Historical Blu-ray Release Dates

This page lists all available information for new and upcoming releases in the Blu-ray format.
Array
(
    [August 23, 2016] => Array
        (
            [reviews] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [review_id] => 33938
                            [review_type_id] => 1
                            [review_slug] => thespiders
                            [review_release_date] => 1471935600
                            [review_hot] => 0
                            [review_title] => The Spiders
                            [picture_created] => 1463681737
                            [picture_name] => Cover5.jpg
                            [manufacturer_name] => Kino
                            [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/Cover5.jpg
                            [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33938/thespiders.html
                            [review_metadata_prepared] => Array
                                (
                                    [release_year] => 1910
                                    [list_price] => 29.95
                                    [asin] => B01FT0ZJAG
                                    [preview_genres] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => Adventure, Classic
                                        )

                                    [preview_actors] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Lil Dagover, Georg John, Rudolf Lettinger
                                        )

                                    [preview_directors] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => Fritz Lang
                                        )

                                    [preview_plot_synopsis] => 

With this exotic adventure film, director Fritz Lang established himself as a master of epic storytelling, a talent that would reach its pinnacle in such monumental films as Metropolis and Die Nibelungen. Influenced by the French serials of Louis Feuillade (Fantômas) and infused with Lang s own fascination with Asian culture, THE SPIDERS follows international adventurer Kay Hoog (Carl de Vogt) in his quest for Incan gold and the precious Buddha s head diamond. Along the way, he must contend with an organization of criminal spies known as The Spiders, who will employ any form of treachery, including murder, to snatch the artifacts from his possession.

Bonus Features: Original German Intertitles with Optional English Subtitles

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 33769 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thestrainthecompletesecondseason [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Strain: The Complete Second Season [picture_created] => 1463237474 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => 20th Century Fox [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/14/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33769/thestrainthecompletesecondseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 49.99 [asin] => B01FL1U016 [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Meet the Crew of The Strain [1] => The White Room [2] => Audio Commentary on "Night Train" featuring Carlton Cuse [3] => Beyond the Page [4] => Sentient strigoi [5] => Deleted Scenes [6] => Gag Reel ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror, Science Fiction, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, Miguel Gomez ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The mysterious epidemic transforming the citizens of New York into horrifying creatures continues to rage during the second terrifying season of this acclaimed horror series.  While doctors Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) race to create a biological weapon to destroy the creatures, Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) relentlessly searches for an ancient book that may hold the key to defeating the sinister “Master.” Aware that he is now hunted by his handful of unlikely allies, the Master creates even more unstoppable bloodthirsty monsters in this darkly thrilling show that delivers nonstop chills from the first episode through the climactic season finale!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 32396 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thewalkingdeadthecompletesixthseason [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season [picture_created] => 1459879112 [picture_name] => Cover2.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Starz/Anchor Bay [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/05/120/Cover2.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32396/thewalkingdeadthecompletesixthseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 752 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B01DQ3LXI0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Five 50GB Blu-ray Discs + Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 [1] => French Dolby Surround 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH and Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentaries [1] => The Making of “The Walking Dead” [2] => In Memoriam [3] => 601: Out of The Quarry [4] => Guts & Glory: The Death of Nicholas [5] => Strength in Bonds [6] => Negan: Someone to Fear [7] => The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers of The Season [8] => Deleted Scenes ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Episode 616: Last Day On Earth -- The Extended Version (BLU-RAY ONLY) ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Thriller, Horror, TV ) [review_editors_notes] =>
Be sure to read our reviews of:
[review_movie] =>

We are six seasons in on AMC's flagship series 'The Walking Dead', and as a few of the show's producers say in the bonus features listed below, "You ain't seen nothing yet." I agree with that statement, because I read the comic books and I know what's coming for the characters you've grown to love on the series. In perhaps what might be the most controversial or most hated season ender for the show so far, the group of survivors led by Rick Grimes has crossed paths with Negan and his people throughout season six, which has disastrous results.

Of course in every season finale, 'The Walking Dead' is kinda known for leaving the viewers in a state of shock or the iconic cliff hanger scenario, if you will. In that final scene of the season, you know somebody is dead, as blood falls down from the camera lens, but you don't know who it is, then the show cuts to black without any theme music as the credits roll. A ton of fans were upset about this cliff hanger, because it felt like a cheap shot to all of us watching, but in 'The Walking Dead's' defense, it will certainly have a ton of viewers in that opening episode to see the "Who Shot J.R." or more recently "Who Shot Mr. Burns" effect. I only hope that season seven opens with the answer and doesn't make us wait an entire episode or even to the second episode to find out.

That being said, the introduction to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was outstanding. The filmmakers and show-runners got it completely right and introduced us to the biggest scum on Earth who happens to have a lot of charisma. He's like a viper who plays it calm and coy, and even seems to have lovable side to him, but can strike instantly with deadly force as we see on screen. Negan in the comics is the most ruthless and powerful villains to come across Rick Grimes and his new family, and in my humble opinion, has many of the best moments out of the story so far. But before we meet Negan, season six starts off in a mostly black and white episode (the comic book is in black and white), as Rick and his people are diverting thousands and thousands of zombies away from their new home, which doesn't go as planned.

The new town they built is attacked by a group of men and women who fancy themselves as cannibals and killers and firmly believe that humans don't belong on Earth anymore. The first few episodes deal with the massacre and aftermath of this. From then on, we get some great character development from the new people as well as an excellent backstory on why Morgan (Lennie James) doesn't kill people anymore. Sgt. Abraham Ford and Sasha Williams have a couple of great, redeeming moments to their character, as does Carl takes on more responsibility. We see the downfall of Carol as well this season, as her and Morgan try to understand each other's opposite ways of thinking. Glenn and Nicholas have a powerful story arc, which has Glenn missing in a few episodes, which leads up to the arrival of Negan and his powerful army.

Again, it seems like everywhere you turn these days, there's a TV show, commercial, film, play, or video game with zombies in it. AMC and 'The Walking Dead' might be at the top of the list still, because it still manages to hit all of the emotional chords, has a ton of character development with each character, and has a ton of big epic action sequences with zombies, gore, blood, and intestines. Nobody is safe in this show as you probably have come to find out already in the past five seasons. This sixth season is no different, and is easily my favorite season of the show thus far.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Walking Dead' Season Six comes with five 50GB Blu-ray Discs from Anchor Bay that are all Region A Locked. The sixteen episodes are on the first 4 discs with the fifth disc containing all of the extras, including the extended episode, but not including the audio commentary. There is an insert for a digital download code of the whole season, as well as a sizable booklet that showcases all of the 'Walking Dead' merchandise you can purchase. Everything is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69816 [review_video] =>

Season six of 'The Walking Dead' is here and just like the past five seasons, this video presentation is top notch. Coming with a 1080p HD transfer and having a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this season is in line with previous seasons when speaking of the image quality. In the first episode of the season, most of the episode is shot in Black and White, just like the comic book series is. The grays and whites look excellent and have varying shades of each color, which gives the image a ton of depth and almost make the show more realistic than it already is.

The detail in that first episode is also very sharp and vivid throughout, exposing individual hairs and the gory makeup wounds. For the rest of the season, everything is in color and looks excellent. Like previous seasons, there is a wonderful layer of grain throughout the series, giving the show a raw and unfiltered edge to it. It's as if you are watching a movie on the big screen without that glossy digital look, which is impressive and helps with the heavier CGI scenes where thousands of zombies roam in and out.

The detail is amazing, showing every gory detail from the smalls rips in the clothing to the veins and guts of the zombies that are being torn to shreds. Beads of sweat and wrinkles can also be seen on the actor's faces nicely. Wider shots never go soft and give the apocalyptic world a ton of depth. Black levels are very deep and inky and the flesh tones are natural throughout. There are no problems or issues with this image whatsoever and is one of the finer looking shows on Blu-ray today.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69817 [review_audio] =>

This release comes with an incredible Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix that hits all of the right growls, screams, and notes that you expect. There are some intense action sequences this season on a grand scale and the soundscape is just perfect for it. Every gun shot packs a punch from every speaker, and every explosion, hit, kick, stab, swing, and chop are fierce and sound realistic. During the heavier zombie attack scenes, you'll feel like the undead horde is right in your viewing room, which is a fun immersive experience.

As the zombie horde slowly emerges from the distance, the sounds of growling and screaming increase through all speakers, giving this audio track a ton of depth. The ambient noises of nature, rain, and survivors and zombies in the background all sound excellent and are very well balanced. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow at all times. The bass kicks in for the heavier actions sequences too. The score always adds to the suspense of the show and never drowns out any of the dialogue, sound effects or other big crescendos. Lastly, there are no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69818 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary - There are seven audio commentaries here on seven selected episodes that have the cast and crew discussing the themes, tone, and characters of the episode. The filmmakers talk about how big and epic some of the scenes were and how they shot the show on a big scale, while the actors tend to dive into their characters and give fun anecdotes from the set. They are all worth listening to.

The Making of 'The Walking Dead' (HD, 60 Mins.) - Each of the 16 episodes have a 3-5 minute "making of" featurette that includes cast and crew interviews, and some very cool behind the scenes footage on the bigger stunts, makeup, set building, and action sequences. All 16 featurettes are definitely worth watching. I just wish there was a "Play All" button, but unfortunately there isn't.

In Memoriam (HD, 10 Mins.) - Like the Oscars, this is a tribute to all of the characters who were killed off this season with cast and crew interviews, discussing how their characters died.

601: Out of The Quarry (HD, 8 Mins.) - Cast and Crew discuss how the big epic scene involving the rock quarry filled with thousands of zombies was made in detail with some on set footage and behind the scenes clips, along with some discussions on the Season opener in general.

Guts and Glory (HD, 5 Mins.) - This is an examination on the character of Nicholas and his death in the season, and his relationship with Glenn. Cast and crew interviews are included.

Strength in Bonds (HD, 11 Mins.) - The cast and crew discuss all of the relationships and friendships in this season and how they've changed over time.

Negan: Someone To Fear (HD, 6 Mins.) - Interviews with the cast and crew discussing the character of Negan is what this extra is all about. Unfortunately, there is no Jeffrey Dean Morgan interview here though.

The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers of The Season (HD, 4 Mins.) - Zombies are the word of the day here as the cast and crew discuss the most gruesome and the best looking zombies of this season, and how they did the makeup. This extra is a lot of fun.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 Mins.) - There are a few deleted scenes in total from episodes 1, 3, 5, 7 here. Two of them involve Glenn and Nicholas, where a few others involve Deanna Monroe.

[review_bonus_content] =>

Episode 616: Last Day On Earth: Extended Version (HD, 66 Mins.) - On Disc 5 of this set, you can watch the season finale in this extended version, which has some more character development and best yet, all of the vulgar language coming from the character Negan at the end of the episode.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69819 [review_bottom_line] => 7 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Walking Dead' Season Six is the best season yet. It's ripe with new characters, excellent storylines, character development, and tons of gore, intestines, and action. It's a great balance of both for sure and furthers this hellish story along with the right emotional impacts. Not to mention, that it features the story's most villainous character to date in regards to the comic book series. The video and audio presentations are both top notch and the wealth of meaty extras are all worth watching for sure. MUST-OWN!

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 4 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 2.5 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145739 ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 35933 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wienerdog [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Wiener-Dog [picture_created] => 1468423058 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Wiener-Dog_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Amazon Original Movies [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/13/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Wiener-Dog_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35933/wienerdog.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 89 [list_price] => 15.99 [asin] => B00KDF2NL6 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Rigoberto Garcia, Haraldo Alvarez, Dain Victoriano, Connor Long, Bridget Brown ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Todd Solondz ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Wiener-Dog tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading a certain kind of comfort and joy. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip picking up some depressed mariachis along the way. Wiener-Dog then encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter—all longing for something more.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 33928 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => womaninthedunes [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Woman in the Dunes [picture_created] => 1463680804 [picture_name] => dunes.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Criterion [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/dunes.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33928/womaninthedunes.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1964 [run_time] => 147 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01FRMOXA8 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.33:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Video essay on the film from 2007 by film scholar James Quandt [1] => Four short films from director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s early career: Hokusai (1953), Ikebana (1956), Tokyo 1958 (1958), and Ako (1965) [2] => Teshigahara and Abe, a 2007 documentary examining the collaboration between Teshigahara and novelist Kobo Abe, featuring interviews with film scholars Donald Richie and Tadao Sato, film programmer Richard Peña, set designer Arata Isozaki, producer Noriko Nomura, and screenwriter John Nathan [3] => Trailer [4] => PLUS: An essay by film scholar Audie Bock and a 1980 interview with Teshigahara ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Horror, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Hiroshi Teshigahara ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

One of the 1960s’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic world of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eiji Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle found in a vast desert. When he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night with a young widow (Kyoko Kishida) in her hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most unnerving and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of the Sisyphean struggle of everyday life—an achievement that garnered Teshigahara an Academy Award nomination for best director.

[review_movie] =>

“Are you shoveling sand to live, or living to shovel sand?”

‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a 1964 Japanese film from celebrated avant garde director Teshigahara Hiroshi. Adapted from a novel by Kobo Abe with a jarring musical score from Toru Takemitsu, ‘Woman in the Dunes’ was crafted to be a stirring, mythic, cinematic event created to propel the “Japanese New Wave” film movement. Unlike anything from Kurosawa or Ozu, Teshigahara’s film catered to the arthouse rather than the movie house. ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is my favorite type of film in that the artistic sensibilities are lovingly displayed while simultaneously laying on subtext after subtext. It’s a brilliant film that deserves multiple viewings and will no doubt cause an argument or two over what this film is truly “about.”

     

Our film opens on sand dunes eroding softly from the wind. An amateur entomologist is hiking the desolate landscape in search of insects for his school. He wanders too far and after a quick nap misses his bus back to civilization. Locals inform him that he can stay the night in their village. Lowered by ladder off a sandy cliff he reaches a rustic home at the bottom of a sand pit. He is met by an excited woman who instantly welcomes him into the sandy abode. That night the teacher learns her husband and child were killed by a sand dune collapse. She leaves late in the night to shovel sand into buckets only for them to be lifted to the surface by the villagers. Confused, the teacher quickly realizes she is forced by the villagers to keep digging every night. It’s revealed that if the woman’s house is buried by the collapsing dune a domino effect would allow the entire village to be swallowed up by the sand.

The next morning when the teacher attempts to leave the dune the ladder is missing and the villagers don’t respond to his cries for help. “Shit! It was a trap!” he yells out realizing he’s been captured by the villagers. He rationalizes that his school will retrace his steps or that a rescue party will surely be on their way to save him. From the first meeting of the teacher and the woman it’s clear they’ll butt heads. The woman’s knowledge and experience is derived from nature while the teacher’s knowledge is from books and his urban life. This juxtaposition serves as a metaphor for our teacher’s dilemma: no matter how much he struggles to devise a way out of the pit, the sand always wins. As the time passes sexual tensions arise in the sandy rustic cabin. After seeing the woman glistening with sweat and speckled with sand he succumbs to her feminine wiles. With no clear reasoning for his capture or imprisonment, the teacher begins plotting an escape plan.  

‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a tough film to pin down thematically because it poses many existential questions about survival, conformity, and identity. This is best illustrated with our main characters remaining nameless for the film. Their sense of identity and self is eroded away slowly not unlike the dunes in the film. The teacher begins a transformation in captivity that mirrors not only the insects he studies but also the struggles as a modern man. At the beginning of the film he rails against the role of identity in modern life. “Men and women are slaves to their fear of being cheated” he says about passports, certificates, and licenses which we use to identify ourselves constantly. It isn’t long before he is reduced from a modern man to an inhuman specimen meant for the enjoyment of the villagers looking down from above.

The cinematography is what really elevates this film for me. The constant interplay with shadow and light is hypnotic. Teshigahara portrays the encroaching sand as if it were rivers and pools in constant motion. Combined with the erratic musical scoring these images of creeping sand take on an otherworldly quality. I never knew that I could feel dread while watching sand pour over a cliff! Conveying the suspense, sexual tension, and psychological desperation using these shots made this film an engrossing experience for me. The intense close-ups of the insects the teacher finds are shown in such detail that you’d think David Attenborough should be narrating the footage. The detailed emphasis on sweat and sand covering human bodies adds to the sexual tension in ways that awkward dialogue could not. It’s this breathtaking imagery that builds upon the weird layers of this film keeping the viewer questioning everything.

Needless to say, the power of symbolism isn’t lost on this film! The experience of watching it is couched in your involvement with the storytelling. Each sustained shot requires you to search the frame and build upon the information Teshigahara provides. I really loved watching this movie if you can’t tell! ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is an impressive film with deep thematic layers and striking cinematography which challenges the viewer to look inward for the answers it never provides. So tell me, “Are you shoveling sand to live, or living to shovel sand?”  

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

‘Woman in the Dunes’ arrives on Region A Blu-ray thanks to The Criterion Collection. The movie is pressed onto a BD50 disc housed in a transparent Criterion Blu-ray case with a film booklet. Disc opens to the Main Menu with the static image from the cover art along with the film’s jarring score playing underneath.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69921 [review_video] =>

‘Woman in the Dunes’ comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in the film’s original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It should come as no surprise that the image on this Blu-ray is downright stunning. Criterion’s efforts to clean and restore this film even after previous DVD versions has provided us with an image transfer like no other. Individual grains of sand are easily discernable from one another. Fine detail on the insects burrowing into the dunes is clear as day! Contrast levels are solid throughout the feature with deep blacks and bright whites. Fine film grain is present without detracting from the film’s detailed images.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69922 [review_audio] =>

Criterion has supplied ‘Woman in the Dunes’ with an LPCM Japanese audio track and English subtitles. Dialogue comes through crystal clear even if the recorded volumes are a bit soft for my taste. Takemitsu’s haunting score not only complements the film but also the limited range of a mono track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69923 [review_supplements] =>

Film Booklet: A thick Criterion booklet with essays by film scholar Audie Bock and an interview with Teshigahara from 1978.

Video Essay (HD) (29:22) A video essay with film historian James Quandt from 2007.

Teshigahara and Abe: A Collaboration (HD) (34:53) Recorded for the Criterion Collection in 2006, this documentary details the relationship between director Hiroshi Teshigahara and writer Kobo Abe. Featuring interviews and archival photos this documentary also explores Japanese film history and its rebirth in the early 60’s with directors like Teshigahara.

Four Short Films:

Hokusai (1953) (HD) (22:55)

Ikebana (1956) (HD) (32:28)

Tokyo 1958 (1958) (HD) (24:00)

Ako (1965) (HD) (28:41)

Trailer (HD) (3:03)

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69924 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Teshigahara’s landmark film ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a cinematic rorschach test. The isolated setting, haunting score, and simple narrative invites the audience feel the sand between their toes as they struggle to understand the film’s messages. With a stunning A/V presentation rendering all previous versions obsolete and a host of enlightening extras The Criterion Criterion has assembled a brilliant Blu-ray package for ‘Woman in the Dunes’. Highly recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 2.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 3.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_forum_id] => 145796 ) ) ) [reviews_hot] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 33938 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thespiders [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Spiders [picture_created] => 1463681737 [picture_name] => Cover5.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/Cover5.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33938/thespiders.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1910 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FT0ZJAG [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Classic ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Lil Dagover, Georg John, Rudolf Lettinger ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Fritz Lang ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

With this exotic adventure film, director Fritz Lang established himself as a master of epic storytelling, a talent that would reach its pinnacle in such monumental films as Metropolis and Die Nibelungen. Influenced by the French serials of Louis Feuillade (Fantômas) and infused with Lang s own fascination with Asian culture, THE SPIDERS follows international adventurer Kay Hoog (Carl de Vogt) in his quest for Incan gold and the precious Buddha s head diamond. Along the way, he must contend with an organization of criminal spies known as The Spiders, who will employ any form of treachery, including murder, to snatch the artifacts from his possession.

Bonus Features: Original German Intertitles with Optional English Subtitles

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 33769 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thestrainthecompletesecondseason [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Strain: The Complete Second Season [picture_created] => 1463237474 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => 20th Century Fox [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/14/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33769/thestrainthecompletesecondseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 49.99 [asin] => B01FL1U016 [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Meet the Crew of The Strain [1] => The White Room [2] => Audio Commentary on "Night Train" featuring Carlton Cuse [3] => Beyond the Page [4] => Sentient strigoi [5] => Deleted Scenes [6] => Gag Reel ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror, Science Fiction, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, Miguel Gomez ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The mysterious epidemic transforming the citizens of New York into horrifying creatures continues to rage during the second terrifying season of this acclaimed horror series.  While doctors Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) race to create a biological weapon to destroy the creatures, Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) relentlessly searches for an ancient book that may hold the key to defeating the sinister “Master.” Aware that he is now hunted by his handful of unlikely allies, the Master creates even more unstoppable bloodthirsty monsters in this darkly thrilling show that delivers nonstop chills from the first episode through the climactic season finale!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 32396 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thewalkingdeadthecompletesixthseason [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season [picture_created] => 1459879112 [picture_name] => Cover2.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Starz/Anchor Bay [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/05/120/Cover2.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32396/thewalkingdeadthecompletesixthseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 752 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B01DQ3LXI0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Five 50GB Blu-ray Discs + Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 [1] => French Dolby Surround 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH and Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentaries [1] => The Making of “The Walking Dead” [2] => In Memoriam [3] => 601: Out of The Quarry [4] => Guts & Glory: The Death of Nicholas [5] => Strength in Bonds [6] => Negan: Someone to Fear [7] => The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers of The Season [8] => Deleted Scenes ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Episode 616: Last Day On Earth -- The Extended Version (BLU-RAY ONLY) ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Thriller, Horror, TV ) [review_editors_notes] =>
Be sure to read our reviews of:
[review_movie] =>

We are six seasons in on AMC's flagship series 'The Walking Dead', and as a few of the show's producers say in the bonus features listed below, "You ain't seen nothing yet." I agree with that statement, because I read the comic books and I know what's coming for the characters you've grown to love on the series. In perhaps what might be the most controversial or most hated season ender for the show so far, the group of survivors led by Rick Grimes has crossed paths with Negan and his people throughout season six, which has disastrous results.

Of course in every season finale, 'The Walking Dead' is kinda known for leaving the viewers in a state of shock or the iconic cliff hanger scenario, if you will. In that final scene of the season, you know somebody is dead, as blood falls down from the camera lens, but you don't know who it is, then the show cuts to black without any theme music as the credits roll. A ton of fans were upset about this cliff hanger, because it felt like a cheap shot to all of us watching, but in 'The Walking Dead's' defense, it will certainly have a ton of viewers in that opening episode to see the "Who Shot J.R." or more recently "Who Shot Mr. Burns" effect. I only hope that season seven opens with the answer and doesn't make us wait an entire episode or even to the second episode to find out.

That being said, the introduction to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was outstanding. The filmmakers and show-runners got it completely right and introduced us to the biggest scum on Earth who happens to have a lot of charisma. He's like a viper who plays it calm and coy, and even seems to have lovable side to him, but can strike instantly with deadly force as we see on screen. Negan in the comics is the most ruthless and powerful villains to come across Rick Grimes and his new family, and in my humble opinion, has many of the best moments out of the story so far. But before we meet Negan, season six starts off in a mostly black and white episode (the comic book is in black and white), as Rick and his people are diverting thousands and thousands of zombies away from their new home, which doesn't go as planned.

The new town they built is attacked by a group of men and women who fancy themselves as cannibals and killers and firmly believe that humans don't belong on Earth anymore. The first few episodes deal with the massacre and aftermath of this. From then on, we get some great character development from the new people as well as an excellent backstory on why Morgan (Lennie James) doesn't kill people anymore. Sgt. Abraham Ford and Sasha Williams have a couple of great, redeeming moments to their character, as does Carl takes on more responsibility. We see the downfall of Carol as well this season, as her and Morgan try to understand each other's opposite ways of thinking. Glenn and Nicholas have a powerful story arc, which has Glenn missing in a few episodes, which leads up to the arrival of Negan and his powerful army.

Again, it seems like everywhere you turn these days, there's a TV show, commercial, film, play, or video game with zombies in it. AMC and 'The Walking Dead' might be at the top of the list still, because it still manages to hit all of the emotional chords, has a ton of character development with each character, and has a ton of big epic action sequences with zombies, gore, blood, and intestines. Nobody is safe in this show as you probably have come to find out already in the past five seasons. This sixth season is no different, and is easily my favorite season of the show thus far.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Walking Dead' Season Six comes with five 50GB Blu-ray Discs from Anchor Bay that are all Region A Locked. The sixteen episodes are on the first 4 discs with the fifth disc containing all of the extras, including the extended episode, but not including the audio commentary. There is an insert for a digital download code of the whole season, as well as a sizable booklet that showcases all of the 'Walking Dead' merchandise you can purchase. Everything is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69816 [review_video] =>

Season six of 'The Walking Dead' is here and just like the past five seasons, this video presentation is top notch. Coming with a 1080p HD transfer and having a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this season is in line with previous seasons when speaking of the image quality. In the first episode of the season, most of the episode is shot in Black and White, just like the comic book series is. The grays and whites look excellent and have varying shades of each color, which gives the image a ton of depth and almost make the show more realistic than it already is.

The detail in that first episode is also very sharp and vivid throughout, exposing individual hairs and the gory makeup wounds. For the rest of the season, everything is in color and looks excellent. Like previous seasons, there is a wonderful layer of grain throughout the series, giving the show a raw and unfiltered edge to it. It's as if you are watching a movie on the big screen without that glossy digital look, which is impressive and helps with the heavier CGI scenes where thousands of zombies roam in and out.

The detail is amazing, showing every gory detail from the smalls rips in the clothing to the veins and guts of the zombies that are being torn to shreds. Beads of sweat and wrinkles can also be seen on the actor's faces nicely. Wider shots never go soft and give the apocalyptic world a ton of depth. Black levels are very deep and inky and the flesh tones are natural throughout. There are no problems or issues with this image whatsoever and is one of the finer looking shows on Blu-ray today.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69817 [review_audio] =>

This release comes with an incredible Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix that hits all of the right growls, screams, and notes that you expect. There are some intense action sequences this season on a grand scale and the soundscape is just perfect for it. Every gun shot packs a punch from every speaker, and every explosion, hit, kick, stab, swing, and chop are fierce and sound realistic. During the heavier zombie attack scenes, you'll feel like the undead horde is right in your viewing room, which is a fun immersive experience.

As the zombie horde slowly emerges from the distance, the sounds of growling and screaming increase through all speakers, giving this audio track a ton of depth. The ambient noises of nature, rain, and survivors and zombies in the background all sound excellent and are very well balanced. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow at all times. The bass kicks in for the heavier actions sequences too. The score always adds to the suspense of the show and never drowns out any of the dialogue, sound effects or other big crescendos. Lastly, there are no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69818 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary - There are seven audio commentaries here on seven selected episodes that have the cast and crew discussing the themes, tone, and characters of the episode. The filmmakers talk about how big and epic some of the scenes were and how they shot the show on a big scale, while the actors tend to dive into their characters and give fun anecdotes from the set. They are all worth listening to.

The Making of 'The Walking Dead' (HD, 60 Mins.) - Each of the 16 episodes have a 3-5 minute "making of" featurette that includes cast and crew interviews, and some very cool behind the scenes footage on the bigger stunts, makeup, set building, and action sequences. All 16 featurettes are definitely worth watching. I just wish there was a "Play All" button, but unfortunately there isn't.

In Memoriam (HD, 10 Mins.) - Like the Oscars, this is a tribute to all of the characters who were killed off this season with cast and crew interviews, discussing how their characters died.

601: Out of The Quarry (HD, 8 Mins.) - Cast and Crew discuss how the big epic scene involving the rock quarry filled with thousands of zombies was made in detail with some on set footage and behind the scenes clips, along with some discussions on the Season opener in general.

Guts and Glory (HD, 5 Mins.) - This is an examination on the character of Nicholas and his death in the season, and his relationship with Glenn. Cast and crew interviews are included.

Strength in Bonds (HD, 11 Mins.) - The cast and crew discuss all of the relationships and friendships in this season and how they've changed over time.

Negan: Someone To Fear (HD, 6 Mins.) - Interviews with the cast and crew discussing the character of Negan is what this extra is all about. Unfortunately, there is no Jeffrey Dean Morgan interview here though.

The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers of The Season (HD, 4 Mins.) - Zombies are the word of the day here as the cast and crew discuss the most gruesome and the best looking zombies of this season, and how they did the makeup. This extra is a lot of fun.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 Mins.) - There are a few deleted scenes in total from episodes 1, 3, 5, 7 here. Two of them involve Glenn and Nicholas, where a few others involve Deanna Monroe.

[review_bonus_content] =>

Episode 616: Last Day On Earth: Extended Version (HD, 66 Mins.) - On Disc 5 of this set, you can watch the season finale in this extended version, which has some more character development and best yet, all of the vulgar language coming from the character Negan at the end of the episode.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69819 [review_bottom_line] => 7 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Walking Dead' Season Six is the best season yet. It's ripe with new characters, excellent storylines, character development, and tons of gore, intestines, and action. It's a great balance of both for sure and furthers this hellish story along with the right emotional impacts. Not to mention, that it features the story's most villainous character to date in regards to the comic book series. The video and audio presentations are both top notch and the wealth of meaty extras are all worth watching for sure. MUST-OWN!

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 4 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 2.5 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145739 ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 35933 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wienerdog [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Wiener-Dog [picture_created] => 1468423058 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Wiener-Dog_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Amazon Original Movies [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/13/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Wiener-Dog_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35933/wienerdog.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 89 [list_price] => 15.99 [asin] => B00KDF2NL6 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Rigoberto Garcia, Haraldo Alvarez, Dain Victoriano, Connor Long, Bridget Brown ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Todd Solondz ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Wiener-Dog tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading a certain kind of comfort and joy. Man’s best friend starts out teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip picking up some depressed mariachis along the way. Wiener-Dog then encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter—all longing for something more.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 33928 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => womaninthedunes [review_release_date] => 1471935600 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Woman in the Dunes [picture_created] => 1463680804 [picture_name] => dunes.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Criterion [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/dunes.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33928/womaninthedunes.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1964 [run_time] => 147 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01FRMOXA8 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.33:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Video essay on the film from 2007 by film scholar James Quandt [1] => Four short films from director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s early career: Hokusai (1953), Ikebana (1956), Tokyo 1958 (1958), and Ako (1965) [2] => Teshigahara and Abe, a 2007 documentary examining the collaboration between Teshigahara and novelist Kobo Abe, featuring interviews with film scholars Donald Richie and Tadao Sato, film programmer Richard Peña, set designer Arata Isozaki, producer Noriko Nomura, and screenwriter John Nathan [3] => Trailer [4] => PLUS: An essay by film scholar Audie Bock and a 1980 interview with Teshigahara ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Horror, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Hiroshi Teshigahara ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

One of the 1960s’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic world of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eiji Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle found in a vast desert. When he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night with a young widow (Kyoko Kishida) in her hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most unnerving and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of the Sisyphean struggle of everyday life—an achievement that garnered Teshigahara an Academy Award nomination for best director.

[review_movie] =>

“Are you shoveling sand to live, or living to shovel sand?”

‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a 1964 Japanese film from celebrated avant garde director Teshigahara Hiroshi. Adapted from a novel by Kobo Abe with a jarring musical score from Toru Takemitsu, ‘Woman in the Dunes’ was crafted to be a stirring, mythic, cinematic event created to propel the “Japanese New Wave” film movement. Unlike anything from Kurosawa or Ozu, Teshigahara’s film catered to the arthouse rather than the movie house. ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is my favorite type of film in that the artistic sensibilities are lovingly displayed while simultaneously laying on subtext after subtext. It’s a brilliant film that deserves multiple viewings and will no doubt cause an argument or two over what this film is truly “about.”

     

Our film opens on sand dunes eroding softly from the wind. An amateur entomologist is hiking the desolate landscape in search of insects for his school. He wanders too far and after a quick nap misses his bus back to civilization. Locals inform him that he can stay the night in their village. Lowered by ladder off a sandy cliff he reaches a rustic home at the bottom of a sand pit. He is met by an excited woman who instantly welcomes him into the sandy abode. That night the teacher learns her husband and child were killed by a sand dune collapse. She leaves late in the night to shovel sand into buckets only for them to be lifted to the surface by the villagers. Confused, the teacher quickly realizes she is forced by the villagers to keep digging every night. It’s revealed that if the woman’s house is buried by the collapsing dune a domino effect would allow the entire village to be swallowed up by the sand.

The next morning when the teacher attempts to leave the dune the ladder is missing and the villagers don’t respond to his cries for help. “Shit! It was a trap!” he yells out realizing he’s been captured by the villagers. He rationalizes that his school will retrace his steps or that a rescue party will surely be on their way to save him. From the first meeting of the teacher and the woman it’s clear they’ll butt heads. The woman’s knowledge and experience is derived from nature while the teacher’s knowledge is from books and his urban life. This juxtaposition serves as a metaphor for our teacher’s dilemma: no matter how much he struggles to devise a way out of the pit, the sand always wins. As the time passes sexual tensions arise in the sandy rustic cabin. After seeing the woman glistening with sweat and speckled with sand he succumbs to her feminine wiles. With no clear reasoning for his capture or imprisonment, the teacher begins plotting an escape plan.  

‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a tough film to pin down thematically because it poses many existential questions about survival, conformity, and identity. This is best illustrated with our main characters remaining nameless for the film. Their sense of identity and self is eroded away slowly not unlike the dunes in the film. The teacher begins a transformation in captivity that mirrors not only the insects he studies but also the struggles as a modern man. At the beginning of the film he rails against the role of identity in modern life. “Men and women are slaves to their fear of being cheated” he says about passports, certificates, and licenses which we use to identify ourselves constantly. It isn’t long before he is reduced from a modern man to an inhuman specimen meant for the enjoyment of the villagers looking down from above.

The cinematography is what really elevates this film for me. The constant interplay with shadow and light is hypnotic. Teshigahara portrays the encroaching sand as if it were rivers and pools in constant motion. Combined with the erratic musical scoring these images of creeping sand take on an otherworldly quality. I never knew that I could feel dread while watching sand pour over a cliff! Conveying the suspense, sexual tension, and psychological desperation using these shots made this film an engrossing experience for me. The intense close-ups of the insects the teacher finds are shown in such detail that you’d think David Attenborough should be narrating the footage. The detailed emphasis on sweat and sand covering human bodies adds to the sexual tension in ways that awkward dialogue could not. It’s this breathtaking imagery that builds upon the weird layers of this film keeping the viewer questioning everything.

Needless to say, the power of symbolism isn’t lost on this film! The experience of watching it is couched in your involvement with the storytelling. Each sustained shot requires you to search the frame and build upon the information Teshigahara provides. I really loved watching this movie if you can’t tell! ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is an impressive film with deep thematic layers and striking cinematography which challenges the viewer to look inward for the answers it never provides. So tell me, “Are you shoveling sand to live, or living to shovel sand?”  

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

‘Woman in the Dunes’ arrives on Region A Blu-ray thanks to The Criterion Collection. The movie is pressed onto a BD50 disc housed in a transparent Criterion Blu-ray case with a film booklet. Disc opens to the Main Menu with the static image from the cover art along with the film’s jarring score playing underneath.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69921 [review_video] =>

‘Woman in the Dunes’ comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in the film’s original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It should come as no surprise that the image on this Blu-ray is downright stunning. Criterion’s efforts to clean and restore this film even after previous DVD versions has provided us with an image transfer like no other. Individual grains of sand are easily discernable from one another. Fine detail on the insects burrowing into the dunes is clear as day! Contrast levels are solid throughout the feature with deep blacks and bright whites. Fine film grain is present without detracting from the film’s detailed images.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69922 [review_audio] =>

Criterion has supplied ‘Woman in the Dunes’ with an LPCM Japanese audio track and English subtitles. Dialogue comes through crystal clear even if the recorded volumes are a bit soft for my taste. Takemitsu’s haunting score not only complements the film but also the limited range of a mono track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69923 [review_supplements] =>

Film Booklet: A thick Criterion booklet with essays by film scholar Audie Bock and an interview with Teshigahara from 1978.

Video Essay (HD) (29:22) A video essay with film historian James Quandt from 2007.

Teshigahara and Abe: A Collaboration (HD) (34:53) Recorded for the Criterion Collection in 2006, this documentary details the relationship between director Hiroshi Teshigahara and writer Kobo Abe. Featuring interviews and archival photos this documentary also explores Japanese film history and its rebirth in the early 60’s with directors like Teshigahara.

Four Short Films:

Hokusai (1953) (HD) (22:55)

Ikebana (1956) (HD) (32:28)

Tokyo 1958 (1958) (HD) (24:00)

Ako (1965) (HD) (28:41)

Trailer (HD) (3:03)

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69924 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Teshigahara’s landmark film ‘Woman in the Dunes’ is a cinematic rorschach test. The isolated setting, haunting score, and simple narrative invites the audience feel the sand between their toes as they struggle to understand the film’s messages. With a stunning A/V presentation rendering all previous versions obsolete and a host of enlightening extras The Criterion Criterion has assembled a brilliant Blu-ray package for ‘Woman in the Dunes’. Highly recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 2.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 3.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_forum_id] => 145796 ) ) ) ) [August 16, 2016] => Array ( [reviews] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 34226 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninja [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja [picture_created] => 1464447209 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34226/americanninja.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1985 [run_time] => 96 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MHKPG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Awesome, 80s ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34228 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaiitheconfrontation [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja II: The Confrontation [picture_created] => 1464447447 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_II_The_Confrontation_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_II_The_Confrontation_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34228/americanninjaiitheconfrontation.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1987 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MONZ6 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34230 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaiiibloodhunt [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja III: Blood Hunt [picture_created] => 1464447708 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_III_Blood_Hunt_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_III_Blood_Hunt_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34230/americanninjaiiibloodhunt.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [run_time] => 89 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MD1XG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 34232 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaivtheannihilation [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja IV: The Annihilation [picture_created] => 1464448032 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_IV_The_Annihilation_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_IV_The_Annihilation_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34232/americanninjaivtheannihilation.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1990 [run_time] => 99 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3M9OPA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 34240 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => assassinationclassroomseasononeparttwo [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Assassination Classroom: Season One Part Two [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34240/assassinationclassroomseasononeparttwo.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 275 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM2Q2O [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [5] => Array ( [review_id] => 35093 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => atrozlimitededition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Atroz: Limited Edition [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Unearthed Films [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35093/atrozlimitededition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01EG1PVCA [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [6] => Array ( [review_id] => 34197 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => beethoven [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Beethoven [picture_created] => 1464365599 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/27/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34197/beethoven.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1992 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8SFBQA [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Family ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Nicholle Tom, Christopher Castile, Sarah Rose Karr ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Brian Levant ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A slobbering St. Bernard dog becomes the center of attention for a loving family but its vet secretly wants to kill him.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [7] => Array ( [review_id] => 34260 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bloodblockadebattlefrontthecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Blood Blockade Battlefront: The Complete Series [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34260/bloodblockadebattlefrontthecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 325 [list_price] => 84.98 [asin] => B01FXM9V7M [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [8] => Array ( [review_id] => 35704 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bolshoibabylon [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bolshoi Babylon [picture_created] => 1467836952 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bolshoi_Babylon_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/06/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bolshoi_Babylon_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35704/bolshoibabylon.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 86 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01HSDSMBK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Anastasiya Meskova, Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Nick Read ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The Bolshoi — symbol of Russia, a national treasure and one of the most famous institutions in the world. Recently, however, the theatre has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: intrigue, personal attacks and management changes have created lurid headlines. Now, for the first time, the theatre directors have allowed the backstage process to be documented. With unparalleled behind the scenes access, the film will pay tribute to the dancers’ extraordinary artistic and athletic talents, their abiding fear of injury and the ruthless ambition needed to survive in the world’s most famous ballet company. "Bolshoi Babylon" is a behind-the-scenes look into Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Theatre and how it was rocked by an acid-attack scandal by Pavel Dmitrichenko in 2013.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [9] => Array ( [review_id] => 33875 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bringmetheheadofalfredogarcia2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Encore Edition [picture_created] => 1473288657 [picture_name] => 51-8IKV7vLL.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/07/120/51-8IKV7vLL.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33875/bringmetheheadofalfredogarcia2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1974 [run_time] => 112 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/bring-me-the-head-of-alfredo-garcia-encore-edition-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units [1] => 50GB Blu-ray Disc ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono [1] => Music: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => ALL NEW Audio Commentary with Katy Haber, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman [1] => Audio Commentary with Gordon Dawson and Nick Redman [2] => Audio Commentary with Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Nick Redman [3] => Passion and Poetry: Sam's Favorite Film [4] => A Writer's Journey: Garner Simmons with Sam Peckinpah in Mexico [5] => Promoting Alfredo Garcia [6] => Trailers [7] => Isolated Score Track [8] => Twilight Time Booklet ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Kris Kristofferson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Sam Peckinpah ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

[review_editors_notes] =>

Twilight Time is known for releasing their films in very limited numbers. Particularly in batches of 3,000 units. When they sell out, they're basically gone and go for high prices on various shopping sites. One of the films they released back in 2014 was Sam Peckinpah's 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia', which sold out like hot cakes, leaving a ton of fans in the dark. Luckily, Twilight Time has now released 3,000 more copies of the film and are dubbing it the 'Encore Edition'. This disc is the exact same as the 2014 version from Twilight Time in both video and audio. All of the extras from the last release have been imported here as well. However, Twilight Time has added a brand new 2016 commentary track in addition to the older two commentary tracks from the previous release.

[review_movie] =>

Sam Peckinpah is one of my favorite directors. Everything from 'Straw Dogs' to 'The Wild Bunch' is visually stunning and a work of true art. Peckinpah is known for his unrelenting violent movies, and with a title like 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia', you can assume the violence runs rampant in this movie, which it does. However, you might also think this Peckinpah flick is a bit of a comedy in how it's shot and because of its dialogue. I don't think Peckinpah intended for people to laugh during this movie, but I couldn't help myself. It's hard not to when the main character talks to a decapitated head while driving. You might have seen something similar in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's film 'Sin City'.

Peckinpah started writing the film during the filming of 'Straw Dogs'. Most of his films had some sort of controversy, and this one was no different. This time, Peckinpah decided to shoot in Mexico, which angered Hollywood who threatened not to release it because he wouldn't film there. The director went on to say that he loved making films in Mexico, because he had the creative freedom to do whatever he wanted without the Hollywood executives breathing down his neck every five minutes. So you could say that 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is one of Peckinpah's most untouched work. And it is simply brilliant, although many people haven't heard of it even though they might have seen many references to it through modern TV shows and movies.

The film starts out with a young pregnant girl who is called in to talk with her father, who is a ruthless mob boss who goes by El Jefe (Emilio Fernandez). He is not happy that his daughter is pregnant and actually tortures her until she reveals the man who is responsible for this. She tells him that Alfredo Garcia is the father who was Jefe's right-hand man. The mob boss is now angry and declares that whoever brings the head of Alfredo Garcia to him will receive one million dollars. And the title and story are now set in motion. El Jefe sends out two hit-men by the names of Sappensly (Robert Webber) and Quill (Gig Young), to track down Garcia. They arrive at a bar/saloon where they meet Bennie (Warren Oates), who manages and also plays the piano at the bar.

We can quickly tell that Bennie has an interesting past and definitely knows who Garcia is, but will not divulge what he knows. The two men tell everyone about Garcia and about the reward, which sparks an idea in Bennie's head. That idea is that he wants some of the money for himself so he goes to his on-and-off again girlfriend Elita who works as a prostitute at the saloon to ask about Garcia. See, everyone knows Garcia, but nobody knows exactly where he is but Elita, who had a secret affair with him earlier. Garcia is dead and buried due to a recent car accident.

Bennie contacts the two hit-men and makes a small deal with them for the corpse. Now Elita and Bennie are out to dig up the fresh body of Garcia and are accosted by two bikers (one of them is Kris Kristofferson), who rape and beat the two. But in a moment of determination not to die, Bennie brutally kills the two bikers and has an epiphany. He wants to chop off the head of Garcia and get the full amount of money for himself so he and Elita can leave town and live a good life. What plays out from here is Bennie trying to keep a decapitated head in his possession until he gets his money. The bloody head is constantly being stolen by others, only to have Bennie re-take it.

As you can imagine with any Peckinpah film, the climax is very bloody and violent. But with this film, he made the violence almost humorous in the way he filmed it. A lot of people over the years have thought this movie was a complete failure, while others think this is at the top of his resume. I'm with the latter group, as I love dark comedies. 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is a top notch film with a great story, epic violence, and quite a bit of black comedy. If you haven't seen this Peckinpah film yet, I highly suggest you do. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 48356 [review_video] =>

 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' comes with a 1080p HD transfer  presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It doesn't seem like they cleaned up this transfer a whole lot. There are quite a few instances of debris, hairs, and specks throughout the film. The contrast also seems to fluctuate from scene to  scene. That being said, the colors look great here and there is a nice layer of grain that keeps the film in it's original organic and filmic quality with no digital makeup at all to make it too glossy.

The detail is much improved on since I last saw this film as we can make out wrinkles, individual hairs and scars on the actor's faces during closeups. The skin tones all seems natural and the black levels were deep and inky mostly, with some instances of being a little too bright. For what it is, this transfer is probably the best it has ever looked, given this movie is around forty-years old, but I would hope that at some point this film will receive the proper prsentation, as there are some issues with banding and aliasing. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 48357 [review_audio] =>

 This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 1.0 mono audio mix. Not sure why they wanted to go mono on this, since it has a bunch of gunshots and action scenes, but they did. For it being a mono track, there is quite a bit of depth. The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. There is not really an immersive sound here, but the heavier action scenes of the bikes and gunshots do  sound full and loud, however they don't have that all encompassing sound like we truly want.

Other sound effects are clear and robust, but the only sound you'll get is from your one center speaker, which doesn't exactly transfer well from an action movie. The score sounds great here too, but there could have been more of a push to hear it in places. There were no other issues of concern with this audio presentation. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 48358 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary with Katy Haber, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman - This is a new commentary recorded in 2016 for this release and has Sam Peckinpah's assistant discussing their time filming the movie amongst other topics. It's actually an excellent listen as Katy discusses the near death experience on set, Peckinpah's style, filming on location, some personal topics and much more.

Audio Commentary with Gordon Dawson and Nick Redman - A commentary track with writer/producer Gordon Dawson and film historian Nick Redman. Dawson has some great stories about making movies with Peckinpah, all of which are amazing to hear. They talk about the origins of the story, the filming, the casting, and Peckinpah's life. This is a great listen, despite Dawson sounding unhealthy.


Audio Commentary with Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Nick Redman - This commentary track has four film historians talking about Peckinpah's life and career. This is very informative and is a must listen if you want to know about the director. 

 
Passion and Poetry: Sam's Favorite Film (SD, 56 mins.) A great documentary about the making of the movie with tons of amazing interviews from cast, crew, and others. This is a must-watch. 
 
A Writer's Journey: Garner Simmons with Sam Peckinpah in Mexico (SD, 26 mins.) - Garner Simmons wrote a biography on Peckinpah and went on set of 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia'. Here Simmons discusses that time in his life. 
 
Promoting Alfredo Garcia (SD, 6 mins.) - An image gallery of promo materials and posters for the film. 


 Trailers (HD/SD, 8 mins.) - Some trailers for the film. A couple of them are original trailers and one is a remastered trailer.

 
Isolated Score Track - You have the option to listen to the score only while watching the movie in 2.0.

Twilight Time Booklet - Here is a fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Julie Kirgo about the film.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Sam Peckinpah is one of my favorite directors, and 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is one of my favorites among his films. The dark humor mixed with the violence is amazing here with some unforgettable characters. The video and audio are good for what they are, but not great, but the extras are a lot of fun. In other words, this is the same exact release as the 2014 version, but with the added commentary track. I highly recommend this Peckinpah film. You'll be happy you have it in your collection.

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 3 [review_audio_stars] => 3 [review_supplements_stars] => 4 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146014 ) ) [10] => Array ( [review_id] => 35778 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bunkerofthedead [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bunker of the Dead [picture_created] => 1467991427 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bunker_of_the_Dead_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/08/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bunker_of_the_Dead_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35778/bunkerofthedead.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 76 [list_price] => 29.98 [asin] => B00EQ55L9U [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [11] => Array ( [review_id] => 33728 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => eleni [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Eleni [picture_created] => 1463150451 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Eleni_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino Lorber [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/13/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Eleni_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33728/eleni.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1985 [run_time] => 114 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1LS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 2.0 ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Trailers ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kate Nelligan [1] => John Malkovich ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Yates ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Newly Re-mastered in HD! Kate Nelligan (Eye of the Needle), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire) and Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously) star in this true story of a mother s love for her children and a son s revenge. In 1948, as the civil war ravages Greece, a communist attachment terrorizes a small mountain village by abducting the children and sending them to communist camps inside the Iron Curtain. Eleni (Nelligan) defies the communists and arranges for the escape of her three daughters and her son Nicola. For this act she s imprisoned, tortured and executed in cold blood. Several years later, Nicholas Gage (Malkovich), Eleni s son and a New York Times reporter, returns to his homeland to discover the facts surrounding his mother s death, and to hunt down the man who murdered her. Featuring top-notch direction by the great Peter Yates (Robbery, Bullitt) and stunning on-location cinematography by Billy Williams (Gandhi).

