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THREE AMIGOS is a likable comedy that "borrows" a key plot point from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. When a small Mexican town needs to hire some heroes to protect it from a gang of bandits, do they find seven brave gunfighters? No, they turn to the Three Amigos; three goofy silent film stars that play heroic gunfighters on the silver screen. THREE AMIGOS stars Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short as the title characters who find themselves suddenly unemployed. When the Three Amigos receive a telegram from a Mexican town offering them money for their services, they assume that they will be making some quick cash for a publicity appearance and not for fighting off real bandits. THREE AMIGOS has a number of genuinely funny moments, but the one joke plot has some difficulty sustaining the film’s full running time. The cast of THREE AMIGOS also includes Alfonso Arau, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Joe Mantegna and Kai Wulff.

HBO Home Video has done a relatively nice job with their DVD edition of THREE AMIGOS. While the wide screen presentation lacks the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays, the transfer itself looks pretty good. THREE AMIGOS is properly framed at 1.85:1 and the unenhanced transfer is sharp and provides a good level of detail. Colors reproduction is excellent, especially the vivid reds and blues, which are rendered without a trace of chroma noise or bleeding. Additionally, flesh tones appear very natural and the golden desert hues appear quite inviting. Blacks are very accurate and the image has very good contrast under all lighting conditions. Digital compression artifacts never really become bothersome. Of course, as good as this transfer looks, there are some flaws. The film element used for the transfer has a few more blemishes than one would like to see on a movie from 1986. Even worse is the fact that a portion of the element seems to be damaged along its sprocket holes. The damage causes to image to weave left and right at about fifty-three minutes into the film. THREE AMIGOS really should have been given a 16:9 enhanced transfer from a new film element (or one in better condition).

The Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtrack decodes to standard surround and is pleasant sounding. There the forward soundstage sports a bit of channel separation, while subtle ambient sounds and musical fill occupy the rear channels. Dialogue reproduction is usually clean and always intelligible. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English, Spanish and French.

The interactive menus are simplistic, but deliver the requisite scene selection and set up features, as well as cast and crew biographies/filmographies.




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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