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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Space Opera > Drama > TV > Horror > Monster > Werewolf > Comedy > Babylon 5: The Complete Series (1993 - 1998/Warner Blu-ray Set)/Lycan Colony (2006/Visual Vengeance)/Wrong Reasons (2022/both MVD Blu-rays)

Babylon 5: The Complete Series (1993 - 1998/Warner Blu-ray Set)/Lycan Colony (2006/Visual Vengeance)/Wrong Reasons (2022/both MVD Blu-rays)

Picture: B-/C+/B+ Sound: B-/C+/B+ Extras: C/B/B Main Programs: B-/C-/C+

Babylon 5: The Complete Series (1993 - 1998) was a surprise hit that marked a transitional period for science fiction in space TV series, when they got made, and still has a following to this day. Though it did not do much more to me than Star Trek and the first season of Space: 1999 had pulled off, the idea of the title locale as a 'good ship' single space station versus the five hostile 'federations' has its possibilities and uses.

I was impressed the show was a hit and lasted five seasons at the time, but it did and having Bill Mumy (Lost In Space) was good luck that did not hurt. Maybe it had the room for more anger than its predecessors and the show is on the cold and robotic side, but that can be a good thing when you look at wishy washy space operas and bad science fiction, so I give fans points on that one.

However, I have looked at the show on and off since its debut and I just could not get into it, but admit it is at least consistent in what it does and I at least understand its success. It helps that it was a somewhat independent production, though it was never too distinct, so those interested should start at the beginning with the first disc of this set. As for fans, save any changes to the shows if any, they have likely already ordered this set.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image includes plenty of upscaling, despite the fact the show was shot on 35mm Eastman Kodak EXR 500T 5296 color negative film, a solid film stock in its time used on films like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Coppola's Dracula, Basic Instinct, the original Point Break, Die Hard 2 and original Interview With The Vampire. This series is so plastered with pre-perfected CGI visual effects, it is like watching older analog videotape. Finished on much older D2 450i, professional videotape, that is one of the causes.

That was and would have been acceptable to audiences at the time the way low-def series in the genre were accepted over the years like Doctor Who, The Starlost, Sapphire & Steel or Blake's 7 among the classic space-based TV series produced mostly and/or totally on analog videotape of the day or a little earlier. That also means it was too expensive for Warner or anyone to try and upgrade all those effects for this show versus the likes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, whose use of CGI was more limited, making it easier to upgrade that show for Blu-ray, along with some other earlier Trek revival shows finished on analog or low-def digital back in the day.

Show at the time like Space Rangers, Lexx, Farscape and Earth: The Final Conflict were produced at the time in a similar way, but note none of them have the Babylon 5 look. Between limited budgets and how new such production means were, you can see why we got the results we got. Even early X-Files episodes have the same means and sometimes, look.

The result for Babylon 5 is a show that shows its age, but like those older classics noted above, lands up having its own special look that no show before or after has and cheers to the producers and makers for retaining that look as in all the revivals. That is not an easy thing to do, though the original Twilight Zone produced a few black and white videotaped episodes that managed to imitate the brilliant, unique, post-Noir look of the rest of the 35mm-shot black and white series. Thus, this is the best we can expect, but all the shows are on the soft side throughout, though it sometimes is a little better than the upscaling of PAL videotape on color Doctor Who episodes of the 1970s, but not by much.

As for sound, the show is on a long list of tens of thousands of TV shows that were broadcast in stereo, but has Dolby Pro Logic surrounds, though it is in a sad minority of those who actually have that fact in their end credits. The older DVD set's lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes came from these matrixed surrounds and it sounds like those soundmasters are repeated here. They sound a little weak as a result and the show will never get any kind of Dolby Atmos/DTS: X 12-track treatment, but likely sounds as good as it ever will here. The combinations are an improvement over the very old DVD sets, but I could not find out by the posting of this review if the episodes here are the broadcast originals or the strange DVD versions that featured some re-recorded narration for some odd reason and alternate theme song openings for certain episodes. We'll see what fans say soon.

Extras are few, do not include the three 1998 TV movies, the 1999 TV movie A Call To Arms, 2002 TV movie The Legend of the Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight or 2007 Lost Tales TV mini-series, offers nothing new either, but include The Gathering, the telefilm that launched the series (in a very soft 1.78 X 1 presentation) on the bonus disc instead of on Disc One and a preview trailer for the new 2023 The Road Home animated feature film, which you can read more about in our coverage of the 4K edition at this link:


So the franchise hangs in there, which is great for fans, but this show is not for everyone, though as compared to the endless Star Trek spinoffs or demise of Doctor Who, its holding its own well enough.

Lycan Colony (2006) is a shot on video ultra low budget indie film that has shows passion for the Werewolf horror genre and does what it can with the limited resources that the filmmakers had to work with. The relatively new cult film Blu-ray label, Visual Vengeance, does a good job of making the film a noteworthy release with some funny bonus stuff like a sticker set, an air freshener, and other goodies and a considerable amount of extras for such a small film.

Being an indie filmmaker myself, I can plainly see beyond the budget of films like this because I know what a challenge it is to make anything, especially a werewolf movie. That being said, Lycan Colony is a pretty fun film and has a pretty good soundtrack for a film of its kind. But isn't a film to expect an abundance of gore and interesting visual effects. In fact, the special effects are probably one of the film's weakest points, especially with a teenage werewolf that looks more like a puppy dog mask than actual werewolf. Much can't be said for the acting either, which can be pretty cringe as well. But the heart behind the project is what shines through for me, and gives it some validity among its many flaws from a filmmaking perspective.

Lycan Colony is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a fullscreen aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and an English PCM 2.0 Stereo stereo track. Of course, this film isn't going to score high marks in terms of presentation because the source material was shot on HD video from the early 2000s on a bare bones budget. That being said, it looks and sounds as good as it can on this 1080p Blu-ray release.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with director Rob Roy

Audio Commentary with Sam Panico of B&S About Movies and Bill Van Ryn of Drive-In Asylum

New 2022 Interview with director Rob Roy

The full Rifftrax version of Lycan Colony

Blooper Reel

Lycan Colony Music Video

Original Trailer

Visual Vengeance Trailers

Four-page liner notes / essay by Sam Panico

Collectible Folded mini-poster

'Stick your own' VHS sticker set

Reversible Blu-ray sleeve

Limited Edition Slipcase - FIRST PRESSING ONLY

and Limited Edition 'New Hampshire Forest Scent' Air Freshener - FIRST PRESSING ONLY

Lastly, Kevin Smith co-stars and executive produces Josh Roush's Wrong Reasons (2022) which is an interesting indie film with a few recognizable faces in it. Obviously this was a passion project for Smith to do on the side with some of his longtime collaborators and worth checking out if you're a fan of the filmmaker.

The concept of the film is original and centers on a drugged out punk rock singer (Liv Roush) whose rock star boyfriend takes advantage of her in between heavy doses of heroin in their Los Angeles mansion, and the once prized musician is now stuck in a destructive lifestyle. One night a masked man abducts the girl while she is passed out on a drug binge, drives her to a remote location, and chains her to a bed, forcing her into sobriety over the course of days.

After she gets her wits about her, the man explains his intention of saving her by sobering her up, and getting her on a better life path in an effort to discover her full potential as a musician. Her music touched him and he feels that others will be affected if only she could discover her value and self worth. Meanwhile, a corrupt Detective (Ralph Garman) blackmails her boyfriend in an attempt to feed the media and get his own slice of fame based on the hype of her kidnapping. The film is entertaining despite its cast of mostly unlikable characters.

The screenplay is interesting and definitely has some themes that make you think. Some of the dialogue is pretty heavy and a few scenes definitely have that Kevin Smith-type feel in terms of monologues where feelings are expressed heavily. I wouldn't say the film is a classic by any stretch but its fine for what it is.

The film also stars Daniel Roebuck, Kevin Smith, James Parks, Ralph Garman, Harley Quinn Smith, and Teresa Ruiz.

Wrong Reasons 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 a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) + LPCM 2.0 Stereo soundtrack options. The film looks and sounds pretty good for an indie on 1080p Blu-ray with no glaring issues.

Special Features:

Introduction by Kevin Smith

Feature length audio commentary tracks with Director Josh Roush, Co-Producer Matt Rowbottom, Composer Cam Mosavian and Star Liv Roush, plus Director Josh Roush and Executive Producer Kevin Smith

Q & A with Writer / Director Josh Roush, Producer / Star Live Roush moderated by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman

Deleted Scenes & Outtakes

Original Theatrical Trailer

Short Film from Director Josh Roush: "Idiot Cops"

and Reversible Artwork.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Babylon 5) and James Lockhart



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