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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Camp > Dark Humor > Relationships > TV Special > Skits > Sketches > Arizona 4K (2018/RLJ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/No Postage Necessary (2017/Two Roads Blu-ray)/The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special (2018/Time Life DVD)

Arizona 4K (2018/RLJ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/No Postage Necessary (2017/Two Roads Blu-ray)/The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special (2018/Time Life DVD)



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



Here's an odd pair of new comedy films, plus a celebration of a TV comedy classic...



Arizona (2018) is an offbeat dark comedy that stars Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Tropic Thunder) and centers around Cassie (Rosemarie DeWitt of La La Land and Rachel Getting Married) who is a divorced realtor that works in the 2009 housing crisis and happens to witness Sonny (McBride) accidentally murder her co-worker right before her eyes. Afraid to keep her quiet, Sonny kidnaps Cassie and keeps her in his big house that's about to be repossessed... and things getting even crazier from there.


The film also stars Luke Wilson, Elizabeth Gillies, Seth Rogen, and Kaitlin Olson.


McBride plays a darker version of himself in this film as he murders multiple people (and a dog) and DeWitt plays nicely off of him as a normal mom pushed to her limits. The film has a clean and very cinematic look and uses its minimal cast to its advantage. Some of the film's social commentary comes across a little murky and some moments are a bit over the top, but it's still pretty funny in his own way.


Presented in 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The nicely shot film looks great on this new format with more details and texture than the also included 1080p Blu-ray version also included, which shares similar audio and visual specs. The most noticeable different in presentation is evident in lowly lit or night scenes, where more grain is present on the Blu-ray edition. While I wouldn't necessarily consider this a demo disc worthy release, its the better option for viewing the film if you have the capability.


Special Features include "The Making Of Arizona" featurette and a Photo Gallery


Arizona isn't anything out of Danny McBride's comfort zone and will certainly turn some people off by some of its violence however its definitely worth a watch if you're a fan of his brand of offbeat dark humor. It reminded me a bit of The Cable Guy where things take some pretty unexpectedly dark turns for the sake of a few laughs.



Next is Jeremy Culver's No Postage Necessary (2017) is a comedy that throws in everything it can and just juggles way too much for its own good, starting with the would-be humor of our lead (George Blagden) going to jail for three years for committing a hacking cyber crime. Joining him three years later, he is out of jail and gets a job with the post office? I doubt he would veer get any government job after his crime and that pasts not funny either, nor is the moment he gets hit with a car (he lives, so the film drones on) by what turns out to be our female lead (Charleene Closshey, who sings some songs on the soundtrack!) who herself make 'bad decisions' about men.


That is not funny, it turns out to be the beginning of the sexist stereotype of women who are not together, which I never liked and are somehow getting made. Then the script adds all kinds of unfunny funny things and when that makes it a total mess, bits about being a good Christian (parr of this cycle of Christianity as if it were invented in the 1980s bad films, et al, also get thrown in. This is a mess for the most part, but I was surprised the director kept it going jut the same.


If this were not so full of itself and paired down considerably, it would have worked better, maybe. What we get is 104 minutes that never add up and acting that plays like they are jut reading from the script.


The next surprise is that the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was actually shot on 35mm Kodak Color film, but the lack of detail and other transfer issues (who supervised this?) makes it look like Super 16mm trying to fein scope. It is odd and has some detail issues. Also problematic is the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix that has real and really odd issues with compression of the elements throughout. What happened here!?! Know it is not your system if you play back a copy on your home theater set up.


Extras include a brief Making Of clip and a Music Video.



Finally, we have The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special (2018) celebrating the debut of not only one of the greatest TV variety shows of all time, but greatest TV shows ever. People rightly love the show with its tons of memorable moments, skits, guests and also, what a good looking show it was with its costumes, sets and atmosphere. Of course, we've reviewed dozens of the DVD of show elsewhere on this site and will continue to do so. They have far from exhausted the series long run of gems.


As the press release notes, Carol does a bit of her beloved Q&A with the star-studded 50th Anniversary audience including questions from Pat Boone and Tom Selleck, Carol's guests try out her famous Tarzan yell - Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Tracee Ellis Ross all give it a go, but a late, video entry wins the day - Steve Carell!, Jim Carrey's 10-year-old self re-enacts receiving a reply to his Carol Burnett Show fan letter, Stephen Colbert, Steve Lawrence, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth and Carol all come together for a brand-new musical number and Harry Connick, Jr. and Carol close out the night with an emotional performance of the show's theme song - "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together".


Other stars like Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory also rightly show up, as does Martin Shoer and Steve Martin. My only issue with the show is that it is just not long enough and I wish we got an extended version here, but anything to celebrate this unbelievable legacy and the guest list proves how strongly people agree with my thoughts on it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks good with a mix of new HD footage from the special with upscaled 1.33 x 1 footage from the series (windowboxed by translucent strips of the sides of the image). It is fine and smartly chosen. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is also fine for all the talking, while the clips from the classic episodes have been mixed into faux stereo which makes them clear, but they do loose some warmth and fullness versus their original monophonic broadcast sound that is present on all the other DVDs.


Extras (as the press page correctly explains) include red-carpet footage, backstage interviews, and anniversary wishes from Carol's friends and fans, plus a tribute booklet with production photos, notes from Carol's guests, and a special message from Carol herself!


All in all, it is a solid release all fans should take a look at and will easily ignite interest in the show from old and new viewers alike.



- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Arizona 4K)

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


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