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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Environment > Religion > Propaganda > Biography > Comedy > Filmmaking > Matter Out Of Place (2022/Icarus DVD)/The Mission (2022/Film Movement DVD)/Stooge-O-Rama: The Men Behind The Mayhem (2023 compilation/MVD Blu-ray Set)

Matter Out Of Place (2022/Icarus DVD)/The Mission (2022/Film Movement DVD)/Stooge-O-Rama: The Men Behind The Mayhem (2023 compilation/MVD Blu-ray Set)

Picture: C/C/B- Sound: C+/C+/B- Extras: C-/C-/B Documentaries: C+/C+/B

This trio of documentaries show the diversity of the form....

Nikolaus Geyrhalter's Matter Out Of Place (2022) attempts to join films like Baraka, Samsara and Koyaanisqatsi Trilogy as a documentary and sensory experience that does its best to draw attention to the beauty of our world and how we are destroying and losing it slowly but surely. Can we do anything about it?

This strictly spends its 105 minutes looking at waste, garbage and what happens to it and what happens to it is happening to us. Coming from Austria, this obviously has its moments and valid points, but it also (sadly for the wrong reasons) covers unfortunate things we have seen before, need to see more of and need to do something about. It may not be a classic, but it was worth making and an important record of yet another thing no enough is being done about.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a little softer than I would have liked and color can be limited, but the shots are consistent. This film was actually released theatrically with a lossless Dolby Atmos sound mix, but all you get on this DVD is lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, so it sound good enough, but we are missing out on a good bit of sound. Hope we get a Blu-ray version to compare.

A trailer is the only extra.

Tania Anderson's The Mission (2022) is an attempt to show young people in the U.S. that are part of the Mormon religion going out in the world to preach their gospel and hope to convert people. The small number of youths dubbing themselves 'elders' here are among an estimated 60,000 that do this for their church annually and in this case, they go all the way to Finland.

They run in to all kinds of issues and are hardly prepared for all this, with this piece trying to show all this without judgment, but it is often sad and highly predictable. One can feel badly for them as it always feels like they and so many other in organized religion are being used and you have to ask, are willingly a part of this or are they being brainwashed in advance?

As I was watching this a little while ago in advance of this write-up, yet another scandal (giant financial fraud fiasco this time) hit their church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It made me feel more badly for them, reminding me to follow my first instincts in such matters. Either way, this is like watch a slow train wreck, but I give the makers credit for just letting things happen and record it without interference. It is at least a solid record of events, no matter what happens next, though not viewing for everyone.

Now for the playback performance. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is a little on the soft side being a lite digital shoot, basic HD 1980p (?) at best, but it is consistent if not great, though I am not seeing it in higher definition. I would probably have to see such footage to compare, but the English/Finnish sound is here both lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with the mixes about even. This is mostly people talking and location audio, so one can only expect so much.

A trailer is the only extra.

Last but not least, a three-disc blu-ray compilation on one of the greatest comedy trios of all time. Stooge-O-Rama: The Men Behind The Mayhem includes an upgrade of the solid Stooges: The Men Behind The Mayhem documentary we reviewed on DVD eons ago at this link:


The rest of the discs offer shorts and extras, but more on that in the extras below.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1, mostly black & white digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the various materials used, but most of the material is upscaled throughout. This is actually not bad, from the documentary to all the shorts and other special features. Most of the material here originated on 35mm film, but we get plenty of black & white videotape, a little kinescope, some consumer-grade color videotape and some of it is just very aged and flawed. Otherwise, this is as watchable as the same material as it has been issued on video before going back to the days of VHS and Beta.

All the sound is here in PCM 2.0 Mono and is about as good as any of it will ever sound. We are lucky this survived as well as it did.

Extras are many and include (per the press release) the as-noted-above, brand new presentation of the award-winning documentary program STOOGES: THE MEN BEHIND THE MAYHEM, with new introduction by Curly Howard's real-life grandson, Bradley Server

  • Lost theatrical featurette SURPRISE, SURPRISE (1937) starring Moe, Larry, and Curly

  • Long unseen short subject EVERYBODY LIKES MUSIC (1934) starring Shemp Howard

  • 11+ hours of film, television, radio, and personal appearance rarities, many never been released on home video!

The stills sections are nice and have some rare pics you likely have not seen before and even shows rare memorabilia. There is a trailers section that is mostly 1.33 X 1, though their Snow White film (made at Fox at the time) is shown in color and black and white, letterboxed, with the rest of the shorts and feature films going through Columbia Pictures. They have one film that was distributed by United Artists, nothing on their animated TV show is here sadly, but we see some of their early, color comic books (including one in 3D) and the Four For Texas trailer may be in color, but it has been unnecessarily, horizontally stretched. One of the rare home movies has survived in beautiful full color (we're guessing 16mm Kodachrome or Anscochrome) and that should be scanned in 4K or a future release.

So for now, this stands as one of the best Stooges releases on home video to date, including some goodies we will never see anywhere else, as it should be. Hope this gets the ball rolling on having their work on Blu-ray and maybe even 4K disc. Some of their old shorts have shown up on Blu-ray here and there (including on some out of print Twilight Time releases, including their few 3D shorts in real 3D!!!) and Warner Archive handles all of their old Ted Healy releases, which they have issued on DVD, including the two-strip Technicolor works. They need to come out on Blu-ray, Sony/Columbia needs to get al the classic shorts out there on Blu-ray too, and considering how good they have looked on DVD, the archive looks like it is in good shape for that.

Finally, the animated 1965 New Three Stooges animated TV series also deserves a big Blu-ray release, especially since the great anniversary DVD set we covered years ago is out of print and going for big bucks. The trio deserves it and finally, the recognition and respect they still have never received (Leonard Maltin is on the money on this one) and that is why Stooge-O-Rama is such a great, fun set. They were giants of comedy and even now, too few want to admit it!

- Nicholas Sheffo


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