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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Celebrity > Sports > Football > Cable TV?Horror > Slasher > Supernatural > Action > Exploit > Reform School Girls (1986/Umbrella Region 4 PAL Import DVD)/Trauma Center (2019/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Ballers: The Complete Series (2015 - 2019 Blu-ray) + Season Five (2019 DVD/both HBO-Warner)/Chill Factor (1993/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Countdown (2019/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Lucky Day (2019*)/Reform School Girls (1986/Umbrella Region 4 PAL Import DVD)/Trauma Center (2019/*both Lionsgate Blu-rays)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Reform School Girls Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray, 4K and DVD players that can handle Region 4-locked PAL DVDs and can be ordered from the link below.

And now for the wackier side of genre action and thriller releases...

We'll start with Ballers: The Complete Series (2015 - 2019) and Season Five (2019) which is a show that wants to be a drama, but fails miserably, is the strangest hit in HBO history (if it is even a hit at all) and you never hear anyone talk about or site a favorite scene, line of dialogue or anything else. Apparently playing to a narrow audience, here is some of our coverage of earlier seasons on Blu-ray...







Needless to say one of us totally dismisses this fluff (the nadir of Mark Wahlberg as a producer of anything) and even our more favorable coverage only enjoys the show so much. Needless to say my opinion on the debut season holds and is enforced by the rest of the series, including Season Four, which seems particularly desperate in trying to hold the show together. Now on a better note, this piece on the Final Season....

Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) comes out of retirement but this time not as a football player or manager ...but as an owner and buys his own team. Now, he faces his greatest challenge ever, to go against the league owners and fight for the players. All his former friends, partners and teammates thinks now that Spencer is an owner, he cares more about money than them. Can Spencer prove he is still a team player and a man of the people?

Spencer was once a football super star and later became their agent/manager. He is one of the few people in the NFL to retire both rich and successful, but now he has come out of retirement to face a new and tougher challenge, to be an owner in the NFL. However, not everyone is happy to see him back, rivals and old friends are wondering if he is becoming like all the other owners, greedy and interested only lining their own pockets. Spencer once again finds himself alone, with few friends and even fewer allies, and on top of everything still he has to deal with all the players usual PR nightmares.

This was a football drama series about players, managers, agents and the NFL ...however none of this REALLY happened in real life of course. It is the story about those on the road to success, money and power, it is about who you know and how you are connected to the billions dollar sports industry. The problem with football stars and players are there is no end to the people who think they are the next 'slumdog millionaire', unfortunately there is also no end to the number shady deals, illegal activities and cover ups and entourage following every player. Only the main character 'Spencer' tries to fight for the right thing and the 'American Dream' while all the other characters drag the dream through the mud.

The final episodes are...

Protocol is for Losers - Spencer decides to come out of retirement and buy his own football team and fight for lifetime insurance for the players.

It Must Be the Shoes - Spencer goes to the Anderson Brothers to secure funding. Joe learns to Spencer's return and vows to out do Spencer.

Copernicursed - Spencer tries to recruit Jason as his GM, but Joe steal him away.

Municipal - Spencer needs a GM and recruits Kisan, but there is footage of him in a crime. Ricky is kicked out the league for doping and decides to tries being a radio talk show host.

Crumbs - Spencer has to decide what to do with Kisan when footage of his crime leaks out to the press. Ricky's talk show radio give insider secrets about football players ...which pisses off all his former teammates.

Edutainment - Spencer tries to pitch his idea to the NFL owners but is tricked. Meanwhile, Charles discovers he had multiple heart attacks and contemplates to quitting in the football industry.

Who Wants a Lollipop? - Spencer and Joe make amends with each other and works together again to help each other reach their goals. Ricky is approached by Hollywood.

and Players Only - Spencer threatens the NFL owners with a football strike with evidence of serious injuries of football players to the media. Ricky helps Spencer on a condition to give an interview on his life and how be successful as a football player, a manager and owner.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the DVD with lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is good for the format, then not a far cry from the Blu-rays in this case apparently, so you only miss so much. There are no extras, but the Complete Series set has any previous extras and a paper episode guide, but for those who do not like the show, it is a list of what to skip.

Not to be confused with the urban drama of the same name, Chill Factor (1993) is a micro low budget B movie slasher from the VHS era (which went under the name Demon Possessed) that's been unearthed from the good people at Arrow Video.

Directed by Christopher Webster (Hellraiser 2: Hellbound), this spooky flick centers around a snowmobiling trip gone horrifyingly awry. When a terrible accident occurs, the snowmobilers end up taking refuge in an abandoned building and of course pull out a strange ouija board for to pass the time. Well, they end up conjuring satanic spirits and soon become under the devil's influence. Around this point in the plot, the film starts to fall apart and then goes into this ridiculous ending that makes little to no sense. As far as 'camp' goes, this one definitely takes the cake.

The film stars Dawn Laurrie, Aaron Kjenaas, and Connie Snyder to name a few.

Chill Factor is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an Original uncompressed 2.0 PCM Stereo audio mix. This is a brand new 2K restoration from original film elements and considering its a very low budget production, it looks stunningly better than expected and certainly the best it has ever looked.

Special Features include:

Brand new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley

Brand new on-camera interview with makeup artist Jeffery Lyle Segal

Brand new on-camera interview with production manager Alexandra Reed

Brand new on-camera interview with stunt coordinator Gary Paul

Still Gallery

Original VHS trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's Booklet featuring new writing by Mike White

Chill Factor seems like it should have been made in the 1980s and recalls a simpler time in the world of horror.

There is an app that predicts and counts down the minutes until your death, but could it be for real? The new film, Countdown (2019), explores this idea in a formula that's in the same vein as the Final Destination films. While it is only PG-13, the film offers up some interesting direction by newcomer Justin Dec and is nicely cut and shot. Had this been a bit more extreme, it may have found a different (if not wider) audience.

The film stars Anne Winters, Elizabeth Lail, Charlie McDermott, Peter Facinelli, and Talitha Eliana Bateman. The film centers around a Nurse that gets the new Countdown app, that predicts her death is in three days down to the minutes and seconds. Can she outsmart the supernatural force behind this tech? As others soon find out, the app is defiantly not one that you want to download.

Countdown is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). Also included is a compressed standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD with similar specs but a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The film is surprisingly shot very slick and has some interesting color and lighting behind it. Namely the shots that show the staging of the deaths are particularly well done.

No extras.

I didn't expect much out of Countdown judging by its cover art, but it surprisingly wasn't too bad for a 'jump scare' flick. This seems like a movie that Blumhouse would release, so if you are into that brand of horror then this is one you'll want to add to your watchlist.

Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction) returns to the directing chair (he also directed 2002's The Rules of Attraction and Killing Zoe), with Lucky Day (2019). Two of the characters here are even named 'Red' and 'Honey Bun', both of which are a characters in Pulp Fiction. The film has a similar 'pulpy' feel to it and has plenty of bad language and violence. However, the film isn't as elegant as something Tarantino himself would do, Lucky Day is worth checking out.

Crispin Glover plays a fun role here as a French mercenary/serial killer named Luc whose after a safe cracker named Red (Luke Bracey) who just got released from prison for being partly responsible for the death of his brother during a job gone wrong. Red has a beautiful French wife and daughter (who likes to speak French) and the family has gone broke. His wife played by Nina Dobrev (Flatliners remake), is also a struggling artist and has some issues at her art show whenever the curator makes a pass at her. When Red goes to the party to support her, they soon find the party is crashed by Luc (Glover) who comes in gun blazing. As the life of his family is threatened, Red must do what he can to protect them.

Lucky Day is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The presentation here is top notch for Blu-ray and has a decent amount of detail in the upscale. The film has a decent budget and great color and lighting and an interesting sound mix that has loads of intricate sound design. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include:

Audio Commentary by director Roger Avary

and a Making Of featurette

Lucky Day has a silly cast of characters, some of which are a bit too over the top for their own good. Crispin Glover is especially goofy here and leaves destruction wherever he goes.

The late Rock music star Wendy O. Williams and Linda Carol star in Reform School Girls (1986), written and directed by Tom DeSimone (who also directed Prison Girls and Concrete Jungle). This 'Women in Prison' film is decades before Orange is the New Black and isn't so much exploitation as being a bit more on the dark, comedic side.

The film centers around a group of teenage girls who get sent to a reform school that's run by a sadistic warden and a bully (Wendy O.). All of the girls inside this prison are easy on the eyes and enjoy a good catfight. But once the disorderly conduct gets out of control, a revolution starts to boil against the powers that be.

The film also stars Sybil Danning (a B-movie action icon of the time) and Pat Ast.

Reform School Girls is presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English mix, both of which look and sound fine for the DVD format. Compression issues are evident but seeing that this is an 80s movie, the upscaling I did isn't as bad as you'd expect.

No extras.

Last and almost least is Matt Eskandari's Trauma Center (2019) with Bruce Willis sleepwalking and looking bored in yet another pretty much straight-to-video production as a cop out for revenge when two people (an informant and his partner) are killed, but a witness (Nicky Whelan) survives and he will do what he has to do to protect her because he is going to get whomever did the killings if it is his last act on earth!!!... I guess...

I'd like to think of it as Die Hard Jr. meets Moonlighting Jr., but the long, long, long, long, long 87 minutes drone on and on and on and on and on and Willis does not much to alleviate that sense of it all being dragged out. Then, when the witness is stuck in the hospital and potentially the target of the killer, it becomes the original Halloween II in slow motion with zero suspense and when it was all said and done, old TV medical shows like Medical Center seemed like Game Of Thrones meets Westworld!

Films like Motherless Brooklyn shows Willis can still act when he cares, but he's just collecting another paycheck here and even he knows he is going through the motions here. The pedestrian script does not help and I never bought this for a minute. If it was any less competent or boring, which it is very much so, I would have lowered my rating. See at your own risk, but please do NOT operate heavy machinery or the like while viewing.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer has some good color, but is a little soft on the edges throughout and that has nothing to do with style, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has a soundfield that is inconsistent, but most dialogue is clear. A trailer is the only extra on the disc, but Digital Copy is also included.

To order the Reform School Girls Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard to find releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Ballers Blu-ray, Center), Ricky Chiang (Ballers DVD) and James Lockhart



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