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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Drama > Murder > Detective > Crime > Relationships > Britain > Spy > Thriller > Military > Espionage > Blood: Series 1 (2018*)/The Chairman (1969/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Conflict Of Wings (1964)/Doublecross (1955/both Juno Select MVD DVDs)/Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018/Well Go Bl

Blood: Series 1 (2018*)/The Chairman (1969/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Conflict Of Wings (1964)/Doublecross (1955/both Juno Select MVD DVDs)/Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Murdoch Mysteries Collection: Season 9 - 12 (2016 - 2018/*both Acorn Blu-rays)/The Outsider (2019/Cinedigm Blu-ray)

Picture: B+/B/C/C/A- & C+/B/B- Sound: B+/B-/C/C/B+ & C+/B/B Extras: B/B/D/D/C/C+/C Main Programs: B+/C+/C/C+/A-/C+/C

PLEASE NOTE: The Chairman Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below.

Here's a interesting mix of old and new genre releases, some of which are new, but set in the past, on TV as well as from theaters.

Cat Hogan returns to her hometown after the death of her mother for the funeral, but when details don't add up to her mother's death that she slipped and fell and her father's whereabouts at the time, she begins to suspect her father murdered her. Her father is the town doctor, the man which everyone in town respects and thinks he is the greatest and kindest man in the world. Nobody would ever suspect him for murder, but as Cat digs deeper she soon learns that small towns are good at keeping secrets ...and burying the dead in Blood: Series 1 (2018).

Cat is also the prodigal daughter, estranged from her family and hometown. After returning home for her mother's funeral she discovers, nobody knows where her father was during the time of her mother's 'accidental' death. Her father is in the perfect position to get away with murder, he knows exactly how to get rid of evidence and he can influence others to help him. Her father said he was out on call during the incident, she discovers he lied and he has been sleeping with his assistant and maybe he killed her mother to make way for his new mistress. As Cat investigates further she discovers she's not the only one been lied to, she begins recruiting others to her cause to help her prove her father is a murderer, but she must be careful and first discover who she can trust and who is under the influence of her father. The truth is her mother's death wasn't an accident, but it may not be what Cat expected either.

This was a mystery filled series with a paranoid daughter (with a traumatic past/daddy complex) who thinks her father is a cold blooded murderer. Everything her father tells her turns out to be a lie (which makes him look more guilty) and she becomes more paranoid. In the end, every lie her father told her turns out to be white lies and to protect someone or something from hurting themselves. Extras include cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes and trailers.

J. Lee Thompson's The Chairman (1969) finally arrives on Blu-ray, a very well-shot Panavision spy thriller from Fox, now issued as a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray. We reviewed the DVDs with several solid extras years ago and here is that review:


Picture and sound improve (see below) and extras are about the same with many of the same extras including alternate scenes from the International Edition (though it should be said that this is the full-length 98 minutes long version), an original promo film for is release and an excellent feature length audio commentary by Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer that holds up as well as all of their work. New additions include an abbreviated version of the film (17 minutes), an Isolated Music Score track with some sound effects and illustrated booklet with technical info and essay by Mike Finnegan.

Next up are two more British films from the nice Juno Select DVD series, this time being John Eldridge's Conflict Of Wings (1964) with John Gregson, Kieron Moore and Niall MacGuinness in this change-of-pace tale of locals fighting the British military from taking over a bird sanctuary to use for military shelling. Running 84 minutes, it is a bit long, but not bad, if uneven, but worth a look for being so British. Anthony Squire's Doublecross (1955) is even more of a curio with Donald Houston, Anton Diffring, Allan Cuthbertson, Fay Compton and Delphi Lawrence in this mystery spy thriller about fisherman Houston picking up two people to help them get somewhere, not knowing they just stole government secrets.

They land up taking a trip by ship (airplanes were still not as common yet) when he finds out they are up to no good, but can he fool them before they find out he knows and they kill him?

Though a 77-minutes-long programmer, it looks more modern than you might expect thanks to cinematography by Kenneth Talbot and editing by future James Bond series editor (and later director himself) Peter Hunt, so all this makes it a curio worth a look and your time, especially if you are any kind of spy fan.

There are sadly no extras on either release, but maybe they could find someone?

Years ago, Cheung Tin Chi was defeated by Master Ip Man. Now he sets aside his fighting skills to raise his son in Hong Kong working as a server in bars and to never fight again, but Hong Kong is changing with the times with all the foreigners, drugs, illegal trade and gangsters can he afford to not to fight when it comes to protecting his family and friends?

In Woo-Ping Yuen's Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018), Cheung Tin Chi is a Kung-fu master, but all that changed when he was defeated by Ip Man. Now, he only cares about his son and works to provide for him. Even still, Hong Kong is still a dangerous place, foreigners importing drugs, corrupt police and the streets are controlled by the triad mob. Tin Chi home is burned down by gangsters, and then they discover drugs are being sold on the streets and killing people, but when Cheung Tin Chi's friends and family get hurt he must find the courage to fight for justice and protect the innocent once more. The cast includes Jin Zhang, Dave Bautista, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Jaa.

This is another chapter/side story to the IP Man legacy, the story of martial artists who didn't fight for fame or fortune, but to protect the people and country he loves. Like so many martial artists they question what is a true warrior, is it to fight and be the strongest or is martial arts use to bring balance and peace to the world? Extras include behind the scenes and trailers.

Next up is Murdoch Mysteries Collection: Season 9 - 12 (2016 - 2018) giving us the latest of several eras of the hit series we covered when it debuted and covered on and off since. Of this set, we covered Season 11 at this link:


I think the new shows are not bad, but not as good as the first few seasons, though it has gained a bit of its edge after losing it to cast changes (and going to HD) a few seasons in. The ninth, tenth and twelfth seasons are pretty much like eleven, so they found a way to settle on a formulaic approach that is working for its current audience, yet it is not as fun as the early shows were when they were starting out, so I just cannot get into the show as much as I'd like to in its later stage. Still, fans of it will love this set, a high quality box more solid and thick than many on the market, so its a great way to own this era of the show.

Extras include almost two hours of Making Murdoch featurettes, over an hour of After Murdoch Show featurettes and a Photo Gallery.

Finally we have Timothy Woodward Jr.'s The Outsider (2019), the latest in a cycle of highly cliched, unconvincing, Neo-Westerns that never work, may get violent and 'realistic' while being exploitive and never plays well. The dirty West looks dirty in parts, but far too clean in others and this is made worse when it is an obvious HD shoot like this one is. The title refers to both the lawman (singer Trace Adkins with one of the only convincing accents here) as well as a highly disrespected man from China (Jon Foo, who knows some martial arts, but hardly get s to use them) in this very cliched, predictable romp.

Sean Patrick Flannery is the boo-hiss villain who rapes the disrespected man's wife in a very poor sequence that drags on and has too many issues to go into here and this happens early on. There is little character development and even Danny Trejo turning up cannot add anything to improve this dud. Unless you are a total devotee to the genre, skip this one.

Extras include two short behind the scenes featurettes.

Now for playback quality. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Blood is pretty consistent for a TV production and looks better than most of the releases on the list with good color and stability, while the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used on Chairman, but this is far superior a transfer to the older DVD and has qualities Blood does not possess.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Master Z certainly has the money in it, but despite being the visual champ here for the most part, it still cannot totally pass up Chairman in overall quality, yet it impresses in its own right. The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image DVD on Master Z is passable at best.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the four Murdoch seasons are solid and about on par with each other, but it misses some of the character, darkness and edge the original seasons had, but the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer of the HD shoot Outsider is has darkness issues, detail issues and disappoints.

The 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfers on both Juno DVDs can show the age of the materials used, but the print sources are not bad. Wonder why they are on the soft side?

As for sound, Master Z offers Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) lossless on its Blu-ray edition and it sounds as good as anything here, though that is in Mandarin, leaving a lesser English dub in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The DVD has just as poor lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Blood and Murdoch follow as the next best sonically, then were left with the competent DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Outsider, its default highlight.

The Chairman offers DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo and 2.0 Mono lossless mixes with the Stereo much nicer, and both warmer, fuller and more articulate than the DVD's old lossy Dolby Digital tracks. Even the isolate music score is in lossless DTS-MA.

That leaves both Juno DVDs with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is a little low and aged sounding, so be careful of volume switching and high playback volumes in these cases.

To order The Chairman limited edition Blu-ray, buy it while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Blood, Z)


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