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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Virus > Zombies > Philippines > Drama > Epic > Disease > Science Fiction > Cable TV > Mart > Day Zero (2022*)/Land Of The Pharaohs (1955/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Last Of Us: The Complete First Season 4K (2023/HBO/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Set)/Night Of The Assassin (2023/*both Well Go Blu-ray

Day Zero (2022*)/Land Of The Pharaohs (1955/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Last Of Us: The Complete First Season 4K (2023/HBO/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Set)/Night Of The Assassin (2023/*both Well Go Blu-ray)/Sound Of Summer (2022/MVD/Unearthed Films/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B+/B/X/B/B+ Sound: B+/B-/B+/B/B+ Extras: D/B-/B-/C-/C+ Main Programs: C+/C+/B-/C/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Land Of The Pharaohs Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

These genre releases are sure different....

When the Dead Rise, Humanity Falls...

Action star Brandon Vera stars in Joey De Guzman's Day Zero (2022), which is a Filipino Horror / Action thriller where a kind, but skilled man is stuck behind bars with a hefty prison sentence, and thus separated from his beautiful wife and young deaf daughter. When the zombie apocalypse happens via a COVID-19 style virus. The jail doors open and the prisoners run free... only to find themselves face to face with a horde of zombies. On the outside, his wife and daughter struggle to survive as well. Will the family be reunited and power through the world takeover of the undead?

The film also stars Pepe Herrera, MJ Lastimosa, Joey Marquez, and Ricci Rivero.

Brandon Vera is the Filipino equivalent of an action star like Dave Bautista and can snap a guy's neck or take on seven thugs at a time with ease, but also be relatable and have moments of compassion. The zombies are pretty well done and have a 28 Days Later-style and fall under a fast moving zombie style. The gore is plentiful and the film feels a bit at times as good as any Walking Dead episode.

Special Features: Trailers.

Day Zero isn't the most original genre film to ever be made, but is entertaining in its own right.

Howard Hawks' Land Of The Pharaohs (1955) gets a much-needed upgrade on Blu-ray with a top rate restoration after years of an official DVD that was not the best performer. You can read about that and the film as I covered it at this link:


Though it did not make me upgrade my rating, the new Warner Archive Blu-ray with its new restoration (see more below) gave me a whole new respect for the film and it has never looked or sounded so good. That includes the actors, whose performances are far more vivid and effective, including Joan Collins showing how underrated she has always been. Jack Hawkins, Dewey Martin and James Robertson Justice literally lead a cast of thousands in the kind of epic no one, including Hollywood, seems to know how to make anymore and how digital (much more fake, tired, played out and repetitive that it has become in all the years since the DVD was issued) has helped kill cinema and this kind of cinema. Even with visual effects sometimes limited then, when films like this get their hands dirty and do things the hard way, WOW does it pay off.

All serious film fans should see this one at least once and unless you can see it in a mint film print with great color, this Blu-ray is the way to go.

Extras repeat the exceptional, feature length audio commentary track by the now late, great filmmaker and film scholar Peter Bogdanovich, plus an Original Theatrical Trailer and classic animated Technicolor Looney Tunes cartoon Sahara Hare have been added.

We have had a huge glut of feature films and TV series that were and are post-apocalyptic, are about plagues, zombies and other disasters. The Last Of Us: The Complete First Season 4K (2023) joins this list and even post-COVID, has some how managed to be a hit. This time, we start to kill us all because a fungus that makes people zombies and worse that cannot be stopped has arrived. The downside of the COVID reaction does make this more possible.

Another hit for HBO, Warner has rightly calculated that this should be issued on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and is the first big hit in the horror genre since Stranger Things, though a very different show. It has made a star out of the once-underrated Pedro Pascal, who carries the show when he needs to, but he is luckily surrounded by a strong, solid supporting cast of mostly unknowns (but hopefully not for long, actor's strike or not) and the result is a mixed success artistically that does cover a little more than what we have already seen in the genre and beyond.

What also makes it work is its energy, slow pace, smartness, respect for the audience and consistency in describing and spelling out the disease and its implications. Impressive enough, so we'll see how long they can keep the show going, but it is one of the few being made now anyone will remember in a few decades.

Extras (per the press release) include:

  • The Last of Us: Stranger Than Fiction (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD: Series cast and filmmakers are joined by experts in survival, microbiology, and parasitology for a chilling discussion on the realities of the invasive fungus and subsequent apocalypse in The Last of Us.

  • Controllers Down: Adapting The Last of Us (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD): Follow the journey of The Last of Us from console to screen as cast and filmmakers take us inside the process of expanding the world and breathing new life into the game's beloved characters.

  • From Levels to Live Action (New Featurette Exclusive to 4K, BD and DVD): Discover how The Last of Us incorporated and expanded fan-favorite game moments in the series.

  • Getting to Know Me (4 Featurettes)

  • The Last Debrief with Troy Baker (2 Featurettes)

  • Inside the Episode (9 Featurettes)

  • and Is This A The Last of Us Line? (2 Featurettes).

Kwak Jeong-Duk's Night Of The Assassin (2023) is yet another tale of a lone killer in his later years going out for 'one last kill' and we have had a huge glut of such films (the modern-day version usually involved guns, bombs and martial arts trying very hard to feign the urban feel) and this one is set in the past. Too bad that does not help it, nor does the goofy humor which seems very desperate and shows the makers had nothing new to show or say.

I will give credit to the cast, trying to make this work and when it does occasionally respect its audience and gets serious, the fights are not bad, but we've seen this all before and this romp was particularly tired and felt much longer than it 101 minutes running time. See at your own risk.

A trailer is the only extra.

Last on our list, the Japanese Horror film The Sound of Summer (2022) thunders onto Blu-ray disc from Unearthed. The sickening body horror film centers on a hot summer where a few young ladies are visited by The Cicada Man, a man whose always collecting live cicadas, and is believed to have planted live bugs inside our heroine. As the temperatures rise and her sanity starts to deplete, some sickening acts overtake what was once a calm and normal young woman.

The film stars Shinya Hankawa, Kaori Hoshino, Kiyomi Kametani, Shiori Kawai, and Kuromi Kirishima. It is directed by the Japanese director known only as Guy.

Special Features:

Behind The Scenes of The Sound of Summer

Tokyo Talkshow with the creators of The Sound of Summer, Loud and legendary director Shozin Fukui

and the Japanese Premiere.

The Sound of Summer isn't a bad body horror movie and has some truly gruesome and affective moments and is certainly not for everyone!

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.78 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on The Last Of Us episodes can be effectively dark, but the Ultra-HD-shot series is one of the best-looking of its kind to date and when the color, detail and depth kick in (as the narrative allows) it is impressive. Still, expect some slight inconsistencies. The Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) is easily the best audio here, well recorded, mixed, mastered and rendered with better fidelity than most TV series and more than a few feature films. Always active, even subtly, even when we get some silences, this is smart audio and has demo moments like the image. The combination is very effective.

Day Zero is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.25:1 and lossless foreign language audio mixes in Filipino (Tagalog) DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix with optional English subtitles. The film looks fine on 2K Blu-ray and is nicely photographed and edited.

The 1080p 2.55 X 1 digital High Definition image on Land is a huge improvement over the old DVD and though you get the usual imperfections, slight flaws and distortions the old CinemaScope system delivered (especially when it was wider than it is now,) the restoration is more impressive than expected with exceptional color and the ability to see just how much money, hard work and effort was put into this film. Also an marked improvement is the soundtrack, now here in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix from the original 4-track magnetic soundmaster with traveling dialogue and sound effects, though other additional sources were likely used to further the fidelity. They chose not to go for DTS:X or Dolby Atmos here, but this is likely as good as this film will ever sound and that is a good thing.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Night at least looks decent for a new HD shoot, with color dulled at times and more naturalistic or realistic in spots. Not too m,any shots are memorable, but at least it comes across as profession, as does the Korean DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix with a consistent soundfield. At least fans will be happy.

And that leaves us with The Sound of Summer, presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a Japanese 2.0 PCM Stereo audio mix with English subtitles. The transfer is pretty nice for 2K Blu-ray and the film has decent production design and cinematography as well.

To order The Land Of The Pharaohs Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Zero, Sound)



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