What movies have you seen lately? Now with reviews!Movies 

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The end credits cave painting style animation implies that more Predators arrived at some point after the movie finished and presumably that's when they get that pistol before handing it to Danny Glover at the end of Predator 2. That's probably what you are already assuming though.

That's what I figured to be the case. Trachtenberg wants to do more installments after this one, and if they're as good as Prey — bring 'em on and never stop. :lol:
 
I haven't seen Prey and probably won't watch it. Because nothing can compare to the original for me. Mac's point about body mass is spot on. :lol: Arnold, Weathers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Bill Duke (ironically named Mac in the movie, though Mac from Philly doesn't mention it), the dude who plays Billy...Not to mention the classic scenes and lines; "You son of a bitch!" as Arnold and Carl lock arms, "Get to the choppa!", "If it bleeds, we can kill it", etc.
 
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Prey

This was great. I'll keep this short and sweet as the movie released only 3 days ago and I don't want to say much as it's still brand new. If you like Predator and have been pining for a good installment — this is it. The Predator looks amazing and its helmet/face mask is badass. There's a point, early in the movie, where a certain thing happens, and if you've seen the original you'll immediately think "Oh, that's a nice callback", however, it's not utilized the way you think it's going to be, and I love the movie for that.

That's not the only callback either. Though, one particular one raises an important question: how do they get it back? I can assume but it's never really answered.

Whatever. See this. Yesterday. Eat food and/or snacks. You won't regret anything.
Watched it at the weekend and it was fantastic. As a huge fan of the original I was on the fence but I shouldn’t have worried.
 
250


B+.

Naru learned through failure and grew as a person, like a real character!

Setups were paid off, like a real movie!

Beautiful scenery. Intimidating Predator, with cool retro weapons. A very good dog. Not a bad way to spend 99 minutes.

Shame they didn't go full Apocalypto with subtitled Comanche, and that some of the CGI was a bit wonky.
 
Citizen Kane
4K - HDR10 - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 9/10
I’m ashamed to say in all the years I’ve been watching cinema, I’d never seen this film. Considered by many as a masterpiece.

I won’t give away the story as some may still never have watched it, but I have to say I found it entertaining. Maybe a little over melodramatic in places but overall a great turn of performances by the main man and his co-stars.

As far as the story goes it’s interesting but it just didn’t keep me enthralled enough.

Image - 8/10
I’m watching this for the first time in 4K, so I’ve never seen it on any other format to do a direct comparison.

So does it look good on the new 4K transfer? Yes and no, it’s a real mixed bag. I’m sure it looks much better that previous formats but it’s by far not a stunner. Lots of transitions soften some shots and others looks really detailed and lovely.

It seems to have been shot with a lot of natural light so at times people are deep in shadow and while the HDR does help with shadow detail it’s not a way of film making we seen today or at least not very often.

Film grain is here but it’s well controlled and doesn’t hamper the image.

It’s safe to say this film isn’t a demo worthy disk to whip out and show off to friends and family, it is however a good transfer of a film 71 years old. I can’t seen this being any better beyond this 4K, the negative or what ever elements they used for this transfer can’t offer up anything more. The limitations of the film stock, camera & lenses just don’t lend themselves to a tack sharp image edge to edge.

If you’re on the fence about this film, I’d seek out a stream or a Blu-ray copy cheap. Watch the film and then decide if you need the 4K as it maybe disappointing to some people.

Sound - 5/10
The audio is a weird one. It’s not a soundtrack which is going to blow your socks off and it isn’t meant to. It’s a perfectly serviceable audio track. However the 4K is presented in 5.1 (from and original Mono!!) and the Blu-ray has the original Mono. Why this is I have no idea, it seems a very weird choice and I’d loved to have had the Mono on the 4K too.

Overall
It’s a good film and better than I expected but the image and sound were just about ok. I’ve given the image a better score, simply for its as good as the source will look I’m sure and I’m betting compared to previous formats and releases it’s a revelation to hardened fans. First time watchers though won’t miss out on too much by choosing the Blu-ray.

Singing in the Rain
4K - HDR10 - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 8/10
Just like Citizen Kane, I’d never seen Singing in the Rain. I knew of two songs from the film but beyond that I didn’t know much. For me the film was a delight and rather quite charming. Donald O’Conner and Debbie Reynolds were excellent but Gene Kelly came across about creepy and he didn’t make me like his character.

There is no taking away from the Trios dancing and singing abilities and they really showed those skills here. Utterly fantastic. I found the amount of makeup on Gene Kelly to be distracting but the sets and costumes were excellent and brought everything together.

At first I couldn’t tell if the cheesy comedy was intended or just part of it being it’s age. Turns out it was part of films intent and once I learnt that I enjoyed it more.

Image - 9/10
It’s a stunner, it’s not always pin sharp but you can tell this is not an encode or scan issue but just the lens choice and cinematography choice. For example there are a few shots of closeups and they look quite soft, then the image zooms out and you realise it’s actually a very long zoom and it was the limitation of the lens which had caused the softness.

The film is presented in Technicolor and boy is it a rainbow on the screen. So much so you can see that some shots show the actors to have really white teeth and they almost look like Ross in that episode of Friends. But then there are some closeups and you can see the true colour of their teeth and they’re not as white as you expect.
HDR is wonderful here and it’s a lovely deep and vivid image throughout. Highlights shoot off the screen and the deep rich colours give them a solid grounding. Grain is also in effect but again it’s under control and not distracting.

Sound - 8/10
Presented in 5.1 it’s a lovely soundtrack and while most of the film there isn’t much going on apart from dialogue etc. the musical numbers sound excellent and never harsh. Otherwise it’s standard fair and well rounded.

Overall
I’m not sure what I expected from this film. I’m not adverse to watching a musical but I’m not one to sit and watch them all the time. However this one grabbed me and I enjoyed it very much. I can see myself watching it again at some point.

Flatliners
4K - Dolby Vision - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 10/10
Joel Schumacher brought us an excellent film coming off the back of Lost Boys and it brought him back to work with Kiefer Sutherland, a winning combo.

From the first time I watched this film I was hooked and I’ve owned a copy on most formats apart from Blu-ray. The last copy I owned before this Arrow release was a DVD version, before that it was VHS.

The casting is excellent, the premise is fun and it has some rather dark scenes that as a younger viewer I found creepy. It’s not an out right horror movie and more of a thriller with supernatural elements.

If you’ve never watched it I can highly recommend it.

Image - 9/10
I didn’t give this film 10/10 for image but I was close. This new Dolby Vision scan is a looker. It’s got a huge amount of detail retrieval compared to the DVD I’m used to and the colours just wash the screen and add to the movies already tense atmosphere.

For the most part the DV pulls out lots of shadow detail and really is a feast for the eyes, however it can look a little dark at times and I can advise to watch this in a darkened room or at least light controlled one.

Those on the fence with this version, fear not, it’s a revelation and I’m super happy to have this in the collection.

Sound 8/10
It’s not a huge action packed film so the soundtrack holds up well for a dialogue heavy film. What little ambiance is there is rendered lovely but I felt more could be made of it and the film would lend itself to an Atmos of DTS-X soundtrack with some light overhead actions and a more spacious side channel mix. But for what it is you can hear the speaking and the music and effects don’t go too far.

Overall
This film is a favourite and when I knew it was getting and Arrow 4K release I’d been watching and waiting with baited breath. I wasn’t disappointed and it’s one disc I’m very happy I own.
 
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School Ties

This was on after I'd finished watching The Bourne Identity and I saw Fraser so I was immediately interested. It's a pretty basic story (I want to punch Matt Damon) of a Jewish kid (Fraser) getting into a prep school on a football scholarship in the mid 1950's. You may have noticed that I mentioned he was Jewish and that this takes place in the 50's.

Yeah. It's that kind of movie. I won't spoil it much more beyond that for those that have never seen it. It's actually pretty good but the anti-semitism really makes you uncomfortable. Of course, that's the point but you really want Greene (Fraser's character) to just...beat the holy **** out of everyone once things hit the fan. And, oh, he tries. I won't say more than that.

I'd give this a 7 or 8. I really want to punch Matt Damon in this movie. Also, side note, him and Ben Affleck were inseparable in movies during this time. :lol:
 
Heat
4K - HDR 10 - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 9/10
If you’ve never seen this film the please do. Instant classic from the get go. I won’t spoil too much as there maybe someone who hasn’t watched the film. But as a heist, cops & robbers movie it’s about as good as they get. All the characters are fantastic and nobody is a dud here.

Script, direction, acting and editing all on point. I just don’t like the ending, it’s tied off but I’d have preferred a different outcome.

Image - 8/10
As far as I can tell this is taken from the 2017 scan they did for its definitive edition Blu-ray. Overall it’s a nice image, however it’s not a demo disc for it’s visuals. It’s also currently courting quite a bit of controversy over on various movie forums and review sites. Not for the scan but the HDR pass and the seemingly revisionist application by the director.

So how did I find it? Not as bad as most people. Yes it looks somewhat different from the preceding Blu-ray and before that the DVD. But not in a bad way, just different. This disk isn’t a super high contrast in your face colour assault on the eyes. It’s subdued, muted and dull, grain is nice and tight and never gets out of hand of distracting.

That being said I can see why some who either A. Don’t have their screen and player calibrated and correctly set or B. Are watching this during the day time or well lit room would have issues with the grade. Either of those would just exasperate the dullness and it can become washed out and unwatchable.

I tested different settings on my screen along with watching parts at daytime and both just made the film look horrific. Watching with the correct settings in either a very dark or pitch black room or at the very least a light controlled room this film shines. Could it benefit then from a Dolby Vision encode? Tough to say maybe as some shots the white areas looked a little hot/blown, but it wouldn’t help shadow detail retrieval as the stylistic choices seem to deliberately hide some information.

Overall if you’re going to get the 4K then 1. Make sure you watch it in the darkest room you can and 2. Don’t expect a demo worthy image.

Audio - 10/10
This disk doesn’t get a fancy new audio track. It’s the same one from the 2017 Blu-ray and there is a good reason. It sounds bloody fantastic.

If you’ve seen the film already you know the scenes you want to watch. Mainly the Bank Robbery scene. It’s just epic.

Beyond that though the rest is standard fair and nothing to go on about.

Overall
Have the 2017 Blu-ray? Then this may not be worth the upgrade for most people. It’s the same audio track and film scan. All that’s different is the HDR 10 pass which is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. If in the next 12 months you find this really cheap, then it’s worth a punt, at full price I’d stick with what you have and know that it’s a pretty close race between both.
 
The Contractor - 2022

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I should've just followed rivers instead.*

Possible minor spoilers ahead, although the movie itself is a spoiler, it can spoil your mood.

This movie is pure pain. It wasn't only painfully boring, but it was painful to watch a bunch of people, who I know for a fact that they are great actors / actresses struggle with the utterly worthless drivel they got in this. Some of the lines and scenes are inexcusable. At times I felt like I'm watching some pretentious indie art house film.

But this movie achieves the unthinkable, it manages to make even the action look boring. I don't know how, either via editing or the cinematography, but even the biggest action moments were a drag. And the editor putting high energy music under them only makes it worse. Because if the energy level on screen is 0.0%, then the music only serves as a contrast to that, highlighting it even more.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, the contractor stars Chris Pine, who looks OLD. And I'm not trying to be ageist or anything, but when he shared a scene with Kiefer Sutherland who also has the misfortune of being in this, I wasn't able to tell who is older. So when Sutherland's character calls Pine's character "Son" I fell off the sofa laughing. And I had to look up their respective ages on imdb, because I couldn't believe there is any significant age gap. Spoiler it is 14 years, which is clearly not enough to call someone "son" especially when he looks at least 10 years older than his actual age. Clearly a bad script or a case of miscasting.

But I digress, Pine is fired from the military, cause they made up a new rule that he apparently violated with hit pain meds, it is contrived to say the least. It is so bad the movie even addresses it, but of course that only makes it worse. So he is fired, and wastes time home without a job because the wife doesn't want him to be a private contractor due to the dangers. And of course we all know a military veteran's only good for one thing, right? There is no possible way he can take any other job.

And of course the debts keep piling up. BTW everybody in this movie is portrayed as broke, driving 30 year old clamped out SUVs and trucks, even the merc buddy who is supposedly pocketing $500 a day. I know there is a recession in the US, but talk about being over the top, it can't be that bad.

Where was I? Yeah he no longer can pay the bills, so what does he do? Yes becomes a merc, but instead of taking some low risk assignment he goes to the most shady merc company (who are portrayed like some cult, it's really weird), and of course as the very first mission he takes on some completely off the books high risk anything can happen assignment. Why? Because the plot demands it!

First off they would never send the untested new guy on an OP like this. Second, at no point does he think, maybe I should turn this down? I mean my wife doesn't want me to take risks, and here I am walking into the biggest risk imaginable. But who am I to question movie logic?

Of course you can guess the rest, it all goes tits up, he gets hang out to dry, but that's not the important bit. They want to cut him loose. Why? There are no reasons given. Not even stupid ones.

The plot seems to be all over the place, things are brought up, only to never be mentioned again. For example there is some virus vaccine (oh how original) that he goes out of his way to retrieve, but then it is never talked about in the movie again after he gets it.

This movie was atrocious.


  • story: 1/10 - What even is this?
  • visuals: 5/10 - bland, dull, but not outright bad.
  • acting: 5/10 - it's not the actors fault that the script is so bad it would be thrown out of a high school play
  • direction / editing: 2/10 - a crime against humanity
Overall Score: 3/10

Find something else if you know what's good for you.

*Bonus points if you get the reference.
 
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Nemesis /1992/

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I started watching this movie expecting pure 90s cheese, but to my surprise this film is remarkably passable, despite being made on a shoestring budget. It features actors who became relatively successful later, like Thomas Jane, Jackie Earle Haley in minor roles. But also some prolific well established character actors for example Brion James (Blade Runner), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat). Still the acting is not that great, maybe I'm being easy on it for nostalgia's sake, but let's just say it's admirable, instead of plain bad. What I have to give to them however is that everybody looks great in this movie, they were definitely casting for looks and I totally approve.

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Believe it or not, the VFX is headed by the same guy responsible for T2's visual effects. Of course with a budget of probably 0.01% of that one. So this doesn't mean the same quality. It's more like 20 years behind using stop motion and puppets. Still some of the makeup effects are very good, almost too good. So this definitely is not a child friendly movie. I've had nightmares for weeks due to lesser stuff as a kid.

There are some issues with the audio as some lines are completely incomprehensibly mumbled by the actors. No budget for studio time I guess.

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What sets it apart from other B movies, is that I was actually able to follow the plot. It borrows from everything and if you don't pay attention it might seem confusing, as you miss important details. I'm used to B-movies with plots that make zero sense and have no rules. This however seems to make sense and does adhere to some sense of continuity.

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I think they strike a good balance between action and dialogue as well. I'm usually scrambling for the FF button if a movie gets bogged down, but I think I only had to fight that urge once during this one. The action scenes are pure awesome, over the top, but it makes sense since almost everyone is a cyborg or at least 86.5% of them.

I've had more fun watching this than any new movie I've seen recently.

  • story: 6/10 - not very original, but at least it doesn't contradicts itself every 5 minutes
  • visuals: 8/10 - VFX at the end is atrocious, but the practical effects and eye candy makes up for it
  • acting: 5/10 - You get what you (don't) pay for
  • direction / editing: 9/10 - as far as mindless action movie it is brilliant
Overall Impression: 8/10, I loved it.
 
12 Monkeys
4K - Dolby Vision - DTS-HD MA

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Film 10/10

So this has to be one of the better time travel thrillers made, which doesn’t try and fix the write around the paradox and embrace it from the start.

If you’ve never seen this film then get ready for a depressing, cold and sometimes outright weird film. Bruce Willis is on form and carries the film and the supporting actors Brad Pitt & Madeleine Stowe are excellent, especially Pitt who just embraces his role and excels.

As I say it paints a very depressing film and this is down to the pure excellent visionary skill of Terry Gilliam. He somehow manages to make the desperate parts of a city into something magical and visually stunning.

Image - 8/10

This is certainly the best this will ever look, however it’s no demo disc. Packed full of overlays and soft focus to enhance the feeling of dream and delusion, however this just scrubs away the fine detail. There are occasions with some detail on show but they’re fleeting and mingled in between softer shots.

The HDR here isn’t dramatic. It’s not packed full of colour or contrast, it’s just… ok. However it also doesn’t downgrade the image.

Sound - 8/10

Sound here is serviceable. It’s not a blockbuster packed full of special effects etc. so it’s not going to blow you away. Voices are spot on and everything is well balanced.

Overall

If you love this film like myself then this will be the best this film will ever look. However I upgraded from an old DVD so I don’t know if the uptick the 4K & HDR brings is worth it over a Blu-ray copy. Arrow have done a great job on the extras. So if that’s your bag then it maybe worth it for you.

Akira
4K - HDR 10 - Dolby True HD

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Film - 10/10

If there was ever a true classic for animated films this is it. Not only is this the best of cyberpunk film making, but the whole story, direction and scripting is excellent. Now there is a caveat, it’s based on a huge volume of Manga and it cuts huge swathes from them. But unlike most films which do this, it’s not in an unsatisfactory way.

I grew up watching this film from a very young age (I think I was like 8 or 9 years old when I first watched it.) I was mesmerised and as I got older the story and concept started to make sense and it just became that much better.

Image - 5/10

This is a terrible looking disc. It’s certainly no better than my older Blu-ray (steelbook on the right) it’s had DNR all over the place which scrubbed fine detail and the grain. Also the optical effects somehow look worse and stand out like a sore thumb. It’s just plain horrible. If you have a Blu-ray version, don’t rush out and pick this disc up. Even the HDR pass can’t elevate this film. I’m not sure where the scan came from but it was clearly done without and due care for image quality.

Sound - 5/10

Like the image the sound isn’t anything above the Blu-ray. It’s a serviceable soundtrack but the film certainly deserves something better.

Overall

If you have a Blu-ray don’t worry about the upgrade, it certainly isn’t worth it, unless you find this dirt cheap.
 
The Revenant
4K - HDR 10 - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 10/10

Every so often a new film comes along which is unforgiving and grim, but at the same time entertaining and glorious to look at.

Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypto etc. The Revenant is one such film. Such a great film and worth a part in any collection.

Image - 10/10

Shot digitally at 4K and over and finished with a digital intermediate at 4K it’s a stunner. Naturally lit, and all natural colour palette it excels in realism which only heightens the films dark themes and brutal nature.

It’s not naturally a demo disk people reach for but if you want to show how real something can look, then this is one.

The HDR 10 looks fantastic here showcasing depth and shadow detail. Would Dolby Vision be better here? I don’t rightly know, I suspect it may have helped a little but the whole image from the get go is low APL so not huge gains from DV.

Sound - 9/10

The DTS soundtrack here is great. Well balanced and gets some seriously bombastic parts. It’s not a film with a lot of music across it so quiet parts of the film sound great, but when music and action are on at the same time they can drown lower vocals a little.

The film, like it’s image, seems to take a road of natural recording and it’s so lovely in parts.

Overall

If you haven’t seen this film then do yourself a favour and remedy this. It’s a disc I feel should be in everyone’s collection and especially the 4K version.
 
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Cat’s Eye
4K - HDR 10 - DTS-HD MA

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Film - 6/10
This is a strange one for me, I’d never seen the film before yesterday. We picked this up because the fiancée was wanting to watch it after such a long time since she last did.

Directed by the same director who brought us Cujo, this very strange tale of three parts following a cat on his way to see a young girl. I won’t say anymore on the plot than that. Unlike Cujo though, this film is not a horror but more a very strange series of stories more akin to twilight zone.

Image - 7/10

A very mixed bag. The scan of the original film looks really good, resolving some excellent detail and that’s where the good ends. Unfortunately Studio Canal seemed to have messed up the colour timing, if they haven’t and the Director wanted this new green hue. If you wish to know what I mean then have a look at this breakdown video comparing the shots from Capsaholic of the Blu-ray and new 4K.



The HDR does seem to add a little but overall the original Blu-ray isn’t that far behind at all.

Sound - 5/10

Another odd thing with this new UHD is it’s sound. First is the mix, vocals are good and clear, but the higher frequencies seem to have been turned up to 11. This means it can sound quite shrill at times.

The other oddity is the musical score, it’s just not fitting for the film, it sounds like a really cheap superhero knockoff soundtrack. It’s horrible.

Overall

This is a very oddball film and disc. I can’t recommend it unless you’re a hardcore fan of it and really want to have the latest release. If you have a Blu-ray version then it’s possible you’d be better served by sticking with it.

The only saving grace for me at least was the cats used to make the film. They were great and well… it’s cats. There are some nods to other Stephen King films at the beginning and end of this film so some may get a kick out of noticing those but they’re so easy to spot a blind man, blindfolded and in the dark could spot them a mile off. I’m glad I watched it, but I won’t be returning to it any time soon.

Drive
4K - Dolby Vision - Dolby Atmos

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Film - 9/10

Now the score above is based on a personal love for this film. However if you’re not a fan of pure 90s action cheese, packed full of over the top king-fu and wooden tables that cause bullets to ricochet and spark!! :D then this film won’t be for you.

However it’s a real cheese classic and worth watching.

Image - 10/10

The new scan here is excellent and the detail is fantastic. Grain is in full effect here and is lovely.

This is how scans of films should be done. HDR adds depth and vibrancy and lends to a top shelf image. It’s not a demo disc but is something that can be shown to others on how ageing films can be given a new lease of life.

Sound - 9/10

Vocals are good and never drowned out, action is bombastic and full on and music is well balanced. I have nothing really to fault the disc for, however it’s 90s cheese stock sound effects so don’t expect a blockbuster soundtrack.

