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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!

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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.

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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.

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Monday, 24 September 2018

Eureka Entertainment’s Blu-ray box set contains “Troll”, “Troll 2” and “Best Worst Movie”, a documentary about the making of the second film. The set is a serious contender for the oddest release ever, not least because “Troll” and “Troll 2” are completely unrelated films. Banding them together almost seems unfair, but I am not sure which film is more hard done by – the 80s VHS schlock horror or the allegedly ‘so bad it is good’ sequel.

Troll - The Complete Blu-ray Collection

In “Troll”, the Potter family move into an apartment block beset by a magical troll whose devious plan is to turn every tenant into a bizarre, sprouting jungle infested by demonic creatures. “Troll 2” tells the tale of the Waits’ family’s move to a place in the country, only to discover that the entire town is occupied by goblins who trick people into eating contaminated green food that turns the consumer into gunky goblin food.

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Monday, 17 September 2018

Revenge - available now on Video on DemandRichard and Jen travel by helicopter to a remote but lavish villa in the desert, only to have their passionate break interrupted by a couple of men heavily armed with hunting gear. Richard (Kevin Janssens – Vermist) reveals he knows the men and was planning to go hunting after Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz – “Rings”) had returned home. After a drunken night round the pool, one of the visitors assaults Jen and events spiral ever more horribly out of control.

“Revenge” is one of those films that is quite hard to review without revealing spoilers, but then the title and the publicity shots have that tied up nicely. Essentially, the men try to kill Jen and seriously regret not finishing the job! Jen becomes some kind of super woman, part Lara Croft, part The Bride from the “Kill Bill” movies. What ensues is a very violent, bloody and entertaining game of cat and mouse where the roles switch several times. The phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ is certainly applicable.

Awarded to a show that is a new series, screened on a UK premium service requiring a subscription that is digitally delivered (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc) ...

Awarded to a show that has a new returning season screened on a UK premium service requiring a subscription that is digitally delivered (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc) ...

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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Jackie Chan's Police Story 1 and 2 on Blu-rayTom Cruise is currently wowing cinema audiences with his feats of bravado in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”, and whilst the scale of his stunts might leave viewers in awe, his broken ankle pales into insignificance compared to Jackie Chan’s copious injuries sustained throughout his career. For example, in “Police Story” and “Police Story 2”, newly released on Blu-ray, these include spinal damage and a dislocated pelvis.

This new hard-cased box set features stunning 4K restorations of two of Chan’s best-loved movies, allowing us to experience some of his best action scenes and moments of whacky humour in super-sharp HD. Not content with writing, stunt coordinating, acting in and directing the films, Chan also sings the theme tune (watch out Dennis Waterman). A selection of different cuts of both films headlines some quality bonus content.

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Friday, 17 August 2018

Flesh + Blood - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDThe setting is Western Europe in 1501. A small band of roguish mercenaries led by a fearless warrior called Martin (Rutger Hauer – “Blade Runner”, “Sin City”) seek revenge against some back-stabbing noblemen. Seizing control of the local lord’s castle and capturing his son’s young bride-to-be, Martin and his mob think they are on top of the world until a devastating counter-attack is launched.

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (“Robocop”, “Starship Troopers”) displays much of his trademark violence, nudity and often grim sense of humour in this action romp from 1985. Originally censored in the UK, Eureka’s combined DVD and Blu-ray release presents the full, uncut version of the film, along with a heap of extra features and content.

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Monday, 13 August 2018

Birdman of Alcatraz - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVD“Birdman” is a biopic about the fascinating and remarkable life of Robert Stroud. Stroud (1890-1963) was a pimp jailed for murdering an abusive client, and who narrowly escaped death row after also murdering a prison guard. Resigned to live out the rest of his days in solitary confinement, Stroud found his true calling when he rescued a stranded baby bird and nurtured it to adulthood, going on to become a leading authority on avian diseases.

Burt Lancaster (“From Here to Eternity”, “The Train”) stars as Stroud, with Karl Malden (“On the Waterfront”, “Meteor”) as Harvey Shoemaker, the by-the-book prison warden at Leavenworth (Stroud’s first prison), Telly Savalas (Kojak, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”) as fellow con Gomez, Neville Brand (“Stalag 17”, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”) as a prison guard and Thelma Ritter (“Rear Window”, “All About Eve”) as Stroud’s possessive mother.

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