DVD Talk
Anchor Bay blu ray re releases [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum


View Full Version : Anchor Bay blu ray re releases

Ted Cunterblast
06-26-12, 08:45 AM
Picked up a few of the new Anchor Bay new releases a few days ago (in the UK we sometimes get US releases up to 2 weeks before street date), and just thought I would share a few thoughts...

The Entity - Been a few years since I saw this...always kind of liked it, despite it's flaws. Very derivative of Poltergeist, with occasional nods to The Exrcist as well.

Lets look at the pro's and con's...(Spoilers)

What I like - Barbara Hershey's performance. A lot of suspension of disbelief is required here, it purports to be a 'true' story, but essentially it's always going to be unsubstantiated claims with no facts. For the record, I am an avowed skeptic, though that never stops me enjoying movies of this nature.

But it's a very good performance, and a brave one considering it basically deals with demon rape. Hershey throws herself into the part admirably. Ron Silver is pretty good too, as a a doctor.psychiatrist that tries to understand what is going on.

Have to give a mention to Alex Rocco too, an actor I tend to associate with episodic tv, and usually fairly bland, but here he gives a very good performance as Hersheys boyfriend who is struggling to understand what she is going through.

Good effects too, the demon attacks are very well done, with very good use of sound and unusual camera angles.

The cons - that annoying music that signals the demon attacks...probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but is intensely annoying now.

The actor who plays Hershey's son...terrible. To be fair it's a badly written part - he is supposed to be a strapping youth, and yet usually fails to see the obvious regarding what is happening to his mother, and when he does he flounders around not knowing what to do, or gets slapped around by the demon itself.

And the climax...totally ridiculous, and probaby forced by the studio for an exciting, effects-laden finale. I mean...freezing a poltergeist with liquid helium???

Despite Hershey's admirable performance, I found this rather disappointing overall, overlong, and what seemed innovative and possibly daring at the time now seems faintly ridiculous.

Pic very good, sound is ok (Only a Dolby True HD track)...not that much use of surrounds, and the demon attacks are not as punchy as they could be.

Outland - Peter Hyam's 'space western', with Sean Connery as the new marshall in town, cleaning up corruption and taking on the baddies.

The difference is that the 'town' is a mining colony on the moon of IO, and the villain of the piece is a corrupt corporation turning a blind eye to a dangerous new drug that has a tendency to induce some of the workers to commit suicide.

Connery basically carries the movie, though his playful banter with doctor Frances Sternhagen is a highlight. James (Hill St Blues; Howard) is also very good, and almost unrecognisable under a bushy beard...as is the ever dependable Peter Boyle as the corrupt station manager.

It's a very slight, simple plot, though you have to admire the production design - the claustrophobic, dirty and lived-in look of the mining station is very well done...and indeed the look of the movie makes you think it could inhabit the same world as the Alien movies.

The blu ray is pretty decent, in fact it's fair to say it's never looked better...considering it's pretty dark with lots of shadows, and its one of the few movies to use the old Introvision effects system, a sort of enhanced greenscreen/forced perspective effect that never really took off (though the opening shot of the lift descending, with the pull back to reveal a miniature and then the actors in the foreground is still pretty impressive). Sound is ok, can't say there is a great deal of surround action, but it's clear and fairly punchy when it needs to be.

There is a commentary from Peter Hyams, in which he seems to spend most of his time completely in awe of Connery.

Altered States - Been waiting for this on blu ray for ages...it's a film that absolutely demands top-notch pic and sound.

Happy to report that the blu ray (R1) does not disappoint. Pic is far better than I expected for an 80's movie, and the DTS track is awesome, especially during the dream/regression sequences.

It's not a perfect movie...Russell's imagery often looks dated and somewhat naive in places, and oh does he love his religious symbolism!

But when it works, it's startingly effective...the mexican desert drug sequence, for example. The image of William Hurt and Blair Brown turning to stone and being eroded by the elements is still quite beautiful.

But I am not sure the overall concept of regressing back to proto-human form is convincing, not helped by some rubber man in a suit effects.

But you do get absorbed into the movie due to the powerful acting of Hurt and Brown, with good support from Bob Balaban and Charles Haid as geeky, irascible scientists.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0