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Christian Long, Justin Long
Melanie Lynskey, Judy Greer, Justin Long
Writing Credits:
Christian Long, Justin Long

A flatulent, aimless ne'er-do-well becomes a tour guide in a historic estate, and winds up befriending the manor's resident ghost.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 9/21/2021

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director/Actor Justin Long and Writer/Director Christian Long
• Outtakes
• “A Fart Warming Tale of Friendship & Vengeance” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes


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Lady of the Manor [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 19, 2021)

After decades as a reasonably successful actor, Justin Long goes behind the camera for 2021’s Lady of the Manor. Along with his brother Christian, Justin makes his directorial debut here.

Set in Georgia, Wadsworth Manor acts as a tourist attraction. Lazy stoner Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) gets the job to act as Lady Wadsworth, a belle who died in 1875.

Hannah encounters a major surprise when she encounters the ghost of Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer). This leads to an unusual, quirky relationship.

When I opened this review, I wanted to refer to Justin Long by the project for which most know him. However, I couldn’t come up with any specific “claim to fame” in Justin’s past.

Through Long’s career, he’s played supporting roles in a bunch of fairly successful flicks, but it seems difficult to locate a lead for which he earned real notoriety. Honestly, Justin may remain most famous as the “Apple Guy” in those old Mac vs. PC commercials circa the Bush era.

Whatever the case, Manor seems like something up his alley, as Long often worked in comedies. Given his years of experience, I hoped he’d bring some spark to the proceedings.

Long’s success manifests via the cast, as he manages to enlist some moderately well-known folks. In addition to Lynskey, Greer and himself, we find folks like Ryan Phillippe, Luis Guzmán and Patrick Duffy – not exactly an Ocean’s Eleven roster, but more than one would expect of a low-budget comedy.

At times, the actors bring some life to Manor, but they can’t overcome the movie’s basically dopiness and lack of general logic. Granted, perhaps one shouldn’t expect airtight reasoning for a buddy comedy that involves a ghost, but this nonetheless remains a fairly idiotic project too much of the time.

Next to nothing about the story makes real sense. Hannah gets her job for no obvious purpose, and plenty of other events occur without rhyme/reason.

I get the impression the Long boys wrote a rough draft of the script, said “good enough!” and called it a day. After so many years in the business, one would think Justin would’ve learned the rudiments of narrative construction, but the screenplay just flits from one gag to another without a lot of fluidity.

Arguably the biggest misstep comes from Hannah herself, as she presents a wholly unlikable character. Even if we ignore the fact that 40-something Lynskey seems old to play a role that feels more suited for someone 20 years younger, Manor paints Hannah as selfish, stupid and borderline unbearable. <> Oddly, Manor tries to paint Hannah as intelligent – eventually – but she never gives off any vibes in that domain. Instead, Hannah just comes across as a complete dope the vast majority of the time.

Again, logic fails to materialize in Manor, so character inconsistencies feel part and parcel. Everything here exists to prompt jokes.

Every once in a while, some of these gags provide mild amusement, usually due to the talents of the actors. Unfortunately, the hit-to-miss ratio seems problematic, as far too many of the bits flop.

Unquestionably, you can find worse comedies out there. Nonetheless, Manor delivers an uninspired experience without much to make me recommend it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Lady of the Manor appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a solid transfer.

Sharpness appeared strong. Only a smattering of wide shots looked a little soft, so the majority of the film became accurate and tight.

Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and edge haloes were absent. Print flaws remained absent, as we found no specks, marks or other issues.

Manor utilized a fairly stylized palette, with a clear teal/amber orientation. Given those choices, the tones felt well-rendered.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows showed nice clarity. This became a pleasing image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Manor, it offered an experience typical of comedies, as the soundfield displayed an emphasis on the forward channels. Music showed nice stereo imaging and moved the songs and score to the back speakers in a minor manner.

Most of the effects tended toward environmental material, though a few sequences added some pep. Nonetheless, the majority of the mix stayed dialogue-intensive and without real theatrics.

Audio quality came across as good. Speech seemed natural and distinct, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility.

Music was reasonably full, with clear tones overall. Effects were accurate and concise, without distortion or other concerns, and the mix offered strong bass response. Nothing here excelled, but the audio was more adequate for a comedy like this.

A mix of extras flesh out the disc, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director/actor Justin Long and writer/director Christian Long. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing and deleted scenes, and connected domains.

With a lifelong connection, Christian and Justin show a breezy chemistry. However, they don't give us a ton of insights about the production, as they tend toward happy talk a lot of the time. The track moves fast enough to keep us engaged, but it never becomes a particularly informative piece.

A Fart Warming Tale of Friendship & Vengeance runs 10 minutes, 50 seconds and includes remarks from Justin Long, Christian Long, and actors Melanie Lynskey, Judy Greer, Ryan Phillippe, Patrick Duffy, Tamara Austin, and Luis Guzman.

“Tale” covers the project’s origins/development, cast and performances and the work of the dual directors. The notes about the movie’s roots seem good, but the rest embraces too much happy talk.

A collection of Outtakes goes for four minutes, 48 seconds and shows the usual goofs/giggles. A few funny bits emerge via improv lines, but most of it seems like the standard silliness.

Eight Deleted Scenes span a total of 17 minutes, one second. These mainly extend sequences already in the movie, with repeated versions of the segment in which Lady Wadsworth tutors Hannah. None of these seem especially interesting.

With a decent cast, Lady of the Manor enjoys some potential entertainment value. Unfortunately, the lazy script harpoons the project and ensures it offers little to amuse. The Blu-ray boasts appealing visuals and appropriate audio as well as a mix of bonus features. Manor doesn’t become a painful flick to view, but it seems completely forgettable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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