Diario (1993 aka Dear
Blu-ray)/The High Note
(2020/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)/Pat
and Mike (1952)/Without
MGM/Warner Archive Blu-rays)
B/B- & C/B/B Sound: B- (DVD: C) Extras: C+/C/C-/C
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
for another set of comedies to consider...
start with writer/director Nanni Moretti's Caro
(1993 aka Dear
also playing the lead role as an eccentric guy traveling Italy (et
al) on his Vespa trying to find fun and a better life, annoying the
likes of Jennifer Beals in the process, but things take a strange
turn in the latter half of the film when his health starts to go bad
for reasons he does not understand. Neither to the many doctors and
other medical experts he meets.
character is also trying to write a movie script in the midst of all
of this, which never adds up to as much as some of the better parts
of a film, that is a mixed bag and is above average at best. Of
course, it is also in the shadow of Woody Allen, whose influence will
lats long after all the scandals and controversies off screen are
played out. Its worth a look for those really interested.
Otherwise, you get some good cinematography.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative text
and an essay on the film, while the disc adds a Making Of featurette
and Deleted Scenes.
(2020) has Tracee Ellis Ross as a singer at a career crossroads, past
40, still popular, a bit snobby and a singing legend, she is a
vocalist in what is now more of a Hip Hop/Rap world than when she
started and her record label is more interested in her touring and
being a money-making legacy act than having her release a new album.
Dakota Johnson is her assistant who has some ideas for the next
album, though she's never produced anything major before in her life.
film is as much a comedy as drama, but its humor is a bit off and
does not always work because it accepts the arrogance of having money
and success without moral consideration normal when it is toxic and
the script echoes this in the childishness some of the relationships
connect. Johnson is made to look especially dumb in an insulting,
condescending way, to the point that it is offensive and why no one
has called the film in this is odd.
leaves us with Ross, echoing the iconic career of many a great female
vocalist, the most obvious being her mother, all-time commercial
powerhouse, groundbreaker and critical success Diana Ross. However,
some of the comments remind us of other major, legendary singers not
always treated as well as they got older by the industry, including
Tina Turner (who made her comeback post-40, bucking the trend and
referenced here directly if you catch it), Grace Jones, Olivia
Newton-John and the next generation after them now facing the same
thing. It also reminds us of those we lost too soon. The film could
have spent more time dealing with that, but fails there too.
is not bad, with Ross more than handling her own in drama, equal to
her already known comic talents, with supporting performances by Ice
Cube, Eddie Izzard and Bill Pullman. The idea of it being an inside
look at the industry never works, but it has a few good moments if
you can survive the many that fall flat. The notes here are more low
and off than high.
Music Video, Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes and two Making Of
Dream Team: Inside The Creation of The
A Legend: The Grace Davis Story.
two classic films co-starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
have arrived on Blu-ray. George Cukor's Pat
(1952) is the more well-known of the two, with Hepburn as a woman
ahead of her time, playing tennis and golf with great success and so
sports promoter Tracy is determined to help her out and both of them
to big success. Too bad it will not always be that easy.
Gordon (yes, the great actress) and Garson Kanin co-wrote the witty
screenplay, the film has cameos by many sports stars of the day and
supporting work by Aldo Ray (when he was very young) and Charles
Bronson (so young he is using an earlier name here) all come together
under the eye and amazing talent of Cukor who made this a hit across
the board. Though not al all-time classic or completely flawless, it
is well done and deserves the reputation it has had over the decades.
There is wit, chemistry and energy that work well enough and some
0of this plays like a solid time capsule. Hepburn is particularly
great here too.
Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra.
S. Bocquet's Without
(1945) was made years earlier, but Tracy & Hepburn had their
chemistry even then in only their third film together. Set towards
the end of WWII (they did not know the war would soon be over),
rations and necessity has Hepburn share her home with an inventor
(Tracy) and they have to 'pretend' to be married so they can fit in
one place respectably, but he may become more respectable if one of
his ideas becomes a moneymaker. Gadgets always seem to haunt the
Tracy/Hepburn films and this one is no exception.
Wynn, Patricia Morison, Carl Esmond, Felix Bressart and Gloria
Grahame make up the great supporting cast, but the clear standout
surprise here is an amazing turn by Lucille Ball, still a major
player int eh Hollywood Studio System among all actresses, delivering
a comic performance that is not the broad comedy she is now an icon
for, but one that is restrained, clever, particular, witty and has
amazing comic timing like you have never seen her deliver before.
She is as strong a reason as anyone or anything here to go see this
include an Original Theatrical
Trailer, Purity Squad
installment of the Crime
Does Not Pay live action
shorts series and MGM cartoon short Swing
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image on Caro looks
very good and consistent throughout including good color and is a
clean presentation, shot on Kodak 35mm color negative film, you even
get a couple of demo shots. The PCM 2.0 Stereo is a little louder
and clearer than expected for its age, though some might consider it
slightly distorted. Either way, the film was originally issued
theatrically in Dolby's older A-type analog noise reduction format.
Maybe some extra digital sound cleaning was applied.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Note
is an HD shoot that is more on the soft side than expected with color
that holds, but a little more motion blur than a major such release
should have at this point, looking worse on the
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 DVD which has those issues and much
softer to the point of being very hard to watch, accompanied by weak,
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The Blu-ray has a DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 7.1 lossless mix that suggests this was a 12-track film
theatrically, but this is very dialogue-based and only impresses so
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers on Mike
look really good, even in the rare spots where you can show the age
of the materials used. Superior a transfer to all previous releases
of both films, the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes are as good as the
original theatrical monophonic sound on both films will ever sound.
order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Pat
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases