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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Drama > Drugs > Murder > Police > Urban > Action > TV > Multi-Channel Music > Thriller > Comedy > Reveng > Crazy Six (1997/MVD Visual Blu-ray)/MacGyver: The Complete Second Season (new series/2017 - 2018/CBS/Lionsgate DVD Set)/Ray Davies Orchestra: Exorcist (1974)/Flashpoint (1975/theme songs double featur

Crazy Six (1997/MVD Visual Blu-ray)/MacGyver: The Complete Second Season (new series/2017 - 2018/CBS/Lionsgate DVD Set)/Ray Davies Orchestra: Exorcist (1974)/Flashpoint (1975/theme songs double feature sets/Mercury/Vocalion Quadrophonic Hybrid Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD)/Tag (2018/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Walking Tall (2004 remake/MGM/MVD Visual Blu-ray)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Exorcist/Flashpoint Import Super Audio CD is now only available from our friends at Vocalion, has a CD layer that will play on all CD, Blu-ray and DVD players and can be ordered from the link below.



We dig into the action/crime genre in unusual ways, coming up with some strange duds and a few surprises...



We'll start with a new back catalog release of a film meant for theaters, but landed up going straight to video, now a curio as co-star Burt Reynolds just passed away. Eastern Bloc government has fallen and Communism is dead. In it's place drug-lords, warlords and mafia families have taken control. The city thrives on illegal weapons and drug trafficking. Crazy Six (Rob Lowe) and Dirty Mao (Mario Van Peebles) are leaders from two rival families and have an uneasy truce against Raul (Ice-T), one of the largest family, but when a job between Crazy Six and Mao goes bad, it's all out war between the families on Albert Pyun's Crazy Six (1997).


Crazy Six and Dirty Mao are from rival families, but they teamed up together on a job to steal a shipment of drugs, money and weapons from an even larger rival, Raul. But somehow, Raul finds out and not only does he want his stuff back but revenge. Raul kills Crazy Six's friends and kidnapped his girlfriend. All Crazy Six wanted was to get enough money to leave the city, all Crazy Six's girlfriend wanted was Six to get clean of drugs... and now Crazy Six must team up with a crazy American Detective (Burt Reynolds) and take on the entire Mafia to get his girl back.


This was your typical action, drugs and violence movie mixed with a hip hop soundtrack and a lot of one liners. There are no 'good' guys in the story, everyone is a fallen character of some sort. As usual, there is a girl involved and in the end our 'hero' (the gangster) is fighting for love. And the usual question is after a gun battle and bloodbath can a gangster find true love and his happy ending too?


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is good, as good as this will likely ever look, but the PCM 2.0 Stereo (this was a Dolby Digital theatrical release of some sort) shows its age and budget limits. Passable with much dialogue, don't expect too many Pro Logic-like surrounds. There are also no extras.



Lucas Till stars in MacGyver, which has returned to CBS for its Complete Second Season in what has turned into a successful revival. The show tries to mask itself as intelligent when in all reality its just derivative and its action way too convenient to be taken seriously. There is action and there is some topical subjects involving the war and modern media but ultimately the show is a big snooze.


MacGyver is a handsome war hero who can pretty much do it all. Paired up with a CIA agent, he goes on various missions involving high risk missions that span the globe. The show also stars Isabel Lucas, George Eads and David Dastmalchian.


Episodes include DIY or DIE, Muscle Car + Paper Clips, Roulette Wheel + Wire, Skull + Electromagnet, Jet Engine and Pickup Truck, CD-ROM and Hoagie Foil, War Room + Ship, Bullet + Pen, Mac and Jack, Mudoc + Handcuffs, Benjamin Franklin + Grey Duffle, and Skyscraper - Power.


The show is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, both of which are of the norm for the format and nothing too fancy. The show is shot cinematically to look good in HD and has high production values for the most part. Some of the digital effects sequences are laughably bad but all in all the money is on the screen.


Special Features...


MacGyver in Cuba


Saving the Day - Season 2


MacGyver: Special and Visual Effects


and Deleted Scenes



Next up is the first time we get to look at a music industry cycle that is little covered or discussed, albums that contain nothing but covers of TV and motion picture songs, usually from multiple sources and usually, instrumentals. As Hollywood feature films dealt with the reality of TV and the rise of color TV and Rock music (with its cutting-edge sonics), feature films gave in on stereophonic sound being the norm and it became rarer and rarer in the late 1960s, staying that way for a decade. TV would not have stereo until the 1980s. Movie soundtracks could be hits and even have hit songs, but TV rarely had hit records and hardly ever had any kind of vinyl music respect for a long time.


Conductors and other music artists who loved such music and saw the gap would issue albums with songs they rerecorded from both mediums and Ray Davies (NOT the member of The Kinks) was one of them. By the mid-1970s, record labels and feature films were trying new things with multi-channel sound and music, including the arrival of basic analog Dolby System, Quinophonic sound on the 1975, magnetic stereo on select 35mm films and all 70mm films and the record industry went for Quadrophonic sound. At Mercury Records, Davies home label, he showed his love of action and adventure on the big and small screen with two album releases back to back that happened to be showing off the new 4-track quad format. Those albums were headlined by the Theme from The Exorcist (1974) and an action set boldly titled Flashpoint (1975). The great U.K. audiophile label Vocalion has issued both on one disc in the still very much alive Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD in 4-track with its ultra high definition Direct Stream Digital sound and even as a CD stereo layer for everyone who cannot play the great format.


Here are the contents of each release...


Themes from The Exorcist, The French Connection, The Sting and other great films


1: THE FRENCH CONNECTION (Ellis) with Gene Hackman

2: LOVE THEME FROM THE GETAWAY (Jones; A & M Bergman) with Steve McQueen

3: KLUTE (Small) Alan J. Pukula's Donald Sutherland/Jane Fonda thriller

4: THE MAGICIAN (Williams) theme from the TV series with Bill Bixby

5: THE ENTERTAINER (Joplin) theme from the film The Sting

6: BULLITT (Schifrin) with Steve McQueen

7: COPS AND ROBBERS (Legrand)

8: ENTER THE DRAGON (Schifrin) with Bruce Lee

9: NIGHT MUST FALL (Davies)

10: POINT BLANK (Mandel) with Lee Marvin

11: BEYOND TOMORROW (Theodorakis; Kusik) love theme from the film Serpico

12: TUBULAR BELLS (Oldfield) theme from the film The Exorcist, itself a quad recording by Mike Oldfield


Flashpoint


13: THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (Barry; Black) second Roger Moore Bond film

14: THE BIG BOSS (Koo)

15: EARTHQUAKE (Williams) main title & love theme

16: MR MAJESTYK (Bernstein) with Charles Bronson

17: LOVE SAID GOODBYE (Rota; Kusik) from the film The Godfather, Part 2

18: KOJAK (Goldenberg) with Telly Savalas

19: MAGNUM FORCE (Schifrin) second Dirty Harry movie with Clint Eastwood

20: GOLD (Bernstein; Black) with Roger Moore

21: LIVE AND LET DIE (P & L McCartney) first Roger Moore James Bond film

22: AIRPORT 1975 (Cacavas)

23: WE MAY NEVER LOVE LIKE THIS AGAIN (Kasha; Hirschhorn) from the film The Towering Inferno

24: FIST OF FURY (Koo)


Though some covers fall a little short, they are all sonically ambitious and the musicians are clearly having fun covering songs they love from films and TV shows they respect and are clearly watching. Later, all these films would have soundtracks issued, though some at the time were re-recordings to be somehow more 'consumer friendly' so the work here is not far from those versions. Reissue soundtracks sometimes contain soundtracks form both where applicable.


Yet while most of these films and all of the TV shows here were originally issued monophonically in theaters (the Bond films and Godfather II got stereo/5.1 upgrades later) and any actual soundtracks were stereo at best, Davies and company were definitely out to show off the 4-track sound and that makes this as fun as any of these popular compilation remake sets. Fans of this music and sonics should get this one.


The 4.0 DSD (Direct Stream Digital) lossless sound is fine and up there with the best we've heard lately and certainly from all the great Vocalion 4.0 SA-CDs to date, but there are moments on the Exorcist set that are stunning and some of the best quad sound I have heard in any format to date (including quad SA-CDs we did not review but I've caught myself, like Audio Fidelity's Best Of The Guess Who SA-CD you should get while supplies last; Vocalion already has issued two of their albums in quad we hope to hear soon) and this is a fun set for parties and when you have friends over as well.


The DSD 2.0 Stereo is also very good and the PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo CD track is also just fine, but the 4.0 is the knockout and so much so that it even sounds better than any video release in this review. That says something.


The illustrated booklet includes a fine Oliver Lomax 2017 essay including excerpts from a 2016 Davies interview. All around, a pleasant surprise and double feature more than worthy of rediscovery.



The lighthearted buddy comedy Tag (2018) is based on the true story of a group of lifelong friends that chose to never grow up... and keep playing the classic game of tag. The film centers around a small group of friends (Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress) who take their annual game of Tag VERY seriously. Nothing stands in their way be in a life changing moment, the death of a family member, or even a wedding is same from their vicious game.


One of the friends (Renner) has somehow eluded being tagged his whole life and now it's up to his friends to beat him once and for all. However, Renner is always one step ahead of the competition and makes it his personal goal to not get caught. When his friends find out that Renner is getting married, they assemble to try to figure out a tender moment to tag him during the wedding... but Renner's new wife to be (Leslie Bibb) isn't having it and doesn't want her wedding ruined by a childish game.


The film also stars Annabelle Wallis (The Mummy), Isla Fisher (Now You See Me), and Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation), Brian Dennehy (First Blood), and Thomas Middledtch (Silicon Valley). The film is directed by Jeff Tomsic (Abbey is Silly).


Tag is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, both of which are pretty standard for the format. The sound mix is tight and no visible flaws within that I noticed. Moments of style and slow motion are throughout the film and stick out nicely from some of the more natural moments.


Also included is a standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The image is compressed and not as good looking as the Blu-ray or the also included Digital Copy.


Special Features...


Bloopers


Deleted Scenes


and a Meet the Real Tag Brothers featurette


Tag is a pretty fun popcorn muncher yet tends to drag during its third act. Still, it's worth checking out at least once and was better than I initially expected.



Finally, we conclude with one of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's first starring roles, Walking Tall (2004) is also a remake and based on a true story. While it has been released on Blu-ray before, this is a new special edition version with a slightly better presentation and the same extras.


Also starring Johnny Knoxville, the story is centered around a decorated military officer named Chris Vaughn (played by The Rock) who comes home to his small Washington town after years of being in service. Seeing that the town's mill has closed down and is now home to a corrupt casino operated by his old schoolmate Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough). After being assaulted in the casino, Vaughn takes matters into his own hands... with a 2 X 4.


The film is directed by music video director Kevin Bray (All About The Benjamins) and also stars Ashley Scott and Kristen Johnson.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix (and a LPCM 2.0 mix as well) both of which present the film fine on Blu-ray. The film isn't overly stylized and has a normal and real-world feel even if there's some action in the film that's a bit over the top.


Special Features include...


Audio Commentary by star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


Audio Commentary by Director Kevin Bray, Editor Robert Ivison, and Director of Photography Glen MacPherson


'Fight the Good Fight' Stunts Featurette (SD)


Deleted Scenes (SD)


Bloopers (SD)


Alternate Ending (SD)


Photo Gallery (TBD)


and an Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)


For more on the film by someone (of many) highly dissatisfied with it, try our original DVD review from the time of its release...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/1696/Walking+Tall+(2004)



To order the Exorcist/Flashpoint Import Super Audio CD from Vocalion, go to this link to order it, then go through their website for other great exclusives...


https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDSML8526



- Nicholas Sheffo (SACD), Ricky Chiang (Six) and James Lockhart

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


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