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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Japan > Homosexuality. > Lesbian > Soap Opera > Surrealism > Relationships > British > Happy Hour (2015/Icarus Blu-ray Set)/MisEducation of Cameron Post (2018/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Three Coins In The Fountain (1954/Fox*)/Welcome To Marwen (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/X, Y Y Zee (1972/

Happy Hour (2015/Icarus Blu-ray Set)/MisEducation of Cameron Post (2018/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Three Coins In The Fountain (1954/Fox*)/Welcome To Marwen (2018/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/X, Y Y Zee (1972/Sony/Columbia/*both Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays)

Picture: B/B+/B/B+ & B-/B Sound: B/B/B-/B+ & B-/B- Extras: C+/B/B/C+/C Films: B/B/C+/C/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Three Coins In The Fountain and X Y & Zee Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, are limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below...

These dramas and melodramas can also feature dark comedy and try to offer a different view of life...

A five hour Japanese film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Happy Hour (2015) centers around the lives of four women living in modern day Kobe. When one of the four women announces that she is getting a divorce, it gets the other women thinking... 'am I the person that I want to become?' At times bleak, but other times quite intriguing, Happy Hour is an artistic and at times experimental look at the complexity of life.

Winner of several awards including a combined best actress win at Locarno Film Festival, Happy Hour is worth checking out if you're interested in modern day Japanese culture and relationships.

The main stars of Happy Hour are Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara, and Rira Kawamura.

Happy Hour is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a Japanese 5.1 audio mix with English subtitles. Shot digitally, the film looks and sounds fine for the format with a natural and not too overly stylized look. One of the highlights of the film is certainly its very artistic photography.

Special Features include only 'Beyond Happy Hour' - 30 minutes of cast interviews

An award winning journey of self discovery, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a teen girl who gets caught kissing the prom queen. Unsure if she is really gay or straight, she gets sent to God's Promise - which is a treatment camp that hopes to 'cure' her of her homosexuality. While at the camp, she makes a few other friends, who are misfits in their own right, and they hatch a harebrained scheme to escape the camp.

The MisEducation of Cameron Post also stars Quinn Shephard, Sasha Lane, Emily Skeggs, Forrest Goodluck, and Jennifer Ehle with direction by Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior). While the film didn't make a ton at the box office, it won many awards on the festival circuit including an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay.

The film is presented on 1080p Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.84:1 (1.85:1) and audio mixes in both lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 respectively.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary with the Director and Producer

Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

and Accolades Trailer

Jean Negulesco's hit melodrama Three Coins In The Fountain (1954) is back and finally on Blu-ray, albeit a limited edition, but a fine upgrade from the DVD we reviewed many years ago at this link...


The film is as campy as ever, but the Venice and Rome location shoot really improves from the DVD with a new HD master presented here in 1080p 2.55 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used a bit, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and has more depth, detail, color range (color by DeLuxe!) and warmth than the old DVD. It is an impressive enough upgrade and fans in particular will love it.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mixes are here in 5.1, 4.0 and 2.0 Stereo versions off of the original 4-track magnetic soundmaster the film was originally screened with in its very best theatrical engagements. It is warmer and richer than the lossy Dolby Digital versions on the old DVD, but new flaws and limits in the sonics turn up. Still, I prefer the 5.1 DTS-MA mix here and you get to hear Frank Sinatra sing the title song in lossless multi-channel sound!

Extras are increased and 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 repeats extras from the DVD that include a Fox Movietone Newsreel, Original Theatrical Trailer and another great feature length audio commentary track by film scholar Jeanine Basinger, plus we get the new addition of an Isolated Music Score track.

Fans should grab this one while they can!

Steve Carell stars in Director Robert Zemeckis' (Back to the Future, Forest Gump) Welcome to Marwen (2018), which is a strange film that neither critics or audiences really clung to. Due to a horrific assault, Mark Hogancamp (Carell) deals with his PTSD by living out a fantasy world (set in WWII) using realistic looking dolls (that all reflect people in his life of course). Photographing them in stop motion, but seeing them come to life in a cinematic fashion as part of an 'art exhibit', Mark's odd imagination ends up helping him restore his memory of what happened to him, and conquer his fear of facing his attackers.

The film has a strong supporting cast in Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever, Eiza Gonzalez, Janelle Monae, and Gwendoline Christie.

Marwen tries to be a heartwarming type film, but ultimately can't decide what it wants to be. It isn't necessarily for kids, even with the inclusion of the toy element, and has some moments that are a bit overly dark. Carell is a bit goofy and overly creepy in the role, especially when he's interacting with any female character in the film, which was likely the intention.

Welcome to Marwen is presented on 1080p high definition Blu-ray disc with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and audio tracks in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix and Spanish lossy Dolby Digital 5.1. For being a film that features very nice digital effects, there's plenty of detail in the image and the film looks pretty sharp throughout. Also included is a standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD with a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track and a more compressed image. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include...

Deleted Scenes plus featurettes...

Marwen's Citizens

A Visionary Director

Building Marwen

and Living Dolls

Welcome to Marwen is a bizarre film that walks a fine line between creepy and oddly touching. Either way, I don't think it's a film that I would consider a highlight for Zemeckis, who certainly could have picked something stronger to do than this.

Finally we have Brian G. Hutton's X, Y Y Zee (1972) bringing Elizabeth Taylor back to England in a film meant to be a witty flipside to Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? with more Britishness to it. She is married to Michael Caine, perfectly matched casting and the marriage is barely happy, but it gets thrown a curve ball when he sees sexy Susannah York at a party and just cannot resist hitting on her or trying to have sex with her as soon as possible!

Not exactly coming from an open marriage, the film wants to examine the conflict and being that they are educated and in the know, we get tons of witty dialogue exchanges, clever insults, slick digs and other superior uses of the English language throughout. However, the film gets tripped up in some of it and does this at the expense of some of the character study it is attempting. Still, I like the period, actors, look and much of the pace of the film and at least they were trying to create something intelligent and adult.

Caine and Taylor are totally unleashed and unhinged in prime form and it is fascinating to watch them go at it because they are very convincing as if they've know each other for decades. Add all the smoking and drinking and it can only lead to mutual self-destruction or chaos they should be old enough to avoid, but never grew up enough to reach.

At least Hutton shows he can direct more than big action films and it is worth a look for any serious film fan, especially in this great new Blu-ray (a Limited Edition) with an excellent new HD master.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer rarely shows the age of the materials used, has great color throughout capturing the time period very accurately and that has probably not looked this good since its original release. Director of Photography Billy Williams keeps the rich look going on throughout.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix sounds as good as it can for an optical monophonic release of the time, which it has to considering the dialogue and accents might be a challenge to more than a few viewers. Stanley Myers' music score is a plus.

Extras include another 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 sadly only adds an Isolated Music Score track (though a high quality one), but Sony could not find any trailers?

To order the Three Coins In The Fountain and X Y & Zee limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo (Twilight Time) and James Lockhart



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