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WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT

WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT ($28) is amusing fun, but it isnít a movie that grabs one by their funny bone and doesnít let go. As a stand up comedian who made the transition to a sitcom, Ray Romano has succeeded enormously well. However, as a sitcom actor hoping to make the leap to the big screen, WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT offers inconclusive evidence if Romano is up to the task. As expected, Romano plays a working class nice guy, which isnít much different from what folks usually see him as on television. In WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT, Romano portrays Handy Harrison hardware store owner/plumber in the small New England town of the filmís title. Handyís life is pretty sedate, business is pretty good and he is dating Sally Mannis (Maura Tierney), Mooseportís very attractive veterinarian. Of course, this all changes with the arrival of former American President Monroe Cole (Gene Hackman), who decides to retire to Mooseport.

When the longtime Mayor of Mooseport passes on, the town leaders ask the former President to take the job. Thinking it is nothing more than a figurehead position, and that he will run unopposed, Cole accepts. However, unbeknownst to anyone else, Handy has also been talked into running for the office of Mayor. At first, Handy is willing to concede the office of Mayor to Cole, however, when the former President begins courting Sally, the gloves come off in the election and Handy is back in the race. Of course, the cherry on the sundae turns out to be former First Lady Charlotte Cole (Christine Baranski) who is actively campaigning for Handy and against her ex-husband. The cast of WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Fred Savage and Rip Torn.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT available on DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays (there is a separate fullscreen version for anyone that cares). Like a majority of big studio comedies, WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT has been shot in such a manner that it creates a sharp, clean and bright looking image. It all looks very good, as do the colors, which appear nicely saturated and produce very natural looking flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, as are the whites, plus the picture produces good shadow detail and perfectly respectable depth. The film elements are very clean and there is not much by way of appreciable grain. Digital compression artifacts are always nicely contained.

WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT comes with a fairly standard comedy mix encoded into Digital 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital. While the forward soundstage tends to dominate this dialogue driven comedy, there is good channels separation across the front and the filmís music is nicely integrated. As for the surround channels, they primarily serve to offer up ambient sounds and some musical reinforcement. Fidelity is generally quite good, although there is nothing in the mix to tax oneís audio system. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the filmís dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish 2.0 surround tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Director Donald Petrie is on hand with a moderately enjoyable running audio commentary that offers a good amount of production detail. There are six deleted scenes provided on the DVD, and while they provide some interesting moments on their own, they would have obviously slowed down the filmís pacing had they remained. There are a couple of minutes of amusing outtakes included, as well as the complete Soova Commercial from the movie in both English and Norwegian. Previews and trailers are included for THE CLEARING, DODGE BALL and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, as well as a look at GARFIELD: THE MOVIE.

WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT is a fun little movie that will tickle oneís funny bone while it unspools. The widescreen DVD looks and sounds quite nice, and will certainly outclass any cable or satellite showing. If you are a Ray Romano or Gene Hackman fan youíll want to spend an evening checking out WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT.

 

WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT 


Welcome To Mooseport (Widescreen Edition)

ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 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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