The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brother for Review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
When we last left Oliver Queen (End of Arrow season 6) he was being locked up in a maximum security prison for being the Green Arrow. He was locked up, but Ricardo Diaz (The big bad) was still on the lose and Felicity and William had to go into hiding. The arrow gang was all done with everyone going their separate ways. Diggle did ok joining Lyla at Argus, the others took normal jobs. When we start Season Seven Oliver is still locked up in Slabside Penitentiary and he has lots of old friends to keep him company. Bronze Tiger, Danny “Brick” Brickwell, and Derek Sampson (Cody Rhodes). Oliver tries to keep his head low as best he can but we all know that won’t last long as Diaz has returned with the Longbow Hunters in attempt to steal weaponry from Star City, and hunt down Felicity and William to murder them for revenge against Oliver ruining his plans to take over the city.
All is not lost however as Diggle is hot on the case with ARUGUS agents, and there is a new vigilante in town dressed exactly like The Green Arrow. Rene is all for this and helps the new Arrow out any chance he gets angering Diana in the process. The flashbacks are gone this season as they have been replaced with “Flash Forwards” It centers around William twenty years from now. traveling to Lian Yu to get help from Roy Harper. The two travel back to Star City in search of Felicity who disappeared years prior. They meet John Diggle’s son, as well as Felicity’s daughter, the sister William did not know about named Mia. They are working on not only trying to find Felicity but save the city from total destruction. We also get to meet Emiko Queen, the half sister Oliver was unaware of who may or may not have evil intentions.
Oliver does manage to stay locked up for the first 7 episodes which is actually very cool as most shows simply would have glossed over that in a matter of one episode. The action is at an all-time high especially during the big prison riot in episode 7. Its one of the best episodes of the series so far as it’s a not stop action hour as Oliver (along with a little help) makes his way through the prison to get to Diaz, who has managed to take it over.
And my favorite part of each season is included, the annual Arrowverse Crossover event. This time the entire 3 parter is included (Supergirl and Flash being the other episodes as Legends was not in this years) This time it was Elseworlds. And it may have been the most important crossover yet. It featured the Flash from Earth-90 coming to our earth to warn us that our world was going to be destroyed by the Monitor. The Monitor has traveled to our earth to give a mysterious book to John Deegan, a crazy psychiatrist who practices at Arkham Asylum. He uses the book to rewrite the timeline. Part of this rewrite is that Oliver is now The Flash living our Barry Allen’s life, while Barry is now the Green Arrow living out Oliver’s Life. They are the only two who realize this and head to Earth 38 to get help from Supergirl and Superman. Together they travel to Gotham City and meet Kate Kane aka Batwoman. This was an amazing crossover and concludes telling us “Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same” which sets up this years crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” which is not only shaping up to change the Arrowverse, but it will also mark the end of the Arrow series.
Warner Brothers has released this set on Blu-ray, and DVD, but to get the entire 3 part Elseworlds on one set is to buy the Blu-ray. The audio and video are gorgeous. These CW shows looks fantastic, and the Blu-ray transfers just highlight how amazing they look. They really are comic books come to life. You even get a good amount of special features along with all the episodes.
The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panel San Diego 2018
Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds
Villains: Modes of Persuasion
BLU-RAY: 22 ONE-HOUR EPISODES + 2 FULL CROSSOVER EPISODES
The Slabside Redemption
Elseworlds: Hour One
Elseworlds: Hour Two
Elseworlds: Hour Three
My Name is Emiko Queen
Star City Slayer
Brothers & Sisters
Star City 2040
You Have Saved This City
Arrow has lost a few steps along the wat, but it’s still the most important comic book series of all time with the introduction of all these other shows and characters. Season Seven is a huge leap from Season 6 and will surly please fans of the series. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up for the collection.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
VHS was, when I was a kid the wave of the future. Everyone owned multiple VCR’s. Programs were recorded off tv at a record pace. The video store was the place to go to on Friday and Saturday nights. If the cover struck your eye you rented it. You didn’t read the back, you just grabbed the coolest one you could find. Lot of them even had the Rewind sticker on them. For you young folks, you had to rewind those tapes of you would get charge, depending on where you rented between $1-5.00.
VHS collectors are still out there. In fact, there are many who prefer to watch VHS over Blu-rays and 4K’s. I don’t get it to be honest, but I understand how the nostalgia factor can kick in. So why not take the best of both worlds. The VHS covers and the Blu-ray transfers. Well the fine folks over at Mill Creek have done just that. They are releasing Blu-ray’s and packaging them in a cover that looks like a VHS tape sliding out of the box. It’s pretty genius as they are using the old school style artwork. The New Kids, the newest release from Mill Creek even has the tattered "Rated R" sticker on the side
The New Kids stars Lori Loughlin, and James Spader. Directed by famed Friday the 13th Horror Director Sean S. Cunningham. Loughlin plays Abby. Abby and her brother Loren are moving into live with their Aunt and Uncle in a small Florida town after their parents are killed in an accident. They are your typical nice kids who now have to make all new friends at their new High School. They do ok and seem to fit in pretty good until they run afoul on the town gang leader Dutra (James Spader with albino like hair). He runs a gang that is pretty much responsible for anything bad that happens in town. He takes quiet a shine to Abby as does Gordo, another member of his gang. The bet on who can have sex with her first.
Unlike the average humor bet that was popular in these films from this time, Spades goes crazy when he’s rejected. Like really crazy, attempted rape and beat crazy. Loren is no punk so he has no problem taking action again Spader and his boys. Problem is Spader is nus and he eventually kills some people and kidnaps Abby so he can get Loren out of the way. They have a cool final act in the town amusement park, which is owed by Abby and Loren’s aunt and uncle.
This is not a typical 80’s teen movie. Its more like a very intense slasher. Its along the lines of films like Boys Next Door, and in some cases Friday the 13th. The editing and score really help as the film moves at a fast frantic pace. Spader is fantastic in the evil psycho part, and at times comes off downright terrifying. This is a great alternative to the standard 80’s teenage flick. Its still holds up great to this day.
I love the film and the transfer Mill Creek has done is stunning. The audio and video quality are fantastic. Everything pops off the screen and the audio blasts through your speakers. I had the film on DVD and I must say this is a marvelous upgrade.
Throw that in with the retro VHS packaging and you have a winner. I would recommend fans pick these up and collect them now while they are available. There priced to own and look really cool displayed with your other films in the retro series.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
When you think of “Satanic Temple” you think evil devil worshippers don’t you? Hell I think back to the early 80’s during the entire Satanic Panic craze that swept the nation. Heavy Metal Music, Dungeons & Dragons, Horror Movies, all of this was the tool of the Devil to get you to worship him and commit human sacrifice. I’m sure if your of age you remember all the Specials on TV warning parents about the dangers of the devil getting a hold of your children. The most memorable is the Geraldo Rivera Satan special that actually aired in prime time. Its pretty laughable now but back then it was serious business. One of his guests at the time was Anton LaVey. He is the founder and at the time high priest of the Church of Satan. Which is exactly what it sound like. A church for devil worshippers. Its actually still around to this day. Now a new documentary has just arrived entitled “Hail Satan?” you would think that its all about this, but in fact its not.
Hail Satan? (notice the question mark at the end) is not really about Satan at all, unless you think Satan is the Constitution of the United States, or in their case Rebelling against the social normality. It’s a real church, sort of. It was formed as a satanic faith organization that would meet all of the (at the time) Bush administration’s criteria to receive funding and get tax breaks, but would offend them. It worked. The IRS recognizes them as a full fledge church. They don’t pray to Satan however. They primarily protest against the separation of church and state.
Director Penny Lane found this fascinating enough to make a documentary about the group entitled “Hail Satan?” Its part documentary, part unintentional comedy. It focuses on the groups many protests where as they dress up in satanic garb and wear horn masks and other eye catching appeal to protest the separation of church and state and free expression. They can really get a crowd going to. Holding signs like “Burn Pseudoscience not Witches” There clearly an intelligent group of misfits as opposed to simple smart ass troublemakers. In 2016 the did this in Arizona, which ended up being one of their largest gatherings and were able to get the Phoenix City council to do away with the separation entirely.
Another topic the documentary details is the group trying to get a big goat headed demon statue holding a couple kids built at state capitol buildings around the world. Of course that didn’t work out, but they never really had any intention of doing it. They wanted to show how silly it was that places like Oklahoma and Arkansas when those respective states had their religious commandments removed. That didn’t really work either but it made the states in question look very foolish, it also attracted a good number of Christian protesters to rally against them.
Its satirical and though provoking at the same time. Showing how such staunch right minded individuals has clouded fact and judgements. We meet many different members of the organization and come to see them more as free thinkers as opposed to a group of simple troublemakers. I wish we could have seen a bit more of the founder in the documentary, but he prefers to be cloaked in a bit of secrecy.
With that said Hail Satan is a very thought provoking and humors documentary. Just be forewarned. If your thinking your getting in a documentary about the actual church of Satan or devil worshipping groups you would be wrong. If government and church of state satire is your thing check this out.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brother for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
La Llorona translates to “Weeping Woman”. She is a legend of Mexican folklore. The original legend is that of a woman named Maria who came from a poor family but was the most beautiful woman in the village. She meet a wealthy man who fell in love with her the second he saw her. His family approved so he and Maria began a new life together away from his family. They had 2 children together, but as time passed her husband began to fall out of love with her as she grew older. One day he left her for another woman. She became insane and drowned her two children, then committed suicide. She was denied entry into heaven and has to wander the earth looking for her children. She spends the nights wandering around crying and as legend states if you hear her cries you must run as you will be met with death.
Now granted this is just an old urban legend, but urban legends make for good horror films. And now that ghost and possession films are at a fever pitch at the box office The Legend of La Llorona has been translated into a feature length film. It’s a great one to translate as La Llorona has already been featured on an episode of Supernatural, Grimm, and countless Mexican horror films, both live action and animated. As Warner already has a giant universe with their Conjuring series and Spin-offs La Llorona is the newest film in that shared universe.
Much like the legend the film opens to find a young boy back in the 1600’s discovering his mother drowning his brother in a river. He tries to escape but she catches him and drowns him as well. The film cuts to 1973 Los Angeles where we meet Anna Garcia. She’s a case worker who is performing a welfare check on two young children. She finds the children locked in a small room, but before she can release them their mother jumps and attacks her in a fit of madness. Anna fights her off and the mother is arrested. She takes the children who are frightened to leave, yelling at Anna they need to stay locked up for their own protection. She takes them to Child Services and that night they see a woman in a white dress in the mirror who smashes through it and takes the boys.
The children are found the next day dead, drowned in the town river. There mother is being arrested for the killings, but she blames it on Anna saying if she had not taken them they would still be alive as she was hiding them from La Llorona. Unfortunately for Anna gets called to investigate the scene while she is with her children. She tells them to stay in the car but her son Chris decides to see what’s happening and is grabbed by La Llorona. It burns his arm and send him into shock. The following day her other son Sam is visited by La Llorona and burned as well.
She blames Patricia, the mother of the boys who were killed in the beginning who tells Anna that she did not harm her children, but because she blames Anna for her owns kids deaths she has prayed for La Llorona to kill her children so that she could bring hers back from the dead. When Anna witness La Llorona first hand she goes to tell her local priest who has her contact his old friend Father Perez, who if you follow these films was the priest who helped to stop Annabelle.
Ghost movies have never been my thing, but I enjoyed this one. Its fast paced, not overly bogged down with back story and plot, and features pretty likeable characters. It also runs short, about 90min which is just plenty for a film like this. Not much blood, but loaded up with jump scares. In fact my wife jumped about 19 times before I stopped counting. It’s a real fun film for horror fans.
Warner Brother has released this on a beautiful Blu-ray transfer with fantastic audio as well. Every cry from La Llorona and sweeping motion you hear from your surround sound. Its as if your house is being haunted as you watch the film. Combine this with the crisp transfer and you have a very atmospheric and creepy film on your hands. It even contains a tons of featurettes and special features.3
If your all in on the Conjuring Universe then this is another must watch for you. If your not really into those films I still say to try this one out. As I said it’s a great tightly made horror film that is sure to please anyone looking for a good creepy film to watch.
Overall 3out of 5 Stars
The following 4K Film was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own
In the early 200’s Batman comic sales were pretty slow. Not saying the character had grown stale it was kind of just going through the motions. Spreading any character out of multiple comics amounting to in some cases 2 issues a week is a bit much for any hero, even Batman. Well like everything in life, thing change in an instant. Batman had his instant in issue #608 in 2002. That is when Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee created the story arc “Hush”. Running for one year over the course of 12 issues Hush was a smash hit. Selling out left and right, going through countless reprints and spawning poster, shirts, and toys. Its one of the quintessential Batman reads of all time. And now The fine folks at Warner Brother and DC have made it an animated movie.
Hush is a new villain in the Batman Universe. When our film opens Bruce Wayne has just bumped into an old friend, Thomas Elliot who is now a brain surgeon. Before they have time to catch up Bruce is alerted that Bane has kidnaped the kid of a wealthy family for ransom money. Batman manages to defeat Bane but when he is distracted by Lady Shiva Catwoman sneaks in and steals the ransom money. Batman follows after her and after a short rooftop grappling hook chase his line is shot by a bandaged up sniper. For some reason Batman doesn’t have a spare grappling hook this time and crashed to the ground below. Catwoman is able to escape and we see her giving the money to Poison Ivy, who has Catwoman under her spell.
Catwoman has no real alliance so she tells Batman, who has sense recovered that she was working for Ivy. After another battle with Bane, who managed to escape arrest Batman and Catwoman track Ivy to Metropolis where they find she has been using a type of Kryptonite lipstick to control superman. Luckily Batman is packing kryptonite brass knuckles and beats him down long enough for Catwoman to throw Lois Lane off a roof causing Superman to come to and save her. Ivy tells them she was working for a man named Hush
It turns out Hush has been really really busy as he has not only kidnapped the Joker, forcing Harley Quinn to attempt to Kill Bruce Wayne, who he knows is Batman, but he also get The Riddler, and The Scarecrow to help in his plan of destroying Batman as well. Batman has help not only from Nightwing and Batgirl, but from Catwoman who he has developed a romantic interest in.
Jason O’Mara returns to voice Batman and like the rest of the voice actors does an amazing job. The animation is top notch and like all of DC’s animated films this one is a winner. The voice acting, the pacing, the story everything is done perfectly. It shares continuity with the other animated films. There animated films are just second to none. Between there TV shows and animated films they have a lock on the small screen audience. The video and audio on this 4K is amazing. Its one of the best looking cartoons to date and that’s saying something. Video and audio are top notch to match the rest of the presentation.
Now I have to say this. Its known that I am a comic collector, with Batman being my favorite hero. With that said I did read and enjoy Hush, well most of it, but I wont spoil anything. The artwork and storytelling were so different than any other Batman story at the time it blew me away. With that said. If you have read Hush this is a very condensed version. So condensed that some elements are omitted, and others are changed. The main plot point is close to intact but many of the sublots have been altered, sadly that includes my favorite subplot. Now lets also keep one thing in mind for all of you who have read the comics. A scene for scene translation would have been a 17hr movie at best. And I’m sorry, but that too much
With that said the film is still good, fantastic even. It’s another fantastic addition to the DC Universe and if you like there animated films then you will love this one as well. It’s a good watch from top to bottom and I highly recommend picking it up.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for Review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
In 1995 a franchise known as Pocket Monsters came out. The monsters itself were called “Pokémon” It was a game boy game then a trading card game, then a cartoon, and now almost 25 years later its still a global phenomenon. I remember going into my local comic book store when the little stuffed animal came out. I saw a purple one with a hypnotic wheel on its stomach and thought it was cool. I bought it and put it in my Camaro. I have had a lot of cars since then and in fact just a few months ago bought a new Jeep Liberty. That same little guy sits on the dash of my new car, as he has all my past cars. He has been traveling with me for all these years and I never had a name for him. Well a few years ago my son started playing the Pokémon card game and informed my his name was “Pollywhirl” I may not know much about Pokémon but my son sure does. So because of him I learned to play the card game and watched countless hours of the cartoon show. So when it was announced that they were making a live action movie with Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, my sons favorite comic character) as the voice of Pikachu I knew I would be going to see it.
Detective Pikachu takes place in the Pokémon universe where humans and Pokémon co-exist. We meet Tim, he was a promising Pokémon player who after his mother passed away decided to grow up and become and insurance salesman. He father is a cop in Ryme City. See in Ryme City Pokémon live side by side with the humans, as opposed to the usual human trainer Pokémon fighter routine. One day Tim gets a call saying his father has been killed in a car accident. He travels to Ryme City but when he gets to his father old apartment he takes a face full of gas. This gas doesn’t hurt Tim, but it sure makes all the Pokémon in the area insane. It also gives Tim the ability to speak to, and understand the Pokémon’s language. He meets a yellow Pokémon named Pikachu that he is able to communicate with. It turns out Pikachu is a detective who was helping Tim’s father Harry on a case when Harry disappeared. I say disappeared as his body was never recovered, and Pikachu believes he’s still alive. Tim decides to help Pikachu investigate further.
Now one thing definitely standing in the team’s way is the fact Pikachu has amnesia. He only remembers a few choice things, one luckily enough are most of the details of the case. He and Harry were looking for a developer of “R-Gas”, the stuff Tim took a face full of. Turns out this gas will not only make Pokémon go nuts it will make them bigger, stronger, and more violent. Like a steroid gas for Pokémon. The two have help in the form of a reporter named Lucy Stevens, who also thinks Harry is still alive, and Howard Cliff, the man who created Ryme City. Throughout the film they will fight off and team with various Pokémon in the hopes of not only solving Harrys disappearance, stopping the R-Gas from infecting the city, and getting Pikachu his memory back.
If you love Pokémon then you will be in heaven. Charizard, Mewtwo, Psyduck, Greninja’s, and more. They look fantastic. Visually this is a stunning film. Every action sequence is beautiful. Ryan Reynolds does an amazing job as the voice of Pikachu. Using his trademark smart-ass tone and trademark sarcasm he really brings the character to life. Even though he is simply voicing a cgi character he is the scene steal and star of the movie. The film has the humor, the looks, and enough Pokémon to make any fan of the games happy. My son could not get enough of it. He’s already waiting for the inevitable sequel. It’s a stunning funny action packed film for Pokémon fans.
That unfortunately is the problem. If you play the games, and watch the cartoon your all set. You will know every backstory, every fact, every detail of the film will appeal to you. However if you don’t play or watch you will be utterly confused. I had no idea what the hell was going on with most of the characters. No one was slowly introduced. You are expected to know everything. This film entirely skips the origin story and just stars off like we have all grown up with Pokémon are entire lives and should know all about them. Now like I said if you did grow up and are a fan then this is definitely a crowd pleaser for you. I’m not saying it is fun to watch, as the collapsing forest scene alone is worth the view, you just wont “Get it” on a level that fans will.
As I stated the film looks fantastic and the Blu-ray transfer by Warner Brother only exemplifies this. The video and audio are great. The Pokémon look as colorful on the screen as they do in animated form. You can hear all there little voices and background noises perfectly. As I mentioned there is a scene in the film where the group is trying to escape a collapsing Poke-forest of some sort that is just breathtaking. It looks so great and the audio just bellows from the speakers.
Overall this is a fun movie that fans will love. If you have never seen it, or just don’t know every little thing about the Pokémon universe you will find yourself lost at times. Had it been done as an origin story I would have probably liked it better.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars!
In 1972 a record came out called The Harder They Come. It was one of the most influential recordings of all time. It brought Reggae and Ska to an American audience. It was so immensely popular both her and in Jamaica it ranks 119 on Rolling Stones greatest albums of all-time list. It took a form of music that was at the time only played in Jamaica and made it an international success. Jimmy Cliff, the man responsible for the music was granted the highest honor that can be given from the Jamaican government for his work. He is one of only two musicians to hold the Order of Merit. And this album in question is actually a simple soundtrack from the film The Harder They Come.
The Harder They Come stars singer Jimmy Cliff as Ivan Martin. He has just moved to Kingston Jamaica to live with his mother when he meets a man named Jose who take shim to see Django. The original Django, the best western ever made. He loves it and begins to love big city living, as he came from a small town. He manages to get a couple odd jobs, working for a church and running errand for a record producer. He finds and rebuilds an old bicycle for a means of transportation. He also writes songs. One of those is called “The Harder They Come” He ends up recording it for a record company but only makes $20.00. He needs money so Jose gets him a job selling weed.
Things are going good for Ivan until he demands more money from Jose for all the work he is doing. Jose doesn’t take kindly to this and sets Ivan up to get busted on his next deal. Things go south when the cop stops him, but Ivan grabs a gun and shoots the cop. He escapes only to be cornered again by multiple cops who he shoots down. Not only does the heat get turned up high on Ivan, but on all the other drug dealers in the area who are shaken down by the cops looking for Ivan.
Now as all of this is going on the record company decides to start playing his song as he is now basically a local celebrity for being a cop killer. The song hits it big, thus creating even more pressure on Ivan to escape the country. So he can hopefully live out the life of a Reggae superstar.
Filmed in Jamaica on a small budget the film was an instant hit. The accents in the film are so strong that when the film made its way to the states subtitles were actually added. It was a big hit during the midnight movie boom of the 70’s in NY and was praised by critics and fans alike. Its considered a classic and it has been updated to not only a novel, but as a stage play in the UK as well. The soundtrack, as I stated in the beginning was a hit that brought Reggae music into American culture.
Cliff, who had not acted before this film was absolutely fantastic as Ivan. He gives a great performance and even came to the states to perform on Saturday Night Live in 1975. He did not pursue acting as his main focus unfortunately and continued to concentrate on his music career, which was incredibly successful. He recorded man albums that were both popular here as well as in Jamaica. He even worked on the Hakuna Matata song from the Lion King soundtrack. And for genre fans he was also heard in the Steven Seagal masterpiece Marked For Death.
The Harder They Come has had many various releases on home video here in the states, but now its getting the full treatment it so richly deserves. Shout Factory under their Shout Select Banner has picked this up and given it the collectors edition it needs. The video is simply outstanding. It looks as though it was filmed yesterday with digital camera its so clean. The audio, especially the soundtrack thunders through your speakers. This is a beautiful release of a classic film, that Shout Factory is famous for. And not only do you get a ton of extras on this 3 disc set you even get director Perry Henzels lost film No Place Like Home. Look at all of this
DISC 1: THE HARDER THEY COME
· NEW 4K Scan From The Original 16mm Negative
· NEW Audio Commentary With Author David Katz (Jimmy Cliff: An Unauthorized Biography)
· "One And All: The Phenomenon Of The Harder They Come"
· "Hard Road To Travel: The Making Of The Harder They Come"
· Vintage Interviews With Actor Jimmy Cliff, Producer Arthur Gorson And Director Perry Henzell
· Interview With Director Of Photography David MacDonald
· Interview With Line Producer Yvonne Brewster
· "The Harder They Come" Music Video
· Still Gallery
DISC 2: NO PLACE LIKE HOME
· NEW Restoration From The Original 16mm Film Elements
· NEW Audio Commentary With Sally Henzell, David Garonzik, Cookie Kinkaed, And Arthur Gorson
· NEW "Perry Henzell: A Filmmaker's Odyssey"
· NEW "Rise Up From The Cutting Room Floor" – The Restoration Of No Place Like Home
· NEW Audio Bonus Feature – P.J. Soles Original Vocal Track And Original Acoustic Guitar Demo By Steven Soles For The Song “World Full Of Beauty”
· Theatrical Trailer
DISC 3: BONUS DISC – The Legacy Of Perry Henzell: A Story Of Jamaican Cinema
· NEW "Filmin' In The Gully" – Anatomy Of Three Scenes – With Cinematographer Franklyn “Chappy” St. Juste
· NEW "Duppies In The Control Room" – Dynamic Sounds Studios Then And Now
· NEW "10A – Jamaica's Film Yard" – The Story Of Perry Henzell's Kingston Home And Production Center – Featuring Sally Henzell, Jason Henzell, Justine Henzell, And More
· NEW A Conversation With Sir Ridley Scott
· NEW "Out Of Many: One Filmmaker" – The Disciples Of Perry Henzell”
· NEW "Everyone A Star: The Original Cast" – Including Actors P.J. Soles, Carl Bradshaw, And Winston Stona
· NEW “Big Heap Of Help: The Original Supporting Team” – Interviews With Perry’s Personal Assistant Beverly Manley And More
· NEW “Roots: The Family Henzell” – Including Interviews With Sally Henzell, Justine Henzell, And Jason Henzell
· NEW “How Perry Rocked The World” – Interviews With Historian Chris Salewicz, Composer Steven Soles, And More
· NEW “Live From The Reggae Awards” – Interviews Conducted At The Jaria Awards, Kingston’s Annual Music Awards Show
This is a great film, that should be viewed by everyone. It truly was a revolutionary game changer in terms of cinema and music. It shows what a small film can accomplish. The story, slightly based on a real criminal is very intriguing and the acting like I stated is top notch. It’s a must own for any film fans collection.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
I’m fortunate to not be afraid of many things. I don’t like heights, but I still can muster up the courage to head up, albeit slowly a ladder to hang Christmas ornaments. Roller Coasters also freak me out but I have so far been able to still convince my son that he has to ride them with mom because I am allergic. That should still work for another year if I’m lucky. But the one fear I cannot mask is that of Spiders. I am simply terrified of them. I don’t care if it’s a little dust spider I freak and have someone else step on it. I can even so much as look at one without getting the chills. I remember when Arachnophobia (a condition I really do have) came out and all my friends told me how funny it was. There was nothing funny about it. I could not sleep for days. I had my eyes shut through most of the last half and was still terrified. Because of that I avoided stuff like Eight Legged Freaks, Giant Spider, Lava Spider, basically anything with a spider. But when the good people at Scream Factory asked me to review a new film coming out called Itsy Bitsy I said sure. Then I saw the poster with big spider legs and thought “Ohh God no!” Still I logged on and sat down for what I knew would be a frightening time.
Its Bitsy comes out running. We see a voodoo type ceremony when a bunch of painted up cannibal looking folks cut open a web light a fire drink some blood, or poison or something of that nature while flashes of a big ass spider pop up. It was within those first two minutes I started sweating. We then fast forward and meet Kara. She’s your typical single mom raising two little kids who gets a job taking care of an elderly man named Walter. He’s a wealthy man who needs a private nurse to take care of him as he suffers from crippling multiple sclerosis. It’s a pretty good gig. Here and her kids get to live in the big guest house and the pay is fantastic. Apart from her oldest son Jessie being in full on angst from having to move and leave his friends behind everything is good. Her daughter, Cammy doesn’t mind living there at all.
