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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Throw Momma From The Train
Throw Momma From The Train
MGM
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 4, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

This extremely dark-edged comedy directed by Danny Devito and starring both Devito and Billy Crystal generally met with a negative reaction from critics and audiences alike, but has become somewhat of a cult item in the years since. Devito stars as Owen, a small, quiet man who, still as an adult, lives under the terror of his mother (Anne Ramsey), a tyrant whose scream induces a cringe. Crystal, on the other hand, plays Larry, a novelist who has had to live with the anger of his ex-wife stealing his book and having it become a best-seller.

Both are about to boil over, and both seek a favor from one another. Owen has fantasies of getting rid of his mother, and Larry's rage against his wife leads Owen to believe that he would like to have her gotten rid of as well. This is a definite mis-understanding on his part, and soon enough he thinks he'll get Larry to live up to his end of the deal that never actually happened.

The film is a bit of a send up of "Strangers On A Train", but the way it goes about it's work generally works very well, but sometimes comes across as rather flat - neither unfunny or funny - that in-between place that doesn't make for a particularly memorable picture. Crystal and Devito take on roles that aren't usual in their careers - Devito plays the character creepily and just a little off and edgy, while Crystal generally underplays - especially in comparison to some of his other roles.

An interesting note - the film's camerawork is quite enjoyable and sometimes very inventive. The name of the cinematographer also may be familiar to many - Barry Sonnenfeld - who went on to direct features such as "Men In Black" and "Get Shorty".


The DVD

VIDEO: This is a fairly good anamorphic transfer from MGM, in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Sharpness and detail are slightly lacking, as the picture appears noticably a bit soft and undefined across the board. Not to the point of distraction, but it simply doesn't appear very crisp.

Flaws appear throughout, although they mainly are related to age. Slight wear is visible in the form of some slight dirt, speckles and marks on the print used. These don't turn into a severe irritant, but they do become a tiny bit distracting when they do appear. A tiny bit of pixelation and edge enhancement enters in now and then as well, but in trace amounts.

Colors appeared rather bland throughout the movie, although sometimes they appeared more pleasant and natural than others. It's not a particularly cheery film, and the choice of more mild-mannered colors was probably intentional. Overall, it's a pretty solid transfer from MGM - not stunning, but enjoyable.

SOUND: "Throw" is offered in Dolby 2.0, and there really isn't much going on, as expected. A comedy, and a very dialogue-driven one, the majority of the film is mono in nature and doesn't really expand outwards beyond that with the exception of the score. Still, audio quality seemed largely enjoyable, as the score and dialogue came through clearly and natural sounding with no major concerns.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: The trailer and 4 deleted scenes.


Final Thoughts: It's not a fantastic feature, but it does have some darkly funny moments. MGM's DVD provides okay audio/video quality and an extra or two more than their usual discs. Recommended for fans of the film.

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