Accidental Tourist (1988/Warner
At Dinner (2017/Lionsgate
(1931/First National/Warner Archive DVD)/The
Good Catholic (2017/Broadgreen
Box DVD)/She Had To
Say Yes (1933/First
Warner Archive DVDs)/The
Voice Of The Moon
(1990/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/The
Wedding Plan (2016/Candy
Factory DVD)/Wide Open
(1930/Warner Archive DVD)
B/B/C/B+ & B-/B/B/C/C/C/B & B-/B/C+ Sound: B/B/C/B+ &
B-/C+/C+/C/C/C/B & B-/C+/C- Extras: B/D/C-/D/B/B/D/D/C-/B/C/D
Blu-ray, plus Big
Had To Say Yes,
DVDs now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a new group of dramas with their share of melodrama, and some with
comedy on the side...
Lawrence Kasdan (co-writer of Star
Wars Episodes 5,6, and 7,
and director of many films like Silverado),
the offbeat romantic comedy The
(1988) is a fun ride from open to finish. Based on the novel by Anne
Taylor, the film centers around a broken man who writes travel guide
books (played by William Hurt) who has suffered the death of both his
son and his marriage (to Kathleen Turner), finds new love with fellow
divorcee (in Geena Davis) in the most unlikely of places. The film
also features a young Bill Pullman who expertly plays Hurt's brother.
film reminds me a bit of Up
in the Air,
not in just its comparison to traveling but in that it has the same
arc of an emotionally distant man discovering love for seemingly the
first time. The film is funny and heartfelt, with a realistic and
interesting tone. The writing and performances are all top notch,
and with it looking this great on disc, is definitely worth checking
out if you haven't seen it in a while.
by Lawrence Kasdan
by Geena Davis
(Salma Hayek) is a health consultant/spiritual healer from a poor
Mexican town. After her car breaks down while she is at a rich
real-estate developer's home she is invited to stay for their dinner
party. There, she learns of how different their worlds are, between
the rich and the poor. And while she seems like a fish out of water,
she realizes how there are some people who are never healed ...and
can never be healed in Miguel Arteta's Beatriz
At Dinner (2017).
works and helps with healing the body from physical to spiritual
needs. She cares about life, and believes in the healing power of
kindness and understanding, but after her car breaks down and she is
stranded at dinner party, she gets a rare chance to see how the rich
live. She is looked down as a lower class person, they make gossip
and make fun of her job while not realizing how racist and ugly their
souls are. And while they pretend to be philanthropists, they really
only care about what they can take from others than saving the world.
Beatriz tries to tell and show them how shallow they are, but ends
up being discouraged realizing that nothing she say, she do will ever
really change society.
film was a culture clash between the rich and poor, it is about how
those in wealth and power will never understand the struggles of
those beneath them. How the rich is surround by beauty and beautiful
vistas, it seem to contrast with how ugly there hearts were. And
while there was a bit of comedy with the main character reacting and
commenting on the macabre of rich people's lives, it was ultimately
sad and depressing tale of how high society views the rest of the
Lithgow, Connie Britton and Chloe Sevigny also star.
include trailers, but they are lame.
(1931) is the first of five 'pre code' Hollywood films we are looking
at in this round of releases, the first of two with a pre-sanitized
Loretta Young as a newly married gal who lands up going to New York
to work in a big office building where her boss (Ricardo Cortez)
becomes more interested in her than he ought to be, while Johnny
(Frank Albertson) is her bandleader husband and Joan Blondell the
smart-alec street wise seducer, meant to distract Johnny. You might
be able to imagine some of what happens here, but because it is
racier and looser than this would be later as a formula film, you get
a few surprises too.
is not on screen enough for me, but this First National release only
runs a tight 76 minutes, meaning it also does not have any time for
cliches. I enjoyed it and think you would too.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, sadly.
Good Catholic (2017)
films are usually a hit in some regards even if they aren't every
person's cup of tea. The new film, The
(2017), is a feel-good and wholesome film in this genre that has won
big on the festival circuit. The film won the Panavision Spirit
Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival for Best Feature Film of
2017, as well as the Leonardo Da Vinci's Horse Award for Best
Screenplay at the Milan International Film Festival.
stars Zachary Spicer, Wrenn Schmidt, John C. McGinley, and Danny
Glover. The film is directed by Paul Shoulberg (Hoosiers).
a young small town priest named Daniel (Spicer) starts to get
comfortable in his church, he meets a young woman named Jane
(Schmidt) who changes his life forever as he starts to get a bit of a
crush on her. As with many films in this genre, the film challenges
faith even with those who are deep into it. At times, a little wordy
and theatrical with lots of dialogue, the film has some good messages
behind it while not going too far.
no extras whatsoever.
(Florence Pugh), a young woman finds herself in the loveless
marriage, she is married to a man twice her age and has a cruel
father-in-law. She is forced to stay inside the house all day and be
little more than a doll to her husband. But when her husband leaves
for journey, she finds herself attracted to a young servant named
Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) ...and for the first time she feels alive
since her marriage, and she will do anything to protect that in
William Oldroyd's Lady
was sold off to be the wife to a wealthy man, but she discovers she
is not appreciated and expected to be a figure piece to his
household. She is forced to be silent all day and to do anything her
husband says. Until her husband goes away on business trip, she is
raped by her servant Sebastian (a man with loose morals to begin
with), but instead of repulsion she finds herself attracted to his
wild nature and it lights a fire within her like never before. Now,
she will do anything to protect her 'happiness' in life... including
poisoning her father-in-law and killing her husband. But when she
discovers her 'missing' husband has also been unfaithful and has an
illegitimate son... will she kill an innocent child?
Macbeth, perhaps was in reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth
of women who plot and manipulate men to get what they want, though
the film goes out of its way to avoid that. In Macbeth,
it was the King's throne and in Lady Macbeth it was a woman's
happiness. It ultimately both of them were a cautionary tale, it
asks the question of what would one person do for happiness, would
they kill for it? But like a guilty conscience, karma or the past,
it usually finds it's way back to haunt the sinner. Extras include a
behind the scenes clip, photo gallery and trailers.
(Catharine Frot) is a midwife, after 30 years she runs into Beatrice
(Catherine Deneuve), her late father's mistress. Claire has been in
control all her life, knowing what to do and where to go, following
the rules. Beatrice lives from day to day, gambling, drinking and
being a con artist, she is the complete opposite of Claire. But due
to special circumstances, fate has brought them together ...and
perhaps there is something they can learn from each other in Martin
is a successful midwife, she has seen life come into the world and
watched them grow, but she blames Beatrice her father mistress for
leaving him and him committing suicide. But Beatrice is dying of
brain cancer. She reaches out to Claire as the possible last person
she considers family. At first, Claire rejects her, but after she
losing a baby at her clinic and finding out her son dropped out of
med school and is about to become a father, she relents and decides
to gives Beatrice a chance. Beatrice helps Claire reflect on her own
life and in how not to be so up tight, and life sometimes takes you
places unexpected and unplanned.
was a classical French film about life, death and how life goes on.
French loves their extramarital affairs dramas, sexual liaisons, wine
and living life, but it is funny how death can change one's
perspectives, guilt, regrets and 'what ifs'. Extras include press
conference with the actresses, interview with the director and
Berkeley & George Amy's She
Had To Say Yes (1933)
is provocatively titled enough, with Loretta Young being drafted
beyond being a secretary to seduce clients for their clothing company
so they can be compromised. That very high concept would be
impossible a few years later, but the makers at First National do
their best with it and it leads to some amusing moments. The idea
comes from a goofy worker (Regis Toomey) who should have just kept
his mouth shut and she gets interested in one of the men!
a very short but never boring 66 minutes, Lyle Talbot, Ferdinand
Gottschalk and Winnie Lightner keep the energy going and this was
Berkeley's first time official behind the movie camera at the helm,
even if he was sharing it with someone else before becoming the
choreography legend he soon would be. I don't know if this could
have been longer, but it has enough moments to check out and it
reminds us how beautiful Young was before the 1950s rendered her
are sadly no extras.
is yet another interesting gem written by no less than a then
lesser-known Dalton Trumbo, with Anne Shirley torn between going to
college and helping out her father at his nice, beloved, local mom
and pop grocery store. She starts to get involved with students
there and many come from money, so she is torn between fitting in
somewhat and just trying to be herself. This is a smart work and has
some nice touches, including Trumbo touching on her father's shop up
against a big new market daring to open up nearby, the daughter
having to face class division (one guy likes her so much, he lies and
says he owns a chain of his own) and more surprises that show this is
not just a college comedy romp.
issued this in what is considered the peak year of the original
Hollywood Studio System and I'm glad some issues get by the Code, but
this is not a political film with boring polemics. Instead it is a
melodrama that does not drag and that's a plus. Barbara Reed, James
Ellison, Adele Pearce, J.M. Kerrigan and Doris Davenport also star.
are sadly no extras.
R. Brabin's Stage
(1933) can be a very shrill film, but to be about a pushy mother
(Alice Brady) pushing her daughter (eventually a young Maureen
O'Sullivan) into show business after she did not quite make it as she
could or should have makes sense. Whether this is overdone or
realistic is up to you to decide, but this MGM melodrama is only a
backstage musical by default, but barely so.
the opening credits start, they are sped up and show stage performers
delivering various performances, one of the only possibly comic
moments here, though I then noticed some white actors in blackface
and that cast my doubts on the whole thing. That ugliness does not
resurface, but the story has its own harshness. Brady loses her
daughter, only getting her back years later. From there, the
daughter is never happy with her being pushed to perform and to say
they have a toxic, dysfunctional relationship is putting it mildly.
O'Sullivan is amazing even at this young age and the supporting cast
includes the venerable Ted Healy (a we'll known personality who
eventually launched The Three Stooges, though they landed up at
another studio, Columbia), Franchot Tone, Phillips Holmes and other
uncredited talents that make up the convincing supporting performers.
I'll add that we get a funny slightly off-key singing scene with a
very young actor, one who would go on to play Alfalfa in the classic
shorts: Carl Switzer. Yes, its that kind of film.
Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.
Voice Of The Moon
acclaimed Italian direction Federico Fellini who brought the world 8
and many more delivers his final film: The
Voice of the Moon
(1990). A long time coming, the film gets the grand treatment from
Arrow with this new Blu-ray/DVD combo that fans of the late filmmaker
will not be able to resist.
(filmmaker) Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, and Nadia Ottavaini,
the stylish and gorgeous looking film shines in its new 2K
restoration from the original 35mm film elements courtesy (and
exclusive) to Arrow. The film is adapted from a novel by Ermano
Cavazzoni and is inspired by other Fellini works such as Amacord
Salvini (Benigni) is a mental patient who is finding his way back
into the surreal world that he lives in. Looking for love, he comes
across a host of bizarre and unusual characters who guide him along a
cinematic landscape that only Fellini could conjure.
the Moon with Fellini, a rarely seen hour-long documentary on the
film's production, featuring interviews with Fellini, Roberto Benigni
and Paolo Villagio
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter
PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing
on the film by Pasquale Iannone.
a month before her wedding, Michal's fiance decides to break off with
her leaving her high and dry at the alter. But Michal is determined
to have her wedding and get married NO MATTER WHAT, the wedding will
go on ...and God/fate will provide a groom. For the next 30 days,
Michal will go on speed dating, believing the next man will be her
Mr. Right in Rama Burshtein's The
is left with a groom-less wedding when her Jewish fiance decides to
cheat on her and marry her roommate instead. Left with only her
tattered dreams of getting married, Michal decides it is too early to
give up hope, THE WEDDING WILL GO ON! Through friends and family she
goes on a series of blind dates proposing to men in the Jewish
community that she is looking for a groom and they will be getting
married in less than a month. All the men she dates, however, are
either not serious enough to marry her or too serious and Michal
thinks they are making fun of her. All the meanwhile, she is driving
her wedding planner Shimi crazy in planning a wedding without a
groom, but love is often closer than you think and pops up in
was a romantic comedy that was like (more) Jewish version of The
It is about girls and their dreams of being a bride, looking for the
perfect man, but in searching for Mr. Right, the main character
learns a bit about herself, is her or the men? And while I believe
Jewish people/men are some of the most open minded people in the
world, when it comes to marriage, Jewish men prefer more traditional
Jewish girls who are less independent and headstrong and obedient to
their husbands (a cautionary tale girls). Extras include photo
gallery and trailers.
we have the outright comedy that features an early performance of the
legendary Edward Everett Horton cast to type early as a stuffy man
who does not want to be touched and cannot handle women in Archie
(1930), playing a man at a company that never wants to hear any of
his 'good' ideas and even a woman at the office (Louise Fazenda) who
actually likes him and has ideas of her own in designs on him.
also has a maid (Louise Beavers) who is wiser than just about anyone
in the film and the office gal has a mother (Vera Lewis) who somehow
gets involved when he has no intentions of any such thing!
was surprised how many laughs this one actually has, all while I keep
thinking how young Horton looks (later known for his comic turns in
supporting roles in film and especially on TV and children's
programs) so it is another little gem worth going out of your way
for. Patsy Ruth Miller, T. Roy Barnes, E.J. Radcliffe and Edna
Murphy also star.
are sadly no extras.
for the technical performance on all the discs...
is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect
ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless track with
Pro Logic surrounds, both of which look great. To my knowledge, this
is the first time the film has been presented in HD on disc, and it's
a welcome edition to Warner's impressive Archive Collection. The
score by John Williams comes across fantastic and adds a lot to the
feel of the film.
Blu-ray/DVD combo pack features the film in 1080p high definition
with a 1.85:1 (1.90:1) widescreen aspect ratio and a great sounding
English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track. A standard
definition DVD with a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track is also included
in lesser, more compressed quality that is weaker.
is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio
of 1.85:1 and an Original 1.0 Mono PCM sound (uncompressed on the
Blu-ray) in its original Italian sound track with optional English
subtitles. The prevention is solid with impeccable colors and
character detail throughout this very stylish production. Also
included is a standard definition DVD with similar specs but not as
pleasing as the HD transfer.
anamorphically enhanced image performers on all the Lionsgate and
Music Box DVDs are as good as the format could possibly provide, but
some used to 4K Blu-rays and even regular Blu-rays might still find
them a little soft and/or color limited at times. They all have
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes that are pretty good for the old
codec, but lossless versions would obviously be better.
the Warner Archive DVDs are in 1.33 X 1 black & white
presentations, though Open
has that frame in an anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image frame sand while they are all
well-photographed, they all need some restoration work and are a bit
softer than we would have liked save Open
with the newest transfer. That's ironic as they all also offer lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound that needs work and cleaning up, but
has serious compression issues that make it difficult to hear. Just
be careful not to play it too loud or in volume switching.
order the The
Had To Say Yes,
DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo (Archive DVDs),
Ricky Chiang (Midwife,
Lionsgate DVDs) and James Lockhart