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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Crime > Kidnapping > Drama > War > Battles > Russia > Detective > Mystery > Canadian TV > Fantasy > G > Breaking In (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Last Warrior (2018/4 Digital Media Blu-ray)/Murdoch Mysteries: Season 11 (2017 - 2018/Acorn Blu-rays)/Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/

Breaking In (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Last Warrior (2018/4 Digital Media Blu-ray)/Murdoch Mysteries: Season 11 (2017 - 2018/Acorn Blu-rays)/Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Traffik (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)



Picture: B+ & B/B/B/B/B+ Sound: B+ & B/B/B/B/B Extras: B/D/C/B/C Main Programs: C/C/B/C+/C



Next up are a new set of mystery, action and murder tales that land up taking us into unusual places, most in prior centuries...



Gabrielle Union stars in Breaking In (2018), another entry in the home invasion sub-genre that either works or gets boring. Unfortunately, Breaking In is the latter but is directed by V for Vendetta director James McTeigue, who has some talent. The film starts out with a bang as a jogger is hit by a car... then gets his head smashed in by a unknown menace.


This same bad guy ends up breaking into Shaun Russell's (Union) vacation home as she takes her children there for a weekend getaway. While Shaun ends up escaping, her kids end up being stuck inside with her attackers who are after a fortune that's hidden in the home. Unlucky for them, Shaun will stop at nothing to save her family but she is far from a superhero.


The film also stars Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden, and Seth Carr.


The 1080p Blu-ray transfer here is very pleasing with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, both of which are appropriate for a film of this nature. There are many night scenes and these come across very well without too much noise. A standard definition anamorphically enhanced DVD of the film (looking better than expected) is also included with a 5.1 lossy Dolby Digital mix and similar widescreen specs.


There are rated and unrated versions of the film but I didn't notice anything too overtly different aside from a minute more of footage.


A digital copy is also included.


Special Features include...


Alternate Opening

One Bad Mother

A Filmmaker's Eye

A Lesson in Kicking Ass

A Hero Evolved

Deleted and Extended Scenes

Feature Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle


While nothing too terribly new plot-wise, Breaking In is decently shot and acted but isn't very memorable or exciting. The plot is a bit longwinded and reminded me a lot of David Fincher's Panic Room on more than one occasion.



Fusing the Viking genre with the fantasy genre, Rustam Mosafir's The Last Warrior (2017, aka The Scythian or Skif) has been imported from Russia and is now available to American audiences. While it doesn't quite live up to its tagline on the cover as 'Game of Thrones meets Braveheart' it's more like 'Vikings meets Conan'. There's plenty of swashbuckling and gore to maybe satisfy Thrones fans in need of something to tide them over but there's no comparison when it comes to story.


The Last Warrior stars Aleksey Faddeev, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Yuriy Tsurilo, and Saido Kurbanov.


The Scythians were once honorable warriors but are now nothing more but run of the mill assassins. Lutobor and Weasel, two men who don't see eye to eye in terms of religion, have to work together to march through enemy territory for their own personal reasons... and to save the last of their kind.


The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a bad English dub track in lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track. Thankfully, there's also the original Russian track in DTS-HD MA 5.1 as well with English dubs so you don't have to put yourself through that dub. There's a lot of shaky camerawork and motion in the film with the occasional motion blur. However, the colors and detail aren't bad for the aging Blu-ray format.


The only extra is a trailer.


While not badly shot or produced, there isn't much new here that The Last Warrior brings to the table that we haven't seen before.



Then there's this interesting Canadian fantasy series, Murdoch Mysteries, enters into its Eleventh Season (2017 - 2018) and is presented nicely on Blu-ray thanks to Acorn TV and RLJ. In the show, which is also a period piece (19th Century) and reminds me a bit of Sherlock Holmes, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas: FB.Eye) solves Toronto's crimewave with the assistant of Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing); Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy, Durham County); and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Where the Heart Is). The wild and interesting show feels high budget and has some interesting visual effects on top of some fairly interesting murder cases.


The 18 Episodes for Season 11 include Up From Ashes, Merlot Mysteries, 8 Footsteps, The Canadian Patient, Dr. Osler Regrets, 21 Murdoch Street, The Accident, Brakenreid Boudoir, The Talking Dead, F.L.A.S.H, Biffers and Blockers, Mary Wept, Crabtree A La Carte, Great White Moose, Murdoch Schmurdoch, Game of Kings, Shadows Are Falling and Free Falling.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the show looks and sounds fine on Blu-ray and is a vast improvement as opposed to if you watching the show on television or on streaming. As mentioned it has very nice cinematography and production design and this is captured well here.


The only special feature is a twenty three minute featurette on the making of the show, but you can see our coverage of earlier seasons of the show elsewhere on this site. We'll see how much longer the show runs.



Vincent Ward's The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) is like the movie Terry Gilliam never made (or passed on making). It has several of the Gilliam essentials: time travel, silly humor, and a very weird score. However, its of course not a Gilliam production. Shot eloquently and well received at the time of its release, the film has been restored and given the grand treatment by Arrow.


The Navigator stars Chris Haywood, Hamish McFarlane, and Bruce Lyons to name a few.


A young boy in 14th Century Cumbria (near England) keeps getting visions he cannot explain. In the age of the black death, the villagers have so far survived but decide to hatch a plan for survival. With the boy tormented by visions as their guide, a group set out to dig a hole to the other side of the world to escape the plague. Well... the 'other side' ends up being 20th century New Zealand! Things only get more bizarre from there.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM) track, both of which I'm sure are the best the film has looked or sounded in years. The film's score is the main predominant force on the audio mix and on full display here as it plunges our heroes through uncertain time.


Special Features:


Brand-new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for this release


Kaleidoscope: Vincent Ward - Film Maker, a 1989 documentary profile of the director made for New Zealand television


Theatrical trailer


FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Newman and an introduction by Vincent Ward.


The film is interesting for sure and very well made, however, tends to lack a certain something I can't quite put my finger on. It comes across cinematic and serious at times and then at others is just plain silly. Still, it's worth checking out if you're interested in this grand new release.



We conclude with beautiful Paula Patton (Warcraft), plus Omar Epps (Love and Basketball) star in the new thriller Traffik (2018) directed by Deon Taylor (Meet The Blacks). The film centers around Brea (Patton) and John (Epps) who are a couple who go off for a romantic weekend away (and he might propose to!) While things seem picturesque at first, they soon go awry when a biker gang attacks and torments them after a showdown at a gas station. While the couple try to fend for themselves, they soon realize that they are part of a human trafficking plot.


The film also stars Missi Pyle, Luke Goss, Laz Alonso, Scott Anthony, Leet, and Lorin McCraley.


Traffik is presented in 1080p with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a nice sounding English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The presentation is up to standards and looks great on Blu-ray with skin textures finely detailed and the colors cool and vibrant.


A digital copy is also included.


Special Features include...


Journey Into the Depths: Making Traffik


Deon and Dante: The Look of Traffik


While the film is certainly nothing new in terms of story, the performances aren't terrible and the cinematography is pretty strong.



- James Lockhart

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


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