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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Noir > Boxing > Sequel > Death > Illness > Crime > Clash By Night (1952/RKO*)/Creed III 4K (2023/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/A Good Person (2023/Blu-ray/**both MGM/Warner)/One Way Passage (1932*)/Safe In Hell (1931/*all Warner Archive Blu-ray)

Clash By Night (1952/RKO*)/Creed III 4K (2023/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/A Good Person (2023/Blu-ray/**both MGM/Warner)/One Way Passage (1932*)/Safe In Hell (1931/*all Warner Archive Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Clash By Night, One Way Passage and Safe In Hell Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Now for a group of dramas, old and new, to catch...

We start with Fritz Lang's Clash By Night (1952) is the director's famous Noirish melodrama with Barbara Stanwyck as a woman who tries to go back home, settle with a good man (Paul Douglas) in a peaceful domestic situation, but her past returns in this enduring classic that helped put Marilyn Monroe on the map and proved that RKO Pictures could still produce hits into its later years.

Based on the Clifford Odets play, the same writer whose play Golden Boy became a hit film for Stanwyck in 1939, allows lightning to strike again as his realism and her grit meld perfectly, synergisting into another instance of rich, edgy, pure, raw cinema. Instead of just telling the story, we get subtle items throughout that ask and say more than overdoing it, this is a character study of all involved with Lang's knack for getting to the most honest points. A popular film among serious film fans for years, it continues to be a curio and so much more, so to have it well restored on a top-rate high definition Blu-ray disc is an movie fans' event indeed.

If that was not enough, we get great music by the underrated Roy Webb, great cinematography by the insanely prolific Nicholas Musuraca and a pace that keeps the film moving very well. It also has a great supporting cast and J. Carrol Naish and Keith Andes also star.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track on the film by the late, great filmmaker and scholar Peter Bogdanovich with excerpts by Fritz Lang absolutely worth hearing after (re) watching the film and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

The Rocky Franchise is back, and this time, Sylvester Stallone isn't involved! The well oiled machine that ran the previous Creed films, directed by its star Michael B. Jordan, checks in for a third installment Creed III 4K (2023), which has just landed on 4K UHD. Starring opposite Jonathan Majors, who is a fantastic actor despite his personal troubles, the film is entertaining and has all of the elements you expect from a boxing movie of this caliber. That being said, the film isn't necessarily bad and is a well told story, but nothing we haven't seen before and fairly predictable.

The film stars Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and Jonathan Majors.

Adonis Creed (Jordan) is at the height of his fame, but is challenged by a man from his past named Damian (Majors) who took a fall for him and ended up behind bars for several years. Now back on the streets, Damian uses Adonis' fame and fortune to get him in tip top boxing shape and back in the ring against his old friend. As the two but heads in several instances, they end up hashing it out in the ring where Adonis credentials are threatened along with the safety of his family.

Special Features:

Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera featurette

There's No Enemy Like the Past: Donnie and Dame featurette

and Deleted Scenes.

The conclusion of The Creed Trilogy is a fine boxing movie, even if there isn't anything particularly original about its story. Strong performances by all of the leads makes it an enjoyable ride.

Zack Braff's A Good Person (2023) is the latest directing effort by the solid actor who has tried leads in the past and has also helmed more than a few feature films and even more television. Garden State was not bad, but unfortunately, it has been slowly downhill for the man behdin the camera and this latest effort is surprisingly predictable, obvious, slow and all this despite the fact that you can tell he is trying to make things work and say something.

A hideous accident kills the mother of a young woman and the grandfather (Morgan Freeman) has to step in to help, though he was not absentee by any means. The car driver (Florence Pugh, giving a decent performance) has all kinds of guilt about this and wants to do what she can to help, but it is a very ugly situation. Unfortunately, we have seen this 'loss and pain' drama formula way too many times (especially in TV movies and since the 1980s) and this does not add hardly anything to that.

Again, Braff takes his time to try to explore all this, but any attempt at character study is constantly derailed by cliches and a sense of trying to do a new version of mumblecore indie filmmaking. At over two hours (!!!,) brace yourself and make sure you are wide awake and not operating any machinery before viewing.

There are no extras, unsurprisingly.

These last two films are not only the oldest here, but show how quickly Warner perfected sound cinema only a few years after inventing it and both directed by men who went on to great careers a journeymen filmmakers. Tay Garnett's One Way Passage (1932) has Kay Powell as a woman who is very ill with a terminal disease and one night, meets a guy (William Powell) she instantly likes. Too bad he is a convicted killer!

However, she does not know that initially and is charmed, especially at this point in her life, though Powell is shown in great form, so we all know this would likely happen if she was impervious to all the world's diseases, so...

Eventually, they both land up in Honolulu, Hawaii in a layover on a cruise ship, but he intends to lose the lawmen out to get him and be with her the rest of her life. But how much longer will that be?

At only 67 minutes, this is meant to be an A-movie and it is a gem with Warner knowning who and what they have and knowing what to do with it. The film is 90-years-old and made when the company was only 10 years old! Very worthy of rediscovery, it is worth going out of your way for.

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer, live-action Warner short film Buzzin' Around, animated Warner short A Great Big Bunch Of You, and two radio drama versions of the film: Powell & Francis in a 3/6/39 version on The Lux Radio Theater and 12/30/49 version on The Screen Director's Playhouse.

Last and absolutely not least is William A. Wellman's Safe In Hell (1931) with the impressive Dorothy Mackaill as a woman who kills a man she is 'called upon' when he unknowingly, blindly requests her for a 'night of entertaining' in a plot that might remind one of the play and Streisand film Nuts (1988, another Warner release) though I like this one better despite its great cast.

Instead of going to court as in the later film, she goes on the run (this is a pre Hollywood Code film too) and turns to her sailor boyfriend (Donald Cook) who sneaks her onto a ship to go to an island far, far away. Too bad it might not be far enough!

Another remarkable early sound film, Mackaill carries the film well and makes one wonder why she was not a bigger star. Cook continued for years and the pace of this film (74 sometimes suspenseful minutes) never lets up, intended as yet another A-level film from Warner and its works well. Like Passage, I saw this one a very, very long time ago and started remembering it as I watched, but luckily, not enough to ruin surprises I forgot all those years ago. I definitely recommend this one to all serious fiulm fans and think you will be impressed and not just for its age.

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer, live-action Warner short films Crime Square with Pat O'Brien, George Jessel and his Art Chair and the animated Warner short Dumb Patrol.

Now for playback performance. Creed III is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an audio track in lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) for older systems), and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1. A 1080p Blu-ray version is also included. The film as mentioned in beautiful photographed and this is captured nicely in 2160p with definite details and sound that reads nicely as opposed to the Blu-ray edition, though the sound presentations are obviously the same.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Person is on the weak side, not well shot or even lit, though it would likely look better in 4K, it has boring, muted color that becomes a spoof of itself here and hinders an already problem-plagued project. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is dialogue-based, but has its share of vocal songs and instrumentals, yet they are also the same old same old. The combination is dull.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfers on all three Warner Archive releases look really good for their age, even when they sometimes can show the age of the materials used. I have rarely seen these films before, save Clash, which is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film on home video, et al. All also have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes from their original theatrical monophonic releases and for their age, all sound as good as they will likely ever sound so again, we have to commend Warner Archive for their hard work in restoring the audio.

To order any of the Warner Archive Blu-ray releases, Clash By Night, One Way Passage and/or Safe In Hell, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)



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