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'I Still See You' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Bella Thorne, Dermot Mulroney, Amy Price-Francis, Richard Harmon, Sara Thompson, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / PG-13 / 2018 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: 'I Still See You' is set ten years after an apocalyptic event that killed millions and left the world inhabited by ghosts.

Blu-ray Verdict: Based on the 2012 novel "Break My Heart 1,000 Times", written by Daniel Waters, 'I Still See You' has great atmosphere, an original plot, stunning cinematography, an excellent soundtrack and one heck of a rather beautiful cast! What else do you need from a good (teen) thriller?

It's ten years after the Event, an accident at a high energy experiment in Chicago. Many were killed and it has brought back the dead from the past in the form of spiritual remnants.

These rems recreate moments in their lives. Veronica Calder (Bella Thorne) lost her father in the Event and he spends every morning reading the paper during breakfast in their small town of Jewel City.

August Bittner (Dermot Mulroney) is a trusted teacher and Kirk Lane (Richard Harmon) is the mysterious new student. Veronica's life spirals when a new rem shows up in her bathroom.

The premise is intriguing and the first half goes well enough. Bella Thorne is built for these dark teen characters and so is Richard Harmon. It could been a good ghost horror story but several things happen that strips it of the earlier promise.

The minor issue is Mr. Bittner. He's not a science teacher and his knowledge of the Event is head-scratching in the moment. It makes more sense that she would ask the nerd with the crush to set up the panic room.

It's obviously done for the plot but it doesn't make character sense. The bigger issue are the rems and their actual powers. The ending suddenly introduces new capabilities for them.

It needs some foreshadowing but better yet, the movie could have ended without changing them. Bittner could have been distracted by his daughter without physically touching her. The rems are more compelling if they can't affect the physical world.

In closing, and although the movie is filled with sometimes beautiful images you simply cannot call the story highly original. The start was promising, sure, but as the film progressed it all became rather superficial (although still highly watchable, of course). And guessing the ultimate outcome wasn't so hard either, but you will get a kick out of it, trust me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Scott Speer
"Remnants: Manifesting I Still See You' Featurette
'Break My Heart 1,000 Times: Novel To Screen' Featurette
Audio Commentary with Director Scott Speer and Actress Bella Thorne

Enter an entire world that’s haunted when 'I Still See You' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD, and Digital December 11th from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





'Viking Destiny' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Terence Stamp, Anna Demetriou, Paul Freeman, Victoria Broom, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / 2018 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: A Viking Princess is forced to flee her kingdom after being framed for the murder of her father, the King. Under the guidance of the God Odin, she travels the world gaining wisdom and building the army she needs to win back her throne.

Blu-ray Verdict: 'Viking Destiny' (originally called 'Of Gods and Warriors') takes the viewer into the world of Norse, the world of the Vikings, and a very tough world it looks too.

Beginning with the text bar 'Once Upon A Time...' and a very cool voice over by Terence Stamp (Song For Marion, The Limey) we are dropped into this violent world with a brutal beach battle which pulls no punches and sheaths no swords.

I won't go into to much of the story line, because the beauty of most films, and especially the work that David writes is seeing where the story unfolds, and what journey the characters go through in this film.

Now with anything medieval or with anything involving a sword and "olden times" there will always be a comparison to the work of HBO and George RR Martins Game Of Thrones, but please don't do that with 'Viking Destiny.'

I mean sure, whilst the world of Thrones spans many continents, dragons, the living dead and other fantastical elements, 'Viking Destiny' deals with the real thing, so to speak.

The film has everything. It's leading actress Anna Demetriou, who plays the role of Helle, is wonderful and takes to the screen as if she owns it (and she does own it) with her journey through the film.

We like her, we care for her, and we also know that she is more than capable of taking care of herself. This is perfect team work from Anna's performance, alongside David's writing and directing and with only a very short filmography at the moment, Anna Demetriou is most definitely one actress to keep an eye on.

The film also features the wonderfully iconic Terence Stamp, a man who has been in so many films I could fill a full article just with his screen appearances. Here in 'Viking Destiny' he shares his scenes with the aforementioned Anna.

Yep, the man who currently has 88 film and television appearances to his name alongside Anna Demetriou, who is starring here in her very first feature film, and yet it's a lovely cinematic experience to behold them together.

In closing, I loved this movie! The cast seemed to really enjoy their characters and worked hard to become them and I loved the fight scenes at the varied locations. Good job and well done to the cast, crew, and director. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.38:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

One True Heir: A Warrior's Destiny
Of Gods, Women & Men: The Cast
Strength From Within: Staging The Battles

A world full of action and adventure comes home when 'Viking Destiny' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD, and Digital December 4th from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





'The Super' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Val Kilmer, Paul Ben-Victor, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / (2017) 2018 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: A man becomes the superintendent of a large New York City apartment building where people mysteriously go missing.

Blu-ray Verdict: Let's all be honest here, with Val Kilmer you never know what to expect any more. He often just mails it in or coasts (and apparently can be a nightmare to work with), but when he decides to turn it on he can still be a great actor.

It's nice to see him at his acting best again. 'The Super' is a mystery/thriller with him just in a supporting role, but he steals the show.

The movie is about Phil Lodge who moves with his two daughters into an apartment building in New York City where he has the job of superintendent. Kilmer plays Walter, a resident who is very weird. Pretty soon the residents start disappearing...!

The movie takes a simple concept, but gives it a nice twist that actually for a change wasn't expected by everyone watching. It's got a lot of gore for a non-horror movie, but as a thriller it has some great scares.

Again though, as it pays to mention it, there are some great performances by Val Kilmer, Yul Vasquez and Paul Ben Victor. Sure, Kilmer's role is an extended cameo of sorts, but I want you to know he's on top form and just brilliant here in his role. I'd recommend it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

"He Has Your Keys: Making The Super" Featurette

Whenever you think you’re alone, just remember that he’s always watching when 'The Super' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD, and Digital December 18 from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





'Lizzie' [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Kristen Stewart, Chloë Sevigny, Fiona Shaw, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / (2017) 2018 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: 'Lizzie' is a psychological thriller based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family.

Blu-ray Verdict: "Lizzie Borden took an ax, And gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one."

It likely speaks volumes about the effectiveness of popular verse that when the ax begins to swing at about the halfway point of the new motion picture 'Lizzie,' the viewer’s mind almost automatically begins to count the number of strokes the title character administers to her stepmother and; a few minutes later, her father.

But it also speaks well of the movie’s fidelity to the facts of the case that the number of whacks dispensed by the younger Borden in the picture ultimately tops off in the teens, as in the actual 1892 murders - eighteen and eleven respectively, instead of the low forties suggested by the famous Mother Goose rhyme.

As history informs us, Lizzie Borden was famous for being the prime suspect in killing her mother in law and then her father in 1892.

Indeed, it was widely acknowledged there were squabbles over money with her father's new wife and the murder weapon was found in the basement, plus witnesses (with no vested interest) that cast suspicion on Lizzie.

Lizzie has become somewhat of a feminist icon (probably because of the violence and "getting away with it"). Most feminists overlook murdering her mother in law first and the generous wealth the family had.

Instead, they focus in on sexual abuse allegations (which should have meant the father was killed first and only the father was killed). I digress.

It's fascinating to watch how much we glorify violent and murderous women today (eg. domestic violence by a mother on her child is almost never reported in the papers).

It will be fascinating to see how today's generation is viewed in 20 years time with glorification of murderers and endorsement of violent female family members.

If you're a feminist and you want to root for someone who murdered a man and woman in the peace of their own home and then inherited a lot of money, this is your film.

I appreciate why she's a feminist icon. Intolerant, violent, self-seeking, wealthy - and heavy backing by the main stream media, no matter how despicable. She would have been glorified by the #metoo movement.

In closing, Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart have an undeniable chemistry, and grant us with award worthy performances, that bring us into the world of Lizzie Borden.

More of a suspenseful drama than horror, but with an ending that will leave you floored, 'Lizzie' delivers everything I could've wished for in this genre of biographical movie. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

"Understanding Lizzie" Featurette

It all started with an axe. Experience “a chilling reimagining of the Lizzie Borden murder” (Sara Stewart, New York Post) when 'Lizzie' arrives on Digital December 4th and on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD, and On Demand December 11th from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





'The Real Story: Master and Commander'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2018 / PBS)

Overview: The historians and experts who worked behind the scenes of 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World' will now share the real story of how they brought their recreation of the 19th-century seafaring adventure to the big screen.

DVD Verdict: Though it is a work of fiction, few films have been meticulously researched as 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.'

Here in 'The Real Story: Master and Commander,' the historians and experts who worked behind the scenes lovingly share their thoughts and, most importantly, observations of how they helped bring this stunning recreation of the 19th-century seafaring adventure to the big screen.

Inclusive of tales of brutal conditions at sea, and stories of the real-life swashbuckling captain who inspired the Hollywood character, Lucky Jack Aubrey, running at just a scant 45 minutes, it still manages to enthrall, trust me.

Indeed, we learn that as much as Sir John "Jack" Aubrey, JP MP FRS is a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, the fact he was based on a more nefarious captain of the high seas just adds to that character portrayal.

The series portrays his rise from lieutenant to rear-admiral in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and, moreover, showcases his remarkable early success that indeed earned him the nickname "Lucky" Jack Aubrey.

In the film, during the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to fight the French privateer Acheron. Acheron ambushes Surprise, causing heavy damage, while remaining undamaged by the British guns.

The ship's boats tow Surprise into a fog bank to evade pursuit. Aubrey's officers tell him that Surprise is no match for Acheron, and that they should abandon the chase.

Aubrey points out that the Acheron must not be allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet. He orders the Surprise refitted at sea, rather than returning to port for repairs.

Shortly afterwards, Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a decoy raft and ship's lamps.

