Millennium / R.O.T.O.R. – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

Millennium-ROTORThe future is yours with time travel and a killer robot! Scream Factory presents a sci-fi double feature to shout about when Millennium & R.O.T.O.R. come to Blu-ray on February 23, 2016. These two cult classics from the 80s are now finally available for the first time on Blu-ray, in a release including an alternate ending for Millennium.   Kris Kristofferson (Blade), Cheryl Ladd (Charlie’s Angels) and Daniel J. Travanti (Hill Street Blues)also stars in this centuries-spanning tale from the director of Logan’s Run.  Then gear up for a cult classic you’ve got to see to believe: R.O.T.O.R starring Michael Hunter and Richard Gesswein.  Seriously, this one is as good as it sounds and is deserving of a standalone release!

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Leap into thrilling, time-travelling mayhem with Millennium. When safety investigator Bill Smith looks into a disastrous airplane crash, he soon makes a shocking discovery – one that will impact the future of humanity itself. The beautiful but mysterious Louise may prove to be the key to it all – but can Smith figure out the truth in time?

Well, this is a nice little oddball one that’s one part time travel, one part futuristic science fiction fantasy.  Unfortunately, the idea and story behind everything is a tad convoluted, taking its simplistic plot and making the details a little too complex and messy.  It takes a bit too much time getting to the interesting stuff and really should give all in to playing its weird side, but is a little too worried with playing the whole thing straight.  The future here has some really cool design with a few goofy looking characters, they should have relished in it.  Regardless, the film does manage to nail some iconic looking shots with this stuff.

Cheryl Ladd really steals the thunder of this film and takes charge on her own.  She’s quite a bombshell and very striking in the role.  But, she is more than that as she brings some depth, sympathy and credence to the story with her performance.  Its necessary, because Kris Kristofferson looks totally lost in this movie.  Not only that, but he seems uninterested and yawning his way through the film.  This hurts his chemistry with Ladd and makes him look really bizarre in the future scenes.  Luckily Cheryl Ladd is able to overcome her co-stars shortcomings and make the best of a subpar film.


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When corrupt Police Commander Earl Buglar orders the development and construction of the ultimate weapon in the war on crime, robotics expert Barrett Coldyron warns against the dangers of such a project – and loses his job in the process. But when the prototype R.O.T.O.R (Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research) is accidentally activated, the city is suddenly faced with a rampaging mechanical maniac acting as judge, jury, and executioner – and only Coldyron can stop him!

Thank you Scream Factory for this gem!  R.O.T.O.R. (Or Blue Steel as the print used in this transfer is called) is what midnight movie cinema is all about.  A simple little high concept idea with not enough more and not near enough talent to pull it off.  Obviously trying to milk that Terminator secondary market, the film features a futuristic killer robot cop.  And said cop couldn’t be even more hilarious looking even though he’s supposed to be super intense.  And yeah…he looks nothing like the poster art would suggest.  But, its a BAD ASS poster, so its cool to let it slide.

Through crappy effects, odd choices and cheap ass action scenes, you should be thoroughly entertained and get more giggles than most of the comedies that will hit theaters this year.  Also a weird choice, there are random people in this movie who get ADR’d, including the lead, that make for a weird feeling in the film.  Oh yeah, the acting in this film blows too and should deliver plenty a chuckle with many of the line deliveries.  This one is a hell of a lot of fun and a film I’m looking forward to showing to some friends in the near future!

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC 

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (Millennium), 1.78:1 (R.O.T.O.R.)

Clarity/Detail:  Both films look good, but ROTOR is the highlight.  Its a striking clear, sharp and crisp image that pops right off your screen.  Lots of detail and strong color about in this one.  Millennium looks good too, but its sort of got that smokey look to it that a lot of late 80s/early 90s films had to them so its definitely not as pretty.

Depth:  Depth and spacing works much better in ROTOR where characters look loose in their environments wandering freely and smoothly.  Background imagery looks great when in focus.  Millennium is also solid with cinematic smoothness to its movements and a decent slightly above average look to its dimensions.

Black Levels:  On Millennium, blacks are consistent and have a big of grey to them.  ROTOR has deep, rich blacks that help in the sharpness and also giving good shading and dimension.  No crushing witnessed on either film.

Color Reproduction:  Colors aren’t the strong suit on Millennium.  The film tries to void itself of being bright and colorful.  Things are more dingy and worn looking.  ROTOR pops with bold and striking colors, featuring strong reds and greens.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones on both are natural and consistent.  Facial details on Millennium are better off and more present in close-ups.  ROTOR flashes its details in shots at most distances in an impressive look.

Noise/Artifacts:  Both transfers are rather clean with minimal compression issues.


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Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA (Millennium), English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA (R.O.T.O.R.)

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Both films feature good, full 2.0 mixes.  They are loud and have their sound effects coming in very well rounded.  Atmosphere sounds very good.  Scoring, vocals and the effects are all balanced, feeling free of one another and never stepping on one another’s toes.  They both will command your attention when the action is turned up, which is to say they more than get the job done.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are crisp and clear on both films.  You can hear every piece of diction from characters’ speech.

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Extras Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0


Trailer (HD, 1:42) 

Alternate Ending (HD, 5:55) 


Trailer (HD, 1:53) 


Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0

Well, this is a rather loose combo, as the theme might just be that they both contain a futuristic robot.  Millennium is a kind drag of a movie.  But, the good news is, is that ROTOR is worth the price of this double feature on its merits alone.  The film is a crazy one, up to snuff with midnight classics like Miami Connection and Deadly Prey.  Fans of those sort of movies will want to snag this up.  Millennium kind looks standard in its presentation, but ROTOR looks really good (Better than it deserves).  Unfortunately the extras aren’t anything to speak of, but like I said, the film of ROTOR itself is enough for me to recommend picking this up!



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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