(1958/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/A
Fish Called Wanda
(1988/MGM/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)/Home
(2017/Focus/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Impractical
Jokers: The Complete Fifth Season
(2017/Warner DVD Set)/MamaBoy
Simpsons: The Complete Eighteenth Season
(2006 - 2007/Fox DVD Set)/Victoria
(2017/Focus/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/With
Hill/MVD Visual DVD)
B/B+/B & B-/B/B-/B-/B & C+/B- Sound: B-/B+/B &
B-/B/B-/B-/B & C+/B- Extras: C+/B/C/B/C/B/C/C Main
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a big group of new comedy releases you should know about...
(1958) is the hit film of the hit musical with Rosalind Russell
(later in her long, successful career) as the wealthy, eccentric and
sometimes over-accessorized title character who becomes the guardian
of the son of her suddenly deceased brother. She is a bit of a snob,
but she is also wild and exposes the underaged youth to more than she
ought to, as she should know better. However, so lost in her own
sometimes insular world, you can see why.
can sing and do the comedy as she had when she originated the role on
Broadway, but the film also manages to bring on the energy to make it
just work enough... that is if you like the material in the first
place. There are some good moments here, but if you are not a fan,
you might find this one drags a bit at a needed 143 minutes (doing
justice to the play and the budget) despite its ambition. Now also
a gay cult item apparently, Warner has issued this film as part of
their Warner Archive collection on Blu-ray and in that it is a bit
overdue. Helping out is the supporting cast that includes Forest
Tucker, Coral Browne, Fred Clark, Lee Patrick, Willard Waterman,
Peggy Cass, Pippa Scott, Joanna Barnes and Roger Smith, in tunes with
the tunes that are not ones that stuck with me, but work when
watching. Now you can see for yourself.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was originally shot in
the large frame Technirama format and issued in 35mm
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor reduction prints and no doubt
this is best the film has ever looked on home video. Color is even
pretty good throughout save a few flaws, but not all scenes are up to
real, full, rich, wide-ranging Technicolor standards, so you cannot
see the money on the screen or the color-range intent throughout as
much as one should. Maybe the print/negative materials were not
always in the best condition or Warner has no actual Technicolor
print to go by, but it is not totally Technicolor at its best
thanks to Blu-ray, you can see the depth and richness intended when
the transfer shines and this will come as a pleasant surprise to
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is not a mixdown from
any lost stereo or multi-channel soundtracks but the only sound the
film was released in, theatrical mono. That's a surprise considering
so many widescreen films and especially musicals were being issued in
'the new stereophonic sound', but this pone was not and was still a
include the very pleasant surprise of an Isolated Music Score track
in DTS-MA lossless 2.0 Stereo by Bronislaw Kaper and two Original
Theatrical Trailers: one for this film, the other for the odd 1974
remake with Lucille Ball.
it's been on Blu-ray disc before, Charles Crichton's A
Fish Called Wanda
(1988) has been remastered from the original 35mm camera elements in
this deluxe edition from Arrow video that dwarfs previous releases.
A hilarious British comedy starring John Cleese (who also wrote the
film), Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin, the film is
a bit dated, but clever enough that many other films have borrowed
elements from it over the years.
a successful diamond heist, four criminals soon turn on one another
as they each fight to end up on off their stolen fortune. As they
try double crossing one another, only one of these very different
people will end up on top. At the center of all of the madness, an
unexpected romance blooms as a political figure (Cleese) ends up
getting entangled unknowingly into this elaborate plot with an ending
that's far from predictable.
film is a great character study piece with solid performances
throughout. When I was a film student many years ago, I noticed a
lot of books that I read references this film for dramatic tension
and (in screenwriting courses) character development. Comedies
nowadays are rarely as intelligent and thought out as this one, which
is a shame. No wonder it was a slowly-building surprise hit in its
in 4K high definition from the original camera negative and presented
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and
English lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48 kHz, 24bt) and 1.0
original Mono track, the presentation is commendable to say the
least. A great candidate for the 4K Ultra HD format, the film has a
clean look with great detail and textures throughout with little
by John Cleese
Cleese's First Farewell Performance - 1988 documentary on the making
of the film
Fishy - a 15th anniversary retrospective
Appreciation by Vic Pratt features the BFI Archivist talking about
with Roger Murray-Leach (Production Designer)
Location hosted by Robert Powell
Message from John Cleese
and Alternative Scenes
a Reversible Cover/ Insert Booklet/ Slip Case.
new Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy, Home
(2017), is a Nancy Meyers-produced film that tugs at the heart
strings with a look at a single mother of two starting over again.
The debut feature by Hollywood heavyweight Nancy Meyer's daughter,
Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the film takes place in L.A. and takes a few
corny twists and turns, at times feeling as tacky as a Hallmark
film also stars Lake Bell, Michael Sheen, Candice Bergen, and Nat
Alice Kinney (Witherspoon) moves to L.A. with her two daughters, she
decides to start over after a bad divorce. After a wild birthday
party, she hooks up with a Guy whose two hunky filmmakers end up
needing a place to stay. After her mother (Bergen) offers for them
to stay in her guest house, Alice's new romance starts to blossom
with one of them. Alice's Ex (Sheen) and Father of her children,
shows up at her doorstep with a suitcase in hand and tries to get
back in the picture... now she has to choose between her past,
present, and possible futures with these two very different men.
Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes the 1080p high definition transfer
with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 mix, both of which are up to standards and look
great on disc. The colors and skin tones are spot on with little to
be desired in terms of sound mix. A DVD version of the film is also
included in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen aspect
ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track.
UltraViolet copy also included.
Features are otherwise only a Feature Commentary with writer/director
Hallie Meyers-Shyer and producer Nancy Meyers.
Joe, Q, and Murr are four lifelong friends in New York with their own
hidden camera show. Every episode they come up with crazy pranks and
challenges to play on each other in the unknowing New York public.
Whoever isn't able to complete the challenge, then gets to play the
'punishment' game. There are no rules, no limits, no gag too big in
Jokers: The Complete Fifth Season
Jokers are four real life friends who plays improv jokes to and on
each other in front of the real life NYC public. Usually with a
hidden camera, crew and an ear piece with the guys take turn in
daring each other into saying or doing something complete ridiculous.
It is crazy enough (usually) for public (the audience/people) to
probably realize they are on hidden camera show. While one plays the
prank, the rest of guys are on the other end of the microphone and
camera get to watch and be the peanut gallery, make fun and have
laughs. But for the really inappropriate pranks, they reserve for
only each other in their 'punishment game' for whomever is the
'loser' of their various challenges.
series was like a fusion of college pranks and 'America's
Funniest Home Videos'.
The four 'friendly' (and slightly overweight) guys who seem nice
guys, but are the class clowns. And while it is great to have laughs
with friends, if you think about it ...what kind of people are the
kind that enjoys playing pranks on others? Most the jokes are kept
kosher, nothing too sexually, racist or inappropriate (or that will
get them sued). The jokes and show are amusing at first, but then
the jokes got old pretty fast, it is simply a time killer for those
who have too much time. The whole show is about the hosts'
relationships with each other and getting 'shock value' as in
"Oh my god, I can't believe you said/did that on TV and in
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is as good as it can be for
DVD and such an off-hand production, in line with previous DVD sets
we've seen of the show's previous seasons, while the lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 sound might have occasional location audio flaws, but it
is fine for what it is. Extras include deleted scenes, inside jokes
and British Invasion Specials.
of the goofiest indie films I've seen in a while, MamaBoy
(2017) tells the story of two teenagers that get pregnant... as in
both man and woman get pregnant. Kelly Hawkins (Dylan Riley Snyder)
knocks up his girlfriend (Allie DeBerry) whilst trying to keep their
relationship a secret. He then meets a scientist who has
successfully gotten a monkey pregnant and wants to do a human trail.
Stupidly, Kelly decides to get pregnant with a baby monkey and is
soon the laughing stock of every person he comes in ear shot with.
to other 'men who get pregnant' movies, with much of the film
spending too much time making fun of its own plot. It's aim to be
heartwarming and romantic is taken half heartedly as it ends up just
being a weird mess about halfway through the second act.
on standard definition DVD with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, the film
looks and sounds as good as it can on the format. There's nothing
particularly special about the style or cinematography of the film
but it's shot professionally enough considering its budget.
Red Carpet - Behind the Scenes
DVD releases grow with the hilarious 18th
debuting in this nicely packaged special edition release. Featuring
episodes that ran from September 2006 until May 2007, this is the
season that not only celebrated the series' 400th episode, but its
20th Anniversary. The Matt Groening brainchild is still a success
and on the air to this day with no signs of slowing down any time
soon as it's now in its 29th
on the Fox Network.
Simpsons: The Complete Eighteenth Season
the reoccurring voice talents of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner,
Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer to
name a few.
packaging features the character of Fat Tony and has an awesome fold
out disc sleeve with exclusive artwork that fans will definitely find
pleasure in seeing. It's rare that any television series puts as
much pride in their disc presentation these days... so this is a
Mook, The Chef, the Wife and her Homer, Jazzy and the Pussycats,
Please Homer Don't Hammer Them, Treehouse of Hot XVII, G.I. (Annoyed
Grunt), Moe Na Lisa, Ice Cream of Margie (with light blue hair), The
Haw-Hawed Couple, Kill Gil Volumes 1 and 2, The Wife Aquatic, Revenge
is a Dish Best Served Three Times, Little Big Girl, Springfield Up,
Yokel Chords, Rome-Old and Juli-Eh, Homerazzi, Marge Gamer, The Boys
of Bummer, Crook and Ladder, Stop! Or My Dog Will Shoot, 24 Minutes,
Kent Always Say What You Want.
in standard definition with a 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio and a
lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track, the animated show looks fine on disc
and is much better than the television broadcasts have tended to be.
Commercial and network watermark free (and uncensored), it's nice to
see the episodes the way that they were originally intended to be.
Back Loyal Fans! featurette
Episode: 22 for 30
is always fun and this release is no exception!
(2017) is the quasi-comical story of how Queen Victoria (Judi Dench)
in her later years became friends with a hired servant (Ali Fazal)
that seems to be a chance, passing thing, only to develop into a
great friendship that happens to challenge the racism around her she
had never totally seen before and other issues with the society she
has been in power to rule, limits included. The script never focuses
on those points too much and some may say not enough, but it is still
not a bad film and I can see why it has some of the acclaim it has.
it is still playing it a bit too safe as Frears' less challenging
films can and it keeps it somewhat short at under two hours, though
it still had a tendency to drag for me a bit. Fortunately, it is not
merely more 'fuddy duddy' filmmaking set in the past being smart, but
you still get the sense and feel you've been here before too often.
Those curious should give it a look and Dench delivers, as usual.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray looks
good for an all-HD shoot, Frears knowing what to show and do with the
camera, but color and detail suffer by comparison when seen on the
enhanced DVD version, which is too soft. The DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray and clean, clear and
well-recorded, Frears films usually having good sound, but this is a
dialogue-based film with a limited, of consistent soundfield.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is a comedown by comparison and
sells the soundmaster short.
include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other
cyber capable devices, while the discs offer two brief Behind The
Scenes/Making Of featurette clips.
low budget drama/comedy With
(2014) is the debut feature by indie director Titus Heckel that is a
bit drab. The main character is hard to relate to, especially in the
first act of the film, as he seems more stubborn than meaning well
for his infant daughter. The film has a real world quality to it and
proves that it isn't easy raising a kid yourself, especially when
you're still grieving.
a construction worker named Auden Price (Kerry van der Griend) is
widowed, he is left to look after his four month old daughter. Too
stubborn to let the child out of his sight and unable to afford
daycare, Auden ends up trying to find a job where he can take his
daughter to work with him. When his sister-in-law Karen (Lori Koko)
tries to help him by taking the child herself, he decides to take the
responsibility into his own hands. Things start to change when he
gets a new employer (Leslie Lewis) who ends up falling for him.
in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen
1.78:1 aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the
film looks and sounds fine on disc for the format. The
cinematography and lighting in the film isn't bad, nor is the music
or audio. Some compression issues, which are evident in the format,
are apparent but otherwise nothing that stands out.
only special feature is a trailer for the film and other films from
Summer Hill Films.
more of a drama than comedy, With
a look at parenthood and the trials of being a single parent.
order the Auntie
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo (Mame,
Ricky Chiang (Jokers)