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Blu-ray Review: Highlander: 30th Anniversary Edition
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Highlander 30th anniversary image header

Highlander
30th Anniversary Edition – Director’s Cut
Blu-ray
Directed Russell Mulcahy
Starring Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery
Lionsgate Home Video
Release date: September 27, 2016

Russell Mulcahy‘s 1986 feature Highlander centers on Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), a man born in the Scottish Highlands in the 1500s who discovers he’s immortal after he miraculously recovers from a deadly wound he sustained during his first battle against a rival clan. The film seamlessly goes back and forth between MacLeod’s past in 16th century Scotland and his current life as antiques dealer Russell Nash in modern-day New York City, with a few other brief past-life flashbacks thrown in. Under the tutelage of Sean Connery‘s Ramírez, a fellow Immortal, MacLeod learns to swordfight and use his strength in preparation for the eventual Gathering, when all Immortals will be summoned together to fight for “The Prize.”

In modern-day, MacLeod comes under suspicion by the police after a man is found decapitated by an extremely rare broadsword, which was recovered at the crime scene by police forensics pathologist Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart), who seeks to know more about the weapon and where it came from. Meanwhile, the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), the fierce warrior who dealt Connor that initial deadly blow back in Scotland, has arrived in New York City to seek the Highlander out and finish what he started so long ago.

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TV Review: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 1.4 “Welcome To Maplecroft”
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The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 104-08

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Episode 1.4 “Welcome To Maplecroft”
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Written by Jason Grote
Starring Christina Ricci, Clea Duvall, Cole Hauser, Bradley Stryker, Jeff Wincott, Olivia Llewellyn, Dylan Taylor, Jessy Schram, John Ralston
Lifetime
Air Date: Sunday, April 26th, 2015, 10pm ET

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 1.4 “Welcome To Maplecroft” brings up to the halfway point in our bloody Lifetime series. Before that review, let’s recap last week’s episode.

“Flowers” centered on Lizzie’s (Christina Ricci) new business partner, Mr. Flowers (Jonathan Banks). He took care of that nasty little Spencer business for her. An unforeseen loose end is Skipjack (Bradley Stryker) taking the playwright’s ring. Mr. Flowers seems like a useful person for a rich serial killer to have around. Why… someone like that can get goons to beat up annoying Pinkerton detectives, and leave them/him on some train tracks like a damsel left by a twirly-mustached villain. I really enjoy Siringo (Cole Hauser) onscreen. I was hoping he would last til the end. He will, won’t he? Won’t he?

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TV Review: The Lizzie Borden Chronicles 1.3 “Flowers”
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Lizzie Borden Chronicles 103-01

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Episode 1.3 “Flowers”
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Written by Barbara Nance
Starring Christina Ricci, Clea Duvall, Cole Hauser, Bradley Stryker, Jeff Wincott, Olivia Llewellyn, Dylan Taylor, Kimberly-Sue Murray
Lifetime
Air Date: Sunday, April 19th, 2015, 10pm ET

We are three episodes in for Lifetime’s “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” limited series event and I am thoroughly enjoying this undiscovered little jewel. But before we get to reviewing 1.3 “Flowers,” let’s recap last week’s “Patron of the Arts.”

There are some spoilers if you haven’t watched “Flowers” yet.

What we probably knew before and definitely know now, is that Lizzie (Christina Ricci) enjoys her notoriety. She and Emma (Clea Duvall) attend a risque performance, and get invited to an afterparty because of Lizzie’s fame. There they meet the playwright, Spencer, who tries to get Lizzie to be his “patron” for his next play. He also tries and fails at seducing her. Lizzie rescues a prostitute, Adele, from her terrible lot. She goes to see Mr. Flowers about it, and they politely compare the size of their d***s. Siringo (Cole Hauser) and Lizzie do a silent dance around their enmity, while having a polite conversation. Siringo tries to insert logic into the investigation, but it falls on deaf ears. Spencer tries to rape Adele, so she sticks him with a pitchfork, then panics and gets Lizzie. Lizzie finishes him off.

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Blu-ray Review: Highlander (Director’s Cut)
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Highlander blu-rayHighlander
Director’s Cut
Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Starring Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery, Roxanne Hart
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 2, 2010

There can be only one.

Even if you’ve never seen Highlander, chances are you’ve heard that phrase uttered countless times. It’s the battle cry of the sword-wielding Immortals in the 1986 fantasy-action film, starring Christopher Lambert.

Lambert appears as Connor MacLeod, a young Scotsman in the year 1536 who one day meets his fate on the battlefield at the hands of the Kurgan (Clancy Brown), a massive Slavic warrior out to slice Connor’s head from his neck. When Connor seemingly comes back to life after dying from his battle wounds, his superstitious clan banishes him, leaving him to build a new life for himself elsewhere. Five years later, a mysterious man named Ramirez (Sean Connery) seeks out Connor to become his mentor, explaining that they are of a group of Immortals who will eventually meet for The Gathering, where they will fight each other for The Prize until only one survives.

We learn about Connor’s early life through flashbacks, as the immortal now lives in present day (1985) New York City as antiques dealer Russell Nash, who’s currently being investigated by police after they catch him fleeing the scene where a man was found decapitated. Between dealing with the police and the probing questions from their overly curious forensics expert Brenda (Roxanne Hart), Connor also begins to feel the pull for The Gathering, which includes having to fight his old enemy The Kurgan, who’s wreaking havoc across the city in his quest to find and fight Connor.

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DVD Review: The Scorpion King 2
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SK2Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Starring Michael Copon, Randy Couture, Karen David, Simon Quarterman, Natalie Becker
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: August 19, 2008

I received the standard and Blu-ray DVDs for Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior, and had planned on doing the standard disc review myself, but I just got bogged down with other tasks, so I sent it out to one of my writers. Since I don’t have a Blu-ray player [yet], I sent that out to Henchman21 (read his review), who flat out told me this was not a good movie and that he had trouble even finishing the viewing. The other writer could conjure up little more than to say that the movie was “in a word, shit.”

When people give something such bad reviews like this, I just HAVE to see it for myself, because I wonder, can it really be all that bad and if so, why? I have to know!

So, I pop in the disc and prepare to be brutally assaulted by what I am now expecting to be pure and utter crap and after 20 minutes of the film I found myself thinking, jeez, it’s not that bad.

This is a direct-to-DVD prequel to 2002’s Scorpion King, which itself was a prequel/spin-off to Universal’s The Mummy Returns, which had Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Mathayus/Scorpion King. The key words here are direct-to-DVD, so right there you know not to expect something on par with the Academy Award-winning Gladiator.

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DVD Review: Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior (Blu-ray)
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Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior
Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Starring Michael Copon, Randy Couture, Karen David, Simon Quarterman
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: August 19, 2008

A funny thing happened about halfway through this movie, the Minotaur showed up, and suddenly I realized that I was watching an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journey. This is not to say I was ever a fan of Hercules, but I was just very much reminded of that series. The dimly lit sets, the goofy comic relief, the bad CG monsters, yes it had it all. And like Hercules, Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior had a simple charm to it, and I found myself starting to appreciate it.

Now let’s get this out of the way. This is NOT a good movie. It looks about as good as you would expect a direct-to-DVD movie to look. The dialogue is pretty wooden, as are a lot of the actors. I mean, you don’t even get to make fun of The Rock, or ogle Kelly Hu’s magnificent figure, which is pretty much the only reason to watch the first Scorpion King film.

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