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16 April 2021

Eureka Video charts KARLOFF AT COLUMBIA (review)

Karloff followed up his monster career at Universal with a mad doctor stint at Columbia Pictures.  In THE BLACK ROOM, Karloff plays a good twin and an evil twin, one destined to murder the other in a gothic torture chamber.  In THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG, a doctor wrongfully executed for murder is brought back to life with his own invention and seeks revenge on the judge, district attorney, detective, nurse, and jury who convicted him.  In THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES, a scientist frozen for ten years is revived and will stop at nothing to rediscover the formula that kept him alive in ice.  In BEFORE I HANG, Karloff is a doctor on death row working on a blood rejuvenating serum.  The serum works on him, however, the blood of an executed strangler used for it gives him killer urges.  In THE DEVIL COMMANDS, Karloff is a doctor experimenting with brainwaves who starts to believe that he can communicate with his wife from beyond the grave through his machine.  Finally, in THE BOOGIE MAN WILL GET YOU, Karloff as a dotty old scientist who has a habit of inadvertently killing his human test subjects may be the last thing a woman has to worry about when she buys a historic inn populated by ghosts, murderers, and mad bombers.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

KARLOFF AT COLUMBIA Blu-ray specs: 

  • DISC ONE:
    • The Black Room (1935)
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono 
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historians Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
    • The Man They Could Not Hang (1939):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
        • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
        • Optional English HoH Subtitles
        • Audio Commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman
    • The Man With Nine Lives (1940):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman
    • "Karloff on the Radio" two episodes from INNER SANCTUM
  • DISC TWO:
    • Before I Hang (1940):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historians Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
    • The Devil Commands (1941):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman
    • The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historians Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
    • "Karloff on the Radio" two episodes from INNER SANCTUM
  • The first 3,000 copies come with a limited edition O-Card slipcase and a collector’s booklet featuring writing on all six films by Karloff expert Stephen Jacobs (author of Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster); film critic and author Jon Towlson; and film scholar Craig Ian Mann.

Second Sight balances a WORLD ON A WIRE (review)

A scientist who has helped develop a virtual world populated by artificial beings starts to question the very nature of reality and identity amidst a strange series of deaths and disappearances in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's intellectually stimulating and thrilling science fiction miniseries WORLD ON A WIRE.  The same source novel was later adapted as THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR.

REVIEW LINK: Second Sight (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

WORLD ON A WIRE Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • Part One (101 minutes):
      • 1080i50 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 fullscreen
      • German LPCM 1.0 mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • "Fassbinder’s World on a Wire: Looking Ahead to Today" documentary
    • "Observing Fassbinder" a Tribute to photographer Peter Gauhe
    • On-set Featurette
  • Disc Two:
    • Part Two (103 minutes):
      • 1080i50 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 fullscreen
      • German LPCM 1.0 mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • "No Strings Attached" interview with assistant director Renate Leiffer
    • "The Simulation Argument" interview with professor Nick Bostrom
    • Original Broadcast Recap

14 April 2021

Second Run's I WAS AT HOME, BUT... (review)

A boy vanishes and just as suddenly returns.  A little girl is no longer excited by a bicycle once she gets it.  A mother loses the ability to communicate with anyone the tragic sense of loss that has shaken her family to the core and broken it in Angela Schanelec's I WAS AT HOME, BUT...

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

I WAS AT HOME, BUT... Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Interview with director Angela Schanelec
  • Three Short Films by Angela Schanelec
  • Liner notes booklet by film critic Carmen Gray

Eureka wages a RUSSIAN RAID (review)

When soldier of fortune Nikita is put in charge of a literal "hostile takeover" of a factory that serves as a front for Russian arms dealers, he discovers a powerful enemy with whom he has a score to settle in RUSSIAN RAID.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

RUSSIAN RAID Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 Widescreen
  • Russian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English Subtitles

12 April 2021

Kino Lorber exposes THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG (review)

When five Allied generals are captured in Tunisia and held at an Italian villa, the US army recruits lowly private and master of escape Harry Frigg to pose as a Major General, get captured, and bust out his superiors, but they do not count on him falling for a pretty Italian countes.  Paul Newman stars.

REVIEW LINK: Kino Lorber (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  •  Audio Commentary by film historian/filmmaker Daniel Kremer and film historian/biographer Nat Segaloff
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Bonus Trailers

03 April 2021

Kino Lorber explores the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE (review)

John Belushi's penultimate film in his tragically short career was a romantic comedy that cast him as a ruthless Chicago columnist who bites off more than he can chew when he is sent to the Rocky Mountains to interview a reclusive eagle conservationalist.  Blair Brown also stars.  Written by Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Michael Apted.

REVIEW LINK: Kino Lorber (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Maser Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historians Daniel Kremer and Nat Segaloff
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Bonus Trailers

 

Eureka's Masters of Cinema presents TWO FILMS BY JOHN FORD (STRAIGHT SHOOTING/HELL BENT)

The great western auteur John Ford made his feature debut with STRAIGHT SHOOTING, also the first feature-length film of Harry Carey's silent two-reeler western hero Cheyenne Harry who saves homesteaders from cattle rustlers.  Cheyenne Harry would appear again in Ford's HELL BENT to save a dance hall girl from bank robbers in these two rarely-seen silent westerns.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

TWO FILMS BY JOHN FORD Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - Straight Shooting:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music (Michael Gatt Score) LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • English Intertitles
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Joseph McBride, author of "Searching for John Ford: A Life"
    • "Kim Newman on Harry Carey" interview
    • "Hitchin' Posts" fragment of a 1920 John Ford film preserved by the Library of Congress
    • "Bull Scores a Touchdown" video essay by film critic Tag Gallagher
  • Disc Two - Hell Bent:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music () LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • English Intertitles
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Joseph McBride
    • Archival 1970 audio interview with John Ford by Joseph McBride, author of "Searching for John Ford: A Life"
    • "A Horse of a Mary?" video essay by critic Tag Gallagher
  • Limited to 2,00 copies. 
  • Comes with an O-Card slipcase and reversible sleeve artwork and a collector’s booklet featuring writing by Richard Combs, Phil Hoad, and Tag Gallagher.
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