On The Nile 4K
(2021 remake/20th/Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Fandango
(1985/*both Warner Archive Blu-rays)/Honeymooners
Specials: The Complete Collection
(1976 - 1978/MPI DVD Set)/Marry
(2021/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B-/B/B/C+/B & C+ Sound:
C+/B+ & B/C+/C+/B & C+ Extras: C-/C/C-/C/C Main
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and all can be ordered from the link
Here's a group of comedies with drama, plus one
with a serious mystery....
start with two ensemble films made in the wake of The
that think they are slice of life films, but tend to more so be
formulaic 1980s films. In this case, they are from the same year and
show Kevin Costner as a star on the rise. You even have two very
competent journeyman directors here, though these are not their best
films, they have some good moments.
(1985) has Costner opposite David Grant (one of many actors here we
should have seen more of later, but oddly did not) as brothers, the
former a success who has left home as a doctor, while the other has
stayed home with their mom and has some issues got deal with. The
mother is not a bad woman and they are all still not over the
too-soon death of their father, her husband. After we get through
some drama with mixed results, the brothers are back in bike racing
they used to do and intend to find a victory that will mean more than
ending is not as important as the story and of course, like
and other films of the time involving biking (even Flashdance
to some extent) absolutely wish to capture something of the magic of
especially because it was not the hit many would have liked it to be
(extending to the TV version that was not a hit) and I will give this
film some credit that it achieves some of that feel in a good way.
Its just not as good a film, though the rest of the cast is decent,
including Rae Dawn Chong, Alexandra Paul and Janice Rule.
(1985) is supposed to take place in the early 1970s, but never
totally reaches that palpable period authenticity of an American
but it also has it moments as five loyal college roommates and
friends have to deal with growing up as one of them is going to get
married. Reynolds also wrote the screenplay and Costner is joined by
Sam Roberts, Chuck Bush, Brian Cesak and Judd Nelson, an actor who is
dismissed as just 'some guy from the time who made movies' but in
real life, is better than he gets credit for and gives one of his
best performances here.
actors are giving it their best and its shows, even when the film
does not always work, but it is more ambitious than many such films
since and like Flyers,
is worth a look for those interested.
only include an Original Theatrical Trailer on each disc for each
On The Nile 4K
(2021) is a remake that follows up his previous remake of a classic
Agatha Christie novel and feature film, Murder
On The Orient Express.
You can read about that remake and more connected Christie works in
my review of the 4K edition o that film at this link:
liked that film even though I also very much liked the 1974 Sidney
Lumet version. For Nile,
I liked parts of the John Guillerman 1978 film version that
introduced Peter Ustinov as Poirot and I liked its supporting cast,
but that film missed the mark more than it should have and that was
why I thought Branagh could improve on the 1978 film in places.
Though he makes more changes than expected, I think he just does it,
though (also thinking of the forgettable TV movie version) think the
novel might not be strong enough story-wise, yet very cinematic for
its locales and both version had much of it shot on location.
time, Poirot just happens to be vacationing there when he runs into
an old friend (Tom Bateman) who happens to be there with his mother
(Annette Bening) who is also a painter. This brings him to a luxury
ship where he meets an interesting group of passengers... and
eventually and unexpected murder!
like so many great Christie films over the years, Branagh is able to
get an amazing cast together including Gal Godot, Russell Brand, Dawn
French, Jennifer Sanders, Ali Fazal, Armie Hammer, Sophie Okonedo,
Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey and others that do make this
pretty period palpable adaptation. These two Christie films and his
prove that Branagh knows what to do with the large frame format as
much as his friend Christopher Nolan or any other filmmaker out
there. This is a rare large budget film made by adults for adults
and its unexpected box office, with one of the best long-term big
screen runs of the last few years as solid word of mouth and solid
reviews brought people back to movie theaters worldwide is in itself
something to celebrate.
a few off moments I cannot get into here (but do in a few tech points
below) make this one of the past years best films and one I strongly
recommend, including for those who like a challenge. A third film is
already planned and apparently going to be made, but it might not be
a remake of Evil
Under The Sun
(1982, which I really liked more than most) if Branagh wanted to
follow the Ustinov pattern. Either way, Branagh has found a way o
bring Poirot back to life in a strong, unexpected new way and if he
continues, this will be the strongest, most successful, big screen
mystery movies series in decades and he knows how to deliver. Don't
miss this film!
include (per the press release) Featurettes
on the Nile: Novel to Film:
Explore the new vision for Agatha Christie's classic novel DEATH ON
THE NILE, and how Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green
collaborated with Christie's estate to bring a new twist to this
story of love and murder.
Christie: Travel Can Be Murder:
The story behind the book connects with Christie's own love of
travel, and especially Egypt and its secrets. Her legacy continues
through her family and new generations of filmmakers and actors, all
at once contributing to the immortality of her novels.
on the Nile:
The setting, the costumes, the photography, all contribute to the
Agatha Christie touch. We take a fun tour of this ''ship of
suspects'' and learn details about the overall look and design of
everything from the characters to the environment.
Kenneth Branagh is a one-of-a-kind artist who can switch hats with
exceptional skill, playing Poirot one moment and directing the next.
This piece pays tribute to Branagh's ability to stay connected to
his cast and creative team through it all.
and Bouc Outside Temple
and Bouc Approach Jackie
Bouc and the Otterbournes
Poirot Orders Books
Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection
(1976 - 1978) collects four specials worth seeing again, three of
which we have covered before. They include Second
and the Valentine
to us is the Christmas
though I had seen it before. I liked all four shows, but this ones
as solid as the rest, Ralph with another extremely unwise
get-rich-quick scheme, one that today seems even worse than when the
show was made. Jean Kean is fine a Trixie, but it amazes me that
having Jackie Gleason, Art Carney and Audrey Meadows together again
shows the original TV show was no fluke and that their chemistry
remains as immortal and strong as it ever was. As you may know, the
original show only lasted one season and was the first to become a
hit in syndication later, something much more unheard of at the time.
After all the satires, Gleason revival skits, Warner cartoons with
The Honeymousers and even The
they were in rare form here and its great these shows even got made.
this is a solid set that should go on the shelf with the original
filmed TV series Blu-ray set (will CBS issue it in 4K?) and other
Gleason shows that survived (many of which we reviewed on the site
over the years) and all this just gets better and more interesting
with age. What great timing on MPI's part to be issuing this now.
Check it out when you can. You won't be sorry, no matter the season.
include a Honeymooner's
skit, Behind The Scenes featurette on the making o these specials,
with Jane Kean and two parody skits of the show: 1967 with Audrey
Meadows & Ray Bolger, the other from 1971 with Shiela MacRea,
George Kirby and Rich Little.
we have yet another formula romanic comedy, so formula that all like
it are simply called 'rom coms' and Jennifer Lopez is back (as if she
ever left) in Kat Coiro's Marry
(2021) with the always-welcome Owen Wilson as the 'unexpected' love
interest and always to-the-point Sarah Silverman as the supporting
gal who knows it all. Better than much of the sappy versions of
what's left of the genre than certain brain-damaging cable channels,
the money and a little more energy than usual is here, but the result
is sadly still the same.
who can actually act in real life, plays a singer (imagine that!) who
is going to get married to another big star when a silent, simple,
good guy math teacher (Wilson) enters the picture and you can sadly
more than predict the rest. Considering the talent involved, they
could not have tried something different or more? I even thought
Lopez and Wilson had some interesting chemistry, but the flat script
and filmmakers have little idea on what else to do. Thus, there are
more wasted opportunities here than even I expected. Too bad, so for
fans only, if that.
include Digital Code, while the discs (per the press release) add:
to the Concert
Am I Doing Here?
Fun at the Dance
UNVEILED - Using raw, of-the-moment, b-roll shot on set throughout
production, this piece will give audiences unprecedented access
behind the scenes, showcasing close-up, intimate footage of Jennifer
Lopez - actress and producer.
THE CAMERA: THE MAKING OF MARRY
Glitz, glamor, romance and music. Go behind the scenes in this
making-of, for an up-close look at how powerhouse performer Jennifer
Lopez and all-star director Kat Coiro are teaming up to put the
swoon back on the big screen.
IT UP: THE MUSIC OF MARRY
Go inside the process with both J.Lo and Maluma as we discover what
they wanted these songs to achieve, the stories and meanings behind
them, and how they collaborated though countries apart.
AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - To create a fictional, epic, on-stage
moment between Kat Valdez and Bastian, the production of Marry
pulled off a REAL epic on stage moment between Jennifer Lopez and
Maluma. Surprising a massive real-world audience of Maluma's at
Madison Square Garden, Jennifer Lopez joined him on stage for one of
the film's most powerful numbers. As we head backstage, we'll not
only reveal how they pulled off such an exciting surprise, we'll
also get an up-close look at international pop star Maluma.
WITH STYLE - Complete with eye-catching musical numbers, the
nuptials of Kat and Bastian was meant to bring the house down IN
STYLE! Now, visit Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City as the team
behind this magical moment that could have been, breaks it down for
MY WAY'' LYRIC VIDEO
a FEATURE LENGTH AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Kat Coiro and
Producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
for playback performance. The 2160p HECV/H.265, 2.20 X 1, HDR (10;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Nile
is easily the visual champ here, shot entirely on 65mm Kodak Vision 3
color, photochemical, film negative and looking as fine as possible
in 10-bit color. However, though I have not seen it in a 70mm film
print yet, I did screen it in 12-bit Dolby Vision color and I can
tell you that it did a better job of capturing the image. This is
still impressive enough to enjoy the film and the previous
Branagh/Poirot film, Murder
On the Orient Express 4K,
also skipped Dolby Vision. They are holding that hostage for
theatrical presentations, we guess.
also looks better than the also-included 1080p, regular Blu-ray,
which is sufficient, but struggles even more to deliver the ultra
high definition and resolution of the 65mm negative. The 4K edition
has the full, lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for
older systems) sound mix, but the regular Blu-ray only has a DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mixdown that is fine, but not as good
or open as the Atmos. Some sound effects are overdone and distract,
even interrupt the flow of the film, but the sound is very well
recorded, engineered and mixed otherwise and also has some solid demo
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on
and 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Fandango
both can show the age of the materials used, as these look like
slightly older HD masters. Still, they have their moments and some
shots in each are a bit stylized, so they would not be as clear.
Both originally issued in Dolby's older A-type, analog Dolby System
are respectively upgraded her to DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo
or 5.1 lossless mixes. Unfortunately, the soundtracks sound dated
and down a generation, so they disappoint a little more than the
image. Can the soudnmasters sound this old?
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Marry
Blu-ray is the only HD shoot here and it is professional and
competent at best, even looking better than usual at times, but
nothing striking or memorable. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1
image DVD included is much softer and harder to watch. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray version is also
competent for a dialogue-based romantic comedy with more music than
it needs, so you can hear everything they say. The DVD offers
lesser, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound that is thin and weak, so stick
with the Blu-ray if you must see this one.
the full color 1.33 X 1 image on all four Honeymooner
look just fine for mid-1970s analog, professional NTSC video
productions, but in a few spots here and there, you can still get
analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, tape
scratching, cross color, faded color, color variation and even slight
tape damage. Otherwise, these have been remastered as well as
possible and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound on all four shows
can be good, but sometimes a little lower-sounding than expected. Be
careful of volume switch and high level playback to be on the safe
To order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays,
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases