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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Romance > Wrestling > Slapstick > Screwball > Drama > Teens > Australia > Satire > School > Dark Humo > Chokeslam (2016/MVD Visual Blu-ray)/Father Figures (2017/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/I Like Your Nerve (1931/First National/Warner Archive DVD)/Rip Tide (2017/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/SubUrbia (

Chokeslam (2016/MVD Visual Blu-ray)/Father Figures (2017/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/I Like Your Nerve (1931/First National/Warner Archive DVD)/Rip Tide (2017/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/SubUrbia (1996/Warner Archive DVD)/Vice Principals: The Complete Series (2016 - 2017/HBO DVD Set)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Rip Tide Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray & DVD players that can handle the PAL DVD format, while the I Like Your Nerve and SubUrbia DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

The following comedies run several eras, offer different styles and tend towards the slice of life side of humor...

A charming and quirky little indie, Chokeslam (2016) is a romantic comedy that's centered around Corey (Chris Marquette) who is a loser deli clerk that hasn't accomplished much in his young life. He's still in love with his high school sweetie... who happens to be now be a pro wrestler. Corey stops at nothing to win over this girl's heart with plenty of efforts during high school and even more in his adult life. Not afraid to get his butt beat to win her affection, everyone coming and going thinks that Corey has truly lost it. Should he give up on the girl that he has always loved?

The film stars Chris Marquette (Fanboys, The Girls Next Door), Amada Crew (HBO's Silicon Valley, The Age of Adaline), Michael Eklind (Watchmen), Niall Matter (The Predator) and WWE Superstar Mick Foley (Beyond the Mat). The film is a product of Executive Producers Trevor Wilson (Forsaken) and Mark Gringras (Jigsaw Colossal).

The film is presented with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39 X 1 and both DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track and a LPCM 2.0 track. While there's nothing glaringly wrong with the transfer, it looks natural and has nicely saturated images. That being said, it's nothing really groundbreaking either.

Special Features include...

Production Featurette

Theatrical Trailer

Wrestling fans that are looking for a charming indie for date night may enjoy this, otherwise it's pretty silly and not particularly memorable.

Ed Helms (The Hangover Trilogy) and Owen Wilson team up for the comedy Father Figures (2017), which centers around two grown brothers who are on a mission to find their real Father after their Mother lied to them about his existence for their whole lives.

Both twin brothers are very different as Kyle (Wilson) and Peter (Helms) and their personalities are constantly clashing throughout the film. Kyle is a carefree Father-to-be who has just found success with his face on the bottle of hot sauce, while Peter is a bored Doctor who is fresh out of a divorce and bitter. The Twins end up going on a road trip to fine their estranged Father, with a lot of insanity along the way as they get one false lead after another. Will they eventually find the man who is their Father?

The main cast also includes J.K. Simmons, Harry Shearer, Christopher Walken, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, Katie Aselton, and Glenn Close.

Presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film has a natural look throughout and its captured fine in HD. Also includes is the compressed anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that isn't as nice looking as it is in HD.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features include Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.

Funny at times, while forcing a life lesson or two in there, Father Figures isn't too bad but isn't anything too special either.

William McGann's I Like Your Nerve (1931) may run a short 62 minutes, but it is full of energy, humor, wit and a young Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in rare form giving one of his most irrepressible performances as a playboy who knows no bounds or borders (he keeps tormenting border guards with his fancy car) when he and a beautiful, looking real good Loretta Young shows up. He decides to get to know her better, even when she is not interested and even when he finds out she is engaged.

Well, we'll see about that! He decides to neb into that and the results are nothing anyone expects. Either way, this proto-screwball comedy is worth a good look because everyone involved is at the top of their game and though it is not any masterpiece, it is fine for what it is and holds up incredibly well for its age. A real pleasant surprise for comedy lovers (or anyone who likes the leads), this comedy could show so many current bad ones a thing or two. Definitely give it a good look.

The 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this looks good and comes from pretty good 35mm archival stock. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also going to be limited, but for being an early talkie, it is well-recorded.

There are sadly no extras.

Rhiannon Bannenberg's Rip Tide (2017) is one of our newer films, a melodrama with some comedy follows a familiar formula as our protagonist (Debby Ryan) has such a bad incident that she leaves home for Australia to get away from bad press, et al. Thinking she'll have a great time down there thinking only city, she gets 'trapped' without the usual cyber amenities (the web, cell phone, et.) and has to find other things to do. She meets some potential new friends and maybe the trip will help her in ways she did not expect. And maybe not...

Unfortunately, this played like a bad, phony U.S. cable telefilm that was as boring as it was predictable and if these actors had anything to offer, the script and directing flattens them out. I'm also not certain Miss Ryan can carry such a project, but they all try for the long, long 88 minutes we get here. At least the locales are nice, but you can say that about many Australian productions. This one just does not have enough ebb and flow.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 looks good, benefitting from PAL-format 560i definition, though the HD shoot is not always great, its fine for what it is. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is dialogue-based and has more music than we needed (another cliche), but is well recorded enough and will do.

Extras include an on-camera Debby Ryan interview, Making Of featurette, Behind The Scenes with Director Bannenberg, writer Georgia Harrison & Producer Steve Jaggi and a Trailer.

For only the extremely interested, whomever that may be.

One of Richard Linklater's lesser known films, SubUrbia (1996), resurfaces on disc thanks to Warner Archive. This very '90s drama will make you laugh one minute (especially when looking at prices of things back then) and then take a sharp turn and leave you depressed the next. The cast is phenomenal and the film is very theatrical, and actually based on a play by Eric Bogosian. If you're a fan of Linklater's work and you haven't seen this title, it's definitely worth checking out.

SubUrbia features a top notch cast including (very young) Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn, Jayce Bartok, Amie Carey, Dina Spybey-Water, Nicky Katt, Ajay Naidu, and Parker Posey to name a few.

Taking place in a small town, mostly outside or around a convince store, five teenagers get drunk and hang out... contemplating their futures. On the same night, their friend, who followed his dreams and moved out of town returns... and is now a famous rock star. Visiting his hometown to play a show (which the friends can't afford to go to) they decide to hang out where trouble ensues. Alcohol, self expressionism, feminism, freedom of speech, loitering, and several of the themes that are brought up throughout the film.

The standard definition presentation is fine for DVD with an anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 mix. I wouldn't mind seeing a less compressed version of the film on HD but most of the colors and tones are pretty nature. The idea of the film is that it could happen in anywhere, USA, and that feeling comes across in the cinematography.

The only extra is a trailer. A retrospective or some insight from Linklater would have been a nice addition. Anyways, I enjoyed the film and would definitely recommend it.

One of the funniest (and tragically short) series to run on HBO in recent years, Vice Principals showcases the talents of the EastBound and Down team (led by the hilarious duo of Walter Goggins and Danny McBride) which centers around the everyday antics of a high school run by two Vice Principals who are both competing for the top spot of Principal. The whole story is now in one new DVD set from HBO: Vice Principals: The Complete Series (2016 - 2017).

The first season was released on Blu-ray last year and was reviewed here...


Directed by Jody Hill (Observe and Report), David Gordon Green (Your Highness), and even McBride himself, this is a no holds barred brand of humor that isn't afraid to get dirty in favor of a few laughs. The series also features (a cameo by) Bill Murray, Georgia King, Busy Phillips, Shea Whigham, Sheaun McKinney and Susan Park.

Episodes include:

Season One - The Principal, A Trusty Steed, The Field Trip, Run for the Money, Circles, The Foundation of Learning, The Good Book, Gin, End of the Line

Season Two - Tiger Town, Slaughter, The King, Think Change, A Compassionate Man, The Most Popular Boy, Spring Break, Venetian Nights, and The Union of the Wizard and the Warrior.

Presented in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the show looks and sounds fine on the aging format but could have been stronger on HD. Compression issues are evident but the overall show has natural tones that aren't too cinematically stylized or over the top.

A digital UV copy.

Special Features include...

Deleted Scenes

Blooper Reel

and Audio Commentaries with the Cast and Crew.

To order the Rip Tide Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard to find releases:


...and to order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, I Like Your Nerve and SubUrbia, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Rip Tide, I Like Your Nerve) and James Lockhart



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