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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? [Blu-ray]

 

(Ulu Grosbard, 1971)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cinema Center Films

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:47:59.473

Disc Size: 21,179,246,056 bytes

Feature Size: 20,890,189,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.81 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 17th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Trailer for True Confessions (2:16)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This cerebral, quirky comedy explores midlife crisis through a rock-music composer's perspective. Screen legend Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) plays a neurotic songwriter at the peak of his career, can't seem to love anybody - least of all himself. He becomes increasingly depressed as his delusional paranoia - fueled by a mysterious stranger who has been bad-mouthing him. Even his therapist (Jack Warden, The Verdict) can't seem to help. However, when he meets the eccentric, aspiring actress (Barbara Harris, The War Between Men and Women), he realizes it's his last chance for true love. For his role as the prolific singer-songwriter, Hoffman performed live (in character) with Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show at the iconic rock palace, Fillmore East, in New York City. Comedy great Dom DeLuise (Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie) co-stars in this cult classic directed by Ulu Grosbard (True Confessions). Barbara Harris was nominated for a 1972 Best Supporting Academy Award for her wonderful performance.

 

 

The Film:

Georgia Soloway (Dustin Hoffman) is on top of the world and about to jump off—even though, for all intents and purposes, he owns it. He is the country's most successful rock composer (64 songs in one year, not including two peace marches, a commercial and a cancer jingle). He lives in a Fifth Avenue triplex to which women feel honored to be lured, at any hour, at the last minute.

His Brooklyn Jewish parents, who have the gloomy optimism of Ocean Avenue philosophers, make no unreasonable demands on him, and he has successfully unloaded a wife whom he only married because she was pregnant, and who rewarded him with two children and a companionship of the sort of frowns that would be a bit too heavy even for an Anacin commercial.

He has also made the cover of Time, which may not be certified immortality, though it comes close to it in George's world. He is, nevertheless, isolated, pursued by a sense of panic, as well as by someone named Harry Kellerman who calls up Georgie's friends and tells them what a rat he is.

Excerpt from The NYTimes located HERE

 

An ambitious failure that suffers from the inability to make the surrealistic devices work and the diverse elements meld. The result is a film that is as confusing and overblown as the title. Hoffman is an extremely successful but depressed and lonely pop composer. He is approaching middle age and is frightened that it might slow his prodigious output, which, the year before, was staggering and included more than 60 songs as well as various charitable works and a jingle for cancer. He is plagued with the delusion that someone named Harry Kellerman is bad-mouthing him across Manhattan and making crank middle-of-the-night phone calls.

Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? looks consistent in 1080P but hardly scaling the heights of the format. There is a bit of film-like heaviness but no rich grain in the 1.78:1 frame. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable viewing with some colors (reds) showing vibrancy but I noticed no consistent depth. I don't doubt this is a decent representation of the film's appearance and I had no issues of noise or artifacts.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1560 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. The film contains music performed by Shel Silverstein, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - you'll hear some Ray Charles and a few pieces sung by Dustin Hoffman. It sounds clean but fairly unremarkable. I liked the music aspects though and the raw, live-feeling sound. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a trailer for True Confessions.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? but had read uncomplimentary things. I wasn't overly impressed but I still kinda liked aspects of it. Hoffman is always interesting to watch - whether he succeeds in his portrayal or not. I don't know - I wasn't disinterested. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray offers the ability to see this odd film and you may get something out of it - as I did NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 47% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

May 5th, 2016

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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