[review_movie] =>

"My Children!"

Watching a film about horrific war-time atrocities is never an easy experience. It's difficult to look at these events with a critical, earnest, and yet artistic eye and not question authenticity or motive. You want to trust that the filmmakers and writers aren't simply exploiting an event for monetary gain and are in fact, doing their best to recreate events and bring them to light for a mass audience. Peter Yates' 1985 film 'Eleni' traverses the real events surrounding the 1948 civil war that erupted in Greece and how thirty years later, one man is trying to uncover the truth of events that lead to the murder of his mother. The juxtaposition of time periods and the film's focus on real life characters elevates what could have been an otherwise depressing slog through pain and suffering and keeps the film feeling alive and hopeful. 

Nicholas Gage (John Malkovich) is a successful reporter for the New York Times. As 1979 is coming up, it marks 30 years since the end of the civil war in Greece. This milestone isn't just a number on the calendar, it marks when the commanders and soldiers who lead the communist uprising who also committed any number of atrocities can come home because the statute of limitations will run out for such crimes under Greek law. When Nicholas was a child, he and his siblings had to flee Greece to America to escape the horrors while their mother Eleni (Kate Nelligan) was forced to stay behind as a prisoner of a sadistic general known as Katis (Oliver Cotton). After accepting a job as bureau chief in Greece under the guise of reporting the events surrounding the soldiers' return, Nicholas embarks on an emotionally painful journey to uncover the truth of what happened to his mother. As he finds pieces of the puzzle, Nick learns that Katis is alive and well and that the old man is willing to grant an interview. 

Based on the book by real-life reporter Nicholas Gage, 'Eleni' works on several levels. On one hand, the film is a document of wartime atrocities where families are displaced and children are forced into service as soldiers for a cause they don't believe in. On the other hand, the film is a gripping investigative procedural. Because the film takes place during two time periods, it's essentially told through the eyes of a mother and her grown son. As John Malkovich's Nicholas uncovers one piece of the story, the film segues to tell things through the eyes of Kate Nelligan's Eleni. At first, it may seem to be a meandering way to tell a story, but what this breaking in timeline continuity does is set the groundwork for a thrilling and intense final scene. It's in the final moments where everything comes together and your patience through some pretty horrendous, gut-wrenching scenes pays off. When Nicholas sits down in front of an elderly Katis knowing full well who the man is and what he's done, you're on the edge of your seat because you know Nicholas is capable and willing to do anything he puts his mind to.

Eleni

Working from a screenplay by Steve Tesich, Peter Yates is in excellent form with 'Eleni' as he manages to craft a thoughtful and personal, character-driven film against the backdrop of a terrible tragedy. There is a sense of reality and urgency in each little vignette that is revealed through Nicholas' investigations. While we see this man try and learn more about his mother's murder at the risk of losing his family, we see how in the face of horror a woman fought to save her children by risking her own life. It's powerful material that never dips too heavily into cheesy soap opera melodrama. Nor does the film focus too intensely on the conditions Eleni spent her last days. The film certainly does not shy away from what happened, but it doesn't settle on images or events so gratuitously so that it cheapens the effect. It shows just enough to convey the horror and treats the material, the characters, and their real life counterparts with an amount of genuine respect. 

I never knew much about the civil war in Greece. It wasn't a topic that made my social studies books in grade school except in passing as a moment of a communist uprising. On top of being an excellent example of filmmaking and character exposition and story structure, 'Eleni' proved to be a very engrossing and educational film. I left my viewing of this film wanting to learn more about what happened. In particular the circumstances of how people who committed crimes against civilians could somehow escape persecution simply because a certain number of years passed. Thankfully there is a lot of valid information online so that the curious can learn more about these events. I wouldn't say that 'Eleni' is an entertaining film, that doesn't feel like an appropriate way to describe it. It is an intense and effective film that plays to the conventions expected from a procedural thriller and a war-time drama without simply being a piece of frivolous entertainment. It's a film that is tough to watch without feeling exhausted by it and yet provides an equal sense of hope and humanity. All I can say to close this review is that I strongly suggest people give the film a look and experience it for themselves. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Eleni' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber through their Studio Classics line. Pressed onto a Region A BD25 disc, the disc is housed in a standard Blu-ray case and opens directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69544 [review_video] =>

Aside from some very slight speckling here and there, the 1.79:1 1080p transfer for 'Eleni' is virtually flawless. The description on the back artwork indicates that this transfer was newly remastered and the efforts show on screen. Grain looks natural and unobtrusive and provides a rich amount of detail. This is especially apparent when the film shifts to 1948 and the Greece locations come into focus. Colors have plenty of primary pop with healthy flesh tones. The image boasts some impressively inky black levels without any crush issues and provides a pleasing amount of depth to the image. All around this is a very impressive transfer for a back catalogue release, and fans of the film should be very happy to see it.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69545 [review_audio] =>

With a strong and audible English DTS-HD MA 2.0 track, 'Eleni' sounds fantastic. As a largely dialogue driven film, voices are clearly heard throughout without any interference from sound effects or the beautiful score by Bruce Smeaton. Sound effects and background atmospherics provide a nice sense of space and dimension as the film shifts from the crowded and chaotic newspaper bullpen to the wide open Greek vistas. My only slight complaint is that even as a stereo mix, imaging feels rather restrained like the sound is being pushed through the front/center so heavily that it doesn't quite get enough room to breath during busy scenes. It's only a minor quibble for an otherwise excellent track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69543 [review_supplements] =>

'House on Carroll Street' Trailer (HD 2:00)

'Hidden Agenda' Trailer: (HD 2:03)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69542 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69540 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Eleni' turned out to be a wonderful film. I've only seen a handful of Peter Yates films, 'Breaking Away' being my favorite, but watching 'Eleni' shows the director had a deft touch when dealing with complex emotional characters without pushing the material into cheap melodrama. Kino Lorber brings 'Eleni' to Blu-ray with an exceptional image transfer and an excellent audio track to match. Fans of 'Eleni' shouldn't hesitate a moment before making a purchase. Those new to the film or who have never even heard of it should put it on their watch lists. Recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 0.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145711 ) ) [12] => Array ( [review_id] => 33341 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => elvis [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Elvis [picture_created] => 1462244543 [picture_name] => elvis.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Shout! Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/02/120/elvis.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33341/elvis.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1979 [run_time] => 170 [list_price] => 27.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOCG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => "Bringing a Legend to Life" featurette with archival interviews with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter (1979) [1] => Rare Clips from American Bandstand [2] => Photo Gallery ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Biography, Drama, Music ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Bing Russell ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => John Carpenter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Just two years after Elvis Presley died, Kurt Russell brought him back to life in the original biopic about the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Broadcast on ABC in 1979, Elvis marked the first time director John Carpenter and Russell would work together in what would become a legendary partnership in film history. 'Elvis' traces Presley’s life from his impoverished childhood  to his meteoric rise to stardom and then to his triumphant conquering of Las Vegas. Elvis garnered several Emmy®nominations including Outstanding Lead Actor for Kurt Russell, and features an all-star supporting cast including Shelley Winters as Gladys Presley, Season Hubley as Priscilla Presley, Bing Russell (Kurt’s real-life dad) as Vernon Presley, Pat Hingle as Colonel Tom Parker, Joe Mantegna as “Memphis Mafia” member Joe Esposito, and Ed Begley Jr. as drummer D.J. Fontana.   

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [13] => Array ( [review_id] => 32454 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => godsnotdead2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => God's Not Dead 2 [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32454/godsnotdead2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 34.98 [asin] => B01DPW1A0I [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jesse Metcalfe, David A.R. White, Ray Wise, Robin Givens, Melissa Joan Hart, Hayley Orrantia ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Cronk ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

When a high school teacher is asked a question in class about Jesus, her reasoned response lands her in deep trouble and could expel God from the public square once and for all.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [14] => Array ( [review_id] => 26748 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => gothamseason2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Gotham: The Complete Second Season [picture_created] => 1472124062 [picture_name] => Gotham_Season_2_Box_Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Bros. [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/25/120/Gotham_Season_2_Box_Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/26748/gothamseason2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 960 [list_price] => 54.97 [asin] => B015WVHUHC [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Dutch, Korean, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Array ( [0] => Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel [1] => Alfred: Batman's Greatest Ally [2] => Cold Hearted: The Tale of Victor Fries [3] => Gotham by Noir Light [4] => Character Profiles ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller, Fantasy, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Darkness saturates Gotham in its triumphant Second Season as the city's villains continue to rise from the shadows, each more ambitious and depraved than the last. As Penguin continues to solidify his control over Gotham's underworld, the battle for power in the city has become a game of interesting alliances on both sides of the law...with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the forefront of the fight against crime in the dangerously corrupt city. Season Two witnesses Gordon's moral compass wavering as he confronts Gotham City's most notorious criminals while simultaneously attempting to gain the trust of young Bruce Wayne, a boy now clearly on the path toward the man he is destined to be. And all the while, Gotham follows the intriguing origin stories and evolution of some of the city's most infamous personalities, including Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze.

[review_movie] =>

I can still remember all the apprehension I felt going into the first season of Gotham. I wasn't sure it was the best idea for a TV series, and I was worried it would just be a darker version of every other superhero TV series currently on the air. That first season surpassed my expectations in almost every way, but sadly, this second season too often veers into the type of territory I originally feared the show might cover. It's not a complete disaster, but it's a huge disappointment and a big drop off in quality.

Those of you who have been loyal viewers know what I'm talking about. Let me try to give the short version for everyone else. The first season of 'Gotham', while set in the formative years of the Batman Universe, tried to be as gritty and realistic as a show of this sort could have possibly been. While it did showcase a number of Batman's up and coming rogues gallery of baddies, it was primarily a crime-drama, with young cop James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) squaring off against both the mob and the man who wanted to be the heir apparent, Oswald Cobblepot (aka, the "Penguin", played by Robin Lloyd Taylor). It also set up a fantastic mentor relationship between Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) that was perhaps the best onscreen performance of Wayne Manor's chief staff member and young Bruce's primary caregiver that has even been captured, both on-screen and in the pages of the comics themselves.

Sadly, most of what made Season 1 so great is gone in Season 2, replaced with the showrunners' desire to cram as many villains as they can into this latest season – thinking that's what the fans want to see. The result is a big mess, with not enough screen time or attention paid to some of fans' favorite characters, many of whom do not even appear in episodes along the way. Season 1 only had about a half dozen episodes that I would consider "dismissible" That same number is about how many episodes we get in Season 2 that are truly worth watching.

Season 2 starts off strong enough, with Jim Gordon having to deal with the higher-ups at the police station and with  Season 2's best villain: Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), the maybe-he-is/maybe-he-isn't "you know who" baddie who is an absolute blast to watch in the first handful of episodes in this second season. For whatever reason, the creators made the decision to dispose of Valeska (I won't ruin how) early on, turning instead to the primary antagonist of the first-half of the season: Theo Galavan (James Frain) – and a more boring villain you won't find...except perhaps in the second half of Season 2, when the focus shifts from Galavan to the equally dull Hugo Strange (BD Wong). Rest assured, the criminal development of both Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) are still present, but they're not quite on the front burner the way they were back in Season 1.

Which is not to say Season 2 of 'Gotham' is a complete train wreck. There are a number of plotlines that I enjoyed quite a bit. In addition to the Jerome storyline early on, there's a great arc towards the end of the season that actually has Gordon being convicted of murder and spending time in jail. In other series, that kind of storyline would unfold over the entire season, but 'Gotham' does it in just a few episodes (despite the fact that a huge chunk of time passes over the course of those shows). And that's the biggest problem with 'Gotham' in Season 2 – not that the creators don't have some interesting ideas, but there's no room for character development...they just jump from one story to another, one villain to another (or, more frequently, one group of villains to another group), not realizing that slowing things down and taking time to delve into each of these stories over the course of a number of episodes would be much more impactful (one of the reasons both the Jerome and Gordon in prison stories work so well is because they are spread out over multiple shows).

My biggest worry from all this is that, by all accounts, Season 3 of 'Gotham' is going to be more of the same. The Season 2 cliffhanger (which, honestly, isn't much of one) implies that a whole bunch of baddies are going to be overrunning the city, and all the press we've gotten to this point for Season 3 is teasing viewers by saying they're going to be introducing this comic-book villain or that comic-book villain. 'Gotham' was a much better show when it tried to be a grounded crime-drama. 'Gotham' as it stands now is still certainly watchable, but not to the point that I can recommend it beyond loyal fans of the series.

The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats

Season 2 of 'Gotham' arrives on Blu-ray in packaging pretty much identical to the first season's release. The four 50GB Blu-rays are held on a pair of plastic hubs inside a slightly larger-than-average Elite keepcase, which slides inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase (with matching artwork). The case also contains a tri-fold listing all the episodes and special features of this release, along with a short synopsis for each entry. There's also an additional insert with a digital code for an UltraViolet copy of Season 2. Surprisingly, Warners has not front-loaded any trailers on any of the discs, whose main menu is the standard studio design – a still of the box cover image with menu selections horizontally along the bottom of the screen.

The Blu-rays in this release are region-free.

[review_video_picture_id] => 70096 [review_video] =>

Each episode of 'Gotham' was shot digitally with Arri Alexa equipment at the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As with the first season, Season 2 continues to feature a very film noir look to each episode (there's even a bonus feature on this set about it). Also like the first season, this set once again comes with a pretty impressive video transfer.

Despite a great number of scenes having a dark or darker look to them, details and clarity are pretty fantastic overall. In those few moments when 'Gotham' does wander out into the daylight, the level of depth is simply gorgeous. Black levels need to be strong for a series like this, and they are...with very little in terms of murkiness. Facial features are well defined in almost every shot, and despite the darker tone, 'Gotham' does make use of lots of different colors (to give the series that comic-book vibe), all of which come across as impressive without being over-saturated.

I was most impressed, however, by the apparent lack of any aliasing on this set – something that I thought I would most certainly see with all the city establishing shots and pans that take place on the show (where something like aliasing is usually the most obvious, should it exist). There's none to be found here, and no issues with banding or noticeable noise, either.

[review_audio] =>

The featured audio for each episode are English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, and I'm happy to report that Season 2 of 'Gotham' maintains the outstanding audio that was so appealing in Season 1. This remains one of the best-sounding shows on network TV.

The lossless tracks on these episodes retain the aggressiveness, immersiveness, and occasional directionality that we heard on the Season 1 set. LFE use is frequent, and the bass is low and booming without sounding disproportional to the rest of the mix. Dialogue is crisp and distinctive throughout. 'Gotham' is one of those rare TV series where I think the audio is on par with a lot of feature films, and audiophiles should certainly be pleased with what they get here.

I detected no glitches or issues with any of the tracks – which appear to be clear of any dropouts or other technical problems.

In addition to the English lossless tracks, each episode also has 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks in Portuguese. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, Dutch, Korean, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70097 [review_supplements] =>

At first glance, it appears Warner Bros. has been quite generous with the bonus materials. However, once viewers start diving into them, they'll realize that the vast majority of extras are nothing more than TV and online promo pieces that were created for the series. There's very little of substance here, and unlike the first season set, we get no deleted scenes or a gag reel this time around. It's like Warners just looked around to see what they already had available to slap onto this set, instead of really taking the time to provide us with some meaningful content.

Disc 1:

  • Aftermath (HD, 5 min.) – This is a collection of four short promo pieces for Season 2, each featuring a different character of the show. Each short clip can be watched separately or all together and consist of the following: 'Oswald' (½ min.), 'Nygma' (1 ½ min.), 'Barbara' (1 min.), and 'Gordon' (1 ½ min.).
  • Father's Office (HD, ½ min.) – A short promo for the series focusing on the hidden room that Bruce and Alfred found in Wayne Manor.
  • A Look Back (HD, 3 min.) – Three series regulars take a look back at the origins of their characters on the show. Once again, these clips can be watched together or individually and consist of: 'Donal Logue' (1 min.), 'Robin Lord Taylor' (1 min.), and 'Sean Pertwee' (1 min.).
  • Maniax Jerome (HD, ½ min.) – Another short promo clip for the show, focusing on the he's-not-really-the-Joker character of Jerome.
  • Strike Force (HD, 2 min.) – A short featurette on Season 2's new Police Commissioner Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) and his plans to clean up Gotham City.
  • He Who Laughs Last (HD, 2 min.) – A short featurette on the villainous Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan).

Disc 2:

  • New Day, Dark Nights (HD, 2 min.) – This short promo covers one of the better story arcs of Season 2: Jim Gordon having to cut a deal with the Penguin.
  • A Look Ahead (HD, 3 min.) – Another collection of short character pieces, which can once again be watched together or individually. They consist of the following: 'Bruce & Alfred' (1 min.), 'Oswald' (1 min.), 'Nygma' (½ min.), and 'Gordon' (½ min.).

Disc 3:

  • The King (HD, 2 min.) – Yet another short promo for Season 2, this one focusing on the Penguin.
  • Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 16 min.) – The first really significant extra to appear on this set, these are highlights from the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con panel (before the premiere of Season 2). The panel features an introduction by, of all people, Ian Somerhalder, is moderated by Deadline.com Chief TV Critic Dominic Patten, and features Executive Producers Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens, and cast members Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin (whose name Patten totally butchers by the way!), Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz, Erin Richards, and Cory Michael Smith, plus DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.

Disc 4:

  • Gotham by Noir Light (HD, 25 ½ min.) – A look at both the film noir cinematography of 'Gotham' and the history of film noir in general, featuring comments from Executive Producers Bruno Heller and John Stephens, Co-Producer Rebecca Perry Cutter, Cinematographer Christopher Norr, Production Designer Richard Berg, Writer Megan Mostyn-Brown, and stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Erin Richards, and John Doman.
  • Alfred: Batman's Greatest Ally (HD, 20 min.) – A look at the history of Alfred Pennyworth, including his comic-book origins. This featurette includes comments from Executive Producers Bruno Heller, John Stephens, and Danny Cannon; DC Comics Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns; Co-Producer and Writer Rebecca Perry Cutter; Writer Megan Mostyn-Brown; and, of course, star Sean Pertwee.
  • Cold Hearted: The Tale of Victor Fries (HD, 10 min.) – A look at the story behind the man who becomes known as 'Mr. Freeze'. This featurette features comments from Executive Producer John Stephens, Writer Kenny Woodruff, and DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio.
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no bonus materials exclusive to this Blu-ray release.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70098 [review_bottom_line] => 6 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Overloaded with too many villains, too many subplots, and not enough focus on many of the main characters, Season 2 of 'Gotham' is a big letdown from the entertaining first season. These episodes of 'Gotham' aren't horrible, but the series has changed its theme from a crime-drama set in a comic-book world to just another comic-book TV series. Despite having a handful of good story arcs along the way, I'm sorry to say that this season is for fans only.

[review_movie_stars] => 2.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145886 ) ) [15] => Array ( [review_id] => 33891 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => hardcore [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Hardcore [picture_created] => 1476805787 [picture_name] => 51M13i7nDXL.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/10/18/120/51M13i7nDXL.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33891/hardcore.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1979 [run_time] => 108 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/hardcore-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 50GB Blu-ray Disc [1] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD 1.0 [1] => Music: DTS-HD 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Paul Schrader [1] => Audio Commentary with film experts [2] => Theatrical Trailer [3] => Booklet ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Dick Sargent, Season Hubley, Gary Graham, Larry Block ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Paul Schrader ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A deeply religious Midwestern businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films.

[review_movie] =>

Paul Schrader is usually left off the list when discussing excellent filmmakers and writers, which is unfortunate, because Schrader is one of the greats. He is mostly known for collaborating with Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma. Schrader wrote 'Taxi Driver', 'Obsession', 'Raging Bull', and 'Last Temptation of Christ', while he directed 'American Gigolo' and 'Light of Day' to name only a few films on his impressive resume.

Back in 1979, Schrader was just getting into the directing gig as he took on 'Hardcore', which had similar themes to 'Taxi Driver'. 'Hardcore' is every father's worst nightmare come to life and Schrader certainly captured every bleak moment that tortured his main character Jake Van Dorn, played by the impressive George C. Scott. 'Hardcore' follows a successful businessman from the midwest who is divorced, super religious, and is raising his pre-teen daughter Kristen.

When Kristen doesn't come home from her church trip, he panics of course and hires a California Detective named Andy Mast (Peter Boyle) to help track her. Mast turns up a violent porn film that stars Kristen. Since no other law enforcement are any help to Jake in locating his daughter, and believing she was kidnapped and forced to do these adult films, Jake goes undercover as a porn producer in California to find his daughter with the help of a local prostitute named Niki (Season Hubley).

From here, the two form a relationship as the trek through the very seedy underbelly of snuff films and porn in Southern California. I wouldn't say this film is like the title says, 'Hardcore' in any way, but it certainly gets the message across and shows the emotional distance and crisis that Jake is going through in every scene, where it seems like all routes and hope come to a dead end.

George C. Scott is fantastic in this role and completely immerses himself in this character as we see his struggle to do the right thing, when sometimes he doesn't, and we see it slowly kill him inside. The film jumps to some action cliches here and there, but the meat of the story is the relationship and character arc of Jake and Niki, which steals every brutal scene. 'Hardcore' still holds up today with excellent performances and great writing, and is still a film that will scare parents everywhere.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Hardcore' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Twilight Time and is Region A Locked. There were only 3,000 copies made. The disc is housed in a clear, hard plastic case with an insert that consists of an essay by Julie Kirgo on the film.

[review_video_picture_id] => 71738 [review_video] =>

'Hardcore' comes with a good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio from Twilight Time. This was a fairly rough looking film, but Twilight Time has done a great job cleaning up this picture. Detail is sharp and vivid, specifically in closeups in well lit interiors and exteriors. Individual hairs on the actor's faces, wrinkles, and beads of sweat and blood can be seen easily here. Wider shots looks great too, even in darker scenes.

There is really nothing digital about the look of this transfer, as there are varying degrees of grain here, which keeps the filmic look alive throughout. Colors look bold too, but are never overly done. This a very bleak film where the colors aren't as bright as they could be. Black levels are deep for the most part and the skin tones are natural. There were no major problems with any aliasing, banding, or video noise, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71739 [review_audio] =>

This release comes with a good DTS-HD MA 1.0 mix that hits all of the right notes, even though it isn't that immersive with surround sound. Sound effects are decent, but never pack a powerful punch like they should. Ambient noises can be heard in the seedy underbelly of Southern California with city life and cars passing by, but it is all fairly soft.

The score by the impressive Jack Nitzsche and the other classic rock songs come through nicely and are the real highlight here, always adding to the somber and haunting mood of the film. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills. There isn't any tin-can moments here. I just wish this had a fuller sound.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71740 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary #1 - The first commentary is with director Paul Schrader as he takes a look back at making the film and all of its themes. This is an engaging and informative commentary track where Schrader also talks about casting the film, working with these taboo themes and story lines, as well as some fond memories from the set.

Audio Commentary #2 - Film experts Eddy Friedfeld, lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo all discuss the life and career of Paul Schrader, Peter Boyle, and George C. Scott, while also discussing the making of this film and it being one of the first films to tackle this sort of subject. This is also a good listen.

Isolated Score - You can click this option to watch the movie with the score only playing.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.

Booklet - There is a fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Julie Kirgo about the film.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71741 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Hardcore' goes down some very dark roads and is sure to be a nightmare to parents who watch. With excellent direction, outstanding performances by George C. Scott and Season Hubley, 'Hardcore' still holds up today, even with this violent and taboo subject matter. The video and audio presentations here are both commendable and good, and the bonus features are slim, but the two commentary tracks are definitely worth listening to. A great film and a great release deserves to be highly recommended!

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146450 ) ) [16] => Array ( [review_id] => 36850 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => hellonwheelsseason5volume1 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Hell on Wheels: Season 5 Volume 1 [picture_created] => 1470659957 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Hell_On_Wheels_Season_5_Volume_1_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Sony Home Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Hell_On_Wheels_Season_5_Volume_1_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36850/hellonwheelsseason5volume1.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 38.99 [asin] => B016OXMDZQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => A Look At Season 5 [1] => Set Tour with Anson Mount [2] => How the Chinese Built America [3] => Inside the Episodes ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Western, Television ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Phil Burke ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Chad Oakes, Michael Frislev ) [review_movie] =>

The final season of any show can be a tough ordeal to get through. If you're a longtime fan of a series, by that point you've already gone through quite a bit with your favorite characters and you're hopeful they finally meet their goals. At the same time, it can be bittersweet to say goodbye to a show you invested that much time of your life into. As 'Hell On Wheels' rolled to a close in Season Four, there was a sense of impending finality. With the railroad pushing west towards the mountains of Wyoming and Utah, the show was in the home stretch. 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' brings back all of the familiar faces who have survived thus far in a way that is both fitting and frustrating. 

Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is at the top of the mountain. He can see the valleys of western Utah below that will lead to Salt Lake City and beyond to California. The end is in sight, but Cullen's journey is just beginning. Each day of scouting routes moves Cullen one step closer to relocating his wife and son, but as Collis Huntington (Tim Guinee) reports, the Mormon leader Brigham Young (Gregg Henry) seemingly has nothing new to report. While Cullen is dealing with his own internal issues, he must also work to keep a fragile peace between a double-dealing Chinese contractor called Chang (Byron Mann) and the workforce lead by Tao (Tzi Ma) and his son Fong (Angela Zhou) as well as the return of The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl). Meanwhile, Cheyenne is seeing its own share of troubles as Doc Durant (Colm Meaney) struggles to keep the Union Pacific solvent and moving forward.

If there is a major complaint to be had with 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' it is stated right in the title. The seemingly unnecessary separation of a season only works to prolong an inevitable end. It was frustrating to get seven episodes in and just when the wheels felt like they were finally moving, it stops. Where in previous seasons of 'Hell On Wheels' it felt like you could jump in at the beginning of any season and quickly catch up with the entirety of the show, Season 5 suffers from needing to come to a conclusion while also filling up fourteen episodes worth of content. At times this season feels equally over stuffed and not stuffed enough. 

Hell on Wheels

Providing you were reading through the new character names and the actors who subsequently played them, you no doubt noticed the male character Fong being played by a woman Angela Zhou. This is a very interesting although obvious plot twist for Anson Mount's Cullen Bohannon. It's not much of a spoiler because you really can see it coming a mile off so the big "reveal" moment wasn't all too surprising - but still a good development for the character. We get to see a hardened and jaded man finally cool down and relax a bit as he starts to learn about this alien culture and how just because they're the ones doing the hard labor, doesn't mean they can't offer some sound construction advice. At the same time, that blossoming romance means eventually we're going to have to catch up with Cullen's wife Naomi (MacKenzie Porter) and the rest of the excommunicated Hatch clan. 

This introduction of new characters - while well written and interesting - eventually becomes a frustrating reminder that there are a lot of other characters whose arcs need resolving. This is especially true when things get to Cheyenne and the characters there. It's fun to reconnect with these people, but we've seen them toil in the mud for four seasons already, so their inclusion in the series at this point feels redundant save for Colm Meaney's Doc Durant and his business. I've always enjoyed Robin McLeavy's Eva and her story, but here she's undercooked and is included only because she's been in the show up to this point. I am purposefully avoiding talking about Christopher Heyerdahl's The Swede simply because it brings up too many plot spoilers. I will say that just when you think he may be a more passive character, he proves the depths of his evil nature in chilling fashion! 

As a whole, 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' is very good entertainment. It's a solid seven episodes of bridge material that will carry audiences towards the thrilling final stretch. Granted, the start of the final seasons feels a bit on the bloated side, some of the side plots could have used some trimming if only to quicken the pace, but 'Hell On Wheels' is often at its best when two people are having a conversation - with some fantastic moments of action tossed in for good measure. If you've come this far, you should absolutely keep going and enjoy the rest of the ride. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Hell on Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of AMC and eOne Entertainment. The seven episodes contained within this volume are spread over two apparently Region Free BD50 discs. Each the first disc loads to trailers and previews for other AMC series before arriving at an animated main menu with standard navigation options. Disc two loads directly to the same animated main menu. Both discs are housed in a sturdy 2-disc Blu-ray case with identical slipcover artwork. Also included is a flier reminding that The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead are a thing - as if AMC would somehow let us forget. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 72439 [review_video] =>

Switching up the scenery and moving away from the very impressive Cheyenne location sets apparently was a very wise decision for this final season of 'Hell on Wheels.' Season Five boasts an out and out beautiful 1.78:1 1080p transfer that is simply gorgeous. The beautiful Alberta, Canada mountains doubling for the Sierra Nevadas are gorgeous and this transfer is simply stunning to look at. On top of all the great dramatic beats within the show, the location scenes deep within the mountains have that crisp and life-like appearance that one would expect from a BBC nature program. Digitally shot, the source is in impeccable shape without any blocking or notable compression issues. Details are in ripe abundance as everything from the scenery to the clothing to the impressive production design work are on display.  

[review_audio_picture_id] => 72438 [review_audio] =>

'Season Five, Volume One' boasts an expectedly impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. The entire run of the show thus far have been showcases for effective sound design and this one is no different. Dialogue during those calm and quiet moments come through clean and clear. Bigger scenes with extras hard at work on the railroad have a natural sense of space and distance to them that allows the surround effect to really shine. The series' music layers in nicely without any issues and creates a very nice and open-feeling audio mix. All around, every episode enjoys a near-flawless audio track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 72436 [review_supplements] =>

All Supplementary material are found on Disc Two.

A Look At Season 5: (HD 4:57) Honestly, there's not much to look at here. Pretty run of the mill EPK stuff and not much else. 

Set Tour with Anson Mount: (HD 3:23) As with previous Blu-ray releases, Anson Mount gives us an all too brief look at the set of the show. There is so much amazing craftsmanship on display here that I wish more time had been given to it.

How the Chinese Built America: (HD 3:14) This is informative but also disingenuously brief. One could create an entire TV series about the role Chinese immigrants played in the western expansion of the United States and the few minutes allotted here don't even begin to scratch the surface. 

Inside the Episodes: (HD totaling 33:08) These brief little bits and bobs are a tad on the spoiler side of things if you watch them ahead of the next episode, but they offer a little bit of info about why the producers and writers went where they did with the material and how the cast had to work with those scenes and their characters possibly coming to a violent end. 

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 72437 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 72435 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

If you're a 'Hell on Wheels' fan, you've come this far, but you're not quite all the way finished. These seven episodes get your closer to the home stretch. This first set of episodes may be a bit of a mixed bag at times, but they do provide some tantalizing setup for the final run. AMC and eOne deliver another impeccable Blu-ray release with beautiful image transfers and stellar audio mixes for each episode. The only complaint I have are the slim bonus features. I'm calling this one recommended, but fans should absolutely consider a purchase.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 5 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default ) ) [17] => Array ( [review_id] => 33922 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ingridbergmaninherownwords [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words [picture_created] => 1463680275 [picture_name] => ingrid.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Criterion [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/ingrid.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33922/ingridbergmaninherownwords.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 114 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01FRMOXAS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Swedish DTS-HD MA 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => New interview with director Stig Björkman [1] => Selection of 8 mm home movies shot by Bergman in the 1930s [2] => Two deleted scenes, showing Bergman’s daughters reading an essay she wrote at age 17 and an interview with film historian and Bergman scholar Rosario Tronnolone [3] => Extended versions of scenes featuring interviews with actors Sigourney Weaver and Liv Ullmann, and Bergman’s children [4] => Clip from the 1932 film 'Landskamp,' featuring Bergman in her first screen role [5] => Outtakes from Bergman’s 1936 film 'On the Sunny Side' [6] => Music video for Eva Dahlgren’s song “The Movie About Us,” which is included on the film’s soundtrack [7] => Trailer [8] => PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jeanine Basinger ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Pia Lindström ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Stig Björkman ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Whether headlining films in Sweden, Italy, or Hollywood, Ingrid Bergman always pierced the screen with a singular soulfulness. With this new documentary, made on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of Bergman’s birth, director Stig Björkman allows us unprecedented access to her world, culling from the most personal of archival materials—letters, diary entries, photographs, and 8 mm and 16 mm footage Bergman herself shot—and following her from youth to tumultuous married life and motherhood. Intimate and artful, this lovingly assembled portrait, narrated by actor Alicia Vikander, provides luminous insight into the life and career of an undiminished legend.

[review_movie] =>

We know her on screen. Characters like Ilsa in 'Casablanca,' Maria in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls,' Alicia in 'Notorious,' the saintly Joan of Arc, and Anna in 'Anastasia' define her as an actress of enormous range, strength, and sensitivity. Like her fellow Swede, Greta Garbo, she's breathtakingly beautiful and innately gifted, but instead of appearing aloof and mysterious, she's open and accessible. Audiences can relate to her, but they also admire her conviction and nobility in multi-faceted roles that often test her mettle. She won three Oscars, was nominated for four others, acted in five languages, and appeared in more than 50 films in six countries over the course of a magnificent 50-year career.

But who was Ingrid Bergman off screen? Was she like the characters she often portrayed - virtuous, forthright, noble, and vulnerable? Or did she more closely resemble the scandalous, headstrong woman who endured the scorn of a nation when she abandoned her husband and 11-year-old daughter in 1949 to have a child with Italian director Roberto Rossellini? The answer, of course, lies somewhere in between, and director Stig Björkman - with the help of Bergman herself - explores it in his elegant, insightful documentary, 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words.' Drawing upon Bergman's extensive diary entries, personal letters, a treasure trove of home movies (many shot by Bergman), vintage interviews, and the revealing perspectives of her four children, Björkman paints a fascinating, dimensional portrait of a complex, ceaselessly driven woman determined to live life to the fullest.

Different than most movie star biographies that rely on film clips, superficial testimonials, and salacious gossip, 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' allows its subject to tell her own story. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander provides narration in Bergman's voice, which lends the documentary an intimacy and warmth similar profiles lack. Examples of Bergman's work are included, but the focus remains squarely on the woman, not the actress, so the carefully chosen snippets show off specific aspects of her personality and talent. 

And yet acting, and Bergman's passion for it, drive the film. ("If you took acting away from me, I would stop breathing," she once wrote.) Haunted by a tragic childhood (she lost her mother before the age of 3 and her father as a preteen, as well as several close relatives), Ingrid felt compelled to make something of herself, and when she caught the acting bug, she pursued the profession with a single-minded passion that often superseded romantic and family relationships. The early personal losses also inspired her to live in the moment and, largely, for herself. With gusto and a deep sense of purpose, she tried her damnedest to squeeze as much as she could out of a storied and, at times, controversial existence. She made bold, sometimes impulsive choices and always moved forward, never pausing for reflection or regret.

All of her children wish they had more time with her. Due to acting commitments, Bergman was often away for lengthy periods during their formative years and she died of cancer at the relatively young age of 67. Her oldest daughter, Pia Lindström, the only child from her first marriage to Swedish neurosurgeon Petter Lindström, didn't see her mother for several years due to a bitter custody battle and Bergman's persona non grata status in America after she abandoned her family for Rossellini. Pia, rightfully, expresses dismay over her mother's seeming indifference to her children (although she never doubts her love), but the Rossellini brood - Roberto, Isabella, and Ingrid - are more philosophical about the long absences, and shade their comments with melancholy rather than ire.

That lack of anger, though, over some of Bergman's faults and actions slightly taints the film. Björkman and his subjects go to great lengths to analyze and dissect Bergman and her motivations, but they stop short of criticizing her or sharing any negative experiences. Instead, they passively accept her shortcomings. The charming, idyllic home movies that are so full of life and packed with shots of adorable children and carefree episodes, and the excerpts from Bergman's diary and letters that outline her insecurities and fears deeply humanize this Hollywood icon, but they don't give us the full picture. We only hear about happy times and struggles. Dark episodes are avoided, as are discussions of her marriages and what caused all three of them to unravel. "I've gone from saint to whore and back to saint again, all in one lifetime," Bergman wrote, but the film doesn't fill in the blanks of the gray area in between as fully as we might like. 

Yet despite that minor deficiency, we still come away with a full-bodied, dimensional portrait of a hard-working actress and unpretentious, earthy woman who perhaps loved her profession more than anything else in her life. More film clips would document her versatility (it's a shame her Oscar-winning work in 'Gaslight' and 'Murder on the Orient Express' is not represented), but they would also alter the tone of this highly personal, reverential film. 

Björkman masterfully assembles the material, balancing artistry with a documentarian's sense of purpose and truth. Rare clips, such as Bergman's luminous silent screen test for producer David O. Selznick and behind-the-scenes footage shot on the set of 'Joan of Arc,' as well as private moments with her three husbands, beautifully reconcile the lofty actress with her down-to-earth wife-and-mother alter ego, and enhance our appreciation of both. The interviews are also varied and natural, spanning different locations and languages, which somehow makes them seem more authentic.

And authentic is arguably the best adjective to describe Ingrid Bergman. This superior documentary honors that aspect of her character and salutes a brave woman who blazed a fascinating trail. Anyone who loves her - and who doesn't? - will be utterly absorbed by this sensitive, perceptive portrait that comes closer to revealing the real Ingrid Bergman than any other film.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats 

'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' arrives on Blu-ray packaged in a standard Criterion case. A 16-page fold-out booklet featuring an essay by film historian and archivist Jeanine Basinger, a couple of rare photos, and transfer notes is tucked inside the front cover. Video codec is 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 and audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The narration is in Swedish, although most of the film clips and interviews are in English. Once the disc is inserted into the player, the static menu with music immediately pops up; no previews or promos precede it.

[review_video_picture_id] => 70130 [review_video] =>

With so many different film stocks, material that spans many decades, and a combination of color, black-and-white, film, and television footage, crafting a seamless transfer would appear to be almost impossible, and yet Criterion has fashioned a superb rendering that beautifully weaves together all the different elements. The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer remains faithful to its source material, honoring the various grain structures, degrees of clarity, and individual idiosyncrasies to create a cohesive whole. Some sequences are breathtakingly crisp (Bergman's silent, Technicolor screen test for David O. Selznick is jaw-droppingly gorgeous), while others flaunt an antiquated charm that heightens the film's warmth and sense of nostalgia. Home movies are often difficult to reproduce, but the 8mm and 16mm footage looks surprisingly detailed and vibrant (thanks to new 4K and 2K scans), allowing us to fully absorb intimate family moments. The contemporary interviews look natural and unpretentious, and the various visual effects Björkman often employs lend the image a striking edginess that keeps the film fresh and vital. No nicks or scratches dot the print (unless they already exist on vintage clips), and no digital anomalies could be detected. An actress as ravishing as Bergman deserves a top-flight transfer to properly reflect her beauty, and thankfully Criterion gives us just that.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70131 [review_audio] =>

The multi-lingual DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track features narration in Swedish by Alicia Vikander and some comments in French and Italian from Bergman and her children, but most of the interviews and film clips are in English. From start to finish, the sound is clear and perfectly modulated, with no level changes occurring during source material shifts. Surround activity is limited to the scoring, which is distinguished by fine fidelty and tonal depth, and a wide dynamic scale allows it plenty of room to breathe. All the interview remarks, film clips, and narration are easy to comprehend, even though some of the vintage material sounds a bit rough and shrill. Once again, the sheer volume of old and new audio sources makes creating a balanced mix a challenge, but this track manages them all  and serves them all quite well.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70132 [review_supplements] =>

Several supplements enhance our enjoyment of this stellar documentary,

  • Interview with Stig Björkman (HD, 19 minutes) - In this engaging and informative interview, the director of 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' chronicles the production of the film, beginning with the meeting with Isabella Rossellini that inspired it and continuing through the challenges of organizing Bergman's diaries, letters, and home movies, devising the narrative structure, and selecting actress Alicia Vikander to supply the narration. Björkman states this was a project "based on trust," and that Bergman's children did not have approval rights on the final cut. He also discusses his cinematic style and how his view of Bergman changed while he was making the documentary.

  • Home Movies (HD, 7 minutes) - Much of this reel of intimate footage supplied by Bergman's daughter Pia Lindström is used in the film, but a few extra bits are included, most notably shots of director Alfred Hitchcock carving meat at a barbecue at his home.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 12 minutes) - Two excised sequences are included. The first shows Bergman's three daughters (Pia Lindström and Isabella and Ingrid Rossellini) reading a surprisingly prescient essay their mother wrote when she was just 16 called "How I Would Raise My Daughter," while the second features film historian Rosario Tronnolone, owner of the world's largest private collection of Bergman material. Tronnolone shows off the church where Bergman and Rossellini were married, compares and contrasts photographs of Bergman by such esteemed photographers as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Lord Snowden, and talks about Bergman's affinity with a "flyttfagel" (a migrating bird) and how it represents her spirit.

  • Extended Scenes (HD, 20 minutes) - Two extended sequences are included. The first features comments from Sigourney Weaver, Isabella Rossellini, and Liv Ullmann that address Bergman's brutal honesty, creative personality, the devotion of her friends, and how Rossellini feels as she watches her mother on film. The second expands on interviews with the three Rossellini children, in which they cite their mother's charm, quiet courage, shyness, and risk taking. Ingrid Rossellini also shares a delightful anecdote that provides a glimpse of Bergman as a frazzled grandmother.

  • Vintage Film Clip (HD, 1 minute) - This rare snippet shows Bergman in her first film, 'Landskamp,' in which she briefly appeared as an extra.

  • Vintage Outtakes (HD, 4 minutes) - Six takes of sections of a scene from the 1936 Swedish film 'On the Sunny Side' show a young, fresh-faced Bergman at work with co-star Lars Hanson.

  • Music Video (HD, 5 minutes) - Swedish singer Eva Dahlgren performs 'The Movie About Us,' which can be heard over the film's end credits. Sadly, there are no references to or clips of Bergman in the video.

  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 minutes) - The movie's original preview, packed with images of Bergman (of course!), completes the extras package.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70133 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Few documentaries of classic stars provide a more intimate perspective than Stig Björkman's 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words,' which may be why this engrossing chronicle of one of the world's most talented and beautiful actresses resonates so strongly. Culled from marvelous home movies, extensive diary entries, scads of personal letters, and clips from Bergman interviews over the years, this comprehensive profile allows us to see the woman behind the famous roles and better understand her driving ambition and controversial choices. Revealing interviews with all four of Bergman's children enhance this portrait, which brims with artistry and warmth. Criterion's Blu-ray presentation features top-notch video and audio transfers, as well as several excellent supplements. If you're a Bergman fan, this is a must-own release, but any film aficionado will be captivated by this frank yet reverent documentary. Highly recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145923 ) ) [18] => Array ( [review_id] => 33893 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => lamogliepiubellaakathemostbeautifulwife [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => La Moglie Piu’ Bella (aka The Most Beautiful Wife) [picture_created] => 1473714048 [picture_name] => La_Moglie_Più_Bella_Front_Cover.png [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/12/120/La_Moglie_Più_Bella_Front_Cover.png [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33893/lamogliepiubellaakathemostbeautifulwife.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1970 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units [1] => Isolated Score Track [2] => Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond [3] => Introduction by Director Damiano Damiani [4] => Original Theatrical Trailer ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 [1] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English Subtitles ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison, he advises Vito, a young man who's his potential successor, to marry a virtuous and poor woman. Vito's eye settles on Francesca, only 15, but lovely and self-possessed. Among her virtues are high self worth and forthright speech, so although she falls in love with Vito, she won't bow down to him. Believing he's losing face, he has his boys kidnap her and he rapes her. Then, he tells her he'll still marry her. Instead, she files charges. Her parents, brother, and neighbors refuse to support her. Will she break? Will Vito continue his assaults?

[review_supplements] =>
  • Isolated Score Track
  • Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond
  • Introduction by Director Damiano Damiani
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [19] => Array ( [review_id] => 33889 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ladyincement [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Lady in Cement [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33889/ladyincement.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1968 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Mystery ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Gordon Douglas ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Private eye Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) investigates the case of a woman found drowned off Miami Beach.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [20] => Array ( [review_id] => 33063 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => lakenowhere [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Lake Nowhere [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Brink [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33063/lakenowhere.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [run_time] => 52 [list_price] => 24.95 [asin] => 01EG1R9F2 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Oscar Allen ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

From the vaults of the golden age of slasher films comes LAKE NOWHERE, a raucous, bloody romp which resurrects the thrill of gory midnight movies for an hour-long plunge into the depths of horror. Inspired by the dusty days of VHS, LAKE NOWHERE is preceded by original trailers & commercials, replicating the experience of watching a long lost bootleg tape. When a group of friends arrive at a desolate lakeside cabin, they are stalked and murdered by a Masked Maniac, whose lust for blood transcends our world. This age-old tale of senseless slaughter quickly spirals into the realm of supernatural horror and classic monster movies, as we learn the true power that lies within LAKE NOWHERE

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [21] => Array ( [review_id] => 35648 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => maninthewilderness [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Man in the Wilderness [picture_created] => 1467739104 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Man_in_the_Wilderness_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Archive [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/05/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Man_in_the_Wilderness_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35648/maninthewilderness.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1971 [run_time] => 104 [list_price] => 21.99 [asin] => B01HQH1X3M [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Harris; John Huston; John Bindon; Ben Carruthers; Henry Wilcoxon; James Doohan ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard C. Sarafian ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [22] => Array ( [review_id] => 34289 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => microwavemassacre [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Microwave Massacre [picture_created] => 1464674479 [picture_name] => microwave.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/microwave.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34289/microwavemassacre.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1983 [run_time] => 76 [list_price] => 34.95 [asin] => B01FEE1XC0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.37:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English Mono LPCM ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler moderated by Mike Tristano [1] => Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein [2] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork to be revealed ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jackie Vernon, Loren Schein, Al Troupe ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Wayne Berwick ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

THEY CAME FOR DINNER...TO FIND THEY WERE IT!!

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon (the voice of Frosty The Snowman from the beloved animated Rankin / Bass classic animated holiday special) as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life his nagging wife and his lack of tasty meals when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he s got a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying...

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from lead Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as I m so hungry I could eat a whore . Vegetarians need not apply!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [23] => Array ( [review_id] => 35710 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => mikenicholsamericanmasters [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Mike Nichols: American Masters [picture_created] => 1467839275 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Mike_Nichols-_American_Masters_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/06/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Mike_Nichols-_American_Masters_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35710/mikenicholsamericanmasters.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 53 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01HSDSNAA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bob Balaban, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Elaine May ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Mike Nichols: American Masters

American Masters: Season 30, Episode 1
The life and 50th-year of director Mike Nichols, one of only two people who have won Peabody, Emmy,Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

Blu-ray features exclusive interviews with Bob Balaban, James L. Brooks, Robert Osborne and Tommy Tune along with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [24] => Array ( [review_id] => 32756 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => onceuponatimethecompletefifthseason [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season [picture_created] => 1463410920 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Disney/Buena Vista [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/16/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32756/onceuponatimethecompletefifthseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B01E7XSXJK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 5-Disc Set ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Fantasy, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, Jamie Dornan, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Jared S. Gilmore ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Emma Swan gets the surprise of her life when Henry, the son she gave up 10 years ago, arrives on her doorstep. Returning the boy to his adoptive mother becomes complicated when Henry reveals a stunning theory to Emma. Everyone in Storybrooke, Maine is a fairytale character under a curse, and Emma - as the long lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming - is the one who can save them all. The story unfolds; interweaving scenes of the drama in the sleepy New England town and the the inhabitants' past lives in the world of fairy tales. The timeless battle of good vs evil is ready to begin again.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [25] => Array ( [review_id] => 34116 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => patchadams [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Patch Adams [picture_created] => 1464198267 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/25/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34116/patchadams.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1998 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G45JA5K [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Director Tom Shadyac [1] => The Medicinal Value of Laughter: Making of Patch Adams [2] => Outtakes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Storyboards ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Robin Williams, Daniel London, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Monica Potter, Frances Lee McCain, Irma P. Hall ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Shadyac ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Meet Patch Adams, a doctor who doesn't look, act or think like any doctor you've met before. For Patch, humor is the best medicine, and he's willing to do just about anything to make his patients laugh - even if it means risking his own career. Based on a true story, Patch Adams combines side splitting humor with an inspiring story that transcends the traditional comedy.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [26] => Array ( [review_id] => 36890 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => punchline [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Punch Line [picture_created] => 1470685810 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Punch_Line_1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Section 23 [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Punch_Line_1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36890/punchline.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 59.98 [asin] => B01EP1NVXW [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [27] => Array ( [review_id] => 34532 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => raidersthestoryofthegreatestfanfilmevermade [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made [picture_created] => 1472765316 [picture_name] => raiders_blu-ray.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Drafthouse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/01/120/raiders_blu-ray.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34532/raidersthestoryofthegreatestfanfilmevermade.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 106 [list_price] => 34.95 [asin] => B01EG1R9IO [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layered Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layered Disc [2] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English LPCM 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentaries [1] => Featurette [2] => Outtakes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Trailers [5] => Booklet [6] => Digital Copy ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Adventure, Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ernest Cline, James Donald, Rob Fuller, Chris Gore, Jayson Lamb, Karl Preusser ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The true, decades-spanning tale of the greatest fan film ever made. After Steven Spielberg's classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film. They finished every scene...except one; the film's explosive airplane set piece. Over two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece. Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders! is the story of the project's culmination, chronicling the friends' dedication to their artistic vision--mixed in with some movie magic--to create the greatest fan film ever made.

[review_movie] =>

In the summer of 1982, three middle-school boys joined forces to do a shot-for-shot remake of their favorite movie, Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' They all saw the movie separately the year prior, and the three boys weren't friends yet, but their love of the now dearly beloved action adventure classic is what ultimately brought them together, along with a passion to celebrate its impact on their lives. What they didn't anticipate was the amount time, work, and planning that goes into a big budget studio movie, turning what was initially meant as a summer project into an 7-year journey where each summer, holiday break and weekly allowance was dedicated to accomplishing this amatuer production. And like a real production, the kids shot scenes out of sequence over the course of those years, so they appear at different ages throughout the finished product, making it all the more humorous while attesting to their dedication. The end result, however, is a faithful adaptation of the Spielberg-Lucas collaboration that's as shockingly entertaining as the very film it celebrates and imitates.

Aside from its amatuer failings and laughably limited resources — much of it was shot in one of the kid's mother's basement, in their backyards and throughout their hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi — the one arguable drawback is that the kids didn't finish their version of their favorite movie of all time. Due to expense and the obvious dangers, they never shot one final sequence, the one with Jones in a fistfight while a Nazi plane rolls in circles. 'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' is the story not only about the making of that movie, but also about them reuniting after 25 years to finally make their dreams come true after a Kickstarter campaign raised the necessary funds for completing the missing scene. The folks behind the documentary, Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, are budding filmmakers themselves, so they treat their subject matter with a kind of admiration and a recognizable sense of understanding. This 106-minute look at a shoestring passion project is not meant for audiences to point and laugh at or be witness to the failure of these now grown men. 

Rather, this is a making-of documentary that holds in awe the men's level of dedication and their unabashed adoration of cinema. It's an inspiring and surprisingly touching look at how movies affect our lives, capturing our imagination in such a way as to become a big part of our childhood while also serving as a source of escapism. Eric Zala is the movie's storyboard artist and director, igniting in him to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. And making this movie helped him through his parent's divorce, which sadly seems like a common theme for many of the boys involved. Serving as cinematographer, editor and special effects artist, Jayson Lamb is the most eccentric personality of the bunch, and the production allowed him to explore his imagination and quirky creativity — the only person with the right idea for turning the final airplane sequence a reality without the danger. Arguably, the most obsessed with the original 'Raiders' is Chris Strompolos, who played Indy in the adaptation. He's an enthusiastic and humbly upbeat guy with the most tragically moving backstory of all, which I won't spoil here. But he provides the emotional core of the documentary and serves as its recurring central theme.

As movie lovers, we express that love of cinema in a variety of ways, from the casual viewer with a small cluster of features deemed important favorites to the ardently devoted collector of memorabilia and an imposing collection of films on various home video formats. Some pursue impassioned careers in the industry while others are content with simply talking and writing cinema, like yours truly. And so, while we all fall somewhere within those ranges, the one thing uniting us is that love and when thinking on our childhoods, no matter how varied and different, certain movies have latched themselves to many of those memories. 'Raiders!' perfectly captures that love affair in a way that few documentaries have done before, by following a group of people who don't feel as though they missed out on their childhood. Instead, they filmed it. Their passion speaks to the film geeks and cinephiles in all of us, which is proven by the faithful adaptation being accidentally discovered decades later by Eli Roth and shown at Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-a-Thon film festival where it was met with cheering applause by like-minded folks. It's a story as equally interesting and inspiring as the making of the greatest fan film ever made.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Drafthouse Films brings 'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a code for a digital copy and a 16-page booklet with reprints of the original storyboard artwork. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits comfortably atop a DVD9 copy on the same panel, and both are housed in a clear keepcase with reversible cover art. At startup, viewers are taken straight to a menu screen with full-motion clips and music playing in the background. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 70320 [review_video] =>

The would-be filmmakers raid Blu-ray with a great-looking 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode although the documentary is largely made of stock footage of the period, behind-the-scenes footage from the production and badly aged VHS video of the movie. Other sources include clips of classic movies such as the original 'Raiders' and a collection of personal photos, but the film proper and the series of interviews look best and serve as reminders that viewers are in fact watching in HD. As would be expected, the footage presents a variety of compression artifacts and video anomalies, so properly gauging the overall quality is somewhat of a challenge. 

All things considered, however, and with consideration to the majority of the material, I'm pleased to report the doc actually looks great with much to enjoy. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the presentation displays a crisp and well-balanced contrast. Clean, bright whites fill the frame while the screen shows a variety of sharp details in the photography. Fine lines and objects are fairly distinct and nicely defined, depending on the quality of the film, but understandably, the older footage is softer with lots of visible damage, ranging from macroblocking and rainbow artifacting to aliasing and compression issues. The same goes for the colors seen throughout where sometimes they appear faded and worn while at other times, primaries are bold and accurately rendered. Strong black levels are the most consistent aspect of the documentary with good delineation in the darker portions. All in all, the presentation comes with much to enjoy and easily forgiven for the quality of older footage.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70321 [review_audio] =>

Accompanying the revelry and hardcore movie fanaticism is this surprisingly good and engaging DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. It won't likely have viewers cheering in their seats or will ever be nominated for demoing one's sound system, but it's enjoyable and complements the documentary well.

Although the track is unsurprisingly of the front-heavy variety, meant to focus audience attention on the interviews and the personal lives of the participants, a few effects sneak into the rear speakers with good directionality and panning. The most impressive moments are the behind-the scenes footage of the exploding airplane sequence being interrupted by thunder showers. The crackling roar of thunder resonates into the sides and overhead with the upmixing function of the receiver turned on while falling rain comes sprinkling all around. The musical score does the majority of the work, spreading across the screen with superb clarity and lightly bleeding into the surrounds to create a satisfying soundfield. Displaying excellent balance between the channels in the fronts, imaging feels expansive with detailed definition in the mid-range and well-prioritized vocals in the center. Low bass doesn't leave much of an impression, but it's hearty and impactful when used during certain scenes and for the music. Otherwise, this lossless mix is in great shape for a documentary about going big with childhood dreams.

The DTS-HD track is also accompanied by an equally strong uncompressed PCM stereo track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70322 [review_supplements] =>
  • Audio Commentaries — The first commentary track has the directors Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon explaining much of their approach to the project, some of the behind-the-scenes decision making and some of the information which sadly didn't make the final cut. It's an amusing and informative conversation which listeners should find quite enjoyable. The second commentary features budding filmmakers Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos enthusiastically talking about their film, but interestingly, also giving their thoughts of the documentary itself. It also makes for a great listen because the two childhood friends share a variety of memories, their appreciation for the doc and love of cinema in general.
  • Q&A from Alamo Drafthouse Premiere (HD in 720p, 41 min) — A recording a panel discussion after the premiere of the adaptation at the Alamo Drafthouse on 31 May 2003. Of most interest is seeing Zala, Strompolos and Lamb soak in all the attention before deciding to shoot the final sequence.
  • Outtakes (1080i/60, 20 min) — A great assortment of BTS footage of the adaptation, not the documentary, showing the amount of fun the kids had while making their shoestring production.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 32 min) — Various sequences from the documentary which didn't make the final cut.
  • Trailers (HD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70323 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' tells the story of a childhood dream of three passionate movie lovers that spanned over seven summers but still took 30 years to finally complete. The documentary by Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon captures the love of cinema we all share in a way few films ever can and speaks to the hearts of film geeks and cinephiles everywhere. And it shouldn't be missed. The Blu-ray arrives with a great-looking video but some consideration should be given to the quality and condition of some of the more badly-aged footage. The audio presentation is equally strong with a couple impressive moments and a good selection of supplements, making the overall package is recommended for film lovers. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 3.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 3 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145949 ) ) [28] => Array ( [review_id] => 36881 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => sailormooncrystalset1standard [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Sailor Moon "Crystal" Set 1 [picture_created] => 1470685056 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Standard_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Viz Media [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Standard_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36881/sailormooncrystalset1standard.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 69.98 [asin] => B0186O8R4C [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 4-Disc Blu-ray Set ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

"Usagi Tsukino is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she's also one spirited eighth grader. One day she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her forehead, and transforms into the pretty guardian of love and justice in a sailor suit, Sailor Moon! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi apparently has a mission to protect a princess, and to find her fellow Guardians and the phantom Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom sends her subordinates to the town where Usagi lives. They cause strange events to occur there, all in an effort to acquire the tremendously powerful Silver Crystal... Can Sailor Moon and the other Guardians successfully find the phantom crystal, and protect the princess...!? "

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [29] => Array ( [review_id] => 36884 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => sailormooncrystalset1limitededition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Sailor Moon "Crystal" Set 1: Limited Edition [picture_created] => 1470685305 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Limited_Edition_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Viz Media [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Limited_Edition_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36884/sailormooncrystalset1limitededition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 322 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B0186O8R1U [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 4-Disc Blu-ray Set ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

"Usagi Tsukino is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she's also one spirited eighth grader. One day she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her forehead, and transforms into the pretty guardian of love and justice in a sailor suit, Sailor Moon! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi apparently has a mission to protect a princess, and to find her fellow Guardians and the phantom Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom sends her subordinates to the town where Usagi lives. They cause strange events to occur there, all in an effort to acquire the tremendously powerful Silver Crystal... Can Sailor Moon and the other Guardians successfully find the phantom crystal, and protect the princess...!? "

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [30] => Array ( [review_id] => 34242 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => saved [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Saved! [picture_created] => 1464449778 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Saved!_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Saved!_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34242/saved.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2004 [run_time] => 92 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MJEHI [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [31] => Array ( [review_id] => 3672 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => session9 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Session 9 [picture_created] => 1462460073 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Scream Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/05/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3672/session9.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2001 [run_time] => 100 [list_price] => 27.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOG2 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => NEW Return To Danvers: The Secrets Of SESSION 9 Featuring Interviews With Director/Co-writer Brad Anderson, Actor/Co-writer Stephen Gevedon, Actors Josh Lucas, Brendan Sexton III, Larry Fessenden, Composers The Climax Golden Twins And Director Of Photography Uta Briesewitz [1] => NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations of The Film [2] => Audio Commentary With Brad Anderson And Stephen Gevedon [3] => Deleted Scenes And Alternate Ending With Optional Commentary By Director Brad Anderson [4] => Story To Screen Featurette [5] => The Haunted Palace Featurette [6] => Theatrical Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, David Caruso ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Brad Anderson ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

It looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing... abandoned and deteriorating, the Danvers State Mental Hospital, closed down for 15 years is about to receive 5 new visitors. Donning protective gear, the men of the Hazmat Elimination Co. venture into the eerily vast and vacant asylum that is filled with an evil and mysterious past. Rampant patient abuse, medieval medical procedure and rumors of demonic possession are some of the many dark secrets the hospital holds - but then so do each of the men.

[review_movie] =>

Atmosphere, mood, location, can often trump all other essential elements when it comes to crafting an effective and unnerving thriller. These elements can even outweigh the importance of clean, well-drawn characters played by talented actors. While having these characters is absolutely essential, that sustained sense of ambiance and dread can make or break the final product. Such is the case with Writer and Director Brad Anderson's breakout independent horror/thriller 'Session 9.' While the film features a talented cast of actors such as David Caruso, Josh Lucas, Peter Mullan, and Stephen Gevedon, it's the film's location of an actual dilapidated former asylum that carries the film, drives the story forward, and builds the constant sense of dread and paranoia.

It was supposed to be a simple job. Get in there, strip out the asbestos, make a quick bonus check, and then go home happy and a few thousand dollars richer. For Gordon (Peter Mullan), his partner Phil (David Caruso), and his asbestos abatement crew Mike (Stephen Gevedon), Jeff (Brendan Sexton III) and Hank (Josh Lucas), that's what cleaning out the old Danvers state asylum should have been. But the stakes are high. As Gordon is a new father, he's also facing the collapse of his business as he has a harder and harder time outbidding the competition. In order to secure the gig from the property manager Griggs (Paul Guilfoyle), Gordon has to cut a lot of corners. A job that should be done in at least three weeks, no less than two, must now be done in one week. However, if everyone comes together, busts their backsides and gets the work done, they get to split a $10,000 bonus. That should be the motivation to ensure the job gets done right.

As the crew gets down to work, problems start to arise. Internal personal difficulties start to dominate the work as does the creepy and unsettling location. The asylum's sordid history comes to light when the crew discovers old audio recordings of a patient named Mary Hobbes. When the recordings reveal an assortment of personalities contained within one woman, the crew start to experience strange things. With the pressure on, with Gordon's stress at its peak, tools, personal effects, and members of the crew start to go missing, it's clear to the men that the asylum holds deeper and darker secrets than the ones reported in the media or recorded on those eerie tapes. 

Session 9

'Session 9' is a study in dark, disturbing, and methodical independent horror cinema. Rather than cow-tailing to modern conventions of quick splatter gore and parody, the film takes its time to build dread. Characters are slowly introduced one by one. We get the time necessary to learn who each man is, what their personal needs are, and how the stakes of their work conditions affect them. We get it that Gordon has a new kid and a family to feed on top of running a business. We know Phil needs job security but doesn't want to risk job safety. We learn pretty quickly that Hank hates his work and has an exit plan. It's obvious Jeff is there for a quick buck and nothing else. We know that Mike is smarter and better than the work he's doing and probably shouldn't even be there. While any number of modern horror thrillers would trade this time of slow and proper character development for in your face gore, 'Session 9' does things right and gives the audience time to care about the people they're going to watch for the next 100 minutes. On top of showcasing the characters, 'Session 9' is also introducing the audience to the asylum allowing the creepy dilapidated building to become a unique character unto itself.

'Session 9' popped on my radar as an underground video hit way back when it was released in 2001. While it enjoyed a small theatrical run, it didn't make its mark until it hit DVD. It's odd to look back at only 15 years ago as a long time, but it really is. At that time, DVD was a booming home video format. If a film didn't make the bucks in theaters, it could still be counted on turning some sort of a profit on disc through rentals or sales. A random rental was how I stumbled my way towards discovering this unnerving flick. I didn't know what I was going to get, I just read the description on the back and thought it could be cool. I didn't expect to see a movie that depicted a genuinely disturbing descent into madness. It didn't help that I watched this alone in my dorm room late at night with the lights off. That was a big mistake then, and it remains a big mistake to this day. Even going into this review knowing the twists and turns and what to expect when and where I was glad to see the film maintains this ominous sense of dread and suspense all these years later. I expected this recent viewing to betray some sort of script issue or plot device that destroys the film, but it doesn't exist. Brad Anderson's smart direction and his script cowritten by Stephen Gevedon holds up under scrutiny. I wouldn't call it a perfect film by any means, but I do consider it a smart and creative flick that used its meager means and established locations incredibly effectively. If you've never seen 'Session 9,' you owe it to yourself to give the flick a look - especially with the lights out!  

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Session 9' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory. Pressed onto a Region A BD50 disc, the disc comes housed in a standard Blu-ray case. The film opens to the traditional Scream Factory logo into before arriving at a static image main menu with some incredibly creepy music from the film playing in the background. The menu features traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 69387 [review_video] =>

As one of the first theatrically released films shot using Sony's then state-of-the-art 24p HD digital cameras, 'Session 9' features a 2.35:1 1080p transfer that should be considered "about as good as it can get." This digitally sourced image is a showcase of technological limitations of HD cinematography before it was as readily used as it is today. While the image showcases some great clarity, fantastic depth, sharp details, radiant colors, and some solid black levels, it also comes prepackaged with all of the unfortunate "video" side effects. Motion blur, some aliasing, slight banding, and fluctuating brightness levels creep up from time to time. One can't really call this a fault in the Blu-ray transfer because this film has always looked this way. While some may not enjoy the "video" look of the film, it adds a documentary sort of vibe to the film. The HD video camera also allowed the filmmakers to shoot using natural light making the mood of the film that much creepier when you can tell that during certain scenes only a flashlight was used to light a dark and creepy corridor with something - or someone - lurking in the distance. To that effect, this transfer is likely the best this movie will ever look on home video and by doing some quick comparisons is leaps and bounds better than its DVD counterpart. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69386 [review_audio] =>

With an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track, 'Session 9' maintains a disturbing and unsettling auditory presence. I was actually surprised that this film wasn't given a full 5.1 upgrade as so often happens, but was glad to see that this film really doesn't need a 5.1 track to work. The film keeps dialogue at the forefront and is clearly heard while allowing echoes and airy atmospherics to control the scene. Scoring by Climax Golden Twins also keeps the track lively and effective without dominating the scene. Imaging is effective with the stereo channels providing the right amount of subtle movement to keep that sense of dread working. Levels are also set just right so you shouldn't need to ever adjust the volume once you've got it set at a comfortable level. That said, I recommend you keep the volume up for this one - just so you soak in all of the disturbing and ominous tones. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69385 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Director/Co-Writer Brad Johnson with Actor/Co-Writer Stephen Gevedon provide a fantastic commentary track that covers all aspects of production. A great listen.

Return to Danvers: The secrets of 'Session 9': (HD 48:57) This is an exhaustive and fascinating series of interviews with cast and crew. While all of the basics of story genesis, scripting, shooting on location are covered, it's really interesting to hear them talk about shooting under such creepy conditions and they managed to create a big looking film on a very small budget. 

Horror's Hallowed Grounds: (HD 20:13) Fans of the series will be more than happy to see the old Danvers insane asylum explored by Sean Clark. It's also rather unsettling to learn the old asylum is now "luxury" apartments. Who in their right mind would want to live in that place willingly and pay to be there?

Deleted Scenes/Alternate Ending: (SD 9:40) This covers an interesting but understandably deleted subplot. The material is great stuff and it would have been cool to see it reinserted back in the film in some way as an alternate cut. 

Story to Screen: (HD 10:01) This is a quick and cool look at behind the scenes shooting and how the final film looked coupled with storyboards. 

The Haunted Palace: (SD 12:54) This is a vintage behind the scenes bonus feature that looks closer at the history of the Danvers State Hospital location. 

Theatrical Trailer: (SD 1:53)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69384 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69382 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

I hadn't seen 'Session 9' in over a decade. It was a movie I saw late at night in college and it freaked me out in ways few movies can. I'm happy to see that the film still holds up all of these years later. It was a movie that had stuck with me and seeing it again after so long only reaffirmed my belief that Brad Anderson and his talented cast and crew managed to create one of the most unsettling and disturbing movies of the early 2000's - if not that entire decade. When horror was content being a goofy gory parody, 'Session 9' had real guts and teeth to it. Scream Factory has brought the film to Blu-ray with an A/V presentation that is pretty fantastic considering the original digital source. In addition to the original extra features from the DVD being ported over, some new interviews and behind the scenes material round out an excellent bonus features package. If you're a fan of 'Session 9' or even if you're new to the flick, consider this Blu-ray release highly recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 3.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145609 ) ) [32] => Array ( [review_id] => 34262 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => tellmethatyoulovemejuniemoon [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon [picture_created] => 1464564140 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Tell_Me_That_You_Love_Me,_Junie_Moon_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/29/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Tell_Me_That_You_Love_Me,_Junie_Moon_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34262/tellmethatyoulovemejuniemoon.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1970 [run_time] => 113 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G8S09YO [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [33] => Array ( [review_id] => 3463 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => burbs [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The 'Burbs [picture_created] => 1463773117 [picture_name] => Burbs.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Burbs.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3463/burbs.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [run_time] => 102 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8S23JS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc [1] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Alternate Ending [1] => Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Carrie Fisher ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Joe Dante ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Tom Hanks portrays suburbanite Ray Peterson, whose plans for a peaceful vacation are disturbed by a creepy new family on the block, in this outrageous suspense-comedy.

To the disappointment of his wife Carol, Ray decides to spend a relaxing week at home, and soon gets into trouble with his neighbors-a hefty busybody, a freaked-out ex-soldier, and a spacey teenager - as they observe the strange happenings next door at the Klopek's bizarre residence.

When the neighborhood grouch suddenly disappears, the men are convinced the ramshackle house hides some hideous clues. Armed with assault rifles, high-powered binoculars and a shovel, they decide to see for themselves exactly what is going on in the Kloped place. Set in an average neighborhood that is anything but average, THE 'BURBS blends slapstick comedy and spine-thrilling mystery with the type of witty humor that has made Tom Hanks one of today's most popular stars.  Save save

[review_movie] =>

Suburbia is under attack by a shadowy, seditious presence threatening the status quo in Joe Dante's hilarious cult classic The 'Burbs, and it's up to the private citizens of an idyllic middle-class neighborhood to protect it. However, the threat isn't from a foreign power immediately forcing its oppressive rule via a violent overthrow, a popular thematic device and motif that infiltrated many action flicks of the 1980s (Red Dawn). Instead, it springs forth from the paranoia and suspicion growing within the unrestrained imagination of the bored, purposeless residents of a quiet, perfectly manicured cul-de-sac. It's a fun twist to a prevalent theme that digs to a very real, commonplace sentiment about foreignness that understandably grew from Cold War tensions, a satirical allegory that draws battle lines right at the heart of the problem itself: a misunderstanding of those perceived as different, strange and other. Of course, by film's end, the bad vibes coming from an unusually creepy family are ultimately warranted, which is only in paying service to the film's horror elements while giving audiences one final ironic gag, but the central idea remains intact.

Working from a script by Dana Olsen (Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Inspector Gadget, George of the Jungle), Dante doesn't shy away from this fact and practically goes out of his way to make the point clear as day, virtually ensuring audiences wouldn't mistake his film for anything other than what it is. After opening with the Universal Studios logo of a turning world, the globe conveniently slows on North America, and the camera quickly zooms down the center before settling on the quiet, innocent neighborhood of Anywhere, U.S.A. It's an intentionally clichéd image of suburbia that suspiciously looks a lot like the street where The Munsters once resided and vampire Jerry terrorized horror-hound Charley in Fright Night, which in actuality is not the same set or location but only reflects back to the homogeneous, nondescript quality of the neighborhood. Dante immediately jumps to the plot's creepy aspect with everyman Tom Hanks as Ray Peterson, an average, blue-collar Joe wanting to spend his vacation at home with family, literally crossing into the unknown on a dark, windy night when next door neighbors make a loud ruckus.

The next morning, we wake to more suburban truisms of a rude paperboy on a bike carelessly chucking newspapers while introducing the rest of the cast, starting with the curiously keen-eyed and hormonal teen Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman), who serves as our chorus-like observer and quasi-commentator. A very funny Rick Ducommun also stars as Ray's best friend Art, whose endless meddling in other's lives, as shown during breakfast when eating Carrie Fisher's cooking without so much as a please or a thank you, is the result of the apathy and monotony in his own life. Across the street, an equally hilarious Bruce Dern plays veteran Mark Rumsfield, a gung-ho patriot always itching for some action and finds it in his neighborly war with the old, prickly Walter (Gale Gordon) and his pesky dog. One of the production's more amusing aspects is showing Ray, Art and Mark's unwarranted mistrust of the one weird, spooky house with the unwatered lawn and dilapidated air as ultimately nothing more than a little boy's game, one that apparently goes too far and in need of Fisher's mediating, basically putting Hanks in a timeout.

The wickedly clever and delightfully charming black comedy romp toys with Cold War notions in the eccentric Klopek family, an uncommonly foreign name that suspiciously sounds Eastern European. Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore and Courtney Gains are terrific in their roles, raising our own suspicions of them while still managing to carry a macabre, eerie air about them with Gibson doing marvelous as the mad scientist type and Theodore just being all around hair-raising menace. Working carefully with cinematographer Robert M. Stevens, Dante displays a talent for balancing horror with comedy, which was first seen in Gremlins and most recently in Burying the Ex, without one overwhelming the other and maintaining an engaging story to the very end. During its original 1989 theatrical run, those tensions that influenced much of the plot were already starting to wane and the film was a moderate critical and box-office success. Over the decades, however, The 'Burbs has garnered a strong following amongst those who better appreciate its satirical take on suburbanites, making it a beloved cult classic.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings The 'Burbs to Blu-ray on a Region A locked, BD50 disc housed inside a blue, eco-elite keepcase. At startup, viewers are taken straight into the movie without previews or menu screen, but the usual set of options can be accessed through the pop-up menu.

[review_video_picture_id] => 67439 [review_video] =>

Paranoia terrorizes suburbia with a nice and mostly satisfying 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that easily beats previous home video editions and makes this a clear winner. The best moments are without a doubt daylight sequences, showing that the cult dark comedy might have been remastered or more likely borrowed from last year's UK Steelbook release by Arrow Video since it appears quite similar.

Whatever the case may be, the presentation displays well-balanced, spot-on contrast and crisp, bright whites throughout, giving the movie a rejuvenated, youthful glow that almost seems as though it were made recently. Black levels are strong and accurate with deep penetrating shadows and very good gradational differences between the various shades that never obscure the smallest object in the distance, even at night and during poorly-lit scenes. Adding to the reinvigorating look of the movie, colors are full-bodied and vivid with richly-saturated primaries that pop off the screen while flesh tones appear healthy and revealing. Awash with a very fine layer of natural grain that is more prominent during darker sequences, which is to be expected, the 1.85:1 image comes with sharp definition and fantastic clarity of the smallest details in the clothing, houses and the whole neighborhood in general.

To be fair, the presentation comes with its share of poorly resolved sequences and a few blurrier moments, which appear related to the condition and age of the source, but overall, the movie has never looked better and fans will be more than happy with the outcome.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 67440 [review_audio] =>

The archetypal cul-de-sac spiral into manic hysteria thanks to an equally awesome DTS-HD MA stereo soundtrack that also puts previous releases to shame.

Imaging is terrifically engaging almost right from the start and continuously active, creating a spaciously wide and expansive soundstage. The lossless mix also exhibits excellent differentiation between the loudest and quietest moments, maintaining outstanding clarity in the higher frequencies while still delivering warmth and richness in the mids. Various noises and the subtle ambient sounds of the neighborhood are spread across the entire screen with convincing effectiveness and fluid, flawless panning. Vocals are distinct and precise in the center, allowing for the Klopeks's Eastern European accents to come through with believable variation. The low-end is impressively ample and responsive, providing the high-rez track with a terrific weighty presence.

Best of all, the design lends itself marvelously to the receiver's upmixing function, expanding the soundfield with several amusing atmospheric effects spreading into the rears. The score benefits most from the upgrade, filling the screen with music that bleeds into the front height channels with discrete clarity in the instrumentation and superb separation within the mid-range.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 67441 [review_supplements] =>

Alternate Ending (SD, 7 min): The piece is a different take on Dr. Klopek trying to murder Ray in the ambulance and has him delivering a speech about the reasons for moving to the suburbs.

Trailer (SD).

 

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 67442 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Suburbia is under attack by a shadowy, seditious presence threatening the status quo in Joe Dante's hilarious cult classic The 'Burbs, a satirical allegory on Cold War tensions and a biting cynical look at suburban life. Starring Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Rick Ducommun and Corey Feldman, the film is a fun twist to a prevalent theme that digs to a very real, commonplace sentiment about foreignness and remains just as relevant today as it was nearly thirty years ago. The Blu-ray arrives with an excellent audio and video presentation that will surprise and satisfy fans everywhere, making it the best home edition available. Although criminally jipped in the bonus features department, especially when compared to the UK release by Arrow Video, the overall package for the cult classic is nonetheless worth the price.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 0.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 149934 ) ) [34] => Array ( [review_id] => 33339 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theadventuresofbuckaroobanzaiacrossthe8thdimensioncollectorsedition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: Collector's Edition [picture_created] => 1462244283 [picture_name] => buckaroo.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Shout! Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/02/120/buckaroo.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33339/theadventuresofbuckaroobanzaiacrossthe8thdimensioncollectorsedition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1984 [run_time] => 103 [list_price] => 34.93 [asin] => B01F6EHOFS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layer Disc [2] => Region A Locked ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Documentary [1] => Audio Commentaries [2] => Featurettes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Trailers ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Comedy, Romance ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => W.D. Richter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Brilliant brain surgeon Banzai (Weller) just made scientific history. Shifting his Oscillation Overthruster into warp speed, he's the first man ever to travel to the Eighth Dimension and come back sane! But when his sworn enemy, the demented Dr. Lizardo (Lithgow), devises a plot to steal the Overthruster and bring an evil army of aliens back to destroy Earth, Buckaroo goes cranium to cranium with the madman in an extra-dimensional battle that could result in total annihilation of the universe! Starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Lewis Smith , The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension  has developed a loyal cult following since its release in 1984. 

[review_movie] =>

'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!,' commonly simplified to 'Buckaroo Banzai,' is an odd production that is very much of its time. From start to finish, the movie screams 80s, opening with a yellow text crawl giving unsuspecting viewers background information on the eponymous hero, played memorably by Peter Weller ('RoboCop'). Most hilarious is the clothing — turned collars, vibrant pastel colors, loose neckties accessorized with Members Only jackets — which is wonderfully hip and stylish for the period but conveniently only worn by our protagonist and his riffraff band of assistants/men-at-arms known as the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Of course, Jeff Goldblum's cowboy character named New Jersey stands out with his ten-gallon hat and cow-print chaps, but his fashion faux pas is forgiven because he's the new member. Then, there's the stylized hair, as in Ellen Barkin's Penny Priddy, puffed up by Aqua Net, like Clancy Brown's Rawhide, or simply sporting the permed mullet while rocking the saxophone on stage. 

None of this is meant to disparage the beloved cult classic — it's a treasured favorite of this viewer — but rather to celebrate the cleverness behind its production and Earl Mac Rauch's script. While our versatile hero and his misfits of multidisciplinary experts embody the height of fashion, their rivals , a reptilian bug-like alien race from the mysterious Planet 10, are the polar opposite. Commanded by a wildly over-the-top John Lithgow in an unconventional performance as Dr. Emilio Lizardo, who is possessed by the alien Lord John Whorfin, the creatures called Lectroids dress like grandpa on his way to church — stuffy, plain-colored business suits that lack personality and style. In their human form, they hunt for a strange device called the "oscillation overthruster," their hair puffs in curly tangles, giving actors like Christopher Lloyd (a year before sporting another wacky hairdo) an outlandishly kooky charm. However, Lithgow's cartoonish but genocidal leader, determined to return to home and break his army free from their eighth dimension prison, is a raving lunatic with the hair, outfit and goofy walk to match, making him one of the movie's hilarious highlights. 

This oversimplified method of distinguishing the good guys from the bad — tough, good-looking gents versus the zany, kid-friendly villains with the requisite booing and hissing by the audience — is a product of its time. At the same time, the production, directed by 'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'Home for the Holidays' writer W. D. Richter, is also ahead of its time, going largely unappreciated during its original theatrical run. Similar to what Lucas was doing with his original 'Star Wars' trilogy and Spielberg with the 'Indiana Jones' films, Richter and Rauch were creating their own serial adventure that mixed science fiction, fantasy and comedy into a hodgepodge of absurdity that, according to one interview with Lithgow, would take an hour to explain. Taking inspiration from classic pulp magazines, like Doc Savage, and the days of Saturday afternoon film serials, like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, the gonzo film delights in a screwball atmosphere that never takes itself serious, but wholeheartedly embraces its Bohemian silliness.

Even back when it originally hit theaters in 1984, the quirky 'Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai' came out of left field, a sci-fi comedy with a complicated plot that was somewhat difficult to describe. No one really knew what to do with the idea of alien beings from a distant planet trapped inside a parallel dimension. Part of the movie's lasting admiration comes from how deeply embedded it was to the decade's zeitgeist.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Shout! Factory brings 'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!' to Blu-ray as a two-disc Collector's Edition package under the distributor's Scream Factory line. The Region A locked, BD50 disc is housed inside the normal blue case with a DVD-5 on the opposing panel, brand new reversible cover art and a cardboard slipcover. The DVD only contains all the same special features from MGM's 2002 special edition release while the Blu-ray offers a brand-new set of bonus material.

At startup, the disc goes to a static screen with a menu selection along the bottom and the film's signature theme music playing in the background. Unfortunately, according to the Shout! Factory website, the exclusive, limited edition poster of the newly commissioned artwork has already sold out.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69589 [review_video] =>

Even though he wasn't granted a brand new remaster of the original elements, the source used has aged extraordinarily well, making for a great-looking 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that'll have Buckaroo's loyal followers cheering. 

The video comes with a couple moments of poor resolution and scenes softer than others, but those moments are related to film transitions and edit dissolves, which can be easily forgiven. White specks, light flecks of dirt and very faint vertical lines occasionally rear their ugly head. But again, they are most often linked to those above scenes and all the more evident during special effects sequences and matte painted shots. Speaking of which, Buckaroo's transition into the HD dimension has also made those once-upon-a-time state-of-the-art visual effects pretty obvious and dated, which is a not a mark against our hero and don’t distract from the rest of the presentation. Only, that it's worth mentioning and actually add another level of nostalgic enjoyment. Overall, the transfer shows excellent definition and resolution with an attractive, thing layer of grain, giving it an appreciable film-like quality. Background information is distinct and plainly visible while clothing, buildings and foreground objects are detailed, and facial complexions appear healthy and revealing.

Presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the video displays spot-on contrast with clean, crisp whites throughout, and black levels are accurate  with excellent shadow details. I detected one or two instances of murkiness in the darkest portions of the frame, but on the whole, the picture looks great with good depth. Colors benefit the most, showing a bright, rich palette with lots of vivid primaries, which complements the movie's silly humor. Secondary hues also shower the presentation with a welcomed, rejuvenated glow that make the dated outfits pop and giving the slimy alien reptiles a rust-brown look. In the end, this is the best the cult classic has ever looked on home video.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69590 [review_audio] =>

Per usual, Shout! Factory offers another cherished favorite with two DTS-HD MA options: the first being a surround sound upmix while the second is a stereo track, which is closer to the original design. For the most part, the former makes for a surprisingly good listen, extending various subtle ambient effects to the side speakers effectively. The quirky, offbeat music of Michael Boddicker also bleeds into the surrounds with ease, creating an amusingly engaging soundfield. The mid-range is clean with good clarity between the various frequencies, and vocals are very well-prioritized in the center. Only issue worth noting is that the overall track is at a noticeably lower volume than normal, making things seem oddly thinned out and stretched while also affecting the low bass, which is somewhat lackluster and not very audible. 

The stronger of the two tracks is definitely the stereo lossless mix, which frankly, is always my preferred listening option when it comes to certain movies. Imaging is much fuller and feels more naturally spacious with lots of background activity occupying entire the soundscape. With a balanced channel separation and convincing movement across the screen, dynamic range is also more extensive with detailed clarity during the loudest action sequences. Delivering a great deal of warmth and fidelity throughout, the overall volume is right where it should be while maintaining excellent dialogue reproduction and tonality in each character's unique performance. Boddicker's whimsical and recognizable score spreads across with noteworthy distinction and separation in the orchestration, and a noticeably heftier, more responsive bass provides the entire design and music with better weight and presence.  

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69591 [review_supplements] =>

Disc One

  • Audio Commentaries — Pretending as though hired by the Banzai Institute for this "docu-drama," director W. D. Richter and writer Earl Mac Rauch provide a somewhat dry conversation that still manages to enlighten fans with various production tidbits and technical details. Although there several pockets of silence throughout, the overall chat makes for a nice listen. The second track features production designers Michael and Denise Okuda, who are best known for their work on later 'Star Trek' movies and TV shows. Although they didn't personally participate on this production, the married couple provide this commentary strictly as unabashed fans and narrate the film with lots of anecdotes and amusing trivia about specific details that other fans will surely appreciate.
  • Into the 8th Dimension (HD, 128 min) — Broken into eight individual pieces that can be watched separately or sequentially, the retrospective documentary details the entire production, from conception and casting to its public reception and lasting cult legacy. Comprised mostly of brand-new cast & crew interviews, film clips and production stock photos, each participant talks enthusiastically about their time on the set, sharing various memories and anecdotes suggesting the set was full of fun and humor. Arguably, parts seven and eight are the best because the discussion switches to the film's promotion, the public's reaction and the filmmaker's reaction to it now being a beloved cult classic.

Disc Two

  • Buckaroo Banzai Declassified (SD, 23 min) — Vintage EPK piece with cast & crew interviews discussing the story, characters and the production with a special look at the makeup and visual effects.
  • Alternate Opening (SD, 7 min) — One of several sequences that actually would have explained a great deal about the plot, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as Buckaroo's mom.
  • New Jet Car Trailer (SD, 2 min) — A faux commercial promoting the car featured in the movie.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD)
  • Trailer (SD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69592 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!' is an odd production that is very much of its time. Starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, and Christopher Lloyd, this quirky, offbeat 1984 film is a sci-fi comedy mishmash in the tradition of Saturday afternoon film serials. Though it bombed in theaters, over the decades it has garnered a loyal cult following that now celebrates its absurd sensibilities. The Blu-ray from Shout! Factory comes with an excellent audio and video presentation that easily bests any previous home video editions. Featuring a new set of special features along with the same assortment seen in the 2002 DVD, the overall package is recommended for any fan proud to display it in their cult collection. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 3 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145697 ) ) [35] => Array ( [review_id] => 34307 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theangrybirdsmovie [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Angry Birds Movie [picture_created] => 1471428717 [picture_name] => angry_birds.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Sony [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/17/120/angry_birds.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34307/theangrybirdsmovie.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 97 [list_price] => 38.99 [asin] => B01EK44M64 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-layer Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layer Disc [2] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 [1] => Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [2] => Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1 [3] => French Dolby Digital 5.1 [4] => Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 [5] => Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 [6] => Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 [7] => Vietnamese Dolby Digital 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH [1] => Chinese [2] => French [3] => Indonesian [4] => Korean [5] => Portuguese [6] => Spanish [7] => Thai [8] => Vietnamese ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score [1] => Featurettes [2] => Short Films [3] => Music Video [4] => Deleted Scenes [5] => Photo Gallery [6] => Trailers [7] => Digital Copy ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Animation, Action, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds - or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We're the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to. 

[review_editors_notes] =>

Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of the Ultra HD Blu-ray.

[review_movie] =>

'The Angry Birds Movie' is evidence of how far we've come in the last three decades, that filmmaking has perhaps reached the pinnacle of its technological evolution. Movies based on video games played on traditional consoles seem dime a dozen, but this CG-animated production marks the first full-length adaptation of a smartphone app. Living in an age where handheld devices exist is a marvel in and of itself, little computer apparatuses which have consumed a major part of our existence and have even become like an extension of ourselves — the world's most extensive film library at your fingertips. But possibly even more wondrous, as well as mind-boggling, is the fact that we've reached a milestone when such devices and their programs are now the source of inspiration for major film productions. It's too early to tell what it all entails and the damage, if any, it might have on the future of filmmaking, but if this is any indication of the quality it could give rise to, then the future isn't all that grim. There is definitely room for improvement, but it's a colorfully fun family flick with several shrewd gags just for the parents to delight in.

The game itself doesn't come with much of a plot in the first place, though the storyline is pretty straightforward. A gang of hungry pigs steal eggs from birds, and unsurprisingly, they seek angry revenge for the outrage. Ironically, they invade huffing and puffing to blow the pigs' houses down — or more like, destroy them with their heads and a slingshot. One of the challenges was expanding such a simple story into a more elaborate and involving plot, which I would argue the film mostly definitely does with amusing charm. From a story conjured up by three writers, the script is by Jon Vitti, whose long resume includes various episodes for 'King of the Hill,' 'The Larry Sanders Show' and 'The Simpsons,' including the movie adaptation. And it cutely, as well as smartly, reimagines the original premise as an isolated island inhabited by a variety of exotic birds that can't fly — and oddly, there aren't any chickens, ostriches or penguins in sight. This little tidbit is used as the winsome reason for characters later requiring a slingshot, which was comically introduced by Leonard/King Mudbeard (Bill Hader) and his marauding ship of pigs. 

For those familiar with the game, which I would imagine is many reading this given the app's popularity, the main protagonist is a red cardinal, aptly named Red and voiced by Jason Sudeikis. Feeling a bit too scripted, he is the archetypal antihero with a bad temper, isolated from others and refusing to make friends with anyone. But in a clever twist, the birds of this island are all of the peaceful, non-angry variety taking issue with Red's easily annoyed personality, who's funnily sentenced to anger management after erupting to a family during a birthday party. The first meeting instructed by Matilda (Maya Rudolph) is one of the production's more memorable moments. It's essentially used for introducing audiences to fellow angry feathered friends: the yellow speedster canary Chuck (Josh Gad), an explosively sociable black bird Bomb (Danny McBride) and a much larger, unfriendly red cardinal named Terence (a grumpily huffing and puffing Sean Penn). As any astute viewer is able to predict, especially after the pigs kidnap all the island's eggs, their rage soon becomes the source of strength and inspiration for a rescue mission. 

Unfortunately, for those expecting an epic battle with feathers flying everywhere and the squealing, oinking cries of the injured, 'The Angry Birds Movie' makes us wait until the last half hour. And even then, the war is over almost as quickly as it began, feeling rushed and as if tacked on at the last minute because suddenly the filmmakers remembered the point of adapting the game app. Admittedly, the first hour of the movie is littered with various gags and witty quips to make the first hour tolerable ("Pluck my life!" a resentful Red wails during his sentencing). Many of the jokes are also meant for the adults in the crowd while the little hatchlings squirming in their seats are hypnotized by the wide array of colors energizing the screen. That's not to say directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, both in their directorial debuts, are not above resorting to the usual parade of off-color humor. Why not have the heroic, majestic Mighty Eagle (perfectly voiced by Peter Dinklage) use a pond as his toilet, which others confuse for a birth bath. So yeah, the jokes don't always land smoothly and as gracefully as expected, but in a plot that features an island of flightless birds, this CG animated film has some wings and hatches a satisfied smile. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings 'The Angry Birds Movie' to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy. The first is a Region Free, BD50 disc sitting comfortably on the panel opposite a DVD-9 copy and housed inside a blue, eco-elite keepcase. At startup, the disc commences with a series of skippable trailers before switching to an animated menu with music and full-motion clips.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69711 [review_video] =>

A whole flock of angry birds take flight on Blu-ray with a marvelous, reference-quality 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that delivers on every level and is easily one of the finest presentations we've seen this year. Most apparent and expected is obviously the sumptuous array of colors. Pause it at any given time, every scene explodes with the fiery reds of Red and Terence, the lush greens of trees and grass, and the lively blues of the sky. The rest of the picture is showered with vivid secondary hues where viewers can plainly make out Matilda's subtle rosy cheeks, Judge Peckinpah's purplish feathers and various other tonal differences of each character. What I really loved best is seeing each beak smoothly change from yellowish tips to a darker orange shade. Spot-on contrast provides brilliant, crisp whites in the eyes, eggs and Eagle's head feathers while also allowing for incredible visibility in the far distance. Likewise, black levels are opulent and inky rich with stunning gradational differences in Bomb's feathers and the soft gray tones on Matilda, granting the video a lovely three-dimensional quality.

Presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the presentation continues to astound and amaze with razor sharp clarity from beginning to end. Most impressive is seeing the tiniest detail and distinct difference between each feather, moving individually with the wind or during certain actions. They may not exactly be true to life, but no matter the character, audiences will be able to appreciate the level of work and dedication that went into each of their creations. The photography comes with an interesting soft focus that's very subtle, but each blade of grass and leaf is distinct from one another while other plants and tree barks show minute, fine lines. The houses of the birds and the rickety housing of the pig kingdom even reveal how much effort went into creating this world, as walls show striking, lifelike textures and the most trivial of blemishes. The movie itself may not be the strongest, but it comes with one of the best high-def presentations of the year. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69712 [review_audio] =>

The animated film also debuts on home video with a splendid, demo-worthy DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that will give anyone's system a nice workout. For the first half of the movie, it doesn't seem like much is going on, but the design is littered with a variety of faint atmospherics occupying the surrounds. Leaves rustle in the wind, the center of town is bustling with commotion and waves can softly be heard at night when Red goes home alone. The soundtrack really comes alive when Leonard and his pig entourage arrive on the island and put on a funny circus show, as birds cheer loudly with excited approval. Things dramatically improve from there and for the remainder of the show, as the pigs begin to grow comfortable in the town and turn the once-quiet island into a crowded city with rushing traffic. When the birds invade, the entire room erupts with explosions and fiery chaos while the debris from collapsing structures discretely falls everywhere, creating a terrifically immersive 360° soundfield.

Of course, being an animated family comedy, a majority of the action takes place in the front soundstage where the music and song selections enjoy the breathing room and individual instruments are heard with excellent acoustics and distinction. Imaging is broad and expansive with convincing off-screen effects and superb separation between the channels, generating an effectively engaging wall of sound that’s continuous. If the funny vehicles of the pigs are not darting across the screen, then the birds flawlessly pan from left to right and big chunks of debris rain down everywhere, thanks to an extensive and richly detailed mid-range. Though not earth-shattering, the low-end is amazingly deep and powerful, providing palpable, responsive weight to the action and explosions with awesome rumbling effects that resonate throughout the room. Vocals are pristine and precise in the center with the smallest change in intonation perfectly heard, even during the loudest and most violent segments. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69713 [review_supplements] =>
  • Symphony Mode — Removing all the dialogue and sound design, this is basically watching the movie with an isolated score.
  • Making Music! (HD, 11 min) — Broken into six shorter pieces, composer Heitor Pereira discusses his thought process behind the music and creating specific motifs to characters and scenes.
  • Hatchlings (HD, 10 min) — Four animated shorts featuring four meddling baby birds ("Early Hatchling Gets the Worm," "Easter," "Mother's Day" and "Holiday") and a making-of featurette with cast & crew interviews called "Meet the Hatchlings."
  • Meet the Birds (HD, 10 min) — Just as it sounds, an assortment of cast interviews with BTS footage of the four main character's creation and the actors voicing them.
  • Creating the Real World of Angry Birds (HD, 8 min) — Essentially, a making-of piece with an introduction by Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad but featuring interview discussions on adapting the phone app, designing the world for characters and the animation work.
  • Crafty Birds (HD, 5 min) — A quick lesson for kids to craft their own characters from the movie.
  • Meet the Pigs (HD, 5 min) — Just as with the birds, Bill Hader talks some about his character.
  • Dance Along Birds and Pigs (HD, 4 min) — The kids can learn how to line dance like the pigs do in the movie.
  • Music Video (HD, 3 min) — Blake Shelton performs "Friends."
  • Bubbles and Hal (HD, 2 min) — One last animated short featuring the titular characters on who's the angriest.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7 min)
  • Photo Gallery (HD)
  • Trailers (HD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69714 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

While the idea of a movie based on a smartphone app seems at first disconcerting, 'The Angry Birds Movie' turns out better and more charming than initially expected. From a script by Jon Vitti and a whole flock of voice talents, the film cleverly imagines an island of flightless birds where anger can be a resourceful strength for saving everyone's eggs from a gang of green, hungry, marauding pigs. The Blu-ray arrives with a fantastic, reference-quality audio and video presentation that delivers an explosive feast for the eyes and a smashing treat for the ears. With a decently healthy assortment of supplements for the hatchlings in the family, the overall package hatches a recommendation. 

[review_movie_stars] => 3 [review_video_stars] => 5 [review_audio_stars] => 5 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145736 ) ) [36] => Array ( [review_id] => 33124 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thedreamteam [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Dream Team [picture_created] => 1461602786 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/25/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33124/thedreamteam.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since May 24 2016.

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8S9SEG [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle, Stephen Furst, Lorraine Bracco, Milo O'Shea ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Howard Zieff ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Dr. Weitzman works with patients in a sanitarium. Convinced that all that his "group" needs is a some fresh air and some time away from the sanitarium, he persuades the administration to allow him to take them to a ballgame.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [37] => Array ( [review_id] => 33879 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thegloryguys [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Glory Guys [picture_created] => 1475197761 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Twilight_Time_The_Glory_Guys_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/29/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Twilight_Time_The_Glory_Guys_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33879/thegloryguys.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1965 [run_time] => 113 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/glory-guys-the-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.0 Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Passion & Poetry: Senta & Sam [2] => The James Wong Howe Story [3] => Promoting 'The Glory Guys' [4] => Theatrical Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Romance, Western ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell, Senta Berger, James Caan, Andrew Duggan, Slim Pickens ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Arnold Laven, Sam Peckinpah ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

What could be worse for two cavalry officers than to battle with native tribes? To battle each other for the same woman.

[review_movie] =>

Whenever a filmmaker hits a hot streak and has several successful films under his belt, I tend to try to find the cracks in their armor. Since I don't believe in a flawless filmmaker, I want to humanize that individual by seeing where their skills are lacking. Some filmmakers are great at staging action, some are great at dialogue but can't get their characters to do anything, others have a hard time giving their films any genuine sense of emotion. Some can't do any of those and are just bad at making movies. Other filmmakers wear their flaws on their sleeves, rise above them, and still manage to churn out some damn impressive films. One such filmmaker was the legendary Sam Peckinpah. A man whose own personal excesses trickled down into the screenplays and the films he directed, but when he was in his prime, he was a master storyteller. For director Arnold Laven, Peckinpah brings his genre-busting writing abilities to the classic cavalry western 'The Glory Guys.'

The western frontier is a wild and untamed territory - and the U.S. Calvary is going to bring law and order to it. Whether through treaty or by the rifle, the Sioux tribes will be brought under control. Per orders, Captain Demas Harrod (Tom Tryon) is tasked with bringing in a new squad of troops. Men like the rough and tough Irishman Anthony Dugan (James Caan) are eager for the job - the only problem is they don't have any combat experience. They're green as a grassy meadow in springtime. Normally, Captain Harrod would have all the time needed to break these men, train them, and turn them into skilled fighting men. Unfortunately, General Frederic McCabe (Andrew Duggan) has visions of victorious battles and he wants these new men ready to ride immediately. 

Adding to Harrod's woes is his love for the beautiful Lou Woddard (Senta Berger). Lou is everything Harrod has ever wanted in a woman, accept he's a cavalry soldier and his chances of survival are relatively slim in that line of work. On top of that, a scout by the name of Rogers (Harve Presnell) has eyes for Lou and designs for marriage and can actually provide for her as a husband. While both men work for the Army, only one of them actually has to go into combat. In order to train the new men, Rogers and Harrod will have to set aside their differences long enough to whip the men into fighting shape. As Rogers and Harrod are already working under the gun, they'll have to contend with the inflating ego of a general hell-bent on leading his troops into combat - whether they're ready to fight or not. 

The Glory Guys

While 'The Wild Bunch' may be widely regarded as the movie that launched Peckinpah's star as a creative force to be reckoned with, I would argue that his screenwriting duties for 'The Glory Guys' helped put him on that path. As he would later demonstrate with 'The Wild Bunch,' Peckinpah takes all of the familiar character archetypes and genre tropes of the traditional cavalry western like 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon' or 'Fort Apache' but gives it a playful little spin. While the film has an earnestness to it, it's nearly impossible to miss the charm and the sense of humor. Some sequences, especially the fistfight between Tim Tyron's Harrod and Harve Presnell's Rogers, borderline on parody. Harrod's and Rogers' wooing of Senta Berger's Lou is most certainly melodramatic and would be something regularly found on daytime television, it feels intricate and important enough to the plot that the meandering back and forth of which man Lou actually loves gives weight to the moment when the big battle comes and both men know they have an equal chance of meeting death. James Caan's drunken Irish Dugan may be a bit of a comical buffoon, but at the same time, we're given enough time with him to actually care about him as a person and hope that he and his fellow soldiers make it out alive.

Perhaps what impressed me most about this film is that it works as a thinly-veiled Vietnam War allegory as applied through a version of General Custer. Even though this film was written nearly ten years before it was finally made, the allegory is applicable. Green soldiers without any war experience, fighting prowess, let alone the ability to use the equipment handed to them are expected to engage in battles with a fierce, well-trained, and experienced army at the insistence of a madman. Their lives aren't important because back east, there are more men and more horses waiting to replace them. It's an impressive scene when Harrod meets his new recruits for the first time. He knows he's been given an impossible task, but he's going to do the best he can with the time given because it's the only way any of them are going to survive. It's equally impressive because as a commanding officer Harrod is brutally honest with the men that they've essentially joined the army to die and since they volunteered, there's nothing they can do to get out of it. 

As a life-long fan of westerns, I love discovering a new one. While there are plenty of westerns out there I haven't seen yet, finding one that is genuinely good, well acted, with a fierce and exciting climatic battle is a real treat. So many play things to the baselines of an honest man cleaning up the crooked town that it starts to feel a bit redundant after awhile. Seeing a film like 'The Glory Guys' is actually a welcome breath of fresh air. Arnold Laven may be the credited director for 'The Glory Guys,' but it has that signature flavor of richly-developed and likable characters entering a hyper-violent world they're not prepared to exist in. If you're a fan of Sam Peckinpah, 'The Glory Guys' absolutely should be on your watch list. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Glory Guys' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Pressed onto a Region Free BD50 disc, the disc is housed in a standard clear Blu-ray case with a booklet containing an essay by historian Julie Kirgo. The disc opens directly to a stick image main men with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 71191 [review_video] =>

'The Glory Guys' arrives on Blu-ray with a beautiful 2.35:1 1080p transfer. It's not quite perfect, there are some age-related issues holding it back, but the film looks very good. Fine film grain is present throughout leading to some sumptuous detail levels. The costuming is the big star in that regard as the uniforms as well as the dresses for the women in town all arrive with great clarity. Close ups tend to look the best. Some middle shots can appear a tad soft and out of focus in a few places leading me to wonder if this transfer was sourced from an archival print of some sort. Thankfully these clarity inconsistencies are relatively few and far between. Most of the time the image is free of any damage or speckling, but when an optical zoom is about to kick in, the image gets notably grainier and some small scratches can creep in. Colors are warm and vibrant throughout favoring the dusty yellows and browns of the Durango scenery with plenty of natural primary pop. Blues especially stand out nicely. Black levels are inky and rich for the most part allowing for plenty of depth to the image. All around this is a very good transfer for a catalogue release.  

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71189 [review_audio] =>

'The Glory Guys' arrives with a strong and resonate English DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono track. So much of the film is of a comical and dramatic conversational nature that you often forget to keep an ear out for the rich sound effects layering, but if you listen they're there. From the sounds of riders off in the distance to the hustle and bustle of town, there is a wonderful sense of atmosphere present throughout the film. The classic western-style score by Riz Ortolani bumps things up a few notches when and where necessary without overpowering the rest of the mix. When the big battle gets going the track really comes to life as there is a cavalcade of gunfire and horses and men screaming in pain. The mix handles this big battle sequence beautifully providing a very natural and immersive quality to the track even though it's only coming through one channel. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71188 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Film historians Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, and Nick Redman provide a fascinating and informative commentary track here. There had long been a great deal of speculation that Peckinpah had directed this himself but wasn't ever given credit and they go to great lengths at dispelling that rumor that this was absolutely a Laven film with a decided Peckinpah flavor. 

Passion & Poetry: Senta & Sam: (HD 26:31) The German actress talks about her long-term working relationship with Sam Peckinpah and goes into detail about her career and how they met. 

The James Wong Howe Story: (SD 8:23) This is a fascinating brief little look at the esteemed cinematographer. 

Promoting 'The Glory Guys': (HD 3:34) This is a fun little look at the promotional materials assembled for the marketing of the film

Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:42)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 71187 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71186 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Glory Guys' is a traditional cavalry western with that unique genre-busting Peckinpah flair. As one of his early works to be directed after he became a hot commodity, 'The Glory Guys' is Director Arnold Laven's film, but Peckinpah gets a lot of the credit for the rich characters and intense action. It's a wonderful western that never fails to entertain. 'The Glory Guys' makes a welcome leap to Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time with a fantastic video transfer, a rousing audio mix, and some informative extra features. 'The Glory Guys' comes recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146300 ) ) [38] => Array ( [review_id] => 33757 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thegreatoutdoorsbestbuyexclusive [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Great Outdoors [picture_created] => 1463773432 [picture_name] => Great_Outdoors1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Great_Outdoors1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33757/thegreatoutdoorsbestbuyexclusive.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1988 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since May 24 2016.

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8RTRCA [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Dan Aykroyd, John Candy ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In the John Hughes-scripted The Great Outdoors, John Candy stars as Chet Ripley, an oafish paterfamilias who takes his family on a vacation at a lakeside resort. Their enjoyment is seriously compromised when brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) shows up with his wife and kiddies. The rest of the film is an ongoing war between Ripley's carefree aggregation and Craig's obnoxiously prissy brood, and making things worse, a driving rainstorm forces both families to remain under one roof well-past their threshold of patience. Annette Bening makes her film debut as Aykroyd's ill-tempered wife. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [39] => Array ( [review_id] => 3462 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => moneypit [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Money Pit [picture_created] => 1463773256 [picture_name] => Money_Pit.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Money_Pit.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3462/moneypit.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1986 [run_time] => 91 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since 2016-05-24. 

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8RTY5U [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Shelley Long ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Benjamin ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Evicted from their Manhattan apartment, Walter and Anna (Hanks and Long) buy what looks like the home of their dreams-only to find themselves saddled with a bank-account-draining nightmare. Struggling to keep their relationship together as their rambling mansion falls to pieces around them, the two hapless homeowners watch in hilarious horror as everything-including the kitchen sink-disappears into The Money Pit.

[review_video_picture_id] => 0 [review_audio_picture_id] => 0 [review_supplements_picture_id] => 0 [review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 0 [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [40] => Array ( [review_id] => 34244 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theprideandthepassion [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Pride and the Passion [picture_created] => 1464450003 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-The_Pride_and_the_Passion_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-The_Pride_and_the_Passion_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34244/theprideandthepassion.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1957 [run_time] => 132 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MKOXQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [41] => Array ( [review_id] => 34140 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thevampirediariesthecompleteseventhseason [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season [picture_created] => 1464281096 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Brothers [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/26/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34140/thevampirediariesthecompleteseventhseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 54.97 [asin] => B01G43HDQ0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => The Vampire Diaries: 2015 Comic-Con Panel [1] => Featurette "Directing Vampires": Behind the scenes with Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, as they answer Twitter questions and explain the process of directing episodes of The Vampire Diaries. [2] => Deleted Scenes [3] => Gag Reel ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In Season Seven, after saying an emotional goodbye to Elena Gilbert, some characters will recover while others falter. As Damon and Stefan's mother, Lily (guest star Annie Wersching – 24, Bosch), tries to drive a wedge between the Salvatore brothers, hope remains that Stefan and Caroline's love story is tough enough to survive. Damon will do whatever it takes to take down his mother and her band of Heretics, and when Bonnie and Enzo both try to decide where their loyalties lie, a surprising relationship will evolve. Plus, with Mystic Falls in disarray and the arrival of the Heretics — who are set on retaliation and mayhem — the suspense will be stronger than ever. Guest stars this season also include Todd Lasance (Spartacus: War of the Damned), Elizabeth Blackmore (Evil Dead), Scarlett Byrne (Harry Potter films), Teressa Liane (Into the Badlands), Leslie-Ann Huff (The Originals) and others.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [42] => Array ( [review_id] => 33881 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theatreofblood [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Theatre of Blood [picture_created] => 1474896892 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Theatre_of_Blood_Vincent_Price_Twilight_Time_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/26/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Theatre_of_Blood_Vincent_Price_Twilight_Time_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33881/theatreofblood.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 104 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/theatre-of-blood-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.66:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.o ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Trailer ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score Track ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne, Robert Coote ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Douglas Hickox ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him the Best Actor of the Year award.

[review_movie] =>

That old Klingon proverb about cool temperatures being the ideal conditions to serve a dish of revenge is sound advice, but that may not always be the best way to serve said dish. Cold can be tasty, sure, but a little presentation and flavor can go a long way towards making it a satisfying, full-flavored experience. As Director Douglas Hickox proves with his 1973 film 'Theatre of Blood,' revenge is at its most delicious served with a dash of Shakespeare, a healthy portion of Vincent price, and a nice sprinkling of Diana Rigg.  

The theatre is the first and only true love of veteran actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price). Even his daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg) has taken second seat to Edward's need to stand center stage. Year after year, Edward has committed his life and soul to reciting Shakespeare's great works to audiences. All he's ever wanted is a little bit of recognition from London's inner-circle of critics, the due recognition they seem intent on denying him while making Edward their critical punching bag. After confronting the group of heartless critics when they deny him the award he rightly deserves, Edward jumps from the window into the Thames. The critics assume Edward died in his dramatic leap, but little did they know death would be stalking them instead!

After surviving his attempted suicide, Edward befriends a band of drug-addled insane street people and uses them to enact his Shakespearian revenge. One by one, Edward picks off the critics that denied his life's work its meaning in grizzly and grotesque methods inspired by his theatre company's Shakespeare schedule. As the police are seemingly powerless to stop his schemes, Edward is saving his greatest performance of King Lear as a bloody grand finale to his diabolical plan.

Theatre of Blood

Chances are pretty good if you're reading this review, you're a Vincent Price fan. Even if you've never seen this film before, you're curious about it simply because it has Price as a headliner. It's understandable, the man was a genius in just about every project he took on. What's always impressed me about Price was his wry sense of camp with that slick grin of his. Even in some of his worst movies, he wouldn't let a poor script stop him from turning on the charm. Every movie he was in benefitted from his presence and the same absolutely must be said about 'Theatre of Blood.' While the plot is clever enough and it's well written, I don't think the results would have been the same if anyone other than Price took on the role of Edward Lionheart. It's a role designed for Price's sense of horror prowess and comedic timing. 

Keeping the film moving at a great clip is the fantastic script by Anthony Greville-Bell under the direction of Douglas Hickox. At first, the film almost has this bizarre sense of randomness to it where Price's Edward would show up to dispatch some high society character in a particularly grizzly way and then disappear leaving that person's circle of friends to figure out what happened. It's almost like walking into the middle of someone else's joke and hearing only the punchline. It's still fun and creepy as Edward pops up, but there's this sense of "what the heck is going on here?" at play. Then the film chooses the perfect moment to get us caught up. When Diana Rigg's Edwina enters the frame, we get a quick crash course in catch up. While this scene does cast Edward's maniacal Shakespearian murderer in a sympathetic light, it also puts the fear of God into the rest of the cast - as well as the audience. Now we know everything Vincent Price's Edward is capable of as a master of disguise, and we start to wonder whether or not Rigg's Edwina is actually helping her deranged father or if she's trying to stop him. 

'Theatre of Blood' is the most entertaining sort of horror picture, the one where you're actually rooting for the madman. As the audience, you don't want his victims to live and the film becomes a game of trying to figure out how Edward is going to kill off the next snob on his list. In an odd sort of way, this approach is partly why the slasher movies of the 1980s worked so well. We didn't really care about the camp counselors or hapless Crystal Lake residents, we knew going in they were there to die, we just want to see how Jason does it. 'Theatre of Blood' carries a lot of the traditional slasher trappings with an air of respectability. The film takes the material seriously enough to build suspense and dread and give Edward a reason to kill, but it's also keeping the violence fun and entertaining. As one murder tops the next, it's like watching the action set pieces of a Bond film unfold, one after another they become more grotesque and sensational. And through all of it, Price gives his traditionally menacing yet cavalier performance. 'Theatre of Blood' is a wildly entertaining horror flick that should keep genre fans on the edge of their seats while cheering every time Price gives his trademark wink and smile. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Theatre of the Blood' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Pressed on a Region Free BD50 disc, the disc is housed in a clear eco-friendly case, this was an apparent oversight on the production line, and not all copies will have eco-cases. Replacement cases can be purchased at the Twilight Time website. Also included is a booklet containing stills from the film as well as an interesting essay by Historian Julie Kirgo. The disc opens directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 71051 [review_video] =>

Color me impressed with this 1.66:1 1080p transfer of 'Theatre of Blood.' I only have vague memories of the first DVD release and remember thinking the colors were rather drab, reds were a bit more maroon-toned, with a persistent haziness to the image. Thankfully it would appear that this transfer was given a far more recent scan as the results look wonderful. Film grain has been retained without any signs of DNR or smoothing and the image boasts some impressive detail levels throughout. Facial features, clothing, as well as Price's intricate costumes are on display. Some softness is retained, but that would appear baked in and not really a fault of the transfer. Colors appear accurate with plenty of primary presence when relevant - especially red! Flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are shadowy and inky giving the image a welcome three-dimensional quality to it. The only real issue worth reporting is the odd bits of print damage. Thankfully, it's nothing too serious, some odd bits of speckling, a small scratch here and there, and a couple of stained frames that zip past before you even notice them. Aside from the bits of slight damage, this is a pretty fantastic looking transfer. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71049 [review_audio] =>

'Theatre of Blood' arrives with a passing English DTS-HD 1.0 mono track. Dialogue is clean and clearly heard throughout most of the film. Certain moments have a bit of a heavy dubbed quality to it that can sound unnatural sometimes. Some scenes sound pitched a little too high making the voices sound a bit rough. Scoring by Michael J. Lewis comes through fine but has a tendency to overpower some moments, but thankfully it doesn't trip over the dialogue. There is some slight age-related wear and tear present. Every now and again a pop will crop up and there is some persistent hiss present. Nothing terribly intrusive, but present just the same. It's not a terrible audio track but it could perhaps benefit from a little more cleanup. Levels are just fine so once you've found a comfortable listening level, you shouldn't have to adjust volume any. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71048 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman provide an interesting and informative anecdotal commentary track. Since none of the principal creative crew or performers are present, the commentary comes from a more historical approach but there is plenty or relevant information provided about the production and Vincent Prince in particular. 

Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:31)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 71050 [review_bonus_content] =>

Isolated Score: Michael J. Lewis' creepy score comes through with great clarity and is a real treat to listen to. It's a fine classical horror score that hits the right notes to instill a sense of dread and still give the music a theatrical quality to it. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71046 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Theatre of Blood' is a delicious sort of horror film that blends the perfect amounts of suspense and humor with a Shakespearian touch. Add in one of Vincent Price's best performances, and you have a great fright flick for any chilly fall evening this Halloween season. Twilight Time has done a great job bringing this film to Blu-ray with a beautiful image transfer, a solid audio track. Extras may be on the slim side, but the isolated score track is a great listen and film score fans should be very happy to hear it. This is a delightfully wicked movie that should entertain genre fans and this Blu-ray does the film justice. Recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 3 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 1 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146210 ) ) [43] => Array ( [review_id] => 33883 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => tonyromeladyincement [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Tony Rome & Lady In Cement [picture_created] => 1474410561 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Tony_Rome_Lady_In_Cement_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/20/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Tony_Rome_Lady_In_Cement_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33883/tonyromeladyincement.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1967 [run_time] => 203 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/tony-rome-lady-in-cement/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Trailers ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score Tracks ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller, Mystery ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Simon Oakland, Gena Rowlands and Bob Wilkes ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Gordon Douglas ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A private eye is hired by a millionaire to find the reasons for his daughter's odd behavior. Soon the detective finds himself embroiled in a dangerous scheme and pursues the case with the aid of a beautiful woman. Featured in this suspense-mystery are performances by Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Simon Oakland, Gena Rowlands and Bob Wilkes among others.

[review_movie] =>

It's interesting to watch a movie where the lead star is a character unto themselves. The film in question can often feel like a bit of a vanity project designed to wax the particular star's ego and maintain their celebrity status. Whether or not the film is any good is irrelevant, it's all about the star. So whenever I go into any movie starring The Chairman of the Board Mr. Frank Sinatra, I tend to have guarded expectations. For every great turn he made in films like 'The Manchurian Candidate' or 'From Here to Eternity,' there were dozens of other movies like 'A Hole in the Head.' Then we get the one-two punch of 1967's 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement.' A pair of grizzled noir detective yarns brought to the 60s contemporary screen by the legendary Gordon Douglas. While the playful-yet-gritty stylings of the films may be a bit odd at times, the films turn out to be surprisingly effective, entertaining and show Sinatra doing what he does best - being himself. 

Tony Rome

Being an ex-cop is tough. Being an ex-cop turned private detective is even tougher. Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) just wants to live on his boat, go fishing, put down a couple of beers and be left alone. But a man's got to make a living somehow and Tony's way is by taking on the dirty jobs no honest cop - or former cop - would do. When Ralph (Robert Wilke), Tony's former partner, asks him to take a drunk and passed out heiress named Diana Pines (Sue Lyon) home, a simple clean up job turns into a bigger mess when it's discovered that the girl was robbed of a diamond brooch. Hired to find the missing jewelry, Tony is tasked by the girl's father with learning why she has been acting so strangely. The answers to these questions could put Tony in a boatload of trouble with the law and with whoever has been stealing high-end jewels. At his hip is the seductive Jill St. John (Ann Archer) offering sound advice about women's fashions while also dropping a few clues of her own.

3.5/5

Lady In Cement

Tony Rome is at it again. While diving off the Miami coast looking for a sunken Spanish Galleon that according to legend is loaded with gold, Tony ends up finding a new case. Deep at the bottom of the ocean is a beautiful nude blonde woman, her feet encased in a block of cement. Rome isn't too concerned about things until he's hired by someone else to find the dead woman he accidentally already located. With his curiosity in high gear, Tony finds his way to a local night club and the beautiful Kit Forrester (Raquel Welch). Since she's backed by a former mob man Al Mungar (Martin Gabel), this new case could end up being Tony's last. 

3/5

Gritty updated Neo-Noir detective flicks can be kind of tough to take in. On one hand, they're playing to classic gumshoe tropes with the jaded anti-hero who doesn't want to have anything to do with a case but takes it anyway because he's a good guy. On the other hand, the film can play things almost too modern and the clashing styles can skew the tone of the film. In this way, Director Gordon Douglas is a master of genre-smashing. He could pull off western/thrillers like 'Barquero.' He could do silly spy movies like the sequel 'Our Man Flint.' He could even to the straight and dark detective thriller like 'The Detective' also starring Sinatra. It's that versatility that makes these Tony Rome adventures so bizarrely entertaining. The cases are interesting, the characters are colorful, the dialogue has a snappy tongue to it, but at the same time, they're almost too "swinging 60s" for their own good. Should we be laughing? Should we be feeling tension about the situation Rome is in? Both at the same time? It's a bit of a mood swing overload, and yet, you can't take your eyes off them!

The heart of these films is Sinatra. Say what you will about his acting abilities, his crooning, or his supposed ties to organized crime - the man had screen presence. He's the perfect fast-talking smart-ass detective for this sort of movie. It's almost as if the movies themselves are sly jokes and he's the straight man who has to play off them in a dark and serious way. That isn't to say his Rome isn't a hoot, he is, but he feels like a character that Fred MacMurray or Bogart would have played twenty years earlier. Sinatra gives his Tony the presence of a man who is always thinking ten moves ahead. Even when if checkmate could lead to his own death, he's determined to see every case through to the end. It's fun watching him get into trouble either with some hood or the police and then think and talk his way out of it. As I said at the outset, I wasn't much of a Sinatra movie fan, but he held my interest through both Tony Rome adventures as he's such a fun character and Frank is the perfect actor for the part. One part confident, two parts arrogant, with a dash of honesty and dedication tossed in for flavor and you have a heck of a leading character. 

As fun as the main character is, and I would have liked to see Sinatra play Rome more than these two appearances, the sequel is a case of diminishing returns. 'Lady In Cement' was still a decent little flick, but it also feels like Gordon Douglas and Sinatra were compensating for their hard-boiled 'The Detective' that was shot in between the two Rome films. 'Lady In Cement' is almost too silly and that score by Hugo Montenegro is entirely too jaunty. When you see a dead girl at the bottom of the ocean, go-go music really just doesn't feel appropriate. This movie struggles with the tone it naturally found with 'Tony Rome.' It wants to be playful but not too playful. It tries to be serious but isn't nearly serious enough. At the end of the day, I found 'Lady In Cement' had more in common with the woeful 'Catalina Caper' than it did with 'Tony Rome.' Toss in Tommy Kirk in some distressingly tiny shorts and a few appearances by Little Richard and you'd practically have the same movie. 

Taken as a whole, the Tony Rome adventures are a good way to spend an evening. Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady in Cement' move at nice brisk paces and don't overstay they're welcome. Sinatra is in his sly prime and the man can deliver a one-liner like nobody else. While the quality and consistency may not have held up through two films, the fun is still there and even the most cynical viewer will have a hard time denying the entertainment value in either film. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' arrive on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Both films are pressed onto a single Region Free BD50 disc and this set is limited to a run of 3000 units. The disc is housed in a standard clear Blu-ray case with a booklet containing an essay by historian Julie Kirgo. The disc loads directly to a static image opening menu that allows you to choose which film you would like to view. From there, you're taken to that film's main menu with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 70913 [review_video] =>

"As good as can be, but still pretty darn good" should be the theme of both of the 2.35:1 1080p transfers provided for 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement.' They may not be sterling restorations, and they probably would have looked better if they'd been given their own disc to occupy, but that said, both films have their strong points and a couple weak ones too. 'Tony Rome' seems to have been given the better treatment between the two films. Film grain is intact throughout and provides some nice detail levels. Colors are bright and vibrant with that almost garish 60s quality to them. Flesh tones tend to look a bit too tan at times but are otherwise natural appearing. Black levels can be a bit soft in some darker scenes and can lose depth, but daylight sequences look amazing without any contrast blooms to speak of. The print is in relatively great shape with only some mild sporadic speckling to report. 4/5

'Lady In Cement' has a lot of the same qualities as those presented in 'Tony Rome' with a few of its own issues. Similarly, grain is present and offers up some great details. I would say colors are a bit sharper and more natural looking, they felt more vivid here than in 'Tony Rome.' Black levels also look a bit better balanced. However, there are several baked-in softness issues. At times the image can almost look as if the focus puller didn't stick the mark as characters in middle shots can appear just a tad too soft. There are also a few scenes, especially the underwater sequences that appear almost too bright as if contrast was kicked up a notch to compensate for filming conditions. Similarly, there is some speckling and a small scratch or two, but nothing that would amount to a deal-breaker. Like the first film, 'Lady In Cement' looks pretty great, not amazing, but still very good. 3.5/5 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70912 [review_audio] =>

Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' arrive with rock solid English DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono tracks. I appreciate it when the mono track isn't artificially transformed into a stereo mix by simply playing the same track through both channels, there feels to be a natural presence to this presentation. While imaging is obviously limited, there is still an organic sense of space and dimension to the mix. Dialogue comes through loud and clear, which is essential because of the snappy dialogue. This isn't a bad thing but you're going to want to reverse the movies every now and again to hear those zingers, they pop up out of nowhere. Sound effects and scoring are cleanly and clearly rendered, even if I felt like the score for 'Lady In Cement' was a bit too jaunty, it at least doesn't overpower the mix. Levels are just fine, some of the softer, quieter conversational moments may require a bump in volume, but nothing too severe. All around both films enjoy some fine audio mixes that serve the respective natures of the films well. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70911 [review_supplements] =>

'Tony Rome' Audio Commentary: Film historians Eddy Friedfeld, Anthony Latino, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo provide a pretty fun and informative track for this film. They keep the conversation moving nicely talking about all aspects of the film from casting to Sinatra's film career at that time to some interesting stuff about director Gordon Douglas. 

'Tony Rome' Trailer: (HD 3:05)

Lady In Cement' Trailer: (HD 3:12)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 70910 [review_bonus_content] =>

'Tony Rome' Isolated Score Track: I preferred the Billy May score for this first film. It was playful but still serious enough when the film called for it. 

'Lady In Cement' Isolated Score Track: Hugh Montenegro's score would have been great for a 60s beach movie but it often feels out of place here. Not bad, but not quite appropriate either. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70909 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' may not be the greatest Neo-Noir films to come out over the years, but they are an entertaining duo, to say the least. If you can give yourself over to both film's playful natures, you should have a great time with these little Sinatra adventures. Twilight Time brings both films to Blu-ray in a nice single-disc double feature package with solid A/V presentations. Extras may be a bit slim, but I'm glad that disc space was reserved for the films' presentations and not mundane bonus content. If you're a Sinatra completionist, you're going to want to pick this one up. If you're new to Sinatra's fast-talking private detective, take a look-see for yourself. At the very least both films are worth the time you put into them. Worth a look. 

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 1.5 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146154 ) ) [44] => Array ( [review_id] => 36888 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => trinityseven [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Trinity Seven [picture_created] => 1470685634 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Trinity_Seven_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Section 23 [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Trinity_Seven_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36888/trinityseven.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 69.98 [asin] => B01EP1NUGK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [45] => Array ( [review_id] => 33724 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => whoeverslewauntieroo [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [picture_created] => 1463150062 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Whoever_Slew_Auntie_Roo_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino Lorber [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/13/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Whoever_Slew_Auntie_Roo_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33724/whoeverslewauntieroo.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1972 [run_time] => 91 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1EK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Film Historian David Del Valle and Film Scholar Nathaniel Bell [1] => Trailers ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Shelley Winters [1] => Mark Lester ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Curtis Harrington ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Newly Re-mastered in HD! Auntie Roo (Shelley Winters, He Ran All the Way) just loves children... to death. After the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Auntie Roo has been looking for a 'dead ringer' replacement. And this time she found one... from the local orphanage! But what is she to do with the girl's pesky brother when he discovers Roo's terrible secret in the attic? Top-notch direction by cult filmmaker Curtis Harrington (Queen of Blood, Night Tide) and featuring great performances by Mark Lester (Oliver, Eyewitness), Chloe Franks (Tales from the Crypt), Lionel Jeffries (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Hugh Griffith (Ben-Hur) and the great Ralph Richardson (The Fallen Idol). Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? was the follow-up to What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and What s the Matter with Helen?.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [46] => Array ( [review_id] => 34363 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wildinthestreets [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Wild in the Streets [picture_created] => 1464775779 [picture_name] => unnamed_(6).jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/01/120/unnamed_(6).jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34363/wildinthestreets.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1968 [run_time] => 97 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MKVQ6 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Drama, Music ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Christopher Jones, Shelley Winters, Diane Varsi ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Barry Shear ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Striking a zeitgeist nerve, Wild in the Streets stars Christopher Jones (Ryan’s Daughter) as Max Frost, rock singer and poster boy for the counterculture revolution of the 60’s. While performing with his band The Troopers at a political rally for Senate candidate Johnny Fergus (Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild), Max seizes the opportunity to spout his own political philosophies which include, among other things, that the voting age should be lowered to 14.
 
And thus begins the tale of Max’s meteoric rise. But as he moves further and further into uncharted waters, first as a voice for the youth movement (or is he just a mouthpiece for opportunist politicians?) and then as a nominee for President of the United States, Max will not bend to the will of the old guard. Instead he begins implementing his own ideas of what would make a better world, including “re-education camps” for those over the age of 35 along with a liberal dosing of LSD.
 
Wild in the Streets, directed by Barry Shear (Across 110th Street), co-stars Shelley Winters (The Night of the Hunter) as Max’s mother; Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as Senator Fergus’ daughter Mary, and Richard Pryor (Silver Streak) as Stanley X, The Troopers’ drummer.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) [reviews_hot] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 34226 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninja [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja [picture_created] => 1464447209 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34226/americanninja.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1985 [run_time] => 96 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MHKPG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Awesome, 80s ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34228 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaiitheconfrontation [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja II: The Confrontation [picture_created] => 1464447447 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_II_The_Confrontation_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_II_The_Confrontation_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34228/americanninjaiitheconfrontation.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1987 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MONZ6 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34230 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaiiibloodhunt [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja III: Blood Hunt [picture_created] => 1464447708 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_III_Blood_Hunt_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_III_Blood_Hunt_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34230/americanninjaiiibloodhunt.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [run_time] => 89 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MD1XG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 34232 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => americanninjaivtheannihilation [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => American Ninja IV: The Annihilation [picture_created] => 1464448032 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_IV_The_Annihilation_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-American_Ninja_IV_The_Annihilation_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34232/americanninjaivtheannihilation.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1990 [run_time] => 99 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3M9OPA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, 80s, Awesome, Cannon ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 34240 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => assassinationclassroomseasononeparttwo [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Assassination Classroom: Season One Part Two [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34240/assassinationclassroomseasononeparttwo.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 275 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM2Q2O [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) [reviews_slices] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 35093 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => atrozlimitededition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Atroz: Limited Edition [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Unearthed Films [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35093/atrozlimitededition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01EG1PVCA [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34197 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => beethoven [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Beethoven [picture_created] => 1464365599 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/27/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34197/beethoven.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1992 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8SFBQA [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Family ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Nicholle Tom, Christopher Castile, Sarah Rose Karr ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Brian Levant ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A slobbering St. Bernard dog becomes the center of attention for a loving family but its vet secretly wants to kill him.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34260 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bloodblockadebattlefrontthecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Blood Blockade Battlefront: The Complete Series [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34260/bloodblockadebattlefrontthecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 325 [list_price] => 84.98 [asin] => B01FXM9V7M [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 35704 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bolshoibabylon [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bolshoi Babylon [picture_created] => 1467836952 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bolshoi_Babylon_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/06/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bolshoi_Babylon_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35704/bolshoibabylon.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 86 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01HSDSMBK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Anastasiya Meskova, Maria Alexandrova, Maria Allash ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Nick Read ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The Bolshoi — symbol of Russia, a national treasure and one of the most famous institutions in the world. Recently, however, the theatre has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: intrigue, personal attacks and management changes have created lurid headlines. Now, for the first time, the theatre directors have allowed the backstage process to be documented. With unparalleled behind the scenes access, the film will pay tribute to the dancers’ extraordinary artistic and athletic talents, their abiding fear of injury and the ruthless ambition needed to survive in the world’s most famous ballet company. "Bolshoi Babylon" is a behind-the-scenes look into Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi Theatre and how it was rocked by an acid-attack scandal by Pavel Dmitrichenko in 2013.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 33875 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bringmetheheadofalfredogarcia2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia - Encore Edition [picture_created] => 1473288657 [picture_name] => 51-8IKV7vLL.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/07/120/51-8IKV7vLL.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33875/bringmetheheadofalfredogarcia2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1974 [run_time] => 112 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/bring-me-the-head-of-alfredo-garcia-encore-edition-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units [1] => 50GB Blu-ray Disc ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono [1] => Music: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => ALL NEW Audio Commentary with Katy Haber, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman [1] => Audio Commentary with Gordon Dawson and Nick Redman [2] => Audio Commentary with Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Nick Redman [3] => Passion and Poetry: Sam's Favorite Film [4] => A Writer's Journey: Garner Simmons with Sam Peckinpah in Mexico [5] => Promoting Alfredo Garcia [6] => Trailers [7] => Isolated Score Track [8] => Twilight Time Booklet ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young, Kris Kristofferson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Sam Peckinpah ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

An American bartender and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a $1 million bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

[review_editors_notes] =>

Twilight Time is known for releasing their films in very limited numbers. Particularly in batches of 3,000 units. When they sell out, they're basically gone and go for high prices on various shopping sites. One of the films they released back in 2014 was Sam Peckinpah's 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia', which sold out like hot cakes, leaving a ton of fans in the dark. Luckily, Twilight Time has now released 3,000 more copies of the film and are dubbing it the 'Encore Edition'. This disc is the exact same as the 2014 version from Twilight Time in both video and audio. All of the extras from the last release have been imported here as well. However, Twilight Time has added a brand new 2016 commentary track in addition to the older two commentary tracks from the previous release.

[review_movie] =>

Sam Peckinpah is one of my favorite directors. Everything from 'Straw Dogs' to 'The Wild Bunch' is visually stunning and a work of true art. Peckinpah is known for his unrelenting violent movies, and with a title like 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia', you can assume the violence runs rampant in this movie, which it does. However, you might also think this Peckinpah flick is a bit of a comedy in how it's shot and because of its dialogue. I don't think Peckinpah intended for people to laugh during this movie, but I couldn't help myself. It's hard not to when the main character talks to a decapitated head while driving. You might have seen something similar in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's film 'Sin City'.

Peckinpah started writing the film during the filming of 'Straw Dogs'. Most of his films had some sort of controversy, and this one was no different. This time, Peckinpah decided to shoot in Mexico, which angered Hollywood who threatened not to release it because he wouldn't film there. The director went on to say that he loved making films in Mexico, because he had the creative freedom to do whatever he wanted without the Hollywood executives breathing down his neck every five minutes. So you could say that 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is one of Peckinpah's most untouched work. And it is simply brilliant, although many people haven't heard of it even though they might have seen many references to it through modern TV shows and movies.

The film starts out with a young pregnant girl who is called in to talk with her father, who is a ruthless mob boss who goes by El Jefe (Emilio Fernandez). He is not happy that his daughter is pregnant and actually tortures her until she reveals the man who is responsible for this. She tells him that Alfredo Garcia is the father who was Jefe's right-hand man. The mob boss is now angry and declares that whoever brings the head of Alfredo Garcia to him will receive one million dollars. And the title and story are now set in motion. El Jefe sends out two hit-men by the names of Sappensly (Robert Webber) and Quill (Gig Young), to track down Garcia. They arrive at a bar/saloon where they meet Bennie (Warren Oates), who manages and also plays the piano at the bar.

We can quickly tell that Bennie has an interesting past and definitely knows who Garcia is, but will not divulge what he knows. The two men tell everyone about Garcia and about the reward, which sparks an idea in Bennie's head. That idea is that he wants some of the money for himself so he goes to his on-and-off again girlfriend Elita who works as a prostitute at the saloon to ask about Garcia. See, everyone knows Garcia, but nobody knows exactly where he is but Elita, who had a secret affair with him earlier. Garcia is dead and buried due to a recent car accident.

Bennie contacts the two hit-men and makes a small deal with them for the corpse. Now Elita and Bennie are out to dig up the fresh body of Garcia and are accosted by two bikers (one of them is Kris Kristofferson), who rape and beat the two. But in a moment of determination not to die, Bennie brutally kills the two bikers and has an epiphany. He wants to chop off the head of Garcia and get the full amount of money for himself so he and Elita can leave town and live a good life. What plays out from here is Bennie trying to keep a decapitated head in his possession until he gets his money. The bloody head is constantly being stolen by others, only to have Bennie re-take it.

As you can imagine with any Peckinpah film, the climax is very bloody and violent. But with this film, he made the violence almost humorous in the way he filmed it. A lot of people over the years have thought this movie was a complete failure, while others think this is at the top of his resume. I'm with the latter group, as I love dark comedies. 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is a top notch film with a great story, epic violence, and quite a bit of black comedy. If you haven't seen this Peckinpah film yet, I highly suggest you do. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 48356 [review_video] =>

 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' comes with a 1080p HD transfer  presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It doesn't seem like they cleaned up this transfer a whole lot. There are quite a few instances of debris, hairs, and specks throughout the film. The contrast also seems to fluctuate from scene to  scene. That being said, the colors look great here and there is a nice layer of grain that keeps the film in it's original organic and filmic quality with no digital makeup at all to make it too glossy.

The detail is much improved on since I last saw this film as we can make out wrinkles, individual hairs and scars on the actor's faces during closeups. The skin tones all seems natural and the black levels were deep and inky mostly, with some instances of being a little too bright. For what it is, this transfer is probably the best it has ever looked, given this movie is around forty-years old, but I would hope that at some point this film will receive the proper prsentation, as there are some issues with banding and aliasing. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 48357 [review_audio] =>

 This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 1.0 mono audio mix. Not sure why they wanted to go mono on this, since it has a bunch of gunshots and action scenes, but they did. For it being a mono track, there is quite a bit of depth. The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. There is not really an immersive sound here, but the heavier action scenes of the bikes and gunshots do  sound full and loud, however they don't have that all encompassing sound like we truly want.

Other sound effects are clear and robust, but the only sound you'll get is from your one center speaker, which doesn't exactly transfer well from an action movie. The score sounds great here too, but there could have been more of a push to hear it in places. There were no other issues of concern with this audio presentation. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 48358 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary with Katy Haber, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman - This is a new commentary recorded in 2016 for this release and has Sam Peckinpah's assistant discussing their time filming the movie amongst other topics. It's actually an excellent listen as Katy discusses the near death experience on set, Peckinpah's style, filming on location, some personal topics and much more.

Audio Commentary with Gordon Dawson and Nick Redman - A commentary track with writer/producer Gordon Dawson and film historian Nick Redman. Dawson has some great stories about making movies with Peckinpah, all of which are amazing to hear. They talk about the origins of the story, the filming, the casting, and Peckinpah's life. This is a great listen, despite Dawson sounding unhealthy.


Audio Commentary with Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and Nick Redman - This commentary track has four film historians talking about Peckinpah's life and career. This is very informative and is a must listen if you want to know about the director. 

 
Passion and Poetry: Sam's Favorite Film (SD, 56 mins.) A great documentary about the making of the movie with tons of amazing interviews from cast, crew, and others. This is a must-watch. 
 
A Writer's Journey: Garner Simmons with Sam Peckinpah in Mexico (SD, 26 mins.) - Garner Simmons wrote a biography on Peckinpah and went on set of 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia'. Here Simmons discusses that time in his life. 
 
Promoting Alfredo Garcia (SD, 6 mins.) - An image gallery of promo materials and posters for the film. 


 Trailers (HD/SD, 8 mins.) - Some trailers for the film. A couple of them are original trailers and one is a remastered trailer.

 
Isolated Score Track - You have the option to listen to the score only while watching the movie in 2.0.

Twilight Time Booklet - Here is a fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Julie Kirgo about the film.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Sam Peckinpah is one of my favorite directors, and 'Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia' is one of my favorites among his films. The dark humor mixed with the violence is amazing here with some unforgettable characters. The video and audio are good for what they are, but not great, but the extras are a lot of fun. In other words, this is the same exact release as the 2014 version, but with the added commentary track. I highly recommend this Peckinpah film. You'll be happy you have it in your collection.

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 3 [review_audio_stars] => 3 [review_supplements_stars] => 4 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146014 ) ) [5] => Array ( [review_id] => 35778 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => bunkerofthedead [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Bunker of the Dead [picture_created] => 1467991427 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bunker_of_the_Dead_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/08/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Bunker_of_the_Dead_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35778/bunkerofthedead.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 76 [list_price] => 29.98 [asin] => B00EQ55L9U [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [6] => Array ( [review_id] => 33728 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => eleni [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Eleni [picture_created] => 1463150451 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Eleni_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino Lorber [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/13/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Eleni_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33728/eleni.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1985 [run_time] => 114 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1LS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 2.0 ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Trailers ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kate Nelligan [1] => John Malkovich ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Yates ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Newly Re-mastered in HD! Kate Nelligan (Eye of the Needle), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire) and Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously) star in this true story of a mother s love for her children and a son s revenge. In 1948, as the civil war ravages Greece, a communist attachment terrorizes a small mountain village by abducting the children and sending them to communist camps inside the Iron Curtain. Eleni (Nelligan) defies the communists and arranges for the escape of her three daughters and her son Nicola. For this act she s imprisoned, tortured and executed in cold blood. Several years later, Nicholas Gage (Malkovich), Eleni s son and a New York Times reporter, returns to his homeland to discover the facts surrounding his mother s death, and to hunt down the man who murdered her. Featuring top-notch direction by the great Peter Yates (Robbery, Bullitt) and stunning on-location cinematography by Billy Williams (Gandhi).

[review_movie] =>

"My Children!"

Watching a film about horrific war-time atrocities is never an easy experience. It's difficult to look at these events with a critical, earnest, and yet artistic eye and not question authenticity or motive. You want to trust that the filmmakers and writers aren't simply exploiting an event for monetary gain and are in fact, doing their best to recreate events and bring them to light for a mass audience. Peter Yates' 1985 film 'Eleni' traverses the real events surrounding the 1948 civil war that erupted in Greece and how thirty years later, one man is trying to uncover the truth of events that lead to the murder of his mother. The juxtaposition of time periods and the film's focus on real life characters elevates what could have been an otherwise depressing slog through pain and suffering and keeps the film feeling alive and hopeful. 

Nicholas Gage (John Malkovich) is a successful reporter for the New York Times. As 1979 is coming up, it marks 30 years since the end of the civil war in Greece. This milestone isn't just a number on the calendar, it marks when the commanders and soldiers who lead the communist uprising who also committed any number of atrocities can come home because the statute of limitations will run out for such crimes under Greek law. When Nicholas was a child, he and his siblings had to flee Greece to America to escape the horrors while their mother Eleni (Kate Nelligan) was forced to stay behind as a prisoner of a sadistic general known as Katis (Oliver Cotton). After accepting a job as bureau chief in Greece under the guise of reporting the events surrounding the soldiers' return, Nicholas embarks on an emotionally painful journey to uncover the truth of what happened to his mother. As he finds pieces of the puzzle, Nick learns that Katis is alive and well and that the old man is willing to grant an interview. 

Based on the book by real-life reporter Nicholas Gage, 'Eleni' works on several levels. On one hand, the film is a document of wartime atrocities where families are displaced and children are forced into service as soldiers for a cause they don't believe in. On the other hand, the film is a gripping investigative procedural. Because the film takes place during two time periods, it's essentially told through the eyes of a mother and her grown son. As John Malkovich's Nicholas uncovers one piece of the story, the film segues to tell things through the eyes of Kate Nelligan's Eleni. At first, it may seem to be a meandering way to tell a story, but what this breaking in timeline continuity does is set the groundwork for a thrilling and intense final scene. It's in the final moments where everything comes together and your patience through some pretty horrendous, gut-wrenching scenes pays off. When Nicholas sits down in front of an elderly Katis knowing full well who the man is and what he's done, you're on the edge of your seat because you know Nicholas is capable and willing to do anything he puts his mind to.

Eleni

Working from a screenplay by Steve Tesich, Peter Yates is in excellent form with 'Eleni' as he manages to craft a thoughtful and personal, character-driven film against the backdrop of a terrible tragedy. There is a sense of reality and urgency in each little vignette that is revealed through Nicholas' investigations. While we see this man try and learn more about his mother's murder at the risk of losing his family, we see how in the face of horror a woman fought to save her children by risking her own life. It's powerful material that never dips too heavily into cheesy soap opera melodrama. Nor does the film focus too intensely on the conditions Eleni spent her last days. The film certainly does not shy away from what happened, but it doesn't settle on images or events so gratuitously so that it cheapens the effect. It shows just enough to convey the horror and treats the material, the characters, and their real life counterparts with an amount of genuine respect. 

I never knew much about the civil war in Greece. It wasn't a topic that made my social studies books in grade school except in passing as a moment of a communist uprising. On top of being an excellent example of filmmaking and character exposition and story structure, 'Eleni' proved to be a very engrossing and educational film. I left my viewing of this film wanting to learn more about what happened. In particular the circumstances of how people who committed crimes against civilians could somehow escape persecution simply because a certain number of years passed. Thankfully there is a lot of valid information online so that the curious can learn more about these events. I wouldn't say that 'Eleni' is an entertaining film, that doesn't feel like an appropriate way to describe it. It is an intense and effective film that plays to the conventions expected from a procedural thriller and a war-time drama without simply being a piece of frivolous entertainment. It's a film that is tough to watch without feeling exhausted by it and yet provides an equal sense of hope and humanity. All I can say to close this review is that I strongly suggest people give the film a look and experience it for themselves. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Eleni' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber through their Studio Classics line. Pressed onto a Region A BD25 disc, the disc is housed in a standard Blu-ray case and opens directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69544 [review_video] =>

Aside from some very slight speckling here and there, the 1.79:1 1080p transfer for 'Eleni' is virtually flawless. The description on the back artwork indicates that this transfer was newly remastered and the efforts show on screen. Grain looks natural and unobtrusive and provides a rich amount of detail. This is especially apparent when the film shifts to 1948 and the Greece locations come into focus. Colors have plenty of primary pop with healthy flesh tones. The image boasts some impressively inky black levels without any crush issues and provides a pleasing amount of depth to the image. All around this is a very impressive transfer for a back catalogue release, and fans of the film should be very happy to see it.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69545 [review_audio] =>

With a strong and audible English DTS-HD MA 2.0 track, 'Eleni' sounds fantastic. As a largely dialogue driven film, voices are clearly heard throughout without any interference from sound effects or the beautiful score by Bruce Smeaton. Sound effects and background atmospherics provide a nice sense of space and dimension as the film shifts from the crowded and chaotic newspaper bullpen to the wide open Greek vistas. My only slight complaint is that even as a stereo mix, imaging feels rather restrained like the sound is being pushed through the front/center so heavily that it doesn't quite get enough room to breath during busy scenes. It's only a minor quibble for an otherwise excellent track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69543 [review_supplements] =>

'House on Carroll Street' Trailer (HD 2:00)

'Hidden Agenda' Trailer: (HD 2:03)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69542 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69540 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Eleni' turned out to be a wonderful film. I've only seen a handful of Peter Yates films, 'Breaking Away' being my favorite, but watching 'Eleni' shows the director had a deft touch when dealing with complex emotional characters without pushing the material into cheap melodrama. Kino Lorber brings 'Eleni' to Blu-ray with an exceptional image transfer and an excellent audio track to match. Fans of 'Eleni' shouldn't hesitate a moment before making a purchase. Those new to the film or who have never even heard of it should put it on their watch lists. Recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 0.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145711 ) ) [7] => Array ( [review_id] => 33341 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => elvis [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Elvis [picture_created] => 1462244543 [picture_name] => elvis.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Shout! Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/02/120/elvis.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33341/elvis.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1979 [run_time] => 170 [list_price] => 27.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOCG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => "Bringing a Legend to Life" featurette with archival interviews with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter (1979) [1] => Rare Clips from American Bandstand [2] => Photo Gallery ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Biography, Drama, Music ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Bing Russell ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => John Carpenter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Just two years after Elvis Presley died, Kurt Russell brought him back to life in the original biopic about the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Broadcast on ABC in 1979, Elvis marked the first time director John Carpenter and Russell would work together in what would become a legendary partnership in film history. 'Elvis' traces Presley’s life from his impoverished childhood  to his meteoric rise to stardom and then to his triumphant conquering of Las Vegas. Elvis garnered several Emmy®nominations including Outstanding Lead Actor for Kurt Russell, and features an all-star supporting cast including Shelley Winters as Gladys Presley, Season Hubley as Priscilla Presley, Bing Russell (Kurt’s real-life dad) as Vernon Presley, Pat Hingle as Colonel Tom Parker, Joe Mantegna as “Memphis Mafia” member Joe Esposito, and Ed Begley Jr. as drummer D.J. Fontana.   

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [8] => Array ( [review_id] => 32454 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => godsnotdead2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => God's Not Dead 2 [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32454/godsnotdead2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 34.98 [asin] => B01DPW1A0I [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jesse Metcalfe, David A.R. White, Ray Wise, Robin Givens, Melissa Joan Hart, Hayley Orrantia ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Cronk ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

When a high school teacher is asked a question in class about Jesus, her reasoned response lands her in deep trouble and could expel God from the public square once and for all.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [9] => Array ( [review_id] => 26748 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => gothamseason2 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Gotham: The Complete Second Season [picture_created] => 1472124062 [picture_name] => Gotham_Season_2_Box_Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Bros. [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/25/120/Gotham_Season_2_Box_Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/26748/gothamseason2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 960 [list_price] => 54.97 [asin] => B015WVHUHC [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Dutch, Korean, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Array ( [0] => Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel [1] => Alfred: Batman's Greatest Ally [2] => Cold Hearted: The Tale of Victor Fries [3] => Gotham by Noir Light [4] => Character Profiles ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller, Fantasy, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Morena Baccarin, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Darkness saturates Gotham in its triumphant Second Season as the city's villains continue to rise from the shadows, each more ambitious and depraved than the last. As Penguin continues to solidify his control over Gotham's underworld, the battle for power in the city has become a game of interesting alliances on both sides of the law...with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the forefront of the fight against crime in the dangerously corrupt city. Season Two witnesses Gordon's moral compass wavering as he confronts Gotham City's most notorious criminals while simultaneously attempting to gain the trust of young Bruce Wayne, a boy now clearly on the path toward the man he is destined to be. And all the while, Gotham follows the intriguing origin stories and evolution of some of the city's most infamous personalities, including Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze.

[review_movie] =>

I can still remember all the apprehension I felt going into the first season of Gotham. I wasn't sure it was the best idea for a TV series, and I was worried it would just be a darker version of every other superhero TV series currently on the air. That first season surpassed my expectations in almost every way, but sadly, this second season too often veers into the type of territory I originally feared the show might cover. It's not a complete disaster, but it's a huge disappointment and a big drop off in quality.

Those of you who have been loyal viewers know what I'm talking about. Let me try to give the short version for everyone else. The first season of 'Gotham', while set in the formative years of the Batman Universe, tried to be as gritty and realistic as a show of this sort could have possibly been. While it did showcase a number of Batman's up and coming rogues gallery of baddies, it was primarily a crime-drama, with young cop James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) squaring off against both the mob and the man who wanted to be the heir apparent, Oswald Cobblepot (aka, the "Penguin", played by Robin Lloyd Taylor). It also set up a fantastic mentor relationship between Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) and young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) that was perhaps the best onscreen performance of Wayne Manor's chief staff member and young Bruce's primary caregiver that has even been captured, both on-screen and in the pages of the comics themselves.

Sadly, most of what made Season 1 so great is gone in Season 2, replaced with the showrunners' desire to cram as many villains as they can into this latest season – thinking that's what the fans want to see. The result is a big mess, with not enough screen time or attention paid to some of fans' favorite characters, many of whom do not even appear in episodes along the way. Season 1 only had about a half dozen episodes that I would consider "dismissible" That same number is about how many episodes we get in Season 2 that are truly worth watching.

Season 2 starts off strong enough, with Jim Gordon having to deal with the higher-ups at the police station and with  Season 2's best villain: Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), the maybe-he-is/maybe-he-isn't "you know who" baddie who is an absolute blast to watch in the first handful of episodes in this second season. For whatever reason, the creators made the decision to dispose of Valeska (I won't ruin how) early on, turning instead to the primary antagonist of the first-half of the season: Theo Galavan (James Frain) – and a more boring villain you won't find...except perhaps in the second half of Season 2, when the focus shifts from Galavan to the equally dull Hugo Strange (BD Wong). Rest assured, the criminal development of both Oswald Cobblepot and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) are still present, but they're not quite on the front burner the way they were back in Season 1.

Which is not to say Season 2 of 'Gotham' is a complete train wreck. There are a number of plotlines that I enjoyed quite a bit. In addition to the Jerome storyline early on, there's a great arc towards the end of the season that actually has Gordon being convicted of murder and spending time in jail. In other series, that kind of storyline would unfold over the entire season, but 'Gotham' does it in just a few episodes (despite the fact that a huge chunk of time passes over the course of those shows). And that's the biggest problem with 'Gotham' in Season 2 – not that the creators don't have some interesting ideas, but there's no room for character development...they just jump from one story to another, one villain to another (or, more frequently, one group of villains to another group), not realizing that slowing things down and taking time to delve into each of these stories over the course of a number of episodes would be much more impactful (one of the reasons both the Jerome and Gordon in prison stories work so well is because they are spread out over multiple shows).

My biggest worry from all this is that, by all accounts, Season 3 of 'Gotham' is going to be more of the same. The Season 2 cliffhanger (which, honestly, isn't much of one) implies that a whole bunch of baddies are going to be overrunning the city, and all the press we've gotten to this point for Season 3 is teasing viewers by saying they're going to be introducing this comic-book villain or that comic-book villain. 'Gotham' was a much better show when it tried to be a grounded crime-drama. 'Gotham' as it stands now is still certainly watchable, but not to the point that I can recommend it beyond loyal fans of the series.

The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats

Season 2 of 'Gotham' arrives on Blu-ray in packaging pretty much identical to the first season's release. The four 50GB Blu-rays are held on a pair of plastic hubs inside a slightly larger-than-average Elite keepcase, which slides inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase (with matching artwork). The case also contains a tri-fold listing all the episodes and special features of this release, along with a short synopsis for each entry. There's also an additional insert with a digital code for an UltraViolet copy of Season 2. Surprisingly, Warners has not front-loaded any trailers on any of the discs, whose main menu is the standard studio design – a still of the box cover image with menu selections horizontally along the bottom of the screen.

The Blu-rays in this release are region-free.

[review_video_picture_id] => 70096 [review_video] =>

Each episode of 'Gotham' was shot digitally with Arri Alexa equipment at the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As with the first season, Season 2 continues to feature a very film noir look to each episode (there's even a bonus feature on this set about it). Also like the first season, this set once again comes with a pretty impressive video transfer.

Despite a great number of scenes having a dark or darker look to them, details and clarity are pretty fantastic overall. In those few moments when 'Gotham' does wander out into the daylight, the level of depth is simply gorgeous. Black levels need to be strong for a series like this, and they are...with very little in terms of murkiness. Facial features are well defined in almost every shot, and despite the darker tone, 'Gotham' does make use of lots of different colors (to give the series that comic-book vibe), all of which come across as impressive without being over-saturated.

I was most impressed, however, by the apparent lack of any aliasing on this set – something that I thought I would most certainly see with all the city establishing shots and pans that take place on the show (where something like aliasing is usually the most obvious, should it exist). There's none to be found here, and no issues with banding or noticeable noise, either.

[review_audio] =>

The featured audio for each episode are English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks, and I'm happy to report that Season 2 of 'Gotham' maintains the outstanding audio that was so appealing in Season 1. This remains one of the best-sounding shows on network TV.

The lossless tracks on these episodes retain the aggressiveness, immersiveness, and occasional directionality that we heard on the Season 1 set. LFE use is frequent, and the bass is low and booming without sounding disproportional to the rest of the mix. Dialogue is crisp and distinctive throughout. 'Gotham' is one of those rare TV series where I think the audio is on par with a lot of feature films, and audiophiles should certainly be pleased with what they get here.

I detected no glitches or issues with any of the tracks – which appear to be clear of any dropouts or other technical problems.

In addition to the English lossless tracks, each episode also has 2.0 Dolby Digital tracks in Portuguese. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, Dutch, Korean, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70097 [review_supplements] =>

At first glance, it appears Warner Bros. has been quite generous with the bonus materials. However, once viewers start diving into them, they'll realize that the vast majority of extras are nothing more than TV and online promo pieces that were created for the series. There's very little of substance here, and unlike the first season set, we get no deleted scenes or a gag reel this time around. It's like Warners just looked around to see what they already had available to slap onto this set, instead of really taking the time to provide us with some meaningful content.

Disc 1:

  • Aftermath (HD, 5 min.) – This is a collection of four short promo pieces for Season 2, each featuring a different character of the show. Each short clip can be watched separately or all together and consist of the following: 'Oswald' (½ min.), 'Nygma' (1 ½ min.), 'Barbara' (1 min.), and 'Gordon' (1 ½ min.).
  • Father's Office (HD, ½ min.) – A short promo for the series focusing on the hidden room that Bruce and Alfred found in Wayne Manor.
  • A Look Back (HD, 3 min.) – Three series regulars take a look back at the origins of their characters on the show. Once again, these clips can be watched together or individually and consist of: 'Donal Logue' (1 min.), 'Robin Lord Taylor' (1 min.), and 'Sean Pertwee' (1 min.).
  • Maniax Jerome (HD, ½ min.) – Another short promo clip for the show, focusing on the he's-not-really-the-Joker character of Jerome.
  • Strike Force (HD, 2 min.) – A short featurette on Season 2's new Police Commissioner Nathaniel Barnes (Michael Chiklis) and his plans to clean up Gotham City.
  • He Who Laughs Last (HD, 2 min.) – A short featurette on the villainous Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan).

Disc 2:

  • New Day, Dark Nights (HD, 2 min.) – This short promo covers one of the better story arcs of Season 2: Jim Gordon having to cut a deal with the Penguin.
  • A Look Ahead (HD, 3 min.) – Another collection of short character pieces, which can once again be watched together or individually. They consist of the following: 'Bruce & Alfred' (1 min.), 'Oswald' (1 min.), 'Nygma' (½ min.), and 'Gordon' (½ min.).

Disc 3:

  • The King (HD, 2 min.) – Yet another short promo for Season 2, this one focusing on the Penguin.
  • Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 16 min.) – The first really significant extra to appear on this set, these are highlights from the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con panel (before the premiere of Season 2). The panel features an introduction by, of all people, Ian Somerhalder, is moderated by Deadline.com Chief TV Critic Dominic Patten, and features Executive Producers Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens, and cast members Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin (whose name Patten totally butchers by the way!), Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz, Erin Richards, and Cory Michael Smith, plus DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.

Disc 4:

  • Gotham by Noir Light (HD, 25 ½ min.) – A look at both the film noir cinematography of 'Gotham' and the history of film noir in general, featuring comments from Executive Producers Bruno Heller and John Stephens, Co-Producer Rebecca Perry Cutter, Cinematographer Christopher Norr, Production Designer Richard Berg, Writer Megan Mostyn-Brown, and stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Erin Richards, and John Doman.
  • Alfred: Batman's Greatest Ally (HD, 20 min.) – A look at the history of Alfred Pennyworth, including his comic-book origins. This featurette includes comments from Executive Producers Bruno Heller, John Stephens, and Danny Cannon; DC Comics Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns; Co-Producer and Writer Rebecca Perry Cutter; Writer Megan Mostyn-Brown; and, of course, star Sean Pertwee.
  • Cold Hearted: The Tale of Victor Fries (HD, 10 min.) – A look at the story behind the man who becomes known as 'Mr. Freeze'. This featurette features comments from Executive Producer John Stephens, Writer Kenny Woodruff, and DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio.
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no bonus materials exclusive to this Blu-ray release.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70098 [review_bottom_line] => 6 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Overloaded with too many villains, too many subplots, and not enough focus on many of the main characters, Season 2 of 'Gotham' is a big letdown from the entertaining first season. These episodes of 'Gotham' aren't horrible, but the series has changed its theme from a crime-drama set in a comic-book world to just another comic-book TV series. Despite having a handful of good story arcs along the way, I'm sorry to say that this season is for fans only.

[review_movie_stars] => 2.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145886 ) ) [10] => Array ( [review_id] => 33891 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => hardcore [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Hardcore [picture_created] => 1476805787 [picture_name] => 51M13i7nDXL.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/10/18/120/51M13i7nDXL.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33891/hardcore.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1979 [run_time] => 108 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/hardcore-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 50GB Blu-ray Disc [1] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD 1.0 [1] => Music: DTS-HD 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Paul Schrader [1] => Audio Commentary with film experts [2] => Theatrical Trailer [3] => Booklet ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Dick Sargent, Season Hubley, Gary Graham, Larry Block ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Paul Schrader ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A deeply religious Midwestern businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films.

[review_movie] =>

Paul Schrader is usually left off the list when discussing excellent filmmakers and writers, which is unfortunate, because Schrader is one of the greats. He is mostly known for collaborating with Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma. Schrader wrote 'Taxi Driver', 'Obsession', 'Raging Bull', and 'Last Temptation of Christ', while he directed 'American Gigolo' and 'Light of Day' to name only a few films on his impressive resume.

Back in 1979, Schrader was just getting into the directing gig as he took on 'Hardcore', which had similar themes to 'Taxi Driver'. 'Hardcore' is every father's worst nightmare come to life and Schrader certainly captured every bleak moment that tortured his main character Jake Van Dorn, played by the impressive George C. Scott. 'Hardcore' follows a successful businessman from the midwest who is divorced, super religious, and is raising his pre-teen daughter Kristen.

When Kristen doesn't come home from her church trip, he panics of course and hires a California Detective named Andy Mast (Peter Boyle) to help track her. Mast turns up a violent porn film that stars Kristen. Since no other law enforcement are any help to Jake in locating his daughter, and believing she was kidnapped and forced to do these adult films, Jake goes undercover as a porn producer in California to find his daughter with the help of a local prostitute named Niki (Season Hubley).

From here, the two form a relationship as the trek through the very seedy underbelly of snuff films and porn in Southern California. I wouldn't say this film is like the title says, 'Hardcore' in any way, but it certainly gets the message across and shows the emotional distance and crisis that Jake is going through in every scene, where it seems like all routes and hope come to a dead end.

George C. Scott is fantastic in this role and completely immerses himself in this character as we see his struggle to do the right thing, when sometimes he doesn't, and we see it slowly kill him inside. The film jumps to some action cliches here and there, but the meat of the story is the relationship and character arc of Jake and Niki, which steals every brutal scene. 'Hardcore' still holds up today with excellent performances and great writing, and is still a film that will scare parents everywhere.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Hardcore' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Twilight Time and is Region A Locked. There were only 3,000 copies made. The disc is housed in a clear, hard plastic case with an insert that consists of an essay by Julie Kirgo on the film.

[review_video_picture_id] => 71738 [review_video] =>

'Hardcore' comes with a good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio from Twilight Time. This was a fairly rough looking film, but Twilight Time has done a great job cleaning up this picture. Detail is sharp and vivid, specifically in closeups in well lit interiors and exteriors. Individual hairs on the actor's faces, wrinkles, and beads of sweat and blood can be seen easily here. Wider shots looks great too, even in darker scenes.

There is really nothing digital about the look of this transfer, as there are varying degrees of grain here, which keeps the filmic look alive throughout. Colors look bold too, but are never overly done. This a very bleak film where the colors aren't as bright as they could be. Black levels are deep for the most part and the skin tones are natural. There were no major problems with any aliasing, banding, or video noise, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71739 [review_audio] =>

This release comes with a good DTS-HD MA 1.0 mix that hits all of the right notes, even though it isn't that immersive with surround sound. Sound effects are decent, but never pack a powerful punch like they should. Ambient noises can be heard in the seedy underbelly of Southern California with city life and cars passing by, but it is all fairly soft.

The score by the impressive Jack Nitzsche and the other classic rock songs come through nicely and are the real highlight here, always adding to the somber and haunting mood of the film. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills. There isn't any tin-can moments here. I just wish this had a fuller sound.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71740 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary #1 - The first commentary is with director Paul Schrader as he takes a look back at making the film and all of its themes. This is an engaging and informative commentary track where Schrader also talks about casting the film, working with these taboo themes and story lines, as well as some fond memories from the set.

Audio Commentary #2 - Film experts Eddy Friedfeld, lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo all discuss the life and career of Paul Schrader, Peter Boyle, and George C. Scott, while also discussing the making of this film and it being one of the first films to tackle this sort of subject. This is also a good listen.

Isolated Score - You can click this option to watch the movie with the score only playing.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.

Booklet - There is a fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Julie Kirgo about the film.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no HD exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71741 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Hardcore' goes down some very dark roads and is sure to be a nightmare to parents who watch. With excellent direction, outstanding performances by George C. Scott and Season Hubley, 'Hardcore' still holds up today, even with this violent and taboo subject matter. The video and audio presentations here are both commendable and good, and the bonus features are slim, but the two commentary tracks are definitely worth listening to. A great film and a great release deserves to be highly recommended!

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146450 ) ) [11] => Array ( [review_id] => 36850 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => hellonwheelsseason5volume1 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Hell on Wheels: Season 5 Volume 1 [picture_created] => 1470659957 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Hell_On_Wheels_Season_5_Volume_1_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Sony Home Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Hell_On_Wheels_Season_5_Volume_1_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36850/hellonwheelsseason5volume1.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 38.99 [asin] => B016OXMDZQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => A Look At Season 5 [1] => Set Tour with Anson Mount [2] => How the Chinese Built America [3] => Inside the Episodes ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Western, Television ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Phil Burke ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Chad Oakes, Michael Frislev ) [review_movie] =>

The final season of any show can be a tough ordeal to get through. If you're a longtime fan of a series, by that point you've already gone through quite a bit with your favorite characters and you're hopeful they finally meet their goals. At the same time, it can be bittersweet to say goodbye to a show you invested that much time of your life into. As 'Hell On Wheels' rolled to a close in Season Four, there was a sense of impending finality. With the railroad pushing west towards the mountains of Wyoming and Utah, the show was in the home stretch. 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' brings back all of the familiar faces who have survived thus far in a way that is both fitting and frustrating. 

Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is at the top of the mountain. He can see the valleys of western Utah below that will lead to Salt Lake City and beyond to California. The end is in sight, but Cullen's journey is just beginning. Each day of scouting routes moves Cullen one step closer to relocating his wife and son, but as Collis Huntington (Tim Guinee) reports, the Mormon leader Brigham Young (Gregg Henry) seemingly has nothing new to report. While Cullen is dealing with his own internal issues, he must also work to keep a fragile peace between a double-dealing Chinese contractor called Chang (Byron Mann) and the workforce lead by Tao (Tzi Ma) and his son Fong (Angela Zhou) as well as the return of The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl). Meanwhile, Cheyenne is seeing its own share of troubles as Doc Durant (Colm Meaney) struggles to keep the Union Pacific solvent and moving forward.

If there is a major complaint to be had with 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' it is stated right in the title. The seemingly unnecessary separation of a season only works to prolong an inevitable end. It was frustrating to get seven episodes in and just when the wheels felt like they were finally moving, it stops. Where in previous seasons of 'Hell On Wheels' it felt like you could jump in at the beginning of any season and quickly catch up with the entirety of the show, Season 5 suffers from needing to come to a conclusion while also filling up fourteen episodes worth of content. At times this season feels equally over stuffed and not stuffed enough. 

Hell on Wheels

Providing you were reading through the new character names and the actors who subsequently played them, you no doubt noticed the male character Fong being played by a woman Angela Zhou. This is a very interesting although obvious plot twist for Anson Mount's Cullen Bohannon. It's not much of a spoiler because you really can see it coming a mile off so the big "reveal" moment wasn't all too surprising - but still a good development for the character. We get to see a hardened and jaded man finally cool down and relax a bit as he starts to learn about this alien culture and how just because they're the ones doing the hard labor, doesn't mean they can't offer some sound construction advice. At the same time, that blossoming romance means eventually we're going to have to catch up with Cullen's wife Naomi (MacKenzie Porter) and the rest of the excommunicated Hatch clan. 

This introduction of new characters - while well written and interesting - eventually becomes a frustrating reminder that there are a lot of other characters whose arcs need resolving. This is especially true when things get to Cheyenne and the characters there. It's fun to reconnect with these people, but we've seen them toil in the mud for four seasons already, so their inclusion in the series at this point feels redundant save for Colm Meaney's Doc Durant and his business. I've always enjoyed Robin McLeavy's Eva and her story, but here she's undercooked and is included only because she's been in the show up to this point. I am purposefully avoiding talking about Christopher Heyerdahl's The Swede simply because it brings up too many plot spoilers. I will say that just when you think he may be a more passive character, he proves the depths of his evil nature in chilling fashion! 

As a whole, 'Hell On Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' is very good entertainment. It's a solid seven episodes of bridge material that will carry audiences towards the thrilling final stretch. Granted, the start of the final seasons feels a bit on the bloated side, some of the side plots could have used some trimming if only to quicken the pace, but 'Hell On Wheels' is often at its best when two people are having a conversation - with some fantastic moments of action tossed in for good measure. If you've come this far, you should absolutely keep going and enjoy the rest of the ride. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Hell on Wheels: Season Five, Volume 1' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of AMC and eOne Entertainment. The seven episodes contained within this volume are spread over two apparently Region Free BD50 discs. Each the first disc loads to trailers and previews for other AMC series before arriving at an animated main menu with standard navigation options. Disc two loads directly to the same animated main menu. Both discs are housed in a sturdy 2-disc Blu-ray case with identical slipcover artwork. Also included is a flier reminding that The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead are a thing - as if AMC would somehow let us forget. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 72439 [review_video] =>

Switching up the scenery and moving away from the very impressive Cheyenne location sets apparently was a very wise decision for this final season of 'Hell on Wheels.' Season Five boasts an out and out beautiful 1.78:1 1080p transfer that is simply gorgeous. The beautiful Alberta, Canada mountains doubling for the Sierra Nevadas are gorgeous and this transfer is simply stunning to look at. On top of all the great dramatic beats within the show, the location scenes deep within the mountains have that crisp and life-like appearance that one would expect from a BBC nature program. Digitally shot, the source is in impeccable shape without any blocking or notable compression issues. Details are in ripe abundance as everything from the scenery to the clothing to the impressive production design work are on display.  

[review_audio_picture_id] => 72438 [review_audio] =>

'Season Five, Volume One' boasts an expectedly impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. The entire run of the show thus far have been showcases for effective sound design and this one is no different. Dialogue during those calm and quiet moments come through clean and clear. Bigger scenes with extras hard at work on the railroad have a natural sense of space and distance to them that allows the surround effect to really shine. The series' music layers in nicely without any issues and creates a very nice and open-feeling audio mix. All around, every episode enjoys a near-flawless audio track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 72436 [review_supplements] =>

All Supplementary material are found on Disc Two.

A Look At Season 5: (HD 4:57) Honestly, there's not much to look at here. Pretty run of the mill EPK stuff and not much else. 

Set Tour with Anson Mount: (HD 3:23) As with previous Blu-ray releases, Anson Mount gives us an all too brief look at the set of the show. There is so much amazing craftsmanship on display here that I wish more time had been given to it.

How the Chinese Built America: (HD 3:14) This is informative but also disingenuously brief. One could create an entire TV series about the role Chinese immigrants played in the western expansion of the United States and the few minutes allotted here don't even begin to scratch the surface. 

Inside the Episodes: (HD totaling 33:08) These brief little bits and bobs are a tad on the spoiler side of things if you watch them ahead of the next episode, but they offer a little bit of info about why the producers and writers went where they did with the material and how the cast had to work with those scenes and their characters possibly coming to a violent end. 

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 72437 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 72435 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

If you're a 'Hell on Wheels' fan, you've come this far, but you're not quite all the way finished. These seven episodes get your closer to the home stretch. This first set of episodes may be a bit of a mixed bag at times, but they do provide some tantalizing setup for the final run. AMC and eOne deliver another impeccable Blu-ray release with beautiful image transfers and stellar audio mixes for each episode. The only complaint I have are the slim bonus features. I'm calling this one recommended, but fans should absolutely consider a purchase.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 5 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default ) ) [12] => Array ( [review_id] => 33922 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ingridbergmaninherownwords [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words [picture_created] => 1463680275 [picture_name] => ingrid.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Criterion [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/19/120/ingrid.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33922/ingridbergmaninherownwords.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 114 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01FRMOXAS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Swedish DTS-HD MA 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => New interview with director Stig Björkman [1] => Selection of 8 mm home movies shot by Bergman in the 1930s [2] => Two deleted scenes, showing Bergman’s daughters reading an essay she wrote at age 17 and an interview with film historian and Bergman scholar Rosario Tronnolone [3] => Extended versions of scenes featuring interviews with actors Sigourney Weaver and Liv Ullmann, and Bergman’s children [4] => Clip from the 1932 film 'Landskamp,' featuring Bergman in her first screen role [5] => Outtakes from Bergman’s 1936 film 'On the Sunny Side' [6] => Music video for Eva Dahlgren’s song “The Movie About Us,” which is included on the film’s soundtrack [7] => Trailer [8] => PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jeanine Basinger ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Pia Lindström ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Stig Björkman ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Whether headlining films in Sweden, Italy, or Hollywood, Ingrid Bergman always pierced the screen with a singular soulfulness. With this new documentary, made on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of Bergman’s birth, director Stig Björkman allows us unprecedented access to her world, culling from the most personal of archival materials—letters, diary entries, photographs, and 8 mm and 16 mm footage Bergman herself shot—and following her from youth to tumultuous married life and motherhood. Intimate and artful, this lovingly assembled portrait, narrated by actor Alicia Vikander, provides luminous insight into the life and career of an undiminished legend.

[review_movie] =>

We know her on screen. Characters like Ilsa in 'Casablanca,' Maria in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls,' Alicia in 'Notorious,' the saintly Joan of Arc, and Anna in 'Anastasia' define her as an actress of enormous range, strength, and sensitivity. Like her fellow Swede, Greta Garbo, she's breathtakingly beautiful and innately gifted, but instead of appearing aloof and mysterious, she's open and accessible. Audiences can relate to her, but they also admire her conviction and nobility in multi-faceted roles that often test her mettle. She won three Oscars, was nominated for four others, acted in five languages, and appeared in more than 50 films in six countries over the course of a magnificent 50-year career.

But who was Ingrid Bergman off screen? Was she like the characters she often portrayed - virtuous, forthright, noble, and vulnerable? Or did she more closely resemble the scandalous, headstrong woman who endured the scorn of a nation when she abandoned her husband and 11-year-old daughter in 1949 to have a child with Italian director Roberto Rossellini? The answer, of course, lies somewhere in between, and director Stig Björkman - with the help of Bergman herself - explores it in his elegant, insightful documentary, 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words.' Drawing upon Bergman's extensive diary entries, personal letters, a treasure trove of home movies (many shot by Bergman), vintage interviews, and the revealing perspectives of her four children, Björkman paints a fascinating, dimensional portrait of a complex, ceaselessly driven woman determined to live life to the fullest.

Different than most movie star biographies that rely on film clips, superficial testimonials, and salacious gossip, 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' allows its subject to tell her own story. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander provides narration in Bergman's voice, which lends the documentary an intimacy and warmth similar profiles lack. Examples of Bergman's work are included, but the focus remains squarely on the woman, not the actress, so the carefully chosen snippets show off specific aspects of her personality and talent. 

And yet acting, and Bergman's passion for it, drive the film. ("If you took acting away from me, I would stop breathing," she once wrote.) Haunted by a tragic childhood (she lost her mother before the age of 3 and her father as a preteen, as well as several close relatives), Ingrid felt compelled to make something of herself, and when she caught the acting bug, she pursued the profession with a single-minded passion that often superseded romantic and family relationships. The early personal losses also inspired her to live in the moment and, largely, for herself. With gusto and a deep sense of purpose, she tried her damnedest to squeeze as much as she could out of a storied and, at times, controversial existence. She made bold, sometimes impulsive choices and always moved forward, never pausing for reflection or regret.

All of her children wish they had more time with her. Due to acting commitments, Bergman was often away for lengthy periods during their formative years and she died of cancer at the relatively young age of 67. Her oldest daughter, Pia Lindström, the only child from her first marriage to Swedish neurosurgeon Petter Lindström, didn't see her mother for several years due to a bitter custody battle and Bergman's persona non grata status in America after she abandoned her family for Rossellini. Pia, rightfully, expresses dismay over her mother's seeming indifference to her children (although she never doubts her love), but the Rossellini brood - Roberto, Isabella, and Ingrid - are more philosophical about the long absences, and shade their comments with melancholy rather than ire.

That lack of anger, though, over some of Bergman's faults and actions slightly taints the film. Björkman and his subjects go to great lengths to analyze and dissect Bergman and her motivations, but they stop short of criticizing her or sharing any negative experiences. Instead, they passively accept her shortcomings. The charming, idyllic home movies that are so full of life and packed with shots of adorable children and carefree episodes, and the excerpts from Bergman's diary and letters that outline her insecurities and fears deeply humanize this Hollywood icon, but they don't give us the full picture. We only hear about happy times and struggles. Dark episodes are avoided, as are discussions of her marriages and what caused all three of them to unravel. "I've gone from saint to whore and back to saint again, all in one lifetime," Bergman wrote, but the film doesn't fill in the blanks of the gray area in between as fully as we might like. 

Yet despite that minor deficiency, we still come away with a full-bodied, dimensional portrait of a hard-working actress and unpretentious, earthy woman who perhaps loved her profession more than anything else in her life. More film clips would document her versatility (it's a shame her Oscar-winning work in 'Gaslight' and 'Murder on the Orient Express' is not represented), but they would also alter the tone of this highly personal, reverential film. 

Björkman masterfully assembles the material, balancing artistry with a documentarian's sense of purpose and truth. Rare clips, such as Bergman's luminous silent screen test for producer David O. Selznick and behind-the-scenes footage shot on the set of 'Joan of Arc,' as well as private moments with her three husbands, beautifully reconcile the lofty actress with her down-to-earth wife-and-mother alter ego, and enhance our appreciation of both. The interviews are also varied and natural, spanning different locations and languages, which somehow makes them seem more authentic.

And authentic is arguably the best adjective to describe Ingrid Bergman. This superior documentary honors that aspect of her character and salutes a brave woman who blazed a fascinating trail. Anyone who loves her - and who doesn't? - will be utterly absorbed by this sensitive, perceptive portrait that comes closer to revealing the real Ingrid Bergman than any other film.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats 

'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' arrives on Blu-ray packaged in a standard Criterion case. A 16-page fold-out booklet featuring an essay by film historian and archivist Jeanine Basinger, a couple of rare photos, and transfer notes is tucked inside the front cover. Video codec is 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 and audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The narration is in Swedish, although most of the film clips and interviews are in English. Once the disc is inserted into the player, the static menu with music immediately pops up; no previews or promos precede it.

[review_video_picture_id] => 70130 [review_video] =>

With so many different film stocks, material that spans many decades, and a combination of color, black-and-white, film, and television footage, crafting a seamless transfer would appear to be almost impossible, and yet Criterion has fashioned a superb rendering that beautifully weaves together all the different elements. The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer remains faithful to its source material, honoring the various grain structures, degrees of clarity, and individual idiosyncrasies to create a cohesive whole. Some sequences are breathtakingly crisp (Bergman's silent, Technicolor screen test for David O. Selznick is jaw-droppingly gorgeous), while others flaunt an antiquated charm that heightens the film's warmth and sense of nostalgia. Home movies are often difficult to reproduce, but the 8mm and 16mm footage looks surprisingly detailed and vibrant (thanks to new 4K and 2K scans), allowing us to fully absorb intimate family moments. The contemporary interviews look natural and unpretentious, and the various visual effects Björkman often employs lend the image a striking edginess that keeps the film fresh and vital. No nicks or scratches dot the print (unless they already exist on vintage clips), and no digital anomalies could be detected. An actress as ravishing as Bergman deserves a top-flight transfer to properly reflect her beauty, and thankfully Criterion gives us just that.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70131 [review_audio] =>

The multi-lingual DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track features narration in Swedish by Alicia Vikander and some comments in French and Italian from Bergman and her children, but most of the interviews and film clips are in English. From start to finish, the sound is clear and perfectly modulated, with no level changes occurring during source material shifts. Surround activity is limited to the scoring, which is distinguished by fine fidelty and tonal depth, and a wide dynamic scale allows it plenty of room to breathe. All the interview remarks, film clips, and narration are easy to comprehend, even though some of the vintage material sounds a bit rough and shrill. Once again, the sheer volume of old and new audio sources makes creating a balanced mix a challenge, but this track manages them all  and serves them all quite well.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70132 [review_supplements] =>

Several supplements enhance our enjoyment of this stellar documentary,

  • Interview with Stig Björkman (HD, 19 minutes) - In this engaging and informative interview, the director of 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' chronicles the production of the film, beginning with the meeting with Isabella Rossellini that inspired it and continuing through the challenges of organizing Bergman's diaries, letters, and home movies, devising the narrative structure, and selecting actress Alicia Vikander to supply the narration. Björkman states this was a project "based on trust," and that Bergman's children did not have approval rights on the final cut. He also discusses his cinematic style and how his view of Bergman changed while he was making the documentary.

  • Home Movies (HD, 7 minutes) - Much of this reel of intimate footage supplied by Bergman's daughter Pia Lindström is used in the film, but a few extra bits are included, most notably shots of director Alfred Hitchcock carving meat at a barbecue at his home.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 12 minutes) - Two excised sequences are included. The first shows Bergman's three daughters (Pia Lindström and Isabella and Ingrid Rossellini) reading a surprisingly prescient essay their mother wrote when she was just 16 called "How I Would Raise My Daughter," while the second features film historian Rosario Tronnolone, owner of the world's largest private collection of Bergman material. Tronnolone shows off the church where Bergman and Rossellini were married, compares and contrasts photographs of Bergman by such esteemed photographers as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Lord Snowden, and talks about Bergman's affinity with a "flyttfagel" (a migrating bird) and how it represents her spirit.

  • Extended Scenes (HD, 20 minutes) - Two extended sequences are included. The first features comments from Sigourney Weaver, Isabella Rossellini, and Liv Ullmann that address Bergman's brutal honesty, creative personality, the devotion of her friends, and how Rossellini feels as she watches her mother on film. The second expands on interviews with the three Rossellini children, in which they cite their mother's charm, quiet courage, shyness, and risk taking. Ingrid Rossellini also shares a delightful anecdote that provides a glimpse of Bergman as a frazzled grandmother.

  • Vintage Film Clip (HD, 1 minute) - This rare snippet shows Bergman in her first film, 'Landskamp,' in which she briefly appeared as an extra.

  • Vintage Outtakes (HD, 4 minutes) - Six takes of sections of a scene from the 1936 Swedish film 'On the Sunny Side' show a young, fresh-faced Bergman at work with co-star Lars Hanson.

  • Music Video (HD, 5 minutes) - Swedish singer Eva Dahlgren performs 'The Movie About Us,' which can be heard over the film's end credits. Sadly, there are no references to or clips of Bergman in the video.

  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 minutes) - The movie's original preview, packed with images of Bergman (of course!), completes the extras package.

[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70133 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Few documentaries of classic stars provide a more intimate perspective than Stig Björkman's 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words,' which may be why this engrossing chronicle of one of the world's most talented and beautiful actresses resonates so strongly. Culled from marvelous home movies, extensive diary entries, scads of personal letters, and clips from Bergman interviews over the years, this comprehensive profile allows us to see the woman behind the famous roles and better understand her driving ambition and controversial choices. Revealing interviews with all four of Bergman's children enhance this portrait, which brims with artistry and warmth. Criterion's Blu-ray presentation features top-notch video and audio transfers, as well as several excellent supplements. If you're a Bergman fan, this is a must-own release, but any film aficionado will be captivated by this frank yet reverent documentary. Highly recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145923 ) ) [13] => Array ( [review_id] => 33893 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => lamogliepiubellaakathemostbeautifulwife [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => La Moglie Piu’ Bella (aka The Most Beautiful Wife) [picture_created] => 1473714048 [picture_name] => La_Moglie_Più_Bella_Front_Cover.png [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/12/120/La_Moglie_Più_Bella_Front_Cover.png [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33893/lamogliepiubellaakathemostbeautifulwife.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1970 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units [1] => Isolated Score Track [2] => Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond [3] => Introduction by Director Damiano Damiani [4] => Original Theatrical Trailer ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 [1] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English Subtitles ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison, he advises Vito, a young man who's his potential successor, to marry a virtuous and poor woman. Vito's eye settles on Francesca, only 15, but lovely and self-possessed. Among her virtues are high self worth and forthright speech, so although she falls in love with Vito, she won't bow down to him. Believing he's losing face, he has his boys kidnap her and he rapes her. Then, he tells her he'll still marry her. Instead, she files charges. Her parents, brother, and neighbors refuse to support her. Will she break? Will Vito continue his assaults?

[review_supplements] =>
  • Isolated Score Track
  • Sicily, Ornella, the Mafia, and Beyond
  • Introduction by Director Damiano Damiani
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [14] => Array ( [review_id] => 33889 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ladyincement [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Lady in Cement [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33889/ladyincement.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1968 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Mystery ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Gordon Douglas ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Private eye Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) investigates the case of a woman found drowned off Miami Beach.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [15] => Array ( [review_id] => 33063 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => lakenowhere [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Lake Nowhere [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Brink [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33063/lakenowhere.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [run_time] => 52 [list_price] => 24.95 [asin] => 01EG1R9F2 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Oscar Allen ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

From the vaults of the golden age of slasher films comes LAKE NOWHERE, a raucous, bloody romp which resurrects the thrill of gory midnight movies for an hour-long plunge into the depths of horror. Inspired by the dusty days of VHS, LAKE NOWHERE is preceded by original trailers & commercials, replicating the experience of watching a long lost bootleg tape. When a group of friends arrive at a desolate lakeside cabin, they are stalked and murdered by a Masked Maniac, whose lust for blood transcends our world. This age-old tale of senseless slaughter quickly spirals into the realm of supernatural horror and classic monster movies, as we learn the true power that lies within LAKE NOWHERE

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [16] => Array ( [review_id] => 35648 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => maninthewilderness [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Man in the Wilderness [picture_created] => 1467739104 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Man_in_the_Wilderness_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Archive [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/05/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Man_in_the_Wilderness_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35648/maninthewilderness.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1971 [run_time] => 104 [list_price] => 21.99 [asin] => B01HQH1X3M [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Harris; John Huston; John Bindon; Ben Carruthers; Henry Wilcoxon; James Doohan ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard C. Sarafian ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [17] => Array ( [review_id] => 34289 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => microwavemassacre [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Microwave Massacre [picture_created] => 1464674479 [picture_name] => microwave.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/microwave.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34289/microwavemassacre.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1983 [run_time] => 76 [list_price] => 34.95 [asin] => B01FEE1XC0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.37:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English Mono LPCM ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler moderated by Mike Tristano [1] => Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein [2] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork to be revealed ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jackie Vernon, Loren Schein, Al Troupe ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Wayne Berwick ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

THEY CAME FOR DINNER...TO FIND THEY WERE IT!!

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon (the voice of Frosty The Snowman from the beloved animated Rankin / Bass classic animated holiday special) as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life his nagging wife and his lack of tasty meals when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he s got a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying...

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from lead Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as I m so hungry I could eat a whore . Vegetarians need not apply!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [18] => Array ( [review_id] => 35710 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => mikenicholsamericanmasters [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Mike Nichols: American Masters [picture_created] => 1467839275 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Mike_Nichols-_American_Masters_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/06/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Mike_Nichols-_American_Masters_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35710/mikenicholsamericanmasters.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 53 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01HSDSNAA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bob Balaban, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Elaine May ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Mike Nichols: American Masters

American Masters: Season 30, Episode 1
The life and 50th-year of director Mike Nichols, one of only two people who have won Peabody, Emmy,Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

Blu-ray features exclusive interviews with Bob Balaban, James L. Brooks, Robert Osborne and Tommy Tune along with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) [1] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 32756 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => onceuponatimethecompletefifthseason [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season [picture_created] => 1463410920 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Disney/Buena Vista [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/16/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32756/onceuponatimethecompletefifthseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B01E7XSXJK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 5-Disc Set ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Fantasy, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, Jamie Dornan, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Jared S. Gilmore ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Emma Swan gets the surprise of her life when Henry, the son she gave up 10 years ago, arrives on her doorstep. Returning the boy to his adoptive mother becomes complicated when Henry reveals a stunning theory to Emma. Everyone in Storybrooke, Maine is a fairytale character under a curse, and Emma - as the long lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming - is the one who can save them all. The story unfolds; interweaving scenes of the drama in the sleepy New England town and the the inhabitants' past lives in the world of fairy tales. The timeless battle of good vs evil is ready to begin again.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34116 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => patchadams [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Patch Adams [picture_created] => 1464198267 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/25/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34116/patchadams.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1998 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G45JA5K [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Director Tom Shadyac [1] => The Medicinal Value of Laughter: Making of Patch Adams [2] => Outtakes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Storyboards ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Robin Williams, Daniel London, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Monica Potter, Frances Lee McCain, Irma P. Hall ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Shadyac ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Meet Patch Adams, a doctor who doesn't look, act or think like any doctor you've met before. For Patch, humor is the best medicine, and he's willing to do just about anything to make his patients laugh - even if it means risking his own career. Based on a true story, Patch Adams combines side splitting humor with an inspiring story that transcends the traditional comedy.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 36890 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => punchline [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Punch Line [picture_created] => 1470685810 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Punch_Line_1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Section 23 [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Punch_Line_1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36890/punchline.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 59.98 [asin] => B01EP1NVXW [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 34532 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => raidersthestoryofthegreatestfanfilmevermade [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made [picture_created] => 1472765316 [picture_name] => raiders_blu-ray.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Drafthouse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/01/120/raiders_blu-ray.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34532/raidersthestoryofthegreatestfanfilmevermade.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 106 [list_price] => 34.95 [asin] => B01EG1R9IO [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layered Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layered Disc [2] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English LPCM 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentaries [1] => Featurette [2] => Outtakes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Trailers [5] => Booklet [6] => Digital Copy ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Adventure, Documentary ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Ernest Cline, James Donald, Rob Fuller, Chris Gore, Jayson Lamb, Karl Preusser ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The true, decades-spanning tale of the greatest fan film ever made. After Steven Spielberg's classic Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 35 years ago, three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: a faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film. They finished every scene...except one; the film's explosive airplane set piece. Over two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece. Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders! is the story of the project's culmination, chronicling the friends' dedication to their artistic vision--mixed in with some movie magic--to create the greatest fan film ever made.

[review_movie] =>

In the summer of 1982, three middle-school boys joined forces to do a shot-for-shot remake of their favorite movie, Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' They all saw the movie separately the year prior, and the three boys weren't friends yet, but their love of the now dearly beloved action adventure classic is what ultimately brought them together, along with a passion to celebrate its impact on their lives. What they didn't anticipate was the amount time, work, and planning that goes into a big budget studio movie, turning what was initially meant as a summer project into an 7-year journey where each summer, holiday break and weekly allowance was dedicated to accomplishing this amatuer production. And like a real production, the kids shot scenes out of sequence over the course of those years, so they appear at different ages throughout the finished product, making it all the more humorous while attesting to their dedication. The end result, however, is a faithful adaptation of the Spielberg-Lucas collaboration that's as shockingly entertaining as the very film it celebrates and imitates.

Aside from its amatuer failings and laughably limited resources — much of it was shot in one of the kid's mother's basement, in their backyards and throughout their hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi — the one arguable drawback is that the kids didn't finish their version of their favorite movie of all time. Due to expense and the obvious dangers, they never shot one final sequence, the one with Jones in a fistfight while a Nazi plane rolls in circles. 'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' is the story not only about the making of that movie, but also about them reuniting after 25 years to finally make their dreams come true after a Kickstarter campaign raised the necessary funds for completing the missing scene. The folks behind the documentary, Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, are budding filmmakers themselves, so they treat their subject matter with a kind of admiration and a recognizable sense of understanding. This 106-minute look at a shoestring passion project is not meant for audiences to point and laugh at or be witness to the failure of these now grown men. 

Rather, this is a making-of documentary that holds in awe the men's level of dedication and their unabashed adoration of cinema. It's an inspiring and surprisingly touching look at how movies affect our lives, capturing our imagination in such a way as to become a big part of our childhood while also serving as a source of escapism. Eric Zala is the movie's storyboard artist and director, igniting in him to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. And making this movie helped him through his parent's divorce, which sadly seems like a common theme for many of the boys involved. Serving as cinematographer, editor and special effects artist, Jayson Lamb is the most eccentric personality of the bunch, and the production allowed him to explore his imagination and quirky creativity — the only person with the right idea for turning the final airplane sequence a reality without the danger. Arguably, the most obsessed with the original 'Raiders' is Chris Strompolos, who played Indy in the adaptation. He's an enthusiastic and humbly upbeat guy with the most tragically moving backstory of all, which I won't spoil here. But he provides the emotional core of the documentary and serves as its recurring central theme.

As movie lovers, we express that love of cinema in a variety of ways, from the casual viewer with a small cluster of features deemed important favorites to the ardently devoted collector of memorabilia and an imposing collection of films on various home video formats. Some pursue impassioned careers in the industry while others are content with simply talking and writing cinema, like yours truly. And so, while we all fall somewhere within those ranges, the one thing uniting us is that love and when thinking on our childhoods, no matter how varied and different, certain movies have latched themselves to many of those memories. 'Raiders!' perfectly captures that love affair in a way that few documentaries have done before, by following a group of people who don't feel as though they missed out on their childhood. Instead, they filmed it. Their passion speaks to the film geeks and cinephiles in all of us, which is proven by the faithful adaptation being accidentally discovered decades later by Eli Roth and shown at Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-a-Thon film festival where it was met with cheering applause by like-minded folks. It's a story as equally interesting and inspiring as the making of the greatest fan film ever made.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Drafthouse Films brings 'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a code for a digital copy and a 16-page booklet with reprints of the original storyboard artwork. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits comfortably atop a DVD9 copy on the same panel, and both are housed in a clear keepcase with reversible cover art. At startup, viewers are taken straight to a menu screen with full-motion clips and music playing in the background. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 70320 [review_video] =>

The would-be filmmakers raid Blu-ray with a great-looking 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode although the documentary is largely made of stock footage of the period, behind-the-scenes footage from the production and badly aged VHS video of the movie. Other sources include clips of classic movies such as the original 'Raiders' and a collection of personal photos, but the film proper and the series of interviews look best and serve as reminders that viewers are in fact watching in HD. As would be expected, the footage presents a variety of compression artifacts and video anomalies, so properly gauging the overall quality is somewhat of a challenge. 

All things considered, however, and with consideration to the majority of the material, I'm pleased to report the doc actually looks great with much to enjoy. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the presentation displays a crisp and well-balanced contrast. Clean, bright whites fill the frame while the screen shows a variety of sharp details in the photography. Fine lines and objects are fairly distinct and nicely defined, depending on the quality of the film, but understandably, the older footage is softer with lots of visible damage, ranging from macroblocking and rainbow artifacting to aliasing and compression issues. The same goes for the colors seen throughout where sometimes they appear faded and worn while at other times, primaries are bold and accurately rendered. Strong black levels are the most consistent aspect of the documentary with good delineation in the darker portions. All in all, the presentation comes with much to enjoy and easily forgiven for the quality of older footage.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70321 [review_audio] =>

Accompanying the revelry and hardcore movie fanaticism is this surprisingly good and engaging DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. It won't likely have viewers cheering in their seats or will ever be nominated for demoing one's sound system, but it's enjoyable and complements the documentary well.

Although the track is unsurprisingly of the front-heavy variety, meant to focus audience attention on the interviews and the personal lives of the participants, a few effects sneak into the rear speakers with good directionality and panning. The most impressive moments are the behind-the scenes footage of the exploding airplane sequence being interrupted by thunder showers. The crackling roar of thunder resonates into the sides and overhead with the upmixing function of the receiver turned on while falling rain comes sprinkling all around. The musical score does the majority of the work, spreading across the screen with superb clarity and lightly bleeding into the surrounds to create a satisfying soundfield. Displaying excellent balance between the channels in the fronts, imaging feels expansive with detailed definition in the mid-range and well-prioritized vocals in the center. Low bass doesn't leave much of an impression, but it's hearty and impactful when used during certain scenes and for the music. Otherwise, this lossless mix is in great shape for a documentary about going big with childhood dreams.

The DTS-HD track is also accompanied by an equally strong uncompressed PCM stereo track.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70322 [review_supplements] =>
  • Audio Commentaries — The first commentary track has the directors Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon explaining much of their approach to the project, some of the behind-the-scenes decision making and some of the information which sadly didn't make the final cut. It's an amusing and informative conversation which listeners should find quite enjoyable. The second commentary features budding filmmakers Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos enthusiastically talking about their film, but interestingly, also giving their thoughts of the documentary itself. It also makes for a great listen because the two childhood friends share a variety of memories, their appreciation for the doc and love of cinema in general.
  • Q&A from Alamo Drafthouse Premiere (HD in 720p, 41 min) — A recording a panel discussion after the premiere of the adaptation at the Alamo Drafthouse on 31 May 2003. Of most interest is seeing Zala, Strompolos and Lamb soak in all the attention before deciding to shoot the final sequence.
  • Outtakes (1080i/60, 20 min) — A great assortment of BTS footage of the adaptation, not the documentary, showing the amount of fun the kids had while making their shoestring production.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 32 min) — Various sequences from the documentary which didn't make the final cut.
  • Trailers (HD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70323 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made' tells the story of a childhood dream of three passionate movie lovers that spanned over seven summers but still took 30 years to finally complete. The documentary by Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon captures the love of cinema we all share in a way few films ever can and speaks to the hearts of film geeks and cinephiles everywhere. And it shouldn't be missed. The Blu-ray arrives with a great-looking video but some consideration should be given to the quality and condition of some of the more badly-aged footage. The audio presentation is equally strong with a couple impressive moments and a good selection of supplements, making the overall package is recommended for film lovers. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 3.5 [review_supplements_stars] => 3 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145949 ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 36881 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => sailormooncrystalset1standard [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Sailor Moon "Crystal" Set 1 [picture_created] => 1470685056 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Standard_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Viz Media [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Standard_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36881/sailormooncrystalset1standard.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 69.98 [asin] => B0186O8R4C [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 4-Disc Blu-ray Set ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

"Usagi Tsukino is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she's also one spirited eighth grader. One day she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her forehead, and transforms into the pretty guardian of love and justice in a sailor suit, Sailor Moon! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi apparently has a mission to protect a princess, and to find her fellow Guardians and the phantom Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom sends her subordinates to the town where Usagi lives. They cause strange events to occur there, all in an effort to acquire the tremendously powerful Silver Crystal... Can Sailor Moon and the other Guardians successfully find the phantom crystal, and protect the princess...!? "

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [5] => Array ( [review_id] => 36884 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => sailormooncrystalset1limitededition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Sailor Moon "Crystal" Set 1: Limited Edition [picture_created] => 1470685305 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Limited_Edition_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Viz Media [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_Set_1_Limited_Edition_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36884/sailormooncrystalset1limitededition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 322 [list_price] => 79.99 [asin] => B0186O8R1U [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 4-Disc Blu-ray Set ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

"Usagi Tsukino is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she's also one spirited eighth grader. One day she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon mark on her forehead, and transforms into the pretty guardian of love and justice in a sailor suit, Sailor Moon! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi apparently has a mission to protect a princess, and to find her fellow Guardians and the phantom Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom sends her subordinates to the town where Usagi lives. They cause strange events to occur there, all in an effort to acquire the tremendously powerful Silver Crystal... Can Sailor Moon and the other Guardians successfully find the phantom crystal, and protect the princess...!? "

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [6] => Array ( [review_id] => 34242 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => saved [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Saved! [picture_created] => 1464449778 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Saved!_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Saved!_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34242/saved.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2004 [run_time] => 92 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MJEHI [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [7] => Array ( [review_id] => 3672 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => session9 [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Session 9 [picture_created] => 1462460073 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Scream Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/05/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3672/session9.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2001 [run_time] => 100 [list_price] => 27.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOG2 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => NEW Return To Danvers: The Secrets Of SESSION 9 Featuring Interviews With Director/Co-writer Brad Anderson, Actor/Co-writer Stephen Gevedon, Actors Josh Lucas, Brendan Sexton III, Larry Fessenden, Composers The Climax Golden Twins And Director Of Photography Uta Briesewitz [1] => NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations of The Film [2] => Audio Commentary With Brad Anderson And Stephen Gevedon [3] => Deleted Scenes And Alternate Ending With Optional Commentary By Director Brad Anderson [4] => Story To Screen Featurette [5] => The Haunted Palace Featurette [6] => Theatrical Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, David Caruso ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Brad Anderson ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

It looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing... abandoned and deteriorating, the Danvers State Mental Hospital, closed down for 15 years is about to receive 5 new visitors. Donning protective gear, the men of the Hazmat Elimination Co. venture into the eerily vast and vacant asylum that is filled with an evil and mysterious past. Rampant patient abuse, medieval medical procedure and rumors of demonic possession are some of the many dark secrets the hospital holds - but then so do each of the men.

[review_movie] =>

Atmosphere, mood, location, can often trump all other essential elements when it comes to crafting an effective and unnerving thriller. These elements can even outweigh the importance of clean, well-drawn characters played by talented actors. While having these characters is absolutely essential, that sustained sense of ambiance and dread can make or break the final product. Such is the case with Writer and Director Brad Anderson's breakout independent horror/thriller 'Session 9.' While the film features a talented cast of actors such as David Caruso, Josh Lucas, Peter Mullan, and Stephen Gevedon, it's the film's location of an actual dilapidated former asylum that carries the film, drives the story forward, and builds the constant sense of dread and paranoia.

It was supposed to be a simple job. Get in there, strip out the asbestos, make a quick bonus check, and then go home happy and a few thousand dollars richer. For Gordon (Peter Mullan), his partner Phil (David Caruso), and his asbestos abatement crew Mike (Stephen Gevedon), Jeff (Brendan Sexton III) and Hank (Josh Lucas), that's what cleaning out the old Danvers state asylum should have been. But the stakes are high. As Gordon is a new father, he's also facing the collapse of his business as he has a harder and harder time outbidding the competition. In order to secure the gig from the property manager Griggs (Paul Guilfoyle), Gordon has to cut a lot of corners. A job that should be done in at least three weeks, no less than two, must now be done in one week. However, if everyone comes together, busts their backsides and gets the work done, they get to split a $10,000 bonus. That should be the motivation to ensure the job gets done right.

As the crew gets down to work, problems start to arise. Internal personal difficulties start to dominate the work as does the creepy and unsettling location. The asylum's sordid history comes to light when the crew discovers old audio recordings of a patient named Mary Hobbes. When the recordings reveal an assortment of personalities contained within one woman, the crew start to experience strange things. With the pressure on, with Gordon's stress at its peak, tools, personal effects, and members of the crew start to go missing, it's clear to the men that the asylum holds deeper and darker secrets than the ones reported in the media or recorded on those eerie tapes. 

Session 9

'Session 9' is a study in dark, disturbing, and methodical independent horror cinema. Rather than cow-tailing to modern conventions of quick splatter gore and parody, the film takes its time to build dread. Characters are slowly introduced one by one. We get the time necessary to learn who each man is, what their personal needs are, and how the stakes of their work conditions affect them. We get it that Gordon has a new kid and a family to feed on top of running a business. We know Phil needs job security but doesn't want to risk job safety. We learn pretty quickly that Hank hates his work and has an exit plan. It's obvious Jeff is there for a quick buck and nothing else. We know that Mike is smarter and better than the work he's doing and probably shouldn't even be there. While any number of modern horror thrillers would trade this time of slow and proper character development for in your face gore, 'Session 9' does things right and gives the audience time to care about the people they're going to watch for the next 100 minutes. On top of showcasing the characters, 'Session 9' is also introducing the audience to the asylum allowing the creepy dilapidated building to become a unique character unto itself.

'Session 9' popped on my radar as an underground video hit way back when it was released in 2001. While it enjoyed a small theatrical run, it didn't make its mark until it hit DVD. It's odd to look back at only 15 years ago as a long time, but it really is. At that time, DVD was a booming home video format. If a film didn't make the bucks in theaters, it could still be counted on turning some sort of a profit on disc through rentals or sales. A random rental was how I stumbled my way towards discovering this unnerving flick. I didn't know what I was going to get, I just read the description on the back and thought it could be cool. I didn't expect to see a movie that depicted a genuinely disturbing descent into madness. It didn't help that I watched this alone in my dorm room late at night with the lights off. That was a big mistake then, and it remains a big mistake to this day. Even going into this review knowing the twists and turns and what to expect when and where I was glad to see the film maintains this ominous sense of dread and suspense all these years later. I expected this recent viewing to betray some sort of script issue or plot device that destroys the film, but it doesn't exist. Brad Anderson's smart direction and his script cowritten by Stephen Gevedon holds up under scrutiny. I wouldn't call it a perfect film by any means, but I do consider it a smart and creative flick that used its meager means and established locations incredibly effectively. If you've never seen 'Session 9,' you owe it to yourself to give the flick a look - especially with the lights out!  

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Session 9' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory. Pressed onto a Region A BD50 disc, the disc comes housed in a standard Blu-ray case. The film opens to the traditional Scream Factory logo into before arriving at a static image main menu with some incredibly creepy music from the film playing in the background. The menu features traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 69387 [review_video] =>

As one of the first theatrically released films shot using Sony's then state-of-the-art 24p HD digital cameras, 'Session 9' features a 2.35:1 1080p transfer that should be considered "about as good as it can get." This digitally sourced image is a showcase of technological limitations of HD cinematography before it was as readily used as it is today. While the image showcases some great clarity, fantastic depth, sharp details, radiant colors, and some solid black levels, it also comes prepackaged with all of the unfortunate "video" side effects. Motion blur, some aliasing, slight banding, and fluctuating brightness levels creep up from time to time. One can't really call this a fault in the Blu-ray transfer because this film has always looked this way. While some may not enjoy the "video" look of the film, it adds a documentary sort of vibe to the film. The HD video camera also allowed the filmmakers to shoot using natural light making the mood of the film that much creepier when you can tell that during certain scenes only a flashlight was used to light a dark and creepy corridor with something - or someone - lurking in the distance. To that effect, this transfer is likely the best this movie will ever look on home video and by doing some quick comparisons is leaps and bounds better than its DVD counterpart. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69386 [review_audio] =>

With an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track, 'Session 9' maintains a disturbing and unsettling auditory presence. I was actually surprised that this film wasn't given a full 5.1 upgrade as so often happens, but was glad to see that this film really doesn't need a 5.1 track to work. The film keeps dialogue at the forefront and is clearly heard while allowing echoes and airy atmospherics to control the scene. Scoring by Climax Golden Twins also keeps the track lively and effective without dominating the scene. Imaging is effective with the stereo channels providing the right amount of subtle movement to keep that sense of dread working. Levels are also set just right so you shouldn't need to ever adjust the volume once you've got it set at a comfortable level. That said, I recommend you keep the volume up for this one - just so you soak in all of the disturbing and ominous tones. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69385 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Director/Co-Writer Brad Johnson with Actor/Co-Writer Stephen Gevedon provide a fantastic commentary track that covers all aspects of production. A great listen.

Return to Danvers: The secrets of 'Session 9': (HD 48:57) This is an exhaustive and fascinating series of interviews with cast and crew. While all of the basics of story genesis, scripting, shooting on location are covered, it's really interesting to hear them talk about shooting under such creepy conditions and they managed to create a big looking film on a very small budget. 

Horror's Hallowed Grounds: (HD 20:13) Fans of the series will be more than happy to see the old Danvers insane asylum explored by Sean Clark. It's also rather unsettling to learn the old asylum is now "luxury" apartments. Who in their right mind would want to live in that place willingly and pay to be there?

Deleted Scenes/Alternate Ending: (SD 9:40) This covers an interesting but understandably deleted subplot. The material is great stuff and it would have been cool to see it reinserted back in the film in some way as an alternate cut. 

Story to Screen: (HD 10:01) This is a quick and cool look at behind the scenes shooting and how the final film looked coupled with storyboards. 

The Haunted Palace: (SD 12:54) This is a vintage behind the scenes bonus feature that looks closer at the history of the Danvers State Hospital location. 

Theatrical Trailer: (SD 1:53)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69384 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69382 [review_bottom_line] => 1 [review_final_thoughts] =>

I hadn't seen 'Session 9' in over a decade. It was a movie I saw late at night in college and it freaked me out in ways few movies can. I'm happy to see that the film still holds up all of these years later. It was a movie that had stuck with me and seeing it again after so long only reaffirmed my belief that Brad Anderson and his talented cast and crew managed to create one of the most unsettling and disturbing movies of the early 2000's - if not that entire decade. When horror was content being a goofy gory parody, 'Session 9' had real guts and teeth to it. Scream Factory has brought the film to Blu-ray with an A/V presentation that is pretty fantastic considering the original digital source. In addition to the original extra features from the DVD being ported over, some new interviews and behind the scenes material round out an excellent bonus features package. If you're a fan of 'Session 9' or even if you're new to the flick, consider this Blu-ray release highly recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 3.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145609 ) ) [8] => Array ( [review_id] => 34262 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => tellmethatyoulovemejuniemoon [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon [picture_created] => 1464564140 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Tell_Me_That_You_Love_Me,_Junie_Moon_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/29/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Tell_Me_That_You_Love_Me,_Junie_Moon_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34262/tellmethatyoulovemejuniemoon.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1970 [run_time] => 113 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G8S09YO [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [9] => Array ( [review_id] => 3463 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => burbs [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The 'Burbs [picture_created] => 1463773117 [picture_name] => Burbs.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Burbs.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3463/burbs.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [run_time] => 102 [list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8S23JS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc [1] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Alternate Ending [1] => Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Carrie Fisher ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Joe Dante ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Tom Hanks portrays suburbanite Ray Peterson, whose plans for a peaceful vacation are disturbed by a creepy new family on the block, in this outrageous suspense-comedy.

To the disappointment of his wife Carol, Ray decides to spend a relaxing week at home, and soon gets into trouble with his neighbors-a hefty busybody, a freaked-out ex-soldier, and a spacey teenager - as they observe the strange happenings next door at the Klopek's bizarre residence.

When the neighborhood grouch suddenly disappears, the men are convinced the ramshackle house hides some hideous clues. Armed with assault rifles, high-powered binoculars and a shovel, they decide to see for themselves exactly what is going on in the Kloped place. Set in an average neighborhood that is anything but average, THE 'BURBS blends slapstick comedy and spine-thrilling mystery with the type of witty humor that has made Tom Hanks one of today's most popular stars.  Save save

[review_movie] =>

Suburbia is under attack by a shadowy, seditious presence threatening the status quo in Joe Dante's hilarious cult classic The 'Burbs, and it's up to the private citizens of an idyllic middle-class neighborhood to protect it. However, the threat isn't from a foreign power immediately forcing its oppressive rule via a violent overthrow, a popular thematic device and motif that infiltrated many action flicks of the 1980s (Red Dawn). Instead, it springs forth from the paranoia and suspicion growing within the unrestrained imagination of the bored, purposeless residents of a quiet, perfectly manicured cul-de-sac. It's a fun twist to a prevalent theme that digs to a very real, commonplace sentiment about foreignness that understandably grew from Cold War tensions, a satirical allegory that draws battle lines right at the heart of the problem itself: a misunderstanding of those perceived as different, strange and other. Of course, by film's end, the bad vibes coming from an unusually creepy family are ultimately warranted, which is only in paying service to the film's horror elements while giving audiences one final ironic gag, but the central idea remains intact.

Working from a script by Dana Olsen (Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Inspector Gadget, George of the Jungle), Dante doesn't shy away from this fact and practically goes out of his way to make the point clear as day, virtually ensuring audiences wouldn't mistake his film for anything other than what it is. After opening with the Universal Studios logo of a turning world, the globe conveniently slows on North America, and the camera quickly zooms down the center before settling on the quiet, innocent neighborhood of Anywhere, U.S.A. It's an intentionally clichéd image of suburbia that suspiciously looks a lot like the street where The Munsters once resided and vampire Jerry terrorized horror-hound Charley in Fright Night, which in actuality is not the same set or location but only reflects back to the homogeneous, nondescript quality of the neighborhood. Dante immediately jumps to the plot's creepy aspect with everyman Tom Hanks as Ray Peterson, an average, blue-collar Joe wanting to spend his vacation at home with family, literally crossing into the unknown on a dark, windy night when next door neighbors make a loud ruckus.

The next morning, we wake to more suburban truisms of a rude paperboy on a bike carelessly chucking newspapers while introducing the rest of the cast, starting with the curiously keen-eyed and hormonal teen Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman), who serves as our chorus-like observer and quasi-commentator. A very funny Rick Ducommun also stars as Ray's best friend Art, whose endless meddling in other's lives, as shown during breakfast when eating Carrie Fisher's cooking without so much as a please or a thank you, is the result of the apathy and monotony in his own life. Across the street, an equally hilarious Bruce Dern plays veteran Mark Rumsfield, a gung-ho patriot always itching for some action and finds it in his neighborly war with the old, prickly Walter (Gale Gordon) and his pesky dog. One of the production's more amusing aspects is showing Ray, Art and Mark's unwarranted mistrust of the one weird, spooky house with the unwatered lawn and dilapidated air as ultimately nothing more than a little boy's game, one that apparently goes too far and in need of Fisher's mediating, basically putting Hanks in a timeout.

The wickedly clever and delightfully charming black comedy romp toys with Cold War notions in the eccentric Klopek family, an uncommonly foreign name that suspiciously sounds Eastern European. Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore and Courtney Gains are terrific in their roles, raising our own suspicions of them while still managing to carry a macabre, eerie air about them with Gibson doing marvelous as the mad scientist type and Theodore just being all around hair-raising menace. Working carefully with cinematographer Robert M. Stevens, Dante displays a talent for balancing horror with comedy, which was first seen in Gremlins and most recently in Burying the Ex, without one overwhelming the other and maintaining an engaging story to the very end. During its original 1989 theatrical run, those tensions that influenced much of the plot were already starting to wane and the film was a moderate critical and box-office success. Over the decades, however, The 'Burbs has garnered a strong following amongst those who better appreciate its satirical take on suburbanites, making it a beloved cult classic.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings The 'Burbs to Blu-ray on a Region A locked, BD50 disc housed inside a blue, eco-elite keepcase. At startup, viewers are taken straight into the movie without previews or menu screen, but the usual set of options can be accessed through the pop-up menu.

[review_video_picture_id] => 67439 [review_video] =>

Paranoia terrorizes suburbia with a nice and mostly satisfying 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that easily beats previous home video editions and makes this a clear winner. The best moments are without a doubt daylight sequences, showing that the cult dark comedy might have been remastered or more likely borrowed from last year's UK Steelbook release by Arrow Video since it appears quite similar.

Whatever the case may be, the presentation displays well-balanced, spot-on contrast and crisp, bright whites throughout, giving the movie a rejuvenated, youthful glow that almost seems as though it were made recently. Black levels are strong and accurate with deep penetrating shadows and very good gradational differences between the various shades that never obscure the smallest object in the distance, even at night and during poorly-lit scenes. Adding to the reinvigorating look of the movie, colors are full-bodied and vivid with richly-saturated primaries that pop off the screen while flesh tones appear healthy and revealing. Awash with a very fine layer of natural grain that is more prominent during darker sequences, which is to be expected, the 1.85:1 image comes with sharp definition and fantastic clarity of the smallest details in the clothing, houses and the whole neighborhood in general.

To be fair, the presentation comes with its share of poorly resolved sequences and a few blurrier moments, which appear related to the condition and age of the source, but overall, the movie has never looked better and fans will be more than happy with the outcome.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 67440 [review_audio] =>

The archetypal cul-de-sac spiral into manic hysteria thanks to an equally awesome DTS-HD MA stereo soundtrack that also puts previous releases to shame.

Imaging is terrifically engaging almost right from the start and continuously active, creating a spaciously wide and expansive soundstage. The lossless mix also exhibits excellent differentiation between the loudest and quietest moments, maintaining outstanding clarity in the higher frequencies while still delivering warmth and richness in the mids. Various noises and the subtle ambient sounds of the neighborhood are spread across the entire screen with convincing effectiveness and fluid, flawless panning. Vocals are distinct and precise in the center, allowing for the Klopeks's Eastern European accents to come through with believable variation. The low-end is impressively ample and responsive, providing the high-rez track with a terrific weighty presence.

Best of all, the design lends itself marvelously to the receiver's upmixing function, expanding the soundfield with several amusing atmospheric effects spreading into the rears. The score benefits most from the upgrade, filling the screen with music that bleeds into the front height channels with discrete clarity in the instrumentation and superb separation within the mid-range.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 67441 [review_supplements] =>

Alternate Ending (SD, 7 min): The piece is a different take on Dr. Klopek trying to murder Ray in the ambulance and has him delivering a speech about the reasons for moving to the suburbs.

Trailer (SD).

 

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 67442 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Suburbia is under attack by a shadowy, seditious presence threatening the status quo in Joe Dante's hilarious cult classic The 'Burbs, a satirical allegory on Cold War tensions and a biting cynical look at suburban life. Starring Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Rick Ducommun and Corey Feldman, the film is a fun twist to a prevalent theme that digs to a very real, commonplace sentiment about foreignness and remains just as relevant today as it was nearly thirty years ago. The Blu-ray arrives with an excellent audio and video presentation that will surprise and satisfy fans everywhere, making it the best home edition available. Although criminally jipped in the bonus features department, especially when compared to the UK release by Arrow Video, the overall package for the cult classic is nonetheless worth the price.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 0.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 149934 ) ) [10] => Array ( [review_id] => 33339 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theadventuresofbuckaroobanzaiacrossthe8thdimensioncollectorsedition [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: Collector's Edition [picture_created] => 1462244283 [picture_name] => buckaroo.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Shout! Factory [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/02/120/buckaroo.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33339/theadventuresofbuckaroobanzaiacrossthe8thdimensioncollectorsedition.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1984 [run_time] => 103 [list_price] => 34.93 [asin] => B01F6EHOFS [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layer Disc [2] => Region A Locked ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Documentary [1] => Audio Commentaries [2] => Featurettes [3] => Deleted Scenes [4] => Trailers ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Comedy, Romance ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => W.D. Richter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Brilliant brain surgeon Banzai (Weller) just made scientific history. Shifting his Oscillation Overthruster into warp speed, he's the first man ever to travel to the Eighth Dimension and come back sane! But when his sworn enemy, the demented Dr. Lizardo (Lithgow), devises a plot to steal the Overthruster and bring an evil army of aliens back to destroy Earth, Buckaroo goes cranium to cranium with the madman in an extra-dimensional battle that could result in total annihilation of the universe! Starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Lewis Smith , The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension  has developed a loyal cult following since its release in 1984. 

[review_movie] =>

'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!,' commonly simplified to 'Buckaroo Banzai,' is an odd production that is very much of its time. From start to finish, the movie screams 80s, opening with a yellow text crawl giving unsuspecting viewers background information on the eponymous hero, played memorably by Peter Weller ('RoboCop'). Most hilarious is the clothing — turned collars, vibrant pastel colors, loose neckties accessorized with Members Only jackets — which is wonderfully hip and stylish for the period but conveniently only worn by our protagonist and his riffraff band of assistants/men-at-arms known as the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Of course, Jeff Goldblum's cowboy character named New Jersey stands out with his ten-gallon hat and cow-print chaps, but his fashion faux pas is forgiven because he's the new member. Then, there's the stylized hair, as in Ellen Barkin's Penny Priddy, puffed up by Aqua Net, like Clancy Brown's Rawhide, or simply sporting the permed mullet while rocking the saxophone on stage. 

None of this is meant to disparage the beloved cult classic — it's a treasured favorite of this viewer — but rather to celebrate the cleverness behind its production and Earl Mac Rauch's script. While our versatile hero and his misfits of multidisciplinary experts embody the height of fashion, their rivals , a reptilian bug-like alien race from the mysterious Planet 10, are the polar opposite. Commanded by a wildly over-the-top John Lithgow in an unconventional performance as Dr. Emilio Lizardo, who is possessed by the alien Lord John Whorfin, the creatures called Lectroids dress like grandpa on his way to church — stuffy, plain-colored business suits that lack personality and style. In their human form, they hunt for a strange device called the "oscillation overthruster," their hair puffs in curly tangles, giving actors like Christopher Lloyd (a year before sporting another wacky hairdo) an outlandishly kooky charm. However, Lithgow's cartoonish but genocidal leader, determined to return to home and break his army free from their eighth dimension prison, is a raving lunatic with the hair, outfit and goofy walk to match, making him one of the movie's hilarious highlights. 

This oversimplified method of distinguishing the good guys from the bad — tough, good-looking gents versus the zany, kid-friendly villains with the requisite booing and hissing by the audience — is a product of its time. At the same time, the production, directed by 'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'Home for the Holidays' writer W. D. Richter, is also ahead of its time, going largely unappreciated during its original theatrical run. Similar to what Lucas was doing with his original 'Star Wars' trilogy and Spielberg with the 'Indiana Jones' films, Richter and Rauch were creating their own serial adventure that mixed science fiction, fantasy and comedy into a hodgepodge of absurdity that, according to one interview with Lithgow, would take an hour to explain. Taking inspiration from classic pulp magazines, like Doc Savage, and the days of Saturday afternoon film serials, like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, the gonzo film delights in a screwball atmosphere that never takes itself serious, but wholeheartedly embraces its Bohemian silliness.

Even back when it originally hit theaters in 1984, the quirky 'Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai' came out of left field, a sci-fi comedy with a complicated plot that was somewhat difficult to describe. No one really knew what to do with the idea of alien beings from a distant planet trapped inside a parallel dimension. Part of the movie's lasting admiration comes from how deeply embedded it was to the decade's zeitgeist.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Shout! Factory brings 'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!' to Blu-ray as a two-disc Collector's Edition package under the distributor's Scream Factory line. The Region A locked, BD50 disc is housed inside the normal blue case with a DVD-5 on the opposing panel, brand new reversible cover art and a cardboard slipcover. The DVD only contains all the same special features from MGM's 2002 special edition release while the Blu-ray offers a brand-new set of bonus material.

At startup, the disc goes to a static screen with a menu selection along the bottom and the film's signature theme music playing in the background. Unfortunately, according to the Shout! Factory website, the exclusive, limited edition poster of the newly commissioned artwork has already sold out.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69589 [review_video] =>

Even though he wasn't granted a brand new remaster of the original elements, the source used has aged extraordinarily well, making for a great-looking 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that'll have Buckaroo's loyal followers cheering. 

The video comes with a couple moments of poor resolution and scenes softer than others, but those moments are related to film transitions and edit dissolves, which can be easily forgiven. White specks, light flecks of dirt and very faint vertical lines occasionally rear their ugly head. But again, they are most often linked to those above scenes and all the more evident during special effects sequences and matte painted shots. Speaking of which, Buckaroo's transition into the HD dimension has also made those once-upon-a-time state-of-the-art visual effects pretty obvious and dated, which is a not a mark against our hero and don’t distract from the rest of the presentation. Only, that it's worth mentioning and actually add another level of nostalgic enjoyment. Overall, the transfer shows excellent definition and resolution with an attractive, thing layer of grain, giving it an appreciable film-like quality. Background information is distinct and plainly visible while clothing, buildings and foreground objects are detailed, and facial complexions appear healthy and revealing.

Presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the video displays spot-on contrast with clean, crisp whites throughout, and black levels are accurate  with excellent shadow details. I detected one or two instances of murkiness in the darkest portions of the frame, but on the whole, the picture looks great with good depth. Colors benefit the most, showing a bright, rich palette with lots of vivid primaries, which complements the movie's silly humor. Secondary hues also shower the presentation with a welcomed, rejuvenated glow that make the dated outfits pop and giving the slimy alien reptiles a rust-brown look. In the end, this is the best the cult classic has ever looked on home video.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69590 [review_audio] =>

Per usual, Shout! Factory offers another cherished favorite with two DTS-HD MA options: the first being a surround sound upmix while the second is a stereo track, which is closer to the original design. For the most part, the former makes for a surprisingly good listen, extending various subtle ambient effects to the side speakers effectively. The quirky, offbeat music of Michael Boddicker also bleeds into the surrounds with ease, creating an amusingly engaging soundfield. The mid-range is clean with good clarity between the various frequencies, and vocals are very well-prioritized in the center. Only issue worth noting is that the overall track is at a noticeably lower volume than normal, making things seem oddly thinned out and stretched while also affecting the low bass, which is somewhat lackluster and not very audible. 

The stronger of the two tracks is definitely the stereo lossless mix, which frankly, is always my preferred listening option when it comes to certain movies. Imaging is much fuller and feels more naturally spacious with lots of background activity occupying entire the soundscape. With a balanced channel separation and convincing movement across the screen, dynamic range is also more extensive with detailed clarity during the loudest action sequences. Delivering a great deal of warmth and fidelity throughout, the overall volume is right where it should be while maintaining excellent dialogue reproduction and tonality in each character's unique performance. Boddicker's whimsical and recognizable score spreads across with noteworthy distinction and separation in the orchestration, and a noticeably heftier, more responsive bass provides the entire design and music with better weight and presence.  

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69591 [review_supplements] =>

Disc One

  • Audio Commentaries — Pretending as though hired by the Banzai Institute for this "docu-drama," director W. D. Richter and writer Earl Mac Rauch provide a somewhat dry conversation that still manages to enlighten fans with various production tidbits and technical details. Although there several pockets of silence throughout, the overall chat makes for a nice listen. The second track features production designers Michael and Denise Okuda, who are best known for their work on later 'Star Trek' movies and TV shows. Although they didn't personally participate on this production, the married couple provide this commentary strictly as unabashed fans and narrate the film with lots of anecdotes and amusing trivia about specific details that other fans will surely appreciate.
  • Into the 8th Dimension (HD, 128 min) — Broken into eight individual pieces that can be watched separately or sequentially, the retrospective documentary details the entire production, from conception and casting to its public reception and lasting cult legacy. Comprised mostly of brand-new cast & crew interviews, film clips and production stock photos, each participant talks enthusiastically about their time on the set, sharing various memories and anecdotes suggesting the set was full of fun and humor. Arguably, parts seven and eight are the best because the discussion switches to the film's promotion, the public's reaction and the filmmaker's reaction to it now being a beloved cult classic.

Disc Two

  • Buckaroo Banzai Declassified (SD, 23 min) — Vintage EPK piece with cast & crew interviews discussing the story, characters and the production with a special look at the makeup and visual effects.
  • Alternate Opening (SD, 7 min) — One of several sequences that actually would have explained a great deal about the plot, featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as Buckaroo's mom.
  • New Jet Car Trailer (SD, 2 min) — A faux commercial promoting the car featured in the movie.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD)
  • Trailer (SD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69592 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!' is an odd production that is very much of its time. Starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, and Christopher Lloyd, this quirky, offbeat 1984 film is a sci-fi comedy mishmash in the tradition of Saturday afternoon film serials. Though it bombed in theaters, over the decades it has garnered a loyal cult following that now celebrates its absurd sensibilities. The Blu-ray from Shout! Factory comes with an excellent audio and video presentation that easily bests any previous home video editions. Featuring a new set of special features along with the same assortment seen in the 2002 DVD, the overall package is recommended for any fan proud to display it in their cult collection. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 3 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145697 ) ) [11] => Array ( [review_id] => 34307 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theangrybirdsmovie [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => The Angry Birds Movie [picture_created] => 1471428717 [picture_name] => angry_birds.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Sony [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/17/120/angry_birds.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34307/theangrybirdsmovie.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 97 [list_price] => 38.99 [asin] => B01EK44M64 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Two-Disc Combo Pack [1] => BD-50 Dual-layer Disc / DVD-9 Dual-Layer Disc [2] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 [1] => Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [2] => Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1 [3] => French Dolby Digital 5.1 [4] => Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 [5] => Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 [6] => Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 [7] => Vietnamese Dolby Digital 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH [1] => Chinese [2] => French [3] => Indonesian [4] => Korean [5] => Portuguese [6] => Spanish [7] => Thai [8] => Vietnamese ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score [1] => Featurettes [2] => Short Films [3] => Music Video [4] => Deleted Scenes [5] => Photo Gallery [6] => Trailers [7] => Digital Copy ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => DVD Copy ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Animation, Action, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds - or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We're the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to. 

[review_editors_notes] =>

Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of the Ultra HD Blu-ray.

[review_movie] =>

'The Angry Birds Movie' is evidence of how far we've come in the last three decades, that filmmaking has perhaps reached the pinnacle of its technological evolution. Movies based on video games played on traditional consoles seem dime a dozen, but this CG-animated production marks the first full-length adaptation of a smartphone app. Living in an age where handheld devices exist is a marvel in and of itself, little computer apparatuses which have consumed a major part of our existence and have even become like an extension of ourselves — the world's most extensive film library at your fingertips. But possibly even more wondrous, as well as mind-boggling, is the fact that we've reached a milestone when such devices and their programs are now the source of inspiration for major film productions. It's too early to tell what it all entails and the damage, if any, it might have on the future of filmmaking, but if this is any indication of the quality it could give rise to, then the future isn't all that grim. There is definitely room for improvement, but it's a colorfully fun family flick with several shrewd gags just for the parents to delight in.

The game itself doesn't come with much of a plot in the first place, though the storyline is pretty straightforward. A gang of hungry pigs steal eggs from birds, and unsurprisingly, they seek angry revenge for the outrage. Ironically, they invade huffing and puffing to blow the pigs' houses down — or more like, destroy them with their heads and a slingshot. One of the challenges was expanding such a simple story into a more elaborate and involving plot, which I would argue the film mostly definitely does with amusing charm. From a story conjured up by three writers, the script is by Jon Vitti, whose long resume includes various episodes for 'King of the Hill,' 'The Larry Sanders Show' and 'The Simpsons,' including the movie adaptation. And it cutely, as well as smartly, reimagines the original premise as an isolated island inhabited by a variety of exotic birds that can't fly — and oddly, there aren't any chickens, ostriches or penguins in sight. This little tidbit is used as the winsome reason for characters later requiring a slingshot, which was comically introduced by Leonard/King Mudbeard (Bill Hader) and his marauding ship of pigs. 

For those familiar with the game, which I would imagine is many reading this given the app's popularity, the main protagonist is a red cardinal, aptly named Red and voiced by Jason Sudeikis. Feeling a bit too scripted, he is the archetypal antihero with a bad temper, isolated from others and refusing to make friends with anyone. But in a clever twist, the birds of this island are all of the peaceful, non-angry variety taking issue with Red's easily annoyed personality, who's funnily sentenced to anger management after erupting to a family during a birthday party. The first meeting instructed by Matilda (Maya Rudolph) is one of the production's more memorable moments. It's essentially used for introducing audiences to fellow angry feathered friends: the yellow speedster canary Chuck (Josh Gad), an explosively sociable black bird Bomb (Danny McBride) and a much larger, unfriendly red cardinal named Terence (a grumpily huffing and puffing Sean Penn). As any astute viewer is able to predict, especially after the pigs kidnap all the island's eggs, their rage soon becomes the source of strength and inspiration for a rescue mission. 

Unfortunately, for those expecting an epic battle with feathers flying everywhere and the squealing, oinking cries of the injured, 'The Angry Birds Movie' makes us wait until the last half hour. And even then, the war is over almost as quickly as it began, feeling rushed and as if tacked on at the last minute because suddenly the filmmakers remembered the point of adapting the game app. Admittedly, the first hour of the movie is littered with various gags and witty quips to make the first hour tolerable ("Pluck my life!" a resentful Red wails during his sentencing). Many of the jokes are also meant for the adults in the crowd while the little hatchlings squirming in their seats are hypnotized by the wide array of colors energizing the screen. That's not to say directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, both in their directorial debuts, are not above resorting to the usual parade of off-color humor. Why not have the heroic, majestic Mighty Eagle (perfectly voiced by Peter Dinklage) use a pond as his toilet, which others confuse for a birth bath. So yeah, the jokes don't always land smoothly and as gracefully as expected, but in a plot that features an island of flightless birds, this CG animated film has some wings and hatches a satisfied smile. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings 'The Angry Birds Movie' to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy. The first is a Region Free, BD50 disc sitting comfortably on the panel opposite a DVD-9 copy and housed inside a blue, eco-elite keepcase. At startup, the disc commences with a series of skippable trailers before switching to an animated menu with music and full-motion clips.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69711 [review_video] =>

A whole flock of angry birds take flight on Blu-ray with a marvelous, reference-quality 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that delivers on every level and is easily one of the finest presentations we've seen this year. Most apparent and expected is obviously the sumptuous array of colors. Pause it at any given time, every scene explodes with the fiery reds of Red and Terence, the lush greens of trees and grass, and the lively blues of the sky. The rest of the picture is showered with vivid secondary hues where viewers can plainly make out Matilda's subtle rosy cheeks, Judge Peckinpah's purplish feathers and various other tonal differences of each character. What I really loved best is seeing each beak smoothly change from yellowish tips to a darker orange shade. Spot-on contrast provides brilliant, crisp whites in the eyes, eggs and Eagle's head feathers while also allowing for incredible visibility in the far distance. Likewise, black levels are opulent and inky rich with stunning gradational differences in Bomb's feathers and the soft gray tones on Matilda, granting the video a lovely three-dimensional quality.

Presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the presentation continues to astound and amaze with razor sharp clarity from beginning to end. Most impressive is seeing the tiniest detail and distinct difference between each feather, moving individually with the wind or during certain actions. They may not exactly be true to life, but no matter the character, audiences will be able to appreciate the level of work and dedication that went into each of their creations. The photography comes with an interesting soft focus that's very subtle, but each blade of grass and leaf is distinct from one another while other plants and tree barks show minute, fine lines. The houses of the birds and the rickety housing of the pig kingdom even reveal how much effort went into creating this world, as walls show striking, lifelike textures and the most trivial of blemishes. The movie itself may not be the strongest, but it comes with one of the best high-def presentations of the year. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69712 [review_audio] =>

The animated film also debuts on home video with a splendid, demo-worthy DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that will give anyone's system a nice workout. For the first half of the movie, it doesn't seem like much is going on, but the design is littered with a variety of faint atmospherics occupying the surrounds. Leaves rustle in the wind, the center of town is bustling with commotion and waves can softly be heard at night when Red goes home alone. The soundtrack really comes alive when Leonard and his pig entourage arrive on the island and put on a funny circus show, as birds cheer loudly with excited approval. Things dramatically improve from there and for the remainder of the show, as the pigs begin to grow comfortable in the town and turn the once-quiet island into a crowded city with rushing traffic. When the birds invade, the entire room erupts with explosions and fiery chaos while the debris from collapsing structures discretely falls everywhere, creating a terrifically immersive 360° soundfield.

Of course, being an animated family comedy, a majority of the action takes place in the front soundstage where the music and song selections enjoy the breathing room and individual instruments are heard with excellent acoustics and distinction. Imaging is broad and expansive with convincing off-screen effects and superb separation between the channels, generating an effectively engaging wall of sound that’s continuous. If the funny vehicles of the pigs are not darting across the screen, then the birds flawlessly pan from left to right and big chunks of debris rain down everywhere, thanks to an extensive and richly detailed mid-range. Though not earth-shattering, the low-end is amazingly deep and powerful, providing palpable, responsive weight to the action and explosions with awesome rumbling effects that resonate throughout the room. Vocals are pristine and precise in the center with the smallest change in intonation perfectly heard, even during the loudest and most violent segments. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69713 [review_supplements] =>
  • Symphony Mode — Removing all the dialogue and sound design, this is basically watching the movie with an isolated score.
  • Making Music! (HD, 11 min) — Broken into six shorter pieces, composer Heitor Pereira discusses his thought process behind the music and creating specific motifs to characters and scenes.
  • Hatchlings (HD, 10 min) — Four animated shorts featuring four meddling baby birds ("Early Hatchling Gets the Worm," "Easter," "Mother's Day" and "Holiday") and a making-of featurette with cast & crew interviews called "Meet the Hatchlings."
  • Meet the Birds (HD, 10 min) — Just as it sounds, an assortment of cast interviews with BTS footage of the four main character's creation and the actors voicing them.
  • Creating the Real World of Angry Birds (HD, 8 min) — Essentially, a making-of piece with an introduction by Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad but featuring interview discussions on adapting the phone app, designing the world for characters and the animation work.
  • Crafty Birds (HD, 5 min) — A quick lesson for kids to craft their own characters from the movie.
  • Meet the Pigs (HD, 5 min) — Just as with the birds, Bill Hader talks some about his character.
  • Dance Along Birds and Pigs (HD, 4 min) — The kids can learn how to line dance like the pigs do in the movie.
  • Music Video (HD, 3 min) — Blake Shelton performs "Friends."
  • Bubbles and Hal (HD, 2 min) — One last animated short featuring the titular characters on who's the angriest.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7 min)
  • Photo Gallery (HD)
  • Trailers (HD)
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no high-def exclusives.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69714 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

While the idea of a movie based on a smartphone app seems at first disconcerting, 'The Angry Birds Movie' turns out better and more charming than initially expected. From a script by Jon Vitti and a whole flock of voice talents, the film cleverly imagines an island of flightless birds where anger can be a resourceful strength for saving everyone's eggs from a gang of green, hungry, marauding pigs. The Blu-ray arrives with a fantastic, reference-quality audio and video presentation that delivers an explosive feast for the eyes and a smashing treat for the ears. With a decently healthy assortment of supplements for the hatchlings in the family, the overall package hatches a recommendation. 

[review_movie_stars] => 3 [review_video_stars] => 5 [review_audio_stars] => 5 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 4 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145736 ) ) [12] => Array ( [review_id] => 33124 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thedreamteam [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Dream Team [picture_created] => 1461602786 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/25/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33124/thedreamteam.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1989 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since May 24 2016.

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8S9SEG [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle, Stephen Furst, Lorraine Bracco, Milo O'Shea ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Howard Zieff ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Dr. Weitzman works with patients in a sanitarium. Convinced that all that his "group" needs is a some fresh air and some time away from the sanitarium, he persuades the administration to allow him to take them to a ballgame.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [13] => Array ( [review_id] => 33879 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thegloryguys [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Glory Guys [picture_created] => 1475197761 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Twilight_Time_The_Glory_Guys_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/29/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Twilight_Time_The_Glory_Guys_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33879/thegloryguys.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1965 [run_time] => 113 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/glory-guys-the-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.0 Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Passion & Poetry: Senta & Sam [2] => The James Wong Howe Story [3] => Promoting 'The Glory Guys' [4] => Theatrical Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Romance, Western ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell, Senta Berger, James Caan, Andrew Duggan, Slim Pickens ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Arnold Laven, Sam Peckinpah ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

What could be worse for two cavalry officers than to battle with native tribes? To battle each other for the same woman.

[review_movie] =>

Whenever a filmmaker hits a hot streak and has several successful films under his belt, I tend to try to find the cracks in their armor. Since I don't believe in a flawless filmmaker, I want to humanize that individual by seeing where their skills are lacking. Some filmmakers are great at staging action, some are great at dialogue but can't get their characters to do anything, others have a hard time giving their films any genuine sense of emotion. Some can't do any of those and are just bad at making movies. Other filmmakers wear their flaws on their sleeves, rise above them, and still manage to churn out some damn impressive films. One such filmmaker was the legendary Sam Peckinpah. A man whose own personal excesses trickled down into the screenplays and the films he directed, but when he was in his prime, he was a master storyteller. For director Arnold Laven, Peckinpah brings his genre-busting writing abilities to the classic cavalry western 'The Glory Guys.'

The western frontier is a wild and untamed territory - and the U.S. Calvary is going to bring law and order to it. Whether through treaty or by the rifle, the Sioux tribes will be brought under control. Per orders, Captain Demas Harrod (Tom Tryon) is tasked with bringing in a new squad of troops. Men like the rough and tough Irishman Anthony Dugan (James Caan) are eager for the job - the only problem is they don't have any combat experience. They're green as a grassy meadow in springtime. Normally, Captain Harrod would have all the time needed to break these men, train them, and turn them into skilled fighting men. Unfortunately, General Frederic McCabe (Andrew Duggan) has visions of victorious battles and he wants these new men ready to ride immediately. 

Adding to Harrod's woes is his love for the beautiful Lou Woddard (Senta Berger). Lou is everything Harrod has ever wanted in a woman, accept he's a cavalry soldier and his chances of survival are relatively slim in that line of work. On top of that, a scout by the name of Rogers (Harve Presnell) has eyes for Lou and designs for marriage and can actually provide for her as a husband. While both men work for the Army, only one of them actually has to go into combat. In order to train the new men, Rogers and Harrod will have to set aside their differences long enough to whip the men into fighting shape. As Rogers and Harrod are already working under the gun, they'll have to contend with the inflating ego of a general hell-bent on leading his troops into combat - whether they're ready to fight or not. 

The Glory Guys

While 'The Wild Bunch' may be widely regarded as the movie that launched Peckinpah's star as a creative force to be reckoned with, I would argue that his screenwriting duties for 'The Glory Guys' helped put him on that path. As he would later demonstrate with 'The Wild Bunch,' Peckinpah takes all of the familiar character archetypes and genre tropes of the traditional cavalry western like 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon' or 'Fort Apache' but gives it a playful little spin. While the film has an earnestness to it, it's nearly impossible to miss the charm and the sense of humor. Some sequences, especially the fistfight between Tim Tyron's Harrod and Harve Presnell's Rogers, borderline on parody. Harrod's and Rogers' wooing of Senta Berger's Lou is most certainly melodramatic and would be something regularly found on daytime television, it feels intricate and important enough to the plot that the meandering back and forth of which man Lou actually loves gives weight to the moment when the big battle comes and both men know they have an equal chance of meeting death. James Caan's drunken Irish Dugan may be a bit of a comical buffoon, but at the same time, we're given enough time with him to actually care about him as a person and hope that he and his fellow soldiers make it out alive.

Perhaps what impressed me most about this film is that it works as a thinly-veiled Vietnam War allegory as applied through a version of General Custer. Even though this film was written nearly ten years before it was finally made, the allegory is applicable. Green soldiers without any war experience, fighting prowess, let alone the ability to use the equipment handed to them are expected to engage in battles with a fierce, well-trained, and experienced army at the insistence of a madman. Their lives aren't important because back east, there are more men and more horses waiting to replace them. It's an impressive scene when Harrod meets his new recruits for the first time. He knows he's been given an impossible task, but he's going to do the best he can with the time given because it's the only way any of them are going to survive. It's equally impressive because as a commanding officer Harrod is brutally honest with the men that they've essentially joined the army to die and since they volunteered, there's nothing they can do to get out of it. 

As a life-long fan of westerns, I love discovering a new one. While there are plenty of westerns out there I haven't seen yet, finding one that is genuinely good, well acted, with a fierce and exciting climatic battle is a real treat. So many play things to the baselines of an honest man cleaning up the crooked town that it starts to feel a bit redundant after awhile. Seeing a film like 'The Glory Guys' is actually a welcome breath of fresh air. Arnold Laven may be the credited director for 'The Glory Guys,' but it has that signature flavor of richly-developed and likable characters entering a hyper-violent world they're not prepared to exist in. If you're a fan of Sam Peckinpah, 'The Glory Guys' absolutely should be on your watch list. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Glory Guys' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Pressed onto a Region Free BD50 disc, the disc is housed in a standard clear Blu-ray case with a booklet containing an essay by historian Julie Kirgo. The disc opens directly to a stick image main men with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 71191 [review_video] =>

'The Glory Guys' arrives on Blu-ray with a beautiful 2.35:1 1080p transfer. It's not quite perfect, there are some age-related issues holding it back, but the film looks very good. Fine film grain is present throughout leading to some sumptuous detail levels. The costuming is the big star in that regard as the uniforms as well as the dresses for the women in town all arrive with great clarity. Close ups tend to look the best. Some middle shots can appear a tad soft and out of focus in a few places leading me to wonder if this transfer was sourced from an archival print of some sort. Thankfully these clarity inconsistencies are relatively few and far between. Most of the time the image is free of any damage or speckling, but when an optical zoom is about to kick in, the image gets notably grainier and some small scratches can creep in. Colors are warm and vibrant throughout favoring the dusty yellows and browns of the Durango scenery with plenty of natural primary pop. Blues especially stand out nicely. Black levels are inky and rich for the most part allowing for plenty of depth to the image. All around this is a very good transfer for a catalogue release.  

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71189 [review_audio] =>

'The Glory Guys' arrives with a strong and resonate English DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono track. So much of the film is of a comical and dramatic conversational nature that you often forget to keep an ear out for the rich sound effects layering, but if you listen they're there. From the sounds of riders off in the distance to the hustle and bustle of town, there is a wonderful sense of atmosphere present throughout the film. The classic western-style score by Riz Ortolani bumps things up a few notches when and where necessary without overpowering the rest of the mix. When the big battle gets going the track really comes to life as there is a cavalcade of gunfire and horses and men screaming in pain. The mix handles this big battle sequence beautifully providing a very natural and immersive quality to the track even though it's only coming through one channel. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71188 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Film historians Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, and Nick Redman provide a fascinating and informative commentary track here. There had long been a great deal of speculation that Peckinpah had directed this himself but wasn't ever given credit and they go to great lengths at dispelling that rumor that this was absolutely a Laven film with a decided Peckinpah flavor. 

Passion & Poetry: Senta & Sam: (HD 26:31) The German actress talks about her long-term working relationship with Sam Peckinpah and goes into detail about her career and how they met. 

The James Wong Howe Story: (SD 8:23) This is a fascinating brief little look at the esteemed cinematographer. 

Promoting 'The Glory Guys': (HD 3:34) This is a fun little look at the promotional materials assembled for the marketing of the film

Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:42)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 71187 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71186 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Glory Guys' is a traditional cavalry western with that unique genre-busting Peckinpah flair. As one of his early works to be directed after he became a hot commodity, 'The Glory Guys' is Director Arnold Laven's film, but Peckinpah gets a lot of the credit for the rich characters and intense action. It's a wonderful western that never fails to entertain. 'The Glory Guys' makes a welcome leap to Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time with a fantastic video transfer, a rousing audio mix, and some informative extra features. 'The Glory Guys' comes recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146300 ) ) [14] => Array ( [review_id] => 33757 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thegreatoutdoorsbestbuyexclusive [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Great Outdoors [picture_created] => 1463773432 [picture_name] => Great_Outdoors1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Great_Outdoors1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33757/thegreatoutdoorsbestbuyexclusive.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1988 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since May 24 2016.

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8RTRCA [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Dan Aykroyd, John Candy ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In the John Hughes-scripted The Great Outdoors, John Candy stars as Chet Ripley, an oafish paterfamilias who takes his family on a vacation at a lakeside resort. Their enjoyment is seriously compromised when brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) shows up with his wife and kiddies. The rest of the film is an ongoing war between Ripley's carefree aggregation and Craig's obnoxiously prissy brood, and making things worse, a driving rainstorm forces both families to remain under one roof well-past their threshold of patience. Annette Bening makes her film debut as Aykroyd's ill-tempered wife. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [15] => Array ( [review_id] => 3462 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => moneypit [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Money Pit [picture_created] => 1463773256 [picture_name] => Money_Pit.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Universal Studios [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/20/120/Money_Pit.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/3462/moneypit.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1986 [run_time] => 91 [release_date_notes] =>

Best Buy exclusive since 2016-05-24. 

[list_price] => 14.98 [asin] => B01G8RTY5U [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Shelley Long ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Benjamin ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Evicted from their Manhattan apartment, Walter and Anna (Hanks and Long) buy what looks like the home of their dreams-only to find themselves saddled with a bank-account-draining nightmare. Struggling to keep their relationship together as their rambling mansion falls to pieces around them, the two hapless homeowners watch in hilarious horror as everything-including the kitchen sink-disappears into The Money Pit.

[review_video_picture_id] => 0 [review_audio_picture_id] => 0 [review_supplements_picture_id] => 0 [review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 0 [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [16] => Array ( [review_id] => 34244 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theprideandthepassion [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Pride and the Passion [picture_created] => 1464450003 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-The_Pride_and_the_Passion_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/28/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-The_Pride_and_the_Passion_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34244/theprideandthepassion.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1957 [run_time] => 132 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MKOXQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [17] => Array ( [review_id] => 34140 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thevampirediariesthecompleteseventhseason [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season [picture_created] => 1464281096 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Brothers [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/26/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34140/thevampirediariesthecompleteseventhseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 54.97 [asin] => B01G43HDQ0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => The Vampire Diaries: 2015 Comic-Con Panel [1] => Featurette "Directing Vampires": Behind the scenes with Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, as they answer Twitter questions and explain the process of directing episodes of The Vampire Diaries. [2] => Deleted Scenes [3] => Gag Reel ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In Season Seven, after saying an emotional goodbye to Elena Gilbert, some characters will recover while others falter. As Damon and Stefan's mother, Lily (guest star Annie Wersching – 24, Bosch), tries to drive a wedge between the Salvatore brothers, hope remains that Stefan and Caroline's love story is tough enough to survive. Damon will do whatever it takes to take down his mother and her band of Heretics, and when Bonnie and Enzo both try to decide where their loyalties lie, a surprising relationship will evolve. Plus, with Mystic Falls in disarray and the arrival of the Heretics — who are set on retaliation and mayhem — the suspense will be stronger than ever. Guest stars this season also include Todd Lasance (Spartacus: War of the Damned), Elizabeth Blackmore (Evil Dead), Scarlett Byrne (Harry Potter films), Teressa Liane (Into the Badlands), Leslie-Ann Huff (The Originals) and others.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [18] => Array ( [review_id] => 33881 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => theatreofblood [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Theatre of Blood [picture_created] => 1474896892 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Theatre_of_Blood_Vincent_Price_Twilight_Time_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/26/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Theatre_of_Blood_Vincent_Price_Twilight_Time_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33881/theatreofblood.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 104 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/theatre-of-blood-blu-ray/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.66:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.o ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Trailer ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score Track ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne, Robert Coote ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Douglas Hickox ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him the Best Actor of the Year award.

[review_movie] =>

That old Klingon proverb about cool temperatures being the ideal conditions to serve a dish of revenge is sound advice, but that may not always be the best way to serve said dish. Cold can be tasty, sure, but a little presentation and flavor can go a long way towards making it a satisfying, full-flavored experience. As Director Douglas Hickox proves with his 1973 film 'Theatre of Blood,' revenge is at its most delicious served with a dash of Shakespeare, a healthy portion of Vincent price, and a nice sprinkling of Diana Rigg.  

The theatre is the first and only true love of veteran actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price). Even his daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg) has taken second seat to Edward's need to stand center stage. Year after year, Edward has committed his life and soul to reciting Shakespeare's great works to audiences. All he's ever wanted is a little bit of recognition from London's inner-circle of critics, the due recognition they seem intent on denying him while making Edward their critical punching bag. After confronting the group of heartless critics when they deny him the award he rightly deserves, Edward jumps from the window into the Thames. The critics assume Edward died in his dramatic leap, but little did they know death would be stalking them instead!

After surviving his attempted suicide, Edward befriends a band of drug-addled insane street people and uses them to enact his Shakespearian revenge. One by one, Edward picks off the critics that denied his life's work its meaning in grizzly and grotesque methods inspired by his theatre company's Shakespeare schedule. As the police are seemingly powerless to stop his schemes, Edward is saving his greatest performance of King Lear as a bloody grand finale to his diabolical plan.

Theatre of Blood

Chances are pretty good if you're reading this review, you're a Vincent Price fan. Even if you've never seen this film before, you're curious about it simply because it has Price as a headliner. It's understandable, the man was a genius in just about every project he took on. What's always impressed me about Price was his wry sense of camp with that slick grin of his. Even in some of his worst movies, he wouldn't let a poor script stop him from turning on the charm. Every movie he was in benefitted from his presence and the same absolutely must be said about 'Theatre of Blood.' While the plot is clever enough and it's well written, I don't think the results would have been the same if anyone other than Price took on the role of Edward Lionheart. It's a role designed for Price's sense of horror prowess and comedic timing. 

Keeping the film moving at a great clip is the fantastic script by Anthony Greville-Bell under the direction of Douglas Hickox. At first, the film almost has this bizarre sense of randomness to it where Price's Edward would show up to dispatch some high society character in a particularly grizzly way and then disappear leaving that person's circle of friends to figure out what happened. It's almost like walking into the middle of someone else's joke and hearing only the punchline. It's still fun and creepy as Edward pops up, but there's this sense of "what the heck is going on here?" at play. Then the film chooses the perfect moment to get us caught up. When Diana Rigg's Edwina enters the frame, we get a quick crash course in catch up. While this scene does cast Edward's maniacal Shakespearian murderer in a sympathetic light, it also puts the fear of God into the rest of the cast - as well as the audience. Now we know everything Vincent Price's Edward is capable of as a master of disguise, and we start to wonder whether or not Rigg's Edwina is actually helping her deranged father or if she's trying to stop him. 

'Theatre of Blood' is the most entertaining sort of horror picture, the one where you're actually rooting for the madman. As the audience, you don't want his victims to live and the film becomes a game of trying to figure out how Edward is going to kill off the next snob on his list. In an odd sort of way, this approach is partly why the slasher movies of the 1980s worked so well. We didn't really care about the camp counselors or hapless Crystal Lake residents, we knew going in they were there to die, we just want to see how Jason does it. 'Theatre of Blood' carries a lot of the traditional slasher trappings with an air of respectability. The film takes the material seriously enough to build suspense and dread and give Edward a reason to kill, but it's also keeping the violence fun and entertaining. As one murder tops the next, it's like watching the action set pieces of a Bond film unfold, one after another they become more grotesque and sensational. And through all of it, Price gives his traditionally menacing yet cavalier performance. 'Theatre of Blood' is a wildly entertaining horror flick that should keep genre fans on the edge of their seats while cheering every time Price gives his trademark wink and smile. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Theatre of the Blood' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Pressed on a Region Free BD50 disc, the disc is housed in a clear eco-friendly case, this was an apparent oversight on the production line, and not all copies will have eco-cases. Replacement cases can be purchased at the Twilight Time website. Also included is a booklet containing stills from the film as well as an interesting essay by Historian Julie Kirgo. The disc opens directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 71051 [review_video] =>

Color me impressed with this 1.66:1 1080p transfer of 'Theatre of Blood.' I only have vague memories of the first DVD release and remember thinking the colors were rather drab, reds were a bit more maroon-toned, with a persistent haziness to the image. Thankfully it would appear that this transfer was given a far more recent scan as the results look wonderful. Film grain has been retained without any signs of DNR or smoothing and the image boasts some impressive detail levels throughout. Facial features, clothing, as well as Price's intricate costumes are on display. Some softness is retained, but that would appear baked in and not really a fault of the transfer. Colors appear accurate with plenty of primary presence when relevant - especially red! Flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are shadowy and inky giving the image a welcome three-dimensional quality to it. The only real issue worth reporting is the odd bits of print damage. Thankfully, it's nothing too serious, some odd bits of speckling, a small scratch here and there, and a couple of stained frames that zip past before you even notice them. Aside from the bits of slight damage, this is a pretty fantastic looking transfer. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 71049 [review_audio] =>

'Theatre of Blood' arrives with a passing English DTS-HD 1.0 mono track. Dialogue is clean and clearly heard throughout most of the film. Certain moments have a bit of a heavy dubbed quality to it that can sound unnatural sometimes. Some scenes sound pitched a little too high making the voices sound a bit rough. Scoring by Michael J. Lewis comes through fine but has a tendency to overpower some moments, but thankfully it doesn't trip over the dialogue. There is some slight age-related wear and tear present. Every now and again a pop will crop up and there is some persistent hiss present. Nothing terribly intrusive, but present just the same. It's not a terrible audio track but it could perhaps benefit from a little more cleanup. Levels are just fine so once you've found a comfortable listening level, you shouldn't have to adjust volume any. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 71048 [review_supplements] =>

Audio Commentary: Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman provide an interesting and informative anecdotal commentary track. Since none of the principal creative crew or performers are present, the commentary comes from a more historical approach but there is plenty or relevant information provided about the production and Vincent Prince in particular. 

Theatrical Trailer: (HD 2:31)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 71050 [review_bonus_content] =>

Isolated Score: Michael J. Lewis' creepy score comes through with great clarity and is a real treat to listen to. It's a fine classical horror score that hits the right notes to instill a sense of dread and still give the music a theatrical quality to it. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 71046 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Theatre of Blood' is a delicious sort of horror film that blends the perfect amounts of suspense and humor with a Shakespearian touch. Add in one of Vincent Price's best performances, and you have a great fright flick for any chilly fall evening this Halloween season. Twilight Time has done a great job bringing this film to Blu-ray with a beautiful image transfer, a solid audio track. Extras may be on the slim side, but the isolated score track is a great listen and film score fans should be very happy to hear it. This is a delightfully wicked movie that should entertain genre fans and this Blu-ray does the film justice. Recommended. 

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 3 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 1 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146210 ) ) [19] => Array ( [review_id] => 33883 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => tonyromeladyincement [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Tony Rome & Lady In Cement [picture_created] => 1474410561 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Tony_Rome_Lady_In_Cement_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Twilight Time [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/09/20/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Tony_Rome_Lady_In_Cement_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33883/tonyromeladyincement.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1967 [run_time] => 203 [list_price] => 29.95 [alt_commerce_link] => https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/tony-rome-lady-in-cement/ [alt_commerce_text] => Buy the Blu-ray! [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Limited to 3000 Units ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD MA 1.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary [1] => Trailers ) [exclusive_hd_contents] => Array ( [0] => Isolated Score Tracks ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Thriller, Mystery ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Simon Oakland, Gena Rowlands and Bob Wilkes ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Gordon Douglas ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A private eye is hired by a millionaire to find the reasons for his daughter's odd behavior. Soon the detective finds himself embroiled in a dangerous scheme and pursues the case with the aid of a beautiful woman. Featured in this suspense-mystery are performances by Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Simon Oakland, Gena Rowlands and Bob Wilkes among others.

[review_movie] =>

It's interesting to watch a movie where the lead star is a character unto themselves. The film in question can often feel like a bit of a vanity project designed to wax the particular star's ego and maintain their celebrity status. Whether or not the film is any good is irrelevant, it's all about the star. So whenever I go into any movie starring The Chairman of the Board Mr. Frank Sinatra, I tend to have guarded expectations. For every great turn he made in films like 'The Manchurian Candidate' or 'From Here to Eternity,' there were dozens of other movies like 'A Hole in the Head.' Then we get the one-two punch of 1967's 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement.' A pair of grizzled noir detective yarns brought to the 60s contemporary screen by the legendary Gordon Douglas. While the playful-yet-gritty stylings of the films may be a bit odd at times, the films turn out to be surprisingly effective, entertaining and show Sinatra doing what he does best - being himself. 

Tony Rome

Being an ex-cop is tough. Being an ex-cop turned private detective is even tougher. Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) just wants to live on his boat, go fishing, put down a couple of beers and be left alone. But a man's got to make a living somehow and Tony's way is by taking on the dirty jobs no honest cop - or former cop - would do. When Ralph (Robert Wilke), Tony's former partner, asks him to take a drunk and passed out heiress named Diana Pines (Sue Lyon) home, a simple clean up job turns into a bigger mess when it's discovered that the girl was robbed of a diamond brooch. Hired to find the missing jewelry, Tony is tasked by the girl's father with learning why she has been acting so strangely. The answers to these questions could put Tony in a boatload of trouble with the law and with whoever has been stealing high-end jewels. At his hip is the seductive Jill St. John (Ann Archer) offering sound advice about women's fashions while also dropping a few clues of her own.

3.5/5

Lady In Cement

Tony Rome is at it again. While diving off the Miami coast looking for a sunken Spanish Galleon that according to legend is loaded with gold, Tony ends up finding a new case. Deep at the bottom of the ocean is a beautiful nude blonde woman, her feet encased in a block of cement. Rome isn't too concerned about things until he's hired by someone else to find the dead woman he accidentally already located. With his curiosity in high gear, Tony finds his way to a local night club and the beautiful Kit Forrester (Raquel Welch). Since she's backed by a former mob man Al Mungar (Martin Gabel), this new case could end up being Tony's last. 

3/5

Gritty updated Neo-Noir detective flicks can be kind of tough to take in. On one hand, they're playing to classic gumshoe tropes with the jaded anti-hero who doesn't want to have anything to do with a case but takes it anyway because he's a good guy. On the other hand, the film can play things almost too modern and the clashing styles can skew the tone of the film. In this way, Director Gordon Douglas is a master of genre-smashing. He could pull off western/thrillers like 'Barquero.' He could do silly spy movies like the sequel 'Our Man Flint.' He could even to the straight and dark detective thriller like 'The Detective' also starring Sinatra. It's that versatility that makes these Tony Rome adventures so bizarrely entertaining. The cases are interesting, the characters are colorful, the dialogue has a snappy tongue to it, but at the same time, they're almost too "swinging 60s" for their own good. Should we be laughing? Should we be feeling tension about the situation Rome is in? Both at the same time? It's a bit of a mood swing overload, and yet, you can't take your eyes off them!

The heart of these films is Sinatra. Say what you will about his acting abilities, his crooning, or his supposed ties to organized crime - the man had screen presence. He's the perfect fast-talking smart-ass detective for this sort of movie. It's almost as if the movies themselves are sly jokes and he's the straight man who has to play off them in a dark and serious way. That isn't to say his Rome isn't a hoot, he is, but he feels like a character that Fred MacMurray or Bogart would have played twenty years earlier. Sinatra gives his Tony the presence of a man who is always thinking ten moves ahead. Even when if checkmate could lead to his own death, he's determined to see every case through to the end. It's fun watching him get into trouble either with some hood or the police and then think and talk his way out of it. As I said at the outset, I wasn't much of a Sinatra movie fan, but he held my interest through both Tony Rome adventures as he's such a fun character and Frank is the perfect actor for the part. One part confident, two parts arrogant, with a dash of honesty and dedication tossed in for flavor and you have a heck of a leading character. 

As fun as the main character is, and I would have liked to see Sinatra play Rome more than these two appearances, the sequel is a case of diminishing returns. 'Lady In Cement' was still a decent little flick, but it also feels like Gordon Douglas and Sinatra were compensating for their hard-boiled 'The Detective' that was shot in between the two Rome films. 'Lady In Cement' is almost too silly and that score by Hugo Montenegro is entirely too jaunty. When you see a dead girl at the bottom of the ocean, go-go music really just doesn't feel appropriate. This movie struggles with the tone it naturally found with 'Tony Rome.' It wants to be playful but not too playful. It tries to be serious but isn't nearly serious enough. At the end of the day, I found 'Lady In Cement' had more in common with the woeful 'Catalina Caper' than it did with 'Tony Rome.' Toss in Tommy Kirk in some distressingly tiny shorts and a few appearances by Little Richard and you'd practically have the same movie. 

Taken as a whole, the Tony Rome adventures are a good way to spend an evening. Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady in Cement' move at nice brisk paces and don't overstay they're welcome. Sinatra is in his sly prime and the man can deliver a one-liner like nobody else. While the quality and consistency may not have held up through two films, the fun is still there and even the most cynical viewer will have a hard time denying the entertainment value in either film. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' arrive on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Both films are pressed onto a single Region Free BD50 disc and this set is limited to a run of 3000 units. The disc is housed in a standard clear Blu-ray case with a booklet containing an essay by historian Julie Kirgo. The disc loads directly to a static image opening menu that allows you to choose which film you would like to view. From there, you're taken to that film's main menu with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 70913 [review_video] =>

"As good as can be, but still pretty darn good" should be the theme of both of the 2.35:1 1080p transfers provided for 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement.' They may not be sterling restorations, and they probably would have looked better if they'd been given their own disc to occupy, but that said, both films have their strong points and a couple weak ones too. 'Tony Rome' seems to have been given the better treatment between the two films. Film grain is intact throughout and provides some nice detail levels. Colors are bright and vibrant with that almost garish 60s quality to them. Flesh tones tend to look a bit too tan at times but are otherwise natural appearing. Black levels can be a bit soft in some darker scenes and can lose depth, but daylight sequences look amazing without any contrast blooms to speak of. The print is in relatively great shape with only some mild sporadic speckling to report. 4/5

'Lady In Cement' has a lot of the same qualities as those presented in 'Tony Rome' with a few of its own issues. Similarly, grain is present and offers up some great details. I would say colors are a bit sharper and more natural looking, they felt more vivid here than in 'Tony Rome.' Black levels also look a bit better balanced. However, there are several baked-in softness issues. At times the image can almost look as if the focus puller didn't stick the mark as characters in middle shots can appear just a tad too soft. There are also a few scenes, especially the underwater sequences that appear almost too bright as if contrast was kicked up a notch to compensate for filming conditions. Similarly, there is some speckling and a small scratch or two, but nothing that would amount to a deal-breaker. Like the first film, 'Lady In Cement' looks pretty great, not amazing, but still very good. 3.5/5 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 70912 [review_audio] =>

Both 'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' arrive with rock solid English DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono tracks. I appreciate it when the mono track isn't artificially transformed into a stereo mix by simply playing the same track through both channels, there feels to be a natural presence to this presentation. While imaging is obviously limited, there is still an organic sense of space and dimension to the mix. Dialogue comes through loud and clear, which is essential because of the snappy dialogue. This isn't a bad thing but you're going to want to reverse the movies every now and again to hear those zingers, they pop up out of nowhere. Sound effects and scoring are cleanly and clearly rendered, even if I felt like the score for 'Lady In Cement' was a bit too jaunty, it at least doesn't overpower the mix. Levels are just fine, some of the softer, quieter conversational moments may require a bump in volume, but nothing too severe. All around both films enjoy some fine audio mixes that serve the respective natures of the films well. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 70911 [review_supplements] =>

'Tony Rome' Audio Commentary: Film historians Eddy Friedfeld, Anthony Latino, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo provide a pretty fun and informative track for this film. They keep the conversation moving nicely talking about all aspects of the film from casting to Sinatra's film career at that time to some interesting stuff about director Gordon Douglas. 

'Tony Rome' Trailer: (HD 3:05)

Lady In Cement' Trailer: (HD 3:12)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 70910 [review_bonus_content] =>

'Tony Rome' Isolated Score Track: I preferred the Billy May score for this first film. It was playful but still serious enough when the film called for it. 

'Lady In Cement' Isolated Score Track: Hugh Montenegro's score would have been great for a 60s beach movie but it often feels out of place here. Not bad, but not quite appropriate either. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 70909 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'Tony Rome' and 'Lady In Cement' may not be the greatest Neo-Noir films to come out over the years, but they are an entertaining duo, to say the least. If you can give yourself over to both film's playful natures, you should have a great time with these little Sinatra adventures. Twilight Time brings both films to Blu-ray in a nice single-disc double feature package with solid A/V presentations. Extras may be a bit slim, but I'm glad that disc space was reserved for the films' presentations and not mundane bonus content. If you're a Sinatra completionist, you're going to want to pick this one up. If you're new to Sinatra's fast-talking private detective, take a look-see for yourself. At the very least both films are worth the time you put into them. Worth a look. 

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 1.5 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 146154 ) ) [20] => Array ( [review_id] => 36888 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => trinityseven [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Trinity Seven [picture_created] => 1470685634 [picture_name] => High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Trinity_Seven_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Section 23 [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/08/120/High-Def_Digest_www.highdefdigest_.com_Blu-ray_Review_Trinity_Seven_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36888/trinityseven.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 69.98 [asin] => B01EP1NUGK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 2-Disc Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime, Action, Adventure ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [21] => Array ( [review_id] => 33724 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => whoeverslewauntieroo [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [picture_created] => 1463150062 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Whoever_Slew_Auntie_Roo_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino Lorber [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/13/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Whoever_Slew_Auntie_Roo_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33724/whoeverslewauntieroo.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1972 [run_time] => 91 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1EK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Audio Commentary with Film Historian David Del Valle and Film Scholar Nathaniel Bell [1] => Trailers ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Shelley Winters [1] => Mark Lester ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Curtis Harrington ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Newly Re-mastered in HD! Auntie Roo (Shelley Winters, He Ran All the Way) just loves children... to death. After the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, Auntie Roo has been looking for a 'dead ringer' replacement. And this time she found one... from the local orphanage! But what is she to do with the girl's pesky brother when he discovers Roo's terrible secret in the attic? Top-notch direction by cult filmmaker Curtis Harrington (Queen of Blood, Night Tide) and featuring great performances by Mark Lester (Oliver, Eyewitness), Chloe Franks (Tales from the Crypt), Lionel Jeffries (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Hugh Griffith (Ben-Hur) and the great Ralph Richardson (The Fallen Idol). Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? was the follow-up to What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and What s the Matter with Helen?.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [22] => Array ( [review_id] => 34363 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wildinthestreets [review_release_date] => 1471330800 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Wild in the Streets [picture_created] => 1464775779 [picture_name] => unnamed_(6).jpg [manufacturer_name] => Olive Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/01/120/unnamed_(6).jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34363/wildinthestreets.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1968 [run_time] => 97 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01G3MKVQ6 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Drama, Music ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Christopher Jones, Shelley Winters, Diane Varsi ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Barry Shear ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Striking a zeitgeist nerve, Wild in the Streets stars Christopher Jones (Ryan’s Daughter) as Max Frost, rock singer and poster boy for the counterculture revolution of the 60’s. While performing with his band The Troopers at a political rally for Senate candidate Johnny Fergus (Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild), Max seizes the opportunity to spout his own political philosophies which include, among other things, that the voting age should be lowered to 14.
 
And thus begins the tale of Max’s meteoric rise. But as he moves further and further into uncharted waters, first as a voice for the youth movement (or is he just a mouthpiece for opportunist politicians?) and then as a nominee for President of the United States, Max will not bend to the will of the old guard. Instead he begins implementing his own ideas of what would make a better world, including “re-education camps” for those over the age of 35 along with a liberal dosing of LSD.
 
Wild in the Streets, directed by Barry Shear (Across 110th Street), co-stars Shelley Winters (The Night of the Hunter) as Max’s mother; Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as Senator Fergus’ daughter Mary, and Richard Pryor (Silver Streak) as Stanley X, The Troopers’ drummer.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) ) ) [August 9, 2016] => Array ( [reviews] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 33180 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => 112263 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => 11.22.63 [picture_created] => 1461699659 [picture_name] => 11_22_63_Box_Art_1.JPEG [manufacturer_name] => Warner Bros. [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/26/120/11_22_63_Box_Art_1.JPEG [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33180/112263.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 439 [list_price] => 39.99 [asin] => B01EYJTKRQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital HD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.00:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => When the Future Fights Back ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Viewers hurtle deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber). But Jake's mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie (Sarah Gadon), a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself... which doesn't want to be changed. And if the Past doesn't want to be changed, it will push back ­– often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride.

[review_movie] =>

I've never considered myself one to elevate source material to sanctity. This is an ongoing battle with die-hard fans and the franchises they love. Yet, I've always stayed on the outside. Understanding why those who love the source material could be upset with certain decisions, while simultaneously feeling empathy for the filmmakers who must, at times, make impossible choices. They aren't going to please everyone.

Now I find myself in the unenviable position of reviewing an adaption from source material that I absolutely adore. Stephen King's masterpiece of a novel, "11.22.63," is one of my favorite pieces of fiction written in the 21st Century. It's difficult not to find myself on the fanboy side of the argument.

When the '11.22.63' adaption was first rumored, Jonathan Demme was attached and it was most likely going to be a feature-length film. While I like Demme's work, and think he would've done a great job, I had to pause at the stifling runtime. King's book, whose hardback version is just shy of 850 pages, certainly needed much more time than a film could provide. A mini-series was the perfect solution.

Hulu and J.J. Abrams' production studio Bad Robot teamed up to create an eight-part mini-series that had the potential to pack in asmuch of King's original content as possible. While I liked, for the most part, what they did with the story. I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. Perhaps it was the feeling I got while reading it. Maybe it was missing the personal touch that King's first-person narration brought to the narrative. Whatever the case, '11.22.63' covers its bases as far as an adaption goes, and yet it finds itself lacking in others.

For those who haven't read the book, '11.22.63' follows the story of Lisbon, Maine resident and high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco). One day his friend Al (Chris Cooper), who owns a local diner, comes to him with a wild proposition. See, the closet in Al's diner is, inexplicably, a time machine of sorts. Once you step through the closet you find yourself transported to October 1960 (in the book it's September 1958). Every trip, no matter how long is spent in the past, only takes two minutes in the present. There's no explanation of why this portal exists, or its true purpose – if there is any. All that we ever know is that the portal is there.

Al is convinced that if the assassination plot of John F. Kennedy is foiled, then the world would turn out to be a better place. His reasoning is unsound, but he's sure of it. Al has tried and failed. He's contracted cancer and can't complete the quest he set out to do. He recruits his friend Jake to help him save JFK.

It's a wacky premise, but it works.

I seem to be in the minority of people who actually liked Franco in the lead role. I think he's just fine. Sure his supporting cast is even better, but Franco isn't the biggest problem. The issues I had with this adaption seem to stem from excavating the nuance of King's source material, and replacing it with tropes. Plus, there's the addition of a new character, Bill (George MacKay) who joins Jake in the past. The addition seems to be a way of overcoming the first-person-ness of the novel, but ends up throwing in unnecessary storylines that feel out of place (like Bill falling in love with Lee Harvey Oswald's wife).

There is so much to talk about, but such little space to do so. This review would be far too long otherwise. What's evident is that this adaption is solid enough, and entertaining enough to be considered a success. Are there other things they could've done to make it better? Of course. And even though I'm, for better or worse, a fanboy of this particular material, I understand the need to pare it down. With that said, the adaption feels like it has less emotion, less characterization, less intensity, and less soul.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This is a two-disc release that comes with 50GB Blu-rays. They come packed in a standard keepcase with two disc hubs. There's an insert included that provides the episode list, along with another that provides a code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69962 [review_video] =>

Warner Bros.' 1080p transfer of '11.22.63,' which first aired as a streaming series on Hulu, has its ups and downs. This isn't a consistent presentation by any means. Some scenes will be full of the clarity and sharpness you expect from Blu-ray. Then there are other scenes that are awash in what appears to be unintentional softness, and strange color grading.

The color grading here is something that really feels weird. There are a few culprits that could be at play. Sometimes it seems that they're using green screen to fill out some of the backdrop, only those scenes never look great. Trees and sky mush together and detail is lost. Colors are flat, especially in the background, causing strange, non-lifelike colors to appear (vegetation as flat pink?). Back light is noticeably too hot, creating some blinding moments that completely wash out foreground objects and people. Night scenes lack delineation, and are subject to crushing. In short, there are moments where the show looks decidedly like a made-for-TV movie.

Then there are other parts that look amazing. These are usually times when the scene is in full sunlight and there doesn't appear to be any computer-generated effects helping out. Close-ups usually featured great detail, yet there are some fairly soft close-ups too. That's really the takeaway here. The inconsistency of this release hurts it in the end.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69963 [review_audio] =>

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is much more disciplined. It is constantly solid (except for its unusually heavy emphasis on surround noises), and provides a much more compelling presentation than its video counterpart.

Yes, there are moments where the surround sound seems weirdly emphasized over front-centered sound. So, at times cars whizzing by in the background can sound louder than they need to be when compared to dialogue. This doesn't happen all the time, but it is noticeable as the series progresses.

Dialogue is clear though. Whispers are easy to hear too. Low-end frequencies are frequently heard on the soundtrack during the show's many intense moments. Panning effects are smooth. The 1960s music sounds great.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69964 [review_supplements] =>

When the Future Fights Back (HD, 15 min.) – Strange that we only get one special feature here. It helps that it's a rather informative behind-the-scenes piece featuring interviews from Stephen King, executive producer J.J. Abrams, and writer/producer Bridget Carpenter. They do a good job chronicling the changes between the book and the series, which I really enjoyed.

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69965 [review_bonus_content] =>

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided here.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69966 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

It may not have been the adaption that my heart wanted, but it's the adaption that my brain accepts. I understand that recreating something like King's book for the screen might be an impossible task. They do a great job here even if the end result is left wanting in places. The real bummer is the lackluster video presentation though. Audio is solid. You should give it a look if you loved the novel like I did.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145820 ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34972 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => 2016nbachampions [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => 2016 NBA Champions [picture_created] => 1466113587 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-2016_NBA_Champions_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => NBA Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/16/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-2016_NBA_Champions_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34972/2016nbachampions.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 70 [list_price] => 24.98 [asin] => B01FWDFP4A [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Sports ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

NBA Champion fans, be the first to own the only officially licensed DVD and Blu-ray of your team s triumphant season. You haven t seen anything until you have seen the official 2015-2016 NBA Champions DVD and Blu-ray Combo. Loaded with clutch bonus features including profiles on your favorite players and in-depth analysis. Experience what it is to be a champion!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34583 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ahologramfortheking [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => A Hologram for the King [picture_created] => 1465314215 [picture_name] => Cover4.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Lionsgate [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/07/120/Cover4.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34583/ahologramfortheking.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 98 [asin] => B01GP4HSRC [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 50GB Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.40:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English and Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => From Novel to Screen: The Adaption of ‘A Hologram for the King’ [1] => Perfecting the Culture: The Making of ‘A Hologram for the King’ ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Tom Skerritt, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Tracey Fairaway, Janis Ahern ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Tykwer ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A failed American businessman looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch.

[review_movie] =>

Going strictly by the synopsis of 'A Hologram for the King,' one might think they're in for a tediously boring film experience: "…a recently divorced businessman is sent overseas to pitch a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to the king [of Saudi Arabia]." I mean, that isn't a synopsis that jumps out and grabs you.

Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) is a salesman, racked with guilt about his divorce, his inability to pay for his adult daughter's college, and business decisions he made in the past. He now finds himself in Saudi Arabia pitching a holographic conferencing system to the country's monarch, all the while trying not to completely lose it.

Alan's life is eating away at him. It's not as blatant as it was in Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa,' this is more like 'Anomalisa'-lite. The similarities are striking though. Alan finds himself immersed in mundane day-to-day tasks as his hotel in the city becomes something like a prison. A place that constantly repeats itself as he enters and exits it. Nothing ever changes. He says hi to the same desk clerk every day. He sleeps in every day. He drinks too much every night (even though drinking is forbidden in the country). He goes out to the presentation site day after day only to find the people he's supposed to meet aren't there and might not be there the next day. He's stuck in a seemingly endless business trip. Oh, and he has a mysterious lump growing out of the middle of his back.

Where 'Anomalisa' saw its main character Michael Stone spiral slowly into madness, 'A Hologram for the King' shows Alan approach madness, only to lift himself out with sheer will and determination.

What's so fun about this film is watching Hanks provide such an energetic performance. He alone makes the film much more engaging than it might be otherwise. He's a magnetic performer and he owns the screen here again.

Once Alan learns to embrace the culture and the people, he finds himself overcoming many of the doubts that have plagued him. It doesn't stop him from constantly worrying though. He worries about his daughter. He worries about the American workers he screwed over when he was an executive that moved jobs overseas at a past company. He worries about his health. He worries about making a deal. And, ultimately, he never lets it get to him.

Providing a fantastic supporting presence is Alexander Black as Alan's driver Yousef and Sarita Choudhury as Alan's doctor and love interest, Zahra.

The romance between Alan and Zahra feels genuine. Not too often do you see Hollywood films portraying sex scenes with an actor and actress exceeding 50 years of age. It's not often you see an older film star having sex with someone his own age. In this day and age of Hollywood older actors are being paired with younger and younger actresses. This doesn't feel phony. This feels real. 

Hanks' performance is impressive and the people around him make it that much better. I was pleasantly surprised with what 'A Hologram for the King' had to offer.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This is a single-disc release that comes with a 50GB Blu-ray and a code for a Digital Copy. There's a slipcover provided.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69457 [review_video] =>

The 1080p presentation of 'A Hologram for the King' looks great, and it should since this is a recently produced film. The image is clean, clear and free from any embarrassing visual anomalies.

I was impressed with the way the visuals handled the large expanses of sand. It never appears like a large blob, rather sand has visible ripples in it. Dunes are nicely rendered. And the horizon is perfectly delineated from the light blue sky above.

Facial features are strong and detailed. Textures are lifelike, from the sand of the desert to the weave of Alan's sterile business suits. Black areas are nice and inky. There's some great underwater shots of coral reefs and fish that are startlingly clear, almost like they were filmed by the 'Planet Earth' nature team. As expected this is a very solid visual presentation for a recently filmed movie.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69458 [review_audio] =>

Lionsgate has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Sure, the film is front-heavy given its nature. There are, however, numerous times where the surround channels are given room to participate in the proceedings.

The city center is busy and the rear channels are usually bustling with noise. There are echoes that are captured nicely there too as Alan tours a vacant condo facility being built in the middle of a desert. There's also a party scene that features some great bass, and debauched action all around.

Dialogue is always clear. There are a few panning effects that work smoothly as sound is transferred from left to center to right and back again. For a talky film, there are quite a lot of areas here where the sound mix is able to show itself off.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69459 [review_supplements] =>

From Novel to Screen: The Adaption of 'A Hologram for the King' (HD, 20 min.) – Director Tom Twyker and novelist Dave Eggers discuss bringing Eggers' novel to the big screen.

Perfecting the Culture: The Making of 'A Hologram for the King' (HD, 10 min.) – Production designer Uli Hanisch joins Twyker to discuss creating an authentic locale, and about reflecting the Saudi culture in the film.

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69460 [review_bonus_content] =>

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69461 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'A Hologram for the King' is a surprising film that didn't come out with much fanfare, especially given Hanks was at the center of it. It's a subdued comedic drama about a man finding himself while immersed in a different culture. It sounds a bit cliché, but the way it's constructed gives it a freshness that's genuine. The video and audio are as good as you'd expect from a 2016 film. This one is recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145618 ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 34970 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => absoluteduothecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Absolute Duo: The Complete Series [picture_created] => 1466113353 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Absolute_Duo-_The_Complete_Series_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/16/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Absolute_Duo-_The_Complete_Series_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34970/absoluteduothecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM9582 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 35128 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => addictedtofresno [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Addicted to Fresno [picture_created] => 1466548422 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Addicted_to_Fresno_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/21/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Addicted_to_Fresno_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35128/addictedtofresno.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 85 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01H4CBVP4 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne, Aubrey Plaza, Malcolm Barrett, Ron Livingston ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Jamie Babbit ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Addicted to Fresno

Shannon (Judy Greer, "Ant-Man," "Jurassic World") is just out of sex rehab when her younger, overly optimistic lesbian sister, Martha (Natasha Lyonne, "Orange is the New Black") lands her a job as a maid at Fresno Suites, the local hotel. When Shannon jeopardizes her fresh new start in life by accidentally killing a hotel guest after a sudden relapse, Martha sees it as an opportunity to fix their relationship and helps her sister cover up the crime. Co-starring Malcom Barrett ("Dear White People") and Ron Livingston ("Office Space").

Blu-ray features surround sound, official "Addicted to Fresno" trailer, never-before-seen deleted scenes along with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [5] => Array ( [review_id] => 35409 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => barakamonthecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Barakamon: The Complete Series [picture_created] => 1467134816 [picture_name] => high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Barakamon_The_Complete_Series_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/28/120/high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Barakamon_The_Complete_Series_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35409/barakamonthecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM2ZRU [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [6] => Array ( [review_id] => 34845 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => basketcase2 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Basket Case 2 [picture_created] => 1466405341 [picture_name] => basket2.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Synapse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/19/120/basket2.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34845/basketcase2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1990 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 19.95 [asin] => B01GQZ1LFK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => THE MAN IN THE MOON MASK – Interview with "Half Moon" actor, David Emge [1] => BEYOND THE WICKER – Behind-the-Scenes Featurette from Special Effects Makeup Artist, Gabe Bartalos [2] => Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Henenlotter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return in this frightfully gory follow-up to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. After surviving a fall from a hospital window, the two brothers become media targets. Duane’s aunt, Granny Ruth (played by world-famous Jazz singer Annie Ross), whisks the duo away to a secluded mansion, where other freaks-in-hiding live out their days away from public scrutiny. When a snooping tabloid reporter finds the location of the mutants, Duane and his new family must stand together to keep their freedom a secret. And, in all the chaos, Belial might actually find true love! 
Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 2 in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [7] => Array ( [review_id] => 34848 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => basketcase3theprogeny [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Basket Case 3: The Progeny [picture_created] => 1466405510 [picture_name] => basket3.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Synapse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/19/120/basket3.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34848/basketcase3theprogeny.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1991 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 19.95 [asin] => B01GQZ1LFA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Original Theatrical Trailer [1] => Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Henenlotter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

He’s back. He’s bad. And, he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre BASKET CASE horror series.
After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY in a beautiful high-definition transfer from original 35mm vault materials

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [8] => Array ( [review_id] => 33492 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => baskin [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Baskin [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Shout Factory [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33492/baskin.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 29.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOF8 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Fantasy, Horror ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [9] => Array ( [review_id] => 34293 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => battleswithouthonorandhumanity [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Battles without Honor and Humanity [picture_created] => 1464674875 [picture_name] => battleshonor.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/battleshonor.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34293/battleswithouthonorandhumanity.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 99 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FEE1X4S [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Brand new audio commentary by critic and author Stuart Galbraith IV [1] => Yakuza Graveyard a new interview with Takashi Miike about Kinji Fukasaku and the yakuza film genre [2] => Original trailers for all five films [3] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

When Battles Without Honor and Humanity first hit Japanese screens in January 1973, partially inspired by the success of The Godfather, it blasted out a new Ground Zero for crime cinema not only in Japan, but in the rest of the world, and spawned a legendary series that would lead to additional episodes, spin-offs, and countless imitations.

1947. Ex-soldier Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), after proving his ability with a gun, emerges from the teeming black markets of postwar Kure City into the professional world of the yakuza. Shozo makes his way from prison to boss in the newly-formed Yamamori family via gang feuds, assassinations and the shifting allegiances of his fellow mobsters, despite his own growing disillusionment with the men he is supposed to respect.

Based on the true account of a Hiroshima mob boss and supplemented by meticulous research by screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara, this ferocious, violent saga was directed in a dynamic, newsreel-like style by Kinji Fukasaku, and stunned cinemagoers in Japan upon its release. Like a head-spinning mixture of Martin Scorsese and Paul Greengrass, the film s frenetic cinematography, colourful characters, and iconic score by Toshiaki Tsushima will leave you thrilled and exhausted, as you embark on one of the world s greatest gangster film series.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [10] => Array ( [review_id] => 33351 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => canadianpacific [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Canadian Pacific [picture_created] => 1462290428 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/03/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33351/canadianpacific.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1949 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01EW1UMMS [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Restoration Documentary: recombining and restoring a 66 year-old CineColor puzzle of more than 400,000 pieces [1] => Canadian Pacific on 16mm: excerpts from a very rare original 16mm CineColor print element (Reel 1A+B) (18 min; in HD) [2] => Canadian Pacific on 8mm: rare short feature for home screening of the film on 8mm (B/W print) (8 min; in HD) [3] => Trailer Gallery ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Western ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, J. Carrol Naish, Victor Jory, Nancy Olson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Edwin L. Martin ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad must fight fur trappers who oppose the building of the railroad by stirring up Indian rebellion. Cinematography by Fred Jackman Jr. (The Cariboo Trail, One Body Too Many). An Ignite Films Cinecolor HD Restoration. Starring Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, J. Carrol Naish, Victor Jory, and Nancy Olson.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [11] => Array ( [review_id] => 35652 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => catonahottinroof [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [picture_created] => 1467739716 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Archive [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/05/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35652/catonahottinroof.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1958 [run_time] => 108 [list_price] => 21.99 [asin] => B01HQH1UWG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Elizabeth Taylor; Paul Newman; Burl Ives; Jack Carson; Judith Anderson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Brooks ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [12] => Array ( [review_id] => 33559 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => charliechanandthecurseofthedragonqueen [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen [picture_created] => 1462632749 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Scorpion Releasing [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/07/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33559/charliechanandthecurseofthedragonqueen.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1981 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1GS [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Fantasy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Ustinov, Lee Grant, Angie Dickinson, Richard Hatch, and Brian Keith ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Clive Donner ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In Hawaii, master sleuth Charlie Chan unmasks the Dragon Queen as a killer. Before she's arrested, she places a curse on Chan and his family.

Years later in San Francisco, Chan is called out of retirement when the city of San Francisco finds itself in chaos over a series of weird murders. Chan is assisted by his blundering grandson, Lee Chan Jr, who is more of a hindrance than help. The shadow of the Dragon Queen still hangs over the Chan family when she becomes his number one suspect.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [13] => Array ( [review_id] => 33924 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => dukhtar [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Dukhtar [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33924/dukhtar.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 34.95 [asin] => B01FT0ZN16 [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Director's Commentary [1] => Official U.S. Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Adventure, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Samiya Mumtaz, Saleha Aref, Mohib Mirza ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Afia Nathaniel ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In the mountains of Pakistan, a young mother's life takes an unexpected turn. Allah Rakhi (Samiya Mumtaz) kidnaps her ten-year-old daughter Zainrab (Saleha Aref) to save her from a child marriage to a tribal leader. Their escape is a damning loss of honor for the two families. A deadly hunt begins for them. Desperate for help, Allah Rakhi strikes an unlikely deal with Sohail (Mohib Mirza), a cynical ex-Mujahid truck driver, to take them to the city of Lahore. What follows is an epic journey through the sweeping landscape of Pakistan where the search for freedom and love comes with a price.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [14] => Array ( [review_id] => 32615 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => femaleprisonerscorpionthecompletecollection [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection [picture_created] => 1460394906 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/11/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/32615/femaleprisonerscorpionthecompletecollection.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1971 [run_time] => 353 [list_price] => 124.95 [asin] => B01E4687AU [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 8-Disc Set ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama, Thriller ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yoyoi Watanabe ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Starring the iconic and beautiful Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock) in a role that came to define her career, the four-film Female Prisoner Scorpion series charts the vengeance of Nami Matsushima, who assumes the mantle of Scorpion, becoming an avatar of vengeance and survival, and an unlikely symbol of female resistance in a male-dominated world. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion introduces Nami, a gullible young woman unjustly imprisoned, who must find a way to escape in order to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her. The visually avant-garde Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 sees director Shunya Ito and star Meiko Kaji re-unite as Nami and six other female convicts escape prison once more. The Gothic horror-inspired Beast Stable finds Nami branded public enemy #1 and on the run. She soon finds refuge with a sympathetic prostitute, but runs afoul of a local gang. The final film in the series, #701's Grudge Song (from director Yasuharu Hasebe, Retaliation, Massacre Gun), shows a gentler side of Nami as she falls in with Kudo, an ex-radical suffering from physical and psychological trauma caused by police torture. Spiritual kin to Ms. 45, Coffy and The Bride Wore Black, the Female Prisoner Scorpion is the pinnacle of early 1970s exploitation cinema from Japanese grindhouse studio Toei, and one of the greatest female revenge sagas ever told. Bonus features include: New visual essay on the career of star and icon Meiko Kaji by critic Tom Mes, Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger, Archive interview with director Shunya Ito, Original Theatrical Trailer, New interview with production designer Tadayuki Kuwana, Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kier-La Janisse, Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Shunya Ito, Archive interview with director Shunya Ito, New interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira, Theatrical Trailers for all films in the series, Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid), Booklet featuring an extract from Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji, an upcoming book on the star by critic and author Tom Mes, an archive interview with Meiko Kaji, and a brand new interview with Toru Shinohara, creator of the original Female Pri, Reversible sleeves for all films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan, Double-sided fold out poster of two original artworks, Optional English subtitles for all films, Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays) for all films, Brand new 2K restorations of all four films in the series presented on High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD , Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies), Original Theatrical Trailer, Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts), Archive interview with director Yasuharu Hasebe, Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Yasuharu Hasebe, Visual essay on the Scorpion series by critic Tom Mes, Original Theatrical Trailer

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [15] => Array ( [review_id] => 34301 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => finalepisode [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Final Episode [picture_created] => 1464676115 [picture_name] => finalep.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/finalep.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34301/finalepisode.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1974 [run_time] => 98 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FEE1X8Y [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Last Days of the Boss a new interview with Final Episode screenwriter Koji Takada [1] => Original poster gallery for the series [2] => Original trailer [3] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Hiroko Fuji, Gorô Ibuki, Nobuo Kaneko ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The Final Episode of the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series brought a new, more contemporary mood to the film and its characters. The yakuza may be starting to resemble a legitimate business, but director Kinji Fukasaku, working with new screenwriter Koji Takada, never lets the audience forget their violent origins, and their tried-and-true methods of accomplishing their business.

1966. After a police crackdown, the gangs of Hiroshima and Kure have formed a massive, multi-family political and economic coalition called the Tensei Group, seeking a way forward into the 1970 s as part of Japan s economic bubble. Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) finds himself increasingly alienated from this semi-legitimate form of corruption, particularly as acting Tensei Group chairman Matsumura (Kinya Kitaoji) tries to put the gangs on a new, more business-like path. But old habits die hard, and when rivalries surface once again, they bring with them the promise of more bloodshed.

The long-awaited conclusion to the epic series is an elegy for the bad guy, with the harsh realization that Japan s economic growth came about only through the sacrifice of the blood of its young men, victims of twenty long years of Battles Without Honor and Humanity.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [16] => Array ( [review_id] => 35202 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => garotheanimationseasononeparttwo [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Garo the Animation: Season One Part Two [picture_created] => 1466693120 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Garo_the_Animation_Season_One_Part_Two_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/23/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Garo_the_Animation_Season_One_Part_Two_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35202/garotheanimationseasononeparttwo.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [run_time] => 300 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM8Y5M [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [17] => Array ( [review_id] => 35395 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => gunslingergirlgunslingergirliiteatrinossn1 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Gunslinger Girl + Gunslinger Girl II Teatrino: Complete Collection [picture_created] => 1467132332 [picture_name] => high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Gunslinger_Girl_Gunslinger_Girl_II_Teatrino_Ssn_1_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/28/120/high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Gunslinger_Girl_Gunslinger_Girl_II_Teatrino_Ssn_1_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35395/gunslingergirlgunslingergirliiteatrinossn1.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2003 [run_time] => 685 [list_price] => 49.98 [asin] => B01FXMB37I [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [18] => Array ( [review_id] => 34295 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => hiroshimadeathmatch [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Hiroshima Death Match [picture_created] => 1464675064 [picture_name] => hiroshimadeath.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/hiroshimadeath.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34295/hiroshimadeathmatch.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 99 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FEE1X4I [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.5:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Man of Action a new interview with series fight choreographer Ryuzo Ueno [1] => Original trailer [2] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bunta Sugawara, Shin'ichi Chiba, Meiko Kaji ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The celebrated Battles Without Honor and Humanity series continues with its second episode, Hiroshima Death Match, setting aside part one protagonist Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) to follow a side story showcasing genre icons Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter) and Meiko Kaji (Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion).

Hiroshima, 1950. Demobilized kamikaze pilot Shoji Yamanaka (Kinya Kitaoji) is released from prison and finds himself hungry and broke. Following a bust up with a local gang, he earns the psychotic wrath of local underboss Otomo (Chiba), but Yamanaka s suicidal impulses are soon put to good use as a hitman for another gang, befriending series hero Shozo Hirono in the process. Despite a budding but forbidden romance with the boss s niece (Kaji), Yamanaka s instability and recklessness soon begin to make him a dangerous liability.

Taking an even more fatalistic turn than the series original entry, Hiroshima Death Match tells the story of the ultimate loser, based on a true story uncovered by screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara while interviewing real-life Hiroshima yakuza for part one. A prosperous era may be dawning for the protagonists, but one with new characters and new grudges to draw them more deeply into its world of blood and betrayal.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [19] => Array ( [review_id] => 36599 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => philippedebrocadoublefeature [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Philippe de Broca Double Feature [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Cohen Media Group [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36599/philippedebrocadoublefeature.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1961 [list_price] => 55.99 [asin] => B01EUBF9RS [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Philippe de Broca Double Feature: On Guard, Five Day Lover. On Guard: It takes the cavalier Lagardère sixteen years to avenge his friend the Duke of Nevers, who was assassinated by the infamous Gonzag, who would later become the king of Paris finance in the sumptuous days of the Regency. Sixteen years to assert the triumph of morality, save honor ... and find love. Five Day Lover: Claire, married to Georges, has an affair with bachelor Antoine, who is being kept by her good friend Madeleine, a wealthy couturière. But the meetings at Antoine's apartment, five afternoons a week, come to a halt when their partners learn the truth.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [20] => Array ( [review_id] => 34299 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => policetactics [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Police Tactics [picture_created] => 1464675948 [picture_name] => policetactics.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/policetactics.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34299/policetactics.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1974 [run_time] => 101 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FEE1XD4 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Remembering Kinji a new featurette about director Kinji Fukasaku and his work, featuring interviews with Kenta Fukasaku and film critic and Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane [1] => Fukasaku Family a new interview with Proxy War and Police Tactics assistant director Toru Dobashi [2] => Original trailer [3] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bunta Sugawara, Akira Kobayashi, Tatsuo Umemiya ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Continuing the storyline begun in episode three of the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series, Police Tactics sees director Kinji Fukasaku and screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara further depicting the life-and-death struggle of the gangsters of Hiroshima and Kure, even as the rest of Japan is beginning to tire of their old-fashioned codes.

1963. Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), expelled from the Yamamori gang, has allied himself with the cowardly Uchimoto (Takeshi Kato) and the Akashi family, who are engaged in a power struggle with the Shinwa Group, allied with the Yamamori. But mainstream society, enjoying unprecedented economic prosperity, will no longer tolerate their violent criminal activities. The police begin a major crackdown, putting the gangs on the defensive. But rogue soldiers on both sides still refuse to keep the peace, earning the wrath of both their bosses and the forces of law and order.

The last film of the series written by Kasahara, Police Tactics was intended to be the final episode, until its phenomenal success led to one additional entry. A fîn de siècle mood permeates throughout, with characters fully aware of their impending obsolescence, yet striving for a return to the less prosperous, but simpler post-war glory days.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [21] => Array ( [review_id] => 34297 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => proxywar [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Proxy War [picture_created] => 1464675774 [picture_name] => proxy.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/proxy.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34297/proxywar.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 102 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FIAXJYA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.5:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Secrets of the Piranha Army a new documentary about the troupe of supporting actors who appeared throughout the series, featuring interviews with original Piranha members Masaru Shiga and Takashi Noguchi, plus second-generation Piranha, Takashi Nishina and Akira Murota [1] => Tales of a Bit Player a new interview with supporting actor and stuntman Seizo Fukumoto [2] => Original trailer [3] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bunta Sugawara, Akira Kobayashi, Tsunehiko Watase ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Moving beyond the true stories dramatized in the first two episodes of the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series, director Kinji Fukasaku and screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara embark on their most complex narrative yet in Proxy War, a multi-character web of alliances and betrayals set against the economic growth of Japan as it prepares to host the 1964 Olympic games.

1960. A power vacuum is formed within the Muraoka family when underboss Uchimoto (Takeshi Kato) refuses to avenge the assassination of a superior. With the help of series hero Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), Uchimoto pledges loyalty to the powerful Akashi gang, but is soon expelled from the Muraoka for the act. Meanwhile, Akashi rivals the Shinwa Group form their own pact with Muraoka, and the enmity between the two gangs threatens to erupt into bloody violence across all of western Japan.

The labyrinthine plotline of Proxy War which continues in episode four, Police Tactics approaches pure Jacobean drama as power players, kingmakers, and petty soldiers clash weapons and words in a stylized ritual of alliances and betrayals. Considered by many critics to be the best episode of the series, Proxy War is complex crime drama of the highest order.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [22] => Array ( [review_id] => 34567 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => scoobydooandwwecurseofthespeeddemon [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon [picture_created] => 1465312004 [picture_name] => Cover2.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Brothers [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/07/120/Cover2.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34567/scoobydooandwwecurseofthespeeddemon.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 24.98 [asin] => B01GIX5EQM [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/TBA ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Animation, Comedy, Mystery ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

It's pedal to the metal as Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the gang team up with the superstars of WWE in this hi-octane, all-new original movie! When Scooby and Mystery Inc. visit an off-road racing competition, it's not long before strange events start to occur. A mysterious phantom racer, known only as Inferno, is causing chaos and determined to sabotage the race. It's up Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and their new driving partner, The Undertaker, to save the race and solve the mystery. Along with other WWE superstars such as Triple H, Paige and Shamus, it's time to start your engine and your appetite because Scooby-Doo and WWE are chasing down adventure and laughs just for you!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [23] => Array ( [review_id] => 31942 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => supergirlthecompletefirstseason [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => Supergirl: The Complete First Season [picture_created] => 1470827114 [picture_name] => Supergirl_Season_One_Box_Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Brothers [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/08/10/120/Supergirl_Season_One_Box_Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/31942/supergirlthecompletefirstseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 880 [list_price] => 54.97 [asin] => B01D55MPJ0 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Three 50GB Blu-rays/Digital HD [1] => Region Free ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Digital ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Dutch, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => 2015 Comic-Con Panel [1] => The Man From Mars [2] => A World Left Behind: Krypton [3] => Gag Reel [4] => Deleted Scenes ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, TV ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Born on the doomed planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped at the same time as her cousin, Superman, but didn’t arrive on Earth until years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, and now living in National City while working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be. With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO), who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world.

[review_movie] =>

There are a number of instances of 'perfect casting', where the actor or actress so embodies the character, that it's hard to imagine anyone else ever taking on the role. It happened in the late 1970s when Christopher Reeve was hired as Superman, and it's happened again with Melissa Benoist in 'Supergirl'. Benoist brings a warmth and joy to the role that is so special, it's hard not to immediately fall in love with her. Whatever success this series achieves going forward, a big chunk of it will be because of this fantastic young actress.

After the folks at DC spent the last decade trying to get the big-screen version of Superman right (something they still haven't been able to accomplish), executive producers Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg take all the attributes that have been missing in the movies and put them into this character. She's brave, she's intelligent, she's caring, she's introspective...but most of all she's heroic. She's someone young girls and young boys can look up to – a superhero role model that has sadly been missing from DC's cinematic universe.

The series forms around some of the more modern mythos of Supergirl's origin (no Argo City here), with Kara Zor-El being sent to Earth by her parents at the age of 12 to be a protector for baby Kal-El (that's Superman for those of you with only passing knowledge of this universe). However, her spaceship gets caught within The Phantom Zone, and she doesn't make it to Earth until years later. She hasn't aged a day in the process, but Superman is now all grown up, and gives her to the Danvers family (with mom and dad played – in a wonderful bit of 'stunt casting' – by 1984's Supergirl Helen Slater and 'Lois & Clark's Superman, Dean Cain) to raise. But Kara's spaceship isn't the only thing to make it out of The Phantom Zone – so has a prison ship called Fort Rozz, full of Kryptonian villains, not the least of which is Kara's own aunt, Astra, who viewers will learn more about as Season One progresses.

Like her cousin, Clark Kent, Kara winds up getting a job in media – for the conglomerate CatCo Industries, owned by the bitchy Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), a character that is a bit grating for a while but whom the showrunners eventually soften a bit as the series progresses. She's co-workers with an IT genius named Winn (Jeremy Jordan), as well as a familiar name from Metropolis: James (don't call him 'Jimmy') Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). Kara also has an older sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), whom she saves from a plane crash in the first episode. This is the first heroic act by Kara, and it's not long after revealing herself to the world that Kara learns her sister works for The Department of Extra-Normal Operations (or DEO), a government agency assigned to keep track of all extraterrestrial beings that have arrived on Earth. The DEO is headed up by Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), who is harboring a few extraterrestrial secrets of his own.

As solid as the cast is here, the first season of 'Supergirl' isn't without its share of growing pains, due primarily to a large number of stories – particularly early on – that fall into the standard 'villain of the week' routine. There are a lot of episodes where a new alien threat is introduced, Supergirl faces off against him/her, gets her butt kicked, goes back to the DEO and figures out the villain's weakness, then faces off with them a second time to emerge victorious. Thanks to the actors, these shows are still entertaining to watch, even if they're completely predictable.

Fortunately, as the second half of 'Supergirl's season gets underway, the writers are willing to take a lot more risks, including mining DC Comics history to adapt some fun episodes for the show. One of the first entries to show that 'Supergirl' can be more than just her fighting off bad guys comes in the 13th episode of the season, 'For the Girl Who Has Everything', in which the writers adapt one of the comics most popular Superman stories (written by the great Alan Moore), which is kind of a It's a Wonderful Life tale, where Supergirl (under the influence of an alien parasite-like creature) imagines what her life on Krypton might have been if the planet was never destroyed and if she never came to Earth. But the best episode of Season One by far is the 16th entry, 'Falling', in which Kara falls victim to the effects of red kryptonite and starts acting like...well, a bitch. It's not just a chance to see Melissa Benoist play the bad girl for an episode (although that's certainly part of the fun), but it's a show that explores the impact that Supergirl is having on those around her, and what happens when trust is lost. Finally, while 'Falling' is the best of Season One, the most fun is found in Episode 18, 'World's Finest', when fellow TV superhero The Flash pays a visit to National City to team up with The Girl of Steel.

All in all, this first season of 'Supergirl' is very enjoyable and shows a lot of potential going forward. As many of you already know, the series aired on CBS but has been moved to The CW (which CBS also owns) for its second season, which should ensure that 'Supergirl' has a long life, as it will have to be less concerned about pulling in large ratings and can focus more on just telling great stories. Season One is a good introduction to the character – let's just hope the showrunners know what they have in Benoist and put her in more stories where she can show off her acting range, and less stories where she's clobbering the latest alien threat.

The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Supergirl' soars onto Blu-ray in an eco-friendly Elite keepcase, with the first two 50GB discs held on an attached plastic hub and the third disc on the inside right cover. The keepcase slides inside a sturdy cardboard slipcover, with artwork matching that of the keepcase. In addition to an insert containing a code for an UltraViolet copy of the first season (the flip-side of which contains information about an online Warner Bros. survey), a tri-fold insert containing a brief synopsis of each of Season One's 20 episodes and the bonus materials on each Blu-ray is also included. There are no front-loaded trailers on any of the discs, and the main menu is the standard Warners' design, with a still of the box cover image and menu selections horizontally across the bottom of the screen.

The Blu-rays in this release are region-free.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69594 [review_video] =>

Each episode of 'Supergirl' was shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras and is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The overall image looks pretty good here, not quite reference quality and not as sharp as I've seen some other DC shows on Blu-ray (like Gotham), but nevertheless full of color and pleasing to the eye.

The biggest problem with the image has less to do with the transfer than in the way that the show has been shot. Most of Supergirl's flying sequences in the series – particularly those that take place in daylight have a very soft focus and a slight blur to them – no doubt to mask the less than big-budget effects. Most of the fight scenes in the series seem to take place at night or in darkened areas, and black levels – while solid – aren't exactly inky deep. However, when the show is in brightly lit areas (such as the CatCo offices) the image really pops and shows how good this transfer is when the source material is adequate

The nicest surprise was that I was unable to detect any noticeable aliasing issues with the image. With so many pans across the city skyscrapers that are part of National City, I figure I'd detect a lot of it...but it's virtually non-existent. Banding and pixelation/noise are also not an issue here.

[review_audio] =>

The featured track for each episode is an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio one, which – much like the video quality – is solid, but never really approaches anything close to reference quality. Once again, I couldn't help but compare the 5.1 lossless audio in 'Supergirl' to other DC series releases, and this show doesn't quite match up...although it's still often very good.

The 5.1 track for each episode rarely has an immersive feel to it. Dialogue is exclusively front and center, while the rears are used to mildly (not often noticeable) enhance the soundtrack music and every now and again provide some directionality when Supergirl (or one of her alien opponents) swoops through the air, throws something, etc. There's some LFE use throughout these episodes too, and while it's certainly detectable, it didn't provide that low bass 'oomph' that great LFE does. In other words, there's not the 'weight' to it one would expect.

Still, we need to remember that 'Supergirl' is a TV series, not a major Hollywood release, and as TV shows go, the sound here is above-average. It's also free of any obvious glitches or issues.

In addition to the English lossless track for each episode, Portuguese 2.0 tracks are also an option. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, Dutch, Spanish (Latin), Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69595 [review_supplements] =>

Disc 1:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 1 ½ min.) – Two deleted scenes for 'Red Faced'. The deleted scenes on all three Blu-rays come with English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio.

Disc 2:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7 min.) – One deleted scene from 'Hostile Takeover' (1 min.), four deleted scenes from 'Blood Bonds' (4 min.), one deleted scene from 'Strange Visitor from Another Planet' (1 min.), and one deleted scene from 'For the Girl Who Has Everything' (1 min.).

Disc 3:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 8 ½ min.) – Four deleted scenes from 'Solitude' (2 min.), one deleted scene from 'Falling' (2 min.), one deleted scene from 'Manhunter' (3 min.), and one deleted scene from 'World's Finest' (1 ½ min.).
  • 'Supergirl': 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 15 min.) – Select members of the cast and crew make their first San Diego Comic-Con appearance, shortly before a screening of the pilot episode. Moderated by TV Guide's Damian Holbrook, the panel consists of creators and executive producers Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer Sarah Schechter, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, and cast members Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood, and Peter Facinelli.
  • The Man from Mars (HD, 9 ½ min.) – Featuring comments from the cast and crew, this featurette takes a look at the development of the Martian Manhunter, a.k.a. J'onn J'onzz – played in the series by David Harewood.
  • A World Left Behind: Krypton (HD, 10 ½ min.) – This segment takes a look at the way the series portrays Kara's home planet of Krypton, with primary focus on the way it is shown in the episode 'For the Girl Who Has Everything'.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 4 min.) – Most TV series wrap up each season with a little party where a bloopers reel is often shown to the cast. Here's the one for the first season of 'Supergirl', and unlike most gag reels (which are usually not very funny), this one isn't too bad and has a few good laughs in its short run time.
[review_bonus_content] =>

There are no bonus materials exclusive to this Blu-ray release.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69596 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

Although 'Supergirl' does fall into the formulaic TV superhero trappings of having a "villain of the week" in many of its Season One episodes, the real joy to be found here is in star Melissa Benoist, who brings a sense of joy and wonder to the character that made even a cynical critic like myself instantly fall in love with her. This is a solid start for a series that has a lot of potential going forward. Recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 4 [review_video_stars] => 4 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 1.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145646 ) ) [24] => Array ( [review_id] => 33356 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thecaribootrail [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Cariboo Trail [picture_created] => 1462290804 [picture_name] => Cover1.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/03/120/Cover1.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33356/thecaribootrail.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1950 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01EW1UMPK [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Restoration Documentary: recombining and restoring two-strip CineColor components [1] => The Cariboo Trail on 8mm: rare short feature for home screening of the film on 8mm (B/W print) (8 min; in HD) [2] => Trailer Gallery ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Western ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Randolph Scott, Bill Williams ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Edwin L. Martin ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Though most men are concerned with prospecting gold, American ranchers Jim Redfern (Randolph Scott) and Mike Evans (Bill Williams) are trying to make a fortune by leading a long line of cattle from Montana to Canada. While they are resting one night, their herd is robbed by a gang of thugs, leaving the cowboys stranded in the wilderness without their livelihood. Jim and Mike then decide to try their hands at mining gold, but before long they run into the enemy bandits again. An Ignite Films Cinecolor HD Restoration. Starring Randolph Scott, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Bill Williams, Victor Jory, Dale Robertson, Jim Davis, and James Griffith.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [25] => Array ( [review_id] => 35923 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thetiger [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Tiger [picture_created] => 1468380713 [picture_name] => tiger.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Well Go USA [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/12/120/tiger.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35923/thetiger.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 139 [list_price] => 29.98 [asin] => B01G8S3I4C [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.39:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Korean DTS-HD MA 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Original Theatrical Trailer ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Action, Adventure, History ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Min-sik Choi, Man-sik Jeong, Hong-pa Kim ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Hoon-jung Park ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

An ex-sharpshooter for the Kingdom of Korea (Choi Min-sik, 'Oldboy') is hunting the country's last tiger. But Japanese forces and vicious local poachers also seek "The Four-Legged Mountain Lord," and will stop at nothing to claim their prey.

[review_movie] =>

Like people, a film can have eyes that are too big for its own stomach. Naturally, in order for a film to be a success, it needs to have a great story with well-written characters, but in order to resonate with an audience, it needs to have a tangible theme, a mission that drives it forward. Sometimes this message can be an overt political statement or it can just be an idea about life and the surrounding narrative supports that notion. That said, sometimes a film can have too many themes and ideas for its own good. Such is the case of Park Hoon-Jung's 2015 thriller 'The Tiger' starring Choi Min-Sik as an aging hunter tasked with hunting and killing the last tiger by an obsessed Japanese commander. 

in 1915, Chun Man-Duk (Choi Min-Sik) is a skilled but struggling hunter eking out a meager living for his wife and child in the Jirisan region of Korea. Food is scarce and he is forced to give up his own meals to keep his son fed. But on one particular morning, Chun Man-Duk knows he's going to find something, something big and special that will change the fortunes of his destiny. What he didn't expect to find was the largest tiger on the mountain known to all as "The Mountain Lord." By only wounding the beast, Chun Man-Duk missed his opportunity at fame and fortune. 

Years later, Chun Man-Duk has withered into an aimless drunk who scours the land for medicinal herbs to keep his son fed. As his wife died during an attack by The Mountain Lord, Chun Man-Duk has been unable to pick up his rifle. Even if he could will himself to seek revenge upon the beast, the occupying Japanese forces prohibit hunters from taking up their true professions - unless so ordered by the local commandant Officer Ryu (Jung Suk Won). At first, he refuses, but everything changes for Chun Man-Duk when his young son joins in on the hunt. Now tasked with finding and killing the great beast, Chun Man-Duk will have to muster all of his skills as a hunter and the last ounce of courage he has left if he hopes to kill the last tiger in Jirisan.

The Tiger

'The Tiger' should be an intense, epic action drama. Think something along the lines of 'The Grey' set in 1920s Korea. This is the story about a man fighting against his own nature while trying to find a place in the world. His fight is personified in a gigantic deadly tiger that has killed dozens of people including his own wife. 'The Tiger' should be this sort of lean and mean, simply told allegory. Unfortunately, the film falls apart as it frequently stops the thrust of the main film to chase around frayed story threads that don't really have a barring on the main film. While some side information about the Japanese hiring local hunters is interesting, it bears little importance to Chun Man-Duk's downfall and spiritual resurrection. The side story of Chun Man-Duk and his strained relationship with his son is very good material because it cements the notion that the former hunter's family deserves better. However, when that story just gets going, it jumps down a rabbit hole of a side story about trying to find the 16-year-old boy a wife. While the story of the Japanese wanting to kill the tigers works as a metaphor for controlling the people of Korea by destroying their soul, this through line is undone by all of the excess baggage - especially when the film clocks in at nearly two and a half hours.

Set aside the numerous and unnecessary plot threads, 'The Tiger' still wears the meat of a great film on its weary bones. As he's demonstrated in films like 'Old Boy' and more recently in 'The Admiral,' Choi Min-Sik is a fierce performer with incredible range. Without saying a word, we understand his character's inner turmoils and tensions about his profession, his station in life, and getting back into the fray one last time to kill the beast he failed to take down years ago. Had the film trimmed off a solid twenty to thirty minutes of side stuff, the film could have lived up to Choi Min Sik's impressive performance. As it stands, the film is watchable - enjoyable for a lot of it, but the noticeable extra weight surrounding the main story keeps the final from being something great. It's frustrating because I want to love 'The Tiger,' in many ways it's the kind of film I absolutely love, but it just doesn't come together to form a satisfying whole. 

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'The Tiger' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA. Pressed onto a Region A BD25 disc, the disc comes packed in a standard snapper Blu-ray case. The disc opens with trailers for other Well Go USA release before arriving at a static image main menu with traditional navigation options. 

[review_video_picture_id] => 69655 [review_video] =>

While the story elements within 'The Tiger' may struggle, this 2.39:1 1080p transfer is a visual masterpiece. From frame one, the image showcases an incredible range of detail, depth, and color saturation. The image maintains a very film-like presentation. I couldn't find any information about shooting format so I'm leaning on the side that this was digitally shot, but without any of the telltale "video" visual cues. Black levels are rich and inky while shadows - especially in heavily forested scenes - showcase an incredible range of three-dimensional depth. Colors tend to air on the muted cooler "winter" colors, but during full sunlight scenes there is plenty of primary radiance. Flesh tones also look healthy and natural. The only downside I can say about this transfer is that the high quality imagery betrays the obviously CGI tiger shots - but that's more of a production issue and not a problem of the transfer. 

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69653 [review_audio] =>

Just as impressive as the image is the Koran DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. Dialogue is clean and clear to hear with English subtitles keeping up without reading too simplistically. Sound effects and background atmospherics work to bring the scenes a strong sense of range and dimension. Imaging is absolutely stellar as there is plenty of channel movement along the sides and to the rears that make you feel like you're in a wide open space or out in the middle of a forest. It gets a little extra creepy when you hear the guttural rumblings of a tiger echo around the channels. More than once I caught myself looking over my shoulder. Levels are pitch perfect, once you've got your volume at a comfortable level you shouldn't have any need to keep your thumb on the button. 

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69652 [review_supplements] =>

Trailer: (HD 1:28)

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69651 [review_bonus_content] =>

No HD exclusive extra content. 

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69650 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'The Tiger' is an okay film. The frustrating part about actor Choi Min-Sik's latest appearance is that the film could easily have been a great with some tighter editing. With numerous side stories weighing things down, the solid main story frequently falls out of focus. Well Go USA brings 'The Tiger' to Blu-ray in excellent form as the disc exhibits an exceptional first-rate A/V presentation. Sadly there are no extra features to speak of. If you're a fan of Korean cinema or just dig what Choi Min-Sik does best, 'The Tiger' is watchable, but not altogether memorable. The film and this Blu-ray release are still worth a look. 

[review_movie_stars] => 3 [review_video_stars] => 5 [review_audio_stars] => 5 [review_supplements_stars] => 0.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145678 ) ) [26] => Array ( [review_id] => 35826 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => thetunnelthecompletefirstseason [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => The Tunnel: The Complete First Season [picture_created] => 1468176995 [picture_name] => tunnel.jpg [manufacturer_name] => PBS [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/10/120/tunnel.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35826/thetunnelthecompletefirstseason.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2013 [run_time] => 450 [list_price] => 59.99 [asin] => B01DGNBKYM [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.78:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage [1] => Cast interviews [2] => And More ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama, Mystery ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Stephen Dillane, Clémence Poésy, Cédric Vieira ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

When a dead body is discovered in the English Channel tunnel, exactly midway between England and France, a detective from each country is appointed to work the investigation. The two officers must must work on their own partnership as well as track down the criminal. Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy star. It is a fairly faithful re-make of Scandinavian hit The Bridge.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [27] => Array ( [review_id] => 34554 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => violentshitthemovie [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Violent Shit: The Movie [picture_created] => 1465245581 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Violent_Shit_The_Movie_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Reel [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/06/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Violent_Shit_The_Movie_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34554/violentshitthemovie.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 82 [list_price] => 39.95 [asin] => B01GK8Y83U [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray Digibook, DVD, CD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Giovanni Lombardo Radice [1] => Antonio Zequila ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Luigi Pastore ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Rome is shattered by a series of gruesome murders that paint the Eternal City deep red. Italian Police Inspector Aristide D’Amato and his German counterpart Hans Ebert initiate their criminal investigations. They stumble upon the eccentric Professor Vassago - a master of myths and mysteries - who is linked to Senator Vinci - a corrupt politician – mutually driven by power and perversions. The suspicion grows that these atrocious crimes are connected with the return of one of the most heinous serial killers of our time – Karl the Butcher! 

First 3000 copies inlcude: CD - Original Soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, Collectible Blu-ray/DVD Splicase and Sleeve, 24 Page Booklet. 

The relentless Karl the Butcher, beloved and best known to gorehounds and German Underground aficionados has been revamped and re-envisioned; his trademark brutality in the likes of the distinctly German independent VIOLENT SHIT now remade into an equally ghastly giallo featuring a Claudio Simonetti soundtrack. VIOLENT SHIT — THE MOVIE is an homage to both the original’s 25th anniversary and the producer’s love of Italian horror and blends German gore movies with the mastery of Italian horror. The film stars Italian genre mainstay Giovanni Lombardo Radice as the devil incarnate, who masterminds Karl the Butcher’s evil murder spree. Italian directors Enzo G. Castellari (INGLORIOUS BASTARDS) and Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION) have cameos in the movie, as well as Lucio Fulci’s screenwriter Antonio Tentori and SUSPIRIA’s Barbara Magnolfi. -Fangoria 

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [28] => Array ( [review_id] => 36601 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wakeupgirlstvcompletecollection [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Wake Up, Girls! TV Complete Collection [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Sentai Filmworks [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/36601/wakeupgirlstvcompletecollection.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [list_price] => 59.98 [asin] => B01EP1NVQO [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [29] => Array ( [review_id] => 34941 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => wweattitudeeravol3 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => WWE: Attitude Era Vol. 3 [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => WWE Home Video [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34941/wweattitudeeravol3.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [list_price] => 29.98 [asin] => B01GGXDRPY [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Sport ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

The WWE librarians have dug and searched and found exclusive, never before seen matches from some of the greatest competitors in the most successful time in WWE history.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) [reviews_hot] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 33180 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => 112263 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => 11.22.63 [picture_created] => 1461699659 [picture_name] => 11_22_63_Box_Art_1.JPEG [manufacturer_name] => Warner Bros. [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/04/26/120/11_22_63_Box_Art_1.JPEG [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33180/112263.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 439 [list_price] => 39.99 [asin] => B01EYJTKRQ [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/Digital HD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.00:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 [1] => Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => When the Future Fights Back ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Viewers hurtle deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber). But Jake's mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie (Sarah Gadon), a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself... which doesn't want to be changed. And if the Past doesn't want to be changed, it will push back ­– often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride.

[review_movie] =>

I've never considered myself one to elevate source material to sanctity. This is an ongoing battle with die-hard fans and the franchises they love. Yet, I've always stayed on the outside. Understanding why those who love the source material could be upset with certain decisions, while simultaneously feeling empathy for the filmmakers who must, at times, make impossible choices. They aren't going to please everyone.

Now I find myself in the unenviable position of reviewing an adaption from source material that I absolutely adore. Stephen King's masterpiece of a novel, "11.22.63," is one of my favorite pieces of fiction written in the 21st Century. It's difficult not to find myself on the fanboy side of the argument.

When the '11.22.63' adaption was first rumored, Jonathan Demme was attached and it was most likely going to be a feature-length film. While I like Demme's work, and think he would've done a great job, I had to pause at the stifling runtime. King's book, whose hardback version is just shy of 850 pages, certainly needed much more time than a film could provide. A mini-series was the perfect solution.

Hulu and J.J. Abrams' production studio Bad Robot teamed up to create an eight-part mini-series that had the potential to pack in asmuch of King's original content as possible. While I liked, for the most part, what they did with the story. I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. Perhaps it was the feeling I got while reading it. Maybe it was missing the personal touch that King's first-person narration brought to the narrative. Whatever the case, '11.22.63' covers its bases as far as an adaption goes, and yet it finds itself lacking in others.

For those who haven't read the book, '11.22.63' follows the story of Lisbon, Maine resident and high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco). One day his friend Al (Chris Cooper), who owns a local diner, comes to him with a wild proposition. See, the closet in Al's diner is, inexplicably, a time machine of sorts. Once you step through the closet you find yourself transported to October 1960 (in the book it's September 1958). Every trip, no matter how long is spent in the past, only takes two minutes in the present. There's no explanation of why this portal exists, or its true purpose – if there is any. All that we ever know is that the portal is there.

Al is convinced that if the assassination plot of John F. Kennedy is foiled, then the world would turn out to be a better place. His reasoning is unsound, but he's sure of it. Al has tried and failed. He's contracted cancer and can't complete the quest he set out to do. He recruits his friend Jake to help him save JFK.

It's a wacky premise, but it works.

I seem to be in the minority of people who actually liked Franco in the lead role. I think he's just fine. Sure his supporting cast is even better, but Franco isn't the biggest problem. The issues I had with this adaption seem to stem from excavating the nuance of King's source material, and replacing it with tropes. Plus, there's the addition of a new character, Bill (George MacKay) who joins Jake in the past. The addition seems to be a way of overcoming the first-person-ness of the novel, but ends up throwing in unnecessary storylines that feel out of place (like Bill falling in love with Lee Harvey Oswald's wife).

There is so much to talk about, but such little space to do so. This review would be far too long otherwise. What's evident is that this adaption is solid enough, and entertaining enough to be considered a success. Are there other things they could've done to make it better? Of course. And even though I'm, for better or worse, a fanboy of this particular material, I understand the need to pare it down. With that said, the adaption feels like it has less emotion, less characterization, less intensity, and less soul.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This is a two-disc release that comes with 50GB Blu-rays. They come packed in a standard keepcase with two disc hubs. There's an insert included that provides the episode list, along with another that provides a code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69962 [review_video] =>

Warner Bros.' 1080p transfer of '11.22.63,' which first aired as a streaming series on Hulu, has its ups and downs. This isn't a consistent presentation by any means. Some scenes will be full of the clarity and sharpness you expect from Blu-ray. Then there are other scenes that are awash in what appears to be unintentional softness, and strange color grading.

The color grading here is something that really feels weird. There are a few culprits that could be at play. Sometimes it seems that they're using green screen to fill out some of the backdrop, only those scenes never look great. Trees and sky mush together and detail is lost. Colors are flat, especially in the background, causing strange, non-lifelike colors to appear (vegetation as flat pink?). Back light is noticeably too hot, creating some blinding moments that completely wash out foreground objects and people. Night scenes lack delineation, and are subject to crushing. In short, there are moments where the show looks decidedly like a made-for-TV movie.

Then there are other parts that look amazing. These are usually times when the scene is in full sunlight and there doesn't appear to be any computer-generated effects helping out. Close-ups usually featured great detail, yet there are some fairly soft close-ups too. That's really the takeaway here. The inconsistency of this release hurts it in the end.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69963 [review_audio] =>

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is much more disciplined. It is constantly solid (except for its unusually heavy emphasis on surround noises), and provides a much more compelling presentation than its video counterpart.

Yes, there are moments where the surround sound seems weirdly emphasized over front-centered sound. So, at times cars whizzing by in the background can sound louder than they need to be when compared to dialogue. This doesn't happen all the time, but it is noticeable as the series progresses.

Dialogue is clear though. Whispers are easy to hear too. Low-end frequencies are frequently heard on the soundtrack during the show's many intense moments. Panning effects are smooth. The 1960s music sounds great.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69964 [review_supplements] =>

When the Future Fights Back (HD, 15 min.) – Strange that we only get one special feature here. It helps that it's a rather informative behind-the-scenes piece featuring interviews from Stephen King, executive producer J.J. Abrams, and writer/producer Bridget Carpenter. They do a good job chronicling the changes between the book and the series, which I really enjoyed.

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69965 [review_bonus_content] =>

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided here.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69966 [review_bottom_line] => 3 [review_final_thoughts] =>

It may not have been the adaption that my heart wanted, but it's the adaption that my brain accepts. I understand that recreating something like King's book for the screen might be an impossible task. They do a great job here even if the end result is left wanting in places. The real bummer is the lackluster video presentation though. Audio is solid. You should give it a look if you loved the novel like I did.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 3.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2.5 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145820 ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34972 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => 2016nbachampions [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => 2016 NBA Champions [picture_created] => 1466113587 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-2016_NBA_Champions_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => NBA Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/16/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-2016_NBA_Champions_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34972/2016nbachampions.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 70 [list_price] => 24.98 [asin] => B01FWDFP4A [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Sports ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

NBA Champion fans, be the first to own the only officially licensed DVD and Blu-ray of your team s triumphant season. You haven t seen anything until you have seen the official 2015-2016 NBA Champions DVD and Blu-ray Combo. Loaded with clutch bonus features including profiles on your favorite players and in-depth analysis. Experience what it is to be a champion!

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34583 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => ahologramfortheking [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 1 [review_title] => A Hologram for the King [picture_created] => 1465314215 [picture_name] => Cover4.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Lionsgate [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/07/120/Cover4.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34583/ahologramfortheking.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2016 [run_time] => 98 [asin] => B01GP4HSRC [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => 50GB Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.40:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English and Spanish ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => From Novel to Screen: The Adaption of ‘A Hologram for the King’ [1] => Perfecting the Culture: The Making of ‘A Hologram for the King’ ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Hanks, Tom Skerritt, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Tracey Fairaway, Janis Ahern ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Tom Tykwer ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A failed American businessman looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch.

[review_movie] =>

Going strictly by the synopsis of 'A Hologram for the King,' one might think they're in for a tediously boring film experience: "…a recently divorced businessman is sent overseas to pitch a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to the king [of Saudi Arabia]." I mean, that isn't a synopsis that jumps out and grabs you.

Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) is a salesman, racked with guilt about his divorce, his inability to pay for his adult daughter's college, and business decisions he made in the past. He now finds himself in Saudi Arabia pitching a holographic conferencing system to the country's monarch, all the while trying not to completely lose it.

Alan's life is eating away at him. It's not as blatant as it was in Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa,' this is more like 'Anomalisa'-lite. The similarities are striking though. Alan finds himself immersed in mundane day-to-day tasks as his hotel in the city becomes something like a prison. A place that constantly repeats itself as he enters and exits it. Nothing ever changes. He says hi to the same desk clerk every day. He sleeps in every day. He drinks too much every night (even though drinking is forbidden in the country). He goes out to the presentation site day after day only to find the people he's supposed to meet aren't there and might not be there the next day. He's stuck in a seemingly endless business trip. Oh, and he has a mysterious lump growing out of the middle of his back.

Where 'Anomalisa' saw its main character Michael Stone spiral slowly into madness, 'A Hologram for the King' shows Alan approach madness, only to lift himself out with sheer will and determination.

What's so fun about this film is watching Hanks provide such an energetic performance. He alone makes the film much more engaging than it might be otherwise. He's a magnetic performer and he owns the screen here again.

Once Alan learns to embrace the culture and the people, he finds himself overcoming many of the doubts that have plagued him. It doesn't stop him from constantly worrying though. He worries about his daughter. He worries about the American workers he screwed over when he was an executive that moved jobs overseas at a past company. He worries about his health. He worries about making a deal. And, ultimately, he never lets it get to him.

Providing a fantastic supporting presence is Alexander Black as Alan's driver Yousef and Sarita Choudhury as Alan's doctor and love interest, Zahra.

The romance between Alan and Zahra feels genuine. Not too often do you see Hollywood films portraying sex scenes with an actor and actress exceeding 50 years of age. It's not often you see an older film star having sex with someone his own age. In this day and age of Hollywood older actors are being paired with younger and younger actresses. This doesn't feel phony. This feels real. 

Hanks' performance is impressive and the people around him make it that much better. I was pleasantly surprised with what 'A Hologram for the King' had to offer.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This is a single-disc release that comes with a 50GB Blu-ray and a code for a Digital Copy. There's a slipcover provided.

[review_video_picture_id] => 69457 [review_video] =>

The 1080p presentation of 'A Hologram for the King' looks great, and it should since this is a recently produced film. The image is clean, clear and free from any embarrassing visual anomalies.

I was impressed with the way the visuals handled the large expanses of sand. It never appears like a large blob, rather sand has visible ripples in it. Dunes are nicely rendered. And the horizon is perfectly delineated from the light blue sky above.

Facial features are strong and detailed. Textures are lifelike, from the sand of the desert to the weave of Alan's sterile business suits. Black areas are nice and inky. There's some great underwater shots of coral reefs and fish that are startlingly clear, almost like they were filmed by the 'Planet Earth' nature team. As expected this is a very solid visual presentation for a recently filmed movie.

[review_audio_picture_id] => 69458 [review_audio] =>

Lionsgate has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Sure, the film is front-heavy given its nature. There are, however, numerous times where the surround channels are given room to participate in the proceedings.

The city center is busy and the rear channels are usually bustling with noise. There are echoes that are captured nicely there too as Alan tours a vacant condo facility being built in the middle of a desert. There's also a party scene that features some great bass, and debauched action all around.

Dialogue is always clear. There are a few panning effects that work smoothly as sound is transferred from left to center to right and back again. For a talky film, there are quite a lot of areas here where the sound mix is able to show itself off.

[review_supplements_picture_id] => 69459 [review_supplements] =>

From Novel to Screen: The Adaption of 'A Hologram for the King' (HD, 20 min.) – Director Tom Twyker and novelist Dave Eggers discuss bringing Eggers' novel to the big screen.

Perfecting the Culture: The Making of 'A Hologram for the King' (HD, 10 min.) – Production designer Uli Hanisch joins Twyker to discuss creating an authentic locale, and about reflecting the Saudi culture in the film.

[review_bonus_content_picture_id] => 69460 [review_bonus_content] =>

There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.

[review_final_thoughts_picture_id] => 69461 [review_bottom_line] => 2 [review_final_thoughts] =>

'A Hologram for the King' is a surprising film that didn't come out with much fanfare, especially given Hanks was at the center of it. It's a subdued comedic drama about a man finding himself while immersed in a different culture. It sounds a bit cliché, but the way it's constructed gives it a freshness that's genuine. The video and audio are as good as you'd expect from a 2016 film. This one is recommended.

[review_movie_stars] => 3.5 [review_video_stars] => 4.5 [review_audio_stars] => 4 [review_supplements_stars] => 2 [review_bonus_content_stars] => 0 [review_final_thoughts_stars] => 3.5 [review_gear] => default [review_forum_id] => 145618 ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 34970 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => absoluteduothecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Absolute Duo: The Complete Series [picture_created] => 1466113353 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Absolute_Duo-_The_Complete_Series_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation Entertainment [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/16/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Absolute_Duo-_The_Complete_Series_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34970/absoluteduothecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM9582 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 35128 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => addictedtofresno [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Addicted to Fresno [picture_created] => 1466548422 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Addicted_to_Fresno_Cover_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FilmRise [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/21/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Addicted_to_Fresno_Cover_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35128/addictedtofresno.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [run_time] => 85 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01H4CBVP4 [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama, Comedy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne, Aubrey Plaza, Malcolm Barrett, Ron Livingston ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Jamie Babbit ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Addicted to Fresno

Shannon (Judy Greer, "Ant-Man," "Jurassic World") is just out of sex rehab when her younger, overly optimistic lesbian sister, Martha (Natasha Lyonne, "Orange is the New Black") lands her a job as a maid at Fresno Suites, the local hotel. When Shannon jeopardizes her fresh new start in life by accidentally killing a hotel guest after a sudden relapse, Martha sees it as an opportunity to fix their relationship and helps her sister cover up the crime. Co-starring Malcom Barrett ("Dear White People") and Ron Livingston ("Office Space").

Blu-ray features surround sound, official "Addicted to Fresno" trailer, never-before-seen deleted scenes along with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) ) [reviews_slices] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [review_id] => 35409 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => barakamonthecompleteseries [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Barakamon: The Complete Series [picture_created] => 1467134816 [picture_name] => high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Barakamon_The_Complete_Series_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => FUNimation [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/28/120/high-def-digest.com-www_.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Barakamon_The_Complete_Series_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35409/barakamonthecompleteseries.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2014 [list_price] => 64.98 [asin] => B01FXM2ZRU [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray + DVD ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Anime ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [1] => Array ( [review_id] => 34845 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => basketcase2 [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Basket Case 2 [picture_created] => 1466405341 [picture_name] => basket2.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Synapse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/19/120/basket2.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34845/basketcase2.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1990 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 19.95 [asin] => B01GQZ1LFK [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => THE MAN IN THE MOON MASK – Interview with "Half Moon" actor, David Emge [1] => BEYOND THE WICKER – Behind-the-Scenes Featurette from Special Effects Makeup Artist, Gabe Bartalos [2] => Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Henenlotter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return in this frightfully gory follow-up to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. After surviving a fall from a hospital window, the two brothers become media targets. Duane’s aunt, Granny Ruth (played by world-famous Jazz singer Annie Ross), whisks the duo away to a secluded mansion, where other freaks-in-hiding live out their days away from public scrutiny. When a snooping tabloid reporter finds the location of the mutants, Duane and his new family must stand together to keep their freedom a secret. And, in all the chaos, Belial might actually find true love! 
Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 2 in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [2] => Array ( [review_id] => 34848 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => basketcase3theprogeny [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Basket Case 3: The Progeny [picture_created] => 1466405510 [picture_name] => basket3.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Synapse Films [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/06/19/120/basket3.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34848/basketcase3theprogeny.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1991 [run_time] => 90 [list_price] => 19.95 [asin] => B01GQZ1LFA [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 1.85:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => TBA ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Original Theatrical Trailer [1] => Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Horror ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Frank Henenlotter ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

He’s back. He’s bad. And, he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre BASKET CASE horror series.
After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY in a beautiful high-definition transfer from original 35mm vault materials

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [3] => Array ( [review_id] => 33492 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => baskin [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Baskin [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Shout Factory [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_alternate] => Box coming soon [picture_title] => Box coming soon [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33492/baskin.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 2015 [list_price] => 29.99 [asin] => B01F6EHOF8 [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Fantasy, Horror ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [4] => Array ( [review_id] => 34293 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => battleswithouthonorandhumanity [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Battles without Honor and Humanity [picture_created] => 1464674875 [picture_name] => battleshonor.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Arrow Video [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/30/120/battleshonor.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/34293/battleswithouthonorandhumanity.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1973 [run_time] => 99 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FEE1X4S [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray/DVD ) [video_resolutions] => Array ( [0] => 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 ) [aspect_ratios] => Array ( [0] => 2.35:1 ) [audio_formats] => Array ( [0] => Japanese LPCM Mono ) [subtitles] => Array ( [0] => English ) [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Brand new audio commentary by critic and author Stuart Galbraith IV [1] => Yakuza Graveyard a new interview with Takashi Miike about Kinji Fukasaku and the yakuza film genre [2] => Original trailers for all five films [3] => Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Crime, Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Kinji Fukasaku ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

When Battles Without Honor and Humanity first hit Japanese screens in January 1973, partially inspired by the success of The Godfather, it blasted out a new Ground Zero for crime cinema not only in Japan, but in the rest of the world, and spawned a legendary series that would lead to additional episodes, spin-offs, and countless imitations.

1947. Ex-soldier Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), after proving his ability with a gun, emerges from the teeming black markets of postwar Kure City into the professional world of the yakuza. Shozo makes his way from prison to boss in the newly-formed Yamamori family via gang feuds, assassinations and the shifting allegiances of his fellow mobsters, despite his own growing disillusionment with the men he is supposed to respect.

Based on the true account of a Hiroshima mob boss and supplemented by meticulous research by screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara, this ferocious, violent saga was directed in a dynamic, newsreel-like style by Kinji Fukasaku, and stunned cinemagoers in Japan upon its release. Like a head-spinning mixture of Martin Scorsese and Paul Greengrass, the film s frenetic cinematography, colourful characters, and iconic score by Toshiaki Tsushima will leave you thrilled and exhausted, as you embark on one of the world s greatest gangster film series.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [5] => Array ( [review_id] => 33351 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => canadianpacific [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Canadian Pacific [picture_created] => 1462290428 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/03/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33351/canadianpacific.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1949 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01EW1UMMS [supplements] => Array ( [0] => Restoration Documentary: recombining and restoring a 66 year-old CineColor puzzle of more than 400,000 pieces [1] => Canadian Pacific on 16mm: excerpts from a very rare original 16mm CineColor print element (Reel 1A+B) (18 min; in HD) [2] => Canadian Pacific on 8mm: rare short feature for home screening of the film on 8mm (B/W print) (8 min; in HD) [3] => Trailer Gallery ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Western ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, J. Carrol Naish, Victor Jory, Nancy Olson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Edwin L. Martin ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

A surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad must fight fur trappers who oppose the building of the railroad by stirring up Indian rebellion. Cinematography by Fred Jackman Jr. (The Cariboo Trail, One Body Too Many). An Ignite Films Cinecolor HD Restoration. Starring Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, J. Carrol Naish, Victor Jory, and Nancy Olson.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [6] => Array ( [review_id] => 35652 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => catonahottinroof [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [picture_created] => 1467739716 [picture_name] => High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof_COVER_.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Warner Archive [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/07/05/120/High-Def-Digest-www.highdefdigest_.com-Blu-ray-Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof_COVER_.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/35652/catonahottinroof.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1958 [run_time] => 108 [list_price] => 21.99 [asin] => B01HQH1UWG [technical_specifications] => Array ( [0] => Blu-ray ) [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Drama ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Elizabeth Taylor; Paul Newman; Burl Ives; Jack Carson; Judith Anderson ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Richard Brooks ) [review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [7] => Array ( [review_id] => 33559 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => charliechanandthecurseofthedragonqueen [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen [picture_created] => 1462632749 [picture_name] => Cover.jpg [manufacturer_name] => Scorpion Releasing [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/uploads/2016/05/07/120/Cover.jpg [review_url] => https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/33559/charliechanandthecurseofthedragonqueen.html [review_metadata_prepared] => Array ( [release_year] => 1981 [list_price] => 29.95 [asin] => B01FGRB1GS [preview_genres] => Array ( [0] => Comedy, Fantasy ) [preview_actors] => Array ( [0] => Peter Ustinov, Lee Grant, Angie Dickinson, Richard Hatch, and Brian Keith ) [preview_directors] => Array ( [0] => Clive Donner ) [preview_plot_synopsis] =>

In Hawaii, master sleuth Charlie Chan unmasks the Dragon Queen as a killer. Before she's arrested, she places a curse on Chan and his family.

Years later in San Francisco, Chan is called out of retirement when the city of San Francisco finds itself in chaos over a series of weird murders. Chan is assisted by his blundering grandson, Lee Chan Jr, who is more of a hindrance than help. The shadow of the Dragon Queen still hangs over the Chan family when she becomes his number one suspect.

[review_movie_stars] => N/A [review_video_stars] => N/A [review_audio_stars] => N/A [review_supplements_stars] => N/A [review_bonus_content_stars] => N/A [review_final_thoughts_stars] => N/A ) ) [8] => Array ( [review_id] => 33924 [review_type_id] => 1 [review_slug] => dukhtar [review_release_date] => 1470726000 [review_hot] => 0 [review_title] => Dukhtar [picture_created] => [picture_name] => [manufacturer_name] => Kino [picture_source] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_120] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/pop-on-amazon.png [picture_source_195] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_235] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_300] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/[email protected] [picture_source_660] => https://cdn.highdefdigest.com/images/public/