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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Detective > Murder > Crime > Drama > British > Surrealism > Psychological > Horror > Epic > Literatu > Dalgliesh: Series 1 (2021/Acorn DVD set)/Last Night In Soho 4K (2021/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Lies & Deceit (Chabrol: Cop Au Vin (1985) Inspector Lavardin (1986) Madame Bovary (1991) B

Dalgliesh: Series 1 (2021/Acorn DVD set)/Last Night In Soho 4K (2021/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Lies & Deceit (Chabrol: Cop Au Vin (1985) Inspector Lavardin (1986) Madame Bovary (1991) Betty (1992) Torment (aka L'Enfer/1994)/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Box)/Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop (2022/Lionsgate DVD)/Run Lola Run (1998/Sony/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)



4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: C/B/B- (Bovary: B)/C/B- Sound: C+/B+/B-/C+/B Extras: C/B/B/C/C Main Programs: B-/B/C+ (Bovary: B)/C/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The Run Lola Run Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on all 4K and Blu-ray players and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's a group of mystery and thrills from overseas...



On TV, the mystery cases of author P.D. James' D.C.I. Adam Dalgliesh (pronounced dal-gleshh) was brought well to life by actors Roy Marsden (from the brilliant British TV spy show The Sandbaggers, reviewed elsewhere on this site) in the 1980s and then Martin Shaw (from the huge hit action favorite The Professionals CI-5 among others) in the 2000s and both left lasting impressions with the high quality of their shows and performances. Now, two more decades later, Bertie Carvel takes on the role in Dalgliesh: Series 1 (2021) and though he is a new actor to most people, he is not bad in the initial three mysteries set in the 1980s.


The mysteries include Shroud For A Nightingale, The Black Tower and A Taste Of Death. Though I started to recall each as I watched from previous adaptations, these are some of the best remakes I have seen in a while and serious mystery fans will not be too disappointed to catch these. We'll see where they go the next season... I mean series.


The only extras are the featurettes Who Is Dalgliesh? and a Making Of program, running about a half-hour total.



Edgar Wright's Last Night In Soho 4K (2021) is a new thriller about darkness, doubles and parallels in this smart piece that is one of the year's best and most effective films, maybe too dark for some critics and awards, but that's fine with me. Thomasin McKenzie is a young lady who lives in England, loves 1960s culture, pop culture and fashion and also loves clothes. She wants to be a clothes designer and things are looking up when she is accepted into a major fashion school in London, so off she goes.


Unhappy with boarding with her rowdy peers, she goes searching for an off-campus place and finds a top floor flat, which she immediately signs for after meeting its no-nonsense landlady (the late, great Diana Rigg in her final performance) and is even happy it looks untouched for decades. She even starts dreaming about the 1960s and another young woman (Anna-Taylor Joy) there that seems so very real, which gives her inspiration and ideas for her fashions and life.


However, after a few such surreal trips while she sleeps, something is suddenly a miss and the happiness and change of pace start to sour as other things start to surface. But what it is? Return of the repressed? Picking up on something she does not understand that might be bad or horrific? Sexual anxiety? Another mystery?


Former Doctor Who Matt Smith and 1960s acting legend and icon Terence Stamp make up the impressive supporting cast. Add the costume design, production design, acting, superior editing, smart screenplay and all the twists and turns and you get some unexpected results that show that Wright continues to be one fo the best directors around. The more you know about the 1960s, music, cinema, fashion, England and pop culture, the more you'll get out of the film. If your knowledge of those things are more limited, you'll still be impressed.


Saying any more would ruin it, but all serious film fans should see this one at least once.


Extras include Digital Code, while the disc (per the press release) includes...

  • MAKING OF FEATURETTES

    • MEET ELOISE - An in-depth look at the character of Eloise and the challenges that star Thomasin McKenzie faced while bringing her to life.

    • DREAMING OF SANDIE - A closer look at the characters of Sandie and Jack and why Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith were the perfect actors to embody the essence of the time period.

    • SMOKE AND MIRRORS - The cast and crew break down how lighting, makeup, special effects, and creative camerawork came together to create a collision between the present day and 1960s time periods.

    • ON THE STREETS OF SOHO - The cast and crew discuss the importance of shooting on location in Soho and the complexity of transforming the city streets back in time.

    • TIME TRAVELLING - A look into how the music, costume design, and production design of the film work together to immerse the audience into the world of 1960s Soho.

  • DELETED SCENES

  • ANIMATICS

    • FIRST DREAM

    • SHADOW MEN

    • MURDER

    • FINAL CONFRONTATION

  • EXTRAS

    • HAIR & MAKEUP TESTS

    • LIGHTING & VFX TESTS

    • WIDE ANGLE WITNESS CAM

    • ACTON TOWN HALL STEADICAM REHEARSAL

  • ''DOWNTOWN'' MUSIC VIDEO

  • TRAILERS

  • FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER EDGAR WRIGHT, EDITOR PAUL MACHLISS AND COMPOSER STEVE PRICE

  • and a second FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER EDGAR WRIGHT AND CO-WRITER KRISTY WILSON-CAIRNS



I am not the biggest fan of Claude Chabrol and never felt he was the next Hitchcock (if such a filmmaker existed, it would be Brian De Palma) so when Arrow announced the first of at least two Blu-ray box sets with his work, I was curious to revisit his work after all these years. Lies & Deceit features five feature films, including Cop Au Vin (1985) and Inspector Lavardin (1986) try to deconstruct the detective/mystery genre with Jean Poiret as Inspector Jean Lavardin in two films that have mixed results, though I would lean towards the first one as being a bit better.


His epic version of Madame Bovary (1991) is one of his better films with Isabelle Huppert really good as the title character and offers additional evidence that for whatever reason, she above all other actors brought out the best in Chabrol. This is as good a film version of the Gustave Flaubert novel as has been made, up there with the decent Jennifer Jones version and classic Jean Renoir version. This runs 142 minutes, but does not waste a minute of it.


Betty (1992) is based on the book by the creator of the great detective Maigret (Georges Simenon) with Marie Trintignant as the depressed, drifting, self-destructive title character who cannot catch a break as we see her problems add up. We've seen this before, at best as a character study, but the film wallows a little too much in the subject matter and is not as good as it could have been despite impressive efforts by the cast. Brace yourself if you intend to sit though it because it is a long one.


Finally, we have the sometimes appropriately titles Torment (aka L'Enfer/1994) features a project the late, great filmmaker Henri Georges Clouzot nearly made, about a marriage that is very toxic, abusive, depressing and sad. Very bare for a Chabrol film, it helped make a star of Emmanuelle Beart (later of the first Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible, et al) and Francois Cluzet as the jealous husband. Like Betty, it wallows a little too much in itself and that backfires here too, but I give credit to the actors for trying. I just did not think there was much new here or memorable to recommend it despite some ambition and good work here and there.


That all makes this set worth a single look at best, though I question the image quality below, these are still major French films to know about.


Extras are many and include a high quality, fully illustrated, 80-page collector's booklet of new writing on the films by film critics Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp, and Sam Wigley plus select archival material

  • Limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella, then each disc adds much more, including...


Disc One:

  • Brand new commentary by film critic Ben Sachs

  • An Interview with Ian Christie, a brand new interview with film historian Ian Christie about the cinema of Claude Chabrol

  • Claude Chabrol at the BFI, Chabrol discusses his career in this hour long archival interview conducted onstage at the National Film Theatre in 1994

  • Claude Chabrol, Jean Poiret & Stephane Audran in conversation, an archival Swiss TV episode in which the director and cast discuss Cop Au Vin (Poulet au vinaigre)

  • Archive introduction by film scholar Joel Magny

  • Select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Image Gallery

Disc Two:

  • Brand new commentary by film critic Ben Sachs

  • Why Chabrol?, a brand new interview with film critic Sam Wigley about why the films of Claude Chabrol remain essential viewing

  • Archive introduction by film scholar Joel Magny

  • Select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Image Gallery

Disc Three:

  • Brand new commentary by film critic Kat Ellinger

  • Imagining Emma: Madame Bovary On Screen, a brand new visual essay by film historian Pamela Hutchinson

  • Archive introduction by film scholar Joel Magny

  • Select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Image Gallery

Disc Four:

  • Brand new commentary by film critic Kat Ellinger

  • Betty, from Simenon to Chabrol, a brand new visual essay by French Cinema historian Ginette Vincendeau

  • An Interview with Ros Schwartz, a brand new interview with the English translator of the Georges Simenon novel on which the film is based

  • Archive introduction by film scholar Joel Magny

  • Select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Image Gallery

Disc Five:

  • Brand new commentary by film critics Alexandra Heller Nicholas and Josh Nelson

  • On Henri Georges Clouzot, an archival interview with Claude Chabrol in which he talks about fellow director Henri Georges Clouzot (Les diaboliques), whose original attempt to make L'enfer was abandoned, and how the project came to Chabrol

  • An Interview with Marin Karmitz, an archival interview with Marin Karmitz, Chabrol's most frequent producer

  • Archive introduction by film scholar Joel Magny

  • Select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • and an Image Gallery



Brad Watson's Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop (2022) offers Nathalie Cox as a detective who knows a little martial arts, but has hardly any kind of script to work with here as the title wants to suggest some kind of Indiana Jones series idea. However, she makes Nancy Drew look like Pam Grier, circa Coffy!


For 95 long minutes here, she investigates her friend's business, the bookstore of the title, to see if it is really haunted or something else. Unfortunately, it is far too safe, tame, flat and never takes off, with a cast that can sometimes look bored. Too bad. Tara Fitzgerald also stars.


Extras include a trailer and Behind The Scenes featurette.



Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run (1998) is a film people still talk about when it comes up, but I was not as impressed at the time and the lack of talk about it these days shows its limits, yet it looks more ambitious today versus so much 'product' and 'content' we are suffering through these days. This new Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray repeats most of the U.S. Blu-ray edition we covered many years ago at this link:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/6679/Run+Lola+Run+(Blu-ray


Franka Potente (later of the Matt Damon Bourne Identity) is the title character, delivering everything she needed to in this role and is now iconic in it as a result, while Moritz Bleibtreu (whose had a solid career since this hit) is the criminal she has to deal with over and over and over and over and over again. And its Groundhog Day that gets better remembered? Oh well.


Extras are almost the same as the U.S. Blu-ray and include an Original Theatrical Trailer, 'Still Running' featurette and feature length audio commentary track by Tykwer and Potente.



Now for playback performance. The 2160p HECV/H.265, 2.35 X 1, Dolby Vision, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Soho is easily the best-looking film here, shot in a combination of 3.4K Ultra HD video and 35mm photochemical film in both Super 35 and the better anamorphic Panavision format on Kodak's ever-amazing Vision3 film stocks. Including some demo shots and some amazing compositions, with some impressive uses of color, it is one of the best-looking films of the year and is always a pleasure to watch. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray also included is not bad, but it is missing out on detail and range that make this film far more effective.


Both discs offer Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) soundmixes that are also easily the sonically best and most capable of all releases here, including its own demo moments and some great mixing, editing and surround work that makes the film even more involving.


The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on all five Chabrol can show the age of the materials used, all shot on Eastman Kodak 35mm color negative, save Bovary in 35mm color Fuji negative, which is the best-looking film in the set by default despite being slightly darker in parts than it should. However, that is a picnic versus the other films that are softer than they should be, lack the detail they original had theatrically, have flat video black where they should not have and tend to be too yellowish throughout despite being new 4K scans, plus have some shots that rate worse than my final rating. What happened?


Compare to older Blu-rays of some of the same titles issued earlier on Blu-ray by Cohen Media and you can see the further troubles. Someone to way too many liberties in these cases and it has nothing to do with the film stock, brand or how they were stored. Even if I am not the biggest fans of these films, they deserve to be seen as intended and these are not totally it.


All five films are presented here in lossless PCM 1.0 Mono sounds, save Bovary in PCM 2.0 Stereo and issued in Dolby's older analog A-type noise reduction format. All five were saved on analog, optical sound film stock by Agfa-Gevaert and have held up well. I cannot imagine any of these films sounding better than they do here, no matter how off the video transfers get.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Lola simply looks like a second-generation version of the video master used for the now old Sony U.S. Blu-ray edition, but this is due for a 4K edition, so the differences are only so significant, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that sounds like a recycled variant of the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on the older Blu-ray. Wonder if a 4K edition with get a Dolby Atmos or DTS: X upgrade?


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both DVDs are a little softer than I would have liked, with Bookshop having some really bad digital work, but its lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 fares better and is the default highlight of a release that could have worked if they just worked more on it. Dalgliesh offers lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo when a 5.1 mix would have been more welcome, but it is one of the better stereo mixes we've heard lately from an Acorn release, so that helps too.



To order the Run Lola Run Umbrella import region-free Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to find titles at:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/



- Nicholas Sheffo


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