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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Money > Stocks > Scandal > Martial Arts > Police > Sexism > Hong Kong > Animation > Holiday > S > Dumb Money: The Game Stop Story (2023/Sony Blu-ray)/The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988/MVD/88 Films Blu-ray)/Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 2 (1958/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Violent Night 4K (2022/

Dumb Money: The Game Stop Story (2023/Sony Blu-ray)/The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988/MVD/88 Films Blu-ray)/Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 2 (1958/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Violent Night 4K (2022/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B/B/B+ Sound: B/C+/B-/A- & B+ Extras: C+/B/D/C+ Main Programs: C+/C+/B-/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 2 Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here are a new group of releases, featuring material over several decades, that all use comedy in ways that may throw an audience off more than expected...

Craig Gillespie's Dumb Money: The Game Stop Story (2023) is a movie based on a book by Ben Mezrick, the author of the book that David Fincher's The Social Network (reviewed on 4K disc elsewhere on this site) but instead of the rise of Facebook, et al, this is about the wild story of how they stock price of the brick and mortar chain store Game Stop suddenly skyrocketed in value when the idea of such stores seemed to be in trouble thanks to internet sales.

Because of that, a questionable practice of 'shorting' a stock where big money people root for failure and bet against profits from a given company was being done to Game Stop, only for that strategy to backfire when some young investors from the internet decided to start investing. They did this in part with a company called Robin Hood, allowing single investors to buy stocks in a cheap way. The big companies in the market were not paying attention and the stock took off and would not die or crash, so people they look down on (the title refers to single investors, ones they think are clueless and a source of easy money, which needs a separate essay, of course) which could make for another film and helped make up Scorsese' Wolf Of Wall Street.

Part if this was inspired by a man going under the name of 'Roaring Kitty' (the amazing Paul Dano) who starts recommending the stock, sticks with it and all of the sudden, it goes through the roof. The film also follows some other key investors and is loosely based on the real life story that had already had a documentary mini-series made about it.

With this story and an amazing cast, this could have been another Social Network as a film, but instead, goes for broke in the senseless humor, gross humor that throws the film off and silliness department, as if it does not always want to honestly deal with the situation at hand. The missed opportunities slowly keep piling up as more great actors and situation turn up and in the end, the 105 minutes we get here are not utilized anywhere nearly as effectively as they should have been and an amazing cast is too underutilized for everyone's own good.

That cast includes Pete Davidson, Vincent D'Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, Dane DeHaan, Clancy Brown, Olivia Thurlby and Seth Rogen. Yep, the casting is that strong, but sadly, the film is not. See it once just to get the good things out of it, but don't have high expectations, sadly.

Extras include:

  • Diamond Hand Ensemble

  • Fat Cats vs. The Roaring Kitty

  • Join the Cast & Discover the Insane True Story!

  • Deleted Scenes

  • and a Filmmaker Feature Length Audio Commentary Track.

Wellson Chin's The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988) is a Jackie Chan-produced action comedy of sorts with a female cast of new lady cops (including martial arts legend Cynthia Rockroth and fellow genre star Wai Yin-hung) proving they can handle the same killers, thieves, murders and terrorists the guys can. This was somehow still new and news to the genre despite women on the big and small screen (think the British spy classic The Avengers with Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman and Linda Thorson more than handling their own and all kinds of tough guys) to Anne Francis in Honey West to Charlie's Angles, the the Bond films, et al) but it apparently was still shocking and surprising to some over two decades later.

Besides now being a time capsule of a Hong Kong cinema that is no more and the strange contradiction of women in the 1980s being empowered in an era that was rolling their rights back to where we are today without them seeming to know it, it is a strange watch ideologically and culturally, as well as cinematically. Some of the fight and battle sequences are all out to the film's credit, but it is not as groundbreaking as it thinks it is, even if the ladies are giving it their best here. Maybe a female director could have made a bigger difference, but it was a hit and a sequel followed.

However, the problem with most martial arts films of any kind at this point, whether this was needed for the genres survival (I never will buy that excuse) was just too much humor and humor not balanced out by anything more palpable, no matter the often excellent stuntwork and fight choreography. Fans of this film and this era of these films will love the upgrades here and it is historically important enough to get such treatment. Now you can see for yourself.

Extras are again numerous and include a Feature Length Audio Commentary by film scholar Frank Djeng

  • Shooting Her Shot: An Interview With Cynthia Rothrock

  • The Director Wears Pants: An Interview With Director Wellson Chin

  • 'Top Squad' English Opening and Closing Titles

  • Hong Kong Trailer

  • English Trailer

  • Stills Gallery

  • and slipcase with brand-new artwork from Sean Longmore (Limited Edition Exclusive).

The Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 2 (1930 - 1963) picks up where the previous Warner Archive-issued single-disc set (reviewed with many others, elsewhere on this site) left off. Featuring a variety of recent or slightly-older HD masters of the classics included, this set plays a little better quality wise for whatever reason (it is a random thing) and the actual choices are a mix of more obscure characters or ones that just did not catch on with more familiar ones in less typical, more creative situations.

The animated shorts this time are:

  • BEHIND THE MEAT-BALL (1945) Directed by Frank Tashlin

  • BROTHER BRAT (1944) Directed by Frank Tashlin; Porky Pig

  • CATTY CORNERED (1953) Directed by Friz Freleng; Tweety and Sylvester

  • CROSS COUNTRY DETOURS (1940) Directed by Tex Avery

  • DAFFY'S SOUTHERN EXPOSURE (1942) Directed by Norm McCabe; Daffy Duck

  • DING DOG DADDY (1942) Directed by Friz Freleng

  • THE EAGER BEAVER (1946) Directed by Chuck Jones

  • FAIR AND WORM-ER (1946) Directed by Chuck Jones

  • FIN 'N CATTY (1943) Directed by Chuck Jones

  • FROM HAND TO MOUSE (1944) Directed by Chuck Jones

  • GHOST WANTED (1940) Directed by Chuck Jones

  • GREETINGS BAIT (1943) Directed by Friz Freleng; Wacky Worm

  • HAMATEUR NIGHT (1939) Directed by Tex Avery; Egghead

  • HARE-BREADTH HURRY (1963) Directed by Chuck Jones; Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote

  • A HICK A SLICK AND A CHICK (1948) Directed by Arthur Davis

  • HISS AND MAKE UP (1948) Directed by Arthur Davis

  • A HOUND FOR TROUBLE (1951) Directed by Chuck Jones; Charlie Dog

  • I WANNA BE A SAILOR (1937) Directed by Tex Avery

  • THE LEGHORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT (1950) Directed by Robert McKimson; Foghorn Leghorn and Henery Hawk aka The Chicken Hawk

  • LICKETY-SPLAT (1961) Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote

  • ONE MEAT BRAWL (1947) Directed by Robert McKimson; Porky Pig

  • THE PENGUIN PARADE (1938) Directed by Tex Avery

  • RABBIT RAMPAGE (1955) Directed by Chuck Jones; Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd

  • THE REBEL WITHOUT CLAWS (1961) Directed by Friz Freleng; Tweety and Sylvester

  • THE WACKY WORM (1941) Directed by Friz Freleng; Wacky Worm

You do get some gems here including the underrated Charlie Dog, visiting Italy and driving everyone nuts there in A Hound For Trouble, the underrated little Henery Hawk, The Chicken Hawk in The Leghorn Blows At Midnight and other surprises that has driven literally hundreds of millions of fans to watch the shorts since they started running them on TV back in the 1950s. You never know what surprise you will get and here, restored recently like these are, visit or revisit some fun ones you might have forgotten or vaguely remember, but you knew were good. That is the fun with these sets. It shows us the makers were always trying something new and taking risks. Yes, some of the cartoon violence might be shocking by today's 'politically correct' standards, but people need to get less thin-skinned and be able to separate cartoon fantasy from real life. It is that aspect at times that reminds us that people were too busy being adults doing things with their lives to make such complaints not that long ago.

Either way, this continues to endure as one of the greatest series of animated shorts ever made, remaining as remarkable as ever and outlasting all their competition from all the other studios back in the day, as remarkable as the shorts were from other studios. I'd definitely recommend this set and look forward to more installments in the series.

There are sadly no extras.

David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy (2019)) stars as a butt-kicking version of Santa Claus in the Christmas action / comedy, Violent Night 4K (2022), which has got a 4K UHD upgrade from the 1080p Blu-ray released last year.

The premise of the R-rated action film is more or less, Die Hard meets Santa, and seeing as its from the producers of Nobody and the John Wick series this should come as no surprise. The film is definitely not for those who like their Christmas movies on the Hallmark side of the things, and it doesn't hold back from being raunchy, naughty, and bloody any excuse it can get. The film isn't terrible and has a few laughs and moments of creativity, but feels a bit mean spirited at times and predictable. As popcorn munching adult fare for the Bad Santa crowd, this is fine.

A rich family is attacked on Christmas Eve by a vengeful group of mercenaries that are after their fortune. Coincidentally, an angsty Santa Claus ends up at the estate and vows to protect a young girl who is being held hostage.

The film also stars John Leguizamo, Beverly D'Angelo, Alex Hassell, and Alexis Louder. The film is directed by Tommy Wirkola, who seems to circle projects with interesting premises that aren't quite classics such as Dead Snow and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Special Features:

Deleted and extended scenes

Behind the scenes featurettes

and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

The best parts of Violent Night were probably seen in the film's trailer (which was said when the original Home Alone was first released), but the premise is pretty brilliant and David Harbour does a great job here, which makes it worth a watch.

Now for playback performance. Violent Night 4K is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and lossless English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems; 48kHz, 24-bit sound in both cases) to match. The image is quite improved from the previous release with beautiful details in the image and a wider color spectrum. The regular Violent Night Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) mix and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps) mix on the disc as well.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Dumb Money is not bad throughout for a comedy that is not trying too hard to be visually impressive, delivering a more stable, less soft and slightly blurred HD presentation than the many such productions we have seen in the last few years, which are most of them. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is fine for a dialogue/joke-based film, but it has a consistent soundfield and overdoes the bass on the Hip Hop songs to the point of distraction, but the format can handle it.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Skirts looks good and stable throughout, one of the better Blu-rays from 88 Films in their cycle of Hong Kong cinema releases, with good color, detail and depth from a new 2K scan. Maybe they thought it was too rough for a 4K scan, but it looks fine. The Cantonese PCM 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good as this film will ever sound, but its the weak point of the disc and has the poorest sonics of any release here. Its just the way it was recorded and mixed, budget limits or not.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white and color digital High Definition image transfers on all the Looney Tunes shorts can show the age of the materials used, but these are pretty much superior a transfer to all previous releases of all of them. The black and white shorts have nice detail and depth, with clean Film White and rich Film Black, while the dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor classics demonstrate some of the best use of that classic color format in all of animation history and even has color to compete with any other color in any animated film (including CGI films) ever made. It is amazing how they can hold up and they are not even 4K scans.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes on each short sound anywhere from older and good to really clear, certainly better than any lossy Dolby Digital (including the annoying and sometimes really bad Dolby 1.0 Mono on the earliest DVDs) so some of them sound as good as they ever will ands a few others could use a little work. Otherwise, they are decent overall.

To order the Warner Archive Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 2 Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)



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