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
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B+/B/X/B/B+ Sound:
B+/B-/B+/B/B+ Extras: D/B-/B-/C-/C+ Main Programs:
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.
genre releases are sure different....
the Dead Rise, Humanity Falls...
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?
film also stars Pepe Herrera, MJ Lastimosa, Joey Marquez, and Ricci
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.
Zero isn't the most original genre film to ever be made, but is
entertaining in its own right.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(per the press release) include:
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.
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.
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.
to Know Me (4 Featurettes)
Last Debrief with Troy Baker (2 Featurettes)
the Episode (9 Featurettes)
Is This A The Last of Us Line? (2 Featurettes).
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
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.
trailer is the only extra.
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
film stars Shinya Hankawa, Kaori Hoshino, Kiyomi Kametani, Shiori
Kawai, and Kuromi Kirishima. It is directed by the Japanese director
known only as Guy.
The Scenes of The Sound of Summer
Talkshow with the creators of The Sound of Summer, Loud and
legendary director Shozin Fukui
the Japanese Premiere.
Sound of Summer isn't a bad body horror movie and has some truly
gruesome and affective moments and is certainly not for everyone!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Of The Pharaohs
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Zero, Sound)