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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Marital Arts > Hong Kong > Monsters > Dinosaur > The Tarzan Vault (1918 - 1935/Film Detective/***all MVD Blu-ray)

Black Phone (2020/Blu-ray w/DVD*)/Flying Guillotine, Part 2 (1978**/***)/Jurassic World: Dominion 4K (2022/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/*both Universal)/Martial Club (1981/**both 88 Films/***)/The Tarzan Vault (1918 - 1935/Film Detective/***all MVD Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B+ (Tarzan: B-) Sound: B+/B+/A/B+/C+ Extras: B/C+/B/C+/B Films: B/C+/B/C+/C+

Now for more genre releases to check out....

Ethan Hawke has turned the dial up on his career this year of 2022 with his fantastic role in Marvel's Moon Knight series and now he plays the creepy kid kidnapper/ murderer The Grabber in Scott Derrickson's Black Phone (2022). This was Derrickson's rebound project after he fell out of directing Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and is one of Blumhouse's best films to date. The Grabber is a memorable character and they almost could have gone a little bit further in the violence or it, as I felt it was a bit restrained. The story itself plays out like a sort of Creepshow episode that's been stretched to 90 minutes, not that that is a big thing. Speaking of Creepshow, Tom Savini himself had a hand at the making of his now iconic mask.

Several children have turned up missing over the past few years, and one little boy in particular is abducted by a seemingly nice man who ends up to be a vicious killer. Locking in the boy in a basement, he is left with only a non working black phone, which magically has the ability for him to speak to past child victims. Can they help him formulate an escape plan or will he be killed off like the rest?

The film also stars Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, and James Ransone.

The Black Phone 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) mix, and paired in this two-disc collector's edition with the standard edition DVD of the film with an anamorphic widescreen image and a more compressed, lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. While it's a shame that this didn't come out on 4K UHD out the gate, the film looks and sounds fine on these older formats.

Special Features:

Feature commentary by producer/co-writer/director Scott Derrickson

Deleted Scenes

Ethan Hawke's Evil Turn

Answering the Call: Behind the Scenes of The Black Phone

Devil in the Design

Super 8 Set

and "Shadowprowler" - a short film by Scott Derrickson.

The Black Phone is a fun thriller and features Ethan Hawke in one of his most memorable roles in a particularly dim summer movie season. Hopefully, we get to see a follow-up to this in the next few years!

In what is becoming an unofficial series, another Shaw Brothers entry from 88 Films and also known as Palace Carnage, Flying Guillotine, Part 2 (1978) is one of Quentin Tarantino's personal favorites and you will see some inspiration from Kill Bill in here. The film is very fun and in traditional Shaw Brothers style is packed to the brim with memorable action sequences that are pretty over the top. As an Emperor goes back to battle against an outlaw Ma Teng (Lung Ti) who is a gifted martial artist with a unique weapon.

The film stars Feng Ku, Chung Wang, Hung Wei, and Locke Hua Liu to name a few.

Flying Guillotine, Part 2 is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and Mandarin and English lossless, DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono tracks on the disc. The film sounds and looks quite nice on disc considering the film's age and likely condition they found it in.

Special Features:

Matt O-Ring slipcase with brand-new artwork from R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien

24 Page Booklet Notes - "Watch Out for the Flying Guillotines" by Barry Forshaw

and a Double-sided foldout Poster.

Next, the sixth installment in the Jurassic Park / World franchise hits home video in a short window after its initial theatrical release: Jurassic World: Dominion 4K (2022). Directed by Colin Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World and wrote/produced the follow-up Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the third installment is packed with non-stop action and beautiful visual effects by Industrial Light and Magic that are needless to say quite impressive on the 4K UHD format.

Jurassic Park (1993) is one of my favorite films of all time, and I was delighted to see Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum back together. Treverrow does a great job of uniting both Jurassic trilogies and ties up both of them with a bow quite nicely. Of course, there are many references to all of the previous films in this installment and many of course are geared back to the original. Despite a few rather silly action sequences, and maybe one too many 'close calls' where people are a quarter of an inch away from being chomped, I found Jurassic World: Dominion to be a highlight in the otherwise dismal summer 2022 blockbuster season.

The film also stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella, Sermon, Campbell Scott, B.D. Wong, Omar Sy, Daniella Pineda, and many others with Frank Marshall at the producers chair along with the big man himself, Steven Spielberg as executive producer.

This version features an extended cut of the film, which features two fantastic opening scenes that really should have made the final cut, along with several others that are dino-mite!

Following the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, several dinosaurs have escaped the Lockwood Mansion, and are running amok in modern society. Thanks to the efforts of a corporate genetics firm, which was once in competition with John Hammond's Ingen (the company that brought the dinosaurs to life in the first place) - Biosyn - lead by a former competitor, has created a sanctuary for the dinosaurs on a remote island far from civilization.

After expeditions of rounding up and relocating the dinosaurs have occurred, there have also been prehistoric locusts multiplying, which poses a threat to humanity's food supply. As Drs. Alan Grant (Neill), Ellie Sattler (Dern), Ian Malcom (Goldblum), and others locate to Biosyn Dinosaur Sanctuary to play a role in finding a solution to this mess, they cross paths with Owen Grady (Pratt) and Claire (Howard,) whom are on a side adventure of their own as they have parented a teenage clone (Sermon), and are attempting to locate a stolen young Raptor named Beta, whose mother is Jurassic World's surviving dinosaur: Raptor Blue.

Jurassic World: Dominion is definitely a film that you have to see the previous installments to fully grasp, although there is certainly enough spectacle to entertain even if you aren't caught up in all of the nuances of the story. Being a huge fan of the franchise, I'm a bit sad to see this one end, but am hopeful for more Jurassic adventures in the years to come. These movies are certainly the movie equivalent of a theme park ride, and it's all thanks to the genius writing of the late Michael Crichton, who also created Westworld.

It's nice to see Director/ Writer/ Producer Trevorrow making several callbacks to the original source material and films, and does a good job of honoring the legacy of the franchise. I think when they made Jurassic Park 3, they kind of veered off in a weird campy direction, while the first two Spielberg directed films were grounded more in suspense, horror, and realism. The Jurassic World films are definitely full of spectacle and big budget Hollywood tropes in its design and execution, but the films still have some heart and make you think about what this world would really be like if dinosaurs still existed. Movies like this are the reason I enjoy seeing movies in the theater and on 4K UHD disc, you really can lose yourself in a fun adventure for two hours.

Jurassic World: Dominion 4K is presented in 2160p Ultra High Definition, native 4K, on 4K UHD disc with an HEVC/ H.265 codec, Dolby Vision/HDR10, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.00:1, and a lossless, English DTS-X 12-track, DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). This is certainly the sort of disc that you would show as a demo disc, as it is highly detailed and quite vivid in both its sound and image. Like Jordan Peele's Nope, another Universal Picture this year, the entire film is shot on Kodak Vision 3 color negative photochemical film, including 35mm and 65mm film. Some of the 35mm even uses huge VistaVision cameras, so it is easily one of the best-looking films of the year with some of the most state-of-the-art CGI visual effects anywhere.

The score by Michael Giacchino is thunderous and action packed, following signature John Williams themes from the originals, while adding his own unique character based melodies that are signature to his three part Jurassic World film soundtracks. I would recommend checking out the soundtrack on its own if you are a fan of the film.

There's also an extra movie / supplement disc in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.00:1, and repeats the lossless, English DTS-X, DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). This is easily the best set of sound mixes heard on this year on disc and certainly showcases the excellent level of sound design put into this project.

Special Features (per the press release):

EXTENDED VERSION: An extended cut of the film with 14 minutes of additional footage featuring more dinosaurs, action, iconic character moments and an alternate opening

BATTLE AT BIG ROCK: Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the short film takes place one year after the events of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM in Big Rock National Park.

A NEW BREED OF VFX: VFX supervisor David Vickery and the magicians at ILM discuss the incredible visual effects work featured in JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION.


TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME: Cast and filmmakers discuss the evolution of the franchise and the special union of characters from JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC WORLD.

UNDERGROUND DINO MARKET: Join filmmakers for a tour of the amazing dino market set and discover how they brought it to life.

MAYHEM IN MALTA: A behind-the-scenes look at the Atrociraptor rooftop chase and Owen's harrowing motorcycle ride through the narrow streets and alleyways of Malta.


SPIT TAKE: THE RETURN OF THE DILOPHOSAURUS: Live-action dinosaurs supervisor John Nolan and his team reveal how they created the impressive Dilophosaurus animatronic.

INSIDE THE DIMETRODON: Learn how the filmmaking team operated the terrifying Dimetrodon animatronic and hear from Laura Dern and Sam Neill on what it was like working with it.

CREATING A PLAGUE: Laura Dern and Bryce Dallas Howard discuss the enormous locusts featured in JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION and the creature effects team reveals how they were created and deployed.

PASSING THE BATA..N: Discover the craftsmanship behind the realistic-looking Beta animatronic and hear from Chris Pratt and Isabella Sermon on why they enjoyed working with it.

GIGA-BITE: Go behind the scenes with the cast of JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION as they are introduced to the biggest star of the film, the Giganotosaurus, for the very first time.

and FINAL NIGHT: Witness the emotional final night of filming with the cast and crew of JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION.

Universal has released several different versions of the film on home video, including a steelbook edition and an ultimate six film collection with a raptor blue statue.

A solid release all around for a very fun Sci-fi/ Adventure film, I would recommend Jurassic World: Dominion 4K to those who seek big teethed dinosaur thrills!

In yet another fantastic Shaw Brothers martial arts release from 88 Films, Martial Club (1981), where two warriors lead a martial arts school that goes to battle with another marital arts school where the art of Kung-Fu is the main course! Plenty of fists fly in this intense film directed by Chia-Liang Liu.

Martial Club stars Kara Wei (The Brave Archer 2 and Mad Monkey Kung Fu) and Gordon Liu (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) and is directed by Lau Kar-Leung (Legendary Weapons of China).

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and Mandarin and English lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono tracks on the disc. The restoration is quite nice here considering the age of the film and 88 Films puts out a fine overall picture and sound presentation on Blu-ray.

Special Features:

Gloss O-Ring slipcase with brand-new artwork from R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien

24 Page Booklet Notes: "From Martial Club to Instructors of Death" by Barry Forshaw

and a double-sided foldout poster.

Finally, we have an interesting three-disc Blu-ray set calling itself The Tarzan Vault (1918 - 1935) showing three older surviving films of one of the most filmed characters in cinema history, who later made a big splash on television as well. The 1918 silent first-ever Tarzan film with Elmo Lincoln is historical and the actor was creator Edgar Rice Burroughs choice for the role, more impressive in his time than now in an era of plastic surgery, steroids, body-enhancing drugs or digitally-enhanced bodies. Lincoln returned for two more outings, the last of which is also included here in truncated form, but that would be it, though he continued to have a solid acting career and had a cameo or two as incidental characters in later Tarzan films.

Herman Blix almost became the MGM Tarzan over Johnny Weissmuller, but had an injury that forced him to pass and Weissmuller became the definitive, iconic, Classical Hollywood Tarzan whose influence is still here. However, Blix (aka Bruce Bennett) made the 1935 New Adventures Of Tarzan with sound and Burroughs blessing. He proves to be formidable, but his version of the 'Tarzan Yell' lands up sounding more like a yodeling contest to get pigs to come out of hiding than anything else, so MGM and Weissmuller have it on him there. Still, it is an interesting serial and very much worth a look.

Of course, there are plenty of politically incorrect moments here, from stereotypical 'natives' to white actors actually in blackface to animal abuse you would never see today to some nudity that definitely is pre-Code Hollywood, but that is how they were made and by the 1930s, Tarzan was insanely successful. He stayed that way through the 1970s, ending in the mess that was the 1981 Tarzan The Ape Man for MGM with Bo Derek and a Tarzan played by... Miles O'Keeffe (yes, I could not remember at first, it was his feature film debut) who got third or fourth billing!

In all honesty, more than a few revivals since 1981 have not been that much better or memorable in may media, so seeing these early versions remind us of how ambitious and more authentic (by default even) these early films were, so that makes it all the more worthwhile to see them now.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfers can definitely show the age of the materials used, but this is the best I have seen any of these, yet they do have more than their share of flaws and save any ownership by the Burroughs Estate, are orphan films. The 1918 film needs a new upgraded restoration, the 1921 compilation feature of a serial looks good for being second-generation and we hope the original serial turns up and the 1935 serial would look better if the image was not always shaking. It too needs restored further, but I doubt you'll find any of them looking better for now.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes are passable and show their age, form the all-music track for the 1918 and 1921 silent films to the early talking picture sound that can be rough at times.

Extras are great and (per the press release) include an excellent, full-color booklet insert includes three original essays by authors Don Stradley and Jennifer Churchill with great print illustrations and some tech info on quality paper; while the discs add original featurette, Drawn to the Jungle: The Early History of Tarzan in Comics, by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures with a key makers o the series for Dell/Gold Key that is only now getting the respect it deserves; full-length commentary track for The Adventures of Tarzan and The New Adventures of Tarzan II by award-winning journalist/historian, Ed Hulse; original feature production, Swinging into Action: The Early Adventures of Tarzan on Film by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; and Law of the Jungle: The Cinematic Adventures of Herman Brix, a preserved interview with the film star, aka Bruce Bennett.

One of the featurettes shows clips from the Tarzan that future Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers star Buster Crabbe, but it just did not work, though he was in shape enough to play the character. Now I am curious to see that one too. Maybe this set will bring on more.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Tarzan) and James Lockhart



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