Boys (2014/First Run
(1989/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Guess
Who's Coming To Dinner
(1967/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/PS
Dance! (2015/First Run
C+/B-/B/C+/C+/C+ Sound: C+/B-/B-/C+/C+/C Extras:
C/C/B-/D/C-/C Main Programs: B-/C+/C+/B-/B-/B-
Who's Coming To Dinner
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
from the links below.
social issues and life are dealt with in all kinds of ways in the
start with Kenneth Elvebakk's Ballet
(2014), a documentary about how three young men from Norway decide to
pursue ballet dancing and how serious they are. Lukas, Syvert and
Torgeir land up bonding as good friends and friendly competitors, but
when one has a chance to go to the U.K. to one of the top schools in
the world, how will that change their dynamic? The program runs only
72 minutes, but manages to deliver answers and be a character study
of them and this part of the dance world. A pleasant surprise, it is
definitely recommended and is about more than just dance.
bonus shorts on more of the trio are the only extras.
(1989) is an ambitious, long at 133 minutes, dirty, dark look at the
world of the 1100s that brought about St. Francis of Assisi. Mickey
Rourke, in his prime still taking risks no one was expecting before
his slow implosion, is the title character dealing with politics,
poverty, murder, disease and other troubles in a world where the
church loomed way too large for the human races' own good. I give
Cavani credit for not being afraid to get her (and everyone else's
hands dirty) for realistic effect, but to say she overplays the
'Italian Neo-Realist' side of this is not unjust.
is also constantly returning to the theme of the male body, nude in
dirty, blood and death throughout as if to reference issues of the
flesh and mortality to its extreme and that is also bold, all
removing and phoniness or 'halos' from the proceedings, but her world
of muck is not always supported by a strong narrative. The other
renewed interest here besides the new cycle of faith films that have
nowhere near the guts to be this honest or realistic is a supporting
performance by Helena Bonham Carter, who is also good and not above
is not a religious film for everyone, but it is more historically
accurate and honest than most, even if the film is uneven. Cavani
owes Pasolini more than a little credit for her approach as well.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative text
& two essays (one by Cavani), while the Blu-ray adds a clip of
the Cannes Film Festival Press Conference on the film.
Who's Coming To Dinner
(1967) has two controversies going for it. The more obvious one is a
portrait of various layers of racism in a film that is totally and
rightly against it, but the other is that it still seemed to play it
safe, hold back, be a little plastic and maybe even phony outside of
its message. Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton play a happy,
loving couple who intend to marry despite the big taboo of the time
that they have different skin color. Kramer does not make a
revolutionary political film, but does make a time capsule of how far
we were getting on the subject before rollback pressures from the
1980s and is not credited for sticking to his guns to tell the human
story he wanted to tell.
course, the other big part of this is the last screen pairing of big
screen movie giant Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as her
parents, plus the curio of Isabel Sanford (Louise Jefferson of the
soon-to-be-groundbreaking TV hits All
In The Family and
as their maid who is not happy with Poitier suddenly showing up.
melodrama becomes too much and even at only 108 minutes, it seems
slow-moving, but it is a one-of-a-kind film and even telling about
certain things the long (long) way, it's points are valid and for a
time, the film was still ahead of its time. It is worth a serious
look for what works.
include another illustrated booklet on the film including informative
text and smart essay by Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray adds a new
feature length audio commentary track by Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer
& Paul Scrabo that is as thorough as we will ever get on the
film, Isolated Music Score track, Original Theatrical Trailers, four
intros for the film (by Karen
Kramer, Steven Spielberg, Tom Brokaw & Quincy Jones), A
Love Story for Today,
Special Kind of Love,
Kramer: A Man's Search for Truth,
Stanley Kramer Accepts the Irving Thalberg Award & 2007 Producers
Guild Stanley Kramer Award Presentation to An
with Vice President Al Gore.
