Of Emily (1964/Warner
Bay Blu-ray)/Best Night
(2013/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)
B/B-/C+/B-/B- & C Sound: B- (Grudge
DVD: C) Extras: B/C/C-/D/C- Films: B-/C-/C-/C+/C-
Americanization Of Emily
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
are some new comedy releases, but most missed the mark...
Americanization Of Emily
(1964) is a film written by the late, great Paddy Chayefsky from the
William Bradford Huie novel about a huckster who supplies
hard-to-get-goods to people for a price (James Garner) when he is
recruited in part to do a film about the D-Day landing as it happens
so the Navy can claim one of their own was the first killed there, no
matter how the attack turns out. He gets involved with a British
officer (Julie Andrews) and is forced to work with a womanizing
friend (James Coburn) in a tale that manages the paradox of
being anti-War without being anti U.S. Military.
is not to say the film is without some moments that are now dated in
the cyber era, as the very necessity of the film before satellite TV
might be hard for some to catch onto, but I also thought some scenes
were better than others. It is sometimes talky, but has to be to
work and some of the comedy is funny, while other moments are ironic.
They leads are backed by Melvyn Douglas, the underrated Liz Fraser,
William Windom, Keenan Wynn, Alan Sues, Steve Franken, Judy Carne and
uncredited turns by Kent McCord and Sharon Tate.
is nice Warner Archive has issued this as one of their Blu-ray
exclusives because the film was arriving at the same time as
and Lumet's Fail
and belongs in the same school of thought of films (all
coincidentally filmed in black and white) taking a look at the U.S.
Military, war and asking questions about it all as relevant now as
ever. Hiller (Love
is one of Hollywood's underrated gentlemen journeyman director's who
proved you could make quality films and even have a few blockbusters.
Great to see one of his most ambitious films get such fine
include a feature length audio commentary track by Hiller, Vintage
Behind The Scenes Featurette Action
On The Beach
and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
(2012) has potential as parents Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga meet at
a tour day at a new school for their respective children. At first,
it is a meet cute that has some good moments well handled by the
leads and we get some amusing moments, but too soon, the script runs
out of ideas and this slowly unravels into the very silliness that
was at first avoided for the remaining of its long 100 minutes.
Skerritt even shows up, but it is far too late to save it and what
was starting out as a pleasant surprise lands up going sour in the
worst way. Geez.
include Outtakes, an Andy Garcia song for the film and a feature
length audio commentary track with Garcia, Rodgers and
Co-Writer/Co-Producer Glenn German.
took two directors and the makers of wastes of time like Date
to give us the near-total mess that is the ironically titled Best
(2013), though if you spend your night making this your main movie
viewing, it will be one of your worst nights ever. Four gals go to
Vegas and party away because one of them is getting married, but the
sexcapades and fun quickly becomes stupid and absurd. The problem is
that the script is stupid stupid, not funny stupid.
things worse, the makers apparently think this is funny, but it is
just a waste of four good actresses and all involved are not really
even trying. This is a package deal all the way and a lame dud.
sadly include Cast Interviews, Original Theatrical Trailer, Deleted
Scenes and an AXS-TV clip to promote this release.
was looking for another big hit when he helmed Chances
(1989) bringing together Cybill Shepard (off of her Moonlighting
comeback) and a young Robert Downey, Jr. trying to keep it together
in his early success before personal issues forced him to have a
hiatus from Hollywood. She is happily married when her husband dies,
but he gets a strange choice to be reborn as another man (Downey) to
go back to his wife for a second chance. They need to give him a
forgetness shot to make this work (a disturbing twist in the Reagan
1980s), but miss him before he is sent back.
there he is now in competition for her with another guy played by
Ryan O'Neal before his own downward spiral (he and Shepherd are Peter
Bogdanovich alumni, which did not escape the producer's minds we bet)
and her daughter (Mary Stewart Masterson) starts to become interested
in Downey. Call Dr. Freud!
To The Future
offered some precedent for that one, but the film was always a mixed
bag and not that great, yet a curio for its cast (now more than
ever), director and the fact that its end theme song After
by Cher & Peter Cetera was a bigger hit than the film (#1 Adult
Contemporary and #6 Pop with Billboard) giving both a much-needed hit
at the time. Tri-Star did some business with it, but it remains an
odd film often forgotten and ever awkward, so it is good Image has
issued it on Blu-ray so people can get a good second look at it no
are unfortunately no extras.
we have the lame package deal Grudge
(2013) which has Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as former
boxers who land up having one last match while spending their careers
highly disliking each other. It is supposed to take place in
Pittsburgh, which hardly has anything like boxing, yet is not shot
there and barely looks like it and a highly contrived script that
goes on and on and on and on. Kim Basinger shows up looking good and
Trevor Rabin even did the music, but nothing, nothing can save this
dud and it is even embarrassing at times. Blah!
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, 4 superfluous featurettes, an Alternate Opening and
two Alternate Endings, meaning they had no idea what they wanted to
do with this one.
the five 1080p digital High Definition image transfers on the
Blu-rays here, the 1.85 X 1 black and white print and playback on
is clearly the champ with fine detail, depth and a print that has
solid Video Black. The 1.78 X 1 Middleton,
1.85 X 1 Chances
(which looked cleaner, clearer, less grainy and more smooth in 35mm
prints) and 1.85 X 1 Grudge
transfers tie for second place due to various imperfections and
limitations. The anamorphically enhanced Grudge
DVD is the poorest performer on the list, looking way too soft for
its won good and very hard to watch. That leaves the 1.78 X 1 on
with more motion blur and flaws than a new HD shoot should have also
making it the sloppiest shoot on the list.
on all five Blu-rays are equal with DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1
lossless mixes on Night
having lacking soundfields, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 on Middleton
with the same issue but quieter with more dialogue, leaving the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on Chances
and even the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono mix on Emily
(sounding surprisingly good for its age) more than able to compete.
The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
on the Grudge DVD is way behind sounding very weak and lite.
order the Americanization
Blu-ray from Warner Archive, go to this link for it and many more
great web-exclusive releases at: