Last Days Of Patton
Last Time I Committed Suicide
(1933/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Paul
(1955 - 1956/DVD*/***)/The
Power and the Glory
(1961/DVD/***both Liberation Hall/*all MVD)/The
(2019 aka Blizzard
Film Movement DVDs)/Stillwater
(2021/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
B-/C+/C-/B+/B/C/C/C/B & C+ Sound: B/C/C/B+/C+/C/C/C+*/B &
C+ Extras: C/C/C-/C/B-/D/C-/C-/C Main Programs:
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
season is fast approaching, so here is a group of dramas of all kinds
to check into....
(2021) has Ben Platt as a guy who has dreams of moving to Paris, but
the unexpected death of his father and then meeting a gal (Lola
Kirke) who has personal issues derails his plans. Now, he intends to
stay involved with her and starts to deal with some of his own issues
bad and well acted enough, but the writers come up with little new to
offer than we have not seen in dozens (hundreds?) of other such
dramas, but we may actually start seeing more of the leads if this
production is any indication. They could have tried to do something
more with the 90 minutes they had here, but it has some genuine
moments if nothing else.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is a little
softer than expected, but is fine otherwise with some consistent
color, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has a consistent soundfield
and helps make up for the image's limits.
include a Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery, Original Theatrical
Trailer and Deleted Scenes.
(2020) is a tennis drama withy a little comedy about an older star
(Alex Lutz) who is starting to have issues with his body from playing
the game hard, well and successfully for so many year, but new
competition in a new set of games might finally push him and his body
over the edge.
first three quarters of the film offers much of what we have seen on
the sport and in most sports dramas and that's fine, but would
usually mean a forgettable work. Then the final game with a young,
aggressive new competitor turns up and the film suddenly kicks in and
creates a remarkably palpable game that epitomizes the kinds of
situations and resulting suspense that gets people worldwide to watch
such games in the first place. I wish the rest of the film was this
good, but I was glad it made it to this point and is the only reason
outside of a decent cast to recommend it.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image has some softness and could be
sharper, but is passable for this older format. The lossy French
Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes are good for the
old codecs, but the 5.1 is better by default.
Q&A with the Director Reynaud and lead Alex Lutz are the only
Last Days Of Patton
(1986) is the belated, unexpected telefilm sequel to George C.
Scott's Best Actor Oscar-winning performance and Franklin J. Shaffner
70mm hit feature film Patton
from 1970 which we reviewed years ago on Blu-ray at this link:
a long 146 minutes, it takes place just after WWII when Patton
(Scott, returning to a role he turned his Oscar down over) lands up
getting injured by a car and how he deals with that. The on thing
that makes sense is that Scott was older, so it was 16 years later
and he could look the role as older without any make-up and he is
pretty good here. However, you should see the earlier film first
(we're waiting for Disney/20 Century to issue a 4K edition) and
expect a long sit. It is not bad, but many might not be able to get
through it all.
is a decent budget and a supporting cast that includes Eva Marie
Saint, Ed Lauter, Murray Hamilton and Richard Dysart.
the 1.33 X 1 image is very noisy, soft and a mess, made worse, the
larger the screen you look at it on. Color is a bit off and a new 2K
or 4K scan needs to be made of the original 35mm camera negative, if
it still exists. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is almost as bad,
dated with some harmonic distortion, background noise and a bit
compressed, so be careful of high volume playback and volume
Photo Gallery and informative text are the only extras.
Last Time I Committed Suicide
gets the MVD Marquee Treatment on Blu-ray and features an all star
cast in Keanu Reeves, Thomas Jane, Claire Florani, Adrien Brody, and
others. The film is based on a 1950 letter written by Neal Cassady
to Jack Kerouac and is sure to pull at the heart strings.
by Stephen Kay, the film centers on a poet Noel Cassady (Jane) whose
wife attempts suicide and makes him second guess their marriage as a
teenage love interest also takes shape. The Poet must decide between
this new love or his first and what lies on the road ahead for him in
life. A mixed film, some of the actors have dealt with this subject
matter before (Reeves and Michelle Meyrink (Real
in 1988's Permanent
and that was a subject addressed in some other dramas, but it
produced no classics. At least they were trying.
film is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec
and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless English DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 surround mix. The film looks and
sounds fine and to my knowledge this is the film's first release in
only extra is a trailer.
(1933) is one of those early melodramas where we get a female lead
who has to sacrifice her own private, personal life, satisfaction and
happiness to help others. Sexist, misogynist and problematic in
other ways far to extensive to go into, Kay Francis is convincing as
the title character and add that Mary falls for her medical practice
partner (Lyle Talbot) while he falls for another woman (Glenda
Farrell, looking great) and you can hear violins playing even when
they are not on the soundtrack.
that most medical dramas got this sappy and you know you are in for
an ordeal, even if this only runs 72 minutes. The actors give it
their best and some of the sets and locales are interesting, but this
is more of a time capsule than anything else and you can now see for
yourself what you think.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is looking
as good as it can from its new restoration and because it has a
female lead and is a melodrama, the diffusion lenses get overused, so
the softness is often intended, especially when filming its lead.
