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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Military > Slapstick > Domestic > Business > Mumblecore > Rock Band > Flying Deuces (1939 aka Flying Aces/VCI Blu-ray)/The High Cost Of Loving (1958/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/No Way Hose (2015/Sony DVD)

Flying Deuces (1939 aka Flying Aces/VCI Blu-ray)/The High Cost Of Loving (1958/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/No Way Hose (2015/Sony DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The High Cost Of Loving DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a mixed selection of new comedy releases...

A. Edward Sutherland's Flying Deuces (1939 aka Flying Aces) has been issued yet again, but this time, it is a VCI Blu-ray with flaws, but by default is one of the best L&H releases to date. To repeat what I said about the film a good while ago...

''The Flying Deuces is one of their better features, made at RKO Studios in what is considered Classical Hollywood's peak year. The only thing that never worked for me, especially after seeing the overrated Beau Travail, is the Foreign Legion segment. It just drags a bit itself and does not hold up, if it ever worked. It is still a fan favorite.''

Extras include a This Is Your Life episode with the duo, rare Sons Of The Desert Original Theatrical Trailer and two silent shorts: The Paper Hanger's Helper (1925 with Hardy solo) and Lucky Dog (1921 with the duo).

Jose Ferrer's The High Cost Of Loving (1958) has the famed actor directing a decent, sometimes funny film about being happily married to a lady (Gena Rowlands) who also works in post-WWII 'modern' America, though the opening scene has them not even talking to each other for a stretch until we see they are 'happy' (the separate beds is a censorship concession that does not count). He has a good job and suddenly thinks he might be getting a promotion until he is not invited to a meeting he should be at. Others of his employment level are.

Warner Archive DVD has issued the older MGM comedy that is more than a curio, especially when you add that additional cast members are Jim Backus, Nancy Culp, Edward Platt, Richard Deacon, Werner Klemperer and Abby Dalton. They are funny, help keep it watchable and add to making it worth seeing once.

A trailer is the only extra.

Adam Goldberg's No Way Hose (2015) is the comic actor's attempt to combine his sense of jump-around humor (like his TV show, mumblecore filmmaking, Woody Allen and any jokes or gags he can throw out there, whether it fits into the narrative of him being a failed singer, musician, rock band member or not. This is slightly more amusing than not, but he he tries too hard throughout and at its worse, things like sexual predator humor makes all involved look really bad.

Early on when jokes or scenes do work, you hope the film will finally take off, but that never happens. A few cast members are semi-familiar, but this never adds up much, though if I cold have cut about half of it, we could have had some kind of cable TV pilot.

Extras a feature length audio commentary track by Goldberg, Deleted Scenes and Outtakes.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white, digital High Definition image transfer on Flying is from a mixed print that shows the age of the materials used with some issues here and there, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film which have been exceptionally poor to date. VCI has made the best of things and Video Black at least is more like it. I wish they had a better print to work with, but this is an orphan film (where's the negative?) and the best we'll have for a while, for better or worse. This looks worse on larger screens.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image black & white image on Cost may have a cleaner print and was shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision, but it is actually softer overall. The monochrome stocks are faster than that of Flying, but the DVD's limits hold the image back. Some sections have slight damage. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Hose is a digital shoot, is as soft as anything here, has some good color at times, but not all the time and is passable overall.

We get lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound on the Flying Blu-ray and Cost DVD, but they both show their sonic age, though both are more than audible, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Hose should sound best. However, it is not any better since it is so much talk, so only during some music is it really actively engaging the surrounds.

To order the The High Cost Of Loving Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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