(1965/Sony/Columbia/Arrow Blu-ray set w/2005 Extended Version*)/The
Man From Hong Kong
(1975/Umbrella Region Free Blu-ray w/CD Limited Edition Set)/Perdita
(1997/Severin 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/*both MVD)
Ultra HD Picture: A+ Picture: B-/B/B/A Sound: B-/B/B- (CD:
B)/B Extras: D/B & A+ (2005)/B/B- Films: C-/B- & B
Man From Hong Kong
Import Blu-ray/CD set is now only available from our friends at
Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can play on all 4K and Blu-ray
players, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while
supplies last, from the link below.
for more great genre releases, including some great new upgrades and
(2021) is the one new entry here, a film that could have at least
been watchable if it had not been so bored and sloppy, with perennial
action genre actor Neal McDonough in the lead as a ex-cop serving
life who is offers a chance at 'freedom; if he plays the wacky game
of the title. Rollerball
this is not, as the long, long 93 minutes goes on and on and on and
on with no point and wastes our time.
again, Bruce Willis is barely here to pick up a paycheck and help
sales, but he is not in it much and looks bored for the most part,
again. That's a shame, because this could have at least been half
entertaining, but its just a flat package deal and a crossword puzzle
would have offered more excitement. Sad.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an HD shoot
where the camera shakes way too often and we get annoying motion blur
all the time on top of that, so it is not as well shot or made
visually as it ought to be. Color is at least consistent. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also a bit off with
location audio issues and a lack of consistent soundfield. Some
sound can be on the harsh side too.
are no extras.
Peckinpah had been lauded for his second feature, Ride
the High Country,
and sought to follow it with Major
(1965,) a western with a higher budget and greater scope.
Unfortunately, his drunk and unruly tendencies plagued the filmmaking
process, causing problems on set. In turn, this led to spiraling
costs, culminating with Columbia Pictures denying Peckinpah control
over the editing process.
this pattern continued to dog him throughout his career, the personal
and professional obstacles Peckinpah faced during filming would
inform his approach to The
(1969,) the film that would signal his redemption only four years
described as "Moby
on horseback," there are certainly parallels to be drawn between
Melville's depiction of Ahab and Dundee's tireless pursuit of the
Apache. His true motives become suspect after the initial cause of
provocation is resolved partway through the film. Rather than
signaling the end of his mission, he blindly continues to seek out
the Apache "until they are taken or destroyed."
the restored cut wins out as my preferred way to watch the film, the
newly added scenes do little to add clarity, and both edits still
suffer from pacing issues. The most drastic change between the
theatrical cut and the 2005 restoration is the new soundtrack
composed by Christopher Caliendo. Peckinpah had long voiced his
disdain for the score producers had saddled onto the film, and this
version would be more in keeping with his original intent.
this score is less tone-deaf to the action onscreen, it has
shortcomings of its own and is ultimately too conservative for my
tastes. I acknowledge that some of the choices made by Daniele
Amfitheatrof back in 1965 are questionable, but it is the more
spirited of the two and my personal go-to when watching the film.
Purists of either definition need not worry, as Arrow has included
both incarnations of the soundtrack on the extended cut.
are more special features than you can shake a stick at, and with
everything included, this is the
definitive edition of the film to get. It bundles nearly everything
from last year's Imprint release, plus stuff found on the
out-of-print Twilight Time Blu-ray, reachable at the link below.
Although there is a bit of redundancy across its bevy of featurettes
and commentary tracks, it does present a unique opportunity to assess
the film from all sides.
favorite of all the bonus content gathered here, the feature-length
& Poetry: The Dundee Odyssey
is a great watch. Its presentation isn't the glossiest, but it's a
vital study of the film, providing many first-hand accounts of what
life was like on set. Sadly, we've lost several of the interviewees
over the passing years. Fortunately, filmmaker Mike Siegel saw the
need to capture their experiences before it was too late to preserve
versions of the film are sourced from a new 4K scan of the 35mm
archival materials and look fantastic, each presented in 1080p with a
2.35:1 aspect ratio. The Caliendo score is only found on the
extended cut and is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless sound, while Amfitheatrof's exists in both edits and is 1.0
Mono DTS-HD. The theatrical cut, it should be noted, is exclusive to
the 2-disc limited edition boxed set. These very much look like the
same transfers from the out of print Twilight Time edition.
it sits, viewing Major
remains a flawed experience. While nothing can make it whole again,
the revisions do help bring it a touch closer to the epic Peckinpah
envisioned. Arrow has done a fantastic job bringing it to the
masses. The transfer looks as good as any we've had until now, and
the critical analysis this set provides is as comprehensive as it
the record, the many extras in this amazing Limited Edition package
perfect bound booklet featuring new writing by Farran Nehme, Roderick
Heath and Jeremy Carr plus select archive material
ONE - EXTENDED VERSION
Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a 4K scan by Sony
MA 5.1 surround audio with new score by Christopher Caliendo
original mono audio with original score by Daniele Amfitheatrof
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
commentary with Nick Redman, David Weddle, Garner Simmons, Paul
commentary by historian and critics Glenn Erickson & Alan K.
commentary by historian and critic Glenn Erickson
Dick on Horseback,
a brand new visual essay by David Cairns
& Poetry: The Dundee Odyssey,
a feature length documentary about the making of Major Dundee by
Mike Siegel, featuring James Coburn, Senta Berger, Mario Adorf, L.Q.
Jones, R.G. Armstrong, Gordon Dawson
& Poetry: Peckinpah Anecdotes,
nine actors talk about working with legendary director Sam
Peckinpah, featuring Kris Kristofferson, Ernest Borgnine, James
Coburn, David Warner, Ali MacGraw, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins, R.G.
Armstrong, Isela Vega
Siegel: About the Passion & Poetry Project,
in which filmmaker Mike Siegel talks about his beginnings and his
ongoing historical project about director Sam Peckinpah
stills galleries, featuring rare on set, behind the scenes, and
TWO - THEATRICAL VERSION (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a 2K scan
original mono audio
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
for a Fall,
a vintage behind the scenes featurette
extended/deleted scenes and outtakes with commentary by historian
and critic Glenn Erickson giving context on how they were intended
to appear in Peckinpah's vision of the film
US, UK and German theatrical trailers
a Stills gallery
can read more about the out of print Twilight Time Blu-ray release
version at this link:
when I thought I had seen Brian Trenchard-Smith's The
Man From Hong Kong
(1975) again for the first time in a while and that would be that,
Umbrella Entertainment from Australia has issued a new Region Free
Blu-ray/CD Limited Edition Set that offers the same film transfer as
the previous two Blu-rays we covered and a whole new set of extras,
including the worldwide debut of the movie's soundtrack on CD. This
is the fourth time we are covering the film. For more about this
martial arts, action, semi-spy Oz-Ploitation film, you can read all
about it starting with this link:
battles that build up to Jimmy Wang-Yu's hero versus former one-time
James Bond George Lazenby's racist villain is a must see in the
film's entirety, only getting better with age, extreme political
correctness included. The worldwide classic hit Pop/Rock record
by the Australian band Jigsaw still plays on radios and other
services all the time. The CD here is not only the debut of the
instrumental score, but of the two cuts of the hit song as recorded
for the beginning title sequence and end credits of the film, both of
which have different arrangements than the highly familiar hit record
version. I am a fan of all of them.
the 23 track CD has the entire instrumental score by Noel Quinlan,
two versions of the vocal song ''A
Man Is A Man Is A Man''
as sung by Deena Webster Greene and the unused first opening vocal
theme song ''Power''
by Peter Nelson that is not a bad song, but done not fit here as well
as the Jigsaw classic. The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 sound here is fine and
since none of the Blu-ray editions have had an isolated music score,
this is the next best thing.
for playback, the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfer is from the same 35mm material used for the last two
Blu-rays, but this leans a little more towards the darker, richer
colors of the Twilight Time release, with slightly more clarity than
the last two discs. Thus, I look forward to the hopefully inevitable
4K version, but this is as nice as any version so far.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix here is different than the
older Umbrella Blu-ray and sounds more like a slightly richer version
of the problematic, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the Twilight Time
Blu-ray that loses some of the sound stems in its remix, as again if
someone decided to tamper with the older 5.1 mix when they should
have left it alone. The best sound for this film is now the DTS-MA
5.1 from the older Umbrella edition and PCM 2.0 Stereo mix on the
Twilight Time release. Maybe a Dolby Atoms, DTS: X and/or Auro 3D
version for a potential 4K edition would be the next move, especially
when this CD sounds so good.
have been changed, upgraded and expanded for the better in this
All NEW: Raw!
An interview with legendary stuntman Grant Page
interviews from Not
with Writer/Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, Executive Producer David
Hannay, cast members George Lazenby, Rebecca Gilling and Roger Ward,
2nd Unit Cameraman John Steele - and with added interview with
Cinematographer Russell Boyd and 1st AD Hal McElroy
conclude this set of releases with Perdita
is director Alex de la Iglesia's frequently overlooked prequel to
While both adaptations take from Barry Gifford's source material,
the film versions share no official ties. Whereas Wild
has maintained an audience throughout the years, Perdita
was left on the sidelines, available only on VHS and lacking an uncut
release here in the states.
delivers a film that's raucous and hedonistic, pushing boundaries of
taste even now. Think Quentin Tarantino turned up to 11, with just a
touch of Troma. It's a departure from Lynch's approach to Wild
but still manages to be quirky enough and weird on top.
Perez and Javier Bardem have great chemistry, and while both deliver
stellar performances, Bardem ultimately steals the show as the
terrifying and strangely charismatic cult leader Romeo Dolorosa. The
supporting cast includes a pre-Sopranos
James Gandolfini, cult filmmaker Alex Cox, and the legendary
Screamin' Jay Hawkins in a late-career appearance.
package includes the 4K UHD, 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition and Blu-ray discs, both
presented with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. While the 1080p version is
good, the step up to 4K is revelatory, being so much more vivid and
colorful than the older format can allow.
quality is also excellent, and options across both formats are the
same. Included are 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless
tracks in English. A 5.1 DTS-HD Spanish dub is also available.
this edition lacks a commentary track, there are a handful of
interviews, which helps compensate. Notable participants include
director Iglesia, writer Barry Gifford, composer Simon Boswell, and
cinematographer Flavio Labiano. Sadly, none of the cast has returned
to discuss the film.
been a long time coming, but I am thankful that more of Iglesia's
body of work is being rediscovered and given proper high-def
transfers. Severin has done a great job with this title and the
simultaneously released Day
of the Beast,
reviewed in that 4K edition elsewhere on this site. These films
serve as an excellent primer for the uninitiated. Here's hoping that
can't be far behind!
more on Wild
and Lynch's films in general, go to this link:
Man From Hong Kong
limited edition Blu-ray/CD set, buy them while supplies last at this
Nicholas Sheffo (Apex,
and David Milchick