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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Car Racing > Character Study > Civil War > Revenge Western > Racism > Politics > Relation > Corky (1972/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Field Of Lost Shoes (2014/Arc DVD)/Flaming Star (1960/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/I Am Yours (2013/Film Movement DVD)/Touch Of The Light (2012/Well G

Corky (1972/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Field Of Lost Shoes (2014/Arc DVD)/Flaming Star (1960/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/I Am Yours (2013/Film Movement DVD)/Touch Of The Light (2012/Well Go USA DVD)/War Story (2014/MPI/IFC DVD)

Picture: C+/C/B-/C+/C+/C+ Sound: C/C+/B-/C+/C+/C+ Extras: C-/C-/C+/C-/C-/C- Films: C+/C/C+/C+/C+/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Flaming Star Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last, while the Corky DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. Both can be ordered from the links below.

These various dramas have their moments, even when they do not always work, they are ambitious...

Leonard Horn's Corky (1972) has a bold turn from Robert Blake in the title role when he was considered a cutting edge actor (pre-Baretta) as a race car driver who cannot seem to hold a job, sponsorship or his family together having maybe never totally grown up. This may give him an edge, but also is part of his high risk behavior and other issues that could eventually ruin him if he cannot get his life together. It does not look like he is heading into a direction of reform.

He is likable, but increasingly does things that are not helping him or anyone around him and Blake never pulls back on the thankless aspects of who he is. A character study with some honest moments and a few you would never see in a movie today, Mission: Impossible creator Bruce Geller producer the film, it features actual drivers form the early days of NASCAR and has great supporting work from Charlotte Rampling, Patrick O'Neal, Christopher Connelly, Ben Johnson and Laurence Luckinbill make this a film worth rediscovering, even when it has its moments that do not ring as true as the others. It also reminds us what a great actor Blake could be when he got the roles and knew what to do with them.

Sean McNamara's Field Of Lost Shoes (2014) is another U.S. Civil War drama about young men going into battle and it has its comedy and some good scenes with its younger cast of unknowns, plus David Arquette, Tom Skerritt and Jason Isaacs turn up in supporting roles, but it never adds anything we have not seen before in its 96 minutes. The ending is effective enough and some money is on the screen, but it never seems as period as it needed to be. Still, fans of the actual war at least will want to give it a look.

Don Siegel's Flaming Star (1960) is one of the rare Elvis dramas that is not part of his cycle of usually weak musicals, but he sings here a bit. However, he is a half-breed named Pacer in a good family that is about to find itself in trouble stuck between the tribe he belongs to and the growing town that wants all the indians out. Elvis is in (slight?) redface throughout and all take the material seriously down to the gifted director, but several things make this seem older and more aged than a Revenge Western form the period might have. Not as bold a Broken Arrow or Johnny Guitar, it boasts a fine supporting cast than includes Steve Forrest (TV's The Baron), Barbara Eden, Dolores Del Rio as Pacer's Native American mom, John McIntire as his father, L. Q. Jones, Richard Jaeckel, Ford Rainey, Perry Lopez and an uncredited Virginia Christie (later of the Folgers Coffee ad campaign where she played Mrs. Olsen for decades!) make this an interesting Western.

However, it can also be shocking and bitter, from Pacer threatening to hurt a young girl to no formula romance to no romancing of myths of The West. Though not a big hit, it still made money, but not enough to stop Elvis from making those formula musicals. However, it is as interesting as anything on this list and still holds up better than most Westerns of the time. This is a limited edition Blu-ray, so fans of the genre and Elvis should get their copy while supplies last.

Iram Haq's I Am Yours (2013) has the actress directing herself in the title role as young woman who cannot seem to find love or a good man until she meets a filmmaker who could change her life if things work out for them, but she is in conflict with her family and hey have cut her off at the worst time. She has a son and none of this is the best time, complicating her one real chance at a better life. The result is a mixed bag of a story with some good acting, so-so locations and nice touches, but the ending is mixed and this is overall not too memorable. Still, it is at least ambitious and somewhat mature to its credit and I's like to see what Haq tries next.

Chang Jung-Chi's Touch Of The Light (2012) is also based on a true story of a young blind man (Huang Yu-Siang) trying to break through prejudice, circumstance (living in a small village) and become a pianist. A good melodrama at 110 minutes, I felt this might have been a cleaned up version of the real story, but the comedy, romance and moments that strive to be special work more often than not. That makes it interesting enough to check it out.

Finally, Mark Jackson's War Story (2014) is a smart piece of pure cinema with some solid moments of its own with the always reliable Catherine Keener as a photojournalist who has recently survived abduction and torture for her work in Libya, but this does not stop her from going after more pictures that could get her in more trouble. She spots a woman (Hafsia Herzi) she believes she has seen before and in trouble from her work and tries to help, but the woman tells her to get lost despite the fact we know she really is in trouble. But our self-willed camerawoman rightly continues to try to help.

Ben Kingsley (in a brief turn that intertextually references several of his films) also stars and between the many smart silent moments and the ending, this is as good a film as is on this list. Keener carries things well and it is definitely worth a look too.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Star can show the age of the materials used and have some inconsistent color with some grain, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film as issued in DeLuxe color. The use of day for night shooting is as poor a choice as the limits of how Native Americans are shown here, but color can be really good and composition is not bad, making this the best-looking release on the list. Director of Photography Charles G. Clarke (Suddenly, Carousel, Stopover Tokyo) teams with Siegel to deliver some narratively smart work that does make this one of Elvis' more interesting films.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on all the DVDs, save the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 on Yours, look as good as they could in the standard-definition format (Corky has the best color of them all), but Field is just a little softer too often for its own good, making it the one disappointment in the bunch despite considerations for period styling.

In sound, Star is once again the champ with both DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 or slightly lesser 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes from the original 4-track magnetic soundmaster with traveling dialogue and sound effects, but it can still show its age in parts as expected. The Isolated Music Score is also a healthy DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix fans will appreciate. Corky is the second-oldest film here with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is weaker than its decent picture, putting it in last place and leaving the rest of the lossy Dolby Digital DVDs in the middle.

All are in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, save Yours in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but it is able to compete with the others which have limited use of the 5.1 mixes they have.

Extras on all six releases include their respective Original Theatrical Trailers, save Yours, which has the short film The Amber Amulet by Matthew Amulet (23 minutes) and text on its main players, while Flaming Star adds and Isolated Music Score Track and a feature length audio commentary track by film scholars Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman.

You can order the Flaming Star limited edition Blu-ray while supplies last (along with other exclusives) at this link:


and to order the Warner Archive DVD of Corky, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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