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Ghost Canyon

Flight To Mars (1951) [Special Edition] [Blu-ray]
(Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1951) 2021 / The Film Detective - MVD Visual)

Overview: Five Earthlings land on Mars and are greeted by a team of friendly inhabitants. In time, they learn that the genial welcoming party secretly covets their ship.

Fearing they have depleted the key mineral used to power their life-support systems, the Martians are determined to get off their dying planet.

Not only do the Martians intend to leave the stranded crew behind to die, but they also plan to invade and conquer Earth. The discovery of this sinister alien agenda kicks off a long round of deception and suspense.

Can the space travelers outsmart these diabolical Martians? All seems lost until a female Martian scientist offers to help. Suddenly the group from Earth has a fighting chance!

Blu-ray Verdict: Personally, I love this 1950ís movie! Always have done. In truth, I kina enjoy most all of the pictures from this era and have several of its contemporaries, but now it has had a quite spectacular 4K restoration process applied, sourced from the original 35mm Cinecolor separation negatives, well, it is like gold in my hands right now!

This movie has lots of the quaint things which are distinctive about the pictures from that era, such as fantastic rocket ships, great imagination, quaint outfits, (leather flying jackets and leather flying caps as spacesuits, alien women with padded shoulders and mini-skirts), and a Martian surface with no change of gravity! Oh, and breathable air, of course!

The movie is about four people, three scientists and one journalist, who journey to Mars, not knowing what they will find or whether they will find their way home again.

On their way to Mars, our heroes encounter a meteor storm, and lose all contact with Earth, their only option is to keep going. When they get to Mars, they find that there exists a race of fellow human beings who survive underground.

At first, everything seems utopia, but, as we soon learn, the Martians are running out of resources on their planet and Earth starts to look pretty good.

Luckily, not all the Martians are on board with the idea of conquering Earth, including a beautiful, short-skirt, wearing Martian woman named Alita, who decide to help the Earth people.

Something else I think you all should know is that this movie was filmed on a very low budget and in only five days! Never the less, the movie looks fantastic and the production design is stellar also.

That rich goodness all said, Flight To Mars, for me, still isnít as good as period classics such as Forbidden Planet (one of the all-time best), When Worlds Collide, or The Day the Earth Stood Still, or perhaps even the well-polished production of Destination Moon, but it is still very much a quite wonderful movie for any fan to own and include in their growing collections of this kind and genre. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.37:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

4K restoration sourced from the original 35mm Cinecolor separation negatives
Two exclusive documentaries - Walter Mirisch: From Bomba to Body Snatchers and Interstellar Travelogues: Cinemaís First Space Race
Audio Commentary with Justin Humphries
Full Color booklet with essay, Mars at the Movies, by Don Stradley

www.TheFilmDetective.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Profile [Blu-ray + Digital]
(Valene Kane, Morgan Watkins, Christine Adams, Kate Watson, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / (2018) 2021 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: Inspired by true events, PROFILE follows an undercover British journalist on her quest to bait and expose a terrorist recruiter through social media, while trying not to be sucked in by her recruiter and lured into becoming a militant extremist herself.

The unconventional thriller plays out entirely on a computer screen in the screen life format, directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

Blu-ray Verdict: Filmed in 9 days and with some portions of the film used being real documentary footage of true events, PROFILE is based on French journalist Anna ErelleĀfs book In the Skin of a Jihadist, about her investigation into the recruitment of young women by ISIS.

For those unware, PROFILE takes place looking at a laptop screen for the entire time the movie is on! So yes, I thought I was going to be bored out of my mind with this structure much sooner than later, but I was wrong; oh-so wrong.

Indeed, it was well done, but if you have already watched the trailer, well, sadly the trailer is regrettably most of the movie. But that is just the way things are these days, no surprises in cinema released movies when it comes to advertisements for them online.

The story is about a journalist, Amy, posing as another younger girl, Miranda, and how she comes in contact with, Bilel whoĀfs part of a terrorist organization, and how that organization recruits young women from foreign countries - promising them love, then sell them into slavery. What a world!

It shows AmyĀfs relationship with Bilel and how his words may be working on her, shows her work life and social life spiraling out of control.

So basically, itĀfs a public service announcement brought to you by Skype, Facebook, and Microsoft on watching who you talk to over the internet.

That all said, it builds up to a pretty scary ending and being that this whole story is based on a true story, well, the ending hits home much more soundly than most Hollywood thrillers, thatĀfs for sure!

In conclusion, persuasion has a new level of sophistication: Witness two smart operatives persuading each other. PROFILE will add to your understanding of human emotion and the power of the computer, of that you have my word. This a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

PROFILE will be available to own for the first time on Digital July 27th, 2021 and on Blu-ray and DVD August 10th, 2021 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Official Trailer

www.UPHE.com

Amazon Purchase Link

Official Website

PROFILE @ Instagram

PROFILE @ Twitter

PROFILE @ Facebook





The Day Of The Beast [2-Disc Special Edition] [4K]
(Ńlex Angulo, Armando De Razza, Santiago Segura, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1995) 2021 / Severin - MVD Visual)

Overview: When a rogue priest (Ńlex Angulo of PANíS LABYRINTH) discovers the exact date The Antichrist will be born, heíll enlist a Death Metal record store clerk (Santiago Segura of KILLER BARBYS) and a cheesy TV psychic (Armando De Razza) for an urban spree of gore, sacrilege and twisted humor (San Francisco Examiner) to prevent the Apocalypse by summoning Satan himself!

Terele PŠvez (800 BULLETS) co-stars in this classic of modern Spanish cinema (Screen Anarchy) - winner of 6 Goya Awards including Best Director - now restored in 4k from the original negative and loaded with all-new Special Features.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: In between his cult hit debut ACCI”N MUTANTE and proudly depraved PERDITA DURANGO, writer/director Ńlex de la Iglesia delivered the international smash that remains one of the best horror comedies of our time!

The Day of The Beast (aka El DŪa de la Bestia) is a transcendental movie, maybe so important that itís hard to admit that it started a revolution!

I mean, just think about the same situation that happened with Evil Dead for the comparisons are incredible. This film is also a diabolical mix of black humor, gore, a scary plot, plenty of action, all with the look of a comic book.

With the aforementioned description, it seems that the film shouldnít be taken seriously mainly because most of the mentioned elements make a hint to black humor cinema.

But the movie doesnít concentrate specifically on any of those aspects, No, it follows an intense pace with the purpose of solving a sinister plot through the aforementioned black humor and horror. It executes those elements as complements without keeping in mind itís objective.

We get scenes of darkness, with humor entwinned that tend to be cruel, hilarious, and sinister. For example, the giant cross crushing a priest. Or what about the priest chasing Jose Mariís sister and dispatching his mother?

The scenes with most tension and terror deal with the satanic ritual where a black goat appears and when the devil makes a terrifying appearance (standing up confronting Josť Mari and throwing him out of the tower and then confronting the priest).

Thus I understand now how Drag Me To Hell got inspired in the use of shadows and the talking goat! (you saw it here first folks!!)

The on-screen duo of the priest and Josť Mari is hilarious and gives you an idea of a very sui-generis friendship based on religious obsession, heavy metal, insane dialogs, and more.

The dialog has a little something for everyone also although at some moments the demonic references may creep you out - because most of them are very accurate!

Other moments will make you laugh out loud mainly because of the irreverenceís of the crazed priest and Josť Mari, or because of their physical humor (it plays a very important part).

But those elements couldnít be accomplished without a talented cast. The three principal actors were born for their roles. In particular, Ńlex Angulo delivers a comedic, creepy performance filled with anxiety but conviction to follow his ideals.

He is in charge to change the pace of the movie when it reaches levels of surrealism. Armando De Razza is perfect and believable as Professor Cavan, a charlatan in disguise who enjoys making money and success (and hot women) through the ingenuity of the audience.

A versatile actor, Santiago Segura becomes an instant favorite of the audience as the loyally obsessed partner of the priest. He delivers the perfect doses of humor and with his heavy metal knowledge he spouts gives you an idea of how irreverent he himself is.

Special mention goes out to the extreme hottie MarŪa Grazia Ciconotta. Wow, she is so very hot and extremely sexy. And those are real! The score is great with the movie having an official soundtrack with songs of the heavy metal, rap, and hip-hop genres all included.

The direction by Alex de la Iglesia is spectacular, truly rich and great. We get dynamic sequences, other more elegant ones, and others that just take the obvious need for a high budget to a whole other plane, but that said, the movie always looks dynamic and radiant.

I mean, the world never looked this dark before the Apocalypse!

The cinematography and art direction are both perfect also and help convey the overall richness and darkness perfectly. I mean, this is truly a prime example of black humor, horror, and quality.

Other films like these, well, I can only think of Evil Dead, Drag Me To Hell, and Mucha Sangre. In truth, simply the word Cool better describes this movie overall, I think.

To sum it up, this movie is an entertainment production and is both funny and yet rough enough for any horror fan. Itís a black comedy that should please any fanatic of horror, of that you have my word! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Heirs Of The Beast - Feature Length Documentary by Diego Lůpez and David Pizarro on the Making and Cultural Impact of DAY OF THE BEAST
Antichrist Superstar - Interview with Director Alex de la Iglesia
The Man Who Saved the World - Interview with Actor Armando De Razza
Beauty and the Beast - Interview with Actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Shooting The Beast - Interview with Director Of Photography Flavio MartŪnez Labiano
Mirindas Asesinas - 1990 Short Film by Alex de la Iglesia
Trailers

www.severin-films.com

www.MVDshop.com





Children of the Corn: 4K Ultra HD Special Edition
(Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, Courtney Gains, John Franklin, et al / 4K Ultra HD / R / (1984) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: From the mind of celebrated horror author Stephen King, the man behind such classic terror tales as The Shining, Carrie, and It, comes one of his most chilling offerings yet.

Linda Hamilton (The Terminator) and Peter Horton (Thirtysomething) star as a young couple who find themselves lost on the backroads of Nebraska, eventually winding up in the seemingly deserted town of Gatlin.

But the town is far from empty. As the couple soon discover, it is inhabited by a twisted cult of murderous children, thirsty for another blood sacrifice.

Available for the first time ever in Ultra High Definition, Arrow Video is proud to present a brand new 4K restoration of the film that launched one of the most enduring horror franchises of all time!

Children of the Corn ... theyíre an adult nightmare!

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: I first saw Children of the Corn when it was originally shown on UK TV in the mid-80ís. The following day it would appear that most of my school friends had seen the movie too as we all recalled the events of the film in grisly and lurid detail!

On watching the film again last night (via this INCREDIBLE new 4K Ultra HD enhancement, no less) I can say that it holds up very well indeed.

The plot involves two characters called Vicky and Burt taking a road trip and happening upon a small Nebraska town called Gatlin. A major red flag goes up when the couple notice that on approaching the town the radio now only plays content that appears to be Baptist fire and brimstone style sermons.

What Burt and Vicky donít know is that three years earlier the townís adult folk had been slaughtered on the wishes of 13 year old Isaac who has set up his own religious sect with He Who Walks Behind The Rows as their God; the rows being the huge cornfield which is central to Gatlin.

A failed harvest had prompted the uprising with Isaac asserting that his new God needs human sacrifices to be appeased and so that there are bountiful harvests as a result.

Young child Job wasnít involved as his father didnít like Isaac and so wasnít allowed to go to a gathering organized by Isaac for all of the townís children.

Jobís sister Sarah also wasnít there as she was severely ill with a fever. She is shown to have some kind of psychic powers and depicts what she sees from the future in the pictures she draws.

Things go from bad to worse for the adult couple who have now stumbled across the town which has been run by Isaac and his henchman deputy Malachi for three years now.

When they hear about the adult trespassers they demand for them to be captured and then sacrificed to their cornrows deity. Poor Burt and Vicky. They discover Job and his sister who assist them in not becoming human sacrifices.

This film has a great premise which is based on a short story by Master of Horror Stephen King. The film also taps into one of the last taboos especially in film which is that of the killer child. And here we have scores of them here, trust me!

The milieu of the religious sect and the small details connected to this like the children being made to change their names to more biblical monikers also adds to the utterly sinister tone of the film.

It also shows what can go wrong when a setback or downturn of fortunes can be taken as an opportunity by a charismatic person with sinister motives to come to prominence and give the downtrodden and disillusioned someone to believe in even though he/she is up to no good.

The opening scene takes place in a diner in which the children present (after being given the nod by Isaac) poison and violently slaughter the adults in attendance.

I remember being utterly shocked by this scene in particular when I first saw the film and I can reliably report that itís hasnít lost any of itís power to shock all these long decades later.

But this isnít the only sequence which has the power not just to shock but also to worm itís way inside your head.

For the sequence in which Vicky is placed on a cross with it then being hoisted up, the shot showing the weapons hanging from the hands of the children as they descent on a house which has one of the couple in it and the gruesome scene in the church as we see what happens to the children who come of age are such examples!

The casting of the movie is also excellent with Sarah Hamilton as Vicky and Peter Horton as Burt, but the attention to detail regarding the casting of the children is just as impressive.

The casting of the freakishly sinister Isaac and his horrifyingly hillbilly deputy Malachi are inspired. In fact, it seems they cast every child with unconventional and unique looks.

Another great quality that the film possesses is whether He Who Walks Behind The Rows is actually a real supernatural force or just completely fabricated by Isaac.

There are also some 80ís visual effects in the film which are still extremely pleasing to the eye and have aged very well indeed.

In fact the same can be said about the whole film. In lesser hands, this could have aged terribly and been forgotten about. Instead we get a film where thought and innovation were used to fully bring to life Kingís great plot idea and which still has itís own rabid fanbase.

However the film still doesnít get enough praise or recognition when films are talked about which were adapted from Kingís novels. This is a real shame. Maybe this 4K will help change that now. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Ė Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
Ė 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
Ė Original lossless stereo and 5.1 Audio Options
Ė Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Ė Audio commentary with horror journalist Justin Beahm and Children of the Corn historian John Sullivan
Ė Audio commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
Ė Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn, retrospective piece featuring interviews with director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
Ė It Was the Eighties! an interview with actress Linda Hamilton
Ė Return to Gatlin, featurette revisiting the filmís original Iowa shooting locations
Ė Stephen King on a Shoestring, an interview with producer Donald Borchers
Ė Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights and Sounds of Children of the Corn, an interview with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias
Ė Cut from the Cornfield, an interview with the actor who played ďThe Blue ManĒ in the fabled excised sequence
Ė Theatrical Trailer
Ė Disciples of the Crow, a 1983 short film adaptation of Stephen Kingís short story

www.arrowfilms.com

www.MVDshop.com





Here Today
(Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2021 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: Veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz (Billy Crystal) forms an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship with New York lounge singer Emma Payge (Tiffany Haddish).

Emma unexpectedly wins a lunch with the comedy legend, and their friendship gets off to an extremely rocky start (think seafood allergy, a hospital visit, and an epi pen).

Before long, each finds in the other a sort of soul mate, forging a deep bond that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of friendship, love, and trust.

DVD Verdict: Itís just so very nice to see Billy Crystal on the big screen again. This film is like spending two hours with an old friend. With that being said, the film is quite good in parts, but the sum parts donít add up to a complete whole, sadly.

Crystal plays a comedy writer who is experiencing the beginning stages of dementia. He keeps this from his family and tries his best to hide it from everyone at work.

Tiffany Haddish plays a woman who cashed in on an auction her ex boyfriend won to have lunch with the famous writer. This is despite not knowing who he is and ultimately insulting him frequently, addressing him frequently as simply an old man.

To make matters worse, a food allergy lands her in the hospital and Crystal gets stuck with the bill. Oddly, a close friendship develops.

Haddishís initial over the top characterization of this woman is ill conceived. We later learn that she is some sort of jazz subway singer. She eventually becomes the voice of reason for Crystal and a major player in his life, but through it all she never quite becomes a cohesive and believable character (in my humble opinion).

Flashbacks are frequent as Crystal imagines his deceased wife. These are always awkward as the wife seems to be the exact same age in every flashback and Crystalís voice is only ever heard.

The film has some touching moments and the relationship between Haddish and Crystal does indeed evolve into a sweet friendship, but the schmaltzy moments between Crystal and his family toward the end detracted from their story.

Indeed, in truth, the film needed more focus as it tried to cover too much ground in 2 hours, but that all said, Iím nitpicking too much as both leads are funny here - but, and trust me here, the later half of the movie gets into the tear jerking department.

Oh, and for all you spot-them-if-you-can fans out there, there are also several quick cameos - such as Barry Levinson, Kevin Kline and even Sharon Stone in brief parts. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

ē Audio Commentary with Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish & Alan Zweibel
ē Interviews with Filmmakers & Cast

Official Movie Trailer

Amazon Purchase Links

Sony Pictures @ Facebook!

Sony Pictures @ Twitter!

Sony Pictures @ Instagram!





My Heart Canít Beat Unless You Tell It To[Blu-ray]

(Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, Owen Campbell, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Dark Sky Films)

Overview: Dwight and his sister Jessie reach a crossroads over what to do about their younger brother Thomasí mysterious illness.

The increasingly dangerous task of keeping him alive weighs heavy on sensitive Dwight, and as a fiercely private and close-knit family unit, Thomas and Jessie depend on him and the rituals theyíve learned in order to keep their secret.

Dwight yearns for another life, but Jessie will stop at nothing to keep her family together.

Blu-ray Verdict: I have to fully admit that this story of three thrifty siblings who have a special need that forces them into a gruesome trade within societies cast-offs grew on me after the first slow set-up third; and will now forever, come the ending, reside within my thoughts.

My Heart Canít Beat Unless You Tell It To is, for all intents and purposes, a downbeat, gritty drama of troubled codependency relationships that Iím quite sure will mirror real life for a lot of the viewership.

Engaging, if not somewhat darkly cagey from the off, there are quite a lot of under lit, quiet scenes, with the characters sometimes barely responsive to each other, but together with the mesmerizingly stoic musical backdrop and the artful direction and editing, the film does manage to still flow.

Aided by some rather terrifically captured cinematography and, again, with a soundtrack score that ebbs and flows, pulsates at times in perfect symmetry to the scenes being played out on screen, those character performances are, one and all, excellent.

Veined with an oh-so lightly feathered tone of horror, and definitely with a bent toward the survivalist genre, if you like your horror movies straightforward, the narrative unyielding and plainly evident, this film wonít be for you, sorry.

But if you like your suspense films tinged with the foreboding shadow of horror, whilst still remaining a branch of Art House, the layers of drama and the lonesome alienation of the mid-west to the fore at all times, then watching My Heart Canít Beat Unless You Tell It To, even with a few unanswered questions come the end, might just lead to a hidden truth about your own place in life. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Official Movie Trailer

Amazon Purchase Links

www.darkskyfilms.com





Engelbert Humperdinck: Totally Amazing [Blu-ray]
(Engelbert Humperdinck / Blu-ray + Audio CD / NR / 2021 / Cleopatra Entertainment)

Overview: On this live concert release - now available on Blu Ray Disc for the very first time - pop crooner Engelbert Humperdinck offers up an entertaining collection that mixes old chestnuts with new recordings.

While the deep-voiced, U.K.-bred singer presents lounge-ready standards (see the swooning classics Spanish Eyes and Release Me), fans of the Hump may be most interested in the previously unissued title track, a smooth, string-laden number that perfectly suits the performerís romantic, Don Juan persona.

Blu-ray Verdict: Elvis was the greatest entertainer to ever live and now I am discovering a hidden treasure (to me) within the enormous talent known as Engelbert.

He has such a powerful and smooth voice and I now know why he was so loved. This magnificent Blu-ray and Audio CD combo (so I can now take him in the car with me) catches him back in 2005, pulling into his newest chapter of life at that time, but his voice is still strong and his love of performing is still obvious throughout.

Since I discovered the great man, the best Engelbert DVD I have collected prior to this one was simply entitled Engelbert Live and was conducted by Babe Salvetti, but now this new Blu-ray of his 2005 show might just rank high up there too!

Everything this man sings is amazing, chock full of expressive love within each and every lyric he pours forth, and sings songs that nobody, at any time, has ever sung better (in my humble opinion).

He is simply amazing here live, and whether he is providing old classics or new songs, they were all just so enjoyable. Some highlight stand outs amongst them being A Chance To Be A Hero, Thereís No Good In Goodbye and the genuinely wonderous Totally Amazing.

Personally, my favorite tracks on this new Blu-ray are towards the end with the highly emotive Cry and the double whammy of Spanish Eyes / Love Me With All Your Heart, but whatever you do, do not miss the moving Columns Of Gray (which is now included as the solo bonus track).

SíWonderful - Am I That Easy to Forget - Last of the Romantics - Man Without Love - After The Loviní - Too Young - You Make My Pants Want To Get Up and Dance - A Chance To Be A Hero - Thereís No Good In Goodbye - Honky Tonk World - Last Waltz - Somebody Like You - Cry - Totally Amazing - Cuando Cuando - I Wish You Love - Spanish Eyes / Love Me With All of Your Heart - Release Me - My Way - Columns of Gray [Bonus Track].

www.cleopatra-entertainment.com





Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard [Blu-ray Combo]
(Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2021 / Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Overview: In he Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) are back as the mismatched, high-octane trio, that are once again forced together into another life-threatening mission to save Europe from a vengeful and powerful zealot (Antonio Banderas).

Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, the Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard is a good action comedy film that may have less laughs than the first movie, but is still chock full of fun and so action packed that makes it an entertaining summer blockbuster film of the highest order!

What worked? The film is very fast moving. So fast moving that it skips out any story development like an introduction to Antonio Banderas villain character! And his agenda of causing destruction!

But then having Ryan Reynolds Michael Bryce character going on sabbatical to help face up to, and ultimately accept that he is close to losing his bodyguard license seems a little left of center.

And then we get Salma Hayekís character showing up with bad guys in almost every scene! Chasing them and leading them into shoot outs all whilst she just wants to save her husband (Samuel L. Jackson). Next thing you know they are chasing a device that the bad guy wants and have to come together, peacefully, to help save the world!

So yeah, it is beyond action packed with lots of shoot outs, bike and car chases and oh-so many fight scenes that it is totally entertaining from start to finish.

Indeed, for my money the film tries to be bigger than the first with lots more going on with plot. It even has an Interpol agent played by Frank Grillo who was very much underused in the film, in my humble opinion.

It may not have many laughs or overall veins of humor than the first, but it still was a lot of fun on screen with the cast ensemble, thatís for sure.

I mean, come on now, seeing Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Selma Hayek nitpick at each other throughout, about family, relationships, past trauma and so much more (especially in the scene when she is driving the car!) is just to die for (if you will pardon the expression here!)

As for Antonio Banderas, well, sure, he does play a good villain, but he is also made up (appearance wise, especially the hair) a little cartoonish for my liking!

Anyway, so, overall, what worked best? The overall plot may be forgettable and doesnít even need to be looked into too hard, but when you get heavily veiled support characters played by the likes of Morgan Freeman, well, you know your movie has some mighty fine gravitas! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

ē ďRyan, Sam, Salma: One Fíd Up FamilyĒ Featurette
ē ďGone Soft: The New Michael BryceĒ Featurette
ē ďHitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard: #stuntlifeĒ Featurette
ē ďOn the Set of Hitmanís Wifeís BodyguardĒ Featurette
ē Gag Reel
ē Theatrical Trailers

Join the mayhem on Digital July 23rd, 2021 and on 4K Ultra HDô Combo Pack, Blu-rayô Combo Pack, DVD, & On Demand August 17th, 2021 from Lionsgateģ.

The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD of The Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.96, respectively.

Official Trailer

Bloopers [Official Video]

The Stunts [Official Video]

Official Website

www.LGF.com





Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms [4K]
(Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter, Patrick Seitz, Fred Tatasciore, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / NR / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms picks up shortly after the explosive finale of Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpionís Revenge, the 2020 blockbuster hit that initiated these animated films Ė which are based on one of the most popular videogame franchises in history.

In Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, our team of heroes are besieged by the enemy forces of Shao Kahn Ė forcing Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms.

Now our heroes must travel to Outworld in order to defend Earthrealm and, simultaneously, Scorpion must find the ancient Kamidogu before itís used to resurrect the One Being Ė which would mean certain destruction of all things in the universe.

Time is short and the stakes are high in this action-packed continuation of the Mortal Kombat journey.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: Studio Distribution Services / Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the spectacularly colorful and thrillingly graphic Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this August 31st, 2021.

For my money, this Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital combo packs sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms 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: 1.78:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHDs, 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 is more is that it is enjoyably noticeable.

As for the story itself, well, as aforementioned, the movie picks up right after Scorpionís Revenge where the heroes are attacked by Shao Kahn, which will force Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms.

This forces the good guys to travel to Outworld defend Earthrealm while Scorpion journeys to find the Kamidogu (a mystic relic made by the almighty Elder Gods) before it is used to bring back the mysterious One Being, who would destroy the universe.

Joel McHale (Community, Stargirl) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) return to their lead roles as Hollywood star-turned-fighter Johnny Cage and all-business warrior Sonya Blade, respectively.

Also returning for the sequel are Jordan Rodrigues (Lady Bird) as Liu Kang; Patrick Seitz (Mortal Kombat X) as Scorpion & Hanzo Hasashi; Artt Butler (Her) as Shang Tsung & Cyrax; Robin Atkin Downes (Batman: The Killing Joke) as Shinnok & Reiko; Dave B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat 11) as Raiden, Kintaro & Sektor; IkŤ Amadi (Mortal Kombat 11) as Jax Briggs & One Being; Grey Griffin (The Loud House) as Kitana, Satoshi Hasashi & Mileena; and Fred Tatasciore (Robot Chicken) as Shao Kahn.

In truth, I personally love this kind of warner animation, BUT you should be very aware - all those parents out there with kids wanting to see this - that if you click on the Green and Red Band Trailer links below you will quickly not only see the HUGE difference between the two choices, but exactly what you are allowing your kids to view (so be careful!)

Anyway, moving on and as Iím sure you are all well aware by now, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is relentlessly aimed directly at the hardcore Mortal Kombat fans (of which there are just oh-so many, even after all these years).

Overflowing with tongue in cheek references, most all of which true fans will get, the others they will simply fly over their heads, it also comes complete with an abundance of bone-crunching scenes of gratuitous violence (as alluded to above).

As you can imagine, the visuals here are most always spot on, but can still feel a little rushed, a little off color in some of the faster scenes.

That said, the backgrounds are simply divine, fully orchestrated for integration into a scene at any time, and overall do a wonderful job of expressing the true look of the locations chosen from the games (stand outs for me personally were both the Lin Kuei Temple from MKX and Kahnís Arena from MK2).

As for the characters overall, their designs are upgraded here, thatís plainly evident, but we still get presented with heavily-chiseled faces with chins that could seemingly break stone!

Again, the animation does more than its fair share of carrying the movie forward in the series and with some fun fight choreography thrown in for good measure, it definitely starts to take on the look of the game.

In closing, Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms is a thoroughly entertaining near 90 minute adventure that will most definitely appeal to hardcore Mortal Kombat fans all around the world. Highly recommended.

Extras & Special Features:
● The God and the Dragon: Battling for Earthrealm (Featurette) - Go behind the scenes and inside the creative process of bringing Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms to action-packed life on screen.

● Voices of Kombat (Featurette) - Join Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter, and the cast as they detail the process of creating unique and compelling voices for the larger than life characters in the film.

● Kombat Gags: Gag Reel (Featurette) - Step inside the VO booth with the cast of the film for all of the flubbed lines and outrageously improvised lines from the cutting room floor.

● Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms Audio Commentary (Audio Only) - Producer Rick Morales and Screenwriter Jeremy Adams take the audience inside the art of writing and animating the film in this feature length audio commentary.

The fate of the universe once again hangs in the balance as warriors come together for one final clash in Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, an all-new, feature-length film produced by Warner Bros. Animation in coordination with NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The film arrives from Studio Distribution Services / Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack on August 31st, 2021.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms will be available on Blu-ray (US $29.98 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP; Canada $44.98 SRP) and Digital.

The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie.

Pre-orders will be available for the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack beginning June 28th, 2021, and for Digital starting on July 8th, 2021.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms | Green Band Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms | Red Band Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

www.DCcomics.com

www.WarnerBros.com





Harry Potter Sorcererís Stone: Magical Movie Mode
(Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, et al / 2-Disc DVD / PG / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the 2001 beloved family film Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone will be released on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD with Magical Movie Mode, a new and exciting way to experience the timeless modern classic.

Magical Movie Mode will be released on August 17th, 2021 to celebrate the magical adventure filmís 20th anniversary.

The Harry Potter Magical Movie Mode is a wondrous new way to experience Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone, allowing fans the ability to discover filmmaking secrets, spell incantations, creatures, magical artifacts, trivia, and more in this enchanting collection of fun activities and curiosities.

Let the magic begin!

DVD Verdict: The Wizarding World is recognized as one of the worldís best-loved franchises and represents a vast, interconnected world which touches all aspects of Harry Potter fansí lives.

Today it encompasses bestselling novels, blockbuster Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, a multi award-winning stage play, innovative products and apparel, state-of-the-art video and mobile games, unique retail experiences and live entertainment Ė including world-class Universal theme parks, exhibitions, the popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Ė The Making of Harry Potter attraction, and two new virtual reality experiences at Harry Potter New York.

But, before you embark on all that wonderment, allow us to flash you back 20 years to what yo expect from the movie itself!

Harry Potter finds out he is the orphaned son of two wizards and embarks on an amazing journey. During his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry learns he is destined for great things and discovers a Dark wizard is determined to destroy him.

Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone (aka Philosopherís Stone in the UK) was the first of eight films based on the seven best selling novels by J.K. Rowling. While I certainly donít think it is one of the better films, it is the one that starts them off and crucially it does so in the right way.

The tone of the Sorcererís Stone is considerably lighter than the rest of the series. It is quite childish at times and you never really feel there is any danger. That is a problem because in some scenes you probably should feel a threat.

The effects in the series overall are fantastic, but in this one they are patchy. The troll, fluffy, the quidditch and Voldemort when he appears all look quite cartoonish.

The biggest success of the first HP film is the world building. So many fantasy films throw you straight into a complicated, elaborate plot and spend ages trying to explain what is going on. The result is that you never feel like you have been transported into another world.

That is what Chris Columbus got right about this one. The plot here feels, for large parts, less important than introducing the world itself. The focus of the film is primarily on the wonder and magic of the world.

The sets and locations are fantastic. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and Gringotts all look great. The costumes are also stunning and give the film a real vibrancy.

The soundtrack from John Williams is iconic. The cast features some of the best British and Irish talent from the last half-century and they all give memorable performances. The kids definitely grow into their roles, but I had no problem with any of them here.

Some of the later films have far more depth, character development and danger about them but they are allowed to because of the foundations laid in this one.

When you see Hogwarts, the owls, etc. in the later films you automatically know it is the Harry Potter world and crucially feel a connection to it.

Ergo, for my money, that is the Sorcererís Stoneís greatest triumph.

As for those aforementioned Magical Movie Mode reveals that you can all now enjoy within these two (2) DVDs, well, I wonít give any of them away (or even tell you where to find the pesky harder-to-locate ones!), but I will say that given that Chris Columbus directed both Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone as well as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the franchiseís first two films, his commentary in the new mode does most definitely give viewers a far more personal insight into what it was like bringing the Harry Potter novel to life for the first time.

As for the plethora of other additional content, well, you get many deleted scenes, some quizzes testing your potent knowledge of a vast array of topics from the film, and special graphic and audio features that will pop up on select scenes to entice you to click and find out more hidden stuff - drawing you (albeit willingly!) further into Harryís world, and much more!

In truth, all this Magical Movie Mode stuff should all be eagerly welcomed by those that continue to be enchanted by the Wizarding World, especially in lieu of the fact that Daniel Radcliffe has already stated that a 20-year Harry Potter cast reunion isnít likely to happen.

But, and in closing, this is only one part of the many 20th anniversary celebrations you can expect to see this year, as we approach nearly two decades since Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone (aka Philosopherís Stone) first hit our cinema screens - so keep an eye out for more announcements soon!

The Blu-ray 2-disc set of Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone Magical Movie Mode will be available for $19.98 SRP and includes the theatrical film and the Magical Movie Mode version of the film in high definition.

It will also be available on DVD as a 2-disc set for $16.98 SRP and includes the theatrical film and Magical Movie Mode version of the film in standard definition.

The film will also be available on Digital on participating digital platforms where you purchase movies.

Amazon Purchase Links

www.WarnerBros.com





Donít Go Gentle: A Film About Idles [Blu-ray]
(Idles, Joe Talbot, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan, Adam Devonshire, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: DONíT GO GENTLE is a film about finding strength in vulnerability. It journeys through determination, friendship and adversity of IDLESí as they fight for a place in a divided socio-political environment, unexpectedly inspiring and unifying an international community along the way.

In a time when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, where open communication and truthful reflection are more vital than ever, we journey with lead singer Joe Talbot and the band as they tear across stages, knock down stereotypes and empower fans to face down uncomfortable realities and talk about mental health.

Blu-ray Verdict: Donít Go Gentle: A Film About Idles is a very impressive, entertaining, dramatic, human, global documentary on the story of IDLES; showcasing the path of a post-punk band formed in Bristol at the end (edge) of the í00s of XXI century to recognition, full stadiums and legions of fans around the world.

It gloriously reveals, and lovingly (thankfully) without euphemisms, the darkest and brightest sides of life, glory, human relationships, the modern society, the constant fight with your own inner demons, for which there is no universal recipe.

Acceptance, empathy, self-criticism, self-improvement, connecting with other people - through music, through lyrics, through multimodal messages that are both sincere and overly influential - are all in the nature of IDLES and radiate in an incredibly vivid way from every scene and every statement in this movie.

For those unaware, Idles (stylized as IDLES) are a British rock band formed in Bristol in 2009. The band consists of Welsh singer Joe Talbot (vocals) and Northern Irish musician Mark Bowen (guitar) as well as English musicians Lee Kiernan (guitar), Adam Devonshire (bass) and Jon Beavis (drums).

Their debut album, Brutalism, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, as was their second album Joy as an Act of Resistance in 2018 and their third album, Ultra Mono, was released on 25 September 2020.

Seen now on the small screen, Donít Go Gentle: A Film About IDLES also influences the viewer (and concertgoer) through cinematography - camera, palette, cuts, pauses, track-list and at all levels this documentary corresponds fully to the sensitivity and philosophy of both IDLES themselves and anyone who not only listens the band, but identifies with its community and vision for the world at this point and the place of man in it.

This feature documentary was originally born out of Markís interest in the journey behind IDLESí music. In March 2017 he wrote to IDLES manager Mark Bent expressing his desire to make a short film highlighting their inspired 8 year journey culminating in the bandís biggest show to date - supporting The Maccabees at Alexander Palace.

There was no idea at this stage the film would turn into what it became. In the same month, Sara Archer came on board to support the passion project by sourcing crew/equipment, budgeting, hosting interviews and beginning talks with potential distributors.

Mark then met music photographer Lindsay Melbourne with an eye to include her photographs in the film, but Lindsay was to become much more involved, becoming one of the producers on the film and paved the path to an even bigger project.

During production IDLES found new success, breaking down walls with their first album Brutalism. Lindsay told Mark of the growing IDLES fan community ĎAF GANGí.

As a result of Joeís lyrics and his honesty on stage and in interviews, the AF GANG became a place where people would open up without judgement, quickly becoming an online support group to those that didnít have one.

It was a domino effect with IDLES leading the way publicly discussing mental health. The potential of IDLESí growth, along with their community of fans excited the team and they committed to turning this short film into a feature with IDLES and now the AF GANG at the center of the story.

Throughout the production the film took many forms with multiple re-edits necessary, being the teamís first feature no stone was left unturned. Finally, the film was completed during quarantine in May 2020 - a story in itself. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Official Movie Trailer

Official Purchase Link

Idles - Bands In Town Schedule





One Dark Night: Collectorís Edition [Blu-ray]
(Meg Tilly, E.G. Daily, Adam West, Melissa Newman, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1982) 2021 / MVD Visual)

Overview: World renowned psychic Raymar is found dead after announcing that he had uncovered the secret of how to become even more powerful in death by the use of telekinetic powers.

At the same time, two high school girls plan an initiation night for their friend Julie (Meg Tilly, The Big Chill), who is determined to shed her goody-goody image. Her test is to spend the night locked in the crypt Ė the same one that Raymar has been buried in that very day.

The crypt soon becomes a battlefield of horror involving unmated special effects with vaults cracking and exploding open, coffins sliding out and splintering open to release decayed corpses at Raymarís bidding.

The climatic surprise ending will chill the audience and consume them with terror in this shocking tale of horror from writer/director Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives) that takes you beyond fear!

Blu-ray Verdict: As noted, famous and mysterious recluse Raymar, whoís some kind of lethal telekinetic psychic vampire, abruptly dies under bizarre circumstances.

Nice girl high school student Julie Wells (a warm and sympathetic performance by the lovely Meg Tilly) wants desperately to be accepted by the snobby clique the Sisters (played to sublimely bitchy perfection by Leslie Speights, Robin Evans and the ever-cuddly Elizabeth Daily), so she agrees to spend a night in a creepy mausoleum where Raymarís body has been interred as part of an initiation rite.

Naturally, Raymar still has his extraordinary powers, so itís going to be a very long and harrowing night of pure nerve-wracking terror for poor Julie.

Director/co-screenwriter Tom McLoughlin (who later gave us the enjoyably tongue-in-cheek Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives) eschews graphic gore in favor of creating a brooding and eerie atmosphere, but fails to pull this particular feat off because the first hour is way too slow, talky and uneventful to be remotely scary or suspenseful.

However, I nonetheless still found this flawed fright flick to be oddly appealing and entertaining. The big poofy hairdos, a goofy music montage sequence, badly timed false scares (including the ubiquitous hand on the shoulder gag!), a scene at a glittery video game arcade, kids gleefully smoking pot, and the hilariously dumb teen slang (nerdle brain!) give this picture a certain endearingly quaint 80ís period charm.

Hal Trussellís handsome, polished cinematography (I especially dug the smoothly gliding Steadicam tracking shots), Bob Summersí spooky, yet funky hum íníshiver synthesizer score, and Tom Burmanís splendidly ghoulish make-up f/x are all up to snuff.

The ever-stolid Adam West of TVís Batman fame merely takes up space in a nothing secondary part. The mausoleum makes for an impressively vast and unsettling main location.

The grand finale with a bunch of ghastly rotting corpses popping out of their coffins and floating about qualifies as a marvelously macabre shock set piece.

Sure, this baby definitely ainít some unjustly unsung gem, but it still delivers plenty of pleasingly silly and diverting cheesy fun all the same. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with this slew of Special Features:

High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.78:1 aspect ratio
Audio: LPCM 2.0 Mono
English Subtitles
Audio commentary with Director & Co-Writer Tom McLoughlin and Producer Michael Schroeder
Audio commentary with Director & Co-Writer Tom McLoughlin and writer Michael Hawes
Interview with Director Tom McLoughlin
Interview with Actress E.G Daily
Interview with Actress Nancy Mott
Interview with Cinematographer Hal Trussell
Interview with Production Designer Craig Stearns
Interview with Producer Michael Schroeder
Interview with Special Effects crew member Paul Clemens
Alternate Directorís Cut / Work Print Version of the film (SD, 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio)
Behind the Scenes Footage
Paul Clemens Photo Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Artwork
Collectible Mini-Poster

Official Movie Trailer

Official Purchase Link

www.mvdvisual.com





Death Screams [Limited Edition] [Blu-ray]
(Martin Tucker, William T. Hicks, Susan Kiger, Andrea Savio, Jennifer Chase, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1982) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: In one of the most unlikely cinematic pairings of all time, David Nelson (who rose to fame as a child star playing alongside his real-life family in the wholesome TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) directs Playboy Playmate and adult star Susan Kiger in this body count-heavy, long overlooked slice of Southern fried hack-and-slash - 1982ís Death Screams!

Late one night, a young couple are brutally murdered at a make-out spot by an unseen assailant, their bodies tossed into the nearby river. As the lifeless lovers drift slowly downstream, the residents of the town excitedly prepare themselves for their annual carnival, unaware that a machete-wielding maniac with a twisted grudge is lurking in their midst.

When a group of teen revelers plan a late-night after party down in the local cemetery, they unwittingly set the stage for a bloodbath.

Blu-ray Verdict: Death Screams, which was released on US VHS as House of Death (and on UK DVD with the reels in the wrong order!) oozes early í80s regional slasher charm from its every pore, boasting an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink final reel featuring slashed throats, bisected bodies and exploding heads!

At long last arriving on Blu-ray and lovingly restored from the only-known existing 35mm print, this little-seen slasher classic is ready to carve its way into the bleeding hearts of horror fans everywhere!

That said, one has to genuinely ask if every film studio limited their output to just slashers in the early í80s! There are so many of them. Just when I think Iíve seen them all, I find another one Iíve never even heard of!

Still, itís not hard to see why Death Screams flew under my radar for so long: itís formulaic stuff that never tries to do anything out of the ordinary, from its clichťd group of characters (obnoxious joker, nympho, goody-two-shoes final girl, town simpleton, fat bumbling sheriff) to its rain-lashed finale in a rundown house by a cemetery.

The film opens with a pre-credits double murder of a young couple, but itís too dark to see what happens to them, director David Nelson seemingly more preoccupied with getting in the first shot of a topless girl than delivering an effective fright.

Certainly, for much of the time, Nelson appears to be more intent on delivering gratuitous T&A than he does horror, focusing on the twenty-something victims-to-be as they go about their daily business; smoking weed, showering, chatting up the local baseball coach, making out, etc.

All of the girls are attractive and several wear skimpy outfits, with buxom town tramp Ramona (Jennifer Chase) looking great in a bikini top and hot blonde Kathy (Andrea Savio) sporting short shorts.

In a rare spot of gender-reversal, it is Coach Marshall (Martin Tucker) who takes the customary slasher shower, baring his butt, but he does manage to give randy Ramona a soaking in the process.

The only other killing amidst all of this titillation is a girl shot with an arrow and suffocated with a plastic bag, a scene more notable for its silliness than scariness (instead of seeking help, the injured girl takes time-out on a merry-go-round).

As the film approaches its final act, sexy blonde Sandy (Jody Kay) goes skinny dipping (cue full frontal nudity) and winds up dead, and from this point Nelson ramps up the violence, eventually bumping off most of the characters in the space of a few minutes (including double decapitation and a girl torn in half).

But while the sheer number of kills in a short space of time is admirable, the gore is extremely basic for the most part, and not very satisfying (the severed hands scene is hilarious).

The best effect is a blink-and-youíll-miss-it bullet to the head (resulting in the face exploding) as the useless sheriff empties his handgun into the already dead killer (who had fallen out of a window while attacking good girl Lily, played by Playboy playmate Susan Kiger).

In closing, quite exactly what the psychoís motive was remains unclear: possibly something to do with being mentally scarred by his mother, who may have been a stripper, but I really donít know.

What I do know is, the last 15 minutes are really pretty good, stuffed with gory massacres and explicit make-up effects, but all itís too late by then. Besides, why the hell was it originally called House of Death? Did you see a house?! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with this slew of Special Features:

Brand new 2K restoration from an archival 35mm print
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with producer Charles Ison and special effects artist Worth Keeter moderated by filmmaker Phil Smoot
Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
All the Fun of the Scare: The Making of Death Screams - newly-produced making-of documentary featuring interviews with producer Charles Ison, special effects artist Worth Keeter, writer Paul Elliott, actors Hanns Manship and Curt Rector, actor/producerís assistant/assistant supervising editor Sharon Alley and actor/talent wrangler Robert ďBilly BobĒ Melton
TV and Radio Spots
Image Galleries
House of Death Alternate VHS Opening Titles
Two versions of the screenplay under the original title of Night Screams [BD-ROM content]
Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork and a newly-commissioned reimagining of the original VHS artwork by Sadist Art Designs presented with die-cut slipcover
Fully-illustrated collectorís booklet featuring new writing by Brian Albright

Official Movie Trailer

Official Purchase Link

www.mvdvisual.com





Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman
(Harry Lauter, Morris Ankrum, Richard Denning, Angela Stevens, Allison Hayes, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2021) / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: Zombies! Werewolves! Atomic Mutation! Intergalactic Avians! Let this quartet of classic terrors take you back to the golden age of B-Movie Monsters!

A mob boss hires an ex-Nazi scientist to reanimate his dead thugs in Creature with the Atom Brain. An auto-accident survivor is used as an experimental subject to create a vaccine for nuclear fall-out with hair-raising side-effects in The Werewolf.

Treasure hunters get more than they bargained for in the search for a cargo of diamonds that went down with a sunken ship when they discover the zombified crew members are guarding the loot in Zombies of Mora Tau. Meanwhile, an enormous bird from outer-space descends to chow down on the people of planet Earth in The Giant Claw!

Four fantastic feature presentations from prolific producer Sam Katzman with a bounty of brand new extras and a raft of new writing by a range of respected raconteurs.

Blu-ray Verdict: In Creature With The Atom Brain (1955), an ex-Nazi mad scientist uses radio-controlled atomic-powered zombies in his quest to help an exiled American gangster return to power.

Evil mob boss Frank Buchanan (a perfectly nasty Michael Granger) has ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Wilhelm Steigg (a nice turn by Gregory Gaye) reanimate the bodies of recently deceased criminals so Buchanan can get revenge on his enemies.

Shrewd, hard-boiled police investigator Dr. Chet Walker (an excellent and engaging performance by Richard Denning) becomes determined to stop Buchanan.

Capably directed by Edward L. Cahn, with a clever and compelling script by Curt Siodmak, a brisk pace, sharp, moody black and white cinematography by Fred Jackman, Jr., genuinely creepy zombies, a spooky, rousing score by Mischa Bakaleinikoff, a tight 69 minute running time, and a thrilling conclusion, this nifty little quickie provides an inspired and entertaining blend of snappy straightforward horror and gritty film noirish crime thriller.

Next up is The Werewolf (1956) where in Mountaincrest, a stranger without memory arrives in a bar to have a drink. When he leaves the bar, a local tries to rob him but he turns into an animal and kills the attacker. Deputy Ben Clovey hunts down the animal but is wounded by it. Sheriff Jack Haines organizes a party to find the beast.

This is quite a good low budget film with a new twist to the werewolf story. There is nothing supernatural here so forget the wolfbane and the silver bullets.

Steven Ritch has the lead role and does a splendid job, making the monster even more sympathetic than the long suffering Larry Talbot of the Universal Wolfman flicks.

His character, Duncan Marsh, appears in a mountain town having no memory of who he is or how he got there. Leaving a tavern, he is followed by a man who intends to rob him.

The man pulls him into an alley and the werewolf claims his first victim. The story plays well the rest of the way. We find out that Duncan Marshís condition is brought on by two doctors who use him as a test subject while treating him for injuries sustained in a car accident.

Then we get Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) where zombie-like, dead crewmen of a sunken ship have always prevented salvagers from claiming the wreckís legendary box of diamonds, but will a new group of treasure hunters succeed?

One of the sillier 1950s fright night flicks, and directed with little imagination. An unlikable search party arrives at a small African plantation with hopes of retrieving a cargo of diamonds from the bowels of a ship that was sunk some 60 years earlier.

The only problem is that the treasureís being guarded by a small band of sleepwalking-style zombies (the original sailors who went down with the ship when it sank) and theyíve done a fine job so far of killing every other search party that has intervened over the decades!

The elderly wife of the zombified captain is still alive and wants the diamonds too, but only to destroy them so she may give rest to her husbandís wandering soul.

Lastly we encounter The Giant Claw (1957) where a global panic ensues when it is revealed that a mysterious UFO is actually a giant bird that flies at supersonic speed and has no regard for life or architecture.

Have an open mind and youíll love this movie. I wasnít even close to being alive in the 50ís or even 60ís so Iím not sure of what kind of technology they had to make movies, but I think this movie did a good job with it.

Yes itís a stick puppet, but did they have anything better? At least they made it look good when it was going to eat someone, using the screen and then the guy in the front, then switching so it looks like heís actually getting eaten from afar. Yes the acting isnít the best, but it does the job.

And the science explanation for the bird, I loved that, it made sense if you donít know much about science and it works out. Possibly my favorite part of the movie!

Anyway, I personally enjoyed this movie, and so if you have an open mind it should definitely be given a chance. These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with this slew of Special Features:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all 4 films
Original uncompressed mono audio for all films
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Fully illustrated 60-page collectorís book featuring extensive new writing by Laura Drazin Boyes, Neil Mitchell, Barry Forshaw, Jon Towlson and Jackson Cooper
80-page collectorís art book featuring reproduction stills and artwork from each film and new writing by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette
2 double-sided posters featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for each film by Matt Griffin

DISC 1 - CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN
Brand-new introduction by historian and critic Kim Newman
Brand-new audio commentary by critic Russell Dyball
Sam Katzman: Before and Beyond the Cold War Creatures, a brand-new feature-length illustrated presentation on the life, career and films of Sam Katzman by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette
Condensed Super 8mm version of Creature with the Atom Brain, produced for home cinema viewing
Theatrical Trailer
Image Gallery

DISC 2 - THE WEREWOLF
Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
Brand-new audio commentary by critic Lee Gambin
Beyond Window Dressing, a brand-new visual essay exploring the oft-overlooked role of women in the films of Sam Katzman by historian and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Condensed Super 8mm version of The Werewolf, produced for home cinema viewing
Theatrical Trailer
Image Gallery

DISC 3 - THE ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU
Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
Brand-new audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger
Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation, a brand-new visual essay exploring the intersection of mythical horror creatures and the rational world of science in the films of Sam Katzman by critic Josh Hurtado
Theatrical Trailer
Image Gallery

DISC 4 - THE GIANT CLAW
Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
Brand-new audio commentary by critics Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard
Family Endangered!, a brand-new visual essay examining the theme of Cold War paranoia in Sam Katzman monster movies, by critic Mike White
Condensed Super 8mm version of The Giant Claw, produced for home cinema viewing
Theatrical Trailer
Image Gallery

Official Purchase Link

www.mvdvisual.com





NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race
(DVD / G / 2021 / PBS)

Overview: Electric cars seem increasingly likely to replace our gas-guzzling vehicles.

Could a new generation of emission-free electric planes do the same to the polluting airliners in our skies - a major step in the fight against climate change?

DVD Verdict: In NOVA: Great Electric Airplane Race, PBS looks at an array of promising new electric planes on the horizon and takes you for a ride in some impressive prototypes that are already in the air.

We take a hop in the Kittyhawk Heaviside, a single-seat plane that can take off like a helicopter but is half as noisy and can fly for 100 miles at 150 mph.

Or thereís the E-Hang, an autonomous drone said to have already taken thousands of passengers on test flights in Shanghai; could self-flying air taxis revolutionize city transportation?

But if electric airplanes are ever to advance beyond small, short-haul craft, significant hurdles of battery weight, energy storage and cooling remain to be overcome.

How long will it be before the dream of super-quiet, super-efficient airliners becomes a reality?

All these questions and oh-so many more are all answered here in this 60 minute documentary from PBS, along with openly discussing the fact that whereas electric planes have been on peopleís mind for a while, there are still two big problems that are keeping electric grounded.

First, the technologyís not quite ready given that when youíre trying to get an electric plane off the ground, you want a battery that packs a lot of punch in a little package, and that batteries are not as efficient as gas, and theyíre probably not gonna be for a while!

And, of course, if something goes wrong, you canít stop. You canít pull to the side of the road. Thereís only one place for that airplane to go. And so the regulatory stringency is much higher, the requirements for reliability, redundancy, and safety are much higher for a good reason. You have no alternate.

All this and more is discussed freely on this highly informative new PBS documentary. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Official PBS Purchase Link

www.PBS.org





NOVA: Ship That Changed The World
(DVD / G / 2021 / PBS)

Overview: Some five centuries ago, a major revolution overturned traditional ship design: in just a few years, ships were transformed from small coastal-bound transports into massive ocean-going vessels.

Once regular trans-oceanic travel became feasible, everything changed.

DVD Verdict: Powerful navies arose and fought for supremacy at sea, while the new ships enabled empire-building European powers to invade and colonize Indigenous lands and exploit their peoples.

How did this transformative change in ship design come about? Scholars and historians have always faced a problem: few wrecks dating back to this crucial period survive, so rough drawings and incomplete records have been their only evidence.

Now, a well-preserved wreck off the coast of Sweden dating back to the era of Columbus reveals new details about the engineering that changed the world.

Here in NOVA: Ship That Changed The World, we recover the sunken clues to this significant new discovery and watch along with awe as all the pieces of the puzzle come together to form a rather fascinating bigger historic picture.

Add to that the updated information that container ships are the work-horses of the globalized economy: although they represent only one eighth of the total world fleet they are essential for the transport of consumer goods around the world.

Indeed, container ships have grown bigger at a rapid pace over the last decades, faster than any other ship type. In one decade, the average capacity of a container ship has doubled. The largest container ship at this moment can carry 19,200 containers, but ships with capacity of more than 21,000 containers have been ordered!

Add to all that there are cost savings of mega-ships, but these are decreasing and might not even be realized. Doubling the maximum container ship size over the last decade has reduced total vessel costs per transported container by roughly a third.

However, these cost savings are decreasing with size; the cost savings of the newest generation of containerships are four to six times smaller than the savings from the previous round of upsizing.

Approximately 60% of the cost savings of the most recent container ships are related to more efficient engines and not to scale. So come join us on this wondrous sea-faring venture into both the past and the present, with a little bit of the future sprinkled in for good luck! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

Official PBS Purchase Link

www.PBS.org





Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island
(DVD / NR / 2021 / PBS)

Overview: The Pteranodon family takes the Dinosaur Train to Adventure Island, a new theme park on a volcanic island!

The Conductorís archrival Thurston is in charge: he proudly shows off the parkís amazing robot dinosaurs!

DVD Verdict: For those unaware, Dinosaur Train embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while sparking an interest in life science, natural history, and paleontology.

The basic premise of this, for the kids, of course, us that friendly dinosaurs climb aboard a train to visit different times throughout the prehistoric age, learning about dinosaurs and having fun adventures.

And it has to be said, why were Trains and Dinosaurs never put together before?! I mean, Dinosaur Train completely changes how kids learn about dinosaurs. Finally, all the mistakes I was taught as a kid are repaired! Dinosaurs use tails for balance, have proper names, sometimes are tiny, have feathers, fly, are birds, swim, hunt, etc.

