Of Darkness 4K
(1971/MVD/Blue Underground 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray &
and the Beanstalk
(1952/Abbott & Costello/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)/Outlander:
(2020/Sony Blu-ray Set)/Shock
For Vendetta 4K
(2005/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/C+/B+/B/B Sound:
B-/C+/B+/B-/A- Extras: B/C+/A*/C+/B Main Programs:
up are upgrades to four genre and sometimes cult favorites, plus the
latest installment of one of the best ancient wars TV shows...
start with an underrated horror vampire film, Harry Kumel's Daughters
Of Darkness 4K
(1971) in an amazing upgrade I will get to in a minute. Another gem
from Blue Underground, we reviewed the film on Blu-ray years ago at
in 4K, it is one of those films that is a revelation in the format
all around, the color red being so important to the genre and the
monsters here. How we have a great couple, seemingly very happy
together and connected, only to be slowly 'invaded' by female
vampires. It is one of the more mature such films and the way it
handles sexuality and its female discourse make it a great companion
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) and even Paul Morrissey's Blood
(overdue for restoration) to some extent, reminding us that only few
such films have ever been made and new, recent political movements
have not changed that.
the world has still not caught up with Daughters
and now is as great a time as any to see it again.
repeat all from the original Blu-ray release, then adda more
trailers, posters, stills and Alternate U.S. Main Titles, plus the
bonus CD, which sounds good here and is in stereo and a new booklet
adds a new essay by Michael Gingold.
Blu-ray, Jean Yarbrough's Jack
and the Beanstalk
(1952) is the Bud Abbott/Lou Costello version we covered on DVD years
ago and here is what I had to say about it...
with their Captain
film at Warner Bros. (reviewed elsewhere on this site as an online
exclusive from Warner Archive), Abbott & Costello in Jack
& The Beanstalk
was the famous comedy duo's attempt to continue their run of hits in
theaters and though it was not a big hit, it was a worthy entry in
their big screen hijinks. Starting out in sepia tone, the film
becomes full color and was in the rarely used SuperCineColor process
Warner and the duo thought might give them an edge and was also used
on the their Captain
this is dubbed a restoration, it has issues, but until Warner issues
a better copy, this is as good as we are going to have. The film is
fun, if not great, but at least it is ambitious and viewer-friendly
so it is worth seeing.''
fan of the duo, I appreciate what they were trying to do here, even
if it did not always work. Especially after some lame versions since
that old DVD was issued, this looks more ambitious than ever and was
the first time they made a full color film, even if it is bookended
by sepia tone sequences at the beginning and end (like the 1939
now in 4K elsewhere on this site) and it deserves a larger audience.
is a new 4K scan of 35mm film materials, but they are not always in
great shape, yet this is the best this has looked in years. More on
the playback performance below. Money is on the screen for this type
of film and the duo deserved moire color projects. Fans will be
happy enough with the upgrade for now and extras include a trailer
for this, Captain
a bonus film, Africa
(1949) in a rougher copy, but its good enough and a nice addition,
regardless of its age or the mixed results of the film.
and Jamie continue to fight in the New World for their homes,
friends, family and love. However, with the revolution on the way,
they continue fight on both fronts. Jaimie is forced to gather a
militia for the war effort and to lead his men. Claire wants to
bring modern medical science to save lives on the ridge. However even
as the new world begins, things are no so easy as the world continues
make them face challenges with enemies old and new in Outlander:
and her daughter are time travelers of the past and they both have
fallen for men of the past and now living together in the past in
order to create a future. However, with the secret of the future and
technologies they continue to risk change the future for the sake of
their loved ones. Jamie pretends to be a British sympathizer knowing
the coming American Revolution will provide true freedom for his
clan/people and those who live on the Ridge. Claire tired of
medieval medicine decides to bring modern medicine into the past to
save lives. Both of them become important leaders to not only their
people, but also the people of the time, but it also makes them
targets ...in which they have no idea of how much their actions have
is a beautiful series with characters, location, costumes and story
to cover a dark story, a tale of a foolish time traveling mother and
daughter who prefers to living the past instead of the future, their
willingness to sacrifice everything to be with a man from the past
and how they are able to live with the consequences (including both
of them being raped) with the choices they make. Extras include
Deleted Scenes, Heart
of the Frasers,
expanding the world: sets & costumes, commentaries, bloopers,
in Action: Women of Outlander,
Fire & Hell: The Finale,
of the Forrest"
video. *Also, a Special Edition has been issued with a CD added, so
more serious fans and/or soundtrack buffs will want to get that one.
this time include...
- Roger and Brianna get married. Jamie is asked to serve in the
British Army and to form a militia.
- Jamie is forced to hunt his Godfather. Claire decides to introduce
modern medicine to the Ridge.
- Jamie and Claire discovers one of their people is a former slave
and attempts to buy his freedom, but there are complications when
they discover their former 'master' is dying and being tortured
slowly to death.
Company We Keep
- Jamie militia runs into a town of hill billies with a blood feud
with another one of his men.
- Jamie is forced to kill a man who trusted him after he learns the
truth about his past. Claire remembers why she decided to come back
in time again to be with Jamie.
to Marry Than to Burn
- Jamie learns the true goal of Governor Tryon was to trick and lure
the Regulators out. Claire learns information about their old enemy
at a dreadful cost.
Ballade of Roger Mac
- Jamie is forced to fight the Regulators. Murtagh save Jamie's life
but Jamie is unable to save his, afterwards Jamie decides he is done
with the British.
- Roger is traumatized by the last battle and Claire tries to help
him overcome his PTSD.
- Jamie is bitten by a venomous snake and Claire tries to save his
life. Jamie asks Roger to do something if he dies.
Shall Follow Me
- Jamie plan goes awry in trying to protect his family. Brianna is
force to fight for her life and her son's.
- The truth is revealed about Roger's and Brianna's son and they
decide if they want to return to the future.
- Claire is kidnapped and raped by the hill billies and Jamie rescues
her, but now, there is the blood feud between the Brown's and the
(1972) is a creepy thriller from the underrated filmmaker, but it
does not start this way. As a matter of fact, it starts out more
like a comedy/drama and even melodrama as an older woman (Annie
Giradot) is a little burned out by life and some of its unsatisfying
sides, so she goes to a health farm to feel better, take care of
herself and maybe come up with some ideas of where to go next. We've
seen such turns in action films (Thunderball
and its remake, Never
Say Never Again)
and the launch of a mystery TV hit (the Hart
pilot telefilm) and other thrillers that even involve plastic
could have been a character study of what it means to be a woman in
business, in life and in the face of sexism and does play like that
for a while, until her closest new friend at the clinic turns up
mysteriously dead. Then she starts investigating and it instantly
turns into a thriller. Then she meets the doctor at the clinic
(Alain Delon, by this time a huge international movie star and even
sex symbol; the press, posters and trailer tease his nude appearance
in the film to be titillating, but it hides other things) getting
very involved, but then things get wilder.
result is that the film, which works more often than not, is actually
part of a cycle of films (like the original Last
House On The Left,
and others) that want to show the downside and dark side of any
counterculture, civil rights, new age and/or civil rights movements
hitting a wall of reality and its limits (Get
is a belated addition to that great list) so it is at least bold,
ambitious and worth a good look, no matter what you ultimately think
of it. Well done and nice to see so nicely restored.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and four Making Of
Jessua: The Lone Deranger with
the director interviewed by Curator Bernard Payen of the Cinematheque
with composer Rene Koering discussing the film, Doctor's
offers another Jessua interview and Drumrunning
has Koering offering audio commentary on three scenes. A Special
Edition adds a CD, which also has a reversible cover.
For Vendetta 4K
(2005) was produced by The Warchowskis and is as important as any
film they made, including The
series and has been nicely upgraded to the 4K format, plus the
Blu-ray is a new version. We reviewed the film a few times before,
including the older Blu-ray and you can find more details about it
all starting at this link:
tale of a different kind of superhero up against sinister forces in
political power repeating the hate and mistakes of the past on
purpose was decent success at the time, but not the blockbuster (was
it too smart or complex for some?) success it could or should have
been, the world has caught up with the film some what so far, the
hero's mask became the face of the recently revealed political
operative 'anonymous' in real life and still shows up (along with
other artwork and images from the film) in protests and defiant
literature, but the film also turned out to be part of an unintended
anti-fascist trilogy that includes two Paul Verhoeven classics:
(1987) and Starship
(1997) that fully understand how media (especially video media; TV
and the Internet, et al) manipulate the masses and how nothing has
changed in that respect since the 1930s.
know Alan Moore took his name off of the film as he does with all
works adapted from him, but in this case, he can at least be partly
proud some of his intent stuck and did so very well. This becomes
the British companion to the Verhoeven films (though the evil is
applicable in all cases) and could not be more timely. V
is worth revisiting, now more than ever.
for extras. We get Digital Copy, while the discs repeat all the
extras from the previous editions on the regular Blu-ray and the 4K
adds three pieces not issued on disc before: the 2006 V
For Vendetta: Unmasked
film short, Natalie Portman audition (just over 14 minutes) and James
McTeigue & Lana Wachowski in Conversation
piece (just over 13 minutes) that are all welcome additions.
for the playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.66 X 1 Dolby
Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition
image on Darkness
is often stunning, only with some moments showing the films age, but
many demo scenes that exceed my letter grade thanks to the discovery
of the original 35mm negative. Color range, detail and depth almost
make it a new film, superior to the decent Blu-ray already here and
especially good at resolving the color it needs to deliver the most
in its Video Red. They claim 16-bit color in 4K and the results
prove it. Unless you have seen this in a pristine 35mm or even 16mm
print, you have not seen it until you see it in 4K.
the 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image on Vendetta
is the best I have seen it since my 70mm IMAX screening where I was
simply stunned and it is better than the new Blu-ray version, though
I thought the older Blu-ray looked a little better than this new
1080p presentation. Video Black is now far more wide-ranging and
light is better and closer to the best film prints. Director of
Photography Adrian Biddle's work has aged very well here and save
some stylized moments (and purposely soft video images) we get some
great demo shots that exceed my letter grade here too.
have been upgraded in all disc versions to lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1
(Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) sound and it is interesting in
both cases. Blue Underground once again pushes the limits of what
they can do with an older theatrical monophonic film and Darkness
will never sound better, but they have also included and excellent CD
soundtrack of the film's music in stereo. We get some distortion in
small places here and there, but this is fine otherwise. As for
it really has more of the impact my 70mm IMAX screening had, though
the older Blu--ray sound was also not bad for its time. The sound
design more than benefits from the upgrade and it has all aged very
well, placing it just past the older Dolby TrueHD mix, if not
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Beanstalk
can show the age of the materials used as noted, but this is still
better than any version I have seen before and it is too bad there
was not the money and/or not enough extra reference materials to fix
this film better, but this will do until that happens. One spot will
look soft, another sharp, one a little faded, the other close to the
color SuperCineColor could deliver. It may not have been as sharp or
clear as three-strip Technicolor, but has a fine look that fives us
an idea how much fun and how interesting it was. The PCM 2.0 Mono is
good for its age and could sue some work, but sounds as good as the
film ever has to date.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the
episodes are the only digital shoot here and they look fine for the
format and the genre, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show is very well
mixed, recorded and has consistent soundfields throughout.
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Treatment
can show the age of the materials used in a few spaces, but is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and worthy
of the best stills and clips I have seen of the film over the years.
Color impresses and we get some fine detail and depth. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes are in original
French and a lesser English dub, but the French is more realistic,
naturalistic and effective, including the music.
Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Outlander)