(2017/Annapurina/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)/Dolores
(1995/Castle Rock/New Line/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The
Mountain Between Us
(2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/DVD)/On
Wings Of Eagles: The Eric Liddell Story
(1973/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Stronger
International/MGM/Twilight Time Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B & C/B/B/B/B/B/B Sound: B
& C+/B/B+ & B/B/B-/B/B- Extras: C+/C/C+/D/C-/C+/B
(1970) Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight
Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while
supplies last, while Dolores
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.
up are several serious dramas with some mystery, some melodrama and
mature themes you should know about, new and classic...
start with Katherine Bigelow's ambitious Detroit
(2017) which attempts to portray the madness that became the riots in
the title Michigan town in the late 1960s. The opening credits offer
a brief history into the build up into what happened and how ugly it
got. Even if some narrative license may have been taken here and
there (and one civil rights figure landed up having a scandal a few
months after the film was released), it is Bigelow doing what too few
filmmakers seem to know about since the 1980s: getting in there and
getting your hands dirty to tell a human story!
screenplay's approach is multi-layered, telling the story from the
point of several lives and how it all intersects. Cheers to all for
making this feel mostly like the late 1960s, though some dialogue is
bad and shows the very recent vintage of the production, which may
have thrown off some viewers. Some scenes are very violent, others
just so sad in their honesty and it reminds us all of how much has
not changed despite some progress, though we can also ask why have we
not learned more to have any kind of progress.
course, politics and petty people are the reason, these kinds of
events almost happening by design at time from certain powerful
people who could care less, the kind that lately have made no secret
of their intents, hatreds or disregard for law, justice or others.
Though I also very much liked the actors cast (including those
playing thankless, even mean, hateful roles), there are just one too
many instances of yelling, threats (especially with guns) and it
undermines the intelligence and build-up the film has going for it.
In other words, it tries to hard when it did not need to.
Boyega, Will Pouter, Jason Mitchell, Algee Smith, Anthony Mackie and
John Krasinski lead a cast that is truly giving it their all because
they all know the importance of the event and getting it right.
Despite missteps, it is still worth a good look for the many things
that do work and the story it has to tell. It may not be remembered
for awards season like it could be, but much work here is worthy of
that kind of attention. Thanks to all who took the risks to bring
this one to life.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer looks good on
the Blu-ray, starting with the animation, moving on the the
newly-shot footage and integrating vintage material into the film
very well. Care was truly taken to make this melt well and it does,
never looking bad or sloppy. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image DVD is much softer and
passable to watch, but the Blu-ray is the preferred way to see it
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix sometimes overdoes the loud
noises when it did not need to, but dialogue, music (including
classic hits) and other sounds are well recorded and mixed
throughout. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is not as good,
so only expect so much.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber-capable devices, while the discs add six Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurettes that are not bad, bu on the short side.
the mind of Stephen King comes Dolores
(1995), which is finally finding its way onto Blu-ray disc courtesy
of Warner Archive. The film stars Kathy Bates (Misery)
in one of her most memorable roles accompanied by Christopher
Plummer, John C. Reilly, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Directed by
Taylor Hackford (The
the creepy film looks and sounds great in HD and hasn't aged much
since its initial release.
of murdering her employer of 22 years, housekeeper Dolores Claiborne
(Bates) is facing some serious charges against her. However, once
her estranged daughter Selena (Leigh) comes back into the picture,
the mystery surrounding two deaths centered around Dolores come to
light. The other being Dolores' husband and Selena's abusive father.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and
a great sounding English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track,
the film hasn't looked or sounded this great on home video ever. The
score by Danny Elfman is fantastic and the character details and
colors really shine.
by Director Taylor Hackford
film is pretty effective and keeps you guessing from frame one.
Hany Abu-Assad (The
directs Kate Winslet and Iris Elba in the new romance/drama The
Mountain Between Us
(2017) that has landed on disc. Nicely produced and looking great on
the new 4K Ultra HD format, Mountain
is in the 'survival of the fittest' sub-genre that isn't entirely
realistic popcorn-munching fare. However, the chemistry between
Winslet and Elba onscreen works and ultimately makes the film worth a
Mountain Between Us
also stars Dermot Mulroney, Beau Bridges, and Lucia Walters.
strangers (Winslet, Elba) are victims of circumstance when their
pilot (Bridges) suffers a stroke during flight on a charter airplane
they are traveling on. The plane goes down on a remote snowy tundra
that's gorgeous to look at but also terrifying in that its really in
the middle of nowhere. The two (and a dog) end up on a Lord
of the Rings-style
trek across snowy lands for weeks on end with barely any food, both
wounded, and fall in love somewhere along the way. Just when you
think the movie is over, it isn't, and takes an interesting turn in
its final act.
on 4K UHD disc in a 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and nice sounding English DTS-HD MA 7.1
lossless track, the film is more effective on 4K than it is on the
1080p Blu-ray (also included) for the snowy aerial shots alone. The
plane crash sequence, which is nicely directed by the way, stands out
nicely on the mix and makes you feel like you're in the plane going
down in flames with them. Other than a few key sequences, the film
is pretty natural looking and has a dramatic score that ushers it
forwards. A digital UV copy is also included.
and Survival: Creating Chemistry
Between Them: Shooting in Isolation
Wilds: Survival Stunts
Slight spoilers below...)
moments in the film are a little too predictable and convenient, such
as one sequence where the characters find an abandoned house just
moments after Winslet falls into an ice filled lake. The addition of
the dog is a little odd, though he does help a few times, but the
likelihood of its survival in reality is pretty slim... (and he
doesn't get skinner over the course of the film either). When you
see films like The
that are more accurate in their portrayal of belong lost in the
wilderness and compare it to this, then you can definitely see that
this is a more Hollywood-ized version. Still, it's not a bad movie
for date night and has many tender moments for the ladies.
on a true story, On
Wings Of Eagles: The Eric Liddell Story
(2016) is based on a true story and centers around Eric Liddell
(played by Joseph Fiennes very well) who was China's first gold
medalist and one of Scotland's Greatest Athletes. Set in China
during the as the Japanese are invading during World War II, this
chilling drama is directed by Stephen Shen and Michael Parker. The
money is certainly on the screen here as the production design and
period specific elements are all in place.
film also stars Shawn Dou, Bruce Locke, Augusta Xu-Holland, Elizabeth
Arends, and Simon Two.
Liddell (Fiennes) may have won gold for the United Kingdom and
possessed a lilting Highland brogue, but he was born in China and
lived more than half his life there evangelizing, falling in love,
and teaching. The film highlights key moments in his life, such as
when Liddell famously refused to run an Olympic race on a Sunday to
honor God. But after the 1924 Olympics when he returned to China,
Liddell finds himself a prisoner of war as his homeland is occupied
by Imperial Japan. While visually pleasing, the film may have been a
bit too slow paced to capture a larger audience in the US outside of
on standard definition DVD with an anamorphically
2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, the
film looks and sounds as good as it can on the compression-heavy
format. This multi-million dollar production is pretty lavish and
detailed and the colors here are fine for the format but could easily
be improved in higher definition.
special features whatsoever, though, just a chapter selection.
Schatzberg is one of the underrated filmmakers of the American New
Wave of feature films made in Hollywood from the mid-1960s to later
1970s and Scarecrow
(1973) is as successful and as well talked about as any of his works.
Part of a well-acknowledged buddy film cycle form the time, Gene
Hackman and Al Pacino are down on their luck dreamers (Hackman just
out of jail, Pacino just back from waterways work as it were) who
have dreams of simple-but-consistent success as the ex-con is heading
to Pittsburgh to open up what he believes will be a very profitable
car wash operation (because they have so many dirty cars there at the
time?) so off they go.
road movie becomes a character study (and look at a changing America
in the midst of the counterculture movement) as they try to reach
their goals, but real life keeps getting in their way. Part of the
joy of this film is to see two of the greatest actors of all time in
peak form teamed up together and delivering. Hackman almost
outperforms Pacino (few men alive could ever being to imagine that
one, but there are a few who might...) in the down-and-out
department, but there is also many things being said here about The
American Dream and the film sadly got lost in the shuffle of the
actor's more commercially successful works and their huge bodies of
Warner Bros. via their great Warner Archive series is issuing this
great restoration of the film in the Blu-ray format. Another long
overdue release, the film may have a few off moments and predictable
moments, but it is a fine film from the period and all serious film
fans need to see it at least once. Besides what I've already
explained, it is also visually impressive.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer comes from
original camera materials and you can rarely see signs of the age of
the materials used as a result, but this was also not only shot in
film in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision, but issued in dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor release prints. Most important, it was
lensed by no less than the mighty Vilmos Zsigmond, A.S.C.
who was also Director of Photography on everything from The
Encounters Of The Third Kind
and that does not begin to tell how great he was.
usual, he uses the very widescreen frame to its fullest extent, going
for a very big screen look, feel and largesque that furthers the
narrative, cinematic space and sense of place in ways that make this
not just a movie, but an experience like great films should always
be. Thanks to Blu-ray, you can see the depth intended and despite
some flaws, you can now experience the look and feel intended pretty
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix can show its age, but
it is dialogue-based and is fine for its age, budget and time (the
studios moved back to mono sound by the time TV kicked in by the
1970s for a while) and I doubt this could sound much better.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and vintage featurette On
The Road With Scarecrow.
David Gordon Green is one of the most underrated and promising
directors in the business today. Known for his comedy collaborations
with actor/writer Danny McBride on HBO's shows such as Eastbound
and the recent masterpiece Vice
(both shows are reviewed elsewhere on this site), Green steps out of
his comedic comfort zone in the midst of a busy point in his career
(he is soon directing a reboot of John Carpenter's Halloween
franchise), and tackles a heavy hitting modern day drama in Stronger
on the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings (the recent Hollywood film
was also on the subject), Stronger
Jack Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, an everyday working class guy who
works at Costco who goes to the Marathon to support his ex-girlfriend
Erin, who is running in the race. After the bomb goes off, Jeff
loses his legs and has to get a new handle on life due to this
tragedy. As Jeff remembers what the bomber from the incident looks
like after he comes to, he soon becomes a crucial player in
identifying the suspect.
film also stars Tatiana Maslany, Clancy Brown, Miranda Richardson,
and Frankie Shaw.
in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and
a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film looks great
here. The production design and cinematography is top notch with a
slight blue tint as the constant reoccurring color. Character
details are evident and the sound mix is on point, leaving little to
be desired for a film of this nature.
included is a digital UV copy.
Hope, and Love: Becoming Stronger'' featurette
film is an endearing true story on a sensitive subject and is full of
great performances, strong filmmaking, and a great story of the human
last but not least, the wild, imaginative, underrated Robert Fuest's
version of Wuthering
(1970) has finally made it to Blu-ray, though it is actually his most
reserved feature film and though the Laurence Olivier film of the
Emily Bronte classic is still
the most discussed, this is (even in its edited form) one of the most
mature and naturalistic adaptations ever films with a pre-James Bond
Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff matched well by Anna Calder-Marshall as
Cathy (or Catherine if you prefer, though Kate Bush and Pat Benatar
don't) in an also really good-looking film. We previously reviewed
the DVD years ago at this link...
the playback on this limited edition Twilight Time Blu-ray outdoing
the DVD as expected, we actually get extras. Now that I know the
film was tampered with and this version sadly does not add that
footage to the film or in the extras, I can see Fuest and company had
an even larger vision that was denied. That means its time to start
getting this film to a new generation and it be reconsidered as the
solid work it is, maybe eventually getting restored to (a?) the
longer cut, but more on that in a moment.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer rarely shows
the age of the materials used, then displays far more detail and
color range than you might expect. Director
Director of Photography John Coquillon (Witchfinder
the original Straw
succeeded even more than I realized now that I can see just how good
this was really meant to look in in a palpable feel that is not clean
in other color formats overseas (hope to cover that later), the
interesting Movielab struck the 35mm U.S. prints and the color here
is just fine.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is also a definite
improvement over the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the old, dated
DVD, with talking and music easier to hear, the performances even
include another one of Twilight Time's signature illustrated booklets
on the film including informative text and yet another excellent,
underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the
Blu-ray disc adds a very impressive feature length audio commentary
track by Film Historian Justin Humphreys about the film and its
various cuts & versions you should hear after seeing the film,
plus we get an Isolated Music Score Track and Original Theatrical
Trailer. Too bad Dalton, Fuest and/or Calder-Marshall (et al) were
not available for a featurette. Definitely a film worth your time,
this cut runs 104 minutes.
order the Wuthering
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other fine exclusives while
supplies last at these links:
to order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, go to this link for
them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo (Detroit,