Zahn is the host of Nel Shelby's PS
(2015) runs under an hour, but tells us the great story of how the
arts make such a big difference in schools early on, an important
point now more than ever with draconian cutbacks, a rollback against
the arts and even an active war on them to hurt the young and
innocent in troubled school systems nationwide. Shot in New York, we
see how successful (as we always) knew these programs are, have
always been pennies on the dollar and made for healthier, smarter,
better, more successful, happier and more well-rounded children
is the particular art involved here and we see how some really great
people have gone out of their way to deliver these arts to new
generations who deserve them, are entitled to them unconditionally
and deserve to be standard for us all. Cheers to the adults who
deliver this to their student and those students who embrace it and
realize how important it is. My only complaint is that this one is
not longer, but everyone should see this and support a revival of the
arts in our basic schools so the PS is not a post script for the arts
are unfortunately no extras
(2015) is not about the graphic art world, but how drugs, music and
culture have intertwined for centuries and uses that history to
address the latest drug, Molly and its variants. This is the first
synthetic hit drug and is popular at raves, so a group of persons who
really seem to be in the know talk about the ins and outs of the
situation, how messed up things are getting and how the latest
'harmless' drug (they said this about cocaine back in the day) is not
so tame as expected.
51 minutes, this is not bad, but it could have been longer and is
hardly the final word on a subject that (like so many Moguldom
releases0 is not being talked about but should be. It is worth a
look if you want to be informed.
few Deleted Scenes are the only extras.
(2013) is not connected to the classic TV series about school and
basketball, save it is about racism, but of a different kind. A new
kind of crisis is growing in East Africa and it has to do with the
murder and worse of persons whose skin has them categorized as
'albinos' and an ugly cult has built around them that is getting many
of them killed. Exploiters are creating new superstitions saying
their skin and bodies bring good luck by just touching them, but much
worse, many are being killed alive & wide awake with machetes and
their body parts being used for rituals too ugly to go into here.
remarkable drama with a cast that most has never acted before stars
Hamisi Bazili as a young man trying to find a better life, goes to
the big city to sell the likes of CDs and electronic parts and tries
to avoid being captured and killed by the cults. In this respect, it
had shades of The
Harder They Come
and would qualify as a solid piece of what was (and I guess could
still be known as) Third World Cinema save the Neo-Liberal renaming
of any such land as 'emerging markets' or the like. Deshe has
created a formidable drama more people need to see and this genocidal
crisis needs to end now. A pleasant surprise on a very serious
subject, handled without a false note.
bonus clips about the making of this film are the extras.
expected, the Blu-rays look best here with the
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Francesco
a little rough, partly shot that way on purpose, but part of the
problem is this smaller film has been lucky to survive and some
footage is just more aged than others. Still, this 2K restoration
looks better than I have ever seen before down to past film clips.
The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Dinner
is a new Hd master from the original camera materials that looks
really fine for the most part. Unfortunately, bad rear projection,
phony edges of indoor set lighting and process footage shows its age.
The film was originally issued in 35mm three-strip Technicolor
prints with this print often looking like one of those dye-transfer
copies, but sometimes less so. Still,
I cannot imagine it looking much better.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the four DVDs are behind in
quality, but all have softness issues, PS
have more motion blue than I would have liked and color range is not
ruined on any of them, so they tie for third place.
for sound, the Blu-rays both offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless
mixes with Francesco
upgraded from its original Dolby A-type analog stereo to a 5.1 mix
and also offered in a lesser 2.0 Stereo mix, but it shows its age and
music benefits most from the restorations. Dinner is presented in
1.0 Mono that also shows the age of that film and also restored, will
probably not ever sound much better than it does here. They tie for
best sonics, if you can call it that. All four DVDs are presented in
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and only Shadow is on the weak side
with some location audio issues, but it sounds like this could have
been transferred a bit louder and would have sounded better.
order the Guess
Who's Coming To Dinner
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while
supplies last at these links: