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Hansan: Rising Dragon Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kim Han-min
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Park Hae-il, Byun Yo-Han, Ahn Sung-Ki, Son Hyun-Joo, Kim Sung-Kyu
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ November 15, 2022
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1


        Following up The Admiral: Roaring Currents, Hansan: Rising Dragon is a prequel and the second in a planned trilogy about the naval battles led by Joseon Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (Park Hae-il). Given the massive box office success of the first South Korean historical epic, Hansan wisely does not try to reinvent the first film’s structure, but instead just recreates another famous military battle at sea. While there is action and spectacle to satisfy the audiences, Hansan also has a meticulous eye for historical accuracy in every aspect of the storytelling, similar to Ron Maxwell’s American Civil War films, Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.

 

The Witch 2: The Other One Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Park Hoon-Jung
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Shin Sia, Park Eun-Bin, Seo Eun-Soo, Jin Goo, Sung Yu-Been
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ South Korea
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 18 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ November 8, 2022



         For many years we could see the impact of cinema on television, with sitcoms shifting from the staged three-camera theatrical set-up to the open style of single-camera shows and the finality of limited series. In more recent years, it has also felt like television has had an impact on movies, with loose ends intentionally left for sequels and opening up possibilities for cinematic universes. This sequel to The Witch: Subversion has this impact, beginning a new strand of the narrative rather than continuing the original story. The Witch 2: The Other one adds more to the existing universe, but audiences may be disappointed to find that the primary purpose seems to be setting up the next film.

 

No Escape Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Martin Campbell
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Ray Liotta, Lance Henriksen, Ernie Hudson, Stuart Wilson, Kevin Dillon
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Unearthed Records
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 58 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ October 18, 2022


 

         Perhaps it’s a sense of nostalgia, or fatigue over the CGI-laden blockbusters being released today, but No Escape is a perfect example of the underappreciated action films of the 1980s and ‘90s. It may not be a masterpiece, but it is a fun and predictable bit of entertainment with committed actors and practical effects. I would take this over a majority of the blockbusters released in recent years.

 

Going Places Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Bertrand Blier
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Patrick Dewaere, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Huppert
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Film Collection
  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.66:1
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 58 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ October 11, 2022



 

         Co-written and directed by Bertrand Blier, adapted from his own novel, Going Places is a gleefully amoral French comedy about two low-level criminals living lives with no clear direction. While it was intended as a social satire commenting on the complacency of middle class in modern French society in the 1970s, many found the vulgarity hard to swallow. It wasn’t until critics reevaluated the film years later that some began to proclaim it as an underrated gem. While this may be true in terms of filmmaking, the foul behavior of the anti-heroes remains just as unpleasant today.

 

A Fugitive From the Past Blu-ray Review

 

    • Director ‏ : ‎ Tomu Uchida
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Rentarō Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Kōji Mitsui
    • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Japan
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 3 hours and 3 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 27, 2022


     

             Director Tomu Uchida established himself as a significant director making period films, until television threatened the popularity of the artform in the 1960s. In response, Uchida took on the adaptation of author Tsutomu Minakami’s modern detective story, which was released in serial form. The story follows the aftermath of a theft that Takichi Inukai (Rentarō Mikuni) inadvertently becomes an accomplice to. When Inukai kills the other two robbers in what was either an act of self defense or greed, depending on what the viewer chooses to believe, he attracts the attention of a persistent detective, Yumisaka (Junzaburō Ban).

     

    Drive Ultra HD Review

     




    • Director ‏ : ‎ Steve Wang
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Mark Dacascos, Kadeem Hardison, John Pyper-Ferguson, Brittany Murphy, Tracey Walter




     

             Enjoyment of Drive will dependent entirely on the viewer’s appreciation of good fight choreography and tolerance for a derivative narrative. Released straight-to-video in the late 1990s, Drive wasn’t trying to reinvent the buddy action comedy as much as it was capitalizing on the success of the sub-genre. At the same time, the fight scenes in the film are often better than a majority of the theatrically released films from the decade, and certainly more impressive than the CGI-laden action dominating movies today. It may not be a masterpiece, but Drive is hidden gem sure to be appreciated by fans of action.

