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Heaven Can Wait Blu-ray Review

The cast carries “Heaven Can Wait.”

Based on the play of the same name by Harry Segall, “Heaven Can Wait” revolves around a quarterback for the L.A. Rams named Joe Pendleton who is about to become a starter. Unfortunately, he winds up dying in an accident. While in the afterlife, Joe learns he wasn’t supposed to die. He tries to go back to his original body but it has been cremated. With the mysterious Mr. Jordan’s help, Joe finds a temporary body in the form of a wealthy industrialist named Mr. Farnsworth. As Farnsworth, Joe changes who Farnsworth is, falls for an activist named Betty, and strives to be a quarterback for the Rams in his new form. As things start looking up for Joe as Farnsworth though, he might not be able to 

Previously made as a film named “Here Comes Mr. Jordan,” 1978’s multi-Academy Award nominated “Heaven Can Wait” is a sort of updated version of the tale with a football spin. This time around Warren Beatty directs alongside Buck Henry and co-wrote the script alongside Elaine May while also starring in the lead role as Joe. As you can see there’s no shortage of talent behind and in front of the camera (I’ll get to the rest of the cast in a bit). The film certainly has plenty of charm as it’s a lighthearted and ultimately sweet story about reincarnation, romance, body swapping, and second chances. You’re engaged in Joe’s quest to continue living from the get go and are on board to see how it all pans out. Where the script falters a bit is with the comedy and plotting. The comedy is never as funny as it should be given how much comedic potential there is with the premise. Sure, you have some laughs with Farsnworth’s wife and some antics with Joe talking to himself (but not really), but it’s all obvious jokes. As for the plotting, it all feels too convenient. Not only is there a lack of development with the central romance, but Joe’s quest to get to the NFL seems entirely too easy.

Where ‘Heaven’ soars is with the cast comprised of Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason, Charles Gordin, Dyan Cannon, Buck Henry, and Jack Warden. Everyone turns in a good performance here unsurprisingly, but it’s Jack Warden who steals the movie as Max (a friend and trainer to Joe). In many ways he’s the heart of the movie as he helps Joe on his quest. Beatty and Christie (who previously worked together) have a lot of chemistryon screen while Grodin and Cannon shine as not so secret lovers and murder conspirators. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Fans should be pleased by the crisp new transfer.

Audio Track: Mono Dolby TrueHD. How does it sound? The audio is clean.

The lone extra is a Digital copy.

December 26, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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