Of The Worlds (1961/Film
(1989/Arrow*)/Men In Black
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Monsterland:
Season One (2020/Via
Vision Region Free PAL Import DVD)/Vampire's
Kiss (1988/*all MVD
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B/B+/B-/B- Sound: C+/B/A- &
B+/B-/B- Extras: B/B/B/D/C- Main Programs: B-/C+/B+/C-/C
Import DVD set is now only available from our friends at Via Vision
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD
players that can handle the PAL DVD format and can be ordered from
the link below.
set of genre releases certainly represents an interesting mix....
Margheriti's Battle Of The Worlds
(1961) is one of the outer space adventure travel movies we would get
from time to time from Hollywood, Japan, the USSR or in this case,
Italy. Because it received decent distribution in its time, repeated
TV broadcast and curio interest as the late, great Claude Rains (The
Invisible Man, Lawrence
Of Arabia) as the big
star here, as the brilliant scientist who will lead a space crew on a
trip to capture an unusual asteroid on the loose he has dubbed 'The
Outsider' and if he is correct about all of his many calculations, it
could change the course of humanity forever!
the script cannot deliver that
much excitement, intellectuality and innovation, but it is ambitious
enough like Destination
Moon and some other
pre-2001: A Space Odyssey
(1968) space films that at least tried to be more than a mere space
opera. Can the brilliant professor of science succeed? Well, you'll
have to see just exactly what happens, but as a B-movie with a
difference, any serious film fan or sci-fi fan should see this one at
least once. What wears away in age and low budget, it gains in
charm, fun and you'll get a kick out of the model work. The overall
look of the film is also uniquely amusing, so that alone is a reason
to see it.
Ennio De Concini actually has quite a filmography of memorable
writing for choice feature films including Divorce Italian Style,
Devil in The Flesh, The Evil Eye, The Bastard,
The Red Tent, Madam Kitty, Black Sunday with
Barbara Steele, War & Peace with Audrey Hepburn and
Ulysses with Anthony Quinn, so you can see any profound
questions being asked are not just corny or a spoof, but an attempt
to raise this to a level above most B-movies. Note that some of
those films ran into interesting controversies, but that's a good
supporting cast is also not bad, with Umberto Orsini, Bill Carter,
Maya Brent, Jacqueline Derval and Renzo Palmer adding to the
uniqueness of the film, so definitely give it a good look, especially
now that it has been saved!
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used here and there, but this is a really good
restoration, especially considering it is an orphan film and is a 4K
scan from an archival 35mm print that makes it look better than I
have ever seen it over the years. Apparently, this was released in
dye-transfer 35mm Technicolor in countries like Italy, but not
necessarily in the United States, where it was issued in simple
Eastman Kodak 35mm color prints, et al. Either way, the
wild, different and purposely weird and odd color was set on set with
its unusual lighting throughout and this copy captures that very
well. Some shots are softer than others and who knows where the
original camera negative is, but this works very well and will not
disappoint genre fans, fans of campiness or fans of the film. The
very capable Director of Cinematography Marcello Masciocchi delivers
some of the more interesting work of a really good career.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good as the film
can be with this low a budget and a theatrical mono release in its
time, but sonics are limited, so don't expect modern clarity
throughout. Still, the audio remastering is not bad and music score
by Mario Migliardi (Matalo!
Price Of Death,
The Living and Pray For The Dead)
is appropriately experimental and holds up better than you might
include another nicely illustrated booklet on the film as we always
get from Film Detective, including informative text and an solid
essay by Don Stradley, while the disc adds a consistent feature
length audio commentary track by Justin Humphreys and a really good,
half-hour long video program on outer space films and the director fo
this one by the amazing film scholar and superfan Tim Lucas called A
Cinematic Outsider: The Fantastical Worlds Of Anthony Margheriti.
It is a very strong set of supplements ghat are worth getting, even
if you only find the film to be so good.
favorite of Joe Bob Briggs, who also does an introduction to the
film, Hell High (1989) gets an exclusive new release from
Arrow Video. The pseudo-revenge thriller takes high school jerky
kids to a new level and has some controversial content in it that
will likely shock some today is all I'm gonna say. The film features
Breaking Bad's Christopher Cousins, a great performance by the
late Christopher Stryker, and a cast full of mostly unknowns, Hell
High will most certainly be stuck in your head after watching it!
troubled little girl accidentally murdered two persons as a child in
a freak accident, but grows up to be an intelligent high school
biology teacher. When a group of students feel the need to seek
revenge on her, they commit a cruel prank on her at her home. Soon,
they end up in her wrath as she retaliates against them. This isn't
your typical Last House on the Left style revenge thriller
though, this film is pretty crazy and never quite does what you
expect it to!
High 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 an
English LPCM 2.0 mix. The film looks great good overall considering
its age and condition, although there is some heavy grain throughout.
