Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Musical > Drama > Comedy > Opera > Ballet > Dance > TV > Pop > Rock > Punk > Stage > Arts > French > Carmen Jones (1954/Fox Blu-ray)/Gene Kelly: Dancing, A Man's Game (1958/Omnibus/E1 DVD)/One Direction: Reaching For The Stars (2013/Inception DVD)/The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone (2013/MVD Visual Blu-r

Carmen Jones (1954/Fox Blu-ray)/Gene Kelly: Dancing, A Man's Game (1958/Omnibus/E1 DVD)/One Direction: Reaching For The Stars (2013/Inception DVD)/The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone (2013/MVD Visual Blu-ray + DVD)/You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (2012/Resnais/Kino Lorber DVD)

Picture: B/C/C/B- & C/C+ Sound: B-/C/C+/B- & C+/C+ Extras: C-/C/D/C/C- Main Programs: B-/B-/C/C+/C+

Now for a new set of music-based releases you should know about...

Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones (1954) was a big hit for 20th Century-Fox and is the definitive film that shows what a great star, actress and performer Dorothy Dandridge really was. A variant of Carmen with a modern twist as reinterpreted by Oscar Hammerstein II, she was a force to be reckoned with staring opposite a young, on the rise Harry Belefonte and impressive Pearl Bailey making for a one-of-a-kind late Classical Hollywood film that was groundbreaking for its time and not just for its African American cast.

As a musical, it is pretty solid and at 105 minutes, does not waste much time on anything, as Hammerstein was more than capable of keeping things going. Preminger wanted to be with Dandridge off-screen, but she was unhappy with him and he made her life a living hell, but you would never know that for how good she is here. He would go out of his way to ruin her career and life, but eventually started to undermine himself in a tragic tale of two careers that peaked too early. She suffered the most, however, yet this is a great record of her greatness and all serious film fans should see this one at least once.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, but we have covered several versions of Carmen including a traditional performance in 3D (!) which you can read more about, then go to links to our other coverage starting at this link:


Gene Kelly: Dancing, A Man's Game is an impressive 1958 classic TV special that was an episode of the great (and too often forgotten) NBC series Omnibus that has the actor, dancer, choreographer, director and legend begin joined by the likes of Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas and Sugar Ray Robinson to show that the stereotype of dancing only being for women is just that.

Bold for its time, the 55 minutes here is as ambitious and filled with so many great points, ideas and moments that it is a classic and brilliant moment in the arts in all of TV history as Kelly shows why he really was a genius in the art form. It is sometimes jaw-dropping to see him in action and how he takes the complexity of dance and makes it as simple as a casual conversation. One of the most important Hollywood stars of all time, this shows him as himself and gives us a rare glimpse at the heart and soul that made him so unforgettable. In some ways, this is as valuable and as important as ever in an era with wars against people, against the arts and against anything that means achievement. Glad to see it on DVD!

An illustrated booklet on the show is the only extra, but it is a good one.

One Direction: Reaching For The Stars (2013) is not to be confused with the 3D project for the British boy band who has become a hit in the U.S. since we apparently ran out of tired, formulaic, generic, boring, safe, dull, played-out, formulaic (you don't have to be a so-called hater to feel this way) vocal group that can barely sing. I am not expecting The Beatles, Blur or Radiohead, but these guys make Peter & Gordon sound like Biggie & Tupac!

This compilation piece of the band on tour (yawn) only runs 64 minutes, yet that is way too long considering the extremely forgettable nature of the so-called songs at hand. One member already had a calamitous relationship with Taylor Swift, who gets a few songs out of every boyfriend experience she has once she dumps them. She is obviously running out of guys to burn through too.

So they have fans and I bet many of them are fine ladies, but how long until they become the next Jonas Brothers? Also known as 1D (as in one dimensional?), I bet some critics realize the original Monkees deserve apologies for all the insults aimed at them.

There are thankfully no extras.

Shane Meadows' The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone (2013) is easily a better work about a band simply buy being smarter and being about an act with talent who was ahead of their time instead of following every tired trend around. We get new interviews and like so many of thee projects (including many outright concert releases) has a classic band getting to together again to see if they still got it. The problem with any such release is that such works can play like badly expanded VH-1 specials of a similar approach.

In this case, the new concert and interview footage is interesting until they make way too much of it into fake black and white, which makes zero sense and looks awful. It makes their older selves seem several times more older, inadvertently making the older footage of when they were starting look that much better. Yes, we have another band the labels mishandled and no one around was strong enough to give the kind of support they needed to help them succeed. We get the story, which is as much about them as it is the music industry and this also shows how much things have changed; not always for the better either. It runs 96 minutes that are sometimes more awkward than they needed to be.

Extras in both format releases include a feature length audio commentary track by Producer Mark Herbert and Director Meadows, Fan Footage, Bonus Live Music Performances, a Rehearsal Clip, Behind The Scenes clips and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Alain Resnais' You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (2012) might not seem to fit at first, but it brings together some great French actors of the past who have been assembled to watch a new production of Eurydice happen, but a group of actors (playing themselves) who have done the play for a director who has since passed is asked to judge who should get the main roles in the new production. Instead, they start to relive their work in the earlier versions in new alternate realities as Resnais pushes the idea of a film within a film into new territory.

From there, it becomes similar to his New Wave stream of conscious films, but the results are mixed unless you really like the actors and the play. There are many spaces suddenly without music, but Mark Snow's score is used with irony and still reminds us of the musical presence of Orpheus. Not for everyone, but worth your time if you are curious.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, but you can read more about Orpheus at these links:

Marcel Camus' Black Orpheus (1959) on Criterion Blu-ray


Opera and Ballet versions of the classic tale on Blu-ray


The 1080p 2.55 X 1 AVC @ 38 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer on Carmen Jones is easily the image champ here as presented in a solid restoration of the older, wider CinemaScope shoot that makes it further unique. With color by DeLuxe and not Technicolor, there are some color limits and the print can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film on DVD or any other format and considering with some limits of the older lenses, impresses as the film heads for its 60th Anniversary.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Roses is the second best presentation here, but that is by default with its mix of old film, analog video and new HD (including too much faux black and white HD) that is edited jut well enough, but is not always as effective when all is added up. The anamorphically enhanced DVD version is much weaker and often hard to watch.

Thus, the third best presentation is the 2.35 X 1 anamorphically enhanced image on Yet, shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision of Director of Photography Eric Gautier. A.F.C., with 500-speed Kodak film. This can have a generic backside, but looks pretty good overall and is pushed in ways we do not see enough with this stock. Bet this would look better on Blu-ray or on film.

That leaves us with the two other titles in last place, the awfully mixed anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Direction with its patchwork of bad digital and analog video and the 1.33 X 1 image on Kelly from a black and white kinescope of the show, giving it as excuse for its definition limits. Direction and Roses do not have that excuse.

As for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 4.0 lossless mix on Carmen Jones and both lossless PCM 2.0 Stereo and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Roses Blu-ray tie for first place as far as best sonics are concerned. The former shows its age as expected and can be towards the front channels, but is well recorded for its time, while the latter (which should have had a lossless 5.1 mix of some kind) has a mix of solid music recording, studio recording and so-so live recordings of music and talk, so you can imagine it can get choppy and the DVD version of Roses is a bit more restricted sounding by comparison, enough to rate lower.

The lossy, quiet Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM 2.0 Stereo on the Yet DVD and same mix on Direction are not as good, tying for second place with the Roses DVD, but Direction is the sloppiest of the three. That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Kelly the poorest here by age and the limits of TV sonics in its time and in kinescope form, yet it is still less sloppy than Direction is.

- Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com