Nothing much on the BR front. The one interesting title, and it’s a pretty cool one, comes from the new Maria Montez – Jon Hall BD set. The set, which will be released in July, includes WHITE SAVAGE, GYPSY WILDCAT and SUDAN. Of course, their bigger titles, like COBRA WOMAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS and ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES, have all been available on BD already. So this set is not the top Montez – Hall titles but it’s still great news. SUDAN is a pretty cool movie. Buying the set just for that title will be worth it.
I just want to mention that this blog wasn’t supposed to wrote only about Blu-rays but it’s basically what it has become once and if the magazine project take hold.
Okay, back to Blu-ray releases. Paramount will release KING DAVID (1985) on Blu-ray on April 26. Great news. Unfortunately, it’s KING DAVID. Lol!
Anyway, one has to support all PEPLUM movies. Production is good but the casting of Richard Gere…well, the less said the better. I already have a HD copy of this movie and the movie itself looks good. But I just can’t get past Gere as King David. It’s a shame because it had a good director/crew/cast. Needless to say, this didn’t inspire a Biblical revival in the 1980s. PEPLUM movies were more the Sword & Sorcery or Adventure/Fantasy kind.
The image is nice. The audio is excellent. But this is not from the soon-to-be-released BD. But it is in full HD.
Watching movies in HD is great but it also showcases the bits were the movie tried to cut corners. In one violent battle scene, you can clearly see that mannequins were used for dead soldiers on the field. Oops…
There are already titles, all of them from Hollywood, that are available in 4K, such as SPARTACUS (1960) and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956). See Youtube video linked above. The scene they used for the comparison (below) is not impressive. I see some different, mostly clarity, or less fuzzy, but of all the scenes they could have used from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, they used that one? Mind boggling. Oh well…
As usual, Hollywood big titles are getting the 4K treatment first. There are few PEPLUM movies from Italy on Blu-ray so the prospect of seeing HERCULES (1958) in 4K are not in the immediate future.
the SODOM AND GOMORRAH German Blu-ray is still not available even though it says at Amazon.de that it’ll be available on December 9, 2021. This release has already been delayed a couple of times, and as I anticipated, it’s still not available.
Addendum: someone who lives in Germany was able to get it for me….from Amazon. I guess Amazon.de don’t people from outside of Germany to buy it. Anyway, I will give a thorough review of it once I get it.
I finally got the German Blu-ray of SWORD OF THE CONQUEROR (1961) starring Jack Palance, Guy Madison, Eleonora Rossi Drago, and Edy Vessel. The Blu-ray is excellent. The image is clear and it’s pretty much without any issues, including the ‘too dark’ image problem often seen with Blu-ray transfers of old movies. This one is near perfect. The movie is still under copyright ownership in the US and Canada by United Artists (MGM) so the print was well preserved by Italian film studio Titanus, and the transfer professionally done. Audio in German, Italian and English. The Blu-ray itself is bare bones with the usual trailer of the movie, in English and Italian, and a slideshow of images of the movie, such as posters and lobby cards. Well worth buying.
Above: Eleonora Rossi Drago and Jack Palance. I didn’t make any adjustments to the images. Below, Guy Madison, Jack Palance and Eleonora.
I’ve been looking for this rare board game based on the blockbuster BEN-HUR (1959) epic on eBay and someone finally posted one for sale…at $472 US (or 400 Euros). It’s in Spanish from Spain. It’s in pretty good condition but as much of a PEPLUM fan I am, I wouldn’t pay that much for one.