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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Supernatural > Mystery > Politics > Psychosis > Martial Arts > Comedy > Knock At The Cabin 4K (2023/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/A Question Of Silence (1982/Cult Epics*)/Red Sun (1970/Radiance*)/Warriors Two (1978/Arrow/*all MVD Blu-ray)

Knock At The Cabin 4K (2023/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/A Question Of Silence (1982/Cult Epics*)/Red Sun (1970/Radiance*)/Warriors Two (1978/Arrow/*all MVD Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B-/B/B- Sound: A-/B-/B-/C+ Extras: B (Red Sun: B-) Films: B/C+/C+/B-

Next up are some thrillers, all unusually odd in their own ways...

Love him or hate him, M. Night Shyamalan has had a very interesting filmmaking career with hits (Split, Unbreakable, Signs, The Sixth Sense) and misses (Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender, The Happening, Old) over the years, but in recent times has re-established his name with some interesting projects that are worth mentioning, such as the underrated Glass and The Servant on Apple TV, and now Knock At The Cabin 4K (202 (2023) which challenges its audience to think of what they would do in the shoes of its main characters if put in a similar situation.

Knock at the Cabin stars Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, and Nikki Amuka-Bird. It is notable that Rupert Grint returns to collaborate with M. Night after his featured role on The Servant, which showcases his growth as an actor over the years since the fantastic Harry Potter series (reviewed elsewhere on this site). The film is based on the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay.

A small girl and her two dads go to a cabin in the woods for a vacation retreat, but are soon confronted by four dark strangers that give them two choices: save themselves or save humanity. With with at first seems like a prank at the hands of a cult, the reality of the situation becomes very real as the group's deadly actions have consequences on a global scale.

Special Features (per the press release) includes:

Four Deleted Scenes

Chowblaster Infomercial: Enjoy an extended cut of the TV informercial from the film that features an appearance by M. Night Shyamalan himself.

Choosing Wisely: Behind the Scenes of KNOCK AT THE CABIN: Examine what drew M. Night Shyamalan to adapt this terrifying story, and how the relationships between characters were unlike any this ensemble cast had ever played before.

Tools of the Apocalypse: Explore the creation of some of the film's most terrifying props and learn why they play such an important role in the story.

Drawing a Picture: See how M. Night Shyamalan envisions his shots in advance of ever turning on the camera, through his extensive use of storyboards.

and Kristen Cui Shines a Light: Take a closer look at the actresses' dynamic performance as Wen in her film debut.

Knock at the Cabin is a pretty solid entry for M. Night, and a pretty fun movie that's easy to get caught up in. I would recommend checking it out on 4K UHD!

Marleen Gorris' A Question Of Silence (1982) has a portrait of different women from different walks of life (social economic classes included) who land up killing a male clothing shop owner women of all kinds shop at and none of them will say why when they get arrested. It does not seem pre-meditated and the man did not do anything serious that would have called for it, like attacking them, sexually assaulting them or even insulting them. So why?

The film wants to make a feminist statement, yet also a Marxist one and I got all that by the time the film ended. The actors are good (one of the female leads was well known as an iconic TV character that has a few common denominators here, but no direct connection) and the flashback in pieces is an interesting strategy. This might also have been more relevant in its time than it is now, with shopping, the lives of women and the like having changed just enough to make this a time capsule of sorts, though other parts of the statement being made here still applies.

It also is taking advantage of the then-new freedom other female directors and stars (plus Paul Verhoeven, still working there at the time) and can rightly be added to the cycle of what was being made there at the time.

Unfortunately, it does not hold up as well as I wished it did, though it says what it says and has its moments. The shop is made creepy and a Kubrickian is here, but the lack of music and maybe overdoing it simple statement hold it back. It also has a few run-on moments and the ending is meant to say one thing, but it also lands up coming across like a bad horror movie. Fortunately, this is a mature, intelligent, adult film made by smart adults for smart adults and is worth a look despite its shortcomings and how its aged.

Extras include a Feature Length Audio Commentary track by Film Scholar Patricia Pisters

  • Interview with director Marleen Gorris (Cinevisie, 1982)

  • Interview with actress Cox Habbema (Cinevisie, 1982)

  • Polygoon Journal Newsreel (1982)

  • Promotional Gallery

  • and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Rudolf Thorne's Red Sun (1970, aka Rote Sonne) involves free spirit (or is that freeloader) Thomas (Marquand Bohm) who gets back to Munich (under an odd pickup that suggests some odd things about him the film never goes back to address) and visits his ex-girlfriend Peggy (Uschi Obermaler, a model known for her politics) who is happy to see him. However, she has some new young female roommates. Little does he know is that they kill all visiting boyfriends after 5 days!

Not played at first as an outright thriller scenario, the couple has a nice reunion and things seem normal at first, then the screenplay starts to slide into what it is up to and there are good moments here and there. Ultimately however, it actually starts to drag in places, builds little suspense and if it is trying to make some kind of big statement, that never materializes. The ending is also a bit off and I was a bit disappointed. With shades of Godard and Fassbinder, the film comes up short, but is ambitious and has a decent cast with nice locales. Too bad it just never adds up. Now you can see for yourself.

Extras (per the press release) include select scene commentary with Thome and Rainer Langhans, Obermaier's boyfriend and Kommune 1 member who served as inspiration for the film and was on set for the shoot

  • Rote Sonne between Pop Sensibility and Social Critique: A newly produced visual essay by scholar Johannes von Moltke on Red Sun, which looks at the social and cultural influences on the film and provides context for the era in which it was made (2022, 21 minutes)

  • From Oberhausen to the Fall of the Wall: A visual essay by academic and programmer Margaret Deriaz tracing the development of the New German Cinema from the Oberhausen Manifesto to the fall of the Berlin wall (2023, 50 minutes approx.)

  • Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters

  • Limited edition 52-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Samm Deighan, newly translated archival letters by Wim Wenders, critic Enno Patalas and the German Film Evaluation Office on the film's official submission, newly translated archival interview with Rudolf Thome and an overview reviews

  • and a Limited Edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of logos and markings.

Finally, Sammo Hung's Warriors Two (1978) is the breakthrough film for Hung, who became a superstar soon after and after making all kinds of notable showings, including stealing the first scenes in Brian Trenchard-Smith's The Man From Hong Kong (1975, reviewed a few times elsewhere on this site) so what could he come up with on his own?

Needless to say this is not a sequel or connected to the Walter Hill film The Warriors (from the same year!) or the more recent boxing film Warriors with Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy, taking place in a world before the others as two young friends (Hung and Casanova Wong) have a relationship where one is a banker and the other (Hung) is a goof, getting help from his more mature friend who does his best where they discover an assassination plot they need to stop.

Hung had already directed the successful Iron-Fisted Monk, so he got to helm this one and get to push himself as more of a star and it worked, leading to one superstardom in the genre and the film relies on more humor than even seen then before the genre got fully into comedy by the 1980s. This has its moments, but is also much of what we have seen since, so it holds up in mixed ways, but is obviously a curio. I would say it is for fans only, but Hung does go all out to his credit.

Extras include a Feature Length Audio Commentary on the HK Theatrical Cut by martial arts cinema expert Frank Djeng & actor Bobby Samuels

  • A second Feature Length Audio Commentary on the Export Cut by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema

  • Archival documentary The Way of the Warrior: The Making of Warriors Two, featuring interviews with stars Sammo Hung, Bryan ''Beardy'' Leung Kar-Yan, Feng Hak-An, Casanova Wong and Wing Chun master Guy Lai

  • Archival interview with Bryan ''Beardy'' Leung Kar-Yan

  • Original theatrical trailers

  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim

  • and an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Jonathan Clements and original press materials

Now for playback performance. Knock at the Cabin 4K is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with Dolby Vision/HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an audio track in Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems; both 48kHz, 24-bit), and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1. As usual, there is no competition when it comes to comparison in picture quality between the 4K UHD and the Blu-ray. Honestly, I'm a bit pleasantly surprised that Universal put this out on 4K UHD disc right off the bat as they held off on in doing so with other recent releases such as M3gan and Cocaine Bear (both reviewed elsewhere on this site.) M. Night has a keen visual style in every film that he has made and whether you like the screenplay of the film or not, all of his film look great and show a lot of creativity in directing and shot choices, with this one not being an exception.

The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image on Question was shot on 16mm color film and has been scanned in 2K for this release, with the film stock showing its age a bit, yet also lensed for atmosphere without overdoing it. This can be weak or limited, but also authentic and could only look so much better with 4K treatment and not just because it is shot on a smaller frame format. The original theatrical monophonic sound is here in Dutch DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2,0 Mono and Dutch PCM 2.0 Mono lossless mixes that sound as good as the film likely ever will. Again, note there is limited music here.

The 1080p 1.75 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Red Sun looks good with a new 'HD transfer' (no more specifics given) and is the second-best looking film on the list with solid color, detail and depth, even if it can how its age in places. The original sound is now here in German PCM 2.0 Stereo sounding as good as it likely ever will and is pretty well recorded and mixed for its age.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Warriors Two can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film despite some rough spots that look built into the making of the film, with several sonic choices depending on which version you watch. They include original lossless Cantonese and Mandarin Mono audio for the HK Theatrical Cut, plus lossless English Mono for the export cut, plus two choices of English dubbed audio for the HK Theatrical Cut: the original export dub mono (with Cantonese patches for missing scenes) and the newer 5.1 dub created for international presentations. All of that sound is PCM 2.0 Mono, save DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless sound for the 5.1 mix. The English is the weakest and 5.1 most ambitious, but this is an older mono film and the native language upgrades cannot overcome the sonic limits of the film. You'll have to experiment for yourself to see which on you like the most, but as has been the case with so many Italian films of the time and other martial arts imports, the sonics are just too old and can sound even older than they are. Also on the image, we get a few more moments of motion blur than expected and some shots look second generation.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)



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