mask (1997, also known as Maschera di Cera), which would have been the last Lucio Fulci (The Beyond) film. Directed by SFX artist Sergio Stivalletti, the project was entrusted to him by Fulci to complete and available here for the first time on the Blu-ray format. In many ways, this film reminds me of the Waxwork films (reviewed elsewhere on this site), which just got a nice release from Vestron and Lionsgate films, but lacks some of the imagination that those films had. Still, for fans of Fulci, this is a title worth seeing and makes you wonder how different it would have been had the late auteur been at the reigns.

A wax museum opens up in town and is surrounded by mystery and fright, as it recreates vicious murders with its figures. When a young man is dared that he can't stay the night there and survive, he ends up dead the following morning. Baffling police, new murders start to appear at the museum, which causes questions to arise as to who is responsible for this deadly murders and who will they strike next? The film stars Robert Hossein, Romina Mondello, Riccardo Serventi Longhi, and Gabriella Giorgelli.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless Dolby TrueHD tracks in Italian (with English Subtitles) and English dub, the film looks fine for the Blu-ray format but isn't anything too flashy or impressive. No digital copy.

Special Features...

- Backstage Scenes

- Special Effects Scenes

An interesting concept that isn't executed quite to the standard I was hoping, but not without some cool effects scenes. I found Wax Mask to be a mediocre film when it could have been an amazing one.

- James Lockhart



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