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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Other People's Money
Other People's Money
Warner Bros. // R // February 15, 2005
List Price: $14.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Daniel W. Kelly | posted March 29, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
Other People's Money is what the movie company will be stealing if you go out and purchase or even rent this Danny DeVito film produced when he was still a hot ticket at the box office.

The Story:
At the late tale end of the yuppie nightmare "me, me, me" 80s, Danny DeVito did yet another movie involving himself and money scams. The thought seemed to be to target the Wall Street mindset with a sort of comedy that delved into economics, corporate takeovers and "green mailing." I guess it was supposed to be a 'smart comedy'? Any fool could have seen it as more of a financial disaster, if you ask me.

Danny DeVito is Lawrence Garfield, a business tycoon ready to take down any corporation that gets in his way. This time, it's the New England wire and cable company owned by Andrew Jorgenson (Gregory Peck). Kate Sullivan (Penelope Ann Miller), daughter of Jorgenson's wife (Piper Laurie), steps in as lawyer to play the money game against Lawrence to save her stepfather's business. So begins a love/hate relationship between the short, fat, bald filthy mouthed business tycoon and the smart, sassy, pretty, tall and leggy lawyer (including dirty flirtations between the two that might make you gag on your popcorn). And it's all done with a shortage of laughs, and a weak attempt to educate viewers on the workings of the business world.

I worked in a video store in the DeVito hey day. I saw and enjoyed all of his movies, because, he's Danny DeVito, and he's a character. Yet, when I set out to review this film, I couldn't remember a thing about it. Now I know why. The performances are okay, but Danny DeVito's definitely in a rut, playing a character that can pretty much be traced back to his days on Taxi. There is this whole great cast of people who don't really do much as they battle their way to the final anti-climactic climax. And dare I mention the "only in Hollywood" aspect of DeVito with Penelope Ann Miller? Give me a break. And give me back the 2 hours I wasted on this film…apparently twice, although I can't remember the first time.

The DVD

Video:
The film is presented in its original 1:85:1 aspect ratio, anamorphic. While the print is noticeably covered in dust and hairs throughout, its still a nice transfer. Color levels are excellent, darks are excellent, and the two work together to create nice contrast and depth. Edges are sharp and crisp. There's a hint of grain, but it's really minor.

Sound:
The 2.0 surround offers a central rear speaker, but the sound rests mainly in the center front speaker. The audio tends to be hollow and bland, with no dynamic range. Bass is pretty much non-existent. There is an occasionally glimmer of surround.

Extras:
There are 23 chapter breaks, English or French audio tracks, English, French or Spanish subtitles, and the original theatrical trailer.

Final Thoughts:
Other People's Money succeeds nowhere. It's not a funny comedy, it's not a good vehicle for Danny DeVito, and it doesn't make any impression with its comments on corporate corruption. It just suggests to short fat, bald rich guys that they may stand a chance with a woman otherwise out of their league.

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