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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

New "Big and Bold" Releases From the Warner Archive

The Warner Archive once again offers up a variety of new DVD and Blu-ray releases. This time the theme of the new releases is "Complicated Men". Although these films have been around a long time, not all vintage films have been available to the public by some format or another. All of the following films are either new to DVD or Blu-ray.

Shaft's Big Score falls into the category of "new to Blu-ray". Following the astonishing breakout and genre defining success of 1971's Shaft, star Richard Roundtree, director Gordon Parks and screenwriter Ernest Tidyman reunited for this follow up that plunges Shaft into the middle of a gang war. Just like the iconic first incarnation of "the private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks," Roundtree stars as the title character. As manly as manly can get, the ultimate ideal of urban mystique fills the screen with an incredible presence that just oozes with testosterone (did I mention he's sexy as hell). Although the film does suffer from trends of the era, it's still enjoyable as a glimps into the social morals, as well as ultra hip lingo and fashions of the day. Upping the action in every way, Gordon Park's astonishing extended climactic chase (car/boat/foot/helicopter/high caliber) roars off the screen thanks to this like new 1080p HD presentation.

Shaft in Africa: John Guillermin steps in to direct the third and final film of the franchise that features Roundtree in the title roll. With a big budget boost out of the exploitation zone and into Bond-style action-adventure, our favorite urban private investigator is recruited to go undercover to break up a modern slavery ring where young Africans are lured to Paris to do chain-gang work. Upping the ante of provocative sex and gratuitous violence, this film has an appeal like no other of the 1970s series. Shaft in Africa arrives ready for action-adventure reassessment thanks to this eye-popping, pristine 1080p HD presentation that serves up Shaft's intercontinental sensation as never before.

Also available this month is the Shaft Triple Feature bundle.

This is triple feature collection that includes the original 1971 Shaft on Blu-ray. Directed by Gordon Parks with a script by Shaft's creator Ernest Tidyman and the legendary score by Isaac Hayes, Shaft will have you "shut your mouth" with a smile. Special Features include the behind the scenes documentary: Soul in Cinema: Filming Shaft on Location, as well as trailers for all three Shaft films, and the 1973 TV movie, Shaft: The Killing.

All in all, that's a whole lot of Shat that will give you more than the usual bang for your buck.

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