Tale: Season Four
(2021/MGM/Warner DVD Set)/Jockey
(*both 2021/Sony Blu-rays)/The
Real Thing (2020/Film
Movement DVD)/The Whistle
At Eaton Falls
(1951/Columbia/Flicker Alley Blu-ray)
C+/B-/B/B/B Sound: C+/B/B/C+/C+ Extras: C/C/C-/D/B Main
now for a strong new set of dramas....
timely as ever, The Handmaid's
Tale: Season Four (2021)
continues its great run as the amazing cast brings to life the latest
twists and turns in a series that has exceeded most expectations and
has to now be at least a minor classic. With abortion rights being
challenged and changed, the show could not have better timing, then
it gets to ask all new questions and make new suggestions as its
already-set narrative goes on.
also to the writers and producers who are leaving no stone unturned,
though I cannot reveal much at this point without spoiling the
narratives and their solid arc. You can get some idea from our
coverage of the previous seasons on this site, but unless you have
already seen the older episodes, you should still start at the
beginning to get the maximum impact of what they have pulled off
here. A few small things may not be as effective or slightly
predictable, but others more than make up for that.
yes, as many have noticed, Warner has taken over distribution of the
series from another company as MGM has re-signed a contract with them
for the first time in many years. They are doing the same great job
so far they did before, so that's a plus.
cast discussion on each episode are the only extras.
Collins, Jr. is one of the best actors in the business, taking on all
kinds of character roles and capable of comedy and solid commercial
work, but as he has proven before (in Schumacher's Tigerland,
can more than handle drama and Clint Bentley's Jockey
(2021) proves he can do this as the lead and carry an entire film.
We are not surprised.
a film that does for racing horse riders what the Mickey Rourke
triumph The Wrestler
did for the world of theatrical, professional wrestling, we learn of
the terrible things such riders suffer personally and physically in
an underpaying profession that still has its glories, but that can be
at the highest price. Working with as longtime horse owner who is a
nice lady, one he is partly interested in, a young man shows up in
the profession and claims he is his biological son!
is not so sure, but sticks to his work on what might be one of the
biggest races of his career, yet he is lying about his own condition
and is in worse shape than he will tell anybody. Still, there he is
and that is just the beginning of the story.
are more than a few off and uneven moments whose time adds up time
that could have been spent on even more character development and
character study, but this is one fo the films that sadly got lost in
the shuffle of COVID and streaming that has done no favors for no
one, especially movie lovers. I would also argue that Collins could
have been nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award and (violent
incident notwithstanding) delivers far better than the eventual
recipient of the statue.
also makes for an interesting companion to those dozens of crime
dramas where horse racing is shown, but we rarely see much else. It
is a special film that deserves a much large audience than it got and
when more people catch up with it, it will be one of those sadly too
common cases where new fans will ask the immortal question ''how did
I miss this one!?!''
Scenes are the only extra.
Mothers (2021) has many
of the usual concerns his films do on womanhood, identity, society
and eccentric irony he has always offered as an autuer, but this
time, he gets a little more political as Penelope Cruz plays a woman
trying to find out more about how her mother was killed in a
political massacre when a more militaristic government was in power.
But there is more.
we are in the digital age, the motif of the opening credits with
still photography is not just still digital images, but that of
actual photochemical film. More than just amusing, it suggests the
idea of hard copy images as evidence and having a political weight
digital images that rarely gets saved in printed physical form never
do. This becomes key as her character happens to get pregnant when
another woman does, set against hr investigation of death, murder and
the use of images themselves for commercial use or pleasure versus
history and evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
still get some of Almodovar's humor and distinction, but he also goes
off into other areas necessary to tell the story here and that also
brings out sides of the characters you usually would not see in a
typical Almodovar film. All in all, it is definitely worth a look.
trailers for this and other Sony Pictures Classics releases are the
(Win Morisaki) is an average salesman/business man. After rescuing
Ukiyo (Kaho Tsuchimura) from a train when her car stalled on the
train tracks, it seemed like fate at first but then nothing went
right afterwards. Ukiyo kept on crossing into Tsuji's path, with
debt collectors, yakuzas, husbands and former lovers. Each time,
Tsuji has to bail her out of trouble and he gets caught in an
emotional roller coaster. In the end, both of them can't help but
fall for one another in Koji
a TV mini-series.
is beautiful girl, but she is totally incapable of taking care of
herself, she keeps on either getting into trouble or debt. Ukiyo is
the quiet beauty, she has an innocence air about her, she charms all
males around her and they want to protect/save her (and she makes all
the other girls jealous as hell). Tsuji is the nice guy, at first,
he thought they would become friends, but then he soon rapidly learns
Ukiyo is a taker and tries to keep his distance. Because he is
constantly bumping into her and saving her, others keep on mistaking
Tsuji is her boyfriend. After saving her from debt collectors,
yakuza, helping her get a divorce with her abusive husband, her
former lover turns out to be a president of a company and offers him
a job of a lifetime ...if he gives up Ukiyo. In the final episode,
Tsuji leaves, Ukiyo didn't learn of Tsuji's job offer and he that he
turned it down because he rather be with her than have a dream job.
He leaves his job to protect her, his company and their reputations.
In the epilogue, Ukiyo spends the next four years searching for
Tsuji, realizing Tsuji loved her even despite after all the troubles
was a mini-series based off a manga series, it is drama, drama and
drama. Everything hints on romance, but then turns out to be an
emotion trap. But the audience keeps on cheering for the hero and
heroine. It's like a fairytale, after all the troubles and
challenges and difficulties two lovers overcome impossible odds and
finally get to be together.
are no extras.
but absolutely not least is another lost film that should have never
been lost, saved. Robert
Whistle At Eaton Falls
(1951) is an interesting drama set in a small New England town where
everyone's schedule is able to be set by the timely alarm of the
title run by one of the factories in town. That is until that
factory folds, but they also have a plastics factory there, so the
whistle moves over there and all should be fine. But will it?
unionized work force led by a good pro-people man (the great Lloyd
Bridges in a great early performance) who has a good relationship
with the owner/founder of the company, but that man is having money
issues and to compete, is buying new machines that require less labor
and will make better product. This was a new dilemma at a time when
union membership was peaking in the U.S. post-WWII and to be blunt,
some companies wanted to cut down and kill unions.
a twist of fate lands up having the company push out its most
anti-union manager and Bridges is hired to runt he factory! Save a
few broadly handled items, this makes for a great filmmaking and
drama, supported by more twists and a cast that also include Ernest
Borgnine, Anne Francis and Murray Hamilton in early roles, plus
Dorothy Gish, James Westerfield, Diana Douglas, Arthur O'Connell,
Anne Seymour, Parker Fennelly and Carleton Carpenter rounding out a
very strong cast that works very well and convincingly here.
also turns out to be one of Sidomak's better films, but I wonder if
it being positive about unions of any kind is why some people did not
want the film to be remembered or to survive. That's awful, as it
has so many things going for it. There are not enough films on the
subject, though this offers much more. It is also not as ominous as
Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978) which is more brutal,
pessimistic and deals with the decline of unions and part of the why
it happens. The two film make for a great double feature and key
points more people ought to consider. Its great Flicker Alley has
saved another great film and any serious film fan should go out of
their way to catch this one. Its the kind of film that helped make
Columbia Pictures a major studio.
high quality, nicely illustrated booklet on the film including
informative text and an (per the press release) excerpt from Richard
'em in the East'' Kazan, Kubrick and the Post-War New York Film
that covers Louis de Rochemont's career during the time The
Whistle At Eaton Falls
was produced (Columbia University Press), while the disc adds a
Feature Length Audio Commentary Track by author and film historian
Alan K. Rode, ''Louis
de Rochemont Remembered'':
a personal reminiscence from grandson Pierre de Rochemont, Insights
into the Restoration:
a demonstration of the digital restoration and reconstruction
process, Isolated Soundtrack: the original 1951 orchestral score used
for the film, sourced from rare archival recordings, Carleton
archival audio recordings of "Ev'ry
a Million to One You're in Love,''
Image Gallery slideshow presentation featuring the original script,
budget details, and promotional materials from the Louis de Rochemont
Special Collections at Keene State College and an Original Theatrical
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Jockey
has a good, consistent look, but the digital source can be limited in
detail, some of that intentional. So don't expect bright playback,
though daylight scenes play fine.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Parallel
Mothers has Almodovar's usual sense of more color than usual, but
not where it does not fit and is a solid disc throughout.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfer on Whistle is a remarkable restoration with amazing
detail and depth for a lost film. You can see how smartly it was
shot throughout and it being saved this well is nearly miraculous.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Jockey
sound fine and have consistent soundfields throughout, so they are
just fine and have the best sound of the five releases here.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix on Whistle
can show its age and some (or all) of the original soundmaster
materials may have been lost for good, but the amazing restoration
team has restored and fixed the surviving sound as well as possible
and it now sounds as good as it likely ever will too. Dialogue is
always clear and the music is a plus.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Tale may not be as
sharp, clear and color rich as the previous Blu-ray seasons, but it
is shot in digital HD and has not lost its look or feel, while the
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sounds as good as it can for the older
format, though I liked the richer lossless sound on the Blu-rays.
the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Real Thing looks
very, very good, but it also has lossy, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo has some Pro Logic-like surrounds, but still wished it was a
Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Real)