(1947/RKO/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Kid
Of The World 4K
(2020/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Sunday
Too Far Away
(1975/*both Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-rays)/Waterboys
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B/B-/B/B/C+ Sound:
C+/C+/B-/B+/B-/C+ Extras: C+/B/D/C+/B-/D Films:
Too Far Away
Import Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia and can play on all 4K and Blu-ray
players, while Crossfire
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
another set of dramas for awards season...
Sydney Pollack's Absence
(1981) first arrived, it was absolutely a celebration and tale of
hard journalism when the public expected the facts and the truth more
than ever (especially after Vietnam and Watergate) with a press that
had not been made a mockery by corporations and a time when tabloid
press was clearly separate from legitimate media. This tale of a man
(Paul Newman) who may or may not be up to no good and an ambitious
reporter (Sally Field, proving (again?) she could totally handle
drama and was not just The
something more sinister than either know is going on and they'll have
to figure it out before some other odd and even bad things happen.
The supporting cast is good, acting fine, but the film tries to make
a big statement and somewhat succeeds, trying to pick up where other
films left off. Now, this is an ironic time capsule, though its
points are as valuable as ever.
have no less that the Director of Photography from The
Owen Roizman, A.S.C., who shoots the old analog-era printing presses
with staccato rhythm and seriousness several times to emphasize the
power of the press, but only at the time. This is before those
presses went digital, before the Internet, before hundreds of TV
channels and just before 24-hour news channels became standard.
it is not a relic by any means, but a time capsule with some points
as relevant as ever.
include a Deleted Scene, vintage Making Of featurette and an Original
(1947) is a true Film Noir about a Jewish man being brutally killed
and the investigation that follows. A rare Noir that got A-level
recognition and treatment, bringing Robert Young in as the detective,
Robert Mitchum as his G.I. Assistant and Robert Ryan as the
hatemonger in a film that was shocking then and still powerful and
(sadly) as timely now.
well shot and edited, Dmytryk keeps the film going from the first
scene to the last with great pacing and this holds up very well as
the film approaches three-quarters-of-a-century as a special kind of
classic, though it is sometimes forgotten a bit in the shadow of
Gentleman's Agreement, which was issued the same year with the
same theme of Anti-Semitism. Yet, this is a different film for
certain and with a supporting cast that includes Noir legend Gloria
Grahame and Sam Levine, another key Noir film and key RKO film is
gem of the RKO Pictures library, all part of the Warner Bros.
catalog, Warner Archive has issued this on Blu-ray in a fine
restoration the film deserves. This is the way to see it, which you
include a feature length audio commentary track by film scholars
Alain Silver and James Ursini with vintage audio excerpts by Dmytryk
and a vintage Behind The Scenes featurette entitled Hate
Is like A Gun.
a modern day film noir starring Adam Brody (The
as a burnt out adult detective who was once a celebrated kid
detective. Gifted with Sherlock Holmes-style abilities, he ends up
solving a complicated case that reawakens his spirit when a woman
hires him to investigate the murder of her boyfriend.
film also stars Sophie Nelisse, Sarah Sutherland, Amalia Williamson,
Tzi Ma, Isaac Kragten, and Wendy Crewson.
was released during the pandemic and didn't get a lot of buzz, but
certainly isn't a terrible film. Adam Brody gives a fine performance
as lead and it's always interesting to see a well constructed
was surprised to see that Paul Greengrass' News
Of The World 4K
(2020) was being made at all, then promoted as some kind of epic
Western. The Western has been dead for years and a recent cycle has
been more akin to phony political propaganda (with so many of the
people being way too clean to actually be living in the actual West)
and to do one now, you have to recreate the entire genre in one film,
which is very, very difficult. What we actually get is a melodrama
that is often overdone (too many unlikely bad things happen in its
long nearly two-hours length) and that kills its credibility.
melodrama not totally convincingly disguised as a Western, has Hanks
in a novel role of a man who reads newspapers to crowds who pay a
dime a piece to hear what he has to say. His character is actually a
pretty good storyteller with a knack for humor. Not bad, set just
after the end of The Civil War, but the script does not totally know
what to do with him, so it throws in everything but the kitchen sink,
and probably as they were just being invented.
get rougher when he has to help a 10-year-old girl (Helena Zengel)
who is alone, traumatized and also turns out to be half-Native
American. This is early on,m but when the film insists on focusing
on her too much, Greengrass shows he is no Spielberg and certainly no
Truffaut. She is good here, but I did not buy a few moments. The
rest of the cast is not bad and the film is not necessarily always
playing it safe, but it also seems restrained at the wrong times and
is not totally successful. I did like enough of the moments to say
it is not a dud, but you have to sit through many flat moments to get
to the good ones.
as the press release explains) DELETED SCENES (which did not make
much of a difference), PARTNERS: TOM HANKS & HELENA ZENGEL -
Witness the successful (and very fun) working relationship of movie
veteran Tom Hanks and newcomer Helena Zengel. WESTERN ACTION -
Explore the creation of NEWS OF THE WORLD's most exciting and
challenging scenes, PAUL GREENGRASS MAKES NEWS OF THE WORLD - A look
at how director Paul Greengrass assembled the very best filmmaking
team to realize a lifelong ambition of making a western, THE KIOWA -
Filmmakers explain why the authentic representation of the Kiowa was
so important to them and a FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR
Too Far Away
(1975) is one of Australian mega-movie star Jack Thompson's best
films, taking place in 1956 (so it is not modern Oz-Ploitation or a
turn-of-the-last-century melodrama) as he has a reputation for being
very productive in shearing sheep. Wool is a big business at the
time Down Under and he expects to get paid well. He also parties
well and loves to get into fist-fights, apparently.
like many of its U.S. and U.K. counterparts, et al, the story turns
even more serious (based on a true story) when the group that does
this work is being ripped off by the factory owners, so they have to
eventually go on strike to get what is theirs. That is not the crux
of the film, either, but a character study and portrait of the time
that is honest, brutal and realistic. It makes it all one of the
more important pieces of Australian Cinema from that period and
though it has a few off moments, has aged well and very much deserves
the top rate restoration it gets here.
locales, recreation of the times and supporting cast more than hold
their own. It is definitely worth a good look and is recommended for
those curious who want something more challenging.
include a piece on the 1975 premiere of the film, 1975 TV documentary
Making Of Sunday,
a post-screening of the restoration interview with star Thompson,
vintage Thompson conversation on the film on TV with David Wenham, a
Stills Gallery and Original Theatrical Trailer.
lastly, we have Robert Jan Westdijk's Waterboys
(2016) is an odd drama/comedy with an older crime novelist writer
(Leopold Witte) and his son (Tim Linde) who have a good relationship
and turn to each other when they loose the women in their lives when
both walk out on them. It has a few good moments, but spends much of
its 93 minutes trying to be amusing and not only have the characters
in various contacts with water (showers, baths, ships) but has the
band called The Waterboys show up and play a few songs.
a music video or having enough of them to make this a semi-concert
film, the band is not bad, but it disrupts an already lacking
narrative that is not enough of a character study for us to care.
This may be a curio for some, but I was perplexed as to what they
thought the7y were doing overall here. Oh well.
are no extras.
for playback performance. The
2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image on News
Of The World
is narrowly the best-looking disc on the list, though it is not in
12-bit Dolby Vision and has CG visual effects that are mixed. Some
of this is stylized, of course, but that can be cliched. However,
you can see some nice shots from the 4K shoot here and the regular
1080p Blu-ray cannot offer those shots or the slightly better color
range, depth or detail of the 4K edition. Both discs offer lossless
Dolby Atmos 12-track sound and that is more consistent and easily the
sonically best release here.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Malice
plus 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Crossfire
can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the films with Sunday
being fine restorations that make the films look the best they have
in decades. Those two even have some shots the 4K World
could not deliver, so expect some demo shots there. Malice
is a slightly older HD master, but still looks pretty good and grain
is thick as I remembered the film. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes on all three films
cannot help but show their age or the fact that they were all
theatrical mono releases, but Sunday
somehow manages to sound the best of the three, just luck in the
original source and remastering, we guess. Save maybe Malice,
these will never sound better.
is presented here in standard definition on DVD with an
anamorphically enhanced, widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix, both of which are standard for the
aging format. The film is nicely shot and comedic, but compression
issues are evident.
the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Waterboys
has some slight motion blur, but it is not bad overall, while the
sound is lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 German Stereo with some good
surrounds, but why not 5.1?
order either of the
Umbrella import Blu-rays, Absence
Too Far Away,
go to this link:
to order the Warner Archive Crossfire
Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo and James