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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Exploitation > Satire > Murder > Drama > Crime > Cyber > Tech > Mystery > Sweden > Heist > Agei > Bag Boy Lover Boy (2014/Severin Blu-ray)/The Circle (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/The Dinner (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Feed The Light (2014/Intervision Blu-ray)/Going In Style (2017 remake/Warner Blu-

Bag Boy Lover Boy (2014/Severin Blu-ray)/The Circle (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/The Dinner (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Feed The Light (2014/Intervision Blu-ray)/Going In Style (2017 remake/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Hickok 4K (2017/Cinedigm Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Kung Fu Yoga (2017/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Pelle The Conquerer: 30th Anniversary Edition (1987/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Pulse (2001/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/Unforgettable (2017/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)



4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Picture: A Picture: B/B+ & B-/B+/B/B+ & B-/B+/B+ & C+/B+/B+ &

B-/B+ & B- Sound: B/B+ & B-/B+/B/B+ & B-/B+/B+ & B-/B/B+ & B-/B+ & B- Extras: B/B/C/B/C/B/C+/C+/B/C Film: C+/C/C/B/C+/C+/B/B/B/C



Up next are a surprisingly impressive set of releases that are high profile, upscale and meant to really deliver for their respective audiences...



Bag Boy Lover Boy


Every once in a while, an independent film comes along that is so bizarre and unusual that you can't help but talk about it. It invades your brain and stays with you for hours or sometimes even days afterwards. Such is the case for this New York City made Indie film Bag Boy Lover Boy (2014), the debut feature film from filmmaker Andres Torres.


The film stars Theodore Bouloukos as the devious photographer Ivan, Jon Wachter as our lead Albert, and Kathy Biehl.


Albert (Wachter) has a dead end job at a hot dog stand in New York City but dreams of impressing being a photographer and baiting the girl of his dreams (Biehl), who is something of a drifter. One day he gets a customer named Ivan (Bouloukos), who tells him of his successful career as a photographer and he invites Albert to a photo shoot and promises to help Albert with his aspirations. Seeing Albert's obscure nature and wanting to capture it on film, Ivan places Albert in front of the camera as a model and the two have a semi-successful shoot. But when Ivan gets called on a business trip and skips town, Albert ends up with the keys to Ivan's studio. Paired with a new camera, Albert decides to lure women back to the studio as his subjects but develops a passion for murder in the process...


Similar but not as extreme as The Greasy Stranger (reviewed elsewhere on this site) for its weirdness factor with elements of Napoleon Dynamite and a mix of John Waters flair, Bag Boy Lover Boy is an unusual journey into the mind of a maniac. While not without some plot holes, the movie is pretty entertaining and an effective black comedy as well. It also screams guerrilla filmmaking, as there are many sequences (especially on the New York City streets) where you will notice background extras looking into the camera and observing the shoot as they walk in and out of frame. From a filmmaking standpoint though, the film is pretty solid and I look forward to seeing more from this new director Andres Torres in the near future.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless English LPCM 2.0 Stereo track, both of which play pretty good on Blu-ray disc, he low budget film was shot with Arri Alexa Cameras and a few sequences shot on film. The detail level is pretty solid, with no real compression issues that I noticed.


Special Features...


Audio Commentary With Director Andres Torres, Actor Theodore Bouloukos and Editor Charlie Williams


The Student Films of Actor Jon Wachter: Got Light and The Never-starting Story


Original Trailer


While not perfect, there's a lot to like about Bag Boy Lover Boy that makes it recommendable. This is definitely a niche audience type of film where you either love it or hate it, but it's definitely worth a watch for its quirky and offbeat nature alone.



The Circle


Emma Watson and Tom Hanks lead an interesting supporting cast in the thriller The Circle (2017), a film that mixes the social aspects of Facebook and the clean image of Apple and turns them into an evil entity. The film raises some interesting questions such as personal freedom and the thin line between public and private life in the growing world of social networking and sadly, doesn't feel too far off from reality. Also starring Patton Oswalt, Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), John Boyega (the recent Star Wars sequels), and the late Bill Paxton in one of his final roles, The Circle is directed by James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour).


Mae (Watson) ends up getting a job with The Circle, a powerful social media company. At first, everything seems perfect. She's making money to help support her sick Father (Paxton) and feels accepted by all of her new friends and grows to be popular within the company. Soon, she comes face to face with the CEO (Hanks) who enrolls her in a new company experiment that soon overtakes her personal life and affects those around her.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 track, the film looks fine on Blu-ray disc with adequate and bright images that are up to standards. Also includes is a standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is compressed and not as impressive as the former. A digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features...


