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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Spy > Satire > Cable TV > Drama > Murder > Supernatural > Crime > Cops > Urban > Archer: The Complete Season Six (2015/Fox DVD Set)/The Driftless Area (2015/Sony DVD)/Fatal Beauty (1987/MGM/Olive Blu-ray)

Archer: The Complete Season Six (2015/Fox DVD Set)/The Driftless Area (2015/Sony DVD)/Fatal Beauty (1987/MGM/Olive Blu-ray)

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

Sometimes comedy gets mixed with the action genre, among other things, but

Archer: The Complete Season Six (2015) continues the success of the crudely-animated spy spoof we've covered before, but by this time, it is really for fans only and has fallen into formula, but this is only 13 episodes and it only has to continue and even stretch things out a bit. Consistent, yes, but not much more. At least the makers have the energy and pacing to keep it up.

Three featurettes and a paperboard slide cover with a front that opens are the extras.

Zachery Sluser's The Driftless Area (2015) seems at first like a drama about crime, but early on, it turns quickly comical as a young man (Anton Yelchin, always trying something different) is trying to get a rosebush to a girlfriend when his car breaks down. A goof (John Hawkes) in a truck picks him up asking for $20.00 just to get him to a garage, but they eventually have a fight and the young man is thrown out of the truck. He then throws a rock at the thief that knocks him out (the window was missing for reason we find out later), knocking him out and crashing the track.

Conflict follows, but he is falling for a likable, somewhat eccentric gal (Zooey Deschanel) in what could be a fine relationship after she saves him from a freak accident. Then it gets more serious with a death from a house being set on fire and other mysterious happenings then take the tale into another direction that does not always gel.

The supporting cast including Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza and Ciaran Hinds are a plus, but the script tries to do too much in only 96 minutes and I was not impressed as much as I wanted to be.

A Making Of featurette is the only extra.

Finally we have Tom Holland's Fatal Beauty (1987), a Whoopi Goldberg film that was one of several films that tried to make her the female Eddie Murphy and failed. This one especially tries too hard and the bad jokes that did not work 30 years ago have aged very badly now. Moviegoers felt one Murphy was enough (and his run as a big moneymaking star was about to crash in 1990 anyhow, by which time Goldberg would make her comeback with Ghost) so this becomes a bizarre time capsule as she plays an undercover cop who stumbles onto a larger, more dangerous case.

Sam Elliott is the 48 HRS-style Nick Nolte figure as her unwanted police partner and good supporting actors like Harris Yulin, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Warren and James Le Gros are welcome presences, but none of that can save how badly this goes. MGM had hoped otherwise, but to no avail. Sad.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.

The anamorphically enhanced DVD presentations on the two DVDs are about even with the animated 1.78 X 1 image on Archer looking clean and clear enough, but I bet the visual jokes work better on Blu-ray and 2.35 X 1 digital shoot on Area consistent enough. The big surprise is how good, colorful and often clear the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Beauty can look despite sometimes showing the age of the materials used. This was shot to compete with the first Beverly Hills Cop and it shows in its 1980s gaudiness.

As for sound, the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Archer episodes sound better than expected and the best sonic presentations here, as the lossy Doolby Digital 5.1 on Area is weaker and more laid back (in part due to the isolated nature of the narrative making sense there) so is not as strong, tied by the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo on Beauty has faint Pro Logic surrounds from its Dolby analog A-type surrounds and is more compressed than expected.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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