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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > History > Costume Epics > Romance > Counterculture > Journalism > Ice Skating > TV Situa > The Affairs Of Cellini (1934)/Alex & The Gypsy (1976)/Everything Happens At Night (1939/Fox Screen Archive DVDs)/The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season (2013 - 2014/Sony DVD Set)

The Affairs Of Cellini (1934)/Alex & The Gypsy (1976)/Everything Happens At Night (1939/Fox Screen Archive DVDs)/The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season (2013 - 2014/Sony DVD Set)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Affairs Of Cellini, Alex & The Gypsy and Everything Happens At Night are web-only exclusive releases from Fox through their Fox Screen Archive Series and can be ordered from form Amazon via the right hand side of our website.

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Gregory La Cava's The Affairs Of Cellini (1934) tries to be an early sound spoof of costume dramas with a young Fredric March in the title role, upsetting the kingdom and everyone in it trying to keep order, et al. Frank Morgan is an inept king exhibiting some of his same humorous flaws he later made legendary in the 1939 MGM Wizard Of Oz and we get Constance Bennett and Fay Wray (only a year after King Kong was a massive hit) as the female lead and Rory Calhoun doing more than his usual role as the King's assistant.

The good moments are mixed with muddy ones and maybe the ladies are a bit underutilized in this early Darryl F. Zanuck production, but it is worth seeing for the ambitions and early performances of some major movie stars and it is nice to have it in print on DVD for the time being.

There are no extras.

John Korty's Alex & The Gypsy (1976) is a lesser-seen Jack Lemmon film where he is a bailbondsman who has to help out a troublemaking woman (Genevieve Bujold) who keeps getting into criminal trouble. Yes, she is a gypsy and is known among the local gypsy crowd, but she is free-spirited enough despite her crossings with the law, while straight-jacketed Lemmon is overworked and stressed out... until he falls for her.

Bujold is beautiful and still manages to be convincing in her wild side. Of course, the idea is that they'll change each other whether the relationship can work or they prove that opposites do attract. Henry Mancini did the music score and James Woods turns in an amusing early performance. A mature work that is not bad if not perfect, everyone should see this one at least once.

A trailer is the only extra.

Irving Cummings' Everything Happens At Night (1939) is a love triangle comedy with Robert Cummings in rare form and Ray Milland vying for the affections of a beautiful Sonya Henie, the famous ice skater who gets to show off in grand sequences where the narrative comes to a sudden stop. The guys are competing reporters, starting off looking for her father to out scoop each other, but they had no idea how she was, how she was or what she looked like. They do now!

It is a charming film with some good moments and when the story has issues, the casting and chemistry help out. Not a great film, but still entertaining enough and worth a look.

There are no extras.

Not to be confused with the classic 1950s groundbreaking sitcom reviewed elsewhere on this site, The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season (2013 - 2014) is actually a semi-biographical show too, but loosely based on the life of actor Adam Goldberg, a good character actor who narrates each episode. Jeff Garlin and George Segal are the most known of the cast and though it has a few amusing moments in the 23 half-hours here, the style is a mish-mash of Modern Family, Arrested Development, Wonder Years and any bad 1980s sitcom (it takes place on that decade) that you can name.

The result is a highly commercialized and compromised look at Goldberg's young life that only rings so true. We'll see if the show gets better as it has been renewed for another season, but if it stays in this formulaic mode, how much longer can it last?

Extras include audio commentary tracks on select episodes and 5 Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurettes.

The 1.33 X 1 image on all the movies show their age, but the black & white Affairs is particularly soft and the print has more wear than I would have liked, while Night looks cleaner and clearer, if not sparkling. The color image on Alex is inconsistent, but there is a disclaimer at the beginning that the film has been reformatted for old 1.33 X 1 analog TVs. Looking, are the sides missing or was it shot soft matte 1.33 X 1, then masked for 1.85 X 1 in theaters. Either way, color is inconsistent and it too could use some work, though the nicer shots look good. That leaves the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Goldberg episodes shot in HD looking a little soft, but at least being consistent and as good as anything here despite a sitcom flatness.

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Goldberg episodes are also flat, but still sounds as good as the older films here, all in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the Fox DVDs, with Night sounding the best and the rest sound down a generation or two.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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