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Because of its family friendly PG rating, STAY TUNED ($25) is a comedy with a good concept that is never allowed to go as far as it should go to be genuinely hilarious. STAY TUNED stars John Ritter as Roy Knable, a couch potato whose entire life is on a backslide. Pam Dawber is Royís neglected wife Helen, who, unlike her husband, has a successful career in the business world. Just as Helen is on the verge of leaving Roy, a mysterious stranger shows up on their doorstep and offers Roy a brand new big screen television system and satellite dish capable of receiving 666 channels of programming that one canít find anywhere else.

Of course, the 30-day free trial period is just too good for a TV junkie like Roy to say not to- so he signs up. Unfortunately, Royís satellite provider turns out to be a subsidiary company of hell, with all of the programming designed to entertain the Prince of Darkness. Soon after turning on the new system, Roy and Helen are sucked into the satellite dish, where they find that television has become hellvision. Inside the realm of satellite programming, Roy and Helen find themselves participating in demonic parodies of typical television shows, where they have to fight to stay alive. All of the parodies are mildly amusing, but as I stated above, they are never taken to the extreme where they could have generated some real belly laughs. Ritter and Dawber do the most they can with the material, however it is Jeffrey Jones and Eugene Levy who induce the most chuckles, as two of hellís programming executives. STAY TUNED does have one genuine highlight- an animated sequence that harkens back to the good old days of Warner Bros. cartoons, which was supervised by the legendary Chuck Jones. The cast of STAY TUNED also includes David Tom, Heather McComb, Bob Dishy and Joyce Gordon.

Warner Home Video has done an amazingly good job with their DVD edition of STAY TUNED. The film is presented in its proper 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the DVD has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. STAY TUNED looks really good on DVD; delivering a clean, sharp and nicely detailed image. Colors are vibrant and the flesh tones appear quite accurate. There are no problems with chroma noise or bleeding of the more intense hues anywhere during the presentation. Black are a deep inky black and the level of shadow detail is very respectable, considering that STAY TUNED is a 1992 release. Digital compression artifacts donít betray their existence on this nicely authored DVD.

STAY TUNED features a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack, which offers a fairly aggressive mix. There is good channel separation across the forward soundstage and the surrounds are pretty lively. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and the bass channel is pretty solid (when required). A French 5.1 channel soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus are fun and take advantage of full motion video animation and sound. Through the menus, one can access the standard scene selection and set up features. There are also a few extras to be had on the DVD. STAY TUNED includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, a cast listing and trailers for several "Morgan Creek" productions, including this one.





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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