Well it turns out that Walter is an appraiser and collector of antiques and oddities. One night he is brought the black egg from the ceremony we saw in the beginning. A deal was made but as the man bringing Walter the egg lost a loved one getting it he demands more money for his troubles. Walter refuses and the two have words. The man storm off leaving the egg as Kara and her family arrive and start to get settled in. Things seem a bit odd at first but tend to work out quickly. Cammy loves exploring the giant home and Jessie even bonds with Walter. In fact he begins helping Walter with all the antiques around the home.
Unfortunately things don’t stay happy as our man who brought the egg is still mad he didn’t get a bigger hunk of cash for it. He sneaks back into the hose and after panicking smashes the egg. Unfortunately it contains a giant cave spider that bites him before scurrying off. By giant I mean giant. Not hokey big like a monster movie but very big, like a few feet tall and wide. Its also mean and poisonous. Our would be robber flees to his car but is overcome by the poison and dies shortly after. Now the spider decides to stick around and begins moving from Walters house to the guest house where Kara and her family live. It also likes to go to the attic to lay hundreds of spider eggs. From there it gets even more terrifying as the family has to contend with a giant killer spider and its hatchlings.
This film scared the hell out of me. I had a hard time sitting through it actually covering my eyes and getting the chills at certain points. Let me tell you that big ass hairy spider is terrifying. I wear short to bed, and every time my blanket so much as moved I jumped out of bed thinking a spider was on me. I swear every speck of dust I saw was a killer spider. And I must say this spider is deadly. Glowing eyes, ability to split in half, fast, just horrifying.
The films looked great with a solid cast and a tight script. It moved quickly and the effects both CG and practical were great. To great as I swear that thing was real. It’s been picked up by Shout Studios and is getting a VOD and limited theatrical run on August 30th. The film was very well made and I’m sure even more terrifying on a big screen.
Overall I hated the film because it made my scared and cold, and jittery. However that is the sign of a good horror movie so I have to give it a high mark. If your scared of spiders you will be very afraid of this film and scared for days after. If your not scared of spiders you will be after watching Itsy Bitsy.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
“The trick is staying alive!” That’s one of the taglines for one of my favorite exploitation films, Vice Squad. “Trick” in this case also means hooker in this nasty piece of trash from 1982 starring Wings Hauser and Season Hubley. It’s definitely a film that would not be made today. And that’s not a bad thing. This is a true piece of gritty cinema. Beloved by horror and exploitation fans alike. It’s a chilling film that is definitely not for the squeamish. I remember seeing it when I was just a kid and being absolutely terrified of Wings Hauser If the film didn’t have such an extreme subject matter (and graphic violence for that matter) he probably would have been nominated for quiet a few awards. Its definitely a film you won’t forget.
Hauser stars as Ramrod a mean vicious pimp who likes wearing a cowboy hat and driving around in his Bronco that says “RAMROD” right on the side. He had no problem keeping his girls in line by beating them half to death. Actually he has no problem not only beating them but anyone who crosses him. He beats random Johns, other pimps, even a cop if they get in his way. One of his girls is Ginger makes the mistake of trying to keep some of his cut so her tracks her down to a seedy motel and talks real sweet to her through the door until she lets him in. Well once he is in things go from bad to worse fast as Ramrod grabs Ginger, givers her a beating, ties her up, gags her, then proceeds to “Pimp Stick” her in a very bad place. Not surprisingly she dies a few minutes later.
Ginger had a good friend on the streets named Princess. She’s also a hooker and she is devastated to learn that her friend has been murdered. She also knows that Ramrod did it and fingers him to the cops. Problem is there is no witness. Luckily Detective Walsh )Gary Swanson in a great role) has a plan. He’s been trying to bring Ramrod down for a long time and convinces Ginger to wear a wire and get Ramrod to confess. They figure he will need a new girl and Ginger would fit the bill. The plan works pretty well and Ramrod gets busted. Problem is he escapes while in custody and proceeds to hunt Ginger down so he can kill her.
I cannot stress two things enough. This is a chilling movie. Not for the faint of heart, and not for everyone. Its also a great film with an amazing performance by Hauser. Sure he’s playing a vile disgusting pimp but he plays it to such perfection he ended up being type-cast as a bad guy for tons of films to follow. The cinematography is fantastic as well. Taking place at night in the seedy underbelly of the big city with flashing light and sirens and wet streets throughout. Everything about this film is dark and sinister.
Scream Factory has once again stepped in to give this classic the collectors treatment it deserves. This is an amazing transfer from top to bottom. The picture is done so well. Everything is still dark and dirty looking but all the other colors from the red and blue police lights, to the water on the streets, to the lights on all the marquees around the strip are vibrant. Avoiding that dreaded blue tint that haunts many transfers of dark films Scream Factory has done this one perfectly. The audio is amazing as you can hear every little bit of background noise from people yelling, to cars, to screams everything feels like its coming to life. It also boasts a stellar amount of special features.
NEW 4K Scan Of The Negative
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Gary Sherman And Producer Brian Frankish
NEW Tracking The Beast – An Interview With Actor Gary Swanson
NEW Of Poltergeist And Neon Lights – An Interview With Director Gary Sherman
NEW Hollywood Magic – An Interview With Producer Brian Frankish
NEW The Roots Of Reality – An Interview With Actress Beverly Todd
NEW Catching A Killer – An Interview With Actor Pepe Serna
NEW Princess Driver – An Interview With Actor Michael Ensign
NEW Hollywood Streetwalking – A Look At The Locations
Audio Commentary With Director Gary Sherman
Still Galleries – Poster And Lobby Cards, Publicity Stills, Press Kit
Hands down this is one of the best exploitation films ever made. I saw it for the first time on HBO and I never forgot it. Hauser is absolutely terrifying and this transfer is just immaculate. Like I said its not for everyone but if old school Drive-Inn style films are your thing this is a must own. Scream Factory pulled out all the stops and made this one a must own.
Overall 4out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray set was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you like drama? Do you like suspense? Do you like mysteries that cannot be explained? Then Manifest is a show for you. Combining conspiracies along with almost supernatural style elements Manifest brings a lot to the table. I don’t want to compare it to Lost like a lot of people have as they are very different shows. Backed by a great cast and good tension filled writing Manifest is definitely a show that will hook you on the first episode.
Manifest is the story of the passengers aboard Montego Air Flight 828. Flying from Jamaica back to New York the plane begins to experience a significant amount of turbulence. Although a scary amount it only last for barley a minute. The plane comes out of it and lands safely at the New York International Airport. At first no one is allowed to exit the plane as the NSA arrives right on the scene. It turns out that even though the plane landed right after the turbulence, 5 years have actually passed. Everyone on the plane was pronounced dead and the flight was believed to have crashed.
We get to know these passages throughout the season. The main two being Michaela, the police officer who while she was gone lost her fiancé to her best friend. Saanvi who did research for a pharmaceutical company finds out that before she vanished one of her projects ended up helping to cure pediatric cancer. And Ben, the brother of Michaela who was also on board. Now not only is what happened to the plane a mystery but all of the passengers begin hearing strange voices in their heads. That’s pretty good for Michaela as she is able to use those voices to help her solve crimes. Not that great for others as it can cause you to go a little mad. All of the passengers do hear the same voice telling them to return to the air plane, which is still being held at the International airstrip for investigation. The problem with this is when everyone gets there the plane explodes.
The NSA, who may or may not know what is going on become part of the mystery as they instruct everyone not to speak to the media about what happened, both while on the plane, and after it has exploded. Throughout the season as people get the urge to talk they end up murdered. Not only this but as the season progresses we learn that a facility know as Unified Dynamic Systems has actually taken eleven of the passengers, who they believe no one will miss and begin doing experiments on them. We also learn what the loved ones in peoples lives did while the passengers were away.
Throughout the first season we experience conspiracy theories, government conspiracy, and things that simply cannot be explained. From the strange voices telling the passengers to “Follow”, “Find”, and “Stop” we are taken on a giant twisting and turning mystery that slowly unfolds before our eyes. Its not hard to follow but it has tons of different pieces to the puzzle. Why is no one allowed to speak about what happened? Why are passengers being murdered? And most importantly where are the voices in these people heads coming from? Well I wont spoil anything but we don’t know yet.
I did not watch the show when it originally aired, and that may be a good thing. I say that because the entire show is a giant cliffhanger. So having to wait an entire week would be hell. I was able to pop in the Blu-ray and just binge it over the weekend. This really is a great one to binge watch as you keep wanting to find out what happens next. The season consisted of 16 episodes all of which will keep you in suspense from beginning to end. As many twists as the show takes without resolve it never gets annoying or slow. You just keep waiting for the next episode, and that is a sign of a good show.
Overall this is a great pick up if you have never seen the show. The quality on the Blu-rays is fantastic, it has a few extra features and its definitely the epitome of a binge watching show. Definitely worth checking out.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!