(1952/RKO*)/Creed III 4K
(2023/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/A
Way Passage (1932*)/Safe
In Hell (1931/*all Warner
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-
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
for a group of dramas, old and new, to catch...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
film stars Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and
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
B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera featurette
No Enemy Like the Past: Donnie and Dame featurette
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.
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.
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.
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.
are no extras, unsurprisingly.
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!
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...
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?
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
order any of the Warner Archive Blu-ray releases,
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)