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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Teens > Irish > Mystery > Murder > Serbia > Comedy > Sex > French New Wave > Filmmaking > Mental > Here Are The Young Men (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Incarnation (2016/MVD DVD)/Masculine Feminin (1965/Criterion Blu-ray)/Nina Wu (2019/Film Movement DVD)/Nobody 4K (2021/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu

Here Are The Young Men (2019/Well Go Blu-ray)/Incarnation (2016/MVD DVD)/Masculine Feminin (1965/Criterion Blu-ray)/Nina Wu (2019/Film Movement DVD)/Nobody 4K (2021/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/C+/B/C/B Sound: C+/C+/B-/C+/B Extras: C-/C-/B/C-/B- Films: C+/C+/B/C/C+

Editing is one of the most important aspects of film, make or break a film, but sometimes, you get a film that uses it in a particularly heavy, unique or superior way. Here are some new releases that show that...

Eoin C. Martin's Here Are The Young Men (2019) wants to be another Trainspotting or French New Wave film out of Ireland, with its intent to criticize a world with too much mass media and how this goes all the way to people with video cameras they have no idea what to do with, but I can never seem to make the big statement and goes all over the place.

Three high school friends (Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) decide to start getting crazy and celebrate as they approach alleged graduation with parties, drugs, some sex and much drinks, et al, with vandalism, but seem to have nowhere to go. That is why they get nuts. One of them starts to lose his mental stability, not helped by a angry talk show run by a instigator (Vikings' Travis Fimmel, channelling a deranged variant of Jimmy Kimmel) and the slow downward spiral for all begins, some of which might be seen by more than a few people.

Despite some editing that is effective at times until it does not add up to what it thinks it is, the conclusion is unconvincing and part of that has to do with more than a few missed opportunities and some of the things said and points made have been done plenty of times before. Sadly disappointing, at least it has some energy. Too bad it does not have the ideas to match.

Filip Kovacevic's Incarnation (2016) is an interesting attempt to tell a tale of a man (Stojan Ojorojevic) stuck in a moment that keeps repeating, one where he is being tracked by masked men with guns trying to shoot and kill him. Not Groundhog Day and aspiring to the likes of Run Lola Run, maybe Looper and even Source Code and Dark City, the film may not always succeed, but it has some fine directing, performances, ideas and visuals (including some solid editing) that put it in the same league as those films.

This is a film that starts out very well and promising, comes up with some nice ideas and a few good twists, then does not know how to make it all add up. Still, it is a Serbian production that could go a few rounds with bad Hollywood imitators of such cinema. I really wanted this to work all the way, but it at least has its moments and is worth a good look for serious film fans.

Jean-Luc Godard's Masculine Feminin (1966) was his big follow-up to Alphaville (1965) but this time, it was time for more writerly commentary and comedy, with great images included. His semi-Cold War-era tale of the 'children of Marx (Karl, maybe Groucho?) and Coca-Cola' has a rising pop singer Madeline (Chantal Goya, a real such singer of the time) and that leads to all kinds of music, art, politics, sex, revolution and more commentary in one of the director's most famous films.

This amounts to many surprises, vignettes, moments about honest sexuality (the birth control pill had just come into its own) and all kinds of ideas so relevant to the moments and history going on, much of which is a relevant today as ever. It is a very playful film, as the title partly suggests, but ultimately it is one of the greatest directors ever at the peak of his powers letting it all roll and never missing a beat. Though some moments work better than others, this is one of Godard's true classics. All serious film fans need to see this one.

Midi Z's Nina Wu (2019) wants to explore the dark side of trying to become an actress (especially legitimate) in feature films and the distressed title character (Wu Ke-Xi) thinks a new spy film will do it, but it has more sex and violence in it than most films. Should she go for it anyhow?

The film goes back and forth between the real world, the world of the film's narrative and people being exploited, sexually and otherwise. Some may get confused at times, but you think the film will make some kind of big statement. Instead, it just runs on for its 100+ minutes and its conclusion is a bit of a cop out and big disappointment. Too bad, because it at least started out well.

Finally, we have a new film from a screenplay by the writer of John Wick, Ilya Naishhuller's Nobody 4K (2021) with Bob Odenkirk holding the lead role as a father who seems passive at first, but has a dark secret that has (temporarily) made him a sort of quiet pacifist when his house is invaded. This all changes quickly when his house is further attacked and other parts of his past and the return of the repressed in general leads to another actioner.

Of course, the film has more graphic violence and language than any film really needs, but that is the point of films of this cycle, which is the older man back in private wars (usually involving a cat on the side!?!) and facing old and new enemies. For that, the script is a little sloppy and has a few missed opportunities that a little more time and concentration could have fixed. Oh, and the 'Russian Mafia' is here too, another cliche of some of these films.

Running 92 minutes, it seems longer than that at times and does not always use its time well, but if interested, there are enough moments worth a look to sit through it. The RZA, Connie Nielsen and Christopher Lloyd make up the decent supporting cast, but cheers to the stuntmen as well.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Nobody 4K is not without some flaws and limits, but they are few and the HD-shoot is decent enough overall, even when the film falls short. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray is not as clear or colorful, but is somewhat watchable. The film just looks best in 4K with its 12-bit color.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Men is also an HD shoot, one that even calls attention to this by images that have lines of degradation to suggest older surveillance cameras and the surreal talk show in the story. Color is not bad, but it can be a little off, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on Masculin is from a new 4K scan off of the original 35mm camera negative (all Kodak 4X film versus 400 ASA Ilford on all of Alphaville) that is the best I have seen the film, rarely showing the age of the film and having superior gray scale. Detail is fine and this is the way to see the film after so many DVDs issued worldwide.

The sound on each disc Is a little different, with lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) on both versions of Nobody having the best sound here, but the film is dialogue-based, so it does not always use the tracks fully at all times. Otherwise, it is fine.

Men has a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that has some good music and can have a good soundfield, but the dialogue is not as loud, clear or as balanced as it should be, especially at times when the music overwhelms the talking. Maybe they did not record this well enough on set or could correct this, but it is a problem and sometimes really noticeable.

Masculin has PCM Mono from the original optical negative soundmaster and it is as good as it probably will ever sound, jokes, sound effects and all. It goes great with the film transfer.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image transfer on Incarnation and 2.35 X 1 image on Nina are new HD shoots, but Nina looks a bit softer than it should throughout, getting in the way of viewing it. Both offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo mixes in their respective languages, but the 5.1 versions fare better in both.

Extras include Original Theatrical Trailers in all cases, save Nina with some brief Behind The Scenes clips. Masculin adding a high quality, illustrated booklet including informative text and an excellent essay by film critic Adam Martin and a 1966 report from the set by French journalist Philippe Labro, while its disc also adds an interview from 1966 with actor Chantal Goya, Interviews from 2004 and 2005 with Goya, Kurant, and Jean-Luc Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin, discussion of the film from 2004 between film critics Freddy Buache and Dominique Paini and footage from Swedish television of Godard directing the 'film within the film' scene.

Nobody adds Digital Copy, two feature length audio commentary tracks and three brief Behind The Scenes/Making Of clips.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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