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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.



MICHAEL ($35) is a delightful little comic gem from film maker Nora Ephron, that reaffirms the joy of life and the magic of love. John Travolta stars as the archangel Michael, whose demeanor is anything but angelic. Michael is paunchy, a chain smoker, hooked on sugar, likes to brawl, and has a real affinity for the ladies. The only thing about Michael that even hints that he may be a celestial being, are the four foot wings sprouting out of his back. Andie MacDowell, John Hurt and Robert Pastorelli are the tabloid journalists whose publication receives a letter informing it of this angel on Earth. The three travel to a motel in the middle of America, to investigate the report of this heavenly visitor. MICHAEL then turns into a road movie, with the journalists stopping at all the popular tourist spots, which Michael wants to visit, on the drive back to the tabloid’s Chicago offices. While on the road, two of the journalists find romance thanks to a bit of divine intervention from the angel who likes to quote John and Paul- not of scripture, but of THE BEATLES. "All you need is love" seems to be the main message of MICHAEL, and one that I cannot fault. The cast of MICHAEL also includes Jean Stapleton, Bob Hoskins and Joey Lauren Adams.

Warner Home Video has given MICHAEL a very nice Letterboxed transfer which restores the film to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The Letterboxing gives the Laserdisc edition of MICHAEL an advantage over its DVD counterpart, which is pan and scan only. The transfer has natural looking colors and nicely detailed image.

The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a pleasing mix, and tends to favor the Randy Newman’s music. A Dolby Digital soundtrack is also available. The Pioneer pressing had a few errant speckles. I found myself liking MICHAEL quite a bit, and I have to recommend this Laserdisc.


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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