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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Parody > Filmmaking > Show Business > Crime > Italy > Blake Edwards' S.O.B. (1981/Paramount/Lorimar/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The Mafia Kills Only In Summer (2013/Icarus DVD)

Blake Edwards' S.O.B. (1981/Paramount/Lorimar/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The Mafia Kills Only In Summer (2013/Icarus DVD)

Picture: B+/B Sound: B+/B Extras: C- Film: B/C+

Here are a pair of adult comedies to consider....

Blake Edwards' S.O.B.

From iconic Director Blake Edwards (Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pink Panther series) comes S.O.B. (Standard Operating Bull), an interesting 1981 movie that takes a look at Hollywood behind the scenes in a unique and often hilarious light. A film within a film, S.O.B. looks great on Blu-ray disc courtesy of Warner Archive and is definitely worth checking out.

The film stars Julie Andrews, Robert Mulligan, Larry Hagman, William Holden, Loretta Switt, Shelley Winters, Rosanna Arquette, Robert Loggia, Robert Vaughn, Craig Stevens, Robert Preston and Marisa Berenson to name a few.

S.O.B. is the story of Felix Farmer (Mulligan), a big-time producer who suffers a nervous breakdown after his big-budget, wholesome family film starring his actress-singer Wife (Andrews) bombs at the box office and becomes his first misfire in a string of hits. The desperate Farmer hits upon a desperate scheme to pull his film from theaters, rebuy it, and re-shoot several scenes to include R-rated material (including getting his wife and star to do nudity for the film thus tarnishing her G-Rated image), then re-release the movie himself, but within the mix of studio and professional politics, nothing goes according to Farmer's plan.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision) and a nice sounding, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono track, the presentation of the film on disc is very nice with a restored HD transfer that is crips and clean throughout. If you're a fan of the film and are interested in an update, this is a step up for sure.

A trailer is the only extra.

The Mafia Kills Only In Summer

A charming and funny film from Italy, The Mafia Kills Only In Summer (2013) tells a 20 year long story starting with a Wonder Years-type feel telling the story of young Arturo, a boy who is unwillingly mixed in with the mob and as the film progresses his dangerous adult life. The film is a dark comedy about love and obsession, with an interesting incorporation of actual events that took place in Sicily in the 1970s.

Directed by and starring Pif, the film co-stars Claudio Gioe, Crstiana Capotondi, and Antonino Bruschetta.

Arturo grows up admiring the Italian Mafia and it soon becomes his main topic of conversation, but as he grows up and becomes a Sicilian journalist, he soon starts to become wise of the Mob's vicious and unconventional ways that threaten his perception.

Presented in standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital Italian 5.1 track with English subtitles, the presentation on disc looks fine but could always be improved by an HD upgrade. The color palette is interesting and well balanced, with a score that lends itself well to the story.

The only extras are trailers for other Icarus Films releases.

More interesting and fun in its earlier half than its later half, The Mafia Only Kills In The Summer is an interesting journey that fans of Italian cinema or Mafia-type films should check out.

- James Lockhart



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