Or Cure (1962/MGM/Warner
Archive DVD)/My Old Lady
(1964/Gorton/Warner Archive DVD)/The
Wonder Years: Season Two
(1988 - 1989/New Line/Time Life/Star Vista DVD Set)
C+/B-/C+/C Sound: C+/B-/C/C+ Extras: D/C+/D/C Main
DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
are the latest comedy releases, one of which is new, the rest a mix
of older titles finally hitting DVD...
(1962) is a Terry-Thomas comedy as an inept private eye landing up at
a health farm to help a client who turns up dead to his shock. Now
he will stay there no matter what (including bad food and odd
treatments) to find the killer. Not a great film, but an amusing one
thanks in part to the cast that includes Eric Sykes, Moria Redmond,
Lionel Jeffreys as the police detective who suspects everyone as a
killer, Dennis Price, Katya Douglas, Ronnie Barker and a few likable
dogs in this lightweight romp.
British MGM production, it looks good, but has not aged well
story-wise playing a bit like a TV sitcom, if not Britcom. Still, I
enjoyed seeing what did work here and Anglophiles, plus anyone who
likes these actors will want to see this one once.
are no extras.
(2014) follows the formula of slightly absurdist comedies with Kevin
Klein back in funny Kevin Klein mode as an American guy who thinks he
has inherited an apartment building in France from his father, only
to find it is occupied by an old woman (Maggie Smith) who has a few
secrets to hide and is in an arrangement where she was paid to stay
there! This shocks him as much as anything and he starts to figure
out how to fix his financial situation where he is broke.
Scott Thomas and Dominique Pinon (Alien
et al) also show up in what becomes an obvious, predictable comedy
trying to go for that 'nice' feel we've now seen a 1,000 times since
the 1980s and one that is long played out. Doing it with better
actors does not change anything and neither do the good-looking
locales. I want a script that works, not a travelogue with a few
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes
capable devices, while the Blu-ray adds the featurette 92
where the great Annette Insdorf interviews Klein & Horovitz for
about an hour.
(1964) is one of those odd comedies that somehow got made as big
screen filmmakers did not quite know how to react and compete with TV
situation comedies. Jayne Mansfield (who would find herself in this
kind of situation again with The
with Phyllis Diller, reviewed elsewhere on this site) plays the
object of the affection of the son of a gangster (future Mannix Mike
Connors, credited as Michael here) who flies to Italy on behalf of
his dad to make a TV pilot that will lose money!
star they want to hire is an older well-known (Maurice Chevalier)
thinking that will help make sure this one sinks. Of course, it will
not be that simple. They also hire a pretentious director (Akim
Tamiroff) for bad measure, but suddenly, everyone is clashing. The
script is also all over the place including moments that make no
sense, Chevalier singing two whole songs that have absolutely nothing
to do with the plot on what is definitely a non-musical and many
would-be humorous moments that simply do not work.
are even glaring mistakes (the pilot is shown at a film festival, but
it is widescreen when all TV was narrow vision, so continuity is not
this film's strong point at all) so we get to settle for beautiful
shots of Italy and Mansfield if nothing else. The use of the scope
frame is not bad either, but when its 90 minutes ended, it felt like
an interesting opportunity was missed here (like doing The Producers
a few years before Mel Brooks) and even the final ending is goofy
while the title does not even really fit in. Time for the Mystery
Science Theater guys to go after this one.
are sadly no extras.
Wonder Years: Season Two
(1988 - 1989) continues the separate season releases of the series
getting a belated DVD release since rights to the original music from
the series for home video release were a big issue holding the show
hostage in the vaults. Not a big fan of the show unlike my fellow
critic who covered The
set (see link below), the endlessly voiced-over show (even in the
voice of the likable Daniel Stern) never worked for me, got too
cutesy for its own good and never stuck with me. It is not an awful
show, but it never totally rang true for me and I know I am hardly in
a minority on this one.
it is a special show that has rightly found a fan base and I can see
why it is doing so well in belated release. The actors are good,
they got the remake of The Beatles classic With A Little Help From
My Friends by the late Joe Cocker, yet it never totally feels
like it comes from the years it takes place in. Now, you can see in
separate season volumes before buying the whole series if you are not
Times They are Changin: The Era
roundtable featurette with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage & Josh
Saviano and separate interviews with Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold), Alley
Mills (Norma Arnold) and Daniel Stern (narrator), but you can read
more about the Complete
DVD set at this link:
the seasins have been issued as singles since and the Complete
received a regular, standard box release. See more about the
elsewhere on this site.
it has its soft moments and ones of slight detail issues here and
there, the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
the best visual performer here as expected, followed by the black and
white, anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Cure
and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Button,
the latter shot in rarely used TotalScope widescreen format used on
films like The
(1962) and the Goliath
film series among the many films that were usually sword & sandal
flicks, usually on the cheap. Button was one of the last films to
use the format, not counting a few films that used 'Super'
TotalScope, but more on that another time. Both monochrome prints
are in decent shape and transfers not bad.
leaves the 1.33 X 1, 35mm color-shot episodes of Years
(likely finished on analog videotape for their TV broadcast) looking
good in daylight shots, but lacking in darker shots throughout.
the sonic department, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix
is well mixed and presented,
but is too quiet and refined at times to take total advantage of the
multi-channel possibilities as expected for a light comedy, yet that
is enough to outdo the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Years
DVD episodes and
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the older black and white films.
However, the mono sound on Button
is particularly weak, so beware of volume switching.
order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and
many more great web-exclusive releases at: