(1995/Paramount/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Keeping
Faith: Season 2
(2018/Acorn DVD)/Knight Of
Shadows: Between Yin and Yang
(2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Life
After Flash: Gordon's Alive
(1992/*both MVD Blu-rays)
B/B-/B+/B/B Sound: B/B-/B+/B/B Extras: C-/B+/C-/A/B Main
import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can play on all Blu-ray players and can
be ordered from the link below.
a new group of genre-oriented releases, including a documentary about
a film with an ever-growing following and more...
on the novel by Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain
author, Michael Crichton, Congo (1995) is a fun action packed
Hollywood thrill-ride from the past that's all but been forgotten.
Stan Winston Studio's incredible ape costumes are still a highlight
and hold up very well to this day, as does the fun cast of characters
including Laura Linney, Joe Don Baker, Ernie Hudson, and Tim Curry to
name a few.
barebones Blu-ray release from Umbrella looks and sounds fine for
now, but with some of the film's fantastic jungle photography, let's
hope a more detailed 4K restoration is in the not too distant future.
film also features Bruce Campbell, Joe Pantoliano, Dylan Walsh, Misty
Rosas, and Grant Heslov. The film is also produced by Hollywood
heavyweight Kathleen Kennedy, whose now the head of Lucasfilm, and
directed by her husband, Frank Marshall. Both of them are huge
collaborators with Spielberg as well. However, known mainly for
producing, Frank Marshall does a good job of directing here.
eight person exhibition, including a super intelligent gorilla that
can speak with sign language, journey to Congo together, all with
different motives. One of them being to discover a lost city and a
priceless diamond. A Scientist in the group, played by Laura Linney,
is after a friend whose presumably dead. But after they go deep into
the jungle, they discover a violent race of apes that aren't too
happy to seem on sacred grounds. Now, they must all band together
and use their wits and limited tech and weaponry to escape.
is presented here in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a 1.77:1 widescreen
aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The
score by the late Jerry Goldsmith is front and center in the mix and
sounds great as do many of the action sequences. The film is nicely
shot and looks good but could be a great candidate for a future 4K
restoration as mentioned. Paramount did release the film on Blu-ray
in 2017, and so this might be the same transfer as that disc.
only special features are the Teaser & Theatrical Trailers. It
would have been great to get some more detailed extras on the behind
the scenes and some interviews with all the talent involved.
wasn't a huge hit at the time that it was released, but wasn't
necessarily a failure either. The film holds up pretty well today
and remains an original and fun adventure film. It no doubt would be
made quite differently today with a more digitally animated approach,
like the new Planet of the Apes trilogy, I am sure.
is also an interesting afterthought that the late profound special
effects artist Stan Winston took this job to sort of 'prove' to
legendary FX artist Rick Baker (who was known his Gorillas in the
Mist apes and later Burton's Planet of the Apes) that he
could make realistic apes too.
found this Umbrella release, while bare bones, still recommendable.
Howells is back, a solicitor/lawyer in a small seaside town in Wales,
while standing and fighting for justice in the courthouse she
struggles to raise her family and save a broken marriage. She take
on a homicide case that has rocked the town against her own firm's
recommendations in which they said the client will be guilt no matter
what. Not everything is black and white, and there are back door
deals, anyone can be bought and everyone has their secrets in Keeping
Faith: Season 2
Faith Howells wants is to raise her family and see justice in the
courthouse. On the outside she is the positive, never-give-up
British woman, but on the inside she is in a loveless and broken
marriage with her husband's ties to the mob (she hates him, but still
needs his help in the court cases) and she is left in debt to the
local crime kingpin and to do 'odd jobs' and favors for her. She
takes on the hard luck cases where every single piece of evidence
must be bought or bribed. The crown courthouse isn't about proving
innocence or justice, but who has the most convincing story with
circumstantial evidence or reasonable doubt. All the meanwhile she
is under the eyes of a corrupt detective who seems to be playing both
sides of the fence.
is a crime series with the most drama filled character using a
middle-age-single-parent-strong-independent-woman in a
mid-life-crisis who is struggling with her job and her family. In
some ways it reminds me of the TV series The Good Wife. The
character struggles trying to living a straight life, but is always
left cleaning up everyone else's mess (and she's no angel either).
The main character is a woman who looks and acts like she is trying
to be 10 years younger than she is. Every episode ending seems to
summarized/justified/symbolized by the character standing by a
beautiful seaside with a melancholy song in the background. The
entire series message is totally about being a strong woman.
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks as good as it can for the format,
slightly improved from the debut season, but still with some motion
blur present on the previous Blu-ray set. The lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 is also as good as that old format can deliver, if not quite as
warm or full as the DTS-MA on the First
Blu-ray set. Extras
include behind the scenes and trailers.
more on the show and its debut season, try this link to its Blu-ray
Chan stars and directs this kooky family adventure film, The
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang (2019). The film fuses
live action with digital animation (sometimes strong and other times
a bit questionable), that sees Chan as a legendary demon hunter
that's able to capture demons that enter the human dimension via a
powerful ancient book that he paints them back into. He has several
bizarre little monster friends that help him on his quest using their
own unique super powers and also a protege who helps him as well.
They investigate a strange disappearance of young girls from a local
village where the unthinkable happens and they face their greatest
film also stars Elane Zhong, Lin Bo-hong, Lin Peng, Shan Qiao,
Kingdom Yen, Pan Changjiang, and Ethan Juan.
Knight of Shadows is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a
widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and several different audio
options, both in original Mandarin (lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) with optional English
subtitles and English dubbed (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo). The film is very colorful with several scenes
with CGI that is sometimes strong and other times questionable.
different Trailers for this film and other Well Go releases in the
same vein. This could have had at least an interview with Jackie
Chan or a BTS featurette. Oh well.
Knight of Shadows is an interesting film but kinda of silly and
predictable. It's Asian flair, odd characters, and strange animation
will make it worth checking out if you're a Jackie Chan fan or are
just interested in Chinese genre cinema.
J. Jones enjoyed a meteoric career in Hollywood. After being cast as
the titular character in Dino De Laurentiis' epic adaptation of the
sci-fi comic strip Flash Gordon, Mr. Jones languished as first
a B-list actor, then something even less than that. This amazing
documentary chronicles those early days of the movie's production,
the casting of Mr. Jones, and his on-set battles with director Mike
Hodges, Mr. De Laurentiis, and himself.
as the subtitle, Gordon's Alive, refers to one of the movie's
most exciting scenes, Life After Flash (2019) does a nice job
of showing us that Sam J. Jones remains very much alive and well.
Now sporting a graying flat-top haircut, and bolstered by his recent
appearance as himself in the movie Ted, the 66 year old Jones
works the sci-fi convention circuit, masterfully eking out an
existence as a pop culture icon. Still sporting an athletic build,
but now informed by time and his personal faith, Mr. Jones shows
amazing patience and perseverance. He treats his fans like gold, and
keeps his wife and family close to him. They obviously ground him,
and this feature shows that in any number of tender scenes.
After Flash also digs into the process of making a feature film
like Flash Gordon. While still a big budget feature,
compromises were made. These financial and creative decisions often
lead to strife on the set. Mr. Jones, then a bit of a hot-headed 26
year old, did not always behave in the most professional manner on
set. As the lead role in a film with a ballooning budget and plenty
of creative friction between the director and the producers, he was
not always placed in the best position to succeed.
abound in this Blu-ray disc, and include: an interviews with Brian
(Voltan) Blessed, Melody (Dale) Anderson, Sam Jones on his transition
from sports and modeling to acting, and much more. Fans of Queen
will also enjoy sections on the band's amazing score for the film,
and a number of other short pieces on the film's production.
solid 1080p 1.78 X 1 picture and sound quality on this Blu-ray do not
detract from the overall presentation, even with some rough video
clips from the past, while the stereo sound is just fine.
with interviews from other cast members and production staff, we see
Mr. Jones in enough personal and professional moments to give us a
very clear picture of his life now. While one might argue that he
did not make the most of his chances for fame and fortune in his
younger years, it would be difficult to say Mr. Jones is not getting
the most out of this late second act. He remains very much alive.
has issued a solid Blu-ray of the 1980 film a few years ago that
looks pretty good and has some good sound, but fans are now waiting
for a 4K upgrade, especially since a new wave of memorabilia (some of
it shown here) has been produced as the film has stayed popular.
This is a great release to have in the meantime.
Fred H. Dresch's My Samurai (1992) gets an HD update thanks to
the MVD Rewind Collection, several titles of which we have reviewed
elsewhere on this site. Comprised mainly of films that were popular
during the VHS era, this action thriller is no exception and was
released around the time when martial arts films had high returns
thanks to the success of The Karate Kid and Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles franchises, although this is obviously a more
film stars Julian Lee, Tupper Cullum, C. Edward McNeil, Christoph
Clark, and Mako.
young boy and martial artist in training (Lee) accidentally kill a
crooked cop and along with his older friend and instructor, end up on
the run from a gang that wants them dead. As the young boy learns
from his martial arts instructor, he becomes a stronger warrior
through this nerve-racking game of cat and mouse where just about
everyone has it in for them. Essentially, the film jumps from fight
scene to fight scene with a very '90s appropriate vibe.
Samurai is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray with a
1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz,
16-bit) Stereo mix. Shot on film, it looks and sounds fine although
some of the production value isn't terrible. The restoration here
looks fine for Blu-ray however, and an upgrade for sure over previous
with stars Julian Lee & Mark Steven Grove
My Scenes" with actor Jim Turner
Conversation with Christophe Clark
Lee Photo Gallery
a Collectible Mini-Poster.
Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to
Scott Pyle (Flash),
Ricky Chiang (Faith)