(2018/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Road
House 2 (2006/Sony/MVD
Fighter (1974 -
1976/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B+/B/B Sound: B-/A/B/B
Extras: C-/B/C-/B Films: B-/B/C/B (B+ first film)
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a wild group of genre releases, all gone mad...
(1973) made a star out of Tamara Dobson in the title role of a woman
of action who happens to work for the federal government as one of
its special agents. A classic of the Blaxploitation genre/cycle,
Warner Bros. had this and Super
(reviewed on Warner Archive Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) as their
strong showing in these films that were produced for about a decade
before they disappeared. Adding to this is Shelley Winters going all
out as racist drug-dealing kingpin (or queenpin?) 'Mommy' which
itself is a perverted send-up of her Ma Parker villain on the 1960s
series, including some explicit lesbianism.
has to stop her and begins by flying out of the country to the Middle
east to bomb a poppy field (not unlike a similar sequence in Live
& Let Die,
the 1973 James Bond film of the same year (also reviewed on Blu-ray
elsewhere on this site)) driving Mommy to want her dead. From there,
the film (shot around Los Angeles) has amusing fight scenes, a car
chase that tries to imitate Bullitt,
acting turns by Antonio Fargas, Bernie Casey, Ester Rolle, Brenda
Sykes and even Soul
creator/host Don Cornelius in a fun turn as himself.
Pam Grier remained the queen of these films, Dobson is just fine
here, with a interesting series of clothes changes and Corvette of
the time that fits her style just fine. So successful, it was one of
the rare films of its kind to have a sequel, Warner has restored this
one very well, retaining its grit, look and feel from everything I
have ever seen of the film over the years. Fans will be pleased.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used in small places, but not only is this far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film, but it is
one of the only Blaxploitation films to ever be issued in (now VERY
valuable) 35mn dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor prints and this version has that kind of
superior color quality throughout. The restoration team did their
homework and it looks as great as it can. The DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix shows its age being this was a
low-budget optical monophonic theatrical film (most films were
monophonic at the time) and will not sound better than this.
only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer, though I think it
deserves something a little more. We'll see what we get when the
sequel hits Blu-ray.
M. Night Shyamalan's Glass (2018) picks up where Split
(2016) and Unbreakable (2000) left off, bringing the fantastic
idea of superheroes into a grounded reality in what has become known
as the 'Eastrail 177 Trilogy.' Glass is a satisfying
conclusion to both of Shyamalan's earlier films packed full of
suspense and originality, making this a must see for genre fans.
in Philadelphia, James Dunn (Bruce Willis) was a seemingly normal man
until the day he walked away unharmed from a fatal train accident
that happened decades ago, which was later realized to be planned by
Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson in one of my personal favorite roles of
his). Realizing that he is stronger than ten men and weakened only
by an excess of water, Dunn becomes a vigilante who can see into
anyone's dark secrets by simply touching them. Mr. Glass, an art
aficionado and comic book expert, also has a rare disease where his
bones break very easily and has spent most of his life in pain. His
superpower, however, is his magnificent brain. The circle is now
complete with Crumb (James McAvoy) whose a young man tormented by 20
different split personalities, one of them known as 'The Beast' who
is a superhuman figure of types and also a serial killer.
three of these special men find themselves find themselves in a
mental ward with Price (Sarah Paulson), who is bound and determined
to convince these three that they are simply three normal men with
wild imaginations and logical reasons behind their so called 'super
powers.' It doesn't take long for Mr. Glass to hatch a master plan
using Crumb as his pawn, both of which go up against Dunn in his most
film also features returning cast members Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer
Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard. Shyamalan infamously put up $20
Million of his own money to supply the film's budget, and it went on
to gross several times that, becoming a hit for both Blumhouse and
Universal. While the Director's filmography has been a mixed bag
over the years, you have to at least credit Shyamalan for sticking to
(mostly) original storytelling and for maintaining his keen visual
eye. Let's just try to forget (or forgive) that After Earth
and The Last Airbender never happened...
is presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265,
HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image
and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1, paired with impressive audio
mixes in Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) sound for
older home theater systems) lossless mix. This is a gorgeously shot
film and has a wide color palette, which is keenly displayed here
with everything down to skin textures being strikingly on point.
Dark scenes play across nicely with no signs of compression and the
haunting score by West Dylan Thordson is center in the mix, even if
it isn't as effective as James Newton Howard's original Unbreakable
score, though they at least re-used some of his themes.
included is a 1080p Blu-ray edition of the film (same
widescreen/audio specs) and which doesn't look as good as the 4K UHD
but looks fine for the format. A digital copy is also included.
Split is also available on the 4K UHD format (and reviewed
elsewhere on this site). However, there shockingly hasn't been a 4K
update to Unbreakable (or The Sixth Sense for that
matter) as of this writing, with that film's Blu-ray even becoming
hard to find these days.
4K BLU-RAY/BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
Opening - Introduction by director M. Night Shyamalan available
Scenes - Introductions by director M. Night Shyamalan available
Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan - Star James
McAvoy and Producer/Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan discuss the
importance of originality when creating a film in this genre.
Collection of Main Characters - A look at all the main players
and how they fit in the universe created by filmmaker M. Night
the Team Back Together - M. Night Shyamalan is famous for working
with many of the same crew from film to film. In this piece, cast
and crew share personal stories of why Shyamalan's productions feel
like seeing family again.
