Schiele: Death and the Maiden
(*)/Khrystalyov, My Car!
(1965/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/A
Star Is Born: Encore
(2018/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Un
2018/Film Movement DVD)
C+/B+/B/B & C+/C+ Sound: C+/B+/C+/B+ & C+/C+ Extras:
C-/B/C+/C-/C- Films: C+/B/B-/B-/C+
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, us
limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last
at the links below.
our latest set of dramas, including two we revisit yet again....
start with Dieter Berner's Egon
Schiele: Death and the Maiden
(2018) which is not about the song or great mystery play Roman
Polanski made into an underrated feature film, but about the real
life artist of the title (Noah Saavedra) who made very sexy, erotic
works at a time this was very taboo, but he is selling some of them
and things are well, but WWI is ahead along with other troubles.
This is a biopic to some extent and a decent capturing of the time
and era, but despite a decent cast, does not make the best of its 100
minutes and falls into some predictability.
has some good moments and tells us some of a story that we need and
deserve to know (it seems mostly accurate), but I would have liked
more character study, more revelations if possible and that means a
few missed opportunities. Still, those interested should give it a
trailers from the label and short film Nothing
are the only extras.
to be a God)
intense yet satirical take on Stalin's Russia, Khrystalyov,
(1998), gets a very nice new release from Arrow Academy with not only
a nice presentation, but very nice packaging to accompany. Shot with
a sense of documentary realism, his surreal world paints a portrait
of a literal hell on earth that some consider very disturbing.
However, not without its lighter moments, there's no doubt that this
is a fan for history buffs to check out interested in Stalin and
Russia in particular.
film centers around General Klenski, who is arrested in 1953 after
being accused of being a participant in a plot during an anti-Semitic
political campaign. The film stars Yuriy Tsurilo, Nina Ruslanova,
Mikhail Dementyev, Aleksandr Bashirov, and Natalya Lvova.
special features on the disc are vast and include...
commentary by producer Daniel Bird
Realism and Nightmare,
a new video essay on Khrustalyov, My Car! and the films of Aleksei
German by historian and film critic Eugenie Zvonkine
Murder: Jonathan Brent on The Doctors' Plot,
the academic talks about Stalin's anti-Semitic campaign which
provides the backdrop for Khrustalyov,
the veteran film historian and critic Ron Holloway interviews the
an interview with Aleksei German by producer Guy Seligmann
included in this special edition release...
double-sided fold-out poster
a Limited Edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Gianna
D'Emilio, an archival essay by Joel Chaperon and original reviews.
(1965) has finally arrived on Blu-ray, pretty late for any Marlon
Brando film, but here it is, but it is a Twilight Time Limited
Edition Blu-ray via Fox so fans should consider ordering ASAP. We've
covered the film before, starting with our review of the film in DVD
from years ago...
then there is our coverage of the limited edition CD soundtrack from
you can get the film with a far better transfer that allows you to
enjoy the cinematography, actors and performances much more easily,
plus a few more extras, including the music on its own if you missed
that CD. More on the tech playback below, but the film gets
neglected like too many black and white films and it really looks
fine here, plays well enough and more people should see it. Yul
Brynner, Janet Margolin and Wally Cox also star, so the supporting
cast is interesting and will hopefully give you another reason to
include another nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the
great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the disc adds an Isolated Music
Score and Original Theatrical Trailer.
Cooper's remake of A
Star Is Born
(2018) is still being talked about and some points even debated, so
Warner Bros. has decided to issue an extended version with some more
dramatic and musical scenes dubbed A
Star Is Born: Encore
that will give fans a fresh look at the film. You get both versions
here. Here's my coverage of the 4K edition and the whole film...
time we only get a Blu-ray/DVD set and that's fine for more people to
be able to see it, but it does not change the film that much and some
might think it throws it off. I did not mind it, but 12 more minutes
means its a little more leisurely and that's fine. Bad films the
studios try to save usually get this treatment in a lame attempt to
salvage bombs, so this is rare for a film that is actually good like
this. Fans will enjoy it, but I don't know how many outside of them
will feel the need for a longer version. Gaga can do no wrong.
Copy is the only extra.
Rodrigo & Sebastian Barriuso's Un
(2018) is another dramatic biopic, this time about a Russian
literature professor (Rodrigo Santoro) who has to translate for
Soviet children brought to Cuba in the face of the Chernobyl nuclear
disaster. Three years after the accident, the Berlin Wall falls, as
does The Soviet Union, East Germany, the Warsaw Pact and world
communism, meaning he, his family and these nuclear victims enter a
whole new era of suffering.
is intriguing, but the one thing the film does not make clear is if
he was called in immediately (1986) when the disaster took place) or
as the Wall (1989) was about to fall. This lack of clarity hurts
this film, which is about (SPOLIER) the father of the co-directors,
so one can get lost in what is really happening, as true as the
events are and surely this happened to at least thousands of people
as the big Soviet fall affected millions. Otherwise, this is not bad
and those interested should see.
trailers from the label and short film For
are the only extras.
for playback quality. Khrustalyov,
is presented here for the first time in 1080p high definition with a
2K restoration from the original camera negative, done exclusively by
Arrow Films. Aside from the crystal clear black and white image with
a 1.37:1 full frame aspect ratio, the audio mix is an original
uncompressed 2.0 Stereo Russian mix with newly translated English
subtitles. The film is beautifully shot with nice levels of contrast
and detail in the image.
1080p 1.85 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image on
makes the old DVD we covered look old and dated, though it was not
bad for its time. Director of Photography Conrad Hall, A.S.C.,
became known for shooting darkly and it shows here. I doubt few
could pull off some of what he pulls off here. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix outdoes the
lossy old Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the DVD, but it also shows its
age, so only expect so much dynamic range. The isolated music score
is also in lossless DTS_MA and does outdo the fine old CD edition,
but not wildly so.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers of Star
look as good as the previous regular Blu-ray from the 4K set, looking
fine for the format, but not as good as the 4K theatrical cut. Both
Blu-rays have the same fine Dolby
Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) as the 4K
edition has before. In comparison, the anamorphically enhanced 2.35
X 1 image on the DVD with its lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix just seems
miles away from the 4K edition and softer than the Blu-ray editions.
Film Movement DVDs are here in anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image
that look about as good as they can in the format and both offer both
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes with
German and Spanish & Russian languages respective that have
subtitles available. Both are passible for the format, but would
benefit from at least regular Blu-ray upgrades. They look good
order the Morituri
limited edition Blu-ray, get it while supplies last at these links:
Nicholas Sheffo and James