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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Colombia > Documentary > Family > Murder > Royalty > Costumes > British > Genocide > Nazis > Entre nos (2009/Indiepix DVD)/The Family I Had (2017*)/Mary Queen Of Scots 4K (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/Operation Finale (Blu-ray w/DVD/**both Universal/2018)/Who Are We Now? (2017/*both MVD V

Entre nos (2009/Indiepix DVD)/The Family I Had (2017*)/Mary Queen Of Scots 4K (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/Operation Finale (Blu-ray w/DVD/**both Universal/2018)/Who Are We Now? (2017/*both MVD Visual Blu-rays)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B-/B/B+/B+ & C+/B+ Sound: B-/B/A/B+ & C+/C+ Extras: C/C+/B/C+/D Films: B/B/B/B-/B+

Here are a group of new dramas, including a documentary and familiar older title in a new edition...

Entre nos (2009) lands on DVD courtesy of IndiePix and is a touching drama that tells the story of an undeniable family bond and is a slight commentary on immigration reform. The story centers around a Colombian immigrant who is the mother to two young children. After her husband leaves her for a job in Miami, she is left to take care of her children and struggles to survive in New York.

Entre nos stars Paola Mendoza (who also directs), Sebastian Villada, Sarita Choudhury, Laura Montana, and Anthony Chisholm to name a few.

The film is presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo surround mix, both of which are common for the format and aren't necessarily terrible. The film has a great soundtrack that is cherry and upbeat at times despite moments of drama.

Special Features include...

Director's Commentary

Behind the Scenes

How to make Empanadas

PSA on Immigration Reform

Still Standing - A Short Film by Paola Mendoza


An interesting film that is as relevant today as it was when it was made nearly a decade ago.

A horrific look at a broken family, the documentary film The Family I Had (2017) centers around another, whose son Paris brutally stabbed his four year old sister Ella to death 17 times. The film tells of the murder from different sides and paints the portrait of a brilliant young boy, who destroyed his family with this one horrific act. The film is directed by Katie Green and Carlye Rubin.

Nicely edited and compelling, this film is a sad, but very real account of something no parent should ever have to live through. Similar in subject to other shows that you will see on late night cable television, the difference here is that nothing is held back. Every detail of the murder, the backstory, and its aftermath is fully explained in graphic detail. The film is a true exploration into a crime and brings up some interesting topics about love, family, and how to cope with something so horrific and life changing...

The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The film is a documentary and is a mix of nicely shot interviews, home movies shot on video, and various other formats. The image clarity is consistent throughout and the sound mix is consistent and full throughout.

Special Features: Deleted Scenes

Disturbing and recommended if you're into true crime documentaries.

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan star in Mary Queen of Scots (2018), a beautifully produced period drama that centers around Mary Stuart's (Ronan) attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, (Robbie) and finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing a brutal execution. With a strong supporting cast, this is is the debut feature of Josie Rourke, and is done quite well.

The film also stars Guy Pearce, Maria Dragus, Jack Lowden, David Tennant, and Joe Alwyn.

Mary Queen of Scots has been nominated for two Oscars for its achievement in makeup and hairstyling and costume design.

The film's best asset is its two leading ladies. Margot Robbie, whose of course known as one of Hollywood's most beautiful faces, really pulls a 'Charlize Theron/ Monster' move in this film by way of a fake nose prosthetic and extensive make-up to dumb down her beauty. One scene where she has measles is particularly well done, however, her performance shines through and you certainly believe her on screen. Ronan pulls off in being her opposite, and a woman with human compassion, and sincereness in her approach as Mary Stuart. Both women appear as if they have stepped out of a period painting, and are seemingly believable portrayals of these characters.

Presented in beautiful 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) lossless 48kHz/24-bit sound. The impressive HDR (Dolby Vision + HDR10) and native 4K presentation is a superb way to view this picture. Costumes, skin textures, and production design are presented more accurate and jaw dropping detail than the also included 1080p high definition Blu-ray release, which has similar audio specs.

Special Features include...

Feature Commentary with Director Josie Rourke and Composer Max Richter

An Epic Confrontation featurette

Tudor Feminism featurette

Something About Marys featurette

As this film has been a bit overshadowed by the other period drama (The Favourite) this awards season, Mary Queen of Scots is an interesting period drama that will entertain those who have an interest in the subject, even if it often tries to mirror its political themes a bit too closely to today.

Operation Finale (2018) is an interesting historical thriller that's based on a true story of an Israeli intelligence officer (Oscar Issac) who attempts to chase down and execute a rogue Nazi Commander (Ben Kingsley) shortly after World War Two. This isn't just any Nazi Officer, however, but the man who masterminded the transportation logistics to bring millions of Jews to concentration camps. Issac and Kingsley play off of each other pretty well throughout the film and make it worth watching for that reason alone.

Operation Finale also stars Joe Alwyn, Haley Lu Richardson, and Melanie Laurent (who also directed the recent indie Galveston, reviewed elsewhere on this site).

The film is directed by Chris Weitz, whose had an interesting career in Hollywood. Everything from the original American Pie (1990) to About a Boy (2002) and then to more teen genre fare like Twilight: New Moon (2009) and the mixed Golden Compass (2007). This is a more serious departure for the director, and shows that he has a bit more range than others.

The film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a nice sounding audio mix in lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). While it's not as impressive as 4K Ultra HD, the film looks and sounds fine and doesn't have any glaring issues on Blu-ray that hinder the presentation. The production value sells the period setting well and Also included is a standard DVD copy of the film with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary with Director Chris Weitz

Inside the Operation featurette

I hadn't heard much buzz about this film, but was pleasantly surprised and entertained by it.

After being released from prison, Beth (Julianne Nicholson) is working to rebuild her life so that she can be with her son, but suddenly, she finds out her sister who been taking care of him for the last 10 years decides to completely cut her out of 'her son's life. As Beth works with a public defender to try and get her son back she find an unlikely alliance with a junior public defender, Jess (Emma Roberts). Together, they will find any means to get her son back in Matthew Newton's Who Are We Now? (2017).

Beth is a ex-felon, after serving her sentence for 10 years she is struggling to pull her life together, find a job and to live with her son, but everywhere she goes, that is how people see and treat her ...like a felon, including her own sister. Even after reforming herself and getting out early with good behavior, for Beth it is a daily struggle with the guilt she lives with and her own anger issues. Jess a young and recently promoted public defender relates to Beth in how her over-controlling mother has also caused unhappiness in her life and decides to help Beth. Jess uses any means and uncovers some dirt on Beth's sister and then questions her in how can she judge Beth when she also broke the law? But just as Jess is about confront and blackmail Beth's sister court, Beth decides to forgive her sister and take the higher moral ground ...and to leave it to her sister to decide if she can see her son in the future.

This is a drama filled story about a fallen woman who is just trying to make ends meet and get back her son. In the end, the story is not a happy or sad one, but a realistic one, as story progressed it showed that no one in the film was perfect and the only difference between main character and others characters was that she was caught with her crime. It gave a more real feel to the movie and how imperfect people have to live in an imperfect society and even a more imperfect justice system. Zachary Quinto, Lea Thompson, Jason Biggs and Jimmy Smits also star.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image looks fine, especially for an independent production, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound mix is limited in its dialogue-based nature, but is fine otherwise. A trailer is the only extra.

- Ricky Chiang (Now) and James Lockhart



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