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This review originally appeared in issue 14 of THE CINEMA LASER.

GRUMPIER OLD MEN

GRUMPIER OLD MEN ($35) is the warm and often hilarious sequel to GRUMPY OLD MEN. Jack Lemon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret and Burgess Meredith return to the roles they created in the earlier film, but this time they are joined by Sophia Loren. In my review of GRUMPY OLD MEN (issue 9) I marveled at how gorgeous and ageless Ann-Margret has remained. In this film, I have to marvel at how fantastic Sophia Loren looks. Ogling these two gorgeous and ageless women brings up a question that many viewers are certain to ask: "how do two old dopes like Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau wind up with hot looking women like Ann-Margret and Sophia Loren?" The answer is rather obvious, because those two old dopes are Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau!

The plot of GRUMPIER OLD MEN picks up a short while after the first film left off with the impending nuptials of Lemon’s daughter (Daryl Hannah) to Matthau’s son (Kevin Pollak). It seems the two old cranks have been allowed to participate in the planning of the wedding, and are turning the affair into a three ring circus. Also adding a bit of spice to the mix is the arrival of a new Italian restaurant on the shore of Lemon and Matthau’s favorite fishing spot. A battle of wits and juvenile pranks breaks out as the two old men try to prevent the restaurant from opening. Fortunately, Matthau loses his resolve as he finds himself attracted to the restaurant’s proprietor (Loren). Finally, let me mention Burgess Meredith’s contribution to the film. Meredith is utterly hilarious, and he steals every scene in which he appears, just as he did in GRUMPY OLD MEN.

Warner Home Video has given GRUMPIER OLD MEN an excellent Letterboxed transfer which restores the 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer has superb color and the outdoor cinematography renders flawlessly. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a subtle, but pleasing mix which makes effective use of all the channels. The Sony DADC pressing was the only weakness in the package. Speckles were kept to a minimum, but I experienced quite a bit of crosstalk on the first side of my sample.

GRUMPIER OLD MEN is a delightful film that proves that the youth market doesn’t have the entire film industry sewn up. Entertaining and viable films can be produced with actors of any age group, and I hope to see more films that take advantage of those talents. GRUMPIER OLD MEN comes highly recommend to film fans.

 
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Laserdisc 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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