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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Politics > Costumer > Military > Period Piece > Royalty > War > Stand Up Comedy > C > Beau Brummell (1954*)/Crashing: The 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

Beau Brummell (1954*)/Crashing: The 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 w/DVD)/Penelope (1966/*all MGM/Warner Archive Blu-rays)

4K 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+

PLEASE NOTE: The Beau Brummell, Kiss and Penelope Blu-ray are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

For our next round-up+ of releases, we've chosen comedies of all kinds for your consideration...

We start with Curtis Bernhardt's Beau Brummell (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.

Mind 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.

The 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 this one.

The 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.

An 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:


Written 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.

In 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.

The series also stars Lauren Lapkus, Artie Lange, George Basil, and Jermaine Fowler.

Eight episodes include JABOUKIE, THE TEMPLE GIG, The Secret, MC, Middle, Headliner, Mom and Kat, The Viewing Party, The Christian Tour, and Mulaney.

Crashing 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.

Special Features include:

Comedy Highs and Lows

Season 3 Crashing on the Set

and Crashing Live! Audio Commentaries

Robert Downey Jr., hot off the success of being Iron Man and closing out his epic Marvel Studios contract by starring in Avengers: Endgame, decides to be, um, Dr. Dolittle. He could have literally done anything. But he did this rather bizarre (and not very good) family film.

While 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 twelve.

The 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.

Dr 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 he lost.

Dolittle 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.

Special Features (per the press release) include:

TALK 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.

ROBERT 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.

BECOMING 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.

ANTONIO 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.

THE WICKED DR. MUDFLY - Who is the nefarious villain Dr. Blair Müdfly? Michael Sheen dives into his character's motivations for being Dolittle's foil.

and 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.

Dolittle is fine for the kids, but a bit silly to us adults.

George Marshall's It 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.

Remarkably, 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 Acres), Edgar Buchanan (who would be on her sister show Petticoat Junction), 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 Dragnet '67 and M*A*S*H) and the great character actress Alice Backes, whose long career included seemingly almost every TV show from the 1950s (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bachelor Father) to the early 1980s (like Mr. Belvedere and Knight Rider) and so many shows in between (Thriller, Bewitched, The Munsters, Room 222, Here's Lucy, Mannix, Maude, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Welcome Back Kotter, Barney Miller). This is one of her very few feature film appearances.

So 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.

The 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.

The 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 song.

An 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.

Dwayne '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).

When 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!

Some 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 in them.

Jumanji: 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.

Special Features (per the press release) include:

Gag Reel

"Rhys 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.

"Body Swapping: Snapping Into Character": "In the latest Jumanji adventure, the avatar roles are turned on their heads with new characters and hilarious performances."

"Back 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.

"Level 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.

"Scene 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.

"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.

"Awkwafina Cat Burglar": To prepare for her roles as pickpocket, Ming Fleetwood, superstar Awkwafina got a little too method behind the scenes.

"NPC Confessions: Jurgen The Brutal": Being the bad guy isn't all glory. Jurgen The Brutal gets real in this candid confessional.

"Grow Up": Danny DeVito and Danny Glover help Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart get in touch with their inner grumpy old men.

"Telenovela": Kevin Hart gets lost in translation in this melodramatic promo.

"VFX Pre-Vis: Zeppelin Battle": Compare the detail of the visual effects pre visualization reel and the final picture breakdown of the thrilling Zeppelin battle.

"VFX Pre-Vis: Ostrich Chase": Track the progression from pre-visualization to finished scene in a side by side comparison of the ostrich chase.

and 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!

Jumanji: 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.

Finally, we have Arthur Hiller's Penelope (1966) 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.

Unfortunately, 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 Girl.

The 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.

The 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.

An 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 this link:


To order any or all of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Beau Brummell, Kiss and Penelope go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Warner Archive, Dolittle DVD) and James Lockhart



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