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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Drama > Melodrama > Revenge > Horror > Anthology > Supernatural > Crime > Gangsters > Triads > China > Cimarron (1960/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Field Guide To Evil (2018/Umbrella PAL Region Free Import DVD)/First Love (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Raiga: God Of The Monsters (2009/SRS/MVD DVD)/Superman: Red

Cimarron (1960/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Field Guide To Evil (2018/Umbrella PAL Region Free Import DVD)/First Love (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Raiga: God Of The Monsters (2009/SRS/MVD DVD)/Superman: Red Son 4K (2020/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B-/B+/B-/B+ Sound: B-/B-/B+/B-/A Extras: C-/D/C-/C-/B Films: C+/B/C+/C-/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Field Guide To Evil 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 the PAL format, while the Cimmaron remake is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. Both can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a very wide-ranging set of new genre releases...

We start with Anthony Mann's remake of the RKO Western classic Cimarron (1960) with an all-star cast starting with Glenn Ford as the title character, whose love for his wife and a potentially great country takes him to great heights in the settling of Oklahoma. Based on the Edna Ferber (Giant) novel, includes plenty of melodrama, fighting, bullying and a few segments of casts of (a few) thousands to show the settling of the new land. At a time when the Revenge Western was king, Professional Westerns were coming and a few transitional Westerns had been made to tell more of the truth about the West, this film was certainly a bit of a throwback.

MGM was hoping for maybe another Gone With The Wind of some kind, but this remake runs 2.5 hours and does not offer much new versus the original film or so many similar, older Westerns. I was not expecting something as bold as Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980), but this has a run-on problem and also is a bit in the shadow of the feature film version of Giant made a few years earlier.

What does make it worth watching is its ambition, the money on the screen (including all those clothes) and a grade-A cast that also includes Maria Schell, Anne Baxter, Russ Tamblyn, Arthur O'Connell, Mercedes McCambridge, Vic Morrow, Edgar Buchanan, Charles McGraw, Harry Morgan, L.Q. Jones, Mary Wickes and Royal Dano. All that separates it from the now hundreds of recycled Westerns we are seeing that are just so phony and bad, so genre fans should see this one at least once for themselves. Otherwise, you probably will not be impressed and (like myself at times) bored.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is a fine restoration of the CinemaScope presentation, but you will not see as many flaws in the format as you usually would, because MGM replaced the old Bausch & Lomb lenses associated with the format with ones form Panavision, so fidelity is improved if it is not outright looking as good as a scope film outright shot in Panavision. Though it would have been nice if the film was in Technicolor, it is instead in MetroColor from the MGM labs shot on Eastman Color/Kodak 35mm film of the time and it still looks solid as that lab did great work.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is a passable mixdown of the original 4-track magnetic sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects that this film was originally issued with, but is apparently lost at this time. You can still hear the traveling dialogue and sound effects, but it is not as effective.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, though something else would have been nice.

From the creators of the ABCs of Death comes a world-wide collaboration of several different prolific genre horror filmmakers culminating in an exciting eight narrative anthology film, The Field Guide to Evil (2018). As far as anthologies go, this one is definitely better than most that I've seen as of late. Nicely crafted and each episode cinematically interesting, this is a nice collection of spooky shorts to get your blood flowing.

Influenced mainly by folklore, the films bring frightening myths and urban legends to life with different refreshing styles. Some of the themes involve forbidden love, Greek underworld goblins, medieval Hungarian cobblers, and U.S. hillbilly folklore.

Some of the directors include Ashim Ahluwalia, Can Evrenol, Severin Fiala, Veronica Franz, Katrin Gebbe, Calvin Reeder, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Peter Strickland, and Yannis Veslemes. Some of the stars of the film include Birgit Minichmayr, Claude Duhamel, Jilon VanOver, Fatma Mohamed, and Niharika Singh. The film is produced by Legion M and EchoWolf Productions.

The Field Guide to Evil is presented in 1.85 X 1 anamorphically enhanced widescreen and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix in various languages, (with English subtitles when needed.) The film has a compressed image as native with the format but the films are all interestingly shot and highly cinematic.

No extras.

From acclaimed director Takashi Miike, is First Love (2019) which finds it way into America courtesy of Well Go USA. Taking place over the course of one night in Tokyo, a boxer and a prostitute get caught up in a drug-smuggling plot involving the Yakuza, corrupt cops, a female assassin sent by the Chinese triads, and other life threatening scenarios. That doesn't dampen the 'first love' both of these main characters feel for each other, despite the ensuing chaos.

The film stars Becky, Masataka Kubota, Maimi Yajima, Seiyo Uchino, and Sansei.

First Love is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 (or 2.0) mix with English subtitles or the English dubbed version in DTS-MA 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo as well, whichever is your preference. For being shot at night mostly, the film has a really colorful look to it with interesting yellows and blues that pop from some of the interior scenes.

Special Features:


and previews for other Well Go films.

Next, this ultra low budget Japanese Godzilla parody, Raiga: God of Monsters (2009), has special effects on the same level as Birdemic, which is so bad it's often hilarious. While the plot to Raiga is a bit too familiar to another iconic kaiju monster, the film is interesting for its B (or maybe even Z) grade movie humor and underwhelming effects. This is definitely a 'party' movie that you want to watch with friends.

A giant lizard named Raiga comes to the surface and while he may look a bit like Godzilla, has electricity powers that spark out of him. The city attempts to fight back but its of little use against his huge towering beast!

Raiga is presented on standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Japanese audio mix with English subtitles. Compression issues are evident with the format and this was obviously shot on an older video format (pro Beta?). Some of the underwater effects look particularly bad, but it kind of adds to the charm and goofiness of the film.

Special Features:


and a Japanese Making of Feature.

Finally, we have the animated superhero feature Superman Red Son 4K (2020) with a new twist on the Superman mythos that reimagines the classic American hero as a Soviet hero, as his rocket lands in the USSR during the time of heavy conflict. The period set animated film is pretty much your standard Superman story but told in bizzaro world fashion. During the film, Superman fights a robotic American version of himself, breaks down the Berlin Wall with ease, and faces up against a giant floating robot with tentacles. Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and other Justice League characters make re-imagined appearances as well to spice things up.

This Elseworld spin on the DC comics myth is an interesting 'what if' experiment that compliments the comic series of the same name from 2003 by author Mark Millar (Kick Ass). It was nominated for an Eisner Award, and so if you're a fan of reading the DC Comics books as well then you will definitely want to check that out.

The voice cast includes Jason Isaacs as Superman, Amy Acker, Paul Williams, Diedrich Bader, Sasha Roiz, and Phil LaMarr. The animated film is directed by Sam Liu (Superman: Reign of the Supermen).

Superman Red Son 4K is presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the 4K UHD disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit). The animation is clean and slick throughout and similar to other DC Universe animated features reviewed elsewhere on this site. Also included is a 1080p Blu-ray disc with similar audio specs and a digital copy. Many of the DC Universe movies have a signature animated style that is similar in some respects to the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series and this one is no different.

Special Features include:

DC Showcase: Phantom Stranger (Animated Short)

Cold Red War (New Featurette)

Two episodes from Superman: Red Son - The Motion Comics.

A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

Superman Red Son is a dark and often dramatic spin on the Superman mythos that's worth checking out if you're a fan. It looks great on 4K UHD as well.

To order the Field Guide To Evil Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find releases at:


...and to order the 1960 Cimarron remake on Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Cimarron) and James Lockhart



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