Handmaid's Tale: Season One
(2017/MGM Blu-ray Set)/Hell
Or High Water 4K
(2016/CBS/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Images
(1972/Robert Altman/United Artists/MGM/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Rebecka
Martisson: Series One
(2017/Acorn DVD Set)/Run,
(1984/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Underworld
(1961/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B-/B/B+/B-/C/B Sound: B/B+ &
B/B+/B-/C+/C+ Extras: C/C+/B/D/D/B Main Programs:
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,
is now available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment and will
play on all DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players that can handle the
PAL video format. All can be ordered from the links below.
a strong set of smart mystery thrillers for your consideration...
in the later 1980s was the first filmed adaptation of her dystopian
novel about how the Ultra Religious, Ultra Right-Wing took over a
nation, trashing all civil rights and the country itself by using any
emergency to seize power. We'll hopefully take a closer look at that
film in the near future, but despite some great casing and accurately
dark moments, I felt it did not go far enough.
three decades later, it has become a hit TV series (via Hulu) and
even won awards, so what is The
Handmaid's Tale: Season One
(2017) doing that the feature film did not? Well, it is in for the
long haul, so it has the luxury of not having to get everything in
from the book in a few hours. Atwood is backing the new show, a big
plus, while casting is still as solid as the original film.
plague has occurred that made a vast majority of women unable to have
children, so those of lower-classes (or unreligious) are kidnapped
and forced to be slaves for the new order of Christo-Fascism in
Gilead, a place where the politicians take their orders from 'God' (a
Theocracy) though it has its own issues. The story is told mostly
form the point of view of Offred (Elisabeth Moss, really good here)
whose story we learn of before her abduction, et al.
the book and the previous film, we learn of her backstory when she
was still free, the ugly circumstances of her capture and what a mess
the country has become since. At least as relevant now as it was
when the book was first published, then theatrical feature film was
made, the ten episodes have some very ugly moments and re-remind us
of the potential insanity such a world would bring. The series is
also more pro-active about resistance to the police state portrayed,
but I wonder if this still does not go far enough, i.e. is the show
not brutally honest and violent enough to show how bad this would be?
this is only the first season, I cannot honestly answer that, but I
am impressed how consistent, smart and well thought through this is
for the path taken. Cheers also for sly updates that include
connective nods to event since, including bits about 'terrorism' and
how Christianity here is as bad as any 'Islamo-Fascism' you can think
of. Joseph Finnes, Yvonne Strahovski and Samira Wiley lead the
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is from an
impressively consistent HD shoot, but the show overdoes manipulating
the color to be slightly darkened and on the gray side, almost making
it all seem to otherworldly in a way that backfires a little bit. On
the other hand, the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on each episode is pretty
good and well recorded throughout, so that is a plus too.
only get two Making Of/Behind The Scenes featurettes as extras:
catch this show!
Mackenzie's somewhat under-appreciated crime drama from 2016 is back,
now issued as Hell
Or High Water 4K
and still one of the best films of that year. The tale that pits
smart cop Jeff Bridges against Chris Pine and the ever-underrated Ben
Foster as brothers robbing banks to save their property is now in the
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, including the regular Blu-ray we already
reviewed at this link...
the film has a few minor flaws throughout, I still like the film very
much, including in its performances and the chemistry between the
actors. This caused no creative boom as CBS Films, but I know it is
a film that is respected by just about everyone who sees it and will
likely only grow in audience as did Shawshank
and other films that are not as showy and do not always get talked
about as they should, but have great respect when they do.
it makes total sense this should hit 4K ASAP, especially when the
2160p HECV/H.265, Dolby Vision (12-bit color)/HDR (10-bit color;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image here
delivers the film with more detail, depth and clarity than the
already decent 1080p Blu-ray we covered before. You also get to
enjoy the actors more by seeing just how good they are here with less
effort and the locales are more vivid.
while that regular Blu-ray had a really solid
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the new 4K 2160p version
offers a more expanded, open and articulate Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby
TrueHD 7.1 on older systems) that improves over what was already a
very professionally recorded, edited and mixed soundmaster. That
even gives us some demo moments that al 4k UHD TV owners will want to
repeats the same extras as the previous Blu-ray/DVD set as well, so
you cannot lose with this fine set. Get it!
York stars in Robert Altman's Images
(1972), a psychological piece centers around a pregnant and confused
children's author (with schizophrenia) who keeps confusing her
husband with her lovers and her self as she has a mental breakdown.
The film is interestingly shot with the location in Ireland and
produced and features a Pre-Spielberg score by John Williams that's
film also stars Rene Auberjonois (an Altman regular), Marcel Bozzufi,
Hugh Millais, and Cathryn Harrison.
is mainly from York's perspective, and the camera hardly leaves her
during the most part. This no doubt helps put the audience in her
shoes, but allows for and almost Hitchcockian feel that will no doubt
make you feel a little uneasy at times. York won the Best Actress
award at Cannes for her role in this film, which certainly isn't
on 1080p Blu-ray disc with a startling 4K remaster, the film looks
fantastic in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an
original English Mono 1.0 (uncompressed LPCM tracks) that bring the
film to life. Considering the age of the film, it looks clean but
isn't without some grain as was evident on the original 35mm master.
Shot by Vilmos Zsigmond (The
Encounters of the Third Kind),
this is no doubt a proud achievement in his career.
commentary by Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
commentary by writer/director Robert Altman
Images, an archive featurette with Altman and cinematographer
new interview with actor Cathryn Harrison
appreciation by musician and author Stephen Thrower
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins
PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing
on the film by Carmen Gray and an extract from Altman on Altman.
sleek Swedish crime show, Rebecka
centers around a Stockholm lawyer who gets wrapped up in murder and
intrigue in her hometown of Kiruna after the murder of a childhood
friend. The scariest part about the lot of the show is that it feels
like it could easily happen with ex-Nazis, dead bodies frozen under
ice, and a complex investigation all part of this Series
a fantastic performance by Ida Engvoll as the title character, the
show is character-driven and mainly from Martinsson's perspective.
The neo-noir series is based on 4 crime novels written by author Asa
are eight episodes in the series that span two discs and are around
45 minutes a piece.
in standard definition on DVD with an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1
widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Swedish Dolby Digital sound
mix with English subtitles, the show looks as good as it can. Nicely
shot with icy blues and natural-looking atmosphere, the show is very
cinematic and has some beautiful shots of Sweden throughout that are
easy on the eyes.
checking out if you're looking for a foreign female driven crime
Langman's Australian thriller Run,
(1984, aka Money
arrived at the end of the original OzPloitation cycle and has a
15-year-old as the title character (Annie Jones) being terrorized
with her mother (Carmen Duncan of Turkey
because the mother knows too many shady characters and now they want
to get her, putting them both and their quiet life in permanent
also made for TV, this is violent and enough so that I wonder if this
cut could have been broadcast then in this form, but the problem is
that it is everything we've seen before, the bad guys are a bit
cliche and the ending is dull. Shane Briant is the only supporting
actor I recognized by name and barely by face. A curio at best, this
film (an Umbrella PAL Import DVD) is for completists only.
1.33 X 1 image is on the weak side and looks a generation down, so is
it a TV print? This could look better, but we'll have to wait for a
Blu-ray if one surfaces to finds out. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Mono is better than expected, so it does not need as much work and
makes sitting through the image issues easier. A trailer for its
home video release is the only extra.
but not least is Samuel Fuller crime thriller Underworld
(1961) that we reviewed as part of a great DVD box set of his films a
good few years ago. Now it is on Blu-ray as a Twilight Time Limited
Edition (joining the Crimson
Blu-ray from the same label reviewed elsewhere on this site, another
Fuller film) and as I said in the DVD review...
Robertson plays a man who joins the Mob to get revenge on them for
killing his father when he was a child. A very effective,
uncompromising revenge thriller and one of Robertson's finest
moments, Fuller had also made the transition into widescreen
filmmaking with ease.'
second viewing of late offers an upgrade even better than Kimono with
some shots demo for black and white and above the letter grade we've
given the film, with some sharpness, depth and detail that will
surprise and please fans & movie lovers alike. The ideas of
criminals, gangsters and big business presented here are as bold as
ever and parts of the film even grow on you. Impressive, well done
and relevant as ever, its worth going out of your way for.
1080p 1.85 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer rarely shows the age of the materials used, is far superior
a transfer to all previous releases of the film and cheers to Sony
and their restoration/preservation efforts. This easily outdoes the
old DVD, as does the DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix, showing how weak the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound on the DVD really was.
include a nicely illustrated booklet 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 the
Scorsese on Underworld U.S.A.,
program (both on different DVDs from the DVD box set), Isolated Music
Score and Original Theatrical Trailer.
order the Underworld
limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these
to order the
Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find
Nicholas Sheffo and James