Thursday, June 21, 2018

Own the 2001: A Space Odyssey on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital October 30th!

STANLEY KUBRICK’S ACCLAIMED SCI-FI CLASSIC
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
TO BE RELEASED ON 4K ULTRA HD

Following the summer’s theatrical run of the unrestored 70mm print of Kubrick’s landmark 1968 masterpiece, the film will be available for the first time in 4K Ultra High Definition resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) on October 30th in premium collectible packaging

A remastered Blu-ray™ Disc will also be included in the 4K UHD set and will be available for individual purchase

Continuing the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the renowned director’s groundbreaking science fiction epic will be released on 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) Blu-ray™ in premium collectible packaging and 4K UHD Digital on October 30.  Widely considered among the greatest films of the 20th century, 2001: A Space Odyssey returned to U.S. theatres in May following the debut of an “unrestored” 70mm print at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival. The film is playing throughout the summer at select theatres.

For the first time since the original release, new 70mm prints were struck from pristine printing elements made from the original camera negative.  A longtime admirer of the late American auteur, Christopher Nolan worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. Pictures throughout the mastering process.

Building on the work done for the new 70mm prints, the 4K UHD with HDR presentation was mastered from the 65mm original camera negative. The 4K UHD also includes both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track, as well as the original 1968 6-track theatrical audio mix (formatted for 5.1 DTS-HD master audio). 

“2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” said Nolan. “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home. Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper colour palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”

With 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick redefined the limits of filmmaking and cemented his legacy as one of the most revolutionary and influential film directors of all time.  Originally released in 70mm Cinerama roadshow format on April 4, 1968, the film ignited the imaginations of critics and audiences alike and its impact continues to resonate to this day. 

The film was directed and produced by Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel.” The film stars Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.

An award-winning director, writer and producer, Christopher Nolan most recently earned dual Academy AwardÒ nominations, for Best Director and Best Picture, for his experiential tour-de-force Dunkirk, which in July 2017 received the largest 70mm release in the last quarter century.  His diverse filmography also includes Interstellar, Inception, the blockbuster The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, and Memento, for which he received his first OscarÒ nomination, for Best Original Screenplay.

The 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD premium packaging will be available on October 30 at the suggested retail price (SRP) of $41.99, and includes the feature film in 4K resolution with HDR, a remastered Blu-ray disc with the feature film in hi-definition, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in hi-definition, and a Digital version of the feature film. The premium packaging also includes a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film.


In addition to being included with the 4K UHD, the remastered Blu-ray disc with the feature film in hi-definition will also be available on October 30 as a standalone product for $19.98 SRP. 

4K Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

The 4K UHD Blu-ray disc of 2001: A Space Odyssey will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

Fans can also own 2001: A Space Odyssey in 4K UHD via purchase from select digital retailers including iTunes, Google and Vudu on October 30.

SYNOPSIS
Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling, Academy AwardÒ-winning achievement is a compelling drama of man vs. machine, a stunning meld of music and motion. Kubrick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke) first visits our prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted space, perhaps even into immortality. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” Let an awesome journey unlike any other begin.

4K UHD AND BLU-RAY ELEMENTS
2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD contains the following 4K and Blu-ray elements:

- 4K UHD Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
- Remastered Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
- The Making of a Myth
- Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
- Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
-  2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
- What Is Out There?
- 2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
-  Look: Stanley Kubrick!
- 11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Premium Booklet
- Art Cards

2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray disc contains the following elements:
- Remastered Blu-ray™ with the feature film in hi-definition with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On October 30th, 2001: A Space Odyssey will be available to own in 4K UHD from select digital retailers, including iTunes, Google, and Vudu.

ABOUT DIGITAL
Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services. For more information on compatible devices and services go to wb.com/digitalmoviefaq. Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.



BASICS
PRODUCT SRP
4K UHD Premium Packaging - $41.99
Blu-ray- $19.98 
4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Street Date: October 30th, 2018
4K UHD EST Street Date: October 30th, 2018
4K UHD BD and Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
4K UHD BD and Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, 
Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 142 minutes
Rating: G
4K UHD and Blu-ray: DTS HD-MA

XTRO (1982) (Second Sight Blu-ray Review)

XTRO (1982)

Label: Second Sight Films
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Cert: 15 
Duration: 87 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Harry Bromley Davenport
Cast: Philip Sayer, Bernice Stegers, Danny Brainin, Marayam D’Abo, Anan Wing 


Synopsis: Not all aliens are friendly Part E.T., part Alien, British horror classic Xtro is one of the strangest, most shocking exploitation flicks to land on earth during the video nasty heyday. A film that narrowly avoided inclusion and prosecution on the original nasties list, threw in buckets of blood and gore and some of the most outlandish plot twists of the VHS era to create a truly memorable horror classic. Now it makes its arrival for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of Second Sight Films as Xtro: Limited Edition Box Set.



British sci-fi nightmare Xtro (1982) opens with father Sam (Philip Sayer, Slayground) and his young son Tony (Simon Nash, Brazil) playing fetch-the-stick with the family dog in the backyard, as dad attempts to throw the stick over the house it is deflected by something unseen midair. There's flash of electricity and day turns to night, with a rush of flashing lights and turbulent winds the father is seemingly abducted in a beam of bright white light that comes from the sky, it's a real Close Encounters of the Third Kind on a really low budget sort of moment. Flash forward three years later and Tony is waking from a nightmare, having dreamed of his father, the boy has always insisted that his dad was taken by a light in the sky, however, his mother Rachel (Bernice Stegers, Macabre) believes that Sam's just run off with another woman perhaps. 



Later that night we see a UFO flying over a nearby forest and deposits something into the ground, setting a small wooded area on fire in the process. Moving in for a closer look we see something stirring in the ground, a pool of ooze begins morphing into a what looks to be an alien-mutant version of a over-sized grasshopper! This is our first taste of some awesomely cheesy 80's practical special effects via a man in a fairly awful rubber suit, I say awful but in truth I love this sort of vintage 80's stuff! A short time later a passing vehicle strikes the creature and when the driver (Robert Pereno, Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire) goes to investigate he is killed by the injured creature. The female passenger who didn't listen to her boyfriends warning to "stay in the car!" is also killed. The creature then makes it's way to a small cottage where it attacks and grotesquely alien-rapes a young woman (Susie Silvey, Octopussy), as a proboscis of some sort emerges from the creature and cups itself over the victim's mouth transferring it's alien-goo into her body. She awakens a short time later next to the body of the now rotting, dead alien creature, realizing that something rather large is growing in her womb. While her useless dog eats the remains of the creature's corpse whatever it is inside of her is rapidly and painfully growing, as she lays on the floor with her stomach distended several times that the size of a normal pregnant woman, she gives an unnatural birth to a full  grown man who emerges from between her legs in a bloody mess, chewing through his own umbilical cord. The man is familiar to us, he's Sam, Tony's father, whom disappeared three years earlier.



At about the same time Tony awakens from a another dream covered in a bucket load of blood, seemingly coming from nowhere. His alarmed mother calls the doc who discovers the boy's suffered no apparent injuries, there's no explanation whatsoever offered and everyone more or less seems alright with that, it's just one of many bizarre and unexplained happenings in this surreal sci-fi shocker. The Sam clone/creature attempts to call his wife from a payphone but it seems his vocal chords have not fully matured and she can't understand him when he gives her a ring, when he hangs up the phone it just sort of melts away for no apparent reason, yet another bizarre goings-on that is never explained, and I do believe it's the unexplainable that makes this just a keen watch, it offers no answers so it has a ageless/answer-less draw about it. 



In the three years since Sam's disappearance Rachel has moved on with her life, nit one to linger on loneliness she's in a relationship with a photographer named Joe (Danny Brainin), and she also lives with a super-hot nanny named Analise (Bond-girl Maryam d'Abo from The Living Daylights), a gorgeous young woman whose  often frisky, kind enough to have several nude lovemaking scenes throughout the film, to bad she's relegated to alien-egg incubator a bit later, but not quite yet. 



Rachel only discovers Sam is back in town when she heads to school to pick-up Tony and shockingly finds out he's already been picked-up, and by Sam no less. Alarmed she tracks them down nearby and Sam reveals himself to her, she's gobsmacked by his sudden re-appearance, and when pressed for info about his whereabouts he says he has no memory of where he been until the day before. She takes him home where he meets the new man in her life, it's an uneasy meeting and Joe is obviously suspect of Sam's true intentions and strange behaviors. 



Later on Tony walks-in on his dad eating his pet snake rather runny eggs and runs off in a fright, Dad gives chase through the apartment building into the basement level, catching up to him he explains that since the abductions he's visited far away worlds and has changed, but he's come back for his son and wants the two to stay together. Once he's gained the child's confidence he creepily puts his mouth on the boys shoulder and starts sucking, transferring some mysterious fluids into him - or out of him - and this is such a creepy scene. Afterward Tony discovers he's gained new powers, he has the ability to control objects, but he uses his new found powers for evil - quickly dispatching the elderly neighbor who earlier killed his pet snake after it escaped into her apartment. Tony's method of revenge is somehow transforming his 12" army action figure into a 6' assassin, it's a fun scene, and the way the old biddy is bayoneted through the bed she's hiding beneath with the blood squirting out from underneath is a gloriously cheap thrill.



Xtro is a bit of a special effects n' gore extravaganza, as it is the plot is basic stuff, serving only to link the numerous and bloody effects scenes together in a way, but also realized with a strange surreal visual style that offers oodles of atmosphere and copious amounts of WTF-ery, there's a decided lack of connective tissue holding the scenes together, it has a dream-logic not dissimilar to that of a Lucio Fulci (The Beyond) film. Don't come to this film expecting a coherent plot, it's not really there, but the strange, rubbery and usually gooey special effects are a blast, this one is full of alien-fluids, human blood and a pint-sized killer clown that Tony conjures during a trippy, hallucinogenic scene, this is one strange surrealist slice of sci-fi. Not all of the weirdness works for me, a scene of a toy tank chasing down Analise's boyfriend was only meh, but overall the film's strangeness works for it and not against it. 



Audio/Video: Xtro (1982) arrives on Blu-ray from British distributor Second Sight Films in 1080p HD, this is a brand new restoration framed in 1.85:1 widescreen, and it's a fresh look for the film, particularly for me as the last time I watched it was from a well-worn second hand VHS copy in 2010! I was tempted to purchase the German HD release a while back but reports of excessive DNR (another ruinous Krekel debacle) kept me away, but this is from the original scan and is a brand new restoration exclusive to Second Sight. I am happy to report that it looks healthy with some natural looking grain throughout, it was a cheapie production and looks it in spots with some inherent softness in certain scenes due to improper lighting and lack thereof, but it looks natural. Colors are solid, but skin tones tend to look a bit cool but I think that's the intention, and the black levels are decent throughout. For a different look at the film check out the 2018 Director's Version (included as a separate viewing option) which has been heavily tweaked in regard to brightness and color grading, it's a completely different look and feel for the film, though not my preferred one. The lone audio option is an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track, dialogue is crisp and clean with no issues with hiss or distortion, the wonky synth score from director Harry Bromley Davenport is memorably strange, it suits the film.



Second Sight go all-out for the extras, kicking things off with a nearly hour-long retrospective making-of documentary 'Xploring Xtro' produced by Nucleus Films, this featuring brand new interviews with director Harry Bromley Davenport, Producer Mark Forstater, Actors Bernice Stegers, Susie Silvey, Tim Dry, Sean Crawford, Robert Pereno,and journalists Alan Jones and Craig Lapper that begins with the story of how Monty Python and the Holy Grail producer Forstarter aligned himself with director Davenport, selling the evil-extraterrestrial story Robert Shaye at a pre-'The House That Freddy Built' New Line Cinema, who was looking for something along in the vein of Phantasm to distribute. There;s plenty of the director disparaging himself and the movie, while others hold it up as something special, it goes deep into the making of the film, including fun buts with the cast and crew, including actor Tim Dry who was the man in the alien rubber-suit speaking about having to submerge himself in a mud-pit thinking he might well drown in the process!  



Nucleus Films also offer up a handful of shorter extras all sourced from the same interview sessions, ‘The World of Xtro’ is a 27-min featurette with more of director Harry Bromley-Davenport and producer Mark Forstater along with super-fan Dennis Atherton (wearing a Shock Waves podcast t-shirt) all speaking about the peculiar charms of the film and why it has gone onto have cult-status. Atherton is an especially obsessive fan with some keen insights into he what makes the film so damn strange and wonderful, contradicting the director's claims that the film is a bit of nonsense, pointing out some foreshadowing and strangeness, including the women in the car whose foot gets stuck in the steering wheel. In ‘Beyond Xtro’ Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater  speak briefly about the sequels, in addition to the unfinished fourth film Xtro: The Big One, including test footage from the unfinished film, and I am sorry to say that it looks truly awful, but then again so were the sequels. 



