Blu-ray Review: Superman: The Movie (1978) (4K Ultra HD)
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Superman: The Movie
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton
Starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Marc McClure
Warner Brothers
PG | 143 minutes
Release Date: November 5, 2018

This year celebrated the 80th anniversary of the creation of maybe the iconic comic character in American history, Superman. It’s also the 40th anniversary of the seminal film by Richard Donner that for many still holds up as the one true film version of Superman. Played by the late great Christopher Reeve, the film details the demise of alien planet Krypton as Jor-El, Oscar winner Marlon Brando sends his child off to planet Earth. Kal-El (Reeve) grows up to become mild mannered reporter Clark Kent of the Daily Planet, who must balance his time between wooing his colleague Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and saving the world from the plans of corrupt tycoon Lex Luthor, (Gene Hackman). Now you can take the Man of Steel home with you on a brand new 4k Ultra Blu-Ray combo pack.

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Blu-ray Review: The Witch

The Witch
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Robert Eggers
Written by Robert Eggers
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rated R | 92 Minutes
Release Date: May 17, 2016

Filmed on a low budget at locations in rural Ontario, Canada, the restrained chills and atmospheric tension of the film festival sensation, The Witch (or The VVitch: A New-England Folktale, as it was originally titled) made a mighty impression on critics and audiences willing to embrace a more cerebral form of modern horror. Now, this terrifying tale of a despairing evil that overcomes a devout Christian family trying to forge their survival off of an unforgiving land comes home to Blu-ray, where chances are it will gain an even larger following.

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Blu-ray Review: Fedora

Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Billy Wilder
Screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Based on the novella by Tom Tryon
Starring William Holden, Marthe Keller, and José Ferrer
Olive Films
Release Date: October 28, 2014

Aging and the collapse of the old Hollywood studio system has made Barry “Dutch” Detweiler (William Holden) cynical about the redefined business of filmmaking. Now a struggling independent producer exhausting what little finances he has to develop a new adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary masterpiece Anna Karenina, Dutch has traveled to a remote Greek island in search of the legendary actress Fedora (Marthe Keller). It’s been years since Fedora, once one of the most beloved stars of the silver screen, suffered the emotional breakdown that sent her into permanent seclusion and Dutch hopes to lure her out of self-imposed retirement to star in his newest production. But he finds his efforts to approach Fedora thwarted at every turn by her mysterious and overprotective benefactors, the haughty Countess Sobryanski (Hildegard Knef) and the ethically-suspect plastic surgeon Dr. Vando (José Ferrer).

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Blu-ray Review: Moontrap

Directed by Robert Dyke
Screenplay by Tex Ragsdale
Starring Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell, and Leigh Lombardi
Olive Films
Release Date: November 18, 2014

During a routine space shuttle mission astronaut Colonel Jason Grant (Walter Koenig) and his friend and co-pilot Ray Tanner (Bruce Campbell) encounter a derelict alien craft floating among the stars. Upon inspecting the ship Grant discovers a desiccated human corpse and a strange red pod. Back on Earth the body is carbon-dated to be 14,000 years old and the pod contains a small robot that can build itself into a virtually indestructible killing machine with the help of some scrap metal and human appendages. The machine is destroyed after engaging NASA’s finest in a body count-heavy battle and Grant and Tanner are assigned to travel to the moon in an old Apollo spacecraft to investigate the alien’s origins and find out if they have any more surprises in store for mankind.

Oh Moontrap, where have you been all my life? Long have I known of this indie sci-fi thriller’s existence through edited clips on the unjustly cancelled USA Network show Shadow Theater (hosted by Robert Englund) and a passage in co-star Bruce Campbell’s autobiography, but it has been unavailable on home video since the dying days of the VHS era….until now. Directed by Robert Dyke, a visual effects artist and producer and director of commercials making his feature debut as director, from a screenplay by the awesomely-monikered Tex Ragsdale, Moontrap is a pure delight of unpretentious creature feature fun that makes its long-awaited debut on Blu-ray and DVD Stateside.

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Blu-ray Review: Sands Of Iwo Jima

Sands of Iwo Jima
Directed by Allan Dwan
Story by Harry Brown; Screenplay by Brown and James Edward Grant
Starring John Wayne, John Agar, and Forrest Tucker
Olive Films
Release Date: November 11, 2014

When it comes to vintage war movies Sands of Iwo Jima is about as old-fashioned as they can get. It was one of the last memorable features made by the late Allan Dwan, a Canadian-born filmmaker who had began working in the motion picture industry during its pre-sound infancy, and it starred silver screen legend John Wayne in one of his most iconic leading roles. In the decades that followed Sands‘ theatrical release, war movies got meaner, bloodier, and introspective about what it means to kill for your country, so Dwan’s film can’t helped but be regarded today as an antique from a different era of cinema history.

However, that hardly means Sands of Iwo Jima doesn’t bring to the table many of its own virtues, the most important being that it’s highly entertaining and features the Duke stepping outside his movie star comfort zone to deliver an actual performance to rank with his turns in the classic westerns Red River and The Searchers. At this point in his career Wayne had been firmly established as a star of big screen westerns and war epics. During World War II he saw celluloid combat in The Fighting Seabees, Flying Tigers, Back to Bataan, and John Ford’s They Were Expendable. Wayne could always be counted on to provide a hearty stew of sensitivity and machismo and marshal the war effort with his effortless performances. Sands wasn’t his last combat film, but it was probably one of his best.

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