Haunted Hospital: Heilstätten Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Sonja Gerhardt, Milam Farooq, Tim Oliver Schultz
  • Director: Michael David Pate
  • Disc Format: Dolby, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: February 12, 2019
  • Run Time: 89 minutes

        The origins of the horror genre can be traced back to Germany, and the most successful of early American horror films often imitated them. The success of American horror relied on the imitation of German filmmaking, so it is disheartening to watch Heilstätten, a film which simply feels like a cheap German imitation of The Blair Witch Project. Derivative in every aspect of filmmaking and narrative, Heilstätten has a few sincere scares but offers absolutely nothing new to the genre. Even in terms of the sub-genre of found-footage horror, it lacks any originality beyond a clever third-act twist.

Bohemian Rhapsody Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello
  • Director: Bryan Singer
  • Disc Format: Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: February 12, 2019

        Biopics have become as expected during award season as superhero movies during the summer (or any other time of the year, at this point), and Bohemian Rhapsody fits the bill perfectly. Not only does it have the usual narrative trappings of a musical biopic and a performance that carries the film, the last twenty-minutes of the film are basically just a recreation of Queen’s most iconic concert. It is also ironic that so much dedication was spent on accurately recreating this concert when basic life events are incorrect in the screenplay. Although this was most certainly done for dramatic effect, the very same people who would be most likely to appreciate the accuracy of the Live Aid section might also be annoyed by the changes made to Freddie Murcury’s life story.

Peppermint Soda Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Anouk Ferjac, Eléonore Klarwein, Odile Michel
  • Director: Diane Kurys
  • Producer: Serge Laski
  • Disc Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: 
     Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 12, 2019
  • Run Time: 97 minutes

        Before Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, there was Diane Kurys’ Peppermint Soda, a French coming-of-age film in the tradition of The 400 Blows. Like many of the best coming-of-age films, it is largely autobiographical and therefore extremely personal, and yet there is also something extremely universal about the narrative. Despite being specific to the era that Kurys grew up in (the film takes place during the early 1960s) and made in the late ‘70s, there is something that will always be timeless about growing up.