From Haunted Cave
(1960))/Film Masters Blu-ray Set*)/Desperate
Look Now 4K
(1973/Criterion 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Iron-Fisted
(1977/Arrow Blu-ray/*all MVD)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B- & C+/C+/B/B-/B- Sound:
B-/B-/C+/C+/C+ Extras: B/B/B-/B/C+ Films: C+/C+/B/B-/C+
are some thrillers, A and B-movie level, all getting impressive
Beast From Haunted Cave
(1959) is the underrated director's first film and we covered it in
an earlier, then-restored DVD version we reviewed at this link:
film is as fun as before and is here in two versions versus, the
longer 72 minutes version from that DVD is here in and also in a
block style 1.33 x 1 presentation, but we also have a shorter 65
minutes-long version in old widescreen. They are about on par with
each other and you can read more about it technically below, but it
is nice to have both versions and this is the way to catch the film
set also includes the low-budget Roger Corman-directed WWII action
(1960) that is amusing and were both early productions of the Film
Masters that is amusing and also worth checking out. Versus many of
the big budget duds we seem to get all the time, these films get
oddly better with age and seem more ambitious on some level.
include a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and solid essays by
C. Courtney Joyner and Tom Weaver,
film, plus the discs also add new trailers, Original Theatrical
Trailer for Cave,
new feature-length audio commentary track on Cave
by film scholar Tom Weaver and filmmaker Larry Blamier, new
feature-length audio commentary track on Ski by writer C. Courtney
Joyner and filmmaker Howard S. Berger, Original Production from
Ballyhoo Motion Pictures covering The Filmgroup called Hollywood
It says it is a first part on the case, but not on the program. It
was so good, a continuation would be nice.
(1955) remains one of the few thrillers ever shot on a large-frame
format, joining several Hitchcock films and maybe some recent
Christopher Nolan films. Often imitated remade in 1990 (see the link
a little below this text) and holding up as well as ever, I
originally reviewed the very old DVD from Paramount at this link:
again, not having seen to for a while, it remains one of those films
that once it gets started, you cannot stop watching. Bogart and two
'associates' invade the suburbs by picking a home to hideout in so
the cops cannot recapture them until they can make their next more to
get away from the police permanently. They'll use threats, terrorism
and violence in the meantime to get what they want.
here is really good, this is very well shot, little about how it was
made has dated, the screenplay is tight, the actors are dead on, the
directing might be some of the most underrated in Wyler's long career
and most thrillers today could not come close. Bogart was great
until the end of his career, Frederic March was more than a match for
him and has to play weak and smart to be convincing, while Gig Young,
Martha Scott, Arthur Kennedy, Dewey Martin, Whit Bissell, Alan Reed,
Bert Freed, Ray Teal, Richard Eyer and others round out a great cast.
Ann Doran, Beverly Garland, Burt Mustin and Simon Oakland also turn
up uncredited. Yep, its that kind of a film.
include an illustrated collector's
booklet on the
film including informative text featuring new writing on the film by
Philip Kemp and Neil Sinyard, while the disc adds a brand new
feature-length audio commentary by film historian Daniel Kremer
you can read
more about Michael Cimino's 1990 remake of the film with Anthony
Hopkins in its new special edition Blu-ray at this link:
Look Now 4K
(1973) remains one of the director's biggest hits, still talked about
with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a happy couple who loses
their daughter who lose their daughter in a mysterious accidental
drowning, but something more may be amiss here. You can read about
my thoughts on the film when I reviewed an import Blu-ray edition at
some aspects of the film never did work for me, the many parts that
do are as effective as ever and the actors are as top rate as the
cinematography, directing and superior use of color. No matter what,
you will find it creepy and as creepy as ever if you have seen it
before. This is by far the best version you will see of the film
outside of a clean, colorful, mint 35mm (or maybe 16mm) film print.
Roeg remains one of the most underrated of all filmmakers and this 4K
upgrade shows once again why.
include a poster pullout of the new cover art on one side, an essay
by film critic David Thompson, illustrations and tech info on the
other, while both discs add a conversation between editor Graeme
Clifford and film writer and historian Bobbie O'Steen
a short documentary from 2002 featuring Clifford, Richmond, and
director Nicolas Roeg
Death in Venice,
a 2006 interview with composer Pino Donaggio
on the writing and making of the film, featuring interviews with
Richmond, actors Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, and
co-screenwriter Allan Scott
on Roeg's style, featuring interviews with filmmakers Danny Boyle and
with Roeg from 2003 at London's Cine Lumiere
an Original Theatrical Trailer.
only other thing I can complain about is that the audio commentary by
Roeg himself on the film was not available for some reason or this
release that was on the import we covered, but otherwise, this is as
complete a release of the film as we are likely ever to get.
(as I said when I reviewed the DVD version back in 2005!) to be Sammo
Hung's directorial debut, with another monk that kicks butt when
pushed too far. Many such films later, it is not as tired and has
some interesting fighting, but it ultimately wears thin as it is
still not as serious as it needs to be.
later, I have seen much more of Hung's work and enjoy watching him in
action more than ever, even when the films are not as good as he is.
This is one of his better and more well-known films, so nice to see
it getting the upgraded treatment and anyone interested in it or him
should check it out in this nice upgrade.
include a DigiPak with a nicely illustrated collector's booklet on
the film including informative text and new writing by Brandon
Bentley, while the disc adds:
for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby
Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition
image on Don't
was always known for its extensive use of the color red and each
version over the years has improved this, but this new version has an
excellent 4K scan and not only looks at least as good as the 35mm
print I saw many years ago, but is very often an incredible
representation of how great 35mm dye-transfer, three-strip
Technicolor print versions of the film
must have looked. There is some softness, but that is from choices
the makers made in the filming, so the best and most vivid shots
exceed my rating.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on the also-included
Blu-ray edition is not as good, has some good moments, but also has
motion blur, extras softness and is color poor as compared to the 4K
version. Additionally, they come from different scans from the looks
of it and this is not the same transfer as the Umbrella import
Blu-ray, which has even more blur and softness.
place that import is better is in the sound, as it was presented in
PCM 2.0 Mono and despite the excellent work that was just done
retransferring the audio from its original monophonic magnetic
soundmaster for/by Criterion, they have chosen PCM 1.0 Mono and it is
just not quite as clear or detailed as the older disc. Otherwise, an
amazing upgrade that will even stun fans and serious film people.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Desperate
is from a new 6K scan of the original 35mm VistaVision camera
negative, resulting in some impressive shots throughout and another
demo that proves how good black and white can look. Like all
large-frame format films saved and preserved properly, it does not
show its age hardly at all great to see after all the other versions
I have enjoyed over the years.
sound is PCM 1.0 Mono and though it sounds good, it could sound a
little better. The old 12-inch LaserDisc had PCM 2.0 mono, but some
restoration work has been done here.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers on both 'TV' versions of Cave
can show the age of the materials used, but these are superior
transfers to all previous releases of the film, while Cave
is also featured in a 1.78 X 1 presentation that shows the film was
hot soft matte (they used the full 35mm film frame, knowing they were
especially shooting the center part for wider presentations) that has
some detail and depth the 1.33 x 1 version misses, but you can also
notice that you are missing some interesting top and bottom visual
information. Glad both versions are included here.
soundtracks for both films are offered in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
2.0 Mono lossless mixes and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mixes for
older systems and devices, but the DTS tracks are better and as good
as these low budget films are ever likely to sound.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Monk
is a new 2K scan of the original 35mm camera negative, but it can
still show the age of the materials used. This is better than the
older DVD from years ago, yet maybe it could use some more work down
the line. However, some of the dated aspects of the look are a
permanent part of how the film was made, so expect limits.
for sound, we get a bunch of choices including original lossless
Cantonese and Mandarin PCM 2.0 Mono audio, plus lossless English dub
mono option that is not as good by any means. There is also a second
choice in English dubbed audio with that original export dub mono
(first time ever in the US) joined by a newer 2004 5.1 dub created
for international DVD presentations like the previously reviewed DVD
that is as unconvincing. Fortunately, unless you must hear it in
Mandarin, a Cantonese 5.1 mix is here that I really liked despite
some sonic and soundfield limits and save the Mandarin, its the track
to watch the film with. I doubt the film will ever sound better than
it does on those two tracks.