Boys: Season Three
(2022/Sony Blu-ray Set)/Devil
(1936/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The
League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsman, Part Two 4K
(2023/DC Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Messiah
(1974/Radiance/*both MVD Blu-rays)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B- Sound: B/B-/B-/B/C+
Extras: C/C+/C+/C/B Main Programs: C+
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
super con artists and the supernatural all can be found in these
latest releases, including three very impressive remasters....
Boys: Season Three
(2022) has the darkly humorous, rather violent (more than most
superhero productions for the big or small screen) based on the Garth
Ennis/Darick Robertson comic book series, produced for TV here by
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and others, this has quietly been a
moderate success (if not a smash hit; its lucky its still in the game
after the (temporary) collapse of the genre) going for the
Watchmen/Suicide Squad crowd, more in like with horror movies than
the genre in its usual iteration.
of the heroes goes to work for the U.S. Government in the midst of a
peace time stretch at this point of the series, but that will not
last long as old enemies and other circumstances finally catch up
with each other. The characters cannot help but be too similar to
many a DC Comics, Marvel Comics or even professional western gang in
it for the money, et al. If you can buy the characters, starting
with the first season, you might like the show. Otherwise, you will
not find this particularly memorable.
Urban, Erin Moriarty, Chace Crawford and Jansen Ackles do a decent
job of headlining the cast.
Features are few, but (per the press release) include:
(1936) is back and upgraded for Blu-ray by Warner Archive in time for
Halloween 2023. We have reviewed the wild John Barrymore/Maureen
O'Sullivan horror film before
twice on DVD form the same box set. I was up first and said about
topic this time is miniaturization, with the crazy/interesting plot
about the ''new science'' being used on animals so the world's pet
food supply goes further! Of course, it is not long before humans
are being zapped down to size. Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan
and Frank Lawton lead the cast of the very interesting subgenre entry
involving shrinking people and the world.''
fellow writer liked it even a bit more than I did and you can read
about it and more of the horror films from that set at this link...
doubt it has been imitated and been influential, especially
considering its director. Criterion just released a few of his films
in a Freaks
collection, so this Blu-ray belongs on the shelf right next to that.
Erich von Stroheim even co-wrote the screenplay!
the DVD version, we actually get extras here including two classic
MGM Technicolor cartoons (Milk
an Original Theatrical Trailer and a new feature length audio
commentary track by the great film scholar Dr. Steven Haberman.
(1970) is a lesser-discussed entry in the con artist/heist cycle of
sophisticated comedies that include Topkapi,
several Hitchcock films, The Pink Panther films (at least initially)
and the original Italian
among others. Also loosely based on a book from 1866 (!!!) in this
case, the madness begins when a group of card sharks target a rich
man, but things will not go as planned as the pigeon arrives on a
ship soon to be bound for Dubrovnik.
and Stuart Margolin (Futureworld)
head the cast of con artists up to no good, soon to get a beautiful
young woman (Suzi Kendall, The
Bird With The Crystal Plumage)
involved, though she does not know what they are really up to yet.
They talk often and in more indoor rooms than I would have liked, but
when the film moves to the outdoors, I tis at its best and looks as
good as any of its ilk.
it is not too memorable, but it has more than enough to like
throughout including decent directing and the cast has some
chemistry. The only downside that has not aged well is a problematic
subplot involving their Asian helper (Richard Ng under the name
Richard Woo) as an assistant who is eccentric, knows martial arts and
is played somewhere between Bruce Lee and the Cato character from The
Pink Panther films (and not The Green Hornet!), down to a fight with
another Asian 'manservant' that starts with what would now be
considered very homophobic taunts. That badly dates an otherwise
is one of the few United Marion Corporation films VCI had not managed
to get out on home video until now and its time for rediscovery is
long overdue. Better than most such films now dying and trying
desperately to be this authentic, you'll be surprised how much of
this still works. And to think it looks really good for the low
budget they had, serious filmmakers mighty want to take a look at it
out a decent cast are Kenneth Griffith, Faith Domergue, Pierre Olaf,
Massimo Serato, Anthony Chinn and Relja Basic. These actors are not
always as remembered as they ought to be, but they are the kind you
have likely seen on many an occasion if you love films of this era,
but could not name them, even if you recognized them. That's another
reason to catch this one.
feature length audio commentary track by film historian Robert Kelly
is the only extra.
League X RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsman, Part Two 4K
(2023) continues the teams team-up tale we began covering in 4K at
joins nine and counting RWBY titles several of us have covered over
the years, which you can look up at this link...
colleague was not as impressed by the first installment, but things
do pick up a little bit this time around, but unless you are familiar
with the RWBY franchise and love, love, love Justice League, this
might not be for you. The match-up makes sense, but the synergy is
limited because there is not (without creating any spoilers) enough
exposition on the characters and the Justice League is a little
underdeveloped here for whatever reasons (time and/or budget limits)
so only catch it if you see the first part and try some RWBY
include Digital Movie Code, while the disc adds two featurettes: I've
Got Your Back: The Bond Between The Justice League X RWBY
Look... Different: RWBY on Earth.
(1974) is a creepy horror thriller from a filmmaker who later became
know for his writing work on Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom,
and two duds, Best
and especially Howard
Considering the broad comedy of most of the latter films, you might
think he and his co-writer Gloria Katz could not make a more serious
film of any kind. Well, we get some campy moments that hold this all
back and a few that do not work, but this can be and often is a very
small town near the sea is quiet, maybe too quiet, as the regulars
seem to just go about their business, when you can see them at all.
However, from a visit from a stranger many decades ago, something has
overtaken the town and its residents. Each visitor finds they cannot
get out of the town and when they least expect it.
film is an early zombie film of sorts, but it is told in flashback
(which does not make any of the events less creepy) from a woman
(Marianna Hill) who was simply looking for her father, still damaged
by what she saw and we get to see and hear the entire tale. The cast
has some familiar faces, including model/actress Anitra Ford (one of
the first models on the Bob Barker The
Price Is Right
had many great turns on TV and in movies,) legendary writer/director
Walter Hill in a cameo, plus Joy Band, Michael Greer, Royal Dano,
Elisha Cook, Jr. and Charles Dierkop.
the darkness and suspense combine, the film is at its best and is up
there with the original Night Of the Living Dead, Rosemary's
Baby, Hitchcock's Psycho, Texas Chain Saw Massacre,
Last House On The Left, Cohen's It's Alive, Ganja
and Hess, De Palma's Sisters and Clark's Black
Christmas as an authentic part of one of the greatest stretches
of horror cinema ever made. The film has not been recognized as such
and not just because of that Marvel Comics movie, but because it is
yet another orphan film that has dropped out of the public and horror
movie conscience for way too long. Finally, we get a restored
edition with plenty of extras to help permanently correct that. Any
serious film fan, especially any serious horror film fan, has to
consider this a must-see, but definitely stick with it when it goes
astray in places.
editions of the film
have been issued, including a more expansive Limited Edition with all
the goods, including a feature length audio commentary by critics and
horror experts Kim Newman and Stephen Thrower
interview with co-writer-director Willard Huyck by Mike White from
the Projection Booth Podcast
essay on the American Gothic by critic Kat Ellinger
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time
edition 80-page booklet featuring new and archival writing
limited edition is presented in rigid box and full-height Scanavo
packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of
certificates and markings.
later regular edition only has a single Blu-ray disc and the extras
only offered on the disc itself.
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 RWBY
has the best image quality here, though it has some minor flaws,
color and the solid appearance of the image throughout is fine. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also well done and has a
fine soundfield, so the combination works and is in line with most
animated DC 4K titles we have covered so far.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Boys
is not bad, but also has some purposely desaturated images throughout
as part of its style, along with more than a few CGI soft spots,
though so does most CGI in live action films, no matter their budget.
Superhero productions are especially susceptible to this. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is pretty good and
consistent, helping the presentation.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Devil
can show the age of the materials used, but this is superior to the
DVDs we covered of the film before and more vivid. Therefore, any
thing creepy is more effective, though expect some dated matte work
and other visual effects that might sometimes be off. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is better than I
expected for a film of its age and sounds easily as good as it ever
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Gamblers
can also show the age of the materials used with some softness that
just might be a limits of the Blu-ray format (versus a possible 4K
disc version?) with color and clarity being the real star of this
otherwise and the PCM 2.0 Mono is as good as this film will likely
ever sound. Mel Brooks' veteran composer John Morris delivers the
well done music score.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Evil
can show the age of the materials used here and there, but this has
some impressive color (thanks to a solid 4K scan of the original 35mm
color camera negative) and at times, detail, density and depth. Shot
in Techniscope, it looks good and can be grainy, plus Technicolor did
the lab work for it, but we could not confirm if it was one of the
last films, Techniscope or otherwise, to get 35mm dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor prints, but some shots here look like it.
The PCM 2.0 Mono is going to show its age too, but it has been
well-restored and is very likely as good as this film will ever sound
go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive