Blu-Ray

The latest winner in the format wars, we look at both television and movies that are hitting the shelves in this pristine new technology.

by
Monday, 14 October 2019

Based on a novel by Stephen King, “The Dark Half” is an attempt by zombie maestro George A. Romero to make a more commercial, studio-produced horror movie. Timothy Hutton (The Haunting of Hill House, “Ordinary People”) plays author and university tutor Thad Beaumont. Unbeknownst to Thad, as a child he had remnants of a partially-absorbed twin removed from his brain after experiencing a series of debilitating headaches.

Some twenty years later, grown up Thad is married with two baby children and is doing rather well for himself thanks to the success of some grizzly horror novels, released under the secret pseudonym George Stark. A blackmailing incident forces Thad to go public and abandon his alternate career, but this triggers the onset of some horrific murders, with all the evidence pointing to Thad himself. Is the writer going crazy or is some supernatural force emerging?

by
Sunday, 06 October 2019

Gary Cooper won an Oscar for his starring role in this taut Western. He plays Will Kane, a newly-retired marshal who is brimming with joy after his marriage to a beautiful woman (Grace Kelly), but who finds himself obliged to return to duty when a ghost from his past threatens his home and civilised way of life. Kane turns to the townsfolk for support but struggles to find anyone willing to stick their neck on the line.

The movie collected a further three Oscars for Editing, Music and Original Song ‘High Noon (“Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’”)’, but was vilified by some who perceived it as a critique of the McCarthyite, anti-Communist witch-hunts going on at the time. The narrative was based on an idea by writer Carl Foreman combined with a short story by John W. Cunningham called ‘The Tin Star’, and directed by Fred Zinnemann (“From Here to Eternity”, “The Day of the Jackal”).

by
Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Sylvester Stallone and Donald Sutherland star in this prison thriller from the late 1980s. Stallone (“Rocky”, “First Blood”) plays Frank, essentially a good man seeing out the end of his sentence for protecting a friend in danger. Frank is transferred to a max security facility where Sutherland (“Don’t Look Now”, “The Hunger Games”) is Warden Drumgoole, a man bent on revenge against Frank for a past escape that harmed his career.

Drumgoole rigs the system so that Frank’s life is made a living hell, manipulating the guards and inmates in a bid to force him into committing an act that extends his stay indefinitely. Meanwhile, Frank tries to form a small group of trustworthy, like-minded cell mates who will look out for each other and make the experience tolerable. John Amos (“Die Hard 2”), Sonny Landham (“Predator”) and Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan”) also star.

by
Friday, 13 September 2019

“Jimmie Blacksmith” is a movie that puts Australia’s struggle with institutionalised racism and colonialism at the turn of the 20th Century under a microscope. Jimmie (newcomer Tommy Lewis – “The Proposition”) is the son of a white father and Aborigine mother, fostered by missionary parents who educate him and send him out into the world, hoping their charge can break free of the perceived backwardness of the indigenous people

Jimmie is highly motivated and refuses to let a few rejections break his will to succeed. He gets a series of menial jobs but is persistently exploited and mistreated by his white bosses. Marriage to a white girlfriend only serves to stir tensions up further, and when some of his Aborigine family come visiting, events take a bloody, tragic turn. The story is based on real-life events which were fictionalised by author Thomas Keneally.

by
Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Martin Sheen and Tony Musante make their feature film debuts in this hard-hitting, urban thriller from 1967. Sheen (“Apocalypse Now”, “Badlands”) and Musante (“The Last Run”, Oz) play a couple of street thugs who terrorise the passengers on a New York subway train in the middle of the night. Drunk and unruly, the pair block the exits and work their way around the coach, mentally and physically poking and prodding their fellow travellers to try to provoke a reaction.

The cast also includes Beau Bridges (“The Fabulous Baker Boys”) as an injured army Private, Brock Peters (“To Kill a Mockingbird”, Admiral Cartwright in the 4th and 6th “Star Trek” movies and DS9’s Joseph Sisko) as an angry, anti-white rights activist, Ruby Dee (“American Gangster”, “Do the Right Thing”) as his quiet wife, Jack Gilford (the “Cocoon” movies) as one half of an older couple and Robert Fields (“The Stepford Wives”, “The Blob”) as an awkward gay man seeking friendship.

by
Sunday, 11 August 2019

Eureka Entertainment has released “Used Cars”, for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK. John Milius and Steven Spielberg originally had the idea of making a comedy about second-hand car salesmen. They pitched it to Spielberg’s protégé at Universal, Robert Zemeckis, and his writing partner Bob Gale (“Back to the Future” trilogy, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”). The duo had just written the script for “1941” for Spielberg, and they were all enamoured with pop-culture.

The film takes a swipe at the salesmen whose persuasive pitches transformed rattling wrecks into prized items, something they most certainly are not. Kurt Russell (“Escape from New York”, “Big Trouble in Little China”) is Rudy Russo, the top salesmen at the ‘New Deal’ used car lot run by Luke Fuchs (Jack Warden). Caught up in a family feud between Luke and his brother Roy (also played by Warden) who runs the flashier rival ‘Auto Emporium’ across the street, Rudy must put his grifting skills into overdrive as the battle for sales supremacy escalates into all-out war!

by
Monday, 22 July 2019

“Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” is considered one of the highlights of a particular chapter of director Robert Altman’s career. Between the box office disappointment of “Popeye” (1980) and the explosive comeback of “The Player” (1992), Altman returned to low-budget independent film-making, often experimenting with how adapting theatre texts could be made to work for cinema and television.

This film also jump-started the acting career of Cher, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Sissy, one of the “Disciples of James Dean,” an all-female fan club devoted to the late icon. They are meeting for a 20-year reunion at a crumbling FW Woolworth’s ‘Five and Dime’ in a small Texas town, noted as September 30, 1975 on the banners put up in the store. Reuniting Altman with his previous stars Sandy Dennis (“That Cold Day in the Park”) and Karen Black (“Nashville”), and providing Kathy Bates with an early feature role, “Come Back…” is a study of nostalgia’s ability to distort the past, and another of the director’s portraits of the friendships between women.

by
Friday, 19 July 2019

First announced in 2003 and a labour of love for James Cameron before he handed over directorial reins to Robert Rodriquez, “Alita” is a wondrous movie about a cyborg rescued from a scrap heap who goes on a quest to find out who she is, and who she used to be. Floating above the Earth is Zalem, the only sky city to survive a devastating war with Mars. Only the privileged live there, whilst those down on the planet’s surface face a daily struggle to survive.

In this dystopia, Alita (Rosa Salazar – “Bird Box”, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”) is rebuilt by altruistic Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz – “Spectre”, “Django Unchained”). She befriends a friendly lad called Hugo (Keean Johnson – Nashville, Euphoria) and soon realises that although she is suffering from amnesia, she has very special fighting and acrobatic skills that will come in handy in such a competitive and dangerous environment.

by
Thursday, 18 July 2019

Triple Oscar winner “Coming Home” is an emotional drama about the impact of the Vietnam War on U.S. soldiers mentally and/or physically injured in battle, and their families back home. Jane Fonda, John Voight and Bruce Dern headline the cast. Sally (Fonda – “Klute”, “Barbarella”) says goodbye to her slightly starchy husband, Captain Bob Hyde (Dern – “Silent Running”, “Nebraska”) as he heads off to join the conflict.

Forced to move off the military base, Sally befriends the girlfriend of another soldier, and takes a job in a local hospital caring for wounded troops. She hits it off with Luke (Voight – “Midnight Cowboy”, “Deliverance”), a furious and immensely frustrated spinal injury victim who she went to college with and helps him find a new purpose in life. As the reacquainted friends grow closer, the distance between Sally and her absent husband increases.

by
Wednesday, 10 July 2019

It’s bizarre to think that a war film owes a little of its high profile to mentions in a Spike Milligan sketch show, but it’s true in the case of “The Cockleshell Heroes”. This is an action thriller based on true events, making its debut on Blu-ray as part of the Eureka Classics range. Co-star David Lodge was one of the company for Spike’s BBC series Q, and Spike would delight in frequently telling the audience that Lodge was “in Cockleshell Heroes” – where he played Marine Ruddock.

The film, released in 1955, was directed by and starred Oscar-winning José Ferrer as Major Geoffrey Stringer. He also played Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV in “Dune”, had guest roles in the likes of Matlock, The Love Boat, Newhart, Quincy ME, Fantasy Island and Magnum PI, and was also uncredited as a narrator for Bewitched. He was supported in “Cockleshell” by Oscar-nominated Trevor Howard as Captain Hugh Thompson. A famous actor, he appeared in the likes of “Ghandi”, “The Third Man”, and was one of the Elders in “Superman”.

by
Friday, 21 June 2019

Based on a book written pseudonymously by Stephen King, “The Running Man” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards, a police helicopter pilot who is framed and forced to take part in an ultra-violent gameshow after refusing to slaughter innocent protesters. Released in 1987 and set in a 2019 where the USA has become a totalitarian police state, the film depicts a nightmarish world of censorship, poverty and corruption.

Richards and two Lycra-sporting buddies are thrust into the game as ‘runners’, unarmed, on foot and with the odds stacked massively against them. Hunting them are ‘stalkers’, celebrity killers who go by monikers like Fireball, Dynamo and Buzzsaw, each armed with deadly weapons and some aided by vehicles. They are cheered on by the studio audience and impoverished gamblers huddled outside the studio, eager for carnage.

by
Monday, 17 June 2019

“Under Fire” is an Oscar-nominated political thriller revolving around journalists caught up in the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution. Russel Price (Nick Nolte) is a fearless photographer who gets meshed in a love triangle with reporter Claire Stryder (Joanna Cassidy) and his friend, her husband Alex Grazier (Gene Hackman). Stepping right into in a war zone, in a battle between the government and Sandinista rebels, Price loses his objectivity, becoming personally involved in the struggles. This release by Eureka marks its UK debut on Blu-ray.

With cinematography by John Alcott (“2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Barry Lyndon”) it’s backed by one of Jerry Goldsmith’s greatest scores - which was nominated for an Academy Award – it features well-known jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. It was later sampled by Quentin Tarantino in “Django Unchained”). The film is considered one of director Roger Spottiswoode’s greatest achievements, being a complex political thriller with hints of “Casablanca”.

by
Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Californian police carefully construct a roadblock out of numerous cop cars; into the centre trundle a couple of heavy plant loaders, buckets placed in a V shape with barely a sliver of light gleaming from the gap between them. In the distance, a throaty 1970 Dodge Challenger speeds into view pursued by additional police cars. So begins “Vanishing Point” before the narrative jumps a couple of days earlier to enlighten us.

Kowalski (Barry Newman – Petrocelli, “Daylight”) is an illicit car delivery specialist with a background in professional racing who thrives on tight deadlines. His journey stretches three states from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco, with a 15 hour deadline. To begin with he only attracts a couple of weedy police motorbikes, but as the blacktop flies by, the authorities and media sharpen their focus, the former on stopping him, the latter broadcasting the incident.

by
Monday, 13 May 2019

An adaptation of an early Stephen King novel, “Cujo” is about a lovable St. Bernard dog that catches rabies and turns very nasty. Donna (Dee Wallace – “ET - The Extra-Terrestrial”, “The Howling”) is having an extramarital affair whilst her relationship with Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly – “Star Trek: Insurrection”, Hardcastle and McCormick) is stagnating. Young son Tad (Danny Pintauro – Who’s the Boss?) is the glue that is keeping them together.

When Vic goes away on a long business trip, Donna takes Tad to an out of town mechanic to get her car fixed. She arrives at the remote location only to discover that there is nobody around, and mum and son become trapped in their vehicle, terrorised by a slobbering, snarling Cujo. The thriller was directed by Lewis Teague (“The Jewel of the Nile”, “Alligator”).

by
Tuesday, 09 April 2019

Screening two years after “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, Mel Brooks takes that movie’s tongue-in-cheek approach as a base line and spoofs it to within an inch of its life. Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”, “Saw”) plays Robin, with Amy Yasbeck (“Mask”, “Pretty Woman”) as Maid Marian, Roger Rees (“The Prestige”, Warehouse 13) as the Sheriff of Rottingham (yes, you read that right) and Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Leaving Las Vegas”) as Prince John.

Brooks (“Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein”) takes a fast and loose approach, much in the style of “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” series, propelling the film forwards with an avalanche of gags and slapstick humour rather than complex plot. Thankfully Elwes is utterly winning as Robin, dashing, charming and effortlessly athletic - not a million miles from his role as Westley in the aforementioned “The Princess Bride”, just not as intellectually sharp.

by
Monday, 08 April 2019

A smartly-dressed boy called Daryl is discovered lost and alone in the middle of nowhere. Handed in to the authorities and apparently suffering from amnesia, the boy (Barret Oliver – “The Never Ending Story”, “Cocoon”) is fostered by Andy and Joyce Richardson, who soon realise that Daryl has particular gifts. How does he learn the piano and smash a baseball on his first attempt, never mind showing up his teachers at school.

Andy (Michael McKean – “This Is Spinal Tap”, Better Call Saul) and Joyce (Mary Beth Hurt – “Lady in the Water”, “The Age of Innocence”) become very attached to sweet-natured Daryl and fear that his biological parents may come knocking. When this eventually happens, their world gets turned upside down and Daryl’s very existence is put in jeopardy. Who is he and where did he come from?

by
Monday, 01 April 2019

“The White Reindeer” is a Finnish folk-horror about a frustrated woman who is bewitched by a shaman into a vampiric, shape-shifting reindeer. Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen) is the woman in question, left alone in snowy, bleak Lapland when her husband Aslak (Kalervo Nissilä) goes on a long herding trip. At night Pirita becomes the white reindeer, luring man after man into a valley before transforming back into her human form to drink their blood.

Fans of Hammer Horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s will be very familiar with the type of tale on offer here, but the movie feels quite fresh thanks to the shift to Finnish culture and a more documentary-style approach. This is almost a silent film thanks to there being very little dialogue, and atmospheric orchestral backing to keep things moving.

by
Thursday, 14 March 2019

It is Spring 1941 and the battle for control of the North Atlantic is raging. Hulking, ‘unsinkable’ German battleship Bismarck is tasked with taking out Allied convoys, spurring the Royal Navy into a frantic fleet redeployment. The Admiralty’s new Chief of Operations, Captain Jonathan Shepard (Kenneth More – “A Night to Remember”, “Genevieve”) is the man responsible for making some hard decisions for the greater good.

Based in the London war room, 200 feet underground, Shepard puts personal tragedy and concern for his son’s life aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal to one side. Aided by Wren Officer Anne Davis (Dana Wynter – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Airport”), Shepard is forced to leave convoys desperately exposed in order to support the hunt for the Bismarck, but terrible weather conditions mean the giant vessel is alluding detection.

by
Sunday, 03 March 2019

“Occupation” is an Australian sci-fi film about a town’s efforts to resist a devastating alien invasion. The townsfolk are up in arms about a new road bypass potentially wiping them off the map, but that is the least of their worries when an alien fleet arrives during an Aussie football game, flanked by a gigantic mothership. Outgunned by a technologically superior foe, the survivors have no option but to retreat and then devise a plan to fight back.

The cast includes Dan Ewing (Home and Away), Temuera Morrison (“Aquaman”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”), Stephany  Jacobsen (“Alex Cross”, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Charles Mesure (Once Upon a Time, The Magicians). Writer/director Luke Sparke (“Red Billabong”) will return with a sequel called “Occupation Rainfall”, commencing shooting later this year.

by
Monday, 25 February 2019

Fritz Lang’s seedy film-noir stars Glenn Ford (“Superman”) as Jeff Warren, an army vet returning home from the Korean War to his job as a train engineer. Highly susceptible to feminine wiles, Jeff falls for the young wife of Deputy Yard Master Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford – “All the King’s Men”). That would be trouble enough but Carl is highly suspicious of his young wife, and unbeknownst to Jeff he has already committed murder in a fit of jealous rage.

The film focuses on this twisted love triangle, with femme fatale Vicki (Gloria Grahame – “It’s a Wonder Life”) both manipulating the two men but also trapped by Carl in a hellish relationship through blackmail. Director Lang (“Metropolis”, “M”) sucks us into his dark romantic web as we wonder whether Jeff can extricate himself before he too succumbs to Carl’s furious, drunken temper.

by
Monday, 21 January 2019

Eureka Entertainment kick off their 2019 releases with a film noir Oscar winner by director Otto Preminger (“Stalag 17”). A murder mystery where the titular character has already been offed as the film opens, “Laura” is primarily told in a series of flashbacks as we learn about Laura (Gene Tierney – “Leave Her to Heaven”), a captivating marketing designer, and the huddle of men and women in her social circle.

Det Lt Mark McPherson picks up the case after Laura has been shot in the head. Amongst the small number of likely suspects is Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb – “The Razor’s Edge”), a sharp-tongued columnist who took Laura under his wing, unscrupulous playboy Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price – “House on Haunted Hill”) and Anne Treadwell (Judith Anderson – “Rebecca”), Laura’s aunt who has more than a passing interesting in Shelby.

by
Friday, 04 January 2019

“The Festival” is a comedy movie from the creators of The Inbetweeners about a couple of mates who attend a massive music festival after their graduation. Mopey Nick (Joe Thomas – “The Inbetweeners Movie”, White Gold) has just suffered a painful breakup and is dragged along by his enthusiastic best buddy Shane (Hammed Animashaun – Black Mirror, Flowers), whose dream is to get backstage with superstar DJ Hammerhead.

On the way the duo meets Amy (Claudia O’Doherty – “Trainwreck”, “The Inbetweeners 2”), an Aussie with verbal diarrhoea who is desperate to meet new friends. After an eventful journey they arrive at the festival site, only to awkwardly bump into Nick’s ex, Caitlin (Hannah Tointon – Hollyoaks, “The Children”). Expect mud, mayhem, music and MDMA as festival life results in some wild and outlandish encounters.

by
Monday, 29 October 2018

Jackie Chan's Project A Parts I and II out now on Blu-rayIn a brilliant one-two punch combo, Eureka Entertainment have produced a second Jackie Chan Blu-ray movie box set to complement their recent “Police Story” release. This limited edition collection features “Project A” and “Project A Part II” in which Chan plays Sergeant Dragon Ma, a diligent and courageous coastguard-turned-police man who becomes the bane of Hong Kong criminal gangs, corrupt cops and pirates.

“Project A” sees Ma taking on dastardly pirates who have made a mockery of all those who have previously attempted to locate and apprehend them. Ma realises the only way to succeed is to go under cover and destroy them from the inside. In “Project A Part II” Ma is tasked with cleaning up the roughest district in Hong Kong, no mean feat when some of his colleagues are in league with the local kingpin, never mind more pirates out for blood!

by
Monday, 22 October 2018

The Rockford Files - Season 1 out now on Blu-rayJames Garner (“The Great Escape”, “Space Cowboys”) stars as Jim Rockford, a laid-back private investigator with a penchant for damsels in distress and getting into life-threatening predicaments. Having served five years for armed robbery, a crime he may or may not have committed, Rockford has developed thick skin and an ability to read people and situations, meaning he is exceptionally good at his job. He also has a string of useful contacts including police Sgt Becker (Joe Santos – “The Last Boyscout”, The Sopranos) to help him solve cases.

The few other constants in Jim’s turbulent life include his father Rocky (Noah Beery Jr – “Walking Tall”, “Red River”), his dishevelled trailer home in a parking lot in Malibu and his gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit automobile. He is invariably skint and even though he cracks most of his cases, events generally conspire against him such that he is rarely paid his full rate of $200 a day plus expenses. Charm, wit and quick thinking keep him one step ahead of the criminals, but they are never far behind.

by
Monday, 15 October 2018

Hereditary -out now on Blu-ray, DVD and VODThe title of ‘best horror film in decades’ is enthusiastically banded around every year; once in a while there is some merit to the acclaim, often not. In the case of “Hereditary”, the promotional noise was deafening so I was keen to see if the hype and comparisons to “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby” were valid. The film opens with the announcement of the death of the Graham family’s matriarch, an event that marks the family’s slow descent into Hell.

Annie (Toni Collette – “The Sixth Sense”, Wanderlust) realises there was much she did not know about her mother’s life. The deeper she digs the worse things get, and Annie can barely hold her emotionally fragmented family together. Daughter Charlie (newcomer Milly Shapiro) develops increasingly weird ticks and draws some troubling pictures, whilst father Steve (Gabriel Byrne – “The Usual Suspects”, “Miller’s Crossing”) and son Peter (Alex Wolff – “Coming through the Rye”) look to each other for support.

Page 1 of 10

denizli escort denizli escort