(1976/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/Escape
Plan 2: Hades
(2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/A
Return Of Ringo (both
4K (2018/Warner 4K Ultra
HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/The
Violence Movie: Part One
(1988) + Part Two
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B & B-/B+ & B-/B/B+/C
Sound: B & B-/B+ & B-/B/A & B+/C Extras: C+/C+/B/B/B
are one of the sillier sets of genre films we've covered lately, but
here they are...
Le (not to be confused with Bruce Lee) stars in Bruce's
(1976) - one of many films of the 'Bruceploitation' movement that
happened in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in the '70s. The producers
of these films hired Bruce Lee lookalike actors for this C grade
martial art romps in an effort to cash in on the void audiences felt
after the real Lee died. This movement ended when Jackie Chan making
his mark and others who stepped into the martial arts genre's
spotlight but for much of the 1970s these ripoff films were made (and
people watched them!).
stars Bruce Le, Michael Wai-Man Chan, and Nora Miao to name a few.
a group of martial arts savvy gangsters capture Bruce Le's
ex-girlfriend, a young martial artist attempts to rescue her. But
they will have to acquire the late master's book containing lethal
techniques for killing with one's fingers in order to face against
film has been restored in 2K high definition from the original camera
negative and looks and sounds surprisingly good here on 1080p Blu-ray
disc. Some scenes look a little washed out but part of that could be
in how it was shot initially or the low grade film stock that was
used. The film is presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio
of 2.35:1 and a PCM 1.0 mono track that sounds fine for what it is.
The movie was shot on a shoestring and has initially bad sound
effects with each kick and punch thrown and a soundtrack that's very
tongue-in-cheek, but that's what is great about this! Don't expect a
perfect transfer as this is likely the best it's going to look. Also
included is a compressed, anamorphically
standard definition DVD of the film with similar features.
and poster gallery of Bruce's
and other 'Bruceploitation' films
Commentary by Michael Worth - author, director, actor, and expert on
Bruce Lee, and 'Bruceploitation' films
interviews with some of the players
Trailers for other Blaxploitation films
superstar Sylvester Stallone returns (perhaps because he was
contractually obliged to?) for the unnecessary sequel to Escape
Director Steven C. Miller's Escape
Plan 2: Hades
(2018), which also stars Hollywood heavyweight Dave Bautista (Blade
of the Galaxy,
who probably did the film as either a favor to some producer or just
to share some screen time with Sly.
the film isn't horrible and is completely watchable, it has some
scenes that feel a bit held down by mediocre performances from the
supporting cast and isn't anything new in terms of story or
execution. The production design isn't too bad and there are some
fun scenes involving the two leads, however, it still feels a bit
'direct to video' despite some of its big name stars.
also stars Jaime King (Sin
Wes Chatham (Hunger Games MockingJay), and Jesse Metcalfe (2
is a super high tech-prison that pits prisoners against one another
in a battle to the death. When Ray Breslin (Stallone) gets wind of a
team member stuck inside, he must hatch a brilliant plan to help get
his friend out. Teaming up with Trent DeRosa (Bautista), the two end
up inside a prison unlike any they have encountered before.
in 1080p high definition with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the Blu-ray looks as good
as to be expected. As mentioned, the film has some decent production
design and this shines through in HD much more than it does on the
also included anamorphically
definition DVD, with similar but compressed features and a lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix.
included is a digital copy.
Escape Plan 2: Hades"
the Look of Escape Plan 2: Hades"
the Robot of Escape Plan 2: Hades"
Cast / Crew Interviews
is worth checking out if you're a Stallone fan or if you really
enjoyed the original but just isn't anything too new or exciting.
With it's high budget concept and a bit more imagination, it could
have been better.
sure to check out our review of the first Escape
which just hit the 4K UHD format, elsewhere on this site.
we have two spaghetti westerns from Director Duccio Tessari, A
Pistol for Ringo
Return of Ringo
(both 1965). The film stars
Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Sancho, and Lorella De Luca to name a few
and while it doesn't have Clint Eastwood, still has plenty of rough
and tough gunslingers to fill your Western craving.
Pistol for Ringo,
the gunslinger Ringo (Gemma) ends up protecting a rich Texas family
from a Mexican bandit who plans on robbing them blind. In the
sequel, The Return of Ringo, he faces off with Mexican bandits again
only this time it's a whole town that he has to protect.
films have been restored in 2K from the original camera negatives and
presented here in lush 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen
aspect ratio and both the original Italian soundtrack in DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio), uncompressed Mono (with English subtitles) and
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless tracks on the disc as well.
