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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Italy > Western > Revenge > Monster > Literature > Psychological > Erotic > Fallen (2022/DVD*)/Last Shoot Out (2021/Blu-ray*)/Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 4K (1994/Sony/MVD/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/John And The Hole (2021/IFC Blu-ray)/6:45 (2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/Shattered (2

Fallen (2022/DVD*)/Last Shoot Out (2021/Blu-ray*)/Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 4K (1994/Sony/MVD/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/John And The Hole (2021/IFC Blu-ray)/6:45 (2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/Shattered (2022/Blu-ray/*all Lionsgate)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B-/B+/X/B+/B+/B+ Sound: B-/B+/A-/B+/B+/B+ Extras: D/D/B+/D/D/C+ Films: C-/C/B/D/C+/C

Now for more horror and thrillers, including an unexpected 4K upgrade...

Fallen (2022) is a modern Italian horror film that has an interesting premise, but a not so great execution. The slow moving religious supernatural thriller attempts to be a cross between The Exorcist and The Descent. Taking place on a farm, a priest is haunted by a failed exorcism that occurred years before and is now being taunted by demonic creatures. Is it really happening or all in his head?

The film stars Andrea Zirio, Ortensia Fioravanti, and Fabio Tarditi with direction by Nicolo Fumero.

Fallen is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The look of the film is a bit drab and very dark which isn’t helped by compression native to the aging DVD format. That being said the presentation is passable for the format.

No extras on the disc.

Even though modern day Hollywood rarely makes westerns nowadays, they still do get made. The Last Shoot Out (2021) is a newer film from Lionsgate that is now out on Blu-ray disc. The film is pretty fun and has a classic western revenge storyline. The cinematography utilizes modern techniques, such as drone shots, to beautifully show off locations and even though the most recognizable face in the cast is Bruce Dern, it feels bigger than its budget likely was even if the acting from most of the cast is hit and miss.

A woman (Skylar Witte) overhears that her newly married husband had her father killed in the old west times. She leaves him high and dry and runs into the desert. There she comes across Billy Tyson (Brock Harris) who protects her from her crooked husband and his bizarre family.

The film also stars Bruce Dern, Cam Gigandet, Caia Coley, and Michael Welch.

Last Shoot Out is 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 (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) resulting in a decent Blu-ray transfer. The film has some cool western locations that come across nicely on disc in this passable presentation.

No extras.

While Francis Ford Coppola's version of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) is held in high regard, you don't hear too many folks looking back as fondly on Kenneth Branagh's version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 4K (1994), which was released two years after the former. Well, after watching this brand new Arrow remaster you will begin to question why not!

Starring Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter, and Kenneth Branagh himself, this adaptation is more accurate to the original novel and is a grisly and very real take on the material. Unlike the B Monster Movie charm of Universal's classic starring Boris Karloff, De Niro's take on the Frankenstein monster is very realistic and gross looking, as it would be if it really existed!

After being desperately in need of an upgrade on home video for years and actually pretty hard to track down unless you were really looking, this new 4K UHD from Arrow Video upgrades the presentation of the film and is a vast improvement over previous lackluster versions. As usual with Arrow, the disc is packed with many extras and goodies as well including the first Frankenstein film ever made, which makes this edition all the more desirable!

We all know the classic story of Frankenstein, a mad scientist creates a living breathing man using electricity and his scientific brain. In this version, Branagh plays the title role and sacrifices the perfect life with this childhood love (a young and very attractive Helena Bonham Carter) in order to create the monster (De Niro). Once he succeeds in his scientific breakthrough, he finds that his creation isn't as perfect as he thought it would be and soon the Monster goes rogue, learning lessons the hard way about humanity in its own bizarre and often cruel way.

The classic story feels very R rated and adult in this version, and is very well done. Mr. Branagh has had a very vast and interesting career when you stop and take a look at it. He's done everything from Shakespeare to classic literature to Marvel/Disney movies and we aren't forgetting his villainous turn in the infamous stinker Wild Wild West remake with Will Smith! The fact of the matter is that this man is pretty underrated in this reviewer's opinion and creates beautiful looking films regardless of the subject matter.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein enjoys a new 2160p 4K remaster from Sony Pictures from the original camera negative with a Dolby Vision / HDR-10 presentation of the film with a 1:85.1 widescreen aspect ratio in an HEVC / H.265 codec, and audio mixes in English, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) and LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film has certainly never looked or sounded better than it does in this impressive new master of the film. The film has beautiful production design throughout that shows up nicely here and many scenes that were darker looking on previous releases have more clarity and warmth here. Very impressive indeed.

Special Features:

Brand new audio commentary by film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains

Brand new interview with composer Patrick Doyle

Brand new interview with costumer designer James Acheson

Brand new interview with make-up designer Daniel Parker

Mary Shelley and The Creation of a Monster, a brand new documentary featurette on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story, featuring Gothic specialists David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk

Dissecting Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a brand new featurette with David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk on the differences between the novel and Kenneth Branagh's screen adaptation

Frankenstein: A Liberal Adaptation from Mrs. Shelley's Famous Story for Edison Production (1910): The first screen adaptation of Shelley's story in a 2K restoration by the Library of Congress, with music by Donald Sosin

Original trailers

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laz Marquez

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Jon Towlson and Amy C. Chambers

Franken-fans are sure to rejoice over this collectible 4K edition of this overlooked adaptation of the classic tale.

John And The Hole (2021) is one of the worst films I have seen this year, if not in a decade. For one, the film is so painstakingly slow that you can watch it on fast forward and still understand the story. Now I don't usually knock a film for being long if warranted, but this is intentionally long just to annoy the audience and prove that this devil child is methodical. Yawn. The film goes on and on and after you sit there for 90 wasted minutes, there is no resolution whatsoever. Michael C Hall (Dexter) plays a pathetic father in this terrible attempt at filmmaking that should be avoided if you value your free time. Why does the little boy bury his family in the hole? Nobody knows because the little kid has everything he could want. Maybe the point is to prove that parents nowadays are too soft on their self entitled children? What was the point of this project other than to annoy and infuriate its audience?

The film starts out with showing a quiet rich young boy named John, who is awkward yet intelligent and lives with his sister and parents in an upscale home in the woods. He finds a hole in the ground that was supposed to be a bunker, drugs the gardener, and then drugs his family. Now this is where the believability goes completely out the window. We are asked to believe that a 90lb, scrawny, 10-year-old drags Michael C. Hall (who has to be at least 250 lbs or more) AND his adult wife and teenage sister to this hole in the ground and leaves them there. This hole is not close to the house either. So this small wimpy kid dragged these adult sized humans out of their beds, down the stairs of a huge house, through the backyard and deep into the woods... and they never once woke up? What's even dumber is that it insinuates that this sleeping pill is taken by the mother every night before she goes asleep. Must be some pretty high powered stuff!

The family wake up the next morning in this giant hole with no memory of this scrawny child dragging them through the home, through a field, and into this hole, and with few scratches on them, just a little dirt. I stopped caring around this point. Sadly, this all happens before the title card even hits the screen.

For the next hour, the viewer is tortured with extremely slow scenes of this little brat kid taking advantage of adult things, like driving a car, stealing his parents ATM card and taking out money, nearly killing his best friend for again no reason, lying to people about where his family is, etc., and then of course he taunts the family in the hole, who can't put their dumb heads together to find a way out. The kid is a terrible actor too. He just stares at them and says hardly anything. Oh... so scary. Then, spoiler alert, in the third act, they just get out of the hole and eat dinner. Film ends. What the heck did I just watch and how did it get distribution? John and the Hole is complete and utter garbage and a waste of anyone's time. Of course it was a film festival darling because they eat up this kind of garbage. Avoid like the plague!

The film also stars Charlie Shotwell, Jennifer Ehle, and Taissa Farmiga.

John and the Hole at least has a fine HD presentation, however, and is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) that rounds out a nice HD transfer that's up to standards. Despite having a pointless story, the film is actually photographed quite well, but its editing is long and drawn out, likely to fill a feature film runtime.

No extras.

I don't normally hate a film as much as I hated John and the Hole. But let's hope all copies of it get buried in a large hole similar to the one in the film along with all surviving prints.

6:45 (2021) is a time loop horror film that's a mix of It Follows and Groundhog Day (with a horror spin.) A passionate couple end up going to a remote island for a vacation, however, at the end of their seemingly perfect day, they both get brutally murdered by a strange looking assassin. Waking back up in their beds at 6:45 am each day, the couple live out the terrifying ordeal (only the woman has no clue of what is going on, but the guy does.) He soon tries different options at altering the day only to see it tragically end the same way, which ironically was the fate of another couple that visited this location it is later revealed. Does this time loop have to do with a dark secret that the man is hiding from his girlfriend? Will they escape the loop or end up in a forever hell?

The film stars Augie Duke, Thomas G. Waites, and Remy Ma with direction by Craig Singer.

6:45 is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and ab lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) that rounds out a nice HD transfer that's easy on the eyes. The digitally shot film is nicely photographed and the editing is tight and intense in the places that it needs to be. Some surreal POV sections of the film, including a sequence where the main character gets drunk, is effective and pretty neat. No extras on the disc.

6:45 is an interesting time-loop horror film with decent acting and direction that deserves a watch. It kind of falls apart towards the end, but it's a fun journey up until then.

And one last film. Shattered stars Cameron Monaghan, which sci-fi geeks will know as the main character in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Here in Shattered (2022), a mystery/thriller inspired by Basic Instinct, where he plays a tech billionaire who yearns for companionship. He soon meets Sky (Lilly Krug), who is everything he's ever wanted. But are things too good to be true? Sadly he learns the hard way as she imprisons him in a cabin and tortures him for his passwords, along with a few other sinister helpers that all need his fortune for their master plan. The film isn't too bad even if it's sort of a rip-off of films like Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction.

Shattered also features John Malkovich, Frank Grillo, and Sasha Less.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and an audio mix in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 sound. Overall, this looks and sounds great on the Blu-ray format and the film feels high budget, even though it is pretty minimal in terms of production overall.

Special Features:

Mischief in the Mountains: The Story of Shattered with Director Luis Prieto

and a Trailer.

- James Lockhart



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