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21 December 2021

Cineventures' Best of 2021 List

TOP TEN MAINSTREAM/ARTHOUSE RELEASES:

    • A WOMAN LIKE EVE available separately from Amazon.
    • THE DEBUT available separately from Amazon.
    • THE COOL LAKES OF DEATH available separately from Amazon.
  • VIY/SVETO MESTO, Eureka (UK) Region B Blu-ray, limited edition no longer available from Amazon
    • single disc standard edition without SVETO MESTO also available at Amazon
  • CELIA, Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • MALCOLM, Umbrella Entertainment (Australia) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon


TOP TEN CULT RELEASES:

    • PERDITA DURANGO 4K UHD/Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • PERDITA DURANGO Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • DAY OF THE BEAST 4K UHD/Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • DAY OF THE BEAST Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • 99.9, Cult Epics (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • IREZUMI, Arrow Video (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon


HONORABLE MENTIONS:
For giving a boxed set to a martial arts filmmaker more inconsistent than Godfrey Ho:

For Synapse Films improvements on DEMONS US mono track and the restoration of English stereo soundtrack to DEMONS 2:

    • 4K UHD also available from Amazon

For making such godawful films look so, so good:

  • SHE FREAK, American Genre Film Archive (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon

15 December 2021

Eureka and Joseph Kuo wreak CINEMATIC VENGEANCE! (review)

Fiercely-independent Taiwanese filmmaker Joseph Kuo's alternately shoddy, epic, quirky, and never dull martial arts oeuvre gets a mammoth overview in the eight film set CINEMATIC VENGEANCE!

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

CINEMATIC VENGEANCE! Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • The 7 Grandmasters (1977):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and martial artist/filmmaker Michael Worth
    • The 36 Deadly Styles (1982):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Two:
    • The World of Drunken Master (1979):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and martial artist/filmmaker Michael Worth
    • The Old Master (1979):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Three:
    • Shaolin Kung Fu (1974):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandrin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
    • The Shaolin Kids (1975):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Four:
    • 18 Bronzemen (1976):
      • Japanese Version:
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
        • Mandarin LPCM 1.0 Mono
        • Optional English Subtitles
        • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and film writer John Charles
      • Hong Kong Version: 
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen (with SD inserts)
        • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
        • Optional English Subtitles
    • Return of the 18 Bronzemen (1976):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and film writer John Charles
  • Comes in a limited edition hardbound case featuring newly commissioned artwork by Darren Wheeling with a 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films included in the set by James Oliver, illustrated with archival imagery and materials, as well as a set of 8 facsimile lobby cards.

Second Sight exposes SESSION 9 (review)

The inner lives of a group of abestos removal workers start to unravel under the stress of working overtime on an underbid job in a notoriously haunted asylum in the 2001 horror sleeper classic SESSION 9 starring Peter Mullan and David Caruso.  From the director of THE MACHINIST.

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

SESSION 9 Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by co-writer/director Brad Anderson and co-writer/actor Stephen Gevedon
    • Audio Commentary by The Projection Booth's Mike White and author Jed Ayres
    • "Return to Danvers: The Secrets of Session 9" documentary
    • "The Haunted Palace: The Ghosts of Danvers Hospital" documentary
    • "Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Session 9" location visit hosted by Sean Clark
    • 5 Story-to-Screen with optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Brad Anderson
    • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending with optional 2001 audio commentary by director/co-writer Brad Anderson
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two:
    • "The Darkside" interview with co-writer/director Brad Anderson
    • "Mike's Session" interview with actor Stephen Gevedon
    • "Back to the Bat" interview with producer David Collins and director of photography Uta Briesewitz
    • "Invisible Design" interview with production designer Sophie Carlhian
    • "The Sound of Dread" interview with composers Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor
    • "A Twisted Collage: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on Session 9" visual essay
  • Comes in a rigid slipcase with new artwork by Christopher Shy, a softcover book with new essays by Charles Bramesco, Simon Fitzjohn and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and 6 collectors' art cards.

10 December 2021

Eureka Classics faces a DUEL TO THE DEATH (review)

A Chinese scholar monk and a Japanese samurai compete in a swordplay competition unaware that forces behind the scenes are attempting to "trim down" the competition for what will become a DUEL TO THE DEATH.  From the director of A CHINESE GHOST STORY.

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

DUEL TO THE DEATH Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Cantonese and English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng, NY Asian Film Festival
  • Interview with screenwriter Manfred Wong
  • Interview with actor Norman Chui Siu-keung
  • Interview with actress Flora Cheung
  • Alternate English Opening/Closing Credits
  • Still Galleries
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • 2000 U.S. Home Video Trailer
  • The first 2,000 copies come with an O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and a collector's booklet featuring 31-page booklet including "Ninja Snaps: On Ching Siu-Tung, Wirework and More..." by James Oliver and Frank Djeng's "The Masterpiece That Few People Know: Ching Siu Tung’s Duel To The Death" (originally published as the liner notes for the Tai Seng laserdisc release).

07 December 2021

Masters of Cinema exposes THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY (review)

After her diplomat father is murdered by revolutionaries during the Crimean civil war - one of whom may be her lover - Jeanne Ney returns to Paris and appeals to the protection of her uncle and her blind cousin.  Her lover is not the only person who follows her to Paris, however, and she is about to be plunged into another web of murder and deceit in G.W. Pabst's THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY.

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

THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY Blu-ray specs:

  • German Version (106 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music (Bernd Thewes score) LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • German Inertitles with English Subtitles
  • American Version (86 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music (Andrew Earle Simpson score) LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • English Intertitles
  • "Too Romantic, Too Ghastly" video essay by film historians David Cairns and Fiona Watson
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Philip Kemp
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