On A Chain Gang
(1966/Film Detective Blu-ray**)/Ip
Man: The Awakening
(2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/The
(2022/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/*both Universal)/A
Taste Of Blood
(2020/A.K. Tolstoy/Cleopatra Blu-ray w/CD/**both MVD)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B+/B/B+/B/B+ Sound:
B+/B/C+/B+/B+ Extras: B/C+/D/C+/C Films: C/C+/B+/C+/C
a wild new mix of genre releases...
hits the big screen again, this time with a mediocre 2022 remake. I
feel like this concept was pretty new and interesting back when the
original 1984 film with Drew Barrymore came out, but nowadays after
seeing the X-Men movies and Marvel films of the like, this doesn't
hold as much weight as maybe it once did. This little girl that can
start fires with her mind and be demonic and creepy could easily be a
member of the X-Men or one of the mutants that oppose them, or
fact, there are mutants in the X-Men franchise that can do exactly
what this little girl can do here. Also, the fire here is so CGI and
fake it's really painful at times. And why in gods name did she have
to kill a poor cat? That took me out of it right then and there,
though this reviewer hates seeing animals die in movies in general.
The film stars one teenie bopper king Zack Efron as the girl's dad,
which is a little weird at first because he has never played a father
figure before and is usually some playing a stereotype in most of his
films. Truth be known, he's not a terrible actor all in all, and
holds his own here along with Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon,
Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben.
little girl named Charlie who seems pretty normal and lives a quiet
sheltered life with her overbearing parents. It's soon revealed that
her parents have special abilities and passed along some deadly
genetics to Charlie, who is just turning eleven years old. Now,
whenever she gets angry or scared, she telepathically starts to
ignite everything around her in flame. Soon, uncool forces seek her
out and the little girl is on the run along with her parents.
remake is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an
MPEG-4 AVC codec, a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossless
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The image looks pretty
nice in HD and an improvement over the also included standard
definition DVD that's also in this combo pack.
- a studio release on Blu-ray with some special features!
get (per the press release) FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR KEITH
AND EXTENDED SCENES
Reflects in Mirror
Lot Six Nightmare: Extended
Gets a Visitor: Extended
Treks to Find Andy
Counts Down 'Five, Four, Three, Lies'
Visionary Escape From the Cell
KINETIC ENERGY: Filmmakers and cast discuss how stars Zac Efron and
Ryan Kiera Armstrong worked closely with director Keith Thomas to
bring this new FIRESTARTER to life.
A FIRE: A look at how the story and themes of FIRESTARTER were
adapted from the famous novel.
FIRESTARTER: A behind-the-scenes look at how some of FIRESTARTER's
most extreme fire effects and stunts were accomplished.
POWER STRUGGLE: A breakdown of the physical stunts and practical
effects that came together to craft the fight scene between Rainbird
Blu-ray cover to Girl
On A Chain Gang
(1966) makes the film out to be a lot more vicious than it actually
is. This time capsule piece has been remastered by The Film
Detective and now presented on Blu-ray disc. The film follows three
young hoodlums were are framed, arrested, and thrown in the prison of
corrupt cowboy hat wearing Southern Police Force. The acting is
pretty bad all around and this was most likely intended to make
dollars on the drive-in circuit more than anything whenever it was
originally made. That charm is kinda fun though in a nostalgic way
and so you can enjoy this film for what it is - a product of its
film stars William Watson, Julie Ange, Ron Charles, and Arlene
Farber. Directed by Jerry Gross.
On A Chain Gang
is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a
1.37:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and an audio mix in English, standard
DTS 2.0 Mono (the older kind from DVDs and LaserDiscs that have 3:1
compression.) The black and white film looks and sounds fine for the
Blu-ray format and considering its an old movie that was produced on
a limited budget, it looks and sounds fine.
Features include a high-quality illustrated booklet with
illustrations and a solid essay by Lisa Petrucci and a faux jury
service card, while the disc adds a feature-length audio commentary
track and the featurette Its
All In The Title: Exploiting Jerry Gross.
young Ip Man (Miu Tse) visits Hong Kong in his youth, but he can't
not get involved when he discovers an underground ring kidnapping
Chinese girls for slaves and prostitution. While the rest of the
people turn a blind eye, things get personal when a close friend of
his gets taken by a ruthless gang and he challenges them to a fight
in Li Xi
Jie and Zhang Zhu Lin's Ip
Man: The Awakening
a time of Westernization and modernization, China was on the verge of
change and the youths of China were still hopeful for the future, but
what they had no control was the Westerners and no idea the girls
were disappearing in the middle of the night, they thought the girls
were running away, but they were really being kidnapped by the
foreigners. The Chinese officials were too afraid the foreigners to
do anything or bribed to look the other way. Ip Man is the only one
with the courage to stand up to foreigners and challenges the
foreigner's various champions in a fight for the freedom of the
was a prequel to the Ip Man series, a youthful version the grand
master and main character sort of looks like a young version of
Donnie Yen. The character uses lines and techniques from the
previous series and the prequel was a homage to original series. It
many be the slowest fo the films and some might be Ip Maned out, but
I still liked it very much.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer looks very good
and could potentially work in 4K, so expect great image performance,
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless Mandarin and lesser English
mixes are not as impressive with the Mandarin being fine if off at
times, but nothing as bad as the often out-of-sync English dub, which
is one of the worst we have encountered in a long time. Trailers are
the only extras.
(2022) is another tale if The Vikings and with a hit series of that
title (that we have almost totally reviewed elsewhere on this site)
still a popular hit, what could this new film do better? I think
both are well done, but I can only watch so much of this kind of
material because it is not my kind of viewing, but at least all take
their audience seriously like they are mature, intelligent adults, so
I give them credit there.
this case, a young viking prince (aka the title character, played
very well by Alexander Skarsgard, who very impressively goes all out
and then some for the role) is determined to avenge the murder of his
father and the script leaves no stone unturned. Because it is a big
screen film and only has 2.25 hours to tell its tale, it is never
boring, but very graphic and blunt as well as consistent. This is
not as easy to do as it looks. This was a hard film to make.
supporting cast including Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang,
Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and even singer/artist Bjork work very well
together and work with the rest of the cast in a convincing way,
though Academy Award Winner Kidman is almost too Hollywood for this,
she still pulls off her character well.
could have just been a shallow revenge western with a different
setting, but it has nuance and some surreal sequences never come
across as silly or childish, which is not easy to pull off in the
Of The Rings
world we live in. With all that said, this is not for children, a
good thing, but only for those really interested. Still, this worked
much better than expected, if again, it is not my kind of movie.
2160p HECV/H.265, 2.35 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image looks really good with
its sometimes monochromatic look, offering detail, depth, sometimes
color and also fine Gray Scale in what is a color film, but a dark
one. Only this version can offer the film as intended, since like
the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on this
regular Blu-ray just cannot capture all that picture quality and
Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) can be quiet
at times, but can also kick in and take full advantage of all 12
tracks and the surround/location audio in smart ways that advance the
narrative. That soundtrack is on both versions and is well mixed,
recorded and thought out.
are many, well done and (per the press release) include DELETED AND
AGELESS EPIC: An in-depth look at how filmmakers, cast, and crew
immersed themselves in Norse history and mythology in an effort to
make THE NORTHMAN the most accurate Viking epic ever filmed.
FACES OF VIKINGS: The cast of THE NORTHMAN, alongside director
Robert Eggers, discuss the depth of the characters and their
experiences working together.
COMMENTARY WITH CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR ROBERT EGGERSAMLETH'S JOURNEY TO
MANHOOD: Aurvandil's initiation of Amleth into manhood is one of the
most pivotal points on his journey. Take a deeper look at how
filmmakers and cast crafted this mysterious ritual, SHOOTING THE
RAID: Go behind-the-scenes of the raid and learn how different
departments worked together to pull off this intricate sequence.
GAME: Learn all about this little-known game, how the scene was
filmed, and why it's an essential moment for Amleth.
A NORSE LANDSCAPE: We explore the spectacular shooting locations of
THE NORTHMAN and discuss how filmmakers were able to overcome the
unique challenges of shooting the film in Northern Ireland.
making an original vampire film is pretty tough now that there have
been so many classics and reiterations done over the years. While
many of the best vampire films take place in the past, this
Spanish-language vampire film, A.K.
Tolstoy's A Taste of Blood
(2020), is based on Russian poet A.K. Tolstoy's 1839 short story The
Family Of The Vourdalak
and delivers a slow burn vampire tale.
story centers on a father who is a Vampire Hunter that comes home
from hunting a vampire one day a little different, however the
mystique around him remains unclear to his loved ones as to whether
he himself is now one of these undead creatures he hunts or if he is
normal. It doesn't take long, however, until those pointy fangs
start to pop out and it's soon a game of life or death. If you're
looking for a 30
Days of Night-style
fast moving zombie romp then this is definitely not the film for you.
This film is quite slow to start, and ends up being not terrible,
but not particularly super memorable either.
film is directed by Santiago Fernandez Calvete and stars German
Palacios, Naiara Awada, and Alfonsina Carrocio.
Tolstoy's A Taste of Blood
is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4
AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.20:1, and a lossless,
English-dubbed Spanish DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).
The film is shot decently, but maybe not as great in some night
scenes that appear to be pretty dark. Overall, not the worst shot
film ever. The presentation on disc is fine.
Soundtrack featuring Rosetta Stone, Christian Death, Jyrki 69,
Leather Strip, Corpus Delicti, and others.
Blu-ray adds an Original Theatrical Trailer and a Slideshow.
Nicholas Sheffo (4K,) Ricky Chiang (Ip)
and James Lockhart