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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Mystery > Cannibalism > Thriller > Dutch > Italy > Superhero > Animation > Bones And All (2022/Warner Blu-ray)/The Columnist (2019*)/Invincible (2020/Lionsgate DVD)/Invisible Witness (2020/Icarus DVD)/Lapsis (2020/*both Film Movement DVD)/Legion Of Superheroes 4K (2023/DC Co

Bones And All (2022/Warner Blu-ray)/The Columnist (2019*)/Invincible (2020/Lionsgate DVD)/Invisible Witness (2020/Icarus DVD)/Lapsis (2020/*both Film Movement DVD)/Legion Of Superheroes 4K (2023/DC Comics Animated/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

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

Here's a new group of thrillers, plus a new animated hero genre release....

From the Director of the Suspiria remake and Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino's Bones and All (2022) is a very well made and interesting horror romance drama that paints a world where human cannibals are among us in modern society. Told from the perspective of Maren (played by Taylor Russell) is seemingly at first just a normal young woman until things soon become pretty apparent that she's not, without giving too much away. Rising superstar Timothee Chalamet (Dune) does a great job in this as a very convincing cannibal drifter, of whom Maren falls in love with mid-way through the story, which centers on her search for her lost mother. Along the way, the duo encounter over cannibals, most of which are unhinged and savage.

The film has many ideas and meanings throughout it that make it a pretty interesting watch. There was a mixed reaction to the film upon release and it was unsurprisingly overlooked at the Oscars. This is a slow, melodic, well composed and offbeat film that works for this reviewer, but may not for others!

Bones also stars Chloe Sevigny, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mark Rylance.

Bones and All looks fine on Blu-ray, but where is the 4K UHD? I hope it's coming out later or else it would be a grave shame as this film is stunningly beautiful to look at. The film here 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 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mixdown for older systems) soundtrack.

Special Features include five featurettes:

A look Inside - Luco Guadagino

The Vision of Bones and All

Meet Leo

Meet Maren

and Outlaws in Love.

The beautiful Katja Herbers stars in The Columnist (2019) which is an amusing Dutch dark comedy about a columnist/author who tires of getting death threats over the internet and decides to take matters into her own hands by tracking down and murdering her offenders. Despite being a foreign film, it feels similar to American dark comedies and could easily be translated to modern day America with a re-write and an actress like Anne Hathaway in the lead.

I think the message of the film is pretty clever: ''why can't we just disagree and be nice about it?,'' the main character pleads. And she has a point. Online toxicity gets worse by the day and online bullying is especially getting worse by the second Many Hollywood celebrities in front of and behind the camera have had to sign off of social media accounts due to death threats and verbal abuse due to a performance they played or a film they were involved in. Of course this toxicity has always existed before the internet, but now it's very easy to hate, in fact, it spreads like wildfire. Although this film is satire, I don't think it's that far fetched that a writer would go this far to make a statement under the right circumstances. We are all human after all and can only take so much.

The film is directed by Ivo Van Aart and also stars Claire Porro, Merel Westirk, and Matthijis van Nieuwkerk.

The Columnist is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD with a 2,35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dutch 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio mix with English subtitles. The film has a professional and glossy look and suffers from compression limitations of the DVD format.

Special Features: Trailers and an 'About Film Movement' statement.

The action/thriller Invincible (2020) lands on disc courtesy of Lionsgate. Directed by Daniel Zirilli, the film centers on a military test subject who gets injected with futuristic nano-bites and becomes an invincible killer not unlike Wolverine. Yes, he can even heal when he gets shot with a bullet. Its up a secret agent to track this unstoppable foe down before it's too late. The film badly wants to be John Wick and is heavy on lens flares, fast cutting, and mediocre cinematography. The result is a cookie cutter indie shot in LA that feels like a bit too familiar.

The film stars Johnny Strong, Marko Zaror, and Vladimir Kulich.

Invincible is presented in standard definition, anamorphically enhanced on DVD with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio mix. The film is shot without any real interesting use of style or color, and feels pretty independent or shot for television. The production design isn't bad, but the lack of a name celebrity as the action lead isn't doing it many favors. Compression issues are evident in the format.

The only extra is a trailer for the film.

Invincible wants to be a superhero type action thriller, but isn't visually very interesting and has some pretty tacky moments.

Invisible Witness (2020) is an Italian psychological thriller that tells the story of a murder from the perspective of the accused perpetrator, as he recounts it for his defense attorney, and the audience; actions that led up to the crime. Riccardo Scamarcio portrays Italian entrepreneur Adriano Doria, the alleged perpetrator, and Miriam Leone portrays Laura, his mistress and the murder victim in question.

The film toggles back and forth between the present, just hours before Adriano Doria's arrest with defense attorney Virginia Ferrara (portrayed by Maria Paiato) asking him questions, and the past, going back as far as events that unfold three months prior, when Adriano and Laura embark on a covert getaway.

As the two leave their rendezvous, they end up in a precarious situation that starts off as nothing more than an accident and turns into something of criminal proportions that even the most painstaking attempts to cover up can't undo. Ultimately, another victim, prior to Laura, emerges. What has happened to him can't be discerned, because no body has been recovered. Following these events are a series of twists and turns where this initial victim's family rests at nothing to determine what has happened to their son, and Adriano and Laura rest at nothing to erase any trace of their involvement. As Virginia continues to grill Adriano, the flashbacks portray a number of what-if scenarios that can either be construed as a means to project his innocence or as a way to demonstrate his guilt, in regards to both victims.

Overall, viewers are left on the edges of their seats, playing out each scenario in their own minds as they play out on the screen, trying to connect the dots ahead of the plot and waiting to see if they're right or not. The ending of the film leaves viewers satisfied, but with questions: who was the ultimate victim? What is the ultimate outcome? What 'should be' the ultimate outcome?

The frequent use of flashbacks and intricate layering of the plot, combined with the less-than-altruistic motivations of each of the characters, gives this movie a film noir quality. This dark ambience is heightened by a dramatic musical score, which stands out all the more because the film is in Italian with English subtitles, so the viewer is really cued into paying attention.

The film is part of Icarus Video's Distrib Films US collection, bringing acclaimed international movies to the US, and runs for a total of 102 minutes.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and the lossy Dolby Digital sound are just fine for the older format. There are no extras.

Lapsis (2020) is a pretty heavy and complex film that was a big winner at SXSW and other film festivals and is now on disc from Film Movement. Centering on a parallel present day, a struggling delivery guy trying to take care of his sick brother ends up takes a job in the gig economy that deals with a digital ponzi scheme. Featuring a standout performance from Madeline Wise, the rest of cast struggles to keep up with her in this slow moving and wordy film.

The film stars Madeline Wise, Ivory Aquino, Dora Madison Burge, Arliss Howard, James McDaniel and Pooya Mohseni.

Lapsis is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and lossy English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio mix options. The film is pretty nicely photographed which shines through on the aging format.

Special Features:

Making of Featurette

Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director and Producers

and Bonus Short Film: Guts.

And finally, our Ultra High Definition title this time around. The DC Comics animated universe turns out another hit with Legion of Superheroes 4K (2023), which puts Supergirl in front and center stage with some cameos by Superman and Batman. The animated film is a coming of age story in which Supergirl goes into the future, thanks to Superman, and ends up training at an academy for up and coming superheroes. She ends up butting heads with a fifth incarnation of Brainiac, who ends up to be a love interest later in the story. They end up exposing The Dark Circle, a clever enemy brain trust that threatens the fate of the universe and steals a powerful weapon from the Academy's secret safe.

Meg Donnelly (American Housewife) and Harry Shum Jr. (Crazy Rich Asians) lead a star-studded cast as the voices of Supergirl/Kara and Brainiac 5, respectively. Darren Criss (Glee, The Assassination of Gianni Versace), Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol, White Collar) and Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, The Boys) reprise their roles in this ongoing Justice League continuity as Superman, The Flash and Batman, respectively.

Legion of Superheroes 4K is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio track in lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The film is nicely animated and is in a slightly different style than the normal animation style the company has gone after in the past. Overall, very well done and enjoyable. Also included is a 1080p version of the film on Blu-ray with similar widescreen and sound specs and a picture that isn't as sharp as the 4K UHD obviously.

Special Features include four new featurettes:

The Legion Behind The Legion

Meet the Legionnaires

Brainiac Attack: The Intellect Behind the Super-Villain

and Down to Earth: The Story of Supergirl.

- Christen Stroh (Witness) and James Lockhart



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