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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Comedy > TV > Horror > Supernatural > Drama > Thriller > Giallo > Italy > Marti > Resonator: Miskatonic U (2021/Full Moon Blu-ray*)/Sergio Martino Collection (1971 - 1975/Arrow Blu-ray Set/*all MVD)/Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings 4K (2021/Marvel/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ra

DC Legends Of Tomorrow: The Complete Sixth Season (2021/DC Comics/Warner Blu-ray)/Ghost Ship (1943) / Bedlam (1946/Val Lewton Double Feature/RKO/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Highway Hitcher (1998/DVD*)/Resonator: Miskatonic U (2021/Full Moon Blu-ray*)/Sergio Martino Collection (1971 - 1975/Arrow Blu-ray Set/*all MVD)/Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings 4K (2021/Marvel/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Ghost Ship/Bedlam Val Lewton Double Feature Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Superheroes and menaces of all all kinds figure in this next batch of genre titles....

DC Legends of Tomorrow is probably the best of the DC Comics/CW Network bunch of live-action TV series, in that it doesn't feel quite as stiff as some of the other entries. This series features Constantine (with fan favorite Matt Ryan in the role) and a few other side characters from the DC/CW-verse including Sara Lance, Ava Sharpe, Steel, Gideon, Heat Wave, and others. Much like The Flash, the show goes for broke in the special effects department with some pretty fantastic looking effects for a television series. DC fans will find a lot to enjoy about this show, even if it still has problems escaping from the teenage television program mold that it often finds itself in.

The fifteen episodes of DC Legends Of Tomorrow: The Complete Sixth Season (2021) span four Blu-ray discs and include Ground Control to Sara Lance, Meat: The Legends, The Ex-Factor, Bay of Squids, The Satanist's Apprentice, Bishop's Gambit, Back to the Finale Part 2, Stressed Western, This is Gus, Bad Blood, The Final Frame, Bored on Board Onboard, Silence of the Sonograms, There Will Be Brood, and The Fungus Amongus.

The massive cast includes Lisseth Chavez (Chicago P.D.), DC's Legends of Tomorrow stars Caity Lotz (Arrow, Mad Men), Tala Ashe (Smash, The Carrie Diaries), Jes Macallan (Mistresses, Shameless), Olivia Swann (Doctors), Adam Tsekhman (The Twilight Zone), Shayan Sobhian (Killer Caregiver) and Amy Louise Pemberton (Arrow, Suspense), with Nick Zano (What I Like About You), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, The Flash) all return as their characters from previous seasons. If you are a diehard fan and watch all of these CW shows, you will see that some characters tend to cross over and guest appear on this one, which keeps things fresh.

The episodes are once again presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (aster Audio) 5.1 mix, all of which are up to high Blu-ray standards and produce a solid HD presentation. The biggest appeal to most that watch the show on network television is that this presentation is of course commercial and network watermark free.

Special Features:

Gag Reel

Deleted Scenes

Never Alone: Heroes and Allies

VFX Creature Feature

Animation Split Screen

and Actors Split Screen.

Warner Archive presents a producer Val Lewton double feature captured on one limited Blu-ray disc: Ghost Ship (1943) / Bedlam (1946).

Ghost Ship was loosely remade in the early 2000s, but this older version is pretty atmospheric and quite ahead of its time (and the remake) in many ways. Starring Richard Dix, Russell Wade, and Edith Barrett, several passengers on a freight based sea voyage start to pop up dead. As Tom Merriam (Wade) is tested by the ship's captain, his own sanity starts to sway.

In Bedlam, the infamous Boris Karloff is the head of a mental institution and has Nell Bowen (Anna Lee) committed to said institution (which is nicknamed Bedlam) when she finds out of some of the mistreatment to patients being had there. She soon stars an uprising against Karloff with the abused patients joining her cause. The film also stars Jason Robards Sr., Billy House, and Richard Fraser.

Both films are presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) sound. The black and white image on both films is crisp and highly defined with contrasty blacks that aren't too crushed and a balanced 2K Blu-ray image.

Special Features: Commentary on Bedlam by Tom Weaver and Trailers in HD.

Kurt Voss' Highway Hitcher (1998) is another 'why did you pick up that hitchhiker' movie and not a good one at that despite a good cast that includes William Forsythe as the guy who makes the mistake and James LeGros as the eventual stalker whose vehicle had broken down. Unfortunately, the directing and script are far more broken down and even a trip to AAA could not fix them.

Even with name cast members like Nancy Allen, Elizabeth Pena, Jamie Kennedy and Michael McKean, the makers keep making the worst possible choices throughout the long, long, long, long 88 minutes of what is not a bad-looking or sounding shoot. Too bad the missed opportunities multiply like crazy. A curio only for the very, very, very curious, the rest can just skip it.

The 1.33 X 1 image is from an old low-def video master with all kinds of flaws, aliasing errors and subtle noise throughout, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better, it is still standard and compressed.

A trailer is the only extra.

Inspired by and dedicated to the late genre director Stuart Gordon (Re-animator), comes a film that is in line with the films that he enjoyed making. The Resonator: Miskatonic U (2021) is a Full Moon feature that is very Lovecraft influenced. Directed by William Butler, the film centers around six students who use a machine called ''the resonator'' that opens up multiple dimensions upon the fictional high school known as ''Miskatonic University.'' Some of the film's effects are a little cheesy but it clashes nicely with some more adult themes that makes for an interesting mix. Again, similar in tone to the type of films that Gordon made.

The Resonator: Miskatonic U is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation and a set of lossless DTS-HD MA mixes: 5.1 and 2.0. The presentation is pretty standard and captured the film, which was obviously shot digitally, fine. Some of the digital effects are a bit questionable, but it kind of goes with the theme and feeling of the film.

Special Features: Behind the Scenes clips and Full Moon Trailers.

The Resonator is an interesting effort that carries a lot of genre tropes that cult film fans will pick up on, but may be a bit too zany for mainstream.

Arrow has put out a much needed HD boxset in The Sergio Martino Collection (1971 - 1975) with three powerful films from the filmmaker: The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971), Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1973), and The Suspicious Death of a Minor (1975). There are all key films to his accomplished director's career and all of which still hold some relevance today. Film students should definitely check these out or any fans of giallo or Italian cinema in general.

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971)

The film stars George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, and Evelyn Stewart to name a few.

The giallo film takes advantage of its exotic locations and centers around Lisa Baumer (Stewart) who learns that her husband has been killed in a plane accident. She travels to Greece to collect his life insurance policy... but becomes a target for murder instead. A detective named Peter Lynch (Hilton) is soon hired and attempts to protect her from the unknown killer.

Special Features:

Feature Length Audio Commentary track with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo (in Italian with English subtitles)

Under the Sign of the Scorpion - an interview with star George Hilton

The Scorpion Tales - an interview with director Sergio Martino

Jet Set Giallo - an analysis Sergio Martino's films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film

The Case of the Screenwriter Auteur - a video essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

Theatrical trailer

Image gallery

and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

Your Vice Is A Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1974)

Starring the beautiful genre favorite, Edwige Fenech (All the Colors of the Dark), this is an Italian giallo classic that simply looks marvelous here. The story centers on a writer who torments his wife by hosting orgies and being a general bad guy, but when several women turn up missing, he becomes the prime suspect. The film also stars Pippo Franco, Riccardo Garrone, and Vera Drudi.

Special Features:

Through the Keyhole - an interview with director Sergio Martino

Unveiling the Vice - A Making-Of retrospective featuring interviews with Martino, star Edwige Fenech and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi

Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino - a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the director's unique contributions to the giallo genre

The Strange Vices of Ms. Fenech - film historian Justin Harries on the Your Vice actress' prolific career

Eli Roth on Your Vice and the genius of Martino

and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

The Suspicious Death Of A Minor (1975)

The title pretty much sums up the plot here, but this film too is a beautifully made and interesting film starring Mel Ferrer, Gianfranco Barra, Massimo Girotti, and others, and follows a Detective who links the death of a young woman to a prostitution ring with powerful forces behind it. A bit frightening in some of its relevance to today, the film is quite interesting and worth a revisit.

