Lights, Big City
Voices, Still Lives
(2002/MGM/Arrow/all MVD Blu-rays)
B+/B/B+/B/B Sound: B+/B/B+/B/B+ Extras: B/B/C+/B/B Films:
a group of dramas that were much discussed in their time, even doing
some business at the box office, but not as discussed today. It is a
great time for them to arrive on Blu-ray, a few of which are
start with a film where the star lead gave a better performance than
he got credit for at the time. Michael J. Fox stars in this
cautionary tale that will make you think twice about partying too
hard. A realistic horror story, Bright
Lights Big City
(1988) tells the story of Jamie Conway (Fox), who goes from aspiring
writer to drug addicted night walker whose addicted to coke and booze
in the '80s Manhattan Underworld of bars and clubs. He lets his
addiction get the best of him when his life and job start to crumble
before his eyes.
film also stars Phoebe Gates, Keifer Sutherland, and Dianne Wiest.
The film is directed by James Bridges. This film no doubt inspired
other 'cautionary tales' in cinema in the years to come such as
(both movies have creepy babies!) and Requiem
for a Dream.
clear to see that this film was a change of pace for Michael J. Fox,
especially since this was made after the first Back to the Future and
just before the second and third installments were produced. Fox is
playing a bit more of an adult in his role here, and his character
comes across heavily in voice over to describe his drugged out state
of mind, and physically too. There's some comedic scenes in the film
too, though, including one sequence where a ferret is let loose in an
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and
an English 2.0 Stereo Sound (PCM) mix with Pro Logic surrounds (this
was one of the last major analog Dolby A-type Dolby System stereo
with mono surround theatrical releases before analog Dolby SR and
then, Dolby Digital arrived). Also on the disc are tracks in Spanish
Mono (lossy Dolby Digital), and French 2.0 Stereo Surround. The film
looks and sounds great on Blu-ray and I believe this is the first
time that it has been released in HD. The film is very 1980s in
terms of its style, music, and overall look, and has been presented
nicely here. The soundtrack to the film is pretty notable with
tracks from New Order, Depeche Mode and Prince.
with Author/Screenwriter Jay McInerney
with Cinematographer Gordon Willis
McInerney's The Light Within" featurette
City Lights" featurette
an Original Theatrical Trailer
stirring British drama from Terence Davies, Distant
Voices, Still Lives
(1988) gets a grand 4K restoration (from the British Film Institute)
on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy. A portrait of a Catholic working
class family living in war torn Liverpool during the 1940s and 1950s,
the film stars Pete Postlethwaite, Fred Dowie, and Lorraine Ashborne.
The film won the International Critics' Prize at the 1988 Cannes
Film Festival to give you an idea of its caliber.
by Terence Davies own childhood, the film centers around a Catholic
Family throughout many years and the various trials and tribulations
that they had to go through during this scary time in the world. At
the center of the family is an abusive father (Postlethwaite) and a
family that struggles to survive in the midst of a war.
in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an
original uncompressed PCM 2.0 Stereo audio mix with Pro Logic
surrounds (this too was one of the last major analog Dolby A-type
Dolby System stereo with mono surround theatrical releases before
analog Dolby SR and then, Dolby Digital arrived), this is a great
looking presentation of this British classic. While there is a
considerable amount of grain throughout the film, most notably in
darker scenes, the colors and details are intact and the end result
by Terence Davies
with Terence Davies
with Art Director Miki van Zwanenberg
by Mark Kermode
of Liverpool: Archive Films
trailer/ Re-release Trailer/ Image Gallery
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer
First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film by critic Christina Newland plus archival essays.
powerful film is definitely worth watching if you're a fan of British
cinema or films that paint a startling and real portrait of war.
Arrow Academy presents the coming of age drama Gas
(1992) in this nice new Blu-ray presentation that's nothing short of
impressive. Directed by Allison Anders and starring Brooke Adams,
Fairuza Balk, and Ione Skye, the film centers around a mother and her
two daughters who are all caught in a hard time.
(Skye) is looking for love in all the wrong places while avoiding her
loser of an ex husband, and her two teenage daughters: Trudi (Adams)
who drops out of school to be a waitress with her mom and Shade
(Baulk) whose socially awkward and enjoys watching bad matinees in a
local movie theater. Artfully and stylistically shot, the film has
great acting and directing all around, but is a bittersweet and often
times depressing watch.
in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and original
uncompressed PCM 2.0 Stereo audio mix with Pro Logic surrounds (older
analog Dolby A-type Dolby System stereo with mono surround
theatrically before analog Dolby SR and then, Dolby Digital arrived;
this sound was still being used on independent and/or low budget
productions), the film looks and sounds great on the Blu-ray format
with rich colors that definitely bests any previous release of the
film on home video. This Director-Approved edition was remastered
from the original film elements and captures the natural look and
feel as intended.
Road to Laramie: A Look Back at Gas Food Lodging,
a brand new interview with Allison Anders and Josh Olson
(Chris Rodley, 1995), a documentary looking at the challenges women
face in the film industry from independent to studio filmmaking,
featuring interviews with Allison Anders, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane
Campion, Penny Marshall, Gale Anne Hurd and others
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film.
presents the Ingmar Bergman film, The
(1977), which stars the late David Carradine. The period drama
centers around a bizarre cabaret where Carradine plays a
Jewish-American circus performer whose life gets turned upside down.
He and his sister-in law (Luv Ullmann) end up getting a job at
medical facility where their lives take a dangerous turn.
also stars Heinz Bennent, Gert Frobe, and Christian Berkel.
cinephiles seem to love Bergman's work and it's definitely an
acquired taste. While beautiful to look it and solid in terms of
filmmaking, his films tend to be slowly paced and very 'real' in
terms of feel. This film is no different, however, it portrays a
realistic view at the past with its gorgeous production design that
will make you feel as if you've stepped out of a time machine.
However, this hasn't been on the shelf with his better received
works, with a lot of mixed reviews out there.
film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.66:1 widescreen
and an uncompressed English LPCM Mono mix, both of which are of high
quality for the format. This transfer seems highly similar (or it
could even be the same transfer) to the Criterion Collection scan of
the film, which is available on Blu-ray disc.
a Collectible Insert Booklet/Reversible Cover
haunting and unique period piece, The
isn't necessarily a film that this reviewer would seek out or
necessarily recommend, but is certainly worth watching if you're a
fan of Bergman's expansive work.
the biggest hit and most expensive film on the list, one that holds
up better than many expect. Nicholas Cage has jumped back into the
spotlight recently thanks to the excellent Mandy
(2018) (which is reviewed elsewhere on this site). But let's not
forget John Woo's war epic, Windtalkers
(2002), which is certainly worth revisiting in this new two disc
ultimate edition. This heart touching war drama is up there for me
along with The
(which was recently released on 4K UHD and reviewed elsewhere on this
site), as a strong early 2000s Hollywood epic.
all-star cast includes Adam Beach, Christian Slater, Peter Stormare,
Mark Ruffalo, Noah Emmerich, Frances O'Connor and Jason Issacs to
name a few in a really impressive cast.
hardened Marine named Joe Enders (Cage) is assigned to protect Ben
Yahzee (Beach) - a Navajo code talker, and who also happens to be the
Marines' new secret weapon. Enders' orders are to protect his code
talker, but if Yahzee should fall into enemy hands, he's to protect
the code at all costs. The Battle of Saipan closes in on the team,
and Enders is forced to do what's right despite all odds...
film has been presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.41:1 (original ratio is 2.39:1) and audio tracks in
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless, English Dolby Digital
5.1 and various French and Spanish tracks. The film was released on
Blu-ray before, but only as a bare bones release that did not include
the unrated Director's Cut. Theatrical Version of the film is on
Disc 1 and the unrated Director's Cut is on Disc 2. I don't
personally have the previous release in my collection to compare it
to this one, but I didn't notice anything detracting or jarring from
the presentation on my system. The film's rich cinematography comes
across nicely here, as does the beautiful score by the late James
Commentary with Director John Woo and Producer Terence Chang
Commentary with Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage
Commentary with actor Roger Willie and real-life Navajo code talker
consultant Albert Smith
Code Talkers - A Secret Code of Honor" (23:12)
Tribute Piece "American Heroes: A Tribute to Navajo Code
Music of Windtalkers" (4:30)
Fly-on-the-Set Scene Diaries (23:37)
Boot Camp" Featurette (15:05)
The Scenes Photo Gallery
Theatrical Teaser and Original Theatrical Trailer.
more on the film on those other version we've had other writers
cover, try these links for the Blu-ray...
3-disc DVD set...
including more production information on the film as well.