Charing Cross Road
(1986/Umbrella Import PAL Import DVD)/Emperor
On The Front
(1984/Blu-ray/*all Film Movement)
C+/C+/B-/C+/C+/B- Sound: C/C+/B-/C/C+/B- Extras:
D/C-/D/C/C-/B- Films: C+/B-/C/C+/C+/B-
Charing Cross Road
Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD
players that can handle the PAL DVD and can be ordered from the link
for a new set of drama releases...
(2019) has a tale of legality and murder as one Jacques Viguier is
accused of murder. One Juror (Marina Fois) is not so sure and talks
famed lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti (Olivier Gourmet) to represent him.
Not a thriller like Suspect
or any kind of trick legal thriller, the film still asks questions
about how we perceive reality and truth.
is also not always interested in 'who done it' but how people react
to a big story and how it does sometimes become a witch hunt, though
people handle themselves better here than you would expect these days
and this is roughly based on real events. It is also part of a cycle
of films and TV show overseas either involving who might have
committed murder and/or if and how someone has 'mysteriously'
is a mixed bag overall and the cast is not bad, but the results
overall are mixed and I was a little disappointed.
are no extras.
Charing Cross Road
(1986) is the film version of a fine tale of a writer in 1950's New
York City (Anne Bancroft) who also loves reading and literature, but
when (somehow?!?) she cannot find good English Literature in her
great town, she comes up with an ingenious plan to get what she wants
and at limited cost. She decides to contact a book shop in the U.K.
and see if they can supply what seems to be missing in NYC.
lucks out with a great bookshop run by some fine people, her letter
handled by one of the top booksellers and buyers in the store
(Anthony Hopkins) who is a well read on the subject as she is and
thus, a professional relationship begins, then grows when they start
talking of other things. Before you know it, she is sending food,
angered at post-WWII rationing. Then it gets better from there.
husband Mel Brooks produced this well-made, underrated piece that not
enough people saw, but more than ever (especially in an age of the
Internet and anti-intellectualism and even anti-common sense) is more
charming and relevant than ever. Yes, a few parts of the film are a
little off, but this is fine otherwise and is definitely recommended.
trailers for the Hopkins films Remains
Of The Day
by a true story, Emperor
(2020) tells the legend of Shields ''Emperor'' Green who goes from
slave to outlaw in the pre-Civil War South. After his son gets
struck at a plantation, he ends up with blood on his hands and is
soon on the run - becoming a sort of folk hero. Then he becomes an
active member in abolitionist's John Brown's raid on the Harper's
Ferry arsenal and seals his mark on history. The film fictionalizes
Shields in many ways and also changes the ending to his true life
story, which was apparently angered some history buffs and critics
upon its release. The production value is so so, and the script is a
bit predictable and silly for the subject manner.
stars Dayo Okeniyi, Kat Graham, Ben Robson, Keean Johnson, James
Cromwell, and Bruce Dern. The film is directed by Mark Amin
extras. Emperor is a mediocre film that shows the horrors of slavery
and bends the truth about its hero in favor of a heroic ending.
(2020) is another entry in that 'murder or missing' cycle I discussed
above, this time in Japan where (in the Kurosawa mode) a woman
(Mariko Tsutsui) who works as a private nurse for a family becomes
the suspect when one of the family's daughters goes missing. Of
course, others could be guilty, but since she is a worker and not
monied, is easier to attack. Sometimes, the film examines this well,
but sometimes it gets stuck on this.
things get more twisted and odd, making her life and situation worse
and odder. The twist has some possibilities and the film gets to
some of them, but since it is also covering territory that has been
covered before, it can only overcome the overlap so much. It is well
acted and shot, but only has 111 minutes and does not always use
them to best advantage.
Making Of featurette and short film Love
are the only extras.
Galvao Teles' Hero
On The Front
(2018) is another too-rare WWI film, this time focusing on how the
Portuguese helped fight off the Germans and how one man in particular
did it with one machine gun: Anibal Milhais. Well acted and more
beautifully produced (even with the dirty war footage) than expected,
it is not a bad tale, based on the true story and I was glad to see
directing is not bad and acting solid, so the film only runs 89
minutes and maybe it would have worked even more if they had more
money and screen time, but this is worth a look for those interested
and is a story worth telling.
trailer is the only extra.
(1984) is a remarkable film by the well known actor who also has had
an equally compelling career as a journeyman director, one who pulls
no punches when he wants to get honest and be bold about it. One of
three feature telefilms he made for the great PBS series American
this surprisingly censorship-free look at African Americans moving to
Chicago in the 1910s to find work and a better future is told very
honestly and is brutally realistic.
underrated Damien Leake is the family man ready to deal with work at
a meat packing plant in The Windy City if it means his family will do
well, but he also has to face racism, battles between the union and
meat company, segregation and other unexpected twists and turns in a
tale based on a true story and the historical record. The makers
have been very thorough on that point and it shows, which is why this
works as often as it does.
also has an incredible supporting cast including Alfie Woodard, Moses
Gunn, Dennis Farina, Clarence Felder, Cynthia Baker, Paul Eaton,
Jason Green, Nathan Davis, Robert Minkoff, John Mahoney and
Ted Levine. Only a few minor parts did not hold for me, but this is
an amazing film that holds up extraordinarily well.
days, with cable TV and the money they have, it is too easy to be
deceived into thinking TV never had good films made for it, but even
with some of the campy genre films that were made, telefilms from the
beginning were willing to deal with serious subject matter from the
start and this one comes at the end of a cycle of very smart, mature,
intelligent ones that began to take the industry by storm in the
early 1970s. As good as anything on the list, expect some graphic
language and images, but it is only being realistic and that is all
too rare in any kind of film or TV being made today. Recommended!
include an illustrated booklet on the film including tech info and
two essays, while the disc adds an Intro by Director Duke, a new
Making Of featurette, recent Q&A with Damien Leake & Elsa
Rassbach, a Producer on the film who is also here in a separate
for playback performance. The
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Floor
can show the age of the materials used a bit, including the older
stick footage, but even that is in fine shape and is very well
chosen. The rest of the film is shot on 16mm color negative and
looks as good as anything here, very professionally and effectively
shot. Thus, yet another key telefilm gets HD r4espect and
restoration, especially one so important. The
PCM 2.0 Mono is
as well recorded as could be expected for a monophonic production of
the time and sounds as good as anything on this list.
is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD
with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2:39:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio mix. Compression issues are evident as is the norm
with the lower grade quality in the format. Of course, the film
would look much better on a higher format as the production design
and cinematography are strong.
rest of the DVDs are also anamorphically enhanced (2.35 X 1 for
1.66 X 1 for Girl
and 1.85 X 1 for Road)
may have some flaws, but look about as good as they possibly could in
this older format, down to decent color. Sadly, they are not as good
on sound, with the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Conviction
plus even the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Girl,
are on the weak side and are the poorest sonic performers here. Road
does better with its lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound,
professionally recorded so well for its time. Hero
is also better with both 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossy Dolby mixes, but
the 5.1 is better. All could use lossless presentations, though I
hope the weaker ones would not sound bad in other ways if so.
Charing Cross Road
Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find
Nicholas Sheffo and James