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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Romance > Stand Up > Gangster > Crime > Spoof > Satire > Skits > Variety > TV > High Te > The Big Sick (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Eight Heads In A Duffel Bag (1997/Orion/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/My Blue Heaven (1990/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Rowan and Martin's Laugh In:

The Big Sick (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Eight Heads In A Duffel Bag (1997/Orion/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/My Blue Heaven (1990/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Rowan and Martin's Laugh In: The Complete First Season (1968 - 1969/Time Life DVD set)/Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season (2017/HBO Blu-ray)/VEEP: The Complete Sixth Season (2017/HBO Blu-ray set)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Eight Heads In A Duffel Bag 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, while My Blue Heaven is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



And now for a big block of comedy....



The Big Sick


Producer Judd Apatow returns The Big Sick (2017), a true story centered around the life of a Pakistani Stand-up Comedian named Kumail Nanjiani, who falls in love with a young woman named Emily Godron (played by the beautiful Zoe Kazan), who attends one of his shows.


While it has plenty of funny moments and strong performances all around the film dips into dramatic territory with Pakistani planned marriages while struggling with one man's finding of his true loved one. The story takes an even more dramatic turn when its discovered that she has a life threatening illness and he must choose between his Religious and Family ideals as following his heart.


The film stars Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, and Adeel Akhtar.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice sounding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track, the film looks great on Blu-ray. The tones are natural with nice details on characters and locations and no super distracting visual flaws. Also included is a DVD version of the film with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that suffers from compression issues, as is the norm with the format.


A Digital UV copy is also included.



Special Features include...


"A Personal Journey: The Making of The Big Sick" Featurette


"The Real Story" Featurette


2017 SXSW Film Festival Panel


Cast & Filmmaker Commentary with Actor-Writer Kumail Nanjiani, Writer Emily V. Gordon, Producer Barry Mendel and Director Michael Showalter


The Big Sick: The Other Stuff


Deleted Scenes


The Bigger Sick: Stick Around for More Laughs.



Much like Funny People and other Apatow films, The Big Sick is funny while being bittersweet at the same time. The film is a bit on the long side and will make you both laugh and cry. For this reviewer personally, it was a one time watch but its by no means a bad film.


Next up are two gangster comedies that did not quite become the hits their respective studios had hoped for, but has fans...



Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag


I first saw Tom Schulman's Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) in my younger years heavy edited for television. so I am happy to see it get a great new HD release from Twilight Time uncut. One of the funniest films of the '90s in this reviewers opinion, Joe Pesci stars in a film that is non-stop laughs from frame one. Though it has a bit of cult film status, I'm surprised that the film hasn't gained more popularity over time. Hopefully, this great new release will help!


The film also stars Andy Comeau, Kristy Swanson, Todd Louiso, George Hamilton, Dyan Cannon, and David Spade. The film is directed by Tom Schulman (writer of Dead Poets Society).


A Mob Bagman named Tommy (Pesci) ends up boarding a flight with a duffel bag full of eight severed heads, but when his bag gets mixed up with a Medical Student named Charlie (Corneau), all kinds of mishaps ensue. Charlie is going to meet his girlfriend's (Swanson) family for the first time, though their relationship is a bit rocky... and Tommy goes on a desperate search for Charlie in an attempt to get the bags back, even going as far as to try to torture Charlie's friends (Spade, Louiso) in an effort to track him down. As the clock is ticking for the heads to be delivered to their Mob Boss Owner, Charlie and Tommy end up meeting again... in an epic conclusion.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track that brings the film to life (no pun intended) like never before. The remastered transfer is very satisfying, with few glaring errors, and a clean image that brings the film to life.



Special Features include...


Isolated Music Track (with some sound effects)


Original Theatrical Trailer


Collectible Insert Booklet with Julie Kirgo essay.



While it's not loaded with extras, there's a lot to like about this release.



My Blue Heaven


Steve Martin and Rick Moranis star in My Blue Heaven (1990), which is directed by Herbert Ross (Footloose, Steel Magnolias) with a screenplay by the late Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally).


Carrying themes of divorce, hysteria, mob dealings, and even a love story, the film really tries to throw everything in the kitchen sink and it oddly works most of the time. The film has great onscreen chemistry with all of its leads, is beautifully shot and directed, and may be one of Steve Martin's most underrated performances. It does tend to drag a bit in the second act and some of Vinnie's actions would likely be inexcusable in the eyes of law enforcement, but it's easy to throw some logic out the window with some of the film’s more comedic moments making up for it.


The film also stars the lovely Joan Cusack, Melanie Mayron (Real Genius), Carol Kane (Scrooged), Bill Irwin, William Hickley, and a brief turn from Home Alone actor Daniel Stern.


My Blue Heaven is the story of a Mob trader named Vinnie Antonelli (Martin) who is a con artist in the purest sense of the word and to is unrooted to a small suburb in California; a man who can't keep his hands off his ex-wife's open purse when she turns her back to him in an attempt to grab her wallet. A man who is fine ripping off his community in mafia-style in an attempt to pick himself one step ahead.


In no time flat, his Wife leaves him and he is left with a lot of time on his hands in new surroundings. While enrolled in the witness protection program under uptight FBI Agent Barney Coopersmith (Moranis), a man whose wife leaves him too with his life left uprooted on a new path and his primary job now keeping Vinnie out of trouble. There gets to be some road bumps when the third lead Hannah Stubbs (Cusack), another local authority figure, who tries to condemn the squandering Vinnie Antonelli at every turn with legal actions. Can Barney keep Vinnie straight long enough before he goes on trial? Or will he end up in bars before then?


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a nice sounding English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless track (with Pro Logic surrounds from the original old analog A-type noise reduction Dolby System theatrical release), the presentation on Blu-ray is crisp and clear throughout. No doubt originally shot on 35mm, the restoration of the film is top notch and Warner has done a nice job of capturing the very cinematic images on disc and besting previous versions on lesser formats.


The only extra is the Original Trailer in 1080p HD.


While it could have used some new extras, including something from Martin about the performance of his character, Warner Archive's new Blu-ray from My Blue Heaven is worth tracking down if you're a fan of the film or if the pairing of Moranis and Martin on screen sparks your interest. It's definitely worth a watch for seeing those two alone.



Rowan and Martin's Laugh In: The Complete First Season


Available on DVD in this highly collectible set from Time Life comes the classic television show Rowan and Martin's Laugh In in its first of six complete seasons. The variety show is available as Best Of Sets and as a Complete Series Collection available through Time Life as well. So this is just the beginning of our coverage.


Hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, the show ran for a staggering 140 episodes through 1968 through 1973 on NBC and features a wide variety of music, sketch comedy, with roots in vaudeville and burlesque. The show was created by Ed Friendly and George Schlatter.


Guest Stars this first time out include Pamela Austin, Barbara Feldon, Jerry Lewis, Flip Wilson, Leo G. Carroll, Lorne Greene, Buddy Hackett, Sheldon Leonard, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Tiny Tim, Ben Wrigley, Sally Field, Terry-Thomas, John Wayne, Inga Neilsen, Joey Baker, Richard Dawson and a plethora of other special guest stars and performers.


14 Episodes span 4 standard definition DVDs which feature the show in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio with an original mono track. While compression issues are evident with the format and could be vastly improved in high def, the show looks and sounds fine for this release and is presented uninterrupted and commercial free.



Special Features include...


Laugh In Pilot


25th Anniversary Cast Reunion Highlights


New Interview with creator and Executive Producer George Schlatter


Laugh In Bloopers


This great little time capsule will make you wish a show like this still existed now. This definitely captures a more innocent time for television free of many of the hot topics that weigh down comedy today. This is a show that older generations will enjoy seeing again and new generations will look back on with a sense of nostalgic wonder.



Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season


Mike Judge's HBO comedy series Silicon Valley returns for a fourth season that brings back the lovable cast of techno-geeks which includes Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Stephen Tobolowsky, Amanda Crew, and T.J. Miller to name a few. The show is definitely for the technologically aware crowd as some of the computer speak could lose some viewers. Still the show packs a lot of laughs and intelligence and continues to be a success with a Season Five on the way.


Piped Piper, which consists of a handful of talented guys who are struggling to make a name for themselves in the highly competitive world of Silicon Valley. While Richard (Middleditch) continues to have his own dreams for the company and bold ideas for a 'new internet', his comrades feel that he should let that dream go and realize their company is at its best, a video chat company. Dinesh (Nanjiani) takes his own path along with Gilfoyle (Starr). Erlich (Miller) continues to struggle with his finances crumbling and Jared (Woods) attempts take it in a new direction. Big Head (Brener) goes back to school while over at Hooli, Gavin (Matt Ross) finds himself threatened by Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky), while Monica (Crew) struggles to bounce back at Raviga after severing ties with Laurie (Suzanne Cryer).


The season consists of ten episodes which include Success Failure, Terms of Service, Intellectual Property, Teambuilding Exercise, The Blood Boy, Customer Service, The Patent Trail, The Keenan Vortex, Hooli-Con, and Server Error.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a crystal clear DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the show looks and sounds exponentially better than it did in its original television broadcast. No compression issues but nothing that really stands out as being exceptional.


A Digital HD copy is also included.


Special Features...


Deleted Scenes


While not without its funny moments, I feel like this show and VEEP (reviewed next) carry out with their usual routine and don't evolve like other shows on the network do.


I have reviewed all of the previous seasons of the show on this site as well...


Season One

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13413/Silicon+Valley+(2014/HBO+Blu-ray+Set


Season Two

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/14172/Silicon+Valley:+The+Complete+Second+Season


Season Three

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/14856/Mad+Families+(2017/Sony+DVD)/Silicon+Valley




VEEP: The Complete Sixth Season


Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns in the Sixth Season of VEEP as (now ex-) President Selina Meyer. The show aims for realism while poking fun at the Political system and throwing some subtle references to some real Political figures into the mix.


VEEP also stars Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott, and Timothy Simons.


After a brief run in office as President and having lost to another woman, Selina Meyer (who is in a way a character play on Hillary Clinton), the Politician struggles with her personal life around her crumbling political one. In this season, she finds many of her staff members going their separate ways and her sanity starts to lose composer of itself, often times with hilarious results. With her legacy depending on the Meyer fund, a charitable fund she starts in an attempt to salvage her reputation, Meyer finds speed bump after speed bump as she battles for survival in Washington DC.


Season Six features ten episodes which include Omaha, Library, Georgia, Justice, Chicklet, Qatar, Blurb, Judge, A Woman First, and Groundbreaking.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 1.78:1 and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the show looks and sounds much improved on Blu-ray disc with a crisp and clear transfer with realistic looking tones and an impressive sound mix boost.


A digital UV copy of the season is also included.


Special Features...


Seven exclusive new audio commentaries featuring cast (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Timothy Simons, Sam Richardson, Sarah Sutherland, and Clea DuVall), David Mandel, and additional Writers, Directors, and Producers.


While its a bit surprising that it has lasted six seasons, VEEP has some funny moments but equal moments that make you hate the Selina Meyer character.



To order the Eight Heads In A Duffel Bag limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/



...and to order the My Blue Heaven Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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