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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Gangs > Detective > Automobiles > Character Study > Drug Dealers > Western > Horror > Supern > Ride (2018/RLJ Blu-ray)

Last Ride (1944/Warner Archive DVD)/Light Sleeper (1991/Fine Line/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Longmire: Season Six/Final Season (2017 - 2018/Warner DVD Set)/The Nun 4K (2018/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Ride (2018/RLJ Blu-ray)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Light Sleeper Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray players, while The Last Ride DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



These next thrillers start out with normal circumstances that are soon anything but....



We start with a film that seems like a normal drama at first, D. Ross Lederer's The Last Ride (1944) as two young couples go out for an evening car ride. However, one of the cars has had its tires stolen! Fortunately, despite WWII war rationing, one of the guys 'knows a guy' who he can call to get a brand new set for a price. This happens as does the drive, but disaster follows and it turns out the name tires (wait until you see the name they come up with) were fakes that had new-looking coverings plastered over bad, torn, shot tires.


Turns out it is an organized crime plot and this brings two police men who are also brothers onto the case. Fir running under an hour, this is very efficient, sometimes intense storytelling that holds up well for its age and is not hindered by its age. The acting all around is not bad, led by a cast that includes Charles Lang, Richard Travis and Eleanor Parker, but also reflects how Warner knew how to make a low-budget programmer that would work. I had not seen this one for decades, but it is fun and a film all film fans should check out at least once. It shames similar films with much larger budgets.


I like the way the film is shot and edited, but the 1.33 X 1 black & white image and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono are a bit rough at times and the source could use some work, so the transfer can show the age of the materials used. I hope this gets fixed up. In the near future, because it deserves it.


There are unfortunately no extras, but I wonder if an Original Theatrical Trailer would have been unintentionally amusing.



Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper (1991) is not the filmmaker's greatest film, but it is one of his most interesting and underrated just the same as Willem Dafoe (To Live And Die In L.A.) as a run runner for a dealer (Susan Sarandon in an interesting turn) about to fold her drug distribution set-up before it is too late. Too bad for him, her legman, others are onto him from the cops to the other dealers to other junkies and opportunists. The title refers to the state of their work and serving their customers, especially him.


Though sometimes it has flat moments, this is still very believable and the great supporting cast (Dana Delany, Sam Rockwell, Victor Garber, David Spade, Paul Jabara, Mary Beth Hurt, David Clennon, Jane Adams) make it more interesting and convincing. Schrader is one of the few filmmakers then and now who could pull this off, worthy of the best urban crime cinema, yet so smoothly without trying and without overdoing any gunplay to the point where it becomes a spoof of itself, goes over the top and is no longer convincing. It is a character study that asks questions not asked enough and that is why it is as good now as ever, relevant as ever and proves some things never change. Definitely see it if you missed it or re-see it if its been a while. You won't be sorry.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film versus DVD copies, yet it needs and deserves a new 4K version eventually. Looking like an older HD master. Director of Photography Ed Lachman (The Limey, Far From Heaven, Virgin Suicides, Erin Brockovich, Less Than Zero, Lords Of Flatbush) delivers a great, unique, atmospheric look to the film that is a little different than what you've seen before, yet in line with the kind of gritty filmmaking Schrader (and similarly, Scorsese) are known for. Even with the detail issues here and there, the look still comes through.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is from the original Dolby SR (Spectral Recording) advanced analog noise reduction soundmaster that is a little weak here and could sound better, but plays just fine otherwise. It is likely a generation down, but not by much, though don't expect strong surrounds, even considering it is a dialogue-driven film.


Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by film scholars Emma Westwood & Sally Christie, Q&A with Schrader and DP Ed Lachman, VHS Promo and an Original Theatrical Trailer.



Longmire ends with a bang with its Sixth & Final Season that premiered on Netflix in 2017 now landing on disc thanks to Warner Bros. Similar in some regards to Walker Texas Ranger, Longmire (2012 - 2018) is based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson, and is a western set in modern times.


Starring Robert Taylor as Sheriff Longmire, the series explores various crimes in the small town that vary from racially charged to murder and crime. The character of Longmire is bright but damaged, as he is still in recovery of his wife's death and does his best to maintain his tough as nails persona. Longmire also stars Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Philips, Cassidy Freeman, and Adam Bartley to name a few.


Season Six episodes span two DVDs and include The Eagle and the Osprey, Fever, Thank You, Victoria, A Thing I'll Never Understand, Burned Up My Tears, No Greater Character Endorsement, Opiates and Antibiotics, Cowboy Bill, Running Eagle Challenge, and the series finale, Goodbye, is a Always Implied.


The show is presented on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, both of which are of the norm. It has a nice and clean look that pretty natural, though as progressed since its 2012 debut.


No extras.



The Conjuring Universe continues to expand with The Nun (2018), which is the franchise's darkest R-rated entry yet. First introduced as a bit character in The Conjuring, The Nun (much like the other star of the series - Annabelle) is a supernatural demon that's spooked out audiences in theaters earlier in the year to huge success.


The Nun stars Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, and Jonny Coyne. The film is directed by Corin Hardy and produced by Conjuring creator James Wan.


The film centers around a priest with a past (Bichir), and a novitiate (Farmiga) go to Romania to investigate a mysterious death. Once they get there, of course, they uncover the secrets of The Nun, who kills and terrorizes them while they attempt to slay the demon. This story was mentioned briefly in the first Conjuring film and is told here in its full glory.


The Nun moves along a bit quicker than most other religious demonic films and is in some ways like a haunted house movie with spooks around each turn. The production design is on point and the film looks especially detailed thanks to the 4K UHD presentation. There are a lot of jump scares as there are with all Conjuring films, but this one is a bit darker which helps.


The film is presented in eye popping 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a great sounding audio tracks in lossless English Dolby Atmos 11.1 (and a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown). The film has a gothic feel and is rich in production value and detail, which with the help of the HDR (high dynamic range) is on full display here. Also included is a 1080p high definition Blu-ray with similar sound specs and a fine image, but not as much detail as the 2160p image.


A digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features include...


A New Horror Icon Featurette


The Conjuring Chronology


Gruesome Planet


and Deleted Scenes



Finally we have Jeremy Ungar's Ride (2018), a film set primarily in a car and more of a psychological thriller similar to the Tom Cruise film Collateral. A cautionary tale of the dark side of being a Uber driver, struggling actor James (Jessie T. Usher) is a L.A. uber driver who has a weird night on the job. What starts as a great night, giving the beautiful Bella Thorne a lift (and her actually liking him), he then ends up at the will of a criminal named Bruno (Will Brill).


Ride also stars Hailee Keanna Lautenbach, and Sara Lindsey.


The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, both of which are of the standard for the format. The film takes place at night and is heavy in grain throughout, but nicely color corrected. The overall style of the film is sleek and clean and the presentation comes across fine to compliment it.


Special Features include...


The original short film, Ride, that inspired the feature.


and a Photo Gallery


While the film isn't completely original, it has some not so subtle social commentary that's a mixed bag and some interesting cinematography. For taking place mostly in a car and having a relatively small cast, the film remains pretty interesting throughout. The film certainly will make those who drive uber a little wary, as this could clearly happen to just about anyone in real life that's as gullible as the lead is here.



To order the Light Sleeper Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find releases:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/


and to order the Last Ride Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (Last Ride, Light Sleeper) and James Lockhart

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


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