Hall DVD)/In The Aisles
(2019/Music Box DVD)/Iron
Orchard (2019/Santa Rita
(1938/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Lou
(2016/Cinema Libre DVD)/A
Score To Settle (2019/RLJ
Blu-ray)/The Sun Is Also A
Star (2019/Warner DVD)
C/C/C/B/C+/B-/C+ Sound: C/C+/C+/B-/C+/B-/C+ Extras:
D/C+/C+/B/C/C/C- Films: C+/C+/C/B-/C+/C+/C+
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
group of films mix comedy and drama in different ways and degrees....
Cybulski and John Tintory's Chicago
(1997, based on the play Hellcab)
gives us a day and night in the life of a cabbie (Paul Dillon, who is
really good here) and the many personalities and goofs he have to
ride around to make a buck. This could have been very bad and slap
happy stupid, too self-amused and consumed with itself to work, but
instead, it is a raw indie film that has some poor moments, but even
more interesting ones and features a cast that should have made this
a much larger curio by now.
the amazing cast members are John Cusack as a mysterious, slightly
paranoid guy we only see for a few minutes, Gillian Anderson as an
Italian 'chick' annoyed by her boyfriend (looking like she's ready
for a revival of Grease),
Michael Ironside, Tracy Letts, Laurie
John C. Reilly as a guy with money who secretly sees his lady friend
as nothing but good for sex (among his other issues) with her not
knowing how he talks about her a very young and almost unrecognizable
Michael Shannon as a coked-out goof up to no good and Julianne Moore
as a customer who has just been sexually assaulted.
of the lives really intersect and that stops it from becoming
pretentious and fall into the trap of just mixing up everything in
the story as if everyone always knows everyone else versus how it is
in real life when they do not, especially in a big city like Chicago.
Although there is no snow and it does not look too cold, it is
winter and Christmas in the film, though I was not totally convinced.
Still, the performances and directing works, even when some of the
script does not and you have to see how good some of these actors are
here for the screen time they get.
a few shocking and politically incorrect moments, but they didd not
bother me much. This runs 96 minutes and the editing is a plus.
are sadly no extras.
(2019) is a quietly comical tale of people working in a warehouse
outlet grocery store in Germany and we follow a new employee (up and
coming Frank Rogowski from Transit,
also reviewed on this site) arrives to learn how to work the night
shift, quirkiness and quirky people abound, keeping up shelving for
the huge demand such stores must meet for their customers on a daily
basis. Not so quirky is Marion (Sandra Huller) whom he befriends and
then it becomes possibly something more serious.
film runs over two hours and maybe would have worked better shorter
because some parts work very well, but a few moments just fall flat,
though that should not stop you from checking out once to see what
works and see Rogowski, who may be on the way to becoming a major
international star. The camera likes him and he can really act in
ways we do not see often enough. He carries the film well and does
this with surprisingly limited dialogue.
includes footage from the Berlin film premiere, interview with lead
Rogowski and featurette: Frank
Rogowski: Shooting Star.
(2019) is set in 1939 and involves a man named Jim (Lane Garrison)
who is about to enter the rough-but-profitable world of oil drilling
in West Texas, but there are bad personalities, jealousy, competition
and cut-throats standing in his way. His wife (Ali Corbin) helps,
but The Great Depression is still droning on (with WWII around the
corner without them knowing it) and they have to fight and hope they
have some luck to survive or even thrive.
is an ambitious production with some money in it, but I had a few
problems with it including badly directed actors, actors speaking in
an odd tone throughout that did not work and a storyline that was
nothing new, special or distinct. There have been a few films to
touch on this subject, but they worked better than this, even if they
got muddled. Some of the period touches are not bad, but they do not
go far enough, which is extremely obvious when we see actual archive
footage of the people and places portrayed here in the end credits.
some simple research and more ambition, this could have been a
pleasant surprise, but it just falls flat to the ending that cannot
find closure or logical continuance. For the curious only.
(not listed on the case) include a trailer and feature-length audio
back and finally on Blu-ray in a new upgraded edition after a long
wait for Bette Davis fans. We previously covered the film in the
second volume of her films issued by Warner on DVD and at the time I
has always been referred to as Davis' concession film for not getting
With The Wind,
but William Wyler's film (shot in black and white) did not have the
NAACP protesting it to curtail the racism and negative portrayal of
African Americans in a film with heavy doses of slavery. Ironically,
that dates this film much more than Wind
and helped make Wind
more of a classic than the NAACP would have wished. If they had
known, they might have changed their protest strategy. Davis is the
title character, who keeps driving her fiancee (Henry Fonda) crazy to
control, manipulate and keep him, but it drives him away instead,
which drives her over the top. Needless to say, she won the Best
film still has its racist stereotypes (even when those characters
talk back to the white overlords) and there is always the thought,
what if this was in color, but the new upgraded transfer by Warner
Bros. for this solid Warner
Archive Blu-ray release is so good, it will give you another reason
to love black and white. Davis' work here holds up as well as ever
and it is a must-see for all serious film fans.
are slightly different here than on the Jezebel
and include a feature length audio commentary track by the great film
scholar Jeanine Basinger, who also appears in the Jezebel:
Legend Of The South
featurette, Original Theatrical Trailer, promo Ramblin
'Round The Hollywood Studio with Candid Cameraman
at Warner with Davis, musical short Melody
Masters: Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra,
and in HD and Technicolor, the animated Daffy
Duck In Hollywood.
(2016) is a biopic of the woman who became a philosophical writer
with friends like Friedrich Nietzsche (pre-fascism) and later Sigmund
Freud, insisted on education when it was something women were
discouraged from and faced some bad results from those who were
jealous and/or thought they could do what they wanted to do to her
and get away with it. The period is evoked well enough and the cast
Lorenz does a good job playing the real-life, too-little-known author
who led a more extraordinary life than you would think. The script
is uneven and the film could have spent its 113 minutes a little
better, so parts of this drag and I was even disappointed a few
times, plus some parts are too drawn out and are handled too
obviously. However, ti is a story that needed to be told and this
version has its moments. See it if you are curious and want to know
include a trailer, photo gallery and on-camera interview with
Score To Settle
(2019) sounds like the same formula crime film where a man is
released from prison, has revenge and bad business with his former
partners in crime and violence breaks out, sometimes with other
family members involved. It is getting tired and this film does
little to change it, save the freed man's son is older and they spend
more time on them getting to know each other again. The script here
is no better, but the film has one think going for it that saves it
from being completely formulaic: Nicolas Cage.
plays the man as older and ever slightly burned out and the film
slugs on with and without him for the first half, then his
performance really starts to kick in and he overrides the flaws with
the film and its passable directing by showing why he remains one of
the best actors of his generation. Still being kept out of big
screen film production (over long-over money troubles I veer got the
whole story of), his talent is undimmed and if you really like him,
that is the reason to see this film. Otherwise, if you know the
story, you've seen it already.
Bratt also starts.
include behind the scenes clips Story
Of The Father.
we have Ry Russo-Young's The
Sun Is Also A Star
(2019) about a young college-bound guy (Charles Melton) and beautiful
young gal (Yara Shahidi) who meet by chance, then it seems that would
be it. Then they both start thinking about each other and get more
interested, though she is about to leave town and are not sure if the
other is thinking that much about them.
leads look good and have some chemistry, but the script is too
pedestrian and flat to really capitalize on their personalities and
is too tame like a bad set of TV movies (or a few bad TV movie
channels that are mind-destroying, but shall remain nameless) so see
this for the actors, but don't expect much else. Hope we see both of
them again in better projects.
only extra is the Love
Is A Universe
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Jezebel
can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a
transfer to all previous releases of the film and a nice improvement
over the previously reviewed DVD which itself was an upgrade so many
years ago. I was pleasantly surprised it looked so good so often and
it is the best looking film on this list despite being the oldest.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the HD-shot
has motion blur and flaws throughout, but still manages to be the
second-best looking release here due to format and what does work in
the transfer. Shaky camera work at times does not help, but a few
shots are not bad.
letterboxed 1.85 X 1 image on Cab
us a rare non-anamorphic release and though the film is well-shot on
color film, they did not give it that treatment, which is a shame
because this is a decently shot film and has some nice visuals at
times when they are not in the interior of the cab. Hope is gets a
anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image on Aisles
and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Iron
should look a little more consistently clearer, but both have motion
blur more than they should throughout.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Lou
and the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Star
also have some softness and blur, but not as badly, so they tie
behind the Blu-rays as best playback performers on the list.
for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on
is a welcome upgrade from the older, lossy Dolby Digital on the DVD
and is about as fine as the film will ever sound, while the DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Settle
may not be as well recorded as it could be or have the most
consistent soundfield, so it only ties for the best sound here, so
only expect so much.
all offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, while Cab
only offer lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Cab
apparently was issued in Dolby Digital 5.1 in theaters, but it was
not recorded with that fully in mind) Cab
is the weakest here and tells us the video master is
second-generation, thus worthy of an upgrade. That leaves the rest
of the DVDs tying for second place on this list, dialogue-based with
sufficient music at times.
order the Jezebel
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: