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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Outer Space > Martial Arts > Videogame > TV > Superhero > Malaysia > Silat Warriors: Deed Of Death (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Star Trek Discovery: Season Three (2020 - 2021/Paramount/CBS Blu-ray Set)

Flight To Mars (1951/Monogram/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Mortal Kombat 4K (2021/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Occupation: Rainfall (2020/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Pennyworth: The Complete Second Season (2020 - 2021/DC Comics/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)/Silat Warriors: Deed Of Death (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Star Trek Discovery: Season Three (2020 - 2021/Paramount/CBS Blu-ray Set)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Operation: Rainfall region free import Blu-ray is now available from our friends from Umbrella, while Pennyworth Blu-ray set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and both can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a new batch of action and science fiction releases...

Wee start with a rare color film from the very low budget studio Monogram, Lesley Selander's Flight To Mars (1951) is in a color format that does not even have blue in it, but more on that later. Cameron Mitchell and Margaret Chapman lead the cast who land up taking a rocket ship for a spin, then land up on the title planet by accident!

The surprise there is a bit much, but this was ambitious by that studio's standards and some moments are unintentionally funny. The visual effects were not even that good by standards of the time, but I give the makers and Producer Walter Mirisch (who later became a huge producer at United Artists, et al) for going all the way to make this work as much as they could.

No classic, the film at least attempts to take the idea of space flight somewhat seriously, but it has a small following and now you can see for yourself how the film plays and without the likes of a Mystery Science Theater voiceover.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 image is restored in 4K from the Cinecolor negative, a two-strip process that again did not have any blue in it and one major studios used to release cheaper color prints of full color films (some cartoons in three-strip Technicolor got this cheaper treatment form major studios so they could save money) and the results are as accurate as they are odd. Some shots are sharper than others, but this is not bad. The optical monophonic theatrical sound is here in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix, but the film shows its age and low budget, so that only goes so far.

Extras include a booklet with some illustrations, stills and essay Mars At The Movies by Don Stradley, while the disc adds a feature length audio commentary track by Justin Humphreys and two featurettes: Walter Mirisch: From Bombs To Body Snatchers and Interstellar Travelogues: Cinema's First Space Race. Nice.

The Mortal Kombat franchise has always been a popular one since the video games rolled out in the 1990s, followed by two mediocre films from the era. Now that time has passed and the franchise is still strong in video game sales, a 2021 feature film reboot has been unleashed with the promise of more tales to come. The result is a mixed bag. The two most beloved characters in the universe, Scorpion and Sub Zero, get centralized and an origin story here which is good, and we meet several other characters from the game reimagined in live action as well. The special effects aren't bad, but the film still leaves something to be desired after its final frames.

My biggest complaint that is Mortal Kombat 4K is a lead-up to this huge battle and then the battle doesn't happen, and we have to wait for the next film. I would have rather gotten a smaller taste of the action to come or a film that felt more standalone than a first act. I also would have liked to have seen even more gore, as the trailers and previews seemed to promise, and the video games are known for. Not to say that the film isn't gory now, as it is, but I think more fans than me wanted to see the fatalities be a littler closer to the game. I was hoping an unrated version would come out on disc but, as of this writing, that has not been the case, and nothing teased or announced on the subject.

Mortal Kombat 4K stars Lewis Tan (Deadpool 2, Netflix's Wu Assassins) as Cole Young; Jessica McNamee (The Meg) as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson (Bombshell) as Kano; Tadanobu Asano (Midway) as Lord Raiden; Mehcad Brooks (TV's Supergirl) as Jackson Jax Bridges; Ludi Lin (Aquaman) as Liu Kang; with Chin Han (Skyscraper) as Shang Tsung; Joe Taslim (Star Trek Beyond) as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero; and Hiroyuki Sanada (Skyscraper) as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion. Also featured are Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena; Matilda Kimber as Emily Young and Laura Brent as Allison Young.

The film centers around an MMA fighter named Cole (Tan), who was born with a mysterious mark on his body that is basically his ticket into an intergalactic fighting match. He soon finds the infamously deadly Sub Zero on his trail, and he must meet others of his kind to save his family. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earth realm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana, an immense power from within his soul, in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

Mortal Kombat 4K is presented in 2160p native 4K with an HEVC/H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39 X 1, and audio mixes in lossless English Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mixes. Being a newer film, it looks stunning on the 4K UHD format, and leaves little to be desired in terms of presentation with beautiful cinematography and high end sound mixing and special effects.

There is also a 1080p Blu-ray version of the film included as well.

