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Being produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, as well as having a cast that features William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell, Patricia Clarkson, Michael Jeter and George Clooney, I had a high expectations for WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD ($27). Well, to be honest, WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD isnít bust-a-gut funny, but this character driven heist comedy does have its moments, as well as a daft sense of charm. The plot follows a band of small time criminals from the a little burg of Collinwood, who have the perfect crime fall into their laps. Unfortunately, this particular band of small time criminals are so incompetent that they require serious studying if they were ever needed to pass a urine test. Therefore, one can only imagine what happens when they these bozos attempt to carry out the afore mentioned perfect crime. The cast of WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD also features Jennifer Esposito, Isaiah Washington and Luis GuzmŠn.

Warner Home Video has made WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The is a really nice looking transfer, maybe not up to the level of a big budget movie, but it doesn't give one anything to complain about either. The image is sharp and well defined, plus the colors appear well saturated. Flesh tones are always very appealing and the hues are reproduced without chroma noise and only a hint of fuzziness. Blacks appear deep, whites are clean and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is quite respectable and the picture produces a nice dimensional quality. The film element appears virtually pristine and there is very little by way of a noticeable grain structure. Digital compression never make their presence know.

WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD comes with a competently mixed, but not particularly impressive, Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Fidelity is good and the filmís score has a genuine musical presence; however, this dialogue driven film offers very little by way of directional sound effects. Additionally, those sound effects that are present on the track seem fairly localized in the forward soundstage, with the rears only providing ambient sound and a bit of musical fill. Dialogue is always cleanly rendered and intelligibility is only limited by performance. The bass channel manages to keep the track from sounding anemic, but nothing more. No other language tracks are present, although English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Welcome to Collinwood: Uncensored is something of a spoof of those behind- the-scenes featurettes, with Sam Rockwell doing goofy interviews his cast-mates. Definitions and Etymologies gives one a breakdown of the particular brand of slang used in the movie. A theatrical trailer, plus cast & crew filmographies close out the extras.

Despite its pedigree, WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD isnít as funny as I had hoped it would be. This isnít to say the film isnít funny or without charm, it just did gel as well as it could have. As for the DVD, it looks and sounds just fine, so anyone who rents or buys the disc isnít going to be disappointed by the presentation.



Welcome to Collinwood (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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