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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > French > Education > Fraud > Relationships > Melodrama > Amore Mio (2023/Distrib/Icarus DVD)/Stargazer (2023/Freestyle DVD)/Steel Magnolias 4K (1989/35th Anniversary/Tri-Star/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

Amore Mio (2023/Distrib/Icarus DVD)/Stargazer (2023/Freestyle DVD)/Steel Magnolias 4K (1989/35th Anniversary/Tri-Star/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: C/C/X Sound: C+/C/B- Extras: C-/C-/C Films: C

Now for a new set of releases centered on women...

Guillaume Gouix's Amore Mio (2023) Alysson Paradis as Lola, a sudden widow devastated by the death of her husband, but instead of dealing with it, she decides to be a bit irresponsible and abandon the funeral with her 7-year-old son and her sister, Margaux (Elodie Bouchez) and go on a road trip. From there, it becomes a by the seat trip and they don't seem to know where they'll go next.

That is, unfortunately, the problem with the script, once Lola leaves, she does not know what to do with herself and if it was only her sister, I could see this being about their history and that she goes to her because she is that wrecked. We do not get that here and add the young boy and it changes the tone of the film. She is irresponsible, so is the sister and even the regard they have for him is highly questionable and problematic. The acting is off as is the whole thing, so it starts out bead and gets worse and worse. I don't know who the audience for this one is, but its just a bad film and one I would not recommend and even warn viewers to avoid. Very lame.

A trailer is the only extra.

Alan McIntyre's Stargazer (2023) involves young woman Grace (Kate Ginna) getting the chance to bring to light a woman from a century ago who was a major contributor to astronomy, but had her ideas stolen and never given any credit for them. When she gets paired with an aggressive journalist (Matt Bogart) who pushes her to be on a new talk show, she sees history possibly repeating itself and her getting the shaft in whole new ways. The odd twist is that a dancer (Lei Nico) with her own ideas of fantasy and escape hers some of this and gets involved with Grace, who start to find common denominators in their goals.

Well, the actors are not bad and the ideas potentially workable, but what we do get does not meld well and the tone is a little odd and off, it runs on and I was hoping it would come together, but it never does.

Trailers are the only extra.

Herbert Ross' Steel Magnolias 4K (1989) is now 35 years old (already?) and Sony is giving it the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment. No big fan of the film, we reviewed the long out of print Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray at this link:


Though I like the actresses cast, I thought the film was too long, drawn out, melodramatic and not always realistic, but fans will be happy with the upgrade here. At least the cast has some chemistry and you can see why this might appeal to others.

Extras repeat the Director's Feature Length Audio Commentary track from the older Blu-ray, but the isolated music track and booklet from the now collectible edition are replaced by Digital Movies Anywhere copy, Steel Magnolias 1990 TV Pilot for a series that did not work out, In Full Bloom: Remembering Steel Magnolias featurette, 10 Deleted Scenes and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Steel Magnolias 4K actually looks really good in many stretches with color as good as I have ever seen it on video and as good as the few times I saw it in 35mm form. As for the sound, Sony has tried to upgrade the sound for lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) sound, but it is awkward like their attempt with Anatomy Of A Murder 4K. That James Stewart film was monophonic, so they were really pushing it, while Steel was originally a Dolby A-type analog theatrical release. This makes the music too clear and exposes the dialogue as not clear enough. Fortunately, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is repeated here and is the preferable choice, though a DTS-MA 2.0 Stereo version is also here, meant to be played back in Dolby Pro Logic or the like. I'd still like the 5.1, but you got all the choices you can think of.

The anamorphically enhanced image on both DVDs (1.33 X 1 on Mio, 1.85 X 1 on Stargazer) have some good shots, but both are just a little too soft, even for this older format. Both also have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound and it is on the soft side (in French) on the former and just clearer enough on the latter to be passable. Of course, they could sound better lossless, but this is what we get. That did not stop me from seeing the films fully, but it makes the watch more challenging.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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