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Category:    Home > Reviews > Exploitation > Science Fiction > B-Movie > Film Noir > Murder > Mystery > Action > Telefilm > TV Movie > Sp > Beyond Atlantis (1973/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/Detour (1945/PRC/Criterion Blu-ray)/Last Man (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Man From Atlantis (1977 telefilm/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Quiller Memorandum (1966)/Th

Beyond Atlantis (1973/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/Detour (1945/PRC/Criterion Blu-ray)/Last Man (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Man From Atlantis (1977 telefilm/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Quiller Memorandum (1966)/The River's Edge (1957/both Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Quiller Memorandum and River's Edge Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, are limited to only 3,000 copies each and can be ordered while supplies last, while The Man From Atlantis is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



Now for some major genre films and a few near classics among them...



From the Director of Beast of Blood and the Blood Island Trilogy, Philippine director Eddie Romero's 1973 B-movie masterpiece Beyond Atlantis lands on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of VCI. While it has a high end budget for a Eddie Romero production, it's definitely far from Hollywood. Featuring interesting underwater photography, a dash of exploitation, and a very young Sid Haig, Beyond Atlantis is a fun time capsule piece, but doesn't quite live up to its iconic poster.


The film stars Patrick Wayne, John Ashley (a Blood Island/Eddie Romero collaborator), Leigh Christian, Lenore Stevens, and George Nader. The plot of the film centers around a group of adventure/thrill seekers who go to a remote island in search of buried treasure. However, the inhabitants of the island aren't too keen on giving up what is rightfully theirs...


Special Features include...

Full commentary track by filmmaker, Howard S. Berger and filmmaker Pinoy film historian, Andrew Leavold

Video Interviews with John Ashley, Leigh Christian and Sid Haig

Original Theatrical Trailer

and Original 30 & 60 second TV Spots


If you're a fan of this film then you should definitely check out some of Eddie Romero's other features, namely the Blood Island Trilogy, which is available on Blu-ray from Severin Films.



So many bad copies on home video of Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour (1945) have been issued, that only an expert could keep track. Made by the very tiny PRC Studios that only lasted a few years, it is considered a Film Noir classic written about any time Noir comes up and taught in classes on the subject worldwide. A sort of lost film with even respectable companies trying to put out the best copy they could find, Criterion has finally landed the definitive restoration of the film that looks great and sounds about as good, now on Blu-ray and to the shock of fans who have hoped this might turn up in a great edition.


Tom Neal is a guy who falls for a gal at a club job where she sings and he plays piano, but she moves from New York City to Hollywood, leaving him behind for the moment. After a while, he calls her and lets her know how much he loves her and will come out ASAP to Tinseltown to be with her, but his financial situation means hitchhiking and this becomes a disaster in the long term when he is picked up by a shyster who lands up dead!


Will he be held guilty for the man's murder when he died by accident? Will he get in trouble for something else unexpected? Will the next person he picks up be as much of a disaster? I she doomed no matter what he does?


The film epitomizes the existential dread of Noir characters doomed no matter what they say, do or try to achieve, reflecting the anxiety of an insecure life and cold world, including through one of Noir's most important elements: the voice over. This one is classic enough and tho0ugh he makes some dumb mistakes, they do not always seem as problematic because he becomes a personal emotional wreck quickly enough.


Running about 70 minutes, this can get campy and even have some scenes that would be considered howlers unintended, but the film moves along at a brisk pace and is always interesting to watch. It is all the more remarkable considering the ultra-low budget and its great casting whose actors really deliver. Now also a darling classic of independent filmmaking as well and the epitome of how to do a low budget film well, Detour has finally been saved and everyone can appreciate why it has been so celebrated for over 75 years and counting. Criterion does it again!


Extras include a booklet with great art design, tech info and an essay by critic and poet Robert Polito, while the Blu-ray adds Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders and actor Ann Savage, new interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins that runs about 22 minutes, a new program about the restoration of Detour and a brand new Trailer celebrating the film's reissue.



Hayden Christensen (who will always be Anakin Skywalker to me) and Harvey Keitel star in the new sci-fi/action film, The Last Man (2018). The bleak action thriller centers around the end of the world and a vet named Kurt (Christensen) who believes that the world is coming to an end. Rich with inspiration from other films of the like such as Blade Runner and The Book of Eli, the film has some interesting production design, but a screenplay that's a bit too ambitious for its budget.


The film also stars Marco Leonardi, Liz Solari, and Fernan Miras.


This is not terribly shot and definitely has a considerable budget behind it, though not in the big leagues with a mixed bag in terms of visual effects. A digital copy is also included.


The only extra is a trailer for this and other Lionsgate releases.


While Christensen and Keitel are both trying, the plot here is a bit too jumbled and derivative of stronger works. In terms of a Blu-ray presentation, however, the feature looks and sounds fine.



Lee H. Katzin's Man From Atlantis 1977 telefilm pilot had high hopes that it would spawn a big hit series akin to The Six Million Dollar Man by way of Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) with David Bowie. Patrick Duffy is the title character, the otherworldly human-looking entity that is finally dealing with those 'surface dwellers' makes sense to issue now (along with Beyond Atlantis above) thanks to the huge critical and commercial success of the new Aquaman feature film (see our 4K coverage elsewhere on this site).


Duffy was bound for success and landed up on the huge hit nighttime soap opera series Dallas thanks to this show/franchise unfortunately being cancelled after one season, but he is good here with hardly any dialogue, looking much lower weight than most are used to seeing him (including on the later sitcom hit Step By Step) is given the name 'Mark Harris' but the military people who find him, one of whom he starts to really like.


Victor Buono is the villain ready to launch nuclear missiles upon the world from military submarines in what plays like a very low budget version of the hit James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which happens to have been released the same year. Still, having Buono is a plus for this telefilm and adds to its curio value. Apparently, the animation house Hanna-Barbera was involved in this production and Kenner Toys (now part of Hasbro) was ready to do tie-in toys, but that apparently never happened to any great extent if at all. Too bad, because if developed well, this could have caught on and been an interesting hit. Now you can see for yourself.


Warner Archive has issued this as one of their exclusive Blu-ray releases and hopefully, they'll get to the rest of the releases. I always thought the font for the titles and credits melded well with the show too.


There are no extras.



Michael Anderson's The Quiller Memorandum (1966) is one of the more interesting spy offerings from studios rivaling United Artists and their mega success with the James Bond films, still running today. Along with The Chairman and two Derek Flint films, Fox was not going to be left behind by the trend and backed this smart British production with George Seagal as the title character, a U.S. spy on loan to British allied spies to crack a neo-Nazi spy cell in Cold War-divided Berlin. This is a more serious spy film, trying to be more realistic than the Bond films at this point, but like other similar outings, has off moments and trips up at times on details that it should not.


No less than Alec Guinness, Max Von Sydow and George Sanders make up the remarkable supporting cast and the underrated Senta Berger gets the female lead, then you have no less than Harold Pinter writing the screenplay. Its films like this that made the bond producers pump up their budgets and wild ideas, because this is very formidable filmmaking in general and respects the audience unlike many other action films and thrillers since. Segal holds his own as the lead and against some of the best actors of all time and this is a film all serious film fans should see at least once.


Extras include a 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 disc adds an outstanding feature length audio commentary track by film scholars Lee Pfeiffer & Eddie Friedfeld, an sonically impressive Isolated Music Score track and an Original Theatrical Trailer.



Allan Dwan's The River's Edge (1957) was the legendary journeyman director's attempt to continue the color noir work he did on the underrated Slightly Scarlet (a 1956 RKO Technicolor, SuperScope film) at Fox using a limited budget and some great talent that contractual circumstance made possible in part. Thus, you have Ray Milland as a smooth talker up to no good, Anthony Quinn playing against type as a cow rancher whose wife (Debra Paget) is not always happy with their life, leaving room for the unknown con artist to move into the situation.


The problems here are not with money as much as they are with the fact that the Noir elements do not always work out, the film does not show us too much new, Milland is repeating himself a bit here, some situations are a little off and Noir itself was starting to conclude as a movement. Still, you get some interesting moments enough to see the film and the early use of CinemaScope is not bad and does not date a poorly as other films of the time.


I like the actors, so they do overcome some issues the film has by their sheer talent and it also shows then-veteran Dwan could still go a few rounds with the best director around.


Extras include a 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 disc adds

a feature length audio commentary track by film scholars Alain Silver & James Ursini, Isolated Music Score track with sound effects and an Original Theatrical Trailer.



Beyond Atlantis hasn't been readily available for years and so this release is a bit monumental for fans. Presented in 1080p widescreen for the first time on any format, and sporting a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio struck from the original 35mm negative, this is the best this film has ever looked. Aided by an English: LPCM 2.0 trick that's solid as well. Also included is a standard definition DVD edition with similar, yet compressed specs, that still look better than any previous release of the film.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on Detour comes from a 35mm print source that shockingly come off of the long-lost negative, so additional work was done and this is the best the film has looked since the first few decades of release. You can really see how well this is shot and lit, even when some of the low budget work looks worse in back projection and the like. The PCM Mono sound comes form 35mm and even a 16mm source to reconstruct the sound to be its best and all this painstaking work has paid off.


The Last Man is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the film looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on Man From Atlantis proves yet again how great a 35mm TV production can look from decades ago when it has been taken care of and was shot well to begin with. Since this was a pilot for a TV series that lasted a season, the makers were serious about this looking good and I was impressed by the color and even some of thew depth and detail. Yes, some visual effects look dated here to, but other parts hold up well and I hope this is a continuing trend.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Quiller far outdoes the old DVD edition with much better clarity, depth and far better color range. Many scenes in this Panavision 35mm shot thriller look incredibly vivid and will impress, while the DeLuxe color holds up as well as it can for its time. Some shots are process shots or bad optical printing, but that is limited. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is fine for its time, but shows its age, something the isolated music score surpasses. Too bad the film is not in stereo or multi-channel sound.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Edge can show the age of the materials used as expected, but this has been restored as well as possible and the DeLuxe Color here is also not bad, if not spectacular. They want to show off color, yet be realistic enough on the locations that the color does not render them phony. Soundtracks include DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo and 2.0 Mono lossless mixes, but no multi-channel tracks, so any 4-track magnetic soundmaster with traveling dialogue and sound effects must be missing at the moment.



To order The Quiller Memorandum and River's Edge limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/


...and to order The Man From Atlantis is Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Beyond, Last)

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


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