This Review Round up is a couple of releases from this week and one from last week that came late. It might be updated with another review later on, but as of right now, I haven’t seen that film. I was waiting to watch that film, but it’s not currently working for me. First is SpongeBob SquarePants: Bikini Bottom Bash. I’m an adult who didn’t grow up on SpongeBob, wasn’t a young enough adult who watched it when it came out nor do I have kids who watched it. The only time I’ve seen the show is when DVDs like this one come my way. And that’s kind of a shame because overall I don’t mind it. It’s not the absolute hilarity other adults make it out to be, but I can see why some people still enjoy it. This compilation consists of five party-themed episodes, including the pretty famous SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout. It includes other episodes I’m sure fans have seen dozens of times, but overall were new to me. I think this is a good collection for people like me who aren’t overly familiar with the show because it’s some of the better (more known) episodes with big names and special guests during the live-action parts. Fans will totally enjoy it, but it’s also a good way to introduce the show to people who aren’t fans. The episodes are fun, good for the family, full of adventure, music and quirky characters. I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to watch all of SpongeBob, but these collections are a good way to watch some of it.
Second we have Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark with a new restored 4K Blu-ray of the cult flick. The 1980’s saw a lot of TV and other type personalities get big enough to have their own movies. Pee-Wee Herman had a few. Weird Al had UHF. Then there’s Elvira. If you grew up in the 80’s and were a fan of horror, you 100% know Cassandra Peterson’s persona of Elvira. With big hair and big, um, cleavage, Elvira today remains a cult goddess. This film tried to capitalize on her cult status and saw Elvira leave her local channel show and head to Massachusetts because her aunt died. She’s left a house, a dog and a “recipe” book and must deal with the small town folk. As for the movie itself is it “good’? Well that depends on you. I’ve always liked the gimmick that is Elvira so overall it was a pretty good watch. It’s not great or anything, but it’s a fun, campy, over-the-top movie with some decent practical effects too. This new release is jam packed with bonus features and looks and sounds great restored. There are a slew of commentaries and other goodies that fans will totally enjoy watching. If you are a fan of Elvira and the film, this is a must own.
Next we have Série Noire, another restored film hitting Blu-ray. This is about a down on his luck door-to-door salesman, a teen prostitute and millions of dollars. While trying to find a customer who owes him money, Franck visits a house with a woman who wants to buy a housecoat off him. She offers him her teen niece who he feels bad for. After his wife leaves him and he’s thrown in jail by his boss for stealing money, he teams up with the girl to rob the aunt of millions of dollars. Nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Alain Corneau’s no-holds-barred adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel “A Hell of a Woman” was named one of Time Out’s 100 best French films of all time. What did I think of it? I couldn’t stand the lead character Franck. He doesn’t do anything right. He’s his own worst enemy and just didn’t work for me. I hate, HATE, manic type characters like this. Adam Sandler’s character in Uncut Gems, Henry Winkler’s character in Heroes, this Franck character, all drove me insane. Just calm down and use your brain. I understand the movie wouldn’t happen without this type of character but I loathe them. I thought the story, direction and overall look of the film was good, I just wish watching the lead didn’t drive me nuts. But I’m sure there are diehard fans of the film who will eat up this release.
Last we have Alastair Sim’s School for Laughter 4 Classic Comedies. This came out last week, but I didn’t get it in time for last week’s article. This collection features 4 of his biggest comedies, none of which I had seen before. The Belles of St. Trinian’s is about schoolgirls getting into trouble with Sim playing a dual role of Millicent Fritton and Clarence Fritton. The original School for Scoundrels is also in this collection which is about a down on his luck loser going to the College of Lifemanship to learn how to be a better man. I didn’t even know the Billy Bob Thornton version was a remake. Laughter in Paradise is about a practical joker leaving his fortune to 4 heirs who must complete a task they normally wouldn’t do. Think of it as a Brewster’s Millions type. Last is Hue and Cry about a comic strip being used to send signals to thieves. It’s probably the film with the last amount of screentime for Sim. Not being familiar with any of it certainly helped me enjoy this collection, but fans will go even crazier for it. I found them surprisingly funny and understand why they are beloved.