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Warner Archive impresses with Judgment Night, The Prize and Dark of the Sun

Judgment Night seems similar to a handful of films released in the 1990s. It was almost a subgenre of movies focused on suburban types facing criminals in the ghetto. Denis Leary leads a gang full of no-names and Everlast against the majesty of Estevez & Piven. Cuba Gooding Jr gets to steal the show for the second half, but it’s a very meandering film for the most part. At times, it feels almost like a suburban dad paranoia nightmare of what the Chicago ghetto must have been like in the early 90s. Just one wrong turn home from a Bulls game and Jeremy Piven’s tiny ass is getting thrown off a roof.

The Prize was a film that I read a lot about, but never had the chance to see until now. Who would have thought that the Nobel Prize ceremony would be the fertile and imaginative ground for Cold War shenanigans? Paul Newman is a lush writer who can’t seem to be remembered by Edward G. Robinson. From there, he tries to figure out what’s going on and why no one can remember who he is or what he’s doing there. It’s typical Hitchcock knock-off fare for the era.

Dark of the Sun is a personal favorite. This movie and Flintstones meet the Jetsons were the first two movies I ever bought from Warner Archive. Outside of Tarantino recommending the film to early fans, I didn’t have a clue about the movie. Now, it’s a film that I watch every year. Obsessed over by dude cinema fans as the definitive men on a mission movie of the 60s (sorry Dirty Dozen), the material plays a lot darker than Hollywood fare of the era.

Jim Brown and Rod Taylor play well as friends who are willing to do dirty work and feel the need to fight in any number of ways. Even if that means making friends with an ex-Nazi and letting a doctor pal attend to those that need him. It’s as charming as it is dour. Honestly, I think the only reason why it doesn’t have a bigger following is that it got buried in the post Dirty Dozen years as this kind of movie took over the Western world. Still amazing looking on Blu-ray.

Special Features

Dark of the Sun gets a trailer. Plus, Elric and Brian from Pure Cinema Podcast get to hop on a commentary track with some other people. Just kidding, Olson and Karazewski. Screwed deserves a reassessment!

Judgment Night, The Prize and Dark of the Sun are available now!

Judgment Night

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