(2017/BBC 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Set)/Clouzot's
Criminals: The Funky Drummer Edition
Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt
Cattelan: Be Right Back
(2017/Film Movement DVD)/Trumping
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: X/B+/B-/C+/C+/C+ Sound:
B/B/B-/B-/C+/C+ Extras: C+/B/B/C/D/D Main Programs:
a new round of documentary releases you should really know about...
Attenborough is back with Blue
(2017) the latest BBC Earth release, but this time, in true, pure
2160p 4K Ultra HD video with another one of BBC Video's early 4K
Ultra HD Blu-ray releases, a three-4K set with bonus regular Blu-ray.
It is the first one of theirs we are getting to cover, but also only
the second of about 150 4K titles to date where the 4K title is NOT
accompanied by duplicates on regular 1080p Blu-ray.
of the previous and many entries in the BBC Earth series, the
seven-episode series ups the ante as the exploration is now not only
being done with HD cameras that are at least four times sharper than
the early HD productions, but they are using new state of the art
diving equipment that is very silent and produces no bubbles, so they
are so quiet, they do not get noticed much or scare the many
remarkable, amazing, beautiful and priceless sea creatures captured
throughout this great series. I'll save the specifics a a surprise
for fans and those who will find this another must-see series, but it
is the next step in a true achievement for all involved and do not
hesitate to see it, especially in 4K.
speaking of that, the 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image looks fine throughout,
with plenty of demo shots and proves once again when you let the HD
cameras at any definition represent the color, detail and depth
naturally without tampering with the color or integrity of the image,
you get great results as we have seen in what we can call a cycle of
HD-produced travelogue programs. Nice!
some may have been expecting a 12-channel format like DTS: X or Dolby
Atmos, this is still a documentary series, so the fact we (only?) get
a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix for each episode is not
shocking, yet also sounds very good throughout in keeping with all
the BBC installments in this series.
only extra is a nearly hour long Making Of featurette entitled Into
The Blue on the bonus, regular Blu-ray. That's more than
enough, though other might have wanted more extras, the series speaks
for itself. Look elsewhere on this site for more of our coverage of
thee great programs.
filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot (Les
both issued on Criterion Blu-ray, with the out-of-print Wages
going for serious cash these days), directed this 1964 French film
that was never finished called Inferno,
which was a beautifully photographed and very colorful piece of
cinema from what you will gather. This documentary from Serge
Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea explores the film that could have been,
with some insightful archival and modern interviews that tries to
piece together what would have Clouzot's most ambitious work. Some
of the imagery in Inferno,
such as a nude woman tied to train tracks with a train fast
approaching, is interestingly shot and constructed indeed.
in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an
original 5.1 French DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 2.0 Stereo
track with English subtitles. The presentation is beautiful with the
mix of modern HD footage archival stuff seamlessly intertwined.
Arrow always does a top notch job and this is no exception.
Mazdon on Henri-Georges Clouzot,
the French cinema expert and academic talks at length about the films
of Clouzot and the troubled production of Inferno
a featurette including unseen material, providing further insight
into the production of Inferno
Introduction by Serge Bromberg
with Serge Bromberg
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film by Ginette Vincendeau.
you're a fan of French cinema, I would suggest checking this doc now.
It's not only about the film but the people behind it as well,
including a great director not to be forgotten.
interesting documentary, Copyright
Criminals: The Funky Drummer Edition
(2009) centers around the subject of the fine line between music
sampling and copyright infringement. So where is the line drawn in
the age of DJs and hip hop music where many modern musicians are
remixing and pulling from various musical sources.
you own a sound? In this documentary film, the history and influence
of musical sampling is highlighted in detail, with the debate of
compensation and creativity in the age of intellectual property. The
film features Public Enemy, De La Soul and Digital Underground, as
well as emerging artists such as audiovisual remixers Eclectic
Method. It also provides first-person interviews with artists who
have been sampled, such as Clyde Stubblefield - James Brown's drummer
and the world's most sampled musician - and commentary by another
highly sampled musician, funk legend George Clinton.
film is presented on standard definition DVD with a 1.85:1 widescreen
aspect ratio and a 2.0 lossy Dolby Digital Stereo track, both of
which are up to standards with expectations of the format. There are
some compression issues but the editing and filmmaking is strong and
for a documentary, the look is passable.
