Chris Hicks: Jurassic Park trilogy gets Blu-ray upgrade

Published: Thursday, Oct. 27 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

"The Sisters" (Warner Archive, 1938, b/w, $19.95). The year before their memorable teaming in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," Bette Davis and Errol Flynn (sans mustache) played opposite each other in this melodrama based on the popular novel about three sisters in the early 20th century whose marriages founder for different reasons.

Davis marries sportswriter Flynn, who goes into a tailspin and becomes an alcoholic, leading to a lengthy separation — during which there is a lavish re-creation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Very well acted by an expert cast, with lots of familiar character players on hand.

Extras: full frame, trailer (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)

"Fashions of 1934" (Warner Archive, 1934, b/w, $19.95). William Powell teams up with an atypically blonde and brassy Bette Davis in this comedy-fashion show from Busby Berkeley, with the expected flamboyant production numbers (especially the memorable "Spin a Little Web of Dreams").

Powell and Davis sparkle (in their only teaming) as con artists ripping off fashion designs in Paris to sell them stateside on the cheap — until their own game catches up with them. Amusing fluff.

Extras: full frame, trailer (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)

"No Blade of Grass" (Warner Archive, 1970; R for violence, language, brief partial nudity, nude photos; $19.95). End-of-the-world, environmental cautionary tale is extremely heavy-handed, with opening shots of pollution and a nuclear blast, followed by scenes of starving children on a television screen as wealthy Brits overeat. (One says of impending trouble, "It'll be worse here than it is in Africa or Asia, where they're used to famine." Sheesh!)

The fractured narrative, cutting back and forth between past and present, follows a family attempting to flee London after a worldwide virus runs amok. They encounter the expected difficulties as the film cribs from "Panic in Year Zero" and foreshadows "Mad Max." (Co-written and directed by actor Cornel Wilde.)

Extras: widescreen (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)

EMAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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