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THE IN-LAWS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds, Candice Bergen
Director: Andrew Fleming
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 98 Minutes
Release Date: October 9, 2003

“Hey Jerr, …know what a ruffie is?”

“It's a drug college frat boys put in girl's drinks so they can…oh, …God, …no, …don't rape me!”

Film ***

The In-Laws is not the first movie of its kind.  In fact, this version of The In-Laws is a remake of the 1979 movie of the same title. 

While I have not had the pleasure of viewing the original, I can say that Michael Douglas paired with Albert Brooks makes this DVD an original in my eyes. 

Okay, here's the score:  Michael Douglas plays Steve, a deep cover CIA operative on a mission to bring down some big time bad guys.  Albert Brooks is Jerry, the very uptight doctor who's planning the perfect wedding for his daughter (whether she wants him to or not!).

Steve and Jerry get tossed together when Steve just can't seem to leave his work at the office.  I have to say that some of the best comedic moments I've had the pleasure of watching unfold in this movie.  

After a hilarious mix up, Jerry finds himself running from the FBI, while Steve is working on setting up a high stakes sting operation.  The Fat Cobra rears his ugly head as Steve gives Jerry his first undercover identity. 

I almost died laughing when Albert Brooks, pretending to be The Fat Cobra, got into a hot tub with one of the bad guys.  It seems the Fat Cobra's name comes from one of his bigger assets! The bad guy had a foot problem and in an attempt to stall for time Brooks suggest he soak in water.  I guess what he didn't count on was said bad guy looking to entrance the Fat Cobra. 

With time running out and a wedding a day away Jerry and Steve do their best to wrap up the bad guys, and make it back in time for the I do's.  What they don't count on is Steve's partner being even more whacko than he is and the big bad guy having an eye on the inside action.

This movie's pacing progresses quickly without too much drag.  At first, Brooks didn't come off funny to me.  He was a tad too rigid.  But after the first fifteen to twenty minutes, I was laughing my silly head off.  Brooks is a very funny guy and I've been told that he plays himself through each and every one of his characters. 

Douglas is unbelievably funny in this movie, and I really can't decide if it was because his character was part psycho or because he's just so darn goofy.

The supporting characters for this film were the icing on the proverbial wedding cake.  Candice Bergen did not have a huge role, but what she did have was worked hard and long from start to finish.  The directing was fabulous, the acting was solid, and everything is packaged in a very nice and neat little bundle.  

Oh yeah, I can't go away without mentioning the fact that the soundtrack on this DVD was a combination of old and new with Paul McCartney & Wings delivering the majority of the music tracks.  You will definitely enjoy listening to every aspect of this DVD.

Grab hold of this disc and take it for a walk down the aisle of your local DVD retailer.  Because once it's bought and paid for, you can look forward to many years of happiness and laughter.  You may now purchase this DVD!

Video ***

Video quality is A+ where this DVD was concerned.  

The 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer was matted so as to maintain the original theatrical format.  The transfer was good with very little noticeable dirt or graininess. 

There were times when the picture would go out of focus for no apparent reason and some signs of artifacting could be seen when the director's commentary track was turned on.  This is unusual as that type of interference typically occurs on a disc with a high rate of compression.  This one sided disc did contain features but not enough to warrant the problem I noted.

Otherwise all colors were vivid without any visible over saturation.  A good combination of lighting and filming make for a very nice viewing experience. 

Audio ***

This 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround mix was one of the more fun experiences I've had with a DVD.   The audio was mixed and balanced well among the speakers.  The sound effects are what made this disc fun, because they were blended and balanced with the dialogue and despite the fact that surround sound has become somewhat commonplace in home theatre set ups today, I think it helps this DVD's audio really pop! 

The dialogue was balanced nicely against the underlying music beds.  The soundtrack itself was most excellent in that songs from Paul McCartney & Wings were used to wonderful effect.

Package that many great things in a DVD and you will definitely say “I gotta get me some of that!”

Features ***

Dearly beloved DVD Voyeurs, this disc has gathered together this feature and that feature to merge them into one very nicely packaged set of extras, if I do say so myself!

The director's commentary on this DVD is was great.  I really enjoyed listening to Andrew Fleming go into detail about the decisions and production of this movie.  He's a great director, and quite a lot of fun to listen to.

A short gag reel is included to tickle your funny bone, along with some additional and alternate scenes for the movie. 

Multiple takes with Albert Brooks was an absolute pleasure to watch. He's a very talented guy, who has serious ideas about how things should and should not sound and look. 

Theatrical trailers for the 1979 version of The In-Laws are included, along with the updated and upgraded trailer for the 2003 version.

Language options of English and French with subtitles available in English, French, and Spanish help to round out this DVD's features.

Summary:

The In-Laws is a solid movie with nice packaging, and a cast of characters that are absolutely hilarious.  I personally think everyone should take the time to check out this DVD.   You will definitely enjoy every single minute getting to know The In-Laws.