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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Drama > Battle > Horror > Slasher > Exploitation > Werewolf > Zombie > Supern > Arrow: The Complete Seventh Season (2018 - 2019/Blu-ray set*)/Banana Splits Movie (2019/Blu-ray*)/Beast Of The Yellow Night (1973/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/Godzilla: King Of The Monsters 4K (2019/4K Ultr

Arrow: The Complete Seventh Season (2018 - 2019/Blu-ray set*)/Banana Splits Movie (2019/Blu-ray*)/Beast Of The Yellow Night (1973/MVD/VCI Blu-ray w/DVD)/Godzilla: King Of The Monsters 4K (2019/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/*all Warner)/Into The Ashes (2019/RLJ Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B/B+ & B-/B & B-/B+/B- Sound: B/B+ & B-/B-/A/B- Extras: B/C+/C+/B/C- Main Programs: C+/C/C+/B/C

Here are more genre releases, more quirky and odder than usual...

While it's starting to lose some steam over time, DC's television series, Arrow (2018-2019) continues on with season number seven (2018 - 2019). Stephen Amell (Private Practice, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows) stars as the Green Arrow, a vigilante who looks over Star City along with a group of other superheroes against the forces of evil.

The series stars Katie Cassidy (A Nightmare on Elm Street), David Ramsey (Dexter), Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn), Echo Kellum (Sean Saves The World), Rick Gonzalez (Reaper), Juliana Harkavy (Dolphin Tale, The Walking Dead), Colton Haynes (The Gates), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) and Sea Shimooka (Happy New Years).

Arrow: The Complete Seventh Season is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. Both of these are a huge improvement over the original television broadcast which has annoying network watermarks and commercials. This is the ideal way to watch the show uninterrupted in this clean transfer. The show has high production value and looks and sounds very cinematic throughout.

22 Episodes and two Crossover Episodes include Inmate 4587, Longbow Hunters, Crossing Lines, Level Two, The Demon, Due Process, The Slabside Redemption, Unmasked, Elseworlds: Hours One, Two, and Three, Past Sins, Emerald Archer, Star City Slayer, Brothers and Sisters, Training Day, Star City 2040, Inheritance, Lost Canary, Spartan, Confessions, Living Proof, and You Have Saved This City.

Special Features include:

The Best of DC TV's Comic-Con Panel San Diego 2018

Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds

Villains: Modes of Persuasion

Gag Reel

Deleted Scenes

Arrow is still one of the better DC TV shows and is worth checking out if you're a fan.

While the Banana Splits original television show was well before my time, this new horror reimagining of the material, The Banana Splits Movie (2019), bastardizes the original concept in every way possible. These once innocent and family friendly characters are now vicious murderers in this low grade slasher flick that brings absolutely nothing new to the table whatsoever. The victims are completely one dimensional, the kills unmotivated, and special effects a bit below average. In short, this would have worked better as a two minute spoof trailer than a 90 minute feature film. What was Warner Bros. thinking here?

The Banana Splits Movie stars Dani Kind (Wyonna Earp), Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (The Kindness of Strangers), Romeo Carere, Steve Lund (Street Legal, Schitt's Creek), and Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries).

A kid and his family end up touring a dying television backlot where the Banana Splits television show is filmed. Once they get there to see the Splits in person, they (along with others) end up on a run for their lives as the Splits are now soulless killing machines out to make each and every one of them suffer in twisted ways that distantly call back to the format of their show.

The film is presented here in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio track in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound. The presentation looks and sounds fine for the film and also included is a standard definition DVD version with a compressed image that has a anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix that's of the norm. The film wasn't shot terribly, but isn't overly stylized or unique either. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include:

Banana Splits: Behind the Horror

Terror on Set

Breaking News! The Banana Splits Massacre

The Banana Splits Movie is definitely not like the old television show that you may remember. As a Z-Grade slasher film it gets the job done, but isn't going to be a cult classic by any means.

From the Philippines comes director Eddie Romero's The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971) which stars John Ashley. If you are new to the Philippines horror film movement of the '50s-'80s, it was a beautiful time with several very interesting entries from directors Eddie Romero and Gerry De Leon (many of which are available now on Blu-ray from Severin Films). Must sees on the list include Terror is a Man, The Blood Island Trilogy, and The Blood Drinkers. These films also had similar cast and crew members and feature some truly memorable B-Movie monsters.

The Beast of the Yellow Night stars John Ashley, an American actor who traveled to the Philippines to do these productions and was fairy well known in the US. The film is a werewolf-style movie akin to The Wolf Man and features Ashley as a man who makes a devil with the Devil and ends up becomes a monster in the jungle.

The film is presented on 1080p Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an audio mix in 2.0 stereo. The transfer is new from a 2K scan of the film and also includes a standard definition DVD of the film with similar specs. The presentation here is fine considering this was a low budget film from a time when film wasn't preserved as carefully as it is now.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary with film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson

Video interview with director Eddie Romero

30 & 60 second TV Spots

If you enjoyed Severin's Blood Island Box Set or its Hemisphere box set, then you definitely want to add this one to your collection. Eddie Romero's films are all very fun and worth checking out if you love B monster movies.

The sequel to Legendary's Godzilla remake (2014), is Godzilla: King of the Monsters 4K (2019), which roars onto home video on glorious 4K UHD. While Warner Bros. still (as of this writing) have yet to release its predecessor on the 4K UHD format, the new film looks simply marvelous here with a wide color spectrum and exquisite attention to detail in terms of visual effects.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga (Casino Royale, The Conjuring series), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kyle Chandler (Super 8), Ken Watanabe (Inception), and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien 3), Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Thomas Middleditch (HBO's Silicon Valley) to name a few. Legendary Pictures is the main production company again behind this film, which is part of the 'monsterverse', and will continue the franchise in 2020's Kong vs Godzilla.

While it's not quite as fun as Kong: Skull Island (reviewed elsewhere on this site), this sequel is a bit more entertaining (and has more monsters) than its 2014 predecessor. Godzilla, in this film, proves that he is the king of the kaiju as he faces off against adversaries Rodan and King Ghidorah and finds a friend in Mothra, but are these monsters really the threat? Or the humans that are trying to manipulate and bend them to their own will? The world is in a state of chaos and must now share the planet with giant monsters (which are growing in numbers) as opposed to simply ourselves.

Original Godzilla 2014 director Gareth Edwards hasn't been seen in the director's chair since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (reviewed elsewhere on this site) for reasons unknown, and so Michael Dougherty (Krampus) takes over and brings quite a different approach to the material that's fresh and different than the norm. While this movie certainly isn't winning a Best Screenplay Oscar, it brings back several characters from the 2014 film and expands upon several of the ideas and concepts that it conjured. There are several homages to the original TOHO Godzilla movies and, of course, all of these characters are reimagined from those early films.

Godzilla is presented in a 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10+); Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on 4K UHD disc and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2:39:01 with audio tracks in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless (plus a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) at 48kHz, 24-bits. This is definitely the type of film that's ideal for showing off a home entertainment system and is full of highly detailed sound design and production value. The use of color used in this film is quite interesting and different than other films of the like, with dominating blues and reds that make up most of the feature. Also included is a 1080p Blu-ray version of the film with the same widescreen and audio specs and a digital UHD copy.

Special Features include:

Feature Audio Commentary by Director Michael Dougherty

Behind the Scenes Featurettes include:

Godzilla: Nature's Fearsome Guardian/ Mothra: Queen of the Monsters/ King Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine/ Rodan: Airborne God of Fire/ Godzilla 2.0/ Making Mothra/ Creating Ghidorah/ Reimagining Rodan/ The Yunnan Temple/ Castle Bravo/ The Antarctic Base/ The Isla de Mara Volcano/ The Undersea Lair/ Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature/ Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight/ Monsters Are Real/ Welcome to the Monsterverse

Deleted Scenes

Godzilla: King of the Monsters will satisfy fans that are craving for more kaiju action, but is by no means perfect. The human characters are still a bit stiff and some of the one liners they bellow are a bit on the nose, but the monster action is the main attraction here anyway. As for the quality of the 4K UHD disc, this is top notch stuff worthy of any collection. This will have to tide us Godzilla fans over until Criterion Collection's mega set imminent.

Finally we have Aaron Harvey's Into The Ashes (2019) crime drama that opens with yet another sequence of a criminal being discharged from jail, he is not going to reform, but reform his old gang. One former member has moved on with his life and has a new wife, but the old gang wants pull him back in, even if it means threatening her and dragging a local sheriff into the madness. Besides being basically predictable with more violence than expected (this is unrated, but would likely be an R otherwise) and runs a very long 97 minutes.

The actors are trying to make this work and take this seriously, but other annoying parts includes quoting the Bible as bookends and making that all seem banal, too many of the same kinds of shots (like following cars from behind with a camera!) and some of the dialogue is just plain bad. You may have even seen actors like Luke Grimes, Robert Taylor, Frank Grillo and James Badge Dale in other works of theirs and might recognize them if you could not name them. This new release will not help your memory.

The HD-shot 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image has slight motion blur throughout, not helped by shaky camera work that makes the situation (older, poorer HD cameras?) worse, with compositions hit or miss, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has an inconsistent soundfield, music that might be a bit too loud versus other audio elements and some dialogue not as well recorded as others.

Extras include two brief Making Of featurettes that try to explain what they were doing.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Ashes) and James Lockhart



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