Features are over five hours long and include:
Art of Sampling with Cee-Lo Green
funky drummer in the studio with Chuck D
Method Uncut Audio-Visual Remixes (15 videos)
Star Band Funky Drummer Remix Video
Stubblefield's ultimate breaks and beats
interviews with Chuck D, De La Soul, and Clyde Stubblefield
Player featuring 15 songs by EL-P and RJD2
Use Explained: 4 Shorts by the center for social media.
Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt
(1983) is a solid 93 minutes-long documentary/biography narrated by
no less than George C. Scott about one of the most important
Presidents the United States ever had, has a surprisingly good number
of film clips to go with the expected plethora of stills. The timing
of its rerelease is uncanny, showing and saying things of priceless
value even the makers could not have realized they were establishing.
everyone should see this Flicker Alley reissue and restoration at
least once because it is that good. However, this was finished on
old analog video at the time, meaning you'd get old analog videotape
flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape
scratching, cross color, staircasing and tape damage. I always felt
in the future, if restored, they could get as many of those clips and
stills, then transfer them in a more state of the art way. Well...
1080p 1.33 X 1 bookended 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image frame
tries to upscale the old analog videomaster, flaws and all, resulting
in a disappointing viewing experience, especially since the footage
could have been upgraded with digital nonlinear editing. Instead,
this new semi/quasi HD (but not real, honest) HD presentation shows
the age of the materials used and can be very trying, even looking a
bit amateur at times. Well, there's always a future 4K upgrade...
for sound, we get DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
lossless mixes that update the sound (simple stereo at the time) the
best it can and its not bad, but the 'old monotone radio reporter
voice' bit (you'll know it when you hear it) was a bit much then and
wears thin quickly.
include an interview with Director Engle and Roosevelt's 1905
Cattelan: Be Right Back
(2017) is about the controversial artist of the title, a documentary
about how his 'art' sells for big money while being shocking. We've
seen this story before and in almost all cases where we get such a
program, you can see the artist is smart and trying (ala Warhol at
least) trying to make a point or two. So what if he makes a ton of
money and some of the pieces seem overly simple. Its not like the
guy (or gal) is a hack, cynical as hell and just pressing people's
buttons to make money and use them for being stupid enough to pay
high prices for his work. People with money could not be that stupid
after all, could they?
after years of such profiles, I think we've finally found the goof
who fits the stereotype, making some of the most cynical, even
hateful garbage with the most condescending angles possible, so
extremely predictable that you can add boring to his lost list of
flaws as a fraud and all time con artist, the only kind of artist he
qualifies for in my book. Now we have 95 loooong minutes of proof of
what a hack he really is. Yawn!!!!
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD may be standard (or
low) definition (this gives low def a new low) and is sadly clear
enough to see all the junk and garbage he is producing to fool people
with no tastes or investors who should spend their money elsewhere.
In the sound department, having a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix would
not have been out of the question, but Film Movement has fortunately
only supplied a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix, so we don't have
to see and hear this disaster in any form of surround sound known to
are thankfully no extras and no, we hope the title dunce will not
ever 'be back' though he will still be out there to stab other people
in the back with his hideous output. Never say we did not warn you.
of rip-offs, last but not least is Thomas Huchon's documentary
(2017), which could have been 69 (I'm not making that up) minutes of
bashing the Billionaire who somehow got elected President, yet he is
hardly actually in this release. So what gives?
out this is an excellent, even outstanding explanation of a story
that just broke St. Patrick's Day weekend of how (Russian bots
notwithstanding) a company dubbing themselves Cambridge Analytics
(who initially wanted to crunch voting data and numbers for moron Ted
Cruz to be President until that thankfully collapsed) pretty much
hijacked the personal information of millions of people illegally so
they could subliminally manipulate vulnerable voters in swing states
who were undecided into voting Trump of former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, for which there are enough laws forbidding this, but
they did it anyhow.
they're being called on it, investigated for it, sued about it and
denying it all the way as expected. Who knows how this will turn
out, but this amazing release shows how they did it in full detail
the long way and when you finish watching what is soon to become one
of the hottest DVD releases in the history of the great Cinema Libre
video company, you'll wonder what is going on in this country and
with people? Where are the adults? Where's the cyber policy
(ignored via the obsession with Mrs. Clinton's e-mails, which
resulted in the REAL big nothing)? And who took advantage of this
placing money and power over country?
to say this is a must-see release, even more now than when I first
are no extras, but the main program was more than enough in this
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo present the program as clearly and vividly as it can in the
format, though now, I'd love to see this in 2160p 4K!!!
Nicholas Sheffo and James