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Henry Jaglom Collection Vol. 2: The Comedies

Sitting Ducks (1980)        Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983)            New Year's Day (1989)

 


 

directed by Henry Jaglom
USA 1980

 

Mob bookkeeper Simon (INSIGNIFICANCE's Michael Emil, Jaglom's older brother) and wheeler-dealer Sidney (Zack Norman, CADILLAC MAN) cook up a scheme to steal $750,000 from the mob in collections (Simon gives the usual collectors a day off with rumors of a crackdown by the District Attorney, and Sidney collects the money in their place). Stashing the money in the tires of a limousine, they take to the road towards Miami with plans to take a plan to Costa Rica. Health freak Simon panics when Sidney casually informs him about their flight delay, and Sidney continues to exasperate him by hiring a chauffeur - singer /poet /philosopher /Apache dancer Moose (MEAN STREETS' Richard Romanus, who also provided the film's score) - to take over his driving shift and flashing some cash around the hotel where he wants to indulge in wine, women, and song (in addition to placing bets over the phone that he knows will lose and has no plans to pay up). Along the way they also pick up free spirit Jenny (Patrice Townsend, Jaglom's wife at the time and daughter of exploitation director Bud Townsend) and manic depressive Leona (Irene Forrest, COMMUNION). The plan is to have a good time with the girls on the way to Florida and ditch them when they flee to Costa Rica; however, relationships become more complicated and Simon and Sidney find themselves to be sitting ducks for the mob while they try to sort out their relationships. Director Henry Jaglom appears briefly as Jenny's seemingly not-so-evolved boyfriend. Even more loosely structured and episodic than most road movies, SITTING DUCKS benefits from the manic interplay between Emil and Norman, and Townsend's fresh face. The cross-cutting between improvised scenes of awkward seduction disrupt their flow more often than not, and the third act feels more than a bit rushed after the perhaps too-leisurely first three quarters; but SITTING DUCKS is a quirky change of pace that gets a lot of mileage out of its sub-million dollar budget.

Eric_Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 4 April 1980 (USA)

Reviews                         More Reviews                        DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Wellspring

Region 0 - NTSC

Breaking Glass Pictures
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:26:54 1:27:57
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.82 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Wellspring

 

Bitrate:

 

Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wellspring

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Director's Introduction (0:41)
• Trailers of the Jaglom Collection
• Filmographies
• Weblink

DVD Release Date: 18 March 2003
Amaray

Chapters 24
 

Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Henry Jaglom and actors Michael Emil and Zack Norman
• Henry Jaglom and Patrice Townsend Interview (10:23)
• 1973 short film 'My Brother's Sex Life' (49:52)
• The Films of Henry Jaglom Trailer Gallery
• Live at the American Cinemateque 30 Years Later (24:04)

 

DVD Release Date: 7 May 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Breaking Glass Pictures' dual-layer disc features an attractive, progressive, HD-mastered anamorphic widescreen transfer approximating the theatrical matting. The print source is not pristine - with infrequent scratches and reel change marks - but it certainly looks more vibrant than the old video master used for the Wellspring release (which opens with the United Film Distribution logo while the Breaking Glass disc opens with the International Rainbow Film one). The widescreen image loses some vertical picture info, but gains some on the sides compared to the slightly zoomed in fullscreen video master. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track on the new disc also sounds slightly cleaner. For some reason, the Breaking Glass transfer runs nearly a minute longer although the differing logos are not any longer or shorter and none of the scenes featuring nudity seem longer or shorter in either version (the new disc does include the MPAA R-rating card that has been clipped from the Wellspring release).

The audio commentary with director Henry Jaglom and actors Michael Emil and Zack Norman is at times like listening to a continuation of the film with the actors rapid semi-adversarial interplay very much an extension of their roles in the film with interjections form Jaglom that keep things on track. Also included is a vintage television interview with Jaglom and Townsend with an emphasis on the hit film's under-one-million dollar budget, and Townsend's critical reception (including comparisons to Bo Derek and Ingrid Bergman and an offer to do a Playboy spread which she turned down). Jaglom, Emil, and Norman also appear at an American Cinemateque thirtieth anniversary screening (in 2010). The major extra is the long-short film "My Brother's Sex Life" in which an offscreen Jaglom badgers older brother Michael Emil about the titular subject from its masturbatory beginnings. Also include are trailers for most of Jaglom's films.

The box set release is a reissue of the 2010 individual disc from Rainbow Film, which is now being distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures. The box set price is clearly the economical choice.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus


(
Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol 2: The Comed) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Breaking Glass

Sound:

Breaking Glass

Extras: Breaking Glass
Menu: Draw
 

 

directed by Henry Jaglom
USA 1983

 

The films of Henry Jaglom are often compared to Woody Allen, and CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE? is perhaps best illustrative of the similarities; however, Jaglom's New York is simultaneously deglamourized yet teeming with life, it appears that the improvisation is looser in Jaglom's films than Allen's (there are also no sight gags), and actor Michael Emil seems entirely too much his own "character" and not an Allen-knockoff (similarly, Karen Black here seems to be seems to be exorcising some of her own ghosts here rather than just being a kooky chick). When her husband walks out on her, Zee (Karen Black, THE PYX) does not handle it well. Her public breakdown introduces her to fast-talking Eli (Michael Emil, SOMEONE TO LOVE) who offers a kind ear and a warm bed. Eli makes his romantic interests in Zee clear from the start - in between asides about vitamins, exercise that heightens sexual performance, and everything else that should be familiar if you've seen Emil in SITTING DUCKS - but Zee is reluctant to committ, not being sure of herself or feeling free of her husband (who she swears has hired people to follow her). Zee resumes her long-abandoned singing career as a first step towards freedom, but Eli is pushing too fast and her paranoia may not entirely be a defensive reaction. They cross paths with a younger couple - actor Larry (Michael Margotta, NINE 1/2 WEEKS), his trained parrot, and Louise (Frances Fisher, PATTY HEARST) - who may be providing Zee and Emil with either the temptation of betrayal or a welcome respite from each others neuroses. Not a conventional romantic comedy (or a conventional comedy for that matter), but the incessant conversation between the central couple, and between the supporting characters actually illustrates the communication gap between the characters' thoughts and actions (the question in the song "Billy Boy" of "Can she bake a cherry pie" suggests Eli's interests in Zee are far from casual before they even meet, and long before he starts talking babies). Taken apart, Emil's and Black's characters - who apparently have never had a thought they haven't voiced aloud - would be completely unbearable (and there are times that the subplots do not sufficiently break up the monotony of their scenes); however, they do balance each other out as the film progresses (even calling each other out on the viewer's complaints about them).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 8 December 1983 (USA)

Reviews                        More Reviews                        DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Wellspring

Region 0 - NTSC

Breaking Glass Pictures
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:30:15 1:30:45
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Wellspring

 

Bitrate:

 

Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wellspring

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Director's Introduction (0:41)
• Trailers of the Jaglom Collection
• Filmographies
• Weblinks

DVD Release Date: 11 March 2003
Amaray

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:12)
• The Films of Henry Jaglom Trailer Gallery

 

DVD Release Date: 7 May 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Breaking Glass' single-layer DVD features a progressive, anamorphic widescreen presentation of an HD-mastered transfer. The image is brighter, sharper, and the colors are vibrant. The widescreen version loses some vertical information next to the older open matte master, but the new transfer reveals that the fullscreen version was slightly zoomed in. The new DVD artwork prominently lists Larry David on the back set of credits, but he appears only briefly in a barely noticeable supporting bit. Trailers for the film and Henry Jaglom's other films are the only extras.

The box set release is a reissue of the 2010 individual disc from Rainbow Film, which is now being distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures. The box set price is clearly the economical choice.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus


(
Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Wellspring - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 Report Card:

 

Image:

Breaking Glass

Sound:

Breaking Glass

Extras: Draw
Menu: Draw

 

directed by Henry Jaglom
USA 1989

 

Divorced writer Drew (writer/director Henry Jaglom, ALWAYS) decides to leave California and return to his native New York on New Year's Day. Unfortunately, he discovers that his move-in day overlaps with the move-out day of his apartment's current trio of female residents: voice artist Lucy (Maggie Wheeler, MORTAL SINS) who is giving up men and New York in favor of Los Angeles, photographer Winona (Melanie Winter, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS) who is looking for the perfect combination of genetics for the baby she wants in a year's time, and gallery public relations representative Annie (Gwen Welles, CALIFORNIA SPLIT) who is swearing off all of her bad habits for the New Year (and it's already driving her nuts). Unable to book a room at any hotel in town due to the holiday and feeling a little under the weather, the jet-lagged Drew just wants a place to sleep. Lucy offers her own bed while she's packing; but a string of guest - invited and otherwise (including her ex-boyfriend Billy [David Duchovny in his first film role], her nagging mother [acting teacher Irene Moore], and her womanizing father [sitcom writer Harvey Miller]) - keep both from achieving their goals. In between dealing with intrusions - as well as an entire farewell party she has neglected to mention (whose guests include a "psycho-sexologist" played by Jaglom's brother Michael Emil [SITTING DUCKS], the girls' landlord [director Milos Forman], and orchestra conductor James dePriest as Lucy's therapist), Lucy enters into a dialogue with Drew about their new starts (he came to New York to not be alone, she's going to Los Angeles to find herself). The optimism underlying her uncertainty and his tempering of expectations (not "giving up" but "giving in to reality" about the realistic possibilities of his happiness) give each other hope for their decisions.

Jaglom functions as an onscreen observer (he seems like an omnipotent ghost always in the right place to overhear things and rarely acknowledged by people other than the central trio of women) seemingly doing most of the work for the audience, questioning Lucy on the motives behind her exchanges with other people (work that the actress probably did in preparation for the part) under the guise of being a writer interested in human behavior. What fascinates in these scenes is that it like witnessing the actors improvising not for the camera but to each other in rehearsal as they try to wrap their minds around the characters they will be playing. While showing is supposed to be better than telling, the characters here talk far beyond the surface psychological justifications (thanks in part to verbal volleys from Jaglom the actor/director, although it would be interesting to see how many takes may have been blown despite the actors' experience with improvisation). As with Jaglom's other films in this set, the third act seems a bit rushed (rather than contrived) but this one is a little less satisfying than those of SITTING DUCKS and CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE? Not particularly moving or funny, the film is carried by Wheeler in a performance that will be a surprise to those who only know her as Chandler's nasal girlfriend Janice on FRIENDS.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 9 February 1990 (USA)

Reviews                    More Reviews                     DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC

Breaking Glass Pictures
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:28:24 1:28:24
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Paramount

 

Bitrate:

Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
•  Audio Commentary with director Henry Jaglom and actors David Duchovny and Maggie Wheeler

DVD Release Date: 5 December 2006
Amaray

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
•  Audio Commentary with director Henry Jaglom and actors David Duchovny and Maggie Wheeler

 

DVD Release Date: May 7th 2013
Amaray

Chapters 13

 

Comments

Breaking Glass' single-layer disc appears to be a direct port of the 2006 Paramount release with the same bitrate, menus, warning screens, and even the Paramount logo. Presumably Paramount still had the rights to the title when Rainbow Films remastered and reissued Jaglom's films on DVD in 2010, so this title may not have benefited from the same treatment (Rainbow released a copy with the same cover as the one in this set in 2012, but this box set is clearly the economical choice); however, Paramount usually has high standards for their audio/video encoding, so this is overall a good presentation (with optional English subtitles).

The only extra is a lively, humorous commentary (one of three recorded by Jaglom and cast members for Paramount DVDs) with director Jaglom and actors Maggie Wheeler and David Duchovny. The three fondly recall the shoot, poke fun at themselves (particularly Duchovny who still seems self-conscious about his first screen appearance) and one another, and identify supporting actors (many of whom are artists, writers, and stage actors). Jaglom occasionally mentions techniques he learned from Orson Welles (Jaglom had appeared in Welles' unreleased THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, and Welles appeared in Jaglom's A SAFE PLACE and SOMEONE TO LOVE) as well as the reasons behind his own directorial choices (like not using fades or dissolves to denote the passage of time, and which takes he used). He also relates some of his exchanges with director Elia Kazan. There's also an amusing anecdote about how parents/relatives react to seeing their actor children in adult situations (Duchovny and Wheeler on their parents seeing this film, and Jaglom's mother seeing his older brother Michel Emil in CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE?). It is also revealed that Wheeler and Duchovny had dated three years before the film, but the rapport is shared among the three commentators; and the track - possibly more entertaining than the film - should be given a listen as an extension of the film rather than a making-of.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus


(
Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Breaking Glass Pictures (Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Come) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Draw

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw
Menu: Draw

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Wellspring

Region 0 - NTSC

Breaking Glass Pictures
Region 1 - NTSC

 




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