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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Murder > Doll > Mystery > Gangster > Science Fiction > Action > Annabelle: Creation (2017/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ruby (1977/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/War For The Planet Of The Apes 4K (2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Annabelle: Creation (2017/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ruby (1977/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/War For The Planet Of The Apes 4K (2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ & B-/C+ & C/A & B+ Sound: B+ & B-/B & B-/A Extras: B Films: B

Annabelle: Creation (2017) is the best film in The Conjuring franchise since the original, besting the lackluster Conjuring 2 and the original Annabelle. Similar to other demonic doll movies like the Child's Play franchise, Dolls, and The Puppet Master, Annabelle is based on a true demonically possessed doll with this being the prequel film. More violent than the previous chapter and pretty successful financially despite a lukewarm summer movie season, Creation is definitely a win for Warner Bros. all around. Director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) takes over the reigns from James Wan, while he is focused on DC Comics's upcoming Aquaman film.

Annabelle: Creation stars Miranda Otto, Philippa Coulthard, Stephanie Sigman, Alicia Vela-Bailey, and Anthony LaPaglia.

Former toy maker Sam Mullins and his wife, Esther, are happy to welcome a nun and six orphaned girls into their cozy California farmhouse. The couple are still on the mental mend of recovery after their 7-year-old daughter Annabelle died in a tragic car accident a few years earlier. Terror soon strikes when one child sneaks into a forbidden room and finds a seemingly innocent doll that appears to have a life of its own... could this be Annabelle? The little girl whose life was taken too soon?

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and an English Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless track (core Dolby TrueHD 7.1), the film looks and sounds fine and up to Blu-ray standards. For a film as dark as this one, the blacks are deep and character detail mostly on point. A standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD with a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track is also included as well as a Digital UV Copy.

Special Features...

The Horror Continues

Horror Shorts: Attic Panic and Coffer

Director's Commentary

Directing Annabelle

Deleted Scenes Featurette

While there are some weak digital effects moments, overall the look and production design of this film is better than the last.

For more on the original film, showing not everyone was a fan, here's our link to our coverage of the original Blu-ray/DVD release...


If you're looking for low budget horror gems that delivery all of the gory goods, then you will want to check out the cult classic Ruby (1977). Mixing the slasher genre with the possession/exorcism genre, this lesser known gem finally lands on Blu-ray. Though its stated that this is a 2K HD restoration, I have to say I'm a little underwhelmed by the transfer on Blu-ray disc despite some good color and a few good scenes that hold up, but more about that later. The film itself is a lot of fun (I'm sure a hit on 42nd Street or the drive-in at the time; it did some business) and is definitely worth seeking if you're a classic horror collector like me.

Directed by Curtis Harrington (Queen of Blood (1966) among his many horror entries), Ruby stars Piper Laurie (the mother from the original Carrie (1976)), Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis, Janit Baldwin, Crystin Sinclaire, and Paul Kent.

The passive aggressive Ruby Claire (Laurie) owns a successful drive-in theater, where lots of grisly murders have been supernaturally happening lately thanks to her dead gangster husband's tormented spirit. When the entity infects the mind of Ruby's mute daughter, Leslie, all hell breaks loose as those that work for or are close to Ruby are all in mortal danger. If you're looking for 1970s era horror chills and spills, then this is definitely one worth checking out in the vein of The Exorcist and Drive-In Massacre.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English: LPCM 2.0 track (which comes across fine), but the image here isn't anything to write home about. I'm sure with this being a lower budgeted film for the time that maybe some things weren't completely solid technically on set... or perhaps the lack of ''wow'' in the transfer is due to a compromised film source(s).

Either way, the image here isn't always super clear (with some soft focus issues on close ups, though some such shots are intended as soft), some shots are murky, grainy, and even show interlacing issues and compression. Though this was a 2K restoration as stated on the press release (and back cover), more work should be done to make this look better photochemically, though it may be a matter of tracking down more vault materials and mint prints. A standard definition DVD is also included with similar, but even less impressive presentation specs that is the same transfer we covered years ago at this link...