Special Features:

From Game to Screen: The Making of Moral Kombat - featurette

Mortal Kombat: Fan Favorite Characters - 11 featurettes

Fight Koreography - featurette

Intro the Krypt: Easter Eggs of Mortal Kombat - featurette

Anatomy of a Scene - 7 Feaurettes

and Deleted Scenes.

Mortal Kombat (2021) isn't a masterpiece of genre cinema, but it is entertaining for the most part and promises a bigger scope and story in the films to come. It really looks great on the 4K UHD format, though.

The Australian made Occupation: Rainfall (2020) tries SO HARD to be like other famous American Sci-Fi franchises that it loses sight of what it's supposed to be in the first place. It throws so many poor special effects at it, that the story is hard to follow and too convoluted for its own good. I give them credit for obtaining the budget and getting a few recognizable faces thrown in, but this is about as unforgettable as something you would see on network TV or SyFy Channel at four in the morning.

Earth has been invaded by intergalactic forces and a resistance must band together to stop them... I guess is how I would summarize the plot. The film stars Jet Tranter, Daniel Gillies, Dan Ewing, Izzy Stevens, Dena Kaplan, Temuera Morrison (who deserves better) and Ken Jeong.

Occupation: Rainfall is presented in 1080p high definition on all region (A,B,C) Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39 X 1 and a lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) mix, both of which are of the norm for the format. The film itself looks fine and tries (as mentioned) to look like an American Sci-Fi film, and Umbrella does the best that it can with the material presented.

Special Features:

Commentaries with Cast and Crew

Behind the Scenes featurette

The Invasion of Sydney featurette

Deleted Scenes with optional Director Commentary

Red Carpet Premiere featurette

TV Spots and Trailers

If you are a fan of the film then this is a nicely put together edition of it on Blu-ray disc from Umbrella Entertainment.

Pennyworth: The Complete Second Season (2020 - 2021) continues the supposed early adventures of the Wayne Family's butler from back in the day that we originally covered in its debut season at this link:


The storyline of him fighting a secret fascist society trying to take over England and kidnapping the queen is way too over the top to be believed and I did not buy it for a minute. This tries way too hard and the real Alfred from back in the day offers just enough material about his past that this could have been a much better show. Instead, we get V For Vendetta lite and it tends to trivialize some important things in the process. As much as the cast tries, including Jack Bannon and Jason Flemyng, in the 10 hourish-long episodes, it is a disappointment. For fans only.

The 1080p 2.00 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix are rich enough and play well together, but they offer nothing visually new or special. There are no extras.

A young gambler who enjoys illegal street racing, betting and underground fighting luck finally runs out when he bets against the mob. The mob tired of losing comes after his family's land and deed. However, the one thing the mob didn't count on was their entire family decides to fight back and protect their home in Areel Abu Bakar's Silat Warriors: Deed Of Death (2019).

Pak's brother is addicted to illegal gambling but the mob is tired of him winning and tricks him into betting his family's land and then fixes the bet. When the mob comes to take the family land, the family tells them Pak's brother had no rights to the family deed and does not acknowledge the debt and literally kicks them out, but when the they take Pak's brother as ransom, Pak (Namron) takes it personally and all bets are off the table, and he fights to free his brother.

This was an action filled movie, with martial arts and mixed fighting. The film makes it seem fighting and illegal gambling is Malaysian's national past time and the mob makes people pay their debts but is unwilling to pay the debt when they lose and tricks people into getting into more debt more afterwards.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Malaysian 5.1 lossless mix look really good and meld well together, so playback performance is as good as it can get for this format. Extras include trailers.

Finally we have Star Trek Discovery: Season Three (2020 - 2021) with its in progress storyline of yet another corner of the (belatedly?) expanding Trek universe that is not necessary, but keeps getting pumped out. I had barely caught the early seasons when I finally got a chance to give a good look at this show. Bottom line, good cast in glutted genre at least has some money in it, but I think there is some potential here for the show to be better and Jenny Lumet is obviously a plus for this production.

We get 13 hourish-long episodes are dealing with wormholes, the possible collapse of the Federation (which you never believe for a minute will perish as they keep making these spinoffs) and is supposed to take place a decade before Kirk and Spock's adventures, but I never bought that either. At least the case including Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Chieffo, Jason Isaacs and Shazad Latif have some talent, chemistry and energy, so they are as much a reason for its success so far as anything or anyone. If you are going to watch, start with the first season.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image looks fine for the genre and not as choppy as some of the earlier shows, but isa still too digital for its own good, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes can have off moments, but are fine for what they are.

Extras include Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel and six behind the scenes featurettes that add up to two hours length.

To order the Umbrella region free import Blu-ray Operation: Rainfall, go to this link:


...and to order the Warner Archive Pennyworth Blu-ray set, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Silat) and James Lockhart (4K, Rainfall)



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