At Remagen (1969/United
Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Die
Hard 4K (1988/Fox Ultra
HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Gun
Import PAL DVD)/The
(1972/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B/B/C+/B Sound:
B-/A-/B-/C+/B- Extras: C/C+/B+/C/C Films: B-/B/B/C+/B-
Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia and can only play on Blu-ray & DVD
players that can handle PAL DVD format discs, Bridge
can be ordered from our friends at Twilight Time and are each limited
to only 3,000 copies, and Gun
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
films take my forms, some serious, come comical, some with more
graphic violence and some even based on true stories. Here's a
strong group of such films now on disc...
Guillerman's Bridge At Remagen
(1969) is set during WWII and at first, instantly might sound like
that 'other' famous bridge film, but instead of being a dumb recycle
of David Lean's Bridge On
the River Kwai (reviewed
elsewhere on this site), is a smart tale of its own with U.S. troops
trying to capture the title structure to disadvantage the Nazis, but
the great twist in casting is that the main Nazi assigned to deal
with the bridge and Americans is no less than Robert Vaughn (the
original Man From
U.N.C.L.E.) wants to blow
the thing up before they get it. Instead of the usual boo hiss
villain, Vaughn portrays the man with amazing depth and dignity,
making him more formidable and the film more credible.
Gazzara and George Seagal lead the Americans and it becomes an
underrated film form that great year of 1969 that not enough people
know about. This is among the last United Artists from MGM that
Twilight Time has licensed as one of their Limited Edition Blu-ray,
but it is a solid choice to be amongst the last ones. Bradford
Dillman, Anna Gael and E.G. Marshall are among the other big names
that round out a really great cast and all the war sequences and big
crowd pieces are all real, no digital, faking or phony effects of the
is an underrated journeyman filmmaker who was on his way to a career
that included hits like The
Towering Inferno, King
Kong (1976) and the
original Death On The
Nile, so he even had what
it took then and this is a fine film to revisit if you have not seen
it in a while. If you have never seen it, you have to at least once
to see how good it can get.
include a DigiPak with 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 adds
an Isolated Music Score and Original Theatrical Trailer.
of the most legendary action films of all time, the first Die Hard
(1988) starring the one and only Bruce Willis as John McClane, lands
on the new 4K Ultra HD format in all its glory. While it looks and
sounds fantastic, there isn't as significant difference as other
titles in the format but still looks better than the also included
1080p Blu-ray release. In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, Die
Hard even better now than it used to.
Hard also stars Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald
VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, and William Atherton to name a few.
York City detective John McClane (Willis), lands in Los Angeles in an
effort to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged wife that he
is still in love with. As McClane waits for his wife's office party
to break up, terrorists take control of the building, forcing McClane
to take action as he ignites a one-man war against terrorist leader
Hans Gruber (Rickman).
Features (previously available on Blu-ray):
by Director John McTiernan and Production Designer Jackson DeGovia
Commentary by Special Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund
Commentary by Various Cast and Crew
News Casts Featurette
Articles from Cinefex and American Cinematographer magazines
& TV Spots
it sadly doesn't offer any new featurettes (a retrospective piece or
a dedication to Alan Rickman would have been nice), the new and
improved presentation is enough of a recommendation to 'die hard'
fans. Hopefully the other films in the Die Hard franchise
will be available on 4K UHD soon.
H. Lewis' Gun Crazy
(1949) is a pleasant surprise of a Blu-ray release considering it has
been only available in poor video copies for way too long, plus that
it is a great Film Noir that is a fave for fans but still not as
well-known as it ought to be. Sometimes unintentionally comical and
campy, the tale of a man whose been obsessed with guns since he was a
child getting turned on by a female sharpshooter, they fall for each
other in a relationship so hot and passionate, they start robbing
banks and killing anyone in their way!
Dall and Peggy Cummins are the couple as adults and once their
madness starts, they just cannot help themselves, so you can imagine
this just builds and builds until its spectacular end. Its a real
gem of a classic and to have such a great copy of the film finally
restored is great.
Warner Bros. has this film (no more orphan status for this one) and
is offering it via their great Warner Archive Blu-ray series. We
expect this to become one of the most popular and successful titles
in the amazing series to date. All serious film fans have to put
this on their MUST SEE list. Don't miss it or put up with secondary
(or worse) copies!
include a feature length audio commentary track by film scholar and
Noir expert Glenn Erickson and featurette Film Noir: Bringing
Darkness To Light.
Beresford's Money Movers
(1978) is easily the most realistic, edgy film the director of
Driving Miss Daisy
(1989) and one it turns out he still
is not a fan of. Fortunately, this underrated heist film that helped
make Bryan Brown a star and helped launch the South Australian Film
Corporation holds up very well on its 40th
Anniversary and might have some OzPloitation moments about it, but it
is a genre classic and Australian classic that needed and deserved to
be saved and restored. This is that edition.
plot has to do with a clever way to steal $20 Million (Australian)
from a security service, with a group of men pretending to be from
that service, down to a imitation truck the workers cannot tell from
the real thing, then they arrive earlier than the actual due truck
and take the money with ease... unless something goes wrong and you
can imagine how that might happen.
actors are all in, the film looks good and even with a director who
had not given up on challenging material as his career was getting
started, the film works well, even with the more bloody violence we
get in some very tough scenes. This Umbrella Import PAL DVD is our
first chance to see the restoration and it is good, the film aging
well and more than able to hold its own against such films now that
might have some of the violence, but none of the intensity, suspense
or solid script we get here. You won't see some of the these scenes
in a more commercial film like a Die Hard!
include an Original Theatrical Trailer, a Making Of featurette Count
Your Toes and trailers for similar films from Umbrella.
we have Terence Young's The
Valachi Papers (1972)
which had the luck of arriving when the first Godfather
film hit theaters. Charles Bronson (who was on a roll working with
three-time James Bond and Wait Until Dark director Young) is the
title character, a real life man who finally told all the secrets
of(the Italian Mob to federal investigators after being undercover
all the way to a prison stay. It is pretty good, works better than I
remembered and is long overdue for rediscovery after being popular
for a long while back in the day.
may not be a elegant as Coppola's films, but it is hard-hitting like
a documentary without being an outright docudrama and has some of the
best work of all its participants, including Jill Ireland, Joseph
Wiseman (reuniting with Dr.
No director Young here),
Lino Ventura and Gerald S. O'Laughlin.
also to the period detail and how rich so many of the sets are, how
amazing the clothes are and the subtle atmosphere the film
establishes throughout, much of which is beyond your usual gangster
genre film. Sony has licensed this Columbia Pictures hit to Twilight
Time to be one of its Limited Edition Blu-rays which may surprise
some considering how popular it once was, like Bronson himself, but
it is really smart, mature filmmaking and serious film fans should
get it while they can.
include another 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 adds a partial
Isolated Music Score by Riz Ortolani, though I was surprised we got
no Original Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots or Radio Spots, because they
are in a few collections out there.
in 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra
HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a
widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and paired with a DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, Die Hard has been remastered in 4K
with improved results over the included Blu-ray, which uses the older
HD master. Texture and character details have improved but with the
film taking place primarily at night, there isn't as apparent of a
difference at first glance. Also included is a 1080p Blu-ray edition
with similar specs and a digital copy.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Bridge was
shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision and holds up very well
throughout, the 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High
Definition image transfer on Gun Crazy rarely shows the age of
the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all
previous releases of the film for sure (this is a title plagued by
many bad video releases) and impresses throughout as Warner seems to
have the best 35mm materials surviving on the film.
(due to its own success, Bronson's following and the huge success of
the first two Godfather
films) saw its share of home video releases, so this 1080p 1.85 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer is a long overdue upgrade that
looks so good, you'll see the film looks even better than you might
think. Like the first two Godfather
films, this film was issued in 35mm dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor prints and finally, you can see that quality
in many scenes and shots on this disc throughout. Collectors will
really want this one before it runs out.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Money Movers is also
from a restored edition cleaned and and preserved in its original
35mm origins, looking so good in shots here, one wonders where the
Blu-ray is. However, the PAL video is sharper than it would be on a
U.S. NYSC DVD, so that helps until the next format.
four films here that are not Die
were all theatrical mono releases, with the Blu-rays offered in
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes that sound as good
as they likely ever will, while Money
settles for lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is not as good, but
The Valachi Papers
limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these
Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard to get
to order the Gun
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo and James