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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Now You See Him, Now You Don't
Now You See Him, Now You Don't
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // May 4, 2004
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted May 26, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

Good old Medfield College.  I have fond memories of that fictional institution.  Back in the day when Disney made live action movies aimed at families, they released a trilogy of films set at the fictional Medfield College, and using the same cast.  After their theatrical release, these films were a mainstay on the Wonderful World of Disney TV show.  This amusing series of movies concern the antics of a group of students who always seemed to get mixed up with a science experiment that goes awry.  In the first movie, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, one of them turns into a human computer.  In the third movie, The Strongest Man in the World, a student gains super strength.

In this middle installment, Medfield College is having financial troubles.  The local gangster, A. J. Arno (Cesar Romero) has bought the college's mortgage with the hopes to foreclose so that he can turn the campus into a gambling casino.  Dean Higgins (Joe Flynn) doesn't have the money to meet the payment.  The only chance is the Forsythe Award, a $50,000 prize for the best contribution to the advancement of science.  Of course, Medfield doesn't stand a chance of winning.  That is until Dexter Riley, (Kurt Russell) stumbles upon an invisibility formula.  They think they have the prize money locked up, but when A. J. Arno steals the formula and uses it for evil purposes, their hopes go down the drain.  It's up to Dexter and the gang to get the formula back, capture Arno, and save the college.

This is a really fun movie for the whole family.  Yes the jokes are corny and can be seen coming from a mile away, but the movie has a certain innocence to it that is appealing.  Kurt Russell and Michael McGreevey, who plays Dexter's dopey pal Schuyler, both do a great job in their parts as the scheming college students.  But the star of the show, in my opinion, is Joe Flynn.  His portrayal of Dean Higgins is excellent.  The poor aggravated dean constantly looks like he is working on an ulcer.  He is the perfect foil for the fun loving kids.  Be sure to look for a young Ed Begley Jr. in a small part playing the honor student Druffle.

There were some very funny parts to this movie.  The first golf game where Dexter lends an invisible hand to Dean Higgins had some good laughs in it, as did the second game where Dexter wasn't able to help.  The scene where Schuyler was demonstrating the invisibility formula, only without being invisible was the high point for my family though.  My two sons, aged 8 and 11, laughed and laughed, and the adults managed a snicker or two also.

While this movie isn't a great comedy classic, it is enjoyable and fun to watch.  It is not sappy, and there isn't any message that they are trying to teach the children.  This movie isn't trying to sell a line of action figures or trading cards.  It is just an hour and a half of entertainment that the kids will love and won't bore the adults in the household.

The DVD:



 

Audio:

The English two channel mono mix sounds good and appropriate for the movie.  There is not a lot of bass in the soundtrack but that is to be expected with a movie of this age.  This DVD also has captions for the hearing impaired in English, and subtitles in Spanish and French.

Video:

The anamorphically enhanced widescreen picture looks very good, much better than Disney's The Great Locomotive Chase DVD that was released at the same time.  There were some specks of dirt on the print, but there were relatively few.  The image had a good amount of detail, and the colors were superb.  There was some grain present, most noticeable in the darker scenes.  There were very few digital defects in the movie.  This is a good looking disc.

I was very happy that Disney released this movie in its original aspect ratio.  The first movie in this series, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, was only released in a pan and scan version, and I'm glad that Disney has decided to release the other two movies as they should be seen.

The Extras:

This is a barebones disc that doesn't include any extras.

Final Thoughts:

I really like all three of the Medfield College movies.  They are silly and stupid, but still a lot of fun.  It is too bad that movies like this are rarely made nowadays.  Disney gets kudos for presenting the movie in its original aspect ratio and finding a good print.  Households with younger children that are looking for a movie that everyone will enjoy should check this out.  A very strong recommendation.
 

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