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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Housebroken (2009/Image Blu-ray)/Ladybugs (1992/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Jimmy Hollywood (1994/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Housebroken (2009/Image Blu-ray)/Ladybugs (1992/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Jimmy Hollywood (1994/Lionsgate Blu-ray)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+/B-/C+     Extras: C-/D/D     Films: C-/D/D



In a look at some new Blu-rays we will dub “when good comic actors make bad films”, we look at how Danny DeVito, the late, great Rodney Dangerfield and Joe Pesci made films that just did not work no matter what.


Housebroken has DeVito and Katey Sagal as a couple retiring but cannot find peace as their sons in their 20s have not moved out.  It is an obvious comedy, has a few moments that fans of the lead actors might find amusing, but you are not missing much here and I could have ultimately cared less what happened to any of them.


Ladybugs is an attempt to put Dangerfield in a PG-13 safe comedy about running a soccer team with Jackée (then of the hit TV series 227, trying for a feature film career that did not happen) and the film was a dud all around.  Of course, Dangerfield has a few amusing moments, but not enough for a feature film and it shows just how rare Caddyshack really was.


Barry Levinson’s Jimmy Hollywood is another film where the once-great director started to really slip and this one is a mess that is all over the place and never goes anywhere.  Pesci is the title character, who decides to find fame by becoming part of a vigilante gang that tapes the real criminals and gangs ruining and stealing from Hollywood, LA and surrounding areas.  Helped by an unusually quiet Christian Slater as his best friend, the film never knows what it wants to do, where to go and what to think.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 (save 1.78 on Jimmy) digital High Definition image on all three films are not too good.  Housebroken has no excuse to look so bad, but it does with noise and a lack of detail, color and depth that makes it look like a flatly lit TV movie.  That leaves the shot in 35mm film older titles having no excuse for looking bad except that they are from older HD masters.  I can see why they did not redo them.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mixes on all three are dialogue and joke-based, so I did not expect much, but Housebroken should have been the best sounding title here and it is not.  By default, it is Ladybugs that sounds best, though it can be harsh on the edges.  It and Jimmy are upgraded from old Dolby analog A-type theatrical sound mixes.  That means Housebroken has audio troubles from its low budget and someone not handling the audio well.  Housebroken is the only title here with extras and they include dance rehearsals, a trailer and interview piece with director Sam Harper and Actor Tom Wilson.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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