"No More Secrets: Completing The Circle - A Four-Part Series" featurette


"The Future Won't Wait: Design and Technology" featurette


"A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton" featurette


Watson and Hanks do what they can here but the film tends to drag in moments and at times is pretty predictable. The Circle makes you think while you're watching, but doesn't stay with you after the credits.



The Dinner


Director Oren Moverman (The Messenger) has a new thriller that's just finding it's way onto disc, The Dinner (2017), which has an all-star cast including Richard Gere, Rebecca Hall, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, and Michael Chernus. The film is based on a novel by Herman Koch and does an interesting job of elevating tension through its leads.


Gere is running for office as a personal tragedy affects his family behind the curtain. Meeting his brother and her wife (Coogan and Linney) with his own wife (Hall), they all discuss a terrible crime that their children committed. A crime that has to be covered up to protect all of their public images. Who is to blame? The parents? The children? How far will they go to keep this a security? And who will answer and take responsibility for these crimes?


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track that looks and sounds up to standards for the Blu-ray format, though the lighting in many of the scenes are the table are dimly lit, the character details remain on point and everything is nice exposed and crisp, which is as to be expected.


A Digital UV copy is also included.



Special Features...


Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Oren Moverman and Actress Laura Linney


Photo Gallery



Feed The Light


H. P. Lovecraft fans will want to pick up this award winning Swedish underground feature Feed The Light (2014, original title Lokalvardaren) Directed by Henrik Moller, which is now available on video thanks to Intervision. A dark thriller with an industrial setting, the film is loosely based on a short story by Lovecraft called The Color of Time and Space. Feed The Light is an interesting white knuckled thriller aims to please fans of the author and while it's not a direct translation, his influence is felt throughout.


The film stars Lina Sunden, Martin Jirhamn, and Jenny Lampa.


When Sara (Sunden) takes a job as a cleaner to find her missing daughter, she ends up forming an alliance with the another Janitor on staff. Set in a seemingly endless and nightmarish underground base, they band together with a few others and journey into the abyss where startling and sinister visions are beheld.


Presented on Blu-ray with a 1080p high definition transfer and a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and paired with a Swedish LPCM 2.0 Stereo lossless track. The film is grey-scaled (not entirely Black and White but close) and has a few colors that pop into later scenes but overall has a lot of grain, which is no doubt on display for cinematic effect. Lots of scenes has deep blacks that reads well on higher definition televisions. Overall, considering the budget, this presentation is pretty solid.


Special Features...


Making of Feed The Light featurette


The Lovecraft Influence: Interview With Co-Writer/Director Henrik Moller


Original Trailer



Going In Style


Actor/Director Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State) returns to the director's chair for this ensemble comedy film Going In Style (2017), which is actually a remake of a 1979 film of the same name.


Sporting a stellar cast which includes Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Christopher Lloyd, Matt Dillon, Joey King and Michael Caine to name a few, this hilarious coming-of-age comedy takes a look at three aging men who are broke and decide to rob a bank in an effort to fix the shortcomings in all of their lives. The film is smartly made and has some pretty funny moments, while a bit far fetched, that which will appeal especially to an older crowd.


Three best friends (Freeman, Arkin, Caine) end up getting screwed over by the corporate company that they have put a large chunk of their lives into. Now broke and unable to cover their overheads, they devise a harebrained plan to rob the bank that was partly responsible for taking their hard earned pension money away from them. However, these guys aren't in the best of shape nor as fast as they used to be so it will take some training and expertise to pull off this heist as envisioned. Of course, many things go awry in the process, leaving these old farts with nothing to lose and everything to live for.


This edition features the film on both 1080p high definition Blu-ray and standard definition DVD. The widescreen aspect ratio of the film is 2.39:1 aspect ratio that is identical on both discs and varying sound and picture quality. The Blu-ray, as always, is the victor with a sharper image and lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix, while the DVD sports a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a highly compressed image. Both reach the standards of their respected formats and for a naturally set film with no heavy special effects, these transfers suit the film fine both ways.


A Digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features...


Commentary with Director Zach Braff


Deleted Scenes



There are a few 'groaner' jokes in the movie that are bit silly and some predictable plot points, but all in all this is a film that's safe to watch with your family and get some kicks out of. It's worth seeing mainly for the performances of Freeman, Arkin, and Caine alone.



Hickok 4K


Hickok (2017) is a new western that stars Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Dern, Luke Hemsworth, Trace Adkins, Cameron Richardson, and Robert Catrini. Director Timothy Woodward Jr. is no stranger to this type of western, as last year he came out with Traded (reviewed elsewhere on this site), which has a similar look and feel to this. Nicely shot with decent production design, the film can't shake some comparisons to some better Clint Eastwood Western movies, but is an entertaining entry in a genre that doesn't get the spotlight too often. Cinedigm has put the film in glorious 4K high definition that is very impressive in terms of presentation, even if the film's script isn't always completely original.


Centering around Wild Bill Hickok (Hemsworth) who is legendary for shooting first and asking questions later, is a loner that isn't particularly liked by many. When he impresses the Mayor (Kristofferson) in a small western cow town with his badass gun skills, he gets promoted to Town Marshall and gets the run of the place. In a town like this, though, everybody has a gun and follows their own set of rules. Soon, Hickok decides to enforce a 'no gun' policy in the town, which doesn't help his popularity votes. Soon, many start plotting against him in rebellion and a bounty is put on his head, leaving old Hickok a walking target...


This edition of the film includes both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray editions, both of which look pretty darn good. The film utilizes natural locations and western looking sets, with impeccable detail in the 2160p high definition image, which has a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track that does both editions fine. Featuring a western style score, natural skin tones, and plenty of gunplay, the film is also mixed pretty nicely with clean dialogue tracks and more evident details in the 4K UHD.


Special Features...


The Road to Abilene: The Making of Hickok


Deleted Scenes


Trailer



A nicely shot western in 4K Ultra HD, this film is a fun Western entry that isn't game changer but will entertain fans. I found this in many ways superior to The Magnificent Seven remake (reviewed in 4K also on this site), which was too silly for its own good.



Kung Fu Yoga


Stanley Tong (Rumble in the Bronx, Supercop) directs Jackie Chan again in Kung Fu Yoga (2017), an explosive new action/comedy that's highly fun and imaginative, though has elements of several other films in the same genre. Boasting a huge effects budget (there are many CG digitally enhanced characters here), lots of great production designs and location and a rousing score, this is in many ways the foreign interpretation of an American blockbuster with a mix of Bollywood flair to spice things up.


The film also stars Amyra Dastur, Sonu Sood, Disha Patani, and Yixing Zhang.


Jackie Chan plays Professor Chan, an Indiana Jones character of sorts, who is an archaeology professor who is teaching a class about Indian treasure and is about to lead a daring journey into Arctic lands. During the expedition, his group (a few of whom are martial artists) uncover a hidden treasure deep within an ice cafe that's been undisturbed for centuries. Before they celebrate too much, they're ambushed by a group of mercenaries who are also there for the treasure. Showing that he's not just a history expert, Chan breaks into his mass knowledge of kung fu (and yoga which he learns from his fellow adventurers), which he must use to protect his friends and the treasure before it gets into the wrong hands.


Kung Fu Yoga is presented in both 1080p High Definition Blu-ray and standard definition DVD in this combo pack release. Featuring a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the Blu-ray presentation is up to standards with nice detail on the film's many colors and locations. Some early scenes have predominately yellow tones, while other scenes set in the arctic mountains are much more blue. Some of the CG elements still out like a sore thumb against the real human subjects, but that is to be expected. The disc also has a Mandarin DTS:X 11.1 lossless mix that's easily one of the best on any Jackie Chan film, also here in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix, but the English dub version is here in a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix s well. The DVD features the film to a more compressed degree and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.


No digital copy.


Special Features...


Bloopers


Five Featurettes:

"Best Of Both Worlds"

"The Dynamic Duo"

"The Making Of"

"Jackie Chan"

"Bollywood Dance"


This is a fun movie for Jackie Chan and while nothing too groundbreaking or original, still has plenty of entertaining moments for the PG-13 adventure crowd.



Pelle The Conquerer


In one of the best performances of his long and prosperous career, Max Von Sydow stars into this evocative drama Pelle The Conqueror (1987, also known as Pelle erobreren), which gets a new deluxe 30th Anniversary Blu-ray edition from the good folks at Film Movement. Directed by Billie August, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film and won huge at the Cannes Film Festival as well.


The end of the 19th Century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse (Sydow) and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find employment at a large farm making a dreaded hundred dollars a year salary, live in a tiny room full of hens, and are treated and worked to death like slaves. Pelle starts to speak Danish, but is still harassed as a foreigner as he slowly grows up and starts to get tougher skin. Dreaming of finding a better life than the life they left in Sweden, the film studies both the human condition and the power of human nature and willpower as well.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.87:1 (original aspect ratio - 1.85:1) and a lossless LPCM 2.0 Stereo Danish audio track (with English subtitles) from the original Dolby A-type analog surround soundmaster that shows the audio's age to a very limited extent, this new HD transfer of the film lives up to expectations and bests previous versions of the film on disc for the American market.



Special Features...


Commentary by Film Scholar Peter Cowie


New Essay by Terrence Rafferty


Production Stills


Cast and Crew Credits



A moving and interesting drama with a great cast and great production values. If you're a fan of foreign cinema then you won't want to miss it.



Pulse


In the same vein as The Ring and The Grudge, Pulse (2001) is a Japanese ghost story with some effective chills and thrills (and a bad American remake like the others). Presented here newly remastered from Arrow in this great release that's packed with cool art and bonus material, I would rank up there with Arrow's other Japanese ghost movie it released earlier this summer on disc, Dark Water (reviewed elsewhere on this site), in terms of supernatural Japanese horror at the top of its game.


Pulse stars Kumiko Aso, Koyuki, Koji Yakusho, Haruhiko Kato, Masatoshi Matsuo, and Shinji Takeda. The film is written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.


A group of Japanese College Students become involved in a strange wave on supernatural encounters, all of which are centered around a bizarre website. This site beckons its viewers to speak directly with the dead. After seeing this, each student goes through a string of depression after seeing a strange ghostly woman who is linked to the video and eventually commit suicide. Slowly the website passes from student to student, leaving none of them safe.


Remastered in 2K high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a nice sounding lossless Japanese LPCM 2.0 Stereo track (with new English subs), the film looks great on Blu-ray disc. Dense textures and colors help hide surprises in the darkness and while some aspects of the film (namely it's modems and computers) are a little outdated, the surrealistic cinematography helps tell an effective story. The sound mix is buzz of buzzing, weird voices, and the occasional loud shrill to help heighten up scares, all that come across fine on disc. Also included is a standard definition DVD of the film with a more compressed version that suits the format fine but not as effectively.


Special Features include...


New interview with writer/director Kiyoshi Kurosawa


New interview with cinematographer Junichiro Hayashi


The Horror of Isolation: a new video appreciation featuring Adam Wingard & Simon Barrett (Blair Witch, You re Next)


Archive Making of documentary, plus four archive behind-the-scenes featurettes


Premiere footage from the Cannes Film Festival


Cast and crew introductions from opening day screenings in Tokyo


Trailers and TV Spots


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tommy Pocket


First pressing only: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Chuck Stephens



This was a fun supernatural ghost movie that I would rank up at the top of the list with others such as Ringu and Dark Water.



Unforgettable


Director Denis DiNovi's Unforgettable (2017) is a pretty forgettable thriller in that it seems like a story you would hear about on Dateline NBC or a Lifetime Network Movie just with Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl in lead roles. Some plot twists and turns are so predictable that you can say them out loud before they happen on screen especially if you've seen films like Basic Instinct or others in the same genre. From an acting and filmmaking perspective, the film is about average but in every other department, it seems like it was produced on auto-pilot.


The film also stars Whitney Cummings, Cheryl Ladd, Jayson Blair, Geoff Stults, and Isabella Kai Rice to name a few.


Man loves Woman. Man and Woman have a child. Man and Woman get divorced. Man meets new Woman. Former Woman gets jealous and vengeful on new woman. This is the basic plot line for Unforgettable. Julia Banks (Dawson) is an attractive young woman with a evil man (Blair) in her past that she had to file a restraining order against for domestic violence. However, her life is turning around as she has met a new man named David (Stults) who has a young daughter Lily (Rice) to a previous marriage to Tessa (Heigl) and the two are planning to elope. Julia leaves her San Francisco home base and moves closer to be with her new fiance and things couldn't be better... until Tessa lets jealously get the best of her and she starts lashing out against Julia. Stealing her identity and more, Tessa will stop at nothing to ruin the image of Julia towards David... even if it takes blackmail and murder to get the job done.


Warner Bros. has packaged both the 1080p HD Blu-ray and the standard definition DVD in this combo pack. The Blu-ray disc has a nice transfer with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) track - both of which are standard for the format and read pretty well. This film is a mixture of light and dark, with many scenes taking place during the night for extra intensity. Character details are evident and the compression issues are few and far between. The same can't be said with the SD transfer of the DVD which presents the film in an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The differences between the two are night and day.


A Digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features include...


Reclaiming What's Yours: Making Unforgettable featurette


Director's Audio Commentary


Deleted Scene with Audio Commentary



- James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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