Cry (1955/Warner Archive
Blu-ray)/The Glass Castle
(2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Sayonara
(1957/Warner/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Summer
Of '42 (1971/Warner
B/B & B-/B/B Sound: B-/B & B-/B-/C+ Extras:
C-/B/C+/C- Films: C+/C/C+/B-
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time and
is limited to only 3,000 copies, while Battle
are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
following dramas have their share of melodrama, cover different
stories with different ideas in different eras and have mixed
reputations, but all are ambitious and worth knowing about... and
(1955) is the first of two big, widescreen, full color event films
Warner Bros. released with high hopes in mind and at practically the
same length of screen time. Helped by one of the grittiest
filmmakers in Hollywood at the time, Walsh delivers this all-star
tale of Marines fighting WWII on the battlefield, but also tied to
their relationships on the field, back home and even in combination.
Based on a novel by Leon M. Uris, the military side starts out in a
boot camp in New Zealand, an extremely underrated and uncredited ally
of the Allies, then leads to the invasion of Saipan.
film tries to do it all and to its credit, holds up better than you
might think (the boot camp moments at their best are worthy of the
best in Kubrick's Full
the cast that includes Van Heflin, James Whitmore, Aldo Ray, Tab
Hunter and Raymond Massey, work well enough, but some by-then cliches
about camaraderie that is commercially fine and helps the film (even
in the midst of all kinds of conflict), but dates it the most.
Warner went all out for the film and you can see it in the time and
money spent to deliver the results. I think it is a mixed bag, but
at least it is ambitious as such a production needs to be and with a
lesser director, would likely not hold up as much. Like any other
big screen event film, you should see it at least once.
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
new drama from the Director of Short Term 12, Destin Cretton,
The Glass Castle (2017) is an interesting, yet dark, cinematic
journey of a dysfunctional family that's based on a true story.
on the memoirs of Jeannette Walls, the film aims to tug at the heart
strings but feels at times a bit too overdramatic for its own good.
Received theatrically with mixed reviews, the film flashes back and
forth between the past and present. The Glass Castle stars
Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield, and Sarah
from a bizarre childhood thanks to her crazy parents (Harrelson and
Watts), Jeanette (Larson) becomes successful in her career despite
all that she's been through. Encountering her homeless parents in
her adult life, she attempts to reconnect with them despite the hell
they put her through.
Glass Castle: Memoir to Movie
Conversation with Jeannette Walls
of "Summer Storm" by Joel P West
The Glass Castle
a digital UltraViolet copy is also included.
(1957) is the other big Warner release, the first of nine huge
Technicolor romps the studio would produce in the large-frame
Technirama format, Marlon Brando plays a U.S. Air Force pilot with a
huge reputation, currently serving during the Korean War when he
falls in love with a young lady (Miiko Taka) actress who happens to
be Japanese, a big deal back then that causes all kinds of conflict
and drama. Outside of James Mason, Brando is one of the only actors
of the time who would have has the guts to make this film and he did.
on a James A. Mitchner novel, it is long and melodramatic as just
about everything ever based on one of that author's books. But even
in the face of that and some conventions that may seem dated in how
the film deals with race and racism, the film has some fine moments,
interesting scenes and a strong supporting cast that helps it age
better including Red Buttons, Patricia Owens, Ricardo Montalban,
James Garner, Martha Scott and Miyoshi Umeki that keep the film going
beyond its duller points. Of course, the final scene has its fine
payoff and 60 years later, remains one of Brando's greatest moments.
made by Warner Bros., MGM has (somehow) landed up with the ownership
of the film (quite a reverse since Warner owns just about all MGM
films to 1986 via buying Turner entertainment) and they have made the
film available as a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray. Besides
the curiosity interest, it is a Brando film and like Criterion's
recent release of One
(reviewed elsewhere on this site), its another must-see Brando
performance finally making it to Blu-ray after all these years. So
serious film fans need to see this one just once just for him!
include yet another nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the
great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray adds an Isolated
Music Score with select Sound Effects and an Original Theatrical
but not least is Robert Mulligan's somewhat infamous melodrama Summer
(1971) with its serious flashback tale of a young 15-year-old guy
(Gary Grimes) falling in love with an unattainable, 22-year-old
'older woman' (Jennifer O'Neal looking undeniably beautiful
throughout here) who is alone as her husband is away fighting WWII.
Though many might find the melodrama and final impact of revelation
corny or overdone, the infatuation, time period and way the young man
and his two friends (Oliver Conant and Jerry Houser are very good
here in those counter roles) is way more convincing a slice of life
than the forced likes of Stand
or other 1980s such films that I never bought.
its reputation and being a hit in its time, the film has sadly become
lost in the shuffle of those later such pretentious such films that
frankly ripped it off and imitated it badly, so Warner has settled
for issuing the film as part of their Warner Archive series on
Blu-ray. Another reason might be the soft, naturalistic
cinematography might seem too soft to those who would mistake the
style for poor/out of focus photography (HD has destroyed people's
ability to perceive an artistic natural look already) so this is a
smart move for the studio. It is not a perfect film and even I have
to admit it can get corny in parts, but it is at least consistent and
realistic enough dealing with adult and adult-to-be feelings of love
and one's journey on the way to being a sexual being. You can hardly
name any films since the 1980s that achieve that!
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
1080p 2.55 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Battle
can show the age of the materials used as well as the older
CinemaScope lens system, but this is far superior a transfer to all
previous releases of the film and this restoration has fine,
consistent colors that equal the look of the WarnerColor (originating
from Eastman Kodak 35mm color negative film) and with few flaws in
that is likely to be as good as anyone can see the film now.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and
a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless track (rare for Lionsgate), Castle
is pretty effective in playback. The standard definition DVD that's
also included is of lesser, more compressed quality and a lossy 5.1
Dolby Digital track. The film is beautifully photographed and this
shows through on the format well.
last two films, originally released by Warner theatrically, were
originally issued in 35mm dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor prints that are very valuable today if you
happen to own Sayonara
is here in an 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image and
was shot in the large-frame technirama format, so this would be a
35mm reduction print (later films in the format would be available in
70mm) and you can see in many scenes how this has some of the
sharpest, clearest, color-rich images of the four releases here.
Needless to say it makes watching it more of a pleasure as a result.
is here in a 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer
that proves the soft image is no accident, but soft to rebel against
the too-perfect studio color of older Hollywood films and this was
very common at the time. Of course, the softness suggests older days
and maybe romance, but I think the natural intent is #1 and the look
matches the world and flashback idea just fine. You could only get
this honest look on film and not HD, something to think about.
sound dealt with above, the remaining films (all three Warner
theatrical releases originally), we get DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless mixes, with Battle
originally 4-track magnetic sound with traveling dialogue and sound
effects releases, so we get a 5.1 upgrade on Battle
sadly only offers 2.0 Stereo for some reason as the track in that
case seems to be missing. Still, they sound pretty good for their
age (meaning Sayonara
might sound better if its original soundmaster is ever recovered) and
cheers to both productions for trying to sound as state of the art as
they could at the time of their release.
in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix, but it was a
theatrical mono releases and apparently not upgradable to simple
stereo (even if the Michel Legrand score was stereo) with the sound
being a little dated for its time. I don't think that was to be
nostalgic, but just the mono sound feature films reverted back to by
the late 1960s in the face of TV's big success and budget cuts at the
order the Sayonara
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while
supplies last at these links:
to order Battle
on Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more
great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo & James