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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Korea > Drama > Boxing > Comedy > Camp > Action > Crime > Caper > Hong Kong > Project Wolf Hunting (2022/Well Go Blu-ray)/Rocky Knockout Collection 4K (1976 - 1985/UA/MGM/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Running Out Of Time (1999 - 2001/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)

Project Wolf Hunting (2022/Well Go Blu-ray)/Rocky Knockout Collection 4K (1976 - 1985/UA/MGM/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Running Out Of Time (1999 - 2001/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)

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

The following releases show us the line between an A and B movie can sometimes be very thin...

Project Wolf Hunting (2022) is an action packed gore-fest with a clever premise on disc stateside from Well Go USA. A cargo ship out to sea is carrying some dangerous criminals that get loose and rebel, but a super soldier is unleashed to fight against them and the results are a bloodbath as the two forces go head to head. The result is a gore-filled action extravaganza that will appeal to hardcore action film fans with ease.

The film stars Seo In-guk, Jang Dong-yoon, Sung Dong-il, and Jung So-min. The film is directed by Kim Hong-Sun (Money Heist: Korea, Joint Economic Area).

Project Wolf Hunting 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 tracks in two lossless versions: Korean and English-Dubbed DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo (48kHz, 24-bit) mixes respectively. The Korean sounds better.

Special Features include and Original Theatrical Trailer and two featurettes: Making the Alpha and Behind the Scenes.

Rocky Knockout Collection 4K (1976 - 1985) is the latest upgrade of the first four Stallone/Rocky films (missing the Fifth and Sixth installments for some odd reason) and including the three Creed films, that makes nine films to date. The original Best Picture Oscar film was a surprise hit, so sequels directed by Stallone himself were produced and each film was worse than the previous one. When Stallone started, he was still potentially a director who might be able to deliver in his still-serious period (think Paradise Alley and FIST) before going for broad, even angry populism.

We have covered the series in several formats, including this Blu-ray set from years ago at this link:


Though the first film is not bad, the sequels all have pre-VHS sequelitis (they would never repeat the fight from the end of the previous films today) and they get sillier and sillier as it all goes on. Some of it has aged well, more of it has not and the Cold War-heavy fourth film plays oddly and sadly as the Ukraine invasion and massacre continues as this posts. A very slightly longer Rocky Vs. Drago cut of the film is included here, but it clarifies little, has fake black and white images that make no sense and adds nothing new to all this.

Another issue throughout is the illicit appears to pity, to a semi-stereotype of 'the working man' and each film is increasingly corny as well as repetitive, more obvious in the home video and internet era how blatantly it recycles sequences that were better in the earlier films. Save Scorsese's Raging Bull, most boxing films since the first Rocky have been bad to absolutely awful and Stallone ran his image thin to get these films made and it likely hurt him in the long run. He got his money at the time, but somehow apparently, has no more rights to the series or character. Hope we hear that whole story at some point.

So is the upgrade worth it? Well, not really. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on the original films can have some nice shots and even great color, but the materials can look second-generation and a little too grainy for their own good at times. The Rocky Vs. Drago cut is in 2.35 X 1, has some money spent on it, but the framing looks odd and a little off, meaning giving the original film a Super 35 scope cutup sort of backfires. The Third and Fourth films were issued in 70mm blow-ups, but you would not know that from watching them here.

The original films have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes, while the Rocky Vs. Drago cut has DTS-MA 5.1 and only a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. Its DTS has the best sound here, sounding the way the fourth film should sound here. Worse, the 2.0 Stereo DTS-MA on all four films are a little more convincing than the 5.1 expansions, which is really strange in the case of the third and fourth films, since they originally have 4.1 soundmasters from their 70mm blow-up releases. The first film was mono and the sequels were all issued with Dolby's old A-type analog noise reduction. Three and Four sound easily sound the best here with its even somewhat limited multi-channel possibilities, so despite all four having 4K remasters, this is all very disappointing.

And to make things even worse, there is a aspect ratio jump (1.85 to 1.78 to 1.85) on the original cut of the Fourth film and additional audio issues of one sort or another on the first three films. OUCH! Where's quality control?

We'll update this review with any recalls or discoveries of why so much here is off-kilter. Otherwise, that's the set!

Extras are all over the place with extras only on the first film in the form of three feature length audio commentary tracks (the first with Director John Avildsen, co-producers Irvin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, co-stars Talia Shire, Carl Weathers and Burt Young and Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown, the second with boxing trainer Lou Duva and sports historian Bert Sugar, then the third by Stallone himself. Then the rest are stuck on a fifth regular Blu-ray and include 'home movies' of the production dubbed 8mm, but they also could be Super 8. More with Duva and Brown from the one commentaries, Michael Westmoreland on the make-up, Bill Conti on his classic score, set designer James Spencer on getting the urban look right, a nice Burgess Meredith tribute, trailers for all four films PLUS the Rocky/Drago cut of the fourth film, a strange split screen piece where Stallone 'meets' Rocky and a nearly hour-long making of the Rocky Vs. Drago cut. Needless to say these are mostly all for fans only.

Finally we have Running Out Of Time, Part One (1999) and Part Two (2001) in a 2-disc set courtesy of Arrow Video in a nice HD remastered collection. The action packed crime / caper films, from director Johnnie To (The Heroic Trio, The Mission), are full of adrenaline much like a Michael Bay film is here stateside and has some memorable action packed moments that show an impressive cinematic scope.

In the films, an intelligent detective and police force are forced to play a 72-hour game of cat and mouse with a threatening criminal who survived cancer and feels he has nothing to lose. Whether its an attempt to extort money or go against Hong Kong crime syndicates, the films are very much in the vein of a Die Hard, Swordfish, or a sub-genre in that vein.

The films star Ching Wan Lau, Andy Lau, Yoyo Mung, Waise Lee, Shiu Hung Hui, and others.

The Running Out Of Time films are presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and lossless audio tracks in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The discs feature optional English subtitles, newly revised for this release and 2K restoration of the films which boast the best looking transfer of the films to home video to date.

Special Features:

Brand new audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)

Audio commentary by writers Laurent Cortiaud and Julien Carbon, moderated by Hong Kong film expert Stefan Hammond

Archival interview with screenwriters Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud

Archival interview with director Johnnie To

Archival interview with star Lau Ching-wan

Archival interview with composer Raymond Wong

The Directors' Overview of Carbon and Courtiaud, an archive featurette

Theatrical Trailer

Image Gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Lucas Peverill

Brand new audio commentary by Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)

The Making of 'Running Out of Time 2', an archive featurette

Hong Kong Stories, a 52-minute documentary from 2003 by director Yves Montmayeur (Johnnie Got His Gun!) about Hong Kong cinema mythology via Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud's experience as screenwriters in the HK film industry, working for Wong Kar-wai, Tsui Hark, Daniel Lee and of course Johnnie To

Theatrical Trailer

Image Gallery

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing on the films by David West.

- Nicholas Sheffo (4K) and James Lockhart



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