(2017/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/GoodFellas
(1990/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/The
Last Of Sheila
(1973/Warner Archive DVD)/Swashbuckler
Double Feature: The Black Pirate
(1954) + Tales Of Robin
(1951/Lippert/VCI/Sprocket Vault DVD)/3:10
To Yuma (2007
remake/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+/A-/B+ Picture: B/B+/C+/C/B+ Sound:
B+/B+/C+/C/A- & B+ Extras: C-/B+/B-/C/B Films:
C-/A-/B+/C+ & C/B
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
are a really interesting set of great films, with some genre films
(2017) is the sequel to the inexplicably successful Fifty
Shades Of Gray
(2015) which we reviewed on regular Blu-ray at this link...
Johnson and Jamie Dornan are back in what we could call 'Eyes
with no point' as the supposed world of upscale S&M is explored
(yawn....) in a film about sex that truly is one of the most
non-erotic motion pictures ever made, even when seeing things more
vividly in the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format. Miss Johnson is
certainly pretty, sexy and the like, but the acting is dull, silly
and unless you care, there is no major difference between this and
the previous film. That is no complement.
Basinger is here as an intertextual reference to 9
and all the other films where she was a sex object exploited, warning
Johnson's character not to be an exploited sex object (?!?) and the
great Marcia Gay Harden also sleepwalks through this bore collecting
one of the easiest paychecks she'll ever get struggling to just look
interested. However, you could make this film with mannequins and
except in rare cases, you'd probably make an more interesting film.
bad, because a potentially interesting story is here... somewhere...
afar... that could be smart and sexy (like Eyes
uncut), but his is just cynical, tired, formulaic product that has
all the eroticism of burning piles of 8-track tapes. Even the nudity
is sometimes bad. Skip it!
next 4K entry is a true masterwork, Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas
(1990), which was recently restored in a 4K master for this regular
Blu-ray we reviewed recently...
we have a 2160p version and it is better than even that high quality
Blu-ray. Save the booklet that came with that version, this has all
the extras plus the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray that has some great shots, if
not totally consistent for tech reasons i'll get into below.
However, this is the kind of back catalog title that shows off the
format's capacity and one of my 4K demos to date.
GoodFellas is one of the greatest gangster and crime films ver made,
the same could be made for Herbert Ross' The
Last Of Sheila
(1973) that it is one of the greatest mystery films ever made. A
true masterwork waiting to be rediscovered, James Coburn is a movie
mogul whose wife Sheila was killed a few years ago. Fast forward to
the present where he has guests gathering on his luxury boat that
happens to be called the 'Sheila' with the twist that her murderer(s)
are on board. Making the mystery with some of the most well-laid out
clues in cinema history work even better is an amazing cast with
amazing chemistry that includes Dyan Cannon, Raquel Welch, James
Mason, Richard Benjamin, Joan Hackett and Ian McShane (that cast
alone should make this a mega-curio!) that keeps you guessing and has
all kinds of curve balls to boot.
Warner Archive DVD allows you to finally be able to see the visual
clues the ancient VHS and bad TV copies ruined. Add Bette Midler's
and you have what is at least a minor classic if not much more.
Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins co-wrote the script and it is a
career high for all involved. Go out of your way for this one!
DVD offers two films that are obscure, but interesting and should
also be curios. First we have
Allen H. Miner's The
(1954) with Anthony Dexter, Martha Roth and Lon Chaney, Jr. as a
priest (!) has evil buccaneers traveling to El Salvador (no joke, it
was shot on location there back in the day) to raid the place for
treasure, women and more. Based on a tale by the creator of Zorro,
this has a mix of bad acting, brutal moments, interesting locales and
odd fighting sequences, yet it has to be seen to be believed and
should especially interest anyone who likes the endless Pirates
Of The Caribbean
series. It is also a rare film shot in Ansco Color, but more on that
in the tech section. Uneven, but worth a look for those interested.
we get James Tinlings' Tales
Of Robin Hood
(1951) with Robert Clarke (looking as much like Errol Flynn as much
as possible) as the title hero. This only runs an hour and you'd
think it was some kind of TV pilot at times, so basic it is, yet is
it not awful despite being obvious and predictable. It is also no
worse than most of the B-movies we've seen with the title character.
It goes no where fast and has a low budget (in black and white too),
but it is one for completists and at least is not pompous or
pretentious to its credit.
distributed both at the time and was more typical of the growing
stream of B product we got all the time, which I prefer to the bad
big films we get too often now. This is fun if nothing else and its
nice these are on DVD.
Mangold's remake of 3:10
(2007) remains one of the few truly great Westerns of the last 30
years, so it is no surprise that Lionsgate would pick this gem as one
of their back catalog releases early on to issue as a 4K Ultra HD
Blu-ray. We've celebrated this film a few times on the site and the
best part of this is teaming of Christian Bale and Russell Crowe (as
good guy hunting down an evil killer) against each other is great,
formidable, palpable and still underrated. However, this is what you
get when you get two of the best living actors together.
original film is really good, but this remake is a Revenge Western
that turns into a character study with solid performances, battles
and pacing throughout, based on the Elmore Leonard novel. It also
has a supporting cast that just gets better every time you see it
including including Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Dallas
Roberts, Vinessa Shaw, Alan Tudyk and Logan Lerman. Add how good
this is in 4K and it instantly becoming one of the best back catalog
titles in the format (along with GoodFellas,
and maybe more people will finally catch up with this gem.
for technical performance. The 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the three releases
here are impressive, as good as they can likely look at this level
and all offer demo moments. I spent months testing GoodFellas,
comparing its new 4K 1.85 X 1 presentation to the recent 1080p 1.85 X
1 digital High Definition regular Blu-ray and against all the 35mm
and other video footage I have ever seen of the film. The result is
that I think it is just better enough than the regular Blu-ray
despite some grain issues that I am giving it one of the highest
ratings of any disc I have ever bestowed, but I would also argue that
this is one of the most visual complex 35mm and HD-shot films of the
last 50 years and might need a 6K or 8K master to capture all that
Scorsese and Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (who
JUST passed away as we were preparing this coverage!) to capture this
remarkable, amazing, most complex of cinematic shoots. As it stands,
the improvements impress often in the color, textures, Video Red,
Video Black, Video White, detail and depth the film was famous for
immediately. As incredible as ever, it has endless imitators
visually and 99.9% of all of them never even came close!
2160p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Shades
and Yuma definitely offer more color range, detail and depth
than their decent regular 1080p, but Shades (stopping me from falling
totally asleep in my tortured viewings) has the plus of Director of
Photography John Schwartzman, A.S.C., who at least makes it look like
they are in a world of wealth and money without it being the joke the
film itself tends to be. Color, depth and detail improve nicely, as
it does on Yuma, though some monochromatic tendencies in the
color holds back the 4K performance. However, there are more than
enough improvements that 4K is the way to go to see the film,
especially if you've never seen it before and the 4K makes
this look big and grand as intended, which is yet another reason it
holds up so well. Nice demo shots too!
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Sheila
looks as good as it can in the DVD format, from a beautiful color
print, showing off how good this must have looked in its original
release when issued on 35mm in real dye-transfer, three-strip
Technicolor prints. Director of Photography Gerry Turpin (Deadfall,
and most appropriately, the British TV spy classic The
adds clues through blocking and other visually clever twists and
turns that make this all highly rewatchable. I also must give
Production Designer Ken Adam credit for adding to all that. All in
all, this is such a remarkable film!
1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on
and color transfer on Pirates
can show the age of the materials used, both having a little more
softness than expected. However, Pirates is a special rare film, as
it was one of the few independent films shot in 35mm with Ansco
Color/Anscochrome, a fine, solid alternative to Fuji, Kodak, DuPont
and Ferrania color stocks of the time with their own
look and feel. Though this print was damaged throughout by bad
storage, you can STILL see how good the color is and was throughout.
MGM backed Ansco (owned by, then folded by GAF in 1977) and used it
exclusively for their then-new MetroColor labs before the parties
agreed to folds the arrangement. A few independent films got to use
the stock and any film shot that way is as much a pleasure to view as
a Technicolor film or the best prints from the other film companies.
That alone is reason enough to get this disc.
for the sound, starting with the DTS: X 11.1 mixes on Shades
which definitely show off the underrated format and codec, but Yuma
is the sonic champ here, an improvement even over the powerful PCM
7.1 mix from the regular Blu-ray version (a rare PCM mix from
anywhere in any format), but the DTS-X sounds smoother and more
naturalistic throughout while retaining the power of the soundtrack.
is still decent and has DTS: X on the 4K and regular Blu-rays.
However, with so much talk and bad sex, music takes center stage and
its not always memorable, so the DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix upgrade from analog Dolby on
can more than compete. It is also one of the best sound mixes with
some of the best use of music in any film ever!
DVDs offer lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound, but Sheila has
been taken care of and sounds as good as it can without being
lossless, while both Swashbuckler films have older soundtrack
that can sound a little brittle, distorted and aged despite the
cleaning up that has been done. Be careful of high playback levels
or volume switching in those cases.
for all three 4K releases include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC,
PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray
add all previous extras in the cases of Yuma and GoodFellas
(featurettes, documentaries, audio commentaries, etc.), while Shades
adds Deleted Scenes and seven featurettes. Sheila has a
feature length audio commentary track with Richard Benjamin, Dyan
Cannon & Rachel Welch, plus an Original Theatrical Trailer,
something we also get for Pirates on the Swashbuckler
DVD, which also adds separate audio interview reenactments with talks
by Robert Lippert and Robert Clarke.
Warner Archive The
DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive