Bluray DVD Physical Media Label COMPLETE Overview : POWERHOUSE FILMS Indicator Boxsets

While a lot of people keep foretelling the death of physical media, since 2018 i personally have noticed an upswing in interest in physical media.

physical media seems to be getting, in the words of eric stoltz in the fly 2… “better!”. i think part of this upswing in physical media interest, has to do, strangely enough with streaming channels, namely youtube and youtube content providers, helping share knowledge and spur interest in these little known boutique bluray labels and releases.

i know personally youtube content providers, re-spurred my interest in physical media at the end of 2019, and is how i became aware of blurays to seek out and purchase.

further spurring this golden age of physical media releases, is (what we could consider) boutique labels making very  collectible and attractive physical media into something that is tactile art object as much as content, it very  much seems as the bluray medium has grown up, moving away from the hideous blue case branding of the bLU-RAYS (i have always hated the flimsy plastic blue ray cases), to now actual attractive, display worthy boxsets and individual titles.

it is as if physical media producers have finally realized, in the age of streaming, you have to emphasize the value of the physical media not just in the video and sound quality (which arguably streaming can compete with) but in the quality of the things streaming cannot compete with, packaging and associated specials features and booklets.

this installment we cover one of the best boutique bluray producers, and one i recently discovered at the end of 2019… namely powerhouse indicator label out of the uk.

The Indicator PowerHouse Blu-ray Boxsets, if you can get them on-sale, before they sell out, are actually one of the best deals in physical media. You can get these feature packed Blu-ray boxsets , that contain roughly 3 to 5 films per boxset for roughly $15 per film.

Which is just a fantastic deal, when you assess that you get the feature packed Blu-rays, with photographed filled and research packed limited edition booklets with each film, and the wonderful exclusive beautifully made slipcases for the films.

These boxsets are generally limited to 6000 editions. So in a planet of 7.8 billion people (according to the 2020 World Population clock) that is pretty darn exclusive. And even in the limited population of physical media lovers like myself, it is still a pretty exclusive and affordable collectible.

As of this writing PowerHouse Indicator has produced 15 boxsets and only 4 of them are no longer available. So as of this writing you can pick up the existing 11 boxsets for on average $15 per film, which is a STUNNING deal.

Here are the 15 Boxsets Power House Indicator has currently released as of this writing:

  • HAMMER VOL 1-5
  • WILLIAM CASTLE VOL 1-2
  • FIVE TALL TALES
  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL 1-2
  • THE SINBAD TRILOGY
  • SAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA
  • BLOODY TERROR
  • MARLENE DIETRICH
  • JOHN FORD

And for my money, while all are great to have, if you can swing it; the absolute best, and must have ones, in terms of beauty of the slipcase, quality of films, etc; in my opinion are the following (you can click on the pictures below to purchase):

 

HAMMER VOLUME ONE: FEAR WARNING! - LEHAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME ONE - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME TWO - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME ONE: 1955-1960 - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME TWO: 1961-1964 - LETHE SINBAD TRILOGY - LESAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA, 1937-1961 - LEFIVE TALL TALES: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960 - LE

Now regarding boxsets that have sold out. I do think Powerhouse Indicator will in due time re-release popular sold out boxsets such as RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL TWO and THE SINBAD TRILOGY in subsequent editions with new artwork, just because it makes no sense for them not to.

Why leave the profit to the secondary market if the demand is out there? From a business standpoint, by changing the boxset artwork, they differentiate from the 1st pressing of the boxset, insuring the uniqueness of that first pressing for their die-hard fans, yet creating subsequent pressings that are unique and attractive in their own right to people who may have missed out on the first pressing.

Lets be frank, it is the boxsets that are the selling feature of Powerhouse Indicator. The individual Blurays by themselves, I don’t find them as compelling as Criterion releases or Arrow or Eureka or ScreamFactory Steelbooks, etc, but as boxsets, currently Powerhouse Indicator is the best Boxset maker in the business.

Well guys I hope you enjoyed that coverage of Powerhouse Indicator.

 

Please use the links provided above (click on the pictures of the boxsets), as they help you get great items, and generate a couple needed and appreciated pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

 

 

Currently Listening To – SICARIO and THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Johann Johannsson

I am currently listening to the score of the late, great, ‘left us way too soon’ Johann Johannsson.

I absolutely adore the compulsive and propulsive score to SICARIO, and currently listening to his completely different but completely as mesmerizing score for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

What amazes about his score is it does not tread water, it does not overstay its welcome, or pad out the running time with filler. The score gets in, delivers its moments to you, and gets out.

Not a wasted chord, which is incredibly rare. These days a lot of scores feel like they are trying to make a minimum length, they feel padded. Not so with SICARIO or what I’m hearing on THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. There does not feel to be an extraneous or tired chord,

His style in its surety, and experimentation and power, is reminiscent of the film scores of Quincy Jones at his best, most notably Quincy Jones phenomenal score for his ground breaking IN COLD THE BLOOD, which hands down is one of the greatest scores ever made. And why the EFF almost 60 years later that score is not available on CD, (akin to the way the best films of Ousmane Sembene, CAMP DE THIAROYE etc, are not availanle on DVD or Blu-Ray – I’m looking at you ARROW and CRITERION) is not an oversight, that is a crime.

 

In Cold BloodClick on the image to pick up the album, the only way to hear Quincy Jones seminal work. It is a MUST OWN. 

 

But getting back to the scores of Johann Johannsson, which thankfully are available on CD, if you don’t own his CDs, forget just streaming compressed MP3s, buy a quality $50 portable player, get some decent headphones, enjoy the music as close to the way the artist intended as possible.

Use the links below… and put aside witch hunts and social media bs posing as law, and politicians using fear to further grab power and disenfranchise the masses.

Put aside social media weaponized to remove and demonize those who actually stood up to oligarchs, and fought for you the people.

You, the people, who are so easily stampeded by hashtags and twitter and face-book into eating your own (you butcher the dogs that defend the flock…for being dogs, unaware that they were the only things that kept the wolves at bay)…

 

Let’s put all that on the back-burner for now, and embrace music, that may just help us…think better, in a world where so few of us think at all.

Enjoy these marvels,  from a marvel of a composer. Use Spotify or Amazon Music to try before you buy, then Click on the images to order it in still the best format… CD.

 

Sicario

 

The Theory of Everything (Original Soundtrack)

 

Come back for future installments where we cover the below albums, and much more. And till then subscribe, comment, email, like, and support the links.

It all helps to keep this blog going, and a voice that is perhaps a little different…. out there.

 

Thanks in advance for your support!

 

Today’s Deal of the Day – Please click and Support!!!

 

Today’s 2nd Deal of the Day – Please click and Support!!!

 

 

  • Black Panther 2018- I hate the fact they only offer the compressed MP3 version on CD, and not a full , wave, uncompressed CD of Goransson’s award winning music. The closest they offer is an LP, and I am not an LP fan, LP does not offer the dynamic range of CD and is a degradation prone medium. I’ll get it for now, but I want a full uncompressed CD! Just for longevity sake. More on this in an upcoming installment.

1994 artwork

  • The Crow

1994

1997 artwork

  • Love Jones

1997

1990 artwork

  • The Sheltering Sky

1990

1979 artwork

  • Apocalypse Now

1979

1968 artwork

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

1972 artwork

  • The Harder They Come

1972

1972 artwork

  • Super Fly

1972

Under The Skin
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Score by Mica Levi

 

Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 fight : Prefight Pick and the Last Word!

Have 20 minutes before this fight starts.

 

My prediction? To quote Mr. T in ROCKY III…. PAIN!

Wilder Fury Ppv Banner On Tv

All joking aside, while I do not have a dog in this fight, I am one of those who thought the decision of the first fight, a draw was a good decision.

I also think Wilder proved, even being outweighed by 50lbs, he is the harder puncher and the stronger man. Fury proved he is the quicker, more effective boxer.

Coming into this rematch, the winner will be the one who can learn from the first fight and adjust. If Wilder puts the fight on Fury’s chest, doesn’t headhunt but just bangs the body, over and over, the body and arms, keep it an inside fight, and negate Fury’s movement, Fury’s hands will drop, and he will be knocked out.

If Fury can keep Wilder at a distance, and exploit Wilder headhunting, he can outpoint him, and potentially open him up for a knockout of his own.

My prediction… I do not bet, however my gut, I like Wilder. He’s the fresher, more exciting fighter, and if he brings the fight to Fury’s body, rather than headhunting, this could be his night.

 

Okay… LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!

 

RESULTS ARE IN: Fury winner by TKO. Looking at the brief clips, it appears to break down to what I thought above, the one who learned and adjusted from the previous fight… won.

From the brief clips it appears Wilder was headhunting, giving Fury the space to dictate and control the fight from the outside, rather than setting up camp inside his guard and attacking the body. And then once he was concussed it looks like he didn’t have a gameplan.

I will say in the clinches Wilder should have headbutted the eff out of Fury, sometimes you have to get a little dirty to get respect. Fury was crossing the line, in one of the more disgusting displays in a boxing ring, Wilder needed to dissuade that kind of behavior, and a good headbutt or low-blow (generally has no place in a boxing ring, but neither did some of Fury’s antics), is always a pretty good dissuader. 🙂

But bottom line, Wilder and his corner appear to not have course corrected and had a plan to negate Fury’s speed and reach. You have to give it to Fury , he executed his game-plan, and he made the puncher, try and box. I’d love to see these guys do it again, which they are going to have to, as both men, particularly Fury, emphasize an issue with the Heavy Weight division.

Which I will get to below, in my rant section.

 

********

I’m going to rant here.

Feel free to ignore this part. 🙂

These guys are super heavy weights, not heavy weights.

There is a reason we have weight divisions to make the fight competitive. Generally speaking if you are 15 pounds more than the next guy you are in a different weight class.

Since the days of Ali and Foreman, when Foreman was the real Ivan Drago (Bigger, stronger, meaner than anyone else in the division. An unbeatable man, a monster. Until Ali in the rematch somehow found a way to beat the unbeatable man) the issue of Super Heavyweight was percolating.

Generally when you did have these super heavy weights, with the exception of Foreman, they were not real contenders, real boxers. You get to the age of Lennox Lewis in the 90s, and then Klitschco in the 2000s and you are suddenly in this period of the super-heavy weights. And it is a bit of a stagnant, unexciting period, because legitimate heavy weights, are blowing themselves up trying to match the natural weight of a super-heavy weight, and just can’t match the reach. So you have a period where the few anomalies, 6’8 guys who can box and punch, super-heavy weights, are holding and stagnating the heavy weight division.

Move to today and we have 3 or 4 of these at the time unbeaten talented super heavyweights, so the division is exciting. But with only 3 or 4 of these guys, the same thing starts to occur, the heavy-weight title stagnates due to lack of competition.

If you are over 225lbs you should be fighting in a different weight class, not the heavy-weight division. That allows the age of future Marcianos and Alis and Holyfields to still happen. And you will always have competitive interesting fights and an influx of a lot of new talent, at that weight class. Above that you then have the super heavyweight division, which is where fighters like Fury and Wilder and Butterbean should be in. But not stagnating the heavy-weight division.

That has been boxing’s issue with the heavy weight division since the late 90s, and will continue to be an issue, until we create a distinction between heavy-weight fighters and super heavy-weights.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Trailer of the Day : Mark Amin’s EMPEROR (2020) and great Black History Month and All Year Long DVD and Blu-Ray Pickups!

Dayo Okeniyi in Emperor (2020)

This trailer came out of nowhere, but I loved it.

I’m not crazy about the poster tag-line, a ‘true legend’, while many true things with time become the stuff of legend, and many legends are stories that have outlived and outlasted the crumbling and burying into dust of all things, even concrete evidence, the putting together of those two words… ‘true legend’ , if not exactly an oxymoron, is just slightly inept marketing. You want to put those two together, try this… ‘in a time of imposed truths, he became in his own lifetime… a galvanizing legend’ .

Took me two seconds to come up with that, and I think it shows more thought than what their marketing department did. Call me guys if you need to fire them and get a better marketing presence, we’ll talk. 🙂 .

But that aside, a very good poster and a GREAT Trailer! If the movie lives up to it, it will be a blast.

As someone who just picked up the 2 season set of UNDERGROUND (almost sold out, so you may want to pick it up while you can, use the attached link) and who is a huge fan of the best in Pan African cinema such as SANKOFA, DARESALAM, HYENAS, GENESIS, I AM CUBA, CAMP DE THIAROYE  (also available courtesy of the attached links) this film definitely goes on my must check out list. Probably along with the WITCH:SUBVERSION one of the best trailers for the Month of February.

 

UNDERGROUND 2 season DVD

SANKOFA – arguably one of the finest, and both savage and beautiful films made, of a true Holocaust. Haile Gerima’s masterpiece. and the fact that this film is out of print, and does not have a Criterion or similar high-scale Blu-ray or DVD release, is only proof that we have a long way yet to go. Get a copy, you will thank me later.

Sankofa

 

 

Daresalam

DARESALAM – This is simply put, cinema at its finest. Get your copy, while you can.

 

I AM CUBAFor years this film was not available in the west, and then when I finally saw it, I think at a film festival, yeas ago, the camera work, in a time way before CGI, blew my mind. As a fan of David Lean, and Hitchcock and Welles and Fritz Lang, geniuses with the camera, this film was like a generational evolution. In an age before Steadicam adoption, the shots were absolutely mind blowing. When it finally was released on a quality DVD boxset, I rushed out and picked it up, and I told all of you to pick it up. For those new to this blog, back in the day, those who listened to me picked it up for $40. It is decidedly more than that, but still worth picking up, if you have the funds. A Masterpiece.

*************************

 

Quick rant, feel free to bypass this. 🙂

Here’s a tip you should know. Quality  non-hollywood  films about and by people of color, especially politically provocative films, have a tendency of not staying in print. And either dry up entirely on the secondary market, or explode in price before disappearing into private collections rarely to see the light of day.

I am never in a rush to pick up KNIVES OUT or 1917 or AVENGERS ENDGAME, because that is going to be there for decades to come. But when I hear about a THE GREAT WAR or EMPEROR or a DARESALAM or a BROTHER JOHN on dvd or Blu-ray, I can not race fast enough to purchase these movies. Haile Gerima, who I had the pleasure to interview back in the day, understood the importance of retaining positive images, and words, and movies, and music. That is culture.

And when the ability to view or hear or see these sounds and images, is at the mercy and whims of multinationals… culture itself is held hostage. And the people who depend on the reflective power of culture, to help define the width and the breadth of their aspirations, are likewise diminished.

And particularly today when so many are weaned on streaming, physical media is ironically both scarcer and yet more important and arguably esteemed and sought after, than ever before.

Because those in the know, understand streaming giveth and streaming taketh away, based on the uninformed whims of the lynchmob. You want your favorite film, available to watch when you want, and in the cut of the film you remember, there is no replacement for physical media. There just is not.

Here endeth the soap-box interlude. 🙂

You can take it, or you can leave it alone. 🙂
Either way, be well.

 

 

 

The Best of Boutique Blu-ray Labels in the age of Streaming! Oct 2019 to February 2020 ARROW Collection Update! Part 2 of 2!

Despite claims of the death of physical media, Blu-ray Boutique labels, HERE IN 2020, are putting out some of the best physical content… EVER!

Here then are MUST OWN Blu-rays in the age of streaming and digital, acquired between October 2019 and February 2020!

 

PT 2 of 2 of my Arrow Video Pickups for that period:

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN – Just in terms of art, this is not one of the better Arrow releases. The art, both versions of the reversible cover, are pretty awful.  Unworthy of such a great film. However because it is a great film, and the Arrow release is the only legitimate Bluray option out there, I can definitely overlook the art, in order to own this essential sci-fi tinged horror film. But I do hope we in the futuure get a superior version.

J.D’S REVENGE – I saw this film recently courtesy of Amazon Prime, my first time seeing this 40+ year old film… and I loved it. What a gem! Surprisingly gripping and exciting and Volatile. And this is one that ARROW VIDEO does a Fantastic job with the art, And i look forward to checking out the special features.

 

Get your copies at the following links:

INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN

JD’S REVENGE

 

ONE FINAL WORD, AS i wrap up this quick update on arrow video titles acquired recently.

One OF THE STANDOUT FEATURES OF ARROW IN ADDITION TO THE SPECIAL FEATURES THEY INCLUDE ON THEIR RELEASES AND THE METICULOUS WORK THEY TYPICALLY DO COMMISSIONING NEW ARTWORK, is their booklets that come with their releases. however, that is also one of the main frustrations of collecting arrow releases.

arrow does this policy, where they only release the book or booklet with the ‘first pressing’ of their movies. basically when their initial batch of blu-rays of a title sell out, when they release subsequent pressings, those subsequent batches will not come with the book or booklet.

NOW I DO UNDERSTAND THE BENEFITS OF DOING THIS FROM ARROW’S PERSPECTIVE, COST BEING A VERY MINOR ONE. BUT I THINK THE REAL REASON THEY DO IT, IS IT CREATES THIS AURA OF collectibility AND DEMAND AND URGENCY. it feeds into the ‘limited edition’ collectibles market, which is a valid part of their customer base.

here is the issue with that, that is only part of your customer base.

as a buyer and fan of arrow video releases, you do not know when you place your order, via a retailer, whether the new product you are getting will come with or without the booklet. and for most fans of arrow (or any boutique label, such as criterion), the booklet is part of why you collect physical media, as opposed to just streaming the movie, or getting the film from a different label. even today, four years after its initial release, i can order black narcissus (one of the most stunning films ever made) from criterion, and be assured of getting the beautiful booklet with it. that assurance of quality whenever you pick up a criterion product, well that says everything about why they remain synonymous with quality and confidence.

so while the limited nature of arrow’s books and booklet, ensures you create a quick sell out of your initial run, it hampers sales of subsequent runs. And gives the buyer pause before buying that release, and has them turn from you and your retailers to the secondary market for a used item, but one that guarantees they get the book or booklet.

this policy is actually training potential customers to be wary of getting the item new from arrow or its retailers, and to rather patronize the secondary market.

now i am a supporter of the secondary market typically, but in this case i think arrow may actually be losing sales on older titles this way. training your customer base to seek out used product as opposed to your in-stock product, courting the exclusivity fervor, is a tricky tight rope to walk, especially when it may be actually sacrificing some sales from a potentially larger customer base, to support this model.

at the very least if arrow, wants to not provide the book/booklet in all releases, and continue to court to some extent the limited edition part of their customer base, what they can still do is offer the books and booklets as an add on to customers. give customers the option to buy the book or booklet at a nominal fee, to include s&h. worldwide shipping of a booklet, even today is only few pounds. And to differentiate it from the first pressing, just simply mark it aS ‘2nd printing’.

this way your limited edition audience, still keep their ‘limited edition status- they have first prints’. and at the same time you generate revenue from people who missed out on the books or booklets. it strengthens peoples trust in arrow, since what you get is not totally left up to chance or the secondary market.

anyhow that is my two cents on the one issue, as someone only several months into arrow video patronage, that i see as room for improvement, with the otherwise excellent arrow label.

 

The Best of Boutique Blu-ray Labels in the age of Streaming! Oct 2019 to February 2020 ARROW Collection Update!

Despite claims of the death of physical media, Blu-ray Boutique labels, HERE IN 2020, are putting out some of the best physical content… EVER!

Here then are MUST OWN Blu-rays in the age of streaming and digital, acquired between October 2019 and February 2020!

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While the Criterion Collection is the most well known Boutique or Quality Curated Dvd/Blu-Ray label, coming back to physical media I was surprised to find there are new kids on the block, that arguably not just equal Criterion, but edge it out in terms of features and overall quality of packing, booklet, materials, etc.

One such Blu-Ray label is ARROW VIDEO. Following on the heels of SCREAM FACTORY getting me back into physical media in a major way in 2019, ARROW VIDEO was the next company I jumped in to with both feet. And is actually, SCREAM FACTORY aside, my favorite Blu-Ray label of 2019. And without doubt the label I purchased the most movies from in 2019.

Here Now are all the Arrow Video Blu-Ray movies picked up from Oct 2019 to now in February 2020.

 

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You can make a huge argument that Arrow’s feature rich AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON was THE BEST single Blu-ray release of 2019. For me it was a MUST OWN! You may still be able to pick up copies here.

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Great film! My first time seeing it, and is better than most films made today. Nice special features. Get it here!

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia [Blu-ray]BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA – Sam Peckinpah made several masterpieces, this is one of his best, probably only edged out by PAT GARRET & BILLY THE KID. This was his final word, on the avenging spirit made flesh. Get your copy here!

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.Lucio Fulci’s masterpieces are not his Ghoul/Zombie Films, these were the work of a filmmaker who had succumbed to the questionable tastes of the market (that had rejected his most beloved film, his attempt at art) and to an extent his own perverseness.

You want to see Fulci as a great director, then seek out LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN, DON’T TORTURE THE DUCKLING, SILVER SADDLE, MASSACRE TIME, THE PSYCHIC, BEATRICE CENCI (his favorite film) and arguably his best film ONE ON TOP THE OTHER (a homage to Hitchcock, that I actually think out does Hitchcock).

But that said, even these oft querulous and lowest common denominator peddling zombie films of his later years, have something to recommend them; namely Fulci’s unequaled imagination and real knack for composition of effectively baroque and unsettling imagery. Fulci knew how to drop your jaw, but also to stage a scene.

I quite, acknowledging its issues, I quite like CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. And the Arrow presentation, with great commentaries, is the way to see it.

Get yours here.

 

Pt 1 of 2. Come back next installment for the conclusion of my ARROW VIDEO coverage. And if you are enjoying this coverage of physical media spread the word, give a like, subscribe, and email or comment.

Be well out there!