(Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Buoyancy
(2019/Umbrella Region 4 PAL Import DVD)/Dark
Waters (Universal Blu-ray
w/DVD)/A Hidden Life
(Fox Blu-ray)/1917 4K
(Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray/DVD Set)/Richard
Movement DVD/all 2019)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B & C+/C+/B+ & B-/B/B &
C+/B+/B- Sound: B & C+/C+/B+ & B-/B/B+ & C+/B+/B-
Extras: C+/D/C+/D/B/C+/B Films: B/B-/B/B-/B/B/C+
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 PAL DVDs and can be ordered from the
next are some of the best and most challenging dramas of the year...
start with one of last year's best films, Jay Roach's Bombshell
(2019) about the Fox News Network sex scandal where it turns out
network co-founder and CEO boss Roger Ailes (an amazing John Lithgow)
was mixing sexual harassment and worse with is ultra-right wing
propaganda. This turns out to have extended to the biggest women at
the network including Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) who is the
first to get sick of it all, leaves and sues. Of course, she is
criticized, written off and even verbally attacked and defamed, but
she stands by the truth waiting for the next development. She knows
she cannot be the only one.
does she know that Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron, whose transformation
into the real-life woman is unreal here) has also had the same
experience, but is not saying anything yet, but a sexy new employee
(Margot Robbie) is the next one to experience Ailes' predatory
behavior and things are just going to get worse until something
film is underrated, did get some awards during the big movie season,
but deserves even more and I hope audiences catch up with it. There
is some amazing work here (including bringing the Fox News offices to
life) and tells the story of one of the greatest falls of anyone in
the media in recent years, how politics and bullying kept Ailes in
place and by women who sold out other women. I was looking forward
to this one and it was as good and better than I expected. Go out of
your way to see this one.
issued in 4K yet, the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is
a smooth, smart HD shoot with color consistency and warmth that makes
me wish this were out in 4K, but you also get some nice shots and
smart editing, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is dialogue-based, but has
plenty of detail in its sound design, healthy surrounds and good
music. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 DVD with lossy Dolby
Digital 5,1 sound is passable, but not as effective as the Blu-ray.
include Digital Copy, Original Theatrical Trailer, plus
Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell
Documentary including Convergence:
Genesis of the Film,
Pro Quo: Charlize, Nicole, Margot, John,
Dynamics: The Ensemble Cast,
the Fourth Wall: Visual Design,
by Layer: Makeup, Hair & Clothing,
Unique Skill Set: Jay Roach,
for Change: Parting Thoughts.
(2019) is a new import drama that tells the story of how both slave
labor and slavery are alive and well now because the outrage is never
backed up enough by laws enforced, et al. Chakra (Sam Heng) is only
14-years-old (thus, this also bashes the lack of child labor laws
enforced as well) helps his family with their rice fields, but wants
to make more money and go places. Sneaking to Bangkok with a friend
to work in a factory with the promise of better pay, they get
kidnapped and forced to work 22-hour days on a fishing ship for
also get beat up, threatened, starved and terrorized throughout, so
the film hammers home how bad this gets, including throwing the weak
and no longer useful slave/kidnapees overboard to drown when they
stop becoming productive. We've seen some of this before, but
usually in tales set in the past, not on that is happening now, but
that's what we got here and at 92 minutes, this makes its important
points well. Well done and it pulls no punches.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is a decent digital shoot that
works best in the daylight sequences, but is fine, while the
Khmer/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix is often dialogue-based, but
works fine too.
are no extras.
fine drama inspired by the true story of Attorney Robert Bilott, Dark
Waters (2019) stars Mark Ruffalo and a top notch cast. The legal
thriller centers around Attorney Robert Bilott (Ruffalo) who uncovers
a Government cover-up and a town that has been exposed to a a deadly
chemical in their water supply for several decades. The film has a
very 'real' feel to it with several solid performances and superb
filmmaking by Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Safe, I'm
film also stars Anne Hathaway, Bill Pullman, Tim Robbins, and Victor
Waters is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with
a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice sounding English DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The film has some interesting
color correction done to it with very stylized greens and other
colors that makes the film a bit more cinematic. As for the audio,
it comes across fine and clear throughout, though this is mainly a
dialogue driven film.
included is an anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD
version with a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and similar widescreen
aspect ratio, however the image a bit more compressed than HD, as
native to the format.
Dark Waters featurette
Cost of Being a Hero featurette
The Real People featurette.
Malick is back with A
(2019) about a German man named Franz (August Diehl) who has a
family, home and works in the beautiful countryside as Hitler is
taking over Germany on the advent of WWII starts to hear bad things
about it all and simply wants to be left alone with his family and
not get involved. However, Nazi fascism wants everyone
to mindlessly, blindly, totally and passively surrender to supporting
Hitler, which almost all around him have quietly started doing.
Uninterested and disturbed, he confides to his local priest, who
turns out to be a confederate who has already sold out to the Nazis.
eventually leads to him being harassed (along with some of his
family) then targeted, profiled and eventually arrested. From there,
also for not serving in the military, there is prison and worse as
the film goes along. Based on actual letters from the real-life
incident, the film is still a bit long at 174 minutes, but it is
thorough and the cast is also very convincing. Also starring Bruno
Ganz, Valerie Pincher and Matthias Schoenaerts, it is definitely
worth a look, but make sure you have the time and energy to get
through it to experience its full impact.
not available yet in 4K, the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
image is a fine HD shoot combining the usual elements we are now
familiar with in Malick's later work, constantly impressive large
shots with vistas and views that impress, combined with personal
shots of the actors, often with lingering close-ups in the Ingmar
Bergman mode. Hope we see this in 4K at some point, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix is apparently a mixdown of
the 12-track soundmaster. Still, it sounds good and is well
are sadly no extras.
Mendes' 1917 4K (2019) is an all-too-rare film about WWI and
is based on stories he was told as a child about the war, but in this
case, it focuses on two young soldiers (George MacKay and
Dean-Charles Chapman) who have to take a message far over to the
other side of a large battlefield to stop a British attack as it is
secretly a set-up by the Nazis to kill almost 2,000 British soldiers,
including the brother of one of the men. They don't have too much
time to do this, but must dodge any Nazis and get their in time to
in pretty much one continuous shot (Hitchcock first did this in Rope
in 1948, then Russian Ark revived this kind of thing a few
years ago as HD started being used in feature film production) and
that seems like something that would invite contrivances and gimmicky
moves, but not here. This has a nice flow to it, does not get
ridiculously sweeping and brings the distant war back to life anew so
we do not forget. It still could not totally escape the shadow of
Kubrick's Paths Of Glory (1957, reviewed elsewhere on this
site on Criterion Blu-ray) and especially where shooting in the
trenches are concerned, but offers a fully-realized view of the war
that is not about the battles directly for most of the film. Also
expect some other interesting casting. Easily one of 2019's best
films, it is a classic of the genre and highly recommended,
definitely go out of your way for this one.
2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1 Dolby Vision/HDR (10+; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the 4K disc is the
best entry of all the films here with some demo shots that rank above
its letter grade, all shot on new, smaller 4.5K Arriflex Ultra HD
cameras that make it an experience that has its surprises. Color and
style are very consistent, images very clear. The 1080p 2.35 X 1
digital High Definition image is also not bad, but no match for the
amazing 4K presentation, though is still consistent for a downtraded
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD version is just too
soft to be enjoyed and lightyears away from the incredible work of
Director of Photography Roger Deakins, B.S.C., A.S.C., so this is the
kind of release that should make you upgrade to a 4K system with
Dolby Vision and 12-track sound if you do not already have one.
Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) lossless sound
is also impressive, with dialogue-driven moments, silences and sound
that kicks into all the speakers when called for. Also offering some
demo moments, Thomas Newman's score is a plus and very well thought
out. This mix appears on both the 4K and regular Blu-ray, leaving a
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD that is on the weak side
comparatively speaking and is just missing too much detail versus the
Extras are great and
(per the press release) include The Weight of the World: Sam
Mendes - Academy Award winner Sam Mendes discusses his personal
connection to World War One, Allied Forces: Making 1917 -
Learn how the one shot, 360-degree format was executed and the
pivotal role Academy Award-winner Roger Deakins served in bringing
Sam Mendes' vision to life, The Music of 1917 - Composer
Thomas Newman and filmmakers discuss the important role of the
Academy Award-nominated score, In The Trenches - Go behind the
scenes with the cast of 1917, Recreating History - Filmmakers
offer a detailed look at the production design challenges of
recreating the First World War, a Feature-Length Commentary with
Director/Co-Writer Sam Mendes and a Feature-Length Commentary with
Director of Photography Roger Deakins.
on the true story of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing as told
through the lens of Academy Award-Winning Director Clint Eastwood,
(2019) is an interesting story of an American Security Guard (the
title person) who located a bomb at the Olympic games and was later
targeted wrongly by the media for being a primate suspect. The film
tells the story of Jewell before, during, and after the incident and
how it ruined his life for a period of time.
film stars Paul Walter Hauser as Richard Jewell with Sam Rockwell,
Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde.
Jewell is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with
a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1
lossless mix, the film looks and sounds up to par with the format and
looks fine on disc. Employing his strong crew behind the camera,
Eastwood gives the film a nicely stylized look with interesting
colors and nice clarity in the image. There is no 4K UHD release of
this film at the time of this writing.
Making of Richard Jewell
The Real Story of Richard Jewell.
the film wasn't a huge hit nor did it sweep the Oscars, Richard
Jewell is another interesting film to add to Eastwood's
filmography and attempts to give the story a fresh yet honest
approach much like he did with Sully a few years ago. A
controversial plot twist caused the controversial, but you'll have to
see it for yourself before we say anything else.
finally, this foreign examination of homosexuality will surely appeal
to those who are interested in the subject. Temblores (aka
Tremors, 2019) follows an evangelical father with a great wife
and highly Christian oriented family, who one days comes out of the
closet and announces that he is leaving his wife for another man.
Shocking everyone, his desperate family tries to make him snap out of
his radical decision, but he can't shake his gut feelings.
film stars Juan Pablo Olyslager Munoz, Mauricio Armas, Diane Bathen,
Maria Telon, and Sabrina De Hoz to name a few. The film is directed
by Jayro Bustamante and has won several awards on the film festival
is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD
with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy Spanish Dolby
Digital 5.1 (and 2.0) mixes. Aside from normal compression issues
inherent with the format, the film looks and sounds fine on disc.
The color grading is particularly interesting with heavy blues and
blacks that give the film a very nice stylized look.
the Scenes featurette
Short Film: Black Hat, Directed by Sarah Smith.
import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard to find releases
Nicholas Sheffo and James