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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Christopher Guest
Cast:
Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Harry Shearer, Ed Begley Jr., Ricky Gervais
Writing Credits:
Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy

Synopsis:
Writer/director Christopher Guest rallied his usual crew (Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Coolidge, Michael McKean, etc.) for his latest spoof, which follows the cast and crew of a small indie movie, who find themselves inexplicably surrounded by Oscar buzz in the middle of Academy Awards season.

Box Office:
Budget
$12 million.
Opening Weekend
$372.012 thousand on 23 screens.
Domestic Gross
$5.542 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $27.98
Release Date: 2/20/2007

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director/Writer/Actor Christopher Guest and Writer/Actor Eugene Levy
• Deleted/Alternate Scenes
Home for Purim Poster Gallery
• Trailer
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


For Your Consideration (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2007)

Ever since 1997, Christopher Guest has emerged every three years to direct one of his signature “mockumentaries”. This started with Waiting for Guffman and progressed through 2000’s Best in Show and 2003’s A Mighty Wind. 2006 brought us Guest’s newest effort, the Hollywood spoof For Your Consideration.

We go to the set of a low-budget period piece called Home for Purim. The film starts with a look at the participants and the production but starts to shift tones when lead actress Marilyn Hack (Catherine O’Hara) hears an Internet rumor that her performance shows Oscar promise. This concept soon infects the shoot as Marilyn takes the concept to heart, and other cast members start to dream of Oscar gold themselves. The flick follows the making of Purim as well as the influence of Academy fantasies on those involved.

While Consideration still fits the “mockumentary” concept, it differs from its three predecessors – and 1983’s This Is Spinal Tap - in its format. The other efforts felt more like real documentaries, while Consideration mixes media and comes across more as a “fly on the wall” look at different elements than an actual documentary.

This may catch the viewer off-guard – I know that was my initial reaction to the film. When I went into my theatrical screening of Consideration, I expected the standard Guest format, so the mildly altered viewpoint of this flick came as a surprise and negatively affected my enjoyment of it. This shouldn’t be seen as a criticism of Guest’s choice. I relate it merely to indicate the expectations I took into the film and how these impacted my impressions of it.

In that initial screening, I must admit I didn’t much care for Consideration. I thought it offered a smattering of laughs but seemed thinner and less entertaining than its predecessors. Of course, if you read my reviews for Guffman and Wind, I make nearly identical comments, so maybe I just go into these flicks with unusually high expectations.

With that in mind, I was eager to examine Consideration with a different point of view. Did this second screening provide a new appreciation for the film? Definitely, as I was able to accept the flick better for what it was than for what I expected it to be.

On second take, Consideration opens up as a clever and engaging Hollywood spoof. This time through, I found it easier to accept the format. Consideration straddles Guest’s usual mockumentary setting with more traditional narrative storytelling. This feels a little awkward at times but it usually works fine. Again, my initial misgivings stemmed mostly from my preconceived notions.

As with all of Guest’s other efforts, Consideration boasts an excellent cast. Two performers get the majority of the laugh-out-loud moments. As usual, Fred Willard steals the show as a moronic, insensitive host of an Entertainment Tonight-style program. Jennifer Coolidge does another of her many ditzy blondes as movie producer Whitney Taylor Brown. Both delight in their roles and make the most of their sequences.

All the remaining actors do quite well too, but for a real three-dimensional performance, O’Hara fares best. Hack is arguably the only semi-developed role in the bunch, though her Purim co-star Victor Alan Miller gets added personality as well. In that role, Harry Shearer is solid, but he doesn’t live up to the range shown by O’Hara. She contributes many funny moments, of course. Heck, O’Hara’s amazing simulation of a face-job – which neglects prosthetics and uses only her natural gifts – deserved notice all on its own. O’Hara brings out many other elements of the role in a really strong piece of work.

So despite my initial there’s lots to like about For Your Consideration. Does it match with the best of Guest? No, but it has more than enough going for it to make it another winner.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

For Your Consideration appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. No serious problems arose here, but the transfer never seemed particularly strong, either.

If you’ve seen prior Guest flicks, you’ll know what to expect. Sharpness usually looked good. Some light softness marred a few scenes, but those instances remained reasonably uncommon. The majority of the film offered decent delineation. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement stayed absent. As for source flaws, the flick appeared rather grainy at times, but it otherwise was clean.

Color came across as rather subdued. The movie went with a natural palette, but the tones tended to seem flat and dull. Some of this connected to design choices, but I thought the hues were chillier than they should be. Blacks were acceptably dark though not memorable, and shadows were acceptably clear. This was a decent transfer but not a terrific image.

Along the same lines, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of For Your Consideration seemed acceptable. I expected a low-key soundfield and that’s what I found. The environment mostly stayed with general ambience and not much else. A few sequences opened up a little more vividly, but those instances stayed infrequent. The sides and surrounds mostly gave us a light feeling of the setting, though when we saw clips from fake TV shows, they used the surrounds more dynamically to feature music.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Effects were a minor consideration, but they sounded accurate and clean. Music cropped up even less frequently, as the only score came from Home for Purim scenes. The music seemed lively and rich on those occasions, though. This was a subtle track that suited the movie.

When it comes to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director/writer/actor Christopher Guest and writer/actor Eugene Levy. The pair sit together for a running, screen-specific chat. They discuss the original opening, cast, characters and performances, hairpieces and makeup, story elements, and other production basics.

Prior Guest/Levy commentaries have been spotty, but this one works pretty well. The pair seem chattier than normal and offer a nice look at the flick. They dig into the various topics well as they cover what we want to know. This is an entertaining and enjoyable discussion.

Under the banner “Bonus Material”, 18 Deleted/Alternate Scenes fill a total of 38 minutes, 45 seconds. With so many clips, I won’t discuss each of them. They do bring out new dimensions in some of the characters, especially Corey. While the final flick just makes him seem like a bit of a buffoon, the extra bits bring him out as an overbearing control freak.

Other secondary roles benefit from some added screentime, and plenty of interesting moments emerge. I like Marilyn’s bizarre statement on Wake Up LA, and it’s amusing to see Chuck’s idiotic demands when he and Cindy prepare to interview the cast. Only the last two clips falter, really. One falls into blooper reel territory, as Carrie Aizley can’t stop laughing. The other provides more than six minutes of Nina Conti and “Monk” while Guest chats with them. At least the first 16 segments are compelling.

Eight fun images appear in the Home for Purim Poster Gallery. The DVD opens with previews for The Painted Veil, Music & Lyrics, and Lucky You. It also includes the trailer for Consideration.

If you expect For Your Consideration to be another straight “mockumentary” ala Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show, you’ll come away with disappointment – I know that’s how I felt when I first saw it. However, a second screening better revealed the movie’s charms and allowed me to appreciate its high quality. The DVD offers decent picture and audio along with a few interesting supplements. While I can’t call this a stellar release, it’s a good enough package to merit my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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