It Happened One Night Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • Release Date: November 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 105 minutes


            This was the film which catapulted the success of the screwball comedy genre in the 1930s, not to mention its impact on the sales of undershirts in America. Made just prior to the days of Production Code censorship and restriction, It Happened One Night has a sequence which doesn’t seem anything but mild by today’s standards, but might have been cut had the film been made a year later. The scene featured Clark Gable’s character undressing, and this dashing star’s missing undershirt in this sequence suddenly gave men all over the country to skimp on this article, either for fashion or frugality.


    I Am Ali Blu-ray Review

         Director: Clare Lewins
  • Writer: Clare Lewins
  • Producers: Clare Lewins, George Chignell, Greg Hobden
  • Format: Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (DTS 5.1), German (DTS 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, English
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, French, German, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Rated: PG
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: November 11, 2014
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 112 minutes


            Certain cultural figures never truly leave the limelight, and it feels as though there is renewed interest in their celebrity every few years through various documentary and film projects. These icons most commonly include John Lennon, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali. The latter of these three has been given another documentary feature to praise his accomplishments, though I Am Ali does little to add to the cultural significance of the man. Aside from the rehashing of familiar material, the main draw of I Am Ali is commentary from those closest to him and private recordings of personal conversations with family members. For those who have no need to hear one of the greatest boxers talking in a baby voice for his children, any of the other documentaries will likely suffice.


    22 Jump Street Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Peter Stormare, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Wyatt Russell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony
  • Release Date: November 18, 2014
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2017


            21 Jump Street seemed like a terrible idea, along with The Dukes of Hazzard, Starsky & Hutch and every other television-to-film adaptation from decades past. In the end, it was the film’s unwillingness to take the material seriously which was ultimately the saving grace, which is why it makes sense for the post-modern, self-referential style to carry the sequel into successful comedic territory. Rather than just creating a straightforward second installment in the franchise, this quickly becomes a comedy about the ridiculousness of all buddy-action sequels. The impact of this humor was also far greater before the news of another sequel in the works, especially since the end of this film is dedicated to poking fun at that very prospect.


    Land Ho! Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 4, 2014
  • Run Time: 95 minutes


            Road trip films are often far more interested in the journey than the destination, but the Icelandic setting of Land Ho! makes each step of the trip feel like an arrival of sorts. The plot is minimal between the two old friends on the trip together, so all focus is on the character development, and the scenery often feels as though it has a supporting role in the narrative. This is not unlike many other road trip/vacation buddy comedies, though it does begin to feel like a travelogue for Iceland at certain points in the meandering screenplay.


    Iceman Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Eva Huang, Simon Yam
  • Director: Law Wing Cheong
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: November 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 104 minutes


            Donnie Yen has somehow gone from one of the most impressive martial arts action stars working today to becoming nothing more than a celebrity face for the latest CGI-filled blockbuster in Chinese cinema. Iceman is the latest of these poorly constructed vehicles of mass entertainment, mashing up period costume drama with modern police procedural, all filtered through the expectations of logic usually lowered for a comic book movie. There is action and humor every fifteen-minutes, all meant to entertain while distracting from the ridiculousness bursting from every frame of this film. And just in case the open-ended resolution of the film’s climax doesn’t completely turn away the audience, there are plans for a sequel to follow.