Dueling Blus: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Here's a nice, new release from a new DVD/ blu-ray label, Signal One. It's an early Jodie Foster thriller called The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. This is an HD debut of a film that's been released a number of times on DVD, but never before on blu, and it's coming to us from the UK. It's also the first release with any substantial extras. So my hopes were cautiously high when I took a chance and ordered this, now let's see how happy I should be with my purchase.

Update 1/11/16 - 4/30/18: Signal One's UK blu was this film's HD debut, but a few months after I originally posted, it was issued here in the US by Scorpion Releasing, with some exciting special features.  How do the two discs stack up?
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is a smart, taught 1976 thriller based on a novel by Laird Koenig. An overwhelming majority of this film takes place in one room, so it's no surprise that this was later adapted into a stage play as well. It's also another one of those great Canadian films made in that tax shelter period where a lot of films, by directors like Bob Clark and David Cronenberg were created with a lot of creative freedom and often made to appear American. In this case, the film's meant to be set in Maine, and it passes fine enough so long as you're not intimately familiar with the locations.
Foster made this the same year as Taxi Driver, and she's perhaps even more impressive here as a 13 year-old girl who's somehow living in a large house all by herself. Naturally, people are immediately suspicious and start snooping around, from the local sheriff's deputy to a sleazy pedophile played expertly by Martin Sheen. But despite her age, Foster appears more than prepared to kill to protect her secret. Then again, she might not be the only one...
Everything about this film is surprisingly effective. The author of the original novel wrote the screenplay, so the story and dialogue is crackling. The score is subtle but effective, and the supporting cast includes 1940s studio star Alexis Smith and a particularly engaging turn by Bad Ronald's Scott Jacoby. It's very Hitchcockian in how it plays with what the audience knows or thinks it knows, and how it gets viewers wholeheartedly on the side of a killer. Horror fans expecting a a high volume of gruesome kills may be disappointed, but this certainly isn't kiddie fare either. In fact, it's pretty interesting how it's generally assumed that our society is ever-increasingly permissive; but I find it hard to imagine that this film could probably only have been made, or at least allowed into the mainstream with a PG rating and high volume of television broadcasts in this day and age. It's a unique product of the 70s.
Which brings me to the point that yes, this is the uncut "international" version on both blu-rays. The primary distinction between the international and US cut version being a brief nude scene of Foster's character (performed by a body double). However, almost all - if not entirely all - of the past DVD releases have also been the uncut version; so this shouldn't be a big revelation to most fans of the film. But it's good to know that this release is uncut.
2015 Signal One UK blu on top; 2016 Scorpion US blu bottom.
2015 Signal One UK blu left; 2016 Scorpion US blu right.
The first thing you'll notice from these screenshots is that they're virtually indistinguishable.  Which is okay, since the transfer they're clearly sharing looks great, with very natural looking colors, blacks and details. The framing is very slightly letterboxed to 1.84:1 in 1080p.  But if you really go pixel hunting, you'll see that they are different.  Signal One's disc is single layer, while Scorpion's is dual-layered.  And while Signal One's transfer takes up almost all of their their space, and Scorpion's just uses 26.1 GB (with the rest devoted to the extras), meaning it's not a very huge gap in file sizes... it still means Scorpion's just edges Signal One's out.  And I'm not just saying that based on the numbers, the grain is clear on both discs, but is just a bit more defined on Scorpion's disc, most visible in clear patches of sky, or in the shot above, pavement.  But honestly, this is a super hardcore nerd distinction I'm drawing here; I really don't believe anyone could spot the difference in motion during a blind taste test.

Signal One's LPCM and Scorpion's DTS-HD 2.0 audio tracks are similarly difficult to tell apart; both are lossless tracks are very clear and bold.  But here's the first place where one disc finally makes a clear step ahead: only the UK blu features optional English HoH subtitles.
No past release has ever had any extras apart from the trailer and/or bonus trailers. Well, the trailer is on these discs, too; and it's worth a watch in how they market this is more of a frightening horror film.  But Signal One finally started to make interesting with the inclusion of their exclusive audio commentary by Nathaniel Thompson and Tim Greer. Thompson writes for Mondo Digital and is fully prepared with a lot of information on the film, taking almost all of the weight of the commentary. Green chimes in when Thompson starts to run out of steam midway through to help keep things moving and playful. They do get a little lost, veering off onto the occasional self-indulgent tangent or two, but for the most part it's a good listen with a lot of the information viewers would want to know, like how the film differs from the book or what this film introduced to the closing credits of every major motion picture today.

So that commentary was a welcome addition to the film, but of course they couldn't top a commentary by the actual director, Nicolas Gessner, which is exactly what Scorpion managed to secure.  At first his accent feels a little thick, but you soon get used to it, and he has plenty of fun and interesting insight into his movie.  And just as impressive, if not more so, is the on-camera interview with Martin Sheen.  It runs just under a half hour, and while yes, they do kind of slip into that career-overview lazy interview format, Sheen also has a lot of great memories to share The Little Girl.  Then the two are brought together in a brief featurette where Sheen talks to Gessner over Skype, which is nice, but short (about five minutes) and mostly fluff.  Still, it's nice they threw it on here; but the real special features are the commentary and interview.

Also, both blus have reversible artwork, each using the same two poster images.
So both discs are quite good, perfectly viable releases.  The biggest difference is definitely in the extras.  The UK commentary was nice, but Scorpion handily trumped it.  Coupled with the slightly better compression, I'd have to say it's the overall preferable options.  Unless subtitles are important to you, in which case you may be forced to go with Signal One, which again, is still a very fine disc.  For many fans, who don't particularly care about extras and whose hearing is fine, they can honestly just go with whichever release is being marketed on their side of the ocean.  And if you're wondering if it's worth getting both, unless TLGWLDTL is your absolute favorite film of all time (in which case, you'll be getting both no matter what), I'd say don't bother... the commentaries are certainly distinct, but largely redundant, repeating a lot of the same trivia and observations.  But, with that said, I double-dipped for the Scorpion disc after already having the Signal One; and I'm glad I did.

Mom and Dad Rocks 'Till the Bitter End (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

Reading this blog, you might think I mostly just watch old horror movies.  Actually, I watch more new ones than old films, it's just that they rarely grab me.  Not with a "get off my lawn"/ "modern horror sucks" kind of mentality, but more like watching episode after episode of various Law & Order series.  They're usually fine, decently made, but if one or a hundred of them disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn't even register.  Usually professional looking, going through the motions fine enough (though, of course, many are also exceptionally stupid), but generic unaffecting stories with no exciting new ideas or anything.  You know, nothing that makes me say, "oh man, I need that in my collection!"  So I guess you don't wind up seeing a lot of brand new horror on this site.  But here you go, guys; Mom and Dad is one that made me sit up and say, "oh man, I need that in my collection!"
I didn't race to see Mom and Dad, because it didn't feel like a film I needed to see.  I was over the novelty of Nicholas Cage doing freaky over-the-top wig outs before "the bees" was even a meme.  To me, The Wicker Man remake was just the film that made me finally give up on the promise of Neil LaBute.  And the legacy of Crank 2, Gamer and Ghost Rider 2 was did more to ward me away than draw me in.

And on top of all that, I'd already bought into the hype of Cooties and felt seriously let down.  Not that I'd call that movie terrible, but it felt more like a lame sitcom than the gonzo, envelope pushing tale of zombie children run amok that we were sold.  It turned out to be the Halloween episode of Parks and Rec, not a movie.  Remember they had the guy from 30 Rock doing all those hack effeminate gay man in the closet jokes?  Oy vey.  But even though Mom and Dad really has the inverse premise - adults killing children instead of children killing adults - they both had heavy 70s/80s throwback in the marketing, and it all just felt like another false horror movie promise.  But no, not this time.  Mom and Dad is everything it presents itself as, and more besides.
Because, look, I like Crank.  It's not a favorite; I don't own it on disc.  But it's definitely a film I'd recommend at least seeing once.  It's entertaining in all the ways it's trying to be.  But Mom and Dad, for all the ridiculousness of its premise, where a mysterious virus drives all parents to murder their children, actually has some weight to it.  It's the Crank guys back to deliver another wheelbarrow of cheap thrills, but this time with an actual story to tell, too.  It's not exactly subtle, but it is grounded.  And Nicholas Cage actually gives a solid performance, not just the barking trope you'd expect going into this picture.  The same can be said for his co-stars Selma Blair and Lance Henriksen.  Everybody's pretty great in this, even the kids.  And I've seen the people knock the ending, but I personally don't understand that.  I thought it was perfect.
And I'm not a big fan of nostalgia branding (we get it, Stranger Things, the 80s were full of 80s pop culture), but Mom and Dad has a brilliant 70s-style credits sequence.  And this movie doesn't go as cartoonish as Crank, which thankfully allows for the violence and horror to have a little more impact.  Like the original Night Of the Living Dead, they don't divert a lot of energy into pseudoscience or complicated explanations for the inciting crisis that ensues.  A few background characters speculate for a line or two, but this film just dives right into the heart of the matter and never comes up for air.  Not that this film is perfect... it's got a silky, almost 35mm look to most of it, until it conspicuously switches to GoPro footage for some high action scenes, and I just wanted to say, guys, you already made Crank, let Mom and Dad be Mom and Dad.  But they get past most of that pretty early on.
A more important criticism would be that the underlying themes work, but some of the writing is still a little weak.  Like, rather than completely writing from life experience, some younger writers are just borrowing from past on-screen marriage issues they've watched on TV.  Some of those family flashback moments ring a little false.  And the characters are clearly meant to be genuine and well-rounded, so we care about their conflicts, which they mostly pull off.  But they also go for some cheap laughs that feel like they're trying to parody middle class life rather than relate to it.  I'm thinking about some early bits where Selma Blair mistakenly confuses her Chinese maid for Korean or her shallow best friend at the gym.  She does so much good work making you sincerely relate to the midlife crisis they're undergoing in other scenes, and they risk throwing that away for easy satire.  But none of their little misfires are enough to undo all that they surprisingly get right in this picture.
2018 US Momentum DVD on top; 2018 US Momentum blu-ray bottom.
If you missed it, Momentum Pictures released this film on DVD and blu-ray a month or so ago as either a combo pack or just the DVD by itself.  Presented in a very wide 2.40:1, the aspect ratio kinda jives with the more classic, filmic style the directors were probably going for here.  But the look of scenes varies shot to shot, or at least scene to scene.  Like compare the walls and background in the first set of shots, where it almost looks like natural film grain, to the flat, plain skies in the second shot, which wind up looking more digital.  But that's all down to the original filmmaking, I'm sure, than any issues with the home video transfer, which is all perfectly fine.  You can see a clear boost in sharpness and clarity between the SD DVD and HD blu, just like you'd expect; and the audio is presented in a solid DTS-HD 5.1 mix with optional English subtitles.
That's it, though.  Subtitles on or off is the sole option on the menu.  Momentum has decided to include absolutely no special features whatsoever, not even a trailer.  And that's super disappointing, because I'm sure the behind-the-scenes footage of this movie must be a blast.  And I was very interested to hear what filmmakers had to say about this story, but this is as barebones as it gets.  It does come in a slip cover, at least.  But the discs themselves are depressingly barren.
It's still a must-have, because the film rocks.  And I guess the upshot is that Mom and Dad got a pretty broad release (you can pick it up at Best Buy, etc), so it can be had pretty cheap.  But it's sad, because this is the kind of film where, just a couple years ago, of course it would've been a special edition, with the directors adding a bunch of fun supplements to it.  But now we're watching physical media decline.  I guess we should be happy for even these basic releases while we've still got 'em.

The World's Only Ex Libris Blu-ray Review!

So nobody else on the internet reviews Zipporah releases but me, huh?  I keep looking, but every year I seem to be alone in this.  Hey, I'm a big Frederick Wiseman fan, so I'm happy to cover his films (and yes, one of these days, I'm going to start delving through his extensive back catalog), but I'm starting to feel like I've adopted a social responsibility here.  Hey, folks!  We've got one of the greatest American documentary filmmakers for over 40 years.  He just won a lifetime Academy Award last year, and his latest film just came out on DVD and blu-ray.  Does anybody else care?  No, just me?  Well, alrighty, then.  Enjoy your sole review of Zipporah Films' official blu-ray release of Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, Internet.  I even got my hands on a DVD copy, for the world's only direct comparison.

Update 7/12/18: I've added the DVD edition for comparison.
Admittedly, it's not hard to see why the millennial generation hasn't exactly latched onto Wiseman's work.  Ex Libris is, like the last couple decades worth of Wiseman's output has been... pretty dry.  Things weren't always this way.  In many circles, 1967's Titicut Follies is considered an infamous shockumentary, and films like Primate, Meat and Near Death are certainly not for delicate viewers.  And I think I'm actually glad that we're past that.  It was always a little uncomfortable to have ask a video store clerk to unlock the X-rated mondo trash cabinet while you try to explain that, no, this guy's actually a highly respectable documentarian who just gets mixed in with this stuff sometimes.  But even despite Crazy Horse's recently racy subject matter, those edgy days are long gone.
And that's fine.  What we all really watched Wiseman's work for is still here.  In fact, if anything, Ex Libris feels more like the latest chapter in his epic, million-hour documentary he's assembling that will eventually define the entirety of the human condition.  If you've been following his work, you absolutely know what to expect, another detailed, silent observation of another system mankind has created to enrich our lives: in this case, The New York Public Library.  More behind-the-scenes boardroom meetings, more public interactions, more cutting to exterior shots every twenty or so minutes, and every so often watching day turn to night.  No narration, no score, no narrative throughput, no overt emotional manipulation, no message, no human focal point.  Just a calm, three and a half hour crafted observation.  Now, that might sound ideal, or that might make you want to slit your wrists, but that's our Wiseman.
By no message, I mean we're not being sold a particular agenda (at least not overtly).  This is no cheap "we must save the dolphins!" flick.  But there's certainly heaps to take away from this film.  For those who don't know, The NYPL isn't just one big marble building sitting somewhere around the center of NYC.  It's the sum total of 92 branches across Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island.  It's a massive resource, pulling equally from federal and private funding.  From tiny little inner city outposts packed with children's books and best sellers to packed concert halls.  And we every aspect of how they serve the community, from blind children being taught braille to museum-style art displays, replete with gala dinner.  We see the board members debate their policies, fund raisers, the massive sorting system for returns across the state, the high-tech archival work, even the celebrity speakers who gave a talk or performance during the time the film was shot.  And some of the things I had no idea they were doing... Did you know that the NYPL, in the name of eliminating the digital divide in NY, loans out internet hot spots for years at a time to impoverished residents so they can have free internet access in their homes?  Wow.
Oh, but of course, there's the other big reason most review sites aren't covering this film: it's $50 for an MOD BD-R, which is only available from Zipporah's website.  That's boxed set prices, it's not even a pressed disc, and they even kinda stick ya shipping.  And yes, it's a single disc, all 205 minutes.  Plus, the fact that they stick them in the same DVD-standard cases they use for their DVD-R editions just feels cheaper.  I understand Wiseman can't exactly adopt a mass market business plan for this type of material, but buying one of these will be a very bitter pill for most even the most ardent collectors to swallow.  And unfortunately, the time seems to be past where we could count on foreign markets to release more reasonably priced, professional quality discs like we saw with National Gallery.  Blaq Out has seen fit to make Ex Libris a DVD-only title in France, so if you want this film on blu, this is unfortunately your only option.
2018 US Zipporah Films DVD top; 2018 US Zipporah Films BD-R bottom.
So I can't help but feel compression and clarity would be stronger if they didn't try to jam so much onto a single (thankfully dual-layered) BD-R.  Still, of course, it looks better than the DVD.  Not that there's a super wide gulf, but you do see the extra sharpness when you pick out the fine details.  Older Zipporah titles used to at least spread themselves out across multiple discs, but fans might've been more bothered by having to swap discs (a throwback to the laserdisc days) mid-film than the slight dip in PQ.  And I suppose they free up a lot of that space by including absolutely no special features... yay?  The film is slightly matted to 1.85:1, and for all my BD-R grumblings, it is still an attractive, genuinely high def image.  We're given a choice between two very clean audio options: Dolby Digital 5.1 (in DTS-HD on the blu) and Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 (in PCM on the blu).  That's it for frills, no trailer or nothin'.  But at the end of the day, it's not a bad HD presentation of the film, and that's still the critical thing.
So do I recommend this release?  Ha ha - Obviously not for everybody!  It's definitely a film serious documentary lovers will appreciate, but not the sort of thing I'd go around telling the uninitiated to seek out.  Even if they're ready to start watching four-hour vérité documentaries, I'd suggest starting with High School or Domestic Violence before wading into anything from the last couple decades.  But if you're one of us, or just a profoundly dedicated aficionado of the NYPL... I still wish I could point out a more affordable alternative.  If you're rich and happy to know 75% of the purchase price is really just a donation to the Wiseman cause, then perfect.  Otherwise, you might want to consider importing the Blaq Out DVD?  I know, I know, buying SD in 2018; but it's between that, a $50 BD-R or the option most people will unfortunately wind up selecting: just passing on this and Wiseman's body of work entirely.

Controversial Blus: The Confounding Case Of The Carrier! Code Red Catch-Up, Part 7 (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

And we wrap up Code Red Catch-Up not with an DVD/ Blu-ray comparison, but one I desperately wish was a DVD blu-ray comparison: a very strange, Michigan horror allegory called The Carrier.  Yes, like the films of Scott Spiegel (i.e. Intruder) and Josh Becker (i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except), this is one a small crop of 80s horror tied to the Evil Dead family.  Joe Loduca did the score, Bruce Campbell did the sound (and has a sort of cameo appearance), Peter Deming did the cinematography, Bob Kayganich and Gary Jones worked on the effects, etc.  But honestly, writer/ director Nathan J. White has definitely created his own weird thing that has to be taken on its own terms.  I definitely wouldn't recommend this film along "oh, hey, you like The Evil Dead?"  It's maybe more of an "oh, hey, you like The Spirits of Jupiter?"

Update 12/20-17 - 4/13/18: Wow!  My most requested HD upgrade from Code Red just arrived today, and it's already been discontinued.  What's the story?  Read on...
The plot summary of this film speaks for itself, so I'll just tell it.  A social reject in a small town called Sleepy Rock is attacked one night by... well, basically a big foot.  Yeti?  Anyway, he survives, but winds up with a strange curse where anything he touches becomes toxic, so if anybody else touches it, they melt horribly.  This starts to spread out of control horribly, and everybody in the town gets hysterical.  An out of town doctor comes into town to try and set everybody straight, but it's too late.  The town's populace has split into two warring factions, with flags and everything.  And the most coveted currency becomes cats, because you can use them to touch objects and see if they'll make you make you melt.  So everybody is killing each other over cats, and it's played about as straight as it possibly could be, like some sort of demented AIDS parable, or as the director tells us, a metaphor for guilt.
Why yes, all the characters do spend most of the film wrapped in garbage bags.  Look, this movie is a low budget and amateurish as it is ambitious and artistically committed.  Most average viewers looking for Hollywood gloss and conventional stories are going to hate this as soon as they can stop laughing at it.  But it's also kind of delightfully wonderful.  It's such a crazy story.  Two people are killed by a Dr. Seuss book, a rapist dissolves mid-assault and another guy melts into an outhouse, a stop-motion spider, three little kids fight three bikers to the death.  There's some real production value as mobs fill the streets with overturned cars, a period look and lots of special effects shots.  What's not to love?
Until 2018, this film had only been released once anywhere in the world: Code Red's 2010 DVD.  I'd been waiting for it for years and years, I even bought a VHS rip from VHSPS back in the day, which I've still got.  It took until almost the end of the SD era to get a legit DVD (and yes, VHSPS removed The Carrier from their catalog when Code Red released this properly).  And like the title says, it was already in desperate need of a reissue the day it came out.  It's only got truer over the last eight years.  But happily this month, as if in direct response to my pleas here, Code Red reissued it in HD with all new scans (yes, two).  And it's everything I wanted and more, except it's got one glaring issue.
1) VHSPS tape rip 2) Code Red DVD 3) Code Red theatrical blu 4) Code Red director's cut blu.
So, the DVDs are clearly fullscreen/ open matte, and even for SD, low on detail.  VHSPS just gives you direct rips of the original VHS tapes (in this case the Magnum Entertainment tape from 1988), FBI warnings and all.  And sadly, Code Red's DVD doesn't look much different apart from their disc being less yellow.  And yes, they both have serious interlacing problems; it just affects alternate frames.  Code Red tops VHSPS - it is a little more detailed and sharper.  But this film was shot on 35mm.  It should look so, so much better.  And to make it all the more frustrating, the director talks about how he has all the original 35 film elements on the commentary.  He even refers to having a director's cut, how it originally screened, with a scene the distributors made him cut out because they felt it was too extreme.  Why didn't Code Red use any of that?  It was so frustrating!

Until they did use all of that, and give us both cuts of the film in widescreen (1.78:1) with brand new scans!  Yahoo!  Finally this film looks like a movie, and I have to say, it really does give the film a more professional, quality atmosphere.  Some of the acting and all still lets it down, but it really is a distinctly different viewing experience from what we had before.
Code Red director's cut blu left; Code Red theatrical blu right.
And speaking of distinctly different viewing experiences, the two cuts doesn't just vary in length.  They're totally different scans.  According to the packaging, the director's cut was scanned first in 2016, then they made another scan in 2017 for the theatrical cut.  And I have to say, it was worthwhile, because it is a higher quality, more filmic scan.  At least in terms of capturing authentic film grain, while the director's cut looks more digitally blocky and artificially smoothed.  On the other hand, the brightness and color timing are remarkably different across the two cuts, too; and I might actually prefer the director's cut in that regard.  It's a tough call - I find my loyalty switching from shot to shot.  The director's cut crushes a few blacks, but the the theatrical sometimes looks blown out in response.  The theatrical pulls out a bit further to reveal a tiny bit of extra information along some of the edges.  Purely in terms of technical quality, and looking at screenshots up close like this, the theatrical cut is the clear winner, hands down.  But in motion, it's a little more subjective.  I still have to give it to the theatrical cut even then, but I wouldn't call anybody wrong for preferring one over the other.  And either one is obviously a light year beyond everything previous.
Deleted scene only in the newly recovered director's cut.
Anyway, the mono audio on Code Red's DVD was perfectly fine, and it's been bumped up to DTS-HD on blu (both cuts).  Predictably, there are no subtitle options on any of these discs.  So everything seems great so far, right?  What's the problem?  Well, the theatrical cut's audio goes way out of sync about mid-way through the film.  Like, not just a couple frames off, I'm talking about you're hearing one person talk while another character's lips are moving.  Frankly, it becomes legitimately unwatchable.

Thank goodness it's only on the theatrical cut.  The director's cut audio is perfectly fine all the way through.  And frankly, it's surprising Code Red even bothered throwing the theatrical cut onto the disc at all now that we have the director's cut.  Why would anyone bother with the theatrical cut now, anyway?  Oh yeah, the better transfer.  It's too bad the director's cut didn't get the 2017 scan instead of vice versa.  But here we are.  Code Red and Diabolik have pulled the disc, but it remains to be seen if there will be a reissue or this film just disappears from the market all together. 
Anyway, that's the story with the film.  I wish there was more to tell, but at least for now, that's where we're at.  In the meantime, let's talk extras.  The big upshot of getting Code Red's DVD was the great audio commentary with Nathan J. White and a very effusive Scott Spiegel.  I never thought I'd get to hear the director talk about his film.  And it's great, highly energetic the whole way through.  Lots of behind the scenes memories, Sam Raimi anecdotes and sorely needed explanations of the madness onscreen.  Bill Olsen chimes in with a couple good questions, too.  Besides that, the DVD gave us the original theatrical trailer, plus some bonus trailers including the obligatory Family Honor one on start-up.

Happily, the blu retains the commentary.  There's no trailer on start-up (yay!), but there is an option for a couple Code Red bonus trailers, and The Carrier's trailer is actually in there as well, so everything's been preserved.
So, I guess we wait and see if anything happens with this disc?  If they come up with a replacement program, that'd be fantastic, but I don't believe Code Red has ever once done one of those, and it's not because none of their discs has ever had an issue before.  So I can't say my hopes are too high.  But on the other hand, I've got the update I've been asking for; I practically squee'd watching the director's cut in HD last night.  And to be honest, I could care less about the theatrical cut now that I've got the complete version.  I wouldn't bother revisiting it again, despite it's superior transfer, even if the audio was fixed.  So I'm just happy I got my copy while I could, and I hope any nutter out there who loves this film as much as me can get their hands on it, too.  So, I guess it's a hugely disappointing, broken release that's an absolutely thrilling must-have for us fans?  😵