Blu-ray Review is located HERE

Our Hospitality (1923)  

Review by Pascal Acquarello


Willie McKay (Buster Keaton) lives with his mother in the bustling city of New York in the 1830s, where people already complain of high traffic (consisting of two horse carriages and a bicyclist) and urban sprawl (a one-story house occupies the rural dirt road of the 42nd Street delta). He has received news that he has inherited the family estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and decides to head out west on a high-speed steam train (so fast that that the family dog runs alongside it for the duration of the trip) to claim his fortune. But before he leaves, his mother warns him of his family's longstanding feud with the Canfields ...and to be vigilant of Indians beyond Trenton, New Jersey - the unknown frontier. He shares a cramped carriage with a young woman named Virginia (Natalie Talmadge) who is going home to visit her family, and by the end of their trip, they are equally smitten. As luck would have it, he has fallen in love with a Canfield, and Virginia's family has declared open season on the unwitting McKay. However, when Virginia invites Willie over for dinner, her father (Joe Roberts) decides that it would be improper etiquette to shoot Willie while he is a guest in their house. Outside, on the other hand, is a different story. A hilarious cat-and-mouse game ensues as Willie learns of their plan, and decides to make himself a permanent guest in the Canfield home.


Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Review by Pascal Acquarello

A young man (Buster Keaton) works as a projectionist and janitor at a local movie theater while studying to become a detective. He is going to court a girl (Kathryn McGuire) after work, but does not have enough money to buy her a large box of candy, so instead, settles for a small, $1 box, then takes a pencil and alters the price to $4. While enjoying a private moment together, he tactfully slips a ring on her finger, and hands her a magnifying glass to admire the stone. A rival suitor, the sheik (Ward Crane), notices their mutual affection and decides to upstage him by stealing a pocket watch from the house, pawning the item, and buying the large box of candy. When the theft of the pocket watch is detected, the young man decides to use his detective handbook to find the criminal, but the plan backfires when the sheik plants the $4 pawn ticket in his jacket. Tying the price of the pawn ticket to his small box of candy, the girl's father (Joe Keaton) sends the hapless budding detective away. Alone in the projection room, the young operator begins to drift into sleep, and finds himself stepping into the celluloid shoes of a dashing, worldly detective.


The DVD is from Kino International and is presented in OAR of 1.33. The two films, "Our Hospitality" and "Sherlock Jr." are very nicely restored: excellent detail, sharp contrast, with very few, non-distracting imperfections. The musical scores are clean, new recordings, and free of pops and hisses. However, although the soundtrack to "Our Hospitality" is non-obtrusive and appropriately "old-fashioned", the modern and updated score of "Sherlock Jr." seems incongruous with its audible use of electric guitars, musical allusions to the James Bond theme, jazz passages, and avant-garde cacophony to reflect chaos. There are no additional materials on the DVD.