Thursday, September 15, 2022




NAOMI: THE COMPLETE SERIES (2022) 3-Disc Blu-ray 

Label: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment 
Rating: Unrated 
Region Code: A
Duration: 547 min
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Cast: Kaci Walfall, Cranston Johnson, Alexander Wraith, Mary-Charles Jones, Mouzam Makkar, Daniel Puig, Camila Moreno, Will Meyers, Aidan Gemme, Barry Watson

The short-lived superhero series Naomi was based on the DC comic series from Brian Michael Bendis, Jamal Campbell, and David F. Walker, which I'm not familiar with. It was a teen-friendly superhero show that aired on HBO Max that followed a sixteen year-old girl named Naomi, the world's biggest Superman fan, who discovers she has a secret hidden past, multiversal origins, and that she has supernatural powers she's not fully in control of. I thought lead Kaci Walfall was quite likable but otherwise I thought this was too melodramatic with not enough supes-action. I would say this was striving for something along the lines of Star Girl or Black Lightning, series which balance supes and drama pretty well in my opinion, but the spectacle here is in short supply and the villain and the resolution was quite weak. That it was not renewed for a second season was not surprising. Obviously a second season was planned and it's leaves you hanging at the end, which means unless your hardcore DC completest or a big fan of the comic series this is going to be difficult to recommend. The 3-disc set looks and sounds quite nice in HD and has a handful of extras plus a digital copy of the series and a slipcover.  

Special Features: 
- Naomi: From Page to Screen (8 min) 
- A Hero Will Rise: Kaci Walfall (6 min) 
- The Adaptation of a Hero (6 min) 
- Georgia Filmworks (3 min) 
- Digital Copy
- Slipcover 

3-Disc DVD

Label:  Warner Bros. Home Entertainment 
Region Code: 1
Duration: 600 Minutes
Rating: Unrated 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, DB Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Aimee Garcia,  Rachael Harris

The six-season run of Lucifer is based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, the series originally aired on Fox before being cancelled, but then revived as a Netflix original for season five and six. I only jumped into the series during the fifth season, in it Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) has abandoned Hell for L.A. where he runs the nightclub Lux and assists his lover, a Los Angeles Police Department Detective Chloe Decker (Laura German), in solving crimes, and raising an Angelic daughter. Watching the sixth season, not having caught up with the first four seasons, I found the show to be a bit too glossy and melodramatic for my tastes, I was sort of intrigued by the 5th season but found my enthusiasm waning in the 6th. When I think of the devil I guess I'm old fashioned, I want brimstone and fire, and while Ellis is quite charismatic as Lucifer it didn't satisfy my Satanic sweet tooth the way I would have wished for. That said, this is absolutely something my wife would love. The final episode was so saccharine sweet, with the wuss-ification of Satan complete with a psychoanalytical stinger at the end that just irked me. The 3-disc set features a handful of extras, deleted scenes and gag reel, and that's it, seems weird to me that there are no series overviews and looks back at the show, which would have been quite deflating had I been a bigger fan.  

Special Features: :
- Deleted Scenes (4 min) 
- Gag Reel (6 min) 
- Slipcover 


Label: Warner Archive 
Region Code: Region-Free
Duration: 110 Minutes 
Rating: Unrated 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Full Frame (1.37:1) 
Director: John Cromwell 
Cast: ‎Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon, Mary Howard, Dorothy Tree

This film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play stars Raymond Massey as a very spot-on (insofar as I know anyway) portrayal of Abe Lincoln. The historical biopic tracks his his early years in Kentucky working at a general store on through to his Presidential election in 1860. It's a very well made flick and Massey was born to play the role, having honed his portrayal on the stage beforehand, it's pretty great. The real reason I checked it out to begin with was the inclusion of Ruth Gordon of Harold and Maude fame as Abe's love-interest and future wife Mary Todd, and she too is quite wonderful as the headstrong wife who pushed her seemingly somewhat reticent hubbie into greatness. The source of this Blu-ray  shows some minor imperfections, the OCN is lost, and this is sourced from a surviving fine grain nitrate master and 16mm sources to fill in the missing pieces. I thought it looked pretty grand as a first time viewing, the restoration afforded it is top-notch and the blemishes are minimal. The only extras on the disc is  April 22, 1940  Lux Radio Theater Broadcast adaptation with uncompressed audio that runs sixty-minutes . If you're a history buff of love a good biopic this lavish for it's time production should be quite a treat. 

Special Features: 
- Audio Only Bonus: Lux Radio Theater Broadcast (4/22/40) (60 min) (DTS-HD MA)


Label: Shout! Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 80 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 and 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.39:1) 
Director: Callum Burn 
Cast: Kris Saddler, Tom Gordon, David Dobson

In this very low-budget but lofty-visioned WW2 thriller the American Eighth Air Force is poised to commence with an air strike over Nazi Germany. With only hours to spare the British Intelligence learns that the Americans could be flying into a deadly trap. They scramble hot dog Flight Lieutenant Edward Barnes (Kris Saddler) to fly a risky seat of his pants reconnaissance mission, dubbed Operation Extreme Jeopardy, over Berlin in his unarmed Spitfire to gather photographic images to properly suss out the situation. Obviously made with heart and pluck this WW2 period thriller lacks polish but does a lot with very little. That said, the real thing that ruined it for me was the CGI aerial shots which were far too clean, looking quite dated, too smooth, and with no nuance or age to the prop engine planes. The dog fights and huma drama that unfold are decent, but not fully realized or fleshed out where I would recommend this to a wide audiences, but I do love the ambitious nature of, not so much the execution. The single-disc release from Shout! Factory includes an Audio Commentary with Director Callum Burn, Producer Andrew Burn, and Director of Photography Sam Parsons, Theatrical Trailer and a slipcover.    

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Director Callum Burn, Producer Andrew Burn, and Director of Photography Sam Parsons
- Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 
- Slipcover 


Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 115 Minutes 
Audio: English and Hungarian DTS-HD MA 2.0 and 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen 
Director: Peter Bergendy 
Cast: Viktor Kemm, Fruzsina Hans, Judith Schell, Zoltan Anger, Gabor Reviczky, Gabriella Hamori, Andrea Ladanyi

Hungarian folk-horror Post Mortem is set in 1918 where  soldier Tomás (Victor Klemm) is nearly blown to bits by a bomb during the WWI, during which he gets a peek into the afterlife, also glimpsing the image of a young girl. He miraculously survives and we catch up to him awhile later, the war is over and he has become a travelling post-mortem photographer - which is someone who takes pictures of the dead alongside their living loved ones as mementos. It's something I always thought was a particularly creepy, so it's fertile ground for some spooky supernatural shenanigans. With the Spanish flu raging there's no shortage of post mortem photography opportunities for Tomás, While travelling with a carnival he encounters a ten-year-old Anna (Fruzsina Hais) who implores him to come to her village to ply his trade. It turns out she is the girl from his near-death vision so he follows her to her plague-riddled village, where he discovers a high concentration of ghostly activity involving poltergeist's puppeteering the dead and creepy black shadow people. Tomás and Anna team-up to get the the bottom of the eerie happenings in the village and we get some truly creepy visuals that got under my skin. The puppeteered dead are sometimes hideous and uncanny, the imaged of a hanged man with a wrenched neck is one that stuck with me. Also the fevered finale has the spirits sinking a building into the ground and flooding it while villagers set it on fire with Thomas inside. The film is quite well-made and the visuals are top-notch, the story itself was a bit confusing (for me anyway) but it gets by on visuals, sound design and score, plus some properly conjured dread and atmosphere. The Scream Factory Blu-ray includes Deleted Scenes, Trailer and a Slipcover. Audio on the disc includes both original Hungarian and English, the Hungarian is the way to go, but if you checkout the dub the voice of Anna is pretty grating, it's up there with Bob from The House By The Cemetery. 

Special Features: 
- Deleted Scenes (9 min) 
- Trailer (2 min) 
- Slipcover 

FROST (2022) 
Blu-ray + CD 

Label: Cleopatra Entertainment 
Region Code: Region-Free
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 80 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 (No Subtitles) 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.39:1) 
Director: Brandon Slagle
Cast: Devanny Pinn, Ride Vernon Wells, Venus DeMilo Thomas

A pregnant young woman, Abby (Devanny Pinn, Ride Along 2) and her estranged father Grant (Vernon Wells, Commando) uneasily reunite after years apart. A road trip car accident ends up leaving them stranded on a remote mountainside during a winter storm with Abby trapped in a car that hangs precariously over a ledge while her father must traverse the frigid mountain terrain in search of rescue. Written by James Cullen Bressack (My Pure Joy) and director Brandon Slagle (Crossbreed) is a low-budget horror-thriller that is pretty scrappy considering it's obvious budget restraints. The survival-thriller veers hard left into grisly horror at the end but it lacked the tension and that would truly make it a nail-biter. Kudos to the decent camerawork and special effects which include frosty-faces, blacked frostbitten digits and some gruesome gore that is sure to be a bridge too far for some who through they were just getting a survival thriller. The 2-disc release includes a slide show and trailers, plus a CD soundtrack featuring Front Line Assembly,  Rock Wakeman, Terry Reid and others that will likely get more play in my house than the film. 

Special Features: 
- Slide Show (3 min) 
- Tailer (1 min) 
- Cleopatra Entertainment Trailers (14 min) 
- CD Soundtrack 

Well, there you go, another month and another round of capsule reviews. If you're a history buff and film archivist I think Warner Archive's release of Abe Lincoln In Illinois is the one you might want to gravitate to, but if you're more on the side of horror the Hungarian film Post Mortem is my personal pick of this edition of flicks. .