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By the end of the 1960s, the movie western had undergone a major shift in tone, with the old-fashioned Saturday matinee fun of yesteryear’s cowboy idols replaced with the stylistic Italian flourishes of Sergio Leone and the bitter nihilism of Sam Peckinpah. There were several movies that seemed caught in that transitional moment, and come off as fascinating glimpses of disparate styles being forced upon one another – one case in point is THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN… (123 mins., 1970, R; Warner Archive), a movie that tries to mesh the modern, R-rated sensibilities of writers David Newman and Robert Benton (their first film coming off “Bonnie and Clyde”) with the old-school establishment embodied by producer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The result didn’t click with me but is regarded by some viewers as an underrated black comic piece with a great cast.

In Newman and Benton’s original screenplay, Kirk Douglas plays a hardened psycho – albeit an affable one – who’s initially sent off to prison by a small-town sheriff (Henry Fonda) who also dispatches several other locals for crimes of varying degrees. Inside the walls, Douglas and this crew (including Hume Cronyn, Warren Oates, Burgess Meredith and John Randolph) hope to stage an escape, with Douglas also planning to find the money he stashed away from a robbery after he knocked off his partners – though standing in the way is Fonda, soon appointed the Warden of the facility.

“There Was a Crooked Man…” is a strange film, to put it mildly. The movie’s R rating and ironic touches come very much out of its specific era, but the leisurely pacing, sunny cinematography of Harry Stradling, Jr. and Mankiewicz’s direction feel like they’re out of a different time. This picture may have been shot in widescreen but visually feels as authentic as a “Little House on the Prairie” episode with its backlot sets and a visual approach that’s anything but gritty and “lived in.” Mankiewicz receives broad performances from its stars, but it’s hard to feel that he had a firm grasp on the picture’s tone, since so much of it plays at odds with the underlying story. Even worse, the slow-going running time accentuates Benton and Newman’s expected bits of irony and telegraphs them far in advance, leaving much of “Crooked Man” to putter around with the viewer impatiently waiting for something to happen.

Turns out, at a full two hours, not a lot does – meanwhile, all of the film is besieged with a score by Broadway composer Charles Strouse (“Annie,” “Bye Bye Birdie”) that I have a hard time choosing between being bad or so-bad-it’s-good. Maddeningly repetitious and brassy, Strouse probably gave the filmmakers the “revisionist,” “mod” sound they wanted in the wake of Burt Bacharach’s “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” but it’s as subtle as a sitcom score from its time. I confess I did find the Trini Lopez title song to be infectious and goofy – like something the Mike Curb Congregation might have performed – but the soundtrack as a whole seems wholly disconnected at times, just as other elements as the film do.

Warner Archive has brought “There Was a Crooked Man…” to Blu-Ray this month featuring a winning 1080p (2.35) AVC encoded transfer and clear mono soundtrack. The trailer and a vintage behind-the-scenes featurette comprise the extras.

More entertaining on balance is GUNS FOR SAN SEBASTIAN (111 mins., 1968, G), an MGM production borne out of the Spaghetti Western era but with its own distinct flavor. This one embraces an intriguing historical setting – Mexico in the mid 18th century – with Anthony Quinn playing a rebel, on the run from the Mexican army, who ends up masquerading as a Franciscan Friar after the priest he befriended (Sam Jaffe) is killed after arriving in the dusty, small village he’s been assigned to. There, Quinn reluctantly rallies the locals while taking on the Yaquis and a nefarious bandit (Charles Bronson), all the while romancing a local woman (Anjanette Comer).

“Guns For San Sebastian” also has a mix of curious elements involved with its production but, for the most part, these add more than detract from the finished product. An odd French/American/Italian production with Henri Verneuil (“The Sicilian Clan”) directing, “Guns” was based on a true story but heavily altered en route to the screen, with religious elements pared down and action, expectedly, accentuated. Yet most of the film isn’t gunfights and horseback battles – instead, James R. Webb’s script develops its characters and enables Quinn to give a strong lead performance. Even better, the Mexican location shooting adds authenticity to the story (even some of the dialogue was actually recorded live), quite unlike most of the Spaghetti westerns where European locations subbed for their respective settings. The movie is still quite slow in places but it’s nevertheless a good film that’s capably scored by Ennio Morricone, minus any of the more eclectic passages that accompanied his work for the Leone films.

Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray (2.35, 2.0 DTS MA) looks perfectly rendered and sounds even better with a real stereo soundtrack. Another nice, 10-minute archival featurette is included alongside the theatrical trailer.

Also New from Warner Archive this month are a pair of MGM extravaganzas from the Golden Age.

The full-color ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (117 mins.., 1946) offers a veritible who’s-who of both veteran stars and rising talents from the post-WWII era. Reportedly shot in 1944 but not released until 1946, this MGM production provides its own “Cavalcade of Stars” with William Powell playing Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., the Broadway impresario who passed away in 1932, ending his popular, annual on-stage revues. Looking down from the pearly gates of Heaven above, Ziegfeld watches as producer Arthur Freed and director Vincente Minnelli provide a series of vignettes with everything from songs to swims (courtesy Esther Williams) to operatic passages and comedy making for an entertaining, nostalgic film for Golden Agers, with Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Red Skelton among the many talents who appear in the film. Warner’s Blu-Ray gloriously renders the movie’s Technicolor transfer (1.37) with mono sound and extras including audio-only “outtakes and rarities,” the trailer, two classic cartoons and shorts, and featurette “Ziegfeld Follies: An Embarrassment of Riches”…Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon created Oscar magic with their much-honored “Mrs. Miniver,” and were shortly reunited for MGM’s MADAME CURIE (124 mins., 1943). Though not award-caliber, this is nevertheless a fairly well-respected biopic of the Polish scientist from her individual scientific discoveries through her marriage to professor Pierre Curie (Pidgeon). Mervyn LeRoy directed, with Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray again benefiting from a finely detailed 1080p (1.37) transfer plus the trailer and “Pete Smith” specialty short “Romance of Radium,” obviously apropos to the Curies’ discovery of the element.

Humphrey Bogart plays a WWII vet who becomes a test pilot for an experimental jet in the 1950 Warner-First National picture CHAIN LIGHTNING (95 mins., 1950), co-starring Eleanor Parker as Bogey’s love interest and Raymond Massey as the wedge between them. Reviews were mostly ho-hum on this one across the board, but Bogart fans should still find enough amusement here to get by. The Archive Blu-Ray (1080p 1.37 B&W) looks fine and includes a bonus cartoon and Joe McDoakes short…More satisfying (far more) is Raoul Walsh’s highly regarded 1941 studio war picture OBJECTIVE BURMA (142 mins., 1941) starring Errol Flynn as the leader of a paratrooper patrol trying to knock out a Japanese outpost in Burma. James Wong Howe’s cinematography manages to convincingly make California into part of the Pacific theater for this Warner Bros. favorite, on Blu-Ray (1.37 B&W) this week from Warner Archive with two classic WWII shorts and the trailer included for supplements.

For musical buffs, TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (93 mins., 1949) is a glossy, typical MGM production from its time, with turn of the century ball players Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly mixing it up on the field during the summer and taking to the vaudeville stage during the off-season. Esther Williams is their team’s new owner in a tuneful Busby Berkeley-helmed affair that’s sturdy and entertaining, with Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray (1.37, DTS MA mono) sporting two deleted musical numbers, a cartoon short and the trailer…Elvis fans, meanwhile, should be quite pleased with the good-looking widescreen transfer of IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR (105 mins., 1963), generally regarded as one of Presley’s more entertaining big-screen vehicles from the ’60s. This one was shot at the 1962 World’s Fair and utilizes its backdrops for an easy-going story of a pilot who heads to Seattle along with pal Gary Lockwood just in time for Elvis to woo Joan O’Brien, get kicked by little Kurt Russell (who’d play Elvis in John Carpenter’s late ’70s TV biopic!), and sing the tuneful “Happy Ending.” Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray boasts a crisp anamorphic transfer (2.35) with mono sound and the trailer.

