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Mom's Outta Sight
review by Ren C.
Running Time: 89 minutes
Starring Hannes Jaenicke, Melissa Williamson, Steve
Written by: Sean O'Bannon
Directed by: Peter Stewart
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Cast and Director
Biographies, Fox Flix Trailers
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, English Dolby Stereo,
English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Chapter
Released: September 4th, 2001
It has been stated on a number of occasions recently that
there is a dearth of good movies for children. "Mom's Outta
Sight" does absolutely nothing to disprove that theory. The
movie, while geared toward children, is probably insulting
even to them. The acting could not possibly be broader, and
the effects and story are very simplistic.
The plot revolves around a transmitting ray, called the
Triton, which is able to transport people from one place to
another, much like the transporter in "Star Trek." With a
device like this, the chances of some nefarious characters
wanting to get their hands on it are fairly high. We start
the movie with a very shady looking character offering one
of the associate scientists working on the ray four million
dollars to give him the ray. The scientist, Carl McGavin,
readily agrees, and realizes that the plan is going to take
He enlists the aid of the lab assistant, Angie, and the
two start their plan. The mildly convoluted plan requires
them to get the schematics of the machine from the house of
Dr. Richards (Hannes Jaenicke), the designer of the machine.
In order to do this, they use the machine for its second,
very convenient feature, to change Angie into a complete
duplicate of Richards. Having made this fairly considerable
leap of faith, and having trapped Richards in an abandoned
warehouse, the faux Richards sets off to steal the plans.
She/he manages to do so, but thanks to some quick thinking
by Richards' son Jackie, all is not lost. Richards' wife
Barbara (Melissa Williamson) quickly makes her way to the
warehouse and through another wacky twist of fate is turned
invisible by the machine. This, according to the box cover,
is "where the fun begins!" The mission now is to get the
machine back and to clear Richards' name before the police
and the FBI catch up with everyone.
This movie, in premise, is not necessarily a bad idea.
The idea of the transmitting ray is always appealing to
children, both young and young at heart. However, the leaps
of faith required here are so broad as to be insulting, and
most of the actors look as though they are reading directly
off the cue cards. My biggest problem with the movie,
however, is the attitude that it takes toward violence.
Several scenes in the movie use violent scenes between both
the children and adults to garner laughs. This sends a very
bad message to the impressionable children that could be
watching, and casts a pall over the entire movie.
With an apparently brief theatrical run when it was first
released in 1998, I was surprised that this movie was
presented in a fullscreen form. The transfer is not great,
with flesh tones often looking washed out, and the entire
picture taking on a hue that was somewhat pale. There were
also numerous instances of grain to be found throughout the
film, and there was one instance with a fairly noticeable
and fairly large artifact. While this movie is low budget, I
would have liked to see the transfer look slightly better.
A Dolby Stereo track is provided here, which sounds
nothing more than average. Dialogue is never hard to
understand, and sound effects come through relatively
crisply and clearly. Ambient sounds are used to fairly good
effect and the track as a whole comes off as fair, but
I wasn't expecting really anything in the way of features
here, and I wasn't disappointed. The Theatrical Trailer
for the film is presented, as are brief
Biographies for the principal cast and director. Also
included are Fox Flix Trailers for two of Fox's other
low-budget, family oriented films, "To Walk With Lions" and
While the plot of this movie could have led to something,
the hackneyed situations and overbearingly bad acting
detracted greatly from the overall experience. There were
only a few enjoyable moments throughout the movie, and those
were brief. The transfer is subpar, and the audio only fair.
Features are bottom of the line, and even with the
relatively inexpensive retail price, the overall package is
not enough for me to recommend the movie.
(2/5 - NOT included in
(2.5/5, NOT an average)