son Archive

Graves – Season One (2016)

Graves – Season One (2016)

A fine TV series about an ex-president who is having second thoughts about his time in The White House. Graves – Season One (2016) Actors: Nick Nolte, Sela Ward, Skylar Astin, Helen Yorke, Chris Loewll Directors: Joshua M. Stern, Bob Balaban, Robert Weide, Iain B. MacDonald, Frank Coraci Studio: Kingsgate/ Lionsgate (2/7/17) [3 discs] Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 screens, color Audio: English 5.1 DD Subtitles: English SDHExtras: : ”What Fresh Hell Is This?!”: Making Graves Season One, Family Dynamics: The Acting Ensemble, Gag Reel Length: Approx. five hours Rating: ****1/2 Nick Nolte does a terrific job (one of the nominees for Best TV Actor in the current Academy Awards) portraying a former two-term conservative president who embarks on a Don Quixote-like quest to right some of the wrongs of his administration and to reclaim his legacy 25 years after he was out of the White House. One of the writers said they tried to put Nolte somewhere in between George Bush and Clinton. He and his wife live on a compound in New Mexico, where most of the ten-episode film series was shot. Living with them are Graves’ right-hand young man Isiah, and an older daughter and a son who […]

The Cell, Blu-ray (2016)

The Cell, Blu-ray (2016)

Stephen King thinks the cell phone is bad – REAL bad… Cell, Blu-ray (2016) Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach Director: Tod Williams Studio: Saban Fims, 120dB Films, Genre Co./Lionsgate (9/27/16) Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish Extras: Audio commentary track with Director, “To Cell and Back:” The Making of the Film, Ultraviolet digital HD Length: 89 min. Rating: **** One of the Amazon reviews repeats in caps: This Is Not a Zombie Movie!” Well, I eschew zombie movies and I found this one plenty disturbing but having certain similarities to zombie movies. It’s based on a decade-old novel by Stephen King (who changed the ending to a more positive one for the film) and opens with nearly everybody using a cell phone or smart phone at the Boston Airport turning into a foaming-at-the-mouth rabid killer or self-destroyer. This is supposedly brought about by an electronic signal from somewhere. The cell phone connection is never made entirely clear (there’s one scene where a pile of cell phones have been burned.) But the Cusack character (who has been separated from his wife and young son […]

Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016)

Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016)

Some critics consider this to be the best film Resnais ever did. Muriel, or The Time of Return, Blu-ray (1963/2016) Director: Alain Resnais Cast: Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kerien, Nita Klein Cinematographer: Sacha Vierny Studio: Argos/Janus/The Criterion Collection 824 (7/19/16) Video: 1.66:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color, remastered Audio: French, PCM mono Subtitles: English Extras: Excerpt from 1980 TV documentary Une approache d’Alain Resnais, Excerpt from 1969 interview with Delphine Seyrig, 1963 interview with composer Hans Werner Henze, New interview with film scholar Francois Thomas, Theatrical trailer, Printed booklet with essay by film scholar James Quandt Length: 116 min. Rating: ****1/2 This was Resnais’ follow-up to Last Year at Marienbad. The first thing different I noted about the two was that in that film there was no smoking or drinking and in this one everybody does both, like most French films. Again, it’s a reflection on the nature of time, a major interest of Resnais. There’s a lot of sub rosa stuff reflecting France’s recently-ended war in Algeria, much as some U.S. films of the time touched on the Vietnam conflict. Resnais leaned toward the avant-garde in music for his films, and the interesting concept of Muriel is that its […]

Extant – The Second Season, Blu-ray (2015)

Extant – The Second Season, Blu-ray (2015)

Another even greater season for this good sci-fi TV series. Extant – The Second Season, Blu-ray (2015) Cast: Halle Berry, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Goran Visnjic, Pierce Gagnon Exec. Producer: Stephen Spielberg Studio: CBS-TV/ Paramount (12/15/15) 4 Blu-rays Video: 1080p HD color for 16:9 Audio: English DTS-HD MA, 5.1 or 2.0 Subtitles: English SDH Extras: Extant: A Look at Season 2, A Tour of the Sets, The Carnival of the Mind, Chemistry: Molly & JD, Two Humanichs: Ethan & Lucy, The Season Finale, Deleted Scenes (on several of the 12 episodes), Gag reel Time: TT: 9 hours Rating: ***** Supposedly a third season has been cancelled, although there were two quick shots in the season finale that seemed to hint at a coming third season of this well-done series. I thought the second season was even better than the first, though the first was a quite intriguing mystery. Halle Berry, as Molly Wood the astronaut, had been alone in space for many months. Upon returning to earth she was pregnant with an alien spore. Her husband had created a humanichs small son for them who seemed just like a real human but was actually a very advanced robot. The novel concept […]