With Dirty Faces
(1938/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Card
(4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/*both 20th Century/Disney/2021)/Memory
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B/B/B-/C+ Sound: C+/B-/B/B+ &
B/C+ Extras: B+/C-/D/C+/B- Films: B-/B/C+/C+/C+
With Dirty Faces
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
With Dirty Faces
(1938) was made in what would turn out to be the end of Warner's
original Gangster genre cycle of films at the time before WWI and
Film Noir arrived, with James Cagney as a rising gangster and Pat
O'Brien as the priest out to end his prolificness in no less than
their sixth film together. The Dead End Kids show up as the street
kids rooting for Cagney and a solid supporting cast has no less than
Humphrey Bogart as a shady lawyer and Ann Sheridan as the gangster's
up better than expected, we get a little more melodrama than you
might get in a gangster film at the time and this also plays into a
cycle of juvenile delinquency films as The Dead End Kids would
eventually become stars on their own at the time. Love the title, it
is worth revisiting and is the kind of film most fans of the actors
and genre still talk about. Needless to say director Curtiz was on a
include a Leonard Maltin introducing 'A Night At The Movies 1938'
with a newsreel, live-action musical short Out
Where The Starts Begin,
classic cartoon short Porky
and Theatrical Trailers, plus a strong, outstanding feature length
audio commentary track by film scholar Dana Polan, a radio drama
version of the film from the time with Cagney & O'Brien and a
Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette on the film entitled Whaddya
Hear? Whaddya Say?.
(2021) is one of the year's best films, with the amazing Oscar Issac
as a veteran of post-9/11 soldier work at Abu Ghraib, whose abuses
where eventually exposed in a series of still photos. He went to
prison for it, while many others walked, but is not a free man and
playing cards for profit in the increasingly big world of gambling.
With shades of Christopher Walken in Michael Cimino's masterpiece The
(1978, now on 4K disc, unreviewed but highly recommended)
and other themes of isolation he and Scorsese (his co-producer here)
have explored as well as anyone in cinema history, this is a serious
piece of work.
also see inside the different games as he goes to various locales,
but two people change his life course. One is a woman (Tiffany
Hadish, more than handling her first dramatic role well) and a young
man (Tye Sherdian) who wants to get revenge on a man our title
character also has it in for (Willem Dafoe as the ex-soldier who
encouraged so much torture) and the two meet at a sales pitch meeting
hosted by Dafoe to sell some security system that might not even
language and situations can be very graphic and some people simply
might not be able to handle this film, but it is one of the few films
about things happening in the world now and also deals with some
subjects dramatic feature film sand TV have yet to really cover
properly. This may be Schrader's strongest film since 2002's Auto
Focus, though he has taken many risks since and insists on making
films for intelligent, grown adults. I hope this one finds a larger
audience, because it deserves it and there is some fine work here all
Making Of featurette, A
High Stakes World,
is the only extra.
(2021) is another in a series of the director's films with various
aspect ratios and various designs that keeps you watching just to see
where it might go and it always looks good like just about all his
films. While books and newspapers have received endless praise and
celebration in movies, magazines have too often been neglected and
only a few films (like Stanley Donen's Funny
(1957, reviewed elsewhere on this site) with its musical Technicolor
ands large-frame VistaVision celebration of a fashion magazine,
large-frame still photography, love and life is a rare exception.
this film has some visuals worthy of that classic as we have the
title magazine publishing their last issue (a story happening with
many magazines now in the cyber-era, some at least ending their print
versions while still staying alive on the Internet) and we learn of
the stable of great writers they have and get told three stories as a
result. One is of an artist in prison (Benicio del Toro), one in the
counterculture 1968 (ala Jean-Luc Godard) with Timothee Chalamet and
one that starts with a TV talk show host (Jeffrey Wright) whose talk
lands him in being swept up in more action than expected. There are
episodes and this is not necessarily an anthology film, even tied
together by the dilemma of what the final issue can and should offer
and fit inside led by its longtime editor, played by Bill Murray.
is a good film, complex, interesting, smart and owes more than a bit
to Kubrick, Godard and Woody Allen, yet retains much of Anderson's
style, plus some of Roman Coppola, who helped make the film.
Fortunately, there is enough here to give it a good look, but I was a
little disappointed that it got off track and did not do more with
the magazine angle. Still, it is one of the year's better films and
the supporting cast is a plus, including Tilda Swinton, Frances
McDormand, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban, Henry
Winkler, Christoph Waltz, Matthew Amalric, Willem Dafoe, Liev
Schreiber, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Lois Smith, Jason
Schwartzman, Griffin Dunne, Elizabeth Moss, Fisher Stevens and
Anjelica Huston as the narrator. No one is wasted here.
are sadly no extras on this edition.
Last Duel 4K
(2021) is one of the director's more off films of late, having him
revisit the kind of material (Kingdom
that just did not deliver like it had in the past (The
but he likes this world and obviously feels comfortable in it.
However, in his particular case, going back to territory he has
already done so well with before does not seem to work for him
(sequels and prequels included) like new territory (Thelma
that shows how quick he picks up new places, situations, worlds and
brings them to impressive, memorable life.
on a book and true story taking place in 14th
Century France, Matt Damon and Adam Driver are the 'duelists' on
horseback gong at each other in the opening, then the rest of the
film (too safely?) is a flashback of the events that lead up to the
title moment. Jodie Comer plays a woman accusing Driver's character
of viciously assaulting her, thus Damon's character eventually
defends her honor, et al, but also playing out here is bad religion,
bad royalty (Ben Affleck shows up as the royalty) and frankly too
much predictability for the long 2.5 hours of the film.
is on the screen, but that does not stop the film from dragging on
too much. Damon is a little off here and somewhat miscast, Driver is
repeating himself a little as well, though the same can be said for
Scott, then the film suddenly has a few spots of humor that hurt its
credibility and other points (more than a few of them) that are
unintentionally funny and/or even campy.
has blamed 'millennials' for not coming out to see the film (pandemic
notwithstanding) in theaters (distracted by their cyber devices) and
that might even have some degree of validity, but the film is simply
not that good and one of the year's disappointments. I like all the
actors and am glad to see any studio fund a film like this that is
not a tired formula commercial project that seems more like a
two-hour-plus ad for things like 'happy meals' and toys, but if you
are going to make such a film, its go to work. This one sadly does
not and I like all the actors too.
see what happens with his Gladiator
sequel, but after that, maybe its time for Scott to tackle other
Code and a Making Of featurette are the only extras.
we have Joao Paulo Miranda Maria's Memory
(2020) from Brazil, where a German-owned dairy is going to start
cutting back severely on expenses and labor, whether they need to or
not. Employee Cristovam (Antonio Pitanga, a legendary actor from the
Cinema Novo movement) will especially suffer, already with no
friends, older, a man of color and in a lonely isolation that will
only get worse.
does an excellent job of communicating what is going on in wordless
images so early, you get what is going on and its deep implications,
but as the film gets to the middle, we do not know if we are
witnessing Cristovam having a mental illness breakdown that is
imagined, actually happening or both. I like the idea of a 'cinema
of loneliness' with limited answers, but the film loses its way and
the final payoff offers a mixed result. Still, a very ambitious
first feature film is better than much (including projects with much
larger budgets that think they are smarter than they actually are) of
the poorer releases we've suffered through of late.
a look for the curious.
include a feature length audio commentary track by the Director and
his 2016 short film The
Girl Who Danced With The Devil
(15 minutes) that made a splash at Cannes.
for playback performance. The
2160p HECV/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra
High Definition image on Last
is an all-HD shoot that is not bad, but maybe not as gritty or rich
as I would have liked. However, Scott and Director of Photography
Dariusz Wolski, A.S.C., more than have command of the scope frame and
compositions are as convincing as anything here. The sound is in
Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) on the 4K
disc, while it is a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on the
regular Blu-ray. The DTS sounds good, but is not as open, rich,
detailed or active as the Atmos, which is the preferred way to hear
the film and is one of the year's better sound mixes. If you must
see it, go 4K.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Dirty
can sometimes show the age of the materials used, but this is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and is yet
another impressive restoration by Warner of another key catalog
release. You will see detail, depth and solid Video Black you could
have only previously seen on a fresh 35mm or 16mm print. This looks
really good. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good as it will
ever sound, but it can only hide its age so much.
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Counter
offers occasional split screen moments and frame changes, but looks
good otherwise and has great compositions throughout, while the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is well recorded, mixed and
presented, but it is dialogue-based too. You get a consistent
soundfield thanks to music (the score and diegetic 'in the scene'
sound) and some interesting sound effects. The combination is as
compelling as the script, which is a good thing.
1080p digital High Definition image on Dispatch
with its various aspect ratios (usually 1.33 X 1) look very good
throughout and this is all shot on 35mm film, so the extensive
production design, set design and other nicer touches even stand out
better. Any artifice never looks too fake or artificial and even the
use of color is smarter than one might first think, while the black
and white is fine too. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is very active, very well
recorded, mixed and better than you might expect. The result is a
very watchable combination and will do until a 4K edition is issued.
the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on House
would likely look better on a Blu-ray and has some impressive images,
but this DVD is as good as this could look in the format and is
passable, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is also not bad and would
also benefit from a lossless presentation. Sound is used very
order the Warner Archive Angels
With Dirty Faces
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