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SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Mike Myers, Nancy Travis, Anthony LaPaglia, Amanda Plummer, Brenda Fricker
Director:  Thomas Schlamme
Audio:  Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Video:  Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio:  Sony
Features:  None
Length:  93 Minutes
Release Date:  June 17, 2008

“Charlie, two words…therapy.”

Film **

I think I’d all but forgotten what Mike Myers actually looks like before seeing So I Married An Axe Murderer.  Seems like he always appears on screen in disguise, whether it’s the Love Guru, Austin Powers, Wayne or the Cat in the Hat.  Even here, he gets to don a little makeup in the dual role as his character’s crass Scottish father.

But he spends most of the film as Charlie MacKenzie, a fellow with a bad string of luck in relationships brought about by his own fears.  As his best friend Tony (LaPaglia) points out, Charlie has a habit of pulling the plug by finding something scary about the women he dates.

Enter Harriet Michaels (Travis), a beautiful butcher with a great sense of humor.  It seems like a perfect match, until Charlie begins to suspect that his new love might just be the tabloid’s mysterious “Mrs. X”, a woman who marries and then dispatches of her husbands after the wedding, possibly taking ‘til death do us part’ a little too literally.

Does he have reason to be afraid, or is it just his old paranoia kicking in again?  Well, that’s the premise in a nutshell, and it’s not a bad one.  The film, which Myers didn’t right, uses the plot as a basic clothesline, but tries to hang a little too much on it to the point where it sags. 

The movie is made up of many moments that don’t seem to propel the story, some of which are amusing, but many of which will just leave you scratching your head.  Robbie Fox is the only credited screenwriter, but it feels more like the jumbled product of a college writing club, with little disjointed vignettes pasted together to pad the running time.  Once I finished watching, I thought back to much of what I’d seen and wondered what the point was, especially Charlie’s penchant for weird beat poetry that got old very quickly.

Myers is a spirited comedian, and he does seem to be delivering above and beyond the call of duty with enthusiasm and style, but the material can only be elevated as far as you can care about the characters or the situation.  Nothing in the picture lent itself to investment…there are jokes and gags and an eventual outcome, which won’t surprise very many.

My girlfriend enjoyed the film, and called it ‘cute’.  That may be a good description.  It’s harmless enough, with a few smiles to offer, but you can’t help but expect more from the man who gave us Wayne’s World and Austin Powers. 

BONUS TRIVIA:  Keep an eye out for cameos from Steven Wright, Charles Grodin and Phil Hartman.

Video **1/2

This isn’t one of the better offerings I’ve seen on Blu-ray, and one of the only times when I thought to myself that the DVD might have been just as good.  It’s not a bad transfer per se, but the colors don’t really seem to pop very often, and there’s a muted quality that denies the format’s true capabilities.  Images range from soft to fairly sharp.  Had this been an actual DVD, it might have merited a full three stars, but I’ve come to expect more from Blu-ray.

Audio **

The Dolby TrueHD track is serviceable but undemanding, given the nature of the movie.  Not a lot of dynamic range or surround usage is called for, but for a basic comedy, there are no complaints.  I’ll add that I really loved the main tune in the movie, which was “There She Goes” by The Boo Radleys.

Features (zero stars)

A little curious why the disc is labeled ‘special edition’…it doesn’t include anything.

Summary:

A good idea and a good cast don’t always make a film worthwhile.  You see a Mike Myers film expecting belly laughs, but with So I Married an Axe Murderer, you have to settle for the occasional grin and chuckle.

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