The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good and
clean as it is ever gong to sound, but it is limited in sonic range
and you can hear some background hiss throughout. That's just the
way it is.
only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer.
up is a Paul
(1955 - 1956) that sounds like a feature film collection, but
actually three live programs he made back in the glory days of early
live TV with Producer David Susskind: Robert Steven's The
(1955, two hitchhikers avoid a storm only to be suspected a a murder
just being reported with Jack Lord and Frank Overton), Franklin
(1956, Newman plays a garment factory employee who refuses to pay
protection money to criminals, then they kill his father. He
retaliates by organizing the workers against them, et al. Nehemiah
Persoff and Frank Campanella also star) and Franklin Schaffner's Five
(1956, Newman is a soldier who schemes to get a discharge in the
draft-era of the military, but his scheme is seen though, then he is
attacked. What will happen next? Frank Campanella and Sydney
Pollack (the director in one of his early acting roles) co-star.)
is a rare chance to see such amazing TV, the early work, birth and
growth of some of the most important talent ever seen on any screen
and how open and amazing early TV could be. It is also a big chance
to see early works in the method school of acting that transformed
the performing arts for the better forever. Glad to see these
surviving and released for everyone to see them.
1.33 X 1 black and white image comes from old kinescope sources (a
16mm black and white recording off of an analog video picture tube)
so it is soft, yet we're lucky to have it since so much live TV is
gone. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also dated, lacking a full
sound and including some microphone issues, some harmonic distortion,
background noise, flaws and a bit of compression, so be careful of
high volume playback and volume switching.
are no extras.
Power and the Glory
(1961) is not my favorite tale of anything, but to have no less than
Sir Laurence Olivier as a priest not very happy with much, sent to
1930s Mexico to spread the Gospel, but now has to do it in secret
since a revolution has made such things illegal and could get
Christians / Catholics killed. Will their need to get and use wine
give hem away and get them killed?
when the story falls short (this runs a long 2 hours) and is uneven
the supporting cast is also impressive, including Julie Harris,
Keenan Wynn, George C. Scott, Roddy McDowell and Patty Duke, so it is
worth seeing for the actors, even when the rest does not hold so well
together. Still glad it has survived and now you can judge for
set above, the 1.33 X 1 black and white image comes from old
kinescope sources (a 16mm black and white recording off of an analog
video picture tube) so it is soft, yet we're lucky to have it since
so much live TV is gone. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also
dated, lacking a full sound and including some microphone issues,
some harmonic distortion, background noise, flaws and a bit of
compression, so be careful of high volume playback and volume
(2019 aka Blizzard
is a Latvian film about a young man (Oto Brantevics) enters WWI
hoping for future success and glory, only to be ignored and censored
by Russia. Running 104 minutes, there is some money on the screen
and some good acting work, but since all we get is a bad English dub,
watching the film was ruined and on the difficult side. I hope to
see this in its original, native language, but until then, avoid this
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image happens to be a little weak
anyways and on the soft side, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and
2.0 Stereo English-only soundtracks are passable at best and often
ring fake or too harsh for some reason.
trailer is the only extras, also in English only.
Tom McCarthy's Stillwater
(2021) has been receiving buzz for Matt Damon's lead performance as a
father and oil-rig worker constantly having trouble keeping employed
due to lack of work (and a good union, we gather) when his daughter,
living in Marseilles, is arrested for murder!
aside that it sounds like a recent real life crime case, I was only
so convinced by the film with all of its twists and turns, seeming
more conventional than believable. Damon does transform well into
his gruff working class character and if you did not know he was one
of the biggest movie stars around, you might not know the difference.
Not quite an Oscar-begging turn, he has never failed to live up to
an acting challenge despite his very long set of commercial acting
result is a mixed film where he steals too many of his scenes and a
visual look that does not try hard enough to avoid looking like a
Jason Bourne movie with its shaky camerawork in a foreign (read
non-U.S.A.) land. It slack of color at times evokes a war film,
which also seems out of place. Professionally done with a good
supporting cast, it could have been much better, but it is still
worth a look so you can see what you think.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray version
here is an HD shoot that is not bad, but styling and camera work
sometimes is not to its advantage, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has a good soundfield and
is well recorded, but offers nothing extraordinary either.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD version is much
softer and more annoying as a result, which also applies to the
weaker, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound codec that just cannot compete
with the Blu-ray's sound.
include Digital Copy and three brief Behind The Scenes featurette
order the Mary
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Time)