Jason Lockard is a Pastor, Actor, Director, Singer/Songwriter, Radio host and Movie and TV Fanatic. He has been reviewing DVD and Blu-ray releases for over a decade!

Annie Get Your Gun

Full Review of The Warner Archive Blu-ray Release.

Hercules and the Captive Women

Full Review of Film Detective Blu-ray Release.

Doctor X

Full Review of Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray Release.

Battle Hymn

Full Review of KL Studio Classics Collection Blu-ray Release.

The Producers

Full Review of The Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray Release.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Merrily We Go To Hell (1932) {Criterion Blu-ray Review}

precode, Hollwood, Criterion Collection, Bluray, Fredric March, Sylvia Sidney,

Reviewed By Jason Lockard

The Criterion Collection has been releasing some absolutely amazing classic films from the early years of Hollywood. Last month we reviewed their Blu-ray release of 1937s History was made at Night! You can read that review here!

Now it is time for another early Hollywood film to shine on Blu-ray! This time around is the 1932s melodrama Merrily We Go To Hell, featuring a stellar cast led by Fredrick March and Sylvia Sidney.

Jerry Corbett is a newspaper reporter and a wannabe playwright. But Jerry has a much deeper problem he is an alcoholic. One night at a party he meets Chicago heiress Joan Prentice (Sylvia Sidney) who rescues him from his drunken ways. And encourages him to chase his dreams and write his play. Will Jerry gain the success he wants with the support of Joan or will his past catch up to him? You will have to see the film to find out!

Merrily we go to Hell runs the gambit of emotions. You will laugh shed a tear and rejoice at the romance. Edwin Justus Mayer wrote the screenplay basing it off the story "I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan" by Cleo Lucas. While the film can be a bit slow at points, 
Dorothy Arzner still directed an amazing daring and thought provoking film. I feel this film was ahead of it's time, because of the issues it explored!

It is good to note that the edgy for it's time content was achieved because this is a pre-code film. In a few years after the code was introduced films like this would such poignant and frank content would not be allowed on screen.

Joining Sylvia Sidney and Fredric March is a stunning cast of actors and actresses including, Adrianne Allen, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher, George Irving, Esther Howard, Florence Britton, Charles Coleman, Kent Taylor and a very young Cary Grant.

precode, Hollwood, Criterion Collection, Bluray, Fredric March,

This film has been transferred on Blu-ray featuring a brand new 4k restoration. The film is presented in 1080p and is in it's original 1.37:1 aspect ratio. The audio is an uncompressed PCM 1.0 track. The restoration looks pretty amazing I must say. There is only very slight imperfection in the picture. There are so minutiae that it is hardly even worth mentioning! Than for the audio, the sound has been cleaned up and there is very little hiss or pops making for a very good track of an early film. There is also English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Now The Criterion Collection loaded up this Blu-ray with some very cool extra features. First off there is an amazing insert that features the new art by Sonia Kretschmar used for the Blu-ray cover, just in larger scale. In this insert is an essay written by film scholar Judith Mayne.

Than for on disc features. There is a documentary by Katia Raganelli and Konrad Wickler fro 1983 about director Dorthy Arzner. This is a great little bonus, but it doesn't stop there. There is also a new
video essay by film historian Cari Beauchamp. The only thing I can find against this release is there is no audio commentary.

I have to say I enjoyed seeing this film and I enjoyed it even more with the new restoration. This really is a very good pre-code movie and a very good Blu-ray release. For those that would prefer The Criterion Collection has made this new restoration on DVD as well! 

So if you are a fan of early pre-code films or Fredric March i highly recommend this new release from Criterion. If you would like a copy of this Criterion's Blu-ray of Merrily we go to Hell you can order now by heading over to Amazon.com today!

Out of 4 Film Reels (4 Being the Best) The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray of Merrily We Go To Hell receives...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Top 7 (Batman Animated Movies)

On this episode of the Top 7 Pastor J shares his favorite Batman Animated Movies. What is your favorite Batman Animated Movie? Let us know in the comments. Be sure to like share and subscribe. 

If you want early excess to these videos sign-up for a free Ultimatetube.com account and subscribe to Pastor J's channel.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Claw documentary debuts next week

Reported By Jason Lockard

I remember watching wrestling as a kid. Seeing these larger than life characters fight it out inside the squared circle I was hooked. This 'sport' had me so entranced that I had to search out more, even go back in time. I remember seeing videos of these legends of the ring and one character that was indelible etched in my memory that I never forgot him. That was the villainous heel Baron Von Raschke.

Writer Daniel Nevitt and director Philip Harder set forth to tell the story of this larger than life supervillain. The new documentary comes complete with
reenactments with Pro Wrestling Hall of Famer James "The Baron" Raschke himself!

To say I am excited for this release would be an understatement! I think fans of classic wrestling or wrestling history are going to want to check this new documentary out! If you are interested in this film get the information about The Claw film below!

* When/where: An outdoor screening of the film will take place at 8:20 p.m. May 14 at St. Paul’s Como Lakeside Pavilion. It will also be available for online streaming May 15-23.
* Tickets: For the in-person screening, tickets are $50 (two bench seats), $75 (two seats) and $175 (four seats), with discounts available for MSPIFF members. Streaming tickets are $15.

* Details: MSPIFF runs May 13-23 and offers virtual screenings, along with select outdoor screenings, and with other special events. For the full schedule, see mspfilm.org.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Cool As Ice (1991) {Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review}

KL Studio Classics, Bluray, Kino Lorber, Vanilla Ice, Cool As Ice,
Reviewed By Jason Lockard

In the early 1990s the hip hop scene was taken by storm by a man named Robert Matthew Van Winkle but most people know him by his stage name Vanilla Ice. He was so popular in the music scene that he was asked to make his film debut in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

In the same year he made his film debut Vanilla Ice would get his own starring film vehicle, Cool As Ice. While it received negative reviews and was a commercial failure, over the year it became a cult classic.

The great folks at Kino Lorber Studio Classics have been knocking the Blu-ray releases out of the park as always. Now they are giving cult movie fans something they can sink their teeth into with Cool as Ice on Blu-ray. 

The film follows Johnny (Vanilla Ice) is a hip hop rapper who stops in a small town after one if his crew's motorcycles broke down and has to be fixed. While there he meets Kathy (Kristin Minter, TV’s ER), a high school honor student. A “good” girl and a “bad” guy? For real! You betcha!

David Kellogg only made two theatrical films in his directing career. Cool as Ice as his first and followed by Inspector Gadget. Now it maybe crazy to say, but I really like Inspector Gadget and after watching this film for the first time ever. I enjoyed Cool As Ice too! Kellogg brings a great style to film.

Now for the film I know this was film is considered by many to be a bad film. I don't consider it a bad film. I don't even consider this film to be a 'so bad it's good' film. I just found this film to be a lot of fun with great music. And after all that's what you want with a film. Now I will be honest here the acting of Vanilla Ice leaves a bit to be desired, but his is defiantly a charismatic character!

KL Studio Classics, Bluray, Kino Lorber, Vanilla Ice, Cool As Ice,

Cool as Ice makes it's debut on Blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber. The film is presented in 1080p in the original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. The soundtrack is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. While this transfer may not be a restored version of the film, it is still a very impressive transfer. The colors are bright and the picture is clean. As for the audio it is a standard soundtrack, but it is powerful enough to showcase Ice's music.

Special Features:
* NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Joshua Nelson
* Theatrical Trailer
* English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

For I was a bit young to see this film when it first came out. And than as I grew up I kind of forgot about it! So when I KL Studio Classics released this I had to see it, and I am so glad I did! You can count on Kino Lorber to do a great job on their Blu-ray releases and Cool as Ice is no different!

If you are fan of 90s cinema or Vanilla Ice the KL Studio Classics Blu-ray of Cool as Ice is going to be one you are going to want to have on your shelf. Head over to Amazon.com and order your copy today.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Silver Screen Spotlight #6 (Doctor X)

Hosted By Jason Lockard

In this episode of the Silver Screen Spotlight Jason "Pastor J"
Lockard shares his thoughts on the Warner Archive Collection's Blu-ray release of Doctor X.

Read the full written review of this release by Clicking Here! Watch the Video below.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Death Has Blue Eyes (1976) {Arrow Video Blu-ray Review)

Reviewed By Jason Lockard

So many films from the 1970s are not Oscar nominated films, but over the years they have gained a cult following from certain film fans. Arrow Video knows these film fans are out there and are looking for those film in physical media format with all the bonus features so they are meeting that need.

The next cult film Arrow Video is supplying cult movie fans with is the 1976 action sci-fi thriller from director Nico Mastorakis Death Has Blue Eyes. This isn't the first Nico film Arrow Video has released on Deluxe Blu-ray. Less than a year ago Arrow Video released his 1988 film Bloodstone you can read that review here.

The film follows Greek local gigolo Chess (Chris Nomikos) and his vacationing friend Bob Kovalski (Peter Winter) as they embark on a string of scams and erotic relationships that eventually lead them into contact with an elegant wealthy woman, Geraldine Steinwetz (Jessica Dublin), and her glamorous daughter Christine (Maria Aliferi). Geraldine blackmails the boys into acting as her daughter's bodyguards. But Christine has telepathic abilities and after escaping a series of assassination attempts, it soon becomes clear that Geraldine herself might not be quite whom she seems.

Death Has Blue Eyes is a unique story to say the least. I think this could have been a very entertaining story if it was crafted a bit differently. But for me it felt a bit confusing at times and the exploitation is just not my bag!

Arrow Films releases Death Has Blue Eyes onto Blu-ray for the first time in North America. The film has been restored from the original 35mm camera negative by director Nico Mastorakis and Angelos Argyroulis at SteFilm, Athens. I have to admit the picture is not a stunning looking one. The colors don't seem to pop as much as some 70s film restorations. The bright spot is there seems to be no scratches, dust particles or deterioration of the picture!

Now as for the audio the mono track has been remastered as well. For the most part it is clear there are some disturbances in the track at time through the film. A very cool bonus Arrow Video added English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing!

Never satisfied with a bare bones Blu-ray release Arrow Video has loaded Death Has Blue Eyes release with a lot of bonuses. Take a look at what is included in this disc.

* Two versions of the film: the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version

* Exclusive new interview featurette with Nico Mastorakis

* Exclusive new interview with actress Maria Aliferi

* Dancing with Death: tracks from the Death Has Blue Eyes original soundtrack

* Original theatrical trailers

* Image gallery

* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

* FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Julian Grainger

This is a very niche audience release. With the adult situations, violence and sexual content this is not for the general film fan. Viewer discretion really is advised with this release. It could be deemed extremely offensive, especially in this generation.
But if you are a fan of Nico Mastorakis or cult films of the 70s Death Has Blue Eyes may be just up your ally! You can add this Blu0ray to your collection today by ordering a copy at Amazon.com.

Out of 4 Film Reels (4 Being the Best) Arrow Video's Blu-ray of Death Has Blue Eyes receives...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Each Dawn I Die (1939) {Warner Archive Blu-ray Review}

James Cagney, George Raft, Bluray, Warner Archive, Warner Brothers,

Reviewed by Jason Lockard

James Cagney was a very versatile actor. He could do it all! Sing, dance, dramatic roles, but most movie fans remember him for his tough guy roles in his early career that really made him a star.

One of those early tough guys roles of his was 1939s "Each Dawn I Die". Warner Archive Collection have been dusting off a lot of these early films and giving them a great Blu-ray release they truly deserve. Now it is time for James Cagney's each dawn I die to shine in HD!

Frank Ross (Cagney) is a journalist who is framed for murder by a corrupt politician running for governor. While his fellow reporters try to prove his innocence from the outside, Ross befriends infamous gangster “Hood” Stacey (George Raft). Stacey promises Ross that he will find evidence to prove his innocence if Ross will help him break out of jail. However, Stacey betrays him, and Ross is punished further. As time marches on, will Ross get justice? 

While the film may start off a tad slow it picks up fast and before long you are on the edge of your seat for this cinematic experience. The film was a big financial success for Warner Brothers and lead to them offering George Raft a long term contact. This is truly James Cagney at his "good guy" best.

It may have been considered one of the best of the year, but 1939 had some of the best films in cinema history this year. When you look back at the ist it is quite impressive. Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Goodby Mr. Chips, Of Mice and Men, Only Angels have Wings, Dark Victory, The Private lives of Elizabeth and Essex and many many more. So you can kind of see why this films gets lost in the 1939 year shuffle.

James Cagney, George Raft, Bluray, Warner Archive, Warner Brothers

Each Dawn I Die make it's debut on Blu-ray and what a debut it is! The film is transferred in 1080p sourced from a 4K scan of the best surviving nitrate elements. It keeps it's original full screen format 1.37:1 aspect ratio.The audio track is a DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio. This transfer is nothing sort of masterful. When I examined the film for damage I didn't see any visible damage what so ever.

With this release Warner Archive really packed on the bonuses to make this something special. Let's take a look at what is included on this Blu-ray release.

* An Audio Commentary by Film Historian Haden Guest.

* Vintage Newsreel: An update on war efforts of the time.

* A Day at Santa Anita starring Sybil Jason and Marcia Ralston

* Wings of the Navy Trailer

* Stool Pigeons and Pine Overcoats: The language of Gangster films

* The Breakdown of 1939: Studio Blooper Reel

* Bonus Cartoons "Each Dawn I Crow" and "Detouring America"

* Bonus: Radio Show with George Raft and Franchot Tone

* Re-Issue Trailer

From top to bottom the bonuses are a win. from the vintage newsreels and shorts to the classic cartoons and the amazing radio show. This is a spectacular Blu-ray release. I can not recommend this one enough!

So if you are a fan of James Cagney or those old gangster films of the 1930s. I highly suggest this adding this amazing Blu-ray release from Warner Archive to you collection. You won't be disappointed. Head over to Amazon.com and get your copy today.

Out of 4 Film Reels (4 Being the Best) Warner Archive's Blu-ray of Each Dawn I Die receives...