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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Mystery > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Haunted House > Thriller > Creature > Alien > Scien > Changeling, The (1980/Severin Blu-ray)/Predator 4K Set (1987, 1990, 2010/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays w/Blu-rays)/Street Mobster (1972/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Supergirl (1984/DC Comics w/DVD)/Village Of The Da

Changeling, The (1980/Severin Blu-ray)/Predator 4K Set (1987, 1990, 2010/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays w/Blu-rays)/Street Mobster (1972/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Supergirl (1984/DC Comics w/DVD)/Village Of The Damned (1960/MGM/both Warner Archive Blu-rays)



4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B+/B+/B/B+/B Sound: B/A & B+/B/B/B- Extras: B/B/B/B/B- Films: A/A/B-/B-/B/C/B



PLEASE NOTE: The Supergirl (1984) and Village Of The Damned (1960) Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here are a new set of distinctive genre films, from B-movies with knowing about to a few classics...



Arguably the greatest 'haunted house' movie of all time and one that has been ripped off more times than one can count (especially in recent films like The Conjuring, Insidious, and The Ring) is Peter Medak's The Changeling (1980). Finally getting the HD treatment that it deserves and packed with expansive extras, this is the definitive version of the film and a must see for anyone who enjoys a good ghost story.


Starring George C. Scott, The Changeling centers around a classical film composer who tragically loses his wife and daughter in a freak car accident. As he travels to teach music at a university, the house that he is staying in is haunted. Featuring some shocking moments that have been praised by Spielberg and Scorsese, one of the greatest seance scenes on cinema, and a very creepy rubber ball... this film is simply a classic!


The film also stars Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh, and John Colicos.


Remastered in 4K and presented on 1080p Blu-ray disc, the film has a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice sounding English 5.1 mix, both of which bring the film to life in much more shocking detail than previous versions. The film was previously only available on a barebones DVD edition in the early years of the format so this is a definite upgrade.


Special Features include...


Audio Commentary With Director Peter Medak and Producer Joel B. Michaels Moderated By Severin Films' David Gregory


The House On Cheesman Park: The Haunting True Story Of The Changeling


The Music Of The Changeling: Interview With Music Arranger Kenneth Wannberg


Building The House Of Horror: Interview With Art Director Reuben Freed


The Psychotronic Tourist: The Changeling


Master of Horror Mick Garris On The Changeling


Poster & Still Gallery


Trailer


TV Spot


There's also a limited edition version available on the official Severin Films website (www.severin-films.com) that features an exclusive slip case and the CD soundtrack by Kenneth Wannberg that's incredible!



I've always been a huge fan of the Predator films, even though none of the sequels can really top the near perfect Schwarzenegger classic. However, over the years there has been much gripe amongst the movie community that the Blu-ray transfer of the first Predator film was lacking in a crappy transfer that was never really satisfactory. Now we have the new 3-film Predator 4K Set (1987, 1990, 2010) set.


The original's HD transfer has (mostly) been improved in this new 4K UHD release, which also includes the two sequels Predator 2 (1990) and Predators (2010). This release is six discs and features each film on both new 4K Ultra HD 2160p transfers as well as the original 1080p Blu-ray releases that have been on the market. This new 4K scan of Predator is only reflected on the 4K UHD disc and not on the Blu-ray (which may be a turnoff to those who can't play the new format properly at home). The three films are available separately or in this new collection, which streets a month prior to the new film The Predator (2018) hitting theaters.


Predator (1987)


One of the best Schwarzenegger films ever, not to mention one of the best creature features (and action films) ever is John McTiernan's Predator. Highly quotable and filled to the brim with fun characters, the film was the first to introduce Stan Winston's nightmarish alien in psychical (and still its best) form. The film also stars Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Shane Black (whose directing the new film), Bill Duke, and Jesse Ventura to name a few.


Set in a jungle in Central America, an elite group of badass commandos led by Major Dutch Schaeffer (Schwarzenegger), embark on a CIA mission to clear out a guerrilla stronghold and rescue the remaining hostages therein. While at what first seems like a routine mission for men of this caliber, they are soon caught off guard. Once they get there, they realize the alien Predator has beat them to the punch and has a knack for hunting humans for sport.



Predator 2 (1990)


Changing the jungle setting to an alternate Los Angeles in the year 1997, street gangs and drug wars are running amok. A Federal Agent (Danny Glover) is hot on the trail of the death of several Colombian and Jamaican drug dealers and soon realizes that they have been the prey of the Predator! Soon, Glover has to go against the Alien beast in a fight for this life! The film also stars Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Peter Hall returns as the Predator. Stephen Hopkins (1998's Lost in Space remake) directed this entry.



Predators (2010)


Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) produced this new entry in the franchise, which has an interesting spin on the series' narrative. Here a group of assassins from all over the planet Earth (led by Adrien Brody) are marooned on an alien planet and become pieces in a Predator hunting game. The film stars Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, and Laurence Fishburne and is directed by Nimrod Antal (Metallica: Through the Never).


Each film is presented in 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition images on 4K UHD discs and 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratios. They also have English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes that have been slightly tweaked for the 4K release. The films all look great on the new format save some film grain that has always been there on every release of the first two films.


Predators was shot digitally so obviously it looks the best in 2160p of the three. The first Predator film does look more contrasty than previous releases and all in all I think is an improvement. I'm sure this is a film that will continue to be quietly tweaked in the years to come. Also included are the 1080p Blu-ray discs with the same aspect ratio and sound mixes.


