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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Psychological > Drama > Horror > Science Fiction > Monster > WWII > Desperate Hours (1990 remake/MGM/UA*)/Dual (2022/RLJ Blu-ray)/Edge Of Tomorrow 4K (2014/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mutant Blast (2018/Troma/*both MVD Blu-rays)/See For Me (2021/IFC Blu-ray)

Desperate Hours (1990 remake/MGM/UA*)/Dual (2022/RLJ Blu-ray)/Edge Of Tomorrow 4K (2014/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mutant Blast (2018/Troma/*both MVD Blu-rays)/See For Me (2021/IFC Blu-ray)/Wolf Hound (2022/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

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

This group of action and genre films delivers more interesting results than you might expect...

Michael Cimino's remake of Desperate Hours (1990) is a remake of the 1955 home invasion thriller with Humphrey Bogart with Mickey Rourke playing the head bad guy on the run from the law with his brother and another friend. This time, they choose a house with a divorced couple, Anthony Hopkins visiting his two children early, with ex-wife Mimi Rogers complaining of this, but that will soon give way to crazy trouble. Rourke has the help of a sexy attorney (Kelly Lynch) in a very, very toxic relationship and hunting them down is a FBI group led by a very smart, dynamic agent (Lindsay Crouse, really good here) determined to protect the family and nab the convicts.

Like the 1955 film, a few parts of this remake have dated a bit, but that is unavoidable and even interesting to show how times have changed. Cimino shows once again that he knows his way around any genre and the film would have been a huge hit, but MGM/UA made a big mistake. Hopkins drove to Pittsburgh after making this film to make The Silence Of The Lambs. They were released within months of each other and considering the acclaim of the Robert Harris novel and its commercial success, it is a shame MGM/UA did not sit on Hours until Lambs was released. Instead, Freejack became the first Hopkins film after Silence and did little business, while a thriller like this would have very likely fared much better at the box office.

Also to the film's advantage is having Bond film veteran Peter Hunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) as Supervising Editor, which gives this film more suspense and impact. The actors play well against each other, the film has a unique mood and there are still moments here of shock and suspense that it is long overdue for this film to find its audience. It should also be noted that this was part of a small cycle of really good thrillers that happened to arrive in between the break in the Bond series (Licence To Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995)) that included two other thrillers hat did not get the audience they deserved: Roger Donaldson's White Sands and Peter Hyams' solid remake of Narrow Margin. Hollywood has mostly forgotten how to make such adult, smart, clever thrillers since.

Glad to see it get its own separate Blu-ray and definitely recommend it!

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is not a brand-new HD master, but it still looks good, though it was shot 'soft matte' at 1.33 X 1 and had early home video versions in that framing. It looked good that way. Director of Photography Douglas Milsome, B.S.C., A.S.C., delivers some of his best camerawork here, up there with his work on Last Of The Mohicans, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and especially Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Like all Cimino films, I hope this gets 4K treatment at some point, but you'll find some good demo shots on this disc just the same.

The sound is here in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix upgrade that offers mixed results, and a PCM 2.0 Stereo that sounds like the original soundmaster with its older Dolby A-type analog Dolby System noise reduction sound (Cimino's previous four films got 70mm Dolby treatment, so this was a slight stepdown sonically for his work) and sounds much better overall. Just play it back in Pro Logic or an equivalent, like Pro Logic II. Cimino veteran David Mansfield again delivers the music score.

Extras include a reversible cover with new art on one side, art similar to the original theatrical release posters on the other side and a poster, while the disc adds a Stills Gallery, Vintage Making-Of featurette and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Dual (2022) is a film that never does what you think it's going to do and that is what makes it a pretty enthralling film to watch. Starring the ultra talented and underrated Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Who, Jumanji,) a woman is diagnosed with a terminal disease and signs on for a cloning procedure to 'replace' her after she dies to help aide the loss to family and friends. However, once the clone spends time with after almost a year, she discovers that she is now cured and no longer thought to be terminal. As a result, it is ruled that her and her clone fight to the death and the winner gets to live on while the 'copy' dies. The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg, Beulah Koale, and Theo James.

Gillan does a great job of adapting two different performances in the film to train your mind to think she is actually two different people. It's kind of remarkable to me as her performance is primarily pretty dead-pan. In order to help ensure her win, she's gets combat training by Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad and Westworld) who turns her from a couch potato into a skilled fighter. The film raises many questions about cloning and what it would actually be like if it in a modern society backdrop and makes you think more than once.

The film highlights what its would be like from a romantic perspective, as her boyfriend falls for her 'copy' instead of for the 'original' as she is similar in looks, but maybe not completely in terms of personality. What is most impressive about the movie though is it's misdirection. It never does what you expect it to or take the easy way out, which makes it more memorable than most films. It is slow paced and depressing in places, but also pretty funny and satisfying.

Dual 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 a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film is nicely photographed in a foreign setting and looks and sounds fine for Blu-ray disc.

Special Features:

Exclusive audio commentary by director Riley Stearns

and The Making of Dual featurette

Dual is an intelligent and thought provoking movie that may not be for everyone, but it certainly shows that Karen Gillan can hold a film on her own and that writer/director Riley Stearns is one to keep an eye on. Go see this film!

Now on 4K UHD for the first time is director Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow 4K (2014) starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The improvements in this version lie mainly in the 2160p upscaled image with HDR10 that boosts the already great looking VFX and gives a much needed upgrade to an interesting sci-fi film that is still entertaining in retrospect. There have been rumors of a sequel for years and (as of this writing) no such luck, however this 4K UHD release certainly captures the artistry put into the making of the film in more detail than before.

Based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the film draws inspiration from some previous works such as Starship Troopers (more the book than the Verhoeven film), Source Code and Groundhog Day (with the idea of the same day repeating over and over), and perhaps even a cue or two from Cruise's previous sci-fi efforts War of The Worlds and Oblivion. The only odd thing about this home video release is that it's one of the first times I've ever seen a studio basically change/modify the title of the film for the Blu-ray. In theaters the film was simply known as Edge of Tomorrow but now, its being referred to as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. Either way, this movie I feel is going to only grow appreciation over time and is really an impressive accomplishment. It found a wider audience in a foreign market than it did in America but hopefully that will change now with this exciting home video release. Maybe the new title was a joke that what started in theaters was still happening.

Minor Spoilers ahead:

The film takes place in the near future, where an alien race known as the Mimics have invaded the Earth and defeated the world's military units. It follows Major William Cage (Cruise), a military PR officer inexperienced in combat, who is deployed into a combat mission against the aliens unwillingly after he blackmails General Brighman (Brendan Gleeson) with the threat of exposing him through public relations. Waking up in handcuffs at a military operating center named Heathrow (the famed airport converted?), Cage discovers he has been labeled a deserter and put on combat duty for the invasion under the command of Master Sergeant Farell (the late, great Bill Paxton).

Though Cage is killed in minutes on the trenches of combat, he finds himself starting over in a time loop after killing a large Mimic and getting sprayed by its acid-like blood. He suddenly begins repeating the same mission and being killed each time, but soon Cage learns to better fight the aliens, and he teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt) who recognizes his ability to anticipate events and tells him to locate her the next time he wakes up.

Cage finds Vrataski at Heathrow and together they meet up with Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor), a former government scientist and expert in Mimic biology. Cage learns that the kind of Mimic he killed in his first loop, an Alpha, resets time when it is killed to give the Mimics an advantage in battle. Cage inherited this ability when he was doused in the Alpha's blood as they both died. Vrataski had this ability in a previous battle but lost it after receiving a blood transfusion. She tells Cage that they must hunt the Mimics' hive mind, the Omega, and hit the enemy at its source. Only project is that the only way to see the Omega is by inheriting visions of its current whereabouts by way of repeated death. From here, the film gets even more intense as the search for the Omega turns Cage into a hardened badass with the ability to know what's coming next.

Edge of Tomorrow is presented in 2160p ultra high definition on 4K UHD disc with an HEVC / H.265 codec, HDR 10, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.20:1, and new, lossless, English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) 48kHz, 24-bit tracks that both sound crisp and clean. There's also a Blu-ray edition of the film in the set with 1080p specs that house the bonus material. Some other sites are saying the Blu-ray looks a tad better than the 4K UHD, but they are obviously crazy as the sharpness and picture detail is certainly improved.

Special Features are the same as the previous release:

Operation Downfall: Adrenaline Cut

Storming The Beach

Weapons Of The Future

Creatures Not Of This World

On The Edge With Doug Liman

and Deleted Scenes.

While Edge of Tomorrow may not be Tom Cruise or Emily Blunt's best movie, it is definitely an interesting sci-fi epic that deserves a bit more love than it has gotten.

Fernando Alle's Mutant Blast (2018) is a fun Portuguese low budget sci-fi / horror film that has all the ingredients to make it a proper title to release under the sacred Troma banner. While the film has big budget aspirations, it is limited by its budget yet still manages to be a memorable low budget sci-fi romp. Of course, the at-times gory special effects are pretty primitive and most of the acting is pretty iffy, but still some points must be awarded for the effort and imagination put into the piece.

The film follows Maria, a fearless soldier, and TS-347 (a sad looking Terminator wannabe), a man with superhuman strength, who of whom are being pursued by a military cell responsible for scientific experiments that have resulted in a zombie apocalypse. On the way, they will meet Pedro, a man with few ambitions and a great hangover. Together, they will try to escape to a safe place, but threat of a nuclear bomb looms. The film stars Joao Vilas, Maria Leite, and Pedro Barao Dias.

Mutant Blast is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35 X 1, and standard, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo mixes that are passable, but why no lossless options? The film was most certainly shot on video and looks and sounds okay considering its budget restraints.

A second disc is included for the extras, which includes the following:

Making of ''Lobsterman Caws''

Rat Pre-Production Test

Troma Trailers: Original Teaser, International Trailer, 30 Sec Trailer, Full Trailer

Mutant Blast goes to Korea - Day 1,2,3

Mutant Blast or how Lloyd Kaufman became a Portuguese Zombie

Portugal gets Hit with a Mutant Blast

Special Effects, Bloopers, and Bottle Cap Challenge.

While marketing compares the film to that of early Peter Jackson, I wouldn't quite give this film that much credit. Troma has done a nice job with the release, however, with two discs that are both full of content.

Randall Okita's See For Me (2021) stars Skyler Davenport as Sophie, a former Olympian skier who was rendered blind in a tragic incident. A fiercely independent woman, Sophie tries to maintain a normal life despite her newfound disability. Agreeing to house and pet sit at a mansion for the weekend, Sophie ends up dealing with a small band of thieves who break in to the property in an attempt to steal seven million in money stored in a safe in the house.

When the police come, Sophie does some rash thinking and takes quite a few wrong turns in the process. What the bad guys don't know is that Sophie called a 911 blind help hotline called 'See For Me' upon their arrival and that the Army Veteran Operator on the other end has hatched a plan to help guide and save her. When all else fails, however, Sophie must survive by her own gut instincts to protect herself from these dangerous men and make it through the night alive.

The film also stars Kim Coates (Resident Evil), Jessica Parker Kennedy, and Laura Vandervoort (Rabid).

See For Me is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film is pretty dark overall and takes place a lot at night, but is pretty cinematic and looks and sounds fine on disc.

No extras, sadly.

I enjoyed See For Me, which is a nice spin on the home invasion thriller and features a pretty badass female lead. I would compare it distantly to that of Fincher's Panic Room, if I was going to compare it to anything. Most notable is the leading performance here of the character of Sophie by Skyler Davenport, who does a very convincing job of playing the part of a blind woman that you grow to care for throughout the film even if she isn't exactly an innocent character. I would recommend this film.

Michael B. Chait's Wolf Hound (2022) has a good premise in Nazis taking Allied planes that are still working, then pretending to be Allied flyers to their deadly advantage. It is not a story you've heard much and that leaves plenty of potential, but the results are very mixed with subpar visual effects, mixed editing, acting that tries but does not always succeed and a result that is more action and even videogame film than drama and gritty, brutal WWII film.

Lead actors James Maslow and Trevor Donovan are clearly trying to make this work, along with the supporting cast, but some mixed direction and some indecision on what the film is and where it is going stop this from developing into what could have been a pleasant surprise. This runs over two hours, so prepare for a long sit should you try it out.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is a little softer throughout than I would have liked, from the CGI visual effects not being that good to too many soft shots. Maybe they are using old HD cameras, but the visuals are not that memorable or convincing.

The Spanish/French DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is a little harsh and hot at times, but is not awful, yet could have been better. Not the best action mix I have heard for a film of its kind lately. Maybe they were trying too hard or relying too much on what they perceived as digital quality, but there you have it.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by Director Michael B. Chait, Actor James Maslow, Producer Sue Witham & Writer/Co-Producer Timothy Ritchey, Deleted/Extended Scene, Original Theatrical Trailer and two featurettes: one on visual effects, the other behind the scenes.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Hours, Wolf) and James Lockhart



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