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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Drama > Murder > Crime > Film Noir > Urban > Police > Science Fiction > Death Sport > Comedy > Horro > Two On A Guillotine (1964/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Warriors Of The Nation (2018/Well Go Blu-ray)

Black Angel (1941/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Queen & Slim (2019/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray*)/Running Man (1987/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/21 Bridges (2019/Blu-ray/*both Universal)/Two On A Guillotine (1964/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Warriors Of The Nation (2018/Well Go Blu-ray)

4K 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+

PLEASE NOTE: The Running Man Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray players, while Two On A Guillotine is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Here's is a new set of thrillers that get down and dirty...

We'll start with a black and white film noir classic, Black Angel (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.

When 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 Angel is very much a whodunnit murder mystery kind of film that fans of the recent Knives Out might enjoy.

Black Angel 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.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary by the writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode

A Fitting End, a new video appreciation of the film by the film historian Neil Sinyard

Original trailer

Gallery of original stills and promotional materials

Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options

and First pressing only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Philip Kemp.

A modern day take on Bonnie and Clyde in a weird kind of way, Queen & Slim (2019) lands on the 4K UHD format courtesy of Universal. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) and Jodie Turner-Smith (''The Last Ship'', ''Nightflyers'') 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.

The film also stars Bokeem Woodbine ("Fargo", Spider-Man: Homecoming), Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry, "Big Love"), legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea (Baby Driver, Boy Erased), American country singer, Sturgill Simpson (The Dead Don't Die, "One Dollar") and Indya Moore ("Pose", Saturday Church).

Queen and Slim 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.

Special Features include:

Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Melina Matsoukas and Writer/Producer Lena Waithe

A Deeper Meaning - Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith and filmmakers discuss the complicated journeys of Queen & Slim and explore the deeper meanings of how far these characters have come from where they began.

Melina & Lena - A behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between director/producer

Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter/producer Lena Waithe.

Off The Script - Screenwriter Lena Waithe reads from her original screenplay for Queen & Slim.

and On The Run With Queen & Slim - Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Queen & Slim as they film in Cleveland and New Orleans.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man (1987) gets another HD release (its third actually) courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment. Directed by Paul Michael Glaser (the original Starsky and Hutch 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 and Total Recall. 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.

Based on a story by Stephen King himself, The Running Man 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 Hunger Games 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 watches.

The 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.

The Running Man 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.

No extras.

Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) stars in 21 Bridges (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.

The 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.

Boseman 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 inside?

21 Bridges 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.

Special Features include:

Deleted Scenes


and a Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director Brian Kirk and Editor Tim Murrell.

21 Bridges isn't necessarily a bad film or a good one either.

Actor 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:


Once 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.

The 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.

The 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.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.

At 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 (2018).

It 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.

This 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 he can.

The 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.

To order either of the Umbrella import Blu-rays or DVD, go to this link:


and 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) and James Lockhart



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