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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Dark Comedy > Cable TV > Mystery > Voyeurism > Teens > Gals > Scotland > Music > Relations > Kevin Can F Himself: Season 1 (2020/AMC*)/Nine Days (**)/Our Ladies (**2020/both Sony Blu-rays)/South Of Heaven (2021/*both RLJ Blu-rays)

Kevin Can F Himself: Season 1 (2020/AMC*)/Nine Days (**)/Our Ladies (**2020/both Sony Blu-rays)/South Of Heaven (2021/*both RLJ Blu-rays)

Picture: B+/B-/B/B- Sound: B+/B-/B-/B Extras: C+/C-/D/C Main Programs: C+/C/C+/C

Here are some dramas which might have touches of comedy, yet are not always intending humor...

Annie Murphy (Emmy winner for the hilarious Schitt's Creek) stars in the interestingly made black comedy/drama Kevin Can F Himself: Season 1 (2020,) which is now on Blu-ray from RLJE and AMC.

Allison (Murphy) is a typical woman stuck in a literal sitcom marriage with an unappreciative husband named Kevin. One day she snaps and ends up on a journey of self discovery in which she gets into as much trouble as possible in an effort to break free of her constrained marriage and a 'free' woman. Seeking out an ex, getting wasted, and meeting new people and getting into all sorts of bizarre situations, Allison gets a new handle on life in a pretty funny and often times endearing way.

The show also features Eric Petersen, Mary Hollis Inboden, Alex Bonifer, Candice Coke, and Jamie Denbo to name a few.

Episodes include Living the Dream, Living the Dream; New Tricks Part 2, We're Selling Washing Machines, Live Free or Die, New Patty, The Grand Victorian, Broken, and Fixed.

Special Features:

A Look at the Series

Meet the Characters

and Making of the Show

Annie Murphy is an interesting actress and does a pretty great job in this series even if some aspects of it seem a bit silly and formulaic. The filmmaking aspect of her being in a sitcom in the way its filmed and complete with a laugh track vs. a more cinematic and serious form of filmmaking is an interesting mix into her psyche, but the back and forth grows a little tiresome.

Edson Oda's Nine Days (2020) has a man (Winston Duke) gets a group of people to watch the recorded lives of many people in the past (a past best known for home movies in the obsolete VHS format) and present (still VHS?) seeing their lives and being a voyeur in a way that is not too healthy. Then he gets some people to join him in different ways that seems like a bad game, but it eventually leads to him having to deal with his own past, not necessarily caught on tape.

Of course, this is creepy and sounds like a horror film, yet never quite gets there, yet it is also almost a thriller (Sharon Stone's Sliver with a brain, poorer video equipment and no sex?) and trying to make some kind of statement. It never really adds up, though some people like this one, but I was not as impressed and it could have done more at just over 2 hours. The rest of the cast (including Zazie Beetz and Bill Skarsgard) are not bad here at all, but it just never adds up to a big surprise or conclusion. At least they tried.

A Making Of clip is the only extra.

Michael Caton-Jones is a journeyman director with an interesting feature film output with its highlights (Memphis Belle, This Boy's Life) as well as bad moves (Basic Instinct 2, probably The Jackal remake) and ambitious films that at least tried to work (Scandal, Rob Roy, Doc Hollywood) even if they were not totally successful. Our Ladies (2020) falls in the latter category, about a group of female Catholic schoolmates in Scotland more interested in Rock music and going out to party than entering a choir competition. The cast of young, unknown female actors are not bad, but the script hardly offers nothing new.

Feeling like a belated entry in such small, smart films like Alan Parker's The Commitments a good while ago, it at least feels authentic and this could be one of those films where we look back and see some of these actresses after they found commercial and/or critical success years later as an early curio, but it also drags on and on more often than I would have liked for its 106 minutes. Music choices are at least not bad, but I was a bit disappointed.

There are sadly no extras.

Finally, we have Aharon Keshales's South Of Heaven (2021) with Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis as a convicted criminal with an early parole, trying to out his life back together, helped by a woman who loves him and waited (the underrated Evangeline Lilly, convincing us easily why he had a reason to survive and stay well behind bars!) except that she is now suffering from a cancer she might not survive from.

His parole officer (Shea Whigman) gets him an odd job, but soon, he is dealing with a big local criminal (Mike Coulter) whose going to make his life awful at the worst time. The film has more than enough time with Sudeikis and Lilly, time that looks good, but cuts down on the needed exposition the film lacks and that makes it a little more cliched and dull than it should have (I was waiting for Lilly to do an Annie Lennox/Eurythmics medley to break up the repetitive parts) and that leaves the film with too many missed opportunities in its two hours. Sudeikis makes this a curio, but it is Lilly who is the rising star and both should make this a curio of sorts in itself, even though I was disappointed.

A trailer and behind the scenes clip are the only extras.

Now for the technical performance of each release. Kevin Can F Himself is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. All of which are of a high standard for the aging Blu-ray format. This is still quite an improvement over the original television broadcast.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the rest of the HD-shot theatrical releases are a little softer than I would have liked, save Ladies, which is more consistent and the color might also be a bit better.

All three films also offer the same kind of sound mix, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1, but it is usually dialogue-based and underwhelming, save Heaven, which is simply recorded, mixed and edited better for a more consistent soundfield. Otherwise, the sound is fine in all cases.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Kevin)



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