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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Fantasy > Epic > Animation > China > Horror > Monster > TV > > Supernatural > Slasher > Literature > Cab > Random Acts Of Violence (2020/RLJ Blu-ray)/The Swordsman (2020/*both Well Go Blu-rays)

Jiang Ziya (2020*)/Legacies: The Complete Second Season (2019 - 2020/DVD/Archive**)/Let It Snow (2020/Lionsgate DVD)/Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season (2020/Blu-ray/HBO/**both Warner)/Random Acts Of Violence (2020/RLJ Blu-ray)/The Swordsman (2020/*both Well Go Blu-rays)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Legacies DVD set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Now for more wild genre releases are here as follows....

Jiang Ziya (Youji Wang) was a war hero who fought in the nine tailed fox demon's wars and eventually captured the demon and he was rewarded as a demigod, but when he learned that the fox demon's life was connected to the life of an innocent girl, he refused heaven's order to kill the fox demon he was then casted out of heaven in Teng Cheng's Jiang Ziya (2020).

The title character believed he fought for the forces of good and the Gods and protected man from the fox demons who brought chaos. But then he heard the cry of an innocent soul, and the fox demon revealed the if they kill her, the kill an innocent life. Jiang Ziya then refused to kill that soul, instead he decides to save that innocent soul and discover its origins, because what good is the heaven if it can't even save one soul?

This was action filled CGI martial art movie with plenty of eye candy and special effects. One man against the world, even if it is against the gods, a hero is a person who fights even if it the entire world say he is wrong.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image looks great, there is money in it for certain and it is very clear and consistent an HD shoot even when using monochromatic colors, while the Mandarin DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has a great soundfield and impresses throughout. The English dubs are inferior, as expected. Wonder why no 12-track version, or are they saving it for a future 4K version?

Extras includes trailers.

The CW series, Legacies (2018 - current), is a spin-off of the other hit shows for the network, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals (reviewed elsewhere on this site.) While mainly a teenage drama, there's some serious X-Men, Harry Potter, and Twilight Saga inspiration going on here, as it mostly feels like a cheesy joining of the two. The cast of all pretty young faces and often hilariously subpar effects will make most adults chuckle. In essence, it's a soap opera for teens in a fantasy wrapping.

Legacies: The Complete Second Season (2019 - 2020) stars Danielle Rose Russell, Matthew Davis, Kaylee Bryant, Jenny Boyd, Aria Shahghasemi, Peyton Alex Smith, and more.

Set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted is a place where complex metahuman teenagers dwell. While learning about the past they attempt to overcome incoming threats and overcome teenage drama hurdles along the way.

16 Episodes span three DVD discs and include I'll Never Give Up Hope, This Year Will Be Different, You Remind Me Of Someone I Used To Know, Since When Do You Speak Japanese?, Screw Endgame, That's Nothing I Had to Remember, It Will All be Painfully Clear Soon Enough, This Christmas Was Surprisingly Violent, I Couldn't Have Done This Without You, This Is Why We Don't Entrust Plans to Muppet Babies, What Cupid Problem?, Kai Parker Screwed Us, You Can't Save Them All, There's a Place Where the Lost Things Go, Life Was So Much Easier When I Only Cared About Myself, Facing Darkness Is Kinda My Thing.

Legacies is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The show looks better than it does on network TV without the pesky watermarks and commercial breaks. The presentation is fine though compressed, which is normal for the aged format.

No extras.

A fun slasher on the snow, Let It Snow (2020) is an inventive horror thriller starring Ivanna Sakhno (Pacific Rim: Uprising) as a snowboarder who ends up face to face with a killer out in the middle of nowhere amidst mountains of snow. What makes the film unique is the different setting it chooses as a background for what is otherwise your typical slasher picture formula. There are some fun moments with the masked Killer playing cat and mouse with Ivanna.

The film also stars Alex Hafner and Tinatin Dalakishvili with direction by Stanislav Karalov and from a producer of the Papillon remake.

Let It Snow is presented in standard definition on DVD with a 2.35 X 1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. Up to par and of the norm for the aging format, the film looks and sounds fine, but would benefit in HD. The film is beautifully photographed and would be a great candidate for the 4K UHD format. The compression you can tell detracts from the overall experience being on DVD.

Special Features:

The Making of Let It Snow

and a Trailer Gallery.

HBO and producer J.J. Abrams' Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season (2020) debuts on Blu-ray disc in this collectible new edition. Being a huge genre fan, I wanted to dive into this show and enjoy it more than I did... but admittedly the show is a mixed bag - a few standout episodes and a few that are too racially heavy and uncomfortable for their own good. I understand the network's desire to push sex (homosexual sex too in this instance), racism, and violence, but one episode in particular is bound to make some viewers uncomfortable even though the setting is appropriate. While I haven't read the book by Matt Ruff in which the show is based, it seems like this show could have been a lot more fun and easier to take in if it didn't have some of that garbage that doesn't seem to really fit in with the rest of the story they are telling.

10 Episodes include Sunday, Whitey's on the Moon, Holy Ghost, A History of Violence, Episode 5, Meet Me In Daegu, I Am., Jig-a Bobo, Rewind 1921, and Full Circle.

Lovecraft Country stars Jurnee Smollett (Birds of Prey, Underground), Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods, The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us), Wunmi Mosaku (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time), Jada Harris (The Resident), and Michael K. Williams (HBO's The Wire and Boardwalk Empire). Recurring guest stars include Courtney B. Vance (HBO's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, American Crime Story), Jamie Neumann (HBO's The Deuce), Jordan Patrick Smith (Vikings) and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal).

Set in the 1950s in which America is racially divided and a bit insane, Atticus Freeman (Majors) goes on a search for his missing Uncle and joins friend and sometimes love interest Letita (Smollett) and along the way they find themselves in the center of supernatural conflict and all sorts of bizarre creatures and situations that are in the Lovecraft vein.

Lovecraft County is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, both of which are fine for the format and up to par. While there isn't a 4K UHD version available yet, I don't think it's out of the question for the future. As it stands, this Blu-ray presentation is about on par with the original network broadcast. The show is high concept and beautifully photographed as is the usual with any HBO production.

Special Features:

NEW Compendium of Horrors

NEW Orithyia Blue and the Imagination of Diana Freeman

Crafting Lovecraft Country

Exploring Lovecraft Country

and Lovecraft Country The Craft

Overall, Lovecraft Country is an interesting watch when it doesn't try to push the boundaries with shock value sexual and racial content. I'm not sure if H.P. Lovecraft himself would have approved some of the places this show goes. Nevertheless, I am curious to see more next season, but overall I felt this season could have been better, which is a trend I'm sadly noticing in a lot of J.J. Abrams productions as of late.

Random Acts Of Violence (2020) is a Shudder original that's going beyond the streaming platform and onto disc here under the RLJE banner. The film is an interesting thriller that centers on two comic book artists that end up bringing their murderous creation to life and encounter the random acts of violence with their friends.

Directed by comedic actor Jay Baruchel (This is the End), the film stars Jordana Brewster (Fast and the Furious) and isn't a bad film by any stretch. Inspired by Scream and other films of the like, Random Acts of Violence is gory and funny and will certainly appeal to a younger audience. The film also stars Jay Baruchel, Jesse Williams, Aviva Mongillo, and Niamh Wilson.

Random Acts of Violence is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The film has flashy titles and a new age electronic soundtrack that hypes up the action and makes it feel more modern. The overall presentation of the film on disc here is fine and up to standards with the format.

Special Features:

Interview with Director Jay Baruchel

More than just a scary movie featurette

and Inside the Making Of an action scene

Lastly, a former royal guard was casted out in a coup against the former king and has been blinded and living in the mountains with his daughter. However, when slave traffickers take his daughter, he once again takes up his sword once more in Jang Hyuk's The Swordsman (2020).

The greatest swordsman of Korea (played by the director) was blinded in the coup when the late king surrendered to end the bloodshed, but as Korea dreamed for a better future, instead its citizens were forced into slavery making 'reparations', people's daughters were being sold into slavery, held for hostage all for the sake of 'peace' and so that those in the new government can stay in power. That is until the slave traffickers start taking the government official's daughters. The swordman's daughter turns out to be actually the former princess of the ex-king, when she tries to buy a cure for her father's blindness, she gets taken by the slave traders. The slave trader's one vice is finding strong warriors and life and death battles ...and now they have the swordsman's adopted daughter (Kim Hyun-soo) ...and his wrath.

This was a martial arts action filled Korean movie, about a hero who wanted to live in peace even after being blinded and cast out of society. He was ordered by the former king to protect his adopted daughter, his sacrifice, his honor, his loyalty was all but forgotten, but even blinded his swordsmanship and his warrior instincts was not forgotten.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is another good-looking Korean HD shoot that has some fine definition, detail and depth, plus color is not bad, while the Korean DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is well recorded and mixed for best impact and is the best soundtrack here. As usual, the English dub is not as good.

Extras includes trailers.

To order the Legacies Warner Archive DVD set, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Ricky Chiang (Well Go) and James Lockhart



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