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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Gangs > Urban > Murder > Drugs > Korea > Journalism > New Zealand > Detective > Mystery > Police > Believer (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/800 Words: Season 3, Part One (2018/Acorn DVD Set)/Murdoch Mysteries: The Christmas Cases (2015 - 2017/Acorn DVD Set)/The New Centurions (1972/Sony/Columbia/Twili

Believer (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/800 Words: Season 3, Part One (2018/Acorn DVD Set)/Murdoch Mysteries: The Christmas Cases (2015 - 2017/Acorn DVD Set)/The New Centurions (1972/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/The Resident: Season One (2018/Fox DVD Set)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The New Centurions 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 from the links below.



Now for a wide-ranging group of police and crime thrillers...



To catch the devil, do you have to make a deal with the devil? An ambitious detective is determined to catch Korea's the biggest drug kingpin, Mr. Lee. But no one has ever seen seen or met Mr. Lee, the only lead they have is a low level drug dealer Rak (Jun-yeol Ryu) whom they make a deal with. If Rak helps them catch Mr. Lee, the police in turn will help protect him and let him live in Hae-young Lee's Believer (2018).


Chief detective Won-ho and his team of undercover detectives after finding a survivor in drug factory fire decide pose as dealers and use the survivor 'Rak' to help them catch the drug kingpin known only as 'Mr. Lee'. Rak helps the police get into the drug underworld and shows them how Mr. Lee runs his drug operation without ever being seen or directly involved. As Rak explains who to talk to and where to go, he also tells them the story of how he came to be working for the organization. Problem is... no one in the drug cartel seems to knows what Mr. Lee looks like either and there are a bunch of fakes wannabe dealers posing as 'Mr. Lee' too. To the cartel "Mr. Lee" is a title of whoever is currently in charge of the cartel or...


"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." This movie was like a Korean version of The Usual Suspects. (Spoiler alert) About a 1/3 of the way through the movie I guessed the drug kingpin to be the low level drug dealer at the start of the movie. The character seemed like he was not significant but then he also knew too much to not be not important, and all the half-true stories he told felt more like he was using it to lead and manipulate others. Extras include trailers.



800 Words is a New Zealand-made drama that follows a recently widowed father, who quits his job as a popular 800 word columnist for a top selling Sydney newspaper and, over the internet, he buys a house on an impulse in a remote New Zealand seaside town. While he dreams a fresh start, the cities in Weld get drawn into various dramatic situations.


800 Words stars Erik Thomson, Melina Vidler, Benson Jack Anthony, Rick Donald, Bridie Carter, Emma Leonard, Alexander Tarrant, Michelle Langstone, Anna Jullienne, and Cian Elyse White.


Season 3, Part One (2018) is comprised of eight episodes that span two DVD discs. Special Features include a Behind the Scenes Featurette (3 min) and Cast Interviews (8 min).



Murdoch Mysteries: The Christmas Cases (2015 - 2017) collects three annual holiday episodes in a new Limited Edition box for fans who like the show and might not want/need entire seasons. Several genre shows have been doing this (including Doctor Who, with amusing in-jokes) and the series know for solving mysteries with yesterday's 'hot new' technology and they made three here: A Merry Murdoch Christmas, Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas and Home for the Holidays. They are amusing, but like the show, it can be either very entertaining or a little goes a long way. I'm in-between on its overall quality (these specials and the entire series to date), but it is a set that makes sense as a holiday gift for fans. Some will even find its very existence amusing.


Extras include the Making Murdoch featurettes (16 min.) and a collectible Christmas card with a holiday greeting from Yannick Bisson.



Richard Fleischer's The New Centurions (1972) is yet another remarkable feature film from one of the best journeyman filmmakers in Hollywood history, on a roll at this time (other films included The Boston Strangler, Soylent Green, Fantastic Voyage and even Mandingo) dealing with crime in the modern day. An early adaptation of a work by Joseph Wambaugh (script penned by Stirling Silliphant before he started to get silly with the likes of The Swarm), George C. Scott is a cop about to retire, helping out as he can and working with new cops on the potential rise, including dealing with cases that we're very raw and real for the time of this film's release.


Stacey Keach is one of those cops we get to know well, but he is having trouble on the job, at home and might not be as strong as his predecessor, though the new generation faces new challenges of violence that is bolder than before, so some of this is relative. Save a young Eric Estrada as one of the new cops (we get a training sequence opening the film that was ripped off later comically for the opening of the hit TV series Charlie's Angels and seen more seriously in the likes of Police Story, Police Woman and The Rookies series) showing it is not just going to be white male cops, but the 'us and them' split in the storyline dates this and might be conceived as racist to some. It is racial, but I found it not to be so black and white.


Still, if you can get past that, it is a well made film that takes its audience and its intelligence seriously. It certainly helped the supporting cast be seen including Scott Wilson, Jane Alexander, Rosalind Cash, Clifton James, James B. Sikking, Isabel Sanford, Ed Lauter, Roger E. Mosley, Dolph Sweet and William Atherton. Look too for uncredited turns by Anne Ramsey and Gerald S. O'Laughlin, so it is that kind of a movie loaded with all kinds of talent they did not know they had at the time.


An underrated gem of Sony's Columbia Pictures catalog, it has become lost in the shuffle of so many hit films and so, the company had decided to license it and it is now a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray. Like a Criterion Collection release, the company focuses on classics and films you should know more about and this is definitely no exception, especially in this era of police procedural overload on TV. At 46-years-old and going (taking place the at about the same time a Spike Lee's excellent new film BLACKkKLANSMAN), the questions its asks about law, order and the stress of being an officer are as relevant as ever, maybe even more so.


Extras include an 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 adds an Isolated Music Track, a great Feature-Length Audio Commentary Track with Actor Scott Wilson and Film Historian Nick Redman, another solid Audio Commentary with Film Historians Lee Pfeiffer & Paul Scrabo and an Original Theatrical Trailer. With all that, this is a release worth going out of your way for, so get it while copies last.



Welcome to Chastain Hospital, one of the best hospital in country. Devon, a young doctor arrives at Chastain for his residency and he learns there is more to being a doctor than curing people and saving lives, and he learns of the darkside of the hospitals. Behind closed curtains, the resident doctors must deal with the red tape and corrupt CEOs, lawyers, media spin doctors and senior doctors who rather let patients die if they can't afford the hospital in The Resident: Season One (2018).


Devon is a first year resident doctor at Chastain, and on the very first day he is placed under wing of a genius but arrogant 3rd year resident Doctor Conrad and Nurse Nic. At first they clash, but they quickly bond and he learns Conrad and Nic are still trying to save lives unlike their boss Randolph Bell, the Chief of Surgery and CEOs of the hospital, who care more about profit and their hospital's reputations than saving lives. Randolph Bell suffers from tremors in his hands and is no longer able to perform surgery but continues to keep it a secret and causes more deaths, but because of his pride, he continues to cover up the deaths as 'accidents'. In Season 1, they fight against another corrupt doctor, Lane Hunter, Conrad's mentor who using patients in highly dangerous illegal radiation treatments in experiments for curing cancer and will do anything to cover up her 'mistakes' ...including destroying the residents of Chastain.


This was your typical medical drama, it is the stories and personal lives of doctors. Along with saving patient's lives it is also about the secrets, dramatic relationships, rivalries, love and lost between the doctors and patients.


Episodes include...


Pilot - Devon arrives at Chastain for his first day and meets Conrad and Nic and learns there more to being a doctor than high scores.


Independence Day - Conrad fights against Bell for a heart transplant from giving it to wealthy congressman instead of a teacher. Devon runs the ER for the first time without the help of Conrad.


Comrades in Arms - Devon learns of the hospital policy of over treating patients in order to charge them more. Chastain discovers one of their workers is an illegal resident but is need of an expensive treatment to save her life.


Identity Crisis - A John Doe is discovered during a mass accident. Bell secretly takes medicine to his hands from trembling but has side effects. Nic begins to suspect Dr. Hunter's clinic is hurting patients than curing them.


None the Wiser - Dr. Bell's side effects begin to catch up to him and cause multiple deaths and the doctors are under review from the morbidity and mortality conference.


No Matter the Cost - Conrad must solve a medical mystery to the cause of one man's pain to prevent other doctor's from running more useless tests on him.


The Elopement - A terminal man wants to spend his remaining days with his wife, instead the CEOs wants him to get expensive treatment to try and extend his life but die alone in the hospital.


Family Affair - A homeless woman wanders into Chastain during a charity event, but turns out to be a wealthy heiress. Davon's parents meets his fiancee.


Lost Love - Chastain's newest patient is Conrad's ex-fiancee. Lane secretly kills a beloved patient Lily and frames Nic for it.


Haunted - Dr. Bell tremor causes him to hurt a VIP and gets suspended. Lane manipulates the board for a new CEO, Claire. Conrad is haunted by Lily's ghost.


And the Nurses Get Screwed... - Lane continues to frame Nic for Lily's death. Bell is reinstated after proving Claire was trying to save the hospital money instead of lives. Nic gets fired.


Rude Awakenings and the Raptor - Nic discovers Lane has another identity and suddenly find mysterious man threatening her from investigating Lane further.


Run, Doctor, Run - Nic continues to dig further into Lane only realizing too late Lane framed her again to be arrested and sent to jail.


and


Total Eclipse of the Heart - Nic, Conrad and Devon contact the FBI about Lane and go to Bell for help, telling him of Lane's experiments and her patients. Bell pretends to help Lane to help her escape and destroy the evidence but instead he helps the FBI catch her with the evidence red handed. Nic is exonerated and rehired.




The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Believer is shot on Arri Alexa HD cameras and looks just fine throughout for the format, but the popular camera always had flaws and the Ultra HD era is starting to make its limits more obvious. The anamorphically enhanced DVD is much weaker and hard to watch.


On the other hand, the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Centurions can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film on video and as shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision, has shots nothing else reviewed here can match. Director of Photography Ralph Woolsey, A.S.C., just passed away in 2018 at age 104 (!!!) and lensed everything from huge hit TV shows (Maverick, Batman, Surfside 6, It Takes A Thief, Name Of The Game) to feature films like Lifeguard, The Mack, The Strawberry Statement, Culpepper Cattle Company, The Great Santini, Honky and Mother, Jugs & Speed. He had an amazing eye when it came to filming and his work holds up well all around, including here in his mastery of the scope frame. More of his work needs Blu-ray release.


800 Words is presented on standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Compression issues are evident, but the show certainly has high production values and it comes across well, even in this highly compressed state. An HD presentation would be a vast improvement.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Murdoch is a little soft, some of it from style, while the same presentation on Resident fares better, looking as good as any DVD on the list.


As for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 Korean lossless mix on Believe is good and well mixed enough, yet too refined or limited at times to take total advantage of the multi-channel possibilities, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless on Centurions shows its age as expected. Too bad it could have not been simple stereo, especially since the isolated music score sounds so good.


That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Murdoch is a little soft, some of it from style, but passable, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Resident fares better by being more active, but is held back by the limits of the old format.



To order The New Centurions limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Believer, Resident) and James Lockhart (800 Words)

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


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