Special Features include...

Original theatrical trailer

Audio Commentary with Director Curtis Harrington & Actress Piper Laurie

New Audio Commentary with David Del Valle and Curtis Harrington historian Nate Bell

Two Interviews with Curtis Harrington by Film Critic David Del Valle

Photo Gallery

While not always completely original, there's a lot to love about Ruby that makes it worth picking up. Hopefully, a more polished transfer will be here in the near future.

There's no argument that War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) isn't one of the most visually impressive films so far this movie year. Its competition in the Oscar race will be close, however, when it goes up against the visual splendor that was Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The seasoned team at WETA (a company founded by Peter Jackson and the force behind Avatar, The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) pull out all the stops here and spare no expense. While it didn't do as well as hoped in the box office this summer, this fantastic new release is sure to please fans.

The final chapter in the new Planet of the Apes trilogy, War is a continuation of the events that occurred in Dawn and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (reviewed elsewhere on this site in 4K UHD as well; see link below), and is once again led by motion capture master actor Andy Serkis (King Kong) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Director Matt Reeves (who is about to tackle a new Batman saga for DC/Warner Bros.). This may also be one of the most, if not the most, impressive 4K UHD disc I've seen yet, with impeccable character detail that enhances the rich cinematography and dramatic film to this soon to be Sci-Fi Classic. If you're hesitant about the new format, this might be the icebreaker disc.

War continues the saga with Caesar (Serkis) leading his revolution of super monkeys vs. militant humanity (led this time by Woody Harrelson) in a battle that has been waging for years. After a tragic string of events occur, man vs ape is at the height of its climax... but which species will come out the victor? Is there any hope for harmony? The film also stars Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, and Karin Konoval. At times surprisingly brutal, heartfelt, and an impressive precursor to events portrayed in the original Charleston Heston classic, I felt like War for the Planet of the Apes delivered.

Being the third part of a trilogy, it's hard from a storytelling point of view to satisfy fans with an ending that wraps up all that came before it. It's a shame in retrospective that Matt Reeves didn't get the chance to direct Rise after putting his stamp on these last two installments. That being said, I felt that this was a good way for the character of Caesar to go out and wrapped up things nicely with a bow.

Presented in eye popping 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image, the 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and immersive Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless track is top of the line and on full display here with HDR (high dynamic range) technology. Also included with that impressive Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) lossless track are tracks in other languages depending on your territory. The marriage between practical and visual effects is seamless, even on a format with this level of detail.

A Blu-ray in 1080p is also included with similar widescreen and sound specs but not as impressive as the 4K UHD in terms of sharpness or clarity. Looking at the two side by side there are noticeable differences in presentation. Also included is a digital copy.

If you're curious about the 4K UHD format then this is the film to pick up and check out. The experience here is truly astounding.

Also worth noting is the score by Michael Giacchino, which echoed the original Jerry Goldsmith score heard in the original classic Apes film. Borderline experimental but native sounding drums and weird noises rather than heavily orchestrated in parts was a nice touch. I have been following Giacchino's career for a while (as you can see in my Spider-man: Homecoming 4K review elsewhere on this site) and definitely think he's on his way to being the next John Williams.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves



Barrier Wall

"I Owe You One"

"A Great Man"

"Do Not Lose Hope"


The Colonel's Speech

Malcolm and the Dinosaurs

"I Am Like Koba"


"Waging War for the Planet of the Apes" - In-depth documentary on the making of WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

"All About Caesar"

"WETA: Pushing Boundaries"

"Music for Apes"

"Apes: The Meaning of it All"

"The Apes Saga: An Homage"

Concept Art Gallery

Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

For more on the previous two films on 4K Blu-ray w/Blu-ray, go to this link...


- James Lockhart



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