Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/C.B.
Strike: The Series
(2018/Warner DVD Set)/The
(1984/Orion/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/The
Lost Classics, Volume One
(1955, 1956/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)
B-/B-/B-/B/C+ Sound: B-/B-/B-/B/C+ Extras: B-/C/C-/B/C-
Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/B/C+
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is
limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last,
is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in
Australia and will play on all Blu-ray players. Both can be ordered
from the links below.
a good helping of genre dramas for you to be in the know about...
(1958) was released to some success as a Western for adults,
something the genre had to deal with because of its B-movie and
shorts origins going back to the silent era and as a staple of
Saturday Morning Movie Serials starting in the 1930s. The original
1939 Stagecoach changed that, but by the 1950s, Westerns and Musicals
were starting to change and wear thin. Musicals were faced with the
rise of Rock Music, vinyl records and soon, stereo, while Westerns
were faced with the realities of hidden genocide and lies about the
way the West was won versus covering up for some ugly truths.
Peck is the star of this Revenge Western where he searches for
whomever raped and killed his wife, ugly but that was the 'adult'
point the genre was trying to reach by this time to survive.
Unfortunately, with 'Hollywood Indians' (read fake Native Americans)
and and uneven screenplay (from the writer of Johnny
so what happened?), the film always had its problems and has not aged
well. When the accused escape, he goes a hunting for them.
is some money here along with a decent cast that includes a young
Joan Collins (always underrated), Stephen Boyd, Henry Silva, Albert
Salmi, Andrew Duggan and Lee Van Cleef. It even has solid
cinematography by Leon Shamroy, A.S.C., that even the old CinemaScope
lenses cannot totally hold back. However, it is a bit off,
especially when all is said and done.
it still has a following, so Fox decided this should be one of the
licensed Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays and that brings us to
one of the more interesting features of the film, its music score.
Composed by more than one big name, we reviewed the now out-of-print
limited edition CD of the music featured here on an isolated sound
track, at this link that will explain who composed what...
it may not be my favorite, but you can see it has more than a bit of
a cult following and is worth a look just to see how all over the
place it is. I like the actors, but I never bought it after the
first few scenes.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer had color by
DeLuxe and used the old CinemaScope lens system, so expect flaws, but
the transfer is odd. IT may be warmed and a little richer than the
old DVD, but it is also a little redder, more on the teal side and a
shade darker than I would have liked, so you cannot always see the
background as clearly as I expect was intended.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mixes in 5.1, a weak 4.0
representation of the best original sound and 2.0 Stereo. I prefer
the 5.1 lossless mix best representing the 4-track magnetic sound
with traveling dialogue and sound effects, but the 4.0 should sound
better. You can hear some flaws in the music as we did on the CD
eons ago, yet the sound has survived well enough that it is not too
much of a distraction.
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 disc
adds a Fox Movietone Newsreel connected to the film, already noted
Isolated Music Score and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, acclaimed writer J.K. Rowling (Harry
Potter) takes on the modern day crime thriller genre with C.B.
Strike: The Series
(2018). From the BBC and Cinemax, C.B.
is divided into three segments:
Cuckoo's Calling (divided into three episodes)
Silkworm (divided into two episodes)
of Evil (also divided into two episodes)
to Sherlock Holmes in many ways, C.B. Strike is a brilliant detective
whose lives a hardly impressive life on Denmark Street in London.
Combatting his personal demons, Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) helps in
the solving of various murder cases that the police haven't been to
solve. Along with his assistant, Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger)
they attempt to solve the unsolvable.
definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1
Dolby Digital mix, the show looks and sounds as good as it can on the
compressed DVD format. The show has unique cinematography and nice
contrast and colors.
Features include a Behind the Scenes Featurette.
I found the show to be kinda drab and nothing too spectacular. It's
nicely made and acted but all in all it's just like every other
From the Heart
(1982, reviewed elsewhere on this site) caused Francis
Coppola to loose his new physical studio and go into debt, he started
to make smaller films, but also tried once more to do a big epic that
would again involve gangsters and add much more music. Orion
Pictures was happy to work with him (the mini-major was founded by
United Artists executives who had worked with Coppola on Apocalypse
(1979), et al) and the subject would be about The
(1984) where African American performers performed for white
audiences back in the 1930s.
Gere is a musician who lands up becoming involved in the clashing
mess of music and murder amongst various gangsters (James Remar as
Dutch Schultz, Joe Dallesandro as Lucky Luciano, Fred Gwynne as
Frency Demange and Bob Hoskins as Owney Madden among others) are
credible and matched, even surpassed by the talent on stage (Larry
Marshall as Cab Calloway, Gregory Hines as Sandman Williams, etc.) so
Coppola and company easily got that one down. Add the supporting
cast that includes Diane Lane, Lonette McKee, Allen Garfield, Nicolas
Cage, Lawrence Fishburne, Julian Beck, John P. Ryan, Tom Waits,
Jennifer Gray, Woody Strode, Diane Verona, Sofia Coppola and even
Mario Van Pebbles as a dancer, then you get how talent-packed this is
in front of the camera. No argument there and they were serious
about working with Coppola.
costumes by Milena Canonero are authentic, John Barry music score
solid and Richard Sylbert Production Design strong. So why was the
film a critical and commercial disappointment? For one thing, the
critics were out to get Coppola again (!!!), so that did not help,
but the behind-the-scenes portion was a fiasco that included someone
getting actually shot to death, so that bad press did not help.
Also, some found it dizzying that we were not seeing the musical
performances on their own, but as upscale background to the murders
and other crimes in a way that may have made it confusing or even
artificial versus the first two Godfather
all this, the film runs 129 minutes in what is its longest version
available, but is this really the cut Coppola wanted? Did he lose
control of the mise-en-scene or final cut? Might this have actually
worked better in a longer, different cut? Since all we get here is
an Original Theatrical Trailer, we don't know. It has enough
moments, of course, to make it worth a look, but expect odd moments
that don't necessarily gel. Not being a biog hit, Coppola continued
his smaller films until the package deal that was Godfather
has its moments too.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used and has what looks like an old HD master,
of Photography Stephen Goldblatt, A.S.C. (Outland,
the first two Lethal
uses the framing to make it look big, large, huge, like an event and
knowing they would issue the film in 70mm blow-up prints. This
transfers has detail issues and flaws, but you can still imagine what
this would look like on a huge screen like that.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is unfortunately NOT
a representation of the 6-track Dolby magnetic stereo soundmaster a
70mm blow-up would have offered, so this is the standard Dolby System
mix with older, analog Dolby A-type noise reduction with Pro Logic
surrounds that regular 35mm presentations would have had at their
best. Though good for what it is, Coppola was applying audiophile
music standards to film like hardly anyone else at the time, so any
4K upgrade should include the original sound remastered.
Fonda stars and directs (for the first time) The
(1971), which is a slow burn Western/Drama that's very nicely done.
Remastered from the original film elements (more recently than you'd
imagine) by Universal and presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow
Academy, this is certainly an impressive disc for Fonda fans to
also stars Warren Oates, Verna Bloom, Robert Pratt, Severn Darden,
Rita Rogers, and Ted Markland.
centers around a man named Harry (Fonda) who decides to return home
to his wife and farm after seven years of being a drifter. Tired of
having no direction in life and no longer in the same mindset as his
friend Archie (Oates), Harry decides to try and re-form his
relationship with his daughter and hopefully rekindle his failed
film looks very nice on this 1080p high definition transfer that
preserves the 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and has an uncompressed
Mono 1.0 PCM Audio track that's crystal clear. For a film as nicely
shot as this one, it hasn't aged much as this restoration is pretty
sharp and feels like it could have been shot last week.
commentary by actor-director Peter Fonda
Return of The Hired Hand,
a 2003 documentary containing interviews with Fonda, cinematographer
Vilmos Zsigmond, composer Bruce Langhorne, actor Verna Bloom and
Charles Gormley and Bill Forsyth's 1978 documentary portrait of
Scottish screenwriters, including Alan Sharp [Blu-ray exclusive]
Interview with Martin Scorsese
Oates and Peter Fonda at the National Film Theatre, an audio
recording of the actors' appearance at the NFT in 1971.
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean
Exclusive Insert Booklet with an essay by Kim Morgan and full color
is certainly a slow burn, but its gorgeous to look at and is worth
checking out for the performances by Peter Fonda and Warren Oates
we have an unusual Blu-ray release dubbed Television's
Lost Classics, Volume One
that offers two drams originally produced live for television in the
mid-1950s for broadcast on two different anthology series, which were
very prominent and common at the time. They both happen to star
future movie star and legendary film director John Cassavetes in the
leads with good casts and in interesting stories that are decent.
was not a big fan of either, but they are interesting and feature two
directors who moved onto the big screen. No less than Sidney Lumet
In The Streets
ABC) with Cassavetes as the head of a group of juvenile crime kids
who is about to go beyond a bad reputation while being threatening
and abusive to everyone including his own mother and baby brother!
Right To Kill
from CBS) has Cassavetes in a Crime
update that shows again his gritty acting skills, even if the work
has it limits, well directed enough by Buzz Kulik.
Preston, Mark Rydell, Glenda Farrell and Van Dyke Parks are the cast
for the first show, while we have Terry Moore and Robert H. Harris in
the second. That is more than enough to make them both curios and
deserve this kind of treatment. Add that they retained the
commercials in both copies and you should give both a look, flaws,
limits and all.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer can show the age of the materials used
as these are 16mm and/or 35mm copies of broadcasts that included
pre-filmed advertisements at times, but the rest is in kinescope
which has a camera film the image off of an old picture tube
(videotape had not been invented and readily available yet) and we
get distortions that are not corrected. That's fine for purists, but
too bad the original and a corrected version did not coexist on these
discs. The PCM 2.0 Mono is as good and as good as it can be for its
age and time, especially with old TV audio standards that only
started to go stereo in the 1980s.
only extra is a Gag Reel of Bloopers
from the lawyer series The
that is odd, but interesting.
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other exclusives while supplies
last at these links:
to order the
Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other
hard-to-find titles at:
Nicholas Sheffo and James