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Road Games(1981) Blu-Ray Review

Road Games(1981) Blu-Ray Review

Scream Factory has done it again and this why I compare them to Criterion. They simply handpick movies that are some unknown and lesser-known film starring well-known actors and this is no different. I have honestly never heard of Road Games until they sent me the movie to review and it was very stunning. The transfer was spot on and gorgeous the audio was also amazing to hear on my 7.1 surround system. The movie itself was a great slow-burn movie that is kind of a unique spin o ’Duel’ and ’Wake in Fright’ you could tell movies like this influenced current greats like The Coen Brothers.

If you are not already familiar with the movie the synopsis is as follows.

An Australian trucker (Stacy Keach) picks up a hitchhiking heiress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the trail of a killer in a green van.

There are tons of new special features on the Scream Factory release including tons of interviews featuring Stacy Keach. 1980 Script Read with Stacy Keach and Marion Edwards. Composer Brian May Music Demos accompanied by stills and poster gallery, Kangaroo Hitchcock the making of Road Games, Audio interviews with Richard Franklin, Stacy Keach and Grant Page.

Overall grade:

5/5 another stunner from Scream Factory!!!

Babyteeth (2020) review

Babyteeth might be the most depressing film of the year when we really don’t need a depressing film at the time. However, the performances were all outstanding including Ben Mendelssohn who gave his strongest performance since Bloodline.

Synopsis:

BABYTEETH is Shannon Murphy’s (KILLING EVE) powerful, coming-of-age feature debut. When seriously ill teenager Milla (Eliza Scanlen) falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses (Toby Wallace), it’s her parents’ (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a renewed lust for life, traditional morals go out the window, leaving her parents wanting to hold tighter to their little girl. Milla soon teaches everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbor – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. BABYTEETH joyously explores how good it is to be alive and how far we will go for love. BABYTEETH had its World Premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 where actor Toby Wallace won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor.

Toby Wallace is a revelation the performance is earth-shattering. Once again, however, this movie isn’t going to be for everybody as it deals with drugs and personality issues. It’s really bleak and tense to watch these characters develop. The pacing suffers a little for I thought this movie was over-long. Clocking in at almost two hours I would have like to see 25 minutes shaved off as there are scenes that tend to drag on a little here.

Overall grade:

2.5/5 stars

The Truth (2020) Review

The Truth is a little bit of an uneven effort from everyone involved. It tries a little too hard to mimic the works of Richard Linklater, which is why I suppose they cast Ethan Hawke(who is always charismatic). However, in this film, he falls a little flat, especially the supporting cast around him.

I’m still not totally sure if it was the actor’s fault though. The screenplay just felt full of cliches. There was nothing ambitious or original enough in this production to really grab your attention. I really wanted to like The Truth but the pacing was dreadfully slow, making the viewing experience that much more daunting.

The scenery, however, was marvelous if there was one high light I could take away from the film. It would be the production design was amazing, everything looked stunning. Knowing most people won’t go heads over heel for production design, I don’t think a lot of my readers here will enjoy this one.

Overall grade.

1/5 stars

Universal Horror Collection Volume 5 Review

Synopsis:
Volume 5 of the Universal Horror Collection includes four tales of terror from the archives of Universal Pictures, the true home of classic horror. A mobster’s brain is transplanted into an ape who carries out his revenge in The Monster And The Girl. A mad scientist turns an ape into a beautiful, but deadly woman in Captive Wild Woman. Jungle Woman, the sequel to Captive Wild Woman, is an eerie thriller with all the danger of wild animals on the loose and a sexy killer on the prowl! And in Jungle Captive, a scientist has experimented on re-animating animals … but now he has decided to go one step further and re-animate a human!

Review:
All films include new 2K scans on Blu-Ray which highlight another outstanding picture transfer from Shout Factory. All of the films are under 65 minutes each. Some of the movies didn’t really do much for me even though some of the aspects inspired such films like Re-Animator, The Fly and Island of Dr. Moreau. If the films had more story to them I think I would have appreciated them more, but I understand in the 1940s weren’t necessarily long. In the end I don’t think this is a strong entry in the universal horror collection that Shout Factory has been putting out for a long time. Here’s hoping the next collection is more intriguing than this one.

Features:

THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL
1080p High Definition (1.37:1) / DTS-HD Master Audio Mono / 1941 / B&W / Not Rated / +/- 65 Minutes

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN
1080p High Definition (1.37:1) / DTS-HD Master Audio Mono / 1943 / B&W / Not Rated / +/- 61 Minutes

JUNGLE WOMAN
1080p High Definition (1.37:1) / DTS-HD Master Audio Mono / 1944 / B&W / Not Rated / +/- 61 Minutes

JUNGLE CAPTIVE
1080p High Definition (1.37:1) / DTS-HD Master Audio Mono / 1945 / B&W / Not Rated / +/- 63 Minutes

Star Trek Short Trek’s review

Star Trek Short Treks is an excellent portray in experimental science fiction that connects to a much larger scale. The performances are all powerhouse including a rare glimpse of Rainn Wilson doing some serious drama and nails it in his episode.

Noting the episodes are only 15 minutes each in Short Trek’s this review won’t be long at all. I loved the fact each episode toned down the scale and felt really intimate with the budget and being isolated science fiction which is some of my favorite about the genre.

Each episode does a hell of a job telling a story in five scenes and each episode comes with a making-of special feature which dives deeper into each episode.

The sound was phenomenal on the Dvd transfer and one of the best I’ve heard on a DVD in quite some time with everything being released on Blu-ray and 4K it’s amazing to hear the sound on this. The picture transfer is equally astounding. CBS did an excellent job with this release!

Dementer Review


Dementer is probably the independent film of the year, and by independent film I mean shoe-string budget independent film. It was masterful to see this all unfold in front of you. The atmosphere and moodiness of the film will remind you of a major release from A24, if that turns you off by now you probably won’t appreciate this slow-burn that is awe-inspiring.

When I spoke to the director he spoke to me how much it meant to him to work with his sister who has Down Syndrome; he was throwing around ideas in his head how to make it work… Would it be a short film, would it be an actual feature. I’m glad he made this feature it’s especially touching to me to see all the actors with real disabilities act as themselves in Dementer. As someone who is on the spectrum for Autism it spoke levels to me the good intention Chad had in making this film.

He also had to put his own money into this to make it work and Chad I hope you see how much it really pays off once people have the chance to see this. I would love for a streaming service like Shudder to pick this up, or even something like Tubi would be perfect. The acting in this feels so grounded and powerful because there’s only one person in the cast that is a “Professional Actor” the cast all deliver something special here, you can tell by now I really enjoyed this one and it may be a close favorite from the Chattanooga Film Festival which also features Eat Brains Love and F For Fulci.

Overall grade:

5/5 stars

Dementer Chattanooga Film Festival Review

Dementer is probably the independent film of the year, and by independent film I mean shoe-string budget independent film. It was masterful to see this all unfold in front of you. The atmosphere and moodiness of the film will remind you of a major release from A24, if that turns you off by now you probably won’t appreciate this slow-burn that is awe-inspiring.

When I spoke to the director he spoke to me how much it meant to him to work with his sister who has Down Syndrome; he was throwing around ideas in his head how to make it work… Would it be a short film, would it be an actual feature. I’m glad he made this feature it’s especially touching to me to see all the actors with real disabilities act as themselves in Dementer. As someone who is on the spectrum for Autism it spoke levels to me the good intention Chad had in making this film.

He also had to put his own money into this to make it work and Chad I hope you see how much it really pays off once people have the chance to see this. I would love for a streaming service like Shudder to pick this up, or even something like Tubi would be perfect. The acting in this feels so grounded and powerful because there’s only one person in the cast that is a “Professional Actor” the cast all deliver something special here, you can tell by now I really enjoyed this one and it may be a close favorite from the Chattanooga Film Festival which also features Eat Brains Love and F For Fulci.

Overall grade:

5/5 stars

Tigers Are Not Afraid Blu-Ray Steelbook Review

Tigers Are Not Afraid was one of my favorite foreign films of last year. I was pretty stoked to get the steel book for review. The picture and sound quality transfers are amazing in this release.

It’s one of the best fairy tales movies of its kind since Pans Labyrinth. I would even place it with the early works of Del Toro like The Devils Backbone and Cronos. The storytelling is strikingly brilliant, Issa López does such a fantastic job with directing this movie it’s a must-see for any genre fan.

The only knock I would give this release is the English dubbed version which really sounds awful. You’re best bet is to watch the original version with subtitles.

Synopsis:

When a girl’s mother disappears leaving her on her own, she goings a gang of street children, leading to a tragic chain of events .

Overall grade:

4/5 stars

How To Build A Girl Review

This one is a little bit of a mixed bag for me, at first, it was really great with excellent performances. It had everything going for it in the first act, midway through the second act of the movie it turned down familiar roads with romantic comedies cliches and it never truly bounced back to what it made in the first act.

The visuals in this movies are something to behold that could give La-La Land a run for its money. However, in the end, it had one stand out performance from Beanie Feldstein(Booksmart) who really gives it her all and elevates the movie more than it needs to be.

If it wasn’t for Beanie Feldstein, I think this would be just another typical romantic comedy. That no one would bat their eyelashes at. I wish the supporting cast had more to chew on. If they did, it would have been more sustainable.

Overall grade:

2.5/5 stars

Spaceship Earth Review

Whoa, what an documentary this was! The story behind this is so batshit you have to see it to believe it. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this story till now. Which is why I’m telling the younger generation to seek this one out. Especially if you want to witness something that’s practically like a “cult” but in the end was just scientist trying to live in a biosphere.

What could have possibly went through the minds of these people to try this out? Some answers are best left unanswered in this review as you watch this documentary your jaw will drop multiple times to the point you have to keep picking it up.

This should be one of the Oscar Nominees for Best Documentaries this year. An open letter to NEON you should start your campaign for this now! It’s too surreal to miss!

Synopsis:

In 1991 eight visionaries embark on a two-year experiment to quarantine themselves inside Biosphere 2 — a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem.

Overall grade:

5/5 stars

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is one of the most satisfying and entertaining documentaries of the year that is a sure-fire shoo-in for a best documentary Oscar nomination come year-end.

Ever since High School, I’ve been engaged in spreading my knowledge of music and one of my best friends was introducing me to bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who The Band. While at the time I was into stuff like the Beastie Boys and Slipknot. The Band stuck with me.

I never claimed to have full knowledge of the history of The Band so it was extremely insightful to watch this documentary which will entertain even the die-hard fans of The Band. One of my favorite clips was about the concert they had a hypnotist on the stage with The Band.

It’s such a fascinating and well-done documentary, it is, in fact, one of the rare re-watchable docs out there that you can’t get enough.

Overall grade:

5/5 stars