Alley Blu-ray w/DVD)/Emergency
(2022/Well Go Blu-ray)/HALO:
(2022/Showtime/Paramount Blu-ray Set)/Moonchild
(1994/Visual Vengeance/Wild Eye*)/No
(2021/Arrow w/CD/*all MVD Blu-rays)
B & C/B-/B-/C/B-/B+ Sound: B- & C/B+/B/C/B-/B+
Extras: B/C/C+/B/C+/B Main Programs: B-/C+/C+/C/C+/B
another wild group of genre releases to look into...
Vinoly Baretto's El
is a film from Argentina that sounds like it might be a great
supernatural vampire thriller, but in fact, it is a little-seen,
little-known remake of Fritz Lang's 1931 classic 'M'
with Peter Lorre (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that wants to try
the story from a few different angles, but lands up being as much a
revisiting of Sir Carol Reed's The
(1949) as any Lang film.
offering some sense of Noir and being graphic and chilling in its own
way, it cannot totally escape the shadow of the original, but its use
of local locales and footage of Chicago from another film produced by
the same studio, has it moments. Just not enough of them are silent
and the visuals range from impressive to standard. Nathan Pinzon
takes on Lorre's role as the killer and I give him credit for
allowing himself to be sick and sickening, no matter how humiliating
or bizarre the results are. Roberto Escalada is the prosecutor who
has his own issues and the cast includes major actors of Argentine
Cinema of the time.
a tight 90 minutes, it can be very effective and it is yet another
great save by Flicker Alley and their partners of a key film that was
in serious jeopardy of being lost forever. They also saved Baretto's
equally impressive The
Beast Must Die
(1952, reviewed elsewhere on this site and also not a horror genre
film) so I definitely recommend it and hope we see more gems from
Baretto and Argentina get saved.
include a high quality Souvenir Booklet featuring an essay by Imogen
Sara Smith, with rare original photographs, posters, and ephemera,
while the discs add (per the press release):
vampiro negro (The Black Vampire)
by author, film historian, and ''noirchaeologist'' Eddie Muller.
3 Faces of 'M':
a critical comparison of the three versions of M,
produced by Steven C. Smith and writer/film historian Alan K. Rode,
and featuring interviews with writer/film historian Imogen Sara
Smith, biographer Patrick McGilligan, biographer Stephen Youngkin,
film critic Beth Accomando, Eddie Muller, and Alan K. Rode.
in the Blood:
an interview with visual artist Daniel Vinoly, son of visionary
director Roman Vinoly Barreto.
a Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Argentina's leading film
archivist and cinema historian Fernando Martín Pena.
(2022) is a South Korean thriller where passengers on a commercial
airplane flight are apparently infected or about to be infected with
a deadly virus, courtesy of a terrorist suspect on a plane heading
for the Unites States. When someone dies, madness kicks in, the
plane has to be stopped and it can only stay in the sky so long.
Remarkably, it has enough fuel for this film to run two hours, twenty
someone melodramatic action thriller of sorts, we have seen much of
this before and it oddly has the style of a 1990s Hollywood action
film with its post-MTV editing style and sometimes, look, but it is
also an uneven film throughout with acting that fits the genre.
Outside of that, it never totally feels real or palpable, yet it is
interesting to watch in more spots than not, accompanied by a decent
budget and ambitious sound design. Not awful, it is only for the
include four behind the scenes clips, an Original Theatrical Trailer
and more trailers for more Well Go releases.
on the extremely popular video game, HALO:
(2022) finally got made by Showtime after many stops and starts,
including Peter Jackson almost making a feature film of it with a
huge budget before Microsoft and participating studio could not see
eye to eye on who would cover the budget. Natascha McElhone, Charlie
Murphy and Bokeem Woodbine are among the more familiar actors in a
cast that includes some new or recent names and faces you might
recognize and Amblin Television (Spielberg's production company) is a
some ideas and items are familiar and we have seen some of this
before and not just in past HALO-related
releases, I was surprised how much the teleplays were able to stick
to the massive amount of material the hit game and the world its
grown into (for what I have seen of it over the years) that exists.
Still, its ironic now that we get a live action version of the game,
it can still look more like CGI-only releases tied to it we covered
in the past.
this is still a for-fans-only affair, but the makers are going all
out in Star
TV series fashion to make this work and that makes it unexpectedly
interesting in a way you might be surprised by. The acting fits the
scenarios, but nothing stands out. It still has issues simply being
based on a videogame, even one of the most successful and beloved to
date, but it remains its own thing and that is not easy. Now it gets
a high quality in this release, plus a 4K version that is also
supposed to launch the same day. Now you can judge for yourself.
are thorough and include (per the press release) 75 minutes of behind
the scenes footage included in:
the Battle of Madrigal:
crew takes you behind the scenes to dissect one of the most important
moments of the show, the Battle of Madrigal.
Our larger-than-life heroes introduce one another and share their
thoughts on the process of becoming Spartans. Master Chief, Kai,
Riz, Vannak and Soren recollect their memories from training and
early bootcamp to the epic result we see on screen. Showrunner
Steven Kane and director Otto Bathurst join the Spartan team to
reveal the challenges and joy of creating near-perfect superhumans
encountering imperfectly human emotions for the very first time.
the Costumes of HALO:
Costume designer Giovanni Lipari brings insight into the creation of
the 5 different worlds shown in HALO:
Giovanni shares not only the process of creating the costumes and
styles for each of the planets, but provides background and history
for the different groups and their connection to one another.
and Vehicles of HALO:
Master Chief's assault rifle or the sound of a warthog? Two
emblematic tools of the HALO
universe. Property Master Andrew Orlando leads us through the steps
of the realization of Covenant and Spartan weapons from initial
design to final construction. Sophie Becher, Production Designer,
joins in to share details about the newly invented spaceships of this
one-of-a-kind universe. There is no HALO
without the sound and look of warthogs, and Picture Vehicle
Coordinator Paradi Sandor Jr. joins to tell us how it and other HALO
vehicles were conceived.
World of HALO:
Join us for an inside conversation with Executive Producer Kiki
Wolfkill, Director Otto Bathurst, Showrunner Steven Kane, Pablo
Schreiber and other cast members as they break down how the story and
characters of this sci-fi epic game were brought to the screen.
production teams give viewers an inside look at how visual effects,
artful direction, and purposeful set design were used to create the
show's otherworldly look and feel. They share how each setting is
unique and immersive, and built on a massive scale.
Culture of The Covenant:
Take an exclusive tour alongside remarkable talent, visual effects
artists and production teams who show us how they brought to life the
setting and aliens that make up The Covenant.
Lake of Eternal Life: A Song from HALO's
A behind-the-scenes look at thestudio recording of the funeral song,
Lake of Eternal Life''
sung by Jaram Lee.
Making of Cortana:
Actress Jen Taylor discusses her character's emotional journey
throughout the series and reveals how the filmmakers brought Cortana
to life on screen.
The Series: Declassified 101 - 109:
In this premiere episode of HALO:
Declassified, Sydnee is joined by the Master Chief himself, Pablo
Schreiber, Master Chief's highly advanced A.I., Cortana, and AEW
professional wrestler Adam Cole.
Host Sydnee Goodman takes viewers behind the scenes of Episode 2
with actor Bokeem Woodbine, Director Otto Bathurst, as well as some
lucky fans who got to attend the red-carpet premiere of HALO:
We dive into Episode 3, "Emergence."
Here, host Sydnee Goodman talks with star Charlie Murphy (Makee).
Plus, see how the show built one of its most impressive sets and meet
some of the most passionate HALO
fans in the world.
Host Sydnee Goodman welcomes Cortana herself, Jen Taylor! They
discuss Jen's longtime role as Master Chief's fan-favorite A.I and
how bringing the character to life on TV brought new challenges.
Plus, get a lesson in the Covenant language of Sangheili from the
linguists who created it. Then, passionate HALO
fans explain what Master Chief means to them. Finally, get a special
look behind the scenes of the incredible visual effects of HALO:
including how the talented artists brought Cortana to live action.
In this installment of HALO:
host Sydnee Goodman talks with Kate Kennedy (Kai-125). Plus, behind
the scenes of the stunts and weapons of HALO:
and a look at the world's largest HALO
Host Sydnee Goodman is joined by Natascha McElhone (Dr. Halsey) to
explore the complicated nature of Halsey's work with the Spartans.
Plus, we visit Spartan bootcamp, talk with composer Sean Callery, and
Host Sydnee Goodman chats with actress Yerin Ha (Kwan Ha) about her
character's journey from average kid to freedom fighter. Plus, enjoy
a visit from actor Wil Wheaton, a closer look at iconic Halo
vehicles, and plenty of Easter Eggs.
In this installment of HALO:
host Sydnee Goodman welcomes star Olive Gray (Dr. Miranda Keyes) to
discuss their approach to a character that has complicated
relationships with everyone around her. Plus, behind the scenes with
Director Jonathan Liebesman, a cosplay tutorial, and more.
On the finale installment of HALO:
host SydneeGoodman welcomes Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill and
ExecutiveProducer/Showrunner Steven Kane to dive deep into all the
big events, so far. Plus, enjoy a thank you from the cast and crew
and an enlightening discussion about reflecting the real world in
we had the bonus of seven collectible art cards included with our
edition, so expect that is a limited edition goodie that will not
Sheets' shot-on-analog-video horror/ sci-fi/ action/ martial arts
(1994) is a werewolf action movie that has a high budget concept but
amateur execution. In a dark future, a super soldier is fused with
DNA with a wolf, becoming a Wolfman Warrior of sorts. The film has a
Troma-style charm and was made with a lot of heart and so it's an
honest effort. If you like shoestring budget campy films.
film stars Auggi Alvarez, Kathleen McSweeny, and Julie King.
Features are plentiful in this release, which I have to applaud:
Edition Slipcase by The DudE: FIRST
Audio CD of the movie soundtrack
audio commentary with Director Todd Sheets and star Auggi Alvarez
New audio commentary with Director Todd Sheets and Visual Vengeance
VHS cut of Moonchild as originally released
Moon Rising: The Making of Moonchild
behind the scenes cast interviews
Video by Descension
Page Liner notes by Matt Desiderio of Horror Boobs
your own' VHS sticker sheet
a Reversible Sleeve featuring original VHS art.
(1993) was made in Australia, but produced by the French studio Pathe
with some Hollywood backing (Columbia Pictures and now defunct Savoy
Pictures) in a dystopian tale set in 2022. In this future with awful
environmental issues (worse than the actual 2022) give us a prison
system that is now totally owned by private corporations and not run
by any government entity. So much for civil rights.
a group of prisoners is brought to a maximum security facility with
the 'latest technology' they are told it is a modern Alcatraz and
hear the title describe how air tight it is, run by a slightly mad
warden (Michael Lerner in odd casting) while the prison has two
tribes (run by Stuart Wilson and Lance Henriksen, respectively) with
new prisoners in between. Ray Liotta, proving he could always do
more than gangster films, the screenplay skips political commentary
and some realism for an all-out action film that plays like The
Most Dangerous Game
(1932) meets most genre films Producer Gale Ann Hurd made in the
least it achieves its own look, feel and density throughout, but
never totally capitalizes on it, though I know there was some editing
here and there, we only know of some censorship and no major content
cuts that might have changed the film i.e., missing scenes. Still,
it holds up better for its age than you might expect with Liotta as
the hero and Wilson ultimately the real bad guy. The additional cast
that also helps includes Ernie Hudson, Kevin Dillon, Don Henderson,
Jack Shepherd, Ian McNeice and Kevin J. O'Connor, the latter of which
you may have seen in several other films to even TV shows, but did
not know who they were by name.
in all, its a film I always wished had worked better than it did,
maybe stopped short by just wanting to be upscale Oz-ploitation (?)
and is now more of a curio than ever, especially with its future year
here and the too-soon loss of Liotta. For all of its issues, it is
still worth a look.
a side note, privately-owned prisons became a highly debated item
very recently and in the State of Pennsylvania, a scheme involving
actual judges and juvenile court turned out to be unbelievable as
they were being secretly paid to send minors to actual prison for
doing almost nothing just to collect the cash as the situation was
include (per the press release):
OF THE FITTEST: DIRECTING NO ESCAPE': A new interview with filmmaker
TO THE FUTURE: THE SCI-FI WORLDS OF GALE ANNE HURD': A new interview
with producer Gale Anne Hurd
COLONY: WRITING NO ESCAPE': A new interview with co-writer Joel
Making of Featurettes
a Photo Gallery
award winning film Two
(2021) gets a new Blu-ray edition from Arrow Video that is well
deserved as it is an effective supernatural thriller. A modern day
and unsettling watch, this nail biting film focuses on two powerful
witches, each who latch onto a host and squeeze their lives into
horrific endings. Directed by first time director Pierre Tsigardis,
the film looks great on Blu-ray disc and is recommended viewing for
genre fans. Divided into chapters, the film stars with a creepy
witch who stalks a young pregnant woman and her husband and the
second section focuses on a troubled young woman who idolizes her
roommate to an unsettling degree. The film features great
performances, inspired photography and directing, and a solid ending.
film stars Rebekah Kennedy, Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie's Halloween),
Tim Fox, Belle Adams, Dina Silva, and Danielle Kennedy.
new audio commentary by director, cinematographer and editor Pierre
new audio commentary by producer Maxime Rancon
the Movie, a two-part behind-the-scenes featurette
with actor and associate producer Dina Silva
an interview with actor Marina Parodi
an interview with composer Gioacchino Marincola
Tsigaridis talks about the inspiration behind the piano score for
2021 Q&A with Pierre Tsigaridis and Maxime Rancon
Gallery accompanied by the film's original score
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan
Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing on the film by
Anton Bitel, plus double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and
newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady.
is a solid watch and this Blu-ray edition is packed with informative
for playback performance. The
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Vampiro
can show the age of the materials used, but this is a miraculous
restoration from 35mm materials that somehow survived despite
Argentina having an extremely horrid, non-existent film restoration
or preservation policy from the government or any of its studios or
independent producers. Totally unacceptable, this image has a few
flaws, but it nice and clear throughout, though I wondered what 35mm
film negative (Kodak, Agfa, Ansco, Gevaert, Ferrania, DuPont?) they
used. The DVD 1.33 X 1 is much softer and passable at best. The PCM
2.0 Mono is also as good as it is going to get for this film, with
the Dvd stuck with a softer and less warm or full, lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono mix.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Declaration
has all kinds of on-purpose flaws and some softness that also seems a
little intended, so it can be an odd, trying viewing, though I bet a
4K version would work better. The sound is no less than Dolby
Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) which is used
to fine effect and makes it the best film sonically of hundreds we
have ever reviewed from Well Go, though they have not sent us the few
4K releases they have issued to date. The combination is a little
odd, but the sound makes it more tolerable.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the HALO
episodes tries to have a consistent look like a videogame to some
extent, so there is some softness and that is often because of the
CGI visual effects, but color and look are otherwise consistent and
the look intended. I bet this plays better in the 4K edition.
Originally announced as a DTS-HD MA sound set, Paramount instead has
all nine episodes here in lossless Dolby
TrueHD 5.1 with superior sonics and use of sound effects and sound
editing that is as good as any TV show being made today. Whether the
4K editions (regular and steelbook) will include Dolby Atmos 11.1 or
not is uncertain, but if so, it would join only two TV shows to ever
offer such sound: Games
We'll see, but even this mixdown is impressive.
is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4
AVC codec, a fullscreen aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a PCM 2.0 Stereo
mix. The film was remastered from the original SD master (likely low
def NTSC video) from the original tapes and signed off by on the
director and so considering the elements at hand, the film looks and
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on No
can show the age of the HD master because it is obviously older, but
the great Director of Photography Phil Meheux, B.S.C., skillfully
used a combination of two brands of 35mm color movie negative: The
Kodak EXR series and Agfa XT series, the latter of which would be
soon discontinued as Agfa got out of the motion picture business
(including being used on the megahit TV sitcom Seinfeld,
which started out filming exclusively on their film stock, giving it
a distinct look like no other show of the time) and additionally,
used the incredibly underrated anamorphic scope lenses Arriscope and
J-D-C Scope, the latter of which which he and Campbell used on
several scope feature films.
scope first was seen wide as used on the original Poltergeist,
then on films like Return
Of The Jedi,
Of the Dragon,
the original Firestarter,
and several low budget B-movies. Meheux used them several times with
Campbell, plus with Russell Mulcahy on Highlander
while Arriscope also was used on Radioland
Adventures Of Pricilla Queen Of the Desert
and the underrated 1992 remake, Body
That all adds up to make this a visually unique, even complex
production with a combination of models and early digital to deliver
a film with a one-of-a-kind look we'll never see again.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also a generation down
sonically, but it is still better than the PCM 2.0 Stereo counterpart
here and has its moments. Since Campbell is so successful, wonder if
they could upgrade this to DTS: X or Dolby Atmos at some point.
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 a lossless,
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix both of
which are of a high standard for the format. There is also a lossless
English LPCM 2.0 Stereo mix on the disc as well. The film is very
nicely photographed and has an effective score and sound design.
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Moonchild,