4K (2019/Fox 4K Ultra HD
Chase At Hal Roach: The Talkies Volume Two 1932 - 33
(Sprocket Vault* DVD)/Corvette
World Of Charlie Bowers
(1917 - 1940/Flicker Alley Blu-ray Set)/Little
(2019/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Winter
Ultra HD Picture: B- Picture: B-/C+/B/B/A- & C+/B Sound:
B-/C+/B-/B-/B & C+/B Extras: C/B-/C-/B-/A/C Films:
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a group of comedies and dramas from over a 100 years period,
including silent and sound shorts, even with animation, that you
should know about...
dramatic and odd Roxann Dawson faith film Breakthrough
(2019) is one of the goofiest and unusual of all the films in this
inexplicable, forced cycle we have encountered over the years.
Allegedly based on a true story, the title refers to both a young boy
falling through ice into freezing water and being near death, then in
finding a new state of faith as a result of something so horrific.
problem with that is always that it implies it is somehow a 'good
thing' the accident happened (along with all the near death items
about it) and that it was additionally 'meant to be' as if it were
somehow part of 'God's plan' versus dealing with it as the awful
incident it is. Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Dennis Haysbert and
Chrissy Metz show up in the cast, but they made zero difference in
making this any more believable. I never bought it, it goes on way
too long and in the end, I had a new respect for the Raquel Welch
which I already liked.
include Digital Copy, then the Blu-ray adds a Stills Gallery, Deleted
Scenes, audio commentary by Director Dawson and Producer DeVon
Franklin, two featurettes and a deleted scene.
up is the latest collection of an underrated comic actor from the
past in Charlie
Chase At Hal Roach: The Talkies Volume Two 1932 - 33
which consists of 16 shorts (one in Spanish!) he made when the
company was still being distributed by MGM (that contract was alive
and well when these were made) and they can be funny and have their
moments, but they are3 a little less funny in total than older past
sets we have covered of the still too-unknown filmmaker (reviewed
elsewhere on this site) so it is not the set I would start with, but
it is entertaining in many places if it is a set you happen upon
scholar Richard M. Roberts offers more audio commentary to all the
shorts and we get a nice stills gallery too.
was in its final years as a solo studio still doing comedy (they soon
bought United Artists a few years later) when they released Matthew
(1978) with the added luck of having Mark Hamill signed to this the
became a massive hit. He plays a high school kid who is part of a
group taking a junkyard car and rebuilding it as part of a project
there. Wendy Jo Sperber (later of Bosom
and Danny Bonaduce (who is really good here, but neither actor is
noted on the back cover!) plus Brion James of Blade
even shows up and they forgot him too.
class rebuilds an old Stingray Vette into a gaudy, shiny, sharp, fun,
metal-particle red painted dream car, but when one of the class
drivers (Bonaduce) goes for drinks for everyone, he takes the keys,
but leaves the engine running. It gets stolen, so Hamill is
devastated, then decides he will hunt it down by any means necessary
and possible. When he gets a lead, he lands up going to Las Vegas
(shot a little diffused versus the sharpness of the likes of Diamonds
(1972) or Scorsese's Casino)
where he meets a sexy young van driver (a lovable Annie Potts).
cast is great and the locales fine, but the screenplay is all over
the place and often plays like a bad TV movie when it needed to be
more, including a rewrite it should have had as soon as Star
made so much money, even if it meant delaying its release. Instead,
it is a mixed curio with some talent from a fun time that is a curio
Warner Archive has issued on Blu-ray in a new restored version that
is as good as this will ever look. Those interested should try it
out to see Potts so good so early and how good Hamill really was
before he hit it big.
original theatrical trailer is the only extra, but I really like the
font that uses prism lettering common on fancier iron-on t-shirts of
is another collection of comedy shorts by a comedy talent lost to
time named Charlie, but not the one we just covered above. The
Extraordinary World Of Charlie Bowers
(1917 - 1940) is about a comic writer, actor, performer and
eventually director who also was an animator, yet his films and name
have disappeared and after seeing these films, it makes no sense why.
From early silent hand-drawn animation to distinctive and even
unusual (though meant to be amusing and funny, it sometimes has a
strange side that is not) stop-motion animation inserted into all his
live action works, it makes no sense why these were lost except that
they became orphan films and thankfully were found in France. Thus,
this 17 title set of shorts, though some are missing footage for now.
I will not ruin anything, the amazing effort to build crazy
contraptions and even go wild with them in the silent shorts is
nothing short of incredible for any era of filmmaking, especially in
our increasingly lazy digital CGI era gives one a whole new reason to
see this great set, on two Blu-ray discs. Flicker Alley manages to
find something great yet again and it is worth going out of your way
include another great souvenir booklet on high quality paper with
tech info., illustrations, pictures, an introduction by Serge
Bromberg and essay by Sean Axmaker, a reversible cover and the disc
adds a Stills Gallery and featurette Looking
For Charlie Bowers
(15 minutes long).
Sanders is the horrible boss of a small-but-successful tech company,
but one day she wakes up in her 13-year-old body and the next day she
has her biggest sales pitch ever for her company. Now, she is forced
to rely on her assistant April (which she daily bullies and torments
along with the rest of the company) to step up to her position while
she tries to figure out how to fix her situation. But before the day
is over, she will learn there's more to life than just being the
'boss' in Tina Gordon's Little
as a child was the ugly nerdy girl who was bullied in school, as a
result she grew up to be smart, success and the boss of her own
company and now she gets to bully others. She rather bully others
than be the bullied, but she is hated by all her employees. But due
to a little miracle she is returned 13-year-old self to relive her
childhood. She relives high school she is forced to remember what it
is like to be a child, all the meanwhile she bonds with her assistant
April who gives her a different view on life. It is only after she
learns to be nice to others, how to be a friend, and helping a group
of bullied kids to not walk down the same path she did does she
return to normal.
movie was like a mix blend of the movies Freaky
Devil Wears Prada.
It has comic drama making fun of office bullying and high school
bullying. It is a story on how the bullied one day can become the
bosses and then they become the bullies. It also seems to point out
how black girls (those who want to be successful) believe popularity
and appearance is everything, but eventually the characters learn
there will be always bullies, but it doesn't mean you have to grow up
to become one. Issa Rae, Marsai Martin and Regina Hall star.
include a gag reel, More than a Little talent, Marsai Martin
Presents... , Black Momma Whuppin' Situation, Regina Goes Method,
Issa Rae's Assistant Survival Guide, Commentary and trailers.
the likable Zooey Deschanel stars alongside Will Ferrell and Ed
Harris in Winter
(2005), a dismal comedy/drama that has paints a picture of an actress
Reese Holden (Deschanel), who has been offered a small fortune by a
book editor if she can secure for publication the love letters that
her father (Harris), a bizarre reclusive novelist, wrote to her
mother, who has passed away. Returning to Michigan, Reese finds that
an ex-grad student (Amelia Warner) and a gay would-be musician
(Ferrell) have moved in with her father, who cares more about his new
friends than he does about his own health and well-being. The film
is directed by Adam Rapp, to whom is mostly known as a playwright.
leads the show here and does so with her usual schtick that doesn't
take her too far out of her comfort zone. Will Ferrell was
definitely trying to get some attention in the indie circuit with his
more serious role here as a gay wannabe musician. He plays off well
with Ed Harris, who is dying physically and who keeps a bed outside
to sleep on.
Trailers for Winter
and other MVD titles.
you like offbeat indies or are a fan of the leads, this is a film
that may have fell past your radar.
is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio
of 1.78:1 and an audio mix in English 5.1 Dolby Surround and a LPCM
English 2.0 Stereo Sound mix. The overall look of the film is
natural yet cinematic and is captured well here, which is likely the
film's first proper presentation on Blu-ray disc.
would think the 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1 HDR (10+; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Breakthrough
would be the performance champ on this list, but the production is a
standard HD production with plenty of detail issues and motion blur
moments, so this is one of the most obvious upscalings we have ever
seen on a 4K disc and is ultimately no better than the regular 1080p
Blu-ray with the same aspect ratio.
is joined by the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on
(with great labwork by MetroColor), the 1080p 1.33 X 1 black &
white digital High Definition image transfers on Bowers
(the shorts can obviously show the age of the materials used
(including some color shorts), but this is far superior a transfer to
all previous releases of these lost films) and the 1080p 1.85 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer on Little
as looking better than the 4K release here.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on the Little
DVD is predictably much weaker than the rest and the 1.33 X 1 black
and white image on the Chase
shorts look decent and are up to the other DVD.
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on
is featured on both disc versions, is dialogue-based and does not
have the most consistent soundfield.
The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Little
can more than compete and has a better soundfield. The lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 DVD version of Little
is passable. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on
includes plenty of music that sounds fine, but plays back well, while
the same configuration on Corvette
sounds as good as that film ever will.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound on the Chase
DVDs are fine for the old codec, would probably sound better lossless
and will do.
order the Warner Archive Corvette
Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive
Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Little)