Of The Sun
(1968/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Stagecoach
Threat (2018/Well Go
(1959/*all Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays)
B/B-/B/B/A/B Sound: C+/B/B-/B/B/B- Extras: C+/C/C/C+/C/C+
(1966) and Warlock
Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time,
are limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies
last, while Dark
Of The Sun
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
a big group of action films, most of which upgrade earlier
start with a long overdue upgrade of Andrew V. McLaglen's western
(1968) with James Stewart, Dean Martin and Rachel Welch. We
originally reviewed the film on DVD many years ago at this link...
it now, you realize that you are lucky you get one watchable western
a year if that, the genre is so dead, usually made of package deals,
remakes, belated prequels, belated sequels and most releases that are
just a mess and look like people who cannot act going to a bad
costume party. As a result of the backwards productions and
sometimes pointless gluts, usually telefilms no one seems to care
about, you cannot get a new western made with much new big name star
power and the genre continues to be mostly dead.
new edition plays better than the old DVD, especially image-wise and
has more extras, all of which you can read about below.
Stalberg Jr.'s Crypto
(2019) reminded me of the 1990s film Hackers
in trying to have a thriller in a world few people really know or
understand, but like that overrated formula thriller, this is a
formula thriller that wastes a decent cast (Beau Knapp trying for
lead actor status, Kurt Russell not in the film enough, Alexis
Bledel, Luke Hemsworth and Jill Hennessy) that is a bad heist picture
that shows the money disappearing or going other places on a computer
screen, but we've seen that with regular money ay least a few hundred
times and this script is clueless with that to do and especially what
to do new.
bad, we never get a description of 'crypto' and the makers expect the
audience to know what it is or just fill in what it is and being
worried that would be a dated segment is not an excuse not to have it
in here in some way, somehow. See this one at your own peril, but
with a 'Russian Mafia' involved plot, don't expect much.
Of The Sun
(1968) reunites Time
(1960) co-stars Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux (though they don't get
as much screen time together) in this British production about
mercenaries (led by Taylor and Jim Brown) getting people and a big
stash of diamonds out of the Congo by train. They bring other help,
including a guy who hates Taylor's character, which leads to fights
out of nowhere and as the film goes on, it is interrupted by events
like that which break the flow of suspense or narrative build-up.
The film looks good and has some good supporting actors like Kenneth
More, but it misses the full impact it might have had if it were more
well thought out or edited differently.
is one of the greatest cinematographers of all time and like many
such artists, tried out directing and did so a few times in his
career, so the film looks good much of the time and the new Warner
Archive restoration of the MGM release on Blu-ray here looks better
than it plays. It definitely wants to be like a Professional Western
(i.e., a group of dirty men in a mission for the money) and has some
of that, but also is something different, but cannot make the move to
exceed the genre by being a modern, British version thereof. Nice
try at times, though.
(1966) is a remake of the 1939 classic (which made the Western a full
genre!) by the same name and has all of the elements of an essential
western. In color, as opposed to the original obviously, the film
takes place during 1880 and follows a group of travelers who are
making their way from Wyoming Territory towards Cheyenne. These ten
wildly different characters each end up painting the backdrop of the
time with the classic rivalry between Americans and Native Americans
as the backdrop.
stars Ann-Margret, Red Buttons, Michael Connors, Alex Cord, Bing
Crosby, Bob Cummings, Van Heflin, Slim Pickens, Stefanie Powers,
Keenan Wynn. As a fun bonus, the poster artwork featured on the
cover was done by none other than Norman Rockwell.
it will likely be remade again someday, Stagecoach looks very
nice in this limited HD edition from Twilight Time that movie-goers
will be able to experience in a whole new light thanks to its clarity
and isolated score track.
more on the music in the film, here's our coverage of the out of
print, limited edition CD:
group of assassins was hired to kill a wealthy heiress when she
donates her fortune to help stop the crime syndicates in Thailand.
However, what the assassins didn't count on was the mercenaries they
hired from their last job, whom they had doubled crossed and left for
dead. Now, they are back with a vengeance ...and payback is a bitch.
It's a team of soldiers of fortune versus a team of assassins and it
is an epic fight from start to finish in Jesse V. Johnson's Triple
and Long Fei were hired to be guides in what they thought was a
rescue operation in a jungle village for hostages but turned out they
helped a terrorist leader break free and they were almost killed for
being witnesses. After the assassins killed everyone in the village
and blew it up, Payu and Long Fei teamed up with the village's sole
survivor Jaka who vowed revenge for the death of his wife. Payu,
Long Fei and Jaka then learns of the assassin's plans to kill a
wealthy heiress Xiao Xian. Jaka uses Payu and Long Fei as bait to
tempt the assassins out of hiding and Xiao Xian ends up running with
them, they run and fight causing much collateral damage across the
was like an Asian version of The Expendables with an Asian
martial arts superstars including Tony Jaa and Tiger Chen. The movie
was like a never ending fight/chase scene, each scene was well
choreography, but it seemed like one long fight scene, the plot was
thin and characters aside from being double crossed in the beginning
didn't have much else character backgrounds.
we have Edward Dmytryk's Warlock
(1959) with some overtones of the Hollywood Witch Hunts of the 1950s
Dmytryk survived and was pushed to testify in a way to keep being
able to work, for better and worse. A reckless gang is terrorizing a
town, so a gunslinger (henry Fonda)( is hired to stop them, while a
one-time bad guy (Richard Widmark) becomes sheriff of the town around
the same time. A local businessman (Anthony Quinn) just wants to
make money and have visitors have a good time, but conditions and the
past of many around will not allow that to happen easily.
title refers to the name of the town (a self-fulfilling prophecy?)
and the townspeople are about as helpful as they were in High
(1950, reviewed elsewhere on this site) so it is not a happy film or
one being upbeat about how great the West was. However, it does drag
a bit for its two-hour length, so it is worth a look, but not one
that ever impressed me much. DeForest Kelley (the original Star
cast member making this a curio) and Dorothy Malone also star.
for the playback quality. In this case, all six releases happen to
be 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image presentations looking
as good as they can in the Blu-ray format, but with limits here and
(with motion blur) and Triple
(impressively stable) are HD shoots, Stagecoach
are in the older CinemaScope format, so you get distortions
throughout and both Bandolero!
are in Panavision, so they looking the most solid and modern
has the best color bring in MetroColor, while the westerns are in
Color by DeLuxe, but Warlock
looks particularly on the teal side and lacking some color range.
fare better in the color department.
has cinematography by the renowned William H. Clothier (The
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance),
this is a gorgeous looking film that has never quite looked this good
on home video before. It also has a nice sounding English 2.0 Mono
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track as well.
have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Ariadne
is well mixed and presented, but Warlock
shows its age and the limits of its soundfield, so Stagecoach
manages to sound just a little more naturalistic somehow. Bandolero!
has both DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 4.0 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes,
but both show the limits of the original recording and are just a
step above the old DVD audio despite having traveling dialogue and
sound effects like Warlock.
leaves the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless mix on Sun
sounding good for its age.
on the three Twilight Time westerns include more quality illustrated
booklet on the film including informative text and thorough essays by
the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, then the discs add Isolated Music
Score tracks, all but Stagecoach
add an Original Theatrical Trailer and both Stagecoach
(also with Tony Latino) have feature length audio commentary tracks
by Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo. Crypto
has Digital Copy a trailer, a Making Of featurette and its own audio
commentary, while Sun
has a trailer and mixed audio commentary by Larry Karazewski, Josh
Olson, Brian Saur and Eiric D. Kane that was all over the place.
That leaves Triple
extras including interviews with the actors and trailers.
order the Bandolero!,
(1966) and Warlock
limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these
to order either of the Dark
Of The Sun
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Triple