A pair of Steve Martin favorites come to blu-ray for the first time thanks once again to those ever vigilant celluloid crate diggers at Warner Archive. From 1983 there’s “The Man With Two Brains,” Martin’s third collaboration with director and co-writer Carl Reiner. Then we have 1990’s “My Blue Heaven,” written by the late Nora Ephron.
Both films make their blu-ray debut, looking significantly better than their previous DVD release, and in the case of “Man With Two Brains,” it’s the first time it’s been on home video in its proper 1.85: 1 aspect ratio.
“The Man With Two Brains” is the third of four films from early in Martin’s film career that saw him partnering with comedy legend Carl Reiner (Creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” among his many, many accomplishments). With Reiner directing and both of them collaborating on the screenplay–this time with George Gipe as well. This cycle began with Martin’s film breakout, 1979’s “The Jerk.”
Martin stars alongside Kathleen Turner in this delightful farce where Martin plays a brain surgeon who has pioneered a new way of performing brain operations–the screw top, ziplock brain surgery. The good doctor misses his late wife badly, but during an operation, he falls in love in a new lady–who later turns out to only care for the doctor’s wealth. It’s not until a strange research trip offers the doctor a chance for happiness–in a way most bizarre!
A cult favorite among fans of Martin’s work “Man With Two Brains” looks great on blu-ray. The delightfully silly film has bright colors and a sharp image, yards beyond the flat, older DVD transfer. Fans of the film will be most pleased with this, which was a most unexpected addition to Warner Archive’s impressive blu-ray catalog.
From 1990 comes “My Blue Heaven” written by the great Nora Ephron and directed by Herbert Ross (no relation). Martin stars alongside someone who I hope to all things good and decent will make a return to the screen one day, the great Rick Moranis. Joan Cusack, Carol Kane, and delightful character actor William Hickey also appear in the film. “Heaven” has Martin play a mob informant who has gone into the FBI’s Witness Protection program, relocated to suburbia from New York City, and has Moranis as his caseworker and keeper leading up to the trial where Martin is due to testify.
Martin’s smooth and suave mob guy brings out the lighter side of Moranis’s uptight by the book agent character. This is a fun film that felt like a big cozy blanket watching. One of those really great light comedies that I have such fond memories of watching these two actors in growing up. This was the first time I had seen the film and it was quite a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Martin really has some wonderful body language as his former NYC resident trying to adjust to his new cul de sac lifestyle.
“My Blue Heaven” looks…wait for it…heavenly on this new blu-ray from Warner Archive. The image is sharp and clear, colors are solid and in line for films shot during this era. Both of these films are most welcome to blu-ray and are another great effort in bringing catalog titles to HD for us crazy film fans. Most recommended. See you next week.