Thursday, September 23, 2021

13 Washington Square (1928) Kino Classic Blu Ray Review

13 Washington Square (1928) Kino Classics 9/28/2021

Directed By: Melville W. Brown 

Starring: Jean Hersholt, Alice Joyce 




Disclaimer: Kino Classics has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 


     Though not a household name, director Melville Brown was considered a pioneer in silent cinema. 13 Washington Square (1928) comes at the tail end of the silent film era when talkies came and became the mainstay. Based on the play of the same name, the movie follows a headstrong snobbish mother named Mrs. De Peyster (Alice Joyce) who will stop at nothing to keep her son from marrying a "common woman". To this end she cooks up a scheme to keep this from happening. 

        I have to say that this was a pretty fun little movie. The comedy is very board here but everything was in the silent era. Things were played big because thats what people were use to for plays. There is also a faux-haunted house vibe that also makes for some fun gags. I'm also down for some in a creaky old haunted house hijinks which this movie provides plenty 

     It also has something to say about elitist's and class-divide, something that would be more relevant the following year with the Great Depression hitting America. It's also interesting to see this is a proto-Universal horror (though its pure comedy) as it makes a meal out of its spooky setting and is chocked full of atmosphere. As for the plot, its very fast moving and at only 70 minutes the movie wastes no time in getting into the thick of things. 

Though with a lot of movies from this era you have to suspend a lot of disbelief in order to embrace the narrative. And, you know what? I'm okay with that. 13 Washington Square is a lean little movie with some nice twists and turns. Certainly worth checking out. 


Picture: Sporting a brand-new 4k transfer 13 Washington Square is another marvelous restoration from Universal pictures. The nearly one-hundred year old movie is staggering in just how sharp and crisp it looks. Though some slight noise and artifacts are to be expected even in the best of clean up for the most part this is a nearly pristine looking film. Grain is present but smoothed and you can tell that  alot of care went into the original film elements. You can also see a lot of details in locales, sets and costumes. 

Sound: Includes a score by Tom Howe. 

Extras: Extras for 13 Washington Square includes a commentary by film historian Nora Fiore. Fiore provides a insightful and highly engaging track which I quite enjoyed. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Warner Bros DC R-Rated Injustice: Gods Among Us Trailer is Here!

Warner Bros DC R-Rated Injustice: Gods Among Us Trailer is Here! 


 Inspired by Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios’ popular video game, and the best-selling DC graphic novel based on the video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One by Tom Taylor, the animated film Injustice stars Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) and Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery, Hell on Wheels) as Superman and Batman, respectively. 



Please note: this trailer is R-rated and meant for a mature audience. 

Link HERE

About the Movie: 

Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) and Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery, Hell on Wheels) lead the Injustice all-star cast as Superman and Batman, respectively. The massive cast also includes Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra, You’re The Worst) as Wonder Woman, Brandon Micheal Hall (God Friended Me) as Cyborg, Kevin Pollak (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Joker & Jonathan Kent, Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, The Good Wife, Dreamgirls) as Catwoman, Reid Scott (Veep, Venom) as Green Arrow & Victor Zsasz, Edwin Hodge (The Tomorrow War, Mayans M.C.) as Mr. Terrific & Killer Croc, Gillian Jacobs (Community, Invincible) as Harley Quinn, Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement, Nashville) as Plastic Man, Laura Bailey (Critical Role, Avengers Assemble) as Lois Lane & Rama Kushna, Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek) as Ra’s al Ghul, Derek Phillips (Friday Night Lights, 42) as Nightwing & Aquaman, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10 franchise, Young Justice, RWBY) as Mirror Master, Flash & Shazam, Zach Callison (Steven Universe, The Goldbergs) as Damian & Jimmy Olsen, Brian T. Delaney (Fortnite, Batman Unlimited) as Green Lantern, Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy, American Dad!) as Captain Atom, and Andrew Morgado (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) as Mirror Master Soldier.


Matt Peters (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War) directs Injustice from a screenplay by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush). Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is Producer and Alyessa Ornelas (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge) is Associate Producer. Producer is Rick Morales (Mortal Kombat Legends franchise). Sam Register is Executive Producer.

The Injustice 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 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. The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie.


Catch a sneak peek at Injustice when DC FanDome, the ultimate global fan experience, returns on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT, with an all-new, epic streaming event. The free virtual event will once again welcome fans from around the world to immerse themselves in the DC Multiverse at DCFanDome.com and celebrate the stars and creators of their favorite feature films, live-action and animated television series, games, comics, home entertainment releases and more. DC FanDome 2021 will also be available on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, giving fans more ways to watch the events unfolding in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes. 



InjusticeSpecial Features

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital

  

Adventures in Storytelling – Injustice: Crisis and Conflict (New Featurette) – The storytellers behind the new Injustice animated film discuss how all the intense drama and unabashed action was brought to life.


  • DC Universe Movies Flashback

  • The Death of Superman

  • Reign of the Supermen


  • From the DC Vault

    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part I

    • Justice League – Injustice For All, Part II


Looking for a refresher course on animated Super Hero entertainment before seeing Injustice? HBO Max has a rich catalog of DC Universe Movies and DC-centric films and series.


Injustice will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.


Basil Dearden's Masquerade (1965) Kino Studio Classics Blu Ray Review

Masquerade (1965) Kino Studio Classics 9/28/2021

Directed By: Basil Dearden  

Starring: Cliff Robertson, Jack Hawkins, Marisa Mell, Charles Gray



Disclaimer: Kino Studio Classics has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 


      Basil Dearden is by no means a household name, especially in the US but has some pretty interesting films to his credit including a segment for the amazing Brit. horror anthology Dead of Night (1945) and the incredibly daring film Victim (1961) which was an early movie to deal with LGBTQ subject matter in a positive light. The British government sends an American war hero to kidnap and hid a child Prince in this farce. Masquerade is very much a swinging '60s Bond proof decades before Austin Power's came onto the pop-culture scene. 

    Dearden and some incredibly top notch screenwriters Michael Relph (The Man Who Haunted Himself) and two time Oscar winning writer William Goldman (The Princess Bride, All the Presidents Men) pen a comedy that is properly dry and sardonic. I love how this movie is a spoof is more nuanced and subtle in its parody. Indeed, it has a very tight plot filled with twists and turns that feel like they could perfectly live in a real Bond film from the era. But, of course Dearden provides plenty of cheeky humor at the expensive of both the British and American government. It also VERY '60s and fans of kitsch and the movie does camp it up at times. I also loved the moments of surrealism thrown in for good measure. Visually, the film is also really interesting and DP Otto Heller (who shot many excellent movies including 1960's Peeping Tom and The Lady Killers 1955) gives this film a further polish. 

The cast is also great with Cliff Roberston, Jack Hawkins and Marisa Mell all giving great performances. Also includes a fantastic supporting cast including cult icon Charles Gray (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Devil Rides Out), Michel Piccoli (Contempt, Belle de Jour) giving this their all.  

A fast paced, dry humored send up of spy-thrillers that delivers on plot and performance not to mention visually interesting. A under loved movie that deserves to be re-discovered. 


Picture: Masquerade is sporting a new 2k scan and wow, this movie looks fantastic! Colors truly pop and are incredibly well balanced. There is an overall sharpness and retains a lot of detail in costumes, sets, locales. Artifacts have been cleaned up leaving a nearly pristine looking picture. Skin tones have a nice nature look. Really impressive and if you are a fan of this film (or a newcomer) I dont think this has ever looked this good on a home video format. This is great because, as I said in my review this movie is well shot, being handled by one of the best British cinematographers. 

Sound: Masquerade has a DTS 2.0 track. Dialogue, score and sound design comes through quite nicely without any unwanted drop out issues or unwanted background noise. 

Extras: Extras include a commentary by Howard S. Berger and Chris Poggiali and a trailer for this film and others from Kino. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Paramount Presents #26 Breakdown (1997) Starring Kurt Russell Blu Ray Review

Breakdown (1997) Paramount Pictures 9/21/2021 

Directed By: Jonathan Mostow 

Starring: Kurt Russell, J.T Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C Gainey

Disclaimer: Paramount Pictures has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 



Other Previous Paramount Presents Reviews HERE:

Nashville HERE
Mommie Dearest HERE
48 Hrs.  HERE
Another 48 Hrs. HERE
Last Train from Gun Hill HERE

      Breakdown (1997) is a movie that seems to be a fan favorite from the mid-to-late '90s but one I had never seen until now. I also can't help but love Kurt Russell and bonus points for a movie with some nice wordplay. Jeff Taylor (Kurt Russell) and his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan) 'breakdown' on the side of the road. When Amy goes off to find help, and Jeff stays with the truck she never returns. What ensues is a twists and turns thriller as Jeff searches for his missing wife. 

     When researching for this review it seems that director Jonathan Mostow only notable pop-culture contribution to cinema was helm the dreadful Terminator 3 (2003) and, after that his work has been nothing that noteworthy. He seems to be a gun-for-hire working in different genres. But after seeing Breakdown it makes me bummed he didn't do more thrillers. Breakdown is a lean, mean little suspense outing that reminded me of Road Games (1981) meets The Lady Vanishes (1938). Indeed, it has a lot of Hitchcock in its themes and style. The overall film is incredibly paced with almost no filler, and everything is working to thrust the plot forward. DP Douglas Milsome (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves) gives Breakdown a polished look with interesting camera angles and further give this movie presence. 

    And, damned if you don't love a movie with Kurt Russell being a total badass. Russell has a charm that seems so perfect for the screen it almost feels lab-grown. His roguishly good looks and star power makes him a lot of fun to watch, especially when given material like this. J.T Walsh is a pretty chilling bad guy without ever over playing things. I also like how his character is showed having a wife and child, highlighting how seemingly "family men" can blend in. Character actors M.C Gainey and Jack Noseworthy are excellent as always. Kathleen Quinlan is good with what's a pretty thankless role. 

Breakdown is a '90s thriller that seems to have earned a cult status especially with a re-release from Imprint and now Paramount. If you, like me have slept on this movie, don't. It's not perfect but its a well oiled little thriller that delivers the goods. 

Picture: Paramount has been really crushing it with their back catalogue releases. Breakdown is presented in a stunning 4k transfer which was approved by director Jonathan Mostow. For fans of this film I cant imagine this ever looking this good. The movie has an overall clean, crisp look, especially with outdoor locales. Colors are also incredibly well balanced are has an good contrast. Paramount transfers also never look overly processed and, I can see why the director was pleased with this presentation. Grain is present but looks well managed as well. Darker lit scenes also highlight just how refreshed this new transfer is.  

Sound: Paramount also springs for a nice Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. This is a action thriller so your going to want a big bombastic sound presentation and this re-release does deliver the goods. The spacing for sound I thought was well done and it overall had a robust presence highlighted the more intense scenes, especially the films pulse pounding finale. 

Extras: Breakdown has a ton of new extras!

Filmmaker Focus: A New Interview with Director Jonathan Mostow 

Commentary by Jonathan Mostow and Kurt Russell

Victory is Hers: Kathleen Quinlan on Breakdown

A Brilliant Partnership - Martha De Laurentiis on Breakdown

Alternate Opening

Alternate Opening With Commentary By Director Jonathan Mostow

 Isolated Score

Trailer 


The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) Review

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

Directed By: Michael Showalter 

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Vincent D'Onfrio, 


Plot Summary: THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.

 

      Looking back, Tammy Faye was probably one of the stranger icons of the ‘80s and’90s. Director Michael Showalter is tasked with peeling back the layers of makeup and the press driven caricature to showcase an in-depth character study. But did he succeed in telling a richly drawn bio-pic? For the most part, yes.  Interestingly, Showalter follows a music-bio-pic framework (though Faye was a singer with albums, so maybe that’s not a huge stretch). It starts in the present (which is 1994), before going before the public, then it flashes back to her childhood in the fifties which sets up her troubled history with her mother. Then we move forward to her meeting Jim Bakker, their break in television, etc. This framework is frankly kind of tiring, but it’s an easy and firmly established way to tell a person’s life story. The highs and lows are, again, probably pretty predictable: drug abuse, traumatic family issues, the intoxicating raise and utterly heartbreaking fall. Though I will say that it has some above-avenge writing to help keep it from becoming a snore-fest. 

      I actually felt like the more interesting aspect is how the film paints Jim Bakker. I assumed he was going to be the movies defacto-bad guy, a shady con man that believed in money over everything else. Rather, it paints Jim as a complicated man that was ultimately a good person who just made some very bad choices. Jerry Falwell Sr on the other hand (played with a nice subtly by Vincent D’Onofrio) is the real villain who is petty, jealous and ultimately vengeful of the Bakkers. Caught in the center is Tammy who is shown as an innocent girl from very humble roots that is literally thrust into the public and given it all just to have it taken away seemingly just as quickly. Even the unsupportive mother seems to have somewhat of a redemptive arc. Again, even if it never strays far from its biopic format, I couldn’t help but feel it told an engaging story that was paced well. Tammy Faye herself is such a fascinating and engaging figure that you cannot help but be transfixed for the 120 minutes of runtime. In fact, I thought we could have used a better epilogue to her story post-Bakker breakup. I also love how the movie doesn’t shy away from Tammy Faye and her activism and icon status within the LGBTQ+ community. In a very moving scene, we see her interview an AIDS patient (which has a payoff that will make you emotional if you have any kind of feelings). Its also heavily implied that Jim himself was a deeply closeted man. I’m glad that they realized that the LGBTQ+ community was and remains an important part of Tammy’s story and lasting legacy in pop culture.

      The glue or rather Aqua Net that holds this movie together is of course the cast. Holy crap! Jessica Chastain gives what is easily an Oscar worthy performance. These days, it is considered the norm for an actor to completely disappear into a role when playing a famous or historical person. Some work, but in a lot of cases, it just doesn’t. However, I totally lost the actor Chastain and I believed that Tammy was right up there on the silver screen in all her vivacious glory. It is at times damned uncanny to the point its almost eerie. I also respect the fact that the Chastain found a perfectly comfortable spot in terms of how big to take her. The end result is a nuanced performance that is filled with range, and thankfully is never a cheap SNL parody. The same can be said for Andrew Garfield. Whilst I feel like Garfield’s aged up makeup is, shall we say less convincing at times, his fantastic performance shines through. Though obviously not as splashy as Chastain’s role Garfield takes moments and makes them his own. The film also has a fantastic supporting cast including Cherry Jones, Vincent DOnofrio and Gabriel Olds.

     The Eyes of Tammy Faye is frankly a pretty standard bio-pic in terms of structure and plot beats. But it’s writing is solid enough to make for an engaging two-hour film rollercoaster of emotions. Not to mention being utterly spellbound by its lead performers. It might just lead to some mascara running by its finale.

My Original Review Posted HERE for Geek Vibes Nation 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Four NEW Horrifying Night of the Animated Dead Images! Comes to Home Video from Warner Bros. Oct 5th

 Four newly released images give greater insight into the mounting tension within Night of the Animated Dead, an animated remake of George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic coming to Digital tomorrow – Tuesday, September 21 – and to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 5. 





 



The four new images spotlight nearly all of the key characters in the film: Ben (voiced by DulĂ© Hill), Barbara (Katharine Isabelle), Harry (Josh Duhamel), Helen (Nancy Travis), Tom (James Roday Rodriguez), Johnny (Jimmi Simpson) and Sheriff McClelland (Will Sasso).

VIOLATION on Blu Ray Sept 21st!

                                                    RLJE FILMS PRESENTS

 

VIOLATION

 

Available on Digital HD and Blu-ray on September 21, 2021




 

LOS ANGELES, (Aug. 23, 2021) – RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, has picked up select rights to the horror film, VIOLATION from Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural. RLJE Films will release VIOLATION on Digital HD and Blu-ray on September 21, 2021.


The feature screenwriting and directorial debut of Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty MancinelliVIOLATION stars Sims-Fewer along with Anna Maguire (Ever After: A Cinderella Story), Jesse LaVercombe (“Murdoch Mysteries”), and Obi Abili (21 Bridges, “Billions”). VIOLATION had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, International Premiere at Sundance Film Festival and screened at SXSW. Sims-Fewer received a TIFF Rising Star award for her performance. RLJE Films will release VIOLATION on Blu-ray for an SRP of $28.96.

 

In VIOLATION, with her marriage about to implode, Miriam (Sims-Fewer) returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law. But one evening, a tiny slip in judgement leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling, and furious. Believing her only recourse is to exact revenge, Miriam takes extreme action, but the price of retribution is high, and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel. 

 

Check out the trailer: https://youtu.be/Dx9Ok16g6aM

 

Bonus features on the DVD include:

      Meet the Filmmakers

      Toronto International Film Festival Introduction

 

Publicity Materials: 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/exey2jgncvyndhr/AAB2XquXsUEpBZqE-Wkbu-Qna?dl=0

 

We DO NOT have copies of VIOLATION available for review. We would appreciate inclusion of the title in your Digital HD and Blu-ray listings for September 21, 2021.

 

ABOUT RLJE FILMS

RLJE Films’ recent features include Color Out of Space starring Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson and written and directed by Richard Stanley; the critically acclaimed horror film The Dark And The Wicked from director Bryan Bertino; Steve Byrne’s The Opening Act from producers Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley; David Ayer’s The Tax Collector and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Archenemy. Upcoming films include Sion Sono’s 2021 Sundance Film Festival premiere Prisoners of the Ghostland starring Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella; and David Oyelowo’s directorial debut The Water Man starring Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson and Lonnie Chavis.  us.rljentertainment.com.

 

ABOUT SHUDDER

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. To experience Shudder commitment-free for 7 days, visit www.shudder.com

 

ABOUT AMC NETWORKS

AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.