The Girls (2011/IFC
(1965/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C/C- Films: C/C+
DVD is only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
are two very different thrillers with two unusual results. The one
meant to be clever and serious is a mess and the one with some comedy
and satire is actually very entertaining if not always great.
(2011 and has nothing to do (thankfully with the somewhat similarly
titled Red Hot Chili Peppers hit song) that starts with the bizarre
conflict between successful student Sara (Agnes Bruckner) and Nina
(Kate Leverling), the ex-lover of Sara's new lesbian girlfriend Alex
(Madeline Zima) in what plays too often as thought police sex in a
familiar formula plot. Sara has a boyfriend as well (X-Men
alum Shawn Ashmore, barely used here) as she tries to figure out how
far Nine will go next.
this turns out to be a bunch of narrative noise to coverup something
even more devious, but by the time the screenplay gets to that point,
our time has been so wasted and the set ups so condescending and dull
that e could care less what happens to anyone here and this makes the
87 minutes seem very long and dragged out. The characters are never
too bright either, so you know you are in for a lam time early on and
Babbit gets too amused by his lesbian contexts and situations as he
did with But I'm A Cheerleader. What is his thing about all lady sex
about anyhow? Hmm. Whatever it is, it makes for bad filmmaking.
Original Theatrical Trailer and Interviews are the only extras.
we have Jack Cardiff's The
(1965), a somewhat comical take on the then-new James Bond films
based on the books by future Bond novelist John Gardner (who wrote
the first new series in the 1980s) delivering the first (and only)
big screen adventure of Boysie Oakes, a spy and assassin for a
british outfit trying to stop a robbery plot that has something to do
with top secret work and he'll have to dodge bullets while he juggles
sexy women to get the job done.
is played by Rod Taylor from The
(1960) which is joked about early on here and we get a black and
white pre-title sequence where Oakes meets his future boss (Trevor
Howard) towards the end of his WWII duty. Richard Williams does the
amusing animated credits for this film, which he later did for The
series and Lalo Schifrin (who soon would compose the classic Mission:
theme) enlists no less than Shirley Bassey to perform the hilarious
title song. Jill St. John is the leading lady looking almost as good
here as she would in Diamonds
and we get a fine supporting cast that includes Wilfrid Hyde-White,
David Tomlinson, Eric Sykes, Gabrielle Licudi, John Le Mesurier,
Jeremy Lloyd, Ronald Leigh-Hunt and Suzy Kendall.
is legendary cameraman Cardiff's directing projects and he does a
decent job with the Peter Yeldham screenplay and Yeldham has a decent
grasp of the genre. Though this is a comical take, it is not Austin
Powers overdone and makes for consistent storytelling and some
fun moments. Unfortunately, despite all this talent, the adventures
of Agent L (as Oakes is also known as) never really becomes its own
thing and soon, Matt Helm and Derek Flint would find more success by
being more gaudy and funnier. Still, this is worth a look and has
enough fun moments you'll want to see at least once.
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Girls is an HD shoot
and is fine for what it is, but has limited style, is slightly dark
more often than it should be and though competent and professionally
done, just does not stay with you. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35
X 1 image on Liquidator was processed in MetroColor, but being
a British production is slightly darker, yet with almost the same
color range and characteristics that the print used here does a
pretty good job of showing. Cardiff enlisted Ted Scaife, B.S.C., to
be Director of Photography and this was shot in real 35mm anamorphic
Panavision, the scope frame of which is used very well here
also lensed The Dirty Dozen and Khartoum, so he had a
total grasp of what the big screen was, what it mean and knew what to
do with it.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Girls is a little on the weak side
and between the quiet moments and dialogue-based approach, we get a
limited soundfield, so the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Liquidator
(which is more active with sound throughout) can actually compete
with it, though the Bassey song in the beginning and end are more
distorted than they should be for some reason. They ought to be
upgraded to stereo whenever this hits Blu-ray.
can order The
and many other Warner Archive exclusives at this link: