Kid: Western Movie Collection
(1945 - 1949/VCI DVD Set**)/Enter
The Dragon 4K
(1973/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Fastest
(1956/MGM/*both Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Jack
Armstrong: The All-American Boy
(1947/Columbia/VCI Blu-ray Set**)/Junk
(1985/Universal/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/**all MVD)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/C/X/B/B/B/B-/B Sound:
C+/C+/B-/B-/C+/C+/C/C+ Extras: C-/C/C+/C/D/C/C/C Films:
B-/B-/B+ & B/B-/B-/C/C/C
(1930) and Fastest
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
new group of releases are upgrades and revisits of titles we have
reviewed over the years, but continue to spawn interest and even
(1931) did not solidify the Western as a full genre, but it was one
of the first films that showed the stories could be made for adults
and in a big way that was not merely a comedy, musical or B-movie.
It also proved that RKO Studios aka Radio Pictures aka RKO Radio
Pictures, the last of the major movie studios to launch in the
Classical Hollywood period could make movies.
on the Edna Ferber book, Richard Dix and Irene Dunne play a married
couple trying to get their piece of the American Dream by going West
in the big 1899 Oklahoma Land Rush. It won the Oscar for Best
Picture and still remains one of the few Westerns ever to do so, let
alone get nominated. It holds up well for its age and under the
circumstances, holds its own against its decent 1960 remake and plays
better than most so-called Westerns made today.
May Oliver, one of the great comic actresses, leads the supporting
cast and this looks really good for its age.
include two animated shorts, Lady,
Play Your Mandolin
plus the live-action short The
For more on the Cimarron
remake from 1960, read our coverage of Warner Archive's great Blu-ray
release of that film:
you can read our coverage of the out of print soundtrack to that
Cisco Kid: Western Movie Collection
(1945 - 1949) combines two previous VCI DVD sets that have been
popular and filled a curiosity void as the classic pop culture
character keeps resurfacing and popping up, including in the band
War's massive 1973 hit gold record about Cisco himself that is up
there with Low Rider, Spill The Wine and Why Can't We Be Friends?
among their many classics.
our older coverage of the last two DVDs in this set with the last six
films hold up well enough and the films on the first three DVDs I had
not seen in eons since I was a child when such shows would show up on
old analog TV all the time. The leads are great and you can see why
this was a hit in theaters, then in color in a TV show that still
has not surfaced on Blu-ray or DVD like it should have by now. Now
you can enjoy how good these films are.
include an interview with Roland and color episodes of the TV series
across DVD 1 and DVD 2, a teaser trailer for Roland's co-starring gig
The 12-Mile Reef
(see our coverage of the limited edition Blu-ray (still available new
as of this posting) and CD soundtrack (sadly out of print) reviews
elsewhere on this site) & four text bios on DVD 4 and five more
text bios, plus trailers for the serial Zorro
Gun Can Play
Bullet For Sandoval,
the latter two on DVD 3 as well. All have additional promos for
The Dragon 4K
(1973) has been restored and upgraded for 4k for its 50th
Anniversary. Here's my coverage of the film when it arrived in High
Definition on the old, now-defunct HD-DVD format:
all-time classic, especially in the Martial Arts genre, a slightly
longer version is included here and I like that version a little more
than the Theatrical Cut. Bruce Lee is as popular as ever and this is
among several of his feature films getting 4K restorations and
upgraded releases. It is still one of the all-time shocks and awful
events Lee died so early and just before this film went on to be a
huge box office hit.
all the martial arts movies, events, innovations, mixed martial arts
and so much more, even with so many very talented men and women out
there, none of them have ever outdone Bruce Lee and he remains the
platinum standard for all that have come after him. He also went all
out and even topped his amazing work in all his previous feature
films, TV shows, et al. Now you can really see him and his work in
action more vividly and palpably than ever before here and that makes
this one of the best classic movies to come out in 4K all year.
Don't miss it!
include Digital Movie Code, while the disc adds a vintage
introduction to the film by Linda Lee Cadwell and a feature-length
audio commentary track by Paul Heller and Michael Allin missing on
some previous releases.
Fastest Gun Alive
(1956) is one of the more underrated westerns of its time and a solid
example of a Revenge Western, with Glenn Ford as a man trying just to
eke out a living and forget his gunfighter past, but an angry
gunslinger (Broderick Crawford in a great performance) is looking for
the next big gunfight and eventually, George Temple (Ford) will have
to come out of his now-peaceful existence and take him on.
and thoughtful, it is a film more people need to see and now that it
has been restored and finally issued in HD, this is the way to see it
outside of a mint film print. Legendary actress Jeannie Crain, whose
career lasted so long she could be on a list in the Guinness Book of
World Records, is with Temple and Russ Tamblin is among the solid
supporting cast. This is definitely a film all serious film fans,
especially of Westerns, needs to see.
discussed the film and its great music score by Andre Previn when
reviewing its now out of print CD soundtrack at:
include an Original
Theatrical Trailer and two Technicolor Tom & Jerry cartoons: Blue
Armstrong: The All-American Boy
(1947) is still a fun chapter serial about the very popular teen
character in action, including with an advanced supercar (with a
layer of new fun to it) as electric cars are starting to pop up. You
can read more about it at this link to my coverage of the old DVD
can also see the car on the cover used for the review. This is one
of Columbia Pictures' better serials (along with their DC Comics
entries, often involving the same people who made this one) and
deserves to be better remembered than it is. This is a nice upgrade
from the old DVD set (see more on that below) and worth a good look
for the curious. The character was also in print and part of a big
hit radio adventure series.
the 1960s, Hanna-Barbera wanted to do an animated character, but
rights negotiations did not work out. Instead, they created Jonny
are sadly no extras.
(2017) is an ambitious, stop-motion animation film from Japan that is
impressive on a visual level, yet like my fellow writer, I was only
so impressed at the storyline and felt we had seen much of this
before. You can read more about the film in that previous review at
idea of immortality, infertility and similar issues even surfaced in
John Boorman's underrated and highly misunderstood Zardoz
(see my Limited Edition Blu-ray review elsewhere on this site) for an
even more complex look at such issues. No doubt this is very
ambitious, but the results are better visually overall. If
interested, however, you should see it for yourself because you might
find some things here you like.
finally get an extra in a 46+ minutes behind the scenes/making of
I said about Bent Christensen's The
(1970) when I reviewed its old VCI DVD release eons ago, it...
another tale of Jewish people escaping Nazi genocide and has the
advantage of an early appearance of Jane Seymour before her
international breakthrough role in the 1973 James Bond film Live
& Let Die
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) as the daughter of a family that
must escape Denmark before they are all killed. They don't believe
it at first, but it then becomes quickly apparent that the rumors are
true. The film is uneven and does not always hold up, but it has its
moments and was a UMC release. Better than most of Seymour's TV work
too' (especially anything for the hideous Lifetime or Hallmark
had mixed feelings about this film, but can at least say it plays as
ambitious as ever and shows that Seymour can act outside of bad
comedies, melodramas and even more than in her Bond film, which I
liked her in. At least it respects its subject matter and is worth a
look for what does work.
trailers/previews from the DVD have been replaced with a stark,
graphic documentary about prisoners liberated from a Nazi
Concentration Camp, Henri Carter-Bresson's priceless Reunion
we have John Hughes' Weird
(1985) getting the Ultra HD treatment the popularity of the film
would expectedly get. We reviewed the regular Arrow Blu-ray special
edition of the film at this link:
a big fan of the film, it has certainly aged in odd ways, but in 4K
appreciate the use of color if nothing else. Kelly LeBrock is about
the only reason to see this at this point beyond curiosity. I had
panned it in early DVD reviews and even the hit title song only goes
so far. Now you can see it for yourself and you might as well see it
in 4K if you are going to spend the time in the first place to do it.
repeat the previous Arrow Blu-ray edition, which are many, should you
actually like the film.
for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35
X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image
The Dragon 4K
is remarkable, far better than the HD master used on the Blu-ray and
HD-DVD issued 15ish years ago and despite some grain and minor flaws
in the Panavision shoot, looks amazing with exceptional color like
nothing seen since the film was issued in 35mm
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints. Especially with so
many scenes with rich, challenging color, many viewers will be
shocked and even stunned by the quality. Thus, there are many shots
above my letter grade. As impressive, the original theatrical
monophonic sound has been upgraded to no less than lossless Dolby
Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) with (at
least) a stereo copy of Lalo Schifrin's great music score and
remastering of all the original audio stems to lift this up as well
as possible. Apparently, a 5.1 remix was created at some point
before this as well. The result is as impressive as the DTS: X mix
and the combination is a real pleasure to see.
2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Weird
is a big
color improvement over older editions of the film, even the 1080p
Arrow Blu-ray we reviewed before, but because of the film used and
limited cinematography for such a comedy, expect all kinds of grain.
Otherwise, this is what you would have seen in the best 35mm prints
of the film in first release. As for sound, we get DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 (only on the Theatrical Cut) and 2.0 Stereo lossless
mixes, but both are very limited and sound very aged, even for the
age of a film issued in old analog, Dolby System, Dolby A-Type sound.
Be careful of volume switching and high volume playback just in case
until you get used to it.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital
High Definition image transfer on Cimarron
can show the age of the materials used sometimes, but this is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and looks
really good for its age. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono
lossless mix has been remastered as well as can be expected, but the
soundtrack is 93 years old and counting, an early sound film and
early sound western, so it is going to have sonic limits.
However, this is the best this film will ever sound.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Fastest
also can show the age of the materials used, but it is supposed to
look a little rough and dirty, so here too it is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the film. Detail, Video Black
and Video White are just fine. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix sounds good for its
age and how good the CD soundtrack had sounded upon release.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Jack
can show the age of the materials used as well, especially when you
have a movie chapter serial with all of its variances, but this is a
new 4K scan of all of them and far outdoes the old DVD set which was
just a little too weak for my tastes. The
PCM 2.0 lossless sound is trying to be stereo at times, but it is to
help out the limited sonics of the sound that survives and is about
as good as can be expected. The good news is that is definitely also
sounds better than the old DVD set, so VCI has done the best possible
job to restore and upgrade this serial.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Junk
is much clearer than its DVD counterpart with much more depth, detail
and even better color than the DVD version, so animators and fans of
animation will love the upgrade, but sadly, the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix repeats the older DVD soundtrack.
This release deserves a lossless track to go with the image
improvements, especially with such high quality stop motion
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on The Only Way
can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the film on video and definitely
the old DVD with issues and flaws in the print, but detail and color
are still improved. I wish the color and detail were better, but VCI
could only do so much with the materials they had on hand. The
sound is in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, attempting to boost the issues
with the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono form the old DVD. It does not
help by much, but is a very slight improvement.
1.33 X 1 black and white image over all five Cisco
DVDs repeat the transfers from the previous DVD sets, offering the
same menus, but the first three DVDs sound better than the last two
and look just that much better, so add lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
that also sounds a bit better on the first three DVDs than the last
two and they'll
be fine until these films are restored in HD.
order either of the Warner Archive Cimarron
(1930) and/or Fastest
Blu-rays, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive