Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Howling Trilogy: The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987) / The Howling V: Rebirth (1989) / The Howling VI: The Freaks (1991)

Movie: 3/5
Video: 1.5/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 0/5
Overall: 2/5

Not A Trilogy!

I am going to be breaking these down individually.

The Masupials: The Howling 3:

The story revolves around a scientist who uncovers footage from the early 1900's of a werewolf and insists that they do exist. Then, a group of individuals who live in the town of "Flow" are a secret race of "Marsupial-Humans". The beautiful Imogen Annesley plays Jerboa who meets a local and soon all hell breaks loose as she has an offspring.

This movie is horribly bad, yet funny at the same time. 2.5/5. The biggest and I mean BIGGEST problem with this video is that it's cropped from 1.85 to 1.33. YOU DO NOT DO THAT! THAT IS A BIG NO-NO! The video gets a 0.5/5. The audio is all right for 2 Channel. 3/5.

Movie - 2.5/5
Video - 0.5/5
Audio - 3.0/5

The Howling V: The Rebirth:

A group of people are gathered in a castle in Hungary. What seems like an innocent getaway turns into murder as someone or something is killing them off.

I thought it was good supernatural murder mystery, 4/5. Video is slightly better, but that's nothing, but at least it's OAR; 1.5/5. Audio again is a 3/5.

Movie - 4.0/5
Video - 1.5/5
Audio - 3.0/5

The Howling VI: The Freaks:

A drifter by the name of Ian comes to a small town that's close to becoming a ghost town until he arrives and helps bring back the local church. Then, the traveling carnival comes to town where Ian comes face to face with the dangerous carnival owner.

Probably my least favorite out of the set, 2/5. The video is in OAR, 1.5/5. Audio, 3/5.

Movie - 2.0/5
Video - 1.5/5
Audio - 3.0/5

Movie - 2.5+4+2= 8.5/3 = 2.84 which will be rounded to 3/5.
Video - .5 + 1.5 + 1.5 = 3.5/3 = 1.167 which will be rounded to 1.5/5.
Audio - 3/5

The final overall is 3+1.5+3 = 7.5/4 = 1.875 which will be rounded to 2/5. I spent $11 on this, if you want to get this, don't pay more than that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Long Night (2007)

Movie: 3/5
Video: 2.5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 0/5
Overall: 2.5/5

One Long Night...Felt Kinda Long For 90 Minutes.

One Long Night...a title I saw for $5 while searching online at Target to get some free shipping on some Blu-ray titles I was looking to buy, like The Howling Trilogy and Alien 2: On Earth. I picked this little unknown title up to get past my $50 point because I was almost $2 under $50. The film is one of Vivendi Visuals' earlier releases to the format and if you've read the reviews for those other titles before they picked up Dragon Dynasty and The Weinstein Company titles, then you'll know what you're getting yourself into.

The film starts out with Richard who is getting married into a wealthy family. His behavior is the common "A-hole" type as he degrades his valet who is an immigrant. Richard is then called by his boss, at least I think it's his boss who is played by Ed Begley Jr, to go on a trip to Mexico City to report on his company's international finances. Richard reluctantly agrees and heads down where he then is met by Pancho the international head of the company. Pancho takes Richard out for a drink and leaves him stranded out in the middle of Mexico City where Richard ends up going up a certain creek without a paddle and he has to survive for the night. His fight for survival pits him up against gangsters, transsexuals, and corrupt cops. And it will be a night Richard will never forget.

I give the film a 3/5. It does drag at times and the film is not executed evenly. There is a twist at the end and when we get to it; it comes and then quickly goes as if to say; "Oh, we're this close to 90 minutes let's just quickly address this and then move on to the ending credits". In the drama of it all, the humor is somewhat entertaining as we see a Latino-American struggling to make it in a foreign land.

The video is problematic and I don't know what this movie was filmed on, possibly 16mm, I'm not sure. But it's not very detailed. And I know this complaint is probably meant to be artistic, but it's really dark, even in daylight scenes of the film. For me, the video presentation is what counts the most, and this is not a good video presentation. 2.5/5.

The audio is English/Spanish Bilingual 5.1 Dolby Digital with burned in Yellow English subtitles for all of the Spanish dialog. I give it a 4/5. There are no extras, not even a pop up menu, or scene selection. 0/5. And with this averaged up, it rounds up to a dismal 2.5/5. I would recommend this release, but only if you can get it for $5 like I did. It's a nice little indie film that got out into society, which is rare because lots of indie films don't get anywhere.

Monday, March 28, 2011

HDTV Babes Vol. 1 (2011)

Movie: 3/5
Video: 3/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

If You Live In Germany, You See This Every Night.

As stated in my review for the German release of Silent Hill, I lived in Germany for a few years. At midnight, the stations change to more adult themed material. On a channel which I forget it's name it had a program called "Sexy Fight Night" which had nothing to do with fighting and it was a woman or women stripping down and touching their bodies for several minutes in sports themed locations like a bowling alley or a tennis court, etc. These would last several minutes before going to another loop. This would go on from midnight to six in the morning in Germany.

Now, since I guess this is movie length, I'd give it a 3/5. It was ok. The women were ok. There was 8 scenes that went on for 84 minutes. Out of the eight scenes, I liked the blonde in the field in the third scene. The video ranges and I mean it's hit and miss. Some look sharp, some look soft, some look like they suffer from DNR. Even though I liked the third scene it is the worst PQ wise. It's DNR'd to the max here; video get's a 3/5

The audio is a music track that is this like type of music to relax too. Kinda like elevator music or something like that. 5/5. Extras are a picture gallery that goes on for like 20 minutes and the pictures are mostly better quality than the video. Extras get a 4/5. Even though averaged up this equals to 3.75, I'm rounding down to 3.5 Because the varying PQ is the five letter "B" word for a female dog. Wasn't bad for $15. Will get Vol. 2 sooner or later, not in a rush.

Silent Hill (2006)

Movie: 5/5
Video: 5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 0/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Can't Believe It's Been Five Years...

I am a big fan of the Silent Hill games and the German dub of Silent Hill film holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Germany from 2003 and 2006 and in the final years of being a teenager was spent living in a foreign country where I learned the language as well as learning French. While living in Germany, I frequented the Kino (German for Cinema) and would watch whatever they'd be playing in English every Sunday morning at 11 am. Well, this was my last night in the country before I flew back to the United States to go back to Hawaii.

The days prior I looked up showtimes to try to kill some time before I left the country; I had never watched a movie in the Kino dubbed over in German. This was my last chance to do it and I took the opportunity. Silent Hill was playing only at 11 pm and that was my only chance to go see it. I was barely old enough to get in to see it, I was 16 and the film was rated 16. I went to the kino and bought my ticket and the employee told me in the best English he could that the film wasn't in English and I told him to sell me the ticket. In Germany you can pick where you want to sit, so I sat in the 11th row and the 9th seat.

When the film started, I saw the Universal logo and then Focus Features logo and with the Focus Features logo we hear the Silent Hill theme play, like how it does in the U.S. release with the Sony logo. And I hear the dubbing for Radha Mitchell and I understood it. My three years of learning German paid off as soon as the film started and it was one of the greatest rewards I could ever give myself. For that, with my personal experience, I give the film a 5/5 because it was a good farewell to a country that gave me so much and that the film is almost exactly like the first video game.

The video on this release by Concorde is miles above what Sony released here in the U.S. on Blu-ray. The quality is dull on the U.S. release and here it has details to it and this makes for the better experience. There's a nice level of grain present. 5/5 for the video. The audio is superb, the German dub is loud and fierce. However the English audio isn't a loud but it still does the job. The only pro about the Sony release is that PCM English audio, that was awesome; audio is 5/5.

There are no extras present on this release like the Sony Blu-ray. Which is a shame since the U.S. DVD had an hour long documentary on it. Overall, even with the extras missing on the disc, I give it a 4.5/5. It is far superior to the Sony Blu-ray in almost every way. And it's great how the German release is Region All. I paid $23 to import this and I am very happy with it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transmorphers (2007)

Movie: 3/5
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 2/5
Overall: 3/5


If anyone knows The Asylum, you know what they are into doing. This is the infamous Transformers rip off that came out the same time to cash in on unsuspecting people who thought this was "Transformers" and not "Transmorphers". The story doesn't rip off Transformers at all. It's more like a Matrix Revolutions mixed with Terminator more or less is how I can describe this movie.

The movie isn't that great but it is entertaining. For that, I'd give it a 3/5. The video presentation is all around ok, it could be better if this was presented on a BD-50. It looks a little soft, but there is grain present on the presentation. The "Transmorphers" stand out a lot more than the environment. I'd give the video a 3.5/5.

The audio tracks presented on this Blu-ray are English and German Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. And then one German 2 Ch track. The audio sounds good. The German dub tracks are tame compared to the English audio. 4.5/5. The extras are weak, there's a trailer in 4:3 SD and a behind the scenes which is horribly interlaced and OUT OF SYNC. 2/5 for the extras.

I have to give this a 3/5. It's cheesy, it's not an award winner by any means, but for about $10, it's enjoyable to watch.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Les Rivières Pourpres (2000)

Movie: 4/5
Video: 4/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 0/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Jean Reno & Vincent Cassel = Fun


I've been a fan of their respected work for years. I saw Jean Reno in Leon when I was about 7 in 1996. I first Cassel as the crazed brother in Le Pacte Des Loups in 2002. I found out about this film in 2003 and got it a few months later on DVD in 2004. I thought this was a great thriller. Nadia Fares is very nice to look. I give the movie a 4/5. It's a great mystery as they keep being led in circles by the killer.

The video is sourced from the German release of the film. I believe that this is a BD25 compressed down from a BD50, all though I am not sure. It's high definition and not an upscaled SD master like some Taiwanese releases. It has good detail but it's not up to par with newer films. I give it a 4/5.

The audio tracks consist of French DTS-HD HR and a German dub in DTS-HD HR which, again, shows that the Taiwanese copy is sourced from the German release. The French audio is nice and loud. However, the German does sound a bit more tame in comparison. I give the audio a 5/5.

Extras = Nothing.

I think this is a good release and an upgrade over the US Sony DVD. I can confirm it is region all after testing it on my Insignia NS-WBRDVD2. I give this an over all 3.5/5.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sharktopus (2010)

Movie: 4/5
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Overall: 4/5


Ok, Roger Corman co-produced this crazy hybrid animal flick for the Sci-Fi channel (I'm not spelling it the new way) as well as Dinoshark which comes out next month on Blu-ray. I liked the movie as cheesy as it. If this was made back in the day in the 70's, I think this could have been a real classic. The story is that Sharktopus is called S-11 which is a genetic experiment made by this corporation for the navy. After this navy commander wants to see S-11 in action, the control mechanism that keeps Sharktopus under control gets damaged and S-11 soon turns into a killing machine that the navy wants back into their hands. The group goes after S-11 and he heads off to Mexico to chow down on the babes.

The film is pretty entertaining for it's non-graphic deaths. There's virtually no vulgar language in the film and the gore is pretty much non-existence except for one or two scenes. It's not rated by the MPAA, but I'd say it's more of a heavy PG-13 / light R rated film. I'd give it a 4/5 for the film. For a television movie, it's pretty entertaining and the acting is somewhat decent.

The video presentation is somewhat decent. In some scenes it looks nice and crisp and in other times it looks really soft. The animation for our title character is nicely detailed and he really stands out in all the shots he is in. I'd give it a 3.5/5. I really liked the audio, I give it a 5/5.

Extras are lacking, severely. Only a trailer and commentary by Roger and Julie Corman. For that, I'm giving it a 2.5/5. I know there has to be outtakes and deleted scenes somewhere. Disappointing that there isn't any of that.

Overall it averages out to 3.75 but I am going to round up to a 4/5. Pick it up for about $15 if you can. I bought it for $22 (after taxes) and as much as I like it, I'd have to really debate if it's worth that much. This movie is strictly for those who love these schlocky/cheesy Sci-Fi Channel movies.