Deuce: The Complete First Season
(2017/HBO Blu-ray Set)/The
(1931/First National/Warner Archive DVD)/The
Hanging Tree (1959/Warner
(2017/Fox DVD)/Rise Of The
Footsoldier, Part 2
King/Paramount/Umbrella Region Free Blu-ray)
B+/B-/B/C/B/B-/B/B-/B Sound: B+/B-/B/C/C+/B-/B/B-/B Extras:
C/D/C+/D/C-/C/D/C/B Main Programs: C/C/C+/C/C+/C+/B+/C+/C+
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray players, while
Blu-ray and Finger
DVD are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.
a big chunk of genre releases, usually with a darker side...
is a fun action flick with a decent cast and some well constructed
action sequences but some moments that don't quite hit the mark. The
film definitely shows its influences loud and clear with the feel of
a Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn film virtually from frame one, with
the main character also the narrator with plenty of quick editing
tricks, slow mo, and freeze frames to aide his quippy dialogue.
to say that filmmaking formula doesn't work here because it mostly
does (and pushes the story along), but it seems to be the norm for
most action movies nowadays and is starting to grow a bit stale on
me. Based on a British crime comic strip of the same name, Accident
is full of hits, punches, and misses.
film stars Scott Adkins, Ray Stevenson, Ashley Greene (Twilight),
David Paymer, Michael Jai White, and Ray Park (Darth Maul from later
films). The film is directed by Jesse V. Johnson (The
The film has a pretty nice cast of B-list actors with many
Fallon (Adkins), the Accident Man, is a stone cold killer whose
methodical ways of murder baffle the police in that he makes his
assassinations look like accidents. (In one scene, he kills someone
driving a car with a sniper rifle, forcing them to crash and kill
another victim.) This interesting skill set of intelligent murder
makes him the 'best at what he does'... not to mention that he's
pretty good at destroying any person that gets in his way. Of
course, he can't stay top dog for long... when a loved one is dragged
into the London underworld and murdered by his own crew. Obviously,
Fallon goes out against his former allies because of this in a heavy
dish of revenge.
film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.40:1 widescreen
aspect ratio and a DTS-HD 5.1 MA (Master Audio) lossless track, both
of which look and sound up to standards with the format. The film
looks and sounds like a bigger movie than it is with nice color
correction that's no doubt inspired by Michael Bay and Guy Ritchie
much like its screenplay. The soundtrack is jazzy and fun and a
predominant voiceover is front and center in the track.
Ballet: Filming the Fight
with Scott Adkins and Stu Small
it doesn't have any big names in it per say, Accident
delivers the action movie goods with plenty of action to satisfy fans
of the genre but a little too much like other stronger films to stand
out as much as it hopes. What it's missing is a more charismatic
lead, while Adkins is a good looking guy and able to fight well and
all, he doesn't have the personality to carry out the character as it
appeared to be written on page. Had this movie starred Ryan Reynolds
(Deadpool) or David Harbor (Stranger
then it could have been a bit more fun. In short, the film seems to
be one that was meant to be bigger than it turned out being.
(2016) is a small Irish town with some dark secrets inspired by
Featuring a strong performance by Sophie Hopkins and exceedingly
creepy, the film is an occult thriller that's definitely worth
film also stars D.J. McGrath, Joe Kennard, Bertie Bronsan, and Helena
O'Connor with directed by J.P. Davidson and Chris Kemble.
slow burn thriller of sorts, the film has gotten some mixed reception
but I thought was pretty interesting even though it likely isn't
going to become a cult classic or anything.
story centers around Kate (Hopkins) who returns to Brackenmore after
the death of her Uncle. Born in Brackemore, Kate soon realizes that
the neighbors and townspeople are all up to something... and in on it
together with some rather occult undertones. Filled with interesting
imagery and beautiful Irish locations, the film is bizarre to say the
on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.1 English stereo
track, the film looks and sound as good as it can on DVD. I'd love
to see it in HD as the lighting and depth is limited here and I'm
sure stronger on that release.
Deuce: The Complete First Season
(2017) is yet another cable TV series with graphic situations trying
to revisit the 1970s in historically cultural ways. All are focused
on music, but unlike the previous series, this one is actually about
how the XXX graphic sex 'porn' industry finally happened after years
of legal challenges about what you could and could not show on
camera, let alone talk about, aided by the counterculture movement,
fall of the Hollywood studio system, all kinds of imported films, a
legitimate foreign film market and New York City at its functionally
by HBO like Vinyl,
James Franco (unconvincing in dual roles as brothers) co-produced
with the makers of The
to tell how in NYC circa 1971, various prostitutes (including a scene
and show-stealing Maggie Gyllenhaal), would be filmmakers (including
David Krumholtz almost unrecognizable), organized criminal elements,
the police by default (NYC is allowing prostitution, despite how
illegal it was on the books) and people (too) close to those
criminals (like the brothers Franco plays) eventually become unlikely
allies as they all find themselves drifting into actual sex film
production, just as the infamous Deep
(1972) was about to kill all laws preventing graphic sex from being
shown for good and making what would be over $600 Million by today's
a show, it is not bad, but the storyline about the brothers Franco
plays goes on too long and gets way too much time and attention.
With Franco in a current scandal as we post, I guess this will get
some curiosity interest, but since he has gone out of his way to play
way too many people near scandal or infamy, not as much. Thus, the
show works better the more it focuses on all the other characters.
also liked how it deals with the film technology of the time, how
people saw any part of the industry then versus now with the
onslaught of generic digital video all over the place and the
recreation of the 1970s is not bad, if not always 100% on. I would
recommend the show with caution, not because of the sex or violence,
but because you have to have serious patience with the Franco
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer and DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on all episodes are just fine,
look good, are stable, consistent, professionally created and make
the show watchable on a technical level, but rarely exceed anything
past their content. That is not a problem, though.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-rays add audio commentary
tracks on the first and last episodes, Inside The Episodes clips for
all the shows and two short Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurettes.
Francis Dillon's The
(1931) is also about crime, gangsters in Chicago, being covered by
the local press whom they want to silence. Enter a young, ambitious,
fair-minded new reporter (big star of the time Richard Barthelmess)
who wants to tell the truth about everything, make a name for himself
at his newspaper and expose the ugliness to make the town safer. Can
he do it and get the support he needs?
First National film (a studio Warner had bought) was made before
self-censuring Hollywood codes of what you could and could not have
in a film was established, so it is a darker tale of the darkness and
reality of the situation the film presents. It has aged unevenly,
but is bold by the standards of then and now, putting it into the
Gangster genre as well as those about the power of the press in the
U.S. and a democracy in general. It is worth a look, but expect some
1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer can show the age of the
materials used, which are in rough shape and shows the film needs to
be restored ASAP, though I hope this is just an old print. The
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono has constant background hiss, pops and a
few clicks, so be careful of volume switching and high volumes, but
it is just listenable enough.
are sadly no extras.
(1959) is one of the director's lesser-seen Westerns with Gary Cooper
as a doctor setting up practice near a gold mine circa 1973 in
Montana, only to have to dal with greed, torture, murder and even
romance (Maria Schell) in this mixed melodrama that also features the
big screen film debut of George C. Scott as an off-kilter preacher
and Karl Malden as someone even more no good.
has decided to exclusively issue this film on Blu-ray and they have
done a decent restoration job, though with limits. It is not a great
film, despite seriously goods efforts of all involved and is a bit
predictable, but it is solid enough as far as the genre is concerned.
That makes it worth a look, but it is not a film that stayed with
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has been restored, but
despite it originally being issued in 35mm dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor version prints, the color is not always that
good. Still, flaws are limited and the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0
Mono lossless sound is a little more compressed and problematic than
expected. However, this was a theatrical monophonic sound film, so
one can only expect so much and maybe the original soundmaster was
only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer, though something else
would not have hurt.
you are a fan of boxing dramas, then you'll want to check out Jawbone
(2017), a sports drama that has a decent cast in Johnny Harris, Ray
Winstone, Michael Smiley, and Ian MacShane himself. Not being a huge
fan of the sport myself, I found this film to be similar to Rocky
in some regards as its a rags-to-riches-type story taking place in
the competitive world of sports.
his prime in the sport of boxing, prized fighter Jimmy McCabe
(Harris), returns to the ring in an attempt to piece his personal
life back together. He ends up getting himself back into shape,
despite many obstacles, and soon finds himself in a unlicensed and
vicious match that could end both his career and life. All the bets
are on McCabe as each punch could either make or break him.
on DVD in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 1.85:1
widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film
is presented up to standards for the format, but lacks some of the
depth and detail that would be hopefully seen in an HD version of
course. The film is stylized and shot well as mentioned, with a
dramatic score by Paul Weller. No digital copy.
Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon, Luis Guzman and Wood Harris
star in all-star cast movie based on the real events on 9/11
(2017). On the morning of September 11, 2001, five random people
were riding together in an elevator suddenly find themselves trapped.
As they learn what is happening and who each other are, they must
work together in order to survive. Their only hope Matzie the
elevator operator (Whoopi Goldberg) who tells them what to do, as
well as what is happening on the world outside while they are trapped
in the elevator.
people are brought together by fate on that fateful day on 9/11, a
rich CEO, his wife, a bike messenger, a janitor and a mistress. Each
one was living their own separate lives with different concerns,
different problems, different goals, but all that is suddenly ripped
from them when 9/11 occurs and they're only goal becomes to survive.
It is only in the darkest hours does human courage and faith show
people's true mettle and colors.
was a movie in dedication to those who lived (and died) on 9/11,
civilians, EMTs and fire fighters. Imagine yourself living a normal
day, good or bad, rich or poor, but suddenly none of that matters
when you are trapped in a burning building in a terrorist attack.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1
are as good as they can get in the format, surprisingly. Extras
and Directed by Ricci Harnett, who starred in the first installment
in the Rise
of the Footsoldier
franchise back in 2007, Part
(2015) in the series is landing on DVD courtesy of Lionsgate. Based
on a true story, the film follows the story of Carlton Leach who
lived a very dangerous and violent life and was known as one of the
kings of the underworld.
film also stars Craig Fairbrass, Steven Berkoff, Luke Mably, Terry
Stone, and Roland Manookian to name a few. The film is pretty
entertaining if you don't a little torture, strippers, and characters
that aren't particularly likeable.
it's battling drug addiction, women, or violence the story of Carlton
Leach (Harnett) is no doubt on a journey of self discovery. Still
angry after the murder of three of his closest friends, Carlton tries
to fill the void in life with bad habits and even badder tendencies.
As he climbs the ranks of revenge against his friends' murderers, he
learns that fame in the underworld comes with a price more than money
and street cred.
on standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1
and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 English track, the film is up to
standards but not as impressive as a digital or HD transfer. The
film is well shot with decent production design and cinematography
and has the feel of a bigger production than what it likely was.
Making of Rise of the Footsoldier, Part 2
a bad British mobster film and pretty violent from out the gate.
product of the early '80s, an age where the werewolf reigned supreme
with such classics as The
American Werewolf in London,
Stephen King took a stab (or is that claw, bite...) with his own
Lycan story Silver
(1985) from Director Dan Attias (who later had a successful TV
career), producer Dino DeLaurentiis, and stars Corey Haim and Gary
a fun time capsule piece and plays out now like an episode of
From the Crypt
in today's world of viewing.
Mill is a quiet town that is soon plagued by a vicious monster whose
targets seem to be random. When wheelchair bound teen Marty (Haim),
his sister (Megan Follows), and Uncle Red (Busey) end up in the
center of the mystery, the werewolf soon reveals himself in human
form. Can Marty convince the townspeople of who the assailant is
before its too late? And what if that werewolf comes looking to
film feels a bit like Fright
only with a werewolf spin. The wolves themselves are pretty unique
looking (and were brought to life with the help of the late artist
Bernie Wrightson) and are very animalistic in appearance, similar to
a bear almost. Behind the Scenes featurettes on the disc reveal that
the Wolfman costume was all remote and wire controlled with a lot of
offscreen squabbling that took place to try to decide on a look. At
the end of the day, the wolf scenes play out as part horror and party
comedy, with a baseball bat (named The Peacemaker) a popular weapon.
The film also stars Everett McGill (Licence
and Terry O'Quinn.
on Blu-ray for possibly the first time as of this writing, the 1080p
Blu-ray picture in 2.35 X 1 (shot with underrated, anamorphic J-D-C
Scope lenses in 35mm) and 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono lossless
track make for a nice preservation of the original source material.
The film hasn't aged much or shown much sign of wear as there are
plenty of details to be had in the image. The synth-centric score is
front and center in the mix and the detail in the image is
Features are aplenty with...
with Director Dan Attias
- Interview with Everett McGill
Angel Takes on Lycanthropy
Score Selections with the Composer
/ TV Spot / Radio Spot / Still Gallery
Umbrella's semi-recent release of Stephen
King's Cat's Eye
(reviewed elsewhere on this site), Silver
makes for a fine edition to your Stephen King movie library on HD.
Surprisingly, the film hasn't found its way to Blu-ray in America yet
but this is a good one to tide you over until then.
order the Umbrella
import Blu-ray of Silver
go to this link for it and other hard to find releases:
to order either of the Warner Archive DVD (The
or Blu-ray (The
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases
Nicholas Sheffo (Deuce,
Warner Archive), Ricky Chiang (9/11)