DVD Review “Battle Circus”

Director:   Richard Brooks
Cast:   Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Keenan Wynn, Robert Keith
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Humphrey Bogart carries such a presence and always delivers such a great performance.  He is one of the Hollywood legends and this film is no different.  Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson together in the film just work so well. This really represents the classic 50’s MGM productions.  Thanks to Warner Archive, this film is released on DVD for the first time and is also newly remastered.

The film is presented in 4 X 3 full frame and its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The audio included is a mono track like most released from Warner Archive. The B&W film looks awesome for a film that was released in 1953 that has has never been on DVD. The only extra that comes on this release though is a trailer.  But nonetheless, all fans of Bogart’s classic films will definitely want to check out this release.

Synopsis: Long before M*A*S*H, there was Battle Circus. Made during the Korean War, this tribute to the indomitable human spirit takes an authentic, almost documentary-like look at the nurses and doctors who operated in the battlefront Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals. Major Jed Webbe (Humphrey Bogart) is a brilliant, hard-bitten Army surgeon with a weakness for women and strong liquor. Fresh from the states arrives Lt. Ruth McCara (June Allyson), a naïve young nurse ready to save the world. The story of their love and heroism, told against the grimly realistic background of pounding artillery and deadly ambushes, forms the core of the film. The title Battle Circus comes from the way the mobile field units can strike their tents, move to a new battle area, then set them up again like circus roustabouts in nothing flat. And, like circus daredevils, these heroes risk life and death on a daily basis.

Blu-ray Review “Battle Royale: The Complete Collection”

Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku
Starring: Beat Takeshi, Chiaki Kuriyama
Number of discs: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Running Time: 368 minutes

Collection: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out 5 stars

It is really sad that it took this film this long to get released properly in the US. “Battle Royale” has been proclaimed by many as “One Of The Most Controversial Film Series Of All Time”. It is definitely that for sure…and then some. The reason for this release occurs due to the unbelievable hype from the upcoming movie “The Hunger Games”. There has been talks of doing a US version of “Battle Royale” for many years but those were silenced since “The Hunger Games” came along. They are relatively similar in a sense besides the fact that “Battle Royale” is a no-holds barred kick-ass movie not backed by a teeny-bopper/Twilight-esque following like with “The Hunger Games”. Nonetheless, I am happy to finally see this film and its sequel “Battle Royale II: Requiem” released in the America and in glorious high definition.  So if you enjoy “The Hunger Games”, you should enjoy this release as well, no question.

The complete collection consists of four discs within fantastic case/box. The box comes with great photos from the films through the case. The first disc is the director’s cut of “Battle Royale”. The second disc is the theatrical cut of “Battle Royale”. The third disc is the sequel “Battle Royale II: Requiem”, less superior that the first but still very enjoyable. The fourth and final disc is jam packed with bonus content. The video resolution looks great with its 1080p transfer, with its original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. The audio is also fantastic specifically with its Japanese track boasting a very impressive Dolby TrueHD 7.1. The English dubbed track only included a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track.

Kinji Fukasaku’s violet yet poetic “Battle Royale” follow a group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport. Sounds similar to “The Hunger Games” huh? When they are flown to a remote island, the rules are laid out for the game. Each student is put in a group with another student, given a weapon and set against their fellow classmates. Only one group will be allowed to leave the island alive. Of course what separates this from “The Hunger Games” is that one your team member is killed the device around the team members neck will explode in a few seconds.

“Battle Royale II: Requiem” follows right about the events of the first film. The survivors of previous Battles Royale, led by Shuya Nanahara have formed a rebel group called the “Wild Seven”. A class of teenagers are kidnapped by the Japanese government again. Instead of being forced to kill each other, like the first film, the students are sent off to war and ordered to attack and kill terrorist group and its leader.

The special features on this release are so fantastic and include more than 3 hours of extras. The main issue with these is that they are only presented on DVD, it would have been great to see these presented on Blu-ray and in high definition. The extras includes the following: The Making of Battle Royale, TV Spot: Tarantino Version, Basketball Scene Rehearsals, Tokyo International Film Festival 2000, Special Edition TV Spot, Original Theatrical Trailer, Battle Royale Documentary, Special Effects Comparison Featurette, Filming On-Set, Behind-The-Scenes Featurette, Audition & Rehearsal Footage, Instructional Video: Birthday Version, Battle Royale Press Conference. If you previously purchased the Special Edition International versions, then this is nothing new here just with subtitles now.

“The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption” Blu-ray Giveaway [ENDED]

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To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway FIVE copies of the Blu-ray. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite film in the “The Mummy” franchise. This giveaway will be open until Monday January 23rd at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Here is the plot description for the “The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption”:
Since his triumphant rise to power in the original blockbuster “The Scorpion King,” Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen and he’s lost his queen to plague. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.

Starring Ron Perlman (“Hellboy”) and Billy Zane (“Titanic”) and featuring six-time WWE champion Dave Bautista and UFC star Kimbo Slice, “The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption” takes “The Mummy” phenomenon to an all-new level of epic action and non-stop adventure!