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Though a box-office hit at the time of its release, the 1979 rom-com STARTING OVER (105 mins., 1979, R; Kino Lorber) doesn’t get a lot of discussion even in movie buff circles. Perhaps that’s because it’s an anomaly in star Burt Reynolds’ filmography of the era, a “serious” comedy having made inbetween “Smokey and the Bandits” installments with Reynolds lacking his trademark mustache.

Clearly targeting a different audience than Reynolds’ usual fare, “Starting Over” is a comparatively solemn James L. Brooks production which features Reynolds as a writer whose songwriter wife (Cnadice Bergen) decides to divorce him. Brokenhearted, Reynolds moves from NYC to Boston and meets an eccentric and happily single school teacher (Jill Clayburgh) but finds that, well, “Starting Over” isn’t as easy it seems.

Bridges didn’t direct “Starting Over” – those chores fell to Alan J. Pakula instead – but his trademark character interplay and sense of humor is all over this 1979 Paramount release. On the downside, the movie feels more contrived than some of Bridges’ better pictures, structured almost like a TV movie punctuated by a repetitive Marvin Hamlisch score. What keeps it afloat are the performances of Reynolds, who’s really good here inhabiting a normal, everyday guy, and Clayburgh, coming off “An Unmarried Woman.” They have good chemistry together and the viewer roots for them; less effective is Bergen, who’s only palatable in the movie’s comedic components, namely her horrendous warbling of the Hamlisch-Carole Bayer Sager original songs. Her character’s reappearance in the picture feels completely “manufactured” to provide tension in the movie’s final third, but the movie doesn’t do a very good job convincing the audience that she’s deserving of re-establishing a relationship with her ex – or that he’d want to.

Stylishly shot by Sven Nykvist. “Starting Over” nevertheless boasts such a likeable Reynolds performance that the film is well worth recommending to his fans, even the ones who mostly watch Burt tool around in a Camaro. Kino Lorber’s new Blu-Ray (1.85, mono) looks spectacular thanks to a fresh 4K scan of the 35mm original camera negative. Nykvist shot much of this film in low light and while it results in a sort of “glum” overall image, the details are rich and nicely textured here. Extras include a commentary with Daniel Kremer and Howard S. Berger.

THE LAWYER Blu-Ray (120 mins., 1970, R): In director Sidney J. Furie’s 1970 courtroom drama, Barry Newman stars as tough Harvard educated lawyer Anthony Petrocelli, who leaves the big city for the rural southwest and a murder case involving a local, prominent doctor’s wife that closely echoes the same “Sheppard murder case” that inspired “The Fugitive.”

“The Lawyer” didn’t apparently make much of a mark in theaters (to put it mildly) but did, interestingly enough, lead to a two-season network TV series, “Petrocelli,” with Newman reprising his role several years after its release.

The movie will probably be of interest for those who remember that show, but as a self-contained feature, it’s not very effective. The plodding pace is a drawback as is the unnecessarily convoluted script, which puts too much of an emphasis on the plot. Newman is strong but other roles are oddly cast, including an ineffective Harold Gould as a local lawyer, and it’s all capped by one of the most repetitive scores I’ve ever heard by Marcus Dodds – buried within the period’s “pop” sensibilities by a Bacharach-styled main theme, repeated to no end throughout the film, plus hilariously formulaic “twangy” guitars meant to underscore its setting.

A curio that doesn’t rank with Furie’s best work, displaying little of the director’s sense of composition that marked his earlier ’60s output (“The Ipcress File” especially), “The Lawyer”’s obscurity still gives it some curiosity value, with Kino Lorber’s 4K scan (1.85, mono) of the 35mm OCN looking strong throughout.

Imprint previously released the film as part of their pricey but excellent “Directed By Sidney J. Furie” box last year, and Kino’s Blu-Ray premieres the movie in the U.S. Supplements are reprieved from that Aussie release, including brief, recent interviews with Newman (prior to his passing in 2023) and co-star Diana Muldaur and a commentary with Daniel Kremer and Paul Lynch discussing the film with earlier Furie interview segments incorporated.

DAISY MILLER Blu-Ray (94 mins., 1974, PG): Director Peter Bogdanovich followed his “Last Picture Show”/”Paper Moon” triumphs with a roster of infamous box-office flops that kicked off with “Daisy Miller.” This visually impressive yet profoundly stilted adaptation of Henry James’ story features Bogdanovich’s then-girlfriend, Cybill Shepherd, in what was widely considered a massively miscast title role — a doomed, naive “nouveau rich” American living in Europe with Barry Brown as a fellow ex-patriate who can’t quite figure out how he feels about her. Bogdanovich reunited Shepherd with several of her “Last Picture Show” co-stars, including Cloris Leachman and Eileen Brennan, not to mention brought author Larry McMurtry’s son, James, along for what amounts to comic relief — yet despite the visual trappings “Daisy Miller” never works dramatically with Shepherd coming off as overly affected and, especially at this stage of her career, out of her element. Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray (1.85, mono) offers the HD premiere of the film via an attractive new 4K scan; extras include a 10-minute new interview with Shepherd who praises the film and  Bogdanovich’s work; a new commentary by Peter Tonguette; the trailer; and archival DVD extras, Bogdanovich’s commentary and an on-camera “introduction” segment comprising them.

REVENGE OF THE NINJA Blu-Ray (90 mins., 1983, R): Re-issue of the second entry in Cannon’s Ninja trilogy, offering Sho Kosugi the lead role of a skilled fighter and family man who flees to the United States to get the remainder of his family away from goons who, of course, proceed to torment him and his son even after he ends up in the U.S. Director Sam Firstenberg dispenses with the bloated pace of Menahem Golan’s original “Enter the Ninja” and serves up a briskly-told B-movie favorite that ranks with the best of Cannon’s offerings along similar lines. Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray (1.85, mono) preserves the same MGM master as their earlier disc but with a higher bit-rate and superior encoding. Extras include commentaries by Mike Leeder and Arne Venema, plus Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steven Lambert. There’s also a vintage intro from the director, a photo gallery and the trailer.

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS Blu-Ray (105 mins., 1989, PG-13): Shot in 1988 but unreleased until a 1991 VHS debut due to Vestron Pictures’ bankruptcy, “Big Man on Campus” features writer-comedian Allan Katz as Bob, a hunchback at UCLA who eventually comes into the light and becomes a part of campus life – including serving as a roommate to Corey Parker, whose girlfriend (Melora Hardin) Bob is immediately attracted to.

Katz was a veteran TV writer and clearly “Big Man on Campus” was meant to be his big feature break of sorts – the net result is a surprisingly good looking film, shot in scope by Bojan Bazelli, with director Jeremy Kagan netting a series of solid character turns from a veteran supporting cast including Tom Skerritt, Jessica Harper and Cindy Williams. The issue is that the laughs just aren’t in heavy rotation here, the film playing off the likes of “Iceman” and standard ‘80s comedies with few surprises, not helped by “Bob” himself being more annoying than appealing.

Kino Lorber’s superb Blu-Ray includes a 2K scan (2.35) of the 35mm interpositive with 2.0 sound and numerous extras. These include an interview with Katz, commentary with Kagan, an alternate ending, still gallery and the trailer.

Vintage Releases From Kino Lorber

PHILO VANCE COLLECTION Blu-Ray (213 mins., 1929-30): Before stepping into the long-running detective series “The Thin Man,” William Powell essayed S.S. Van Dine’s sleuth Philo Vance in a number of movies starting at Paramount in the late ‘20s before moving to Warner Bros. And handing off the character to a myriad of other actors through the ‘30s and ‘40s.

These initial early talkies are good fun for genre fans, finding Vance tackling THE CANARY MURDER CASE (1929), co-starring Jean Arthur; THE GREENE MURDER CASE (1929) again featuring Arthur; and THE BENSON MURDER CASE (1930) with Paul Lukas appearing. All three of these fast-moving mysteries have been remastered from Universal’s 4K/2K scans of the “best available 35mm film elements,” with terrific commentaries lending context to the respective pictures. These include Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw on “Canary” and “Greene,” and Jason Ney on “The Benson Murder Case.” Recommended for Golden Age mystery buffs!

Cult director Edgar G. Ulmer helmed a trio of thrillers regarded as some of the best films to come out of poverty row film company Producers Releasing Corporation. One of them, BLUEBEARD (72 mins., 1944), slashes its way onto Blu-Ray this month in a 4K scan from present-day owner Paramount Pictures. John Carradine plays a 19th century artist and puppeteer whose placid demeanor masks the killer within in Ulmer’s fast-moving, suspenseful low-budget film co-starring Jean Parker. A fan favorite of Ulmer devotees, “Bluebeard”’s Blu-Ray serves up a superb 1080p (1.37) B&W image with two commentaries: one featuring historian David Del Valle, the other with genre authorities Gregory Mank and Tom Weaver.

REPUBLIC PICTURES HORROR COLLECTION Blu-Ray (275 mins., 1944-46)/SCI-FI CHILLERS COLLECTION (230 mins., 1957-66): Two archival Blu-Ray retrospectives, both newly released by Kino Lorber, offer hours of entertainment for genre fans.

The REPUBLIC PICTURES HORROR COLLECTION features a trio of 1940s releases from the vaults of Republic Pictures, all in new 4K scans (1.37 B&W) courtesy of Paramount. The lot includes Erich von Stroheim’s 1944 appearance as a mad scientist in THE LADY AND THE MONSTER; the body-swap chiller THE PHANTOM SPEAKS (1945) with Tom Powers and Richard Arlen; the mystery-centric THE CATMAN OF PARIS (1946); and Ian Keith as lunatic Ormand Murks in the voodoo-themed occult chiller VALLEY OF THE ZOMBIES (1946). Commentaries include Stephen R. Bissette on “Lady and the Monster”; Tim Lucas on “Phantom” and “Zombies”; David Del Valle and Miles Hunter on “Zombies” and “Catman”; and an on-camera segment with Tim Lucas and Stephen R. Bissette.

Many of the same historians appear in the extras of Kino’s recently released SCI-FI CHILLERS COLLECTION. Housing three Paramount-owned ‘50s and ‘60s fantasies, the anthology kicks off with THE UNKNOWN TERROR (1957), shot in “Regalscope” (2.35), before seguing into the most well-known film of the lot, THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK (1958), here restored in a new transfer superior to Olive’s previous Blu-Ray. Rounding out the disc is the low-budget DESTINATION INNER SPACE (1966), making its high-def debut. Extras here include commentaries on “Unknown Terror” by Stephen R. Bissette; Tom Weaver, Larry Blamire and Ron Adams on “Colossus”; and David Del Valle and Stan Shaffer on “Destination Inner Space.” Additional on-camera “side bars” include Tim Lucas and Stephen Bissette talking about “Colossus” and “Inner Space,” while all three movies have been treated to new 4K scans from Paramount (2.35/1.85).

Film noir fans may want to seek out Fritz Lang’s SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR (98 mins., 1948), not regarded as one of Lang’s best by any means but still a watchable noir with leading lady Joan Bennett taking on more a sympathetic appearance than her previous works with Lang afforded: an heiress who’s wooed by Michael Redgrave’s architect while constantly wondering if there’s something more to his fixation on murder. Lang mixes up Hitchcock, du Maurier and other genre tropes in this slow-going affair which is heavy on the talk and never builds up a sufficient head of steam; still, genre fans may enjoy it, thanks to Kino Lorber’s 4K scan (1.37 B&W). Alan K. Rode’s commentary is the disc’s sole extra.

50s Favorites Debuting on Blu-Ray

Star power provided by William Holden distinguishes SUBMARINE COMMAND (87 mins., 1951), a workmanlike account of a sub commander (Holden) who suffers losses at the end of WWII and finds himself suffering from PTSD. Moving ahead into the Korean War, Holden’s Ken White attempts to overcome his own insecurities as he heads back aboard the Tiger Shark for a new mission in this Paramount production directed by John Farrow. The movie’s depiction of life onboard a WWII submarine is its strongest suit along with, of course, Holden’s performance, both captured in a fresh 4K scan (1.37 B&W) by Paramount. A new commentary by Steve Mitchell and Steven Jay Rubin lends historical insight in Kino Lorber’s now-available Blu-Ray.

Set against the war for India’s independence, THUNDER IN THE EAST (97 mins., 1952) unravels the relationship between an American arms dealer (Alan Ladd), who wants to sell his weapons to the rebels, and a government official (Charles Boyer) who desires peace; Deborah Kerr is the blind woman who falls for our hero in an adaptation of Alan Moorehead’s novel from screenwriter Jo Swerling and director Charles Vidor. Another good looking 4K master (1.37 B&W) was produced by Paramount and debuts here in a Kino Lorber Blu-Ray alongside a commentary by Lee Gambin (RIP, sadly) and Elissa Rose.

BACK FROM THE DEAD Blu-Ray (79 mins., 1957): Low-budget chiller offers Peggie Castle as a woman possessed by the spirit of husband Arthur Franz’s late wife! Picked up for theatrical distribution by 20th Century Fox, this Regal Films production is watchable with Catherine Turney’s script (based on her novel) working in a cult of devil worshippers as part of a larger supernatural conspiracy. Castle is capable as a lead with Charles Marquis Warren’s flick being enhanced by the use of “Regalscope” and remastered here in its full anamorphic glory (a 4K scan in 2.35). Extras include a pair of historian commentaries: one by Tom Weaver, Gary Rhodes and Larry Blamire, the other with David Del Valle and Dana M. Reemes.

Kino Classics, TV & Special Interest

THE FRENCH Blu-Ray (135 mins., 1982): If you’re a tennis fan, chances are you’re watching The French Open – and if you are, or ever have, you’ll also want to check out William Klein’s 1982 documentary “The French.” Capturing the 1982 Open in a candid, offbeat manner atypical of most conventional sports documentaries, “The French” chronicles the game’s past, then-present and about to be future, with all-time greats Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and a young Yannick Noah and Ivan Lendl leading a spectacular cross-section of players. But it’s also an unadorned, you-are-there type of documentary, newly remastered and brought back by Wes Anderson and Metrograph Pictures, in a new Blu-Ray (1.33) that’s an essential pick-up for tennis fans.

TEASERAMA Plus VARIETEASE and BUXOM BEAUTEASE Blu-Ray (342 mins., 1954-56): The golden age of burlesque comes to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber, Something Weird and the UCLA Film & Television Archive in a double-disc special edition. A trio of features, two newly restored in 4K, await fans on Blu-Ray: “Varietease” and “Teaser Rama” especially, since they both feature pin-up legend Bettie Page. A third production from the same producer-director, Irving Klaw, “Buxom Beautease” is also on-hand featuring the likes of Lili St. Cyr and Tempest Storm. All three ‘50s era features look spiffy (1.37) here with extras including commentaries by Jo Weldon, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, David F. Friedman and Mike Vraney, plus trailer and “Something Weird Video” archival editions for good measure.

VITAGRAPH COMEDIES Blu-Ray (565 mins., 1907-22): Restored transfers from the Library of Congress mark this three-disc anthology of vintage Hollywood comedy shorts from Vitagraph. Produced between 1907-22, these early screen shorts showcase the genre before the conventional silent-era comedians like Keaton and Chaplin would later take hold, illustrating the works of John Bunny, Frank Daniels, and Edith Storey among others. Since so little of the Vitagrapgh efforts have survived throughout the decades, this new Blu-Ray anthology is a must for cinephiles, preserving vintage Hollywood with extras including commentaries by Anthony Slide and interviews with series curators Rob Stone, Lynanne Scheweighofer, George Willeman and historian Rob Farr.

BUSHMAN Blu-Ray (74 mins., 1971): A brand new restoration of a striking independent film from the late ‘60s that utilizes a quasi-documentary approach to depict a Nigerian immigrant’s adventures in late ‘60s San Francisco. Director David Schickele, a Peace Corps veteran, brought his friend Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam over to star in the film, which shifts gears into a real documentary depicting Okpokam being accused of a crime he did not commit. A fascinating culture-clash work preserved here by Milestone and Kino Lorber with a 1080p (1.66) transfer from a 4K restoration; Schickele’s “Give Me a Riddle” (67 mins., 1966) and “Tuscarora” (58 mins., 1992) documentaries are included on the bonus side alongside a commentary by Daniel Kremer and Rob Nilsson.

MONK – Season 6 Blu-Ray (640 mins., 2007-08): Sixth season of the smash hit USA cable series returns Tony Shalhoub as the OCD-plagued but brilliant police “consultant” who tackles a group of odd cases in the Bay Area, with Traylor Howard again tagging along for good measure. “Monk” was a runaway hit for USA, in its later seasons ranking as the highest rated scripted cable series with millions of viewers tuning into Monk’s familiar goofy antics, mixed with a formulaic but sturdy assortment of crime procedural plots. Yet it’s Shalhoub’s performance that made “Monk” the success that it became, his performance anchoring a show that managed to mix comedy and crime with equal aplomb. Kino Lorber’s Season 6 Blu-Ray includes all 16 episodes from its 2007-08 campaign with guest stars Scott Glenn, Snoop Dogg, Sharon Lawrence, Alfred Molina, Sarah Silverman, and Peter Stormare, plus commentary on the episode “Mr. Monk Is Up All Night,” seven video commentaries, “Little Monk” webisodes, and solid 1080p (1.78) transfers with 2.0 DTS MA sound.

SLAM Blu-Ray (104 mins., 1998): The 1998 Sundance Grand Jury winner comes to Blu-Ray in the form of a 4K restored Blu-Ray transfer from Kino Lorber. Marc Levin’s film follows Saul Williams’ black performance poet who’s jailed after a marijuana possession charge, but finds his own voice after meeting a gang leader (Bonz Malone) and a writing teacher (Sonja Sohn) while imprisoned. Winner of the Camera D’Or at Cannes, “Slam” comes back in circulation with a robust new transfer (1.85, 5.1/2.0) plus a commentary by Levin and Malone and behind-the-scenes footage.

On DVD

The celebrated Danish TV series THE KILLING (2312 mins., 2007-12) returns to DVD in a Complete Series box-set from MHz. The 11-disc set preserves all three seasons of the original series – later transplanted to the U.S. — with Sofie Grabol essaying dogged detective Sarah Lund through Copenhagen crimes that are both atmospheric and tension-filled. English dubs are included along with Danish 5.1 sound with English subtitles in the now-available box.

From Greenwich Films comes UNCROPPED (111 mins., 2023), a profile of Village Voice photojournalist James Hamilton from director-editor D.W. Young. Hamilton’s 40-year career capturing celebrities as varied as Alfred Hitchcock and Muhammad Ali offers some rich anecdotes and a look at a time and place vanishing from the New York City environment Young examines here. Greenwich’s DVD includes a 16:9 transfer and 5.1/2.0 sound. Also from Greenwich is the crazy true story of QUEEN OF THE DEUCE (75 mins., 2022), aka Chelly Wilson, a Jewish-Greek immigrant who escaped the Holocaust, lived a gay life (despite being married to men), and built a NYC porn empire on 42nd street. This fascinating documentary is now on DVD (16:9, 5.1/2.0) from Greenwich and Kino Lorber.

A great vintage documentary on the explosion in popularity of calypso and soca music, ONE HAND DON’T CLAP (92 mins., 1988), is new on DVD this month from Kino Lorber and Riverfilms. Kristen Larvick restored Kavery Dutta Kaul’s look at the Grandmaster Lord Kitchener, who championed the music of West India and is captured here with dynamic musical performances. Kino’s DVD (1.33, 5.1/2.0) features stereo sound and an image gallery…A floating oasis for France’s mental health sufferers, ON THE ADAMANT (109 mins., 2022) profiles the Seine River boat that features daily care for adult patients in a unique, artistic way designed to help them overcome their ailments. A moving and insightful documentary from Nicholas Philibert, now on DVD from Kino Lorber (1.85, 5.1/2.0 French with English subtitles).

Cinephobia brings to DVD Remi Morris’ QUEEN TUT (100 mins., 2022), a drama about a 17-year-old who moves to Toronto and becomes part of a fight to save a local drag nightclub. Reem Morris’ film (1.78, 5.1) debuts on disc with a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scene and music videos…Virgil Films has newly released Elliot Levitt’s documentary THE EICHMANN TRIAL (103 mins., 2023), a new look at the capture of infamous Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and the ensuing trial that generated worldwide headlines (4:3, 5.1). Extra features on the DVD include two newsreels and a Q&A with Levitt.


New From Imprint Editions

Imprint’s TALES OF ADVENTURE COLLECTION 3 shifts from the jungle adventures of the ‘40s and ‘50s towards a broader selection of stories – mostly with a war angle – all set in exotic locales and hailing mostly from the 1960s, including a couple of Blu-Ray format premieres.

Burt Lancaster’s star power fuels TEN TALL MEN (97 mins., 1951), a Columbia Technicolor adventure following the Foreign Legion that offers crisp action and a brisk pace courtesy director Willis Goldbeck. David Buttolph scored this minor but fun outing that makes its high-definition debut here in Imprint’s Blu-Ray. The Sony licensed transfer (1.33, mono) is sound and the trailer is the sole extra.

The Collection next pivots to a WWII adventure, THE HEROES OF TELEMARK (131 mins., 1965). One of the decade’s many widescreen war epics, this Columbia release features Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris in the story of how Norwegian resistance fighters aided the Allies in destroying a water plant that was key to the German development of an Atomic bomb. Anthony Mann’s directorial touches get lost in the scope of this overbearing, internationally-funded co-production, which looks the part with its Panavision lensing but meanders around with lots of talk and unbalanced pacing.

Malcolm Arnold scored the film, which has been available in a no-frills Sony release stateside. Imprint’s Blu-Ray debuts a new commentary by Steve Mitchell and Steven Jay Rubin with a production crew interview featurette; a talk with actor David Weston; archival “production reports” from the set; and the trailer. Another superb Sony licensed transfer (2.35, mono) rounds out the disc plus the trailer.

Another 1965 release, SANDS OF THE KALAHARI (119 mins.), is included in Imprint’s Blu-Ray box. Writer-director Cy Endfield’s British production finds a group of survivors struggling to make it after their small plane crashes in the African desert; Stanley Baker, Sstuart Whitman, Susannah York, Theodore Bikel and Nigel Davenport are among the stars in a well-acted but somewhat slackly handled picture previously issued on Blu-Ray by Olive in the U.S. Imprint’s disc reprises the same master (2.35, mono) and adds a new commentary by Scott Harrison and interviews with clapper loader (and later long-time cinematographer) Douglas Milsome and camera operator Arkadi DeRakoff along with the trailer.

The set is capped by the premiere Blu-Ray of LOST COMMAND (128 mins., 1966), a Columbia box-office underachiever that had a distinguished pedigree behind the camera, from director Mark Robson to cinematographer Robert Surtees, writer Nelson Gidding (adapting Jean Larteguy’s bestseller “The Centurions”) and the great Franz Waxman, scoring his last feature. Alas, the movie’s tone – abandoning the typical rah-rah tone typical of its genre – likely hurt its commercial appeal, as this downbeat tale of French paratroopers in Indochine and Algeria is well-made but conventional and overlong.

Sony’s Blu-Ray (2.35, mono) again features a solid transfer with the trailer, and as is customary with Imprint’s boxes, presents each of the four movies in its own case, housed inside a hardbound, glossy cardboard box.


Also New on 4K UHD

ONE FROM THE HEART 4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray (93 mins./102 mins., 1983, R; Lionsgate): Francis Ford Coppola’s salute to big Hollywood musicals and their artificial environments became one of the infamous “Making Of” movie sagas of all-time – an expensive, self-indulgent exercise in “auteurism” that cost Coppola his American Zoetrope studio as it was originally configured and put a huge dent in a career that some may argue never completely recovered.

And for what? “One From the Heart” is a cinematic enigma that needs to sing and only gives us…the warbling, repetitive songs and vocals of Tom Waits. It needs the viewer to fully invest in its romance…but provides us with a borderline combative couple played by Teri Garr and Frederic Forrest whom you never care about. It provides a massive, set-bound replica of Las Vegas for its story to play out…yet it never answers why it was necessary to go to such a length when the real thing was there for the filming. And the one performer in the cast who could truly sing and dance – the late, great Raul Julia – is totally wasted here without a single song to support him.

“One From the Heart” is a strange movie, a picture without a dramatic pull – and maybe all of it would have still worked had the music been able to salvage it. Yet Waits’ jazzy lounge stylings and piano tinkling seem all wrong here, blanketing the movie with a uniform sound that may put you to sleep (which this film has done, I must admit, on more than one occasion). Minus a strong musical component, Coppola’s movie is purely a technical exercise in grandiose filmmaking that seems extravagant – and is – yet it’s mostly just inert and dull, which is its greatest crime of all.

Despite all this, “One From the Heart” is a movie that’s worth owning for cinephiles due to its supplements – documentaries and interviews recounting what was and could’ve been – all reprieved here in Lionsgate’s 4K UHD edition of the film. This two-disc set features a 93-minute “Reprise” recut supervised by Coppola plus, on Blu-Ray, the 102-minute “1983 version” – both offer stellar sound and image quality (each in 1.33), from a robust Dolby Atmos remix to its Dolby Vision HDR enhancements on the Reprise cut that make backgrounds and colors shine. The disc also houses its pertinent special features from its now two-decades old DVD and comes recommended (note overseas buyers received a superior four-disc edition that includes the 1983 version in 4K UHD).

Italian director Michele Soavi netted one of his biggest international successes with CEMETERY MAN (103 mins., 1994; Severin), the misadventures of a graveyard worker (Rupert Everett) whose cemetery includes zombies that rise from the dead on a regular basis. Everett’s Dellamorte handles them all, and eventually falls for a young widow of a wealthy local, in an episodic, weird film Soavi helmed from a script by Giann Romoli – itself based on a novel that, presumably, makes more sense than the finished product does here.

“Cemetery Man” came at a time when horror was getting an infusion of genre exercises, from the likes of Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi, that likewise mixed in some humor with their gore. Picked up for home video back in the VHS era by Fox, “Cemetery Man” is a lot less coherent than those other films, though, jumping from one wild fantasy element to another without making much sense – never mind of the dramatic kind.

One of those “try before you buy” type of viewing experiences, Severin has produced a marvelous 4K UHD of “Cemetery Man” with its spectacular Dolby Vision HDR-enhanced transfer and Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Both make this restoration a must for Italian horror fans, while a full three-plus hours of extras include interviews with Rupert Everett and co-star Anna Falchi; an interview with Soavi; an archival Making Of; trailers; and a commentary by Soavi and Romoli, recalling their work on the film, which I expect played better in Europe than it did here.

BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE 4K Ultra HD Steelbook (107 mins., 2024, PG-13; Paramount): Biopic of the reggae legend turns out to be a surprisingly uninspired affair, lacking the cinematic verve of recent musical docudramas “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman.” It’s a wan affair for the most part, hitting upon Bob Marley’s life and times and rise in both political and, of course, music arenas, but in a workmanlike and mostly passionless cinematic manner. The performances are mostly good and Kingsley Ben-Adir is convincing as Marley, but Reinaldo Marcus Green’s direction scarcely feels different than a generic cable biopic and the amount of credited screenwriters – nearly a half-dozen — seems to be evidence of a project that was pulled in different directions by multiple invested parties. The net result is watchable yet toothless. Paramount’s attractive 4K UHD includes both Dolby Vision HDR (2.35) and Dolby Atmos sound; a digital copy; deleted/extended scenes; interviews; and featurettes.

AMERICAN HUSTLE 4K UHD/Blu-Ray Steelbook (138 mins., 2013; R; Sony): David O. Russell’s brilliantly performed 2013 hit comes to 4K for the first time from Sony. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence lead the peerless cast in Russell’s slick and expectedly offbeat story of con men and corruptible government figures wrapped up in a fictional story based on a real FBI scandal that occurred in the late ‘70s. It’s surprising it’s taken this long for “American Hustle” to reach UHD but it does so in the form of one of Sony’s outstanding Dolby Vision HDR (2.39) presentations with Dolby Atmos sound and never-before-seen deleted/extended scenes, nearly 15 minutes worth. The Blu-Ray ports over previous deleted scenes and a featurette, and it’s all wrapped up in a deluxe Steelbook package.


Also New & Noteworthy

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES Blu-Ray (104 mins., 2024, PG-13; Universal): Years back, Eddie Murphy appeared in “White Like Me,” a hilarious Saturday Night Live segment as a white guy who, alone with others of his kind, found Caucasians reveling whenever an African-American wasn’t around – and also getting free handouts all over the place. Its comic point of view was fresh and funny, two elements you can’t say about “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” a heavy-handed and unsuccessful attempt by director Kobi Libii to make some kind of race relations statement by way of satire – with young Justice Smith recruited into a society of blacks whose goal is to make “white lives easier” – that’s clumsy and stilted. A game cast tries, but this one doesn’t connect. Universal’s Blu-Ray (1.85, 7.1 DTS MA) fast-tracks this box-office underachiever to home video with Libii’s commentary, featurettes and a digital code provided on the supplemental side.

ARTHUR THE KING Blu-Ray (107 mins., 2024, PG-13; Lionsgate): True story about an endurance racer whose bond with a canine vagabond named “Arthur the King” aids his entry in one final competition in Santo Domingo didn’t make a whole lot of noise at the box-office. Still, folks looking for something a little more grounded in the human realm than the standard Hollywood product may do well to check out Mark Wahlberg’s performance as Michael Light, whose true story makes for a feel-good film “with an edge” (that being an awful lot of profanity for a film which otherwise would’ve been suitable for older kids). Simon Cellan Jones’ direction and the script by Michael Brandt seems to rush through certain elements of Light’s story but the net result is still likely to tug at the proverbial heart strings. Lionsgate’s Blu-Ray (2.40) includes Dolby Atmos sound, no less than three commentaries by the production team, three featurettes, the trailer, the DVD and a Digital HD code.

IMAGINARY Blu-Ray (104 mins., 2024, PG-13; Lionsgate): What does it say about Blumhouse’s “Imaginary” that Universal, which has a first-look deal with the company, refused to release it? Picked up by Lionsgate instead, this is a feeble supernatural chiller from director Jeff Wadlow about a woman (DeWanda Wise) haunted by her childhood imaginary friend, which eventually resurfaces just in time to haunt her stepdaughter. Predictable PG-13 level chills permeate this rote genre exercise, now on Blu-Ray (2.39, Dolby Atmos) from Lionsgate. Extras include a commentary with De Wise and Wadlow; featurettes; a DVD; and Digital HD code.

GIRLFIGHT Blu-Ray (111 mins., 2000, R; Criterion): Karyn Kusama’s 2000 indie hit broke down doors for star Michelle Rodriguez, essaying a young woman from Brooklyn who, lost at home and school, finds herself in a boxing gym where she finds both physical and emotional solace, even striking up a relationship with a fellow, male fighter that quickly becomes complicated. Kusama also wrote “Girlfight” which offers strong characterizations to offset something of a cliched plot; however, it’s Rodriguez’s breakthrough performance that keeps the picture on balance. Criterion’s Blu-Ray (1.85, 5.1 DTS MA) features a new 4K restoration with commentary with Kusama; new interviews with Kusama, editor Plummy Tucker and composer Theodore Shapiro; storyboards with director commentary; and the trailer.

COUP DE CHANCE Blu-Ray (96 mins., 2023, PG-13; MPI): You might’ve thought Woody Allen would’ve been finishing off his decades of filmmaking here in the U.S., but circumstances being what they are, he’s off again to Paris in “Coup De Chance,” another French language effort that mixes domestic drama with an uneasy thriller angle that pays off in the end. In fact, this one is one of Allen’s more enjoyable recent outings, starting off from a premise wherein a married woman (Lou de Laage) finds herself being drawn to a former high school classmate (Niels Schneider), all to the rage of her husband (Melvil Poupaud). Taut and well shot by the great Vittorio Storaro, “Coup de Chance” is now on Blu-Ray (2:1, 5.1 French DTS MA) from MPI featuring a solid a/v transfer and English subtitles.

CREATION OF THE GODS I: KINGDOM OF STORMS Blu-Ray (148 mins., 2023, Well Go USA): Part one of a massive new fantasy epic from Hong Kong finds director Wuershan spinning the tale of a tyrannical King whom the Gods decide cannot rule – they decide to crown a human champion in order to stop him, at a potential deadly cost, in “Kingdom of Storms,” the first part of “Creation of the Gods,” which boasts lots of spectacle and special effects with grand action scenes. HK cinema fans are likely to enjoy it, with Well Go’s Blu-Ray offering 5.1 DTS MA sound in both subtitled Mandarin or an English dubbed track. The trailer is the disc’s sole extra.

EDGE OF EVERYTHING DVD (82 mins., 2024; Lightyear): A strong performance from Sierra McCormick enhances this somewhat underdeveloped indie feature from the writing-directing tandem of Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman. McCormick is both sympathetic and compelling as a 15-year-old who loses her mother and has to move in with her father and his younger girlfriend; helping her navigate this new dynamic is her new friend (Ryan Simpkins) who introduces her into the harder edge of teenage life. Well acted if undernourished a little dramatically at a slender 82 minutes, “Edge of Everything” comes to DVD from Lightyear sporting a 16:9 (1.68) transfer and 5.1/2.0 sound.

NEXT TIME: Arrow’s 4K restoration of MUTE WITNESS. Until then, don’t forget to drop in on the official Aisle Seat Message Boards and direct any emails to our email address. Cheers everyone!

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June 22
Burrill Phillips died (1988)
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