Jayne Mansfield’s Car Blu-ray Review

     Writers: Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Epperson
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: December 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 122 minutes


            After the major critical and financial success of Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton’s filmmaking debut, he paired with Miramax and the Weinstein brothers to make his sophomore feature, All the Pretty Horses. That experience was such a debacle that it took Thornton over a decade to return to the role of writer/director, with infamous stories of Weinstein control being the reason for the film’s failure. Jayne Mansfield’s Car has some spectacular moments, most of which Thornton gives to himself, but it could have used a little more focus and direction. There must be a happy medium between the Weinstein’s way and Thornton’s tendency to over-indulge, but it was not found in this film.


            The story follows the unlikely pairing of two families in a wholly unique situation. These narratives are very often found in wedding films, when two different families are forced to endure and appreciate the nature of someone else’s ways. Jayne Mansfield’s Car instead uses a funeral, and the two families have specific reasons to have never met before. Jim Caldwell (Robert Duvall) is the patriarch to a large southern family living in Alabama in 1969 when he receives word that his ex-wife has died. Having left him for a new family in England married to Kingsley Bedford (John Hurt), Jim never remarried and hasn’t fully recovered from the loss. When he hears that his ex-wife’s request was to be buried in Alabama, Jim grudgingly invites her new family into his home for the funeral. 


    Battle of the Year Blu-ray Review

  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 10, 2013
  • Run Time: 110 minutes



            There are so many ways to attack this film, I have to stop for a second and choose which is first. I could take the obvious digs at casting for putting an atrocious role model like Chris Brown in this film, but that’s a little too obvious. I could point out that this movie is a blatant pop-culture scheme to make B-Boys popular again, though the commercial coating over every idea in the movie makes it feel endlessly contrived. There is the strange choice to have the dance sequences with mismatched music, if any at all. There is the awful acting amidst a terrible script filled with training sequences and contrived moments of coaching from “Lost” star Josh Holloway. The complaints I have with this film are endless, and there is only one thing within it that deserves even a modicum of praise.


            This is obviously not the type of film people go to see because of the acting or the story. We know that there are only two possible outcomes to the film, and one is less likely than the other. This movie is not about plot, story or acting. The only thing that this film is about is B-Boy dancing, and it has some impressive sequences of that. The biggest problem is that the most impressive moments occur near the end of the film, making the first hour a test of endurance. The most difficult part to endure was watching Chris Brown’s face every moment but the one in which it gets punched by a teammate.