     

    Beast Blu-ray Review

     


    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 93 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ October 11, 2022








     

             On one hand, the fact that the movie industry is moving away from using actual animals as a part of the filming process must be seen as progress. On the other hand, the computer-generated effects used to create the lions in Beast lack believability, which diminishes the effectiveness of the film’s suspense. This is not to say that Beast should have taken the approach of films from the past, but there is no ignoring the fact that it may have made for a more exciting film.

     

    Outlander: Season Six Blu-ray Review

     


    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, Mark Jones
    • Producers ‏ : ‎ Michael O'Halloran, Michael Wilson, Elicia Bessette, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ French
    • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English, French
    • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.78:1
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 4
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray, Digital_copy, Subtitled
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 8 hours and 48 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 20, 2022


             “Outlander” is a historical drama series based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon, which has been a remarkable success for Starz since its premiere season in 2014. The show developed by Ronald D. Moore follows a former WWII military nurse named Claire Randall (Caitríona Balfe) as she is mysteriously whisked from 1945 back in time to 1793, leaving behind her unhappy marriage for a romance with Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Despite bouncing back and forth between time periods, this romance remains the central focus of “Outlander.”

     

    Massacre at Central High Blu-ray Review

     


    • Director ‏ : ‎ Renee Daalder
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Robert Carradine, Kimberly Beck, Andrew Stevens, Derrel Maury
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Distributer ‏ : ‎ Synapse Films
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 28 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 13, 2022



     

             Although the title sounds like a slasher film, the killer of Massacre at Central High is never a mystery to anyone, audience included. Instead, the film plays out like an after-school special about bullying with excessive violence and nudity. You can almost imagine how it could be remade today as a heavy drama in the same vein as We Need to Talk About Kevin, but is instead an odd mix of camp and self-serious teen melodrama in this 1976 release. Even though the film approaches the narrative more realistically than a slasher, there is nothing remotely believable about Massacre at Central High.

     

    Preman: Silent Fury Blu-ray Review

     


    • Director ‏ : ‎ Randolph Zaini
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Khiva Iskak, Muzakki Ramdhan, Kiki Narendra, Paul Agusta, Gilbert Pattiruhu
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Indonesia
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 32 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 27, 2022



             Often it is more significant what the protagonist does in an action film, rather than what they say. For this reason, the hero being deaf in Preman: Silent Fury allows for the emphasis to remain on the action elements. For much of the buildup, the protagonist is a silent observer, until he decides to make his stance known through violence. This is a wonderful setup for an action movie, but it is unfortunately let down by the execution of Preman’s narrative.

     

    Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Blu-ray Review

     

    • Director ‏ : ‎ Anthony Fabian
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptista, Lucas Bravo
    • Producers ‏ : ‎ Anthony Fabian, Xavier Marchand, Guillaume Benski
    • Writers ‏ : ‎ Carroll Cartwright, Anthony Fabian, Keith Thompson, Olivia Hetreed
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ NTSC, Digital_copy
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 56 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ September 6, 2022

             I’m torn when it comes to Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, like the seam of a well-worn piece of clothing. On one hand, narratives with older female protagonists are rarely found onscreen and its mere existence is deserving of some praise. On the other hand, I found myself longing for more nuance and depth in the story itself. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is good-natured enough and has a solid message, not to mention spectacular production design, but every moment felt a little too predictable and contrived. I wish the feel-good moments had been better earned with a screenplay as detail oriented as the film’s performances and costumes.

     

    Symphony For a Massacre Blu-ray Review

     



    • Director ‏ : ‎ Jacques Deray
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Jean Rochefort, Michel Auclair, Charles Vanel, Jose Giovanni, Claude Dauphin
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ France
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 50 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 30, 2022



     

            Symphony For a Massacre is an early 1960s French film noir that has all the seedy pleasure of the American counterparts, though it takes its time to unravel them. It is a sophisticated film about the cruel violence of men willing to betray their allies for a price. The simplicity of the storyline is what makes it so effective, and also provides director Jacques Deray plenty of time to build the suspense and outline the methods of betrayal with intricate details.

     

    The Burned Barns Blu-ray Review

     



    • Director ‏ : ‎ Jean Chapot
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Alain Delon, Simone Signoret, Miou-Miou
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
    • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.66:1
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ France
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 38 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 23, 2022



     

             The setup for The Burned Barns promises a provincial murder mystery and police procedural following the investigation into the crime. While it does trace the inquiry of a judge into those who may be involved, the film remains more focused on how this investigation affects a slightly dysfunctional family living on a farm near where the body is discovered. Despite solid acting, The Burned Barns is somewhat disappointing in its refusal to supply the audience with expected elements of a murder mystery. The investigation holds some interest, which is all but dissolved by the unsatisfying resolution. As a character study, the film is adequate. As a murder mystery, it is a failure, regardless of the pedigree of the cast.

     

    Flying Guillotine Part II Blu-ray Review

     

    • Director ‏ : ‎ Cheng Kang, Hua Shan
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Feng Ku, Hung Wei, Chung Wang, Locke Hua Liu
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ 88 Films
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Hong Kong
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 32 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 9, 2022



     

             Quentin Tarantino lists Flying Guillotine as one of his favorite films, and its influence can be seen elsewhere as well. Along with inspiring a 2012 remake of the movie, there were multiple sequels released in Hong Kong during the 1970s. The first and most recognizable of these was Flying Guillotine Part II, also released as Palace Carnage. This film directed by Cheng Kang and Hua Shan brought back characters from the first film for a new conflict, and plenty more decapitations.

     

    Sniper: Rogue Mission Blu-ray Review

     


    • Director ‏ : ‎ Oliver Thompson
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Chad Collins, Ryan Robbins, Sayaka Akimoto, Brendan Sexton III, Josh Brener
    • Producers ‏ : ‎ Bay Dariz
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ French
    • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ Dutch, Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovene, Thai, Romanian, Arabic, Finnish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Danish, German, Italian, Korean, Swedish, Latvian, Estonian, English, Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanian, French, Greek, Spanish, Slovak
    • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.78:1
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 36 minutes
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 16, 2022


             The Sniper franchise is one of the properties that never seems to die, with new films continually released whether audiences want them or not. There have been many ways to keep the film series alive, with or without the original protagonist Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger). Even with Berenger often reprising his role, the series has shifted to focus on his son Gunnery Sergeant Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) in recent installments. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Even with characters connecting the films, the storylines have rarely required audiences to be familiar with the events of past films.

     

    Jurassic World Dominion 4K UHD Review

     


    • Director ‏ : ‎ Colin Trevorrow
    • Actors ‏ : ‎ Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill
    • Writers ‏ : ‎ Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow
    • Producers ‏ : ‎ Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Steven Spielberg
    • Studio ‏ : ‎ Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
    • Media Format ‏ : ‎ 4K, NTSC
    • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 27 minutes
    • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
    • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
    • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
    • Release date ‏ : ‎ August 16, 2022



            In a recent interview actress DeWanda Wise responded the Jurassic World Dominion receiving some of the poorest reviews of the franchise by saying “You can’t tell me shit,” which may not be the best approach to promoting the film’s release on Blu-ray and 4K. Director Colin Trevorrow made the wiser decision to herald the

     extended edition as the superior cut of the film, suggesting those

     unimpressed with the theatrical cut would better enjoy a longer

     version. While the extended edition doesn’t do much to improve the

     faults of the film, it does have a few impressive sequences likely to

     be enjoyed by those who were fans of final installment of the

     Jurassic World franchise.