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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Monster > Action > Comedy > Science Fiction > Documentary > Filmmaking > Fantasy > S > Abandoned (2006/MVD/Unearthed Blu-ray)/Beekeeper 4K (2024/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Lisa Frankenstein (Blu-ray*)/Lynch/Oz (2022/Janus Contemporaries/Criterion Blu-ray)/Night Swim (Blu-ray w/DVD/*bot

Abandoned (2006/MVD/Unearthed Blu-ray)/Beekeeper 4K (2024/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Lisa Frankenstein (Blu-ray*)/Lynch/Oz (2022/Janus Contemporaries/Criterion Blu-ray)/Night Swim (Blu-ray w/DVD/*both 2024/Universal)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B Picture: B+/X/B+/B+/B+ & C+ Sound: B+/B/B+/B+/B+ & C+ Extras: B/D/B/B-/B Films: C/C/B/B+/C-

Now for more of the weird, supernatural, mysterious and odd...

Abandoned (2006) is a well-shot and creepy horror thriller on Blu-ray from Unearthed Films. While a bit hard to follow at times, the film follows two twins who were abandoned as babies and raised to live separate lives. When the woman journeys back to her birth place in Russia that she inherited, the home which she was born in, she discovers her twin brother is also there. They soon realize that the abandoned house is haunted by ghosts of their mother and diabolical killer father. The film has some creepy visuals and nice visual moments, but as mentioned the story is a bit hard to follow at times. Still, Abandoned is worth checking out for its visuals alone.

The film stars Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Ganev, Paraskeva Djukelova, and Carlos Reig-Plaza.

Abandoned 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) mix. The film has a green color tint to the entire picture, which makes skin tones a bit washed out and pale. The detail of the transfer is fine for the Blu-ray format and up to standard.

Special Features:

Zoe Rose Smith Interviews Nacho Cerda

Zoe Rose Smith Interviews Richard Stanley

Zoe Rose Smith Interviews Karim Hussain

The Making of 'The Abandoned' Featurette

In the Den of The Abandoned' Featurette

'Nacho Cerda: Facing Death' Featurette

The Little Secrets of Nacho Cerda' Featurette

When Buck Meets Cerda: A Dialogue Between Friends' Featurette

Alternative Sequences

Deleted & Extended Scenes


Photo Gallery

and Trailers.

Perhaps not as extreme as other titles in the Unearthed Films library, Abandoned is if nothing else an effectively creepy exercise in filmmaking.

You know, bees are great and they keep the planet and food alive for all of us, humans and otherwise, but lately, they have had a rough time of it. Exploitation films still vilify them, a cancerous pesticide was unknowingly until recently killing them and not, we have a horrid new release in a shockingly bad would-be action film: David Ayer's The Beekeeper 4K (2024) with Jason Statham, one of his worst ever (and that says something)!

He plays the title character with said occupation and a supernatural force gets the bees to go on the kill.... NO! A evil corporation making chemicals that kill them get them angry and Statham must use martial arts on the bess before they kill an entire to.... NO! A woman (Phylicia Rashad) he works for apparently commits suicide, but it is not that simple and his past starts to come back as bad people from the past are out for money and power. Yes, that is sadly the lame plot.

The fight scenes are everything we've seen before and worse, he looks very bored making thinks, but not anywhere nearly as bored as I was watching it and it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... for 105 long minutes. Minnie Driver and Jeremy Irons also show up here, but are just picking up paychecks as they have nothing to do here. Most of the bees do give better acting performances than Statham, however, but his work here made me think of the big 1970s Warner bomb The Swarm, which wasted Michael Caine and the rest of us. I now see why the buzz on this film was so bad.

If you pay for this, you'll feel stung too, but you also lose the time and since you have seen this all BEE-fore, best to skip it.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image has its moments, but you get very few demo moments, while the lossless Dolby Atmos is consistent enough, nothing great happens here either.

There are absolutely no extras, though you can torture yourself further with Digital Movie Code, but don't say we didn't warn you.

Lisa Frankenstein (2024) is the strong directorial debut of Robin Williams' daughter Zelda Williams, who has a lot of talent behind the camera and certainly a bright future ahead of her. Featuring rising star Kathryn Newton who really shines in her lead role, the film is a spin on the Frankenstein story (of course) with a screenplay by Academy Award winning scribe Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body, Juno), which has equal amounts of horror homage, body horror, and humor.

The film also stars Cole Sprouse, Carla Gugino, Joe Chrest, and Henry Eikenberry.

A weird girl in high school named Lisa (Newton) ends up accidentally resurrecting the love of her life, a teenage boy who is a corpse in a nearby graveyard where she spends a lot of her free time. After a series of bizarre incidents, this larger than life love story electrifies Lisa's small town in a big way and her family's twisted lives as well. The film is surprisingly original despite its surface level homage to the Frankenstein story. The acting and characters are all fun, and Williams does a good job creating a fictional world that is colorful and visually pleasing.

Lisa Frankenstein 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) mix. The film's production design is it's strongest asset and it has been captured well on the Blu-ray format, but of course would be even better in 4K UHD, which is hopefully coming down the pipeline.

Special Features:

Feature Commentary with Director Zelda Williams

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

Resurrecting the 1980's featurette

An Electric Connection featurette

and A Dark Comedy Duo featurette.

While Lisa Frankenstein didn't make big waves in the box office, it is sure to become a cult classic in the years to come. I feel like this will do better over time as it gets discovered at home by moviegoers whether it be on disc or streaming as it appeals to a lot of different demographics and is pretty funny on top of being well made.

Lynch/Oz (2022) is a documentary exploration into how Victor Fleming's The Wizard of Oz (1939, a watershed year for Hollywood) has effected the filmography of David Lynch and other popular filmmakers ever since its release. Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, the documentary doesn't feature any onscreen interviews, just countless clips from dozens of important films and calm voice over narrations from various male and female subjects that explain the comparisons as clearly as you would get from taking a college level film course.

David Lynch's work is the greatest example of the point of the film and we see clips from those the most, everything from Eraserhead and Blue Velvet to Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks amongst others, but it is surprising just how many other popular movies (Apocalypse Now, Back to the Future, The Matrix, and many more) have copied or referenced Oz in their own way. But there is more to the documentary than just that, it explains that The Wizard of Oz seems to represent the American dream in so many ways, and how a glossy and clean exterior (often associated with the 1950s America) often hides a darker meaning or mystery that isn't on the surface for all to see.

Lynch / Oz is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78 X 1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix. The film is comprised of clips of various films in both color and black and white, as expected. The clips used as all of high quality, unless they are supposed to be clips from a VHS or otherwise specified. The film is edited beautifully and constantly keeps your interest with it many layers points for the duration of its 109 minute run-time as each clip chosen is precise and used with purpose.

Special Features include a featurette: Meet the Filmmakers, an Original Theatrical Trailer and an Insert Booklet with beautiful art and essay.

Lynch / Oz is a thought provoking documentary that will make you look at the 1939 Hollywood classic and David Lynch's filmography in a whole new light.

A common criticism on Hollywood is stating there is no more originality. Well, Night Swim (2024) is if nothing else but original on the surface. Nobody has really made a movie about a ghost living inside a pool. Yes, a killer pool movie. However, the concept in and of itself is so silly to begin with, now we have a film that begs us to take it seriously for over two hours and be afraid during it. The possession thriller borrows a few ideas from and The Grudge films as it sets up some pretty obvious plot twists. Night Swim is produced by Blumhouse and James Wan's Atomic Monster production company and stars Kurt Russell's son Wyatt Russell. As always, though, points off for killing a poor cat. (Luckily offscreen.)

A family moves into a beautiful home with a pool that is haunted by many malicious spirits. When the Father, a retired Baseball legend fighting an illness, jumps into the pool and finds himself healed, he has also inhaled the evil entity. As he turns from his true good self into an evil version, his family soon becomes threatened by the constant evil surrounding this pool and its history in drowning a young girl decades earlier.

The film also stars Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin, "Better Call Saul"), Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!, Overlord), Amelie Hoeferle (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes), Gavin Warren (The Unbreakable Boy, "Fear of the Walking Dead") and Jodi Long (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Hot Chick).

Night Swim 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) mix. Also presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD in 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and lossy, English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The film has a fine transfer for the Blu-ray format and looks and sounds up to par for the format, same goes with the also included standard definition DVD. No 4K UHD version of the film is available on launch date.

Special Features:

Feature Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Bryce McGuire and four featurettes: Masters of Fear, Demons from the Depths, Into the Deep and Marco Polo.

Night Swim is a spin of the paranormal genre and borrows a good bit from stronger films in the past. Using a pool as the killer is an interesting concept and the film isn't without a clever moment or two, but ultimately lands on a silly ending that feels a bit forced.

- Nicholas Sheffo (4K) and James Lockhart



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