and Now (2018/HBO DVD
Set)/Home From The Hill
(2015/Altered Innocence Blu-ray)/Never
So Few (*both
1959/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-rays)/The
Revolt Of Mamie Stover
(1956/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)
C/B/B+/B/B Sound: C+/B-/B+/B-/B- Extras: D/C-/C/C-/C+
Main Programs: C+/C+/B/C+/C+
Revolt Of Mamie Stover
Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is
limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last,
while both the Home
From The Hill
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.
a solid group of dramas with their share of melodrama and going into
sometimes unexpected directions...
Ball is a smart writer/creator who has already delivered two hits for
series that have fans and people still talk about. This time out he
goes for a more naturalistic drama with Here
(2018) about a family who is about to fall into trouble and a bit of
chaos. Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins play a married couple who added
three adoptees from other countries to their family that included a
daughter they gave birth to themselves. Now they are young adults
and after things went smoothly for so many years, here comes
young man is gay, another gets involved with a Muslim psychiatrist
and there is even more in easily the most melodramatic release of
Ball's career. The show has a good pace and the group of mostly
unknown new actors are all watchable and have some talent, but the
multiple storylines get a little frayed early and this becomes too
formulaic with too many appeals to pity for its own good, seeming
like a show from ten years ago or so. How it landed up playing that
way, its hard to tell, but it goers from frayed, to uneven to having
problematic moments by the last few episodes. It is not that Ball is
playing it safe, but might have not anted to deal in the
semi-fantastic that put him on the map despite tiny shades of it
was a show I was really hoping would get better, but once it started
going in poor, obvious directions, it never recovered. It might be
getting another season and is set that way, but how it will overcome
all this will be interesting. Thus, it is for the very curious only.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image shows a decently shot show,
but the transfer is a little softer throughout than it should be,
something a Blu-ray edition would likely correct. The lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix plays better and is well recorded, though the older
compressed codec is lacking in this day of 12-track lossless
presentations. Digital Copy is the only extra.
have three big epic CinemaScope grade-A studio productions as three
of our next four reviews, so we'll deal with their technical playback
at the end of the review. First is Vincente Minnelli's Home
From The Hill
(1959), his big film after his classic Some
(1958) and a 2.5 hour melodrama that just might be his most syrupy
film ever despite all the 'tough guys in Texas' parts as another
family is about to be torn by hidden secrets resurfacing. We covered
the limited edition original motion picture soundtrack review at this
link, touching upon the film here...
after all these years since that CD release and even more since I saw
the actual film, it is one of those ambitious run-on films that has
its moments, but the flat spots you have to sit through to get to
them. Robert Mitchum is cast to type as the head of a powerful
family about to run into problems, then you have Eleanor Parker,
Everett Sloane, Constance Ford, Luana Patten and Ray Teal make for a
solid supporting cast, but being the film is not well remembered
today, seeing then young and unknown George Peppard and George
Hamilton (later stars known for their comedy work and some action and
drama) will make this a surprise curio to many.
was also part of a big money move of MGM to shed their Musicals image
(the genre was in decline by then) and show their muscle as a big
screen drama factory worthy of past hits like Gone
With The Wind,
et al. The film goes for broke and all the supposed Southern accents
become too much and backfire with the script that goes on and on and
on, though I know it is a book adaptation. Those who live the book
or the actors will get the most out of this one, but it did not stay
with me decades ago and still does not. At least it is very
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, but that limited
edition CD soundtrack is actually still in print and you can get it
while supplies last at this link...
film about being a teenager in love, Director Joao Nicolau's John
(2015) gets an impressive Blu-ray presentation courtesy of the home
video label Altered Innocence. Highly imaginative and shot on
gorgeous 16mm film, this is an interesting foreign indie film for
those who like coming of age drama mixed with a bit of the
stars Julia Palha, Clara Riedenstein, and Filipe Vargas.
Rita breaks up with her boyfriend during a boring summer. However,
she soon develops a crush on her new neighbor, a photographer who is
setting up an exhibit of his shots in Melanesia. At first, the crush
becomes a game of sort with her and her friend but soon Rita ends up
blurring the lines of reality and her fantasies.
only extra is the Trailer and other Trailers for related films.
to the big screen, we have the underrated Director John Struges and
his WWII drama
(1959) whose war battles were mirrored by the expected fireworks of
casting Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida (i.e., two fiery
Italians) together in a romanic/sexual struggle to fit a world war.
Supported by an up and coming Steve McQueen, Peter Lawford, Richard
Johnson, Brian Donlevy, Hans Conreid and pre-Disney Dean Jones, it
has its moments and a few unintentionally amusing ones, but sometimes
the script cannot delineate between the drama and the battles.
MGM was more than happy to get a movie-hungry Sinatra in anything and
there is no denying pairing him with Lollobrigida does set off
sparks, if not as many as one would like... or the censors would
allow. Still, MGM once again goes for broke bringing a big event
film forward and because it takes its audience seriously and respects
their intelligence, the film holds up despite being uneven.
had touched upon the film before, but again, as a limited edition CD
soundtrack, so you can read that review (including the 7
soundtrack on the same CD) at this link...
Original Theatrical Trailer is once again the only extra sadly, but
that limited edition CD soundtrack is also still in print and you can
get it while supplies last at this link...
we have the tough Raoul Walsh taking on the irrepressible Jane
Russell in the WWII drama The
Revolt Of Mamie Stover
(1956), but this time, the studio is Fox. Not necessarily a
pre-feminist tale, we see the title character arrive in San
Francisco, but she's being tailed by the police. What did she do
wrong? What makes her a bad girl, and what kind? Well, the WWII
take is then told in flashback as she becomes a performer at a club
in Hawaii... near Pearl Harbor!
as hot and sexy as any of the other gals at a seedy club run by a
no-nonsense woman (Agnes Moorehead, more than holding her own against
all here) and as she becomes a popular attraction for the soldiers
visiting... you guessed it, the Japanese bomb the island and the
U.S.A. is immediately in WWII!
gets involved with a writer who is about to go to war (Richard Egan)
and she expects they'll marry when he gets back (if he survives), but
continues to perform for a bigger cut of the profits at the club
without telling him, setting them up for a later conflict. There are
the other soldiers interested in her, Moorehead trying to hold onto
her as a worker because the place is doing better with her and others
would would like to take advantage of her. Mamie has even invested
in real estate there and is making 'legitimate' money as well.
has a bit of a case of good gal/bad gal syndrome and the script gets
campy at times, but the film is a fun watch when it is not serious
(all that process and rear projection work is repetitive and not seen
as much in the MGM releases from the same time) and the film has
Russell in every scene it can get her into. Joan Leslie, Eddie
Firestone, Michael Pate, Richard Coogan, Alan Reed, Jean Willes and
Jorja Curtright round out a solid cast that makes this as ambitious
as the MGM films, but it also runs on and has aged oddly like the MGM
films. Still, you'll love how ambitious it is, even if everything is
is a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray, so get it while you can.
include 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 disc adds an
Isolated Music Score with Hugh Friedhofer's helpful score in DTS-MA
lossless sound and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
is presented in 1080p high definition Blu-ray with a 1.66:1
widescreen aspect ratio and a Portuguese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1
lossless mix with English subtitles, the Blu-ray presentation here is
really top notch. Colors are vibrant and on point and there's little
grain or imperfections. This would be a nice candidate for the 4K
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on all three
CinemaScope productions can show the age of the materials used, but
these Blu-rays offer far superior a transfer to all previous releases
of the film as the studios spent some serious time and money
restoring and preserving these big productions. There's not much
that can be done with some film stock flaws as both MGM and Fox were
no longer using the Technicolor
lab for their film developing and prints, but their own labs. Nor
can anything be done about the flaws the CinemaScope lens system was
always know for producing, though many shots look great.
has started their MetroColor lab using Ansco Color/Anscochrome film,
but by 1959, Ansco was phased out and Eastman Kodak negative was
being used. Fox set up their DeLuxe lab to do color, also saving
them money they would spend at Technicolor, yet both studios still
retained a unique look for their productions that you could recognize
as from their labs if you paid attention to their releases.
was at least a Stereo release, but might have offered 4-track
magnetic sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects like Few
and Mamie, but various contradictory records as we post this
coverage remain unresolved. We'll update you later on that.
offers a decent DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix,
offers a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix and Mamie
offers the choice of both. While the 5.1 mixes should be outright
superior, they also expose more age flaws than expected, so they
sound as good as they can, but Hill
is as well recorded for the time and we're lucky the soundmaster
materials have survived as well as they have. Cheers to both parties
for cleaning, upgrading and restoring the sound as well as they have.
Revolt Of Mamie Stover
limited edition Blu-ray, buy it while supplies last at these links
along with hundreds of other great exclusives:
to order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, go to this link for
them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo & James