Category Archives: DVD Review

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DVD Review – The Favor

Category : DVD Review

Director: Donald Petrie

Starring: Harley Jane Kozak, Elizabeth McGovern, Bill Pullman, Brad Pitt

Year: 1994

Donald Petrie has had a very …interesting …career.  He began as an actor, then started directing TV episodes: MacGyver, Amazing Stories, L.A. Law, The Equalizer, later Picket Fences and Chicago Hope.  He segued into movies in the 90s, and that’s where things get weird: Mystic Pizza, Grumpy Old Men, The Favor, Richie Rich, Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Welcome to Mooseport, Just My Luck, and most recently Little Italy, which looked to be the worst film of the last 900 years.  I don’t understand how he chooses his projects, maybe by throwing darts, which must be how he directs his features as well, if the absurdity of The Favor can be taken as an example of this director’s very odd approach.

The Movie

As Kathy prepares for her high school’s 15 year reunion in Ohio, she takes a long, hard look at the life she has created and wonders if she will ever become what she thinks she was meant to be.  She has a nice husband, a good job, a best friend, two lovely children; from the outside it would look like Kathy’s got it all, but she still doesn’t feel exactly satisfied.  What’s worse, thinking about the reunion has got her thinking about her old sweetheart, a young man she never went all the way with, which she now deeply regrets.  If only she could see him again, have one night with him maybe, get it out of her system, then maybe she could return to her normal, boring life and be content with what she’s got.  Maybe.

It just so happens that Kathy’s girlfriend Emily is traveling to Denver to prepare for an art exhibit.  Denver just happens to be where Tom, the dreamboat from Kathy’s past, lives and works as a sports store proprietor.  Emily is a free spirit, so Kathy asks her to look Tom up, maybe even sleep with him, something, so that Kathy can live vicariously and get Tom off her mind.  Meanwhile, a young artist named Elliott is infatuated with the sophisticated Emily, and Kathy’s husband Peter starts to get a sense that something fishy is going on, so both men find themselves in this mix of emotion and nostalgia, of confused feelings that never quite go away and always seem to rear their heads when you least want to see them.

The Favor is a silly 90s rom/com if ever there was one, but unfortunately it is also an epitome of the quality of most of the films that fit that bill; outright awful.  It’s a mix of fantasy and reality, feminism and backward thinking, a mess of a movie that can’t seem to figure out what it’s trying to say.  It’s a little sexy, a little stupid, a little funny, a little confusing; it’s a film clinging to the 80s, a time of experimentation and chaos, that feels out of place even by ’94.  And then there’s the acting, which is simply horrid.  The actors weren’t helped by the terrible script or by the uneven direction, but their performances were part of the problem, especially by the leading ladies who attempted to make this movie their own and completely failed.

Kozek, who you might recognize from Arachnophobia, was abysmal, with a choppy, manufactured, unbelievable, up&down attempt at a character with depth which she was never able to find.  McGovern wasn’t much better; I guess I’ll always love her for Downton Abbey but I find watching her early stuff to be painful.  Brad Pitt has a small role, and it’s throwaway, a bit of young stuff when he was still trying to find his way, sandwiched between A River Runs Through It and Interview with the Vampire.  But the man who really stole the show was Bill Pullman, if you can believe it; he was the strongest actor in the show, which probably only happened this once.  All together, the cast didn’t do enough to overcome the bad crew, making this film a time capsule that’s probably best left buried.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (1920x1080p) and filmed with Panavision cameras and lenses, the video quality of this Blu-ray disc is far from the best you’ll see from this format, and probably a little worst than you should expect from this time period.  The cinematography is nonexistent, I guess the costumes were cool, but the picture and the art are nothing to write home about.

Audio – The disc was done in English, with English subtitles available.  That’s it as far as the audio is concerned and, again, you probably won’t expect much from this era, but you may actually get a little less than that.  Also, the music was weird, with a penchant for blues that made no sense.  Bill Pullman’s character plays the harmonica, I think himself?, and that’s just strange.

Extras – The only bonus features on the Blu-ray are five trailers for the feature and other films.

Final Thoughts

Skip It. If you want to go back 20-30 years and watch Brad Pitt, there are better projects to choose.  Thelma & Louise, Johnny Suede, Cool World, Kalifornia, Legends of the Fall; stick with those, forget about The Favor.  It’s a nonsensical romantic adventure flick, one with mixed morals and messages, and not nearly enough raw talent to keep the plot from sinking under the poor actors that were cast to peddle the vehicle.  Pullman pulls off something fun, but that’s about it; check him out in Newsies, A League of Their Own, or Malice instead.  Even the video quality, audio quality, and extras are poor; you’re going to have to forget you heard about this movie if you’re currently curious.  God knows I wish I could, but at least I can say I now know this flick, even if I’ll claim that I never knew it very well.

☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – River Runs Red

Category : DVD Review

Director: Wes Miller

Starring: Taye Diggs, George Lopez, John Cusack

Year: 2018

I adoringly follow John Cusack both cinematically and politically, but I have limits on both fronts, and it seems like we just reached the point down the film road where, if he’s gonna pull over here, I’m staying in the car.  He doesn’t always choose the best projects, but then he drops something like Love & Mercy and you feel glad you stuck by his side all these years.  On the flip side, sometimes he costars in River Runs Red for no other reason that you can discern other than money, because you know that’s the only way they could get you to show your face in something this bad; boatloads of cash.  I don’t know how much Cusack got paid for this role, but it would have to have been significant to justify combining his good name with the quality of this movie, which might be the absolute lowest he’s ever been a part of.

The Movie

Charles Coleman Sr. has come a long way, but he’s finally where he wants to be.  After years of struggle, he and his immigrant wife, who were parents at 17, have overcome poverty and the artificial ceilings placed over the heads of their races, fighting every day not to join the ranks of the beaten down and broken, but to rise up to places of power and of change.  Charles is a respected judge, his wife is a first responder, and his son has just joined the police force, starting at the Academy with big dreams and the sky as his limit.  But the system set in place to keep black folks down in the streets with the drugs and the crime where they are easier to control won’t give up without a struggle.

On his way to his first day as an officer in training, Charles Coleman Jr. is shot dead by two white police officers who thought he had a gun, when all he was reaching for was his wallet.  This same scenario has played out countless times, with little to no repercussion for the shooters, and the people are beyond angry.  Charles doesn’t know what to do; the mayor won’t help, the officers won’t be punished, and no one will listen, even when he discovers that a gun was planted on his son so that his murder would seem justified.  So a judge becomes both jury and executioner, as he sets out on a vigilante mission to bring his son’s killers to justice, hoping that it will someday not be so blind.

By the description, you might think that River Runs Red is akin to The Hate U Give, and most of the movie would prove you right.  For about an hour, the plot is focused on police brutality, Black Lives Matter, the death of a child, the grieving process, change in the face of a system that wants to stay the same forever; some really heavy themes.  I was shocked when I started watching and began to understand what type of film I had accidentally become on audience member of, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, the message, the guts, and the simplicity of what was being said.  It wasn’t a breakthrough by any means, but my expectations were so low that I was ready to stand up and applaud.

And now for the bad news; that was only the first hour.  After that, I don’t know what happened, but someone, everyone, forgot what movie was being made and decided to do a Luke Goss shoot-em-up flick instead, completely abandoning all that was working because, who knows, they didn’t know how to rap it up.  Enter George Lopez, begin the gunfights, and say goodbye to the powerful moral that was building early on.  The point became absolutely irresponsible, the antithesis of what we need to be working toward, in my opinion, and I say that as card-carrying left-winger; this movie lost its voice and so started setting fires instead, just to be seen.  By the end, the film became one of the worst you’ll see this year, with awful acting and a torturous soundtrack, a complete explosion of mistakes when accidental cohesion seemed possible early on, only to ultimately morph into something you’ll wish you hadn’t seen.

The DVD

Video – The DVD was done in Widescreen, and that’s all the video details that are available.  The picture quality wasn’t bad at all, it was fine, though a lot of the story was dark, which may have been a specific choice, but was a little dreary and monotonous.

Audio – The disc was done in English Dolby 5.1, with an option of English SDH subtitles, and that’s it as far as the audio features are concerned.  And I’m not kidding about the soundtrack; awful music, terrible choices, bad singers, expect it all.

Extras – There are no special features on the DVD.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  John Cusack stays in the background in this film, and that’s smart, because I don’t know how much they were paying him to show his face, but it hardly seems worth it.  River Runs Red is a terrible movie, just terrible, all the more so because it doesn’t start out that way.  You watch, you become invested, you are pleasantly surprised, and then WHAM, the exact opposite of everything you thought you were supporting and a complete abandonment of the principles of good cinema.  There are gunfights near the end that I don’t even understand, people that start shooting who I don’t even know where they came from; it’s that stupid.  The video is solid, the audio is not, and there aren’t any extras, so don’t expect miracles from the technical aspects.  Just be glad that I saw this one first so you don’t have to.

☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ – Audio

☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Death House

Category : DVD Review

Director: B. Harrison Smith

Starring: Cortney Palm, Cody Long, Dee Wallace

Year: 2017

It’s nice to be one of the few people who has seen an under-the-radar, low-budget, throw-cares-to-the-wind horror flick, because there’s a sense of community that comes with watching something that precarious, that delicately connected and held together.  It might be strange to think of horror as being fragile, with the monsters and the decapitations and the blood and whatnot.  But that’s exactly what the genre is, a delicate balance between production, money, fandom, and expression, with the resulting final product usually something that almost no one sees.  I try to keep that in mind when I watch b-horror, the time and energy and work that goes into a film that’s almost guaranteed to be unloved, at least by more than a dozen people.  But I still have to judge it as a movie like any other, no one gets a free pass, no matter how much I want to give some points for effort.

The Movie

Special Agents Novak and Boon have entered Death House after years of training, bitter mind games, and graduation violence, to become a part of the next step in human evolution.  Death House is a maximum security prison far underground that houses the worst mankind has to offer.  Killers, rapists, Satan worshipers, men who think they physically are Satan; it doesn’t get any dirtier than down there, but that’s where the experiment comes in.  Scientists, using these evil inmates and some “volunteers” from topside, are trying to pull the evil out of the minds of the evildoers, training their psyches to be moral though their bodies fight against the change every step of the way.

Right or wrong, the government is running this jail like a factory for pure thoughts, with limited success so far, but the future is bright.  Novak and Boon get a special, virtual tour of the facility, in order to see all its evils, and then get to walk to floors, experiencing it themselves firsthand.  But a power glitch, or perhaps something more sinister, shuts down the security of the facility, all the inmates escaping their cells to kill whoever they please in whatever many best suits their psychosis.  The agents are trapped in an elevator, along with esteemed Dr. Fletcher, and they’ll have to fight their way out in order to survive, heading down into hell in order to once again see the light.

Despite the insanity of this plot, you can tell that this movie was made with genre love, and that ends up being its saving grace.  Or, more specifically, its only redeeming characteristic, but we’ll get to that in a second.  The amount of time and focus that must have gone in to making this bizarre blood-binge happen is unfathomable to anyone but a filmmaker, and I have to imagine that the entire cast and crew are proud of themselves for what they were able to accomplish.  For a b-movie, there were a lot of elements brought together to create a unique world, more than is typical, and that could not have been easy.  The facility, the soldiers, the prisoners, the levels, the virtual reality, the backstories, the plot offshoots, the creatures, the adventure; I’m impressed that it all made its way into the final product, that the run time was short, that I was never bored, that this movie exists.

BUT, and it’s a big one, none of that stops this film from being insane, amateur, minimally-funded, and poorly-acted.  It’s still a terrible movie, it was never going to be anything but, it never had a real chance of being something more than a slasher with awful actors doing the slashing.  And boy were they awful; Palm from Zombeavers, Longo from bad TV, Wallace from E.T., and everyone else seemingly from a random biker bar.  The ability to hold a conversation that wasn’t hilarious was nonexistent, every single character was beyond bizarre, nothing really make any sense if you looked at it too closely, and by the end I realized that the only glue holding the sloppy project together was love for the making, passion for the creating, and the camaraderie that comes from being a part of something so niche.

The DVD

Video – No technical details are available concerning the video.  The picture quality was bad, of course, but nothing else would be expected.

Audio – No technical details are available concerning the audio.  The sound quality was fine, I guess, with a few odd song choices along the way.

Extras – There were a few special features on the DVD, if you’re somehow thirsty for more.  Director’s commentary can be selected to be enjoyed while watching the film.  There are nine different interviews to peruse.  There is a nine-second clip of Cortney Palm jumping into a giant inflatable.  A slideshow an be viewed to appreciate the still images.  And there are 11 trailers to view, including one for the feature film.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  I can’t recommend anyone watch this movie except the most fervent horror enthusiasts, since the only reason to watch is to appreciate how much other people appreciate the genre that you most appreciate.  That’s it, there’s nothing else to hang your hat on, and that’s too bad, because there was a lot of love poured into this film, just not a lot of talent to accompany it.  It simply slides through the gross and the super-gross while riding on a story that’s one giant stretch, with a cast that wouldn’t make the cut on most other sets.  The video is as poor as you’d expect, the audio is alright, there are a few bonus features for those who want extra, so the technical aspects don’t completely fail the feature, but you’d better not rely on them too heavily either.  Death House is unreliable in its own right, fraught with too many flaws and not enough foundation, as it tries its best to please its base, which is admirable, if not exactly a reason to tune in.

☆ – Content

☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Bent

Category : DVD Review

Director: Sean Mathias

Starring: Clive Owen, Lothaire Bluteau, Brian Webber

Year: 1997

Sean Mathias directed one feature film, Bent, and what a way to come in/go out.  We’ve seen countless Holocaust stories turned into movies, both unbearable truth and shocking fiction, and we’ll see countless more; Hollywood knows that it’s a genre that stirs us into action and that we’ve shown no signs of giving up on supporting.  And I don’t fault audiences for that; this era is definitely history we dare not forget, and I applaud directors for keeping it in focus, no matter how many times they go back to the well or how easy it may be to elicit emotion from these tales.  But Mathias brings us something we think we understand from a direction we didn’t see coming, and for that deserves credit for, if not making a perfect film, crafting uniqueness when we weren’t sure there was any left.

The Movie

Max has few cares as Germany enters war and the Nazi party takes over; he lives a life of frivolity among the young and the restless.  He dates a dancer, beds anyone he chooses, frequents nightclubs, wheels and deals; Max is rarely sober and seldom sees life soberly, he would much rather use any money he ekes out of his wealthy family to find parties and to seek excess.  But one fling too far, as they say, and Max’s latest conquest is about to get him into a new world of trouble.  He takes home a Nazi officer because he is beautiful, but when the SS come to the door they aren’t there for tea.  Max and his boyfriend are forced to flee for their lives, scraping by on their way toward Amsterdam, toward freedom, by whatever means necessary.

Picked up before they reach the border, the pair are identified as homosexuals and packed onto a train headed for Dachau, to be processed and most likely killed.  On board, Max renounces his lover, his sexuality, and claims to be Jewish, desperate for a chance to stay alive one more day, to see the sun shine one more time.  Thus begins his hellish imprisonment at a work camp, barely eating enough to live, moving stones every day in an exercise of mental torture, losing his humanity at the hands of those he once catered to.  But a ray of light emerges in the form of Horst, a man who wears the pink triangle that should also have been Max’s.  The duo remain standing only by holding each other up, becoming a symbol of love and hope in a time of ultimate despair.

Bent is done in a particular style that’s part historic drama and part black box cabaret.  Especially at the beginning, when we meet Max and get to see him in his element, the film almost feels fantastic and dreamlike, with rubble as sets, a musical number, and very little dialogue.  It’s a stark contrast to later in the story, when the action takes place among the factories of the death camp, and perhaps that was the intention all along, to create two very different worlds with two very different atmospheres, almost like two completely separate movies.  If that was what Mathias was going for then he succeeded, and we should remember that this is also a play, written by Martin Sherman, who wrote the screenplay for the film as well, so that explains the unusual air at the beginning, which ultimately gives way to much weightier elements later on.

One remarkable point about Bent is its cast, which is sprinkled with stars, some hidden in the backdrop where you don’t even notice them, mostly because they were not yet famous.  This was Clive Owen’s first big role, Lothaire Bluteau is a French Canadian character actor, but the smaller parts are where you’ll find surprising names pop up: Ian McKellen, Paul Bettany, Jude Law as a stormtrooper, Rachel Weisz as a prostitute, Sadie Frost from Dracula, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones, and even Mick Jagger.  Yes, the Mick Jagger, and he has a musical number and it’s all very weird.  Everything about this movie is odd, even its touch of humor throughout, but there’s also no denying its power when it chooses to wield it.  I don’t think Owen was a very good choice for the lead, he always seemed a bit out of touch to me, but Bluteau was fantastic, the message here is powerful, and although the film itself doesn’t have the expertise behind it to become something fabulous, it solidly deserves its A for effort.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 Widescreen and shot using Arriflex cameras and lenses, the video quality of the Blu-ray disc is nowhere near the quality of modern films presented on this medium, but no one expects that to be the case, so it’s OK.  The picture quality isn’t terrible, and the film transfers fine, there’s simply no reason to watch this movie on Blu-ray if you can get it on DVD; the ceiling was never high enough for that to matter.

Audio – The disc was done in English 2.0 Stereo, with subtitles available in English SDH.  That’s it for the audio options, and while the quality is fine, it’s also nothing to write home about.  There is an original song at the beginning, which was written by the screenwriter and performed by Mick Jagger; I assume it’s also in the play, though I can’t say for sure.

Extras – There are a few special features available, if you’re looking for more.  Behind-the-Scenes Footage runs 11 minutes, and delivers just that.  Streets of Berlin in the song I mentioned, and there’s a music video for it here.  Also, there are 7 interviews with cast & crew members, as well as 4 trailers for this & other films.  Lastly, a small advertisement/informative piece, About Film Movement.

Final Thoughts

Recommended. Bent is a Holocaust film from a completely different angle, and not simply because it highlights the plight of gay men during this time, but also because of how it chooses to focus on the individual, largely putting the fate of the group aside and keeping an eye on the struggle of one man, one moment at a time.  In this way it differs from others, while telling us the same story we’ve heard countless times before, but need to have repeated to us every single day lest we forget what happened and how easily it could happen again.  For all of that, this film deserves our respect, setting aside whatever we might think of its flaws, rankings, etc.  The video won’t distract because you’ll forgive the quality, the audio is fine without being memorable apart from one song, and there are a few bonus features, so the technical aspects won’t let audiences down.  And neither will the impact of the film itself, which should and will be powerfully felt.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – The Bounty

Category : DVD Review

Director: Roger Donaldson

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson

Year: 1984

One of my favorite movies of the last 20 years is Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which came out when I was 20 and stunned me with its dramatic perfection and utter awesomeness.  I didn’t know then how much it owed to The Bounty, a film that came out a year after I was born and which I had never seen, despite its amazing cast and my fascination with British history.  Peter Weir’s swashbuckling tale is an action-packed version of this classic nautical adventure, the two sharing many similarities, and credit should be given where credit is due; obviously Master and Commander owes much to The Bounty and, I’m sure, many other high-seas dramas before it.  But here’s one that stands as a pillar of the genre and remains to this day an excellent depiction of life and death on board a vessel that sails under the auspicious union jack.

The Movie

On a voyage to circumnavigate the globe and deliver exotic plants to islands throughout the world’s oceans, Captain William Bligh faced many dangers, including the weapons held in the hands of his very own crewmen.  Bligh’s aim was Tahiti, where he would sail the Bounty, extract precious fruit plants, and deliver them to other islands, spreading cheap food through the British Empire in aid of his king.  His first mate on this journey was John Fryer, his master’s mate a lifelong friend named Fletcher Christian, both men being strong and able, loyal and brave.  The journey would be difficult and the treatment of the crew at times harsh, but the Bounty would reach its goal in Tahiti, meeting with the natives and taking a much-needed rest, but that’s also where the trouble began.

Pushed hard by their captain, the men leapt at the opportunity to furlough in an island nation, to rest on the sand, and to meet the local women.  Many men even married or impregnated these young girls, creating ties that were hard to break when it was finally time to leave.  Realizing that the crew had grown soft, Bligh became harder on them then ever, demanding extra work on deck and blind belief in his navigational skills, to the point that the men began to think about taking the ship into their own hands, and then turning it right back around to Tahiti where easier lives awaited them.  So began the most famous mutiny in British naval history, with Bligh’s loyalists facing off against Christian’s rebels, with all their fates in the balance.

I’m glad I finally got around to watching this film, because now I see how impactful it has been, how much it set the standard for what was to come later.  I’m sure it mirrors others, which mirror books, and back and back and back, but I’m glad I can now appreciate how this movies shaped one of my favorites, because you should always know the history when possible.  And speaking of, this is a true story, this really happened, there’s an island nation out in the middle of nowhere whose population is made up of the descendants of the survivors of the mutiny, which is pretty incredible, like something out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.  This disaster remains as an example of how not to conduct your authority, and also as a warning that the hearts of men are easily moved in directions you never thought possible.

The film itself boasts one of the strongest casts you’ll ever see, at least on paper, if not exactly at a time in each actor’s career that represents their very best.  Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Laurence Olivier, not to mention Edward Fox, Bernard Hill, and Dexter Fletcher.  That’s pretty impressive, although some of the accents aren’t, but the team as a whole came together well, because of course they did.  Surprisingly, the film wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards, but has turned into a classic since, so you never know how the years are going to change the perception, even if the details stay the same.  The cinematography is great, the boat scenes will capture audiences, and there’s even a love story that pulls its weight, so really the movie has it all, if never quite becoming perfect enough in any one area for us to call it a masterpiece.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (1920x1080p) and shot using JDC cameras and lenses, the video quality of the film is decent given the year, and above average when compared to other 80s flicks.  The sea, the ship, the islands, the natives; it’s all captured with as much clarity as can be expected, and has transferred well to a modern Blu-ray disc.

Audio – The Blu-ray was done in English 5.1, with an option of English stereo.  Subtitles are only available in English, and can be turned on in the disc menu.  The audio is fine as well, for the era, but is haunted by a terrible, probably original, song that plays before and after the movie, 80s pop nonsense that has no place alongside this period piece.

Extras – There are only a few special features on the Blu-ray, including two types of commentary: one by the crew of the film and one by a historical consultant.  Also, four trailers are available for view: The Bounty, The Scarlett Letter, The Crucible, Flesh+Blood.

Final Thoughts

Highly Recommended. The Bounty is better than its overlooked status from 35 years ago, and has since been noticed for what it offers.  It perhaps isn’t quite great enough to be called a classic or an icon, but I found, even watching it for the first time all these years after its original release, that it’s solid enough to have been a foundation, which is seriously important work.  The true story, the naval culture, the British Empire, the struggle between civility and our baser nature; there is a lot to talk about when looking back at this film, and I’m glad I got the chance to appreciate the layers that it is composed of.  The video is nice for its birth year, the audio the same, the bonus features are a bit lacking, so the technical aspects are a bit of a mixed bag, which is no more than you would expect.  But the project as a whole is worth our notice, and if you, like me, missed The Bounty over the passing years, it might be time to remedy that.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – What Will People Say

Category : DVD Review

Director: Iram Haq

Starring: Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain

Year: 2017

A foreign language candidate out of Norway came to America this summer and was mostly missed by audiences, including myself.  The critics that saw the film sung its praises, but otherwise it slid under the radar and went under-seen, which needs to be remedied.  I came across it by accident, knowing nothing about Iram Haq’s strong debut five years previous, I Am Yours.  The Pakistani-Norwegian director tells emotional stories about women living where two cultures clash, and attempting to steer their way through expression and emotion while this battle rages on.  What Will People Say is a coming-of-age tale from this perspective, a look at how the most exciting time of a young person’s life can quickly become a waking nightmare when she is restrained from freedom by family and by expectation.

The Movie

Nisha is a typical Norwegian teenager; slightly rebellious, mostly appropriate, likes to spend time out of the house with her friends, gets good grades, loves her family, has a potential boyfriend, chats on her phone too much, all normal activities and none too egregious to warrant action or concern.  But her family is not like others in Norway, and the expectations for her adolescence are quite different from that of her friends.  Nisha’s parents are from Pakistan, and they brought their culture, both its positives and its negatives, with them when they settled in this new country.  Her father owns a small store, her mother stays at home, her brother is being groomed to be a doctor, her sister is still young; it’s a tightly knit family, they love one another, but at times Nisha’s youth and individuality clash with the traditions of her parents’ homeland.

The discrepancies seem mostly bearable until a night when she sneaks a boy into her bedroom after hours, and he accidentally wakes up her father.  A side Nisha has never seen awakens in a man she has always trusted, and the police are called, children’s services stepping in as well to help her tell her story and protect herself from domestic abuse.  But that’s half of Nisha’s life, Norwegian law, the other half is more traditional, Pakistani male dominance and family ownership.  She subsides to the pressures and promises of her family, but is tricked by her father and brother into going with them aboard a ferry and then to the airport.  With threats upon her life and the promise of becoming an outcast if she protests hanging over her head, Nisha is sent, basically kidnapped, to Pakistan, where she is expected to learn to behave if she is ever to have any freedom again, however limited, and however lifeless.

Haq’s first feature is much more sexual, much more mature, her second focusing more on youth pushing back against the walls that threaten to cage it in, and the consequences of such defiance.  Nisha’s tale is one that, on the surface, I could never understand personally, but I’ve never understood how people can say that they don’t relate to another human story since we are all humans; even having never experienced something similar, and of course knowing this to be fiction, I can empathize with all those who have struggled to find themselves among the crowd of culture and the pressure of generations.  Change comes with difficulty, there are always those who fight back against it, and they are powerful, or at least perceived to be.  Nisha’s story stirs my heart in that way, forcing me to watch and understand and feel what countless people in her situation across the globe must feel, and how helpless they must imagine their situation to be.  Filmmakers like Iram Haq shine light on that plight every day, helping those without a voice say something loudly, and for that I stand up and applaud and do my small part, sharing and recommending the message as widely as I can.

Now, for the film, which I don’t mean to ignore; the content is simply so strong that it does dominate at times, pushing its way to the forefront and demanding notice.  But the movie itself has strength enough to grab our attention as well, and should be given its proper respect for being one of the strongest I’ve seen this year, regardless of category.  Haq directs the feature with fierce style and determination, never flinching from the difficult and never wasting a scene.  Some of the shots are gorgeous, especially in Pakistan; what a lovely countryside for such dark context.  And she had a way, throughout the film, of making it extremely and realistically clear where the power lies; sometimes the father and the brother would talk about the most mundane topics while life-altering events were going on around them, which came across to me as both natural, since people do talk about boring details, and unnatural, given the evil they were bent on perpetuating, showing the frequent callousness of their actions while harming other human beings.  The acting was so believable, Mozhdah was great for a first-timer, and by the end I was left with such a sweep of emotions that I hardly knew what to do with them.  An excellent second feature, a solid Foreign Language addition, and an overall unique drama, What Will People Say really should have people talking.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (16×9), the video quality of the DVD is comparable to others of its budget, which shouldn’t be held against it, but which can’t exactly be called an asset either.  The quality is just fine,  but the cinematography is more impressive, with stunning shots of Pakistan and a great eye for detail throughout.

Audio – The disc was done in Norwegian and Urdu 5.1 Surround, with an option of 2.0 Stereo.  Subtitles are available and automatically in English, to be turned on or off.  The sound quality is normal as well, about what you would expect, but the music is fairly thoughtful, with modern vs. traditional balanced in a clever manner.

Extras – The only special feature on the DVD is a trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts

Highly RecommendedWhat Will People Say is a heartfelt and personal look at culture clash turning into something much more violent and specific, not mistreatment of a group but rather mistreatment of a family member for not becoming and conforming to an image of a group.  Both are a problem, one large scale, the other more internal, but each harms its target, and here is a story that illuminates the dangers of forgetting about the smaller battles.  The video is average, the audio the same, there are almost no bonus features, so look elsewhere for strong technical aspects, but with this level of drama, with this great an eye for scene, other technical pieces fail to matter.  What is important is Nisha’s truth,  and how her character represents young women all over the world, not just in Pakistan or with strict, Muslim parents, who can’t escape what they are supposed to be to become who they truly are.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti

Category : DVD Review

Director: Edouard Deluc

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Tuhei Adams

Year: 2017

I feel like I found him early, at least for an American, and I’ve watched Vincent Cassel shine ever since.  He’s one of the best professionals working today, be it in France or in Hollywood, and I would hope that, by now, most audiences know his name, or at least know when they see his face that they’re about to see something very special.  The Messenger, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Irreversible, Sheitan, Eastern Promises, Black Swan, A Dangerous Method, Trance, Beauty and the Beast, Partisan, Child 44, Tale of Tales, My King, The Little Prince, It’s Only the End of the World, Jason Bourne; what can this actor not do.  Now he takes on an artist at a very unusual time of his life, and even if the film itself fails to capture our attention, Cassel absolutely never does the same.

The Movie

Paul Gauguin, one of the most famous French artists in the country’s history was once penniless, unappreciated, and a complete disaster.  His paintings weren’t selling, he and his friends revolted against the trend of religious artwork, and his estranged family suffered without the money he failed to bring in and the mundane jobs he was unwilling to find.  Gauguin was starving, in poor health, disrespected, and had no prospects; even his agent began to lose doubts in his talent as the sales of his works continued to plummet.  Being an anarchist/post-impressionist was neither lucrative nor beseeming, and Gauguin suffered for his inflexibility and his belief that art came from somewhere other than religious zealotry.

Leaving his family and his financial troubles behind, Gauguin fled to French Polynesia to study nature, beauty, and to find inspiration in the daily activity of painting without the restraints of a style, a deadline, an expectation.  There he would fall into even poorer health, having a heart attack and barely eating, instead spending every waking moment drinking and painting, until it consumed him.  He was saved from despair by a Tahitian girl named Tehura, who he married and took back to the village where he made his home.  She inspired him to create great works, and after his death, when fame would finally come, these years amid the jungle would prove to be what crafted his masterpieces.

In this case, and it’s not uncommon, the actor shines brighter than the film itself, which allows audiences to appreciate at least one aspect, but not, perhaps, that which was the original goal.  Cassel is simply brilliant, in whatever role you slide him into, with a darkness and the depth that must be almost impossible to reach, yet he makes it seem so simple and so natural.  His ability to at once stay within his own style and also embody another person is mesmerizing, and not very common.  Not every actor can lose themselves in a role while also keeping a part of their personality present while never breaking down the wall; it takes a true star to master this balance, and Cassel is one of the very brightest.

The film fails to illuminate on its own, however, falling dimly behind its lead until you almost forget that there’s a movie somewhere hiding in the background.  It’s like we’re simply following Gauguin around, which is fine, but that’s not going to leave audiences with any impression other than the same feeling we could get reading a Wikipedia article.  I do think that I learned a little about Gauguin, that’s good, but that’s also not enough.  In addition, Cassel improvised many lines and you can tell, which is a good thing and a bad thing at different times.  But that simply acts as an example to how little the filmmakers did, period, and how little impact this movie will have one day after having watched it.

Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and with no other details available, despite the Blu-ray medium, the video quality of the film is both good enough to avoid notice and not quite strong enough to deserve comment.  The sets and landscapes are gorgeous; that’s almost a given, given the locale.  The forests, the waters, the local people, and of course the artwork; there’s beauty here, but maybe not as much as there should have been given the content and the expectations it drums up.

Audio – The Blu-ray was done in French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, with an option of 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Subtitles are automatically in English, but can be turned off.  That’s it for the audio, and while there was a nice backing score throughout, it left my ear immediately and will make about as much impression on me as the rest of the film did.

Extras – There are a few special features if you’re interested in going deeper.  Illustrations is a 15-minute behind-the-scenes look.  Vincent Cassel as Gauguin is a 4-minute interview segment.  Life and Painting of Gauguin is a 5-minute featurette on the inspiration of the movie.  Tahiti is a 2-minute peak at the local culture.  And there is a trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts

Rent It.  A painting by Gauguin came up on a daily calendar that my family was flipping over, and I was able to tell them what little I knew about the artist, his marriage, the island, a couple aspects about the art, all because I saw this film, so it was in no way a waste of time or energy; I learned something and I got to see Cassel do his job, so it wasn’t a compete bust.  But I was disappointed; the film itself was lost behind one grand performance, and that’s not acceptable.  I won’t remember what I saw for long because the story and its supports didn’t do enough to make me, and that’s a real shame.  The video is at times lovely, the audio fades away into the periphery, and there are a couple bonus features on the disc, so the technical aspects aren’t a complete loss.  Neither is the movie, but just barely, and basically because of the lead, so I’m not sure how much credit I can give to a film that only did the minimum.

☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Lizzie

Category : DVD Review

Director: Craig William Macneill

Starring: Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan

Year: 2018

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it …probably twice; Kristen Stewart is an incredible actress who is ill-treated partly because of the crappy vehicle she decided to hitch a ride in to jump start her career and party because of the demeanor she exhibits that comes across to us as flippant and/or annoyed.  She found a way to become a star, now that she is one she doesn’t feel like she owes us anything, and somehow we’re mad about that, but that just seems like pure lunacy to me.  Stewart is a talented actor, she picks the roles she wants to pick, she talks to the media when she chooses, and nothing else is our business, at least that’s the way I look at it.  Her role in Lizzie might not even be her best, neither is the film itself, but she’s better than she gets credit for, and by a fair amount.

The Movie

Kristen Stewart plays Brigitte, who also goes by Maggie, since of yore Americans liked to call all Irish people by the same name apparently, but that’s not who this movie is about, so let’s switch gears.  The main character here is Lizzie Borden, played by Chloe Sevigny, who lives in Massachusetts with her sister, stepmother, and overbearing father.  Lizzie is getting closer and closer to becoming a old maid in 1892, why she’s all of 32!, and has become a burden on her family.  She’s odd, bossy, goes out unaccompanied, and is prone to seizures; her father is even considering putting her in an institution since she can’t seem to get married and therefore must be a maniac of some kind.  Turns out, Lizzie simply isn’t interested in men, in a time when such thoughts are strictly demonic.

Lizzie first befriends and then falls for the Borden’s new maid Brigitte, who is eager to be taught to read, needs someone to comfort her, and makes a nice change to the mundane day to day of unwanted daughter living.  The pair find something within each other that they were missing, and soon become quite close.  But at the same time, Lizzie’s father is sneaking into Brigitte’s bedroom unwelcome, as well as threatening Lizzie with losing her inheritance and being sent away if she doesn’t keep clear of her new companion.  Well, that won’t do, and so the ladies hatch a devilish plan.  What happens next is mostly mystery, as the Borden Ax Murders have never been perfectly solved, and no one knows the killer’s exact intentions, though the gruesome deed itself would go down in sinister history.

The most intriguing part about Lizzie is the relationship between the title character and the maid, and I have no idea how much of that was conjecture or assumption or perhaps even pure fantasy.  This obviously isn’t a purely historical account, there are some liberties taken, and perhaps this relationship is one of them, but without it, really, the film would have fallen apart.  I guess that’s the Kristen Stewart fan in me coming out, although it would be overdramatic to call myself such, but I do think she’s talented, and I do think she basically made the movie.  In this story anyway, the action wouldn’t have taken place without the two women bolstering each other’s nerves, and so it was desperately necessary, if not exactly true, and I’ll forgive some extra style for the sake of entertainment since it was quite needed.

It was needed because the rest is pretty boring, and couldn’t be left on its own because it never had the meat we wanted to sink our teeth into.  Lizzie, her family, her situation, the killings; it was sleepy, to be honest, and I’m not sure I understand why the tale is compelling enough to warrant our knowing Lizzie’s name all these years later.  Chloe Sevigny was not great, she’s not strong enough to do this on her own, she needed Kristen Stewart, and like I said earlier, this wasn’t Kristen’s best offering either; her accent was OK but she basically said every line with the same inflection.  Jamey Sheridan will always terrify me thanks to The Stand, so he was a good villain, but I wonder at him dying so easily; I wonder if there’s even more to this story than we already don’t know. But it’s not like we’re desperate to find out; at least not from this team.  They didn’t put together a compelling film, which should have perhaps been easy given the violent content.  But perhaps not, maybe it was harder than they imagined, which is reflected in the final product we were given.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.40 (16×9 1080p HD) and shot using an Arri Alexa SXT camera with Cooke S4, Speed Panchro, and Fujinon Alura lenses, the video quality of the Blu-ray is on par with its delivery; fine but not really enticing.  The color was muted, often dark, but the sets were pretty excellent, and I felt like they were really paying attention to detail when recreating the history.

Audio – The disc was done in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, with an option of English SDH and Spanish subtitles.  That’s it as far as the audio options, no more are available, and the music throughout is about as forgettable as the video.

Extras – There are just a bare few special features on the Blu-ray; Understanding Lizzie is a 10-minute featurette, there is a group of other trailers from Lionsgate, and the menu can be bookmarked.

Final Thoughts

Recommended. Lizzie has an intriguing setup and some chemistry between its leads, but that’s as far as the positives go.  Either the story doesn’t support a dramatic retelling or this wasn’t the crew to tell it, because something was missing.  The movie was mostly boring with moments of quality, but those moments were too few and far between.  I wanted to enjoy the high drama, but the action was too muted and uneven.  Stewart was strong, Sheridan was scary, but Sevigny wasn’t up to snuff; I needed more from her as the lead actor and driving force of the plot.  The video is only OK, the audio is as vanilla, and the extras aren’t plentiful, so forget the technical aspects.  I can’t imagine who this movie was aimed toward; experts would probably find flaws, and the rest of us simply won’t be interested.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Colette

Category : DVD Review

Director: Wash Westmoreland

Starring: Keira Knightley, Dominic West

Year: 2018

Keira Knightley simply doesn’t age; she’s been the period piece It Girl for years now, since Pride & Prejudice perhaps, and that’s more than thirteen years ago.  Some other actresses have popped up as her replacement (Mia Wasikowska), but since she doesn’t seem to get any older, why try to fix what isn’t broken?  She’s now approaching her mid-30s, but can still steal these young debutant roles, and since there’s absolutely no one who’s quite on her level, I think we could see her continue this game for another thirteen years, why not, she’s lasted this young.  She’s talented, remarkable, beautiful, and has succeeded in whatever has been thrown her way; it’s about time we recognize Knightley as the special actress she is and the icon she will someday be.

The Movie

Gabrielle is a simple, single girl from the French countryside; her family is well-to-do enough, she loves her town, the nature that surrounds it, and her greatest hope is to marry the famed writer “Willy”, who is a friend of the family and who has already fallen head over heels for this darling young lady.  The pair marry, move to Willy’s Paris home/office, and begin their life together, though it’s nothing either of them thought it would be.  Willy is famous yet broke, always scheming for the next franc, always gambling away profits, sometimes writing something original, but usually relying on the clever words of others and passing them through under his name so that they can sell.  The Parisian literary world isn’t simple, that’s for sure.

Gabrielle finds this out quickly for herself when Willy asks her to write for his as well.  The two have by now had their fair share of troubles; Willy’s philandering, repossession of assets, broken promises.  But she, now going by her second name, Colette, has begun to push back against the assumptions that the husband will have all the fun while the wife will stay quietly at home.  As she begins to write, Colette begins to see the world from a different point of view, and her tastes come into focus more keenly as she begins to wonder what it is she truly desires, not what the world desires of her.  Unorthodox relationships, unusual dress, new hairstyles, provocative books; Colette begins experimenting and begins also to find what makes her uniquely happy.

The messages here are clear, and there are a lot of them.  Colette is a figure that represents the changing role of women, the freedom to love whomever you want, the difficulty in dressing and acting and being however you choose, the pushback that’s inevitable whenever change threatens.  Colette sleeps with women, she dresses like a man, she begins acting, she tells the world that she’s the actual author of these boundary-pushing stories; she won’t sit meekly by as others take the credit and have the fun.  I didn’t know anything about this historical figure going in, so it was fascinating to see the story played out, and to see these themes from the point of view of this era in a way I’m sure I never have before.

Knightley knows this role inside and out, and although I’m sure Colette gave her certain challenges, it was obvious that she slid into the character and the era and the style seamlessly because she knew exactly what to do.  I haven’t grown tired of her yet, I love that she has the ability to inhabit these characters, but I guess eventually we’ll need someone else to fill this void, when Keira has grown up and moved on, which will be a bittersweet day.  She’s so talented, Dominic West was a good backdrop for her to shine against, and wow the costumes and sets, they were something to remember.  But the rest, honestly, was a bit tedious and a bit boring.  We’ve seen these movies before, they are usually a bit sleepy even while being interesting, and it’s hard to get excited about the expected results.  That’s not a harsh criticism, but it is prevalent enough through the film to make it unable to soar; the ceiling was low, it met expectations, but won’t be something we ever recall with passion.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 (1080p HD Widescreen) and shot using an Arri Alexa camera, the video quality of the Blu-ray is on par with what we’ve seen from this media and this genre before, without any real surprises.  The sets and costumes are extravagant, the colors and lights are well-used, the picture is crisp; everything you’d expect from a Blu-ray of a period piece drama.

Audio – The disc was done in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, with an option of English Descriptive Video Service Dolby Digital 2.0.  Subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish.  The audio quality is rather nice, with a pleasant backing score that suits the mood and an adequate balance between dialogue and music.  The sound may not wow, but it is definitely not a distraction.

Extras – There are a few special features on the Blu-ray, though nothing to get too excited about.  There are five Deleted Scenes, The Story Behind Colette is a 2-minute featurette giving some background, Notes On A Scene is an 8-minute featurette with the director, and there is a Costume Design Photo Gallery for those interested in that aspect.

Final Thoughts

Recommended.  Where Colette goes wrong is in thinking that every viewer will be as excited about this content as the director, because while the characters, themes, and messages are interesting, they also require a bit of energy to get fully behind, and the film doesn’t provide enough oomph to keep eyelids from drooping.  That’s the film’s main flaw, that it’s sleepy and slow, with fascinating pieces but not “exciting” enough of an entire product to keep attention focused as long as is necessary.  Knightley’s still got it, West was strong, there are many positives to point to, it’s just a matter of each audience member’s keen interest, and mine often wandered as the movie slowly dripped on.  The video was solid, the audio as well, and there are a few bonus features, so the technical aspects don’t fail the film.  It’s simply that the film itself will bore more often than it entices, resulting in a feature that will never break through the boundaries of its genre.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 


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DVD Review – Basic Instinct 2

Category : DVD Review

Director: Michael Caton-Jones

Starring: David Morrissey, Sharon Stone, David Thewlis

Year: 2006

For boasting a star-studded cast and having been built upon a classic, albeit one of the cult variety, Basic Instinct 2 is shockingly bad.  I say that knowing that most will not be shocked by that news, because they saw the quality of this film coming a mile away, but I can’t let it slide upon its crappy sequel status and its lack of expectation.  Based on how well Basic Instinct works, and I should tell you that I think it works very well, its successor should have been better, simply better, regardless of how little we thought of its chances.  But this awful attempt at a steamy thriller is an embarrassment and nothing else, a gross byproduct of something much better that doesn’t deserve our time.

The Movie

Catherine Tramell might have left San Francisco, but she didn’t leave her murderous murderess ways behind her as she moved to London, she kept those close to her blackened heart.  Not surprisingly, one of her boyfriends has ended up dead again, and she’s almost too guilty to be the actual killer.  She’s also too confident in her own ability to get away with the crime to be believed; is she a genius, a psychopath, or both?  She’s got most fooled, she has some turned on, some enraged, but she walks around like an untouchable goddess who can throw lives away on a whim, and she’ll continue to do so until someone proves that they can stop her.

Successful analyst Michael Glass seems to be her latest target of seduction and deceit, and he becomes her therapist after she is accused of killing her football star boyfriend, the first of many bodies that seem to keep popping up everywhere she goes.  Michael is entrances by her, in love with her, scared of her, and doesn’t know whether to turn her over to the police or revel in the debauchery.  She’s a slippery fish, and he can’t quite catch her, and perhaps doesn’t want to, because what would he do with her then?  People in Michael’s own life start dying, setting him down a path toward murder himself, but he might not be up to pulling the trigger, especially when it’s aimed at such a lovely creature.

I knew that this movie was going to be terrible, we all did when it came out, there was no chance of anything else, and yet I’m still disappointed because something better should have been done with these characters and this back story; it had real potential once upon a time, but was apparently only strong enough for a one night stand.  Or else Michael Caton-Jones is no Paul Verhoeven, which is probably also true, exactly as 2006 David Morrissey is no 1992 Michael Douglas.  On every level, this sequel is a slap in the face to the original, a sad attempt at a cash grab that blows up in the faces of the filmmakers and the cast like a defective explosive, and an especially messy one at that.

That’s another part that makes me mad; the cast, because there are some gems here that deserved better.  David Thewlis is a treasure and was completely wasted, Charlotte Rampling is an icon and her name is sullied by this movie, and even Hugh Dancy deserves better than his stupid character and his minimal screen time.  Any positives were wasted as the negatives shoved their way to the foreground, and wow were they loud once they got to the front.  Sharon Stone lost whatever talent she might have possessed when she turned her body into plastic pieces, and she ought to be laughed off the stage from now on.  The writing was awful, the plot stupid, the sex silly, the thread nonsensical, and any inherent angst from the franchise was wasted on this complete failure, one that should never be references as a real film ever again.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (1080p) and shot using Panavision cameras and lenses, the video quality of the film is so much better than its actual quality that there should be a law passed that says such disparity is now illegal.  The picture is clear, if tending toward darkness, and the interiors are interesting, but the visuals could not possibly counteract the cinematic problems that make up 99% of the rest.

Audio – The Blu-ray was done in English 5.1 Surround Sound DTS-HD, with options of English 2.0 PCM and French 5.1 Surround Sound.  Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, and French.  The audio is fairly nice, with a good nod to the theme song that haunted the original, but don’t look for much new thought throughout.

Extras – There are a few special features on the disc, if you’re looking to torture yourself.  The theatrical version of the film is standard, but there is also an extended version available, although it’s only two minutes longer.  Audio Commentary for the movie can be turned on/off.  Between the Sheets is an 11-minute featurette/making of segment.  10 deleted scenes are available, with audio commentary options.  And there are 7 trailers as well.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  I would watch this movie again if you paid me, but we’d have to negotiate the terms, because it would take a lot to subject myself to such torture a second time.  I guess I’ve seen worse thrillers randomly on Netflix or Cinemax or whathaveyou, but none with this pedigree, none that should have known better.  That’s what makes this film so bad; it should have known and been better, but it was so poorly handled that it didn’t come anywhere close.  That makes it intrinsically worse, and I hated basically every minute.  The video was fairly nice, the audio was OK, the extras were unnecessary, so don’t look to the technical aspects to save the day.  Just stay far, far away, I think that’s best, and let’s pretend the 90s didn’t spawn all these attempts to recapture what we once held so dear.

☆- Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay