Maher Live From D.C.
(2014/HBO/Warner Archive DVD)/Grace
(2014/E1 DVD)/If You
Don't, I Will (2014/Film
Movement DVD)/The ReWrite
C+/C+/C+/B Sound: C/C+/C+/B- Extras: D/C/C/C Main
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
now for four new releases that show a darker side of comedy...
Maher Live From D.C.
(2014) start at what seems to be a halfway point of a show in
progress, as we're told by two surprise hosts that it is going into
the second hour of the show, so we get about an hour of standup.
However, Maher has something to say and is really good here covering
the state of the nation, decay, hypocrisy, Republicans who are full
of it and anything else that gets in his way, including a few
audience members who talk out of turn.
his political talk shows, he gets to really let loose here as he does
without the barrier of debating guests and can even get pretty gross,
though some cases are to make political points and other to simply
point out absurdity. To his credit, he has not sold out or lost his
edge, if anything, becoming bolder as things of late have become more
ridiculous, stupid and troubling. But Maher plows on unapologetic,
proving he is one of the best comic minds around and as bold and
honest as anyone out there. Good show.
are sadly no extras.
(2014) may have been intended for theatrical release, but got sent
straight to home video, yet it is at least more ambitious than much
of the junk that gets dumped in theaters of late (usually package
deals in the off season) to qualify for tax write-offs. Annika Marks
play the title role of a woman whose alcoholism has made her out of
control and her denial of the condition keeping her in a rut. When
she finds herself waking up somewhere unknown on a Florida beach, a
new bottom has been hit.
she goes to a cafe where a former alcoholic (nice turn by Sharon
Lawrence) spots her kind immediately and does what she can to help,
including giving her a place to stay while arguing with her father
and his new her-same-age wife. What follows is a mix of good moments
and even more predictability, the latter of which hampers a film that
could have been better if it did not try to hard on the comedy, not
knowing what is funny funny and serious funny. Still, I was glad to
give it a look.
only extras are Deleted and Extended Scenes.
You Don't, I Will
(2014) reunited two great actors (Emmanuelle Devos and Matheu
Amalric) as a longtime couple who are not at a breaking point, but
are at a crossroads in where they should go and what they should do,
together or not. A hike in the middle of nowhere only makes things
worse, complicating them and making a problematic situation
ridiculous. The actors' have chemistry that has only grown since
their first feature work together and the makers try to run with that
a bit, but sometimes that is at the expense of story and
are some funny moments, amusing ones and pleasant ones, but nothing
was an outright howler and the script's lack of character development
boxes the film into a somewhat predictable corner. Even with nice
locales and a solid supporting cast, they cannot overcome these
issues, but this was interesting enough as well to give it a look.
on-camera interviews with Amalric, Devos and Director Fillieres are
the only extras.
in Marc Lawrence's The
(2014), Hugh Grant is back repeating himself a bit (think the
that Lawrence also directed, so this is also a reunion project) as a
movie screenplay writer who has not had a hit since the one that put
him on the map. His agent gets him a job teaching writing at a small
town New York college, which he reluctantly takes and hardly takes
seriously, manifesting itself with a really bad first meeting with a
feminist head teacher (Allison Janney) that only foreshadows disaster
first meets a former Marine (J.K. Simmons) who is a teacher there
giving him some good advice early on, but to no avail. After picking
most of his class based on good looks (so most of them are young,
pretty ladies), he gives a general class and cancels several of the
following classes so they can 'work on their script' which he works
on a comeback project at their expense.
follows then are a series of hit or miss jokes that tend to be more
amusing that expected, but we have seen too much of this before,
though the supporting cast is really good and Marisa Tomei shows up
as a potential love interest Grant and we also get good turns by
Chris elliott as his eccentric neighbor (it is not overplayed) and
Bella Heathcote as a younger love interest coming across nicely as
Pamela Sue Martin-like. Again, not great, but I was glad to see it
just once for what does work.
Scenes and a Making Of featurette are the only extras.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Maher and Grace,
plus the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Will are
evenly matched for some good color, some softness, some good shots
and a few poor ones as is the case for the usual DVD releases we see
these days. The 1080p 2.35 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer on ReWrite
can show a few flaws here and there from its shoot, but looks pretty
good throughout with no major issues to my surprise and is easily the
best-looking release here.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Maher is a little weaker
than it should be and slightly disappoints, so be careful of volume
switching and loud volumes, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on
Grace is better, yet the film is talky and on the quiet side
on and off (in between dramatic and comic outbursts), but Will
has both kinds of soundtracks. They are both better than Maher
with its 5.1 being better than its 2.0 Stereo, but it is no better
than Grace due also to its quiet moments.
leaves the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on ReWrite
also having a mix of quiet and more active moments, outdoing all the
DVDs here, but it also has some weak sound moments and an
order the Bill
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: