Go Boys: The Story Of Cannon Films
(2014/MVD Blu-ray)/The New
Deal For Artists
Cast Album: Company
B+/C+/B/B+ Sound: B+/C/B-/B+ Extras: B/C/B/C+ Films:
up are three very striking documentaries for you to catch, and
another film inspired by one...
start with a great documentary, The
Go-Go Boys: The Story of Cannon Films
(2014), gets a nice release on Blu-ray courtesy of MVD Visual. The
doc explores of the filmography of the insanely over the top 80s film
company that produced films known for being pure popcorn munching
fare. The story is how two Israeli-born cousins, Menahem Golan and
Yoram Globus, ended up producing over 300 films, and become a major
contender in Hollywood in the 1980s with films starring Jean Claude
Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and even Superman
name a few.
film features interviews with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael
Dudikoff, Eli Roth, Boaz Davidson along with Menahem Golan and Yoram
Globus themselves, as well as archival material of Sylvester
Stallone, Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris from their 'appropriate'
Cannon Films. It is another look at the rise and fall of a B-movie
studio that was bound for disaster when it tries to be something
Go-Go Boys is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc
with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an English LPCM 2.0
(48kHz, 16-bit) mix, both of which are of a high standard for the
format and appropriate the documentary film that this is. Clips from
the films seem to of strong quality to what is available, a plus as
some of these films have been recently been restored and re-released!
Limited Edition Slipcover (First Pressing Only).
more on the madness that was Cannon Films, also be sure to see
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,
which we reviewed on Blu-ray ta this link:
Schulz-Keil's The New Deal
For Artists (1979) was
originally made by and for public television, but like the subject
matter itself, has been somewhat lost in the shuffle despite its
extremely important subject matter, all the people interviewed and
that is is narrated by no less than Orson Welles. When Herbert
Hoover's policies turned out to be a total disaster and the Great
Depression kicked it, he was eventually replaced by Franklin D.
Roosevelt, who took serious action to save the country.
being unpopular with certain elites, he got his policies funded and
through, including what was called the WPA (Works Progress
Administration) and this included hiring artists of all kinds and
types, including persons who did not have a voice in society do to
discrimination and the resulting boom helped build the Arts in the
U.S. with its own identity that was not dependent on what had been
done previously or in other countries. It also helped build the
country itself and build it up for what would soon be WWII.
90 minutes (it could have been a mini-series) and making every
minutes count, it is loaded with interviews, art, history and the
rise and fall of all the various programs that resulted, including
the uniquely American Fascist backlash that resulted in the House of
Un-American Activities by 1940. At the time it was made,
interviewees and witnesses then were concerned this history would be
lost. Now more than ever is the time to revisit it.
include Norman Lloyd (who just died a few months before this
posting!!!), John Houseman, John Randolph, Studs Terkel, Howard Da
Silva, Will Geer, Arthur Rothstein, Jack Conroy, Rexford G. Tugwell
and many more, though Welles contributes as much commentary by never
being on the camera. This is a priceless work that should be
must-see viewing in every school in the country, even the world and I
was glad to see it again after all these years. Cheers to Corinth
for bringing it back.
1.33 X 1 is a new scan off of the original 16mm negative, with color
footage, black and white footage, stock footage and stills, looking
fine for the most part, but I would love to see this in HD, while the
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is off of the surviving optical track,
but is at a lower volume than it should be, I would have liked and
even lower than the new trailer on the disc. Why, I do not know, but
be careful of high volume playback and volume switching.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative text
profiles, plus a Trailer for its reissue.
Pennebaker's Original Cast
Album: Company (1970) is
the legendary documentary filmmaker's look at what turned out to be
the turning point for lyricist/composer Stephen Sondheim, whose work
was limited to mostly lyricist when he thought he had much more to
offer. With a mix of hits and misses entering into this project, his
idea of often multi-layered and even overlapping vocals with tricky
time signatures reminiscent of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, yet
uniquely his own. This would finally be the work that permanently
established him the musical thinker of the future and the future of
film is the night the original cast cuts the original cast soundtrack
(or song tracks for that matter) and was a then-rare look into such
work, the creative process and became a classic of its own. Some
would cynically say it was a nearly hour-long promo film for that
album release (especially as this sadly only runs about 54 minutes;
wish it was much longer) but the talent in front of and behind the
camera, including talent in front of the microphone and mixing boards
offer a rare synergy we have rarely seen since with documentaries and
featurettes in this mode only a little more common 50+ years later.
singing cast is brilliant, meld very well and include starts of the
time and on the climb like Dean Jones (already a movie star), Elaine
Stritch (one of the stages greatest legends, though many still do not
know her and she is sadly no longer with us), Barbara Barrie (a great
actress who was also terrific as the wife of the title captain on the
landmark TV classic Barney
Kimbrough (who helped make Murphy
Brown so important), Beth
Howland (who was Vera for the entire run of the critically acclaimed,
long-running TV hit Alice)
and more. If anything, you want to see everything all involved have
ever been in after this, as it captures the true spirit of Broadway
in the best way possible.
is also fun to see all the engineers working with expensive, but
older equipment (the mixing boards have knobs, not the sliders that
are standard today) and how hard all involved are working together to
make this the definitive recording of what is now an all-time
classic. It worked and is now a legendary film, now restored for
everyone to see. Any serious film or music fan must see this one.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image is from a 4K scan off of
the original 16mm Ektachrome 16mm film, which we guess are the 7241
and 7242 stocks now known for their grain and fading, but that
remarkably is not an issue in the transfer here.
PCM 2.0 Mono is off of the original 1/4th-inch and 16mm magnetic
master tapes, sounding pretty good for what is a monophonic recording
of a stereophonic album that was also issued a few years in in
4-track Quad versions. Hope that master tape gets a reissue soon.
are many and include an illustrated paper foldout on the film with an
essay by author Mark Harris and tech info, while the disc adds a new
audio commentary by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Audio
commentary from 2001 featuring director D. A. Pennebaker, actor
Elaine Stritch, and Broadway producer Harold Prince, New conversation
among Sondheim, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, and critic Frank Rich,
New interview with Tunick on the art of orchestrating, conducted by
author Ted Chapin, Never-before-heard audio excerpts from interviews
with Stritch and Prince, conducted by D. A. Pennebaker and Hegedus in
2000, ''Original Cast Album: 'Co-Op,''' a 2019 episode
of the TV series Documentary Now! that parodies the film and a
reunion of the cast and crew of ''Original Cast Album:
'Co-Op''' recorded in 2020, featuring director Alexander
Buono; writer-actor John Mulaney; actors Renee Elise Goldsberry,
Richard Kind, Alex Brightman, and Paula Pell; and composer Eli Bolin.
have covered more Sondheim work on this site than you think, so feel
free to look up him and his titles liberally, including this stage
revival of Company from 2011 we covered on Blu-ray at this
we have director Lizzie Borden's Working
(1986) getting a 4K remaster from the good people at Criterion and
inspired by her documentary Born
The disc looks fantastic for the Blu-ray format and has some
interesting extras that shed some new light on the odd film. The
film centers around a prostitute and is partly a nude film and partly
a sociological pursuit centered on prostitution culture. It reminds
me a little bit of Sex,
Lies, and Videotape
and other films of the like.
Girls stars Ellen McElduff, Amanda Goodwin, Richard Leacock, and
is a new 4K restoration of the film that has been supervised by
director Lizzie Borden, and comes paired with an uncompressed
monaural soundtrack. It is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with
an MPEG-4 AVC codec and an original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and an
English LPCM Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) mix and English subtitles. The
transfer is pretty nice here for the format and has been cleaned up
the aging film considerably.
commentary from 2007 featuring Borden, director of photography Judy
Irola, and actor Amanda Goodwin
conversation between Borden and filmmaker Bette Gordon
conversation with actors Louise Smith and Amanda Goodwin, producer
Andi Gladstone, and first assistant director Vicky Funari
conversation with sex workers Antonia Crane, Daphne Von Rey, Selena
the Stripper, and Jo Weldon
an essay by author So Mayer and excerpts from a 1987 interview with
Borden by film critic Scott MacDonald in the included paper booklet.
Nicholas Sheffo (Company, Deal) and James Lockhart