Monday, November 23, 2020

Dragnet: Blu-ray Review

Reviewed By Jason Lockard

"Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent." No doubt we all remember hearing that classic line from the iconic TV show Dragnet. Well, while the TV series was ongoing,
producer/director/star Jack Webb made a deal with Warner Brothers to direct several feature films--the first was to be a feature film of the series Dragnet. 

Film fans love Kino Lorber Studio Classics for the fact that they give films that mainstream movie goers wouldn't give the time of day, a chance to shine on Blu-ray. Now the 1954 Dragnet feature film is available on Blu-ray for the first time ever.


The film follows Los Angeles police detective Sergeant Joe Friday as he hunts down the killer of a mobster, Miller Starkie. He focuses his attention on West Coast mafia second-in-command Max Troy. The tension between Friday and Troy builds leading to a brawl at a private card game between Friday, Frank Smith, and several of Troy's henchmen. Meanwhile a policewoman infiltrates Troy's nightclub and is able to obtain vital information on the Starkie killing.

This film is a great piece of cinema. It hits all the right notes. Joe Friday and Franks Smith are amazing together, just like they are in the series. Than there is the amazing supporting cast featuring Richard Boone, Ann Robinson and Dennis Weaver.

They things you love about the series, you are going to find in this film, but some added action makes for an amazing little police drama. The film was produced for only $500,000 but ended up making
an estimated $4.7 million at the North American box office during its first year of release unbelievable.

Now for this Blu-ray release. Kino Lorber has remastered this classic in 2K and added both the widescreen (1.75:1) and full screen (1.37:1) versions of this film with a
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono sound mix. They both look and sound really amazing. But I perfered the wide screen version, myself.

As for special features, there is an a really great audio commentary by film historian Toby Roan giving the listener a lot of insight on this production. We also get the Dragnet theatrical trailer and a trailer for The Sleeping City. There is also English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

I am always impressed with Kino Lorber releases but this one is I am proud to give a place of on the dragnet section of our collection. It really does compete it!

So if you are looking for "Just the facts" you need this Kino Lorber Dragnet Blu-ray in your collection. Head over to Amazon.com and get your copy today. Fans of the show are going to love it!


Out of 4 film reels (4 being the best) Kino Lorber Studio Classic Dragnet Blu-ray receives....



Friday, November 20, 2020

Flashback Friday #12 (The Streets of San Francisco)

On this episode of Flashback Friday Jason "Pastor J" Lockard talks about an amazing 70s cop Show starring Karl Malden and Micheal Douglas. That show is "The Streets of San Francisco".

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020

He Came From The Swamp: The William Grefé Collection


Reviewed By Jason Lockard

In the 1960s teenagers loved the Drive-in. The movies at the drive-in's were cheesy horror and sci-fi that almost seem laughable in this generation. But kids in that generation couldn't get enough of the films.

William Grefé was a maverick filmmaker who made a name fr himself with these kind of drive-in films. Arrow Video has released a Blu-ray collection of seven of his outlandish feature in one blu-ray set. Let's take a look at what is included in this set.

Rating System:
****=Don’t Miss it!
***=Worth a look.
**=An Ok way to spend an evening.
*=You haven’t missed anything.


Disc One

Sting of Death (1966) A group of college students travel south to Florida on spring break with their friend Karen (Valerie Hawkins), whose father, Dr. Richardson, is a marine biologist currently studying jellyfish. At the party, Karen's friends. **

Death Curse of Tartu (1966) Archaeology students flee from an Everglades witch doctor (Doug Hobart) who can turn into a shark, snake, alligator or zombie. **

Bonus Features on this disc include:

  • Brand new introductions to the films by director William Grefé
  • Archival audio commentaries for both films with William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
  • Sting of Death: Beyond the Movie Monsters a-Go Go! a look into the history of rock 'n' roll monster movies with author/historian C. Courtney Joyner
  • The Curious Case of Dr. Traboh: Spook Show Extraordinaire a ghoulish look into the early spook show days with monster maker Doug Hobart
  • Original Trailers
  • Still and Promotion Gallery


  • Disc Two


    The Hooked Generation (1968) About a gang of dope peddlers who sail out to meet a Cuban boat. The trouble starts when they are forced to throw their narcotics overboard and are seen by a young couple. **

    The Psychedelic Priest (1971) A priest sheds his habit, tunes in, turns on and drops out for a road trip that will change his life and bring him sorrow.  **


    Bonus Feature on This Disc Include:

  • Archival audio commentaries for both films with director William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
  • Hooked Generation behind-the-scenes footage
  • Hooked Generation Original Trailer
  • Still and Promotion Gallery


  • Disc Three:

    The Naked Zoo (1971) A seductive matron lives in Miami with her wheelchair-bound, wealthy husband. Frustrated, she beds a young author. The gravy train abruptly derails when her husband finds out, and murder ensues. **

    Mako: Jaws of Death (1976) A man accidentally learns that he has a mystical connection with sharks, and is given a strange medallion by a shaman. Becoming more and more alienated from normal society, he develops an ability to communicate with sharks telepathically, setting out to destroy anybody who harms sharks. **

    Bonus Features on this disc include:

  • William Grefé s original Director s Cut of Naked Zoo
  • Alternate Barry Mahon re-release cut of Naked Zoo
  • Original Mako: Jaws of Death Trailer and Promo
  • Still and Promotion Gallery

  • Disc Four:

    Whiskey Mountain (1977) Four motorcyclists who arrived at Whiskey Mountain for a treasure hunt, are terrorized in the woods by a gang of murderous hillbilly drug dealers. **

    Bonus Features on this Disc Include:

  • Whiskey Mountain Original Trailer
  • Still and Promotion Gallery
  • They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé the definitive documentary presented for the first in High-Definition and in a brand new, extended cut

  • Arrow Video did a tremendous job in bringing these cheesy films to Blu-ray. All films are presented in High Definition 1080p with Original uncompressed mono audio and English Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. They look pretty impressive for films made on a ultra small budget.

    It is good to note these are not films for everyone. These are films that are more for fans of those off the wall horror and sci-fi films. The kidn of films who enjoy laughing at the crazy antics. That's who this collection is for. But those that love those kind of films are going to be ecstatic for this collection.


    So if this set seems like something you would like to add to your collection. You can pick up a copy of this blu-ray set by heading over to Amazon.com or MVDShop.com.



    Out of 4 film reels (4 being the best) Arrow Video's The William Grefé Collection receives....



    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

    Top 7 (Original Jetsons Episodes)


      Pastor J counts down his Top 7 favorite episodes from The Original series The Jetsons.

    Read our full written review of the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of The Jetsons here.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

    1 Day @ A TIME! #11 (Home Remedies)

    Here is the latest episode of our Christian sitcom 1 Day @ A TIME! This episode is entitled "Home Remedies".

    Pastor J is suffering with bad allergies and Mrs. Jones gives him her grandmother's home remedy. Instead of following the directions he takes the whole bottle ending in hilarious results.


    Monday, November 16, 2020

    Blu-ray Review: Silent Running

    Reviewed By Jason Lockard

    In the 60s and 70s science fiction films came with a message. After 2001 A Space Odyssey warning of technology came Silent Running's environmental warning. Silent Running while not a commercial success the film over the years has become a cult classic.

    Now Arrow Video has decided to give this post-apocalyptic science fiction film the Blu-ray release that this cult film richly deserves. Complete with a brand new 2K restoration. Let's take a look at this brand new release.

    In the not-so-distant future, Earth is barren of all flora and fauna, with what remains of the planet s former ecosystems preserved aboard a fleet of greenhouses orbiting in space. When the crews are ordered to destroy the remaining specimens, one botanist, Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern, The Burbs), rebels and flees towards Saturn in a desperate bid to preserve his own little piece of Earth that was, accompanied only by the ship s three service robots.

    It is so hard for one actor to carry the majority of a film by themselves. Think of Tom Hanks in castaway. Bruce Dern had to do just that and what a great job he does. He brings a real sensitivity and a sympathy to his character of Freeman Lowell.

    Kids and adults that have grown up with this generation's technology, will find this film a bit dated. But fans of retro entertainment will love this film. The special effects are great and film's soundtrack is perfect.

    Arrow Video has restored this film in
    2K from the original camera negative. It was approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release. It is presented in 1080p 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The audio is the original lossless mono and there is English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. I have to say I am very impressed with this restoration. This release looks better than any release I have seen.

    But as with Arrow Video releases you know that is not it! No not by a long shot. They loaded up this Blu-ray with bonus features. Take a look at what is included.


    SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw
  • Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film s score
  • First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running s screenplay
  • The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary
  • Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film s director
  • A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film's lead actor
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper

  • The restoration is enough to make this a must own, but the bonus features are so amazing that it makes this even more of a must add addition to any sci-fi film fan's Blu-ray collection.

    So if you are a fan of Bruce Dern or 70's science fiction you are going to want to get a copy of this Blu-ray for your collection. Head over to Amazon.com or MVDShop.com and get your copy today.


    Out of 4 Film Reels (4 being the best) We would give Arrow Video's Silent Running Blu-ray...



    Saturday, November 14, 2020

    Retro Drive-In Podcast #3 (Abbott & Costello)

    Hosted By Jason Lockard

    On Episode #3 of the Retro Drive-In Podcast, this unique experience. We talk about the latest Blu-ray release of the classic comedy teams Abbott and Costello. The new 4K restoration Blu-ray of Jack and The Beanstalk. This is one episode every classic comedy fan needs to view.
    Read our full written review here.


    Audio Format

     
    Subscribe to The Retro Drive-In Podcast Audio format


    Video Format

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