Review by Chastity Campbell
Starring: Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan, Wanda
Director: Robert Luketic
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Features: See Review
Length: 100 Minutes
Release Date: August 30, 2005
When you review movies, I believe you have to be able to
separate you own personal feelings about a specific actor/actress’ beliefs in
order to view things through an unbiased eye.
I knew going in this DVD review was going to be a challenge
for me, which is why I think I put it off.
I will admit to not agreeing with the politics of certain people
associated with this film. However,
I found that my viewpoint paid off in a big way, as I allowed the characters of
the film to wrap around and entertain me…and they did, big time!
Monster-In-Law marks the return to the big screen
for Jane Fonda. I watched about
half of On Golden Pond, and was bored to tears.
On the flip side of that, I couldn’t get enough of her in 9 to 5,
decked out in safari gear…RARRRR!!
Viola is a TV talk show host. She’s been on the air for many years...okay, probably
decades, and wouldn’t you know it...they are sacking her for a younger host.
You know, someone who can get in touch with the TV talk show audience of
Six months later she emerges refreshed, sober, and ready to face the world. Well, she was ready that is, until she found out that while she was figuring out how many bales short of a load she was at Two Pines Mental Institution that her beloved son Kevin, who is a very handsome and talented brain surgeon, has met, dated, and moved in with a girl named Charlie.
Viola doesn’t think Charlie is good enough for her son.
Charlie thinks Kevin’s mom is too clingy and doesn’t know what’s
best for her son.
As I said before, I am not a great fan of Mrs. Fonda.
However, she truly wowed me with her performance as the devious, half
mental, Viola. She layered this character over herself so thick that it
really was a true acting transformation.
Michael Vartan, whom some of you might know from the ABC TV
series ALIAS, was very easy going and laid back in his role as Kevin.
I really enjoyed the way he played the character, and how his character
played off of Fonda’s.
Now, J-Lo has gotten a bad rap for a few of the movies she
has done in recent years. Yes, I
will be the first to admit the Gigli was a disaster.
However, The Wedding Planner, Maid In Manhattan, and Stronger
are examples of how well she can act when the right material is put in front of
her. I’m here to tell you that Monster In Law is the right kind
of film for Mrs. Lopez, and she did an amazing job entertaining me.
I can’t leave out my favorite character in this film,
Ruby. As Viola’s personal
assistant/best friend/henchwoman, Ruby stole the show from everyone with her one
liners and backhanded comments directed mostly at Viola. Wanda Sykes is
truly a joy to watch on screen. She
has so much energy and is feisty as can be.
I loved the interplay between Viola and Ruby.
You knew Viola couldn’t make it without Ruby, but at the same time Ruby
depends on Viola, too.
I have to say Monster In Law entertained me on every
level that a great movie should. I
loved the acting, the story, and the settings.
If there’s no Monster in your DVD closet, then you better get on the
stick and head to the video store today!
I really enjoy having the option to view a movie in both
the Widescreen, and Standard Fullscreen formats.
I am a Widescreen fan myself. but when your watching a movie like this,
sometimes it’s better to use the Standard Fullscreen format so you can get a
tighter look at the characters, their reactions to certain situations, and their
The 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen version of the film was very clean with no degradation or artifacting due to the compression ratio. High marks for this DVD’s visualization!
Crisp, clean, high quality digital sound...what more can you ask for in a DVD?
Some might say the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround is wasted on
a film this narrow in scope and scale, but I disagree.
I think the 5.1 worked very well for this movie, and helped push it one
notch higher on the must see ladder.
She was such a monster, the extras had to have their own
The Blooper Reel is a gas, and will make you explode with
laughs. Seven really cool deleted scenes show you what they didn’t want
you to see, or what their wasn’t time for!
Five awesome behind-the-scenes featurettes are included to
give you that fully detailed look at the making of a monster. Commentary
tracks that help you better understand the ebb and flow of this wonderful film
are also included.
Teaser trailers, Sneak Peeks, and Online DVD-Rom features
help this monster leap off the disc and into your feature loving heart!