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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Gangster > Japan > Action > Camp > Thriller > British > What The Waters Left Behind: Scars (2022/Cleopatra Blu-ray/**both MVD)

Bad City (*)/Girl From Rio 4K (1969/Blue Underground 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/Goodbye Monster (*both 2022/Well Go Blu-ray)/RWBY Volume 9 (***)/Venture Bros.: Radiant Is The Blood Of The Baboon Heart (***both 2023/Warner Blu-ray)/What The Waters Left Behind: Scars (2022/Cleopatra Blu-ray/**both MVD)

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

More interesting and key genre releases in time for Halloween, et al....

Bad City (2022) is set in Kaiko City, a dark Japanese city where a corrupt businessman decides to run for mayor and starts eliminating opponents from the rival mafia, a former police captain serving time for murder is secretly released and put in charge of a special task force to arrest and bring him to justice. It stars Hitoshi Ozawa, Akane Sakanoue, and Katsuya Takagi with direction by Kensuke Sonomura.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and English and Japanese lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mixes, plus a lesser, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix depending on your preference. It is beautifully colored and photographed and has a very stylized and professional look. The Blu-ray presentation isn't half bad and looks as a good as the aged format can.

Special Features: Trailers.

Bad City is a violent but entertaining thriller that is well crafted and executed, but may not be for everyone.

Jess Franco's The Girl From Rio 4K (1969) is part of a cycle of very, very colorful genre films that came out of the insane success of the counterculture, the spy movie & TV cycle, the arrival of color Tv with a boom of more full color feature films and some great fashions. Producer Harry Alan Towers managed to get no less than 'golden girl' herself (before it was a term associated with a 1980s TV sitcom about elderly women) the ever-great-looking Shirley Eaton from the third James Bond film, Goldfinger. Here, she plays the title character also named Sumuru, who intends to enslave all the men of the world.

An influence on the Austin Powers films, but also joined by films like Barbarella, the Matt Helm films, the Derek Flint films and even Danger: Diabolik, it is one of the best-looking films any of the participants ever made. Richard Stapley (under the name Richard Wyler) plays a playboy on the run that she decides to kidnap to help her cause, but she and her powers to organize are challenged by an elite mob boss (one time Saint/Simon Templar and Mr. Freeze, George Sanders) the battle of the sexes on several levels follows, though you also get a battle of fashions, production design and much more.

No, the screenplay is not too strong, but it is quite the visual spectacle and is always a pleasure to watch, especially in Blue Underground new 4K version, delivering the film as it was seen in its very best film prints (a great use of Eastman Kodak 35mm color negative) that will challenge the best 4K Ultra HDTVs and 4K projectors to there. However, it is not just a demo piece, but a really fun film to catch that is more for adults than anyone else, so expect more sex than expected. Maria Rohm, Beni Cardoso and German actor Herbert Fleischmann (in a rare English-language film) head the rest of the very effective cast.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.66 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Rio 4K is the best-looking release on the list, Blue Underground once again delivering one of the best 4K discs on the market, with a picture shockingly consistent in color, depth and detail. Versus the 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray with its slightly softer-than-expected transfer, only a few aged shots here and there hold this back. Otherwise, be prepared to be surprised and to ask yourself, when are the older Bond films coming to 4K!

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix on both discs does a good job of recreating the original theatrical monophonic sound from the film, though I always like 2.0 Mono better, this is decent and better than the film has ever sounded.

Extras are expanded and (per the press release) include NEW! Audio Commentary with Film Historians Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth on both disc versions, while the regular Blu-ray adds...

  • NEW! Rocking in Rio: Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of ''Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco''

  • Rolling in Rio: Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers and Star Shirley Eaton

  • NEW! Additional Scenes from German Version

  • Trim Reel

  • Poster & Still Gallery

  • and NEW! RiffTrax Edition: THE GIRL FROM RIO Riffed by Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy (78 Minutes).

Goodbye Monster (2022) is a Chinese animated film that seems to be inspired by the Kung Fu Panda series or the Avatar: The Last Airbender in more ways than one. In the fictional world of Kunlun, thousands of islands are haunted by the Dark Spirits, a form of poisonous essence that would cause irreversible damage to one's mind. Our hero, Bai Ze, in an attempt to defend the healing island from the Dark Spirits, ends up destroying the whole island instead and is expelled. Fast forward seven years and he must reclaim his honor and defend the island as he first intended.

The international voice talent includes Wang Kai, Zhang Lei, Zhe Zhang, Cong Liu, Yaohan Zhang, Yi-ai Ai, Lei Zhang, Ziping Chen, Guannan Wang, and Lan Lin.

Goodbye Monster is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless tracks in Mandarin (with English subtitles) and English dubs. The animation isn't as detailed as Hollywood animated productions like Pixar, Illumination, and DreamWorks to name a few. The best detail in the animation is the clothing, which looks pretty realistic and flows nice with the character. The blocking and style of the animation isn't terrible, but some of the character designs seem a bit generic and leave something to be desired. Still, it's not terrible by any means, but maybe not as polished as we Americans are used to in high budget animated features. The Blu-ray presentation, however, is fine for the limitations of the format and doesn't have anything that necessarily detracts from the presentation.

Goodbye Monster isn't terrible, but maybe leaves a little to be desired some areas.

No extras.

RWBY Volume 9 (2023) continues the hit Rooster Teeth-produced TV shows adventures with the action team getting lost in 'The Ever After' zone and then trying everything they can to get back home. Running ten episodes this time around, the shows stand out decently on their own but unless you have seen the earlier shows and/or are fans of the show and its characters, you might get lost or not be able to get as involved. Still, the show has a surprisingly good amount of energy considering how long it has been running, so I want to give it credit where it is due.

Even without that, the quality of the animation and sound is consistent and that aspect of the show will not let you down, unless you are not a fan of the animation's style. Now you can see for yourself, but others might want to start with the original episodes that started back in 2012!

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers are solid throughout, as is the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show sound good and have consistent soundfields, some of the best in the series.

Extras include Crew Commentary on All Episodes

  • RWBY Roundtable Discussion

  • Five Script-to-Screen Breakdowns

  • Art Gallery

  • RWBY: Fairy Tales: Includes All 6 Episodes; Approx. Runtime 37-Minutes.

  • and RWBY: Chibi Season 4: Includes 8 Episodes; Approx. Runtime 12-Minutes.

You can read about most of the seasons, plus the new Justice League/RWBY 4K feature film at:


Venture Bros.: Radiant Is The Blood Of The Baboon Heart (2023) is a new animated feature that is a superhero parody / thriller. I have to admit that I am not too familiar with the franchise and so I am viewing this title as a complete novice. The Venture Bros. movie isn't horrible, but not very funny nor brings anything too new to the table. The characters are obviously inspired by more famous characters in the Marvel and DC Universe. And while this is an adult swim produced title, it didn't do much for me personally. However, if you are a fan, you are sure to enjoy this Blu-ray edition which features a collectible poster in it as well. The series ran for seven season and was successful to the adult swim crowd. It reminds me of The Tick only without as clever puns and characters.

Returning in their original series roles are James Urbaniak (The Fabelmans) as Dr. Venture, Patrick Warburton (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) as Brock Samson, Michael Sinterniklaas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Dean Venture, Chris McCulloch (Superjail!) as Hank Venture and Doc Hammer as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

The Venture Brothers is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless mix. The animation isn't particularly impressive or unique and I imagine close to what the animation of the show. The Blu-ray presentation itself is fine with no glaring issues.

A fan of the series may enjoy The Venture Brothers: Radiant is the Baboon Heart more than this reviewer did.

Special Features include:

Feature Length Audio Commentary by co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer

Jackson and Doc Answer Fan Questions (Commentary)

and Hodgman and Friends (featurette): John Hodgman digs deep with Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer to learn more about the making of Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart and untold tales about their series.

And to conclude, What The Waters Left Behind: Scars (2022) is a bleak horror sequel to the original 2017 film. If you are looking for a film with a happy ending this is not the one for you.

An indie goth metal band goes to the middle of nowhere in a foreign country and performs a small live show. One arrogant band member ends up hooking up with a strange yet beautiful goth girl and she leads them to an abandoned town that was a victim of a flood that demolished it. She promises to give the band a comfortable place to stay and a barbecue, but the group gets split up and in the process of looking for their friend in this desolate town, they get captured and tortured to death by some of the town citizens. The family is unbalanced and each member has a power struggle and sadistic quality to them. The first act does a decent job of making you like a few of the characters, but that is soon dismissed when they are stripped away from their pride and killed.

The film stars Magui Bravi, Maria Eugenia Rigon, David Michigan, Mario Alarcon, Paul Brasca, and Matias Desiderio. The film is directed by Nicolas Onetti.

What the Waters Left Behind: Scars is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless mix and an Spanish foreign language track that is accompanied by onscreen English subtitles. The film is very nicely photographed with some beautiful color correction and nicely composed drone photography that's mixed with a strong cinematic look. This is definitely a better looking film than one might expect when reading the synopsis. The subtitles do have some weird grammatical errors and characters in them which proves the QC process of the disc creation wasn't solid, however.

The only special features are trailers and an image slideshow.

What the Waters Left Behind: Scars doesn't leave you with a good feeling inside and is bleak, tiring, and ultimately a sadistic thriller in the vein of The Hills Have Eyes or Texas Chainsaw Massacre in that there's an evil dysfunctional family of sadists that torture innocents. Its strongest points are its acting and photography, which are both pretty solid. But is it recommendable? Probably not.

- Nicholas Sheffo (4K, RWBY) and James Lockhart



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