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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bonfire of the Vanities
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Review by Marc Girdler | posted February 1, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: The movie Wall Street presented the "me" side of the 80s with a serious edge, showing selfishness and greed in a dramatic light. The Bonfire of the Vanities however, deals with similar ideas in a more comical manner. Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is the Wall Street whiz kid, doing no wrong, racking up the cash, you name it, he does it. McCoy is what every stock broker would like to be, playing the numbers and winning, but even McCoy's luck is sure to run out sometime. And when McCoy's luck runs out, there's bound to be a good reason why, and a story to tell. McCoy ends up with the wrong woman (Melanie Griffith), with everything going wrong as well, and that's where his woes begin. As the story unfolds, we meet a ruthless journalist (Bruce Willis) and a judge who never hesitates to speak his mind (Morgan Freeman). If you're looking for a more light hearted look at the wonderful 80s, look no further! The Bonfire of the Vanities is a great movie, and the performances are spectacular as well. Directed by Brian DePalma, the movie uses some interesting visual styles, with some outstanding framing coming right to mind. The movie based on a novel by Tom Wolfe, and the writing is sharp in it's humor. The stars give some solid turns, especially Hanks (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan) and Griffith (Cherry 2000, Now and Then), who work some truly hilarious dialogue.

Video: The Bonfire of the Vanities is presented in a gorgeous 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full screen version also on the disc. The image looks good, but suffers at time from heavy grain and flecks, while some scenes appear pristine. These errors are the fault of the source print, not this transfer, but they are still a little distracting. The movies uses very dark imagery, so the black levels were crucial to a passing rating for the disc. Thankfully, the shadows are layered properly, and the imahe remain sharp due to deep and correct contrast. Colors look excellent, especially in scenes where they clash with blacks and other darker colors. I also could not notice any compression troubles.

Audio: As you might imagine since the movie is a comedy, the audio is built around the dialogue, since it fuels the film. There is some sutble surround use in some of the quicker paced scenes, but usually the audio stays in the front channels. The music is beautiful, totally fitting the movie, and the disc makes sure it sounds it's best as well. The main focus, dialogue, also comes through with flying colors, always clear and a reasonable volume.

Extras: Unless you count "scene access" or "interactive menus," this disc is devoid of bonus features.

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