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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Supernatural > Psychic > Animals > Obsession > Documentary > Candy > Biography > Industry > All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (2010)/Artois The Goat (2009)/Candyman: The David Klein Story (2010/IndiePix DVDs)/The Chief (1933/MGM)/It's In The Air (1935/MGM/Warner Archive DVDs)

All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (2010)/Artois The Goat (2009)/Candyman: The David Klein Story (2010/IndiePix DVDs)/The Chief (1933/MGM)/It's In The Air (1935/MGM/Warner Archive DVDs)

Picture: C+/C/C/C/C Sound: C+/C+/C/C/C Extras: C/C-/B-/D/C- Main Programs: C+/C/B-/C+/C

PLEASE NOTE: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, Artois The Goat and Candyman: The David Klein Story are part of a really nice 10-DVD set called the IndiePix Mix 10 Collection in time for the holiday season & sold through Amazon here at http://amzn.com/B01577BN8S, while the rest of the DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a group of comic and comical new releases...

Continuing our coverage of the IndiePix Mix 10 Collection in sections, we have previously covered two of the titles a while ago as singles. They are...

Tim Rutili's All My Friends Are Funeral Singers (2010)


Cliff & Kyle Bogart's Artois The Goat (2009)


Now we get to Costa Botes' Candyman: The David Klein Story (2010), which tells the sad, sometimes disturbing story of how the creator of the 'gourmet' jelly bean known as the Jelly Belly innovated the entire candy industry, only to fall victim to being part of one of the biggest rip-offs ever!

Klein loved candy and was a bit of an eccentric when his invention gave the somewhat stagnant candy business a kick it needed, though the documentary portrays the industry as being in the dark ages when in reality, many great and classic candies arrived in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite that flaw, this becomes a biography of the man and his family (though it glosses over the abuse he takes on his children much as The Wolfpack (reviewed elsewhere on this site) also did and is also a look at both that business and the dark side of predatory business people when his idea only gets him a few million, but has made hundreds of millions to date.

The fact the Ronald Reagan loves them is one of the big ironies here, but despite his flaws and that glossing, you still have to have some sympathy for the man, though the documentary does not delve deeply enough into things or asks enough questions about certain aspects of things (though the Deleted Scenes are often interesting) proving 76 minutes was just way too short for the subject matter. It is my favorite release on the list and one everyone should see at least once for the untold (even censored) story it covers. Its not all pretty!

Extras include two feature length audio commentary tracks (one with Botes, the other with David & Bert Klein (father & son)), an Original Theatrical Trailer and over 25 minutes of Deleted Scenes.

The last two films are Charles F. Riesner comedies made at MGM with two legendary comic leads who did not always have the best luck with feature films, but not for lack of trying.

The Chief (1933) is an early work by the great comic actor Ed Wynn, playing his 'perfect fool' character (known from radio and imitated more that a few times) as the son of a great fireman who for all his ineptness never followed in his dad's footsteps. From the disaster of the unveiling of a statue that is a tribute to his dad, to losing jobs, to gaining fame for saving people and a big crazy mix of all of it, in between and the works. There are laughs in its mere 65 minutes that hold up remarkably well, but the script is limited, yet the only thing that matters is Wynn at his comically brilliant early glory stealing every scene he is in (even with kids, animals and a young Mickey Rooney in the start) and (hard to believe) at over 80 years later, still also has its charm and is worth checking out.

Wynn has been a little more forgotten that I would have liked and a key film like this really needs to be in print. The time for his rediscovery is long overdue and this is worth your time, especially to see how powerhouse MGM backed its starts in the best way early on.

There are sadly no extras.

It's In The Air (1935) is one of the many feature film attempts to make Jack Benny a movie star, but he was less successful than Wynn in this respect, the films never did him justice as his TV shows, cameos and insanely successful hit radio show did to show off his comic brilliance. Still, he was less know at this point despite the radio show already doing huge ratings and business, and trying him in a comedy that was more subdued (at least at first, before the slapstick kicks in, failing to save the film) than he would be known for gives mixed results. He plays a con artist wanted by the law, but he keeps his various con rackets going, including gambling, identity theft and paying with checks written in invisible ink. As with The Chief, MGM surrounds the star with fun supporting actors and we get the beautiful Una Merkel (also too forgotten), Ted Healy, Nat Pendleton and Mary Carlisle. However, the script has too many dulled moments, though the camera loved Benny. It's just too all over the place to work, but if you can make it through its 80 longer-than-it-should be minutes, try it.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.

The image and sound on most of these releases are a bit soft and rough, with the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Singer the best by default by simply not having too many flaws, but Goat and Candyman are rough, with the latter having more archival footage that is rough (as expected) and not as good as any of them could have really been. The 1.33 X 1 black & white image on Chief and Air are well-shot as Grade-A MGM productions, but the prints are just too rough and could use some work, which would be worth it because the look of both work.

In the sound department, Singer, Goat and Candyman are offered in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but Candyman has more than its share of rough archival mono, as rough as the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono throughout Chief and Air. As a result, all five releases could use some sonic cleaning up.

To order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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