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They say "third time is a charm," well in the case of NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT ($30), the third installment of the popular movie series shows no signs of running out of gas. The comedy comes fast and furious, even if the actors were beginning to get a little long in the tooth for these off-the-wall shenanigans. As the film opens, Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) has retired from Police Squad at the insistence of his wife Jane Spencer Drebin (Priscilla Presley), who is now a practicing lawyer, longing for the joys of motherhood. Unfortunately, leaving the force has emasculated Frank, leaving the couple with some problems in the boudoir.

After a visit from other members of the Police Squad team, Frank reluctantly accepts a minor undercover assignment. Of course, Jane finds out about her husbandís police assignment. Infuriated, Jane walks out on Frank. With his wife gone, Frank realizes that police work is all he has left in life and returns to the force. Frank immediately goes back undercover, this time to find out the intended target of notorious bomber Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward). NAKED GUN 33 1/3 has a number of hilarious moments, with THE UNTOUCHABLES parody and the trip to fertility clinic rising to the top of the list. Nielsen and Presley are game for anything in this outing and their pairing continues to generate laughs. The cast of NAKED GUN 33 1/3 includes series regulars George Kennedy and O.J. Simpson, as well as Kathleen Freeman, Anna Nicole Smith, Ellen Greene, Ed Williams and Raye Birk.

Paramount Home Entertainment has done a terrific job with their DVD release of NAKED GUN 33 1/3. Not only does the 16:9 enhanced wide screen presentation of NAKED GUN 33 1/3 closely recreated the filmís 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, it is also the best looking DVD of the bunch. The film element used for this transfer displays less film grain and fewer blemishes than those used for the previous two movies. There is a slight softness to the filmís cinematography, which the transfer reproduces accurately, although there is a nice level of underlying detail in the image. Colors are vibrant and are recreated without any visible flaws. Blacks are accurate and the picture displays good depth. Digital compression artifacts maintain a very low profile throughout the presentation.

The re-mixed Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack offers good channel separation across the forward soundstage, as well as some interesting sound effects from the rear speakers. In regard to sound effects placement, this mix is also a bit livelier than the first two installments. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced, so no one is going to miss any of the jokes. Ira Newbornís breezy music a sound good, although the music isnít integrated into this mix as well as it was in the re-mix for the first movie. English and French Dolby Surround soundtracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, plus a couple of extras. There is an amusing, but informative audio commentary with producer David Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss, director Peter Segal and associate producer Michael Ewing. The commentary is enjoyable, and definitely worth a listen. A theatrical trailer fills out the extras.

If you loved the first two films, youíll love the third. NAKED GUN 33 1/3 is a good looking and good sounding DVD that fans will want to own.




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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