Lady of the Manor

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Lionsgate;
Comedy;
$19.98 DVD, $21.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language throughout, sexual material and drug use.
Stars Melanie Lynskey, Judy Greer, Justin Long, Luis Guzmán, Ryan Phillippe.

The casually raunchy Lady of the Manor generates a moderate amount of laughs by turning a ghost story into a mismatched buddy comedy.

Melanie Lynskey stars as Hannah, a slacker whose life is upended when her job delivering weed leads her to the wrong house and an arrest on a false sex offender charge. Hearing her plight, the lecherous Tanner (Ryan Phillippe) hopes to seduce her by hiring her to dress up as a 19th century Southern belle to give tours at Wadsworth Manor, a historic home owned by his family.

Lacking the knowledge of the period, Hannah begins making up facts about the manor, which brings her into conflict with local college history professor Max (Justin Long). Meanwhile, her efforts to engage Tanner in a sexual liaison conjures the spirit of Lady Wadsworth herself (Judy Greer), the former proprietor of the establishment and Tanner’s ancestor who died in 1875.

Assuming Hannah is a prostitute, Lady Wadsworth berates her for her uncouth ways and begins taunting her during the tours, prompting Hannah to recruit Max to learn about why she would be haunting the place. When that doesn’t work, Hannah strikes a deal with Lady Wadsworth to learn about how to better portray her for the tours, which leads to them uncovering a long-buried Wadsworth family conspiracy with huge implications over the ownership of the manor.

Greer is quite effective as the 19th century lady aghast at the affectations of the 21st century, introducing an “odd couple” dynamic into her relationship with Hannah and setting up the past-present dichotomy that drives the film’s central conceit. Phillippe is appropriately sleazy as Tanner, taking to the role so breezily he seems more like a generic dirtbag type from central casting.

Long co-wrote and co-directed the film with his brother, Christian, and the duo contribute a commentary track in which they discuss the challenges of making the film, praising the performances but also pointing out things they might have done differently in retrospect.

The Blu-ray also includes an 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, 17 minutes of repetitive deleted scenes, and a five-minute outtakes reel.

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Ghostly Comedy ‘Lady of the Manor’ Hitting Theaters and VOD Sept. 17, Disc Sept. 21

Lionsgate will release the comedy Lady of the Manor in theaters, on VOD and for digital purchase Sept. 17, followed by a Blu-ray Disc and DVD release Sept. 21.

Written and directed by actor Justin Long and his brother Christian, the supernatural buddy comedy stars Melanie Lynskey as a stoner-slacker hired to portray Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), a Southern belle who died in 1875, in a tour at Wadsworth Manor. Hannah, a hot mess, figures she can fake it — until the ghost of Lady Wadsworth appears and tells her it’s time to change her wild ways — and she’ll haunt her until she does.

The cast also includes Justin Long, Luis Guzmán and Ryan Phillippe. The film is rated ‘R’ for language throughout, sexual material and drug use.

Bonus materials include audio commentary with Justin and Christian Long, the featurette “A Fart-Warming Tale of Friendship & Vengeance: Making Lady of the Manor,” outtakes and deleted scenes.

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‘Gosford Park,’ ‘Gas Food Lodging’ Among November Blu-ray Releases on Tap From Arrow and MVD

Gosford Park and Gas Food Lodging are among four Blu-ray releases coming in November from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

From Arrow Academy Nov. 13 comes Gas Food Lodging. Based on a novel by Richard Peck and directed by Allison Anders, this story of a young single mother desperately trying to find love was a hit at the 1992 Berlin International Film Festival. This newly restored release comes director approved and contains a number of special features, including “The Road to Laramie: A Look Back at Gas Food Lodging,” a new interview with Allison Anders and Josh Olson; Cinefile: Reel Women, a 1995 documentary by Chris Rodley looking at the challenges women face in the film industry and featuring interviews with Anders, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion and Penny Marshall; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film.

Due Nov. 27 from Arrow Academy is director Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, starring Alan Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas, Bob Balaban, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and Clive Owen. The murder-mystery features a new 2K restoration from a 4K scan approved by director of photography Andrew Dunn. Special features include audio commentary by Altman, production designer Stephen Altman and producer David Levy; audio commentary by writer-producer Julian Fellowes; new audio commentary by critics Geoff Andrew and David Thompson (author of Altman on Altman); an Introduction by Andrew; new cast and crew interviews recorded exclusively for this release; the “The Making of Gosford Park” archive featurette; the “Keeping Gosford Park Authentic” archive featurette; a Q&A Session with Altman and the cast; 15 deleted scenes with optional Altman commentary; a trailer; reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Sheila O’Malley and an archive interview with Altman.

Nov. 13 comes The Wizard of Gore from Herschell Gordon Lewis. In the film, Montag the Magnificent wows audiences with his macabre magic act, but before long his volunteers start to wind up dead. Is Montag a modern day wizard or just your everyday serial killer? Special features include the 1968 bonus feature How to Make a Doll; feature-length audio commentary with Lewis and Mike Vraney; “Montag Speaks,” an interview with Wizard of Gore actor Ray Sager; Stephen Thrower on The Wizard of Gore; “The Gore the Merrier,” an interview with Jeremy Kasten, director of the 2007 Wizard of Gore remake; “The Incredibly Strange Film Show,” an episode of the cult documentary series focusing on the films of Lewis; the original theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil.

Due Nov. 20 is Teruo Ishii’s anthology Orgies of Edo, featuring three stories with a corrupt moral center. Politically incorrect, each tale is that of tragic heroines caught up in unspeakable violence. Special features include “The Orgies of Ishii,” an exclusive, newly filmed interview with author Patrick Maccias; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Tom Mes.