Of The Assassins
(2022/Well Go Blu-ray)/Ghosts
(1991 aka Timescape/Blu-ray*)/M3gan
(2023 aka Megan/Universal
(1985/Synapse 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/*all MVD)/Star
Trek: Strange New Worlds - Season One (2022/CBS/Paramount
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B-/B/B/B+ & B-/X/C+ Sound:
B/B/B-/B+ & B-/A-/C+ Extras: C-/C/C/B/B/C+ Main Programs:
for our latest genre offerings, including a true classic...
Of The Assassins
(2022) is set in the past, but feels like it is sometimes from our
time by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink (they were not
yet invented, but even the Superhero genre gets referenced?!?) has an
assassin on assignment being betrayed and going on the run. Revenge
and trying to find out why he was stabbed in the back (almost
literally) becomes the plot that is somewhat predictable, but is
meant to have something to hang all the action on.
that action can be good and the stunts well done, we get too many
gimmicks we've seen before, sometimes defy believability and are just
all over the place, especially since this takes place a few centuries
ago. Sure, this is supposed to be fun and have some sense of humor,
but with so much such competition from all over and at two hours, it
disappoints. If you are still interested, just have lower
expectations and you might like it.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is a bit softer
and more digital than expected, possibly because they were really
pushing it with the scope framing and should have gone for 1.85 X 1.
Color is on the muted side, which does not always work either, but I
wonder if this would look better in 4K, at least clarifying nay
issued here. Otherwise, this disappoints a bit and the CGI visual
effects are mixed.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 Mandarin lossless mix is the same
soundmaster used for theaters, so no DTS: X, Dolby Atmos or Auro 3D
missing here. It has a good, consistent soundfield and is the
default highlight of this release. Nothing in particular stood out
only extras are a trailer for this film and three other Well Go USA
Ghosts of Monday
(2022) is out on Blu-ray from Cleopatra, and is now unintentionally a
bit more notable since it features one of the last performances by
acclaimed actor Julian Sands (Naked
film starts out strong, but gets a bit lazy and too silly for its own
good unfortunately, with a lousy third act that ruins the mystique it
went out of its way to create in its first act. The film attempts to
replicate a kind of supernatural giallo, but it doesn't really work
despite having an amazing location. Still, I feel the film is an
honest effort and not without some cool moments along the way.
film stars Julian Sands, Anthony Skordi, Joanna Fylidou, Elva Trill,
Mark Huberman, and Flavia Watson.
US filmmakers travel to Cyprus to film a ghostly documentary about a
tragedy that happened at a hotel where a hundred guests died of
poisoning and the innkeepers committed suicide. The director of the
film crew is a bit off the rails and isn't open to any feedback from
anyone on the project they are shooting, which is featured in a few
silly scenes that really makes one not care for this character right
off the bat.
Sands is great and does what he can as a producer / host who doesn't
mind flirting with all the young girls in the group who is also
related to the director's girlfriend who has a past trauma with this
location as her family was part of this tragedy. The film then adds
a silly supernatural character that doesn't really make sense and
ghosts that look like normal people. The first act and the setup of
the location is well done, but once they try to cram in all this
backstory with the one character and then add a cult and a slasher
killer to the mix, there's just too many things going on by the time
it's over that it becomes muddled.
Ghosts of Monday
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 an English LPCM
2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16bit) mix. The color on the film is a little
strange at times with a scenes where flesh tones appear a little too
yellowish. Other than that, the film looks and sounds fine on disc.
Features: a Trailer and Image Gallery.
Ghosts of Monday
is an honest effort, but falls a bit short.
(1991, aka Timescape)
is the first major feature film form the sci-fi-oriented director of
the (four so far) disappointing Riddick films, plus mixed-results
projects like The
(1996) and Below
(2002) showing a filmmaker who knows his way around a genre, but one
who has not totally been able to leave his mark on it.
ever-underrated Jeff Daniels plays a widowed father who lands up
dealing with a strange group of people obsessed with disasters, but
the twist is that this potential cult is traveling in time from the
future to catch a few before they happen. Its a somewhat interesting
premise that has potential and Twohy, Daniels and the cast get the
off-kilter part of this concept down pat, but it cannot get past its
form despite the cast doing so well. The screenplay then goes into
all kinds of directions until we get an ending (which feels like a
last-minute tack-on) and it ends. Now you can see for yourself.
Richards, Nicholas Guest, George Murdoch, Robert Colbert, Marilyn
Lighthouse and David Wells also star.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all
previous releases of the film, though some shots that look a bit off
are the way they likely always will be due to the film's low budget.
here, presented in PCM 2.0 Stereo, has a strange history. The film
began with the intent of using only cheap, rough Ultra Stereo analog
noise reduction, a cheaper version of Dolby's old, own, original
A-type analog noise reduction they invented in 1965, later used on
films slowly staring in 1971. By the time this film was in
production, both analog formats were available for theatrical feature
film releases, but Dolby had invented Spectral Recording (aka SR) by
1987 and that was the new pre-digital standard by the 1990s. It is
even still used for some films today and for preservation purposes,
Dolby finally finding their answer to DBX noise reduction.
the last minute, the producers of this film found the money to issue
it in Dolby SR and have it remixed in a THX-certified theater. The
result is likely cleaner and better than just plain old Ultra Stereo,
but since they did not start that way, the results are not as great
as an actual SR film form the time (think Dances
Silence Of The Lambs)
so you will get some good results when decoding the stereo here in
Pro Logic or one of its variants, but it cannot escape the early
audio work, or budget or its age.
include a reversible cover (unlisted on the package) plus a Trailer,
separate Production & Artwork Stills, the Timescape
title sequence and vintage featurette Lost To Time, a Cannes Film
(2023 aka Megan)
modernizes the killer doll genre as a seriously creepy humanoid doll
that, much like Chucky in the Child's
series, will go to great lengths to protect its child imprinted
master. Produced by Blumhouse, M3gan
is a predictable but fun popcorn flick that doesn't take itself too
seriously and has fun with a tried and true genre movie formula. In
all honesty there are a lot of similarities between M3gan
and the 2019 Child's
remake. The real difference is the gender of the killer robot, not
as much gore and swearing (even in this unrated version), and slight
changes in the story. Still, M3gan
is fun and is different enough that these glaring similarities can
mostly go overlooked. The film was a big success in the box office
on the sleepy month of January and really deserved a 2160p release on
4K UHD right off the bat, but we will have to settle for the Blu-ray
/ DVD combo pack for now.
film stars Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis,
and Jen Van Epps, plus was produced by Blumhouse, Owner/Producer
Jason Blum and Director James Wan.
prototype M3gan is created by a troubled and stressed out woman
(Allison Williams of Get
and her newly orphaned niece (Violet McGraw). At first, M3gan seems
like a breakthrough in child companionship, but soon she takes on
some murderous and vengeful characteristics and becomes too smart for
her own good, rebelling against anyone who crosses her path.
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) 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix. For
Blu-ray this is fine with no real complaints. Also included is an
anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD of the film that has
a compressed image and lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. The film
is slick and Hollywood looking much like other Blumhouse productions.
versions of the film: R rated and unrated
New Vision of Horror
Life to M3GAN
has franchise potential within the walls of Blumhouse and has equal
amounts of horror and fun to make it an audience pleaser despite its
familiarity to other films of the killer doll sub-genre.
of the first films in the long career of Jennifer Connelly and a
favorite amongst Dario Argento fans is Phenomena
(1985) also known as Creepers,
which has finally landed stateside on 4K UHD disc from Synapse Films.
There are a few different editions of this from Synapse including a
limited edition of 6,000 units, but this review will be covering the
standard 2 disc 4K UHD version, which still features three cuts of
the film on two separate 4K UHD discs loaded with extras. The
Italian horror thriller has Argento's unique visual style, a
fantastic soundtrack, and beautiful locations.
film stars Jennifer Connelly, Daria Nicolodi, Fiore Argento, Federica
Mastroianni, and Fiorenza Tessari. The film features Connelly as a
young girl with telepathic abilities that are coming to fruition.
She has the power to control insects which comes in handy when
solving a case of brutal murders at her remote boarding school.
looks incredible on this release, to say the least and a huge
improvement over previous versions. The film is presented in 2160p
on 4K UHD disc with Dolby Vision/HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and audio mixes depending on the
version of the film you choose.
Italian Version has lossless Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM
2.0 stereo soundtracks, derived from the original 4-channel Dolby
Stereo elements. Also a lossless, "hybrid" English/Italian
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 soundtrack and optional English
subtitles for the Italian soundtrack. The International Version has
lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo
soundtracks on the international version, also derived from the
original 4-channel Dolby Stereo elements. And the Creepers
version has lossless English PCM 1.0 mono soundtrack and is mastered
from the original 3 track DME magnetic mix.
color correction is a bit darker and more blue than it was on Blu-ray
previously which doesn't hurt the film at all, but modernizes the
look of it a bit. The soundtrack remains intense and beautiful. The
film has been released on Blu-ray from Synapse in the film before in
2017 and could serve as a good comparison piece on the improvement
and new color scan in this release. The picture quality is the same
on all three versions with the only difference being the film's
ONE - ITALIAN VERSION:
commentary by Troy Howarth, author of Murder
by Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento
Flies and Maggots,
a feature-length 2017 documentary produced for Arrow Films, including
interviews with cowriter/producer/director Dario Argento, actors
Fiore Argento, Davide Marotta, Daria Nicolodi and Fiorenza Tessari,
cowriter Franco Ferrini, cinematographer Romano Albani, production
manager Angelo Iacono, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi,
special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, makeup artist Pier
Antonio Mecacci, underwater camera operator Gianlorenzo Battaglia,
and composers Claudio Simonetti and Simon Boswell
interview with Andi Sex Gang musician Simon Boswell
Italian and international theatrical trailers
music video, directed by Dario Argento
a Japanese pressbook gallery
commentary on the international version by Argento scholar and author
Derek Botelho and film historian, journalist and radio/television
commentator David Del Valle
a visual essay by Arrow producer Michael Mackenzie comparing the
different cuts of Phenomena
theatrical trailer / US radio spots
116-minute Italian cut features approximately six minutes of footage
for which English audio does not exist. In these instances, the
hybrid track reverts to Italian audio with English subtitles.
is a classic and if you haven't seen it and are a fan of Italian
horror cinema it's a must. It might not appeal to everyone over here
in America and is in many instances a bit dated, but the
craftsmanship and fun of the film has been reincarnated on 4K UHD
here. Check out reviews of other Dario Argento films on this
we have Star
Trek: Strange New Worlds - Season One
(2022) delivering the first prequel series of the now endless
spin-offs of the original 1960s classic. Anson Mount is Captain
Christopher Pike, the original captain of the original USS Enterprise
and Ethan Peck is Mr. Spock, but the new crew looks more like a cast
for a recent show than one that would have happened before the 1960s
show. That is not much of an issue since Pike only appeared in the
first Trek pilot before producer Lucille Ball put out the money for a
second pilot (unheard of at the time, but Lucy knew she had something
here and, as usual, was right again!) and Pike was gone.
though it has some amazing talent here in Akiva Goldsman, Jenny Lumet
and Alex Kurtzman, it still feels off as a show and maybe was made a
few decades too late. Like the sequel series and Chris Pine
theatrical films, they try to create technology that will not look
too dated (as in the 1960s series and even now, Next
but too much of it is too good and new. They should have had some of
the tech look a little older, but the look of the show might be the
biggest issue of all.
over-digitalized look of the various series since the last Next
feature film and most of the recent series is just too distant from
the original show. At least Discovery,
for whatever reasons, has had many shots that were darker than usual
for any TV series or feature film of the last few decades and that
has actually been to its advantage. This version should have shot on
film (35mm or even 16mm color film) to imitate the Eastman
Kodak/DeLuxe color look of the 1960s series, then it would look like
a gradual easing into that series. They could have even followed the
color scheme specifically of the rejected pilot, but they went for
this same old look and it backfired. Maybe a retro-color episode
could be done, but I won't hold my breath.
that said, the teleplays are fair but nothing very memorable. Keep
all that in mind when trying the show out and you might like it a bit
more than I did.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is trying to look cinematic
and might have some good shots, but I never bought the choice and
that makes it yet another difference from the originalshow that falls
flat and rings false. I definitely know this looks better in HD form
HD clips I have seen and a 4K version is also being issued. The
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is good and solid, but weak by today's
lossless standards, though it is lossless on the Blu-ray and 4K
editions. Neither will feature DTS: X, Auro3D or Dolby Atmos sound
(per the press release) offers
over 90 minutes of special features, including content exclusive to
PEAK (Exclusive): Anson Mount takes fans through his journey as
Captain Christopher Pike in the first season of Star
Trek: Strange New Worlds,
providing a glimpse into his portrayal with intimate footage
throughout the season.
BUILDING: Led by Production Designer Jonathan Lee and his team, the
season's production design utilized cutting-edge technology to
create worlds prior to shoots, allowing the actors to fully immerse
themselves into scenes rather than imagine the worlds around them in
a green room. Through interviews with producers, cast and crew,
fans will learn about the expertise involved in the development
process and how the powerful technology was seamlessly integrated
into the show.
NEW WORLDS (Exclusive): Fans will explore the storylines and
characters that bring Star
Trek: Strange New Worlds
to life with writers, cast and crew.
ANSON MOUNT & AKIVA GOLDSMAN - STRANGE NEW WORLDS (Exclusive)
a GAG REEL (Exclusive)
Nicholas Sheffo (Trek,
and James Lockhart