Gumball Rally (1976/First
Artists/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/On
The Road, Somewhere
(2015/Candy Factory DVD)/Protocol
(1984/Warner Archive DVD)/The
Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends
(1976 - 1991/Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy/Time Life DVD
B/C+/C+/C+ Sound: B-/C/C/C+ Extras: C-/C-/D/C Main
Blu-ray and Protocol
DVD are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
are our mostly classic, latest comedy releases...
(1976) is an interesting entry in the comedies of the 1970s (with
lots of wild stunts with near-zero visual effects help in the Evel
Knievel era) that wants to capitalize on silent comedies, the
influential success of What's
and al the bandit/chase films of the time (Smokie
& The Bandit
was not far away) in the First Artists' production that has some fine
stunts, fine actors and a few good moments worth seeing.
Unfortunately, it cannot come up with much new (it wants to also be a
modernized version of It's
A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
and all the yesteryear car chase films it inspired in the 1960s) we
have not seen before, but did some business in the pre-home video
Sarrazin is the lead, whose character summons all the others for the
cross-country race of the title, all snapped out of their boring
lives to participate and before you know it, the race begins.
Normann Burton, Gary Busey, Nicholas Pryor, Susan Flannery, J. Pat
O'Malley, Tim McIntire, Steve Keats and Raul Julia lead the energetic
cast in a film that definitely has some energy, but this has become
more of a time capsule than anything else despite the collection of
sports cars here (they have aged oddly too) and its healthy 1970s
cynical attitude that actually does not go far enough to stay
in an age of endless Fast
films and imitators on auto-pilot, this is worth a look just to see
what does click and fans of these kinds of films should see this one
at least once. At this point, some of the locales and the actors
save this from being more dated.
The Road, Somewhere
(2015) is a road trip film that comes from the Dominican Republic, so
that in itself makes it fresh versus the usual locales as three
friends (Arnold Martinez, Javier Grullon and Victor Alfonso) take
this one last trip before they go to college, but of course, a bunch
of unforeseen things happen that make it funny, wacky, humorous, a
little reflective and lead to a few mishaps. That is the case with
these films, so there are not as many surprises and to be blunt, they
are not always as wise as they could be.
is not to imply we get any idiot plot, but in the too-short 71
minutes here, the script could have come up with a better way to use
the time with the low budget not the only excuse for any issues it
might have. It is worth a look for what does work, but it could have
been much more if the makers had thought a little harder on things.
(1984) should have been easily been a big hit for Goldie Hawn and a
fun film people liked, but this Holiday release did poorly, is one of
the poorest films Ross would ever direct and ended Hawn's reign as
one of the top box office women in Hollywood. The now politically
incorrect screenplay has her accidentally save a major Arab official
not be assassinated after getting his entourage stuck in traffic in
the film's awkward opening. Then it becomes this fish-out-of-water
tale that I only bought her so much in and what starts out as lame
the screenplay was written by Buck Henry, who is far from lame, but
it was adapted from a story by future tag team of bad mall movies,
Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers, who (along with Harvey Miller) offer
all kinds of unfunny things only they would laugh at and the result
is 95 minutes of bad political humor, bad timing, Hawn out of her
element, no edge to anything and a flop that has rightly been
Archive has it out on DVD and if you must, see it at your own risk.
Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends
is the second entry into this new series (after Jerry Seinfeld,
reviewed elsewhere on this site) in what we expect will culminate
into a DVD box set. The friends this time are Steve Martin, Robin
Williams and Eddie Murphy, all making a national impact on the show
that launched so many great careers at a time when the media was so
different. Martin and Williams seem outright otherworldly and really
wild in their initial debut shows, while Murphy gets to break out
from helping Saturday
make its first comeback. All three would have interesting movie
careers too, with Williams and Murphy becoming huge box office.
episodes include Jimmy Stewart promoting The
Karen Black plugging Burnt
then another show has Sylvester Stallone pushing Rocky
Williams drives Steve Lawrence to laughs on one show and teaming up
with Johnathan Winters in another. Murphy has at it with McLean
then with that series Wayne Rogers (by coincidence) in another show.
The final episode has fighter Randall ''Tex'' Cobb as well as a
really fine performance by the underrated Angela Bofill.
well chosen, rich collection of shows, it is a fun sit-through more
than worth your time.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Rally
can show the age of the materials used bit, but this is far superior
a transfer to all previous releases of the film on video before and
is the best its looked in a long time. Fans will be happy and I like
how this was shot big and wide for a large screen, something most car
chase/car based movies since lack. Technicolor did the prints and I
dye-transfer, three-strip 35mm prints were struck in the U.K. or not.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Road
is a new digital shoot (the newest shoot on the list) that is
consistent enough and not bad simply because the makers don't take
wild liberties with color and the image in general like way too many
HD shoots today. It also gets credit for looking this good on a
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Protocol
is not bad, but can be a mixed bag at times with some parts of the
print not being in the best shape, though this was never a great film
visually by any means ands even too often looks like a TV sitcom of
the time in its flatness and lack of imagination.
1.33 X 1 on the Carson
DVDs are from analog NTSC video and can (even by their own admission
in some disclaimer spots) have analog videotape flaws including video
noise, video banding, telecine flicker (those old film clips have NOT
been updated), tape scratching, cross color, faded color, color
dropouts, distortion, audio dropouts and tape damage. For the most
part however, this looks as good as the DVD feature films here and
color is decent.
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on
is well mixed and presented, but falls short by today's standards
when the cars race, crash and other loud moments kick in. However,
it is the best sonic performer here versus the lossy Dolby Digital
2.0 Stereo on Road,
which has some mixing issues throughout that is either an issue with
the production and/or the video transfer. The lossy Dolby Digital
2.0 Stereo on Protocol
also has issues with empty Pro Logic surrounds and sounds a
generation down, unless it too is Dolby Stereo theatrical at the lats
minute. Very odd.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 on Carson
has the earlier episodes in Mono and later ones in Stereo, but they
sound better than the DVD feature films and even have their moments
Glad the tapes were as preserved as they were in the archive.
oddly has no extras whatsoever, while Rally
offer Original Theatrical Trailers and Carson
has the option (which I preferred) of watching each episode with all
of its original commercials, plus it comes with an episode guide in a
paper pullout inside the DVD case.
order either of the Warner Archive releases, go to this link for them
and many more great web-exclusive releases at: