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I know I am going to be in the minority here, but I have to say that I enjoyed ANALYZE THAT ($28) more than its predecessor, ANALYZE THIS. While the first movie was cute and had a number of hilarious moments, Robert De Niroís over-the-top crying jags donít hold up on repeat viewings, so this reviewer was happy to see that they werenít required to carry the comedy of ANALYZE THAT. Of course, the comedy of ANALYZE THAT isnít anymore sophisticated than what was offered in the first film, but the actors seem more comfortable in their roles and generate a bit more humor through characterization. Robert De Niro is still a hoot as mobster Paul Vitti, as is Billy Crystal who portrays put upon therapist Dr. Ben Sobel. In fact, Crystal is especially good in his portray of a doctor who not only has to deal with the criminal patient that is taking over his life, but has to contend with his controlling wife Laura (Lisa Kudrow), as well as his own recently surfaced emotional baggage.

The plot of ANALYZE THAT opens with another attempt on the life of Paul Vitti, this time from within the walls of prison. Although Vitti survives physically unscathed, his mental condition is questionable- veering from complete catatonia to obsessively singing the entire score to West Side Story. Since Vitti is still of importance to the Feds, they bring in Ben Sobel to evaluate his former patient. Sobelís diagnosis leads to the "troubled" Vitti being released into his doctorís care, much to the dismay of Sobel and his wife, neither of whom want the mobster in their home. What follows is a "miraculously recovered" Vitti trying to reform himself by going legit and accepting a job as a consultant to a popular television show that depicts the life of a mobster and his family. However, Vitti finds it nearly impossible to escape his past and "family" obligations. The cast of ANALYZE THAT also features Joe Viterelli, Cathy Moriarty and Anthony LaPalgia.

Warner Home Video has made ANALYZE THAT available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. As expected from any major studio "A" picture, ANALYZE THAT looks absolutely terrific on DVD. The image is wonderfully crisp and beautifully defined- even the darker scenes look great. Colors are pretty vibrant, although flesh tones maintain a natural balance. There are no signs of chroma noise or smearing to mar the truly fine color reproduction of this DVD. Blacks are dead on the money, while the whites are clean and contrast is very smooth. As I stated above dark scenes look great, and produce excellent shadow detail. The film element is free from blemishes, plus the image produces a great sense of depth. Digital compression artifacts are virtually non-existent on this cleanly authored DVD.

ANALYZE THAT comes with a standard issue comedy mix that has been encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1. The forward soundstage really dominates this mix, with the surrounds supplying ambient and musical fill. Whatever directionality is contained in the soundtrack is localized to the front three channels. Of course, fidelity is great for recreating the score and incidental music, as well as the filmís sound effects. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the actorsí voices resonate with a nice, natural quality. The bass channel isnít particularly impressive, but it does keep the track grounded. A French 5.1 channel track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVDís interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the DVDís supplement materials. Director Harold Ramis is on hand for a running audio commentary, which proves rich in detail but lacking in the humor one associates with the comedic actor/director. The Making of Analyze That is a twelve-minute program that is too much fluff and too little substance; I guess thatís what happens when marketing people are tuned into "documentary" filmmakers. However, the program does provide the prerequisite interviews with the cast and crew. Also included is M.A.D.E. - the Mafioso Associate Degree Exam, which serves to test oneís knowledge of the "family" business. A theatrical trailer and filmographies close out the supplemental section.

ANALYZE THAT may not be as popular with the masses, as the movie that inspired it, but at least this reviewer found himself liking it more that ANALYZE THIS. As for the DVD, it looks great and sounds just fine, so if you want to see ANALYZE THAT, the little round disc is definitely the way to go.



Analyze That (Widescreen) (2002)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2003 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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