12/19/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

HBO presents
The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000)

"I was more alive at that time than before or since."
- Elizabeth (Judi Dench)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: March 28, 2001

Stars: Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Olympia Dukakis
Other Stars: Cleo Laine, Leslie Caron, Billie Whitelaw, Millie Findlay
Director: Gillies MacKinnon

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some strong language
Run Time: 01h:23m:10s
Release Date: February 27, 2001
UPC: 026359171123
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ C-A-B+ D

DVD Review

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells stars Judi Dench as Elizabeth, a recently-widowed woman who spent her World War II years playing mean saxophone as a member of The Blonde Bombshells. After she encounters an old friend, Patrick (Ian Holm), who played for a time with the Bombshells in drag to avoid his National Service obligations, she shares her memories with her granddaughter, Joanna (Millie Findlay). Joanna encourages her to reunite the old band, and the hunt for the rest of the group begins.

To its credit, the film recognizes its aging protagonists as such and doesn't force them into stereotypical AARP-approved personalities—Elizabeth is allowed to be cantankerous, Patrick cheap and lecherous, and the other Bombshells infirm, inhibited, bored, mentally ill, even dead. These are heroic characters whose heroism is long behind them, left in bomb-threatened dance halls and dusty photographs; they were never honored with medals, but simply did their duty to keep public morale up in a London under siege. Director Gillies MacKinnon treats the material with a light hand, keeping the pacing gentle and the stakes low—the big reunion gig is merely Joanna's elementary-school dance, which keeps the focus on the characters.

The cast is uniformly excellent—Ian Holm is casually charming in a rapscallion role, and young Millie Findlay plays her character's intelligence without a hint of affectation. Cleo Laine gets to belt out a tune, Olympia Dukakis has fun as a wealthy eccentric, and Leslie Caron still looks great in a small role. But this is Judi Dench's show all the way, as Elizabeth rediscovers herself and her past, finding personal validation and a joy that overcomes but does not replace her pain. She's funny, emotional and lots of fun to watch here, and her performance carries the movie.

It must be said that there's not much here beyond the gently sparkling performances—the story is relatively predictable, providing just enough action to hang the characterizations on, and it ultimately trails off into thin air. The film has many nice moments, but it's light, ephemeral stuff that isn't likely to stand up to repeat viewing. Still, there are worse ways to spend 84 minutes than by enjoying some fine World War II-vintage music and memories with The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: HBO presents The Last of the Blonde Bombshells in its original made-for-HDTV 1.78:1 aspect ratio, billed as 16:9 on the snapper case. The downconverted anamorphic transfer generally looks just great on DVD, with solid blacks, excellent shadow detail and stable details; if it weren't for some obnoxiously noisy reds, this would be an "A" transfer. As it is, it's still pretty impressive.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Last of the Blonde Bombshells features English and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 audio; the English track is billed as Dolby Surround, with the Spanish track listed only as Stereo. I didn't notice a great deal of difference between the two; both feature crisp musical renditions of World War II-era tunes with decent low-end bass, and the only significant soundstage imaging is across the front. Dialogue is generally centered, and scenes recorded "live" occasionally pick up significant background noise. Perfectly appropriate audio for this pleasant little comedy, nicely mastered for DVD.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: This is a fairly bare-bones disc, with 13 picture-menu chapter stops, subtitles in three languages, and Cast/Crew notes for eight actors, director and screenwriter. The well-written biographies are illustrated with images from the film, and selected filmographical information is sometimes listed bullet-style, at other times integrated with the bio text.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

The Last of the Blonde Bombshells is an affectionate, lightweight comedy about rediscovering one's purpose, given a sharp (but relatively bare-bones) DVD transfer by HBO. A pleasant little rental.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, stephen colbert, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store