A digital copy is also included that features all three films.


Special Features...


Predator: Evolution of a Species-Hunters of Extreme Perfection


Audio Commentary by Director John McTiernan on the first film


Text Commentary by Film Historian Eric Lichtenfeld


If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator


Inside the Predator featurettes


Special Effects featurettes


Short Takes with the Filmmakers


Deleted Scenes and Outtakes


Photo Gallery and Predator Profile


and original supplements from the prior Blu-ray editions of the films.



Another entry in Arrow's Japanese Yakuza film collection, Japanese action director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) directs Street Mobster (1972) which tells the story of a bloodthirsty thug caught in-between a turf war on the rough city streets of Kuwazaki. This film features many of the same collaborators as the infamous Battles Without Honors and Humanity (reviewed elsewhere on this site and also released from Arrow) and will appease Yakuza movie fans the world over with its beautiful cinematography and hard hitting violence.


Street Mobster stars Bunta Sugawara, Noboru Ando, and Mayumi Nagisa.


The film looks great in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and the original Japanese original uncompressed mono audio mix. There's a little bit of grain during some of the darker scenes of the film but considering its age it looks fine with few signs of compression.


Special Features include...


Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes


Theatrical trailer


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by the great film scholar Jasper Sharp



Perhaps the first female-led superhero theatrical feature film, Jeannot Szwarc's Supergirl (1984) starring Helen Slater, finally gets a updated treatment on Blu-ray thanks to Warner Archive. Following the success of the Christopher Reeve Superman films (which we know got worse as they went along), this nearly lost film has some of the same visuals and is shot in a similar fashion as those original Richard Donner classics. However pretty dated to today's standards, the film hasn't aged too well but still manages to be entertaining despite some corny moments.


Supergirl stars Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater, Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow, and Brenda Vaccaro.


Turns out that part of Krypton did live on and Superman wasn't the only one of his kind. Argo City, home of his uncle Zor-El (Simon Ward) and his wife Alura (Mia Farrow). Saved by the wizardry of Zaltar (Peter O'Toole) and the Omegahedron, Kara is Superman's Kryptonian cousin and wears the same symbol of hope. This time, she has to face off on the planet earth in an effort to to rescue it from Selena (Faye Dunaway) - a sorceress of equal power. Going under the alias of Linda Lee, Supergirl discovers that Earth is quite different than Argo City.


The International Cut of the film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless (48kHz, 24-bit) mix, the film looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray disc in this nice restoration, even if the original 6-track 70mm blow-up soundmaster is apparently missing for now. The film was shot by Return of the Jedi's cinematographer Alan Hume (also DP on a few Bond films) and has been painstakingly restored to HD. Szwarc (Bug, Jaws 2) apparently liked this version best.


Also included is an Extended Cut of the film in standard definition only, placed on a separate DVD with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. It doesn't look as good as the Blu-ray obviously with signs of compression evident with the format. This is likely the best that the film will look in the immediate future as some of the original film elements have been lost over time.


Special Features include...


The Making of Supergirl vintage documentary


Audio Commentary by Director Jeannot Szwarc and Special Project Consultant Michael Bosco


Original Theatrical Trailer



Supergirl is fun to look back on for nostalgia but it really isn't too strong of a film. Yet, the HD presentation here is nice and worth checking out if you are a fan of have always been curious, like I was, to see this. It seems to have been swept under the rug by Warner Bros and DC until now so I'm not quite sure why it's resurfaced now, save rights issues and the long-term success of the hit TV series. Still, it's nice to own for archival purposes.



Last but definitely not least is one of the all-time classic British horror films, Wolf Rilla's Village Of The Damned (1960) is a still-creepy tale of a small, quiet town where unusual events start adding up to unexpected terror. At the same time, without a baby boom, many of the women there suddenly become pregnant. Coincidence? Seasonal encouragement? With no baby boom, it is odd, but that I ignored, then the children are born and other odd things start to slowly happen. Then worse until nothing turns out to be innocent coincidence every again!


The adults in the community quickly have to rally to see what they can do and getting outside help (What do they tell them? How can they explain something they don't even understand is happening?) or just survive as the trouble skyrockets. The children all have a certain kind of blond hair and when their eyes glow, people die!


George Sanders, Barbara Shelley and Michael Gwynn lead a surprisingly solid cast in this early 'bad child' classic that inspired a sequel at the time and a remake (or maybe a continuation?) by John Carpenter in the 1990s that had mixed results then, but has aged oddly and become creepy in its own, unexpected way. Originally made by the underrated U.K. division of MGM when U.S. money was still being kept in the country, Warner Bros. now owns the film and has delivered a great new restoration via their great Warner Archive collection on Blu-ray. All serious film fans, especially of horror, will love this one, plus the screenplay was co-written by the great Stirling Silliphant!


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer rarely shows the age of the materials used, this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and the original elements were in tact enough to deliver this very clear and detailed presentation that proves yet again how great monochrome film can look in HD. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix sounds great like it is from a well-preserved magnetic soundmaster. Worthy of anything Criterion or Warner itself has issued from the time like this, it is one of the best back catalog releases of the year.


We sadly only get one extra, but it is an exceptional feature length audio commentary track by writer and film scholar Steve Haberman who talks about the film, its history and a great deal of excellent, detailed information on the industry at the time, plus the genre.



To order either Supergirl (1984) and/or the Village Of The Damned (1960) Warner Archive Blu-rays, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (Village) and James Lockhart

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


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