June 18, 2018

TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN: Cinema Suds

https://www.wbshop.com/collections/warner-archive
Starring Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse, Claire Trevor, Daliah Lavi, George Hamilton, James Gregory. Directed by Vincente Minneli (1962/107 min).

AVAILABLE ON DVD FROM

Review by Mr. Paws 😸

Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas) is a hot mess. He used to be a big star, making several movies with lecherous director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson) before having a whopper of a falling-out (Kruger slept with his wife). Now Jack's in a sanitarium, recovering from a nervous breakdown, likely stemming from alcoholism, a bitter divorce and a car crash that nearly killed him.

Then Jack gets a telegram from Kruger, who offers a few weeks' work on a film he's directing in Rome. Though he has reservations, it's an opportunity for a comeback, of sorts. Soon after arriving, however, he learns the production is in trouble and the Italian studio financing the film is breathing down Kruger's neck to complete it on schedule, even if it's terrible. Worse yet, the job Kruger promised is as a dubbing supervisor.

"Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lady. A whale of a tale or two."
Meanwhile, Jack's wild ex-wife, Carlotta, is also in town with her new wealthy husband, but tries to tempt Jack into being her personal man-toy. The film's male star, Davie Drew (George Hamilton), is hopelessly in love with Veronica (Daliah Lavi) and goes off the deep end when he learns she's been seeing Jack, further hampering production. Kruger's nasty wife continually berates him for his womanizing. After Kruger suffers a heart attack, Jack offers to finish directing the film out of a misplaced sense of loyalty.

If all this sounds like some kind of soap opera, you wouldn't be too far from the truth. Based on one of Irwin Shaw's pulpier novels,Two Weeks in Another Town is textbook Hollywood melodrama: Not much depth, but plenty of big performances, beautiful people and behind-the-scenes bad behavior (at least as it was depicted in the early 60s). Douglas is his usual intense self, while Robinson is wonderfully self-absorbed and conniving. Most of the women are little more than window dressing, but Cyd Charrise looks like she's having fun as Carlotta.

When all is said and done, we don't walk away with much. Two Weeks in Another Town doesn't say anything about the movie business we didn't already suspect. But there's some fun to be had in the film's kitschier moments, and though it's a relatively minor entry on everyone's resume, at least it's seldom boring.

EXTRA KIBBLES
TRAILER
KITTY CONSENSUS:
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW.

June 16, 2018

LIONHEART (1990): The Touchy-Feely Fight Fest

https://mvdb2b.com/?site_id=mvdv&date=
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Harrison Page, Deborah Rennard, Lisa Pelikan, Ashley Johnson, Brian Thompson. Directed by Sheldon Lettich. (1990/104 min). 

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM 
MVD REWIND COLLECTION

Review by Tiger Longtail😼

Of all the films Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared in during those early low-budget years, Lionheart is probably his best. Considering the quality of those chopfests (or lack of), "best" might be a relative term. But not-only does it include all the prerequisite pummeling that fight fans expect, this one actually has a fairly interesting story (albeit a familiar one), along with some characters whose personalities extend beyond their fists.

As for the Muscles from Brussels himself...Lionheart is arguably the first film where he's really required to truly act...you know, with emotions 'n stuff. As such, he isn't half bad. Who knows...maybe it was this performance that persuaded studios to take a chance on him in bigger things like Timecop, Universal Soldier and Hard Target.

Jean-Claude feels left out.
Van Damme, who apparently came up with the initial story, plays Lyon Gaultier, a French Foreign Legion deserter who comes to the U.S to see his dying brother, who was burned alive during a drug deal gone bad in Los Angeles. Needing quick cash, Lyon ends up participating in underground fights to earn money to get to L.A. He meets Joshua (Harrison Page), who arranges a big money bout run by wealthy and conniving socialite Cynthia (Deborah Rennard).

After arriving in L.A., Lyon is too late to see his brother, but his niece and estranged sister-in-law are in financial dire straights, so he resumes fighting, with Cynthia arranging bigger and more dangerous matches (and has-since dubbed him Lionheart). Meanwhile, a few thugs from the Foreign Legion are looking to bring him back to face the consequenses for deserting. Cynthia convinces them to wait until after one last fight - which she's anticipating he'll lose.

Dirty Dancing II.
Of course, the numerous fight scenes are Lionheart's strongest asset. They're all well-staged and take place in some interesting locations, such as a mansion swimming pool. Van Damme, of course, engages in plenty of what he does best: punching, kicking, collecting contusions. But unlike, say, Bloodsport, at least the downtime is watchable. Lyon's developing friendship with Joshua even manages to be engaging at times.

One of Van Damme's better early efforts, Lionheart is a good choice for inclusion in the MVD Rewind Collection. And as usual for this series, it's been nicely restored for Blu-ray and includes a lot of bonus material that's as substantial and entertaining as the movie itself.

EXTRA KIBBLES
EXTENDED 110 MIN VERSION
"THE STORY OF LIONHEART" & "INSIDE LIONHEART" - Two lengthy and entertaining retrospective documentaries featuring some of the cast & crew, including director Sheldon Lettich, producer Eric Karson, Harrison Page, Deborah Rennard and, of course, Van Damme (who seems to be lost in his own world).
"LIONHEART: BEHIND THE FIGHTS"
VINTAGE MAKING-OF FEATURETTE
2 ARCHIVE INTERVIEWS - With Sheldon Lettich and Harrison Page
AUDIO COMMENTARY (Extended version only) - By Sheldon Lettich & Harrison Page
BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF THE AUDIO COMMENTARY (really) - Five minutes of Lettich & Page in a recording booth, beginning their commentary.
PHOTO GALLERY
TV SPOTS & TRAILERS
COLLECTIBLE POSTER
DVD COPY
KITTY CONSENSUS:
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW.

June 13, 2018

SUPERCON and the Not-So-Fantastic 4

http://www.sonypictures.com/
Starring Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace, Russell Peters, Brooks Braselman, Mike Epps, Clancy Brown, John Malkovich. Directed by Zak Knutson. (2018/100 min). 

AVAILABLE ON DVD FROM 
SONY

Review by Fluffy the Fearless😼

The concept of Supercon is one you'd think would be impossible to screw up. God knows the whole comic-con/cosplaying subculture is ripe for satire and good-naturing ribbing. And with a cast like this, how could it be anything but a goofy good time?

But I laughed exactly once during the entire film, when an autograph-seeking little girl utters a single-word throwaway comment after being dismissed by her celebrity idol. This scene comes at the very end of the movie. The preceding 100 minutes are an interminable parade of obnoxious characters, cheap gags, idiotic slapstick and overall mean-spiritedness.

A shame, really...the plot itself is a great idea: a group of disgruntled, has-been celebrities (the kind who show up to sign photos for extra cash) conspire to rob Supercon, a popular convention from which they were all just fired. But rarely does the story or script take advantage of the humorous opportunities inherent in its setting and the fans who frequent these things.

Clancy Brown has a ball...or two.
What we get instead are screaming characters, bathroom humor, racial slurs, sex jokes, gay stereotypes and a running gag in which everyone refers to one of the main characters as "Ball Cancer Boy." Nearly every scene goes on forever without ever being as funny as the writers think they are, and all remaining plausibility flies out the window once the actual heist begins.

None of this is the cast's fault. Overall, the performances are actually really good (Clancy Brown comes off best as an aging, narcissistic TV star), but the self-impressed script completely wastes their talents. And what the hell is John Malkovich doing in this? Did he lose a bet or something?

Supercon might amuse undemanding middle school boys, but anyone looking for wit, clever satire or even well-staged physical gags will likely feel short-changed. Considering the premise, this is a sadly-squandered opportunity.

EXTRA KIBBLES
2 AUDIO COMMENTARIES
KITTY CONSENSUS:
BLEH. LIKE COUGHING UP A HAIRBALL

June 12, 2018

The Timelessness of TRADING PLACES

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott, Paul Gleason, Kristin Holby. Directed by John Landis. (1983/116 min).

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM

Review by Stinky the Destroyer😸

Remember when Eddie Murphy was the biggest movie star in the world? It's hard to believe that was three decades ago.

You know what else is hard to believe? That he pretty-much reached that status with only three movies: 48HRS, Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, the last of which made Eddie Murphy a brand name and a license to print money. For awhile, anyway.

Those three films shaped his image, defined his career and will ultimately be his legacy (though some fans might throw-in Coming to America). His brand of brash humor and congenial cockiness were never fresher or funnier than they were here. While 48HRS is arguably his best and Beverly Hills Cop is by-far his biggest, Trading Places might be the most timeless. Watching it today, it doesn't look or feel like a high-concept product of its time.

The Nugent Family Christmas.
In fact, if you were to take away the foul language, drug references and nudity, Trading Places is a Capraesque comedy in the classic tradition...with smart writing, rich characters and subtle commentary on class division. And while it helped make Murphy a star, he's just one component that makes it work so well. We tend to forget that Dan Aykroyd was every-bit as a talented, but whose performances were always more character-based. The divergent styles they bring to their roles provide not only much of the humor, but establish the tone of the entire film.

Like Murphy and Aykroyd, director John Landis has made funnier movies, but along with An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places is his most narratively cohesive, with the best cast he's ever worked with (and kudos for having the foresight to cast Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche completely against type). I would even argue that Trading Places remains his last great film, certainly one of the few that plays as well today as it did 35 years ago.

EXTRA KIBBLES
NOTE: Aside from a digital copy, this 35th Anniversary Edition includes the exact same bonus features as previous editions.
FEATURETTES - "Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places"; "Trading Stories"; "Dressing the Part"; "The Trade in Trading Places."
DELETED SCENE
INDUSTRY PROMOTIONAL PIECE - Made at the time of release, featuring Aykroyd & Murphy.
TRIVIA POP-UPS - Select this option for bits of info that appear throughout the movie (I wish movie discs would feature this option).
DIGITAL COPY
KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS 

June 11, 2018

ABOMINABLE...Isn't

https://mvdb2b.com/?site_id=mvdv&date=
Starring Matt McCoy, Haley Joel, Christien Tinsley, Michael Deak, Phil Morris, Jeffrey Combs, Paul Gleason, Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace Stone, Rex Linn,Tiffany Shepis. Directed by Ryan Schifrin. (2006/94 min).

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM

Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

Technically, Abominable shouldn't be part of the MVD Rewind Collection, which rescues B-movie obscurities from the video store days and restores them to their original glory, complete with packaging that resembles battered VHS covers. Abominable was released in 2006, long after VHS had gone the way of the dodo, and video stores were fast becoming an endangered species.

Let's not split hairs, though. While MVD may not be following the letter of the law, here, it's surely following the spirit. Abominable openly embraces the same aesthetic as countless direct-to-video schlock-fests from the 80s, right down to the prerequisite quota of spurting blood, stupid characters, gratuitous nudity and a completely unconvincing monster.

Conceptually, the film is basically a backwoods Rear Window, with a guy in a creature costume assuming Raymond Burr's role. Pretson Rogers (Matt McCoy) is our wheelchair-bound hero who first sees the beast, but neither his abusive caretaker or the young ladies in the cabin next door believe him...until it's too late, of course. No movie like this would be complete without its share of B-movie icons, and Abominable gives us a bunch of 'em. Jeffrey Combs, Paul Gleason, Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace Stone and Rex Linn all show up in brief supporting roles, either as comic relief, creature fodder or both.

"Is that Jimmy Stewart staring back at us?"
Though mostly serious in tone, Abominable is ultimately more amusing than scary. However, because the film wears its influences so proudly, viewers who grew up on this stuff are more likely to laugh with it than at it. Sure, the monster could have been rendered with CGI, but what would be the fun of that? And even if one doesn't find the film's inherent silliness endearing, Abominable boasts some spectacularly violent death scenes, including one that should impress even the most jaded gorehound.

Of all the MVD Rewind releases so far, this one arguably has the best batch of supplemental features (outlined below). In addition to a 2K restoration, the film itself has also been given a bit of an upgrade. In a new introduction, director Ryan Schiflrin explains a few additional visual enhancements. But don't worry...the monster is just as delightfully daffy as ever. For those who don't go in for that sort tweaking, the original DVD transfer is also included.

EXTRA KIBBLES
"BACK TO GENRE: MAKING ABOMINABLE" - A comprehensive behind-the-scenes documentary, featuring numerous interviews with the cast & crew.
2 SHORTS - "Shadows" & "Basil & Mobius: No Rest for the Wicked" - Two early films by director Ryan Schifrin.
DIRECTOR INTRO TO NEW VERSION
ORIGINAL 2005 VERSION OF THE FILM
AUDIO COMMENTARY - By Matt McCoy, Jeffrey Combs and writer/director Ryan Schifrin.
BLOOPERS
DELETED/EXTENDED SCENES
POSTER & STILL GALLERY
STORYBOARD GALLERY
COLLECTIBLE POSTER
DVD COPY
KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS

June 10, 2018

SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS and the Broken Curse

https://www.wbshop.com/collections/warner-archive
Starring Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall, Julie Newmar (mee-ow!). Directed by Stanley Donen. (1954/102 min). 

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM 
WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION 

Review by Mr. Paws😸

My oldest daughter, Natalie, became enraged when this disc arrived at our doorstep. A contemptuous scowl slowly spread across her face as she spat, "Don't ever mention Seven Bride for Seven Brothers in my presence."

"SEVEN. BRIDES. FOR. SEVEN. BROTHERS!" I replied, antagonistically emphasizing every syllable. She didn't think I was funny.
 
Natalie loves to sing and loves musicals, so I was initially surprised at her venom. Then again, she's a liberal 23-year-old college student who listens to jazz while driving, staunchly supports total equality and becomes infuriated at anything resembling racism, sexism and gender stereotypes. If she smoked pot and wore sandals to work, Natalie would be the perfect Oregonian. So I naturally assumed it was the Stockholm Syndrome aspects of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that incurred her wrath.

"That, too," she replied as though that should have been obvious. "But my high school choir teacher made us watch it all the time. It was boring and stupid and had crappy songs."

And just like that, the curse was broken...

Just...wow.
What curse, you ask? It so happens that I, too, have a contentious history with the film. For some reason, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has been adored by every female on my side of the family for a few generations, just like the gag-inducing tomato aspic my mother makes for the holidays every year.

For those of you unfamiliar with this supposed ‘dish,’ tomato aspic is a concoction of gelatin, tomatoes, peas, celery, Tabasco, hard-boiled eggs and whatever-the-hell-else happens to be in the fridge at the time. Worse yet, it’s served cold. Just looking at it is like viewing someone's impacted bowels. Even writing about it now, picturing my mom, wife and sister forking it into their mouths, sometimes with a dollop of mayonnaise on top, triggers my gag reflex. For some reason, this satanic slop never caught-on with any of the males in my family. Not to sound sexist or anything, but perhaps men are simply more aware that just because a dish technically consists of food products doesn’t necessarily mean it’s edible.

Until now, the Anderson women seemed to have a similar affinity for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My grandmother loved it, as does my mother, my aunt Bobbie and my sister, Rebecca, which is ironic when one considers its primitive depiction of a woman's role in matrimony. The men, however, have always found the film insufferable. 

The town's annual ass-kicking contest.
While I generally have no aversion to musicals today, I absolutely hated them as a kid, especially Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which was once the catalyst for a knock-down, drag-out fight between me and Rebecca (though we called her Becky back then). There were two TVs in the house: Mom & Dad's big living room console, and a boxy little black & white one in the bedroom I shared with Becky. In those days, a local TV station used to air old movies during prime time, showing the same title five nights in a row, Monday through Friday.

Becky loved old musicals and insisted on watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Not just once, but every goddamn night that week. It might have been on the fourth day that I finally tried to wrangle control of the TV from her. Not that there was something on another channel I wanted to watch, but at that point, anything - even the fucking news - would have been preferable to hearing the opening strains of "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" another time. But Becky wasn't gonna give up without a fight - especially since I once subjected her to five straight nights of Mysterious Island. But that was different...Mysterious Island had volcanoes & giant crabs, not a bunch of red-headed mountain men dancing while they erected a barn.

So we tried to settle this dispute the way most siblings do...by screaming and throwing shit at each other. So strong were my convictions that I decapitated several of Becky's Barbies, which made her run from the bedroom in tears. I was scolded by Mom, who gravely reminded me that, as the older brother, I should be mature enough to overlook Becky's bitchiness. As punishment, I lost my TV privileges, meaning I was stuck with the Pontipee boys and their "Sobbin' Women" for the rest of the week.

Touchdown!
And don't get me started on the time my parents bought Grandma a VCR one Christmas, along with a copy of this movie. Guess how many times we had to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that weekend!

But the cursed chain has finally been broken by Natalie, the first family female who actively hates Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

It's pretty damned ironic that I'm now watching it alone - willingly - all by myself. Yeah, the whole concept and attitude towards women seems surreal in this day and age. But you know what? I actually enjoyed it, like going through an old family photo album (only with the pictures completely restored to their original colorful glory). I was reminded of that intense battle for TV supremacy with my sister, which makes me chuckle now. The showstopping barn dance number that enraged me as a kid now brings back fond memories of my grandmother, who I miss dearly.

I imagine it's the same for a lot of people. A movie like this absolutely couldn't be made today, of course, which I suppose is what makes it such a nostalgic gem for those who grew up loving it...like Rebecca. I don't know if she's revisited the film lately, but I'd wager that seeing it on Blu-Ray, more colorful and vibrant than it ever looked on our tiny old bedroom TV, would trigger a flood of similar memories.

EXTRA KIBBLES
"SOBBIN' WOMEN: THE MAKING OF SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS" - A documentary hosted by Howard Keel.
NEWSREELS - New York Premiere and MGM's 30th Anniversary
SHORT - "MGM Jubilee Overture" (features music from various MGM musicals)
ALTERNATE WIDESCREEN VERSION (DISC 2) - A re-shot version in the standard format of the time (1.77). Intended for theaters unequipped to show films in the CinemaScope format, this version was never actually used (though it was apparently more expensive).

KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...A NOSTALGIC SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS

June 9, 2018

THE MIMIC: Oh, No! Not the Dog!

http://www.wellgousa.com/
Starring Yum Jung-ah, Park Hyuk-kwon, Heo Jin, Shin Rin-ah, Bang Yu-seol. Directed by Huh Jung. (2017/100 min). 

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM 
WELL GO USA

Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

In The Mimic's very first scene, a driver plows into a hapless pooch crossing the road, then tosses the still-whimpering animal into his trunk, where he has also stashed a young girl. This sets the brooding tone for a ghost story that does so many things right, it's a shame when it falls apart in the end.

An estranged couple, still reeling from the disappearance of their son five years earlier, return with their daughter to their home in the country so they can care for the husband's grandmother (who's suffering from some form of dementia). There's weird goings-on in the surrounding woods, including a bricked-up cave that has presumably claimed a lot of lives. One day, a strange little girl turns up. With no parents, the mother, Hee-yeon (Yum Jung-ah), assumes the responsibility of caring for her. But it's soon obvious the girl isn't quite what she seems.

Meanwhile, there are the usual ominous signs that something is reaching out from beyond, which is later explained in-detail by one of the locals. Through flashbacks, we learn the origin of the evil dwelling in the cave: a mythical tiger that lures its victims by mimicking the voice of someone they've loved and lost. It doesn't take a slide-rule for audiences to figure out what happens next.

What's worse than a ghost in the house? Walking in on Mom and Dad.
Up to this point, The Mimic hits all the right notes, establishing an appropriately gloomy tone and creepy atmosphere, with some creatively chilling scenes (mostly involving mirrors, which figure prominently in the narrative). However, the more the exposition the film provides, the less interesting it becomes, a problem exacerbated when the underwhelming - and frankly silly looking - titular villain finally shows up.

Until then, The Mimic is an atmospheric and intriguing piece of K-horror, boosted by good performances all around (especially Jung-ah, who convincingly conveys a grieving mother's desperation). It isn't a particularly "fun" movie, though, since the story also involves the suffering of children (not-to-mention a few dogs).

EXTRA KIBBLES
MAKING-OF FEATURETTE
DIRECTOR INTERVIEW
TRAILER
KITTY CONSENSUS:
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW.

Beware the GODDESS OF LOVE

https://www.mpihomevideo.com/
Starring Alexis Kendra, Woody Naismith, Elizabeth Sandy, Monda Scott. Directed by Jon Knautz. (2015/93 min). 

AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FROM 
MPI HOME VIDEO

Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

Maybe you've been there...in a relationship with someone and, for one reason of another, the luster wears off. It's nothing they've necessarily done wrong, but it's time to move on...and that's when they suddenly let their crazy flag fly. Well, suddenly to you, anyway. 

If you can relate, look on the bright side: At least that kooky companion wasn't a stripper named Venus, otherwise you probably wouldn't be alive to read this.

Playing like Fatal Attraction from the perspective of Alex Forrest, Goddess of Love gives us a main character, Venus (Alexis Kendra), who's already a few cans short of a six-pack when we meet her. Living alone in her apartment, she practices ballet and body art while making ends meet as a stripper. Venus is also paranoid, prone to bouts of depression & rage and hallucinates pretty regularly, not helped by the booze and weed she ingests. Still, she manages to keep up a facade of sanity around others.

Then she meets Brian (Woody Naismith), a photographer whose wife recently committed suicide. The two commence a steamy relationship, which Venus assumes is perfect until she suspects he's cheating on her with Christine (Elizabeth Sandy), his wife's best friend. Then Brian informs her he still hasn't gotten over his wife's death and decides to break up with her, exacerbating Venus' already loose grip on reality.

In addition to being sexy and seductive, Alexis Kendra can make fart noises with those armpits.
Goddess of Love is more of a psychological thriller than the horror film it's being promoted as (though there are a few horrific moments). It also an interesting spin on a familiar tale, being that it's told completely from Venus' point of view. Right up until the end, we're never certain if what we're seeing is real or a product of her tumultuous mind.

Much of the credit must go to Alexis Kendra, who not only stars as Venus, but co-wrote and produced the film. She turns in a fearless performance, but wisely resists the inherent temptation to overplay the role. By choosing the subtle approach, she creates a great deal of slow-burning tension, making the moments she does turn violent more potent. Considering she's onscreen nearly the entire time, she keeps the character interesting. It also helps that Alexis herself is pretty damned easy on the eyes.

Quirky, ambitious and well made on a limited budget, Goddess of Love is a tidy little thriller. Skillfully balancing suspense, eroticism and occasional bursts of jarring violence, the film is worth checking out.
KITTY CONSENSUS:
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS

June 8, 2018

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE: 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray Coming 6/26

http://www.sonypictures.com/
ON BLU-RAY 6/26
This summer, a beloved romantic comedy that’s remained fresh and charming for 25 years celebrates its silver anniversary. Written and directed by the iconic Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally..., Julie & Julia), SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE stars the incomparable romantic duo of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (Joe Vs. the Volcano, You’ve Got Mail) in the captivating tale of a recently widowed man whose son calls a radio talk-show on Christmas Eve in an attempt to find his father a new wife. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film “Sublime … the hippest, frankest and funniest date movie around … Director Nora Ephron’s a major talent with a wicked gift for tickling the funny bone, exposing hidden truths and then, just when you’re not looking, slamming you in the solar plexus.”