The film, which cost $150 million to make, was a co-production of 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, and Samuel Goldwyn Films, and released on November 14th, 2003. The film grossed $212 million worldwide. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.SmithsonianChannel.com





'Hell Fest' [Blu-ray Combo Pack]
(Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Tony Todd, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital / R / 2018 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: A masked serial killer turns a horror-themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

Blu-ray Verdict: Released into theaters in October, it was just when the beautiful autumn colors emerged and the spooky season of Halloween came alongside it!

Along with the jack o' lanterns, fun size candy, and parities, this is also when the often popular haunts come to town. These haunts cater to those that want something genuinely scary, as if they've stepped into their favorite horror movies...without the serial killers of course.

I've only been to a few and have had more laughs then fears. This is because I more appreciate the haunts in a similar way a stage show is pulled off.

So why are there dedicated fans that keep going further with mazes where they tough you (yes, they can do that)? Again, it's a part of the Halloween atmosphere that a part of the escapism people desire.

We already know were going to survive the night, but we love to see if our internal suspension of disbelief can activate and put us in the fear we want.

I can understand it can be too intense for a lot of people, but again, it's all a part of the season. It's nice to see a movie like 'Hell Fest' to set a slasher within a haunt park.

A young college student Natalie (Played by Amy Forsyth) is visiting her former roommate Brooke (played by Reign Edwards) and classmate Taylor (played by Bex Taylor-Klaus). Not only are they going to the haunt park Hell Fest, but their meeting up with friends, including Gavin (played by Robby Attal) who got everyone V.I.P. passes (which means no line waiting).

Along with the various people coming in, they see that Hell Fest of full of scare actors, several mazes to explore and even an entire land called "the Deadlands" where the actors are allowed to touch and go further with their scares.

The problem? An unnamed person enters the park and into the mazes and starts randomly killing off guests. Our heroes don't see anything wrong until this guy acquires a mask and starts to stalk them around. At first they dismiss him as a really good actor, but when friends start disappearing, they got more uneasy.

Even when they try talking to security (who tells them that he can arrest someone for doing their job), they don't seem to have a lot of options. The further they get to the Deadlands, the more they feel like they've descended into hell.

So by reading this, you can already tell that 'Hell Fest' follows a lot of slasher tropes that we've seen before; the group of college kids, unresponsive authority, walking along somewhere, killer with a mask, and such.

This will definitely not appeal to those looking for a new kind of horror movie (like Hereditary). This seems to be more proud that it's trying to be a typical slasher. Because of that, I didn't mind it. A lot of it has to do with it's setting and atmosphere.

'Hell Fest' is full of theme park-like Halloween imagery that looks really cool. I was afraid they would try to pull off haunt mazes that only Hollywood effects teams were capable of.

Instead, each maze has the right balance of over the top gory, but also over the top fakery. This feels like something that would be built at Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios. Part of me really wants to visit this place...without the killing of course.

Even the scare actors seems spot on with some coming up to them at random points, and some in full makeup hosting scary shows about guillotines.

Of course, the story is minimal, as what's served is an excuse to show off the park. The main actors like Amy Forsyth and Bex Taylor-Klaus do fine in their parts. Their interesting enough that we'd want to visit the park with them.

Even when they are eventually chased by the killer (I swear, I don't even think they gave him a name), we do want to see them survive. Also like a lot of slashers, without giving anything away, it does tease for a potential sequel in a trope manner we've seen before. I'd, however, would love to see this one continue!

I'll give this eight tickets to Knott's Scary Farm out of ten. 'Hell Fest' may be a typical slasher, but it's so atmospheric, that those that have been to these haunts will probably like it fine.

It's hard to be overly critical as it's also short, running no more then eighty-five minutes. It's a fun watch. So see it and understand it's all a part of the show! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Trills And Kills Making Hell Fest
Theatrical Trailer

Experience a terrifying celebration of the horror genre when 'Hell Fest' arrives on Digital December 28th and on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand January 8th from Lionsgate.

Official Trailer

www.LGF.com





'Night School: Extended Cut 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray'
(Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / NR / 2018 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: When accidentally destroying his workplace gets successful salesman Teddy (Kevin Hart) fired, he can't find another decent job unless he finally gets his GED.

But two major things stand in his way: Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), a teacher with no time for grown-up class clowns, and Stewart (Taran Killam), Teddy's high school nemesis-turned-principal who will do anything to see him fail.

Now every school rule is about to be broken when they all go head-to-head in a wild battle of wits, pranks and lessons you can't learn in books. Night School is in session!

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings next month with the release of the hilariously funny 'Night School' in the 4K home video format on January 1st, 2019.

For my money, this 'Night School - Extended Cut: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Night School' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: MPEG-4 AVC; Resolution: 1080p; and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like in most all Rob Riggle scenes, to be very honest!

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes, much like the scenes when Hart is driving along with his parking lot "tussles" with Haddish!) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS:X; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: DTS 5.1; and French: DTS-HD HR 7.1.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR10 Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, 'Night School' is a wild comedy starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, and delivers exactly what you would expect from a comedy starring these two!

It peppers in plenty of jokes, some hit while others miss so badly that they can hardly be recognized as attempts at humor. There's such an eclectic mix of silly, sweet and ridiculous that's the result of six writer patching together the script. It easily could have been a disaster if not for the talented ensemble of on-screen talent.

'Girls Trip' director Malcolm D. Lee once again displays his aptitude for letting Haddish showcase her personality. She is equally a force when imposing her gruff edge and when showing her softer side as a no-nonsense teacher who leads the night school class for those prepping for the GED.

That's where she meets Hart's character, Teddy, a serial hustler in life who lost his sales job and now must pass the GED to begin a new job in finance and impress his successful fiancé.

Everyone in the night school class has their own reason for being there, but I question the logic of it all in 2018 because their desired career opportunities would be more likely to require a college education than only high school.

Nevertheless, Hart's classmates include a mom who got pregnant in high school (Mary Lynn Rajskub), a oddball conspiracy theorist (Romany Malco, who is hilarious in his limited role), and large man who is an even larger doofus (Rob Riggle), to name a few.

Give Riggle credit for his commitment. He consistently pours his heart into every line with the sincerest of effort, even the ones he must have known had no chance at eliciting even a chuckle.

Some of the other performers have more to work with but each achieves maximum laughs from the mediocre material.

The jokes mostly come from the most obvious places, which comes across as lazy writing. There's about three too many sight gags, one of which is admittedly hilarious despite being disgusting to point that it's impossible not to look away. The other physical humor ploys, including over-the-top comic violence, grow tired quickly.

The script hits the pause button on jokes, it unveils a heart beneath it all. These tender moments aren't exactly masterful, more like gooey to the point just shy of eye-roll worthy. But them credit for trying. All considered, this movie earns a passing score that could have been better if the filmmakers had just put in a little more work.

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on the 4K Ultra HD's special features, with one of them being Gag Reel "Extra Credit"! Just as it indicates, this is just a bunch of funny footage that was deemed too much to keep in the movie, but Lord knows why as it's some truly funny sh*t!

Both the Alternate Opening with Commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee and the Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Lee are an interesting look into the world of directing Hart, and another one is the Extended Performance "El Sueno" ... trust me, don't ask, just watch!

School is back in session when 'NIGHT SCHOOL' arrives on Digital and the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on December 11th, 2018, On Demand December 28th, 2018 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD January 1st, 2019, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of 'Night School - Extended Version'
Gag Reel "Extra Credit"
Feature Commentary with Director Malcolm D. Lee
Alternate Opening with Commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee
Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Malcolm D. Lee
Gag Reel
Night School's in Session!
Who's the Student? Who's the Teacher?
Prom Night Revisited
Cap 'n Gown 'n Giggles
Making of the Dance Battle
Christian Chicken
Game Over
Extended Performance "El Sueno"

Official Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link





Schindler's List: 25th Anniversary Edition 4K UHD
(Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / NR / 2018 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Steven Spielberg's cinematic masterpiece, 'Schindler's List', one of the most historically significant films of all time.

Winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, this incredible true story follows the enigmatic Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the hilariously funny 'Night School' in the 4K home video format on December 18th, 2018.

For my money, this 'Schindler's List: 25th Anniversary Edition: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Schindler's List: 25th Anniversary Edition' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265; Resolution: Native 4K (2160p); HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10; Aspect ratio: 1.85:1; and Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and what was obviously, even then, some of the graded material (notably in some scenes where Neeson and Kingsley are arguing, funnily enough).

As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1; and French: DTS 5.1.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR10 Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, and 'Schindler's List' is one of those movies that elicits such a strong reaction not only the first time one sees it, but every subsequent time that people often respond without fully being able to think through what they are saying.

Personally, it is one of my favorites, as I have emerged from each viewing of it exhausted, torn, and enlightened from an experience explores many sides of humanity during one of the most terrifying times in recent history.

Some, however, have responded very negatively to what they term historical inaccuracies, lack of focus on the real issues, or for others, overblown sentimentality.

Not being Spielberg, I have no idea what his intentions were, but I would argue that no single movie can ever truly capture the experience of an entire continent during a six year period or war, much less a 13 year period of Nazi rule in Germany.

Regardless of how incredible Schindler's List is, it should only be the first of many Holocaust movies to be made. Thus, I agree with people who argue that there was more to the Holocaust than this film, but to not recognize the greatness of this film for that reason is simply ridiculous.

This movie explores human nature, therein lies its true greatness. It asks each and every one of us to search the depths of our character, and ask ourselves what we would do in a situation where our moral, spiritual, and physical beings were threatened from every direction.

Do we really expect film to be reality? I don't. I go to movies to make me think, to make me look inward and learn something about myself, to tell explore a part of reality that I had not ever seen before.

'Schindler's List' does exactly this better than almost any other film through nearly flawless acting, beautiful cinematography, and a fantastic story, historically accurate or not.

I don't want to relive the Holocaust, I consider myself quite fortunate that I have never had, and hopefully never will have, to make the decisions facing either Stern, Goethe, or Schindler.

Instead, the Holocaust should be taught and learned about to discover more about humanity, hopefully to reach an understanding of ourselves that we can use in the future. That's what this film does; it's a work of art.

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on the 4K Ultra HD's special features, with the stand out one (for me, at least), being the highly impressive, and brand new featurette, Schindler's List: 25 Years Later.

Running at just under 40 minutes, this piece presents an on-stage discussion following a 2018 screening at The Beacon Theater for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Participants include Director Steven Spielberg and Actors Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall, and Embeth Davidtz. The discussion is moderated by Film Critic Janet Maslin.

The discussions heard that night included Spielberg reminiscing about seeing the film for the first time in many years, how he became involved in the production, performance qualities, memories from the production, viewing the film once again with an audience, film construction, casting details, interactions with the cast, the film's importance, and so much more.

The other new featurette is the much shorter, although no less powerful Let Their Testimonies Speak - Stronger Than Hate (3:50) where Steven Spielberg introduces a short piece that champions the importance of love in a world of hate and violence.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of Schindler's List
Schindler's List: 25 Years Later
Voices from the List
USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg (2018)
Let Their Testimonies Speak - Stronger Than Hate
About IWitness (2018)

Official 25th Anniversary Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link





'The House with a Clock in Its Walls: 4K Ultra HD'
(Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / PG / 2018 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett star in 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls'.

The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town's sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches!

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings next month with the release of the hilariously funny 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls' in the 4K home video format on January 1st, 2019.

For my money, this 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265; Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p); HDR: HDR10; Aspect ratio: 2.39:1; and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like in most all of the magical experiences that seem to come complete with gold sparkles attached!

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes, much like the scenes where the puppets downstairs all come to life and begin to round up our there heroes!) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: DTS-HD HR 7.1; and French: DTS-HD HR 7.1.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR10 Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, Horror mastermind Eli Roth attempts to turn away from the dark side and go towards the light but for his newest film 'The House With A Clock In Its Walls.'

The film takes on the story of a young orphan to which his uncle is a wizard or some magic man and goes on this weird and twisted quest to find this hidden clock in their house's walls and stop an evil plot to end humanity. As ridiculous as the story sounds, you could easily find it quite entertaining.

So, yes, the film is about a boy whose parent's recently passed away. He now has to go live with his uncle, who lives in a very strange house. The boy soon realizes that the house and his uncle are stranger than they seem.

The uncle is a warlock, and the house is basically alive. There is a clock hidden within the house placed there by the former inhabitant. Things happen, and the boy resurrects this owner. He soon realizes the mistake he has caused and must then try to stop this evil spirit from accessing this clock within the house.

In truth, apart from the inclusion of Lorenza Izzo (Roth's former wife), you can't really place this as an Eli Roth film. The effects are mixed, they seem bad at times and other times seem passable.

Owen Vaccaro, as Lewis, debuts impressively characterizing his inner pedant and emotional vulnerabilities. It is truly exciting to watch his character struggle and master the magic arts and current social status.

Jack Black, as Jonathan, is my favorite character as he excels with vibrant gestures and comic timing. His struggles and determination to connect with nephew Lewis about his orphanage are touching to watch and strengthened the movie's emotional core.

Cate Blanchett, as Florence, is enthralling with her sharp remarks and magic finesse. Last, but not least, Kyle McLachlan, as Isaac Izard, goes all in with his villainous and determined goals with the help of his equally cunning wife Selena, played by Renee Elise Goldsberry.

My favorite scene is the movie's introduction of the clock's ticking because the ambient sound mixing and design left me craving more. However, my problem with this movie stems from the plot development in general as the movie does not really get going until halfway through by delving full force into Izzard's endeavors.

This leaves the first half feeling dull and repetitive at times as it just feels like an hour-long introduction to the house. That said, the message of the movie is to always believe in hope and people, as that carries Lewis past his family tragedy and elevates him to become a hero.

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on the 4K Ultra HD's special features, with one of them being Warlocks and Witches, witch (see what I did there ... no ... oh well, please yourselves then!) is a wondrous four-part feature that takes a closer look at casting the main roles and the qualities the actors brought to the film. Included are Finding Lewis (2:16), Jack's Magical Journey (2:57), The Great Cate (2:19), and The Terrifying Eddie Izard (2:26).

Then another good one is Movie Magic which is a five-part feature that explores locations, objects, and visual effects. Included are The Ultimate Haunted House (2:26), Automatons Attack (2:18), Pumpkin Puke (2:10), Moving Pieces (1:24), and Baby Jack (1:36).

Lastly, I would give a two thumbs up to Eli Roth: Director's Journals, a rather informative six-part supplement that features Roth discussing locations and making various scenes, including a cameo appearance. Included are Candler Mansion (1:34), Newnan, GA (1:04), The Chair (1:02), Comrade Ivan (1:03), New Zebedee Elementary (1:06), and Wrap Day (1:39).

'The House With a Clock in its Walls' arrives on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on November 27th, 2018, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and On Demand on December 18th, 2018.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls'
Alternate Opening and Ending
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel
Feature Commentary with Director Eli Roth and Actor Jack Black
Warlocks and Witches
Movie Magic
Tick Tock: Bringing the Book to Life
Eli Roth: Director's Journals
Owen Goes Behind the Scenes
Theme Song Challenge
Do You Know Jack Black?
Abracadabra!
Jack Black's Greatest Fear
The Mighty Wurlitzer

Official Trailer

Amazon Purchase Link





'Hobbyhorse Revolution: Special Edition'
(Mariam Njie, Elsa Salo, Alisa Aarniomäki, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2017) 2018 / Film Rise - MVD Visual)

Overview: Oscar-nominated director Selma Vilhunen presents this documentary about young hobbyhorse enthusiasts. Over the past ten years, hobbyhorse riding has become a global phenomenon and a way of life for thousands of young people.

'HOBBYHORSE REVOLUTION' is a funny and moving film about the power of imagination and the strength of a community.

Blu-ray Verdict: A funny, and at times unexpectedly moving film, 'Hobbyhorse Revolution' is about teenagers with growing pains, who discover their own voice and talent through riding and grooming toy horses.

I was, quite literally, fascinated by this new documentary in which teenagers, and those that looked nothing like I expected them to (shame on me, I guess) sought out the comfort of inanimate objects (much like record collectors, but for wood enthusiasts!)

The film follows three young girls - Aisku, Elsa and Alisa - whose lives have been transformed by their new interest: hobbyhorses. Despite a lack of understanding by some, the girls bravely and spiritedly pursue their hobby; along the way garnering respect and even admiration from some of those shocked at the start.

Indeed, if not for that alone, 'Hobbyhorse Revolution' celebrates its subject matter with enthusiasm, resulting in a doc which is both deeply moving and endlessly amusing.

Simply put, this is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of women coming together to create their own magic and power. Agreed that the absurdity of the whole thing (to most passerby's, I'll grant you) made it hard for me to connect emotionally with the girls at the start, halfway through you're at ease with your mind that it's not actually a mockumentary! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer

www.FilmRise.com





'Maniac' [4K Restoration: 3-Disc Limited Edition]
(Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Kelly Piper, Tom Savini, Gail Lawrence, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray + CD / R / (1980) 2018 / Blue Underground)

Overview: Frank Zito misses his mother, who was killed in a car accident years before. She was abusive to him, and made money selling her body, but Frank still misses her.

He tries to keep her from leaving him, and reform her evil ways, by killing young women and putting their scalps on mannequins which he displays around his apartment.

Photographer Anna D'Antoni takes a picture of him in the park, and he pursues and befriends her. Is she the one he has been looking for or just another mother wannabe?

Blu-ray Verdict: Directed by William Lustig (MANIAC COP 2, VIGILANTE) and featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini (DAWN OF THE DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13th), this relentlessly shocking and disturbing film was originally censored all over the world due to its graphic violence!

Now Blue Underground is thrilled to present 'Maniac' in a brand-new 4K Restoration from its recently discovered 16mm original camera negative, overflowing with hours of new and archival extras!

But more on all of those later, as for now, let's get into the movie! Split down the middle, this schizoid film is a repertoire of what can be deemed both a slasher and splatter movie.

We have seen the typical slasher film stars such as Michael Myers (Halloween - 1978), Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th - 1980) and Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984).

These fantasy stalkers' work well on their own, but, when combined with the added ingredient of the Splatter genre, buckets of blood and missing limbs abundant, the pace suddenly becomes more shocking, more degrading and with blood-letting by the bucket loads to whet the appetite.

Films such as the English Hammer Film Productions of the sixties and seventies, Intolerance (1916), Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Evil Dead (1981) and of course, Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson's ultra-gore fest and blackest of comedies Braindead (1992) are all fine examples of the splatter label.

Throughout his carrier, Joe Spinell (1936 - 1989) had performed in possibly some of the greatest movies within the last forty years: The Godfather, Pt's I & II, Rocky I & II, Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and Taxi Driver (1976).

It is here, in his personal work via his attributes of starring, screenplay writing, story and Executive Producer that this 1980's classic slasher / splatter film 'Maniac' came to represent one of the most disturbing and shocking serial killers on screen since Norman Bates back in the early sixties.

A hater of women, or more to the point a man who has had the misfortune to be the miss-interpreter of women, and with a deep seated hatred fueled by his mother, this is a mind that has taken upon itself to reek havoc, vengeance and inherited blame onto his victims.

A disturbed mind has to also reside in the physical, and we see Frank Zito coming home after a bad night out in his tiny one room apartment, a shrine to all things female and childlike.

Dirty, broken and caged dolls sit aside centerfolds pinned onto the wall; framed pictures of his childhood are hung next to religious images, female mannequins that are dressed in his victims' attire, their scalped hair and their blood.

Tainted masks and images of death are a constant reminder of a mind in turmoil, a shrine to the female gender and madness in all respects.

Unlike the Bates Motel where we see our killer roaming free to explore his weakness, Zito's roaming ground is the streets of the seedier side of New York City.

There is evil, too, that is condensed into the tiny environment of his apartment that has the spectator tight up and in the thick of it all. Alienating as it first appears, director William Lustig and Joe Spinell has our leading man talking only to himself and the mannequins that he has made in the image of Woman that are the testament to his morbid indifference.

Spurned on by a grizzly, haunting and excellent score, both electronic and musical, by Jay Chattaway (Maniac Cop - 1988, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - 1987 / 94 etc), this is a fine signature tune, both her own and Zito's, that helps delve only deeper into the confusion of this primal scream. Mr. Carpenter would be pleased.

What is surprising with this narrative is the capability of Frank Zito to totally change persona, a doppelganger of social skill, intellect and wit, switching sides and crossing the line, to fully exploit the new arena he finds himself.

Befriending unknowing fashion photographer Anna D'Antoni (Caroline Munro: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, 1974 and The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977), with her photos of women laid across her wall.

There are comparisons, as Zito would believe, to her artistic works of preservation, via the photograph, of life, the life of woman and Zito's "still life" of his work, his preservation of life via the mutilation, destruction and the dressing of his ladies: the mannequins. He quickly claims his prize, he quickly slides back into the abyss and the sense is set for a mental explosion of paranoia hell.

Robert Lindsay, the films cinematographer and camera operator, has an eye for the suspenseful, with beautiful shots of atmosphere, it is also with Jay Chattaway's ear, Tom Savini's hands and the imagination of the late Joe Spinell that 'Maniac' is a film that both terrorizes and amazes.

This, being the heart of a good film, such as Maniac, with conflict and schism from start to finish, this will, literally, make the hairs stand on the back of your neck. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

WORLD PREMIERE! New 4K Restoration from the recently discovered 16mm original camera negative!
3-Disc Set (Blu-ray + Blu-ray + CD) includes High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) Widescreen 1.85:1 feature presentation + another Blu-ray PACKED with additional bonus material + Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD with MANIAC score by Jay Chattaway
Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD (English); 2.0 DTS-HD (English); Dolby Digital 2.0 (Castellano, Français, Italiano, Deutsch)
Subtitles: English SDH, Français, Español, Português, Deutsch, Italiano, Dansk, Suomi, Nederlands, Svenska, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai
Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Co-Producer Andrew W. Garroni
Audio Commentary #2 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell assistant Luke Walter
NEW! Maniac Outtakes Featurette
NEW! Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig
Anna and the Killer Interview with Star Caroline Munro (13:08)
The Death Dealer Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini (12:11)
Dark Notes Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway (12:13)
Maniac Men Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky (10:38)
Mr. Robbie: 'Maniac 2' Promo Reel (7:28)
The Joe Spinell Story (49:12)
NEW! Collectable Booklet with new essay by author Michael Gingold
MANIAC PUBLICITY: 'Paul Wunder' Radio Interview with William Lustig, Joe Spinell, and Carline Munro (19:11), William Lustig on 'Movie Madness' (47:18), Joe Spinell at Cannes (0:44), Joe Spinell on 'The Joe Franklin Show' (13:13) and Carline Munro TV Interview (2:54)
MANIAC CONTROVERSY: A selection of archival broadcast TV news clips, interviews and reactions to the film. (41:15)
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Radio Spot

www.Blue-Underground.com





'Jane Fonda's Lean Routine & Lower Body Solution'
(Jane Fonda / DVD / NR / (1990) 2018 / Lightyear Entertainment)

Overview: The twelfth fitness tape in Jane's series ('Lean Routine') gives users an hour of dance aerobics in a new setting.

It is designed to be done in 20, 40, or 60 minute segments to fit all levels of fitness and users' busy schedules.

Following the workout is a 15 minute segment on nutrition - what to eat, how much of it to eat, and how you can make it improve your diet and actually eat more while losing weight.

The second of these flashback releases, 'Lower Body Solution,' allows Fonda to work the lower body.

DVD Verdict: First up is 'Jane Fonda's Lean Routine,' where the always-beautiful (even today) screen gem provides the ultimate fat burning workout for everyone.

Featuring Low Impact / High Energy Aerobics that take you through Every Fitness Level, along with Aerobic Interval Training, it sure keeps up a tolerable rhythm - especially as two of the workout levels are, thankfully, able to be done whilst sprawled on the floor!

That accounts, luckily, for both high impact and low impact and thus it is one of the few workout videos that doesn't bore me after around the third time of using it!

Mainly because the music is tolerable. And therein is something else to note as there are 13 original songs included here throughout, with each song uniquely choreographed, and chaptered so you can navigate to your favorites.

I've tried muting it and using my own music sometimes, which, for the most part is possible (because the beat is pretty much the same all the way through), but you miss out on all the encouragements from Jane!

Something you should know though, is that when the Lean Routine came out, the LEAN part of the title was advertised and written on the cover art as:

L - for Low Impact/High Energy Aerobics
E - for Every Fitness Level
A - for Aerobic Interval Training
N - for Nutrition Program

However, this new DVD release from Lightyear Entertainment does NOT include the nutrition program, sorry.

In the second of these flashback releases, 'Jane Fonda's Lower Body Solution,' she works the lower body in two ways: 35 minutes of low-impact aerobic dance with some step, then 25 minutes of targeted conditioning for the abs, buttocks, and thighs.

The whole workout is well choreographed, well instructed, and accessible to beginners. Part 2 starts with traditional lower-body floor work, mainly many variations of leg lifts and abdominal crunches, followed by a stretch.

Running at just over an hour, it primarily tackles the Abs, Buns and Thighs (as the artwork states, "The #1 problem area for many women and men ... and now there's a solution") within the confines of a Safe, Flexible, Fun and Effective set of routines. These are both Full Screen Presentations (4:3 Standard) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.lightyear.com





'New Wave: Dare To Be Diffferent'
(Various / DVD / NR / 2018 / MVD Visual)

Overview: U2, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, The Clash, The Cure: Over half a billion records sold but you may never have heard of them if not for a small suburban radio station on Long Island, NY: WLIR.

In August, 1982, a small group of radio visionaries knew they couldn't compete with the mega-stations in New York City. With one brave decision, they changed the sound of radio forever.

DVD Verdict: Chock full of all my favorite bands of the era, let alone still here today, 'New Wave: Dare To Be Different' is a simply wondrous cinematic event to behold for all fans of music.

Program Director Denis McNamara, the 'LIR crew and the biggest artists of the era tell the story of how they battled the FCC, the record labels, mega-radio and all the conventional rules to create a musical movement that brought the New Wave to America.

Watching it, you get that feeling with nearly every artist that you might well have known all their hits, but the stories behind both the bands and the songs' origins was something that passed you by.

Ergo, here we get engaged, once again, with the music, listening as the artists themselves reveal elements of their early work; their inspirations, their troubles, their obstacles, and how the era actually influenced their music and message.

Indeed, the story of the small, rogue, radio station that played this music has it's very own entertaining subplot (which I won't totally spoil here for you now).

Hearing the DJ's remember moments when famous artists hung out at WLIR or when they literally had to go to the airport to pick up record imports gives this documentary a vital authenticity, for want of a better word.

Definitely recommended to anybody who loves '80s music, 'New wave: Dare To Be Different' features a soundtrack that includes more than 50 songs from the era and a new original theme song by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts!

The Bonus Features include Unseen Interviews with: WLIR Staff - Delphine Blue, Ben Manilla, Jeff 'Beck' Carlson, Unseen interviews with WLIR Staff: Donna Donna, Malibu Sue McCann, Larry 'The Duck' Dunn, along with amazingly still to this day, Unseen interviews with Ed Steinberg, founder of RockAmerica; Grammy-winning producer Steve Thompson; Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly of China Crisis; Curt Smith, founding member of Tears for Fears; Lol Tolhurst, founding member of The Cure; Nick Rhodes founding member of Duran Duran; Billy Idol; WLIR Program Director Denis McNamara; Director Ellen Goldfarb; Jim Murtha and DJ Bird; Cassie Reilly, daughter of Denis McNamara, and Dan McNamara, son of Denis McNamara. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

Never-Before-Seen Interviews!

www.MVDvisual.com





'Waterworld: Special Edition' [2-Disc]
(Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Hopper, et al / 2-Disc Blu-ray / PG-13 / (1995) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: The most expensive film ever made at the time of its release, 'Waterworld' has thrilled audiences through the years with its awe-inspiring action scenes, gargantuan maritime sets and ground-breaking special effects.

A definitive post-apocalypse blockbuster, 'Waterworld' stars Kevin Costner (The Untouchables) as The Mariner - a mutant trader, adrift in a dystopian future where Earth is submerged under water and humankind struggles to survive on boats and in ramshackle floating cities.

Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, and I'm still unashamed to say it out loud, 'Waterworld' has been one of my favorite Sci-Fi films since my first viewings of it in 1995.

Most reviews of 'Waterworld' I read are quite favorable, yet it still seems like the movie has a bad rap. It seems some cannot forgive the film for going so ridiculously over budget. I say who cares how much it cost, it is not my money!

Hundreds of years ago the Earth was covered in water when the Polar ice caps melted due to global warming. The Universal studios opening logo is used to illustrate this, to spectacular effect. This is the setup for the film. At the heart of this tale is a search for humanity, and a new world the mythic "dryland".

The fantastic settings are unlike anything I have ever seen on film, and the action sequences are breathtaking. By filming almost exclusively on water the costs were excessive, but the film would have looked far less spectacular if they cut corners.

An example is the Atoll set. Sure they could have built this as a miniature, but it never would have been convincing. Going for broke (quite literally) with the settings is what makes the films look so amazing.

The performances in 'Waterworld' far exceed those of most Sci-Fi films. Kevin Costner as the Mariner is at his best, playing an animal bent on one thing survival.

Slowly he humanizes before our eyes thanks to the characters of Enola and Helen (played by Tina Majorino and Jeanne Tripplehorn). The love that develops between the three characters is believable, only because of the excellent performances.

Dennis Hopper is at his psycho scene stealing best in Waterworld. He brings to the character of The Deacon the humor that is inherent in all of his roles.

When he is on screen as the "religious" head of the motley band of Smokers the film is at its best. The Deacon believes in Manifest destiny and wants to do nothing more than find dry land and knock down trees, and build a golf course in the name of progress.

Scenes between Tina Majorino as Enola and Hopper's Deacon are mind blowing. Hopper plays these like a bad Uncle you would never entrust your child with.

Some things are explained in better detail here on some of the more indepth Special Features included on this magnificent Limited Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray set from Arrow Films (UK), which also manages to restore nearly an hours worth of material from earlier screenings.

That all said, to have a complete understanding of the film and how great the story truly is, this new 2-Disc is the version to start it all off with.

So, if you've scared off of seeing 'Waterworld' due to all the negative press down the years, I can honestly tell you that you are missing one of the BEST films of its time.

Then again, if you have already seen it, well, watch it all over again on this magnificent new Limited Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray set - you won't be sorry (as you already know, of course!) This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

2-Disc Limited Edition Contents:
New restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Arrow Films, presenting the film in three cuts
Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio options
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Six collector s postcards
Double-sided fold-out poster
Limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper

Disc One: The Theatrical Cut:
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the original theatrical cut
Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld, an all-new, feature-length making-of documentary including extensive cast and crew interviews and behind the scenes footage
Original archival featurette capturing the film's production
Global Warnings, film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters
Production and promotional stills gallery
Visual effects stills gallery
Original trailers and TV spots

Disc Two: The Extended Cuts (Limited Edition Exclusive):
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the extended European Ulysses cut, which includes censored shots and dialogue

www.ArrowFilms.com





'FRONTLINE: Trump's Showdown'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2018 / PBS)

Overview: Trump's fight against the investigation of his campaign and whether he obstructed justice. With the threat of impeachment growing, Trump wages an unprecedented war against the Special Counsel, the FBI, and even his own Attorney General.

DVD Verdict: Directed by Michael Kirk, Produced by Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser, Jim Gilmore, Gabrielle Schonder, and Philip Bennett, and Written by Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser, 'FRONTLINE: Trump's Showdown' is yet another in a quick line of PBS releases that focus on the current Commander In Chief of the USA.

I say current like that, because, and as this 120 minute documentary showcases to the extreme, formal efforts to start the process of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump (who took office in 2017), have already been initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman; both Democrats.

Since then, other people and groups have asserted that Trump has engaged in impeachable activity during his presidency and have joined the ever-growing throng of those wanting to see Trump be removed from Office.

As the investigation ensnares powerful members of Trump's inner circle and threatens the President himself, FRONTLINE presents 'Trump's Showdown.'

This two-hour documentary traces the dramatic events that have led the White House and the United States to the brink of what could become a Constitutional crisis.

'Trump's Showdown' methodically reveals how an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has grown to threaten Donald Trump's presidency.

The documentary draws on more than 60 in-depth interviews with former heads of U.S. intelligence agencies, Trump insiders, attorneys, authors and journalists.

Thousands of photographs and hundreds of hours of archival footage help pull together the entire story - from the days just before Trump's inauguration to increasingly chaotic recent events including the President's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and his furious response to revelations about Oval Office intrigue.

Today, the impeachment of Donald Trump exists on the brink of plausibility. The sine qua non of an impeachment investigation, to say nothing of actual votes to charge and remove the President, is a Democratic takeover of the House in the November elections. Such a change now looks better than possible, maybe even probable. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'Breaking Big'
(2-Disc DVD / NR / 2018 / PBS)

Overview: Why have some of the world's most influential people been able to make it big? Explore how some of today's artists, innovators, athletes and political leaders made their careers.

DVD Verdict: Spread over 2 discs and running at a healthy 320 minutes, 'Breaking Big' explores how some of today's most compelling artists, innovators, athletes and political leaders pushed, prodded and cajoled the major opportunities that would make their careers.

Hosted by Carlos Watson, twelve talented men and women, from country music superstar Jason Aldean and actress Danai Gurira to Oscar-winning director Lee Daniels and chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang, recount the nearly insurmountable obstacles and long odds they faced to reach and reimagine their own potential and, ultimately, to break big.

Their stories are deepened by eminent social scientists, marketing experts, film critics, book editors and many others who assess the risk-taking and bold moves these journeys required.

In truth, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, whose interview kicks off the series, comes across as more of a comedian than anyone serious enough to delve too deeply into his path to behind his desk.

Ditto ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat creator Eddie Huang, who is first-and-foremost a chef and former Fox News Channel host Gretchen Carlson who is first a “change maker.”

But things do spark up when the also-interviewed San Juan, Puerto Rico pugnacious mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tells her tale and we discover that, and despite her well-documented issues with President Donald Trump, “in some ways, stylistically” they “have some things in common.”

Trevor Noah – Host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central
Eddie Huang – Chef and restaurateur, author of Fresh Off the Boat
Danai Gurira – Actress and playwright (Black Panther, Walking Dead)
Jason Aldean – Country music superstar
Ruth Zukerman – Co-founder of SoulCycle and Flywheel
Christian Siriano – Fashion designer
Roxane Gay – Author and cultural critic
Michael Strahan – Host of “Good Morning, America” and former NFL star
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – U.S. Senator, New York
Lee Daniels – Academy Award-winning director, Precious and Fox series “Empire”
Gretchen Carlson – Former Fox News anchor and Miss America
Carmen Yulín Cruz – Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





'The Karate Kid III & The Next Karate Kid'
(Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Hilary Swank, Robyn Lively, Thomas Ian Griffith, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1989/1994) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: It's a karate combo as the 3rd and 4th installments of the successfully 'Karate Kid' franchise are paired together in one nostalgic Blu-ray collection!

Blu-ray Verdict: In 'The Karate Kid - Part III' (1989), Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) take up where they left off, returning from Okinawa and hoping for a peaceful life in their bonsai shop.

But their serenity is shattered when Daniel is blackmailed into competing against the vicious "Bad Boy of Karate", Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan).

'The Karate Kid - Part III' is a film that when looked at again today reminds you of how great the '80s were. No CGI, no massive budget, no massive stars, just good old fashioned entertainment where Daniel LaRusso yet again succeeds against all the odds.

OK, sure, this film is not perfect by any means. It has a fairly weak story and some poor dialogue and character motivations are somewhat unbelievable.

Don't the villains have anything better to do with their time than to harass our hero into entering the tournament. does it really mean that much to them to get Daniel to fight. Come on, get a life guys!

As has been stated down the years, the love interest here is pointless because their relationship goes nowhere. They decide to be friends because she has an on/off boyfriend.

In fact, it seems her only purpose here is to hang out with Daniel and eat macaroni cheese with him! Not exactly Romeo and Juliet. Heck, it's not even Bert and Ernie!

However, in my opinion, the positives just about outweigh the negatives. Mr. Miyagi is yet again the strongest link, adding his usual mix of humor and wisdom in equal doses.

As his friendship with Daniel slowly disintegrates, you really feel for him as the sadness washes over his face, that his surrogate son is for the first time against him and not with him.

Mike Barnes is a good foe for Daniel. You can really believe that he is Karate's so-called bad boy as his PR make him out to be. You believe that Mike could and does kick Daniel's ass at almost every opportunity.

He is much more threatening and abusive than previous opponents, that's for damn sure. As for the bounty attached to this fight, well, if Daniel doesn't fight, Mike wins the tournament and Mr. Silver throws out his mustard colored cobra Kai shirts; drawing kids into his dojo's.

In closing, the music in this film is beautiful. Bill Conti, in all three movies has done some of his best work. The music that plays over Daniel's Kata training is tranquil and memorable. The music that plays over Daniel's final bout leaves goosebumps all over your body. Well matched for a really decent film, no matter what you've heard down the years, trust me!

In 'The Next Karate Kid'' (1994), Mr. Miyagi is back and he takes a new pupil under his wing, troubled teenager Julie Pierce (Oscar®-winner Hillary Swank) who learns to control the grief and anger from the loss of her parents with the discipline of karate.

For once a sequel to 'The Karate Kid' without Ralph Macchio! Hilary Swank did an excellent job playing the orphan Julie Pierce. Pat Morita aka Mr. Miyagi is back and working his ways with Julie quite differently from Daniel.

Both Daniel and Julie favored karate. Unlike Daniel, Julie was the most surly person Miyagi ever challenged, but there is tournament to have to compete in here.

In this chapter, Mr. Miyagi (Morita) attends a WWII ceremony in Boston, MA honoring him and his late friend. He visits his friend's widow, Louisa (Towers) and meets her granddaughter, Julie (Swank).

He notices that Julie is angry because her parents are dead and takes her anger out on Louisa. He asks Louisa to spend time in his house in California while he helps Julie.

He takes Julie under his wing teaching her karate to defend herself against bullies in school and regain her self-confidence. Julie also meets Eric (Conrad), a boy in school who's a cadet for the air force and they fall for each other.

Eric and Julie face the same bullies in league with Col. Dugan (Ironside) who's a war nut. This is a pretty good sequel, Morita and Swank are great together and Bill Conti's score is excellent, as usual.

I highly recommend these films, now presented here on this wonderful double feature Blu-ray, out January 8th, 2019 via Mill Creek Entertainment. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'The Dick Cavett Show: Inside The Minds Of....'
(Dick Cavett, et al / DVD / NR / 2018 / S'More Entertainment)

Overview: Since 1968, Dick Cavett has been host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats.

These releases were taken from episodes that aired between 1968 through 1996 and feature some of the wittiest, edgy comics of the era, including Robin Williams, Bobcat Goldthwait, Richard Lewis and Gilbert Gottfried.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the official know, 'The Dick Cavett Show' was an 90 minute mixture of talk and variety that ran for six astounding years on late-night prime time television on the ABC-TV network from the first telecast on May 26,1969 to the final episode of the series on August 16,1975.

This was at the time one of the most versatile performers who eventually gave us some of the biggest entertainment acts in the history of rock,and went toe to toe with the King of Late Night-Johnny Carson and eventually at the time Merv Griffin for the battle of late night supremacy.

However, Dick Cavett was one of the few television personalities ever to star or host major programs in daytime, prime-time, late night, all in quick succession.

And it wasn't about his failure to attract a large audience with any of them, because his late night talk show brought in some of the largest ratings ever for ABC at the time.

Well praised and received by the critics, his late night show was generally acknowledged to be witty, intelligent, and interesting compared to what was scheduled around them.

'The Dick Cavett Show: Inside The Minds Of....' is a wondrous DVD set with just over two hours of lush flashback material. Entitled Volume 1, the episodes come from the PBS series (the two half hour shows with Robin Williams in 1979 being my personal favs) and three from the 1990-92 CNBC series.

And sticking with Williams, he was known for his TV work on “Mork & Mindy” and was just about to bring us the flop 'Popeye,' but here on The Dick Cavett Show, the late comedian was more about using every prop he could find on the set to come up with something creatively funny to showcase or say!

Sure he sits (relatively) quietly for small chunks of time, openly and honestly and seriously discussing his depression issues (sadly, the very same ones that killed him years later), but it's Williams at his most zany that truly draws the attention.

Cavett, who also started off as a stand-up comedian, also brings us in-depth conversations with both Gilbert Gottfried and Bobcat Goldthait. Both are, as you would expect, loud and brash and there to promote their respective new films.

Gottlieb was there for the flop 'Ford Fairlane' - with Andrew Dice Clay (who also gets mentioned a lot) and Goldthwait talks about the 'Police Academy' series.

All fun, chock full of laughs, if you listen carefully, you'll also here information on Donald Trump as a TV star! The other guest is Richard Lewis, who spends time discussing the TV show he starred in with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Add to that his own stories of his personal affliction with anxiety issues – the basis for his comedy act and, yes, another true-to-life thing that took him too early from us - this is perhaps the most sad of clips to behold. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.smoreent.com





'The Dick Cavett Show: And That's The Way It Is'
(Dick Cavett, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2018 / S'More Entertainment)

Overview: Since 1968, Dick Cavett has been host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats.

These releases were taken from episodes that aired between 1968 through 1996 and feature some of the best known news reporters of the era including Cronkite, Rather, Brokaw, Walters, Wallace and Sawyer.

DVD Verdict: For those not in the official know, 'The Dick Cavett Show' was an 90 minute mixture of talk and variety that ran for six astounding years on late-night prime time television on the ABC-TV network from the first telecast on May 26,1969 to the final episode of the series on August 16th, 1975.

This was at the time one of the most versatile performers who eventually gave us some of the biggest entertainment acts in the history of rock,and went toe to toe with the King of Late Night-Johnny Carson and eventually at the time Merv Griffin for the battle of late night supremacy.

However, Dick Cavett was one of the few television personalities ever to star or host major programs in daytime, prime-time, late night, all in quick succession.

And it wasn't about his failure to attract a large audience with any of them, because his late night talk show brought in some of the largest ratings ever for ABC at the time.

Well praised and received by the critics, his late night show was generally acknowledged to be witty, intelligent, and interesting compared to what was scheduled around them.

'The Dick Cavett Show: And That's The Way It Is' is a wondrous 2-Disc DVD set with just over four hours of lush flashback material. Stand outs here for me are the ones with Walter Cronkite, with whom he conducted two one-on-one conversations: the first October 16th, 1974, the second on March 11th, 1982.

Another is when Mike Wallace was a participant on a Cavett panel that included Robert Klein, Joan Gans Johnson and Nicholas Johnson on June 30th, 1970. Now this one, amongst the bevy of others, stands out for me as it was yet another quite brilliant showcasing of comedic talent from the great Richard Klein.

And, of course, how could we all forget that infamous broadcast on November 18th, 1985, when Diane Sawyer appeared on a panel with 60 MINUTES producer Don Hewitt, Morley Safer ... and oddly, Teddy Ruxpin and Don Kingsborough (the man who introduced the Teddy Ruxpin toy!). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.smoreent.com





K.D. Lang - Ingénue Redux: Live from The Majestic
(K.D. Lang / Blu-ray / NR / 2018 / MVD Visual)

Overview: This Landmarks special features an uninterrupted performance of the complete Ingénue album, featuring Lang's GRAMMY®-award winning hit, Constant Craving, complemented by selections from Lang's 2004 album Hymns of the 49th Parallel; as well as other notable favorites.

Blu-ray Verdict: For those not in the know, this wonderful, truly magnificent new Blu-ray celebrates the 25th Anniversary of her hit album Ingénue and showcases just how still on top of her game she really is.

Ingénue was the second solo album by Canadian singer Lang, released in 1992. In fact, to this day, it is Lang's most successful album on the pop charts, both in her native Canada and internationally, and has more of a cabaret flavor than her earlier more country influenced work.

Here in this beautiful setting, and with her voice as clear cut and as fantastic as ever, under a subtle white spot, she opens with both Save Me and Mind of Love, before giving us one of my favs of hers, Miss Chatelaine.

Released as the second single from the album, you may well recall that the song's music video depicted Lang — who was usually best known for a fairly androgynous appearance — in an exaggeratedly feminine manner; surrounded by bright pastel colors and a profusion of bubbles reminiscent of a performance on the Lawrence Welk show (complete with an accordion in the instrumentation).

Its that memory that makes me shut my eyes here and as she sings it live, reflect back to the gorgeous-filmed video with a smile. As the live show moves forward, it's also great to note that Lang allows all her musicians to display their talents individually.

The camera work is terrific also as you get a sense of Lang's personality via her performance pieces. Which is exactly what this live show seems to be, taken as a whole: a linked set of performances that, as a whole, come together beautifully under the one musical umbrella perfectly.

With herself and her band on top, sparkling form, Lang puts on one of the best shows of her career here on 'K.D. Lang - Ingénue Redux: Live from The Majestic Theatre.'

Track Listing: Save Me; Mind of Love; Miss Chatelaine; Wash Me Clean; So It Shall Be; Still Thrives This Love; Seasons Of Hollow Soul; Outside Myself; Tears Of Love Recall; Constant Craving; Honey And Smoke; I Dream Of Spring; Help Me; Helpless; Hallelujah; Sing It Loud; Sleeping Alone.

www.KDlang.com

www.MVDvisual.com





'Dogs On The Job: 7-Part Documentary Series'
(DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: A dog's purpose can extended beyond a companionship role as man s best friend to a functional one that comes with great purpose and responsibility.

This fascinating 7-part documentary series explores the history, training and duties of working dogs and the integral role they serve to assist mankind.

DVD Verdict: This wondrous, so very lovable series features seven parts - individual stories - that celebrate the deep emotional bonds between people and their beloved four-legged friends” from countries including Syria, Japan, Italy and the United States.

As we learn from speeches made throughout the show, dogs don’t just make us feel loved, dogs make us feel safe. In the world we live in today, no matter how divided we are, we should take care to realize how much dogs mean to all of us, and how our bond with them can help bring us together.

Chapters:
1. Wolves Become Dogs
2. Dogs Move Into the Stage and Stadium
3. Herding and Mushing
4. The Nose Will Get the Job Done
5. Police and Military
6. Dogs Helping People Live Normal Lives
7. Protection and Companion

Running at a lovely - hey, I was a dog owner for 15 years, so yes, it's lovely - 3 hours and 12 minutes, this is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'The Laurel & Hardy Comedy Collection'
(Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy / 2-Disc DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Long live the laughable, lovable, legends - the greatest comedy duo ever - LAUREL AND HARDY!

Enjoy 24 hilarious classic shorts, feature-length films, interview and home movies showcasing comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

DVD Verdict: This wondrous, simply divine new 2-Disc DVD collection from Mill Creek Entertainment of two of the funniest men to ever take to the silver screen is one of my favorite releases of 2018!

This collection begins in fine style with a batch of Shorts and Features with 'The Lucky Dog' (1921) being the kick off point. In their first screen appearance together, Stan plays a penniless dog lover and Oliver plays a crook who tries to rob him and his new paramour.

Running at 24 minutes, it should be known, as with much of the others on show here, that Laurel is an up-and-coming vaudeville performer, a veteran of Fred Karno's English music hall troupe and understudy for Charlie Chaplin prior to his film career. He has appeared in relatively few films.

Hardy, conversely, is a seasoned and professional film comedian, having spent most of the previous five or six years in hundreds of films, probably all comedies. Often he played the villain, sometimes another supporting role, and, in his "Pudge and Runt" comedies with Billy Ruge, the star.

The next set is Laurel solo short films, that begins with the excellent 'Mud & Sand' (1922). Rhubarb Vaselino (Laurel) lives in a small village, when he and his friend, Sapo, enter a bullfighting contest.

Sapo dies, but Rhubarb kills three bulls and becomes a local hero earning money. Two years later, he is living in Madrid as a national hero, when he becomes involved with Filet de Sol (Leona Anderson), and his lover finds out, he must fight the most deadliest in Spain, in the last bull fight of the season.

If nothing else, this film is known for Laurel nearly being killed during the making of this movie! In the scene where he is being chased down the street by a bull, it was a real bull chasing Stan, which caught up to him and nearly killed him.

After this incident, the crew decided to scare Stan by telling him that the camera didn't get the picture, and the scene would have to be shot again!

In the third set of features we get some Hardy solo shorts, which begin with the always-fun to watch 'The Hobo' (1917). Starring Billy West as a hobo who hangs around the train station, he creates disruption in the ticket office, at the lunch counter, and in the lives of some of the customers.

As noted, a young Oliver Hardy has a role here and does a good job, though his main task is to eat copious amounts of food, of course! Indeed, the overall package of actors is certainly watchable, and probably about average for the time and genre.

Disc 1:
Laurel & Hardy Shorts and Features
The Lucky Dog (1921)
Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925)
The Stolen Jools (1931)
The Flying Deuces (1939)
The Tree in a Test Tube (1943)
Utopia (1951)

Disc 2:
Stan Laurel Solo Short Films
Mud & Sand (1922)
West of Hot Dog (1924)
Oranges and Lemons (1923)
The Soilers (1923)
White Wings (1923)
Stan Laurel Home Movies

Disc 3:
Oliver Hardy Solo Short Films
The Hobo (1917)
Hop To It, Bellhop (1919)
The Saw Mill (1922)
The Show (1922)
Kid Speed (1924)
The Paperhanger's Helper (AKA Stick Around) (1925)
Should Sailors Marry? (1925)
Along Came Auntie (1926)
Bromo & Juliet (1926)
Crazy Like a Fox (1926)
Enough to Do (AKA Wandering Papas) (1926)
Thundering Fleas (1926)

These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Robin Hood: Origins' [5 Film Collection]
(Louis Hayward, Janet Blair, George Macready, Edgar Buchanan, Jon Hall, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: On 'Robin Hood: Origins' we get five films featuring the famed outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor!

DVD Verdict: We begin with 'The Bandit of Sherwood Forest' (1946) Color, NR @ 1 Hour 26 Minutes. Robert of Nottingham, the son of Robin Hood, goes to the aid of the Queen Mother and the beautiful Lady Catherine, who are fleeing the cruel Regent, William of Pembroke, who has the King imprisoned in the castle.

Robert, Catherine and Friar Tuck enter the guarded castle and free the King, but Robert and Catherine are captured.

As aforementioned, the story deals with the legend of Robin Hood. On this occasion it is the son of Robin Hood, namely Robert, played by Cornel Wilde, who is the hero.

Obviously, since Robin Hood lived in the days of Richard The Lion Heart and King John, one must assume that the young King is King John's son Henry III, who ascended the throne during his minority.

The kingdom during this time was ruled by Regents culminating in Simon de Montfort, when the King achieved his majority.

But historical fact aside, the film is an enjoyable piece of escapist adventure, which is sadly lacking from our screens today.

Next up is 'The Black Arrow' (1948) B&W, NR @ 1 Hour 16 Minutes. Young nobleman Richard Shelton returns from the War of the Roses to find his father murdered, a fugitive family friend blamed, and his uncle occupying his estates.

Starkly made in classic black and white, this medieval adventure is set and in England at the end of the War of the Roses. The main character must cope with the death of his father, apparently at the hand of a once trusted neighbor. Naturally, a love interest is provided for him in the person of the daughter of his father's killer.

'The Black Arrow' is the mysterious missive that keeps flying in, to suggest that things are not what they seem, and to motivate young Shelton to search for truth. Some good sword play, chase sequences, and a classic joust scene for the grand finale. A good film for a late afternoon unwind. Then comes 'The Prince of Thieves' (1948) Color, NR @ 1 Hour 12 Minutes. En route to Nottingham Castle to see his fiancee, Lady Cristabel, Sir Allen Claire and his sister Lady Marian (Patricia Morison) are told by Robin Hood (Jon Hall) that Sir Allen's bride-to-be is being forced into an arranged marriage by her father, Baron Tristram.

Jon Hall gets a break from the exotic Arabian Nights films he was doing during most of the Forties and gets his chance to play the legendary Robin Hood in 'Prince Of Thieves'. He's definitely a bit more of a rogue in this Robin Hood tale than you find in most.

He rescues Maid Marian and her brother Michael Duane a pair of Saxon nobles who were waylaid in Sherwood Forest. It's the brother that's heading for his wedding to Lady Adele Jergens.

However the powers that be who rule England in Richard I's absence have other ideas for some politically convenient marriages of alliance. Of course that's Prince John who is not seen in this film.

As it's only 71 minutes, barely longer than an hour we don't get too much time for character development. Hence, 'The Prince Of Thieves' plays like an episode of the old Richard Greene Robin Hood series. No bad thing though.

Next up is 'Rogues of Sherwood Forest' (1950) Color, NR @ 1 Hour 19 Minutes. When King John imposes oppressive taxes and cruel treatment upon the local population in medieval England, the son of legendary bandit Robin Hood reforms his father's "Merry Men" to once more rise against the king.

Personable John Derek makes a handsome Robin Hood, but he can't overcome a lifeless script and weak direction. What does steal the show are the costumes, scenery and brilliant Technicolor. Otherwise, this is a dull affair full of wooden acting and cardboard characters.

It looks magnificent and the sets are really striking, but the script is the main culprit. Even the villains are given little to do but strike angry poses, making one wish for Sir Guy of Gisbourne to show up in the person of Basil Rathbone.

It's a hodge-podge of Robin Hood elements, with Robin's son rounding up all of the "old guys" who helped his father in the past. Alan Hale is on hand to reprise his Little John role for the fourth and last time. He's a tired looking actor in this one, barely able to summon up enough gusto to get through the role.

Diana Lynn is the pretty spy at court who helps Derek with his fight against the palace stronghold. She's lovely but looks out of place in her period costumes since these kind of roles were never part of her past history as an ingénue.

Lowell Gilmore has almost no flair as the man who wants to marry her and even George Macready lacks the dynamic spirit to play a nasty villain.

Gordon Douglas can't be commended for directing this one. Pace and flair are two of the missing ingredients, along with a lifeless script.

Lastly comes 'Sword of Sherwood Forest' (1960) Color, NR @ 1 Hour 20 Minutes. The sheriff of Nottingham plots to confiscate the estate of the Lord of Bortrey, who has died on Crusade.

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks against this plot, and the sheriff plans to eliminate him. Robin Hood pretends to undertake the assassination of the Archbishop for the plotters; Maid Marion, meeting him thinks him the leader of a gang of murderers, and leads him into a trap.

A real oddity from Hammer Films, 'Sword of Sherwood Forest' is their only film based on a popular UK TV series which actually features the star of the show in the movie.

The rest of the cast has still been replaced, however, and because of the nature of the story, it almost has to be an "alternate universe" continuity as I see no way it could fit into the run of the TV show.

Robin Hood (Richard Green) faces off mostly against the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Cushing), which means you've got "Sir Henry Baskerville" fighting "Sherlock Holmes" - although Cushing comes across more like "Baron Frankenstein" in this one.

Oddly enough, the real villain turns out to be "Edward, Earl of Newark", played by Richard Pasco, who I've never seen in anything else, but apparently played baddies in three different episodes of the TV series.

Also in the cast are Derren Nesbitt ('Where Eagles Dare') in one of his rare "good guy" roles, Edwin Richfield ("The Sea Devils") as a minor villain, and Oliver Reed ('The Big Sleep') as a total bastard, who, inexplicably, had his entire performance dubbed by another actor.

That all said, it's still a nice film, but not a great one, as the plot tends to ramble and never quite builds any kind of momentum; resembling more than anything a 30's serial with the cliffhangers removed!

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Trail Of Tears' [36 Documentary Collection]
(Various / 2-Disc DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: This harrowing and compelling compilation of award-winning documentary programs chronicles the struggles of the Native American culture from the forced relocation known as the Trail of Tears to the current issues faced by America's aboriginal people.

DVD Verdict: In the opening chapter, Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy, we get a two hour documentary that explores one of the great historical tragedies of America's aboriginal people.

In 1830, eager to gain access to lands inhabited by Native Americans, President Andrew Jackson enacted the Indian Removal Act which forced the Cherokee Nation to leave their homeland and relocate into unchartered territory.

Many of these forced settlers suffered from exposure, disease and starvation. Upon arriving in Indian Territory, they arrived with no past and no future.

Endorsed by the Cherokee Nation, we begin with the first of five chapters, Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy. As one can guess, this first documentary focuses on the 1838 Cherokee removal from the southeastern United States, dubbed the "Trail of Tears."

In truth, it is very powerful and rather incredible to watch and learn from. The fact that West Studi talks in the Cherokee language only adds genuine authenticity to the chapters subject matter.

I would definitely recommend anyone purchasing this to dig deeper into the history of the Cherokee as this entire 36 documentary series truly tells the tale of the Cherokee's beginning in the South and their removal to OK, but not everything, of course.

Inclusive of those who escaped to NC to live on the Qualla Boundary Reservation, the next chapter is Native American Healing in the 21st Century and gives us a look at the ancient and healing methods of American aboriginals and uncovers the invaluable contribution that Native Americans made to early frontier living.

Next comes Black Indians: An American Story, narrated by James Earl Jones. A stunning and informative documentary, it explores issues of racial identity between the mixed-descent peoples of both Native American and African American heritage.

Indeed, we soon learn early on that James Earl Jones is himself a Black Indian, which is something I myself never knew. Watching it truly brings to life the words of Black Elk (Oglala Sioux) who said: "With all beings and all things we shall be as relatives."

Then comes Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School, where the award winning producers of everything that has gone before - Chip Richie and Dan Agent aka Rich-Heape - yet again bring us an in-depth documentary.

Told from the Native American perspective, this documentary uncovers the dark history of the US government policy and will give a voice to the countless Indian children forced through the system.

The last in the collection is entitled Native America: Voices From The Land and showcases a 32 part program that provides a historical overview with discovered photographs, paintings, archival footage, interviews, and reenactments.

Here, throughout these 32 entries, we learn about their struggles, traditions, beauty and art.

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'Secret Stories of Hitler'
(Various / 3-Disc DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Adolf Hitler has left an incomparable mark of evil on the pages of history. A horrifying legacy that still haunts people around the world, today, this captivating documentary collection provides a brutal, honest and untold portrait of the life and events of history's most evil dictator - through 3 poignant documentaries that expose his terrifying truths.

DVD Verdict: Up first, and from Academy Award-Winning Producer David Puttnam (Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, The Killing Fields) comes the most controversial documentary (that was BANNED at the Cannes Film Festival) about Hitler ever made, Swastika (1974).

The Nazification of Germany from 1933 to 1945 is told here through a compilation of Nazi footage, newsreels, propaganda films and Eva Braun's home movies.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the starkest documentaries about the Third Reich you will EVER see!

At the age of 19, Franco-Australian film student Philippe Mora made the archive discovery of his life. With the help of a historian he found the Obersalzberg film roles that Eva Braun once stored in her bedroom at the Berghof and that were later seized by US military personnel.

Mora mixed these private recordings with Nazi propaganda material and created a documentary. Only in the second part of the movie he used footage from "the other side".

The movie misses any comment. Mora let the pictures speak for themselves. The documentary caused a scandal back then and was first shown in German cinemas 37 years later.

The contrast between cozy mountain idyll, martial parades and evil propaganda is hard to overcome. The film conveys a sense of how powerful and thrilling the atmosphere was at that time. Starling to watch. Brutal to admit it was a real life happening.

Next up is Hitler: The Untold Story, which is a 6-part series focusing on the years of Adolf Hitler's political career, from its obscure beginnings to the Nazi leader's final days in the bunker.

Also known as either 'Hitler: Anecdotes, Myths and Lies' or 'Adolf Hitler: The Case of the Missing Corpse' the piece tries to fill in the blanks of the question always asked of Hitler: Can we really be sure what became of Hitler?

It recounts the most significant events of his life and follows the Second World War as it unfolds to build a vivid picture of the personality of the Nazi dictator and those surrounding him; using the most revealing anecdotes and exposing the myths created to maintain Hitler in power and the lies spread by his brutal regime.

The final documentary is U-Boats: Hitler's Sharks in which we learn, and see, that from the very beginning of the World War II, the sea became a vitally important scene of conflict. Great Britain relied on receiving supplies by sea and, therefore, a total blockade of the UK was one of the main objectives of Hitler's Germany.

One of the great (and still) unanswered questions is that would have happened if Hitler had granted his general's requests for more submarines?! A fascinating look at a section of Hitler's reign that I myself had no real clue about, whilst the others have been roundly seen before, this one might well peak your interest the most.

www.MillCreekEnt.com





WWII - The War That Shook The World [6-DVD]
(Various / 6-Disc DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: 'WWII - The War That Shook The World' describes the events of the Second World War in the most detailed and comprehensive way, just as they happened.

From Hitler's invasion of Polish territory to the day in which Emperor Hirohito "had to accept the unacceptable", all is encompassed in this immense documentary collection.

DVD Verdict: Up first IS The Finest Hours of WWII which takes viewers to the front lines of the European, the Pacific and the African theatres of the deadliest conflict in human history.

Masterfully scripted, and full of authentic footage, this comprehensive 21 episode collection is sure to please war and history fans of all ages.

From the hindsight afforded by the passing of 70 years from the events narrated. From a totally independent standpoint and with freedom of thought, The Finest Hours of WWII describes the events in the most detailed and comprehensive way, just as they happened.

From the atrocious moment in which Hitler ordered the invasion of Polish territory to the day in which Emperor Hirohito “had to accept the unacceptable”, all is encompassed in this incredible series.

Next up is Combat Aircrafts which is a compelling documentary series that follows the history of the aerial assault vehicle from the creation of the aero plane to its militarization during World War I and the Russian Revolution.

With remarkable narration and incredible archival footage, including many never-before-seen sequences. This groundbreaking 5-part series is a complete historical overview from 1900 to 1945.

We quickly learn that World War II witnessed tremendous growth in the size of American military aviation, from about 2,500 airplanes to nearly 300,000 by the war’s end.

Indeed, compared to World War 1 (1914-1918), World War II set the standard for aircraft combat by producing evermore powerful bombers, faster fighters and rocket and jet-propelled air frames.

As we also discover, The Flying Fortress embodied the cherished American concept of precision daylight bombardment and was amongst the deadliest of World War II planes.

Finally comes Waves of Freedom which is a rather captivating adventure documentary that recounts a post-war story of U.S. volunteer sailors recruited to break the British naval blockade of Palestine.

It details how upon enlisting, foreign volunteers were used as part of the Zionist attempt to break through the British naval blockade of Palestine in 1945–48.

At the time, Palestine still was under British rule, and the British government continued a pre-war policy that limited Jewish immigration to several hundred persons a month, with the ultimate objective of barring it entirely.

So a rescue operation was mounted by the Palestine Jewish underground, and conducted under clandestine conditions. It was called "illegal immigration."

All told, a fleet of 60 ramshackle ships transported more than 60,000 "illegal immigrants" from European ports between 1946 and 1948.

Among them were 10 American ships, acquired as war surplus from U.S. boneyards and crewed by 250 volunteer sailors and contract officers. The ships carried 30,000 would-be immigrants.

www.MillCreekEnt.com





'Halloween: 4K Ultra HD'
(Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu ray + Digital / R / 2019 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Overview: Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Master of horror John Carpenter joins forces with director David Gordon Green and producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Split) for this follow-up to Carpenter's 1978 classic.

4K Ultra HD Verdict: Universal Studios Home Entertainment continues to expand their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings next month with the release of the horrific "sequel" 'Halloween' in the 4K home video format on January 15th, 2019.

For my money, this 'Halloween: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is 'Halloween' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy.

Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265; Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p); HDR: HDR10; and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.

Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like when we first get to "meet" Michael Myers, chained up outside on the forecourt.

Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably some scenes, much like the scenes where Curtis is shown in close-up terror, every feature of her face cut like mini canyons on old prospector maps!) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.

As for the audio, well we have: English: DTS:X; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); Spanish: DTS 5.1; and French (Canada): DTS 5.1 (with Subtitles in English SDH, French, and Spanish.)

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR10 Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.

Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, well, 'Halloween' returns for it's final chapter, and manages to deliver everything you'd expect from a 'Halloween' sequel; and some things you won't see coming!

The film opens with the documentary crew visiting Michael, a scene that's been covered quite extensively in the trailers. You'd expect things to go bad immediately but the film pulls back (not before the intro played, to Carpenter's wonderful score) to introduce its key players and gives them time to breath, setting up the status quo and making them more relatable.

With three generations of Strodes to choose from, there's certainly something for everyone to be able to relate to. Jamie Lee Curtis's Laurie has spent the last few decades getting ready to take Michael out, isolating herself and destroying all her relationships in the process.

She has two failed marriages behind her and no relationship with her daughter. Only her granddaughter seems to pay any attention to her, as much as she can anyway, as she enters the movie in the throws of teenage romance, with all the angst and supporting characters such a romance requires.

Throw in the Sherrif, Michael's doctor and the documentary crew in the mix, and the movie certainly does a great job of setting up a diverse buffet for Michael to slice and dice his way through. And that, he does.

Boasting some truly memorable kills, 'Halloween' does not hold back on the violence and gore, instead using it to build up dread throughout the movie. In fact, the whole film is an exercise in dread, slowly building up tension throughout its run time and exploding into a glorious, bloody finale.

While the films comes close to going off the rails trying to keep all its moving parts together (there's an odd subplot that pops up halfway through and one that I did not see coming, but never really goes anywhere and is STOMPED out pretty quickly), it manages to hold it all together and deliver a fantastic (hopefully) final entry in franchise; with some fist-pumping moments sure to be memorialized in pop-cult history! Featuring excellent performances by Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer, there is, to me, at the very least, a lot of 'Scream 4' thoughts played out here throughout 'Halloween.' From very self-aware teens to a toughened-up, table-turning protagonist, sure, not necessarily a bad thing, but and ode, nonetheless.

In closing, the team behind this edition even knew when to throw in some great humor along the way which means you get a great mix of everything that we love in the horror movies we grew up with - all with a modern twist.

We even get a glimpse into the psyche of Micheal Myers, but in the end let's not forget Jamie Lee Curtis ... who totally owned it every single scene she was in!

Anyway, that's that, for the most part, so now let's concentrate on the 4K Ultra HD's special features, with one of them being Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween. A really fun behind-the-scenes look at how they brought Laurie's old house back to life, and how they got all the young extras to comply to the night schedule, it is bay far an eye-opening look at how a 'Halloween' movie is made.

Another special feature worth checking out is Deleted/Extended Scenes, such as the Shower Mask Visit (1:29) scene and the Jog to a Hanging Dog (0:58) clips. Also, Michael Myers Finds Dana (0:56) will send a tingle down your spine, trust me!

The infamous killer Michael Myers strikes again in 'Halloween', arriving on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on December 28th, 2018, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and On Demand on January 15th, 2019.

'Halloween' will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the aforementioned Special Features of:

Includes 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital copy of Halloween (2018)
Deleted/Extended Scenes
Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween
The Original Scream Queen
The Sound of Fear
Journey of the Mask
The Legacy of Halloween

Official Trailer

All-New Deleted Scene - 'Shower Mask Visit'

Amazon Purchase Link





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