The new Kino Lorber release of MARCO POLO (1962) starring Rory Calhoun and Yoko Tani (below) will be available for purchase on February 7. It can be pre-ordered now. Even though the release is next week, no reviews or screenshots have been made available yet.
The passing of a legend. Gina Lollobrigida died on January 16 at the age of 95. She starred in a handful of PEPLUM movies, with SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959) being her biggest movie. Yul Brynner also starred in it. You can check out a rundown of her PEPLUM movies at the main blog.
KINO LORBER has announced the upcoming release of MARCO POLO (1962) starring Rory Calhoun and Yoko Tani (above) on Blu-ray. The movie will be available early 2023. It will be the US print, with opening credits in English, as opposed to KINO LORBER’s version of SAMSON AND THE 7 MIRACLES OF THE WORLD, which didn’t have a genuine new transfer of the US version but a Fan Dub they created. Hugo Fregonese is credited for the English version while Piero Pierotti is credited for the Italian one. Can’t wait to see this.
From the KINO LORBER Facebook account:
The release will only include one cut. The credits on our master are in English and Hugo receives directing credit, so I’m sure it’s not the Italian version where Piero is credited as the director. The running time is 104 minutes and 13 seconds.
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.