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I love Renee Russo, and so must Hollywood, since every film she appears in seems to makes money. TIN CUP ($25) is no exception. In TIN CUP, Ms. Russo is the force who gets a "down on his luck" driving range pro off his butt, and makes him take a stab at the professional golf circuit. Kevin Costner and director Ron Shelton try to recreate that BULL DURHAM magic, with golf as the sport of choice, instead of baseball. Costner portrays Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, the proprietor of a seedy driving range in a small Texas town. McAvoy had the talent to make it on the pro circuit, but his ego and temper kept him out of the game. When a former college golf rival comes back to town as a big shot on the pro tour, McAvoy does everything he can to show him up. The rivalry intensifies when McAvoy becomes smitten with the lady shrink (Russo), who also turns out to be his rival’s girlfriend. McAvoy hopes to win the hand of his lady love by proving himself, and getting into the US Open. TIN CUP features some wonderful character performances, especially from Cheech Marin, as McAvoy’s best friend, and Don Johnson as his rival.

On the DVD release of TIN CUP Warner Home Video presents collectors with a choice of both Letterboxed and pan and scan editions of the film. One side of the DVD offers the Letterboxed version, while the other offers pan and scan. Since TIN CUP was originally produced in the 2.35:1 wide screen aspect ratio; I wouldn’t recommend the pan and scan version to anyone but the most vehemently anti-Letterbox individuals. On the pan and scan version, viewers lose more than half the film and I find that kind of experience completely distracting. The colors are quite good on the pan and scan transfer, and grain is kept in check despite the fact that the film element has to be blown up to fill the screen. The pan and scan version of TIN CUP demonstrated the worst artifacting of any DVD I’ve seen. Big, chunky pixels followed the Warner logo at the film’s start. To a lesser extent, there were artifacts in other places throughout the film.

The Letterboxed version of TIN CUP is terrific, since it restores the film’s proper 2.35:1 aspect ratio, as well as Russell Boyd’s beautiful cinematography. Boyd’s cinematography is one of the added delights one will find in TIN CUP. Of course, this added delight is completely obliterated on the pan and scan version. This beautiful Letterboxed transfer is the same as one would find on the Laserdisc. The colors are superior on the DVD, since they are very well saturated and the DVD doesn’t allow them to bleed. The colors on the Laserdisc are nothing to complain about, in fact they are excellent for that medium. The fact that they are better on the DVD speaks highly of the new format. Both the DVD and Laserdisc are exemplary in regards to crispness and detail. But once again, the DVD edges out the Laserdisc by a slight margin. There were a couple of places where the digital compression gave TIN CUP a less fluid appearance than the Laserdisc, so in those instances I had to give the edge to Laserdisc.

The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack had a pleasing, albeit reserved mix. This mix, of course, is identical to that of the Laserdisc. The audio portion of the DVD also includes a Dolby Digital soundtrack and a French language soundtrack. The DVD features English, French and Spanish subtitles, as well as interactive menus with cast biographies and production notes.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 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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