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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Animation > Drama > Horror > Anthology > Cable TV > Epic > China > CGI featur > Phantom Of The Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)

Batman: Year One 4K (2011/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Creepshow: Season 2 (2021/RLJ Blu-ray Set)/Emperor's Sword (2020*)/Monkey King: Reborn (2021/*both Well Go Blu-rays)/Phantom Of The Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)

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

Action and horror comprise these new releases....

The 2011 animated feature, Batman: Year One, gets a 10th anniversary 4K UHD release from DC and Warner Brothers that Bat-fans all over will rejoice over. This is certainly an important story in Batman lore written by comic book veteran Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City), and was a major inspiration on Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005). For those who own the original version, the 4K UHD version is an improvement over the previous release and there are a few new extras to take a bite out of here too. The story centers on Bruce Wayne's first year as Batman and is a darker take with his revenge on the criminal organization that killed his family his first mission. He also builds a relationship with Jim Gordon and meets Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Gotham star Ben McKenzie (Southland) lead a star-studded cast as Lieutenant James Gordon and Bruce Wayne/Batman, respectively. Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) provides the voice of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Katee Sackhoff (The Mandalorian, Battlestar Galactica) gives voice to Detective Sarah Essen, and the late Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone. Additional voices/characters include the late Jon Polito as Commissioner Loeb, Jeff Bennett as Alfred, Grey Griffin as Barbara Gordon & Vicki Vale, Robin Atkin Downes as Harvey Dent, Keith Ferguson as Jefferson Skeevers, Fred Tatasciore as Detective Flass, Stephen Root as Brendon, Liliana Mumy as Holly and Nick Jameson as Merkel.

Batman: Year One 4K is presented in 2160p upscaled 4K on 4K UHD disc with an HEVC/H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, HDR10, and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, all of which are of a high standard for the format. There is definitely an improvement in image over the 2011 Blu-ray disc and at the animation looks sharper and more detailed than before in several instances. Also includes is a 1080p Blu-ray version, which has new menus and extras but the same 2011 transfer that has a few small issues. That being said, the image is improved overall in this release and worth double dipping if you're a Bat-fanatic.

Special Features:

Three Featurette: Reinventing Gordon (New): An examination of the history of James Gordon through comics, animation, and feature films.

Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots: "The Dark Knight Returns" provided the denouement of Batman's life. Frank Miller's next seminal work would provide his near-mythic origin in "Batman: Year One." This documentary spotlights the contemporary genius of Miller and the audience that was poised to appreciate the depths of his work.

and Conversations with DC Comics: The Batman creative team at DC discusses the personal influence of Batman: Year One on their careers. Batman producer Michael Uslan leads the chat amongst well-known writers, editors, and artists of Batman lore, focusing on the darker, realistic interpretation of Batman's origins by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.

Feature-Length Audio Commentary with co-producer Alan Burnett, co-director Sam Liu, DC creative director Mike Carlin and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano.

DC Showcase: Catwoman (2011 Animated Short) - The felonious feline's adventure takes her through the seedy streets of Gotham City. Eliza Dushku reprises her Batman: Year One role as the voice of Catwoman. The short is directed by Lauren Montgomery (also Batman: Year One) from a script by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series).

DC Universe Movies Flashbacks:

Batman: Soul of the Dragon

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two

Batman: Year One 4K is the one of the better DC animated films and was one responsible for the company making so many of these animated adaptations in the years to follow, many of which are reviewed on this site. While reading the comic is still the best way to go, and I wish they would have been more faithful to the original Frank Miller drawings in the book and used that style instead of the cleaner and more modern animated style they chose, this is still an interesting film and a lot of fun.

From horror mastermind and SFX heavyweight Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) comes Season 2 of Creepshow (2021,) which is based on Stephen King and George A. Romero's classic film series. Creepshow has always been a fantastic vehicle for the anthology film and the new season of the show has many familiar faces in its cast and interesting horror shorts that are fun and creative. Nicotero is a huge genre film fan and it really shines through in this series. He is clearly doing this for his love of the original Creepshow and he directs several episodes here.

This Blu-ray set also included the Animated and Holiday specials in addition to Season 2, which also premiered on Shudder. The disc is packed with extras and some cool inserts that make this set a collector’s item for sure. I could best explain this as 'Goosebumps for adults'.

The series stars in separate episodes Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Ted Raimi (The Evil Dead series), Ali Larter (House On Haunted Hill), C. Thomas Howell (The Amazing Spider-Man), Iman Benson (Alexa and Katie), Josh McDermitt (The Walking Dead), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser franchise), Keith David (21 Bridges), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Breckin Meyer (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), Molly Ringwald (Riverdale), Eric Edelstein (Shameless), Barbara Crampton (Jakob's Wife), Denise Crosby (Ray Donovan), Justin Long (Tusk), D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Kiefer Sutherland (Designated Survivor), Joey King (The Kissing Booth), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), and Adam Pally (Happy Endings).

Creepshow is a horror comic book where the undead horror host, The Creep, brings you different tales of horror and the macabre as the pages of the comic book come to life.

Episodes include Model Kid and Television of the Dead which features a Ted Raimi and fun shoutout to the Evil Dead franchise, Dead and Breakfast & Pesticide, The Right Snuff & Sibling Rivalry, Pipe Screams & Within The Walls of Madness, and Night of the Living Late Show, which is a must see for fans of the classics Horror Express and Night of the Living Dead.

Creepshow: Season 2 is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The transfer is clean and nice for Blu-ray and sharper than the original streaming presentation.

Special Features:

A Creepshow Animated Special bonus episode

A Creepshow Holiday Special bonus episode

WonderCon Home 2021 Interview with Greg Nicotero

Photo Galleries

Comic Art Booklet

Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes

and Behind-the-Scenes Raw Footage

If you're a fan of George A Romero's cinema then you will get an extra kick out of many of the fan references in this new Creepshow series. It's nice to see some excellent '80s era actors in this such as Ashley Laurence, Barbara Crampton and others that you don't see as often anymore and it is clearly made by and for horror movie fans.

A long time ago when the first Emperor came to unite China, his sword was smelted and reforged into two swords, it was said whoever holds the two swords is the rightful heir to become the next Emperor. One was held by the current Emperor and the other was given to a trusted General, but when the Emperor died, the next Emperor-to-be will do anything to own the two swords and he begins killing the General and anyone related to him. Now, the sole survivor is the General's daughter who must hide the sword to prevent a tyrant to become the next Emperor in Zhang Yingli's The Emperor's Sword (2020).

After having her entire family massacre in front of her, a lone girl (Hao Yilin) escapes and is on the run from the Emperor's assassins who are after her and her late father's sword. Her only hope is to find the previous Emperor's heroes, the seven heroes from the last war. The seven heroes were re-known for their skill and virtue and sacrificed everything uniting China and bring peace to the land. Even though they are retired, they are call into service one last time to protect one girl who holds the fate of their country in her hands.

This was another action filled martial arts movie about ancient Chinese warriors and what it means to be heroes, heroes are expected to sacrifice everything for their country, even if they must fight the Emperor himself, they must stand for justice and the principles they forged their country to be.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer looks as good as it can in the format, another solid HD shoot, while the Mandarin DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is pretty good and has a very consistent soundfield, well mixed and edited. Too bad this was not a 4K disc. Extras include trailers.

Sun Wukong is journeying with his Master Tang and his brothers-in-arms for the holy scriptures, but when he releases the primordial demon, the Demon King kidnaps Master Tang. Now Wukong and his brothers must rescue Master Tang in 3 days before the Demon King regains his full powers and turns the world into hell in Yunfei Wang's The Monkey King: Reborn (2021).

Sun is a short-tempered Monkey King (voice of Jason Keeser) ordered by Budha to protect Master Tang on his journey, but when he is told, he is forbidden to eat the divine fruit from the sacred tree, he steals and eat the fruit anyway and knocks the tree down. What he didn't know was the tree held back the first demon that ever existed and is considered to be the King of Demons. Now, Sun Wukong must fight the Demon King to rescue his master and show who is the REAL King of Demons.

This was another story of the Monkey in the story of the Journey West, it was completely CGI with a lot of eye candy and special effects. The characters and setting were all well drawn, but the plot was fairly easy, the protagonist is a bad boy lone warrior who challenges all and then becomes a superpowered version of himself when he sacrifices himself to save others.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer looks as good as it can in the format for this decently CG animated production, while the Mandarin DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is pretty good and has a very consistent soundfield, well mixed and edited. Again, too bad this was not a 4K disc. The English dub DTS-MA 5.1 mix is nowhere near as good and is to be skipped. Extras include trailers.

What if you took the musical aspect out of Phantom of the Opera and modernized it with a slasher/revenge plot? You might get the campy '80s genre flick, Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989) which has received a super deluxe release from Arrow Video here in this two disc set that has an excellent insert booklet, deluxe packaging, two discs of content and more.

Borrowing from Nightmare on Elm Street in a sense with the villain being a burn victim, but borrowing more from Phantom of the Opera, this B-movie centers on a guy named Eric who was thought to have died in a fire, but now hides away in the rafters of a newly built mall over his burned down house and kills at night. One funny thing about the film is that it features a small role by Pauly Shore, which you can tell the young comedian is holding back even in his small but memorable bit here. Morgan Fairchild is also in the film too, which is directed by Richard Friedman.

The film also features Jonathan Goldsmith, Rob Estes, Gregory Scott Cummins, and Tom Fridley.

Phantom of the Mall is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and an English LPCM 2.0 mono mix. These specs are the same for all three versions of the film that are included here in his double disc Blu-ray set that is sure to be a collector's item. It goes without saying that this is certainly the best this film has ever looked or sounded!

Special Features:

Three versions of the feature: Original Theatrical Cut, TV Cut and bonus Integral Fan Cut!

Original uncompressed mono audio on all cuts

60-page fully-illustrated perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Daniel Budnik and Amanda Reyes

Large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

Six postcard-sized lobby card reproductions

Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn


Brand new 2K restoration of the Original Theatrical Cut from original film elements (90 mins)

Brand new audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, moderated by filmmaker Michael Felsher

Brand new feature-length audio commentary with disc producer Ewan Cant and film historian/author Amanda Reyes

Shop Til' You Drop!: The Making of Phantom of the Mall - brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with director Richard Friedman, screenwriters Scott Schneid and Tony Michelman, actors Derek Rydall and Gregory Scott Cummins, filmmaker Tony Kayden and special make-up effects creator Matthew Mungle

The Vandals Go to the Mall - an interview with Joe Escalante of The Vandals on the creation of the Phantom of the Mall theme song

Alternate and Deleted Scenes from the TV Cut

Domestic and International Trailers

Image Gallery

Scott J. Schneid and Tony Michelman's original script and associated special effects storyboards by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. [BD-ROM Content]


Brand new 2K restoration of the TV Cut with Standard Definition inserts for the footage unique to this version (89 mins)

and the Integral Fan Cut combining footage from both the Original Theatrical and TV Cuts for the ultimate Phantom of the Mall experience! (96 mins)

- Ricky Chiang (Well Go) and James Lockhart



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