‘Loving The Alien: A Tribute to Philip Sayer’ is a 4-min tribute from Harry Bromley-Davenport, Bernice Stegers and super-fan Danny Atherton, the latter of whom speaks of the Brian May (of Queen) tribute song for Sayer from 1992, the song is presented at the end of the tribute along with a montage of scenes from the film featuring the late actor. The only non-Nucleus produced extra is 'Xtro Xposed', a vintage 12-min featurette from Digital Roadshow featuring a 2005 interview with the director intercut with behind-the-scenes images and clips from the film, it's a good watch as he admits he doesn't much care for his films, believing them to be rubbish, but it seems he's warmed up to the film a tiny bit on the newly produced extras, but not by much. 

Finishing up the disc extras we get a theatrical trailer, US TV spot, and the option to watch the original UK cut of the film, the original clones ending, the slightly longer alternate ending version or a new 2018 version of the film overseen by director Harry Bromley-Davenport which tweaks the color grading and changes up the title sequence by adding additional text effects to the credits, some scenes are notably darker and less bright and detailed in the 2018 version, I honestly didn't care for it at all. 

We were just send the "check disc" for the purpose of this review, but retail copies include both original UK theatrical and video artwork plus a rigid slipcover, a softcover book and a soundtrack CD - none of which accompanied out screener version. 



Special Features:  
- Limited Edition box set featuring both original UK theatrical and video artwork flipped on either side so you choose the front
- New Second Sight restoration with option of original and alternate endings plus the original UK video version
- New 2018 Director’s Version (87 min) with Director Introduction (32 sec)  
- ‘Xploring Xtro’ - a new 57 minute documentary featuring interviews with Harry Bromley Davenport Mark Forstater, Bernice Stegers, Susie Silvey, ‘Tik’ – Tim Dry, ‘Tok’ – Sean Crawford, Robert Pereno, Alan Jones and Craig Lapper
- ‘The World of Xtro’ - a new featurette with Dennis Atherton, Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater (27 min) HD 
- ‘Beyond Xtro’ – a new featurette with Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater looking ahead to new reboot ‘Xtro – The Big One’, including exclusive test footage (7 min) HD
- ‘Xtro Xposed’ (12 min) 
- ‘Loving The Alien: A Tribute to Philip Sayer’ featuring exclusive Brian May music tribute (4 min) HD
- Original Trailer (2 min) HD 
- US TV Spot (32 sec) HD
- Soft cover book with new writing by Kevin Lyons plus publicity and production stills
- Original soundtrack CD


Of all the cheap sci-fi flicks that came out in the wake of Speilberg's E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind this is definitely one of the strangest cult sci-fi flicks out there - even to this day it holds a special magic I love. The atmosphere of the film is deranged, you never know what might happen next, if you crave alien rape, sweet full frontal nudity, and rubbery and gooey  special effects, then this a true treat. The new restoration from Second Sight looks and sounds great, this surreal slice of sci-fi WTF-ery has never looked or sounded better on home video, and the new extras are truly entertaining, this is easily the most definitive version of the film to date, and it's region-free so dig in!
More screenshots sourced directly 
from the Second Sight Blu-ray 


Paul Ragsdale (CINCO DE MAYO) retro 80's revenger STREETS OF VENGEANCE (2017) arrives on DVD/Blu-ray July 24th from Olive Films and Slasher//Video!

STREETS OF VENGEANCE (2017)

Label: Olive Films
Duration: 101 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: Stereo
Video: Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Paul Ragsdale
Cast: Delawna McKinney, Ginger Lynn Allen, Joanna Angel, Alexis Amore, Sophie Dee, Bryan Hurd, Daniel James Moody 

From Paul Ragsdale and Angelica De Alba, the directing and writing team behind the cult horror film Cinco De Mayo, comes Streets of Vengeance, an action-packed thriller that pays homage to the gritty revenge films of the 1980s. 

A throwback to the gritty action-thrillers of the 80s (Angel, Vice Squad, Ms. 45), Streets of Vengeance stars Delawna McKinney (Cinco De Mayo) as Mila, an ex-porn star whose decision to leave the industry is interrupted when she’s kidnapped by a militant misogynist sect known as The Sword, intent on ridding the world of women who they believe are using their sexual powers to destroy men. The Sword’s plans are thwarted when Mila kills her captor, and with the help of Brian (Anthony To’omata, Cinco De Mayo), a local journalist, escapes.

Emboldened, Mila recruits her friends from the adult film community who form a ragtag militia and set out to destroy the cult of The Sword.

Rounding out the cast is a bevy of adult film actresses including Ginger Lynn Allen (Sunset Stripped), Joanna Angel (All Access P.O.V.), Sophie Dee (Out of Control) and Alexis Amore (Bario Bitches). Also featured are Daniel James Moody (Brothers) and Bryan Hurd (Fever Dream). Streets of Vengeance is written and directed by Paul Ragsdale (Cinco De Mayo, Brothers), produced by Angelica De Alba (Cinco De Mayo co-writer), photographed by Dan Zampa and scored by Vestron Vulture.

Special Features: 
- Audio commentary with writer/director Paul Ragsdale, producer Angelica De Alba and cinematographer Dan Zampa
- Making of “Streets of Vengeance” featurette
- Cast and crew interviews
- Outtakes
- Bloopers
- Photo galleries
- Music videos
- Trailers
- “Slashlorette Party” trailer
- “Tough Guys” trailer


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CANNON CLASSICS DOUBLE FEATURE: DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN (1987) & DEATH WISH 5: THE FACE OF DEATH (1994) (Umbrella Blu-ray Review)

CANNON CLASSICS DOUBLE FEATURE:
 DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN (1987)/ 
DEATH WISH 5: THE FACE OF DEATH (1994)  

Label: Umbrella Entertainment

Region Code: Region-Free
Rating: R
Duration: 100 Minutes/95 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono, English DTS-HD MA Stereo with Optional English Subtitles
Director: J. Lee Thompson / Allan A. Goldstein
Cast: Charles Bronson, Dana Barton, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan, Lesley-Anne Down, Michael Parks, Chuck Shamata, Saul Rubinek 


DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN (1987)(100 min) 
Now living in Los Angeles after the New York set third film, the infamous vigilante Paul Kersey (Bronson, Hard Times) is once again working as an architect, having settled down with a newfound love interest, TV report Kay Sheldon (Kay Lenz, House), but when her teenage daughter Erica (Dana Barron, the original Audrey from National Lampoon's Vacation!) suddenly dies of a crack overdose Paul returns to his perennial vigilante lifestyle, seeking out the dealer who dealt her the toxic drugs, and then aligning himself with mysterious newspaper magnate Nathan White (John P. Ryan, It's Alive) in an effort to turn rival drug pushers against each other to rid the city of crack cocaine.


Now in his late-sixties Bronson was pretty tired looking at this point, but he returned for this J. Lee Thompson (Happy Birthday To Me) directed sequel, cashing a probably large-sized payout for the role and offering his usual tough-guy persona. The action in this one is a bit on the anemic side when compared to previous entries but it still manages to turn a smile with Bronson's character  dispatches bad guys in a series of fun and somewhat corny ways. The film opens with a strange parking garage sequence wherein a woman is being stalked by three stocking-masked thugs who look to be about to rape her when they're interrupted by Bronson, who dispatches of them in the usual point a gun in their direction and pull the trigger sort of way. Without Michael Winner directing this sequel gone is the formerly prerequisite misogynist rape scene the series is known for, making this a bit less seedier than previous entries, but what it lacks in sex-crimes it makes up for in ridiculous action set-pieces. One of my favorite scenes has Bronson going undercover as a wine rep, infiltrating a mobbed-up diner and offering a table of gangsters (including an early appearance from Danny Trejo, Machete) a bottle of explosive wine, the superimposed fiery explosion is so damn cheap looking, but the split-second we see of a mannequin used in the explosion alone is worth the price of admission for me, this is the sort of bad movie stuff that makes bad movies fun.  


The film is a definite drop down in quality for the series, though it is a better looking production than the third entry thanks to the capable direction of J. Lee Thompson (Cape Fear), and I love John P. Ryan here in a sinister dual-role, he goes right off the rails towards the end, chewing up scenery in a roller rink with an explosive finale, also featuring another cheap-ass mannequin that goes up in flames. Death Wish 4 is pretty cheesy stuff but this is still tasty cheese, the mold hasn't fully engulfed the 80's action flick and Bronson still caries himself well-enough to make this an entertaining Death Wish film.  



DEATH WISH 5: THE FACE OF DEATH (1994)(95 min)
Having had his revenge against the drug dealers who killed his girlfriend's daughter in L.A. in the last film we catch up to Paul Kersey (Bronson) a few years later, returning to where it all began, New York City. Now in his seventies the vigilante is inexplicably living in the witness protection program and is a professor of architecture at a local university. Again we have a doomed love interest by way of the much younger fashion designer Olivia (Lesley-Anne Down, From Beyond the Grave), and her young daughter Chelsea (Erica Lancaster). Unfortunately for everyone Olivia's ex is vicious gangster Tommy O’Shea (Michael Parks, Tusk) who is using her fashion house to launder dirty money, when she tries to break free of his tyrannical influence the Irish thug sends cross-dressing hit-man Freddie "Flakes" Garrity (Robert Joy, Land of the Dead) to disfigure her as a warning, later going so far as to kill her, continuing a streak of doomed women that Kersey has left in his wake going all the way back to the original film.  


When the mobster gains custody of his estranged daughter following the death of his ex Kersey begins to hunt down O'Shea and his henchmen, with the violence in this one getting even sillier and more cartoonish than the last with Kersey taking out the mobster and his henchmen via a cornucopia of oddball ways, including a cyanide-laced cannoli, an R/C controlled soccer-ball bomb and an ill-advisedly placed vat of acid!


Death Wish 5: The Face of Death (1994) is more of the same for the franchise, but even cheaper than the last. Bronson is considerably older than even the last film, so don't expect a lot from him, thankfully we again have a notable villain by way of Michael Parks (From Dusk Till Dawn), he's venomous fun as the over-the-top Irish mobster, and while he doesn't completely redeem this mostly flat action-less film I think if you made it through the first four films I don't expect you'll walk away from this one too disappointed. 


Audio/Video: Death Wish 4 and 5 arrives on single-disc Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment in 1080p HD, framed in 1.85:1 widescreen and sourced from a good looking element, whatever that may be. Grain is decently managed, with darker scenes showing more visible grain. There doesn't look to be any egregious DNR applied to it, looking very filmic and natural. Colors are also good, skin tones look natural and the black levels are adequate, I wouldn't say inky through and through, but looking alright overall. Audio comes by way of English DTS-HD MA Mono on the first film and stereo for the second with optional English subtitles, no issues with hiss or distortion, well-balanced with score and dialogue coming through without issue. 

Extras are not quite as plentiful as the Umbrella release for Death wish II (1982)/Death Wish III (1985) but are decent, we get two audio commentaries from Film Historian and Bronson expert Paul Talbot - this guy knows his stuff and goes in-depth with a wealth of trivia, anecdotes, and behind the scenes info about each film, getting into the nitty gritty, even minutia like how Bronson played cards with the women in the film but no men were allowed to join in, he even details the various weapons used in the film, including which other film they were used in during that time period. The rest of the extras are relegated to trailers, tv spots, promos and an image gallery with posters, lobby cards, press releases, and various home video releases. 


Special Features: 

- Audio Commentaries  for both film by Film Historian Paul Talbot, Author of Bronson's Loose!
- Death Wish 4 Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 
- Death Wish 5 Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 
- Death wish 4 TV Spot (30 sec) 
- Death wish 4 Broadcast Promo Spot (30 sec) 
- Death Wish 4 VHS Preview (20 sec) 
- Death Wish 5 VHS Preview (1 min) 
- Image Gallery (63 Images) 


Death Wish 4 and 5 are both cheesy fun if you're in the right frame of mind, Bronson is not in top-form here but if you're a fan of the series (or of Bronson) it's a fun re-visit on Blu-ray. Notably this double-feature marks the HD debut of the fifth film, and Umbrella's Blu-ray looks and sounds very good with two great audio commentaries from a serious Bronson fanatic, both of which I would argue are nearly as entertaining as the films themselves.