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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Historical > War > Cable TV > Mini-Series > Fantasy > Action > Epic > Spy > Thriller > Ship > Battles > Br > Catherine The Great (2019/TV Mini-Series*)/Game Of Thrones 4K: The Complete Collection (2011 - 2019/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Box/*both HBO/Warner)/Killing Eve: Season 3 (2020/Acorn Blu-ray)/Mutiny! (1952/M

Catherine The Great (2019/TV Mini-Series*)/Game Of Thrones 4K: The Complete Collection (2011 - 2019/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Box/*both HBO/Warner)/Killing Eve: Season 3 (2020/Acorn Blu-ray)/Mutiny! (1952/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: C/X/B+/C+ Sound: C+/B+/B+/B- Extras: D/B+/A-/C Main Programs: B-/B+/B+/C+

Next up is a mix of TV programs, a feature film and adventure mostly set in the past...

Though many films and TV shows have been done on the historic title figure, I can see why HBO would make a new Catherine The Great (2019) program, which is what you do when you have a decent script and get no less than Helen Mirren to play the title role. Catherine has shown up in so many productions, including lately and not all have been good. This is one of the better ones.

The production has some money in it and Jason Clarke becomes her opposer over the four episodes we get here that are good without being pretentious or overdone. I have to admit that we have been getting swamped with these costumers, whether fantasy genre entries or historical, but I will say this one does not try so hard to deal with her adult life and history. The look of the shows was nothing extraordinary, but the performances are solid and the supporting cast is just fine.

Philip Martin directed the entire mini-series, something that is actually unusual these days, so that in itself is of note, but Mirren carries this well and those interested should check it out.

There are sadly no extras.

To add to its elaborate Blu-ray editions, then its upgraded Dolby Atmos Blu-rays and the bookending seasons having already being issued in 4K, another landmark. Game Of Thrones 4K: The Complete Collection (2011 - 2019) is the first TV show of any kind to get the 4K treatment in its entirety, meaning it had to be finished and off the air for good, but few TV shows are still not in 4K yet despite the many that qualify.

The show established a new series of stars (even when some left, then went onto more success like Jason Momoa) and showed its exceptional taste by having some of the greatest British actors of all time in its cast like Charles Dance, Julian Glover, Peter Vaughn and Jonathan Pryce among them.

We have covered all eight seasons, sometimes on more than one version, tried not to spoil anything and HBO (as they often have anyhow) went out of their way to offer the best possible sets on the market for any TV show. Here are the Seasons as we covered them in the past...


In 4K








Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos upgrade





Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos upgrade














In 4K


More on the tech playback below, but even non-fans (like myself) can appreciate how well made this was (despite complaints about the conclusion) and is far and above one of the best fantasy TV shows of all time, like it or not. For me however, the real late highlight was what turned out to be one last great stand of many for one of my all-time favorite actors of all time, international star Diana Rigg. Passing away as we were working on this set, as Lady Olenna Tyrell.

Gracing 18 episodes, she shook up a show that already seemed set on its course, throwing it another curve ball and stunning audiences worldwide. It has been a long time since I had so many people so impressed and ask me 'who is that actress?' as they did on this case, but it amounted to one final triumph for Rigg and the show. Glad she got one last great moment in the sun. I dare say she may have extended the show's life, but fans might say otherwise.

Extras repeat from the original releases, plus extras from the pre-4K Complete set, including...

Game of Thrones: Reunion Special: A two-part reunion show shot live in Belfast with the cast, both past and present, hosted by Conan O'Brien and available exclusively on these complete series collections. The reunion special is assembled in segments focused on Houses Lannister, Stark, & Targaryen and concludes with the key players all onstage for their final reflections on the years they shared in Westeros and Essos.

Game of Thrones: The Last Watch: A documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay chronicling the making of the final season.

Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of Seven Kingdoms

and an illustrated booklet with episode guide and extras listings. Some extras are int heir own case of regular Blu-ray discs.

Needless to say this is an elaborate set worth your time and money for fans, as a gift set or to just immerse yourself in the show.

After surviving last season, Eve, former MI6 operative gets out of the secret service/intelligence community. When a close friend dies in a suspicious 'accident', no one believes it was an 'accident', eve once more crosses path with Villanelle and whomever she is connected as the chief suspects for her friend's death. But in a world that is filled with secrets, spies and assassins, who is telling the truth and who is telling the lies?

In Killing Eve: Season 3 (2020), Eve wants to get out of the intelligence agencies... and similarly Villanelle also is considering quitting being an assassin (or at least get a promotion) for the secret society known only as 'The Twelve' (but usually assassins can only quit when they are dead). Both of them are tired of the constant BS, lies, their boss's paranoia (and their inability to show emotions/empathy) and their agencies bureaucratic politics. But can spies and assassins live as normal people? As Eve and Villanelle try to be 'normal' their paths keep crossing one another and they find themselves drawn toward each other (at least they don't have to lie each other) and if it weren't for the fact each of their respective jobs makes them natural enemies ..,would they have been friends? As they try (and fail) to live like normal people, they realize there is no going back and the truth is never as simple it is (or is it?). Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh continue to keep things going as the co-stars, keeping fans happy.

This was a spy vs. spy series with a bit of a twist and drama, where spies and assassins have (and want) a life too. The comedy is how they are so good at their jobs, but completely fail when it comes to family, life or personal relationships. My only wonder is how the 2 main characters they should have picked actresses who were closer age range, because if they wanted to create a (romantic/lesbian?) relationship between the two, their age differences makes it comes off more as like mother and daughter relationship. Extras include The Spice Kill, The Bitter Pill, Meet the Team, Konstanin's World, The Family Home, The Locations, and Dasha and the Psychology of a Killer.

Episodes this time include...

Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey - Villanelle wants to get promoted in the life of being an assassin so that she is calling the shots, but to do so she must kill more. Eve finds herself pulled back into the world of MI6 when her friend is found dead (who also so happens to be her former boss's son).

Management Sucks - Eve attends her friend's funeral but is sick how everyone says it is an 'accident' when no one believe it was. Villanelle is given a task to train a new assassin, but when he messes up the job, she kills him, later she learns Eve is still alive.

Meetings Have Biscuits - Eve and (former) company teams up together (not out of choice) in an unsanctioned investigation to avenge Kenny's death and Eve has a surprise run in with Villanelle.

Still Got It - Eve begins to investigate on Villanelle's past kills and her signature kills. Dasha nearly kills Eve's ex-husband, to prove to Villanelle she is still the best and to get her back in the game, but everyone suspects it's Villanelle's doing and it's a warning.

Are You from Pinner? - Villanelle returns to her home and family's surprise that she is alive and well. She lives what a 'normal' life is, while she is happy and it is 'normal', she decides she is happier with being an assassin (better to admit she is a monster than a monster trying to pretend she is not) and she blows up her family home.

End of Game - Villanelle gets tired of still being ordered around and decides she wants out and starts formulating a plan with Konstantin. Eve discovers Villanelle is not responsible for the attack on her ex-husband.

Beautiful Monster - Villanelle attacks Dasha and makes her attempt to get out with Konstantin but things go unplanned and she is forced to improvise. Eve is hot on Villanelle's trail.

and Are You Leading or Am I? - Villanelle goes to MI6 and offers to be their informant into the Twelve, but they only want her to be an assassin for MI6 and reject her. Eve discovers her friend's death was truly an accident and fate (and paranoia) seem to have brought her and Villanelle together again. Together they bring out the best and worst in each other, but they still care and are drawn to one another. They stand on a bridge together wondering what the future now holds for them ...and if they ever can be truly together.

Last but not least is Edward Dmytryk's Mutiny! (1952) pitting Mark Stevens and Patrick Knowles somewhat as one man is asked to sneak $10 Million in gold to the U.S. from, France during the War of 1812, but word gets out to some of the crew by accident and also expecting to join the journey is the lady of one of the men (Angela Lansbury!) and the ship is having other issues. War is hell.

For being an independent production of the time (it was distributed by United Artists at the time) in real, full Technicolor and all, it is impressive for tis time and some money did go into the production, but some things aged better than others. Still, the zero presence of bad digital visual effects is more fun and charming than ever, while other set pieces look outright ambitious. Running 78 minutes, it is not bad and worth a look, especially after those Pirates of the Caribbean films got so played out. Lansbury usually steals her scenes too, even if she is not trying.

Extras include a great set of Warner-Pathe newsreels of the time and the Technicolor Popeye animated cartoon short ''Cookin' With Gags'' from the same period, in decent shape, if not up to what Warner Archive has issued from the series.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the Thrones episodes are pretty much a summation of the two sets we covered before. The first six seasons are all upscales and I like them a bit better, even if they show the limits of the CGI computer-generated effects as weaker than one would like, but it looks more solid to me in 4K than regular Blu-ray. This continues with the final two season, but they also brought in Ultra HD cameras for some sequences and that works very well, making the show look the best it could (outside of shooting on film, which they considered originally, then never did) and the show retains its unique look all the way. It will never look better than it does here.

We can say the same about the sound as all episodes have now been upgraded to Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) mixes and that is good for any action or fantasy release. The later episodes benefit more as more money was going into the show and its sound was improving, but all the upgrades here were worth it.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Catherine is good and passable for the old DVD format, though a bit softer than I would have liked, but the show has a rich look that needs HD and we'll have to see if we get that later. Same for the sound, here in the old, compressed, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 format, but the soundmaster is obviously richer and deserves lossless treatment. This DVD set is passable at best.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Eve look as good as the show ever has and is surprisingly well done, which extends to the nice soundfields in the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show. Combined, it is better than you might expect.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Mutiny is scanned from what is supposed to be the original 35mm camera negative, but since it was shot in dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor, what happened to the three-strips? Though we get some nice shots and a nice idea at times of how good the color must have been, the color and definition is uneven here and that means the source needs some work. Director of Photography Ernest Laszlo, A.S.C., who was a solid DP all the way to his work on the 1976 hit Logan's Run could always handle a big screen work and this is no exception, making this film even better than it might have otherwise been, yet he also knew how to make actors look good. Nice.

The PCM 2.0 Mono is as good as it will likely get for now and is not bad, with only minor distortion and issues here and there. Dimitri Tiomkin's score is another plus here and is not bad at all, sounding decent here too. Wonder if he recorded these tracks in stereo?

- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Eve)


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