Mix in some really well done music and clear, quality animation, and youíve got a great show. Best of all is a moment after each episode with a real paleontologist who clears up fact from fiction and even gives great details about what was learned in the cartoon.

Here on this Adventure Island trip, Thurston is working on the very same-named island, whilst Don discovers his taste for Jurassic churros, and the kids get the robot dinosaurs working again!

Finally, a TV show is using standard teaching methods like reinforcement and repetition without boring us to death!

On this new collection from Dinosaur Train we get the aforementioned full-length movie along with: Junior Conductorís Academy: Parts 1 and 2 and Rolliní on the Riverboat: Parts 1 and 2.

Thank you, Dinosaur Train! Youíve created a show on a great subject that I can learn something new from right along with the kids! Well done! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain





The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It [4K]
(Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi OíConnor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything theyíd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.

Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the highly enthralling The Conjuring 3 coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this August 24th, 2021.

For my money, this The Conjuring 3: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital combo packs sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is The Conjuring 3 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 UHDs, 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 is more is that it is 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; such as when, in the woods, as it goes from day to night extremely quickly, Lorraine gets attacked by a pissed off demon!

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 the fine detail to the faces of the characters in one of the opening scenes where Arne kills the very scared, very confused Bruno!

As for the audio, well we have just the choice of: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1).

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR 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.

OK, well, as for the actual movie, well, the story is based on the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a young man who murdered his landlord and claimed that demonic forces made him commit the act.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as ghost-hunting supremes Ed and Lorraine Warren who set out to make sense of the case and prove that demons can and do in fact take possession of people whilst convincing the high court that supernatural forces can be used as mitigating circumstances.

The formula for the third entry moves away from the haunted house tropes that drove the narrative of the first two films and veers towards the possession court room drama/crime investigation and witchcraft theme and as such the film feels fresh (how many more times do we really want to see Ed and Lorraine poke around old and dusty houses?).

Wilson and Farmiga prove once again that their presence is what makes these films so enjoyable and watchable. Amongst the jump scares and deafening score they offer substance and an element of humanity that really makes you root for their characters.

This time around we learn even more about the Warrens, how they met and how these cases affect them on a physical and emotional level.

Farmiga as Lorraine Warren in particular is put through the wringer and takes center stage. A phenomenal performer who can act her way out of a paper bag, she offers one of the best character drives in the series.

After a particularly intense opening scene involving the exorcism of a young boy (with nods and throwbacks to William Peter Blattyís original Exorcist) complete with some body horror that would have Cronenberg wincing the story moves along swiftly onto the case of Johnson who believes that a demon is responsible for the downward spiral his life has taken.

The same demon is alleged to have caused the possession of the young brother of his girlfriend and so Ed and Lorraine Warren are drafted in to solve the mystery.

The set pieces are what youíd expect from The Conjuring universe, with the camera panning away in some dark and dimly lit basement or morgue before a big reveal that hits you square in the face like a crescendo.

Unlike Chaves previous effort this one comes with greater care for the scares, with the tension mounted up to extreme lengths and therefore the payoff feel earned.

The central performances also add a layer of craftsmanship which makes up for the cheapness of some of the earlier spinoff entries. Ruairi OíConnor gives a moody performance as Johnson and really captures the sense of dread and unnerving unknowing that befalls a character that faces a life behind bars if the burden of proof is not challenged.

Alongside genre greats such as Wilson and Farmiga he more than carries the film when required to do so. The score from Joseph Bishara (who penned the score for both Conjuring films and Wanís other ghost spinner Insidious) is a powerhouse of orchestral greatness, with shrieking violins coming to life when the scares are meant to catch you off guard.

Indeed, the ingredients all form together to deliver yet another fantastic Conjuring film.

If I had to give some criticism then the ending is a little slapdash and the resolve is a little sloppy and the final antagonist isnít particularly scary, however by that point most people will be entirely entertained so you are still likely to leave your sofa either smiling or calming down from having screamed so much!

Taking a peak at one of the Special Features and for me the stand out is ďBy Reason of Demonic PossessionĒ where we get an in-depth look at the true story that inspired the movie.

As James Wan explains, they found a very interesting case file that the Warrens had investigated and was this very same story about a young man who claimed he committed murder whilst under the cloak of demonic possession.

Throughout this captivating video are interviews on set with the Johnsons themselves, the now-adult children of the young man (their father) and both Debbie and Arnie relate their own personal recollections of what they had seen and been a part of.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

ē ďBy Reason of Demonic PossessionĒ - An in depth look at the true story that inspired the movie
ē ďThe OccultistĒ - Meet the terrifying new addition to the Conjuring Universe
ē ďExorcism of FearĒ - Delve into the making of the movie and the chilling exorcism scene that opens the filmĒ
ē ďDC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #1Ē Ė A video comic that takes you deeper into the Conjuring Universe

Witness the chilling terror and unknown evil when The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It arrives for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 23rd, 2021

The film is directed by Michael Chaves (ďThe Curse of La LloronaĒ) and stars Vera Farmiga (ďAnnabelle Comes Home,Ē TVís ďBates MotelĒ) and Patrick Wilson (ďAnnabelle Comes Home,Ē ďThe NunĒ). The film will also be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD beginning on August 24th, 2021.

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It was produced by James Wan and Peter Safran, who have collaborated on all the ďConjuringĒ Universe films.

The film also stars Ruairi OíConnor (Starzí ďThe Spanish PrincessĒ), Sarah Catherine Hook (Huluís ďMonsterlandĒ) and Julian Hilliard (Wandavision, TVís ďPenny Dreadful: City of AngelsĒ and ďThe Haunting of Hill HouseĒ).

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of The Conjuring 3 will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR, which dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

It will also feature HDR10+TM, HDR technology that optimizes brightness levels and contrast for each scene, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker to deliver a lifelike viewing experience.

The Conjuring 3 @ Facebook

Official Trailer





Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard: 4K Ultra HD
(Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, et al / 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2021 / Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Overview: In the Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) are back as the mismatched, high-octane trio, that are once again forced together into another life-threatening mission to save Europe from a vengeful and powerful zealot (Antonio Banderas).

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: Lionsgate Films is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the euphorically mesmerizing, and gloriously colorful Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this August 17th, 2021.

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

So, what we have is Spiral 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: 2.38:1 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 UHDs, 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 is more is that it is 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; notably the detail levels are definitely improved throughout as what repeatedly caught my attention was the improvement in shadow definition in the many dark scenes (such as in the Where Is Your Shirt? scene, when Ryan and Salma are discussing how to get past some armed guards, but the lady manages to do it all - whilst losing her shirt!).

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 - like the Who Were You Talking To? scene, where Ryan is on the phone - after a huge car chase escape - and Salma creeps up behind him, confronts him (whilst Samuel L. is laid back on the hood of the car), the outdoor, grassy countryside layout ending in a hail of fired tranquilizer darts!

As for the audio, well we have a veritable smorgasbord of choice here: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps) and French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps).

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR 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.

OK, well, as for the actual movie, well, in truth, the Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard is a rather good, fun action comedy film that may have less laughs than the first movie, but is still chock full of fun and so action packed that makes it an entertaining summer blockbuster film of the highest order!

What worked? The film is very fast moving. So fast moving that it skips out any story development like an introduction to Antonio Banderas villain character! And his agenda of causing destruction!

But then having Ryan Reynolds Michael Bryce character going on sabbatical to help face up to, and ultimately accept that he is close to losing his bodyguard license seems a little left of center.

And then we get Salma Hayekís character showing up with bad guys in almost every scene! Chasing them and leading them into shoot outs all whilst she just wants to save her husband (Samuel L. Jackson). Next thing you know they are chasing a device that the bad guy wants and have to come together, peacefully, to help save the world!

So yeah, it is beyond action packed with lots of shoot outs, bike and car chases and oh-so many fight scenes that it is totally entertaining from start to finish.

Indeed, for my money the film tries to be bigger than the first with lots more going on with plot. It even has an Interpol agent played by Frank Grillo who was very much underused in the film, in my humble opinion.

It may not have many laughs or overall veins of humor than the first, but it still was a lot of fun on screen with the cast ensemble, thatís for sure.

I mean, come on now, seeing Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Selma Hayek nitpick at each other throughout, about family, relationships, past trauma and so much more (especially in the scene when she is driving the car!) is just to die for (if you will pardon the expression here!)

As for Antonio Banderas, well, sure, he does play a good villain, but he is also made up (appearance wise, especially the hair) a little cartoonish for my liking!

Anyway, so, overall, what worked best? The overall plot may be forgettable and doesnít even need to be looked into too hard, but when you get heavily veiled support characters played by the likes of Morgan Freeman, well, you know your movie has some mighty fine gravitas!

Taking a peak at a couple of the Special Features and for me the stand outs are the Ryan, Sam, Salma: One Fíd Up Family Featurette (where we get nothing but the f-bomb being dropped in every other sentence (if not them all!) and the oh-so funny Gag Reel; that sees Salma smacking Ryanís glasses off each take so much so that he becomes terrified of her next rehearsed slap! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

ē ďRyan, Sam, Salma: One Fíd Up FamilyĒ Featurette
ē ďGone Soft: The New Michael BryceĒ Featurette
ē ďHitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard: #stuntlifeĒ Featurette
ē ďOn the Set of Hitmanís Wifeís BodyguardĒ Featurette
ē Gag Reel
ē Theatrical Trailers

Join the mayhem on Digital July 23rd, 2021 and on 4K Ultra HDô Combo Pack, Blu-rayô Combo Pack, DVD, & On Demand August 17th, 2021 from Lionsgateģ.

The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD of The Hitmanís Wifeís Bodyguard will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.96, respectively.

Official Trailer

Bloopers [Official Video]

The Stunts [Official Video]

Official Website

www.LGF.com





In The Heights (4K Ultra HD+Digital) [Blu-ray]
(Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / PG-13 / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Lights up on Washington Heights! The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community.

At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.

Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the spectacularly colorful and thrillingly beautiful In The Heights coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this August 31st, 2021.

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

So, what we have is In The Heights 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: 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 UHDs, 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 is more is that it is 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; such as the very first big dance scene: Welcome to the Heights!

This vivacious scene introduces viewers to the raw energy of this barrio (neighborhood). In the opening scene right before that, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) tells his children that this is a place where ďthe streets are filled with music.Ē

Latin beats, a Latin sense of groove and Latin movement vocabulary is fully reflected in this sceneís music and dance; trumpets blare as dance pairs cha-cha-ing fill the sidewalks and the streets.

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 the Carnaval scene!

Itís another scorching hot day in the Heights, and, to top it off, thereís been a blackout, so thereís no air conditioning. Neighbors are gathered in an alley, fanning themselves and feeling down from a few losses that the community has recently experienced.

One senorita urges everyone to get up and dance, to rejoice no matter the heat or their grief and boy oh boy, do they all do just that!

As for the audio, well we have just the choice of: English: Dolby Atmos English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1.

Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR 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.

OK, well, as for the actual movie, well, In the Heights took Broadway by storm in the mid-2000s, earning composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda (of recent Hamilton fame) a Pultizer Prize nomination and a few Tony Awards. Here, he re-teams with original librettist Quiara Alegría Hudes and director Jon M. Chu to deliver a summer film experience unlike any other.

To theorize what it is that makes In the Heights so worth the viewers time, I found myself drawn to the mental image of a delicious sandwich, perhaps one purchased from your local bodega.

The meat of the thing is its story. At its core, In the Heights tells a tale of dreaming. Each character has their own suenito (little dream, in Spanish) that they are chasing.

Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) wants to reclaim his fathers legacy back in their homeland of the Dominican Republic, but also wants to get with his crush, Vanessa (Melissa Barrera).

For her part, Vanessa dreams of leaving her job at the local salon to move Downtown and become a fashion designer. Local success story turned reluctant college dropout Nina Rosario (Leslie Grace) arrives back home wondering if the dream of academic success sheís been pursuing is even hers.

Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), matriarch of the block, has undoubtedly inherited the suenitos of not only her Cuban immigrant mother, but also the neighborhood she cares for.

And when Usnavis bodega sells a winning lottery ticket worth $96,000 dollars, the whole of the Heights dreams a dream all their own about how they would spend the money.

Certain characters circumstances are relatable across the board - havenít we all, like Vanessa, dreamed of getting that ideal job in maybe a better place than where we are at currently?

And who among us hasnít played the What-if game about suddenly coming into a large sum of money? But other aspects of this story speak directly to the immigrant experience and the tension that exists therein, reckoning with the obligation to ones identity - both as an individual, and as part of your Community.

Practically speaking, the story hits a home run in this regard by juxtaposing the notion of dreams and aspirations with the concept of being a Dreamer - that is, a DACA recipient - as a small subplot involves Sonny (Gregory Diaz) and his struggle to obtain a pathway to citizenship.

The proverbial condiments on top of such a multi-faceted story are of the audio and visual variety. Jon M. Chus direction, particularly during the films most emotional moments - like Ninas tense discussion with her Dad about attending Stanford - really helps to drive the impact home.

Similarly, the cinematography of Alice Brooks adds a beautiful richness to many of the large group numbers, capturing all of the action with wide and vibrant shots, particularly during 96,000 and The Club/Blackout. And Lin-Manuel Mirandaís score is very well interpreted.

But the real secret sauce of In the Heights are the performances themselves. Anthony Ramos as Usnavi is almost instantly likable, in a way softer and more sympathetic than Mirandas Broadway interpretation.

While there was not a single slouch in the cast, standout performances include Daphne Rubin-Vega as the gossipy, yet takes-no-bull**** salon owner, Daniela.

Leslie Grace played Nina perfectly as a girl torn between her familyís expectations and what she feels is her responsibility. The real shining star of In the Heights is Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia, a role which she originated on Broadway.

She moved and spoke with all the nurturing spirit of a grandmother, making me miss mine tremendously. Abuela Claudias catchphrase is Paciencia y Fe (Patience and Faith), and in the song of the same name, Merediz encapsulates the heart of the immigrant experience.

If you have an ounce of sensitivity, it is her performance over which you will shed the most tears. Fun bonus cameos include Puerto Rican superstar Marc Anthony, and Lin-Manuel Miranda himself as Piragua Guy.

Finally, we reach the element of the film that holds all this goodness together: Latinidad. This film was made by Latinos in celebration of Latinos.

From the predominately Hispanic setting of Washington Heights to the Latin rhythms in many of the musical numbers, and the frequent use of Spanish - both spoken and sung - it is impossible to separate the essence of what In the Heights is from the people it was not only written about; but written for.

And it is nearly impossible not to get hype during Carnaval del Barrio when the neighborhood residents shout Alza la bandera! (Raise the flag) and wave the flags of places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba.

The joy and pride in this moment are palpable and go a long way toward crushing the myth that all Latino people are the same. And if the language barrier here presents a problem for you, the problem is really that your lens is too small.

And it is at this point that I will freely admit and acknowledge that as a Caucasian of Eastern European descent, I cannot speak definitively in any way to the Latino or immigrant experience as the film portrays it.

But I will also say that Latino representation in film matters and that, while admittedly imperfect in its way, Lin-Mirandas magnum opus made me glad and grateful to see people who looked like my Mexican friends or Costa Rican coworkers on the big screen.

There are a few aspects of In the Heights I would change, the biggest of which is the truncation of the love story between Nina and dispatch worker Benny (Corey Hawkins).

It also would not be asking too much for a bit more narrative near the emotional climax of the film to help slow the pacing down, but the fact remains - if In the Heights is comparable in any way to a well-made bodega sandwich, it will keep you going back for seconds.

Taking a peak at one of the Special Features and for me the stand outs are all the colorfully revealing small featurettes that come together as one to truly showcase the love and passion that went into not only filming this masterpiece, but acting in it also.

This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and the ďIn the HeightsĒ 4K UHD combo pack and Blu-ray contain the following special features: ē Paciencia y Fe: Making in the Heights
ē Paciencia y Fe: When Youíre Home
ē Paciencia y Fe: Hundreds of Stories
ē Paciencia y Fe: Alza La Bandera/Raise the Flag
ē Paciencia y Fe: Wepa!
ē Paciencia y Fe: That Music in the Air
ē Paciencia y Fe: Who Keeps our Legacies
ē In the Heights Sing-a-long
ē 96,000 Sing-a-long

Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte

Experience the cinematic event, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big, when ďIn the HeightsĒ arrives for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 30th, 2021.

The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (ďCrazy Rich AsiansĒ) and fuses Lin-Manuel Mirandaís (Broadwayís ďHamiltonĒ) kinetic music and lyrics, starring Anthony Ramos (ďA Star is Born,Ē Broadwayís ďHamiltonĒ) and Corey Hawkins (ďStraight Outta Compton,Ē ďBlacKkKlansmanĒ).

The film will also be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD beginning on August 31st, 2021.

In The Heights @ Facebook

Official Trailer





Spirit Untamed: The Movie
(Isabela Merced, Marsai Martin, Mckenna Grace, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, et al / Blu-ray + DVD / PG / 2021 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: Spirit Untamed: The Movie is a story of adventure, family and friendship. Free-spirited Lucky Prescott moves to Miradero to join her estranged father.

She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer.

She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does.

When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on an epic journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her motherís legacy.

Blu-ray Verdict: Interestingly enough, this is not only the very first theatrically released animated film to be based off a Netflix exclusive series, but also the first animated feature film work from all its big-name stars re: Jake Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Marsai Martin, Walton Goggins and Eiza GonzŠlez.

OK, well, taking it from the top and any kids that watched Dreamworksí original SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (2002) are now at least in their mid-20s and many likely have kids of their own!

That original film featured old school animation, and provides a nice comparison for todayís computerized drawing. However, from a story and character perspective this is less a sequel to that film, and more a spinoff of the original Netflix series, of which there have been more than 50 episodes.

Lucky Prescott (voiced by Isabela Merced, Dora in DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, 2019) is a rambunctious youngster being attended to by her Aunt Cora (Oscar winner Julianne Moore) at the home of Luckyís wealthy and now candidate-for-Governor grandfather.

With no time for her shenanigans, grandpa ships off Lucky and Cora to be reunited with Luckyís father, Jim Prescott (Jake Gyllenhaal). The two havenít seen each other since Luckyís mother died tragically ten years ago.

On the train ride to Miradero, Lucky has a connection with a beautiful wild stallion she names Spirit. The two share a bond of wildness and independence, though soon enough Spirit is being held captive by mean-spirited horse wranglers.

Lucky and her father have an awkward reunion as he tries to keep her safe, unwilling to admit the free-spirited nature she shares with her mother, who once rode with the Los Caballeros, a local trick-riding team.

Her motherís clothes, boots, and posters open Luckyís eyes to a world that feels like home. She befriends not just Spirit, but also a couple of local girls, Pru (Marsai Martin) and Abigail (Mckenna Grace), who are drawn to Luckyís energy, but also recognize the danger sheís in going up against the evil wrangler (Walton Goggins).

What follows is an adventure with terrific visuals and enough action to keep the three and five year oldís that I watched the film with glued to the screen!

Heck Mountain and the Ridge of Regret seemed to be especially exciting for them, and I personally got a kick out of the importance of math (a word problem) in keeping Lucky on track.<

The film clocks in under 90 minutes, which is just right for most kids. The songs (Taylor Swift sings the trailer song) didnít seem to make much impression, but the kid characters did.

From a grown-up perspective, itís hard to miss the fact that the adult males arenít the best role models, and even Abigailís young brother Snips (Lucian Perez) spends most of his time wreaking mischievous trouble.

However, the lack of other political messages was a relief, and female empowerment in youngsters is always a welcome story line.

The film is co-directed by Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torreson. Writing credits go to John Fusco (the original Spirit film), Aury Wallington (the TV series) and Kristin Hahn and Katherine Nolfi.

The all-star voice cast is a nice complement to the visuals (especially the mountains and clouds), and the message about independence and finding oneís own way in life. It should also be noted that the film is rated PG, not G. [F.G.] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

ē DELETED / EXTENDED SCENES
ē FINDING YOUR SPIRIT: Meet the cast and filmmakers behind SPIRIT UNTAMED and discover how they brought this incredible story to life. Find out how this film fits into the overall Spirit story and learn the secrets behind the animation process
ē BEHIND THE VOICES Ė THE CAST: Itís always fun to see the people behind the voices. In this series of short featurettes, we not only meet the cast but we discover what characteristics they share with their on-screen personas and how they inhabit them
ē COWGIRLS RULE: This featurette goes into more detail about the female-focused story and explains why itís not just a ďgirls like poniesĒ movie
ē DRAWING SPIRIT - SPIRIT UNTAMED: A unique look and chance to learn from one of the talented artists how they bring the characters, both human and equine, to life
ē CREATE YOUR OWN INDOOR ĎCAMPFIRE:í Using crepe paper and LED lights, build your very own campfire at home!
ē HOW TO UKELELE: Discover how to create your very own ukulele at home. Then, learn some simple chords so you can impress your friends and family around the campfire
ē SNACK TIME Ė SíMORES: During their adventure, Lucky and her friends enjoy a campfire snack that we all know, and love-símores! This tasty ďhow toĒ feature will teach viewers to safely make their own traditional toasted treats along with a selection of not so traditional recipes
ē ABIGAILíS HAND SHADOW SECRETS: Ever wish you could tell stories using hand shadows, just like Abigail? Well now you can! With the help of a hand shadow master, a simple lamp and an old sheet, anyone can learn how to create cool creatures with nothing but your two hands
ē HOW TO ZOETROPE: Lucky Prescott discovers her motherís horse-riding talent when she finds a zoetrope at her fatherís house. This ďhow toĒ video teaches fans of the film how to build their own and bring it to life using the drawings they learn in the ďdrawing spiritĒ feature
ē SING-ALONGS: Watch these fun lyric videos featuring songs from the film and sing-along around your own Ďcampfireí
ē FEATURE COMMENTARY: Commentary with director Elaine Bogan, co-director Ennio Torresan, and producer Karen Foster

Official Movie Trailer

Amazon Purchase Links

Spirit Untamed: The Movie @ Facebook!

Spirit Untamed: The Movie @ Instagram!

Official Spirit Untamed: The Movie Website





Harry & Snowman [Blu-ray]
(Marty Deleyer, Harry Deleyer, Harriet Deleyer, Willy Deleyer, Andre Deleyer, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2015) 2021 / FilmRise)

Overview: Harry & Snowman is the Cinderella story of Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer and his friendship with Snowman, an Amish plow horse he rescued off a truck bound for the glue factory.

Within 2 years they would win the Triple Crown of show jumping, beating the nations blue bloods and traveling the world as media darlings.

And thus, their meeting at a horse auction began a friendship that would last a lifetime.

Blu-ray Verdict: As the movie opens, we are at Nederland Farm and present-day Harry DeLeyer, now well into his eighties, is teaching someone (his granddaughter?) about show jumping, while also telling stories.

Of all the horses Iíve had, Snowman was the most special, he says. We then go back in time to his early years, growing up in the Netherlands and dealing with WWII at age 13.

When he gets the opportunity to move to the US after WWII, he grabs it with both hands.

This is yet another fascinating documentary from writer-director Ron Davis, founder of Docutainment Films. Here Davis brings us the almost fairy tale-sounding, but ultimately true story of a guy who immigrated to this country with nothing but the shirt on his back, and turned his love for horses into a career.

The big break occurs when at an auction in Pennsylvania, he rescues this white horse for $80 when the horse was about to depart for the glue factory.

That horse, Snowman, would become one of the most accomplished show jumping horses ever. But letís be clear: itís about much more than the competition, as impressive as that is.

This is about the deep bond, yes love, and companionship between man and horse. It seems as though there wasnít a thing that Snowman wouldnít do for Harry or Harryís family (8 kids).

Ah yes, the kids, they are also interviewed extensively and from there we can appreciate their collective awe for their dad, but also the huge shadow cast by dadís accomplishments.

The documentary has an unbelievable amount of footage from the fifties and sixties and that makes the movie also a time machine to that era.

For my money, Harry & Snowman is a mighty fine documentary that flies by in no time and I highly recommend it to anyone with a heart and soul as open, or as big as either of these two main characters. [PA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.FilmRise.com

www.HarryAndSnowman.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Elstree 1976 [Blu-ray]
(Derek Lyons, Garrick Hagon, Anthony Forrest, Jeremy Bulloch, Angus Macinnes, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2015) 2021 / FilmRise)

Overview: In this fascinating documentary, we go behind the scenes of one of the most iconic film series of all time: Star Wars.

The actors and extras who played aliens, stormtroopers, rebels and even Darth Vader in George Lucasí Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope reminisce about their time on set and how making the Sci-Fi classic affected their lives and careers, for better or for worse.

Blu-ray Verdict: Maybe slightly too long (yeah, even at 100 minutes), but thereís a lot of wonderful anecdotes from all of these walk-on players and actors and people-behind-masks, and itís not completely about the making of Star Wars either.

I think that was what pleasantly surprised me the most; not only that, the people talk about where they came from and their personal lives to an extent - all of them, from what I could tell, came from working class backgrounds, had sometimes sick/dead family members, and it was not necessarily always a Iím going to be this kind of actor let alone any kind of recognizable entity - and, after Star Wars, how their lives fared.

Some kept on working in movies (thereís one guy who went on to be in a number of films as the sort of Oh, hey, background guy in films like Living Daylights and Last Crusade), some didnít (the one actress, who barely considers herself that, found that she was more keen on getting her walk-on roles and not really seeking anything more), and some went on to being other iconic figures (Dave Prowse as a cross-walk guy - UK TV advert!)

Thereís also a good deal of time spent talking about fans and conventions, and the reactions to how these cons go isnít anything too out of this world (as one of them says, 95% of the people are terrific, the rest are just weird), but it adds another level on to the proceedings.

Most interesting is the bit about how there is a sort of tier system as far as people going to these conventions, with one man being interviewed (I forget his name but heís the guy that gets blown up in the X-Wing after shouting Loosen up! and recalls remembering his lines out of order!) saying that at one con a guy came trying to make himself into a thing when he wasnít even credited!

And then this same guy, one presumes - or someone like him - is interviewed, and I mean, hey, that briefing scene on the Death Star on Yavin had a LOT of guys, you know.

And meanwhile a guy like Prowse says with only a bit of bitterness that he isnít asked to conventions anymore, certainly not the official SW ones, but it doesnít seem as anything sad, like he knows heís made some bad blood along the way (the context, in case anyoneís curious, Prowse used to be really terrible when it came to leaking info about the sequels when they were in production, to the point where he wasnít given the pivotal line in Empire due to his loose lips, so that may be a reason he neglects to mention, but I digress!).

The key thing with Elstree 1976 is that you donít have to be a major Star Wars fan to see it. Iím sure it helps, and having listened recently to the I Was There Too podcast with Anthony Forrest (the Mind-Trick Stormtrooper, and another character cut from the final version), thereís some extra things to find out about these people that make them interesting all within this context.

Stylistically itís talking heads and a sprinkling of film clips, stills, mostly from SW, and sometimes, to emphasize a character as the one neat trick, the film does a kind of back and forth loop like one might see on, of all places, Instagram, but it works as a Hereís this so-and-so person).

What it comes down to is that these people would be great fun to talk to in sum, and thatís the important thing. While the fandom is nice for these people, itís not everything (not even for Prowse or Jeremy Bulloch, the one actor interviewed here that wasnít there in 1976), so in a way this is more like a series of human interest stories that happens to have as the connecting thread of Oh yeah, that sci-fi movie that the quiet bearded guy was directing. Thus, it works perfectly well for both sets of interested parties, trust me [QA] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.FilmRise.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Crazy Nights: Uncut Edition [Blu-ray]
(Marina Hedman, Amanda Lear, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1978) 2021 / Full Moon Pictures)

Overview: Italian exploitation icon Joe DíAmatoís outrageous and rarely seen 1978 mondo movie meltdown CRAZY NIGHTS (aka Follie di notte) is one the strangest snapshots of the disco era you will ever see!

The legendary and controversial performer Amanda Lear appears here as herself, singing her signature dance floor hit Follow Me while DíAmatoís camera uses her as an entry point into the glamorous, eccentric, often depraved annals of Romeís after hours nightclub scene.

But that is only scratching the surface. CRAZY NIGHTS then meanders - in true mondo fashion - all over the world, filling the screen with strippers, sex and ritualistic absurdity, all set to the beat of Learís sultry cabaret pop sound.

Blu-ray Verdict: Lear - who famously dated David Bowie, was the cover girl for many Roxy Music records and long served as Salvador Daliís lover and muse - was at the peak of her popularity when she signed on to film CRAZY NIGHTS.

Originally pitched as a musical centered around her fame called FOLLOW ME, Lear believed the movie to be incomplete until - to her shock - it turned up in Italian theaters under the name Follie di notte.

Horrified to discover that she had been tricked into starring in a full-blown exploitation film, Lear sued the producers, one of many reasons CRAZY NIGHTS has lapsed into virtual obscurity!

As noted as a kind of an Italian burleque-sploitation mondo movie directed by Joe DíAmato and hosted by Amanda Lear, performances of her disco hits Follow Me and Enigma (Give a bit of mmh to me) bookend this weird compilation of strange, symbolically sexual night club acts from supposedly all over the world!

A lot of it is focused on role play and dance. Thereís plenty of nudity, but all sex acts performed are merely symbolic simulation, and considering many of the themes explored, thatís probably a good thing as it gets pretty out there!

The music in this is just fantastic! Not only was I introduced to Amanda Lear, but this thing is full of lots of music and Iíd drop money for a soundtrack immediately! Weíve got the old Italian film music with female vocalization to disco to Swan Lake, the Amanda Lear stuff and more!

As for the film, well, one strange segment was interviewing a married couple who make porno films together. Hereís an excerpt from that interview:

Q: Tell me, have you ever made love with a woman?

A: Why yes. I actually have. And I must say, it was very interesting.

Then they watch a real porno film starring that couple. Or so it seems, because it cuts away. Oh, and the porno star husband looked like a real life version of Hanover Fiste from the movie Heavy Metal!

The real highlight was Amandaís performance of Enigma (Give a little mmh to me) in the discotheque. By that point, Iíd kind of slipped into accepting everything and just watching to see whatís next!

This doesnít make for a good sexploitation movie and really isnít all that interesting, but does have itís moments and a varied sense of humor and there is kind of a psychotronic quality to it.

Therefore, if you are into this kind of thing, Iíd say especially at 3am in a bout of insomnia, then check it out! [OE] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.FullMoonDirect.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Escape From Area 51 [Blu-ray + Bonus CD ]

(Donna DíErrico, Chris Browning, Caleb Thomas, Anouk Samuel, et al / Blu-ray + Audio CD / NR / 2021 / Cleopatra-Entertainment)

Overview: ESCAPE FROM AREA 51 begins when a group of teenage conspiracy theorists try to raid the infamous military base, Area 51, in the Nevada desert. No one gets in - but someone gets out!

Sheera (DíErrico), a sexy alien warrior, uses a power glitch to escape from captivity at Area 51. Her escape using a portal gun sets off an energy signature which attracts the attention of her arch-rival in space Sklarr (Browning).

Sheera must now elude an Area 51 scientist, as well as Sklarr, to rescue her fellow warrior and find her way back to her planet.

Blu-ray Verdict: Directed by Eric Mittleman from a screenplay co-written with Carlos Perez based on a story co-written by Ted Chalmers, Carlos Perez and Robert Rhine, this The Girls and Corpses-Sterling Entertainment-TomCat Films co-production - starring Donna DíErrico, Chris Browning, Anouk Samuel, Chloe Amen, Caleb Thomas, Zeke Jones and Veronica Farren - Escape From Area 51 is an all-out mega blast of colorful sci-fi fun stuff and complete nonsense!

Remember those old cheesy sci-fi movies from back in the day, when the sets wobbled, the acting was terrible, and the plot was as weak as a wet paper bag, well, welcome to the (we hope) purposefully bad Escape From Area 51.

If we look back at those old films today, we do so with a wry smile, as we know they knew what they were doing, given the budgets. So here in the often so bad it is downright hilarious Area 51, we now get a modern take on those awesome B-movies.

Chock full of (we hope, again) purposefully predictable plots, half decent acting, humorously overindulgent in the female cleavage shots, and some well below par sci-fi CGI moments, nevertheless, Area 51 will keep you chuckling along with it until the end.

[FYI: Frankie Sixx makes her film debut here in Escape From Area 51. She is the daughter of the films star Donna DíErrico (Baywatch) and Motley Crue founder/rock star Nikki Sixx].

This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and aside from the Bonus Features of a Theatrical Trailer, Image Slideshow and Cast Interviews, there is a complete Soundtrack CD that is included in this wondrous package:

XYNN - Cíest Comme Moi - GURU FREAKOUT - Elektrolurch-Mutation - ARMONITE - The March of The Stars - HAWKESTRAL - Biometrics - PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Rick Wakeman - Are We To Believe - DIE KLUTE - Itís All In Vain - NIK TURNER - Interstellar Clouds - PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Chris Squire; Patrick Moraz; Alan Parsons; Steve Stevens - Shining Diamonds - XYNN - Radioactive Raindrops - PROG COLLECTIVE featuring Todd Rundgren - Worlds On Hold - TRANS X - Living On Video - A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS - Space Age Love Song - PROG COLLECTIVE featuring William Shatner - Epilogue

www.Cleopatra-Entertainment.com

Official Bio-Info Pod Teaser

www.MVDvisual.com





The Return Of Swamp Thing: 30th Ann. Edition
(Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, Heather Locklear, et al / DVD / NR / (1989) 2021 / Lightyear Entertainment)

Overview: Everyoneís favorite muck-encrusted plant-man falls in love with Dr. Arcaneís sexy daughter and must rescue her from her fatherís nefarious and murderous plans!

Heather Locklear stars as the vegetarian plant-lover in this superhero comic book adaptation that also starring Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, and Sarah Douglas, with elaborate mutant creatures designed by the legendary Carl Fullerton.

DVD Verdict: After Wes Craven churned out the DC comic Swamp Thing into a 1982 feature length, film-maker Jim Wynorski would couple years later helm the low-budget sequel The Return of Swamp Thing and take it down a totally different path.

Wanting to solve the mystery of her motherís death, horticulturist Abigail Arcane goes to stay with her stepfather Dr. Anton Arcane. However he has plans for her, which involves stealing her DNA to achieve immortality.

Finding out she escapes into the swamp where she is rescued by Dr. Alex Holland, who now finds himself half-plant, half-man known as Swamp Thing.

For better or worse, he camped it up and played it for laughs. However thatís not taking anything away from it, while it can get silly it still was rather enjoyable and the make-up FX (involving the mutants) was very well pulled off for the day.

The opening sequences involving comic inserts and Creedence Clearwater Revivalís Born in the Bayou used as its theme song do set the mood. I think it actually starts off rather strongly, then if anything kind of falls away when Swamp Thing and Heather Locklearís character come together (the sweet love-story) midway through.

The script is very tongue-in-cheek and the performances are rather self-aware, even that of Dick Durock as Swamp Thing. Louis Jourdan returns as Dr. Arcane and does a wonderful job bringing this sly character to life.

Locklear is looking great, but her character was somewhat an annoyance and to my mind the support fair better with the likes of Sarah Douglas and Ace Mask.

Wynorski doesnít hold back as he eccentrically seems to pile on the set pieces and effects with very little story holding it together, but he sure does make it feel like a live-action comic strip with some imaginative brushes, bang-up action and good use of the atmospheric swamp terrain.

In closing, the overall tone did feel uneven as there are childish elements mixed with adult themes here, and the actual ending was a little anticlimactic also, but if you take this work of art for what it is, you will never be disappointed! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and now comes with the the Bonus Features of:

NEW! 2K High-Definition Transfer!
NEW! Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino and Editor Leslie Rosenthal!
Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski!
NEW! Interview with Director Jim Wynorski! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Editor Leslie Rosenthal! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Composer Chuck Cirino! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Lightyear Entertainment Executive Arnie Holland! (HD)
Original Theatrical Trailer (New HD Transfer from original 35mm materials!)
6 Promotional TV Clips (SD)
2 TV Spots (SD)
2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements (SD)
1989 Promo Reel (SD)
Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirinoís filmís score)

www.lightyear.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Higher Ed [DVD]

(Aries Spears, Hill Harper, Leila Arcieri, Pras, et al / DVD / NR / (2001) 2021 / Lightyear Entertainment)

Overview: Ed (Pras from The Refugees) is an inner-city kid who enters college on a track scholarship to escape some thugs from his drug-dealing past.

DVD Verdict: At the ripe age of 19, Ed Green (Pras) is a dismal failure. He has resigned himself to smoking and selling Marijuana for the psychotic local drug dealer Sadico, until Sadicoís sister pins her pregnancy on Ed and Sadico vows to kill Ed.

Hearing of this, Ed decides to skip town, unsure of where to go and hide. As a last act of desperation, Ed decides to enroll at a local University and hide out by taking classes and living on Campus.

Unfortunately, Ed is assigned dorm room 420, with roommate Bud Carter (Aries Spears). Bud quickly becomes a negative influence on Ed, who falls back into his old ways.

But the Mexican Gang has picked up on Edís trail, sending goons to register as students on the same Campus to find Ed.

Ed is meanwhile developing a romantic relationship with fellow student Lisa (Leila Arcieri), but must lure her away from her Big Man on Campus boyfriend Craig (Hill Harper).

The plot thickens when police detectives set up a sting operation to address the growing problem of drugs on campus!

And so with everything adding up to one looming question for Ed: will his college career go up in smoke?

That question is answered, along with a whole host of others you did not even know needed answering here in the 20 year old Higher Ed.

This never-before-released first film from writer-director-producer Jean-Claude LaMarre, who celebrates two successful decades in Hollywood with numerous popular films and series including Chocolate City, Noraís Hair Salon, Trapped, Color of the Cross and Pastor Jones, is just what you would expect from it and thus fulfills its entertainment promise. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.lightyear.com

www.MVDvisual.com





The Snake Girl and the Silver Haired Witch: SE
(Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, Courtney Gains, John Franklin, et al / 4K Ultra HD / R / (1984) 2021 / Arrow Films - MVD Visual)

Overview: What do you get when Noriaki Yuasa, director of Daiei Studiosí much-beloved Gamera series, makes a monochrome film adaptation of the works of horror manga pioneer Kazuo Umezu (The Drifting Classroom)?

The answer is 1968ís The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, a fantastically phantasmagorical slice of twisted tokusatsu terror ostensibly made for children that will irreparably traumatize any child that sees it!

Blu-ray Verdict: A young girl named Sayuri is reunited with her estranged family after years in an orphanage Ė but trouble lurks within the walls of the large family home.

Her mother is an amnesiac after a car accident six months earlier, her sullen sister is confined to the attic and a young housemaid dies inexplicably of a heart attack just before Sayuri arrives - is it all connected to her fatherís work studying venomous snakes?

And is the fanged, serpentine figure that haunts Sayuriís dreams the same one spying on her through holes in the wall?

Making its worldwide Blu-ray debut and its home video premiere outside Japan, this rarely-screened, nightmarishly disorienting creepshow not only displays a seldom-seen side of kaiju auteur Yuasa, but its skillful blending of Umezuís comics (published in English-language markets as Reptilia) arguably anticipates many of the trends seen in J-horror decades later.

Embracing the name of the film, director Noriaki Yuasa and cinematographer Akira Uehara cast a psychedelia atmosphere in sequences that explore Sayuri nightmares with trippy lights that gives sword fights with snakes and floating masked heads an incredibly off-beat vibe.

Whilst the title itself is pure pulp, Yuasa wisely limits kitsch for the dream sequences, to instead craft a psychological chiller, with Uehara silky black and white close-ups chipping at the fractured relationship between Sayuri and Tamimi.

Wrapping the terror round Sayuri with grueling smashes against her tiny hands, Yuasa and Uehara gives the family home a claustrophobic appearance with coiled tracking shots revealing Sayuri has nowhere to escape from the snake girl and the witch.

Putting two of Kazuo Kozuís Mangaís together, Kimiyuki Hasegawa makes the matching up look seamless, with the stark screams of the dream sequences being painted with the vibrancy of Manga.

Unveiling in the beginning that the father is away abroad at work, Hasegawa makes the unsettling horror grounded, with excellently-written dialogue reflecting Tamimiís psychodrama desire to be the lone sister to get attention from mum, and Sayuriís nightmare of all the adults treating her concerns about Tamimiís as fairy tale jealousy. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles
Brand new commentary by film historian David Kalat
This Charming Woman, a newly filmed interview with manga and folklore scholar Zack Davisson
Theatrical trailer
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork by Mike Lee-Graham
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectorsí booklet featuring new writing by Raffael Coronelli

www.arrowfilms.com

www.MVDshop.com





Analog Love [Blu-ray]
(Henry Rollins, Jennifer Finch, Mark Ramos Nishita, Jimmy Urine, Chantal Claret, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Passion River Films)

Overview: Do you remember sharing your feelings with someone through a ďmix tape?Ē Analog Love is a joyful look at why this ritual of communication through music still continues to be so meaningful.

With the insights of Henry Rollins, Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Kim Shattuck (The Muffs), Jennifer Finch (L7), Jimmy Urine (Mindless Self Indulgence), Chantal Claret, Jude ďRude JudeĒ Angelini, Zernell Gillie (Grimy!), Mona Lisa Murray, Christian James Hand (The Session) and many more, weíll get to the bottom of the long-lost art of the mix tape!

Blu-ray Verdict: Believe me when I say that Analog Love hits all the right nostalgia buttons and also inspires you to reclaim the music that makes you who you are.

An inspirational dream for any child who grew up in the analog era, Analog Love (which runs at a delicious 90 minutes) is, simply put, a must-see documentary from Passion River Films.

Listening to people talk about something they love at a deeply personal level is always a treat, but listening to Henry Rollins talk about music and mixtapes is just so damn intoxicating.

And he is not alone as there are a whole host of other known music lovers interviewed here that equally as cool to listen to, in their own unique ways, of course.

I simply cannot stress enough that Analog Love is a quite wondrous documentary chock full of heart, overflowing with heartfelt, genuine and honestly sincere love for analog, in general, and it is sure to put a big smile on your face from the moment it opens.

Indeed, as Henry Rollins himself says, A mix tape is utilizing the finite amount of minutes to define a musical, emotional environment, where you can put it on and go through your past, your future, your present in a way that is emotionally poignant.

The direction is tight, the cuts made smoothly, the documentary itself very well paced and thus now having watched it twice (back-to-back, nonetheless), I can reveal I am off to spend my weekend making my very own new Spotify playlists (aka mix tapes!). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Extended Tour of Henry Rollins tape collection
Jennifer Finch on her photography work
Deleted Scene on Soundtracks
Music Videos from Jonah Matranga, Chantal Claret, Radius Etc, and more!

Official Trailer

www.passionriver.com





A Life At Stake [Special Edition] [Blu-ray]
(Angela Lansbury, Keith Andes, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1955) 2021 / The Film Detective)

Overview: Spoiled young Doris Hillman (Lansbury) invites struggling architect Edward Shaw (Andes) to come in as her husbandís partner in a lucrative real estate deal. However, when Edward becomes romantically involved with Doris, he learns that something deadly is going on.

Thereís a life at stake, and it could be his own. This independent production from the golden age of film noir was described by the Los Angeles Times as a study in fear.

It also shows Angela Lansbury, already a double Oscar nominee, as youíve never seen her. Sheís a charming femme fatale. But is she as bad as she seems?

Blu-ray Verdict: This quite magnificent, new 4K transfer with archived film elements film from 1955, A Life at Stake might not have been on my viewing radar back in the mid-50ís, but due to The Film Detective, is most assuredly is today!

This film stars mostly unknown actors, other than Angela Lansbury in a leading role and Jane Darwell in a supporting role. The leading man is played by Keith Andes - a handsome and rather non-descript actor who, at first, I had trouble recognizing.

Then I realized that I had seen him in a bad episode of the original Star Trek series as the High Priest of Val (a giant rock-hewn lizard God). Not exactly an auspicious role, I know, but it is what it is, I guess.

Edward is a down and out architect whose old partner split and left him ridden with debts. Into this sorry life appears Doris who offers to have him go into business with her and her older husband.

The offer is just too good to be true - sudden wealth and a somewhat attractive married woman throwing herself at him - and so despite misgivings, he agrees to the partnership.

Of course, a part of this partnership includes a life insurance policy on him, so in case he died his partners wouldnít be left without a builder.

Over time, Edward becomes convinced that maybe the reason the two took him on in partnership was because they planned on killing him and collecting the (at the time) whopping $175,000 policy.

In what has to be one of the most bizarre scenes in the movie, Edward is brooding on the porch of the ratty boarding house when Doris comes up in her convertible.

She awkwardly leans over the passenger side and they passionately kiss ... whilst negotiating an insurance policy!

So that goes something like this: ** Kiss-Kiss-Smooch-Kiss ** - So, how about $225,000? ** Kiss-Kiss** - No, $150,000! ** Smooch-Kiss-Kiss ** - $200,000? ** Kiss-Kiss ** - $175,000! ** Kiss-Kiss-Kiss-Kiss **!

It is the most bizarre and awkward thing I have seen in a long time, but it gets the job done in one easy scene.

In, perhaps, the weakest part of the film, Edward goes to the police who seem almost completely uninterested when he announces someone is trying to kill him.

In fact, the desk sergeant even goes so far as to make fun of him - something that surely never would happen in real life (or would it?). However, after going to the police, real attempts are indeed made on his life and thus eventually the detectives subsequently on the case are also duly convinced that Andes might be in danger after all (but is it already too late to save him?)

The acting and writing are decent and the film overall is highly watchable and decently directed, even though it was made on a budget back then.

Indeed, what I especially liked was the last ten minutes or so of the film as it kept me guessing and offered a lot of suspense.

In closing, the advantage of these compact, black-and-white B-movies is that they usually tell a no-frills story in straightforward fashion without any padding or detours.

A Life at Stake generally fits within these guidelines rather assuredly as quite a tricky little thriller and to my overly observant eye, at times it also plays out (and looks) like it was once considered as a stage play re: itís dormitory sets and such. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Audio Commentary by professor and film scholar, Jason A. Ney
Full color insert booklet featuring A Career at Stake: Angela Lansbury and the Last Days of the B Noir; an essay by Jason A. Ney
Hollywood Hitch-hikers: Inside the Filmmakers, an original Ballyhoo Motion Picture documentary
New 4K transfer with archived film elements

Official Trailer

Official Purchase Link

www.TheFilmDetective.com





Black Magic Live: Stripped
(Eurika Pratts, Jordan Woods-Morris, Terell Arnold, Jimmy Sigman, Allen Hayward, et al / DVD / NR / 2021 / Lightyear Entertainment)

Overview: Through the eyes of its owners, Eurika Pratts and Jean Claude LaMarre, we are taken on a fantastical journey through Black Magic Live, Las Vegasís only all-black male revue show.

DVD Verdict: Simply put, this documentary expertly explores the challenges the Black Magic Live show and its core group of dancers have experienced during their 4 years on the Las Vegas Strip.

While trying to establish their presence in sin city, the all-black show and its dancers and staff are met with racial prejudice, fierce competition and a series of emotional pitfalls as they struggle in the city.

We meet Allen LoverBoy Hayward, 46 years old, the most senior dancer in Black Magic Live, the OG who struggles with the reality that his time may be coming to an end, as he has aged out of the dance scene and must make room for the younger guys who will soon replace him.

We also meet Jetorious King Morris, 26, years old, a former NFL prospect, who saw his dream vanish after experiencing a career-ending injury and discovering stripping as a fallback career.

There is also Jimmy Lockz Sigmond, a Vegas transplant from neighboring Los Angeles, who has served 7 years in prison before becoming a Black Magic Live Dancer.

In closing, Black Magic Live: Stripped showcases the dancers and staff who are met with racial prejudice and a series of emotional pitfalls, all just whilst trying to earn a living.

Thus, this documentary is an entertaining and emotionally resonate journey that is told here through a cohesive, and ultimately enthralling storyline, thread expertly together, primarily, by their fearless leader and chief campaigner Eurika Pratts.

Oh, and by-the-by, up until the 60s, Black entertainers werenít let into the casinos where they performed and had to enter from the service entrance. Nor were they allowed to stay in the hotels where they were appearing. When Frank Sinatra famously declared that he and his group would not patronize any casino that did not allow Sammy Davis Jr. to enter, then they wouldnít either. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of Commentary by Eurika Pratts (The Boss).

www.lightyear.com

www.MVDvisual.com





Zack Snyderís Justice League: 4K Ultra HD [2-Disc]
(Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray / PG-13 / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: In Zack Snyderís Justice League, determined to ensure Supermanís (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes.

Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: Studio Distribution Services / Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the spectacularly opulent and thrillingly graphic Zack Snyderís Justice League coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this September 7th, 2021.

For my money, this Zack Snyderís Justice League: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray combo packs sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.

So, what we have is Zack Snyderís Justice League 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: HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 and Original aspect ratio: 1.33:1, 1.85:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHDs, 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 is more is that it is enjoyably noticeable. In fact, for me, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this is the battle between the Amazons of Themyscira, who were featured in 2017ís Wonder Woman, and Justice Leagueís primary villain, a monstrous alien called Steppenwolf.

The darkly-imbued scene in which Superman, newly risen from the dead and unaware of who he is, attacks the Justice League, is also another stand out. Shot at night, or early morning if you are that way inclined, just the idea of Superman losing touch with his morality and turning on his teammates is more terrifying than anything Steppenwolf does.

Also, the moment when The Flash runs past Superman, everyone else around him frozen by his speed, only for Superman to slowly turn his head and look Barry in the eyes, is the scariest thing in the entire movie!

As for the audio, well we have a veritable smorgasbord of choice here: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), French: Dolby Atmos, French: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, German: Dolby Atmos, German: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps), French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps) and Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1.

As for the story itself, well, 2017ís Justice League assembled with glaringly obvious, shoddy and appalling reshoots and edits from a greedy theatrical release mandate, was like in style of a sort of Victor Frankenstein in a laboratory, stitching an abhorrent creation together of mismatched ugly limbs - the reshot and altered scenes wedged in the movieís cut runtime - immorally meddling with what was once robust life re: Zack Snyderís Justice League, and desperately hoping the final form would harmonize into a fan satisfying and coherent movie!

Ultimately, 2017ís didnít. It was an abomination. An unprecedented failure and insult to fans of the beloved DC characters this movie sourced from!

On the other hand, THIS movie, 2021ís Zack Snyderís Justice League in fortunate contrast, is undeniably the superior version. As an avid fan and reader of the source comic characters (this movieís incarnation clearly taking much inspiration from the New 52 comics version of the core characters) this movie satisfied what elements I had yearned of from a live-action Justice League movie.

The action scenes are a pleasure to watch in Zack Snyderís Justice League via stunning cinematography and combat choreography with as much aesthetic composition sensibility as panels of a comic book.

Whether itís Batman grapnel glide kicking a Parademon, Wonder Womanís motion blur deflecting streams of bullets with her gauntlets (clearly reminiscent in style of panels from Wonder Woman: Year One (2016)) or Darkseidís ominous foot squashing Steppenwolfís head within camera frame, it looks artistically conscientious for the utmost epic intent.

A particular aspect I want to express that I really liked of Zack Snyderís Justice League is the depiction of the heroesí support and teamwork with one another as the film progresses.

Each Justice League member have individual crucial moments of the plot that solely rely on their separate strengths and capabilities, moments dependent on each, showing and proving each memberís validity to the team as a whole - why they need each other in certain situations and predicaments. Some examples of many include:

The Flash alone reversing time and altering the Justice Leagueís assumed defeat and destruction.

Aquaman alone being a stronghold preventing a wall of water from engulfing the team.

Batman being the movieís narrative catalyst (uniting the team and encouraging the team) and later using his tactical vehicle resources to destroy the Mother Box unity dome to then lure away the parademons so that the remaining League members could access and attack Steppenwolf directly.

Thereís more that can be listed, but to lessen length, the team synergy of separate strengths stemmed from individualized predicaments is an aspect I feel is lacking or absent in other ensemble universe movies of the genre - 2019ís Avengers: Endgame an egregious comparative example to me.

Cameos and an expansive cast of characters, seemingly just for the sake of scope. An ingredient for good characterization is that each character must have meaning and if their particular absence wouldnít affect the plotís evolution - its conflict and its means for resolution - then they have no reason to be included within the story.

Avengers: Endgame has many characters not contributing to the movieís particular narrative (Winter Soldier, War Machine, Falcon, etc.) aside from joining among the charging mob as fan inclusion set-pieces or to fill a poster, nothing more.

Justice League in contrast to that aforementioned movie has legitimate need of all its team members. Without a member and their participation, the story would crumble. And to make clear, Iím critical of this being a DC and MARVEL fan!

Iím going to conclude this, because I could go on and on about what I liked of Zack Snyderís Justice League - especially now that it is here on glorious 4K Ultra HD, of course, but also being a comics fan, I donít believe I really need to delve further into things because those who followed the evolution of this movie from 2017 should be fully aware of the better content this version has in comparison that was previously and heartlessly reshot and cut away!

That all said, itís presence is very evident while watching Zack Snyderís Justice League through and thus, in conclusion, we fans finally have a live-action Justice League movie thatís a satisfying experience of these beloved characters.

Special Feature:
Road to Justice League: Director Zack Snyder reflects on his trilogy of films in the DC Universe.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Zack Snyderís Justice League will feature a Dolby Atmosģ soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead.

To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

The age of heroes is upon us when the Warner Bros. Pictures and DC full-length HBO Max Original feature film Zack Snyderís Justice League arrives on 4K, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD on September 7th, 2021.

The screenplay is by Chris Terrio, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder and Will Beall, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

The filmís producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, with executive producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Wesley Coller, Jim Rowe, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck.

Zack Snyderís Justice League | Official Trailer | HBO Max

www.DCcomics.com

www.WarnerBros.com





The Shawshank Redemption: 4K Ultra HD [2-Disc]
(Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: This inspiring drama tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Maineís Shawshank Prison.

He is befriended by longtime convict Red (Freeman) whoís been in long enough to know the ropes and helps him cope with the frightening realities of prison life.

As the two men grow closer, so does the sense of hope that can truly set them free.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the masterfully cinematic The Shawshank Redemption coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this September 14th, 2021.

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

So, what we have is The Shawshank Redemption 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: 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 UHDs, 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 is more is that it is enjoyably noticeable. In fact, for me, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this is the last days of Brooks Hatlen (played with aplomb by James Whitmore).

For as ultimately redeeming as The Shawshank Redemption truly is, it does have its fair share of tragic moments. One such moment is told through the eyes of Brooks, a prisoner from the main gang we follow through Shawshank who is paroled after 49 years of institutionalization. While he makes his best effort, Brooks ultimately cannot handle the modern world and its fast paced ways.

The outside bewilderment and the intenseness of the his much-changed hometown landscape, now run by younger punks, is all etched on the hallowed face of Brooks. His eyes are sunken, his face pale, his hands shaking, he knows he will not last long in the outside world.

Another, as you would well expect, involves Morgan Freemanís role as Red, for it is iconic for so many reasons. Chiefly among them the fact that his voiceover bathes the filmís moments - even the grimy ones - in the glow of a bedtime story.

One such moment that reflects this is the scene where, after Andy squirrels his way into the good graces of the guards on the roof of the prison, he and his compatriots enjoy an icy cold Bohemia-style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank!

As for the audio, well we have a choice of the following: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps) and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps).

As for the story itself, well, the story of this film takes place over a twenty-year period between 1947 and 1967. Andy Dufresne, a young banker from Portland, Maine, is wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, and sentenced to life imprisonment at Shawshank.

The prison is a brutal place, and Andy is frequently beaten and sexually assaulted by a gang of homosexual inmates called The Sisters.

Two things, however, help him to survive. One is his friendship with another convict, Red, who has a reputation for being able to acquire almost any item and, for a price, to smuggle it into the prison.

The other is his financial expertise, which he puts to good use, becoming a tax and financial adviser to the prison guards and even the Warden himself.

As a reward for these services, Andy is given a privileged job in the prison library and protection from molestation. To avenge their attacks on Andy, the leader of the Sisters is so badly beaten by the guards that he is crippled for life; Andy is not molested again.

The Warden devises a scheme under which inmates are put to work on local construction projects. The purpose of this is ostensibly to prepare them for life after they are released, but in reality he is exploiting their free labor for his own personal profit, and using Andyís financial skills to launder the proceeds.

This arrangement seems to work to Andyís advantage, because of the extra privileges he is granted, but things change when a new young prisoner named Tommy Williams is sent to Shawshank.

Tommy has evidence that could secure Andyís release; a former cellmate in another prison has confessed to him that he committed the murders for which Andy was convicted.

Tommy confides this secret to the Warden who, fearing that his illegal schemes will be revealed should Andy ever be released, arranges to have Tommy murdered by a corrupt guard.

There is a long history of American prison films, including the likes of I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Cool Hand Luke, Brubaker and the more recent The Last Castle (Frank Darabont was later to direct another prison film, The Green Mile, once again based, like The Shawshank Redemption on a Stephen King story).

Most of these were made with a liberal social agenda in mind, aiming to expose the harsh prison conditions and thereby inspire their reform.

The Shawshank Redemption falls, to some extent, within this tradition; it is made from a basically liberal viewpoint and vividly depicts the brutality of prison life, although the fact that it is a period piece, set several decades in the past, might suggest that social issues were not the filmmakersí sole concern.

Perhaps more important are the analysis of the nature of freedom and of the relationship between Andy and Red.

The word prison, from the French pris (meaning taken), merely indicates a place where captives are held, and the authorities, especially in America, prefer to describe many prisons by some more positive term such as penitentiary or reformatory which implies their purpose of rehabilitating criminals.

Shawshank, a prison where the Warden and guards are at least as crooked as the inmates, has precisely the opposite effect. Andy goes in innocent of any crime and comes out guilty of being an accessory to corruption and fraud.

Yet, despite his involvement in the Wardenís dishonesty, Andy retains a certain integrity; he refuses to give up hope and refuses to allow himself to be beaten by the system. Although he is in prison he has found a sort of freedom.

A key moment comes when he defies the guards to play a Mozart aria over the prison loudspeakers for all the inmates to hear - a reminder of spiritual values even in the harshest of environments.

Red faces a different problem. He fears that he has become so institutionalized that he will be unable to survive freedom, as happened to another long-term prisoner who committed suicide shortly after his release.

In prison, his role as the fixer who can obtain anything, be it a packet of cigarettes, a rock hammer or a poster of Rita Hayworth, makes him the king of the inmates (these latter two items will play an important role in the ever-evolving plot).

On the outside he will be just another ex-con trying to make ends meet in a dead-end job. Paradoxically, he is more free in jail than he will be on the outside.

I will not give away the ending, but it involves Andy repaying Redís previous kindnesses by showing him how he can be free in all senses of the word.

The film was not a great box office success when first released but has since acquired a status as one of the classics of the modern American cinema; it has now supplanted The Godfather as number one on IMDbís Top 250 list.

The film would perhaps not be number one on my personal list, but it is a fine one and would certainly be in my top 250, perhaps the top 100. Its two stars, Tim Robbins as Andy and Morgan Freeman as Red, are both excellent.

Its initial lack of success may have had something to do with its rather clumsy title. Shawshank is not a word that will mean anything to the average person (according to one story Darabont was once asked how his rickshaw film was going) and redemption, except in technical legal contexts, normally has a religious connotation.

This is not an explicitly religious film; indeed, in its portrayal of Warden Norton as a sanctimonious, Bible-bashing hypocrite, it can be seen as critical of religion.

Nevertheless, the word redemption is perhaps appropriate in this context, after undergoing the hell of Shawshank Andy and Red manage to find a sort of secular redemption.

In closing, it may be this message of hope that accounts for the filmís continuing popularity and if so, for that alone, I salute you.

Special Features:
ē Commentary by Frank Darabont
ē ďHope Springs Eternal: A Look Back at The Shawshank RedemptionĒ
ē ďShawshank: The Redeeming FeatureĒ
ē ďThe SharkTank RedemptionĒ
ē 5x Stills Galleries
ē ďBogs Takes a FallĒ Storyboards
ē ďNew Fish ArriveĒ Storyboards

The Shawshank Redemption, which received seven Oscarģ nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Score and Best Screenplay, will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on September 14th, 2021 it was announced today by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Released in 1994, the film marked the feature directorial debut of its screenwriter, Frank Darabont.

The Shawshank Redemption, the emotionally moving portrayal of a friendship between men under the harshest of circumstances, stars Academy Awardģ winning actor Tim Robbins (Mystic River, Bull Durham) and Academy Awardģ nominee Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Unforgiven, Bruce Almighty).

In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected The Shawshank Redemption for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it ďculturally, historically, or aesthetically significantĒ.

Based on Stephen Kingís novella ďRita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,Ē the movie won Frank Darabont an Oscarģ nomination for his adapted screenplay and critical acclaim for his directorial debut.

Mr. Darabont is one of only six filmmakers in history with the unique distinction of having his first two feature films receive nominations for the Best Picture Academy Award: 1994ís The Shawshank Redemption and 1999ís The Green Mile.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

The Shawshank Redemption will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features.

Fans can also own The Shawshank Redemption in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on September 14.th, 2021.

The Shawshank Redemption | Original Trailer

www.WarnerBros.com





A Clockwork Orange: 4K Ultra HD [2-Disc]
(Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Miriam Karlin, Michael Bates, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his Droogs spend their nights getting high at the Korova Milkbar before embarking on a little of the old ultraviolence, while jauntily warbling Singing in the Rain.

After he is jailed for bludgeoning the Cat Lady to death, Alex submits to a behavior modification technique to earn his freedom; he is conditioned to abhor violence. Returned to the world defenseless, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the cinematically wild A Clockwork Orange coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this September 21st, 2021.

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

So, what we have is A Clockwork Orange 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: HDR10, Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 and Original aspect ratio: 1.66:1.

Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHDs, 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 is more is that it is enjoyably noticeable. In fact, for me, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this is the now infamous Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelly) scene where the men have invaded the house and are setting plans in motion for the night.

Whilst one carries a woman - wearing a bright red dress - over his shoulder past the camera, behind him Alex (McDowell) is cheesily singing the song, whilst dancing and still finding time to kick the husband (being held down on the floor) in the stomach over and over!

I mean, in general, there is something exceedingly sick about watching a grown man do something as depraved as licking another personís boot. And director Stanley Kubrickís masterful camera angles just make this other notable scene sting even more (as we watch as Alex, who can no longer control himself, has to basically clean off some guyís leather. Yuck!)

As for the audio, well we are given the following: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).

As for the story itself, well, A Clockwork Orange was easily one of the 70ís most controversial movies and easily one of the most disturbed movies of all time; so much so that Kubrick actually withdrew the film from circulation in the UK until he passed away in 1999.

That rarely happens to any film, especially to the type of film that the modern world would consider to be an astronomically important cinema-classic.

A Clockwork Orange is like the forbidden fruit of British-American cinema: itís risky beyond belief but the temptation is insatiable until you take the first bite.

Risky, horrific, and psychologically demented yet absolutely beautiful in its depiction of a futuristic dystopia.

Although the film, like Anthony Burgessís novel from which it is adapted, is cast as futurist fiction, it is much more a satire on contemporary society than are most futurist works, all of which, if they are worth anything, are meaningful only in terms of the society that bred them.

It may even be a mistake to describe the movie A Clockwork Orange as futurist in any respect, since its made-up teenage language, its dťcor, its civil idiocies, its social chaos, or their equivalents, are already at hand, although itís still possible for most of the people to ignore a lot of them.

It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at.

With all of manís potential for divinity through love, through his art and his music, this is what it has somehow boiled down to: a civil population terrorized by hoodlums, disconnected porno art, quick solutions to social problems, with the only hope for the future in the vicious Alex.

In my opinion, Kubrick has made a movie that exploits only the mystery and variety of human conduct. And because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, itís a most unusual and disorienting movie experience.

Amongst the following Special Features is the revealing Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman, where we learn facts such as: before Kubrick decided to adapt A Clockwork Orange into a film, a number of filmmakers tried to get adaptations off the ground.

One version was intended as a vehicle for the Rolling Stones, in which the band wouldíve played Alex and his droogs.

Also, David Hemmings was set to play Alex in a film version written by Terry Southern, while Oliver Reed was set to play Alex in a film directed by Ken Russell.

Another great fact is the original costume for Alex DeLarge didnít involve a jockstrap over his pants. This element came when Malcolm McDowell showed up to a costume fitting after a cricket game and Stanley Kubrick liked the look of his cricket gear!

As noted, one of the most memorable, and disturbing, scenes in A Clockwork Orange sees Alex singing Singing in the Rain while he and his droogs terrorize the writer and his wife.

The song wasnít originally scripted. On the set, Stanley Kubrick found the scene to be too conventional and asked Malcolm McDowell to spruce it up with some improv.

McDowell started singing the song and Kubrick liked it so much that he instantly got on the phone to secure the rights to use it. Gene Kelly would later tell McDowell at a party that he was very upset with how his song had been used in A Clockwork Orange!

Special Features:
ē Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and Nick Redman
ē Still Tickiní: The Return of Clockwork Orange [2000 Channel 4 Documentary]
ē Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange
ē Turning Like Clockwork
ē Malcolm McDowell Looks Back
ē O Lucky Malcolm!

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrickís 1971 classic dystopian film, will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray and Digital on September 21st, 2021.

Adapted from Anthony Burgessís 1962 decline-of-civilization novel, A Clockwork Orange received four Academy Awardģ nominations; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Based on Material from Another Medium) and Best Film Editing.

Directed, written and produced by Kubrick, the film stars Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge, Warren Clarke, James Marcus and Michael Tarn as his droogs, Patrick Magee and Michael Bates.

In 2020, the United States Library of Congress selected A Clockwork Orange for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

The 4K restoration was conducted by Warner Bros.í Motion Picture Imaging (MPI). Kubrickís former right-hand man Leon Vitali and the Kubrick Estate worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. during the mastering process.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

A Clockwork Orange will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features.

Fans can also own A Clockwork Orange in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning September 21st, 2021.

A Clockwork Orange | Official Trailer

www.WarnerBros.com





Nosferatu In Venice [Blu-ray]
(Klaus Kinski, Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, Barbara De Rossi, Yorgo Voyagis, Elvire Audray, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1988) 2021 / Severin Films)

Overview: What was intended to be an unofficial sequel to Werner Herzogís NOSFERATU instead became one of the most notoriously fascinating productions in EuroCult history: Klaus Kinski Ė ďnow fully in the grip of the Ďbatsh*t crazyí phase of his careerĒ (Rock! Shock! Pop!) Ė gives his penultimate performance as the legendary vampire resurrected in modern-day Venice with an insatiable hunger for warm blood and rough sex.

Donald Pleasence and Academy Awardģ winner Christopher Plummer co-star in this sumptuously insane shocker that features music by Oscarģ winner Vangelis (CHARIOTS OF FIRE), employed five different directors Ė including Mario Caiano (NIGHTMARE CASTLE), Luigi Cozzi (PAGANINI HORROR), writer/producer Augusto Caminito and reportedly Kinski himself Ė and still delivers ďone eye-popping scene after anotherĒ (Cinema Retro), now scanned in 2k from the original negative.

Blu-ray Verdict: Having previously been created as a direct follow-up to the original, after various production issues (including two directorís being fired), the film ended up pretty much being 100% on its own with the only connection to the earlier film being Kinski.

In the film, vampire hunter Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) travels to Venice, the last known location of the vampire Nosferatu (Kinski).

Catalano tries to locate the whereabouts of the vampire who he believes has a desire to finally die. This is a rather interesting failure that has a lot going for it, but itís obvious the production issues caused a lot of problems especially during the first part of the movie.

The film starts off very ambitious as it centers on the Plummer character in current times, but we then have several flashbacks to the earlier days of Nosferatu and how he became who he is.

This was an interesting idea, but it never really works for several reasons and one of them is a bizarre rock score (courtesy of Luigi Ceccerelli) that doesnít fit anything we see.

Another reason these flashbacks never work is because at times itís hard to follow what exactly is going on and why certain flashbacks might be happening.

Then, around the fifty-minute mark, something strange happens and the film actually turns extremely entertaining as Nosferatu finds himself in current times and falling in love with a young black lady who might just hold the key to his eventual death.

Yes, Kinski drove several directors away from the film and this is partly to blame of the uneven film, but you also have to give him credit because he turns in a rather great performance.

He has his long blonde hair flowing and thereís no chalk make-up so we get to see this Nosferatu in a very human-like state and the actor makes us feel sorry for this person who simply wonít die!

Personally, I found Kinski really intense throughout the film and this certainly spills over for several entertaining scenes, but I think the romantic side works the best.

Plummer is also pretty good in his rather thankless role and we even get Donald Pleasence in a role, but heís pretty much wasted and Barbara De Rossi and Anne Knecht are both good as the ladies in the pack.

Augusto Caminito, Mario Caiano, Luigi Cozzi and Maurizio Lucidi all did some work on the film, but it was Caminito who ended up shooting the majority of the film.

Even Kinski was apparently in charge of directing his scenes so who knows what was really going on with this production. Itís certainly a very troubled movie, but at the same time thereís just so much here that actually does work in the end.

We also get some rather strong atmosphere and being 1988 and from Italy, thereís much more sex, nudity and blood than normal, which is a plus.

In closing, I doubt todayís art house fans are going to enjoy this thing, but if youíre a horror fan and like Kinski then it would definitely be worth your time to check this out. Itís certainly not going to replace the Herzog film, but itís an interesting little movie, of that you can take my word. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Creation is Violent Ė Anecdotes From Kinskiís Final Years
Additional Cast & Crew Interviews
Trailer
Webstore Exclusive Slipcover

Official Purchase Link

Nosferatu in Venice [Official Nudity-Free Trailer]

www.Severin-Films.com

www.MVDvisual.com





The Forever Purge [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital]
(Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Josh Lucas, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2021 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: One night is not enough as members of an underground movement, no longer satisfied with the annual night of anarchy and murder, decide to overtake America through an unending campaign of mayhem and massacre.

No one is safe. On the morning after The Purge, a masked gang of killers attacks a wealthy Texas ranching family and their workers.

Exposed by daylight, the two families are forced to band together and fight back as the country spirals into chaos and the United States begins to disintegrate around them.

Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, as we know, at some level, the movies in The Purge series have an undercurrent of socio-economic, racial, and political issues. Indeed it is rare to receive a narrative from the disenfranchised in the American south.

However, this installment of The Purge series does justice by the original inhabitants of the United States, particularly in and around the state of Texas.

As The Forever Purge opens, we see a Mexican couple, Juan and Adela, crossing into the US illegally. We then move to ten months later when it is only one day until the annual Purge.

Juan works on a big Texas ranch and there are tensions between the ranch owners and the hired hands (not just Juan). The 12 hour Purge comes and goes without much of anything happening, but then the shocker comes: white trash refuse to end the Purge, turning it into a Forever Purge, with the goal of purifying the country of all non-Americans, and taking over the business from the filthy rich; like Texas ranch owners.

As I am sure you are all aware by now, this is the fifth Purge movie and a direct sequel to Purge: Election Year (2016) and this movie was mostly written and filmed in 2019 (with an original intended release for Summer 2020).

In other words, way before the January 6th, 2021 insurrection by the Trump supporters, who would indeed love nothing better than to purify the US of all immigrants (both legal and illegal) and grab ownership of their businesses!

Indeed, this film pretty much shows us what would happen if the January 6th insurrection was not just one city, but had played out all over the country.

In my humble opinion, the Purge movies have always done something right as the casting is usually solid, with interesting choices for leading roles. Which means it is effectively disturbing at times and much of that is simply because the main characters are all well cast and mostly sympathetic.

But for The Forever Purge, writer James DeMonaco has most definitely taken the gloves off for this is a brutal, unflinching, violent action crime thriller with plenty of gore for the horror fans out there.

The production value is through the roof also with some incredible set pieces, all chock full with an array of mayhem, destruction and plenty of pyrotechnics.

The Purge franchise has always been an intriguing one with the series having explored several hot button topics and here in this latest installment the director Everardo Gout certainly shows a lot of skill when bringing eve just a little tension to the proceedings.

Complete with a gripping score courtesy of the Newton Brothers, The Forever Purge has a very solid cast and features some highly intense action sequences and all combined with DeMonacoís takedown of white supremacists, makes this fast-paced entry in The Purge franchise one of its best. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Alternate Opening - Storyboard Sequence
Deleted Scenes
Collapsing the System: Behind The Forever Purge
Creeptastic Wardrobe
Theatrical Trailer

From Blumhouse, the legendary producers that brought you Halloween (2018) and The Invisible Man, comes the lawless next installment of The Purge franchise, featuring more action, suspense and thrills than ever before as one night descends into a never-ending Purge.

Arriving just in time for your pre-Halloween horror movie marathon, THE FOREVER PURGE is yours to own on Digital September 14th, 2021 and on 4K, Blu-rayTM and DVD September 28th, 2021 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Featuring an alternate storyboard opening, deleted scene and a behind-the-scenes look inside the creation of the stunts, wild costumes, action and gore, THE FOREVER PURGE is the perfect addition to your collection, and ďone of the best Purge movies yet!Ē (CinemaBlend).

Official Trailer

Official Website

The Forever Purge @ Facebook

The Forever Purge @ Instagram

www.UPHE.com





F9: The Fast Saga-Directorís Cut [Combo Pack]
(Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris íLudacrisí Bridges, John Cena, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / NR / 2021 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: Dom Toretto thought heíd left his outlaw life in the rear-view mirror, but not even he can outrun the past. When his forsaken brother Jakob unexpectedly resurfaces as an elite assassin, the crew comes back together to help Dom settle an old score and stop a familiar foeís diabolical plot from destroying their family.

Franchise veteran Justin Lin returns to the directorís seat for F9 and delivers this supercharged version of the hit film.

From extended action to spectacular scenes that werenít shown in theaters, F9: The Directorís Cut explodes with additional content that can only be experienced on home entertainment!

Blu-ray Verdict: Well, Fast 9 finally debuted in theaters after being delayed for a year due to the Covid 19 pandemic and now hits the small screen months later, so was it all worth the ride, as they say?

In truth, the past couple of Fast and Furious films have been very confusing and absurd in storylines due to director Justin Lin not being behind the camera directing and not having the late Paul Walker anymore.

But Justin Lin is back for F9 and he tries to connect the storylines from the previous Fast and Furious films into a cohesive film for F9.

Since Justin Lin is back at the helm, it means the return of one of his favorite actors / characters from Tokyo Drift. In fact, there are a few characters from Tokyo Drift that make an appearance in F9.

It is actually amazing how Lin has gotten the most out of a film like Tokyo Drift that - not being commercially successful and only average reviews - paved the way for the rest of the Fast and Furious universe for years to come.

Well, with F9, Lin tries to connect the absurdity of the storylines from the previous films where Dominic and company are subcontracted agents for the government of sorts.

And he does it by giving you a backstory to Dominic which goes back to his teenage years along with a younger brother named Jakob (played by John Cena).

And this indeed a prequel of sorts, he gives you a perspective of the Dom character, the relationship with his younger brother and what went wrong and why they remained apart which leads into the main plot of the story as Jakob is rogue / bad guy working for a previous enemy that killed the mother of Domís son.

And that is your basic plot for the film which is brother vs brother.

Now, we all know you donít watch Fast and Furious for the acting and storylines! You watch it for the action and F9 has plenty of action with car chases, explosions, crashes and all around excitement which is the nook and cranny of every Fast and Furious film and F9 gives you plenty of an adrenaline to rush as a viewer.

Personally, I loved F9. Cheesy but always fun and to the people that keep complaining about the franchise, when people stop paying money to watch the films, theyíll stop making it.

Itís as simple as that and F9 is an easy like and watch and it will probably be successful as well. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

Gag Reel
F9: All In
Practically Fast
Shifting Priorities
Justice for Han
A Day on Set with Justin Lin
John Cena: Supercar Superfan
Feature Commentary with Producer/Co-writer/Director Justin Lin

Personally, my two stand outs of the wondrous bonus features are John Cena: Supercar Superfan (where John Cena is a real-life car expert, and no franchise does cars like Fast. Watch John jump from exotic car to exotic car like a kid in a candy store, giving you a true fanís look at some of the rarest and most expensive automobiles in the world) and the other is the oh-so hilarious Gag Reel!

The Fast family returns in the latest adrenaline-charged installment with a never-before-seen Directorís Cut of F9.

The blockbuster film has generated more than $600 million worldwide and now fans can own the global box-office phenomenon that features ďunbelievable, jaw-dropping actionĒ (io9) on Digital September 7th, 2021 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayô and DVD on September 21st, 2021 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Featuring the original theatrical release, the Directorís Cut and more than an hour of exclusive bonus content Ė including a behind-the-scenes look at the gravity-defying stunts and nitro-charged cars, a gag reel and even more justice for Han Ė fans can now add F9 to their collection to watch again and again!

Official Trailer

Official Website

F9: The Fast Saga @ Facebook

F9: The Fast Saga @ Twitter

F9: The Fast Saga @ Instagram

www.UPHE.com





Last Call
(Jeremy Piven, Taryn Manning, Zach McGowan, et al / DVD / R / (2015) 2021 / IFC Independent Film)

Overview: A local success story and real estate developer, Mick (Jeremy Piven), returns home to his offbeat blue collar Irish neighborhood in the shadows of Philadelphia for a funeral and is obligated to stay to ensure his parentsí ailing family business gets back on course.

Amidst all of this, he grows closer to his childhood crush (Taryn Manning) who is also back in town, while enduring the constant ridicule from his old hometown crew. As Mick begins to reconnect with the neighborhood he grew up in, he finds himself at a crossroads when forced to either raze or resurrect the family bar.

DVD Verdict: Wow! Simply wow! So, simply put, if you have a hankering for a character-driven piece with big heart about a gritty town and all the tightknit, almost as gritty relationships just outside of a city like Philadelphia, well, Last Call is exactly the film you have been looking for, trust me!

Writer/Director Paolo Pilladi is a Philly guy through and through who nails directing some big-named actors in a low budget story with a powerful yet simple, highly emotional plot, combined with an underbelly of well-curated music, expertly layered within by some seriously emotive character work by all the actors.

I could go on about the performances, but there really are just too many establishes actors here to pay due diligence to, but if I had to break the main ones down by simply giving them one word descriptions, it would go a little like this: Piven (perfect), McGowan (intense), Jaime Kennedy (funny), Betsy Beutler (nailed it), Bruce Dern (expert), and Jack McGee (solid), but Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black) is just mind-blowingly fantastic as the moral voice of reason!

Supporting roles like by Cathy Moriarty, Chris Kerson, and Peter Patrikios also really add true and defined authenticity to surrounding characters that make up this blue-collar neighborhood lost in time.

In closing, sure, some of the regional dialects, accents, and jokes might seem odd to outsiders, but this is a fun, heart-warming, lovingly sculpted little slice of life and if there was any justice in this cinematic world, would have been nominated for a damn Oscar! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.mpihomevideo.com

www.ifcfilms.com





The Blacklist - The Complete Eighth Season
(James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: With his back against the wall, Raymond Reddington (James Spader) faces his most formidable enemy yet: Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).

Aligned with her mother, infamous Russian spy Katarina Rostova, Liz must decide how far she is willing to go to find out why Reddington has entered her life and what his endgame really is.

The fallout between Reddington and Keen will have devastating consequences for all that lie in their wake, including the Task Force they helped to create.

DVD Verdict: For my money, the departure of Megan Boone from the show and the departure of show creator and runner Bokenkamp from the show are the biggest clues yet as to Redís identity.

Maybe they canít themselves figure out who Red is, so ... they quit! Who would both love and value Liz Keen more than even a parent is expected to, and why?

Or, maybe the important question all along was not Who is Reddington? but Where is Katarina? The obvious answer to that question is too obvious for the show to go with it. Expect another. Trust me.

The show caught lightning in a bottle, maybe even accidentally. The kind of lightning that keeps us glued waiting for an answer (without ever wanting to re-watch any, or most, of the episodes).

But an answer to what, exactly? Redís identity has become a triviality when seen in the greater context of the issues this show touches on.

Often the episode storylines have been so over the top they were surreal. Symbolic/metaphoric rather than actual/factual.

Has this successful show failed in the end, to deliver the too-long-awaited (and promised) goods to its public? Only Season 9 will tell ... maybe).

That said, I think we can all now see that Red has not lost his motivation, in fact it may have now doubled, towards Agnes!

As for the show, overall, itself, well, if you love even just half the cast, the first 6 seasons are pretty great. After that, the main story gets painful with occasional stand alone episodes that are good enough to trick you into thinking youíre still watching stellar, quality television!

But as detailed above, you are not, as they are simply using James Spader to keep most of us around - and some people will praise it simply because Spader is there, of course.

Super Spader fanatics will likely fare better with this series. James Spader is NOT who the show was written for or cast around, but he is undoubtedly the main draw.

Heís of a higher caliber than many of todayís movie stars so having him on a weekly TV show is quite the treat.

One of the keys to a good series is the bonding among characters. This eighth season dropped a bomb on just about every bond in the show - except for Ressler in his apparent love for Keen being turned into a puppy dog in his infatuation!

For me, sorry, but it bordered on farce. The idea of discovering Reddingtonís secret - though always a presence was beaten to death and beaten to death and beaten to death in this latest season.

Thereís also a revolving door of female agents rounding out the task force, with Mohzan MarnÚís highly skilled Samar Navabi sticking around the longest.

Tons of fantastic recurring and one off characters make up Redís network of people, enemies, and Blacklisters. You have to see these people to appreciate the humor, the menace, and unexpected things they bring to a semi-serialized crime procedural.

The characters, main and recurring, they made this show more than just another procedural.

In closing, the show is itself reaching its end (likely within this upcoming ninth season) and clearly theyíre attempting to conclude it by answering the questions we have all pondered since the beginning of the show; theyíre using Elizabeth to assist in the showís completion.

This contextually makes a lot of sense since she has, throughout the entire series, always had this intention. So, what I can imagine is unfortunate for most of you, this show is almost certainly not going to change from its current trajectory, and understandably so.

Thus, and in much the same vein as Criminal Minds, everyone here has their own story and struggles, the show chock full of crime solving and surprising twists and turns, all thread beautifully through with good moral lessons - usually about winning the day and keeping our good guys safe. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

ē Deleted Scenes
ē Blooper Reel
ē Lizís Farewell

www.SPHE.com

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment @ Facebook

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment @ Instagram

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment @ Twitter





Legend: Limited Edition [2-Disc]
(Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, Billy Barty, Robert Picardo, et al / 2-Disc Blu-ray / NR / (1985) 2021 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: After changing the face of science fiction cinema forever with Alien and Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott turned his visionary eye to the fantasy genre, teaming with writer William Hjortsberg (Angel Heart) to create a breathtaking cinematic fairytale with one of the screenís most astonishingly rendered depictions of Evil.

In an idyllic, sun-dappled forest, the pure-hearted Jack (Tom Cruise) takes his true love Princess Lili (Mia Sara) to see a pair of unicorns frolicking at the forestís edge.

Little do they know that the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry, in a remarkable make-up designed by The Thingís Rob Bottin) has dispatched his minions to capture the unicorns and sever their horns so that he may plunge the world into everlasting night.

After Lili and the unicorns are taken prisoner, Jack must team with a group of forest creatures and descend into Darknessí subterranean lair to face off against the devilish creature before it is too late.

Blu-ray Verdict: Jack (Tom Cruise) and Lily (Mia Sara) are young friends in a mystical land occupied by goblins, fairies, all-important unicorns ... and threatened by the evil machinations of the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry).

Along the way Jack will be joined by other heroes like Gump (David Bennent), Screwball (Billy Barty), and Brown Tom (Cork Hubbert) as they take on the challenges facing them, and work to figure out a way to defeat Darkness.

Since Legend is directed by master stylist Ridley Scott, itís not surprising that it looks great, with production design by Assheton Gorton and cinematography by Alex Thomson.

Written by William Hjortsberg (whose other credits include The Georgia Peaches, Thunder and Lightning, and Angel Heart), it does dawdle somewhat at times, and soon thereafter becomes clear that it doesnít really contain a lot of story line.

Still, itís a reasonably engaging adventure that also benefits from a truly stifling atmosphere at times, and characters that are generally amiable without being fleshed out very much.

The special effects are well executed, with makeup effects expert Rob Bottin (The Howling, The Thing, and Total Recall) doing some extremely impressive work, especially the incredible visage that he and crew create for Curry (I mean, you certainly donít recognize the actor at all!).

All the main actors are appealingly sincere, with Cruise and Sara representing characters of innocence rather nicely. In addition to Bennent, Barty, and Hubbert, we have Alice Playten as a nasty goblin named Blix, Peter OíFarrell as pig-faced Pox, Kiran Shah as Blunder, Annabelle Lanyon as the fairy Oona, and top character actor Robert Picardo (another performer you wonít recognize) as a hungry witch named Meg Mucklebones, but Curry is the true M.V.P. of the production, looming over all with a performance of pure seductive evil.

Personally, I really like how the film has some underlying tones of coming of age and the loss of innocence which is reflected in both the fantasy world and both Jack and Lilly, as we see the beautiful fantasy realm turned into a dark foreboding icy hell.

There is even a beautiful dance scene where Lily is dancing with a dark figure and then suddenly both become one basically Lilyís loss of innocence.

Thereís also some biblical allegory at play here, in a way you can say Jack and Lily are like Adam and Eve, and the fact that the land has turned is much like Adam and Eveís own fall from grace.

Available here on this just-released, limited edition 2-Disc from Arrow Films, you get your choice of Legend viewing in two cuts: the butchered North American release, running an hour and a half with a Tangerine Dream soundtrack, and the richer European release / directorsí cut that runs approximately 24 minutes longer, and boasting a majestic Jerry Goldsmith score.

Although itís been said that kids might dig this one, it is indeed true that this is more of a fairy tale for adults, with elements too intense and sinister for the youngest of your family.

In closing, if you have enjoyed other 1980ís fantasy features down the years - such as The Dark Crystal, Willow, The Last Unicorn, Leprechauns, Addams Family, or the mighty Labyrinth - and find them to be beautifully crafted, well-spun tales you can envelope yourself nicely within, you will also really enjoy this one as well. A genuine classic and make no mistake. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Ė High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of the U.S. Theatrical Cut and the Directorís Cut
Ė DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio on both cuts
Ė Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both cuts
Ė Illustrated perfect-bound book with new writing by Nicholas Clement and Kat Ellinger and archive materials including production notes and a 2002 interview with Charles de Lauzirika about the restoration of the Directorís Cut
Ė Large double-sided poster with newly commissioned artwork by Neil Davies and original theatrical artwork by John Alvin
Ė Glossy full-color portraits of the cast photographed by Annie Leibovitz
Ė Six double-sided postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
Ė Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Neil Davies and original theatrical artwork by John Alvin

DISC 1: US THEATRICAL CUT
Ė New 2K restoration of the US Theatrical Cut from original materials including a 4K scan of the original negative
Ė New commentary by Paul M. Sammon author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies
Ė 2002 Reconstructed isolated score by Tangerine Dream
Ė Isolated music and effects track
Ė A Fairytale in Pinewood, new featurette interviewing grip David Cadwalladr, costume designer Charles Knode, co-star Annabelle Lanyon, camera operator Peter MacDonald, set decorator Ann Mollo and draftsman John Ralph
Ė Incarnations of a Legend, comparison featurette written and narrated by critic Travis Crawford
Ė The Directors: Ridley Scott, 2003 documentary where the director discusses his career, including Legend
Ė ďIs Your Love Strong Enough?Ē music video by Bryan Ferry

DISC 2: DIRECTORíS CUT
Ė Commentary by Ridley Scott
Ė Creating A Myth: Memories of Legend, a 2002 documentary with interviews with Ridley Scott, William Hjortsberg, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, Rob Bottin and others
Ė Original promotional featurette
Ė Alternate ĎFour Goblinsí opening and ĎThe Fairie Danceí deleted scene
Ė Storyboard galleries for three deleted scenes
Ė Two drafts of William Hjortsbergís screenplay
Ė Alternate footage from the overseas release plus textless footage
Ė Trailers and TV spots
Ė Still Galleries

www.arrowfilms.com

www.MVDshop.com





Night of the Animated Dead (Blu-ray+Digital]
(Josh Duhamel, Dulť Hill, Katharine Isabelle, James Roday Rodriguez, Katee Sackhoff, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: What begins as a simple visit to a grave site soon escalates into a night of sheer terror! In this dark, animated retelling of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead, bloodthirsty zombies suddenly begin amassing everywhere!

As Barbara, Ben and an odd group of strangers hide in a remote farmhouse, their struggle to ward off the flesh-eaters outside creates fierce tension inside.

Containing terrifying new content not found in the original, Night of the Animated Dead will convince you to lock your doors!

Blu-ray Verdict: Thatís right, the animated recreation of George A. Romeroís 1968 horror classic is coming September 21st, 2021 to Digital and October 5th, 2021 to Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Being a fan of the original feature film (Night of the Living Dead), but not really knowing what to expect from this animated film, given that I purposely chose to await its arrival here for review and then just pop it out, slip it in and sit back and relax with a beer and some munchies, I was amazed - in retrospect - at just how closely this quite wonderful and vibrantly colorful animated version stuck to the said-same original.

My goodness, it is truly a simply magnificent homage to the horror original classic and I would like to go a little further and only hope that studios take note of this and that we get to see more of these animated horror classics!

What a very clever concept and one that works on all levels, meaning this animated film will appease both the horror hounds out there along with those that worship the anime side of films (such as Batman, etc.)

Personally, I grew up watching daily doses of this style of animation in the 1970ís where every weekend there would be an animated remake of an adventure movie from stories by Jules Verne or Robert Louis Stevenson, but oh-boy, this remake looks oh-so much better than most of those ever did!

Thus, and as you can all now well expect, this Night of the Animated Dead took me lovingly right back to my childhood. Sure the animation isnít exactly strikingly brand new, a little uneven at times, but that is exactly the way these guys at WB have intended it to be - rough, raw and an old school flashback gem!

The voice acting is stellar, the direction is tight and the edits move nicely along with the story line. That said, if you have never seen the original (!), and are a fan of the red band trailer over the green, watch this animated movie first to get a taste of what to expect!

Extras & Special Features:
Making Of: Animating the Dead

The star-studded, animated recreation of George A. Romeroís 1968 horror classic from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is coming September 21st, 2021 to Digital and October 5th, 2021 to Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD, and features the voices of Josh Duhamel, Dulť Hill, Katharine Isabelle, James Roday Rodriguez, Katee Sackhoff, Will Sasso, Jimmi Simpson and Nancy Travis.

Night of the Animated Dead | Red Band Trailer [17 & Above] | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Night of the Animated Dead | Green Band Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

www.WarnerBros.com





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