Dunn vs. The Beast - An in-depth look at the animalistic face-off
between David Dunn and The Beast.
Decoded - M. Night Shyamalan unveils some secrets of continuity
and style from across the Glass trilogy.
Glass: The Stunts - The superhuman strength of The Beast is best
illustrated in the stunts. Take a behind the scenes look into the
very effective methods of executing stunts in the film.
the Glass Universe - Explore M. Night Shyamalan's stylistic
approach to the Glass trilogy and the unconventional concept of a
comic book movie grounded in reality.
Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens - Cast and crew discuss
Shyamalan's dedicated and meticulous approach to storytelling.
Sound of Glass - Composer West Dylan Thordson elaborates on his
use of string instruments to create tension, and explains why
recording the score on-location enhanced the tone of Glass.
the Spectacle - The VFX team provides details on the rewarding
task of using CGI as an effective tool to intensify the narrative of
Hill Memorial - Roam the long corridors of Raven Hill Memorial
Hospital and see why the cast and crew describe the eerie location as
its own character in the film.
Night Vision - A look at the early stages of Glass by
examining the storyboards and their remarkable similarity to the
final shots in the film.
are various editions of the film available, including a quite cool
Target steel book edition which features artwork by the infamous
comic artist Alex Ross. If nothing else, Glass works as a
great conclusion to both Split and Unbreakable, and
shows that Shyamalan is still capable of making an effective film and
returning to the same form of suspense that he started his career off
with. Heck, I was starting to give up hope (until a few years ago)
that a follow-up to Unbreakable would EVER happen!
it can be argued that some of this film was spoiled in its excessive
marketing, it's still a fun ride that doesn't really let up until its
last few minutes. Personally, I found myself captivated the whole
time both at home and in the cinema, and look forward to seeing more
films from Mr. Shyamalan in the future.
can check out my review of the Blu-ray version of Split from a
few years back...
a very old review of Unbreakable here...
lackluster follow-up to the original Patrick Swayze hit Road
House, the 2006 direct to video sequel Road House 2
features more drug dealing, bottle breaking, sexual situations, tramp
stamps, and country music than ever before. Preserved here in 1080p
high definition, this is certainly the best that this predictable
film has looked, but doesn't save its cringe-worthy performances and
on the nose dialogue.
film stars Will Patton, Johnathon Schaech, Ellen Hollman, Richard
Norton, Jake Busey, and Larnell Stovall. Road House 2 is
directed by Scott Ziehl (Cruel Intentions 3, Exit Speed).
Black Pelican roadhouse is home to many scum and villainy and its up
to the owner's nephew (Schaech) to make sure things don't spiral out
of control. However, that's not an easy task as the town is full of
seedy characters steeped high in drugs, sex, and illegal money.
House 2 is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and audio mixes in both DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) English 5.1 and English 2.0 Stereo lossless sound depending on
your home entertainment specs. The presentation is fine and has
plenty of color and detail that can be taken from the original
master. This is the first time that this film has been available in
only special feature is an Original Trailer.
born from the success of Sonny Chiba Street Fighter films, all
4 Sister Street Fighter films get a new HD restoration
courtesy of Arrow Video, and are available together in this packed 2
disc Blu-ray release. If you're into martial arts films from the
1970s (and even 1980s) era, then these should definitely make your
Etsuko Shihomi and her mentor Sonny Chiba, there's plenty of kung fu
and over the top gore to please genre fans. These films were also
the first real time a non-sexualized female lead character took a
male driven genre by storm.
can definitely see a bit of inspiration on the part of Quentin
Tarantino for his Kill Bill series here. The four films in the set
include Sister Street Fighter (1974), Sister Street
Fighter: Hanging By A Thread (1974), Return Of The Sister
Street Fighter (1975), and a final (unrelated) follow-up Sister
Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (1976).
first Sister Street Fighter film centers around Li Hong-Long
(Shihomi), whose the ultimate martial artist. When her brother gets
kidnapped by some colorful druglords, she uses all of her keen skills
to kick the butt of any fighter who comes her way. This is the
ultimate battle for revenge! The subsequent sequels center around
the heroine and her constant battles with several colorful (and often
times unintentionally hilarious) villains.
films have been restored in 1080p high definition (though some
footage was not HD ready, most if it came from 35mm sources) and
presented on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1
and original uncompressed Japanese mono audio tracks with new English
subtitles. There's also a dubbed version track made available for
the original Sister Street Fighter film, but that's the only
one in the set that's dubbed. As a bonus, there's also English SDH
subtitles for the English dub for the first Sister Street Fighter
film as well. The transfers all look pretty nice, with the first
installment being the sharpest of the bunch. The sound design is
quite goofy and works the best when the colorful music behind them
stops, giving the FX center stage.
video interviews with actor Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba,
director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, and screenwriter Masahiro Kakefuda
Japanese theatrical trailers for all four films
U.S. theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus
original English opening titles to the film
German theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus
original German opening titles to the film
and poster gallery
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Kungfubob
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring writing on the
series by Patrick Macias and a new essay on the U.S. release of
Toei's karate films by Chris Poggiali.
have covered the films in previous versions over the years, but this
is finally the set to have in the best possible Blu-ray presentation,
adding tot he amazing work Arrow keeps producing.
order the Cleopatra
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo (Jones)