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FREE MONEY

If you want to see professional actors appear in a rib-tickling piece of trash, then FREE MONEY ($30) may be just what the doctor ordered. Charles Sheen and Thomas Haden Church portray Bud and Larry, two small town lunk-head losers who find themselves married to beautiful twin sisters. Unfortunately, Larry and Bud find that marriage to the sisters comes with a horrifying side effect- namely their father-in-law. The girl’s Daddy, known as The Swede (Marlon Brando), is the corrupt warden of the local prison and would like nothing better than to make his new sons-in-law permanent guests of his very fine establishment. After the girls get "homesick" Bud and Larry find themselves living under The Swede’s roof and having their lives turned into a living hell.

Hoping to get away from their misery, Bud convinces Larry to help him rob the annual money train from Canada that transports worn out dollar bills to America. Of course, things spin horribly out of control and Larry and Bud find themselves having to deal with The Swede one final time. FREE MONEY also stars Donald Sutherland as the Judge who condones The Swede’s murderous tactics at the prison and Mira Sorvino as the FBI agent who intends to put an end to The Swede’s rein of terror. While the movie has some serious moments, the cast members play everything with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. I’ve always known that Brando was a huge talent, but this movie goes to show you just how huge his comic skills can be. Brando’s performance as The Swede has to be seen to be believed- hey it had me laughing at the absurdity of it all. Look for Martin Sheen and David Arquette in neat little cameos.

Sterling Home Entertainment has made FREE MONEY available on DVD as part of their Millennium Series. The wide screen transfer offers the film in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but hasn’t been enhanced for 16:9 playback. FREE MONEY looks okay on DVD, but this transfer isn’t what one would call impressive. The transfer is soft looking in comparison to big budget Hollywood offerings. Colors offer a normal level of saturation and the flesh tones are a bit pale. Blacks are effectively rendered, but shadow detail is limited, which gives everything a flat appearance. There are no problems with digital compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is subdued and not terribly directional. There are a few noticeable directional effects that come during the train robbery sequence. Dialogue is always clean and intelligible. The bass component is shallow, not adding any serious force to crashes or explosions. A Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus feature a bit of animation and sound. Through the menus, one can access the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the DVD’s extras. Director Yves Simoneau and writer Joseph Brutsman seem to having a great time laughing at the movie during their audio commentary. Their talk also provides insight into the production of FREE MONEY. Other extras include a trailer, a photo gallery, a trivia game and cast biographies/filmographies.

 
FREE MONEY 



 

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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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