Of The Thousand Days
(1969/Universal/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/The
Crown: The Complete Second Season
(2017/Sony Blu-ray Set)/Galveston
4K (2018/RLJ 4K Ultra HD
(1991/*both Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B/C/B+/B+/C Sound: B-/C/B+/B+/C
Extras: C+/D/B/C/C- Main Programs: B-/C+/B/B/B-
Import DVDs are now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray or
DVD players than can handle the PAL DVD format, while Anne
Of The Thousand Days
is only available from our friends at Twilight Time, limited to only
3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last. All can be
ordered from the links below.
start with Charles Jarrott's Anne
Of The Thousand Days
(1969) is the still decent, if long, hit film about King Henry VIII
(played most effectively by Richard Burton) who is about to start his
killing spree of various wives, stuck with one (Irene Pappas) who is
mutually miserable to be with him, when young Anne Boelyn (Genevieve
Bujold in an early success) catches his eye and he becomes
particularly obsessed with. His current wife cannot bare children
and he is also at odds with the Church of Rome, so the entry of the
title woman in his life will shake up everything in ways no one could
have initially imagined.
you may or may not know the results of the fallout, half of it all is
telling the story of how it got to being what it is, which the film
does well enough, but it is at epic length at 145 minutes. It is now
much easier and more of a pleasure to watch now that it has been
restored and I can see the intent of what was made fully, but
appreciating in value are the performances of the supporting cast
that includes great actors like Peter Jeffrey, Anthony Quayle, John
Colicos, Michael Horden, Katharine Blake, William Squire, T.P.
McKenna, Vernon Dobtcheff, Nicola Pagett, Cyril Luckham and an
uncredited Elizabeth Taylor. What most studios and filmmakers would
give to have a cast like that, all in top form here.
has started working with Twilight Time om what I hope will be a
permanent relationship, as the studio has a bunch of gems long
overdue for Blu-ray, so there is a solid Limited Edition Blu-ray to
start with and reminds one of how much money the studio was putting
into their films starting in the 1960s as they finally became a major
studio. A big British production they knew what to do with, this
kind of update is long overdue.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used at times, but this is a brand new HD master
and I have never
seen the film look this good before ever. Detail and depth are
greatly improved, light values better than ever and color plus color
range superior to anything that has been seen outside of the best
70mm and 35mm prints of the film. This was originally issued in 70mm
blow-up prints, so it was shot with that in mind and we also got
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints and now we can see how
exciting that must have initially been
of Photography Arthur Ibbetson (I
Could Go On Singing,
(1984, both issued by Twilight Time), Die!
Die! My Darling,
Countess From Hong Kong,
tends to be an underrated artist who knew how to make filmed images
very memorable and that is again the case here. Using the very
widescreen frame to its fullest extent, your are well caught in both
the spectacle and the isolation of the situations shown. Fans will
be impressed too.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is good, but the
film originally had two multi-channel soundtracks: 6-track magnetic
sound for 70mm prints and 4-track magnetic sound for select 35mm
prints. You can still get some sense of the traveling dialogue and
sound effects form the original soundmaster, but they'll have top
track down those soundmasters before they consider a 4K disc edition
sometime down the line.
include another 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 adds an Isolated
Music Score track in lossless sound and an Original Theatrical
smaller film that has taken longer to resurface than expected is
Joseph Strick's star-studded adaptation of Jean Genet's The
(1963) about a local madam (Shelley Winters) helping her military
lover (Peter Falk) entrap certain people to keep a revolution at bay
in a 'smaller, militarized country' of 'some note' or the like. Not
bad for 84 minutes and its limited budget, people turn up who were
about to become bigger stars. Falk was already on his way, but you
also have Leonard Nimoy a few years before Star
Kent Smith, Lee Grant, Ruby Dee, Jeff Corey, Joyce Jameson and Peter
has not totally loosened yet, but the suggestiveness at the time was
possibly more shocking than it is now, especially since some of the
cast were name actors then. Winters does chew up the scenery a bit,
but that fits her role and the power she knows she has on some level.
There are rough parts (obvious stock footage, moments that do not
work as well as others), but this is a curio long overdue for
rediscovery and it is finally making it to DVD somewhere.
1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer shows the age of the
materials used, but this has some fine new shots throughout just the
same, yet it is a generation down like the sound, here in lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Its passable, but I wished it were clearer.
are sadly no extras.
Crown: The Complete Second Season
continues to be a window into Britain's past, and a great way of
feeling as if you're a fly on the wall surveying the complicated life
of Queen Elizabeth II. The 'Netflix Original' is now the winner of
FIVE Emmys (including Best Actress in a Drama Series for Claire Foy)
and lands here in its second season.
hit show stars Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Olivia Colman,
and Helena Bonham Carter to name a few.
episodes span four 1080p Blu-ray discs and include the following
A Company of Men, Lisbon, Beryl, Marionettes, Vergangenheit,
Matrimonium, Dear Mrs. Kennedy, Paterfamilias,
is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.00:1 widescreen aspect
ratio and a standard DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, both
of which are more textured and intricate than the original streaming
broadcast. This is a high end production and its many details are
caught in this release... though could be improved by a 4K UHD
release in the future hopefully. No digital copy.
of Fiction with Robert Lacey
Royal Rules of Etiquette
and Hounds: The Queen's Companions
a Photo Gallery.
more on the series ad other royal releases, try our coverage of the
Blu-ray set here...
Foster and Elle Fanning give spot on performances in Melanie
(2018), which has landed on the 4K UHD format courtesy of RLJ. Based
on a novel by Nic Pizzolatto - the creator of HBO's True
(past seasons reviewed elsewhere on this site), the film has several
twists and turns that you won't be coming. I had no idea that
Laurent was this good of a filmmaker, as I only knew of her as an
actress in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious
but her direction and cinematic choices are on point. I'm definitely
interested in seeing what her next film will be.
continues to impress as a great emerging young talent here, and Ben
Foster pulls off the tough guy (whose also dying of lung cancer)
character archetype pretty well. The two play off each other
naturally, and are really the heart of the film outside of Laurent's
film also stars Lili Reinhardt, Robert Aramayo, and Beau Bridges.
(Foster) is a tough as nails criminal, whose mob boss (Bridges) sets
him up over a woman. Narrowly escaping for his life, he finds Rocky
(Fanning) being held captive by his would-be assassins, and takes her
with him on his escape. While on the run, the two relate to one
another whilst they know they are both being pursued for their own
troubling pasts. On the way, Rocky saves her sister from her abusive
stepfather, giving Roy a lot more responsibility than he bargained
is presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on its 4K Ultra HD disc
with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1, HDR (high dynamic range),
and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The
film is very cinematic and has breathtaking (and colorful)
cinematography that's never dull to watch. Also included is a nice
looking Blu-ray of the film 1080p that looks fine for the format, but
lacks some of the depth and textures the 4K UHD brings to the table.
Making of Galveston
is an interesting thriller that's definitely worth checking out,
especially on this great looking 4K UHD.
we have another curio and gem, Mark Joffe's Spotswood
(1991) with Anthony Hopkins (around the time of Silence
Of The Lambs)
as an efficiency expert trying to help a family business become more
profitable in the face of bored workers, conflicts, class division
and an up and coming generation not fitting into any of the madness
easily. It is a drama with comedy throughout and made in Australia,
set in its past. However, it is as relevant to the present of any
town that has industry and is a pleasant surprise to see.
is at the top of his game as usual, as is the mostly unknown (save in
Australia and maybe the likes of the U.K., New Zealand and South
Africa) unknown adult cast, who make all this richer and more
believable. The biggest surprise is how it shows Toni Collette, Ben
Mendelsohn and Crowe in young, early roles. They are impressive here
even then and show off their natural talent throughout. If Hopkins
is not a reason to revisit/discover this gem (I think he alone would
be), they are, so cheers to all who got this out on DVD and those
interested should go out of their way for it. They won't be
disappointed. Angela Punch McGregor, Bruno Lawrence, Alwyn Kurts and
like how the film looks, but the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1
image is a generation down, with the 35mm materials having scratches
and dirt here and there, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is
audible, but also a generation down with weak surrounds from its
Dolby System analog A-type noise reduction with mono surrounds not
what it could be.
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
Of The Thousand Days
limited edition Blu-ray while supplies last, with other great
exclusives, at these links:
order either of the
Umbrella import DVDs, The
go to this link for them and other hard-to-find releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo and James