Talk about speedy shipment! As you'll remember I ordered four DVDs from Roger Corman's New Horizons company last Monday and today, Saturday, less than a week later, I received them in the mail!
The four films are EYE OF THE EAGLE, EYE OF THE EAGLE 2: INSIDE THE ENEMY, LAST STAND AT LANG MAI (aka Eye of the Eagle 3), BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY.
I haven't watched any of them yet but I've given each DVD a quick check and I thought I would just give ya a quick word on the quality 'n' stuff. Now, keep in mind that 99% of all these Filipino war movies have never been released on DVD and that we're all used to VHS quality; sometimes worn tapes from Greece, sometimes great Japanese tapes with perfect playback - but none-the-less video tapes! (and some of you watch downloads instead but those are off VHS anyway so usually there's no better quality that way 'round unless a dedicated fan has somewhat restored the picture with a nifty computer program, i.e. corrected format and bettered colours). So getting these four films on official DVD that alone is pretty cool.
The picture quality is great! Again, keep in mind that I mean compared to old wobbly video tapes. However, these DVDs are not Heigh Definition quality by anybody's standards. I compared my old Greek VHS release of LAST STAND AT LANG MAI with the new DVD and it's clear to see the difference; The lack of tape roll and lines on the picture isn't exactly something I miss (and there's a lot of that on that particular tape!).
All four films are presented in fullscreen format but I'm even beginning to wonder if this may have been the original format? I have NEVER seen one SINGLE Filipino war flick that was presented in letterbox (not counting the Italian productions that were shot in the 'Pines)!! The menus are very basic and the extras are the same three trailers for other films + a trailer for the film on the DVD. There are no subs.
In regards to LAST STAND; as I mentioned in my post on Monday Corman's company re-titled the movie to fit in with the EYE OF THE EAGLE series calling it part 3. I was wondering if they might have kept the original title card and only altered the title on the cover but no the print has a new title card as well. However, the original one was just the title written on black so you wouldn't notice the new card as it's basically the same style.
So all in all these DVDs are pretty damn good. My TV set is an old-skool 28" tube set and I have no idea how the DVDs are gonna look in 40". The only real thing that I find slightly off-putting is the standard logo on the covers that says "American Valor" on a background being the American flag. These are trashy war flicks made in the Philippines, most of the actors are from the Filipino film industry (whether they're actually Filipinos or expats) and directed by a Filipino director. I'm sure it's the video company's attempt to cash in on an ever broadening nationalistic feeling in reg. 1 country due to recent years international political situation - but I find it slightly... ridiculous. Anyway, from a picture quality point of view I'd certainly recommend these DVD releases.
Bad guys Nick Nicholson and Henry Strzalkowsky having fun with the main character (played by some guy who later himself became a bad guy - or bad terminator as it were. LOL)
All scans are form EYE OF THE EAGLE.