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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Slapstick > Satire > Horror > Mistaken Identity > Drama > French > Here Today (2021/Sony DVD)/The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2 (2021/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Overboard (1987/MGM/Severin Blu-ray)/Perfumes (2019/Icarus DVD)

Here Today (2021/Sony DVD)/The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2 (2021/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Overboard (1987/MGM/Severin Blu-ray)/Perfumes (2019/Icarus DVD)

Picture: C+/B-/B/C+ Sound: C+/B-/B-/C+ Extras: C/C/C/D Films: C/C/C+/C+

Up next are a odd group of comedies that could have been funnier...

Billy Crystal's Here Today (2021) has Crystal as an aging comedy writer unhappy with young know-it-alls in his business who know nothing and he is feeling his age to boot. Enter a young lounge singer (Tiffany Haddish) who wants to move up in the world of entertainment and gets to have a meeting with him... then lands up in the hospital with a food allergy form the lunch!

Running a long 117 minutes, I did not laugh much as this followed Crystal's lite comedy approach, though it has an unexpected slight charm in the middle of a pandemic. Too bad it did not go further or try something new, but it is safe enough for fans and those who want lite comedy. Otherwise, I was bored.

Extras include on cameras interviews with the filmmakers and cast and a feature length audio commentary with Crystal, Haddish and Alan Zweibel.

Deon Taylor's The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2 (2021) is going into the Horror spoof territory of the likes of Mel Brooks and The Wayan Brothers, et al, but since those entities made such films, the genre classics Get Out and Us have happened. Can they take advantage of that?

Well, Mike Epps is a writer who moves back to his hometown of Chicago when he realizes he suddenly has neighbors that might creep out The Musters and The Addams Family. This includes Kat Williams, as well cast as Epps. Epps thinks maybe they are a vampire family. Will they try to make his family theirs... permanently and forever?

I like the set-up and there are a few chuckles here and there, but the film is just too slightly silly throughout to work and sometimes coasts, though its leads can overcome those problems in spots. The script and director just don't know how to take advantage of current trends or is able to get around the genre. Still, someone will get a kick out of this, so those very interested should still give it a look.

Extras include Digital Copy, while the disc adds Bloopers, Deleted Scenes, a few Making Of featurettes and a cast/crew audio commentary track.

Garry Marshall's Overboard (1987) was his moderate hit a few years before the Infamous Pretty Woman became a hit, offering still-top box office star and always comically capable Goldie Hawn as a major snob who needs help with a redesign on her yacht (she shares it with her husband, Edward Herrmann cast to type) and they hire a fix it man (Kurt Russell) to do the job. However, she is rude to him from the first second.

He brushes her attitude off at first, needing the money and figuring this will be a quick job to add new drawers for her clothes, but things get wacky quickly when she does not like the material he used to build them and then he starts telling her off. Then things get crazier when she falls overboard and when she actually survives, has amnesia!

When her real husband pretends not to know her at the hospital, the fix-it guy decides to get extended revenge by pretending to be her husband (he has three young sons) as part of an elaborate charade to get back at her. Of course, that does not go as planned either.

The film has a decent script, but get too cartoonish for its own good, with Hawn's snob self never totally working. A few moments work, but this is basically (like so many other Marshall big screen comedies) a high concept comedy that does not work often enough. Having a good supporting cast that also include Roddy McDowall and Katherine Helmond does not hurt, but the film isa basically a showcase for the leads who became a big press item for being an off-screen power couple. They have chemistry here and 34 years later as we post this, are still together. That makes it a curio, but see it only if you are very interested.

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer and nice 15-minutes interview with Writer Leslie Dixon that I wish went on for an hour at least.

Finally we have Gregory Magne's Perfumes (2019) which mixes drama and comedy as a demanding woman (Emmanuelle Devos) who is an expert in producing and evaluating perfumes professionally has a chauffeur (Gregory Montel) who will push back at her when she gets annoying, but he is in more serious trouble of his won. He is in a custody battle for the daughter he loves.

At 101 minutes, the film is trying to have it both ways and some things work, but too much here is obvious and I wish the writing would have tried to do something more original or different or tried some character development because the contrast of the woman who thinks she has it all the the father just trying to keep it together has more to offer than the makers seem to realize. At least it is a mature work.

There are no extras.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on House is an HD shoot that can be hit and miss, with good shots followed by a few bad or sloppy ones, though some are supposed to be for style, it is just too mixed. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also hit and miss, sometimes sounding fine, but other times has audio that was badly recorded, not as well recorded and/or not edited in well. The result is one of the odder transfers I have seen in a while.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Overboard can sometimes show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film with good color and consistency for the most part. Expect a little grain if you are used to (often generic) HD images. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is a little weaker as the film was produced in Dolby's older A-type analog noise reduction system, but some will find this early Alan Silvestri score interesting and dialogue is clean and clear considering.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Here Today is a consistent HD shot that looks as good as it can in the old DVD format, but expect the usual softness, while the lossless Dolby Digital 5.1 is a new recording that is dialogue-based, but just fine. Bet it would sound better lossless.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Perfume is also just fine for a recent HD shoot, though the scope framing does not necessarily make this funnier and I don't know why it was chosen. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic-like surrounds, is also dialogue-based and just fine for the digital recording it is. Why no 5.1?

- Nicholas Sheffo


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