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I found myself laugh quite a bit during DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO ($30), which isnít to say that this screen comedy is perfect. The plot is somewhat raunchy, plus many of the jokes are in very bad taste. However, the movie does have a soft, good-natured center that redeems itís moments of political incorrectness. DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO stars Rob Schneider as Deuce Bigalow, the typical movie comedy loser, who cleans fish tanks for a living. One day while cleaning a fishpond, Deuce encounters Antoine Laconte (Oded Fehr), a suave and handsome gigolo, who has beautiful women paying for his lavish lifestyle.

Just as Antoine has to leave the country on "business," one of his very expensive tropical fish falls ill. Of course, Deuceís whole life revolves around tropical fish, so Antoine asks the lowly fish tank cleaner to stay in his apartment and take care of the fish. As you might expect, Deuce ends up trashing the place, so he needs to earn some fast cash to fix everything before Antoine returns home and kills him. Cleaning fish tanks isnít going to pay for the damage, so Deuce ends working as a low rent gigolo for a "businessman" named T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin). T.J. fixes Deuce up with an odd assortment of female clientele, each of whom has a definite problem that our newest male gigolo is able to overcome with a little bit of charm, ingenuity and a good dose of humanity. Of course, problems arise for Deuce when he becomes enamored with a client, who doesnít know how he earns his living because her girlfriends hired Deuce to pose as her blind date. The cast of DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO also includes Arija Bareikis, William Forsythe, Gail O'Grady, Richard Riehle, Jacqueline Obradors, Big Boy, Amy Poehler, Dina Platias, Torsten Voges, Deborah Lemen, Bree Turner, Andrew Shaifer, Allen Covert and Elle Tanner Schneider.

Touchstone Home Video has done a very nice job with their DVD release of DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO. Not only is the film presented in its 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The image just smacks of "new movie;" delivering a picture that is bright, clean, crisp and clear. Color reproduction is also excellent. Flesh tones appear quite naturalistic, while the rest of the hues are wonderfully vivid. There are no problems with either chroma noise or smearing of the most intense hues. Black are very pure and the image boasts a solid level of shadow detail. Digital compression artifacts never rear their ugly heads on this nicely authored disc.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack features a standard comedy mix that favors the forward soundstage. Dialogue is cleanly and precisely reproduced, so you never miss a joke, even those that donít fly all that well. Directional sound effects arenít overwhelming in number, but then again, the subject matter doesnít provide much call for such effects. Stereo imaging comes primarily from the filmís musical score and incidental music, which also makes the most significant use of the surround channels. Subtitles are provided on the DVD in English.

The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few supplements. There is a Storyboard to Film comparison provided on the DVD, as well as a very brief featurette. Trailers are included on the DVD for other Buena Vista productions, which start as soon as the DVD is loaded into the player. Other than hitting the chapter skip button, the viewer is forced to watch the trailers (which is very annoying). The trailers are also accessible through the interactive menus.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 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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