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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Romance > Family > Britain > Documentary > Biography > Filmmaking > Screwball > Mon > Finding Your Feet (2018/Sony DVD)/Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind The Clown (2016/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/Woman Chases Man (1936/Samuel Goldwyn/Warner Archive DVD)

Finding Your Feet (2018/Sony DVD)/Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind The Clown (2016/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/Woman Chases Man (1936/Samuel Goldwyn/Warner Archive DVD)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Jerry Lewis Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can only play on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL DVD format, while the Woman Chases Man DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



Now for a few more new comedy releases...



Richard Loncraine's Finding Your Feet (2018) is a British comedy about getting older with a solid cast that includes Imelda Stanton, Timothy Spall, David Hayman, Celia Imrie, John Sessions and (sort of downplaying her glamour), the great Joanna Lumley. Stanton plays w woman who finds out her husband of four decades is cheating on her, so she goes to her semi-estranged sister for help and tries late in life to rebuild. We've seen this kind of story before, but the actors do try to make it something different if nothing else.


Thus, because the dialogue is not stupid or predictable, this avoids being 'old fuddy duddy' filmmaking and has plenty of smart exchanges and is never condescending as many such film have been in recent decades. Lumley steals the few scenes she shows up in (you can never have enough Jo Lumley in anything you do, as fan like this writer will attest) and the film runs about 111 minutes. See it if interested.


A bunch of trailers for other Sony releases are the only extras.



Gregory Munro's documentary Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind The Clown (2016) is yet another examination of the comic genius who never got his due in his home country of the United States, though remained popular, but whose legacy of comedy was sidetracked by the immense success of his Muscular Dystrophy Telethons that he eventually stopped hosting in his final years (the circumstances of the break-up are still odd and unknown to this day) though another issue is that he (by choice?) and home studio Paramount did not reissue, relaunch or keep in major circulation his string of hit feature film comedies.


Mind you, he had plenty even subtracting his string of hits with Dean Martin before their split and the fact that they, then he, were making these comedies on large-frame VistaVision film should further show you how big they, then he, was at the box office. Running just over an hour, this look at his work and life has interviews with everyone from Martin Scorsese to Sean Hayes and does a great job showing why he was a success, funny, how teaming with Martin made them a massive sensation and includes new interview footage with Lewis, who was not a fan of such things. Lewis even seemed to openly doubt his legacy would be remembered, which is sad.


Umbrella Entertainment has issued this as a Region Free PAL Import DVD that we were lucky enough to catch and as compared to some other profiles on Lewis, it holds its own and has limited overlap. Thus, you should catch it once just to see how good and interesting it is.


Extras include an on-camera interview with director Munro and two featurettes: Jerry Lewis: The Act Of Clowning and Dean and Jerry.



Finally we have John G. Blystone's interesting screwball comedy Woman Chases Man (1936) which turns out to be one of the forgotten entries into the great cycle, in part because it was not by a major studio, but by Samuel Goldwyn and part of a catalog we don't see enough. Miriam Hopkins is great as an architect who meets a rich man so unthrifty (Charles Winninger) that he is now an ex-millionaire. However, he has a son who is also rich and getting richer, now restricting his father's extravagance and crazy ideas, played by Joel MaCrae in one of his best roles and performances. Of course, its not long before the architect has designs on the son of her new friend.


Though not filled with giant laughs, the film is very clever, everyone is good here and the chemistry between Hopkins and MaCrea is so good, there's not enough of it or them in this too-short 69 minutes. She looks great and her timing is impressive, while he really has his act together pulling off this guy whose too distracted by money and other concerns to see what is always going on. Broderick Crawford is among the fine supporting cast and any serious film fan should see this influential work at least once. Glad its in print.


There are sadly no extras, but any upgrade should get some.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image image on Finding is good, clean and well-shot enough for a decent HD shoot that even has some nice location shots of England. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Lewis documentary has some good older footage and some that is rough, but most of the sources look good and go fine with the newly shot HD interviews (et al) footage. The 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer on Chases can show the age of the materials used and is a bit soft throughout, but this was a well shot film that deserves a restoration.


As for sound, the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Finding (often dialogue and joke-based) and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Lewis (interviews and louder jokes) are on a simple, even plane sonically and just fine. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Chases shows its age a little more than it should and could use some restoration, which it deserves.




To order the Lewis Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find releases at:


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


...and to order the Woman Chases Man Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo


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