(1940 serial/Universal/MVD/VCI Blu-ray)/The
Maltese Falcon 4K
(1941/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Rose
(2019/Film Movement DVD)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B/B- Sound: B- Extras:
C/B/C Main Programs: B/B-/C
a few new releases, two of which are upgrades of a classic and solid
genre entry worth revisiting...
first two titles are ones we happened to have covered twice before.
We first covered the underrated 1940 serial version of The
(produced by Universal Pictures at the time) when VCI issued it on
DVD, then enjoyed it again when we covered a PAL DVD import edition
from Australia that was even a bit better-looking. VCI is now back
with a nice new Blu-ray set that fans will love. You can read about
our previous coverage, starting with the imports, at this link:
link to the VCI DVDs are there and this Blu-ray set repeats the older
extras that include two sample radio dramas of The Hornet, which was
one of the most successful action/adventure radio series (along with
ever made. Though the series is a crime/detective series, it is also
obviously a superhero series as well and after the first gigantic
cycle of such films is winding down as we post (before a relaunch,
staring sometime in 2024, most likely) that it is a real pleasure to
get back to basics and see these 13 chapters again.
Jones is really good as the little character, but the great Keye Luke
steals his share of scenes as Kato and the shows can be as charming
as they are fun. Even as we wait for the Bruce Lee TV version to
come to Blu-ray and for Sony to issue the Seth Rogen version possibly
in 4K, we expect the second Hornet serial will get the Blu-ray
treatment by VCI. We do get one nice new extra and that is a
reversible cover that is more interesting than usual
Maltese Falcon 4K
(1941) is the first detective film that also was a full-fledged Film
Noir, arriving the same year as Welles' Citizen
so we have reviewed the film twice before on Blu-ray and it was not
only in this Bogart-themed set...
that has a link to a single version we covered before that and that
happens to be the regular Blu-ray edition included in this 4K set!
despite no Dolby Vision in this edition, this is the best I have seen
the film in eons and only film copies I have seen in the past can
match what is here. Now you can really enjoy and immerse yourself in
the darkness and palpable creepiness that only the Video Black from
the 4K disc can deliver here, but more below in the tech section.
are no new extras, but this set repeats all the previous extras, so
no problem there for fans.
we have the UK drama / thriller, Rose
(2019), is on DVD from Film Movement. The film follows a veterinary
student who is trying to find her foster parents and ends up
discovering that her mother was sexually assaulted, and didn't have
plans of keeping her regardless of her having a sister. The woman
changes up her identity when she finds out that her mother was raped
by a semi-celebrity, whom is her birth father, and she seeks revenge
on him. At least that's the film in a nutshell. The filmmaking and
performances aren't bad, but the film is a bit predictable and
similar to other dramas in the same vein.
film stars Orla Brady, Ann Skelly Sadie Soverall, Aidan Gillen (Game
and Lochlann O'Mearain.
one Special Feature is a Bonus Short Film: Who
Killed Brown Owl?
for playback performance. The
2160p HEVC/H.265, black and white 1.33 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image looks great as noted
and you still get some soft shots (and not the ones where women are
photographed with diffusion lenses to make them look softer, when
that even happens) but the film only occasionally shows its age and
it will get a whole new from people who see it from this 4K disc. We
also get some demo-quality shots that rank above my rating. The
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray
is the same as it was in the previous two pressings and it holds up
for what it is. The sound is DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix on all discs, but it sounds
very slightly better on the 4K disc and oddly, the regular Blu-ray
just might sound a little better than the older Blu-rays.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers on all chapters of Hornet
look better than the previous DVD sets and maybe the 35mm materials
are the same, but the gray scale range, Video Black and Video White
resolve better here overall, so only pristine film copies of this
serial (35mm or 16mm film copies) could top these. Yes, some part
show their age and you get brief signs of wear or damage, but this is
in solid shape for its age otherwise. The
PCM 2.0 Mono sound in all the chapters offer more than either lossy
Dolby Digital DVD set and is as good as this series will ever sound,
which is great for serial fans. The combination is fun.
is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD
with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
Dolby Digital Audio mixes. Aside from compression issues evident in
the aging format, the film looks and sounds fine on disc here with no
Nicholas Sheffo (4K, Hornet)
and James Lockhart