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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Espionage > Thriller > Mystery > Cold War > Drama > Cable TV > Terrorism > Crime > Gangs > Mile 22 (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Americans: Final Season (2018/Season Six/Fox DVD Set)/Air Force One 4K (1997/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Deadbeat At Dawn (1988/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)/Marine 6: Close Quarters (2018/Sony DVD)/Mile 22 (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

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

Here's a set of action releases that sometimes have good action, sometimes not...

We start with the political/action series The Americans (2018), ending here in its Sixth and Final Season that gives the characters a proper send off and continues to raise the bar in terms of action and thrills. The series stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the story picks up three years after the conclusion of season five and dives deeper as the undercover detectives journey towards the USSR, while planning to overthrow the military's devious assassination attempts on a foreign leader.

Check out our review of the first season here:


Season 6's 10 episodes include Dead Hand, Tchaikovsky, Urban Transport Planning, Mr. and Mrs. Teacup, The Great Patriotic War, Rififi, Harvest, The Summit, Jennings, Elizabeth, and the finale START.

The film is presented here on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. While it would be better in HD, the show looks fine for DVD and while compressed, still allows the viewer to enjoy the show without commercials or network watermarks, making it easier to binge and enjoy. The show is nicely photographed, particularly since it's airing on network cable.

Special Features include...

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

and Inside Looks.

Harrison Ford stars in one of his better action films outside of the Spielberg/Lucas realm, Wolfgang Peterson's Air Force One (1997), which is now remastered and looking better than ever on 4K Ultra HD from Sony. Looking back on this film so many later, it still holds up in many ways today. Sure the times have changed and the political situation when this film was made isn't as messy as it has become now, but that aside it's just fun to image Harrison Ford as a butt kicking President who isn't afraid to go face to face against terrorist Gary Oldman.

The film also stars Glenn Close, William H. Macy, Wendy Crewson, and Liesel Matthews.

Air Force One is obviously the most secure way to fly... but when a group of terrorists infiltrate the craft and cause chaos, the flight plan gets delayed. The President of the United States (Ford) soon becomes a hostage and has to protect his family and every life on the plane... including his own!

In short, Air Force One is basically a spin on the Die Hard narrative. One man must take out the terrorists in a tight space before the big bombs go off. Due to the excellent cast and sharp direction here, the film doesn't feel like a rip off or anything of the like, but just another good popcorn movie.

Air Force One has been remastered in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image in a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 (original 2.40:1) and three impressive audio mixes: Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless sound (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mixdown for older systems) based on the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound 8-track mix few heard at the time as only so many movie theater screens could deliver the underrated sound format and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (with plenty of punch of its own at 48kHz, 16-bit); all three of which bring the movie to life like never before and besting the previously released Blu-ray edition. The colors are noticeably sharper, with more detail on characters and special effects (which makes a few look a little outdated).

Shot originally in the Super 35mm by legendary Director of Photography Michael Bauhaus, this is a fantastic restoration of this '90s hit that is sure to please fans. A 1080p Blu-ray edition is also included (with similar specs) and a digital copy.

Special Features...

Director's Commentary

and a Theatrical Trailer.

While light on extras, the presentation is the main focus of this disc and it certainly delivers over previous versions.

Maverick filmmaker Jim VanBebber has had a troubled career over the years, but that aside, his most credible work is probably Deadbeat at Dawn (1988), an ultra low budget revenge flick now out of Arrow in celebration of the film's 30th Anniversary. The film was made on a shoe string and has plenty of jaw dropping action even if the plot is a bit thin.

Deadbeat tells the story of Goose (played by VanBebber), who decides to leave his gang leading low life behind and start a new life with his girlfriend. However, his girlfriend is murdered by said Gang and Goose is left with nothing. When the Gang convinces him to do one last heist with them, he used it as an opportunity to get his revenge on them and solve his vendetta.

The film has been remastered in 2K from its original film elements (supervised and approved by the Director) and is presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio and an original 2.0 Original uncompressed PCM mono audio mix.

Special Features are plentiful and includes...

Brand new free-wheeling audio commentary with Jim VanBebber ('Goose', The Ravens' Gang Leader), actor Paul Harper ('Danny Carmodi', The Spyders' Gang Leader) and guest Cody Lee Hardin, moderated by filmmaker Victor Bonacore (Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim VanBebber).

Jim VanBebber, Deadbeat Forever! - a brand new retrospective documentary on VanBebber and the Deadbeat legacy by Filmmaker Victor Bonacore, featuring first-time interviews, super-rare footage, VanBebber's college films and much, much more!

Archival 1986 behind-the-scenes documentary - Nate Pennington's VHS documentary on a failed Deadbeat shoot

Outtakes, newly transferred in HD

Four newly-restored VanBebber short films - Into the Black (1983, 34 mins), My Sweet Satan (1993, 19 mins), Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1994, 14 mins) and Gator Green (2013, 16 mins)

Jim VanBebber Music Video Collection, featuring never-before-seen Director's Cuts

Chunkblower - promotional trailer for an unfinished Gary Blair Smith-produced gore-soaked feature film

Extensive Image Gallery - Never-Before-Seen Stills!

Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing by Scott Gabbey and Graham Rae.

WWE Studios presents (with Sony) The Marine 6: Close Quarters (2018) in the action packed new R-rated movie that wrestling fans will surely eat up... but can't say the same for anyone else. Though the story is about as generic as it comes and the humor and style very on the nose, the film is big dumb loud fun and nothing more.

The Marine 6 stars Becky Lynch, The Miz, Shawn Michaels, Michael Higgs, and Louisa Connolly-Burnham to name a few.

Jake Carter (WWE Superstar Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin) and former fellow Marine, Luke Trapper (WWE Legend Shawn Michaels), join butt kicking forces to rescue a kidnapped girl from a gang of international criminals headed up by Maddy Hayes (WWE Superstar Becky Lynch) and her group of bad guys. Fists will fly and punches are thrown in this sixth entry of The Marine franchise.

The film is presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, both of which are the norm for the format. Compression issues are evident and not very surprising as its the norm for the format.

Special Features include...

Making Maddy and The Marines

and The Breakdown: Epic Fights.

Finally we have Peter Berg's unfortunate Mile 22 (2018), proof that he cannot break being a two-tier filmmaker: serious subjects into good film, fiction into junk films. Longtime lead actor/friend/ally Mark Wahlberg (Deepwater Horizon) plays a soldier spy who talks at people in a staccato mode throughout the whole film over and over and over and over again. This all starts with breaking a Russian spy operation where they just have to kill everyone no matter what, including a young man who looks underage and like he should not be there.

Forward to the present, a new operation in a foreign country to get a man out who has a secret code to reveal the locations of deadly Cesium or the computer program will collapse, causing the location info to vaporize and country's power grid to die. Fortunately, he known martial arts, but for some reason, the Russians are spying on the operation. Can they get the man on the plane to freedom in the U.S. for the information? The result is sadly all plot, little surprise and a dumb 'twist' ending that does not ring true. Additionally, all the tough talk and frontin' wears thin very quickly.

Shot on 8K Ultra HD cameras before whatever reduction work was done to the image, it does not look as generic as it sounds and the fight scenes are the lone highlight as the great John Malkovich is wasted in the role of the head of spy operations (named 'Mother' like the great Patrick Newell character in the final season of the the classic 1960s British spy classic The Avengers, but NOT the same character; older movie critics probably found this the last straw in not liking this package deal) who steals every scene he appears in, as usual.

Produced with the interesting STX production company, this is not helping them in the long run, hurts Wahlberg's credibility as an actor (as well as any future Oscar chances) and all involved are better than this. Despite the fights and explosions on screen, laziness behind the scenes and script killed this dud leaving Wahlberg yet again (Sniper anyone?) without a reliable franchise series of his own to fall back on.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Blu-ray was (again) shot in new 8K Ultra HD cameras, so this at least is visually watchable with only some shaky camerawork. Color is sometimes degraded, but not annoyingly so, but the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD is softer by comparison to watch and harder to tolerate.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix is the best sound mix on the Blu-ray, so the makers even cut corners on sound, usually 12 track sound in such new releases. It is consistent sounding with a good soundfield, but nothing special, so the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is more generic in character.

Extras include Digital HD Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds (as the press release explains) Overwatch: Follow the 'Overwatch', the para-military division in Mile 22 and explore the background and inspiration as to why this type of team was chosen for the film, Introducing Iko: A spotlight on world-renowned action star Iko Uwais and his experience with combat fighting, stunt work and choreographing his own scenes in the film, Iko Fight: Interview with Iko Uwais discussing his intense fight scenes from the practice room to the final shot, Bad Ass Women: A behind-the-scenes look with stars Lauren Cohan and Ronda Rousey along with writer Lea Carpenter, discussing stunts, intellectual smarts and the overall tenacity of the film's female characters, BTS Stunts: An in-depth take on the creation of the action-packed stunts of Mile 22 with commentary from Director Peter Berg and the film's stars, Modern Combat: Explore the concept of modern action cinema, where scenes are created and shot in real time with multiple cameras, mesmerizing cinematography and intense action stunts, Colombia: Take a tour Bogota, Colombia with the cast and filmmakers discussing key filming location points and Trailers.

Well, at least they had fun making it.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Mile 22) and James Lockhart



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