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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Rockumentary > Punk Rock > Music Industry > Comedy > British Invasion > Pop > Musical > Back > The Damned: Don't You Wish We Were Dead (2013/MVD Visual Blu-ray w/DVD)/Having A Wild Weekend (1965/Dave Clark Five/Warner Archive DVD)/I Could Go On Singing (1963/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Lim

The Damned: Don't You Wish We Were Dead (2013/MVD Visual Blu-ray w/DVD)/Having A Wild Weekend (1965/Dave Clark Five/Warner Archive DVD)/I Could Go On Singing (1963/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (1995/Eagle SDBlu-ray w/CD)/Victor/Victoria (1982/Ladbroke/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Collection... Plus (1951/Time Life 15 CD set w/DVD)/You're My Everything (1949/Fox Cinema Archive DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The You're My Everything DVD is a limited edition Fox release available on line only, so go to our sidebar to order, the I Could Go On Singing 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, and finally, the Having A Wonderful Weekend DVD and Victor/Victoria Blu-ray now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Here's a new, diverse set of music releases everyone should know about....

Wes Orshoski's The Damned: Don't You Wish We Were Dead (2013) is a Rockumentary (compilation at that) of the highly liked if never well-known first Punk Rock band from the U.K., the first to make it over to the U.S. and is a very thorough crash course on the band's life, times, history and music for those who don't know and likely a big surprise for diehard fans who never abandoned them. Running 110 minutes, it also manages to give us an idea of the industry at the time and major music figures you would more likely know (Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, Nick Mason, comic actor Fred Armisen and Lemmy, who Orshoski also made a documentary on before his passing) telling the untold story very thoroughly.

Even if you don't like Punk, there is more here worth seeing at least once and MVD Visual is to be applauded for continuing to issue such key works.

John Boorman's Having A Wild Weekend (1965) is one of many attempts at the time to get a popular Rock Band into a feature film, as The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (1964, now out in a great Criterion Blu-ray edition we highly recommend) was such a huge hit and showed them off well. Thus the decent-performing Dave Clark Five get the same treatment here in an early film by Boorman, who turned out to be a major filmmaker later, now issued on DVD by Warner Archive.

However, there is not enough of their music here, the send-up of advertising via the love interest of the lead singer (she's a model here) is very pedestrian and the 91 minutes drag on way more than they should. Still, it is a curio all serious music fans should see once and is an all-too-rare opportunity to see the band (whose hits on Epic Records include ''Catch Us If You Can'' from this film, ''Over & Over'', ''You Got What It Takes'', ''Bits & Pieces'' and ''Glad All Over''; they we not one hit wonders by any means) on quality 35mm film. Most music acts did not get that at the time.Barbra Ferris also stars.

Ronald Neame's I Could Go On Singing (1963) was not an easy film to get made as its star and legend Judy Garland was doing well, but the 'difficult' label was taking hold despite having hist like A Star Is Born (1954, see the blu-ray elsewhere on this site), so she flew to the U.K. to make this backstage musical melodrama about a singer (played by her) dealing with her old lover she never married (Dirk Bogarde, who used his clout to get this film made) and their sin she has not seen in years since she left son and father together thinking she could not handle motherhood.

The film is uneven and drags in its predictability, plus Garland was starting not to look as good (addiction was sadly catching up with her), but gentleman director Neame pulled the film off and and got what would sadly be her last big screen motion picture appearance, her last movie ever. The title song was by the team that wrote ''Over the Rainbow'' for Wizard Of Oz (1939, see our Blu-ray 3D review elsewhere on this site) and this never goes wrong when she is singing. Some dramatic moments even work, but I wish it worked better.

Originally made by United Artists, MGM has licensed this film (now with somewhat of a cult following and certainly a fave of Garland fans) to Twilight Time, who have delivered a Criterion-calibre Limited Edition Blu-ray with the debut of the stereo music on the isolated music track and WOW, the improvement in fidelity impresses. Too bad the 1963 release did not have these sonics.

Jack Klugman also stars.

The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (1995) is an unusual release from 'the greatest rock 'n roll band's' catalog as it feature not only music performances, but interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the band playing smaller venues (something they still do) and Eagle has issued this as part of their SDBlu-ray series, adding a bonus CD and upscaling older pre-HD video. The result is a solid record of the band still touring to sellout sales despite few major studio works, but that is the point they were at and still are 20+ years later, though a new studio album is in the works.

They are good at being themselves, never really hold back on what they want to say and are still serious about the music, so this is a set fans will especially want and those wanting to know more about the band should check into as they usually don't so this ind of thing. Nice to see it again after all these years.

Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria (1982) is the surprise hit film (Edwards was still having hits and critical successes, even as the Pink Panther films were winding down) featuring Andrews as a woman, pretending to be a man, then pretending to be a woman. This was more shocking and racy at the time of release, arrived just before the AIDS crisis and remade a pre-Nazi German cinema gem from the time. Andrews plays all three-in-one roles the best she can, a stage performer out to shock and entertain in the most subversive ways. With a supporting cast that includes Robert Preston, Leslie Ann Warren, Alex Karras and James Garner, it is a fine, solid, consistent work that is well made, professional, advanced in some ways and never gets stale for being on sets the whole time.

It was even shocking as Andrews was so strongly associated with her Mary Poppins and Sound Of Music family hits despite having a big screen acting career (Star, Torn Curtain, etc.) that went far beyond that and showed her range. However, with all that and even she giving it her all, I was never totally convinced that she was who she was and saw Andrews the whole time. It is really impossible to by her as a chameleon, though she still has her moments, but it is one of the boldest things she ever did just the same.

Despite how popular this film is, Warner Archive is handling this one as a web-only Blu-ray release and never lost its audience. Good thing it is one of the best playback quality releases on this list.

Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Collection... Plus (1951) expands the 3-CD/1 DVD I Saw The Light set to a 15 CD set w/DVD, which is repeated here. Here is our coverage of the older set...


Now that the I Saw the Light feature film (reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) has been released, many more rare acetate recordings have been thankfully located and you get much more including his Aunt Jemima Audition Show. That makes this the set to own.

Finally we have Walter Lang's You're My Everything (1949) is a backstage musical comedy with actors and performers mostly unknown today from Fox, but with Anne Baxter and Dan Dailey as leads, a married couple who are happy and well. He wants to get a movie part, but when she shows up, accidentally gets signed instead of him!

The songs are not very memorable, though they fit the narrative and the script is formulaic and predictable, but having Baxter here (who did not always do musicals) makes it a curio. Lang was a great director of the genre and the studio did put the money out for it to be a big Technicolor hit. Now you can see for yourself while supplies last.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Singing (with grain at times) and Victoria are the visual winners here, shot well on color 35mm film negative stocks in real anamorphic Panavision and built to last, with the latter having its share of indoor scenes and the latter totally on sets. This is the best i've seen or heard either film.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Damned Blu-ray show the age of the materials used, but is still better than the anamorphically enhanced DVD version, which tends to be softer. However, some of the clips are old analog video, so only expect so much. Well edited though.

The 1080i 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Stones upscales and bookends old 1.33 X 1 color videotape and the results are not bad, but sometimes noisier than expected. Like similar clips on Damned, analog videotape flaws can include video noise, video banding, telecine flicker when some films clips only survive on old tape transfers, tape scratching, cross color, faded color and tape damage, showing the age of the materials used.

Williams has the same anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image DVD as before, and it can compete with the Stones upscale and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 black and white image on Wild. The 1.33 X 1 image on Everything is not bad for a Technicolor film, but could be a bit better, even without considering a Blu-ray version.

As for sound, Victoria has a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, Singing a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix and the Stones a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, while Damned and Stones have lossless PCM 2.0 Stereo tracks and the Stones CD is PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo. All tie for second place, but Victoria (in part because part of the Stones release is interviews and other talking) is the sonic winner here, remastered from its original sound elements. Damned ranges from mono to stereo, while the 2 PCM Stones tracks are passable, but Singing surprised me in how clear it was for its age and mono format. Even more amazing (as noted above), its isolated music tracks make their stereo debut here with Garland singing in stereo and it sounds great!

The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Williams DVD is still passable and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Wild and Everything are a bit weakest than I would have liked and are the under-performers on the list. The Williams CDs have PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Mono sound is really good for it age and as good as it could be for the old format.

Wild and Everything have no extras, but Damned, Singing, Stones and Williams (which we already noted retains the bonus DVD from the older, smaller version) include illustrated booklets on each respective release, the film including informative text and essays all around. Singing adds another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while it and Victoria add feature length audio commentary tracks (2 on Singing [film scholars Lem Dobbs & Nick Redman on one, scholar David Del Valle & Steven Peros on the other] and Andrews & Edwards on Victoria) all solid and Original Theatrical Trailers. The Singing Isolated Music Score has select Sound Effects and we also get TV Spots. Damned has four bonus featurette clips and a live performance of ''Smash It Up''.

To order the I Could Go On Singing limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and more rare releases while supplies last at these links:




and to order the Having A Wonderful Weekend Warner Archive DVD or Victor/Victoria Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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