Lightning: The Complete Second
(2018 - 2019)+ Third
Seasons (2019 - 2020/DC
Comics/Warner Archive DVDs)/The
Still Lives (1980/*both
Package (2019/**both RLJ
B/C+/B-/B-/B- Sound: B-/C+/B-/B-/B- Extras: C/C-/C/C/C+
Main Programs: C+/C-/C-/C+/C
DVD sets are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
in time for Halloween, new releases that take place darkness and
(1990) says it is based on the Edgar Allen Poe classic, but this
satire of the filmmaking business is a bit far from that classic
book, yet it has some fun moments, even if it is not a great film.
Brett Halsey, Florence Guerin, Maurizio Fardo, Luisa Maneri, Antonio
Marsina, Karina Huff and Urbano Barberini make for a decent cast, but
what makes this worthy and ambitious in the face of past versions is
to have the great Caroline Munro as the protagonist who will do what
she needs to do to get what she wants.
is as dynamic as anyone here and even as this takes some odd turns
that do not always work, plus it wants to be the original Suspiria
in some of its look, it works a bit more often than not. I hoped it
would pick up, but it has 89 minutes and does not always spend them
as well as it could. Still, I was glad I saw it and it was at least
trying to do something different. Some moments are just false notes
or it tries too hard.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and featurette Cat
On The Brain
featuring interviews with director Cozzi and lead actress Munro. For
adaptations that did a bit better by Poe, try these links:
Karloff/Lugosi version on import DVD
Lucio Fulci version on Blu-ray
Lightning: The Complete Second
(2018 - 2019) and Third
(2019 - 2020) arrive on DVD at the same time, continuing the new
exploits of the DC Comics superhero that was relaunched with the
debut season we covered on Blu-ray at this link:
can find out more about the show there, then this is one of those
shows that to explain much would spoil it, so you have to start at
the beginning, but I was not as impressed as some fans and even
disappointed at what they came up with. I thought the show might
take off after being enough of a ratings success that they would take
risks (even if it was not the TV revival of Watchmen)
but despite an occasionally nice touch, it is awful, loaded with
missed opportunities and just gets worse and worse as you watch.
even hoped for the sophomore jinx, but the Third
was as bad, just droning on. It might as well be the lame TV
revival with superhero costumes. I hope it gives the cast of mostly
unknowns to a chance at better, more memorable work, as lightning
ought to strike twice and better for them next time. As this show
stands, it is more like a fading light bulb.
set only has one featurette, Whale
Of A Villain
for the second season, a 2019 San Diego Comic Con panel for the
what the cover might suggest, Julius Berg's The
(2020) is a British release that has many missed opportunities and is
not another Buffy
or the like, but part of a cycle of younger people being predators,
only to find older people are much better at it. This time, they are
played by one-time Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy and longtime character
actress Rita Tushingham, who have some good chemistry here.
most of this is predictable, sometimes silly in the wrong way and the
other actors get outacted by the older duo. Its no Motel
et al, but it was a little less obnoxious by default by simply not
being from the U.S. and again, has a few good moments Too bad you
have to sit through a long 92 minutes to get to any of them. For
Making Of featurette is the only extra.
(1980) is an unofficial sequel/take-off to the popular 1978
Australian thriller Patrick
(the title character is in a coma in bed, but may be using
telekinesis to kill those he hates) that I was not as big a fan of,
but one of my fellow writers is with the crows who loves it and you
can read more about that film at this link:
only two years later, this Patrick (Gianni Dei, looking like a
distant Italian cousin of Parker Stevenson) has a father in the
medical profession and is assaulted in a way in the opening sequence
that is so bad, he lands up in a coma. Turns out in this case, his
father is up to no good and conducting all kinds of unethical
experiments and other people are being held against there will too.
time, we get far more sex and female nudity, then the murders are
more gruesome and involves an unusual amount of sexual violence,
though why Patrick would hate most of the women here so much (they
are not all that
bad) begins some of the lapses in logic that stop this film from
toping the original. Yes, it is still better than the awful, recent
remake of the 1978 film, but so is most of the better sci-fi/horror
(what little of it there is) that we have seen lately.
love the use of lighting and it was all shot on 16mm film (see more
in the tech section below) giving it an added creepiness it might not
have otherwise. Definitely worth a look despite its flaws and
limits, it is ambitious and its supporting cast, including Sacha
Pitoeff, Carmen Russo, Mariangela Giordano, Paolo Giusti, Franco
Silva, John Benedy and Anna Venezziano all give good performances
that meld well together and make this interesting enough at least to
see it once.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and featurette C'est
an interview with lead actor Gianni Dei.
we have Scare
(2019) is another release tied into the Shudder TV network and the
cover wants to suggest a retro idea of it containing B-movies similar
to what you might see on cable TV in the 1980s, down to a dead hand
grabbing for a VHS tape. Without ruining much, one story takes place
at a video store just barely hanging in there.
stories are not that good or memorable, but the real twist is that
the makers got legendary B-movie critic Joe Bob Briggs to host it all
as he has been on hundreds of films throughout his entire career.
That makes it not just nostalgic for some, but much more amusing than
it could ever be otherwise. Briggs saves this release to some
extent, treating it like all the film he covered from the then-Turner
Catalog (MGM film to 1986, Warner films to 1948, all RKO films and
anything else he could get his hands on, now all owned by Warner) and
that is singularly the only reason to see this otherwise very
forgettable release. Creepshow
it is not, but see it for kicks if you are really, really interested.
Otherwise, skip it.
Creators Commentary on the Film, Commenting on Other Films That Have
Better Commentary Tracks, Bonus Segment: Locker Room Z, Rad Chad's
Rad Ad, The SCARE PACKAGE Blooper Reel, Original Not-as-Good Ending
and Blu-ray-only The
Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs:
SCARE PACKAGE episode.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Cat
is well shot and has been well preserved, here in a new 2K scan from
the best, original vault elements and it looks very impressive,
especially for its age. Color and detail are nice, though grain and
lighting have been used for styling the look of the film. Despite
any dubbing, the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix sounds very good for
its age and the combination works nicely.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Owners
is an HD shoot that has some motion blur and some shots that are just
not that good, but the makers try for some visual consistency. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix sounds like multi-channel
sound was an afterthought and is not that soundfield-consistent, but
you can mostly hear the dialogue.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Patrick
can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to any video copy that might have existed before, shot on
16mm Fuji color negative film. It is a new 2K scan of that negative
and looks accurate for the kind of film it is as a genre work, a rare
film shot on Fuji stock and with fine color, especially in some
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Scare
is a mix of HD formats and the narrative programs here are just not
that good-looking, so the Joe Bob Briggs segments tend to look the
most stable and consistent. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix varies in quality going
from segment to segment, again with the narratives not quite sounding
like they thought multi-channel sound through properly. Oh well...
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both Lightning
episodes sets are not bad for the format, but no match for the debut
season Blu-ray set that resolved and color range and Video Black much
better. The same for the sound, here in the older, lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 format and no match for how good the show sounded in
lossless DTS-MA on the Blu-ray release, but the makers have not given
up on good sound mixing. This version just cannot handle it all.
order either of the Warner Archive Black
DVD sets, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive