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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Holiday > Sex > Crusades > Cable TV > Crime > Slapstick > Politics > Animation > Anime > Drama > Bad Mom's Christmas (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Chastity Belt (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Ninth Season (2017/HBO DVD Set)/Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993/Sony/TriSta

Bad Mom's Christmas (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Chastity Belt (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Ninth Season (2017/HBO DVD Set)/Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993/Sony/TriStar/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Marx Bros. Collection (1929 - 1933/Universal/Umbrella PAL Import DVD set)/My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu: Complete Series Collection (2013 - 2015/Sentai Blu-ray Set)/Pitch Perfect 3 4K (2017/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Third Season (1970 - 1971/Time Life DVD Set)



4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B+ & B-/C+/B-/B/C+/B/B+/B Sound: B+ & B-/C+/B-/B-/C+/B/B+/B Extras: B/D/C+/C+/C/C/B+/C Main Programs: C+/C/B+/B-/B+/B-/C+/B



PLEASE NOTE: The Manhattan Murder Mystery Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time a and is limited to only 3,000 copies, the Marx Bros. Collection issued by our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia can only play on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL DVD format and The Chastity Belt DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered while supplies last at the links below.



Let's roll out more comedies here, many of which revisit old favorites...



Bad Moms was a surprise hit and it's not a shock that a sequel quickly came in the shape of a holiday comedy... only this time it's not just the Bad Moms but the MOMS of the Bad Moms that are causing all the ruckus. The film stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines to name a few. The film is directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore who did the original film.


Taking place soon after the original film, Bad Mom's Christmas (2017) is a holiday comedy that isn't afraid to use bad language and sexual humor unlike most other Christmas movies you'll see. When the Bad Moms get visits from their mothers, they have to work overtime for the holiday season pleasing not only their children but their families as well by putting on a good show but that doesn't mean they can be Bad along the way. The cast all work well together and make the predictable plot a bit easier to swallow.


The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack comes in 1080p high definition and widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix both of which look and sound fantastic on Blu-ray disc. Also included is the anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD and a digital UV copy of the film as well. The film is shot high key and has nice skin tones and colors throughout.


Special Features...


Gag Reel


Additional Scenes


Crew Music Video


Trailers


I was surprised how much I laughed at Bad Mom's Christmas and wouldn't be surprised to see another film in the franchise pop up sooner rather than later.



Pasqual Festa Campanile's Chastity Belt (1969, aka On My Way To The Crusades, I Met A Girl Who...) is a U.S./Italian co-production Warner Bros. made in their brief Seven Arts period with extensive costume design, nice sets and the pairing of two well-known actors whose sexual presences should have set off sparks, but did not. Monica Vitti was the sexy international star of a brilliant series of Michelangelo Antonioni films (L'Avventura, The Red Desert, et al) while Tony Curtis was the party guy/stud lead on and off screen usually involving comedy, but had just shocked the industry by pulling off a great performance as the title character in The Boston Strangler, so both actors had all kinds of credibility that it made sense to pair them together in a sex comedy period piece.


Unfortunately, the script is lame, situations forgettable and the only question that leaves is will they or won't they, which you have to sit through 93 minutes to find out (I do like the classy way they answer it) but this needed a Mel Brooks and got a combination of Luigi Magni and the legendary Larry Gelbart, who may have been too much out of his element to make this work. Still, the production is one of the more ambitious of its kind and it looks good from the colorful and color-accurate materials Warner Archive has here.


Needless to say it was not a big hit, Vitti had another bomb to her name to add to the unfortunate Modesty Blaise and Curtis was very lucky he was about to fall back on his international hit TV series (though it did not do as well in the U.S. where it needed to be a big hit) The Persuaders with Roger Moore (see our review of the import Blu-ray set elsewhere on this site), though his big screen leading star career like Vitti's was sadly coming to a close.


Still, the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image looks really good and is a fine representation of a 35mm dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor print of the film, which is one of its few saving graces. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad for its age and well-recorded enough to hear all the jokes. The combination is in good shape.


There are unfortunately no extras.



The creator of Seinfeld, Larry David, returns in his hilarious Emmy and Golden Globe Award Winning HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm after having been dormant for a few years. Boy does it feel good to have Larry back in these troubling times, as this season is packed full of laughs and memorable sketches that revitalizes the series and brings it new life with Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Ninth Season (2017).


The show also features Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, J.B. Smoove, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bob Einstein, Vivica A. Fox, Shelley Berman, and Ted Danson to name a few.


Divorced from Cheryl for a while now, Larry finds himself on his own and is still getting himself into as many awkward social situations as possible with his friends and colleagues. Over the span of Season 9, Larry attempts to get his new musical Fatwa! produced by the makers of Hamilton the Musical, gets foisted with a bad secretary, tries dating on for size and interprets text messages in the wrong way among many other hilarious situations.


Set in his ways and not afraid to express his many opinions, Larry David is a true character and may or may not be everyone's cup of tea. Simply said that if you're a fan of the humor seen on NBC's Seinfeld, then you should definitely give this (more R-rated) show a watch!


Episodes include Foisted!, The Pickle Gambit, A Disturbance in the Kitchen, Running with the Bulls, Thank You For Your Service, The Accidental Text on Purpose, Namaster, Never Wait for Seconds!, The Shucker, and Fatwa!


Presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track, the presentation is fine for DVD for now but I will surely pick up a Blu-ray copy when it becomes available. The show has natural tones and overall look and isn't too stylized, however skin tones are lost and compression issues are evident.


Special Features include Cast Memorable Moments and Deleted Scenes.


Great to have this series on disc and I'm looking forward to the next season! Recommended absolutely.



Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) finally arrives on Blu-ray, one of his later comedies that turns out to have come from a subplot not used in Annie Hall, his second film for TriStar Pictures is being issued as a Twilight Time Limited Edition because despite how good it is, it has not been as appreciated as it should be and deserved to be a bigger hit.


Our only previous coverage was an import DVD, for which I said of the film...


'Returning to his comic roots around the time his scandal broke with Mia Farrow, Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) holds up pretty well two decades later as he and his wife (played by Diane Keaton, replacing Farrow for obvious reasons) are having fun, but he is not one for the arts. She agrees to go to his baseball game, but he walks out on her Wagner concert for personal reasons, but all that is soon put aside when an old couple they know suddenly finds the stamp-collecting husband a widow. The couple starts to suspect it is murder.

Anjelica Houston and Alan Alda help make up the supporting cast and sadly, this is one of Allen's last comedies set in before he started doing more serious films and found NYC too expensive top make his low-budget films in. It is a nice return to form, even though some complained at the time it was regressive, that missed the point. Woody Allen is one of the great comedy directors and he can go back and be funny anytime he wants. He proves that here.'


It is as funny as ever, maybe more so, though some will have problems enjoying it unfortunately because of the belated heating up of the Allen/Farrow Scandal, but that is unfair to the other actors and as of this posting, we still do not know the entire story of what happened. As far as Allen is concerned, I can still separate the two.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer looks fine, surpassing even the decent PAL import DVD looking like the film looked when I saw it on 35mm film back in the day, so it is able to deliver the laughs even more clearly. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is also improved from all previous DVD editions with lossy Dolby Digital, allowing you to hear how good the analog theatrical Dolby SR (Spectral Recording) master is. Allen is still the monophonic holdout among all filmmakers, even independent ones who can at least afford simple stereo in the digital era.


Extras include a DigiPak with a 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 the Original Theatrical Trailer that was the only extra on that old DVD and an Isolated Music Score with select Sound Effects in lossless DTS-MA. That makes it over a dozen Allen films Twilight Time has issued and might not get issued again on Blu-ray, especially with these extras, so fans and completists take note and get what you want while you can.



The Marx Bros. Collection (1929 - 1933) that Universal issued in a decent Blu-ray set has been issued by Umbrella entertainment in Australia, if only in a more standard definition PAL Import DVD set. It has the same five films as that set: The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers & Duck Soup, plus they even look like the same transfers. We reviewed the films in that Blu-ray set at this link:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/14528/Cafe+Society+(2016/Amazon/Lionsgate+Blu-ray+w


Funny as ever, I still cannot believe how these hold up and endure, a set of comedies that are priceless to comic cinema the way the Astaire/Rogers films at RKO Pictures are to all films about dance and music. Obviously the Blu-ray is the set to get until these arrive in 4K, but if you only have DVD and can play PAL DVD, this set is fine.


The 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfers can show the age of the materials used, definitely the same masters used for the U.S. Blu-ray set down to a mistake where a 1.33 x 1 section in a 1.78 X 1 frame is here as 1.33 X 1. Still, that's fine and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is passable, though I can hear the comedy better in the Blu-ray's lossless DTS-MA Mono.


Whereas the Blu-ray set had a good set of extras, the only one from that set here is the documentary The Marx Brothers: Hollywood's Kings Of Chaos, which is very much worth your time, especially after seeing these classics again.



My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu: Complete Series Collection (2013 - 2015) combines the two seasons of the show we previously reviewed at these links...


One

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13720/My+Teen+Romantic+Comedy+Snafu:+Complete+C


Two

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/14525/My+Teen+Romantic+Comedy+SNAFU+Too!:+Comp


I may not be as enthusiastic as my fellow writer on the picture and sound, but the show is not bad and we get the same extras. While it is a comedy and I was at least amused if not laughing outright at any time, the serious side (bullying and people trying to outdo each other on a shallow, angry level) was enough for my fellow writer to dub it 'slice of life' as a genre choice. I thought on this as I have for several Anime entries among his many over the years, asking if anything animated deserves that definition.


The answer is barely yes, especially when Anime by its very nature tries to go beyond children's fare more typical of the U.S. market, though we could then use that phrase for counterculture animation from Ralph Bakshi, Yellow Submarine, Heavy Metal and the like. This is an aspect of the art form I felt needed to be addressed and this was the perfect opportunity to do so with this title. If you're going to get the show, might as well have both seasons in one convenient package!



Packed with extras and a great home presentation, Elizabeth Banks' Pitch Perfect 3 4K (2017) comes home in grandiose fashion thanks to Universal. Super fans will want to pick up the 4K UHD release as its loaded with exclusive features available nowhere else, which I hope starts a new trend for the format.


Silly and much like its predecessors, Pitch Perfect 3 was never going to win any Academy Awards but has plenty of fun moments for fans to sink their teeth into. In my opinion, they should probably stop here before the franchise grows even more stale and predictable... but seeing how much money the films make that's unlikely.


The film stars Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, John Lithgow, and Rebel Wilson.


Not content with their normal jobs and suffering a bit of lack of spotlight, the Bellas female musical group find themselves together again. When they get an opportunity to compete in a European USO tour, the group get together to make a splash on stage together again for the last time... however danger and action is bound to take place as we are introduced early on to a life threatening situation that the girls must overcome...


Presented on 4K UHD disc in a 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS: X 11.1 lossless mix (DTS- HD MA 7.1 on older systems), this pristine presentation is super clean and clear that uses HDR (high dynamic range) effectively. The film is pretty cinematic and high budget with plenty of interesting lighting and colors and on 4K UHD, you can see even more detail than on the (also included) 1080p Blu-ray disc (which has similar audio and widescreen specs.)


A digital copy is also included and here are the extensive extras, party adapted from the press release...


4K UHD Exclusive Extras:


Deleted Scene


Gag Reel


New Musical Performances


Fat Amy & Fergus Casino Duet


The Bellas: "See You Smile" Lullaby


A Cappella Action - In this piece, we break down the scene starting with Fergus betraying Fat Amy and kidnapping the Bellas, through the performance and wrapping up with Rebel Wilson as she performs the stunt of falling through the ceiling.


The Women of Pitch Perfect 3 - With Elizabeth Banks, Trish Sie, and an all-female cast, the Pitch Perfect franchise is breaking down stereotypes and industry norms left and right. In this piece, we learn why that's so important throughout the development and production of Pitch Perfect 3.


The Final Performance - In this heart-warming piece, fans will witness the genuine love and sisterhood between the Bellas both on and off camera as they get a behind-the-scenes look at the emotional wrap of the film and production.


Hollywood of the South - Hollywood may be the "Entertainment Capital of the World" but Atlanta is a close second - morphing into a metropolis for film productions and the cast and crews couldn't be happier. We hear from them about the hospitality, versatility and southern welcome they experienced during their stay.


Extended Musical Performances:


Evermoist: "How a Heart Unbreaks"


Young Sparrow / DJ Dragon Nutz: "You Got It"


Saddle Up: "Ex's and Oh's"


Blu-ray Extras:


Competition Crescendo - In this featurette we break down the riff-off scene, starting in pre-production in the recording studio and moving into production. We'll also discuss the Bellas' competition: EverMoist, Saddle Up, DJ Young Sparrow and DJ Dragon Nutz.


Don't Mess with Rebel - Rebel Wilson trained with stunts coordinator, Jennifer Badger, to prefect her many stunts that we see throughout the film. In this featurette, we'll catch a glimpse of Rebel's training and discuss the most bad-ass stunt of all - Rebel taking down four grown men in order to save the Bellas.


The Headliner: DJ Khaled - We check in with cast and filmmakers to hear their reactions on the music producer/personality being brought on, how he fits into the story and the love he has for the Bellas.


The Final Note: John and Gail - Everyone's favorite Talk-a-pella podcasters are back, combining their resources to produce an exclusive d'aca'mentary following the beloved classic Bellas. We discuss their far-fetched endeavor with the cast and filmmakers to better understand our favorite aca-duo.


Just Because He's a Bad Guy - The cast and filmmakers were overjoyed to learn that legendary actor, John Lithgow was joining the Pitch Perfect family, and he did not disappoint! In this piece, we'll witness how Rebel and John are two peas in a pod, making their on-screen chemistry as father and daughter truly sincere.


"Freedom! '90 x Cups" Official Music Video



While its not necessarily this reviewer's cup of tea, the film has plenty of memorable modern tunes, silly debacles, corny jokes, and beautiful women to keep the audience entertained. The film blends action and comedy so that it's not solely just a jump from one musical number to the next. Still, to me, it feels like another rehash of the previous films and nothing too daring or exciting in-between musical numbers.



Last but not least, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Third Season (1970 - 1971) the hit sketch comedy show hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin returns in this limited edition 7 DVD set from Time Life as a stand-alone set. Featuring Ringo Starr, Sammy Davis Jr, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Tiny Tim, Carol Channing, and more this is a great time capsule piece that's sure to tickle your funny bones. Similar to Saturday Night Live and others, Laugh-In has some great one liners and skits that are still poignant today (and a few that are a bit dated).


Additional guests include Milton Berle, Danny Kaye, Dan Blocker, Carl Reiner, Jack Benny, Tony Curtis, Peter Lawford, Jonathan Winters, James Garner, Nancy Sinatra, Greer Garson, Phyllis Diller, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Flip Wilson, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Romy Schneider, Jack E. Leonard, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Diana Ross, Debbie Reynolds, Peter Sellers, and Johnny Carson. That shows how strongly popular the series really was.


26 episodes span seven DVDs, all of which are presented in standard definition with their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio and mono tracks. Time Life also has the Complete Series of the show available for hardcore fans (to be reviewed later) or if you want to collect the seasons individually, then they are available in this manner.


Special Features include Bonus Interviews.


If you're a fan of classic television, then this show is definitely worth checking out!



You can order the Manhattan Murder Mystery limited edition Blu-ray while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/


...to order the Umbrella import Marx Bros. DVDs, go to this link:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/


...and to order The Chastity Belt Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (Belt, Mystery, Marx, Snafu) and James Lockhart

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


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