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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Romance > Family > Sketches > Surrealism > Experimental > TV > Romantic > Crazy Rich Asians (2018/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition (1951 - 1962/Shout! Factory DVD Set)/Little Italy (2018 Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Puzzle (2018/Sony DVD)/Wallflower (1948/Wa

Crazy Rich Asians (2018/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition (1951 - 1962/Shout! Factory DVD Set)/Little Italy (2018 Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Puzzle (2018/Sony DVD)/Wallflower (1948/Warner Archive DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Wallflower DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a solid cross-section of all kinds of old and new comedy for you to consider...

Based on Kevin Kwan's best seller novel, Rachel Chu is a Chinese American following her boyfriend Nick Young to Singapore for his best friend's wedding, but little did she know her boyfriend 'Nick' is the heir to one of the richest families in China. She sudden is thrown into a world of high society and socialites in Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

Rachel Chu goes with her boyfriend to meet his family and suddenly feels like she is in a Cinderella story when she discovers her 'boyfriend' is a prince and he is from a super rich family. But unfortunately, his friends and family make her feel like she is the outsider/evil witch/gold digger who after the family fortune. Her main opposition is her boyfriend's mother who feels her son is marrying beneath him and that she is just a 'commoner', but the real truth is the complete opposite, her boyfriend didn't tell her about his family because he didn't want her to like him because of his money or his social up bringing, but for who he is. When they discover a secret about her past that she didn't even know, her own relationship is put to the test. Is she 'good enough' for Nick... or is she a passing fancy?

This was a romantic comedy making fun of Asian stereotypes and family. Michele Yeoh sets the movie off well and humorously with her opening scene. The movie is basically a modern Cinderella story mixed with Asian culture and values, but in a modern context that has made it one of the surprise hits of the year.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is a great digital shoot and to think the 4K version has not been issue yet, so those with standard HD should be fine, plus the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is well recorded, mixed, clear and pleasant. Extras include commentary with director and author, Crazy Rich Fun, deleted scenes, gag reel and trailers.

Next we have a big 9-DVD collection, Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition (1951 - 1962) that combines previously issued volumes of Kovacs on DVD from a few years ago, most of which we reviewed at this link with an Edie Adams set (his wife, if you did not know) here...


Two Collection sets and an ABC TV DVD single mean a few discs we did not cover before, but the loss of an older illustrated booklet on Kovacs, so the result is the same ratings we gave the previous combined sets. The 1.33 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono still look and sound fine, though I bet a 1080i upscale with lossless sound might bring out more from this classic material. Extras include a little more than the last sets, so you get the 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction, Andy McKay 8mm Home Movie (silent, though a new HD transfer would be nice if the film prints still exist), Baseball Film, Charlie Clod In Brazil, Dutch Masters Commercials, Ernie's Opening Monologue, Home Movies: Golf With Edie And Ernie, Howard, The World's Strongest Ant on "A Hot Date" and "Howard's Campground", Interview: Algernon Gerard, Archaeologist, Interview: The World At Your Doorstep, Introducing Coloratura Mimi Cosnowski, Irving Wong: Tin Pan Alley Songwriter, J. Burlington Gearshift, Making Of "Baseball Film", Martin Krutch, Public Eye, Matzoh Hepplewhite, Miklos Molnar's Glue, Muriel Cigars Commercials Featuring Edie Adams, Original Theatrical Trailers: "Wake Me When It's Over" and "Five Golden Hours", Our Man In Havana" Behind-The-Scenes Footage, Percy Dovetonsils : "Ode To A Housefly", "Ode To Electricity" and "Ode To Stanley's Pussycat", Remembering Ernie With George Schlatter And Jolene Brand, Rock Mississippi In "Fingers Under Weskit", Silents Please, Skodney Silsky, Hollywood Reporter, Strangely Believe It: Writers To Blame, Superclod Test, Surprise Audience Member, Take A Good Look: "Clues" and "Sales Film”, The Kapusta Kid In Outer Space Meets Olivia Scilloscope, The Mysterious Knockwurst and Trailer For "Operation Mad Ball" - "It Happened To Ernie".

If you are a hardcore completist, you'll want to also track down the older sets, but otherwise, you'll be fine here.

Hayden Christensen (the older Anakin from the Star Wars Prequels) and Emma Roberts star in the new romantic comedy Little Italy (2018), which is now making its way onto video. From the Director of How To Lose A Day In Ten Days, Donald Petrie, comes a charming and heartfelt romance that is similar to Romeo and Juliet in some ways (only not as tragic).

The film also stars Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, Jane Seymour, and Andrea Martin.

In Little Italy, nothing much changes... which is why Nikki (Roberts) decides to move away and pursue her career as a chef. But when she has to go home, she encounters her childhood friend Leo (Christensen) and the two start up a romance. The only problem is that their parents have feuding pizza shops in Little Italy, which makes things a bit complicated!

The romantic comedy has a stylized and cinematic look and nice colors presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, both of which are of the norm for the Blu-ray format and up to standards. I didn't notice anything particularly off-putting about the presentation and felt that it was pretty sharp and consistent throughout. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include...

Behind the Scenes of Little Italy Featuring Cast and Crew Interviews

and Trailer Gallery

Little Italy is your typical romantic comedy that fans of the genre will enjoy. It's nothing too shocking or original and follows some familiar story beats, but is a fun and easy watch.

Puzzle (2018) is an interesting romantic comedy/drama starring Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting) and Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World) that is a simple yet charming watch that's perfect for date night. Macdonald steals the show and really owns her leading role, so much so that I wouldn't be surprised if she earned a nomination or two for her work here.

Agnes (Macdonald) is a normal housewife with a loving husband and kids that grows tired of doing the same thing every day. When she sees an ad to help build puzzles, she meets Robert (Khan) whom she befriends and soon finds solace in this obscure hobby. A film about self growth and life changes, this film by Marc Turtletaub (producer of Little Miss Sunshine) is a fine screenplay and film.

Puzzle also stars David Denman, Bubba Weiler, and Liv Hewson.

Presented in anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 widescreen and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, the presentation here is of the norm for DVD and looks fine for the format. The film is very well shot and has a high end cinematic look that's very organic.

Special Features include...

Commentary with Marc Turtletaub

Alternate Ending

Completing the Puzzle Featurette

Theatrical Trailer

and Previews for other Sony films.

Finally we have the amusing, if not hurt-my-stomach-funny Frederick De Cordova film Wallflower (1948) by the then-comedy director later for being the man to helm most episodes of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Robert Hutton is a young man back in town, a little older, but old friends with two stepsisters (Janis Page and Joyce Reynolds) who are suddenly both more interested in him. He is interested in one over the other, which starts a competition to give him the 'most variety of choices' to see who he really wants, if either!

More a pre-sitcom than any kind of screwball comedy, it only runs 77 minutes and has a few amusing moments, but it is also on the safe side and is as much a time capsule of the immediate post-WWII era if nothing else. Edward Arnold is here to play his usual comedy schtick, joined by Barbara Brown, Ann Shoemaker and Jerome Cowan in an early screenplay by Phoebe and Henry Ephron, so its competent and worth a look. Otherwise, just don;t have high hopes and enjoy it for what it is.

Though professionally made, the black and white 1.33 X 1 image has a print that is not always in the best shape or as clear as it should be, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also a little weak, suggesting the transfer material is down a generation. Its watchable, but be careful of volume switching or high volume playback. The only extra is a decent Original Theatrical Trailer.

To order the Wallflower Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Kovacs, Wallflower), Ricky Chiang (Rich) and James Lockhart



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