Jissoju: The Buddhist Trilogy
(1970 - 1972/Arrow Blu-ray*)/Big
Lies: The Complete Second Season
(2019/HBO DVD Set)/The
(2018/Acorn DVD Set)/Mrs.
Lowry & Son
B/B-/C/C/B+ Sound: B/B-/C+/C+/B+ Extras: C+/C+/D/C/D Main
Programs: B- C+ B-/C+/C+/C+/B+
diverse dramas cross over into various cycles and genres, but are
worth knowing about...
start with three films from Japanese filmmaker Akio Jissoji are
highlights of the Japanese New Wave and are three drastically
different entries tied together by visual motifs and style. Captured
here in this collection that fans are sure to enjoy are three of his
(1970 - 1972).
Jissoji also did a lot of television work including a few episodes of
the original Ultraman
(reviewed elsewhere on this site), this is obviously touching upon a
heavy subject where he felt that more artistically free. This
is a bizarre story of two siblings who become very close and end up
resenting the Buddhist ideologies that are expected of them. Mandara
is shot in color and follows a bizarre cult that hopes to achieve
true ecstasy who rape and other nasty means. And finally, Poem,
follows a young boy who idealizes his two brothers and is a return to
black and white for Jissoji.
is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc in various
aspect ratios depending on the films include 2.35:1, 1.85:1, and
1.37:1, however they have been lovingly restored for this limited
edition set. The audio mixes are superb in Japanese LPCM Mono mixes
that support the color and black and white images present in this
introductions and selected scene commentaries by David Dresser
slip-box with collectible insert booklet.
and film students should definitely check out these films, as they
are all beautifully photographed and superbly made from a filmmaking
perspective. While the content of the trilogy doesn't completely
appeal to this reviewer, I can see from an arthouse film perspective
that they are certainly interesting and bold pieces of work.
all star cast of Big
is quite impressive, whether you're a fan of the show itself or not.
HBO has lined up Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley,
Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgard, and Meryl Streep to
name a few. The show is essentially an acting exercise for each of
its leads as nearly every scene has some level of drama to it. Big
Lies: The Complete Second Season
has now hit home video.
on the bestseller by Liane Moriarty, a beachfront town in California
is home to normal folk, but also murder. As a small group of mothers
attempt to cover up a death, they end up dealing with their lives in
different and strange ways. The show focuses on their sexual,
comedic, parenting, and friendship in their personal and social lives
consists of seven episodes including What
Have They Done?, Tell-Tale Hearts, The End of the World, She Knows,
Kill Me, The Bad Mother,
Want to Know.
is available on both DVD and Blu-ray, but we are just covering the
Blu-ray release in this review. The show is beautifully photographed
and the money is certainly on the screen here. (As is usual with
every HBO program.) The show is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with
a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix that's highly compressed as
opposed to the 1080p Blu-ray or even HD streaming.
with the Cast
is a showcase for great acting and fine filmmaking and is a fine
dramatic piece for HBO, but at times is a bit predictable and maybe
too life-like for its own good.
(2018) is a TV mini-series from Scotland about a couple whose newborn
baby goes missing and the usual two-pronged disaster happens: the
couple is upset and perplexed hoping for help and a quick solution,
while media coverage takes shortcuts in thinking and automatically
wants to accuse them both for the disappearance. A bit of this,
which we have seen before, is borderline child-in-jeopardy
programming that I do not like, but this four-episode tale has other
flatness and issues that do not help it.
Coleman and Ewen Leslie play the couple against a pretty unknown cast
and they are all OK in their roles, but this offers nothing
suspenseful, different or interesting overall and never has any
points where it seems like it might get smarter or pick up. It is
also near exploitation a few times and was forgettable overall. Only
the most curious should bother checking it out.
anamorphically enhanced 2.00 X 1 image is a title softer than
expected and not just because of any chosen style, which makes
watching this even more annoying and frustrating, as it already
struggles to work. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is fine for what it
is for a mostly dialogue-driven show. The combination is
professional at best.
are no extras.
Lowry & Son
(2019) is yet another film trying to look into the life and creative
motivations and inspirations of a popular artist from many years ago,
with Timothy Spall as painter L.S. Lowry, whose abstract detail in
capturing street scenes was distinctive and unique. His mother
Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) is bed-ridden and always putting him
down for not being a success, discouraging his artwork and the sad,
toxic relationship resulting is sad as usual.
can also be predictable despite the fine acting and the supporting
cast is not bad when they show up. This could almost have been a
stage play, but has some other moments that save it from that. I
don't know if we get all the answers the film seeks on how the
painter accomplished what he did and how he saw things, but this is
not unambitious and worth a look for those interested.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is not bad, but has a soft
style, yet this transfer has an additional softness it should not
have, so watching this one is weird. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1
fares a bit better, but this is a dialogue-driven film, so you can
only expect so much from this sonically.
Making-Of featurette and trailers are the extras.
Zadie (Sasheer Zamata) takes a weekend getaway with her ex-boyfriend
Bradford and his current girlfriend at her mother's B&B. Nothing
can go wrong, can there? But when the handsome boarder Aubrey also
stays the weekend, is it the prefect chance for Zadie to find a new
relationship ...or to make her ex-boyfriend jealous and to win him
is also a comedian. She is funny and fun to be with, but she can
never be responsible. However she has always felt like she has been
the bridesmaid and never the bride. For some reason, she and her
ex-boyfriend and his current 'girlfriend' is taking a road trip
together as 'friends'. Zadie dislikes his current girlfriend and she
shows off every chance she gets that she has known Bradford longer to
prove she is the more superior woman, but she doesn't stop there, she
flirts outrageously with the other handsome boarder at her mother's
B&B, knowing that her ex would be jealous if he thinks another
man will have sex with her. Meanwhile she deals with her own mother
and the drama between their mother daughter relationship.
was drama filled movie, it was like watching Desperate
with black women. It teaches women how to make men feel guilty and
to make them think it is their fault for everything wrong it the
relationship and how make them do what they want. The comedy comes
in with the main character/girl making jokes, no one can tell when
she is making fun them or just insulting them.
Bell. Kym Whitley and DeWanda Wise also star.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot on HD and is
very smooth throughout, as is the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix with well-recorded dialogue
and an overall well-mastered soundfield.
Nicholas Sheffo (Cry,
Ricky Chiang (Weekend)