It Romantic? (2019/New
Line/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Prisoner
Of Second Avenue
(1975/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Strange
Press Softcover Book)/What
A Blonde (1945/RKO/Warner
B- & C/B/C Sound: B & C+/C+/C Extras: C-/C/D
Book: B Films: D/C+/C
DVD and Prisoner
Of Second Avenue
Blu-ray are now available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a new list of comedies and if the movies don't work out for you,
there's always a book...
U.K. has been and is a great place for comedy and comic talent, but
Rebel Wilson shows that is not the case with Todd Strauss Schulson's
(2019) is one of thew worst so called 'rom coms' (anything shortening
the term romantic comedy is suspicious) I have ever seen, wastes its
supporting cast (Jennifer Saunders as her mother cannot even help,
though she's hardly in it) and it is the longest 88 minutes I have
had to suffer through of late.
wants to design skyscrapers, but is stuck in boring office work,
though would like to have money, a life, a lover and more in New York
City. We're supposed to feel sorry for her (Is she attractive?
Aren't we all human? And the weight-baiting needs to be called out.)
so this drones on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.
It is also offensive in unexpected ways, but dumb in all of them.
Unless you like to torture yourself, this is NOT romantic and skip
include Digital Copy, a lame music featurette and lame Deleted
on a hit play by the great Neil Simon, Melvin Frank's film of The
Prisoner Of Second Avenue
(1975) might have its ups and downs, but its portrayal of New York
City seems like a classic, archival documentary versus the Rebel
Wilson disaster. Here, the nicely matched couple of Anne Bancroft
and Jack Lemmon just cannot take the rough side of the great city
when it was not the safest around. This was from a cycle of such
Lemmon comedies (and Simon comedies for that matter) that were by
intelligent, mature adults for intelligent, mature adults. Now, such
a film seems like an endangered species and not just because of Ms.
gets fired, she keeps being ignored and more bad things out of
nowhere will keep adding up into them dealing with a hot summer in
the city. Nothing here is contrived, but some of it is just not as
believable as other moments. You'll see F. Murray Abraham here as a
cab driver, as well as Sylvester Stallone a year before Rocky
playing yet another thug, something he was being typecast into until
he hit it big. Despite some sets, the city is also the star, shot
here in a scope frame and bittersweet love abounds all over.
also plays (as intended) as a capturing of life specifically in New
York City then and to some extent, now, despite all the changes.
This is not to say it is one ongoing in joke, but it likely has some
ring of truth for the time and the place, which is why it found an
audience and Simon was always good at getting to the bottom of such
things. Now in this nicely restored edition (like The
another film from Simon's pen on Warner Archiver Blu-ray, reviewed
elsewhere on this site) that shows the best possible care and
accuracy, you can see for yourself.
Stanley, Gene Saks, Maxine Stewart, Ivor Francis, an uncredited John
Ritter and the always great M. Emmet Walsh also star.
Original Theatrical Trailer, Bancroft's promo appearance on the
Dinah! Talk show with Dinah Shore to promote this film and a vintage
Making Of featurette of this film are the extras.
in the 1960s, 1970s and to the early 1980s, you used to be able to
get all kinds of paperback books with quizzes, fun facts and much
more before they sadly fell out of favor. Now, the good folks at
Portable Press have updated that cycle in a 400+ page release:
(2019) that offers all kinds of facts and unusual stories about
people in music, film and TV (even reality TV, sadly) that you would
find in newsstands across the country back in the day and as it was
then, these are fun books and fun reads.
softcover edition had a good quality cover, solid print and good
paper that was better than average. Unless you are boring and hate
any media whatsoever, as well as any art, history or any kind of pop
culture, there is no way you will not find the book fun (hate fun?)
and find some favorite subjects at least every few pages. Many of
these books do not have Table of Contents and that is also part of
the fun (for the publishers as well, skipping what is usually a
requirement) though we get an introduction. Some highlights include
terms you might not know, odd inspirations for famous works, quotes
(and misquotes) and things about stars you likely do not know in most
back to the early days of entertainment, this is fun for all ages and
worth trying out, especially if you never read or saw these books
before. Cheers for such a nice revival of a great idea.
we have Leslie Goodwins' What
(1945) from the old RKO Studios with Leon errol as a man who runs a
company that manufactures lingerie, but wartime (WWII) rationing has
is stopping him from running his gas-guzzling limo, so he launches a
scheme that is too goofy to go into and thinks it will work, but he
and his butler get more than they bargained for, including
competitors going after him in unusual ways and those trying to get
to him for a break taking any opening they can.
the madness over the top when a whole troop of showgirls show up, but
the film is so formulaic and only has 71 minutes to tell whatever it
is trying to tell and show, that this plays like a restricted sitcom,
and not just because of the WWII propaganda angle. The cast tries to
keep this going, but it is ultimately not memorable and just a time
capsule of time. Richard Lane, Elaine Riley, Michael St. John and
Vera Ann Vorg also star.
are no extras.
for playback quality. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
Blu-ray image on Romantic is a flat HD shoot that does not
look like it originated on Ultra HD cameras and can have softness,
detail and very slight motion blur issues, weaker still in the
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD.
the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the
Avenue Blu-ray actually looks better and is the champ on this
list, with solid lab work by Technicolor, shot in real 35mm
anamorphic Panavision and looking better, making New York City look
better and just more of a pleasure in general to sit through on a
leaves the 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer on Blonde
showing the age of the materials used, extending to the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound that is at least a generation down
like the image, so be careful of volume switching and high playback
the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray of
is the sonic champ by default, but it is very unimaginative and that
is more obvious on the DVD versions' lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Avenue
is not bad, but it shows its age more than expected for a theatrical
optical mono release of its time, but if that's the way it was
recorded, then that's it.
order either the What
DVD and/or Prisoner
Of Second Avenue
Blu-ray from Warner Archive, go to this link for them and many more
great web-exclusive releases at: