The Barbarian 4K
(2011/Millennium/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Crossfire
(1933/RKO/Warner Archive DVD)/Doberman
Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/Face
2 Face (2016/Candy
Factory DVD)/The Legend Of
(2014/Summit/Millennium/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray 3D &
Blu-ray 2D)/The Lion &
The Horse (1952/Warner
Originals: The Complete Fourth Season
(2016 - 2017/Warner DVD Set)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ 3D Picture: B- Picture: B/B/C+/B+ &
B/B/B/C/B- Sound: B/B+ & B/C+/B+ & B/B/B+ & B/C+/B-
Extras: C+/B-/D/B/D/C/D/C+ Main Programs: C/B-/C+/B/C-/C-/C+/C
Lion & The Horse
DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
and films of the like, Broken
(2016) is a one shot (as in no cuts - though I'm sure in reality
there are some that are just cleverly edited) action movie that aims
to put you in the seat of an action packed circumstance to which
there is no escape. While the film has some interesting camera work
and scenes that have some good tension, it ultimately feels a little
staged and unrealistic, despite its best efforts.
film stars Francesco Filice, Caleigh Le Grand and Patrick McFadden.
a drugged up man (Filice) discovers his girl dead in his apartment,
he soon scrabbles to reach out to anyone that can help. Involving
his poor ex-girlfriend (Le Grand) into the mix, the two are soon on
the run from a pack of murderer who follows them all around the city
with the intension of murder. Of course, along the way, there are
many close calls and adventure ensues.
in 1080p Blu-ray high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of
2.34:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless
mix, the presentation isn't half bad for this digitally shot film,
however it won't blow you away. Skin tones seem to mostly be on
point with the film taking place mainly at night. The shaky cam
filmmaking style of the movie helps hide some visual issues as the
camera is always in motion, which may or may not be your cup of tea
as a viewer.
and Actor Commentary (two separate tracks)
at Canadian Film Fest 2017
Early Sales Trailer
terrible for a low budget action thriller, Broken Mile has some
moments and is an interesting effort in 'no cut' filmmaking.
two films a long time ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger quit the role of
Conan and never returned, with his first film a hit, the second a big
disaster (and we'll skip that as-awful Sheena
spin-off film) leaving the character stuck in novels, comic books and
animated TV shows. However, the Robert E. Howard-created character
has a big following and a new feature film was inevitable, so I was
happy to hear that a new one was on the way a few years ago and they
had landed a potentially good choice with Jason Momoa in the title
role. Then they added Director Marcus Nispel and I knew it could be
(2011) was the result, starting with an origins section and not only
being faithful to the original books, but to the Frank Frazetta art
(as had the earlier Arnold film), so they were really trying to make
this work, then Momoa shows up and the film kicks in and manages to
concentrate enough to stick to the world, subject and storyline. We
don't see that much in big budget filmmaking today, but that was
refreshing. Can Conan avenge himself against evil men who killed his
people and still defeat a deadly supernatural menace?
film has more surprises, especially for fans who know the material
and character, but I'll stop there. Nispel has a reputation for
being a sometimes (very) difficult director to work for, but in real
life, he has the talent and can pit rich, dense, memorable images on
the screen. Despite a few false notes and moments in parts, the film
is as good as anything filmed on the character before and Momoa is at
least as believable as his predecessor in the role. Unfortunately,
the critics (do they even read books anymore?) did not get it or
support it, nor did enough of the fans, leading the producing studios
to back it only so much.
years later, Momoa became Aquaman, there is no new Conan film (though
talk of Arnold returning in a King
with no less than Paul Verhoeven directing was a talked of item that
has yet to surface) and those who failed to make this a hit will be
sorry when the actual Aquaman
film arrives (which has become a surprise critical and huge
commercial hit for the end of 2018). Momoa could have been in a
whole new Conan series and the films could have gotten better and
better, which is the sense you'll get if you see this film. Glad to
see it on 4K Blu-ray because it deserves a second chance if any
commercial film of the last decade does. Now, people can rediscover
2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10-Bit color; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35
X 1 Ultra High Definition image is a pleasant surprise here, the film
shot on 35mm film, may have been finished in lower HD (via its
digital effects in part), but the image is better than the
already-decent 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer
on the regular Blu-ray, which looks about as good as it could in that
format. Director of Photography Thomas Kloss pulls off a better job
here than he'll probably ever get credit for and his work is already
holding up better than most such fantasy genre films, with extensive
digital work that came out at the same time. As a plus, he shoots
the outdoor and other location segments very nicely.
for sound, I like the sound design on the film, very creative at
times, taking advantage of the genres it is part of instead of just
coasting as most such films do on loud noises and boring, predictable
mixing. So good it is that the 4K version has been upgraded to a
Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) that gets
more out of an already smart mix and makes the film all that more
engaging. The regular 1080p Blu-ray has a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
5.1 lossless mix that was already solid, impressive and good, but the
Atmos is just that much more revealing. All the mixes are really
include two feature length audio commentary tracks (one by Nispel,
the other by Momoa and co-star Rose McGowan), the Original Theatrical
Trailer and four Making Of featurettes in The
E. Howard: The Man Who Would Be Conan,
Royal: Engineering the Action
the film is fun and not just another over-digitized B-movie. Rose
McGowan, Steven Lang, Ron Perlman,
Saïd Taghmaoui, Raad Rawi and Laila Rouass make up the convincing
supporting cast in this nearly-star making turn for Momoa. Now's the
time to catch up to it!
(1933) is a tale of greed and backstabbing in the very late years of
the Old West as WWI (yes, World War One!) as then genre start Tom
Keene is a foreman at a mining company who goes off to fight for his
country, an absence taken advantage of by Bert King (Edward Phillips)
who kills one of the board members left behind and intends to exploit
the mine and its workers. When Tom Allan (Keene) returns, he meets
up with an old local friend (Comic legend Edward Kennedy) and finds
out the whole ugly situation.., and will do something about it.
is about an hour long and was intended as a programmer (put it on a
double feature, use it as a B-movie, etc.) and for that, it is not
bad, able to criticize greed a little more than would have been
possible later with the Movie Code that kicked in a few years later.
It is worth a look for being so different and is worth a look if you
1.33 X 1 black & white image comes from a 35mm print that is not
perfect, but it is in pretty good shape for its age and is easy to
view, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age, but is
cleaner and clearer than expected. There are no extras.
has been showcasing many films from Director Kinki Fukasaku lately
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) and the Battle
Without Honor and Humanity Trilogy.
This departure from the usual Yakuza fair, is more of a
crime/marital arts movie that stars the legendary Sonny Chiba (Street
and is based on a manga series. Thanks to Arrow, this is the first
time that the film has been released to other markets aside from
stars as Kano, a Police Officer who is after a murderer of women, who
goes as far as burning them alive horrifically. When Kano goes to
Tokyo's Kabuki-cho nightlife district to investigate, he's met with
assumptions that he doesn't have what it takes to solve the case.
Soon, he proves everyone wrong as his tough nature and bright motives
end up a valuable asset in this challenging case.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and
its original uncompressed PCM Mono track (with new English subs), the
presentation on the disc is pretty startling when you think about the
age and low budget nature of the film. This HD digital remastered
print shines on Blu-ray and looks even good still on the included
standard definition DVD release (with the same widescreen specs and a
compressed mono track).
the Film: Doberman Cop, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku
biographer Sadao Yamane
video interview with actor Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba
video interview with screenwriter Koji Takada
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris
collector's book featuring new writing on the new films by Patrick
Macias and Tom Mes
film that may appeal to the teen audience, Face
(2016) is not to be confused with other films that have a similar
title (in which there are several.) The film aims to be experimental
telling a story through webcams but ultimately ends up being pretty
hammy, centering around (what else) the challenges of being a teen
and popularity. A Toronto Brothers film, this exploration in teen
angst is sure to make adult viewers roll their eyes more than once.
can see the gimmick and budget saving reasons for wanting to green
light a film in this filmmaking style, but it grows old pretty
quickly and doesn't seem real at all, but more like two mediocre teen
actors thinking they are baiting for an Oscar.
film stars Daniela Bobadilla, Daniel Amerman, Kevin McCorkle, and
Mary Gordon Murray.
unpopular kid gets to talk to the hot popular girl via a web chat.
At first, putting her on a pedestal and thinking she's the greatest
thing since sliced bread, the tone shifts as he soon realizes that
she has problems just like everyone else that exceed her appearance
and social stature. Go figure.
in standard definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, the presentation isn't anything
special nor revolting. Compression is evident and skin tones are
hardly detailed, however seeing the experimental nature of the film
88 minutes of staring at these two faces if you aren't annoyed or
feel a little bit like you're watching two strangers in a chat room,
then you may need to seek mental help.
Lutz is this generations Dolph Lundgren, an action actor looking for
a franchise, but no one in Hollywood or beyond seems to know what to
do with him, despite likability and potential. One of his few big
leads so far is in The
(2011) as the title character. It was released around the time the
hideous Dwayne Johnson Hercules
was issued, which did a bit better at the box office, but was not
comparatively not as good. We reviewed Lutz's version in its Blu-ray
3D/2D release a few years ago at this link...
to say this film was barely much better, but in real life, hardly any
Hercules film has ever been good, so I had few expectations of this
film and that was met. I don't get why Lutz's version practically
has some kind of British accent, but none of these films (or the lice
action TV shows over the years) have limited logic. Either way, Lutz
does what he can with the limited material and bored directing, so
this is a curio at best.
that, one asks how good this might look or sound. The
2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High
Definition image on the new 4K version corrects flaws from the other
presentations and is barely the best of the three, but the 5K shoot
was finished in 2K at the time and that means the poorer digital
works stays that way.
4K Blu-ray case sadly failed to note the Blu-ray 3D version is on
here, but we do get the same 1080p 1.85 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D - Full
Resolution digital High Definition image with the 2D 1080p 1.85 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer from our previous coverage and
the 2D is good if not great and 3D is a mixed bag. If you are going
to watch the film, 4K is your best option if available.
for sound, the original soundmaster has been expanded for the 4K
version, so we get a Dolby Atmos 11.1 (playing as Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on
older systems) that is a little clearer and more articulate than the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix from the 3D and 2D
versions. That was a default highlight of that release, but the
Atmos has a slight edge.
the previous release, including Digital Copy.
Lion & The Horse
but no least is Louis King's nature drama The
Lion & The Horse
(1952) has Steve Cochran as a cowboy with a horse he is connected to
like a best friend, which is at a peak when an evil circus owner (Ray
Teal) snags the horse for his own purposes, so he goes to get the
horse back. This works until the greedy owner wants revenge and they
all have to be on the lookout for a deadly killer lion.
is a mixed bag of a then-modern Western action piece, though the
decent cast also includes Tom Tyler, Sherry Jackson, Harry Antrim,
Bob Steele and George O'Hanlon. It also drags a bit at 84 minutes
and has its share of cliches. Amusingly, the horse is named Wildfire
and one wonders if that inspired the big 1970s pop hit of the same
name by Michael Murphy.
1.33 X 1 image was issued originally in WarnerColor, but that color
is inconsistent, sometimes faded more than it should be and the film
needs restored. At least the sound is good enough here in lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is more like it. There are no extras.
Originals: The Complete Fourth
(a spin off of The
reminds me a lot of Supernatural
in that it has some cool horror ideas and draws inspiration from
notable sources, but is weighed down by its too pretty and perfect
looking cast. While interesting from a visual and filmmaking
perspective, it's hard to get past the subpar digital effects and
offscreen implied violence that can't help but stir up bad memories
of the Twilight
movies. For a young adult or teen audience, however, I can see the
appeal that it may have.
show stars Joseph Morgan, Phoebe Tonkin, and Daniel Gillies to name a
centers around a dramatic and tense vampiric family, who once built
New Orleans and are now desperate to regain it back. Centering
around Klaus, a Vampire/Werewolf hybrid (but not as cool or vicious
as the ones in the Underworld
films), he must face off with his former protege who has succeeded
Episodes make up Season 4 and include Gather
Up The Killers, No Quarter, Haunter of Ruins, Keepers of the House, I
Hear You Knocking, Bag of Cobras, High Water and a Devil's Daughter,
Voodoo in my Blood, Queen Death, Phantomesque, A Spirit Here That
Won't Be Broken, Voodoo Child,
Feast of All Sinners.
in standard definition on DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio
and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the presentation here is on par
with the original television broadcast (HD notwithstanding), yet
shows some noticeable compression evident in standard definition
releases. A Blu-ray version is also available, that no doubt fixes
these issues. Still, being commercial and watermark free, even in
standard definition the is superior to its original television form.
a Gag Reel
order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and
many more great web-exclusive releases at:
James Lockhart & Nicholas
Sheffo (4Ks, Warner Archive DVDs)