Advertisement

The Righteous Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Mark O'Brien
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Henry Czerny, Mark O'Brien, Mayko Nguyen
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Canada
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 37 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ July 19, 2022



 

         The Canadian psychological thriller The Righteous isn’t so much frightening as it is a suspenseful meditation on faith and religion, which is what leads me to believe filmmaker Mark O'Brien was likely inspired by the work of Ingmar Bergman. There are also many narrative similarities to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1955 film, Ordet. While these are admirable reference points, they may not be solid selling points for the average modern film viewers, who often expect a bit more clarity and spectacle. But for those who enjoy thoughtful and ambiguous cinema, The Righteous may be a welcome relief from dumbed-down Hollywood blockbusters and entries into shared cinematic universes.

 

The Lost City 4K UHD Review

 



  • Director ‏ : ‎ Adam Nee, Aaron Nee
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Brad Pitt
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ PARAMOUNT
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ 4K Ultra HD
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ July 26, 2022



 

         There is something refreshing about seeing a blockbuster can still exist without being a part of a larger franchise or cinematic universe. For that reason, I was fully in support of The Lost City, even if the final product felt somewhat lazily constructed. Even with some fun adventure, The Lost City mostly feels formulaically reliant on the worst the romantic comedy has to offer. Star power is what moves the narrative forward, and audience enjoyment mostly depends on how much the audience likes the cast members. Unfortunately, even liking Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum as individuals did little to convince me of their chemistry together. And the film needed much more from Brad Pitt’s character, who has always been underutilized as a comedic actor.

 

Hell High Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Douglas Grossman
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Maureen Mooney, Christopher Stryker, Christopher Cousins
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 24 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ July 19, 2022


 

         Hell High is a unique horror movie combining elements from multiple sub-genres. There is an inciting incident often seen in the creation of a slasher monster, but this doesn’t occur until decades later when a home invasion and attempted assault triggers a rape revenge narrative. And the home invaders also wear masks often associated with the slasher genre, making it difficult to categorize this film down. It is difficult to pin down who the victim and who the villain is, and that is part of what makes Hell High a fascinating enigma, if not a particularly great film.

 

God Told Me To 4K Ultra HD Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Larry Cohen
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Richard Lynch, Tony Lo Bianco, Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney, Deborah Raffin
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen, Surround Sound
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Blue Underground
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ July 19, 2022

 

         In the 1960s Time Magazine released two issues discussing the end of religion, including a bold cover that asked the infamous question “Is God Dead?” Moving into the 1970s, there was a surge in alternate religions including The Church of Satan and several pagan movements. As a result, there are multiple horror movies released in the ‘70s which are centered on these themes of religion. Controversial director Larry Cohen (It’s Alive, The Stuff) joined the conversation with God Told Me To, a movie that begins as police procedural and slowly becomes a descent into madness and religious paranoia.

 

Downton Abbey: A New Era Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director: Simon Curtis
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith
  • Producers ‏ : ‎ Gareth Neame, Julian Fellowes, Liz Trubridge
  • Writers ‏ : ‎ Julian Fellowes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Universal Pictures Home Entertainment New Release
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ UK
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 125 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ July 5, 2022


         When Downton Abbey began airing in 2010, it became a surprise hit amongst audiences. Audiences eagerly awaited new episodes of the historical drama set on the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey during the early 20th century without the need for action or excitement. While there was some spectacle in the setting and immaculate period clothing, Downton Abbey’s primary selling point was the characters and the slow-burn development of relationships. As the show ended, fans had a feature film to look forward to, and three years later we have the follow-up with Downton Abbey: A New Era. Although the sequel film doesn’t break much new ground, despite the title, it is a welcome return and an excuse to spend more time with beloved characters.

 

One-Armed Boxer Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Jimmy Wang Yu
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Jimmy Wang Yu, Yeh Tien, Hsin Tang
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 33 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Hong Kong
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 24, 2022



 

         After starring in the highly successful One-Armed Swordsman (1967) at Shaw Brothers Studios, Jimmy Wang Yu transitioned to directing. Although he initially made films for Shaw Brothers, including The Chinese Boxer (1970), Yu left the studio to make films for Golden Harvest, a rival studio formed by veteran Shaw Brothers film producers Raymond Chow and Leonard Ho. Golden Harvest may be best known for producing Bruce Lee’s films, but they had their first major success with this kung fu classic.

 

Ip Man: The Awakening Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Li Xijie Adam, Zhang Zhulin
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Xie Miao, Hou Tongjiang, Hua Qilong, Chen Guanying, Zhao Yuxuan
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 17 minutes
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ June 21, 2022

         Following Donnie Yen’s successful portrayal of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, there have been seemingly endless imitations and additional portrayals of the martial arts master best known for teaching Bruce Lee. Many of these have been unrelated to the series starring Yen, but still attempt to capitalize on its success. Ip Man: The Awakening is a perfect example, having no connection to the previous film series and made by mainland China while the Yen films were Hong Kong productions. Although the title suggests it is a prequel of sorts and there are stylistic similarities, Ip Man: The Awakening is something of a cheap knock-off.

 

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Jorge Grau
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Ray Lovelock, Christine Galbo, Arthur Kennedy
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 33 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Synapse Films
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ June 7, 2022


 

         When George A. Romero brought the zombies into the modern era with a revision of the monster’s characteristics, the horror sub-genre was popularized in countless other countries. Long before Shaun of the Dead, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue was set in England, a Spanish/Italian horror movie with clear influence from popular American zombie narratives. While it doesn’t stand up in comparison to some of the great zombie films, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue has a place in the sub-genre’s history.

 

Hostile Territory Blu-ray Review

 

  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.74 x 5.35 x 0.44 inches; 2.4 Ounces
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Brian Presley
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ June 14, 2022
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Brian Presley, Craig Tate, Natalie Whittle, Matt McCoy, Brad Leland
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09X7DHTTT
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1


         Hostile Territory is a strange film, combining the type of saccharine sensibility often seen in faith-based films with violence expected from the western genre. If the filmmaking weren’t so clumsy, it may have worked. Instead, this is a film of good intentions and awful execution.

 

Last Passenger Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Omid Nooshin
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ June 14, 2022



  •  

             Sometimes action movies and thrillers can over-complicate the plot to the point that the elements audiences expect from the genre take back seat. Last Passenger goes the opposite way, providing plenty of thrills in a simplistic story. Perhaps it is a bit too simple because the end comes without any real answers to the villain’s motivations. Although I appreciate the direct approach and the effectiveness of the suspense, the entire endeavor feels a little pointless without any twist or revelation past the second act.

     

Row 19 Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Alexander Babaev
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Svetlana Ivanova, Marta Kessler Timofeeva, Wolfgang Cerny, Ekaterina Vilkova, Anatoly Kot
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 18 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 31, 2022

         Given the global pushback with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I imagine there will be a break in the importing of entertainment from the country. And if Row 19 is any indicator of the type of releases to come from Russia in the near future, we won’t be missing much. As with many of the Russian exports, Row 19 is a genre film with a generic storyline and sub-par CGI effects. At best, the supernatural horror movie feels like a “Twilight Zone” episode bloated to feature length.

 

Wild Things 4K UHD Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ John McNaughton
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Matt Dillon, Kevin Bacon, Theresa Russell
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ 4K
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 55 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 24, 2022



 

         Wild Things was edgy and controversial when it was released in the late 1990s, though it is fairly tame by today’s standards. Although the reasons Wild Things was successful on initial release don’t pack the same punch, it does hold up as a campy take on the film noir genre. There are more twists than the plot seems capable of containing, until it almost becomes predictable. Kevin Bacon called the screenplay "the trashiest thing he had ever read" before becoming an executive producer and agreeing to co-star, highlighting the way exploitative elements were celebrated from the beginning.

 

Umma Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Iris Shim
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush, MeeWha Lee
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ Thai, Portuguese, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ Thai, Korean, English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian
  • Producers ‏ : ‎ Sam Raimi, Zainab Azizi
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray, Digital_copy, Subtitled
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 23 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 24, 2022


         Korean culture has had an increased presence in Hollywood since the monumental Academy Award win of Parasite. Along with the importing of South Korean films, American movies have had increased representation, including award-winner Minari and the Apple TV+ series “Pachinko.” Umma brings Korean representation to the horror genre, though it is light on both a revealing depiction of Asian culture and effectively frightening sequences. With themes similar to The Babadook and imagery resembling countless other ghost stories, Umma fails to add anything new to the conversation beyond its representation.

 

Girls Nite Out Blu-ray Review

 



  • Director ‏ : ‎ Robert Deubel
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Julia Montgomery, Hal Holbrook, James Carroll, Rutanya Alda
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ NTSC, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 17, 2022



 

         After multiple title changes, even following an initial release as The Scaremaker in 1982, the college-set slasher Girls Nite Out was released in 1983 with questionable grammar. The intention to mislead audiences into believing the horror film was full of sexually explicit content was clear, though Girls Nite Out is actually quite tame for the genre. Although the film’s resistance to exploiting the bodies of its young female stars can be commended, the mildness of the slasher violence is likely to disappoint.

 

Robocop 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

 



  • Director ‏ : ‎ Paul Verhoeven
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 43 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 12, 2022



         Robocop is the kind of movie that makes me nostalgic for the 1980s, with bold filmmaking less concerned with reaching the broadest possible audience than blockbusters of the modern era. Director Paul Verhoeven pushed the boundaries of what would even be considered acceptable for an R-rated film, while the 2014 remake of Robocop was safely contained in a PG-13 rating. Beyond the edginess of this 1987 sci-fi action film, Robocop is a marvelous display of technical prowess in filmmaking. The practical effects remain impressive 35 years later, and the satirical elements of the story still have relevance today.

 

Gagarine Blu-ray Review

 



  • Director ‏ : ‎ Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Alseni Bathily, Lyna Khoudri, Jamil McCraven, Finnegan Oldfield, Farida Rahouadj
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 38 minutes
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ France
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 3, 2022


 

        Gagarine manages to combine the style of a fantasy film within a narrative focused on social realism. The feature debut for filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh is full of style, though the screenplay feels somewhat underdeveloped. The result is something of a calling card for the filmmakers, who will hopefully be given a better script to work with next time.

 

Dementia Blu-ray Review

 



  • Director ‏ : ‎ John Parker
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Ben Roseman, Bruno Ve Sota, Richard Barron, Adrienne Barrett, Ed Hinkle
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 56 minutes
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 26, 2022



 

         In 1955, filmmaker John Parker wrote, produced, and directed this hour-long experimental film, which was originally intended to be a short film. With no dialogue and an ambiguous story told with the style of a film noir, Dementia is a surreal experience. Although by today’s standards it isn’t that impressive, for the 1950s it was bold approach to storytelling. The Cohen Film Collection’s release of Dementia contains a new 2K restoration of the film from the 35MM negative, along with the alternate cut released as Daughter of Horror.