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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Martial Arts > Crime > Drama > Giant Monster > Horror > Heist > Thriller > Horror > Comedy > B Movie > Braven (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Black Scorpion (1957/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Den Of Thieves (2017/Universal Blu-ray)/Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988/MVD Visual/MGM/Arrow Blu-ray)/Legion: The Comp

Braven (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Black Scorpion (1957/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Den Of Thieves (2017/Universal Blu-ray)/Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988/MVD Visual/MGM/Arrow Blu-ray)/Legion: The Complete Season One (2017/Marvel/Fox Blu-ray Set)/Major Crimes: The Complete Sixth Season (2017 - 2018/Final Season/Warner DVD Set)



Picture: B+/B/B/B+/B+/B- Sound: B+/B-/B/B+/B+/B- Extras: C/C+/C-/B/C+/C Main Programs: C+/C+/C-/B/C-/C



PLEASE NOTE: The Black Scorpion Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



And now for more thrillers, including some horror...



Jason Momoa has been rising up the Hollywood ranks for a while now, with last year being especially good for his career. Landing the role of Aquaman in DC's Justice League (reviewed elsewhere on this site in 4K like his underrated Conan film) and the upcoming solo feature, Momoa has been looked at more as a leading man than just your average supporting tough guy. In Braven (2018), he plays the role of an average joe (his character is even named Joe) that frankly any tough guy actor could have played but suits Momoa fine.


The film isn't anything special but isn't necessarily bad either... it has some brutally violent moments that are sure to make some gasp including Momoa throwing an axe on fire into a guy's shoulder and then setting him on fire. There's also a pretty intense bar fight early in the film where the highly underrated Stephen Lang (Avatar) gets a considerable head injury.


Braven also stars Garret Dillahunt, Jill Wagner, Sala Baker, and Brendan Fletcher to name a few with direction by Lin Oeding.


When Joe (Momoa), his wife, small daughter, and his hot tempered father (Lang) arrive at their remote hunting cabin in the peaceful woods, they're hoping for a quiet getaway weekend. What they find is a stash of heroin, hidden in the cabin by drug traffickers, and it's a pretty considerable stash at that. When the criminals suddenly descend upon the cabin, Joe and his family end up in a fight for survival against the gang... but luckily for Joe, his wife knows how to use a bow and arrow, and his Father still has some spunk left in him.


Presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a standard English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the film has a snowy look and cool colored atmosphere that is captured in high quality on Blu-ray. The palette is mainly natural looking but the film is pretty cinematic and shot nicely, showing action sequences in nice wides instead of too many blurry close-ups on action. The mix is loud and nicely done as well.


A digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features:


The Braven's Views featurettes


Trailers for other Lionsgate films


Not a bad one timer, but Braven is by no means a new classic. Momoa fans and the curious will want to see it.



A volcanic eruption gives birth to horrible giant creatures, one of which is known as The Black Scorpion (1957). Directed by Edward Ludwig, the Black Scorpion heads across the countryside and towards Mexico City, which is obviously full of millions of people. The Black Scorpion and other giant animals end up attacking the town and start to take over. Can the military stop them in time? Featuring effects by Willis O' Brien (King Kong), this stop motion extravaganza is a must have for your stop motion monster movie collection.


If this was made today, it would easily be a high budgeted CGI creature fest (much like the recent Rampage), but in this day and age, the now laughable visual effects are fun to look back on and enjoy... especially for sequences when the giant scorpion derails a train!


The film stars Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas, and Mario Navarro to name a few.


Presented in black and white 1080p high definition on Blu-ray with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (original aspect ratio was 1.85:1) and a remastered DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix, the film looks better than previous releases but isn't as sharp as expected. Due to the age of the film and print, the film mostly looks like but a little soft focus in some scenes.


Special Features include...


Stop Motion Monsters Featurette w/Ray Harryhausen


The Animal World


Las Vegas Monster and Beetleman Test Footage


Trailer


We covered the film on DVD from Warner Archive and it looks like it was popular enough to get a Blu-ray, but you can read more about it at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13225/Bad+Turn+Worse+(2014/Anchor+Bay+DVD)/The



It is very hard to do a good heist film, especially one that is smart and memorable, so the less I say about Christian Gudegast's Den Of Thieves (2017), Unrated or otherwise, the better. The film's attempt to be gritty, 'street' and the like are lame, I never bought any of this for a minute and that fact that Gerard Butler got dragged into this is just sad. Taking place in Los Angeles, we learn the city is somehow the capital of bank robberies and the 'crew' we're about to see in action is the best of the best. Yawn!


Not even good enough to be a lukewarm Heat, this torture test goes on and on and on and on for an insane 2.5 hours!!! Yes, you read that right, running on so long, maybe the authorities should let them keep the money if they agree never to make another heist film.


Even visually, it is a dud, somehow making L.A. look dull and unexciting. I don;t know what anyone was thinking here, but the directing is so sloppy, weak and comatose that only a smaller company like STX would take a risk on this just to have product. It is easily the worst thing they've issued to date. The good news is, they can't to much worse. Let's hope I'm correct there.


So you'll want to skip this one or the title will extend to those taking you movie money.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is not only dull as noted, the editing is lame and the all-HD shoot tries to use the scope frame to be big or go big, but this has all the excitement and intrigue of a bad TV movie visually and there are episodes of Columbo and McCloud that look like they were shot in IMAX as compared to what we get here. Those are among the older crime shows (both Universal, by the way) that really do look grittier.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has clear dialogue and fairly good sound effects, though the recorders and mixers are a but too gun shot happy. I was not impressed by the final mix either.


Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds an Alternate Ending that could never save this bore, plus featurettes with title like 'Alpha Males' and 'Into The Den', a den where there are no lions to rip apart and eat the HD cameras used to produce this time-waster. Avoid this one!



Arrow continues to please cult horror fans with the new and highly collectible Blu-ray release of the Chiodo Brothers classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988). Previously released on Blu-ray but not remastered (save Arrow's import version we covered a while ago), this new 4K transfer is definitely worth picking up if you're a true fan. Directed by Steve Chiodo (Critters), the film centers around creepy (and occasionally hysterical) alien Killer Klowns who are bent on dominating the planet.. and turning their victims into cotton candy! This a special and very fun B-movie that mixes sci-fi, horror, and dark humor in a blender.. I still can't believe that there hasn't been a sequel!


Klowns stars Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Vernon, John Allen Nelson, Royal Dano, and Christopher Titus.


Klowns is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a new English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track born of a new 4K scan of the original camera negative. I've seen the film on various formats, including VHS and DVD, and can't believe how much better it looks here in this newly remastered Arrow release. Granted, for a low budget film like this, the HD clarity sometimes exposes more imperfections in the special effects at times. Still, the film has a sense of charm and fun that makes it forgivable.


Extras repeat the U.K. release including a feature length audio commentary track with the Chiodo Brothers, The Making of Killer Klowns: a 20-minute featurette looking at the film's production, including an interview with the Chiodo Brothers alongside behind-the-scenes footage, Visual Effects with Gene Warren Jr.: an interview with Charles Chiodo and visual effects supervisor Gene Warren Jr., Kreating Klowns: an interview with Charles Chiodo and creature fabricator Dwight Roberts, Bringing Life to These Things - A Tour of Chiodo Bros. Productions. Chiodo Brothers' Earliest Films: a look back at the Chiodo Brothers' early homemade productions, Tales Of Tobacco: A brand new interview with star Grant Cramer, Debbie's Big Night: A brand new interview with star Suzanne Snyder, Komposing Klowns: interview with composer John Massari, Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary, interesting Bloopers, Klown Auditions, an Image Gallery and an Original Theatrical Trailer. Let The Show Begin is apparently a new piece where Punk legends The Dickies (who did the theme song) are interviewed.


For our coverage on the U.K. edition, try this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13119/In+Search+Of+Ancient+Mysteries+(1973/Film+Ch



Being a fan of the X-Men since I was a kid and being sure to see each film the day they come out in theaters, I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed in Legion: The Complete Season One (2017). Trying to be edgy and stylistic like Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys or something, the show is hard to follow, silly, and just plain boring. While Marvel is doing pretty well with its theatrical films, some of their series (which also includes the Netflix shows) tend to be lacking.


Somehow renewed for a second season, I was none too impressed with this gross attempt at adapting sub-X-Men storyline for a teen audience. If you are a fan, however, then you'll find this Blu-ray release satisfactory as it has a nice presentation and some interesting extra features.


The show stars Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, and Rachel Keller.


Centering around David Haller (Stevens), a mutant who hears voices in his head and spends his young life in and out of mental institutions, his schizophrenia is starting to get the better of him. Knowing that he has unusual abilities, but unable to tap into his full potential, he meets a promising young new patient at the home (Keller) who he starts to fall in love with. At the same time a therapist (Smart) and her team start to realize how dangerous Haller is and are soon hot on his trail after he escapes the mental institution... things get even wilder from there.


Season One features 8 episodes, all of which are called 'Chapters' and span two Blu-ray discs.


Presented on Blu-ray in 1080p High definition and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 2.38:1, the disc also features a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, all of which are an improvement over the original television broadcast. The show isn't badly filmed with texture and detail on characters and locations, however, obviously not quite as good looking as a 2160p upscale on 4K UHD. No digital copy.


Special Features include...


Deleted Scenes


Fractured Reality: A Different Kind of Hero


Seven Featurettes: Uncanny Romance, Production Design, Powers, Make-Up (Making the Devil with the Yellow Eyes), Visual Effects, Costume Design, Location.


Legion tries too hard to be cool and instead ends up being a convoluted mess that barely resembles anything X-Men related to me.



The predecessor to the TNT series The Closer, Major Crimes checks in for its final season on DVD that's a pretty standard Police procedural drama. If you like things by the book and technical, then there's plenty of serious and realistic looking crime work going on in this series. A bit predictable as it plays out, it's sure to entertain fans of the genre and is what it is in its Complete Sixth Season, which is also its Final Season.


12 Episodes include Sanctuary City Parts 1 - 5, Conspiracy Theory Parts 1-4, and By Any Means Parts 1-4.


The series stars Mary McDonnell, Anthony Denison, G.W. Bailey, Raymond Crus, and Phillip P. Kenne to name a few.


Centering around the L.A. crimes division, Sharon Raydor works with an experienced crew of Detectives to help solve crimes with efficiency and ease, however, there's drama behind the badge as well as what comes with it.


The show is presented anamorphically enhanced in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and has a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track with is up to par with the DVD format. Commercial and watermark free, this is the best way to view the series uninterrupted by ads. While an HD copy would be preferable, the noise and compression issues are nothing too distracting. No digital copy.


Special Features...


Connecting with Major Crimes Featurette


Blooper Reel



To order The Black Scorpion Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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