DVD)/King Of Laughter
(2021/Film Movement DVD)/The
Last American Virgin
C+/C+/B Sound: C+/C+/B- Extras: C-/C/B- Films: C+/B-/C+
for some comedies with some unusual things to say and show...
(2021) is a French drama with bits of comedy, not always ironic, even
when it thinks it might be. It is also part of an unrecognized cycle
of films with casts of well-known, older actors, supposedly
reflecting on the past and offering a long goodbye to good times and
their lives. Trainspotting
a recent film featuring the Shawn
Of The Dead
cast, plus the Wolverine superhero film Logan are at the younger end
of this cycle, though other such films have even been gangster
comedies. The bored-looking Gerard Depardieu, looking very tired
here (maybe he just got back from a trip to Russia) leads a cast of
actors mostly known in Europe.
eight friends here call themselves the 'Kings of Paris' (a title they
thankfully did NOT use for this 101 minutes of trying viewing) and
when you finish watching it, you too may be saying 'off with their
heads'! I never bought the talking, dialogue, conversations and in
the end, I never believed they really knew each other, even if they
do in real life.
the most curious only, but be aware this is light years away from any
energy, French New Wave or otherwise.
are the only extra.
King Of Laughter
(2021) is a decent Italian film about a popular playwright in Naples
(Toni Servillo) known for his comic wit and timing, even when his
private life was bad. In 1902, he decided to write something a
little more serious, daring, bold and personal, but instead of more
critical acclaim, he got booed, sued and had to fight about his art
and legacy in a lengthly court battle.
fans fo Italy, the stage and classic stage productions, this will be
a pleasant surprise, well made, acted, crafted, feels like the period
and has the feel and density of the time. Its fell of old Italy, et
al, holds true and I am surprised this has not been a more
talked-about film, but I guess COVID and the glut of lame product has
hurt good releases like this. With a solid cast, I would definitely
go out of my way for this one if this is your kind of storytelling.
short film La
by Emanuel Palamara (14 minutes) is the only extra.
we have Boaz Davidson's The
Last American Virgin
(1982,) a title that got plenty of laughs when it was originally
released and was heavily promoted for an independent film, especially
considering its low budget. Trying to hop on the Animal
box office bonanza bandwagon, it did some business in its time and
starts out better than it ends.
friends (Lawrence Monoson, Steve Antin, Joe Rubbo) are trying to hit
on gals and get VERY intimate with them, but their knowledge of how
to relate to the opposite sex is like a bad as trying to operate a
quantum computer with a working Commodore 64 machine from a thrift
store. The result is one crazy escapade after another, some of which
are funny, others of which are gross and one so wild, you would NEVER
see it in any U.S. film production today.
the reason to see the film at least once is not for any particular
scene, but as a time capsule of a time when it seemed teens were not
growing up with enough guidance and less preparation for the future.
Versus what we see on the news everyday, these teens had it better
than anyone could have thought.
other real attraction the film had was a huge number of hit songs
that were licensed and not just any songs, but some very big hits of
the time. Too many in fact, including better choices (The
Waitresses, The Cars, Blondie, The Police, Tommy Tutone, DEVO) and
others that do not work at all or seem out of place. I will not go
into a whole list, but it is obvious some songs were going to be
inserted later (the characters talk generally about the songs, but
hardly ever name any, so they had no idea what the licensing would be
during production) but this was the early peak year of MTV and this
film was going to be on that bandwagon too.
cast of unknowns is mostly not bad and I like how it is shot and
edited, plus the film was at the end of one teen cycle, about to be
overtaken by the nerd/geek cycle. Today, a film this low budget
would, save something extraordinary, never be able to afford the
royalties on hits this big or their equivalent today. In all that,
everyone should see this one once.
include a mini-poster, still on the other side of the sleeve, plus
the disc adds a TV Spot, Original Theatrical Trailer, Photo Gallery
and four on-camera interviews in HD including Davidson, Lawrence
Monoson, Diane Franklin and Director of Photography Adam Greenberg
(about 25 minutes average).
anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image on Adieu and
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on King look good for
the format and in being HD productions from the same year. Color is
not bad, though limited and not perfect, partly thanks to this older
format. Both discs offer lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes and
King even adds a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, but they are
both on the dialogue-based side, though music and location sound are
convincing and fine.
leaves the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
showing its age here and there, though
this is the best I have seen the film looking since its original
release. Color is decent and can be really impressive at times. The
PCM 2.0 Stereo also shows its age, but is not bad for its budget, the
film released in Dolby's old analog A-type noise reduction system.
It helps the hit records, especially in the first parts of the film,
helping it all sound period. This is as good as this is ever going
to sound and you should play it back in Dolby Pro-Logic or a similar