(2019/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray*)/Running
(1987/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/21
On A Guillotine
(1964/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Warriors
Of The Nation
(2018/Well Go Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B+/B+/B+/B/B+ Sound:
B/B+/B+/B+/B-/B+ Extras: B/B/D/B/C-/D Films: B-/C+/B/C+/C+/B+
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray players, while
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
is a new set of thrillers that get down and dirty...
start with a black
and white film noir classic, Black
(1941), gets a startling new HD transfer on Blu-ray disc courtesy of
Arrow Academy. The film stars Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre,
Broderick Crawford, and Constance Dowling. The film is directed by
Roy William Neill, who previously directed eleven Sherlock Holmes
films with Basil Rathbone (reviewed elsewhere on this site), making
him no stranger to the mystery genre.
a young woman is murdered in her apartment, all of the many men in
her life are questioned. When her Mistress finds the body, he is
made suspect and it's up to his wife and a pianist to uncover the
truth behind the mystery. Black
is very much a whodunnit murder mystery kind of film that fans of the
is presented in 1080p black and white high definition with a 1.33:1
full frame aspect ratio and a new audio mix in an uncompressed LPCM
Mono mix, both of which highly compliment and update this old film.
This is a new 2K remaster struck from the original film elements and
looks and sounds very sharp here.
audio commentary by the writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode
a new video appreciation of the film by the film historian Neil
of original stills and promotional materials
sleeve featuring two artwork options
First pressing only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film by author Philip Kemp.
modern day take on Bonnie and Clyde in a weird kind of way, Queen
(2019) lands on the 4K UHD format courtesy of Universal. The film
stars Daniel Kaluuya (Get
and Jodie Turner-Smith (''The
and centers around a lackluster first date that ends in a cop pulling
them over. Once they get harassed and the cop gets shot out of self
defense, their situation (which was filmed) goes viral and ends up
creating a global sensation that causes these two fugitives to resort
into hiding. What starts out as a bad date ends up an unforgettable
romance between the two. Of course, there are heavy themes of self
defense, racism, and violence throughout the film, which obviously
makes it Oscar bait, but the movie surprisingly isn't half bad.
film also stars Bokeem Woodbine ("Fargo",
Chloe Sevigny (Boys
legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea (Baby
American country singer, Sturgill Simpson (The
Dead Don't Die,
and Indya Moore ("Pose",
is presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image on the 4K Ultra HD disc and is presented
in widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in English Dolby
Atmos 11.1 lossless sound (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mixdown
for older systems). The film looks and sounds fantastic here and is
very cinematic in its style. It has a very cutting edge and clean
kind of filmmaking about it that's certainly commendable.
Commentary with Director/Producer Melina Matsoukas and
Writer/Producer Lena Waithe
- Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith and filmmakers discuss the
complicated journeys of Queen
and explore the deeper meanings of how far these characters have come
from where they began.
- A behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between
Matsoukas and screenwriter/producer Lena Waithe.
- Screenwriter Lena Waithe reads from her original screenplay for
Run With Queen & Slim
- Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Queen
as they film in Cleveland and New Orleans.
Schwarzenegger in The
(1987) gets another HD release (its third actually) courtesy of
Umbrella Entertainment. Directed by Paul Michael Glaser (the
TV series), this seems to be a bit more on the Roger Corman side of
genre films than Schwarzenegger's other more serious classic Sci-Fi
action romps made around the same time such as Predator
However, it's pretty fun and holds up surprisingly well after all
these years. It also interesting to see just how many shows and
movies have ripped off this concept in one way or another since.
on a story by Stephen King himself, The
takes place in 2019 (we'll just say an 'alternate' version), where
the favorite televised program of a desolate totalitarian state is
known as 'The Running Man'. On the show, prisoners must avoid a
brutal death by either fighting one another or being subjected to
wild games. (The
series were a bit 'inspired' by this film.) Ben Richards
(Schwarzenegger) is a wrongly accused man who is framed for mass
murder. Thrust onto the show against his will, Richards has to face
off against four deadly killers on the program as the whole country
film also stars Richard Dawson (actor and later game show icon),
Jesse Ventura, Jim Brown, Mick Fleetwood, and Maria Conchita Alonso
to name a few.
is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio mix in lossless
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The audio mix is an
improvement over the previous 2013 version of the film that is on
Blu-ray from Olive Films, however, the Maple Studios version of the
film that was released in 2014 has a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 that is
the best of the three. The image is comparable to previous releases,
however, with a clean HD image with little noise.
stars in 21
(2019), which lands on Blu-ray (not 4K UHD at this time) courtesy of
Universal Studios. The film has a lot of familiar faces and plenty
of shoot outs and chases sequences to please casual action movie fans
but there isn't much else there to dive into.
film also stars Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons, and Keith
David. The film is produced by The Russo Brothers (Avengers
films) and directed by Brian Kirk.
is a battered NYPD detective who is hot on the trailer of two cop
killers and must do whatever it takes to find them. After an
exhaustive game of cat and mouse, the police force take extreme
measures and decide to close all 21 bridges leaving and entering the
city in order to catch these crooks. But will they be able to do so
in time? Or could there be someone else pulling the strings from the
is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio
of 2.39:1 and audio mix in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
5.1 sound, both of which are of the norm for the format. There's
also an anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD included in
the package with a digital copy. The film isn't badly shot and looks
fine here, with most of the film being shot at night and having a
look inspired by Michael Mann films.
a Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director Brian Kirk and Editor
isn't necessarily a bad film or a good one either.
William Conrad directed the thriller Two
On A Guillotine
(1964) for MGM and though it was not a huge hit, it is a film people
still talk about. A few years ago, Warner Archive issued it on DVD.
Now, they decided to upgrade it for Blu-ray release. Here is my
coverage of the DVD version:
again, Warner Archive has taken a good film that deserves a larger
audience and got it out there, with a fine cast and nice look
throughout. Even with its flaws and some limits, a film in a scope
frame in black and white is always something unique and interesting.
In this upgrade, you can really enjoy film much more, it is more
vivid and affecting and palpable from a brief period after Psycho
(1960) and Whatever
Happened To Baby Jane?
(1962) delivered the last big cycle of monochrome horror thrillers
(even when not in scope) before color film finally took over.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used bit, but more so the older CinemaScope lens
system which tended to have more flaws from being older, yet this is
superior to the decent DVD that was issued a few years ago. However,
the increase in depth, detail, richness of Video Black and other
subtle improvements make this the way to see this film outside of a
new film print.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix obviously shows its
age, but is much warmer, clear and even cleaner here than on the DVD
edition. In combination with the new HD master, makes this much more
involving to watch.
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
the end of the Chino-Japanese War, China is under civil unrest in
where the Chinese government is corrupt, weak and failing, and
foreigners and the Japanese seek to overtake the weakened government
by kidnapping of the last high ranking military official. Only Wong
Fei Hung stand in their way, one man to save then entire country he
loves and protects in Marco Mak's Warriors
Of The Nation
is a time of unrest, with the Imperial Empire failing most of the
officials are corrupt and care only about their own power and money.
Only the last virtuous General Zhang stands in the way of open
invasion and foreign warships from invading China's harbors.
However, the White Lotus Society a secret society of zealots
manipulated by Japanese agents seeks to discredit and 'remove'
general Zhang claiming that he is no better than all the other
corrupt officials. Only Wong Fei Hung sees through all the lies and
deceptions, he still believes in China, it's government and it's
people. Wong Fei Hung uncovers the Japanese plot and must fight to
save and rescue General Zhang before it is too late.
movie was like a remake of the 1992's 'Once
Upon in China 2'
of Wong Fei Hung defending China against foreign invasion with a
conspiracy to the government, only this time with the Japanese as the
masterminds of the evil plot (which then allowed them to add ninjas
to the story). The movie featured more modern special effects and
filming, and also added more female martial artists and characters,
with Wong Fei Hung (a martial arts expert) leading it all as well as
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image has all kinds of shaky
camera work going on, which is part of its chosen style, but one can
imagine why this may never be a 4K release. It is as good as it can
look, while the Mandarin DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that can more than keep up with it
all, so the combination is as good as it is going to get. Extras
include trailers, but nothing else.
order either of the
Umbrella import Blu-rays or DVD, go to this link:
to order either of the Warner Archive DVDs Blu-rays, go to this link
for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo (Guillotine),
Ricky Chiang (Nation)