Finally, film noir buffs should be intrigued by two more Warner Archive Blu-Ray premieres: the superior I WOULDN’T BE IN YOUR SHOES (81 mins., 1948) was one of Walter Mirisch’s first productions, an adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich novel shot at B-studio Monogram Pictures in the late ’40s. This one has been “unseen for decades” but has been painstakingly restored from original nitrate elements and offers a compelling story involving a dancer (Don Castle) wrongly convicted of murder and his wife’s (Elyse Knox) attempts to prove his innocence. A bonus short and cartoon are on-hand in this July 20th release (1.37 B&W, DTS MA mono)…Meanwhile, Lawrence Tierney and Anne Jeffreys, the stars of “Dillinger” (1945), were brought back together in STEP BY STEP (62 mins., 1946), a middling RKO programmer Warner Archive debuts July 20th on Blu-Ray (1.37 B&W) along with the short “The Trans-Atlantic Mystery” and WB ‘toon “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery.”


It’s hard to believe that I’ve never formally reviewed WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (100 mins., 1971, G; Warner) over the many years I’ve been writing The Aisle Seat — suffice to say, this 1971 feature from producer David L. Wolper and the Quaker Oats Company has been a childhood classic for generations of kids. For me, though, I never really caught onto the movie until I watched it in high school back in the early ’90s — a time when the film’s popularity was arguably at a low point.

Over the years since — thanks to Tim Burton’s remake and seeming higher visibility on cable and home video — Roald Dahl’s own adaptation of his book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has cemented its place as a family favorite. Certainly it’s a highly entertaining film that strikes the right balance between cheery fun and Dahl’s devilish humor, with Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s strong score offering a number of hit songs (“Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination”) and Gene Wilder bringing a very offbeat, eccentric edge to his performance as the mysterious Willy Wonka. It all goes down like a smooth, sweet milk shake, and Warner’s 4K UHD remastering is candy-coated a/v gloss for the high-end set: this HDR10 transfer (1.85 HVEC) is perfectly framed and benefits from warm colors that are better replicated here than any previous home video edition, including Warner’s prior Blu-Ray. That release was quite strong for its time, but the UHD is superior, taking advantage of the usage of HDR and adding a stronger cinematic quality to the direction of TV vet Mel Stuart.

Warner’s 4K UHD is out this week also featuring the same, muddy 5.1 DTS MA remix as previous releases (alas, no original mono), commentary from “the Wonka kids,” a vintage featurette, theatrical trailer, four sing-alongs, documentary “Pure Imagination” and a Digital HD copy.

SPACE JAM 4K UHD/Blu-Ray (87 mins., 1996, PG; Warner): Warner’s two “modern” feature attempts at resurrecting their Looney Tunes characters fared better in the 1996 live-action/animated “Space Jam” than in Joe Dante’s ill-fated “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” Here Bugs Bunny and the gang join up with Michael Jordan as they take on the “Nerdlucks” who’ve stolen the talents of top NBA stars like Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley (two of many cameos, including an extended one from Bill Murray) in an intergalactic game of roundball. This innocuous Ivan Reitman production did decently at the box-office in ‘96 and here bows on 4K UHD — with HDR10 and a new Dolby Atmos soundtrack — ahead of the LeBron James-fronted sequel/remake/etc. The movie looks and sounds superb and recycles a number of extras including music videos, the trailer, a featurette, Digital copy, and a commentary with director Joe Pytka and special guests Bugs and Daffy Duck.


Criterion Corner

One of director Samuel Fuller’s most acclaimed outings, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (80 mins., 1953) is a fast-paced, taut thriller wherein small-time crook (Richard Widmark) selects the wrong woman (Jean Peters) to pickpocket, since what’s housed in her wallet is top-secret microfilm housing U.S. Classified information from her ex-boyfriend. Soon the duo are pursued by Communist spies in a NYC-set Cold War effort backed with Fuller’s crisp dialogue and blasts of action – the movie had reportedly numerous issues with the production code but even the finished product is pure Fuller all the way, backed by a great Widmark performance and solid turns from both Peters and the ever-reliable Thelma Ritter.

Criterion’s 4K digital restoration (1.33 B&W, PCM mono) of “Pickup on South Street” offers a new interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith; a 1989 Fuller interview conduced by critic Richard Schickel; a 1982 French television program wherein Fuller discusses the movie’s production; a 1954 Hollywood Radio Theater adaptation featuring Thelma Ritter; trailers for numerous Fuller films; and essays from a number of sources, including admirer Martin Scorsese.

Also new from Criterion this month is VISIONS OF EIGHT (108 mins., 1973), a full remastering of the 1973 theatrical film that finds eight filmmakers bringing their own aesthetic sensibilities to an anthology of shorts produced during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa (who already helmed the marvelous “Tokyo Olympiad”), Claude Lelouch, Juri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger and Mai Zetterling were given full creative control to create their own short films and the result is a visually arresting picture that – like most anthologies – runs a little hot and cold depending on the sequence. Best of the batch are Forman’s musical tribute to the decathlon, Lelouch’s look at the competitors who didn’t win Gold, and Scheslinger’s profile of a marathon runner, while superb cinematography and Henry Mancini’s scoring add further class.

This official Olympics movie was remastered initially for Criterion’s outstanding “100 Years of Olympic Films” Blu-Ray box-set, and is now available separately for the first time. As with that disc, the transfer is a marvelous new 4K restoration (1.85) with uncompressed PCM audio and new extras: commentary from podcasters from the website “The Ringer”; a new documentary featuring Claude Lelouche and Mark Wolper, son of producer David L. Wolper, that also sports outtakes and material from an unused segment by director Ousmane Sembene; a short promotional film from 1972 and the trailer. Highly recommended for all Olympic fans, especially in lieu of the forthcoming Tokyo games!

 

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Also New & Noteworthy

If you’re a fan of low-budget Italian “Rambo” knockoffs, there’s a bit of entertainment to be found in Severin’s new releases of STRIKE COMMANDO (92/102 mins., R/Unrated, 1986) and STRIKE COMMANDO 2 (90/96 mins., R/Unrated, 1988). Both films were directed by Bruno Mattei but only the original stars Reb Brown as a US soldier taking on the Vietcong, Russians and traitorous Americans in a basic recycle of the Stallone blockbusters (most especially “Rambo: First Blood Part II”), right down to a reprisal of individual scenes — albeit here with embarrassingly shoddy special effects (the moment when a plastic doll appears in place of an exploding Christopher Connelly is both shameless and hysterical).

The second film is more interested in expanding its “influences” out to other jungle-themed films including “Raiders” and “Romancing the Stone” — Mattei again “borrowing” whole scenes in a typical Italian B mishmash. Brown is replaced here by Brent Huff but the big surprise is the starring role for Richard Harris — yes that Richard Harris, who must’ve gotten a gratis Philippine vacation for his family (or something) to explain his slumming in this kind of material.

Both movies have been restored here on Blu-Ray in 2K (1.85) from the original negatives for the first time and offer English or Italian mono sound. For the most part, the thrills generated here are going to be only savored by Euro-trash fans, since the production budgets are so meager that even straight B-movie buffs are likely to struggle to make it through them. Severin’s extras include interviews with writer Claudio Fragasso, trailers, and conversations with co-writer Rossella Drudi (Strike Commando 1) and star Brent Huff (2).

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF Steelbook Blu-Ray (102 mins., PG-13, 1986; Paramount): New Steelbook Blu-Ray edition reprises writer-producer-director John Hughes’ 1986 teen movie classic in collectible packaging, in time for its 35th Anniversary (how is that possible?!?).

The film itself requires little introduction: Hughes’ seminal 1986 comedy offers Matthew Broderick in one of his quintessential roles as a high schooler who decides to take a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Chicago, pair up with girlfriend Mia Sara, help his best friend (Alan Ruck) fight his disconnected parents, all the while avoiding his school principal (the marvelous Jeffrey Jones) and obnoxious sister (Jennifer Grey), each in hot pursuit. Hughes’ film has endlessly quotable lines, hilarious moments, and sensational sequences from start ‘til end.

Paramount’s original DVD contained a sporadic commentary from Hughes (which was excised from subsequent releases across both DVD and Blu-Ray), but nothing in the way of Making Of material. Paramount’s Blu-Ray (this is a straight reprise of all previous releases) rectified that by adding four excellent, 2009-produced featurettes which essentially comprise an hour-long documentary: “Getting the Class Together,” “The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Who Is Ferris Bueller?” and “The World According To Ben Stein” offer interviews with Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Ben Stein, producer Tom Jacobson, co-star Edie McClurg and other supporting players, with vintage interviews of John Hughes and Mia Sara interspersed throughout.

These featurettes offer a delightful retrospective on the production of the movie and the often improvisational nature of Hughes’ style. Consequently, it’s refreshing (and deservedly so) to see as much attention here given to the “bit parts” that made “Ferris Bueller” a classic, from McClurg and Ben Stein to Richard Edson and Kristy Swanson, as opposed to stars like Broderick, Ruck and Jones. Everyone discusses how quickly the film went into production, how fast Hughes worked on the script, and how willing the director was to let his cast take chances — all of which paid off splendidly with a movie that remains a viewer favorite.

The Blu-Ray also offers “The Lost Tapes,” a series of videotaped 1986 interviews with the stars mostly in-character, in addition to taped footage of the dining room sequence — noteworthy here because it contains dialogue which didn’t make it into the final cut. A photo gallery rounds out the disc, which sports a superb 1080p transfer in the film’s original Super 35 (2.35) aspect ratio, as well as an active Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and a Digital copy.

HIS DARK MATERIALS: Complete Second Season Blu-Ray (345 mins., 2020; Warner): Second and more successful attempt at adapting Philip Pullman’s fantasy novels results in this HBO series, the second season of which involves Lyra (Dafne Keen) heading into the mysterious Cittagazze along with Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and meets a boy trying to reunite with his father. Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda again appear in this lavishly produced mini-series, back on Blu-Ray (1.85, 5.1 DTS MA) with plenty of behind the scenes supplements, including featurettes and a Digital HD code.

48 HRS. Blu-Ray (96 mins., 1982, R; Paramount): Walter Hill’s crackerjack 1982 action thriller is still one of the defining genre films of the ‘80s, even if it spawned so many “buddy film” imitators that followed that it’s impossible to count them all.

Certainly few of them offer the dynamic between tough cop Nick Nolte and streetwise Eddie Murphy, the duo after a pair of cop-killers and cons on the lam (James Remar, Sonny Landham). Hill’s action sequences are crisp, the dialogue right on target (courtesy of the script, credited to Roger Spottiswoofe, Hill, Larry Gross and Steven E. De Souza), while a marvelous score by James Horner accompanies each pulsating moment. “48 Hrs.” has a sense of urgency and vibrancy that few of its fellow genre counterparts offer – ingredients that were both missing when the inevitable, disappointing sequel “Another 48 Hrs.” followed in 1990.

Paramount has brought “48 Hrs.” to Blu-Ray once again in a much-improved Paramount Presents” remaster from a 4K (1.85) film transfer. This blows away the studio’s previous, DNR’d format release from a decade ago, while a new interview with Hill, the trailer, and ’66 animated short “Space Kid” (also in HD) comprise the extras. Paramount has also released the troubled sequel ANOTHER 48 HRS. (95 mins., R) on Blu-Ray — this one for the first time — also in a restored 4K transfer (1.85) with a fresh Hill interview and the trailer. Both discs include collectible Limited Edition slipcovers, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio and Digital HD copies.

RUGRATS: Complete Series DVD (Over 4000 mins., 1991-2006; Nickelodeon/Paramount): One of the most popular cable cartoons of all-time, Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” was also one of the highest-rated series for Nickelodeon during the ‘90s. Paramount has combined the entire run of the original series – which aired from 1991 through 2006 – in a massive 26-disc DVD box set that’s now available at retail and online vendors everywhere. A must for “Rugrats” fans, many of whom likely have kids of their own by this point, the oversized clamshell package reprises the contents of Paramount’s prior DVD releases (1.33 full-screen transfers, 2.0 stereo soundtracks) with all the special features contained in those respective editions at a low price. For those who grew up on the show – or even kids watching the current revival on the Paramount+ streaming service – this comes recommended.

Another Complete Series set is new from Paramount for a very different kind of program: DRUNK HISTORY (1522 mins., 2013-19), the comically revisionist Comedy Central series shot around the country with host Derek Waters and an A-list cast. Paramount’s DVD box contains all 72 episodes in an oversized plastic clamshell case and sports “unblurred” episodes, deleted/extended scenes, bloopers, 16:9 transfers and 5.1 soundtracks across its 11 discs. 

MACKINTOSH AND T.J. Blu-Ray (96 mins., 1975, PG; MVD): Surprise Special Edition of a movie that seemed long lost until this MVD restoration from its original film elements, resulting in a gorgeous 1080p (1.78) transfer for Roy Rogers’ final film. Here, the legendary cowboy star plays a ranch-hand looking for work in West Texas when he comes across a runaway teen (future rodeo champ Clay O’Brien); the pair bond while they find work at a cattle ranch before Rogers’ veteran cowboy runs into trouble involving the rancher and his wife (Joan Hackett). It’s a genial film with music by Waylon Jennings, and MVD’s Blu-Ray offers both a strong transfer as well as a number of extras, including commentary from Clay O’Brien, co-star Andrew Robinson and moderator C. Courtney Joyner; on-set footage; an interview with co-star Billy Green Bush; trailers; and a COVID-conducted cast reunion panel.

GEORGETOWN DVD (99 mins., 2019, R; Paramount): Christoph Waltz stars in and directed this based-on-fact tale of Ulrich Mott, a D.C. Social climber whose life takes a turn when his older wife (Vanessa Redgrave) ends up dead in their home. Mott’s deceit is exposed once his daughter (Annette Bening) suspects him of being responsible in this barely-released film that “C. Waltz” directed from a script by David Auburn. Paramount’s DVD (16:9, 5.1) includes a Digital copy.

Also New from Paramount on DVD this month is the well-reviewed Chris Evans/Michelle Dockery mini-series DEFENDING JACOB (7 hours, 2020), an Apple TV+ series based on William Landay’s novel about an assistant DA (Evans) torn between his job and his son, seemingly involved in a murder that rocks their small Massachusetts town. Paramount’s DVD (16:9, 5.1) includes two featurettes and deleted scenes…Georgina Campbell and Luke Benward star in WILDCAT (93 mins., 2020, R), a drama set in the Middle East where an American reporter is taken captive and subsequently interrogated by militants who believe she’s not what she claims to be. Paramount’s DVD of the Saban Films production (16:9, 5.1) is now available and includes a Digital copy…In PERCY VS. GOLIATH (99 mins., 2021, PG-13), Christopher Walken plays a farmer sued by a giant corporation for using their patented seeds. He receives help from attorney Zach Braff and activist Christina Ricci in taking on the system in Clark Johnson’s Canadian-lensed movie, an independent production also starring Roberta Maxwell, Adam Beach and Martin Donovan. Paramount’s now-available DVD (16:9, 5.1) includes a Digital copy. 

Another star-driven vehicle that failed to muster much of an audience, FRENCH EXIT (114 mins., 2021, R; Sony), presents Michelle Pfeiffer as another troubled socialite: this one a 60-year-old widow who’s lost her inheritance and sells off the last of her valuable possessions. With those funds, she moves to Paris along with her aimless adult son (Lucas Hedges) and a cat that she believes may house the spirit of her dead husband. Azael Jacobs’ Canadian-lensed film is new on DVD (16:9, 5.1) from Sony sporting deleted and extended scenes on the supplemental side.

Well Go USA New Releases: Available July 20thSILAT WARRIORS: DEED OF DEATH (102 mins., 2019, Not Rated) is a Malaysian import following a young man whose gambling debts and other trangressions – illegal betting, drag racing, street fighting – lead a gang to show up at his father’s house looking to collect. Areel Abu Bakar’s well-received Asian action import is new to Blu-Ray from Well Go USA featuring a 1080p transfer and DTS MA Malaysian audio with English subtitles.

PBS New Releases: Rebecca Gibney returns as Jane Halifax, now 20 years removed from her police work and employed as a professor of forensic psychiatry, in HALIFAX: RETRIBUTION (345 mins., 2019). Out of the game for a while, Halifax has to choose whether or not to return to police work (and we know which way she’s going or else there wouldn’t be a series!) in this continuation of the popular Australian program, co-starring Anthony LaPaglia. PBS’ DVD is now available featuring 16:9 transfers and 2.0 stereo soundtracks…David Nicholls’ book US (230 mins., 2020) was adapted in the form of this BBC production starring Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves as a couple who embark on a tour of Europe right after Reeves’ character announces she wants a divorce. Nicholls himself scripted this mini-series, presented in a two-disc DVD set from PBS with 16:9 transfers, 5.1 soundtracks and three featurettes.

NEXT TIME: More of the latest reviews! Until then, don’t forget to drop in on the official Aisle Seat Message Boards and direct any emails to our email address. Cheers everyone!

 

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The "Ziegfeld Follies" blu-ray also includes a full stereo soundtrack with complete overture and exit music, plus many musical recordings not featured in the final film.

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