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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biography > Mental Illness > New Zealand > Melodrama > Identity > Japan > Crime > Jazz Music > Racis > An Angel At My Table (1990/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Cat and the Moon (2019*)/Complicity (2018/Film Movement DVD)/Kansas City (1996/Altman/Arrow**)/A Patch Of Blue (1965/MGM/Warner Archive

An Angel At My Table (1990/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Cat and the Moon (2019*)/Complicity (2018/Film Movement DVD)/Kansas City (1996/Altman/Arrow**)/A Patch Of Blue (1965/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Unintended (2018/*all FilmRise/**all MVD Blu-rays)

Picture: B/B/C+/B+/B/B Sound: B/B/B/B+/B-/B Extras: B/B-/C/B/B-/B- Films: B/C/B+/B/B-/C

PLEASE NOTE: The An Angel At My Table Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can only on all Blu-ray players, while A Patch Of Blue is only available exclusively from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive collection. Both can be ordered from the links below.

Our latest group of dramas include half older gems and half new indie releases...

We'll start with the award winning biopic, An Angel At My Table (1990), getting a new HD release courtesy of Umbrella. Based on the life and work of acclaimed New Zealand writer Janet Frame (whose real name was Nene Janet Paterson Clutha ONZ CBE), the film recounts the story of her challenging journey to adulthood and the blossoming of her brilliant mind and career. This woman had to deal with a lot in her life including being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in a mental ward. Eventually, she pinned the infamous works of To the Is-Land, Angel At My Table, and The Envoy from Mirror City.

The film stars Kerry Fox (adult), Alexia Keogh (young), and Karen Fergusson (teenager) all as Janet Frame. As well as supporting cast Iris Churn, Melina Bernecker, Kevin J. Wilson, Jessie Mune, and Katherine Murray-Cowper.

An Angel At My Table is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and a fine sounding English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The film is very nicely shot by Director of Photography Stuart Dryburgh and has been adequately restored here in this very beautiful HD presentation. Not sure of prior releases to compare it to, but the translation to HD here is welcome.

Special Features include:

Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director Jane Campion, Director of Photography Stuart Dryburgh, and actress Kerry Fox

Making of An Angel At My Table

Deleted Scenes

My Say: An Audio Interview with Janet Frame, 1983

and a Trailer.

Winner of over 20 international awards and prizes, this film is one of New Zealand's most cherished productions that really shows off the beauty of the country and paints an interesting portrait of a prolific author.

Rising star Alex Wolff (Hereditary, Patriots Day) stars as Nick in The Cat and The Moon (2019), who journeys to New York to stay with Call, whose a friend of his late father's and a musician. Since Nick's mother isn't doing too well, he sees his journey to New York as a new beginning however gets a bit out of control during his stay and becomes a pretty big jerk living in debauchery.

The film has an impressive cast that includes Skyler Gisondo (Booksmart, Vacation), Stefania LaVie Owen (The Lovely Bones), Mike Epps (Dolemite Is My Name) and Camrus Johnson (Batwoman).

The Cat and the Moon is presented in 1080p on Blur-ay disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes. The film is nicely shot and captures modern New York in a stylistic way that helps make it look more expensive than it likely was.

Special Features include a Photo Gallery and a Trailer.

Chen Liang (Lu Yulai) is an illegal immigrant living in Japan, he buys a 'fake ID' with cell phone and takes on the new identity as 'Liu Wei'. As Liu Wei, he is then able to a job in at a small family-run restaurant. As the days goes by he learns to acclimate to his new life and begins to love it. Everything seems perfect ...but how long can it last when immigration comes looking for him ...and threaten to deport him in writer/director Kei Chikaura 's Complicity (2018).

With the new ID, 'Liu Wei' is able to go straight and get a real job In a live-in-family restaurant. He bonds the owner/chef like the father and son they never had. He learns how to make good noodles and soba, an a honest trade, values and soon becomes part of a tight knit family community (and even finds a nice Japanese girl friend). But they all only know him only as 'Liu Wei', what will they think if they ever find out who he really is? When immigration looking for Chen Liang can give up his new life? Will his new found family and friends accept him or reject him when they find out the truth?

This was a drama fill movie about young man with stolen ID looking to starting over his life. It is a fraud, highly illegal and a crime, but is it worth a new life? Would you give up a chance for a better life even if it means your life is a lie?

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 play just fine for a recent HD shoot in this format, though maybe a Blu-ray would have delivered this a bit better. Extras include bonus short film unrelated to the feature film: About Bintou and trailers.

Robert Altman's Kansas City (1996) is beautifully restored here by Arrow Video to deliver a startling new presentation on Blu-ray disc that looks quite nice. Nominated for the Palm d'Or, at Cannes this is one of Altman's most defining and personal works, as he had a history himself in Kansas City. The film is set during the 1930s Depression era and has a very impressive recreation of the time period. Costumes, props, buildings, jazz music, and cars - it all looks and feels like stepping into the past.

Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Miranda Richardson, Kansas City is a interesting period mobster flick that centers around Blondie O'Hara (Leigh) - a lady who will do whatever it takes to help get Johnny (Dermot Mulroney) out from under a deadly rut after he steals from Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte), a local crime boss, whose operating out of jazz club called the The Hey-Hey Club. Blondie then kidnaps Carolyn (Richardson), in an attempt get her Politician husband involved in helping her husband get rid of her ties to Seen. The relationship between the two women gets hairy as the journey progresses needless to say.

Kansas City is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (original ratio was 1.85:1) and superb audio mixes in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless sound reminding us of what an innovator in sound Altman was. The film is meticulously constructed with beautiful colors and a great feel of what that time was like. The predominant jazz soundtrack is provided by some of the best and is an appropriate background to help capture the essence of the era.

Special Features include:

Newly filmed appreciation by critic Geoff Andrew

Gare, Trains et Deraillement, a 2007 visual essay by French critic Luc Lagier, plus short introduction to the film narrated by Lagier

Robert Altman Goes to the Heart of America and Kansas City: The Music, two 1996 promotional featurettes including interviews with cast and crew

Electronic press kit interviews with Altman, Leigh, Richardson, Belafonte and musician Joshua Redman, plus behind-the-scenes footage

Four theatrical trailers

TV spots

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Dr Nicolas Pillai, original press kit notes and an excerpt from Altman on Altman.

Guy Green's A Patch Of Blue (1965) has finally received a Blu-ray release, a nice upgrade of the MGM hit film by Warner Archive. The drama where Sidney Poitier falls fro a young blind woman (Elizabeth Hartman) and has to deal with Shelly Winters as a backwards-thinking mother was one of four films we covered in the Sidney Poitier Collection DVD set at this link:


A film that holds up very well and has aged well enough with hardly any flaws or false notes, this upgrade certainly outdoes that old DVD, which was not bad for its time. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer hardly shows the age of the film, was shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision and has a good look to it throughout, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound mix gets more out of the old theatrical monophonic sound including subtleties in the dialogue. It is a little warmer and clearer than the older lossy DVD Dolby Digital soundtrack, so the combination is a nice improvement. I doubt this film could sound better either.

Extras repeat the feature length audio commentary track by Director Guy Green, then adds an Original Theatrical Trailer and a vintage Behind the Scenes/Making Of featurette entitled A Cinderella Named Elizabeth.

Finally, we have Unintended (2018) about a young woman (Elizabeth Lail of Netflix's You), who ends up getting out of the city and going home under not so great circumstances. Once she is back on old ground, she remembers that she accidentally may have killed someone at an early age and blacked it out. However, the memory soon comes back piece by piece thirteen years later as she attempts to unlock her past and remember what happened. The movie is a slow burn, but ultimately is an interesting piece.

The film also features Hannah Westerfield (Logan), Nathan Keyes (The Kings of Summer), Sean Cullen (Mindhunter) and Amy Hargreaves (Homeland).

Unintended is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.25 X 1 and audio mixes in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes, depending on your home theater specs. For being an independent film it is shot pretty cinematically, with some nice wide shots that show a lush countryside. The score is a bit generic, but works for the film.

Special Features include a Theatrical Trailer and a Photo Gallery.

To order the An Angel At My Table Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link to order it and other hard to find releases at:


and to order the A Patch Of Blue Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Patch), Ricky Chiang (Complicity) and James Lockhart



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