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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Drama > Werewolf > Epic > Revenge > China > Supernatural > Exorcism > Argentina > Serial Killer > Fra > Good Manners (2017*)/Great Battle (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Lucifernia (2018**)/Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart (2015/*both Icarus DVDs)/Snowflake (2017/**both Artsploitation Blu-rays)

Good Manners (2017*)/Great Battle (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Lucifernia (2018**)/Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart (2015/*both Icarus DVDs)/Snowflake (2017/**both Artsploitation Blu-rays)



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



Here's a new set of genre releases coming from sources that are solid and worth going out of our away for...



A modern fairy tale, Good Manners (2017) is a werewolf movie unlike any you've seen before, but obviously inspired in some way by the films of Guillermo Del Toro. Directed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, the Golden Leopard nominated film lands on DVD courtesy of Icarus.


In Good Manners, a wealthy woman (Marjorie Estiano) hires a nurse named Clara (Isabel Zuaa) to help her during her pregnancy and ultimately become the child's nanny. However, once the full moon comes out, they realize that this is no ordinary child... soon, Clara ends up becoming closer to the monster child than she had originally planned when she becomes his sole protector...


Good Manners also stars Cida Moreira, Gilda Nomacce, Germano Melo, and Hugo Villavicenzio. The film is presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless Dolby Digital 5.1 Portuguese sound mix with English subtitles. It is is nicely shot and would definitely look a lot sharper in HD, but looks fine for the format here despite compression issues.


No extras.


The film has a lot of interesting visual effects and makeup and fine performances all around. This could be an interesting film to be remade in America.



Kim Kwang Sik's The Great Battle (2018) is an epic tale of how the soldiers and citizens of city fortress Ansi held off an army of 200,000 Tang soldiers for months. While the Goguryeo army ran away, the people of Ansi did what was believed to be impossible.


After the defeat of the Goguryeo army, a young soldier was sent to the Fortress city of Ansi to assassinate the 'traitor' commander for not joining the battle, but what he discovers is Commander Yang of the city of Ansi was no coward, but rare leader who is actually thinks and only fights if there is a chance of winning. Commander Yang serves his people and cares for more for their survival than glory and honor in battle. The young soldier sees how people respect their commander and has a change of heart. Through tactics and strategy 5,000 soldiers were able to hold off and army of 200,000 for months until the reinforcements came.


Based off a true historical tale, it is the epic story filled with last stands and heroic sacrifices. It was like a mix of 300, Lord of the Rings and Kingdom of Heaven with graphically enhanced special effects and stylized battle. The only thing that was a bit off was that you could tell Korean actors were trying to speak Chinese with heavy accents.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an HD shoot that looks exceptional throughout with demo shots all over, while the Korean DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix may not always be its equal or be a 12-track presentation, but its impressive enough when it needs to be. The anamorphically enhanced DVD with lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is a real comedown from the Blu-ray, but is passable. Extras include commentary, character bios and trailers.



If you're looking for a new exorcism film then don't let Gonzalo Calzada's Luciferina (2018) escape you. While many American takes on the genre as of late have been pretty tame, with the exception of Song of Solomon (reviewed elsewhere on this site), Luciferina is from Argentina and is certainly not for the weak at heart.


Luciferina stars Gaston Cocchiarale, Sofia Del Tuffo, Marta Lubos, Pedro Merlo, and Malena Sanchez. The film centers around a young girl who travels to a creepy jungle to find a plant that will help cure her dying father. However, once she's there she ends up a part of a satanic ritual that releases a deadly curse...


The film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding track in lossy Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and lesser Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks with optional English subtitles. The transfer is clean and very nicely done even though this film is on a lower budget, its filmmaking is solid.


The only extra is a HD Trailer with English subtitles.


While the film has a few vicious moments and a few jump scares here and there that may shock you, the first hour kinda drags... things start to heat up around the one hour mark, though, and pack a powerful finish.



Nominated for two Cesar Awards, the dark and twisted Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart (2014) is similar to Bad Lieutenant in a way, but done in a more dramatic fashion. The biopic is based on the notorious serial killer Alain Lamare (played brilliantly by Guillaume Canet) who claimed many victims in France in the winter of 1978-79. The twist is that he was also a police officer tasked with solving the murders that he himself committed. The clever performance he puts up to fool his victims and the police is the personification of true evil.


The film also stars Ana Girardot, Jean-Yves Bertleloot, Patrick Azam, and Arnaud Henriet with direction by Cedric Anger.


Presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 mix with English subtitles, the film looks and sounds fine for the format. Compression issues evident (especially when comparing directly to HD), but the overall presentation doesn't have any noticeable issues outside of its limitations.


The only extra is trailers for other films from Icarus.


Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart is a powerful film that's definitely worth checking out.



We conclude with the German thriller Snowflake (2017) also known as Schneeflockchen, is an insane thrill ride from the get-go that's being described as 'The most F-ed Up German fairy tale since the Brothers Grimm'. While that may be a pretty broad statement, the best way to describe Snowflake is 'wacky'. Even though its foreign, you can see the Tarantino influence in some of it mainly in its exhausting dialogue that's full of quips. For me, it felt like it was trying too hard.


The story is a bit all over the place and a little hard to sum up as it has a few different storylines... one involves an orphan and a bodyguard who seek revenge for the death of the family they both lost. Another follows two wacky outlaws named Tan and Javid who discover a screenplay in which their life is unfolding... and a possible for outcome of how it will unfold in the future... for there it gets even crazier.


Snowflake stars Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Alexander Wolf, Loretta Stern, and Matti Klemm.


The film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and nice sounding German 5.1 Dolby Digital track with English subtitles. Some parts of the film are in English too, surprisingly, which also are in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Snowflake was shot using DSLR cameras so the details here are a bit limited, but overall the color correction is nice and the film doesn't look cheap.


Special Features include...


Making of Featurette


and a Trailer in HD


Snowflake has a few fun moments, but ultimately feels like it's trying too hard.



- Ricky Chiang (Great Battle) and James Lockhart

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


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