Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)/Here
Comes The Boom (2012/Sony Blu-rays)/In
Our Nature (2012/Flatiron/New Video DVD)/The Lords Of Flatbush (1974/Sony/Umbrella PAL Region Four/4 DVD)/The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
(2012/Summit Blu-ray)/Simple Simon
(2010/Umbrella PAL Region Four/4 DVD)
Picture: B-/B-/C+/C+/B-/B- Sound: C+/B-/C+/C+/B-/B- Extras: C/C-/C/C-/C/D Films: C-/C-/C/C/C/C-
PLEASE NOTE: The Lords Of Flatbush and Simple
Simon DVDs can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that
can handle Region 4 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at
Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the
some various coming of age comedies and a few that are just off the wall…
Krieger’s Celeste & Jesse Forever
(2012) wants to cross mumblecore relationship comedy with Portlandia whimsy,
but without the comedy and the result is a very weak, dull and predictable mess
with a Rashida Jones/Andy Samberg coupling that shows he can act when
restrained, but they have limited chemistry in a limited screenplay with bad
dialogue and perpetual pointlessness that kept this from ever beginning to meet
any possible potential.
on and on, it is a very long 92 minutes and if this was supposed to be thirtysomething for idiots, well that
does not work either. Do the makers even
know who this is for or what they were trying to make? I strongly suspect not. If so, it is a big secret to the viewer. Not smug, but not much of anything, even Emma
Roberts and Elijah Wood cannot help.
include Red Carpet Q&A, Making Of featurette, lame Deleted Scenes and two
(!) feature length audio commentary tracks that did not explain much.
Coraci’s Here Comes The Boom (2012)
has science teacher Kevin James (a stretch right there) who used to wrestle
late again for work and about to lose his job when he finds out the school he
works at does not have enough money and will have to cut back including
canceling the one thing they have going for them: a music class. A female teacher (Salma Hayek) interests him,
but she keeps passing on meeting him and to make up the shortfall, he will
enter MMA fighting matches with his older age and limited wrestling skills. He figures he can even earn money if he
stupid as intended, but there is one ace here that could have saved everything
if a good script had been written. Henry
Winkler is the music teacher and he steals every scene. If the writers had gone for much more than
formula and clichés, this could have been a big surprise. Instead, it is a Kevin James star vehicle
that just gets goofier and goofier as it goes along. Too bad 105 minutes without much of a
point. Oh well, at least Winkler got
treated with some respect.
include a fun Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, Cast Featurette and five Blu-ray
Savelson’s In Our Nature (2012) is
more serious as a young couple (Zack Gilford, Donnie Darko’s Jena Malone) go for a weekend to the family cabin,
only to be interrupted by his ever-angry father (John Slattery) and surprised
he has brought a young lover (Gabrielle Union) and they are more involved than
expected. Father and son do not like
each other, yet the women try to get them talking, but to no avail.
This is a
good idea and the actors are good as well as good choices, but the dialogue has
them talking at each other too much and the tension may be authentic, but
nothing else much is. We have seen this
before and done with more depth, which is a shame since so much here had
potential. Nothing is ever resolved,
many moments ruing false and after 103 minutes was a little more than
disappointed. At least it was ambitious,
but inexperience behind the camera sabotages it, unfortunately.
length audio commentary track by Savelson and Co-Producer Anish Savjani is the
Stephen F. Verona and Martin Davidson to co-direct The Lords Of Flatbush (1974), but this attempt to a
documentary-like drama about the title gang (crossing Scorsese’s Mean Streets, Lucas’ American Graffiti and the gritty New York cinema John
Cassavetes founded) is now more of a curio than a film that holds up much. Still, it is worth a look.
King, Paul Mace, a pre-Rocky Sylvester
Stallone and pre-Happy Days
Henry Winkler make up the gang, but we barely see Winkler (upsetting fans who
caught it in reruns when they wanted to see Winkler), King is the main focus
(including following a relationship with young Susan Blakely) and Stallone gets
some scenes (Dolph Sweet, later of Gimme
A Break!, can be seen briefly as his dad) and it does have the feel of the
later 1950s at times.
is mostly new, trying to sound like the era, which was a common things on the
charts as a little-discussed late 1950s/early (read pre-Beatles) 1960s trend
was hitting radio to begin with. The
film was shot on 16mm film with a low budget and is remarkable enough, but its
better moments overshadow the complete film which never totally adds up to what
it tries to. Still, it is interesting.
for this a two other Sony films are the only extras.
Chbosky’s The Perks Of Being A
Wallflower (2012) is a coming of age film set in the recent past of Pittsburgh, but seems too
derivative of other such films and offers a very mixed result that does not
work as much as it could or should have.
Charlie (Logan Lerman) has emotional/mental health issues, but functions
well enough and starts to get involved with Sam (Emma Watson), yet Patrick
(Erza Mi8ller) is gay and is interested in him.
103 minutes is spent showing their lives and how they change as they get
to know each other (plus several Pittsburgh
references that don’t always ring true or work) is form the book by the
director and kept making me think someone else should have helmed the film.
the actors are good, but the scenes that work are not enough to overcome those
that do not and add how the frame is darker than it should be for no good
reason and you have another potentially fine film ruined by pretense and even
Joan Cusack cannot save this one. A few
people rightly noticed incidental similarities to the far superior Donnie Darko, but the further the film
moves along, the more Charlie’s condition is trivialized, ignored and once
again we have a feature film that is clueless about mental health. This film is also clueless about more and
just does not have enough perks to recommend it.
include Ultraviolet and Digital Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes oriented
devices, plus Dailies, Deleted Scenes with optional Chbosky commentary, Best
Summer Ever featurette and a feature length audio commentary track by the cast
we have a silly Swedish comedy in Andreas Ohman’s Simple Simon (2010) about the title character (Bill Skarsgard)
having mental and emotional issues of his own and he wants to go to outer
space, even living too often in his own home-built space capsule. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and at least this
film does not shy away from his condition.
His brother Sam tries to take him in from his parents to help, but this
only drives his girlfriend away and things get worse for all.
this just gets too silly for its own good and tries too hard to be comic. There is a funnier film here if they just
played it straighter and did more of a character study of all involved, but the
situation gets the better of itself playing more like a situation comedy and I
was once again disappointed including an ending that did not add up.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Jesse, 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Boom and 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfer on Perks
are the best-looking releases here being the three Blu-rays, but they all have
issues. Jesse and Boom have
color and depth issues, while the 35mm shot Perks is so darkened that it might
as well be from a 16mm print. The
anamorphically enhanced 2 X 1 image on Simon
is so colorful and consistent that its PAL video can compete with the Blu-rays
and that should not be the case.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 PAL video image on Flatbush is not bad, but some shots do not look as good as others
which is to be expected considering its age and budget. Originally, Columbia Pictures issued 35mm
blow-up dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints of the film which are now
very valuable if you have one or can get one, but this transfer does not always
show that kind of color. The
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Nature
is its equal, but has a softness throughout that can sometimes even be
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on the three Blu-rays should be the
best here, but Jesse is not as well
recorded and sound comes way too often from the center channel. Equaling the other two Blu-rays with their
limited soundfields is the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on Simon which has a nice consistent soundmaster and might even be
more amazing if it were issued in a lossless mix.
Dolby Digital 5.1 on Nature and
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Flatbush
are as good as they are going to be in this codec and tend to be quiet and
dialogue-based in nature. Flatbush also has some location audio
above, you can order the import DVDs of The
Lords Of Flatbush and Simple Simon
exclusively from Umbrella at: