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Category:    Home > Reviews > Gangster > Drama > Crime > Cable TV > Drama > Epic > Assassins > Swords > Royalty > China > Thriller > Mystery > H > Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season (2017/Warner DVD Set)/Brotherhood Of The Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield (2017/Well Go DVD)/Dragonwyck (1946/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/E

Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season (2017/Warner DVD Set)/Brotherhood Of The Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield (2017/Well Go DVD)/Dragonwyck (1946/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/East West 101: Season 1 (2007/Acorn DVD Set)/Flip Flappers!: Complete Collection (2016/Sentai Blu-ray)/Gintama (2017/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Homeland: The Complete Sixth Season (2017/Fox Blu-ray Set)/Satan's Cheerleaders (1977/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/The Witches (1967/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)

Picture: B-/B/B+/B-/B/A & C+/B/B & C+/B Sound: B/C+/B+/B-/C+/B & C+/B/C+/B Extras: C+/C/B/C+/C*/D/B/C+/B Main Programs: C/B+/C+/B/B+/B+/C+/C/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Dragonwyck Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below.

Now for a big chunk of action and exploitation for your viewing pleasure...

The hit crime drama Animal Kingdom returns for its Complete Second Season (2017) and picks up on the drama surrounding a teenager named 'J' aka Cody (played by Finn Cole), whom in the first season has to move to Southern California after his mom dies of a heroin overdose to stay with family. However, Cody's family happen to be vicious drugged up criminals who are in the company of very dangerous people. What kind of a future will young Cody have and can he survive the family drama?

The show also stars Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Ben Robson, and Shawn Hatosy to name a few.

Episodes include Eat What You Kill, Karma, Bleed for It, Broken Boards, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Cry Havoc, Dig, Grace, Custody, Treasure, The Leopard, You Will Be Gutted, and Betrayal.

Presented in standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, the film looks fine on the format but isn't as sharp as it would be on Blu-ray. Some of the colors are a little washed out, but details on skin textures and mostly loss. This season is also available on Blu-ray. However, we are just covering the DVD.

Special Features...

Dissecting Pope featurette with actor Shawn Hatesy and Producers

Deleted Scenes

For more on the show, try this link...


Shen a captain of the Imperial Guard finds himself frame and blackmailed when he investigates into a group of rebels against the Empire. What he thought was just another group of of rebels turns into a conspiracy reaching to the highest level of government and the woman that he loves and he was ordered to kill ...may turn out to be also his only witness that could save him and reveal the truth, in Yang Lu's Brotherhood Of The Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield (2017).

Captain Shen is an Imperial Soldier/Investigator after surviving the battlefield he finds himself in a more dangerous battle in the capital. Anyone who is not loyal to the Emperor can be hanged, the slightest slip of the tongue could mean death... his job is to find any dissidents and hunt them down. When he is ordered to kill an innocent woman (which he falls in love with), he stumbles on a conspiracy that involves a coup to the Empire and he finds himself suddenly turned into a traitor and hunted by his own people. Now, his only hope of escape is to solve the case and find Bei Zhaj and the man who is behind her.

This was your typical martial arts action movie, with drama and romance. A soldier who refuses to kill an innocent woman and turns from soldier, to rebel, to hero, it goes out of its way to be epic down to its image.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.66 X 1 image looks as good as it can and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix a mixdown of an obviously better soundmaster, so we'd love to see any Blu-ray version, but this will do for now. Extras include behind the scenes and trailers, but for more on the original, film, try this link...


Vincent Price stars in Dragonwyck (1946), which has been fully restored by Fox, looking and sounding fantastic thanks to Twilight Time. This is definitely a disc that Vincent Price fans will want to pick up and have in their arsenal for the actor's younger years. This is also the first film for Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who would later direct All About Eve, Cleopatra and the original Sleuth.

Set against the Victorian era and based on Anya Seton's novel of the same name, Dragonwyck is an estate where Miranda (Tierney) is summoned to work as a Governess. While at first captivated by the beauty of the place, she soon gets a reality check when her cousin Nicholas Van Ryn (Price) who isn't at all who he seems.

While pretty slow to today's standards, the film is also like a play in terms of its overall tone. It's interesting to see Price in a villainous role several years before he got the roles in which he is the most famous for.

The film also stars Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Glenn Langan, Anne Revere, Spring Byington, and Jessica Tandy.

The black and white 1080p presentation looks great on Blu-ray disc with a 1.33 X 1 full frame aspect ratio and a nice sounding, lossless 1.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono track, both of which bring the film to life with little noticeable error. The sound is clear and the print is in stunning condition considering its age. It far exceeds the DVD we covered years ago in overall playback quality as well.

Special Features include...

Isolated Music Track in lossless DTS MA

Audio Commentary with Film Historian Steve Haberman and Documentary Filmmaker Constantine Nasr

A House of Secrets: Exploring Dragonwyck

Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait

Vincent Price: The Versatile Villain

Two Dragonwyck Vintage Radio Shows

Original Theatrical Trailer

Collectible insert booklet with linear notes by the great Julie Kirgo.

Acorn presents on DVD, Season One of the hit Australian crime series, East West 101 (2007), that stars Don Hany (Serangoon Road) and is based on the experiences of actual detectives in the field. A bit edgier than most procedural cop dramas seen on American primetime. The show also stars William McInnes, Susie Porter, Aaron Fa'Aoso, Daniela Farinacci, and Renee Lim.

Devout Muslim detective Zane Malick (Hany) must constantly prove himself to overcome society's fear and suspicion of his religion. He frequently clashes with his old-school superior, senior detective Ray Crowley (William McInnes, The Slap) as they both take on Sydney's Major Crimes Squad and find even ground with one another.

The series features six episodes which include The Enemy Within, Death at the Station, Islander Sacrifice, Hunt for the Killer, Haunted by the Past, and The Hand of Friendship.

Presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, the show is shot very cinematically and looks and sounds as good as it can on DVD.

Special Feature: 23 minute Behind the Scenes Featurette.

Cocona was an ordinary school girl until she runs into the mysterious girl named Papika. Together, they become magical girls and open up alternate realities call 'Pure Illusion' and collect glowing fragments which when you collect enough of them to grant wishes. However, they aren't the only ones after the fragments there is another rival organization and they will have to fight monsters as well to find those fragments in Flip Flappers!: Complete Collection (2016).

Cocona was just trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life until Papika literally drops into her life. Papika immediately believes Cocona is her fated companion and only together they have the power to open up portals to alternate realities call Pure Illusions by synchronizing their thoughts and feelings. At first Cocona is hesitant to help Papika, but as their friendship grows she realizes she can't leave her alone. However, things aren't so easy when Cocona discover her best friend Yayaka is with a rival organization who is also after the fragments. Also later on she learns of how her parents are connected to Pure Illusion.

This was a weird, comical magical girl series, magical girls in weird abstract worlds/alternate universes, but eventually, the characters are brought together by love and friendship. Different enough just to see for that reason.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Japanese 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on each episode looks pretty good if not like Sentai's best, but the sound lacked any surrounds and is limited sonically. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers, but a more elaborate Limited Edition Premium set has been issued (we used it as our picture for this review) and fans will want to get that one while supplies last.

Episodes include...

Pure Input - As Cocona ponders about her future she runs into Papika and suddenly finds herself in an alternate reality and she is a magical girl.

Pure Converter - Not sure if it was a dream or not, Cocona is in denial, but her illusion are soon shattered when Papika brings her into another Pure Illusion. Cocona is afraid to the risks and danger, but Papika also awakens and transforms into another magical girl.

Pure XLR - Cocona and Papika get sent to a desert wasteland and get separated. Papika finds Cocona being brainwashed but manages to help her remember. Cocona discovers they are not alone and her best friend Yayaka is from rival a organization for the fragments.

Pure Equalization - Cocona decides to sleep over with Papika to help increase their synchronization and ends up on a desert island.

Pure Echo - Cocona and Papika ends up in an alternate reality of their school and stuck in a time loop.

Pure Play - In another alternate reality, Cocona and Papika end up in another girl's body, but they realize they are in the same body but with different experiences.

Pure Component - Cocona realizes that the alternate worlds are more connected to the real world than they know, things they change in the alternate world can effect the real world. Cocona faces with several different versions of Papika.

Pure Breaker - Cocona and Papika ends up in a futuristic world and get a giant robot, but they have to team up with Yayaka in order to defeat the monster.

Pure Mute - As Cocona, Papika and Yayaka continue in their race for the fragments, Yayaka is ordered to steal all of Cocona and Papika's fragments, but Yayaka is hesitant and remembers their friendship.

Pure Jitter - Cocona learns about Mimi, Papika's former partner and learns about her past and learns that Mimi is really her mother.

Pure Storage - Mimi takes over Cocona's body and the truth of Cocona's past is revealed and how they discovered Pure Illusion and the current Mimi is a dark version of Cocona's mother.

Pure Howling - Papika and Yayaka work together to help rescue Cocona from Mimi brainwashing her. Cocona is however awakened by her true mother's wishes for them to make their own choices and freedom.

Pure Audio - Cocona and Papika faces off with Dark Mimi. However, Cocona must decide can she live in a world without Papika ...or find a way for both of them to live together.

In an alternate universe, aliens had invaded Japan Edo-period and now rule over mankind and control everything, forcing the Samurais to give up their swords and the humans to work for them. Gintoki continues to work as Jack-of-all-trades along with his friends and co-workers, Shinpachi and Kagura. They are hired to recover cursed sword, but end up fighting a mysterious serial killer and a group who has plans for a coup d'etat for Japan in Yuichi Fukuda's Gintama (2017).

Gintoki was once known as the 'White Demon', a former master swordsman, but with swords being outlawed he now works odd jobs doing whatever pays the bills. He meets, saves and then teams up with Shinpachi and Kagura and together they survive and protect the innocent from the powerful and injustice. Shinpachi comes from a Samurai family, but he wears glasses and has timid nature but he is inspired by Gintoki strength and spirit. Kagara is an alien with super strength, but she is tomboy with a huge appetite and even bigger heart. While there are rebel factions, they face off against both human and aliens organizations who continue to take advantage of their brave new world human/alien society.

This was a comical sci-fi adventure movie, based on the anime/manga, it is like the silly One Piece story with a group mis-matched group of underdogs with comic wit/jokes of the Deadpool movie. It often broke the 4th wall and made references (and cameos) to other anime/manga characters that only an Otaku would understand. Though I have to say, the costuming and actors did a wonderful job for the characters...

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is a highly stylized presentation in the Anime tradition, a quality digital shoot that works well, but the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD looses more of the quality than expected. The Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is pretty good, if not great or up to the image, but the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD is weaker still. Extras include trailers.

The Sixth Season of the intense Showtime/Fox political action series Homeland (2017) lands on disc courtesy of Fox. If you haven't been watching the Emmy-nominated series lately, then you may want to get in as this sixth season is pretty interesting and not without some great performances by Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, and Mandy Patinkin to name a few.

Episodes in Season Six span three Blu-ray discs and include Fair Game, The Man in the Basement, The Covenant, A Flash of Light, Casus Belli, The Return, Imminent Risk, ALT. Truth, Sock Puppets, The Flag House, R for Romeo, and America First.

Presented in clear 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a great sounding, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track, both of which are huge improvements over the original television broadcast. Text textures and colors are improved as are some of the unique special features for binge watching on the disc, which includes the 'Season Mode'.

Other Special Features include...

The Paley Center for Media Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest NY 2016 (BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE)

On Location: New York City

About Season 6.

Greydon Clark's hilariously bad Satan's Cheerleaders (1977) is back and VCI has now upgraded it for the Blu-ray format (but adds the older DVD in the case) and you can read my comments on the John Ireland, Yvonne De Carlo, John Carradine, Sydney Chaplin romp here:


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is here in two restored versions, but they are very similar save one being a bit dirtier than the other, but color, depth and definition are nicely improved. The PCM 2.0 Mono is no major improvement over the older DVD sound, but is very slightly smoother.

The previous extras include a feature length audio commentary track by Director Clark and a Behind The Scenes photo gallery are joined by a new David del Valle/David DeCoteau feature length audio commentary worth your time. Nice upgrade is now the way to see the film at home.

Finally we have The Witches (1967), a bizarre Italian anthology (with a young Clint Eastwood!) that is interesting to look back on in this beautiful new release from Arrow Academy. Thanks to Producer Dino De Laurentiis, five celebrated directors came together to make the film which include Luchino Visconti, Mauro Bolognini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, and Vittorio De Sica. De Laurentiis gave them each a unique challenge: to direct an episode in which Silvana Mangano plays a witch. What you get are five drastically different, but somewhat similar, approaches that have to be seen to be believed.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an original Italian mono audio (uncompressed LPCM). This brand new 2K restoration of the film is eye-popping and was produced by Arrow specifically for this release. The colors are vibrant and the overall look of the film is well-aged. Fans of Italian cinema will most certainly want to pick up this new release.

Special Features include...

Brand-new audio commentary by film critic and novelist Tim Lucas

Interview with actor Ninetto Davoli, recorded exclusively for this release

English-language version of Vittorio De Sica's episode, An Evening Like the Others, starring Clint Eastwood

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone and Kat Ellinger.

You can order the Dragonwyck limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo (Satan), Ricky Chiang (Asian titles) and James Lockhart



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