Anything Goes (1956/Paramount/Warner Archive)/Christopher
Cross: A Night In Paris 2012 (Eagle DVD/CD Set)/Iggy Pop: The Document (Chrome Dreams DVD/CD Set)/K.D. Lang Live In London (2008/Image
DVD)/Kurt Cobain: The Early Life Of A
Legend (Chrome Dreams DVD/CD Set)/Mindless
Behavior (2013/Millennium Blu-ray)
C+/C+/C+/C/C/C+ Sound: C+/B-/C+/B-/C+/B- Extras: D/C-/C+/C-/C-/C- Main Programs: C+/C/B/C/B-/C-
PLEASE NOTE: Anything Goes is only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
the latest music releases….
Lewis’ remake of Anything Goes (1956)
is a Paramount film that stars Bing Crosby, who was also in the original black
and white 1936 Paramount film version with Ethel Merman, Ida Lupino and Charles
Ruggles and also featured Cole Porter music and a tale of a man on a ship who
gets involved with a gal in trouble with gangsters. Simply remaking it might have been fine, but
TV had arrived and just two years before this remake hit theaters, Merman
remade it for TV with Frank Sinatra, Bert Lahr and Sheree North for the Colgate Comedy Hour which actually is
out on DVD. We reviewed that fine
version at this link:
was still determined to remake it, so they got Donald O’Connor as Crosby’s
business friend, Mitzi Gaynor as the gal in distress, severely toned down the
played-out criminal angle, hired real French dancer and ballerina Jeanmarie as
the other gal performer, put a bunch of money on the screen and even hired Jimmy
Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn to write three additional songs which might not have settled
well with Porter purists, but did not hurt things here.
While Ya Gotta Give People The
Hoak and A Second Hand Turban & A Crystal Ball were
comic showcase duets for Crosby and O’Connor that are not bad, they were not
great either, but O’Connor’s solo on You
Can Bounce Right Back is one of his greatest cinematic moments and his is
so good in this film overall that it is some of the best work he ever did,
stealing scene after scene, including when he is just acting.
husband Ronald Petit was her choreographer for much of her career and he did so
for her Dream Ballet and I Get A Kick Out Of You sequences here (Nick
Castle did the rest of the great work we see) which add much needed dimension
to a film that is uneven and turned out to be Crosby’s last for Paramount after
so many hits there. Crosby and Gaynor
(in exceptional form herself) more than hold their own, but the film never
coheres as Donen’s Funny Face would
a few years later. Still, it is worth
seeing for its better dance sequences (even when Porter songs are undercut by
the dancing) including the fun finale so it is great to see it back in print.
sadly no extras, but it deserves some and maybe a future Blu-ray would be an
excuse to do so.
Christopher Cross: A Night In Paris
2012 is a recent
concert by the singer of the hit theme song from the first, original Dudley
Moore Arthur movie and a few other hits
before he disappeared after such a huge launch.
Was it a political witch hunt or just burn out? He is in good voice here singing 17 songs and
backed by a fine band, but I found the show flat and uninspiring, efficient and
consistent as it was. Fans might like
this, but I was more bored than I expected and even disappointed.
extras is an interview with Cross.
The Document is a reissue of excellent The
Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy & Lou: 1971 – 1973 Chrome Dreams DVD we
reviewed here at this link…
CD interview compilation that includes Howard Stern and Dinah Shore in a set
that works and re-promotes a documentary I still think of on thereof the most
important artists of their time and beyond.
Though we have plenty of Iggy on the site if you look him up, this is a
solid set worth your time and if you never got the DVD, a set to go out of your
at an older HD-recorded concert on DVD, K.D.
Lang Live In London (2008) has the singer in decent form covering 20 songs
in under 90 minutes with mixed results. She is talented, but her music does not
always stay with me and her covers (like Don’t
Smoke In Bed) don’t quiet hit the mark.
The result is a disappointment and the shoot itself is a bit
dated-looking, format notwithstanding, so unless you can get a Blu-ray, skip
this average show altogether. The BBC
Concert Orchestra accompanies her and that part works.
interview with Lang is the only extra.
Kurt Cobain: The Early Life Of A
yet another unauthorized look at the late Nirvana lead singer’s life (we did
two other already, not to mention so many Nirvana releases) in a DVD/CD set
that adds various audio interviews on its CD disc, making for a decent archival
collection, albeit rough on the singer, but not much else. The DVD is a previous release we missed and
we likely missed the CD too until now.
Text on the DVD is the only extra.
we have the most cynical entry on the list, Mindless Behavior (2013) which pushes the new boy band (this one of
Soul/Rap/Hip Hop genre aspirations not always met with dancing and the usual
boredom) but this is a precalculated documentary that reads like it was
scripted by taking moments from every
other boy band featurette and concert, then recycling them and trying to
make them authentic. Steven Goldfried
does a very dull, flat and embarrassingly formless job of capturing the “vocal
group” on camera throughout their limited tour as they start to become
successful, at least limitedly so.
break through to national success and even sustain it? A certain British Boy Band has beat them to
that and they have yet to be this cynical, so I will be surprised if we hear
much from these guys again unless one of them goes solo and has a career, but
86 minutes of torture is an unintentional Mockumentary and is one of the worst
releases of its kind I have ever seen and I have seen too many. Not one authentic moment throughout, get the
animated Jackson 5 TV series on Blu-ray instead!
include Never-Before-Seen footage that is quickly forgettable, a very long feature length audio
commentary track by the band, bonus TV show footage form some TV project of
theirs few apparently saw, a bonus performance of one of their alleged hits and
understandably Deleted Scenes.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Goes
is as good as any presentation here, shot in the large-frame VistaVision format
and here is a fine film print that also gives us a fine approximation of the
3-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor 35mm prints of the film was issued in. This deserves a Blu-ray release, but is solid
on this DVD reissue and the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image Cross and 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High
Definition (especially sloppy and digitally harsh, et al) image Mindless cannot surpass it despite
being new HD recordings about 58 years more recent. The 1.33 X 1 on the Iggy DVD is actually as solid as it was before, but the 1.33 X 1
image on the older Cobain DVD and
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Lang
are visually the worst on the list with poor picture, including softness,
noise, staircasing and other issues that them sometimes hard to watch.
TrueHD 5.1 on Mindless should easily
be the sonic winner on this list, but like its image, the sound has points
where it turns almost monophonic more than a few times and location audio
issues also plague the production and presentation, so the lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 on the Cross concert can more
than match it by simply being consistent despite compression issues it has that
extend to the PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo on the CD version. The DTS 5.1 on the Lang DVD is also as good despite being a few years old, but also
has some compression and sonic limits, plus it is quiet in nature.
Dolby Digital 5.1 on Goes tries to
expand he sound, but only makes it a bit better than the also included lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. The
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Iggy
DVD and PCM on the Iggy CD, plus the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Cobain
DVD and PCM on the Cobain CD have
their ups and downs from archive audio alone, but sound good for the most part
if not always great or consistent as expected.
To order Anything Goes, go to this link for it
and many more great web-exclusive releases at: