Of Hearts: Audrey Flack
(2013/HBO/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The
State Of Texas Vs. Melissa
(2020/FilmRise/*both MVD Blu-rays)/2020
World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB/Shout!
Factory Blu-ray Set)/White
(**both 2020/Film Movement DVDs)
B/C+/B-/C+/B-/B-/B-/C+ Sound: B-/C+/B-/C+/B-/B-/B-/C Extras:
D/C-/C+/C/D/C/B/C- Documentaries: B+/B-/C+/B/B/B-/B/B
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
it is awards season, here are a very interesting slew of
(2020, with the subtitle More
Than An Icon)
is a remarkable biography of the great actress Audrey Hepburn, a
worldwide movie star and one of the last from the original Hollywood
Studio System. With a wealth of rare film, photos, video and movie
clips, this starts as a serious biography and how as a child, she
barely survived WWII, then she wanted to be a dancer, but it was not
working out as she hoped for. Then she tried the movies in the U.K.
and things started to happen.
second section kicks in and tells of her amazing rise as a movie star
and how she becomes one of the most important stars of the post-WWII
era, yet also exceeds her film work by also becoming an international
fashion icon. It becomes amazing times in a whole new way and she
changes the world of glamour and entertainment for the better
comes the third part of her life where she is still not finding the
personal happiness she wants, starts to move away from filmmaking and
her star status,then becomes a huge representative for UNICEF and
starts raising tens of millions of dollars for them to help the
poorest children in the world. It is an amazing period she never
discussed much, but achieved more than most people realize, but then
that is the story of her whole, amazing life, why people still love
her so much, long after she left us too soon. Audrey is one of the
best biography documentaries of its kind and an amazing must-see you
need to catch!
are no extras, but you get plenty just the same.
(2010) is the oldest entry here, though as timely as ever in dealing
with sexual identity. In a time where that was barely discussed
openly in the 1960s, Andy Warhol was making all kinds of experimental
films, many now classics and one of its focuses was Classical
Hollywood in the pre-WWII era, especially when it came to the star
system and art deco fantasies. As Hollywood was in transition and
some decline, he would build a stable of acting regulars and one
named himself Candy Darling.
this also means an emphasis on recreating, subverting and still
trying to emulate a world of glamour that was long gone. Darling
(real name James Slattery) would become a gay icon of his own and the
influence of his stage identity and the Warhol revival of this Old
Hollywood would resonate into the Disco era before the 1980s changed
everything for the worst. The underrated actress Chloe Sevigny does
the voice of Darling from archival writings, while interviewees
include Julie Newmar, John Waters, Holly Woodland, Fran Lebowitz,
Paul Morrissey, Michael J. Pollard and others, it is a sometimes
sad-but-important story to tell.
nothing else, most people still know Candy from Lou Reed's biggest
solo hit song, his masterpiece (one of many) ''Walk
On The Wild Side''
so now, you can see the whole story.
and a mini-poster are the only extras.
Watson & Dennis Keighron-Foster's Deep
(2019) takes place in the U.K and tells the story of the culture of
Vogueing in the gay community (transgendered, et al) and how that
came to be, including the history and growth of this unique style of
dancing. Much more complicated and advanced than you would think
from the great music video for the his Madonna record ''Vogue''
while still wanting to emulate that glamour, this will show and tell
you everything you need to know about it to date.
a very short 62 minutes, this is the one on this list that I really
would have liked to see run longer and get more into the dancing
aspects, but you also get to learn the personal and private stories
of the people we meet and it is nice to see them get the respect and
attention they deserve.
include Additional Scenes and a Director's Feature-length Audio
Of Hearts: Audrey Flack
(2020) tells the amazing story of one of the most underrated artists
of the 20th
Century and beyond, another great Audrey for us to discuss.
Originally one of the few, remarkable painter and artists who could
draw pictures so realistic they looked like photo-chemical pictures,
she was the only female in the first wave of what we know as
Photorealists and her sense of detail is only matched by her superior
grasp of color and shadow. This is also a biography of a woman who
had to fight against many odd to be a survivor and get respect for
her work, which eventually led to sculpting, music and much more.
rare photos, film and video footage, Flack is able to tell us all
kinds of details, personal thoughts, observations and secrets about
herself, the world at large, the arts and much more. Running a very
rich 75 minutes, I wished this one was longer, but it is an amazing
record giving an amazing genius long overdue credit and respect. The
world has still not caught up with Audrey Flack, but its trying. A
great lady and an amazing survivor, I definitely recommend this
include a filmmakers Q&A at the Ashland Independent Film Festival
and Deleted Scenes.
Lapin's well-made Six
(2013) is one of the best documentaries about music and stage
performance in the last few decades and tells the great story of one
of the premiere musical and music creators, one audiences still have
not totally caught up with. This new Blu-ray upgrade has been issued
by Warner Archive, who issued a DVD a few years ago that we reviewed
at this link:
upgrade was worth it, making everything clearer and even warmer,
especially the music and since then, more of Stephen Sondheim's work
has arrived on Blu-ray, et al (The Original Cast Album for A
Little Night Music
was even issued in an excellent Super Audio CD edition (hybrid with
great CD tracks too) reviewed elsewhere on this site that renders all
previous versions obsolete (save collectible original vinyl) and more
of his wo0rk is being caught up with thanks to the awful pandemic
still raging as this posts.
all his success, most people still may know his various songs, but do
not know who he is or that he created them. That's why people keep
watching this special and recommending it. Add me to that list,
hoped some extras would be added with the Blu-ray upgrade, maybe even
some kind of update, but there are no extras.
Van Tassel's The
State Of Texas Vs. Melissa
(2020) tells a terrible story of a woman being accused of killing her
daughter, with limited facts presented in court, then being sent to
death row! A little less surprising considering what has happened
the last few years and that it is in Texas, Melissa is poor, Hispanic
and possibly innocent Melissa Lucio, caught in a crossfire of more
corruption than you can imagine including a politician who is also
Hispanic and could care less what happens to her.
we could argue she was still responsible for her two-year-old child
falling down the steps simply by not keeping an eye on her, but the
charges are that she purposely pushed her to her death and the more
one watches this, the more you start to question if it was that
blatant. Of course, none of us were there, but she is not given the
chance to have a proper, honest representation and it is appalling.
Needless to say the story was not resolved by the end of the
documentary and we did not look up any updates because we felt it
more important to focus on the negligence of the system because
Melissa cannot be the only one being railroaded like this.
include an on-camera director's interview, Deleted Scenes and an
Original Theatrical Trailer.
again, Major League Baseball has followed up their annual World
Series documentary with a much larger Blu-ray set that shows the
entire game and more. The 2020
World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers
mini-box set continues a series of larger releases that started with
DVDs back when the games were primarily being shot on NTSC analog
videotape. You can read more about the game in our coverage of the
previous documentary here:
new set takes 8 Blu-ray discs to show everything, plus bonus
materials, but does its usual, thorough job that fans and completists
will want to own. That makes it the most successful non feature film
or TV series Blu-ray box set series in home video, well done as usual
since A&E started the series many years ago.
include stats on the sleeve insert, two of the NLCS games (3 & 7)
before the big series here, multiple audio choices to watch the game
by (see below) and an illustrated booklet with extensive game
we have Rubika Shaw's amusingly entitle White
(2020) about how some unbelievably ugly, overt and even violent
racism in the U.K. was so bad, it had to be addressed immediately and
musicians there decided to do something about it. Too bad we don't
see enough of this in the U.S., et al.
Clapton and Rod Stewart apparently said some things they should not
have as anti-immigrant ideology was growing in the late 1970s, so
photographer Red Saunders and a group of musicians created Rock
Against Racism and started to fight back against that wave. Punk
band Sham 69 got involved and were eventually joined by reggae
legends Steel Pulse, staring a counter movement, then things get more
interesting from there.
runs 84 minutes and tells some amazing stories, gives amazing details
and permanently captures one of the most important moments of truth
in U.K. history (even as Thatcher was about to take the country over
and send it in a bad direction it has yet to recover from) and it has
become as relevant again. Highly recommended!
and previews are the only extras.
for playback performance, save the White
DVD at 1.85 X 1, all these releases have a 1.78 X 1 aspect ratio,
though some older footage can be wider and even in the 1.33 X 1
frame. Footage can naturally be rough in spots, but all look about
as good as can be expected and sometimes even great. Analog
videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine
flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, NTSC decoding errors ,
faded color and tape damage. Film clips can either be great, or
faded, scratched and a little dirty.
the five Blu-rays, the
1080p digital High Definition image on Audrey
just outdoes the other four 1080p releases, with more consistent
color, detail, depth and stability. The other four also look good
and the Sondheim
Blu-ray is definitely nicer to watch than the previously reviewed
DVD, but you get a little more motion blur and detail issues. The
set cannot help this since so much is on each disc. Other location
video can be rougher here and there too and all discs have DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) lossless sound, with Audrey
(which also has decent PCM 2.0 Stereo) and Sondheim
in 5.1, the rest in 2.0 Stereo. Sometimes, older audio and location
audio are monophonic or barely stereo, but most everything in all
cases is clear enough to hear and in rare cases, the makers have
added unremovable subtitles. Dodgers
has its alternate radio play-by-play and Spanish play-by-play tracks
in lossy Dolby Digital 2,0 Stereo that is not as strong, but not
anamorphically enhanced image on the three DVDs are equally good,
including the same flaws as the HD releases above, but softer and
sometimes one wishes you were watching a Blu-ray. Still, they look
fine for the format. As for sound, all have both lossy Dolby Digital
5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound, save lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo only on Riot
that can be a little weak and rough at times, so be careful of volume
switching and high playback levels.
order the Six
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: