(1960/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Field
Guide To Evil
(2018/Umbrella PAL Region Free Import DVD)/First
(2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Raiga:
God Of The Monsters
Red Son 4K
(2020/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
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+
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.
a very wide-ranging set of new genre releases...
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, though something else
would have been nice.
the creators of the ABCs
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.
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.
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
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
acclaimed director Takashi Miike, is First
(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
film stars Becky, Masataka Kubota, Maimi Yajima, Seiyo Uchino, and
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
previews for other Well Go films.
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
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
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.
a Japanese Making of Feature.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
Showcase: Phantom Stranger
episodes from Superman:
Red Son - The Motion Comics.
Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Justice
League Dark: Apokolips War.
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.
Guide To Evil
Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find
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)