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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Exorcism > Astrology > Japan > Action > Videogames > Fantasy > Scooby Doo! And Guess Who?: The Complete First Season (2019/Warner DVD Set)/Tales Of The Uncanny (2020/Severin Blu-ray)

Cleansing Hour (2019/RLJ DVD)/The Craft: Legacy (2020/Sony Blu-ray)/Mad Fox (1962/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Max Cloud (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/The 100: The Seventh and Final Season (2020/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Scooby Doo! And Guess Who?: The Complete First Season (2019/Warner DVD Set)/Tales Of The Uncanny (2020/Severin Blu-ray)



Picture: B-/B+/B+/C+/B/C+/B- Sound: B-/B+/B+/B+/B/C/B- Extras: C+/C+/C+/D/D/D/B- Main Programs: C+/C/B/B/C/C+/B-



PLEASE NOTE: The 100 Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's a mix of new genre releases, including some familiar names...



A modern day possession film that uses social media as a tool for broadcasting exorcisms, The Cleansing Hour (2019) directed by Damien LeVeck, is an interesting film with a fun premise that's available on disc and is a Shudder original.


Starting as a fake show to drive social media attention, two entrepreneurs perform ''Vatican approved'' exorcisms and broadcast over social media for entertainment purposes. But once a real demon possesses the girl live and threatens to kill her if they stop rolling, all hell breaks loose!


The film stars Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix, Angelis, and Giulia Nahmany.


The Cleansing Hour is presented in standard definition on DVD with an anamorphically enhanced 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The film looks fine for the format and has the normal compression issues evident in the aging format.


Special Features:

Director Commentary

and On The Set of The Cleansing Hour



Blumhouse (the hit or miss horror company) brings us The Craft: Legacy (2020) - a remake that is catered towards a female teen audience and takes the original 1996 film's premise and modernizes it with hipper songs and the addition of iPhones and social media. The result is a far more cheesy and ultimately forced film that is predictable and silly. Had the pandemic not happened, I'm sure the film would have been a bigger hit in theaters than what it became as it has a built in audience. The film, however, doesn't seem to have been reviewed too kindly online and after seeing it I can tell why.


Plainly put, the best part of the movie is the ending, which (SPOILERS: gives us the return of Fairuza Balk's infamous character). Had this movie STARTED with this scene and incorporated Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney (End Of Days) and Rachel True (the original cast) than this could have been a more successful and more fun film than the mess it ultimately became. Even if they couldn't get all four ladies at least using Miss Balk in a larger role would have been more fun. Not to mention it would have been nice to see her in something new again.


Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny (The X-Files). Overall, a bunch of odd casting choices on this one.


Four teen girls develop supernatural powers when they discover they are powerful witches. Lily (Spaeny) is the main character who is struggling with adapting to her new life living with her mom's boyfriend and his three teen sons. (She also has a tendency on walking in on people during awkward moments.) Looking a lot like Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things with her short haircut, Lily ends up embracing her powers but discovers that a demon in disguise is close to her circle and threatens her and her friends.


The Craft: Legacy is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an audio mix in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of Twilight if you ask me yet appropriate to fit the teen demographic. The overall presentation of the film looks fine.


Special Features:


Franchise Legacy featurette


Powerful Story, Magical Director featurette


Extended and Alternate Scenes


and Previews



The Craft: Legacy is a subpar remake that ends just as it starts to get interesting.



Also known as Koi ya koi nasuna koi, the Japanese film The Mad Fox (1962) directed by Tomu Uchida is available for the first time outside of Japan and presented on Blu-ray disc from Arrow Academy. If you ever are a fan of kabuki theater, then this film is certainly one you want to check out as basically this is a filmed one. Telling a story of a bizarre family centers around madness in the family of an Astrologer.


The film stars Hashizo Okawa, Michiko Saga, and Ry√Ľnosuke Tsukigata,


The Mad Fox is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a Japanese LPCM Mono 1.0 mix with English subtitles. The color restoration work here is very nice and especially when you consider the age of the film. The sets are amazing and the overall colors here are very nice and interesting to watch for sure.


Special Features:

Brand new audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, recorded exclusively for this release

Original theatrical trailer

Image gallery

and a Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin


Sarah is a gamer, that was until she was playing her favorite video game Max Cloud and somehow gets sucked into the game and she is now a character in the game. Now in order to get back the real world she must beat the game ...or remain a 16-bit character forever.


In Martin Owen's new film, Max Cloud (2019)Sarah is a geek gamer and when she thought she found a secret easter egg in a game, turns out to be another portal to that game's universe and now she is stuck in it, in order to get out she has to beat the game without resetting or dying. Fortunately (or unfortunately) she is backed up by her best friend Cowboy, who is controlling her character in real life. As she teams up with her hero 'Max Cloud' they will have to use all her video gaming skills and knowledge to defeat the galaxy's most wanted criminals, fight space ninjas and escape a prison planet.


The idea for this movie sounded promising. At first, I thought it was going to be like the movie 'Ready Player One' being a kid stuck in their favorite video game, but the movie was more like a mix of 80s video games pop culture (it did not reference any specific game per say, but you could tell what type of games it referenced) mixed with Power Ranger's level special effects/costuming (no CGI characters). The movie makes fun of the '80s culture and music.


I know this is supposed to look like we are in a videogame, but the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image has flaws throughout and that includes weakness and softness in the image that makes this phonier than it needed to look, but the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is well mixed and presented, more on par with what we expected. Extras include trailers.



Next up is The 100: The Seventh and Final Season (2020) often just called 'the hundred' apparently, it is one of those boring hit TV genre shows like the endless Supernatural that somehow found a loyal audience and got to run as long as it wanted. More of a soap opera than anyone might like to admit, trying to explain this show at this point is pointless as you have to start at the beginning to keep up with anything (and we have reviewed the show many times elsewhere on this site) so refer to those postings to get an idea if you never heard of the show.


With the pandemic still in full swing as this posts, it makes this show even less convincing in the crisis (or two, or three) it presents. Needless to say the actors are all in sync with each other, but I could not get into the show when it debuted and it is just as flat to me now. At least it is on Blu-ray, something some shows do not get to have in later seasons if they survive, so fans should be happy. As for the rest of us, only watch while fully awake and do not operate any heavy machinery while viewing.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show look and sound good, professional, are consistent and are fine, even if one like this writer is not impressed with the actual show. This did not hurt its success and is the only thing good I can say about this or any other season of the show. There are no extras.



Next is a new show that is sort of a revival of an underrated old show. Scooby Doo! And Guess Who?: The Complete First Season (2019) is a shorter half-hourish version of the underrated The New Scooby Doo Movies (reviewed elsewhere on this site on Blu-ray) which was only the second-ever Scooby show. The idea was it was an event because it was almost an hour a show (unheard of then and now) and had a guest star on each show. I had not heard about this new show and think is is sad the revival has not been more successful because some of these are not bad.


Batman teams up with the gang (Robin was with him on the original show, but is never discussed at all here, so I guess they forgot about him?) as well as two more DC Superheroes: Wonder Woman and The Flash (having Barry Allen be a giant food fan like Shaggy and Scooby is a nice touch). There are some odd choices I will not get into, though having Abraham Lincoln as a guest star is a strange one, but having Sherlock Holmes makes sense.


Other solid choices include Urkle (actually voiced by Jaleel White) from Family Matters, Whoopi Goldberg (in a nice nod to her Oscar-winning turn in Ghost), NBA player Chris Paul (continuing the gang's connection to basketball, as they had the original Harlem Globetrotters on the original series), singer Sia, the brilliant music satirist 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Wanda Sykes, Keenan Thompson, Steve Buscemi, George Takei, Mark Hamill and even Malcolm McDowell!!!


Alex Trebek shows up, but there are other surprises that I will not reveal. The show could have been better overall, but the star power they were able to secure is still more impressive than it first seems and I will be curious to see who turns up for the second season. One of the few good Scooby productions of any kind lately, you might want to take a look at it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is not bad and you can see some digital images slapped ont0o the animation at times that does not match in color or definition (some Hanna-Barbera traditions continue into the new century...) and though the show looks good, the color is not as good as The New Scooby-Doo Movies or original series. Otherwise, this looks fine. Unfortunately, the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is a bit weak and the mix seems slightly off or subdued. As a result, be careful of high playback volumes and volume switching.



Finally, David Gregory's Tales Of The Uncanny (2020) is a very decent look at the often neglected anthology feature film (several stories in one film, sometimes tied together by another), ambitiously trying to explain these films and their legacy in 104 minutes. Despite the excellent amount of clips and interviews with mostly informative fans and scholars, this film needed to be a little longer, but is more than worth your time.


Though these kinds of films peaked in the 1970s, they have always been produced somewhere, though not as many since the later 1980s thanks to home video, hundreds of cable channels and now, the Internet. However, they offer a great form of storytelling and have produced some of the most interesting genre feature films. The documentary does not discuss the rich history of such shows on TV (for which there are many, including a few brilliant classics) and would be worth making a separate documentary on, but there is more to say just about such feature films.


Unlike several documentaries on filmmaking, TV show sand genres lately that have fallen short or way short, this one is as fun as it is college-level cinematic and was a pleasant surprise of the likes we do not see enough. Greg Nicotero, Joe Dante, Ernest Dickerson, Kim Newman, Tom Savini, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Roger Corman, Brian Yunza, Richard Stanley and David Del Valle are among the best interviewees and I was glad to see such a program finally get made. Maybe a true revival of such films that work might arrive again. We'll see.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is well-edited and has some great choices of clips in solid shape, plus stills and poster art throughout, while the newer HD-recorded interviews look just fine. Well done. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix us simple and to the point, with some music, but most of the film discussed are monophonic and the interviews are well recorded.


Extras include two very welcome additions of early anthology films: Eerie Tales (1919, Germany, silent) and Unusual Tales (1949, France) that make for surprisingly good viewing. Overall, another solid release from Severin.



To order The 100 Warner Archive Blu-ray set, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (100, Scooby, Tales), Ricky Chiang (Max Cloud) and James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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