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MAD DOG TIME

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Ellen Barkin, Larry Bishop, Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan, Burt Reynolds
Director: Larry Bishop
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Studio: MGM
Features: See Review
Release Date: March 2, 2004

ďYouíll have to stop banginí around, Mick. You see the thing is, if one of Vicís personalities donít get you, one of those Everly sisters will.  Now that, is my Big Bang Theory!Ē

Film ***

Ah, the good old days, when Mad Dog Time meant nothing more than grabbing a shot glass and playing a little game called shoot the moon!  I can honestly say everything BUT the shot glass gets shot in this movie!

I was truly surprised by this film.  Typically, when you put a large number of high quality Hollywood stars together in a movie, you get a jumbled mash of nothing good.  However, Mad Dog Time proved that with a decent script and lots of opportunities for humor, even a possible disaster can turn into smooth sailing.

Okay, letís seeÖVic is sick, and Vic wants Mick dead.  Mick doesnít want to see Vic, but he ends up facing Nick, who was sent by Vic to kill Mick.  Yeah, thatís what I said too, but as scary as it might sound, everything will make sense when you watch this movie.

This film takes place in another galaxy literally, where the rules of living and dying are made and broken by the quick draw of a gun. Vic is getting out of the loony bin, and has his sights set on taking down Mick.  Mick ran off with Vicís girl Grace, and whenever thereís a dame involved, you gotta make sure the numbers are in your favor.  That would be the number of bullets in your gun!

Mick is the quickest gun around, and Flamingo uses his friendís skills to cash in big time.  When a small time player decides to shake things up, youíll get to see how high rollers like Vic, Nick, and Mick play hardball.  

Now Mick is a playa, and besides having a Grace up his sleeve, heís got a Rita on the side.  This wouldnít be anything mind blowing except Rita and Grace are sisters!  

Ah, Rita and Grace the Everly sisters.  Not as vocally inclined as the Everly brothers, but hey, the way they look in evening gowns makes up for it in spades!

This film goes from one extreme to another, so quickly that you will most definitely never be bored.  The pacing is nice because while the script may be campy, it doesnít dwell in one place for too long. 

Richard Dreyfuss doesnít have a huge role, and neither does Diane Lane, although their characters names get used so much youíll feel like they were visible during the entire film.

The most screen time award goes to Jeff Goldblum, because I do believe there were only about three scenes that he was not in.  Iím not a big fan of Mr. Goldblum; however, he did find a particular niche in this genre of film.  It was surprising but not unpleasant to watch him be himself, and have it work for once!

Gabriel Byrne is annoying and harassing from the very first moment you meet him.  He is hilarious in this movie, and plays his part perfectly, right down to the moment he takes center stage, literally! 

I could go on and on actor by actor, but let me just say that each person in this movie did a phenomenal job.  Each person brought a little piece of themselves to the character they played, which helped the simple dialogue excel!

This isnít a gangster movie, but at the same time, you will be comparing it to every gangster flick that has ever come along.  This film had a little something for everyone, including plenty of laughs.  When itís Mad Dog Time, what can you do except pop it in and push play!

Video ***

While the Audio impressed me the most, the video wasnít that far behind.  The use of shadow and soft lighting really helped to set the mood of this film.  The colors, despite the softness of the light, were vivid and crisp.  Reds and greens were popping off the screen.  

I really liked the way this DVD looked.  There was very little dirt visible, and while I am not a huge fan of standard full screen productions, this DVD proved that it was well suited to its formatting.

Audio ***

I was impressed by this DVDís audio and soundtrack. 

The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround was smooth, thatís the only way I can explain it.  The dialogue was easy on the ears, and the background music beds were layered in masterfully.  There were no dips or drop outs in the audio, and everything had a really nice flow to it.

The soundtrack was chock full of Dean Martin oldies and Frank Sinatra crooning.  This DVDís audio is, in my opinion, what gave it that extra leg up over the mediocre hump!

Features: *


The original theatrical trailer, scene selection, and audio setup was the only thing this Mad Dog had to offer by way of extras!

Summary:

Solid video and very nice audio give this DVD a great foundation.  Building upon that, an all star cast really went a long way to helping a mediocre script stand out!.  The only thing these mad dogs left home without was the part of this DVD that contained the extra features!