Niro & De Palma: The Early Films
1969/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)/Family
Guy: Season 16
+ 20 Greatest Hits
(2017 - 2018/Fox DVD Sets)/Johnny
English Strikes Back
(2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/The
Oath (2018/Lionsgate DVD)
B/B-/B+ & B/B- Sound: B/B-/A & B-/B- Extras:
B/C+/B/C+ Main Programs: C+ C+ B-/B & B+/C/C
interesting comedy from all over the place...
when Robert De Niro and Brian De Palma (Scarface,
were both starting out in the film business, they made these three
comedies that feature quite a few other familiar faces as well.
While they haven't always been readily available, these films have
been remastered in HD by Arrow and look marvelous in the new De
Niro & De Palma:
The Early Films
set. Packed with extras and a beautiful package, this is a great set
for any fan of either De Niro or De Palma.
(1968) - The first film to receive the infamous X rating, the story
centers around three friends (a conspiracy theorist, a filmmaker, and
a voyeur) that are all avoiding the draft.
(1969, finished 1963) - An interesting film to say the last, this one
explores a wedding that may or may not happen according and an
exploration into different possibilities.
(1970) - De Niro returns as the same character from Greetings,
only this time he makes porno movies. An interesting look back in the
1960s, the film explores many types of filmmaking as well as other
heavy themes for the time.
from Mr. De Niro, the films also star Charles Pfluger, Rutanya Alda,
Jill Clayburgh, William Finley, Jonathan Warden, and Gerrit Graham
among many others.
films have been presented in 1080p high definition and varying aspect
is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and a nice sounding LPCM
Mono mix, which lovingly restores the film for the best it has looked
maybe ever. The
is the only black and white film out of the film and has a 1.33:1
full frame aspect ratio and a similar uncompressed LPCM 2.0 Mono mix
does. And lastly, Hi,
a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio that is also paired with an
uncompressed LPCM Mono mix. All three presentations are finely done
and really are interesting to see the past in a clear light.
new commentary on Greetings
by Glenn Kenny, author of Robert De Niro: Anatomy of an Actor
new appreciation of Brian De Palma and Robert De Niro's
collaborations by critic and filmmaker Howard S. Berger
new interviews with Charles Hirsch, writer-producer of Greetings
commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
a limited collector's edition booklet featuring new writing on the
films by Brad Stevens, Chris Dumas and Christina Newland, plus an
archive interview with Brian De Palma and Charles Hirsch.
pretty dated, these films are fun to look back on these two very
iconic figures in cinema in their early days whilst they were still
learning the craft. For more on Hi,
try our coverage of the DVD:
is one of the most successful (and longest running) animated series
of all time, third to only South
(which is for a more mature audience) and The
(the longest running of them all). The dysfunctional family comedy
(which started all the way back in 1999), centers around the Griffin
family who end up in most hilarious situations than you can shake a
Guy: Season 16
- 2018) and
show there is continued life for the huge hit show that survived
being cancelled twice. The newest season continues the various
family members making the worst possible decisions in their lives
while the most bizarre situations creep up, like a new fate for
Rupert The Teddy Bear, Meg becoming a drunk or the 300th
Episode, complete with the usual out-of-nowhere pop culture
references in 20 half-hourish episodes in all.
the ultimate fan, there is also the new compilation of Musical
episodes on a second three-disc DVD collection rounds up 20 of the
show's best musical episodes. There's even a booklet included so
that you and your friends can sing along!
all star voice cast includes Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth
Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, and Patrick Warburton to name a few.
20 Greatest Hits
One - Road
to Rhode Island, When You Wish Upon a Weinstein, Brian Wallows and
Peter Swallows, The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire, PTV, The Courtship of
Sings and Swings.
Two - Patriot
Games, Sibling Rivalry, Deep Throats, Peter's Two Dads, Airport 07,
Play it Again, Brian,
Dream of Jesus.
Three - Episode
420, Road to the Multiverse, Road to the North Pole, Friends of Peter
G., In Harmony's Way,
in standard definition on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect
ratio of 1.66:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, the animated
program looks and sounds fine for the format. Compression issues
evident (especially when comparing directly to HD), and is comparable
to the original television broadcast.
Episodes, Two Cancellations, and One Mural Featurette
Need A Jew' Lyric Video
Irish Dad' Lyric Video
a Wonderful Day For Pie' Lyric Video
Machine (on each disc)
that Collectible Insert Booklet with lyrics to the songs in each
you're a Family
super fan, then you won't want to miss this nice 3-disc set.
third film in the Johnny
series (and the first we've been able to cover), Johnny
English Strikes Again
(2018) lands on disc and stars Rowan Atkinson (Mr.
The third entry is more of the same slapstick humor, which is
reminiscent of the Pink
movies, and every other spy parody out there. There's some funny
bits here and there of course, but ultimately the film is predictable
and essentially eye candy that you can watch on low brain power.
film also stars Olga Kurylenko (who is a previous Bond girl from the
Daniel Craig led Quantum
Jake Lacy, Ben Miller, and Emma Thompson.
English (Atkinson) is a secret agent and has been recruited to save
the world once again, when a hack comprises Britain's database and
the identities of all of the secret operatives are exposed. Being an
expert in 'offline' spy tactics, the aging English bumbles through
one misplaced situation to another as he struggles with new
technology... and saves the world in the process.
film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect
ratio of 2.39:1 and audio tracks in DTS X 11.1 (a DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 7.1 track mixdown for older systems) lossless audio, both of
which are pristine and sound fantastic here. While it's not as
impressive as Ultra HD, the film looks and sounds fine in 1080p with
plenty of detail on some of the exotic locations and production
design. There is apparently a 4K Ultra HD version available, but we
are just covering the standard Blu-ray release here.
included is a lesser standard definition DVD with an anamorphic
widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
While its of high quality for the aging format, it looks considerably
worse than the Blu-ray edition. Also included in the set is a
digital HD copy.
Commentary with Director David Kerr
Comedy Genius of Rowan Atkinson
Cast of Characters
Johnny English Legacy
Reality Johnny English Style
Locations and Design
I'm more a fan of Atkinson's Mr. Bean character (others might like
too or liked his comic turn in the last Sean Connery James Bond film:
Say Never Again
(1983)), the Johnny
series isn't exactly geared towards Americans as much as other
comedies out there. While not horrible or too painful to watch, the
film just ends up being exactly what you expect with no surprises.
Let's hope this is the last entry before the franchise runs out of
stars Tiffany Haddish (Night
and Ike Barinholtz (Blockers)
star in the political comedy The
(2018), which centers around a new requirement for Americans to sign
a Presidential loyalty oath. The film essentially breaks down
several different character reactions to this news announcement, and
how it affects their personal and social lives... with a comedic
twist. In essence though, you could replace the oath with any
newscast and the film would still play out the same. Some of the
gags work and some of them go a bit too far, but the comedy feels
pretty relevant despite its more grandiose attempts at humor.
film also stars John Cho, Billy Magnussen, Jon Barinholtz, Nora Dunn,
and Carrie Brownstein.
Chris (Barinholtz), a high-strung news junkie, and his more
levelheaded wife (Haddish) learn about the new hot news topic: a
loyalty oath to the president. This news along with personal woes,
end up keeping things tenser than usual between the interracial
couple. As the Thanksgiving deadline to sign this Oath approaches
for all American citizens, sparring relatives and the unexpected
arrival of two government agents turns a tense family holiday
gathering into hell on earth.
is presented on standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix,
both of which are of the norm for the format. Compression issues are
evident and there isn't as much texture as there is obviously in HD.
No other gripes, really, as Lionsgate always does a good job.
News or Facts
Oath Image Gallery
'Also from Lionsgate' trailers.
Nicholas Sheffo (Guy