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The Last Of Sheila and Night Shift Blu-ray Reviews

“The Last Of Sheila” is a deeply underrated murder mystery.

1973’s “The Last of Sheila” revolves around a movie producer (Clinton) who is hosting a one week cruise through the mediterranean on board his luxury yacht. The get together is a reunion that marks the 1 year anniversary of the death of Clinton’s wife Sheila who was murdered in a hit-and-run. Clinton comes up with a game for his guests (largely movie industry friends) to play involving secrets from each person’s life. The game turns deadly though when people begin to wind up dead. Is the killer among the guests? Is one of the guests responsible for the death of Sheila? All is revealed in the intense ending.

Directed by Herbert Ross and, perhaps most interestingly, written by Anthony Perkins (of “Psycho” fame) and musical composer Stephen Sondheim, “The Last Of Sheila” is a top tier murder mystery that doesn’t get the attention it so richly deserves. Not only did the movie clearly inspire the likes of “Knives Out,” but it’s an engrossing mystery that grabs you from the get go that also tackles the movie biz at the same time. It’s the type of movie that will keep you guessing until the very end in the best way possible. The exotic locals don’t hurt either.

‘Sheila’ also boasts an all-star ensemble cast that contains James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Dyan Cannon, James Mason, Ian McShane, Richard Benjamin, and Joan Hackett. Everyone gets their chance to shine here which I love to see (no one is wasted in their role), Coburn steals the movie as Clinton. He’s clearly having a blast in the role.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? An impressive transfer. The print has never looked better.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A little flat but adequate.

Extras include “The Last Of Sheila” theatrical trailer and a commentary by Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon and Racquel Welch.

Michael Keaton shines in the odd “Night Shift.”

Charles is in a bit of a rut in life. He has a neurotic fiancee, he works the night shift at the city morgue, and nothing ever seems to go right for him (including meal orders). His life is turned upside down when he meets 2 individuals- Belinda (a neighbor/prostitute whose pimp was murdered) and Billy Blaze (Charles’ new partner at the morgue). Initially annoyed by Billy, Charles gets swept up into Billy’s wild idea of becoming “love brokers” for the prostitutes. The love broker business turns out to be a huge success and Charles begins to fall for Belinda. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when the pimp murderers get wind of this new business and want control.

Written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, 1982’s “Night Shift” is an unusual vehicle for director Ron Howard. The movie, which has garnered a cult following over the years, isn’t Howard’s traditional prestigious fare. Instead, it’s a rather dark comedy that certainly pushes the envelope. It certainly would never be made today as there’s some not so PC content here. 

It’s not entirely successful in what it sets out to do. The movie is in dire need of more laughs and perhaps a more fine tuned story. Still, the comedy’s exploration of the seedy side of NY mixed with Charles’ character arc and, of course, Michael Keaton as Billy make it all watchable.

Speaking of Michael Keaton, he owns this movie. Not only was this his feature film debut, but you can see a star being born from the second he appears on screen. He brings so much energy to the movie and has the film’s best comedic moments. No disrespect to Henry Winkler (who is solid), but Keaton keeps the movie afloat. Shelley Long is also quite charming here as Belinda. It’s a shame you don’t see her that much these days.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? What a print! Warner Archive keeps delivering amazing work.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a nice clean audio track.

The lone extra is a “Night Shift” trailer

November 14, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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