Today we take a look at five of Echo Bridge Home Entertainment’s May Blu-Ray releases. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment continues to bring us a number of Miramax classics that have not previously found their way on Blu-Ray and this month is no exception. This month we cover five of Echo Bridge’s May Releases; ‘Fortress’ ‘The Grifters’ ‘Jersey Girl’ ‘Mothers Boys’ & ‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle.’
I’m sure many of you out there are quite familiar with the classic Sci-Fi film from the early 90’s though believe it or not this was my first time watching this film. I was surprised to see so many familiar faces in this one. While I was of course aware that Christopher Lambert was headlining the film, I wasn’t aware that a number of other great actors were also in the film, such as the likes of Jeffrey Combs, Clifton Collins Jr, Kurtwood Smith, Tom Towles and a number of others. All together it made for quite the treat while watching this film for the first time.
I was quite impressed with ‘Fortress’ and overall don’t really have anything bad to say about it. Aside from the predictability level associated with the common formula for 90’s action films, everything about the film was pretty solid. The performances were overall quite good, the story and idea are original and inventive and there is some pretty solid action in addition to some fun ideas involving potential technologies and directions in which the future could take us. ‘Fortress’ is a fun, violent and overall entertaining Sci-Fi action flick.
The video on this release is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video quality on the disc is overall pretty well done. While there are a few blurs, and scratches present from the original video source, once again I think this is a positive thing which helps keep true to the film’s original presentation as opposed to polishing it into a shiny blur as we have seen from some of our favorite classics when being released on Blu-Ray over the years. As far as audio goes, there is unfortunately no multichannel audio track on this one, but the 2.0 stereo track is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and sounds pretty impressive as far as 2 channel audio tracks go. No special features are included on the release.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Yet another film I have never seen prior to watching this Blu-Ray release, and I must say I really enjoyed ‘The Grifters.’ It was a phenomenally well done thriller that keeps you guessing until the last tense moments of the film. The performances by John Cusack, Angelica Huston & Annette Bening are all top notch and quite impressive.
This is one film I would highly recommend checking out if you have never seen it before, and I was quite happy I had the opportunity to see the film. The performances, writing, and most everything about the film was tremendously well done, and I see now why so many consider this film a classic and one of Cusack’s best, though in my book nothing will top ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ as far as his films go.
The video on this release is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video quality on the disc is once again pretty well done and stays true to how I would imagine the original source of the film to appear. The audio is yet again a 2.0 stereo track but a pretty impressive lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and sounds quite decent. The special features on the disc include an audio commentary track with the director and John Cusack and a behind the scenes special with a number of those involved in the film’s production giving some insight into what went into bringing this film to life. Another special feature is also included giving a background on the writer of the novel in which the film was based on.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
As a huge Kevin Smith fan and someone who has thoroughly enjoyed every film he has done, I for some reason had never seen ‘Jersey Girl’ and this Blu-Ray release gave me the perfect opportunity in which to do so. The film is certainly much tamer than most of Smith’s work and his only film to ever receive an MPAA rating lower than an R (though the film’s rating did have to be appealed in order to accomplish this).
I must admit this film really impressed me. It was a remarkably heartfelt film chronicling the struggle one man is forced to endure while raising his daughter in the wake of tragedy. It certainly has it’s sad moments and far more of them than any of Smith’s other films aside from ‘Chasing Amy’ but it also has that Kevin Smith dialogue and comedy that we know and love, and the film certainly has some truly hilarious moments as well. If for some reason, like me, you are a fan of Smith’s work and have not seen this film, I would recommend giving it a shot, I think you might just be pleasantly surprised. It’s a pretty fantastic and heartfelt film that I don’t think get’s enough credit.
The video on this release is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video is impressive, and probably one of the best looking presentations on any of the five titles covered here. The audio on this title includes both a 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack which sounds about as good as one would hope for this type of film, as well as a 2.0 stereo soundtrack. The special features on the release include ‘The Making of Jersey Girl’ ‘Kevin & Ben reminisce’ ‘Roadside Attractions with Kevin Smith’ and two audio commentary tracks, one of which includes Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes which we know is always a fun combination.
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
And here we have one more film I had never seen prior to watching this Blu-Ray release. Unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed with this film, and it was certainly my least favorite among the titles covered here. Jamie Lee Curtis did an impressive job as a disturbing sociopathic Mother who has no problem going beyond all bounds of common sense and proper parenting techniques. She will do anything for her children, and gets a little bit nuts about it in the process. Curtis’ performance certainly makes you believe the character which does help, but unfortunately still couldn’t save this film.
Aside from Curtis’ overall impressive performance, I really can’t find anything else positive to say about the film. It wasn’t necessarily a film with a number of issues, but for some reason it just failed to ever really capture my attention, and by the end of the film it almost felt as if I had just finished some required task I don’t particularly enjoy doing, and was glad it was over, which is never a positive reaction to take away from a film.
The video on this release is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video quality on the disc is yet again well done and I couldn’t really find any faults in it. As per a number of the titles, the audio is once again a 2.0 stereo track but presented in the form of a pretty decent sounding DTS-HD MA soundtrack. No special features were included on this release.
Film Rating: 4/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle’ is a film I’ve always enjoyed and that I feel is extremely underappreciated. I have always been a huge fan of most of Kevin Williamson’s work so it is possible I’m a tad affected by that, though watching the film again after all of this time, I must admit I still really enjoyed it and stand by my original feelings on the quality of the film.
It’s a witty, smart and twisted tale about three kids trying to right a wrong and the resulting escalation of insanity that ensues after things begin to go wrong. One thing leads to another, and a simple intended discussion ends in kidnapping and attempted murder. Now they must find a way to fix the problem, but as they strive to find a way of doing so, things continue to just get worse until it looks like there may be no way out of this situation. ‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle’ is definitely a film worth checking out if you have never seen it before and well worth the reasonable price on Blu-Ray for fellow fans of the film.
The video on this release is a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video transfer is once again pretty well done, and no faults to speak of. The audio on this title includes both a 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack and a 2.0 stereo soundtrack as well. The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track sounds pretty nice, and overall is what I would expect from this film. No special features are included on this release, though it’s certainly still worth a purchase for fans of the film at such a reasonable price.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Fortress’ ‘The Grifters’ ‘Jersey Girl’ ‘Mothers Boys’ & ‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle’ are all now available on Blu-Ray from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment.