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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Murder > Gangster > Mystery > Filmmaking > Action > Japan > Terrorism > Hong Kong > Dead Wrong (2024/Mill Creek Blu-ray)/Dr. Cheon And The Lost Talisman (*)/Mute Witness 4K (1995/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/One-Percent Warrior (*both 2023/Well Go Blu-rays)/Royal Warriors (

Dead Wrong (2024/Mill Creek Blu-ray)/Dr. Cheon And The Lost Talisman (*)/Mute Witness 4K (1995/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray**)/One-Percent Warrior (*both 2023/Well Go Blu-rays)/Royal Warriors (1986/***)/Yes, Madam! (1985/***both 88 Films/**all MVD Blu-rays)

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

Here's a group of unusual genre films that follow formula and think they are maybe delivering more than they think they are, but not all succeed in that respect...

Rick Bieber's Dead Wrong (2024) is a way over the top, convoluted crime film where Rob Schneider tries to play an alcoholic lawyer (he gets it half right, guess which one?) in the middle of a revenge fiasco where a married man (Derek Smith) is sick of the big wealth of his best friend (Chet Hanks,) though he gets this from being the head of a mob organization! Well, with friends like that...

The mostly unknown cast is at least trying to make this work, but the directing is mixed, editing off and screenplay loaded with even more cliches that it is bad language, bad dialogue, blood and repetitive boredom that really surprised me in its ineptness. When all was said and done, I had to wonder, what were they really trying to do here?

A Director's Cut of the film is also included and is counted on the back cover as an extra, but both cuts are just as bad and make no difference in the final result.

Dr. Cheon And The Lost Talisman (2023) is directed by Kim Seong-sik and is a treat for genre fans that like cosmic based action along the lines of Dr. Who, as it has a lot of stylized action sequences, but also a mix of horror as well. The film centers on Dr. Cheon, a fake exorcist whose grandfather was a legendary shaman but he himself simply performs fake acts on camera for fame, but he has to step up when he is commissioned for a real exorcism. Having to maintain his reputation, he's pushed to the limits as things get out of control pretty quickly and challenges him on a new level he's not quite prepared for!

The film stars Gang Dong-won, Joon-ho Huh, Esom, Dong-hwi Lee, Yi-Hyun Cho, and Lee Jeong-eun.

Special Features: Character Bios and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Anthony Waller's Mute Witness 4K (1995) was originally entitled 'Snuff Movie' and intended to be a bit sleazy and tricky, hoping to capitalize on films like Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981,) the FX films with Brian Brown and Richard Rush's The Stunt Man (1980) and involves a seemingly simple slasher movie production in Russia, but a filmed murder turns out to be an actual one and on of the persons present (Marina Zudina as a visual effects artist) is shocked, mute and now a marked woman.

From there, the script and the movie go downhill as it turns out to be 'The Russian Mob' making money off of such filmed killings (a post-Cold War bad guy organization that exists in real life that was convenient for many B-movies, now looking more ridiculous with the invasion of Ukraine and other international messes) and she is on the run as they try to kill her. Will she survive? Can she prove the murder? Can her analog-era movie skills protect her? Can this make for a watchable or even good film?

Most of the answers are predictable and the film was nto good when it first came out and now, has aged very badly and oddly further, though it is now a curio in our overly-digital era and still, the missed opportunities pile on as quickly as the cliches. They tried to sell this as a sophisticated thriller at the time, but even with some name critics buying that, I never did. Still, serious movie fans should see this one just once to see what does and does not work and why it failed commercially. The Mission: Impossible films were just starting to happening, the FX films (the first far better than the idiotic second) and no big fan of Stunt Man, its still better than this. Now you can see for yourself, if you care.

Extras (per the press release) include:

  • Brand new audio commentary by writer/director Anthony Waller

  • Brand new audio commentary with production designer Matthias Kammermeier and composer Wilbert Hirsch, moderated by critic Lee Gambin

  • The Silent Death, brand new visual essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, examining Mute Witness and its relationship with snuff films

  • The Wizard Behind the Curtain, brand new visual essay by author and critic Chris Alexander, exploring the phenomenon of the film-within-a-film

  • Original ''Snuff Movie'' presentation, produced to generate interest from investors and distributors, featuring interviews with Anthony Waller and members of the creative team

  • Original location scouting footage

  • Original footage with Alec Guinness, filmed a decade prior to the rest of Mute Witness

  • Teaser trailer

  • Trailer

  • Image gallery

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais

  • Double-sided foldout poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais

  • and an Illustrated Collector's Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michelle Kisner

One-Percent Warrior (2023) is a Japanese action film in which a legendary action movie star ends up in a real life face off when a Yakuza clan take over his movie set, but when he's used to fighting stunt men and trained professionals how does he fare against the real like bad guys? This takes the same formula as The Fall Guy, but spins it on its head.

The film stars Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Death Trance), this is the foreign equivalent of a John Wick or Jason Statham-starring action vehicle with lots of fist to fist combat and slow motion sequences. Actors here also include Sho Aoyagi, Itsuji Itao, and Keisuke Horibe.

Special Features: a Behind the Scenes Featurette and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

David Chung's Royal Warriors (1986) has Michele Yeoh in another martial arts action romp (early on when they kept trying to give her slick, alternative names to up the box office) is a CID agent who becomes part of a de facto trio that stops an airplane from being hijacked, but they miss catching the terrorists, who soon come back for revenge and a larger target and prize.

Done with more humor than than it would be after 9/11/2001 or the like, it has some good moments and seeing Yeoh in her younger prime is a plus, while the supporting actors and martial artists give it their all, but it is still a formula script that plays it a little safe and shows its age and the era it comes from. You could even think of it as a sort of time capsule and one they never expected it to be.

Extras include:

  • Audio Commentary by Frank Djeng (HK Version Only)

  • New Artwork by Sean Longmore w/reversible sleeve

  • Missing Aeroplane Inserts

  • Cantonese Theatrical Trailer

  • English Theatrical Trailer

  • and English In the Line of Duty Titles.

Cory Yuen's Yes, Madam! (1985) tries to give Cynthia Rothrock the same star treatment and pair her with Michele Yeoh as opposite number crime investigators (Rockroth's character comes from England and is trying to find out how one of their agents were killed) as both discover he had some very dangerous information that could cause major trouble for a Hong Kong crime syndicate. Triad-affiliated or not, they target the ladies when they start getting too close to the truth.

If only the screenplay had more mystery, complexity and suspense, especially here we get humor, my chief complaint of all the 1980s martial arts films, too much of it was not good then and has dated these films more than they would be otherwise. The highlight here is simply getting these two martial arts legends together and they do have some chemistry, but the script never totally capitalizes on that and the film has a degree of disappointment, albeit predictable for this viewer.

It is worth a look for those interested, especially in this edition with all these extras.

Extras include:

  • Audio Commentary by Frank Djeng (HK Version Only)

  • New Artwork by Sean Longmore w/reversible sleeve

  • Interview with Cynthia Rothrock

  • Select Scene Commentary with Cynthia Rothrock and Frank Djeng

  • Interview with Mang Hoi

  • Archive Interview with Michelle Yeoh

  • Archive Battling Babes Featurette

  • and an original Hong Kong Trailer.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Mute Witness was shot in the Super 35 format, all on Agfa 35mm color negative film. Though it is meant to look dark and dirty per its genre, but the color here is rendered so dark, you cannot tell what color it was shot in and is the poorest feature film or TV show I have ever seen shot on Agfa. You would best know the color from the early seasons of Seinfeld or the Kevin Costner Robin Hood. The 1080p Blu-ray is even darker and less colorful, with a little less detail and depth, while both offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes from the original old Dolby A-type analog noise reduction 'Dolby System' presentation. This was eight years into Dolby offering Dolby Digital and their better SR (Spectral Recording) sound formats, so this looks and sounds a little older than it ought to in combination.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Dead Wrong is the newe4st release here and the softest presentation looking like yesterday's HD camera in action with close shots looking only a little better than the long ones. Color is fairly good and consistent, but can be dull too. Really disappointing for a new production, but this is sadly becoming a trend. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix fares just about as badly, at least is pulled off professionally enough, but nothing is sonically memorable here either, so the combination is very wanting.

Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman 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 audio tracks in Korean lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes, both with optional English subtitles. The film looks nice on Blu-ray disc and showcases the film with a clean image and sharp sound mix that especially highlights the effects. No English dubs for those who may be wondering.

One-Percent Warrior 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 lossless Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) and 2.0 Stereo mixes as well as [lesser] English dubbed versions. The HD transfer to disc is very nice and maintains a high standard set by Well Go USA for home video exhibition.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Royal Warriors and Yes, Madam! can show the age of the materials used, using 2K scans of the original and surviving 35mm materials. Despite some age, flaws and limits, we get some good shots and color can be really good in parts. They are at least consistent enough. The Cantonese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Mono lossless mixes also show the age of both films, recorded with some limited fidelity, even in remixes included, but they sound as good as they ever will here and the English dubs in all cases are much weaker.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Well Go)



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