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Although SNOW DAY ($30) was made for and marketed to a teen and preteen audience, the fact that the cast features both Chevy Chase and Chris Elliott lends it some appeal to the adults, who will be picking up this flick for their kids. Like almost all youth comedies, the plot of SNOW DAY doesn’t break any new ground. In fact, this movie is as predictable as they come. However, SNOW DAY does have some simple charms that will keep the kiddies amused for the entire 89 minute running time. SNOW DAY is set in an upstate New York town, where it hasn’t snowed one iota, during an unseasonably warm winter. Of course, the kids are praying for a "snow day," and their prayers are answered when an unexpected cold snap from Canada dumps a blizzard on the town.

SNOW DAY then follows the members of the Brandston family as they deal with the unexpected "snow day." Zena Grey is Natalie Brandston, a schoolgirl determined to turn on "snow day" into two, if only she can find a way to stop the evil and relentless Snowplowman (Chris Elliott), who is clearing all the town’s streets. Mark Webber portrays the eldest Brandston son Hal, who spends his "snow day" pursuing the girl of his dreams, Claire Bonner (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who has just broken things off with her jock boyfriend (how come none of the girls that I went to high school with, were built like Chriqui?).

Chevy Chase portrays Tom Brandston, the head of the clan and the local TV weatherman, who is forced into silly on-the-air stunts to prop up the low ratings for his newscast. Jean Smart is the Brandston matriarch Laura, a career woman with no time for her family, who is forced to deal with being a mommy to her youngest son, when the snowfall prevents her from going to work. The cast of SNOW DAY also features Schuyler Fisk, Iggy Pop, Pam Grier, John Schneider, David Paetkau, Jade Yorker and Connor Matheus.

Paramount Home Entertainment has done a really great job of bringing SNOW DAY to DVD. SNOW DAY is framed fairly close to 1.85:1 and the DVD features the enhancement for playback on 16:9 displays. The image is clean, crisp and clear- everything that one would expect from a brand new movie just coming off theatrical release. Colors are bright and very solid, with no signs of chroma noise or bleeding in the image. Blacks are accurately rendered, plus the image sports excellent contrast, with none of the bright snow whites ever appearing blown out. Digital compression artifacts are a non-issue on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack features a fairly standard comedy mix. There are a number of directional sound effects in the front and in the back, but dialogue reproduction remains priority one. All of the actors’ voices are nicely recorded and are reproduced with full intelligibility. The music has good frequency range and has been mixed to take advantage of both the forward and rear soundstages. A French Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extras. Extras include an audio commentary with director Chris Koch and writers Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, a 12-minute "Snow Day Scoop" featurette, some cast and crew interviews and brief "Nickclusives," which are promotional clips for the film that aired on Nickelodeon.





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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