Who: Tom Baker Complete Season Seven
(1980 - 1981/Season 18/BBC
Blu-ray Set)/London Fields
(2018/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Stand
Off At Sparrow Creek
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B-/C+/B+/B+/B Sound:
B-/C+/A/B+/C+ Extras: B+/C-/C+/C/C Main Programs:
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
next set of releases take you to other worlds that are either
technologically advanced, primitive, a mix of both or even something
begin with the final season of what remains for many longtime fans
the best run of any actor to ever play the legendary Time Lord in a
broken time machine that looks like a phone booth. Doctor
Who: Tom Baker Complete Season Seven
has Baker in still great form, but the show was about to change and
in the long term, not for the best. Je was starting to have issues
personally, but more so with a new group taking over the show who
wanted to 'bring it back to its original roots' meaning they were
clueless why he worked so brilliantly in the role and the first bad
omen is when we get a new version of the classic theme song that is
watered down, weaker, lame and stripped of any suggestion of mystery
and suspense in the first episode of the new season. The new group
was already cutting Baker away rudely, not to mention the disrespect
to the audience.
of the episodes have already been issued on DVD a while ago with a
bunch of extras worthy of what has been done with various Star
series, but BBC Video is doing great justice to the older episodes
that were first produced on a combination of analog PAL British
progressive analog videotape and some 16mm film, upscaling them from
625p to 1080i and issue them in the better Blu-ray format. As
always, each story is shown over multiple half-hour episodes and this
set (like the first Baker
season we hope to catch up to eventually) has one Blu-ray disc per
this time out were still very ambitious and smart, though the new
show-runners were slowly starting to sand of the cutting edge of the
show. Those adventures include The Leisure Hive,
Meglos, Full Circle, State of
Decay, Warriors' Gate, The Keeper of Traken
shows are well done, including series legend Terrence Dicks penning
State Of Decay, which purists and hardcore Baker fans in
particular would consider the late peak of the show. Baker never
gave up giving it his all and that says something about why he has
endured as much as any actor in the role, including his great
predecessors (including Peter Cushing, who made two feature films in
the 1960s), so it is fair to say that the entire franchise had peaked
at this time and that it made the comeback it has in recent decades
is nothing short of miraculous.
to the supporting cast, new partners for the Doctor and the crew who
pushed the production, costume and visual effects budgets as far as
they could in the face of Star Wars and Space: 1999
upping the expectations for realism. Some have complained that the
show's early seasons look fake and have dated badly, but the effects
were impressive at the time and at least retain a certain character,
though even I have to admit that some shots hold up better than
for playback quality, the 1080i 1.33
X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the
PAL analog color videotape materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the show on DVD or other
outlets. The upscaling enhances the color and better shots, but also
makes the flaws look a bit worse. Analog
videotape flaws we get include video noise, video banding, telecine
flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, faded color and tape
damage, though the crew doing the remasters have done their best to
correct what they can.
one episode in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, all the
shows are in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless mixes that are not
bad and these shows have never sounded this good, so it is another
plus resulting from the hard work to preserve and ring out the show
in the best presentation possible from what was 2-inch reel-to-reel
videotape, though TV networks were slowly switching to professional
videotapes when they felt the quality was finally there.
for the many extras. In addition to the 1981 K9 & Company
Christmas pilot episode with Elizabeth Sladen bringing back Sarah
Jane Smith. As the press release explains, this collection contains
over SEVENTEEN hours of new exclusive bonus material including
all-new, never-before-seen extras including:
documentary starring Tom Baker, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew
Waterhouse, Christopher H. Bidmead, and more
effects for ''Logopolis''
including footage filmed at Jodrell Bank
commentaries moderated by Matthew Sweet featuring
Tom Baker on ''The Leisure Hive'' and Lalla Ward and Rachel Davies on
''State Of Decay''
with K9 & Company's
Ian Sears (Brendan
surround sound mix for ''Warriors' Gate''
Writers' Room'' documentary featuring Christopher H. Bidmead,
Andrew Smith, Stephen Gallagher, and John Flanagan
With Waterhouse'' documentary featuring Toby Hadoke and
behind-the-scenes footage from ''The
dip into the Panopticon convention archives with Tom Baker
photo galleries plus scripts, production files and rare documentation
Editions of 'Behind the Sofa' of each episode including K9
it was a sad conclusion to a priceless era of classic British TV and
Science Fiction TV at that, as I wish Baker had left under better
circumstances and given far more respect. However, fans and the
makers got lucky because the actor who succeeded Baker would have an
interesting run and become a big name later. We'll deal with that
when the Blu-ray upgraded season of those shows arrive, but don't
miss the great work here in the meantime.
we have Matthew Cullen's London
(2018), a stylized tale of two writers, one British (Jason Isaacs)
and one form the U.S. (Billy Bob Thorton) switching residences to
write their latest books. Though this sounds like a risky idea, it
is 'novel' enough that they do it and the man form America is amazed
how nice the place is and gets into a tale inspired by a young woman
(Amber Heard) who tells him she can see the future. He thinks it
will make a great book, whether he believes her or not, even when it
on the Martin Amis novel that might have been a good read, this
feature film version puts style over substance, is very awkward and
even lame in its deconstructive, post-modern side (which you'll have
to see for yourself as I do not want to spoil what little works here)
and despite more great casting including Jim Sturgess, Theo James,
Cara Delevingne and Jaimie Alexander, just does not know what to do
with them or get the most out of having them all here. At least it
is trying to be ambitious, but stops short too often.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1
soundmix are nto9 bad for the format, but it seems we might have lost
some of the cinematography and soundmaster in the older standard
definition codecs. Blu-ray would have made this better to view. A
trailer is the only extra.
on the bestselling book series by Phillip Reed and adapted to the
screen by Peter Jackson and his creative team behind The Lord of
the Rings and Hobbit films, comes Mortal Engines
(2018). The highly imaginative 'steampunk' film has jaw dropping
special effects that center around a world where full cities are
mobile and prey on small towns. While it may take a degree of
suspending your own disbelief a bit more than usual, Mortal
Engines has a lot of interesting ideas and well written
characters that make it an enjoyable fantasy journey, especially on
4K UHD. You'll have to see it for yourself to see what he does here
visually and narratively to see if it works for you or not.
Engines stars Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmarsdottir, Hugo Weaving,
Jihae, Stephen Lang, and Colin Salmon to name a few. The film is
directed by Christian Rivers, whose been one of Peter Jackson's top
special effects producers at WETA (Jackson's visual effects company).
Engines looks awesome in its
2160p HECV/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image 4K version with a widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in Dolby Atmos 11.1 (48kHz,
24-bit) lossless (a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) mix.
As with many other films in Universal's 4K UHD library, the image is
astounding with the Dolby Vision, HDR (high dynamic range) and
impeccable details on this fictional world.
1080p Blu-ray edition is also included with similar widescreen and
sound specs, though the image a bit more compressed than in the
dazzling 4K presentation. A fantasy world just as this one is rich
in detail and textures on the environments and characters are all is
captured strongly here.
digital copy is also included.
Commentary by Director Christian Rivers
to London - Featurette
of the Ancients - Featurette
Series - Featurette
the Air - Featurette
New Zealand - Featurette
Mortal Engines didn't do as well domestically as had hoped,
the film is definitely worth checking out if you like post
apocalyptic films like Waterworld or the Mad Max
Dunham's dark and moody feature debut, The Standoff at Sparrow
Creek (2018), is an isolated piece that's more of a character
performance piece than anything. The film is nicely shot, but
doesn't have the charisma of Reservoir Dogs or something of
the like. I feel like this film could have played off better with
more recognizable leads, as some of the acting is just so-so, and the
overall feel is a too on the nose.
a brutal police shooting, a group of shady characters end up under
the same room in this abandoned building where truths are unearthed,
and the true culprit amongst them revealed.
film stars James Badge Dale, Patrick Fischler, Brian Geraghty, Chris
Mulkey, Happy Anderson, and Robert Aramayo.
film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect
ratio of 2.40:1 and a nice sounding track in English DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. 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.
Features include a Making Of featurette.
we have an outright Western and not just films that vaguely reference
them. Blake Edwards'
(1971) and it was meant to be an epic. Running over 2 hours, MGM was
still its own major studio and still wanted to take epic risks.
William Holden is an old cowboy tired of decades of dealing with cow
herding, so he teams up with a much younger cowboy played by Ryan
O'Neal and they decide to rob a bank instead. Then they land up on
we never formally reviewed the film before, we did cover an excellent
limited edition CD of the impressive Jerry Goldsmith music score a
good while ago at this link...
Warner Archive has issued the film on Blu-ray and it looks fine in a
restored transfer that is the best the film has looked in decades.
Its up there with Altman's McCabe
and Mrs. Miller
and Cimino's Heaven's
as the last of the epic Westerns for a long time and it has aged
pretty well, though it is hard to accept O'Neal as a nice guy with so
many off-screen antics in recent decades, but Karl Malden is really
good here and the rest of the cast is not to be underestimated
including Rachel Roberts, Tom Skerritt, Joe Don Baker, Moses Gunn,
Victor French and Lynn Carlin.
it could have been longer, the film still has a leisurely pace that
helps it be realistic, naturalistic and play like it is in the time
period presented. The recent cycle of would-be Westerns are never
this convincing and most seem forced and phony. This is how you do
it well and effectively, but Edwards had the talent to concentrate
and get serious filmmaking done when he wanted to. It is one worth
going out of your way for, even if you might not always be up for
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can sometimes
show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the film and any of the
lab work has apparently been a plus. Director of Photography Philip
H. Lathrop, A.S.C., shot this in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision and
was often Edwards' DP, bit he also lensed most of the Airport
Shoot Horses, Don't They?,
so he knew what he was doing. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0
Stereo lossless mix shows its age more so and I wonder where the
6-track magnetic soundmaster for 70mm blow-up prints is, especially
because the music sounded so good on the CD.
one extra is a vintage Making Of featurette on the film from the The
Movie Makers series.
Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo and James