The music score is very good considering this production and helps
elevate the film.
new audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas
Grossman and cinematographer Steven Fierberg
audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
introduction and audio commentary with film critic Joe Bob Briggs
Out!: a newly-filmed interview with director/producer/co-writer
Beautiful Nightmare: a newly-filmed interview with
cinematographer Steven Fierberg
Journey: a newly-filmed interview with actor Christopher Cousins
More the Better: a newly-filmed interview with actress Maureen
is Not Sound: a newly-filmed interview with composers Rich Macar
and Christopher Hyams-Hart
to Schools: The Locations of Hell High: a tour of the original
Hell High filming sites with author/filmmaker Michael Gingold
video interviews with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
and co-writer Leo Evans
and TV Spots
sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Ralf
First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's
booklet featuring liner notes by Michael Gingold, including an
exclusive interview with stunt coordinator/actor Webster Whinery.
it's been released on home video many times over the years, finally
the Spielberg-produced original Men In Black (1997) is
available on the 4K UHD format with a fantastic new presentation and
in an awesome looking steel book with new art nevertheless!
movie was a peak moment in the career of many involved: director
Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Wild Wild West)
knocked it out of the park, and it solidified Will Smith as a
blockbuster movie star and leading man after his turn in other hits
Bad Boys and Independence Day. Tommy Lee Jones is also
unforgettable in his performance here and the great Vincent D'Onofrio
(The Cell, Full Metal Jacket, Daredevil),
underrated Linda Fiorentino (Last Seduction, Dogma),
and the late Rip Torn (Man Who Fell To Earth) also put in
memorable roles as well. Of course, it spanned two lesser sequels
(which are also available now in a 4K UHD three pack) and the
resoundingly awful re-imagining MIB: International, which had
the cast but not much else going for it.
case you have been living under a rock for the past 25 years and
haven't see Men in Black, the story revolves around a police
officer (Smith) who ends up discovering that there's an alien
presence on earth. Policed in quiet by the Men in Black, he joins
Agent K (Jones), and gets a new identity as Agent J. Both MIB Agents
end up busting New York aliens, whilst attempting to stop a giant
alien bug (D'Onofrio) who has taken over the human body of a farmer.
Groundbreaking computer generated effects and colorful aliens created
by Rick Baker, Men In Black 4K
is a Hollywood classic and a landmark achievement that's just as fun
today as it was when it was first released.
In Black is presented on 4K UHD in native 4K 2160p ultra high
definition, an HEVC / H.265 (49.19 Mbps) codec, HDR10/Dolby Vision, a
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and newly remastered tracks in
lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older system; both
48kHz, 24-bit). The 1080p Blu-ray disc of the film that was
previously released is also included and houses the archival special
features. The film is beautifully shot and the score by Danny Elfman
comes across nicely in the mix. It is amazing how good the special
effects shots by Industrial Light and Magic still hold up after all
these years, but here we are. It's great to finally have this in 4K!
interviews with director Barry Sonnenfeld and production designer Bo
a Blu-ray disc with original special features.
(as of this writing) Will Smith's career is in an odd place, it can't
be contested that he has made some great movies and Men In Black
is at the top of the list. This new 4K edition just proves that this
film has staying power all these years later and is still a hilarious
dark sci-fi action / comedy that is hard to beat.
from the streaming service Hulu, produced by Sony and now on DVD is
the series Monsterland: Season One (2020), which you think at
first glance is a horror/sci-fi focused series like The X-Files,
but is really just an anthology of heavy dramas that have a tinge of
sci-fi surrealism in them. Of course the real monsters are humans
right? I was actually pretty disappointed in this, as I was
expecting more monster moments, camp, and fun, but got a bunch of sad
sappy stories instead that kind of made this reviewer yawn.
show has different cities around the US as locations as each short
episode basically tells you a dramatic tale with maybe a little bit
of a surreal quality to it, but is too grounded in realism to have
episodes span 2 DVD discs including Port Fourchon, Louisiana -
Eugene, Oregon - New Orleans, Louisiana - New York, New York -
Plainfield, Illinois - Iron River, Michigan and Newark, New
episodes is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition
with an 1:78 X 1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 mix. The show looks and sounds fine for the aging DVD format,
but could benefit from a Blu-ray release.
takes itself way too seriously and isn't really much fun to watch, in
all honesty. Some of the stories are just okay. I feel this was a
missed mark on the whole.
Robert Bierman's Vampire's Kiss (1988) gets the Blu-ray
treatment from MVD Visual. Featuring an insanely over the top
performance by Nicolas Cage, this movie just has to be seen to be
believed. Starring a young Nicolas Cage in one of his most bizarre
roles, this movie is certainly unlike any other vampire film I've
young Nic Cage plays Peter, who is a womanizing executive whose
constantly seeking therapy yet is somehow able to pick up any girl
that he chooses in 1980s New York City. He takes a woman home one
night and a giant vampire bat enters the apartment. Little does he
know but the bat is actually a gorgeous vampire (Jennifer Beals of
Flashdance fame) who bites him and turns him into a blood
Peter succumbs to being a vampire, he starts harassing his poor
employee Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso) to the point of no return in an
attempt to have her kill him. I guess? (I mean seriously this could
be shown as an example at a corporate meeting as a textbook of
workplace harassment.) Cage becomes more and more strung out as the
insanely sexy Beals Vampire feeds on him in his apartment at night.
The more she feeds on him and he starts to turn, the more annoying
and unhinged he becomes.
Kiss 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 an LPCM
2.0 Stereo mix. The film has some gorgeous B-roll of 1980s New York
City that really looks nice here. Some shots are noticeably soft and
out of focus, which shows the production was pretty low budget.
There aren't any real special effects in the film at all or any
particularly interesting set pieces. The backdrop of New York is
almost a character in the film. This scan is listed as a new
transfer provided by MGM for this release. Being that it's Blu-ray
and a low budget '80s movie; it looks and sounds fine.
Commentary with actor Nicolas Cage and director Robert Bierman
a TV Spot (in standard definition).
you're a Nic Cage fan then you'll want to see this just to see how
far he has come as an actor. All in all, I think Vampire's Kiss
is certainly one of those 'love it or hate it' kind of films or one
best watched with a crowd or group of people.
order the Monsterland:
DVD set, go to this link to order:
Nicholas Sheffo (Battle) and James Lockhart