Special Features:

Feature Length Audio Commentary Track by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

Violent Milan - an interview with co-writer/director Sergio Martino

and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

All three films have been remastered and restored in 2K from the original camera negative and presented here in 1080p high definition. The films sport a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio (save 1.85 X 1 on Vice) and both Tail and Minor were both shot in 2-perf Techniscope, but Tail was not issued in Technicolor prints (using the Technochrome lab instead) and is credited as Chromoscope.

The original lossless Mono Italian and English soundtracks. Also on the disc are newly translated English subtitles. Case of the Scorpion's Tail and Suspicious Death feature both Italian and English LPCM Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) mixes while Vice has both Italian and English lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) sound mixes.

As usual, Arrow's stamp of high quality is evident in this box set, which presents these three Sergio Martino directed classics in an overall satisfying release.

Finally, we have Destin Daniel Cretton's Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings 4K (2021) as the latest Marvel Comics movie, introducing another key character from the superhero powerhouse. Simu Liu is the title character, trying to have a life in San Francisco, but is about to find out the past he would like to leave behind is coming back and with some unwanted surprises.

Working at his regular job, nothing stays regular for long, which takes his friend and co-worker (the amazing Awkwafina in a scene-stealing turn with comic timing worthy of the best martial arts moves in the film) and the action madness begins.

Again, the money is on the screen and both Tony Leung and the always great Michele Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) add onto what does work here. Unfortunately, the film runs on a bit with one-note jokes the Marvel movies have worn thin at this point, we have seen more than a few of these situations before and it becomes a little too derivative of other films (Skyfall most obviously when they get to Macau) so that holds this back. As well, there is more original material in the original comic books that is totally ignored and that is the worst thing. One person even told me it seems Shang-Chi has a power that originally belongs to a different Marvel character.

So it is worth look and did well enough so far box office wise, so you can see for yourself.

The 2160p HECV/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image has some good visual moments and really delivers in the Video Red, yet not all the shots are great, while some of the digital work is just fine. It is definitely better than the passable 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular blu-ray which is not bad, but has color range and light limits the 4K version does not.

The lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) has some good moments, but we get more talking that expected and dialogue can be a little boxy and limited, sounding like a location issue in part, but it disappoints (especially when Awkwafina is at her best) and it is also on the Blu-ray's DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix. Some have complained that some of these Marvel 4K releases may be a little quieter than they should be in the way they are transferred, especially versus their best-sounding theatrical screenings. That also applies here a bit. Otherwise, this has some good sound.

Extras include Digital Copy, while the regular Blu-ray adds a solid Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes including (per the press release):

    • They're Waiting - Shang-Chi and Katy connect with Xialing over a call.

    • Take a Shot - Katy has a moment of resolve during a battle.

    • Apology - Years after his sudden absence, Shang-Chi tries to apologize to Xialing.

    • I'm Here - Shang-Chi and Katy have a conversation in the alley. Katy reassures Shang-Chi that she will always be his support system.

    • Pep Talk - In order to turn the tide, Razor Fist encourages Katy during the middle of a battle.

    • Greatness - Trevor and Katy bond over passions in their getaway car.

    • Escape Tunnel - The gang slips out through Trevor's escape tunnel in order to secure a getaway vehicle.

    • Two Sons - Xu Wenwu compares Shang-Chi and Razor Fist during a tense dinner.

    • Postcard - Shang-Chi and Xu Wenwu reunite as father and son. Shang-Chi makes it clear he disagrees with Xu Wenwu's philosophy.

    • Just Friends - Katy and Xialing get to know each other. Xialing asks Katy some personal questions.

    • Do It Yourself - Xu Wenwu returns to his empire after the Iron Gang boss is captured.

  • PLUS two featurettes in Building a Legacy - Go behind the scenes and explore Shang-Chi's explosive debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • and Family Ties - A deep dive into the rich but complicated legacy of Shang-Chi and Xu Wenwu.

  • and a Feature-Length Audio Commentary track by Destin Daniel Cretton and Dave Callaham.

To order the Warner Archive Ghost Ship/Bedlam Val Lewton Double Feature Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (4K, Hitcher) and James Lockhart



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