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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Comedy > Greek > Gangster > Urban > Legal > Action > Crime > Relationships > Bikers > Western > Adven > Tolkien (2019/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Do It Yourself (2018/Artsploitation DVD)/Find Me Guilty (2006/Yari*)/Killers Anonymous (2019/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Loveless (1981/Arrow/*both MVD Blu-rays)/The Tall Men (1955/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Tolkien (2019/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B-/B/B & C+/B+/B/B+ & C+ Sound: B-/C+/B+ & B-/B+/B/B+ & C+ Extras: C+/C/C+/B/C/C+ Films: B-/B-/C/B/B-/B

PLEASE NOTE: The Tall Men 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 group of unusual films, with serious situations, but sometimes approached with comedy in unusual ways....

We start with the Greek comedy/thriller Do It Yourself (2018), directed by James Widdoes, centers around a small-time crook who agrees to film a video which will be used to help boost the public image of a businessman. When he realizes that his accomplices are going to kill him and the whole scheme was a wash, he gets imprisoned in a porn studio, and has to hatch a plan of escape. Wild and at times pretty hilarious with a high body count, Do It Yourself is certainly an original concept, and a film worth checking out.

Do It Yourself stars Mirto Alikaki, Konstadinos Aspiotis, Makis Papadimitriou, Christos Loulis, and Themis Panou. The film is presented in standard definition DVD with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy 5.1 Greek audio track with optional English subtitles. Aside from compression that is the norm for the format, the film looks and sounds fine for DVD.

Special Features include:

Director Commentary

How it was shot

Storyboard Comparison

VFX Breakdown

The Way of Styx - Short Film

and a Trailer

Next is Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty (2006), finally out on Blu-ray after its DVD debut 12 years ago. We reviewed the DVD at this link:


This new edition has the same extras, sadly the same lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix (why no lossless sound?) and best of all, a nice, smooth upgrade from the fairly decent DVD, but you can really see and enjoy the film the way Lumet meant it to be seen, how he shot it, laid it out, blocked it and had it edited. It remains one of Vin Diesel's best films (by default?) and should now be a curio as Game Of Thrones alumni Peter Dinklage shows up as a lawyer in a really solid performance.

I still cannot believe Lumet is no longer with us, but this is a film worth seeing (or seeing again) and any fan of comedy, gangster films, Lumet or the cast should go out of their way to catch it. You'll be surprised how well it holds up.

While Gary Oldman is arguably one of the best actors of his generation, he isn't always in good films. One must wonder why he chose Killers Anonymous (2019), a soulless and boring action/thriller that is trying to be something akin to an early Guy Ritchie film but fails miserably. Poor Jessica Alba is trying here, but she isn't given much to work with as she plays a lesbian hired killer with a confusing and complicated past. This direct to video film is just that, and one you can skip without losing too much sleep.

The film also stars Suki Waterhouse, Tommy Flanagan, and MyAnna Buring. Using the AAA formula of a support group, only this time its for killers, the film follows the exploits of some hired assassins with a lot of baggage. Within the group, they plot an assassination attempt on a U.S. Senator and fall into many mishaps along the way.

Killers Anonymous is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The transfer looks fine on Blu-ray disc and has a nice even and slightly stylized look. A digital copy is also included. Also included is an anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD version with a compressed image and a lossy 5.1 Dolby mix. Both releases are up to standards and fine considering the nature of the film.

Special Features include:

Director's Commentary

Deleted Scenes

and an Alternate Ending

A young Willem Dafoe stars in this bizarre film, Loveless (1981), and shows how much talent he has always had as an actor. Remastered and revamped on Blu-ray through Arrow Video. In the film Dafoe plays a bad biker named Vance in the 1950s, whose something of a greaser, who falls for a rich Southerner lady while Vance is on his way to the Daytona racetracks. An early film of Director Kathryn Bigelow as well, who co-directed with Monty Montgomery, this interesting film is worth checking out if you're a fan of offbeat period dramas.

The film also stars Marianne Kanter, J. Don Ferguson, Tina Lhotsky, and Robert Gordon.

Loveless is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a nice sounding English LPCM 2.0 Mono audio mix. This is a new 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by co-writer/co-director Monty Montgomery and director of photography Doyle Smith. While I haven't seen previous versions to gauge improvement over the years, this is a fine and sharp presentation with nothing that detracted away from the presentation and is nicely colored and composed.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary with co-writer/co-director Monty Montgomery, moderated by Elijah Drenner

No Man's Friend Today: Making The Loveless, new video interviews with actors Willem Dafoe, Marin Kanter, Robert Gordon, Phillip Kimbrough and Lawrence Matarese

U.S. 17: Shooting The Loveless, new video interviews with producers Grafton Nunes and A. Kitman Ho

Chrome and Hot Leather: The Look of The Loveless, new interviews with production designer Lilly Kilvert and director of photography Doyle Smith

Reckless, new audio interview with musician Eddy Dixon

Extensive image gallery, including on-set photographs, storyboards and original production documentation

Theatrical trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

and First Pressings Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Peter Stanfield.

Raoul Walsh's The Tall Men (1955) is a big CinemaScope Western we covered over ten years ago in a impressive Clark Gable Collection DVD set. As I said then (with modifications), the film pairs...

Gable and gutsy Raoul Walsh in a Western about post-Civil War cattle drives and the troubles that ensue. This time, Jane Russell is his leading lady and Robert Ryan plays his opponent. The tale of greed competes with the drama and Miss Russell's larger-than-life screen presence. The trailer from the previous DVD literally is carried over to this Blu-ray disc, joined by an Isolated Music Score by Victor Young. The film was originally a 4-track magnetic stereo 35mm film releases, now upgraded to lossless DTS-HD MA (Mater Audio) 5.1 sound, but you also get 4.0 and 2.0 Stereo options that are not bad, but not as impressive as the new 5.1 mix. As before, you can hear how the remastering had to cut out background noise to the point that it competes with dialogue and other sound effects.

An illustrated booklet with tech info and an essay by Mike Finnegan round out the upgrades. Leo Tover had been shooting films since the silent era and his use of CinemaScope, especially in its wider original 2.55 X 1 aspect ratio, is impressive, fun and sometimes unintentionally funny. The Tall Men has some memorable shots for a pre-Spaghetti widescreen Western. The DeLuxe lab color is here with more richness and a better range. Not many of these early CinemaScope films were made, so it is always nice when they arrive.

Twilight Time once again offers a much-needed upgrade to a film more people should check out.

And finally, the biopic Tolkien. This is for the Blu-ray/DVD combo of the film and not the 4K UHD version, which is also available from Fox.

X-Men actor Nicolas Hoult stars in Tolkien (2019), which is based on the life of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. A solider in WWI and a student, young Tolkien ends up falling in love with Edit Bratt (Lily Collins), and eventually becoming the famed author he was born to be. The film mixes some of his real life experiences with events in the book and where that inspiration came from.

Overall interesting but a bit slow in pace, the film didn't make a ton at the box office and maybe came out a few years too late. This would have had more interest in the early 2000s when Peter Jackson's films were front and center in the public mind. However, Tokien isn't a bad film and is definitely worth checking out now that its on disc.

Tolkien also stars Pam Ferris, Derek Jacobi, and Genevieve O'Reilly. It is directed by Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland).

The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix and foreign language tracks in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1. There's also a standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen presentation of 2.39:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Both presentations look fine for both formats, and are up to par on both mediums.

Special Features include:

Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Director Dome Karukoski

First Look clip

Gallery of stills

and a Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Director Dome Karukoski.

To order The Tall Men limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo (Guilty, Tall) and James Lockhart



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