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Archive for the 'Eureka Classics' Category

Throw Down [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Throw Down Blu-rayIn this visually arresting action drama from acclaimed director Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Election), legendary Judo fighter Szeto Bo (Louis Koo; Flash Point, The Legend of Zu) unexpectedly gave up the sport and now lives the life of an alcoholic gambler who runs a pub. However, cocky Judo newcomer Tony (Aaron Kwok) wants to challenge him, while old foe Kong (Tony Leung Ka Fai, Ashes of Time) demands Szeto to finish the match that never took place, Soon Szeto’s pub becomes the ultimate arena where the greatest Judo fighters challenge one another. Filled with brutal, no-holds-barred Judo fight scenes, Throw Down is director To’s ultra-stylish homage to the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and is an emotional tale of one man’s determination to rediscover himself and win at all costs. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Throw Down in its UK debut from a 4K restoration. Continue reading ‘Throw Down [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)’

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‘Mr. Vampire’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray July 20, 2020!

Mr Vampire Blu-ray Eureka ClassicsOne of the most genre-defining (not to mention genre-defying!) horror-comedies imaginable, and one of the key Hong Kong blockbuster hits of the 1980s, the popularity and influence of Mr. Vampire cannot be overstated. Spawning at least four sequels and countless spin-offs and imitations, this Hong Kong horror-comedy to end them all was an understandable crowd-pleasing sensation, and triggered a wave of jiangshi (“hopping vampire”) movies. Produced by the legendary Sammo Hung, the original Mr. Vampire is essential viewing for anyone interested in the 80s golden age of Hong Kong cinema. In a career-making performance, the late Lam Ching-ying is Master Kau, expert on all matters of the supernatural. When Kau and his two bumbling students, Man Choi (famous comedian Ricky Hui) and Chou (Fist of Legend‘s Chin Siu-ho), exhume a corpse for reburial, things go frighteningly and hilariously awry when the cadaver is revealed to be a hopping vampire. With the undead on the loose, Master Kau is blamed for the chaos, and must work with his students to put the spirits to rest before the vampire’s own granddaughter (80s Hong Kong action icon Moon Lee) gets bitten. Fighting the vampires with everything from sticky rice to filing down the bloodsucker’s fangs, the trio must defeat an increasing number of ghoulish dangers. Continue reading ‘‘Mr. Vampire’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray July 20, 2020!’

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Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Raven on Blu-ray July 20, 2020!

Murders Rue Morgue Black Cat Raven Blu-rayThis trio of classic 1930s horror films—Murders in the Rue MorgueThe Black Cat, and The Raven—is also distinguished by a trio of factors regarding their production. Most notably, each film is based on a work by master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. Part of the legendary wave of horror films made by Universal Pictures in the 30s, all three feature dynamic performances from Dracula‘s Bela Lugosi, with two of them also enlivened by the appearance of Frankenstein‘s Boris Karloff. And finally, all three benefit from being rare examples of Pre-Code studio horror, their sometimes startling depictions of sadism and shock a result of being crafted during that brief period in Hollywood before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code’s rigid guidelines for moral content. Director Robert Florey, who gave the Marx Brothers their cinema start with The Cocoanuts in 1929, worked with Metropolis cinematographer Karl Freund to give a German Expressionism look to Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), with Lugosi as a mad scientist running a twisted carnival sideshow in 19th-century Paris, and murdering women to find a mate for his talking ape main attraction. Lugosi and Karloff teamed forces for the first time in The Black Cat, a nightmarish psychodrama that became Universal’s biggest hit of 1934, with Detour director Edgar G. Ulmer bringing a feverish flair to the tale of a satanic, necrophiliac architect (Karloff) locked in battle with an old friend (Lugosi) in search of his family. Prolific B-movie director Lew Landers made 1935’s The Raven so grotesque that all American horror films were banned in the U.K. for two years in its wake. Specifically referencing Poe within its story, Lugosi is a plastic surgeon obsessed with the writer, who tortures fleeing murderer Karloff through monstrous medical means. Continue reading ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Raven on Blu-ray July 20, 2020!’

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Kwaidan [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Kwaidan Masters Cinema Blu-rayWinner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic Japanese Ghost Stories about mortals caught up in forces beyond their comprehension when the supernatural world intervenes in their lives: “The Black Hair”, “The Woman of the Snow”, “Hoichi the Earless”, and “In a Cup of Tea”.  Breathtakingly photographed entirely on hand-painted sets, the film is an abstract wash of luminescent colors from another world. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the complete 183-minute original Japanese cut of Masaki Kobayashi s masterpiece on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. Continue reading ‘Kwaidan [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)’

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Buster Keaton: 3 Films Volume 2 [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Buster Keaton Volume 2 Blu-rayBetween 1920 and 1929, Buster Keaton created a peerless run of feature films that established him as “arguably the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies”. Collected here are three further films from that era; The Navigator, Seven Chances and Battling Butler. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present all three films from stunning 4K restorations in their UK debuts on Blu-ray.  The Navigator (1924, dir. Buster Keaton & Donald Crisp) Wealthy Rollo Treadway (Keaton) suddenly decides to propose to his neighbor across the street, Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire. Keaton was unhappy with the audience response to Sherlock Jr. , and endeavored to make a follow-up that was both exciting and successful. The result was the biggest hit of Keaton’s career.  Seven Chances (1925, dir. Buster Keaton) Jimmy Shannon (Keaton) learns he is to inherit seven million dollars, with a catch. He will only get the money if he is married by 7pm on his 27th birthday, which happens to be that same day!  Battling Butler (1926, dir. Buster Keaton) A rich, spoiled dandy (Keaton) pretends to be a champion boxer, “Battling Butler”, to impress the family of the girl he loves. When the real Butler shows up, he decided to humiliate the imposter by having him fight the “Alabama Murderer” ! Continue reading ‘Buster Keaton: 3 Films Volume 2 [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)’

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‘Criss Cross’ [Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray June 22, 2020!

Criss Cross Blu-ray Illicit passion, greed, robbery, and murder collide in Criss Cross, a classic film noir suspense tale from a true master of the genre, Robert Siodmak (The Killers).  Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster Novecento, Birdman of Alcatraz) is a hardworking armoured car driver with a fatal attraction to his ex-wife Anna (Yvonne DeCarlo The Munsters), who’s now married to notorious hoodlum Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea Winchester 73). Unable to stay away from her, Steve has a secret tryst with Anna … only to be discovered by Dundee. To cover up their affair, Steve convinces Dundee that he only met with Anna to get Dundee’s help in robbing an upcoming payroll shipment he will be driving. The hood falls for the ruse, which triggers a series of harrowing events that ultimately lead to violence and death.  From a new 4K restoration, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this essential film noir in its UK debut on Blu-ray. Continue reading ‘‘Criss Cross’ [Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray June 22, 2020!’

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‘Throw Down’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray May 18, 2020!

Throw Down Eureka Masters of Cinema Blu-rayIn this visually arresting action drama from acclaimed director Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Election), legendary Judo fighter Szeto Bo (Louis Koo; Flash Point, The Legend of Zu) unexpectedly gave up the sport and now lives the life of an alcoholic gambler who runs a pub. However, cocky Judo newcomer Tony (Aaron Kwok) wants to challenge him, while old foe Kong (Tony Leung Ka Fai, Ashes of Time) demands Szeto to finish the match that never took place, Soon Szeto s pub becomes the ultimate arena where the greatest Judo fighters challenge one another. Filled with brutal, no-holds-barred Judo fight scenes, Throw Down is director To s ultra-stylish homage to the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, and is an emotional tale of one man s determination to rediscover himself and win at all costs. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Throw Down in its UK debut from a 4K restoration. Continue reading ‘‘Throw Down’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray May 18, 2020!’

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‘The Specialists’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray May 18, 2020!

Specialists Eureka Classics Blu-ray From Sergio Corbucci, the legendary director of Django, Navajo Joe, The Great Silence, Companeros and The Mercenary comes The Specialists (Gli Specialisti, aka Drop Them or I ll Shoot) , a thrilling spaghetti western starring French music and film great Johnny Hallyday (The Man on the Train, Détective, Vengeance). Notorious gunfighter Hud Dixon (Hallyday) arrives in Blackstone, a town where his brother was wrongfully accused of robbing a bank and lynched for it. As Hud seeks revenge, he starts to discover the truth behind the stolen loot, and has to contend with an idealistic sheriff, a beautiful and seductive female banker, a corrupt businessman and a one-armed Mexican bandit, who was once his friend.Also starring Gastone Moschin (The Conformist, Caliber 9), Françoise Fabian (Belle de Jour, My Night at Maud s), and gorgeously filmed by Dario Di Palma (The Seduction of Mimi, The Oldest Profession), Eureka Classics is proud to present Gli Specialisti on Blu-ray from a new 4K restoration. Continue reading ‘‘The Specialists’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray May 18, 2020!’

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‘The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray May 11, 2020!

Thousand Eyes Mabuse Blu-rayAfter enjoying fantastic success with Fritz Lang s two-part “Indian Epic” in 1959, German producer Artur Brauner signed the great director to direct one more film. The result would be the picture that, in closing the saga he began nearly forty years earlier, brought Lang s career full-circle, and would come to represent his final celluloid testament by extension: his final film masterpiece. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse [Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse] finds that diabolical Weimar name resurfacing in the Cold War era, linked to a new methodology of murder and mayhem. Seances, assassinations, and Nazi-engineered surveillance tech all abound in Lang s paranoid, and ultimate, filmic labyrinth. One of the great and cherished “last films” in the history of cinema, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse provides a stylistic glimpse into the 1960s works on such subjects as sex-crime, youth-culture, and LSD that Lang would unfortunately never come to realize. Nonetheless, Lang s final film remains an explosive, and definitive, closing statement. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Fritz Lang s final film on Blu-ray. Continue reading ‘‘The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray May 11, 2020!’

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‘Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray April 20, 2020!

Zu Warriors Magic Mountain Blu-rayOne of the most important cinematic achievements in Hong Kong cinema, Tsui Hark’s Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain birthed the modern-day special effects industry in Hong Kong, and influenced filmmakers around the world, including John Carpenter (who credited the film as the inspiration for Big Trouble in Little China).  Featuring an all-star cast led by Yuen Biao (Wheels on Meals, Project A) as young soldier Dik Ming-kei, currently caught in a war between two rival armies during Tang Dynasty. Taking sanctuary in a cave within the ominous Zu Mountain, he becomes entangled in a battle with supernatural forces beyond his comprehension. Featuring breath-taking art design, stunning cinematography, and ground-breaking special effects, Eureka Classics is extremely proud to present Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain from a brand new 2K restoration making its worldwide debut on Blu-ray. Continue reading ‘‘Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray April 20, 2020!’

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‘Kwaidan’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray April 27, 2020!

Kwaidan Masters Cinema Blu-ray April 27 2020Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic Japanese ghost stories about mortals caught up in forces beyond their comprehension when the supernatural world intervenes in their lives: “The Black Hair”, “The Woman of the Snow”, “Hoichi the Earless”, and “In a Cup of Tea”.  Breathtakingly photographed entirely on hand-painted sets, the film is an abstract wash of luminescent colours from another world. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the complete 183-minute original Japanese cut of Masaki Kobayashi s masterpiece on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. Continue reading ‘‘Kwaidan’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray April 27, 2020!’

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Bliss [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Bliss Eureka Masters of Cinema Blu-rayStruggling through a seemingly endless creative rut, hard-partying and Los-Angeles-based artist Dezzy Donahue (Dora Madison, Friday Night Lights) can’t stop the resulting bad streak of problems, including unpaid rent and professional stagnation. In an effort to combat her tough luck, Dezzy throws caution to the wind, indulges in heavy drugs and rages her nights away. Her kinda/sorta boyfriend, Clive, is concerned while her debauchery-minded friend Courtney and her enigmatic hubby Ronnie keep feeding Dezzy s darkest urges. Gradually, though, the party starts to end, and in its place, Dezzy finds herself thirsting for blood and suffering from terrifying visions. Having never been one for moderation or self-control, she’s unable to resist her newfound dangerous impulses. And that’s very bad news for everyone in her life, all of whom are filled with the red liquid she now so desperately craves. Continue reading ‘Bliss [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)’

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Raining In The Mountain [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Eureka Masters of Cinema Raining in the Mountain Blu-raySet in a remote Buddhist monastery in 16th Century China, Raining in the Mountain deals with a power struggle that ensues when the Abbot of the Three Treasures Temple announces his imminent retirement. The ageing Abbot invites three outsiders to advise him on the critical choice of appointing his successor: Esquire Wen, a wealthy patron of the monastery, General Wang, commander-in-chief of the local military, and Wu Wai, a respected lay Buddhist master. Within the monastery, several disciples aspiring to the position begin to collude individually with Esquire Wen and General Wang. But these two invited advisers have come with seditious intent, scheming to obtain the priceless scroll housed in the monastery: the scriptural text of “The Mahayana Sutra, ” hand-copied by Tripitaka. Meanwhile, convicted criminal Chiu Ming has arrived at the monastery to atone as a monk. He is assigned to safeguard the scroll at the house of scriptures, and encounters thieving rivals White Fox who poses as Esquire Wen s concubine and General Wang s fearsome Lieutenant Chang, who originally framed Chiu Ming for the crime he did not commit. Selected as one of the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures by the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2005, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present King Hu’s Raining in the Mountain on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK, from a new 2K restoration completed in 2018 by the Taiwan Film Institute. Continue reading ‘Raining In The Mountain [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)’

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‘Rio Grande’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray & DVD April 6, 2020!

Rio Grande Masters of Cinema Perhaps one of the most underrated of the collaborations between director John Ford and star John Wayne, Rio Grande manages to be both a conclusion and a new beginning for this most iconic of actor-filmmaker collaborators. The film is the final entry in Ford and Wayne’s “Cavalry Trilogy, ” following their hits Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949). Yet it also marks the first of five appearances Wayne made with actress Maureen O’Hara, three of which were directed by Ford. Wayne is Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, attached to the Texas frontier in 1879 to protect settlers from attacks by Apaches. When Yorke’s son a West Point flunkee turned Army private is assigned to his father’s regiment, tensions flare upon the arrival of Yorke’s estranged wife Kathleen (O’Hara), who wants their teenaged son out of Yorke’s unit. After Apaches attack, the stakes of Yorke’s mission escalate, and he must journey to Mexico where the Apaches are hiding out. With his son and two old recruits (Ford/Wayne regulars Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr.) as accompaniment, Yorke faces his toughest battle.  Continue reading ‘‘Rio Grande’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray & DVD April 6, 2020!’

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‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray & DVD March 16, 2020!

Adapted directly from the play by Eugene O Neill (considered the Nobel laureate s magnum opus), Long Day’s Journey into Night is a four-act study of addiction and recrimination that the playwright claimed was written “in tears and blood”.  Taking place over a single, fateful day in the summer of 1912, the Tyrone family (modelled after O’Neill’s own) confront their bitter failings and long-held resentments. Patriarch James (Ralph Richardson) is a renowned stage actor who s never forgotten his squalid Irish childhood, and has forsaken artistic ambition for commercial success. His wife Mary (Katharine Hepburn) has developed a morphine addiction, his eldest son Jamie (Jason Robards, Jr. ) is a violent alcoholic and failed actor, and his youngest (and clearly favoured) son Edmund (Dean Stockwell) is a nervous young man in poor health. All of them have something painful to say, and their silence is even worse. Continue reading ‘‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] on Blu-ray & DVD March 16, 2020!’

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‘Syncopation’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray & DVD March 16, 2020!

Syncopation Blu-ray Eureka ClassicsA jazz trumpeter tries to woo a fellow musician in mourning for her dead lover, and sets up a band in an attempt to bring them closer together. Covering a quarter-century of American “syncopated” music (ragtime, jazz, swing, blues, and boogie boogie), Syncopation features music from the turn of the 20th century through prohibition, the Great Depression, and the outbreak of WWII. Featuring jazz greats Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, Gene Krupa, Harry James, and more.  Presented from a stunning 2K restoration and available for the first time in the UK on home video, Eureka Classics presents William Dieterle s Syncopation in a special Dual-Format edition. Continue reading ‘‘Syncopation’ [Eureka Classics] on Blu-ray & DVD March 16, 2020!’

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Buster Keaton: 3 Films (Volume 2) [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (The Navigator, Seven Chances, Battling Butler) on Blu-ray March 30, 2020!

Buster Keatom Volume 2 Blu-ray Eureka Entertainment to release BUSTER KEATON: 3 FILMS (Volume 2), a further collection of essential films from the true genius of silent comedy available for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK from 4K restorations. Presented as part of The Masters of Cinema Series from 30 March 2020, with a Limited Edition 60-page Perfect Bound Collector’s Book and Limited Edition Hardbound Slipcase [3000 copies ONLY]. Between 1920 and 1929, Buster Keaton created a peerless run of feature films that established him as “arguably the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies”. Collected here are three further films from that era; The Navigator, Seven Chances and Battling Butler. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present all three films from stunning 4K restorations in their UK debuts on Blu-ray.  Continue reading ‘Buster Keaton: 3 Films (Volume 2) [Eureka! Masters of Cinema] (The Navigator, Seven Chances, Battling Butler) on Blu-ray March 30, 2020!’

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‘Sons of Denmark’ [Montage Pictures] on Blu-ray & DVD February 17, 2020!

Denmark 2025. One year after a major bomb attack in Copenhagen radicalisation around the country has intensified and ethnic tensions are running high. The next parliamentary election is near, and the extremely nationalist political leader Martin Nordahl is set for a landslide victory. 19-year-old Zakaria gets involved in a radical organisation, where he forms a bond with Ali. The two men cannot agree with the current state of the country, which is turning on its own citizens because of their migration background, and decide to act. However, they are both just tools in the hands of people with power. As the men try to make their mark, their brotherhood will be tested and their actions will have grave consequences on their lives. Continue reading ‘‘Sons of Denmark’ [Montage Pictures] on Blu-ray & DVD February 17, 2020!’

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