(2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/Children
Shouldn't Play With Dead Things 4K
(1972/MVD/VCI 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/A
Game For Six Lovers
(2021/Film Movement DVD)/La
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B-/C+/C/C+ Sound: B/B-/C/C+/C
Extras: C-/B+/C-/C+/C- Films: C+/B-/C+/C+/C+
for some mystery/suspense dramas, including horror and some comedy,
including a comedy genre classic restored!
(2021) is a new war thriller set in 2018 when three military soldiers
from the United Arab Emirates were ambushed by militants with all
kinds of weapons, but their head officer decides to launch a rescue
mission to save them. The
director attempts to tell the story in the mode of Ridley Scott's
(now in a great 4K edition) and the results are not bad.
Unfortunately, the amalgamation of quick editing, video screens,
desert scenes and weapons are in a style we've seen too many times.
the film's credit, it is not badly acted by a mostly unknown cast
(Marwan Abdulla Saleh, Khalifa Al Jassem, Mohammed Ahmed, Saeed
Alharsh) and is gritty and realistic enough. Still, it is not able
to exceed the genre it is in, especially in its new revived form, and
is only worth a look for the most curious.
trailer is the only extra.
Shouldn't Play With Dead Things 4K
(1972) has been upgraded from the decent Blu-ray set we covered a few
years ago to this amazing 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray both Blu-rays from that
set in one of the best 4K packages of the year!
a look at the film via our previous coverage you can go to the
following links for the...
the few years between that Blu-ray set and this impressive upgrade,
George Romero is no longer with us, but the original Night
Of The Living Dead
received a stunning 4K restoration (see more below in the tech
section) through no less than The Criterion Collection (Dawn
Of The Dead
arrived in a stunning 4K edition too, but only in the U.K. so far)
and we have seen many more zombie movies, TV shows, music videos and
spoofs thereof, so this film continues to be way ahead of its time
and of the curve.
Alan Ormsby's sometimes controversial performance is that much more
distinctive and more of a distinct plus in a sea of all that have
followed him and this film five decades later. Despite having seen
it many times over the years, especially through VCI's faithful video
releases of the film over the decades, it only gets better with age
and you do say to yourself 'if only these actors knew what was ahead'
at a time anything to do with zombies was rare.
serious horror and zombie fan must think of this film as a must see
and now, in this total restoration in 4K, now more than ever!
which are many, repeat the Blu-ray set's above, and then add two new
ones for the film's 50th Anniversary: a 90-minutes-long documentary
on the films of Bob Clark and a new video intro with Q&A with
co-writer/co-star Alan Ormsby.
Game For Six Lovers
(1960) is the first of two mystery films here by the French director
who was emulating French New Wave trends, but was still more of a
journeyman filmmaker with pre-New Wave sensibilities helming his
first feature film. A big inheritance suddenly comes up when Milena
(Francoise Brion) has to deal with the passing of her grandmother,
whom she lives with. Part of the will excludes some estranged
relatives, but greed kicks in when one of them pretends to be someone
a music score and hit song by legendary French singer/songwriter
Serge Gainsbourg, the melodrama focuses on various relationships,
manipulations and more in a subtle high-stakes between people who are
often family and/or have known each other forever. Too bad money
changes loyalties quicker than the more naive think. This is
well-directed and acted enough and quits while it is ahead at 84
minutes, but the results were only so memorable for me, though this
is some kind of minor classic and film of note at the time in French
to the solid cast that also includes Gerald Barray, Bernadette
LaFont, Jaques Riberolles, Alexandra Stewart and Paul Guers.
clip from La
is the only extra.
(2021) is a surreal film taking place just after WWI, but in an
almost alternative reality (think Guillermo del Toro meets
Jean-Pierre Jeunet with a bit of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam, all
in a good way) with a serial killer on the loose in Vienna (German
Expressionist Cinema style with its visuals sometimes distorted) with
Peter Perg (Murathan Muslu) coming back from the war. Worse, he
tends to know all the victims, so something is very wrong.
not a suspect (yet?) he starts to look for answers on his own and
keeps finding new surprises and barriers as the great city tries to
recover from 'The Great War,' but he does find an ally in a female
forensic expert (Liv Lisa Fries) and maybe, just maybe, they can stop
more killing before it is too late.
very ambitious production, there is definitely an audience for this
one out there, even though I thought it was uneven in places. There
is definitely a love of cinema to go with its sense of history and
the makers are really trying here. Thus, if this sounds like your
kind of film, you should see it at least once to see what you think.
For all the films in the last few years that have attempted what this
film does, it is more successful than most, which often fared worse.
include notes inside the DVD's cover, while the disc adds the VFX
featurettes, a solid, smart, feature length audio commentary track by
Director Ruzowitzky and Bonus Short Film: Merryl Roche's creepy Haute
(1961 aka The
re-teams the director with Francoise Brion as Michel (Maurice Bonet)
is being harassed and then framed for a murder he did not commit, but
he was also a fighter in The Resistance in WWII. Apparently, he is
being targeted for revenge, but by whom and how?
Doniol-Valcroze's third feature-film, the mystery and murder elements
are more steeped in the French New Wave and the use of monochrome
widescreen is fine, as well as the pacing of the script. I liked
this a bit more than his first film and the Georges Delerue music
score is a real plus here, as is the scenery. The cast also includes
Nicole Berger, Sacha Pitoeff, Gisele Braunberger, Raymond Gerome,
Jean-Claude Darnal, François Maistre, Michele Grellier, Laurent
Terzieff and legendary actor Michael Lonsdale (Frankenheimer's Ronin,
Bride Wore Black,
the James Bond film Moonraker) playing a detective who more than
holds his own in the few scenes he gets.
this only lasts 72 minutes and could have been longer and more
developed, but is not bad and worth a look.
clip from A
Game For Six Lovers
is the only extras.
for playback performance. The
2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Ultra High Definition image on Dead
is more impressive than expected, with the 16mm-shot film displaying
great color range, authentic to film stocks of the time and no major
grain or haze that older transfers may have had. VCI has been
handling the film on home video for decades and it remains one of the
most successful Canadian-made feature films of all time (director Bob
Clark has several such films on any Top 100 list with Cronenberg, et
al) and Video Black is just right.
has no HDR (High Dynamic Range) of any kind, but ironically, the 4K
editions of the overseas-inly release of Tobe Hooper's original Texas
Chain Saw Massacre,
the original 1920 Cabinet
Of Dr. Caligari
and most importantly, the also-remarkable restoration of Romero's
Of The Living Dead
from Criterion also have no HDR. Why this happens to be the case
with all-time horror genre films is odd, but Dead Things can more
than compete with its fellow classics in this respect. The 1080p
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is the older Blu-ray we
reviewed a few years ago and remains a little softer than I thought
it could have been, but the 4K is just so much better than most who
see it will be very pleasantly surprised. The PCM 2.0 Mono sound is
as good as this film will ever sound and with the 4K picture, looks
like that mint-condition film print your aunt left in the attic and
forgot about, then stayed fresh decades later.
HD-shot image on the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition Ambush
is the second-best looking release here, stylized as it is to be
sepia-toned and dark, though expect some minor detail issues and
blur, some of which is intended. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is sonically the best here,
in part because it is the newest film and the only multi-channel
lossless film here, but it has a solid soundfield throughout, even if
it has no major surprises or nothing too memorable for the genre or
anamorphically enhanced black
image on the two French films (1.66 X 1 for Game,
2.35 X 1 for Immortal,
miscredited on the package as 1.85 X 1, but shot in Franscope!) are
from new 2K restorations and look about as good as they can in this
older format despite a few soft spots. Wonder if they'll get Blu-ray
releases? The only other issue is Immortal cheats at the beginning
and the transfer has the framed zoomed in on for some of reason, then
pulls out to go into its full scope presentation. That was a bad
idea and a mistake. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 French Mono on both
films has also been cleaned up, but they are just a little too soft
and weak here, even with subtitles, so be careful of volume switching
and high volume playback.
leaves us with the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on
with some interesting choices of color, but mixed results with the
CGI visual effects. Would they look better on Blu-ray or in 4K?
Otherwise, the visuals are consistent, so some artifice is intended
to go with its surrealism. As for sound, you get lossy German Dolby
Digital 5.1 and lossy German Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes, but
instead of the 5.1 being outright better, they are both on par with
each other. It still made me wonder what a lossless version of
either would sound like as I expect there are better sonics to be
uncovered for this film.