The scores by Ennio Morricone are fantastic and definitely add to
the classic western cinematic experience and tone.
commentaries for both films by Spaghetti Western experts C. Courtney
Joyner and Henry Parke
Called Him Ringo,
an archival featurette with star Giuliano Gemma
Western Greek Tragedy,
another archival featurette with Lorella de Luca and camera operator
a new video interview with critic and Ringo fan Tony Rayns
of original promotional images from the Mike Siegal Archive
of original promotional images
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles
PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing
on the films by Howard Hughes and a newly-translated interview with
up, let's face it, we are living in the time of Dwayne 'The Rock'
Johnson. The man has had blockbuster after blockbuster (not to
mention an HBO series) in recent years with more on the way (whether
they make money or not). One of his better films and one of the
better films based on a video game is Rampage
(2018), which debuted to not mediocre fanfare upon its initial
theatrical release. Warner must have been inspired by the success of
their own Kong:
to launch this special effects bonanza and it will likely please fans
of that film as well (which I also am in that crowd). Its also their
second not-so bad video game adaptation this year along with their
remake of Tomb
(which is reviewed in 4K UHD elsewhere on this site).
went in with low expectations for Rampage,
especially since I'm not the biggest fan of The Rock (nor do I hate
him), and because I've been burned by so many video game inspired
films in the past that I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly
surprised by the film's impressive effects (by the reigning champions
at Weta) and the not so bad story, which does feature a King
Kong-esque giant gorilla and a Godzilla-esque Lizard monster. The
video game featured characters that resembled those classic
characters even more closely, so I was pleasantly surprised by how
they changed up the style of the monsters here. There's even a giant
mutated wolf thrown into the mix!
film also has a decent supporting cast with Naomie Harris (Thor
Joe Manganiello (Justice
Malin Akerman (Watchmen),
and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The
top secret government experiment goes awry when a rare white gorilla
is infected at a zoo after debris falls from space. As the gorilla
starts to grow several times his size, it soon becomes apparent that
other creatures that are a part of this experiment are breaking loose
as well. Its up to The Rock and a few friends to save as many lives
(and deliver the anecdote to cure them) as they can before these
creatures run fully amok.
is presented on 4K UHD with a 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and a
widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The audio mixes are high level
all across the board with a Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix (Dolby TrueHD 7.1
mixdown) and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix as well.
The sound and picture quality here is photo realistic that really
shows off the attention to the detail in the computer generated
effects. Also included is a 1080p high definition Blu-ray with
similar audio and visual specs and a digital HD copy is also
Features (as the press release explains) include...
A Game Anymore
- From arcade sensation to movie monster epic, we explore how the
Midway video game inspired the filmmakers to create the ultimate
Reel - Hilarious outtakes and mishaps captured during production.
Scenes - Deleted scenes that barely missed the final theatrical cut.
- Actors in Action:
Strap in for a wild ride as Dwayne Johnson, Joe Manganiello and the
cast prepare for the film's demanding stunts and explosive set
- Follow the innovative design team and the artists at Weta Digital
as they bring to life the biggest and baddest monsters for the film's
climactic battle royal.
- Director Brad Peyton reveals the challenges of filming on-location
in Chicago and turning digital destruction into a cinematic reality.
George to Life
- Discover the wonder of what it's like to be a gorilla, as movement
coordinator Terry Notary teaches actor Jason Liles how to move,
behave and become "George."
is an entertaining popcorn muncher with some impressive visual
meant for public consumption' is The
Violence Movie: Part One
(1988) and The
Violence Movie: Part Two
(1989) which are shot on VHS homages to Friday
and slasher films and were shot by then teenage brothers David E.
Wilkinson and Eric D. Wilkinson.
a score by Harry Manfredini (Friday
the film is homemade filmmaking and nothing more but still kind of
fun to check out... so how the heck did this end up on DVD and
released by MVD you ask?
a producer for MVD Rewind, Eric decided to go back and re-visit his
film and re-cut it, hire Manfredini to score it, and release it out
to the world... even going as far as submitting it to the New Jersey
Horror Film Festival. When audiences received the film well, they
started demanding copies of it, so Eric decided to put out the film
in a grand scale and here it is, along with its sequel, and some
interesting bonus features on DVD.
in standard definition with a full frame aspect ratio, the film
doesn't look too great because it was... well... shot on VHS! The
film looks as good as one can expect knowing the limitations of the
format... which makes DVD a fine outlet for it.
in '03 Featurette
Violence Movie Commentary