Complete Third Season
(2019/HBO Blu-ray Set)/Dolittle
(2019/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray/DVD Sets)/It
Started With A Kiss
(1959*)/Jumanji: The Next
Level (2019/Sony Blu-ray
(1966/*all MGM/Warner Archive Blu-rays)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B+/B+/B/B+ & B- & C/B
Sound: B-/B+/A- & B+ * C+/B-/B+ & B-/B- Extras:
C-/C+/B/C-/B/C- Main Programs: C+/B/C/C+/B/C+
Blu-ray are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
our next round-up+ of releases, we've chosen comedies of all kinds
for your consideration...
start with Curtis Bernhardt's Beau
(1954) from MGM with Stewart Granger in the title role of the man who
fought against bad fashion, uppity authority and anyone getting in
his way of seducing women. Elizabeth Taylor is one of his prime
interests here, looking good in the best costumes the studio could
get her in, but the comical screenplay is more focused on his
tormenting of royal authority figure Peter Ustinov (the Prince of
Wales of the time), who is good here, but this almost is a little too
cartoonish for its own good.
you, the story only does so much for me and maybe a more serious take
with a different kind of humor approach would help, but this version
is uneven and makes the 113 minutes drag a bit. If you are in the
mood for this kind of humor, this might work better for you, but it
did not stay with me for the most part and even Robert Morley as the
King (et al) could only do so much to save this. It is worth a look
for the curious, but others might not be as amused.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used and it has more than a few flaws throughout
as Warner apparently did not have the best materials as they did not
all survive as one wish they had, but they do their best to fix up
this film that was originally issued in dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor in its original 35mm theatrical release.
Sometimes, you can really see how great the color was, but other
times, it is a bit weaker. You can still see the money MGM put into
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix has been
remastered nicely and sounds about as good as it ever will, from the
original theatrical optical mono sound. Dialogue is good and the
music is nice.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, but you can read more
about the later TV version with James Purefoy from 2006 that works
about as well as this one at this link:
and starring comedian Pete Holmes and Executive Producer Judd Apatow,
Crashing (2019) returns from HBO for this third and final
season, now available on Blu-ray.
this final season, Crashing: The
Complete Third Season, Pete returns to New York City from
a college comedy tour. Feeling (mostly) better about his comedic
abilities and reconnecting with old friends (and a new young
comedian), Phil finds this to be an interesting and challenging
chapter in his comedic life. Crashing paints an interesting
portrait of being a struggling comedian in modern New York City.
series also stars Lauren Lapkus, Artie Lange, George Basil, and
episodes include JABOUKIE, THE TEMPLE GIG, The Secret, MC, Middle,
Headliner, Mom and Kat, The Viewing Party, The Christian Tour,
is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio
of 1.85:1 and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless
mix. The show has a clean and realistic look with slightly stylized
photography that feels natural and appropriate. The whole season is
available here on one Blu-ray disc.
Highs and Lows
3 Crashing on the Set
Crashing Live! Audio Commentaries
Downey Jr., hot off the success of being Iron Man and closing out his
epic Marvel Studios contract by starring in Avengers:
decides to be, um, Dr. Dolittle. He could have literally done
anything. But he did this rather bizarre (and not very good) family
much different than Eddie Murphy's take on the material a few decades
ago, this version of Dolittle 4K (2019) has a slightly British
feel to it (Rex Harrison first played the role in the 1967 70mm
musical version at Fox (reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site),
which bombed, but became a fan favorite later, so that is likely why
they made that choice here, but at least Downey does not sound like
Stewie on Family Guy, whose voice was inspired by Harrison)
and is basically a realistic looking cartoon, as nearly everything in
the frame (except for the actors) is digital. The animals themselves
are pretty much a toss up, some of them look really realistic for a
few frames and then when they start moving around totally look fake
and others, particularly the exotic parrot, look pretty good. Downey
himself is fine in the role as is pretty silly and over the top, but
in all honesty Johnny Depp could have also played this role in
similar fashion. The story is pretty convoluted and weird, and the
abundance of fart jokes will surely appeal to kids under the age of
film also stars (onscreen and in most cases voice talent) Emma
Thompson, Rami Malek, Antonia Banderas, Craig Robinson, and Carmen
Ejogo, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph
Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, and Craig Robinson.
Dolittle (Downey Jr.) was once in love with a beautiful woman that he
lost at sea when she went off on a singular adventure. Now he lives
on his exotic property where animals from all over the world have
come together to live with him in peace. One day, he gets a message
from the Queen (who essentially bought him this land as part of a
deal long ago) who is ill and needs his help. If he doesn't help her
then she will die and his property will be taken from him.
Reluctantly and basically a recluse, Doolittle shaves his huge beard
and decides to set sail on a journey to see the Queen. Along the way
he befriends a small boy (who also wants to be like Dolittle) and a
young girl (whose aide to the Queen) and finds a part of himself that
is presented in HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10+; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on 4K UHD disc in 2160p
Ultra High Definition with HDR (High Dynamic Range) and a widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with high end audio options in English
lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (and a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
mixdown for older systems). The film is epically shot and, as
mentioned, has a lot of digital effects that help bring it to life so
that works for and against in it on 4K disc. Some things look more
realistic than others, but overall the image clarity is superb. Also
included is a 1080p Blu-ray disc with similar audio and widescreen
specs and a digital copy. A separate Blu-ray with an anamorphically
enhanced DVD that is way too soft for its won good and a lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix also exists, but it is especially hard to watch being
so poor in the old format.
Features (per the press release) include:
TO THE ANIMALS - Dolittle is surrounded by a motley cast of
characters. Take a peek at all the fun the cast had giving each of
the animals their unique voice.
DOWNEY JR. & HARRY: MENTOR AND MENTEE - Acting opposite a
legendary actor like Robert Downey Jr. can be an intimidating
experience, but Harry Collett handled it like a pro. See the unique
bond the two actors formed on-set, and how Downey took the film's
young co-star under his wing.
THE GOOD DOCTOR - See the process of how this team of talented
artists brought this film to life, and how Robert Downey Jr.
transformed into the iconic Dolittle.
BANDERAS: PIRATE KING - Antonio Banderas discusses what attracted him
to the project, his experiences working with Robert Downey Jr., and
what he brought to the role of King Rassouli.
WICKED DR. MUDFLY - Who is the nefarious villain Dr. Blair MÃ¼dfly?
Michael Sheen dives into his character's motivations for being
A MOST UNUSUAL HOUSE - It takes a special home to accommodate humans
and animals alike. Explore the unique rooms and modifications that
allow Dolittle to house anyone or anything - big or small.
is fine for the kids, but a bit silly to us adults.
Started With A Kiss
(1959) is the kind of star-studded lite romantic comedy Hollywood was
still making that eventually faded away by the end of the 1960s, but
still had its moments and odd times. Debbie Reynolds, still in
'America's Sweetheart' mode, plays a model/hostess/performer who
lands up being the seller of raffle tickets for charity connected to
a rare prototype car. When one ticket buyer is a hyper soldier
(Glenn Ford, out of his element, but holding his own) shows up, they
meet and she is not impressed, but he is consistent.
after they get the car, he wins it and off they go to Spain (et al)
in the car, which attracts attention everywhere because it is the
'car of the future' (turns out it is the Lincoln Futura, which never
went into production, but six years later, was customized into the
Batmobile for the Adam West Batman
TV series and feature film) and it steals the movie at times. Also
here are Eva Gabor (looking glamorous like her sister Zsa Zsa a few
years before her hit TV show Green
Edgar Buchanan (who would be on her sister show Petticoat
Fred Clark, Gustavo Rojo as a bullfighter in a good role but the most
unfortunate part of the film, Henry Morgan (later of the TV shows
and the great character actress Alice Backes, whose long career
included seemingly almost every TV show from the 1950s (Alfred
to the early 1980s (like Mr.
and so many shows in between (Thriller,
The Night Stalker,
This is one of her very few feature film appearances.
the film's plot is obvious, lite fluff at times and does push some
sexual boundaries 9or is that touch upon them?) as that humor does
not always work, so there is a reliance on these other actors to
bring the film up (they were trying to launch Rojo as a romantic
star, but the star system was in decline at this point) so it makes
for a mixed final film overall. I had not seen it in eons and did
not remember much about it, but Reynolds is ultimately the star and
she is able to carry the film when Ford is stuck in a limitedly
developed role and the script goes back and forth between working and
not working. Those curious and interested should see it.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the
age of the materials used and the older CinemaScope lens system has
its flaws and distortions, but this is far superior a transfer to all
previous releases of the film and the MetroColor lab work holds up
very well, so this is as good as this film has ever looked, even if
it is not widely colorful.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix is also just
fine for its age, though 4-track stereo might have been nicer if it
existed. Dialogue is fine throughout and Reynolds sings the title
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra, though one on the car
would have been fun. In that, a final note to Batman fans.
This is a great chance to see the original Futura in mint condition,
totally working, including how its glass dome above its famous
windshield lifts automatically anytime the passengers want to get
out, a dome eliminated when it was redone as the Batmobile. Unlike
the jet black of that classic, this is in a red just one shade
lighter than racing red and looks fine throughout. Comparing the
two, now that the Batman series has final joined the 1966
feature film on Blu-ray, gives fans a better chance to see the
differences. Of course, this red Futura is in MetroColor and The
Batmobile was always in Color by DeLuxe, but they are comparable
enough in this case.
'The Rock' Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and the (simply stunning)
Karen Gillian return for the sequel to their hit re-imagining of the
Jumanji franchise: The Next Level (2019).
the Jumanji video game once again is found, the original kids that
found it get sucked back into the game again. Only this time, they
aren't playing as the same characters as they were before! Dealing
with new abilities and personalities, they face an upgraded version
of the Jumanji game that's even harder to escape than the first time!
new additions to the cast here include Danny DeVito, Rory McCann
(Game of Thrones), Danny Glover, and Awkwafina (The Farewell).
The film is directed by Jake Kasdan. The original cast of teenagers
also return including Alex Wolff, Ser'Darius Blain, Morgan Turner,
and Madison Iseman. It is sad that Robin Williams isn't around to be
in these films, as I'm sure he would have done a cameo or something
The Next Level has been issued in a 4K edition we hope to catch
up with later, but this regular Blu-ray version is presented here in
1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a
great English audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1,
both of which are standard for the Blu-ray format. Though a bit
compressed, the film looks and sounds fine here with many big budget
Hollywood special effects sequences that would no doubt look better
with a 4K upscale. A lesser (more compressed) anamorphically
enhanced, standard definition DVD of the film is also included.
Features (per the press release) include:
Darby Wants To Jingle": How do you top Jack Black and Nick
Jonas's unforgettable theme song for the first one? Everyone's
favorite Non Player Character, Rhys Darby is ready to take it to the
next, next level.
Swapping: Snapping Into Character": "In the latest
Jumanji adventure, the avatar roles are turned on their heads with
new characters and hilarious performances."
Together: Reuniting the Cast": Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart,
Karen Gillan and Jack Black are back and better than ever as they
share their excitement to reunite.
Up: Making Jumanji: The Next Level": From breathtaking
scenery, wild adventure, new characters and more; go behind the
scenes with the cast and crew as they take Jumanji to the Next Level.
Breakdown: Ostrich Chase": Jump in your dune buggy and go
inside the epic ostrich chase scene as the filmmakers and visual
effects team breakdown the creation of this memorable scene.
Breakdown: Mandrill Bridges": Moving rope bridges, giant
mandrills and incredible stunt work make the mandrills attack one of
the most adrenaline pack parts of this film. In this scene
breakdown, see how they pulled it off.
Cat Burglar": To prepare for her roles as pickpocket, Ming
Fleetwood, superstar Awkwafina got a little too method behind the
Confessions: Jurgen The Brutal": Being the bad guy isn't all
glory. Jurgen The Brutal gets real in this candid confessional.
Up": Danny DeVito and Danny Glover help Dwayne Johnson and
Kevin Hart get in touch with their inner grumpy old men.
Kevin Hart gets lost in translation in this melodramatic promo.
Pre-Vis: Zeppelin Battle": Compare the detail of the visual
effects pre visualization reel and the final picture breakdown of the
thrilling Zeppelin battle.
Pre-Vis: Ostrich Chase": Track the progression from
pre-visualization to finished scene in a side by side comparison of
the ostrich chase.
an AR GAME: The 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD include a collectible map
that is fully interactive, employing Augmented Reality to bring
Jumanji to life through a smart phone, allowing users to create their
own 8-bit Avatar, navigate a series of mini games and much more!
The Next Level is a fun sequel and spins the concept of the
previous installment on its head in a funny and imaginative way.
While the humor is tongue in cheek and the plot mainly predictable,
this is fine popcorn munching fun that the whole family can enjoy.
we have Arthur Hiller's Penelope
with Natalie Wood as the title kleptomaniac and the script links it
to a sexual assault! She dresses as an elderly lady in the opening
sequence to rob a bank, but it turns out to be one owned by her
husband (Ian Bannen) but she gets rid of the clues in odd ways and
has a therapist (Dick Shawn) who is a little off himself. A
detective (a pre-Columbo
Peter Falk) is on the case, but he has no idea what is really going
on and takes a liking to her without crossing the line.
the film plays way too loosely with sexuality (her assault flashback
is a 'comical' one with a professor played by Jonathan Winters) and
is extremely loose with psychology, so thinking we are supposed to go
along with this and accept, know and understand all this is a real
stretch, no matter how smart the intended audience might be. In a
move that would make Madonna take notice, Wood has a huge number of
wardrobe changes courtesy of the legendary Edith Head, but it looks
more in many cases like what Marlo Thomas might show up in on her hit
TV series That
result, including music and singing, is a mix that has dated in odd,
even bizarre ways that even the participants could not have
anticipated and the film is trying to be hip in the worst,
early-counterculture way. No doubt Wood was a movie star for a
reason, but the film is a strange wreck of a time capsule thinking it
is one thing and definitely turning out to be another.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was
shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision and looks really good for its
age, including the MetroColor that is more advanced than older films
using the MGM's labs reliable work, so it is more vibrant and
effective, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix
(including Wood singing the title song) are fine for a film issued in
optical theatrical monophonic sound, but it has some limits. The
combination is about as good as it can get.
Original Theatrical Trailer and featurette with Edith Head being
silly are the only extras, but you can read more about the CD sound
issued years ago (with some minor audio issues not on this Blu-ray
edition) from the film with the same poster art as this Blu-ray, at
order any or all of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Beau
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases
Nicholas Sheffo (Warner Archive, Dolittle
DVD) and James