Klute (1971): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

When you get down to it, you can examine “Klute” as something of a neo-noir set in the darkness of New York City where society shifted out of the Free Love era and in to much dimmer years. But deep down “Klute” manages to be a rather fantastic character study about a woman who is hopelessly and probably forever exploited by the world. Throughout “Klute” she struggles with whether she wants to have what she perceives as an easy ride and allow herself to become exploited, or resist, and try to carve out a better world for her that’s more respectable, but so much tougher than she’s prepared to handle.

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Universal Horror Collection Volume 2 [Blu-Ray]

Now that Shout Factory has re-formatted their Karloff/Lugosi Collection in to the Universal Horror Collection, this has given them carte blanche to release pretty much everything they can get their hands on from the catalogue. I appreciate that they haven’t begun releasing the obvious titles yet, as so far the volumes have been following a specific theme and or formula. The first volume was mainly Karloff and Lugosi team ups, while this second volume is mainly about mad scientist and evil doctor, all of which are played by Lionel Atwill. Buckle up, horror buffs.

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You Have to See This! Barb Wire (1996)

So this is where comic book movies were in 1996, kids.

You don’t know how good you have it. These days everyone has Iron Man, and Captain America, Oscar winning Spider-Man movies, and massive team movies from DC and Marvel. Aquaman is a friggin’ box office juggernaut. In 1996, though we had slim pickings, and, well the best we could get was a truly terrible, painfully dull cinematic adaptation of a pulpy Dark Horse comic that doubled as a remake for “Casablanca.” No seriously, this is as good as it got for us comic book fan boys.

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The Violent Years (1956): Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

This is the story of Paula Parker, a petulant prepubescent princess whose depravities produced a plethora of death and deception. For shame, parents of Paula Parker, you dare not look after your teen daughter in the age of the fifties where crime was rampant. For the first time on Blu-Ray, it’s also a worthwhile title for collectors thanks to AGFA, “The Violent Years” is one of the many infamous baby boomer products of fear and hysteria that warned of a world filled with darkness, crime, debauchery, and premarital sex. Make no mistake, your teen would smoke the marijuana, and tongue kiss way before they matured in to upstanding citizens.

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Streets of Fire (1984): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

After years of just being available on DVD and Blu-Ray in other countries and regions, Shout Factory comes to the rescue to deliver fans a deluxe edition of one of the most underrated action films ever made. Something of a spiritual sequel to Walter Hill’s “The Warriors,” director Hill sets his latest gang land picture in an undisclosed period between the 20’s and 40’s in what is apparently New York. Sadly, Hill intended the film to be the first of a trilogy, but while we never got that wish, “Streets of Fire” still manages to be a single adventure rich in character and pulp appeal. Starring the incredible beautiful Diane Lane, and the fantastic Michael Pare, “Streets of Fire” is a rock and roll musical, romance, gangster, action, adventure. It has everything for mostly everyone and it gets better with every viewing.

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Sentinel (2015)

sentinelNOW SEEKING FUNDING ON KICKSTARTER – Jason Turner’s “Sentinel” reminds me a lot of the Harry Canyon segment from “Heavy Metal” except so much more of a neo-noir cyberpunk love letter than the former. Presented as a motion comic, Jason Turner plays Ex-Cop Alex Calibourne, a man with enhanced body augmentations that lives in a crime ridden albeit futuristic city named Iron City. Calibourne lives and breathes by his robotic enhancements, and uses his artificial intelligence J.E.S.S., a sassy female AI, to guide him through his adventures in the underworld.

This involves his run ins with bar patrons, battling random thugs, and dealing with a potential femme fatale. The animation for the motion comic is pretty excellent, prompting a very dime novel aesthetic that channels the likes of “Blade Runner.” The character of Alex Calibourne aka “Iron Joe” is a fascinating anti-hero prone to falling for dames, and lurking in dark bars, despite being technologically advanced. I enjoyed the interplay between Irons and J.E.S.S., a very outspoken AI in the form of the classic noir secretary, who is most definitely feeling something for Calibourne.

This becomes evident as he begins sinking deeper and deeper in to a new assignment involving being a bodyguard for a very beautiful night club singer. Jason Turner has a unique vision and his format of a motion comic works in favor of his intended anthology movie in the vein of “Heavy Metal.” In the aforementioned film no two segments were alike, and it breaks the monotony to present the adventures of the Sentinel in various mediums. “Sentinel” is a neat and mesmerizing beginning to a unique crime hero, and Turner realizes him well enough to where you definitely root for him, and want to see where he goes next.