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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Sex > Cable TV > Incest > Australia > Erotica > Counterculture > Instructional > Adu > Casual: Season One (2015/Lionsgate DVDs)/Felicity (1978/Severin Blu-ray)/Paprika (1991/Tinto Brass/Cult Epics Blu-ray)

Casual: Season One (2015/Lionsgate DVDs)/Felicity (1978/Severin Blu-ray)/Paprika (1991/Tinto Brass/Cult Epics Blu-ray)

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

There are good ways to do sex comedies and bad ones. We look at both in three new releases, one of which actually works...

Casual: Season One (2015) joins HBO's awful Togetherness (cancelled, but reviewed elsewhere on this site) as an awful (and oddly too similar in negative attitude) by starting out almost the same way with very unfunny sex jokes thinking it is hip, then proceeds to get worse and worse and worse. Jason Reitman produced (and even directs) making this instantly the nadir of his very uneven career to date. The cast looks bored as anything, the first episode starts with dreams of incest (ha, ha??? What!?!) and how this ever got the greenlight (being sold as a dysfunction family comedy is highly deceptive) is beyond me, but here it is and you should avoid it at all costs.

A Making Of featurette is the only extra.

John D. Lamond's Felicity (1978) is the one release, albeit silly and often obvious, that actually had fun with sex and doesn't make it into something dumb and even repulsive. This Australian theatrical film is a well done romp we first were lucky enough to see in an import DVD at this link...


The Severin Blu-ray is a nice upgrade from the previous DVDs and Gloria Annen is perfect in the title role and this is just enough of it all at 94 minutes. It is worth a look for all those interested.

As for extras, we get two films we also covered previously on import DVD from Umbrella, ABCs Of Love & Sex (1977) C+ and Australia After Dark (1975) C+ that were included as a double feature disc at the time, now fitting on the same single Blu-ray. Dark had us see the ''dark underbelly'' of erotic living Down Under around the time of the Disco era, while ABC as a campy sex education film that tried to come up with an important topic for every letter of the alphabet. They are fun and worth a look, making for solid inclusion in this set. We also get a new feature length audio commentary track by director John D. Lamont and star Gloria Annen, highlights on the film from the Not Quiet Hollywood documentary we reviewed elsewhere on this site and a reel of trailers for other Lamond films.

Tinto Brass' Paprika (1991) is a disappointment from a man whose ability to direct erotica survived the end of the counterculture and XXX film production's lame-but-profitable transition to cheaper videotape. This one is about the world of a brothel and how a young woman (Deborah Caprioglio) slowly becomes involved in one, slowly gaining the working name of the title. This is actually a remake of Fanny Hill, but at 116 minutes, it is overly long, has some really bad scenes, insists it is being funny when it really tries too hard and that backfires on it. Not funny or sexy, there is little to recommend and Brass seems to be losing his touch. This is the uncut version and the music score by Riz Ortolani makes it more tolerable, but not by much.

HD trailers for other Brass films, lobby car video gallery and new Welcome To The Whorehouse HD-produced featurette are the extras.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Casual is a soft HD shoot softer here that is passable at best and forgettable often with more flaws than I could count. Lame.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Felicity is the big surprise here, outdoing the import DVD picture with ease and looking remarkably, consistently good for its age with detail, depth and color even I was not expecting. Fleshtones are fine and location shooting is nice.

The 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Paprika show the age of the materials used, but even giving the transfer the benefit of the doubt with so much diffusion lighting and lensing, it comes up a bit short overall despite some good shots.

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Casual is talky and as unspectacular as the image, but that's still better than the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Paprika that should have been lossless, but is down a generation and is not that great. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Felicity actually is by a sliver the best-sounding presentation here, an improvement over its DVD release and as warm and clear as a film of its age and budget is likely to ever be.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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