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Bowfinger

review by Zach B.

 

Rated: PG-13

Studio: Universal

Running Time: 97 Minutes

Starring Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Terrance Stamp

Written by Steve Martin

Directed by Frank Oz

Retail Price: $26.99

Features: Commentary with Director Frank Oz, Spotlight On Location Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Theatrical Trailer, Universal Showcase, Production Notes, Cast and Crew Bios, DVD-ROM: Weblinks

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, DTS 5.1 English, Dolby Surround French, English Subtitles, Chapter Search

Frank Oz and Steve Martin re-teaming together to make a satire about Hollywood? With Eddie Murphy and Heather Graham? Huzzah! I do admit I did have my doubts about this film when seeing previews for it, despire the good looking premise, but after seeing it myself I can safely say that Bowfinger is a really enjoyable comedy (I did see it in the theater and loved it).

Steve Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a struggling produce/director in Hollywood. His office is in his cozy Los Angeles home and at the age of 49 he hasn't gotten too far. But after reading his accountant's script, entitled "Chubby Rain" about aliens who come to earth in raindrops therefore making the drops chubby, he vows to make the film (and get an ever so important FedEX, heehee). With small funding and with some friends who work on the bad side of the business, Bowfinger is about to make his movie after skillfully talking to a hot-shot executive. There's just one problem. He said he'd get Kit Ramsey, the most famous and biggest action star in Hollywood (played by Eddie Murphy who's simply brilliant, his best since Beverly Hills Cop) to star in his movie. But Kit rejects Bowfinger.

Soon these Hollywood wannabes (which also include a diva with no big break yet, a pretty girl who has intercourse with everyone, the accoutant screenwriter, a personal assistant and some Mexicans who know everything about movies and editing) are out to make their film. However, with direction from Bowfinger, they go up to Kit and the actors say their lines and film him without his knowledge. Kit soon becomes paranoid about the people who are following him around and saying the strange things. Soon Kit can't be found, so they hire Jiff, his brother (also played by Murphy) to the rest of Kit's scene. And from then on everything is even more hilarious.

Bowfinger wasn't what I was expecting, but I still highly enjoyed it and liked it better then what I thought it was. Martin's brilliant script and Oz's directing (I think Oz is the best comedy director out there) work so well together, and the acting is great, some of the best I've seen in a comedy in a long time (especially from Murphy).

I don't think a lot of people will get a lot of the jokes in "Bowfinger", since they take shots at Hollywood and the whole industry, but for those who are familiar with the movie business (such as myself) the pay off is great. There are so many hilarious moments in Bowfinger and so many great lines, but I think one of the best parts was the ending. Don't miss Bowfinger, see it all costs. This DVD release is another excellent Universal release, despite the fact it is not a "Collector's Edition".

A really sharp transfer from Universal. Presented in anamorphic widescreen of an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Bowfinger features some strong colors, a good black level and really nice detail. There is some slight edge enhancment, but there is quite a few pieces of grain and artifacts. Still, the overall effect is sure to please.

A dual soundtrack release, "Bowfinger" includes a Dolby Digital plus DTS track. Though this movie is pretty heavy on dialogue, there are some nice sounds.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 English has crisp and clear sound. Music is used effectively, and there is a good amount of dynamic range. There are some scenes which do bring the channels to life, such as the whole highway scene and parts with rain.

The DTS 5.1 English, however, sounds stronger than the Dolby Digital. It has more of a zing to it, and is a touch more powerful. The dynamic range is a bit more intense here, and I found the sound overall to be a bit better.

Both tracks are really good, but I'm going with the DTS. A Dolby Surround French track and English subtitles are included as well.

Though it is not a whole "Collector's Edition", "Bowfinger" packs a nice amount of supplements.

Most notably, is the Commentary with Director Frank Oz. Mr. Oz has to be one of my favorite comedy directors of all time, and this commentary has a good amount of information, as he talks about key scenes and what it brought to make the film.

A short Spotlight On Location featurette has some interviews, but for the most part, is pure fluff. It's good for a watch once or twice.

The Outtakes and Deleted Scenes are each pretty short, but it is interesting to see what exactly was cut from the movie, and most of the outtakes aren't that funny, but some really are.

Rounding out the release is the Theatrical Trailer, extensive Production Notes, Cast and Crew Bios, the Universal Showcase with "The Hurricane" for a trailer and finally, DVD-ROM weblinks.

 

"Bowfinger" is a wonderful Hollywood satire. Though I'm not sure how many will get all of it, it's an enjoyable movie and this DVD release is sure to please with it's dual Dolby Digital and DTS sound and good amount of supplementary materials.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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