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THE NEW GUY ($28) is a fairly inoffensive teen comedy that has the bonus of a sequence in which Eliza Dushku models swimwear. Personally, I could have watched a two-hour DVD of Dushku modeling swimwear and then viewed it again to hear an audio commentary of her reading the phonebook. Getting back to the movie, THE NEW GUY features DJ Qualls as Dizzy Harrison, a nerdy, abused high school senior who decides to change his life by transferring to a new school and reinventing himself by donning a tough, cool persona.


With the help of the prison wizened Luther (Eddie Griffin), Dizzy is able to successfully transform himself into Gil Harris and goes straight to the top of the schools pecking order by knocking out the current big man on campus. With his newfound popularity, Gil almost forgets his roots, but after taking up with Danielle (Eliza Dushku), the head cheerleader, who was once a social outcast, Gil makes it his mission to unite the popular and unpopular students at his new school. The cast of THE NEW GUY also includes Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen, Lyle Lovett, Sunny Mabrey, Ross Patterson, Matt Gogin, Horatio Sanz, Tony Hawk, Geoffrey Lewis, Charlie O'Connell, Jerry O'Connell, Gene Simmons, Tommy Lee and Illeana Douglas.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made THE NEW GUY available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. A full screen presentation is also offered on a separate layer for those whose biggest concern is making sure every bit of their picture tube is being utilized. The wide screen presentation looks quite good, but since THE NEW GUY was a modestly budgeted affair, the cinematography and resulting transfer really don't stand out.


The image is pretty sharp most of the time and there is a respectable amount of detail, but there are some soft spots that turn up now and then. Colors appear fairly vivid, with no signs of chroma noise or smearing, plus the flesh tones are pretty natural. Blacks are accurately rendered; contrast is reasonably smooth, and shadow detail is adequate for the material. The film element used for the transfer is free from noticeable blemishes, although the grain structure is occasionally noticeable. Digital compression artifacts keep a low profile throughout.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel sound mix featured on THE NEW GUY is of the standard comedy variety. Surround activity is somewhat limited to enhancing gags and giving the film's music a nice spread through the soundstage. The forward hemisphere is where most of the activity is localized, with some nice stereo separations for both sound effects and music. Dialogue is always crisply rendered with excellent intelligibility; not that the dialogue is particularly scintillating, but at least you can make out all the jokes. The bass is adequate to the task of enhancing the film's musical content. A French language track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and French subtitles. Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a theatrical trailer, bonus trailers and music video for the song I'm Just A Kid by Simple Plan.

As I said up above, THE NEW GUY is a fairly inoffensive teen comedy that's good for a few laughs and does include the added bonus of Eliza Dushku modeling swimwear. The DVD looks and sounds just fine, so if you are interested in checking out THE NEW GUY, you can't go wrong with the disc.



The New Guy (2002)


DVD reviews are Copyright 2002 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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