Overall

If you like 90s action films which don’t take themselves seriously and just want to have a laugh and dish out some Kung fu fun then this is a great film.
 
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Any review following a @Sprite review, I mean what a tough act to follow.

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I liked this documentary way more than I thought I would. It is very long, nearly two and a half hours long, but I never got bored.

From IMDb: In a collection of intimate interviews with some of America's most provocative black conservative thinkers, Uncle Tom takes a unique look at being black in America. Featuring media personalities, ministers, civil rights activists, veterans, and a self-employed plumber, the film explores their personal journeys of navigating the world as one of America's most misunderstood political and cultural groups: The American Black Conservative. In this eye-opening film from Director Justin Malone and Executive Producer Larry Elder, Uncle Tom examines self-empowerment, individualism and rejecting the victim narrative. Uncle Tom shows us a different perspective of American History from this often ignored and ridiculed group.

This film got a 96% audience score on Rotten Tomatos. Here is the trailer. I believe this movie came out just before the 2020 election, but there is surprisingly little talk about Trump. It is now free to watch on You Tube.

2:01 * WARNING * language


Here is the full movie now released on You Tube.
 
Thor Love and Blunder

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What a shame. I say that, because I think there is a truly good movie hidden somewhere in this wanting to come out. But it is totally chocked by all the cringe and bad comedy. This is the most schizophrenic movie I have ever seen, every meaningful dramatic scene is instantly nullified by a worthless, pointless comedy scene. Or sometimes just a throw away, inappropriate one line remark.

I'm convinced now, that anything even remotely good Taiko Waititi is attached to is good in spite of him, and not because of him.

If this was made by a competent writer and director as a proper Marvel movie, like they used to make them, it would have been great. It contains all the right pieces scattered and broken, but unfortunately they are never put together like Mjolnir. The game plan was let's make fun of everything no matter how cringe and inappropriate it might be.

Lack of talent really becomes obvious when you have all the ingredients and you still can't make anything of worth. Because this is worthless both as comedy and as drama. I suspect the whole comedy angle and thus making it a big joke is so it cannot be judged as a dramatic work of art. Much like when criticism is dismissed with "Oh it's just a fantasy why do you take it so seriously?" or worse "Why can't you enjoy it for what it is?" I don't know, why can't you enjoy a bad meal for what it is? Why should a bad movie be enjoyed?
  • story/writing: 3/10 - a pathetically weak comedy containing hints of a good movie scattered within
  • visuals: 3/10 - muscle suits and mediocre CGI
  • acting: 4/10 - If the director doesn't take it seriously why should the actors? it's all a big joke
  • direction / editing: 3/10 - thank Zeus he is not coming back, but the audience might not either, the damage is done
Overall impression: 3/10

I can't even recommend it as guilty pleasure. This is not so bad it's good, it's just bad enough to make you angry and gnaw at your senses. And give you that tickling feeling in the back of your head: What if it was made by people who respected the material and the audience?
 
m76
Thor Love and Blunder

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What a shame. I say that, because I think there is a truly good movie hidden somewhere in this wanting to come out. But it is totally chocked by all the cringe and bad comedy. This is the most schizophrenic movie I have ever seen, every meaningful dramatic scene is instantly nullified by a worthless, pointless comedy scene. Or sometimes just a throw away, inappropriate one line remark.

I'm convinced now, that anything even remotely good Taiko Waititi is attached to is good in spite of him, and not because of him.

If this was made by a competent writer and director as a proper Marvel movie, like they used to make them, it would have been great. It contains all the right pieces scattered and broken, but unfortunately they are never put together like Mjolnir. The game plan was let's make fun of everything no matter how cringe and inappropriate it might be.

Lack of talent really becomes obvious when you have all the ingredients and you still can't make anything of worth. Because this is worthless both as comedy and as drama. I suspect the whole comedy angle and thus making it a big joke is so it cannot be judged as a dramatic work of art. Much like when criticism is dismissed with "Oh it's just a fantasy why do you take it so seriously?" or worse "Why can't you enjoy it for what it is?" I don't know, why can't you enjoy a bad meal for what it is? Why should a bad movie be enjoyed?
  • story/writing: 3/10 - a pathetically weak comedy containing hints of a good movie scattered within
  • visuals: 3/10 - muscle suits and mediocre CGI
  • acting: 4/10 - If the director doesn't take it seriously why should the actors? it's all a big joke
  • direction / editing: 3/10 - thank Zeus he is not coming back, but the audience might not either, the damage is done
Overall impression: 3/10

I can't even recommend it as guilty pleasure. This is not so bad it's good, it's just bad enough to make you angry and gnaw at your senses. And give you that tickling feeling in the back of your head: What if it was made by people who respected the material and the audience?
🤔 Maybe my "good" movie threshold has been lowered or something over the years, but I thought Thor 4 was perfectly serviceable for what it was - a brainless MCU feature to pass two hours on a Sunday night. Yes, it's not a masterpiece by any stretch of imagination, but I still don't quite understand such a negative reception for this film.

One thing I have to say, though, was the poor choice of music. Not a G'nR hater, but man, those tunes were so out of place (especially at the start of the climatic battle) I ended up chuckling inadvertently.
 
🤔 Maybe my "good" movie threshold has been lowered or something over the years, but I thought Thor 4 was perfectly serviceable for what it was - a brainless MCU feature to pass two hours on a Sunday night. Yes, it's not a masterpiece by any stretch of imagination, but I still don't quite understand such a negative reception for this film.

One thing I have to say, though, was the poor choice of music. Not a G'nR hater, but man, those tunes were so out of place (especially at the start of the climatic battle) I ended up chuckling inadvertently.
I think it deserves every bit of criticism, if you compare it to genuinely great movies, that you can re-watch multiple times and still be enthralled by them, I think the 3/10 score is pretty generous for this. I didn't say it was unwatchable, that would be a 1/10.

I've created my own scale, and try to keep to this whenever I post my opinion on any entertainment product:

  1. Absolute ****, avoid at all costs
  2. Really bad, not much redeeming value
  3. Bad, but some still might find it interesting if they are into the specific genre
  4. Worse than average, has some serious flaws, but still might offer some fun (SBIG territory)
  5. Completely average, it does what it advertises and nothing more
  6. Better than average, shines on a few points but doesn't get everything right
  7. Pretty good, and should not be missed if you like the genre
  8. Very good
  9. Truly awesome
  10. Ground breaking, genre re-defining, mind blowing
 
I’m with @JKgo

It’s not going to win any awards and compared to some of the previous marvel movies it’s a poor show, but for a switch your brain off type film it did what it needed to.

I’ve watched it and I probably won’t watch it again ever.
 
Stranger things season 4, or should I say

Slower things season bore.

I know it’s not a movie, but the episodes have run times of full feature length movies…

It is so drawn out, so cliche I am amazed I sat it through. It feels as though it is made by an encyclopdic director who wanted to put every single movie and 80’s trope in every single episode. But without any actual reason. It looks pretty, sound design is over the top but therefore undeniable. But it is sooooo drawn out…

5/10
 
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The Hobbit Trilogy (Extended Editions) & Lord of the Rings (Extended Editions)

4K - Dolby Vision - Dolby Atmos
Films - Hobbit 8/10 - LotR 9/10

So I decided to lump all the films in to one single review. A. Most people have seen them by now & B. I’m typing these on my iPhone so it takes a while.

LotR are how obsession in film making can produce excellence. Scripting, acting & direction are all excellent but even more so are the set design, the miniature effects, the prosthetics and costumes all make these films just grand and epic in scale.

The Hobbit films lost quite a lot of that scale and they just seemed more intimate. Granted the book is so much smaller in scale compared to the tomes that are LotR.

Quite honestly if the Hobbit films didn’t exists I wouldn’t miss them.

Picture - Hobbit 7/10 - LotR 5/10

So if you’ve seen any review of these discs you won’t be surprised by my scores.

Let’s start with the Hobbit films. Shot digitally and famed at the time for the cameras used and the HFR (High Frame Rate). However the work carried out after the fact have decimated what could have been an outstanding image. Excessive Noise Reduction and over use of Edge Enhancement just make a mockery of what they started with. However it’s a mixed bag and some scenes and shots look outstanding but for the most part it’s horrific.

The LotR films are even worse, shot on film they were already at a disadvantage due to the amount of optical effects and SFX, however Jackson and co. took the workflow of the Hobbit films and added it to these films, people now look like wax figures in some shots and the edge enhancement just looks horrid. Like the Hobbit some shots look stunning, but the most are abysmal.

The HDR in these films is weird and makes the overall image look like someone had just discovered a HDR filter in photoshop and thought it was the best thing ever and used it liberally all over. It also enhances the noise reduction and edge enhancement.

Sound - Hobbit 9/10 - LotR 9/10

Saving grace is the sound for both trilogies. They’re full on and bombastic when the action kicks off and delicate and refined in the quieter parts. There isn’t much to say here as despite the sound being excellent the image just drags them down.

Overall

I love these films and was on the fence about picking up the 4K discs, however it’s been two years since the were released and I got a deal so I was interested in how they would look.

I’ve kept my Blu-ray box sets as they have all the appendices and these new sets have squat.

I really wish these would have been new scans and the image would have been left alone and not tampered with as much.

If you have Blu-rays then I’d say stick with them.

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Edge of Tomorrow
4K - HDR 10 - Dolby Atmos
Film - 8/10

Groundhog Day meets Alien Invasion plus Bill Paxton. The film is a great fun flick, if you don’t think to hard and take it for what it is.

2013 saw Oblivion and then the following year saw this film, two interesting special effects filled SciFi film with Tom Cruise. Both quite fun and entertaining.

Picture - 8/10

It’s quite a pretty film and has plenty of film grain in tact but it doesn’t overwhelm the image. It’s quite an interesting muted image, drab and cloudy outdoor scenes mixed with dark and shadowy interior shots. Splashes of colour here and there really stand out and look fantastic.

HDR really pulls the blacks down and boosts the highlights to searing levels. Everything in between is lovely.

This film isn’t the full crispy shape image you think it is. There are some soft shots but not many.

Sound - 9/10

Boy is this a monster soundtrack. Known for the bass response at the opening which is used by quite a few to test subwoofers. Action scenes are bombastic and in your face but not to the point you get fatigued. If you want a reference disc this is one to have for sound.

Overall

I’m happy to have this in the collection. Image wise it’s certainly a step up quite a bit, sound is also an upgrade but not as dramatic.

If you have a sound system to do this film justice then get a copy, you won’t regret the image on show either.
 
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Lost Boys - 4K - HDR10 - DTS-HD MA
Film - 9/10

I have a huge soft spot for this little known vampire film. Packed full of 80s quality and some class acts.

Script is not bad with some good one liners. Direction is very 80s and keeps the pace ticking along without superfluous sidetracking.

However it’s a very generic story and is clearly not an Oscar worthy endeavour. If you’ve never watched it then be prepared for 80s cheese but something that can get under your skin if you let it.

Image - 9/10

Warner Bros. Have done a really nice job here. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a pin sharp film, but you can tell the lenses used wouldn’t have produced anything close to more modern glass, in fact the biggest thing I noticed straight away watching this new disc is the Anamorphic flaring and idiosyncratic issues of those types of lenses.

Also another thing which stood out is the very wide open lenses producing a shallow depth of field, especially in the dimly lit shots. Film grain is well contained so I suspect the DP decided on fast film stock and opted to use the lenses wide open to gather light instead.

The colours are much more refined and the wifey noticed the shadow detail being much better too.

Sound - 9/10

This is not a film which is going to have a raucous soundtrack but it’s far superior to the last Blu-ray I owned. It’s not in the loud sounds or bass etc. it’s actually in the smaller and delicate sounds where this counts.

It’s very well balanced and is just the icing on the cake of a brilliant disc.

Overall

I love this film (I also love Near Dark, which came out the same year and it’s a better vampire movie overall) and this new 35th anniversary disc is brill. If you’re a fan then I can recommend it. Be aware the new Blu-ray is from this new master so I suspect it will look great too.
 
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Poltergeist - 4K - HDR10 - DTS-HD MA
Film - 9/10

I have to admit it’s been a very long time since I’ve watched this film. So much so I had parts of it confused with its sibling sequels.

That being said I really enjoyed it. It’s this kind of Horror film I love and the vibes this gives off is just so nostalgic. It’s like it fits in to the E.T. & Close Encounters universes perfectly.

I can’t argue with script, direction or story but some of the ham acting is a bit too much ham, but these bits are far and few between.

Image - 10/10

I wasn’t expecting this film to be so beautiful on 4K. Don’t get me wrong, I’d read previous reviews while waiting for my copy to arrive and they all have been singing the praises of the new transfer. They were not kidding. It’s like someone has made the film today but made the sets, SFX, makeup and costumes all to look late 70s early 80s but shot it all on modern cameras. It’s just packed full of fine detail and a fine layer of grain.

HDR10 packs a punch and doesn’t skew the original aesthetic of the film, it just enhances everything.

* Warning * if you or a family member suffer from epilepsy brought on by strobing, then the HDR whacks this effect up to 11. Our 77” OLDE made our living room look like a nightclub and if we didn’t have any bias lighting on at the time then the effect could quite easily been too much and this film uses it on multiple occasions.

Sound - 9/10

It’s not a blockbuster type film and its soundtrack is as such. It does have some excellent surround effects and the ambiance overall is fantastic. Voices amid screaming, music and sound effects were never drowned out and it’s a pleasant soundtrack overall.

Overall

This is one of my go to 70s/80s demo disc for how a film done the correct way can look stunning.

If you love the film or you’re coming at it a new, this disc is certainly the way to go if you have the facility to do it justice. I’d love to see this on an even bigger screen now because the detail will hold up and it’s looks will be just amplified by the space given.
 
latest


A-

Tom Cruise might be crazy, but holy crap can the dude make an action movie. Story does just enough to pass the time until you can dive back into some of that sweet, sweet jet porn. Wished it ended differently, but still a satisfying flick.

Bring on M:I7! My body is ready!

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B

I liked everything about it, except for the one thing they needed to absolutely nail - the look of the titular werewolf - and failed. They had better makeup in the 40s and 60s. Couldn't they have stolen one of the 1st gen Lycan suits from Underworld: ROTL or something? Ah well, still a fun 50 minutes.

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D

Was hoping for more body horror, gore, and depravity. I got a dull plot, bland characters, and cenobites that were a bit too clean. Hulu's two unskippable commercial breaks didn't help.
 
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Halloween Ends

How can I review this without spoiling anything? Remember the trailers for Terminator: Dark Fate, and how James Cameron himself said it was the best thing since T2? Remember how that turned out to be a lie? Yeah, apply that same logic to any and every single trailer you've seen for this.

It sells you on the idea that this is Michael and Laurie's final confrontation. The be-all, end-all of their 40+ year-long (admittedly single-sided) feud. Halloween Ends isn't that. it isn't that at all, as a matter of fact. That is a plot point of the movie, but it's not the plot point of the movie. I'm not trying to steer any preconceived notions, but I've grown up with Halloween and I've seen the worst the franchise has to offer (hello, Busta Rhymes doing Kung Fu). This may very well be either in the same camp as something like Halloween Resurrection, or a class unto itself.

I hated it. I won't go into specifics any more than I already have by calling out the trailer, so see it for yourself if you love Halloween. However, if you're explicitly asking me whether you should see it or not? I'd tell you to stay far away and wait for it to come on TV next...spring, there or thereabouts.
 
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So, at work, a co-worker of mine told me about a film titled Upgrade, came out in 2018. The selling point was it being a cyberpunk film, but a little on the realistic side.

By realistic, I mean self driving cars, drones being used for surveillance, smart homes, etc. None of that neon flashy CP2077 stuff. The only thing flashy would be the villains of the film. The director must've played a lot of Deus EX, because they have augmentations and slapping on a Deus Ex in the title would fit. :lol:

It's one of those films that has a pretty high production value, without any big name actors.

Won't spoil the plot, but think of a "good technology, horrible intentions" sorta plot, with a twist ending M. Night Shyamalan style.

gist of the plot is main character gets into a wreck with his wife thanks to a self driving car, three thugs kill her, and turn him into a paraplegic. Doctor whom he knows convinces him to get an implant in the spine, and he can move his arms and legs. Implant is sentient, and you could piece together where it goes from there.

One interesting fact is this film had a budget of 3 million USD, which blows my mind when you see the types of budgets films get today.

Diamond in the rough I think, worth a watch when you're craving a something off in the not so distant future.
 
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Halloween Ends

How can I review this without spoiling anything? Remember the trailers for Terminator: Dark Fate, and how James Cameron himself said it was the best thing since T2? Remember how that turned out to be a lie? Yeah, apply that same logic to any and every single trailer you've seen for this.

It sells you on the idea that this is Michael and Laurie's final confrontation. The be-all, end-all of their 40+ year-long (admittedly single-sided) feud. Halloween Ends isn't that. it isn't that at all, as a matter of fact. That is a plot point of the movie, but it's not the plot point of the movie. I'm not trying to steer any preconceived notions, but I've grown up with Halloween and I've seen the worst the franchise has to offer (hello, Busta Rhymes doing Kung Fu). This may very well be either in the same camp as something like Halloween Resurrection, or a class unto itself.

I hated it. I won't go into specifics any more than I already have by calling out the trailer, so see it for yourself if you love Halloween. However, if you're explicitly asking me whether you should see it or not? I'd tell you to stay far away and wait for it to come on TV next...spring, there or thereabouts.
Pitch Meeting watched it so I don't have to. Not that I was going to as I've never bothered with any of them.

 
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Carlito’s Way - HDR 10 - DTSX / DTS-HD MA
Film - 8/10

For me not one of Al’s best films. Coming back to work with Brian De Palmer after Scarface (a much better film) Carlito’s Way seems a little flat and slow.

A story of a man seeking redemption of sorts but being pulled back into his past life and while not wanting to be part of it, he just can’t say no.

Some great supporting roles and the script and direction is serviceable but it’s not one you can have the lads round to watch and do endless one line quotes to.

Image - 9/10

The scan here is a lovely thing. Film grain is there but not over bearing, colour is natural and pleasing.

Detail is excellent and the image is one which shows how scans can really achieve a filmic look if done with care.

Sound - 8/10

Not as great as the image but good enough. It’s not an action packed film so the subtle parts are fine and can come across as flat sounding, however when the action is there it’s good. Best it for me was the score as it really sound tip top here.

Overall

A good film with a solid image and ok soundtrack. It’s not going to blow your socks off but if you’re a fan of the film, you’ll appreciate the effort which has gone into the 4K.

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Fright Night - Dolby Vision - Dolby Atmos
Film - 9/10

A firm favourite with the wife and one I’ve come to appreciate over the years.

A simple premise of a young man obsessed with vampire movies and TV shows has a vampire move in next door. Once that happens shenanigans his world is thrown upside down.

It’s not going to win any Oscar’s for screenplay and it’s script & and acting are a little dated now, but it’s a fun film none the less.

Image - 9/10

It’s a looker. I had to import this from USA as the UK hasn’t had a release yet. Thankfully UHD is a region free format most of the time.

The scan is a revelation for the most part but the nature of most of the film being set in dark environments hampers the image quality here.

Colours are lovely and stay close to the original DVD we had upgraded from. However they’re much more solid and nuanced in the details. Contrast is boosted lovely and helps pop the image.

Sound - 10/10

Now the sound has caused a stir in movie collecting circles as people don’t like the Atmos mix and have moaned about the nightclub scene having vocals missing from a song which were audible in other formats.

For me personally I didn’t miss the vocals and the rest of the Atmos sounded excellent. One standout is the part where the Vampire is stomping across the roof in the final showdown scenes. Great thuds from our Atmos soundbar could be heard coming from our ceiling. It’s excellent.

The big standout here is the excellent score. It’s clear and up front and it’s so 80s it’s crazy and a joy to listen to.

Overall

A great disc and looks fantastic and sound brill too. If you’re a fan of the film then I can recommend.

Beware The steelbook disc has a fault on it. Lots of people have experienced a glitch either with the encode or something else. My copy also has it and it kicked around the 18 minute mark. The only way to skip it, was to literally skip it. The image glitches and the playback freezes.

I’ll be keeping this version until the UK gets a release then I’ll see what we get and possibly swap out the disc.
 
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B+

A mostly fun little diversion.

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B-

There's a lot to like. Jim Cummings' unhinged exasperation was fun.

A key plot detail almost requires too much suspension of disbelief to work.
 
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Robin Hood PoT - Dolby Vision - DTS-MA HD
Film - 9/10

Despite all its foibles (and there are so many) it’s a fun film and Alan Rickman is just so damn watchable.

I’m sure by now most people have seen this film or at least heard it’s irritating theme song by Bryan Adams (Yes I have a copy on 7” inherited from my parents).

With cheese ball action, the famous Arrow scene and some amazing abilities to travel across the British Isles like they had a transporter from Star Trek. But that’s all part of the charm.

Image - 8/10

This new scan from Arrow Video is quite good and really shows up the limits of the film stock used, lenses and shooting conditions.

Low light shots suffer from heavy grain at times and the Dolby Vision really takes the low light shots to the extreme and one or two seemed a little too dark. Daylight shots looked great and long shots were quite nice.

Overall it’s not the best 4K but it’s certainly going to be the best this film will look for some time.

Sound - 9/10

I quite enjoyed the HD soundtrack on offer. Low volume vocals can be quite low so ensure you’re watching in a quiet room, but when the action kicks in it’s really good. I also enjoyed the subtle sounds coming in from the surround, especially in the forest at night.

Overall

A fun film with a good image and fantastic sound all make for a good upgrade over the poor Blu-ray I’ve upgraded from.

Arrow’s new set is excellent as always. I’m not the biggest fan of the new artwork, however it’s ok. The booklet is good and packed full of info for fans and the A3 size poster is nice too.
 
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