(1996/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Dancing
Of The Stardust Brothers
Century Giants: The Story Of Renaldo & The Loaf
B- (DVD: C) Sound: B- (DVD: C) Extras: C/B-/C/C+ Main
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on all 4K and Blu-ray and
can be ordered from the link below.
for a unique mix of new music releases....
(1996) has been issued on Blu-ray in a new edition by Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia as a Region Free Import. We previously
reviewed the film in their DVD import version at this link:
no fan of the film and it does not get better with age to me, despite
its curio status, at least it is more tolerable by default on this
have been added this time and include all new on-camera interviews
with Richard Brennan and Louis Nowra, a Stills Gallery and excerpt on
the film via an oral history with Brennan and fan Paul Harris.
(1936) is a musical comedy about the title character (Charles
Collins, who is not bad here, but needed a little better directing)
who eventually gets shanghaied onto a pirates ship, only to find the
love of his life as he is about to be executed in this then-expensive
first full-color musical (in full Technicolor yet) that was trying to
capitalize on the success of the massive hit Technicolor short La
and huge surprise hit feature film Becky
(still one of the best Vanity
adaptation ever made) which also made a ton of money.
one of the co-stars and some of the style of the short, you could see
why the appropriately named Pioneer Pictures thought the
similarities, previous successes and have one of the hottest genres
of the time in full color versus productions that came close in older
two-strip Technicolor (Douglas Fairbanks' non-musical The
(1926) was in two-strip Technicolor, Broadway,
Diggers Of Broadway,
Revue of 1929,
With The Show,
Show Of Shows,
(all 1929, a few into 1930,) Bright
Revue of 1930,
Byron Of Broadway,
Of The Party,
On The Ritz,
Girl In Hollywood,
Learned About Women,
Of The Flame,
Of The West,
A Texas Moon, No
(all 1930,) Kiss
(all 1931, some only with two-strip sections) were among a huge group
of the early color, sound films with music and most were outright
all those often profitable releases, some of which did not have big
stars or extraordinary tales, why should the producers of this film
could have such high hopes, that the first musical film with such
great color would be at least a modest hit if not an outright smash,
but reviews were as mixed as the film itself with co-star Frank
Morgan (best known as the actual Wizard
only three years later) stealing his scenes and outacting his
co-stars, Pioneer had to fold (though David O. Selznick's new studio
took over the color productions and the rest is history, starting
with the remarkable 1937 A
Star Is Born
the next year) but I'm glad Film Detective got this key film out on
Blu-ray as best they could because it is a film every serious film
fan should see once.
Rita Hayworth is somewhere in the finale with her dancing sisters
under her real last name, if you can find her. It has enough moments
worth seeing and it has finally survived in its original form to
enough of an extent that it is not lost anymore.
include a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and an essay by Jennifer Churchill, who also offers
a fine, feature length audio commentary track on the film, plus we
get two featurettes: Glorious Pioneers: The Birth Of Technicolor
and Ambushed by Mediocrity: Remembering The Dancing Pirate,
both very well done.
Legend Of The Stardust Brothers
(1985) is part of a cycle of straight-to-video productions that were
very popular in Japan at the time during the videotape era that I had
heard a bit about, but never actually saw. More amusing and with
more interesting moments than expected, this one is about the fake,
manufactured title duo who becomes a hit on the music charts, but has
shady handlers. It is an all-too familiar story, though segments of
this one reminded me ironically of the late Michael Nesmith's
groundbreaking long-form video Elephant
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) in a good way.
bad the overall 100 minutes is not as strong as its best parts, yet
it is worth a look for those interested, especially if you (like most
viewers in the states) have never seen one. The MTV and New Wave
trappings, not to mention the dated technology of the era, are a
include trailers, a Making Of featurette, an on camera interview with
the director and a few more little items we will not ruin for you.
we have Alex Wroten's 23rd
Century Giants: The Story Of Renaldo & The Loaf
(2021) is the true story about a music duo from the U.K. and managed
to create four experimental music albums despite limited resources
and not being able to afford the synthesizers that inspired them.
With a touch of punk, they were avant garde and early New Wave in
their works and the results were eventually underground success
(including being at the same record label as the legendary band The
Residents) and are ripe for rediscovery.
for what they achieved in the late all-analog era, the music might
not be for everyone, but it is odd and unique in a good, consistent
way that is worth of DEVO, the odder progressive rock, Brian Eno and
all the wilder novelty records we used to get al the time in the
1970s. It is also a testament to the indie spirit in music and will
make the more creative people out there get some cheap analog
equipment and magnetic tape to mix with whatever digital equipment
they have. The happy accidents and special irreplaceable quality of
tape loops helped the act exist and deserves as much of a comeback as
get plenty of interviews from those who were there with all the great
film footage and stills, but I just wish the program were longer and
there was a more serious and detailed use of the time to give us even
more information and context.
25 minutes of extended interviews and deleted scenes, a 1981 Ralph
for Swinging Larvae'
promo film, remastered in HD from the original 16mm film source,
Renaldo & The Loaf's 'Backwards
Film Study #1'
8mm film (probably the Super 8 format, which is better) and Music
Videos for 'A Convivial Ode' and 'Optimism'.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Cosi
is an improvement over the DVD, including in its strengths as a PAL
format release, but it can still look a little aged in parts and soft
in others. Otherwise, this is the way to see the film now outside of
a good film print and the
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix has old Dolby Pro
Logic surrounds being an analog A-type theatrical release and this is
better than the DVD's lossy Dolby mix as well, yet also shows its age
since the film is older and had a limited budget.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Dancing
can definitely show the age of the materials used because they are
lucky to survive and quality can vary a bit, yet this is far superior
a transfer to all previous releases of the film, including so many
copies even on film which were actually in black and white! One of
the first feature films ever issued in full
three-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor, you can see at its best how
great this film must have looked in its original release. Some may
be harder on the transfer results here and maybe at some point, more
money could be raised to fix the mostly correctable flaws here, but
just having it this way is a big improvement for what was a visually
groundbreaking film, especially for all color.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is also going to show
its age form whatever theatrical mono sources they had that survived,
but especially for 1936, not bad at all.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the HD-shot
Giants program has its share of motion blur and some softness,
but the added still and old movie film footage (16mm and/or Super 8
color) look good and accurate. This is about as good as most indie
music documentaries have been, in fairness. The
PCM 2.0 Stereo is fine for all the audio and is always clear enough
down to the eclectic music.
1.33 X 1 color image on Brothers
was shot on old analog NTSC videotape and its shows with a variety of
analog videotape flaws like video noise, video banding, telecine
flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color and tape damage.
Still, color is not bad, but it is a soft presentation and not likely
the best NTSC taping available at the time. The lossy Japanese Dolby
Digital 2.0 sound is barely stereo and also shows its age, so be
careful of high volume playback and audio switching, which is typical
of so many such productions (whether they were on VHS, Beta or even
U-Matic tape) at the time.
Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great