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BEAN ($30) is the mildly amusing film version of MR. BEAN, the utterly hilarious British television series. The biggest problem with BEAN is that there isn’t enough "Bean" in the movie. What I should say, is that the feature film does not contain enough of what made the television series so successful and so funny. Rowan Atkinson who stars as Mr. Bean on both large and small screens isn’t allowed to do the kind of brilliant and bizarre physical comedy, which made the character famous. Instead, Mr. Bean is saddled with a plot and asked to be just a character in the film.

The plot of BEAN sends London museum guard Mr. Bean to America to escort the painting of Whistler’s Mother to its new home in a California gallery. Peter MacNicol is saddled with the thankless role of gallery curator who comes to believe Mr. Bean is Dr. Bean, an art expert based on a communiqué from the London museum. By sending him offer to California, Bean’s superiors hope to lose the hapless guard for at least a few weeks. Once set loose in California, Bean wreaks his own patented brand of havoc on everything he touches. The cast of BEAN also features John Mills, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin and Burt Reynolds.

Polygram Video offers BEAN in both Letterboxed and cropped presentations on opposite sides of the DVD. The cropped presentation is actually full frame and very similar in appearance to the Letterboxed edition. The Letterboxed transfer is close to the 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and looks balanced. Color saturation is quite good on the DVD and the image reproduces with crisp detail. Digital compression artifacts could be detected in a couple of spots, if one was looking for them.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a good mix for the subject matter, but there were instances where hiss was detectable in the surround channels. Otherwise, the track sounds fine, with the songs and music getting a boost from the Dolby Digital encoding. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround track and a French language track. Spanish subtitles and English captioning are available on the DVD. The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, a music video for OMC’s rendition of I Love L.A., plus cast and crew biographies/filmographies.



DVD reviews are Copyright © 1998 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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