DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The January Man
The January Man
MGM // R // April 16, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 23, 2002 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

I've so far not liked one film from director Pat O'Connor, whose most recent effort was "Sweet November", a film that started well and then crashed as a twist lead into the second half. I suppose that I chose to watch "January Man" because it was one of those instances where when this many great actors are involved, it can't be that bad, right?

Unfortunately, that would be no. As odd as it is that a legion of well-known and highly talented cast members signed on, famed director Norman Jewison accepted a role as producer, while John Patrick Shanley ("Moonstruck", directed "Joe Versus The Volcano") actually wrote this utterly ridiculous screenplay.

Kevin Kline stars as a former police officer who was taken off the force and now is a firefighter. There's also a serial killer in Manhattan, killing one woman a month. For some reason, the police believe that Kline's character is the only one who can figure out who it is. The mayor (Rod Steiger, overacting as only he can) calls upon the Kline character's brother (Harvey Keitel) to get him back. He agrees to take the case, but - and only if - he gets to cook dinner for Keitel's wife (Susan Sarandon). He also manages to fall for the mayor's daughter (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio).

There's a long list of problems to go through: Kline is mis-cast in the role, but he gives it a respectable effort. Steiger and Danny Aiello are loud; Steiger practically seems to be literally chewing the scenery - he goes so far over the top that it's hard not to laugh. Aiello is stuck with horrible lines of dialogue that, for some reason, he must often bellow at the top of his lungs. Keitel is subtle when he should be his usual intense self. Sarandon looks bored, seemingly aware of the kind of movie she's in. Alan Rickman is pretty funny as Kline's painter neighbor; Kline's character walks in to his own apartment to see Rickman's character painting a completely nude woman.

Like the performances, the film itself is all over the map, not really deciding whether or not it wants to be a dark comedy or a serious thriller or something else completely. Everything and everyone is doing something different and, as a result, the film doesn't really succeed at any one element. It doesn't help that absurd plot developments are piled atop one another, with the ludicrous way that Kline is able to solve the case being the high point of the film's grand ridiculousness (he figures out that floors of the buildings in the case all are notes within a song, so the song leads him to where to go next). Another unintentionally funny scene of note - after Kline's dinner with Sarandon doesn't go well, she slaps him not once, not twice, but three times. It all ends embarassingly, with Kline's character fighting with the villian and falling down flight after flight (after flight) of stairs.

This is completely silly stuff, badly mishandled in a way that makes the only entertaining element of it the fact that it's so terrible at times that its unintentionally very amusing. I haven't even mentioned the miserable score, which sounds like bad 70's music. As I said in the opening, I haven't liked Pat O'Connor's movies, but after watching this one, I'm surprised that he was allowed to direct another film.


The DVD

VIDEO: MGM presents "The January Man" in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and pan & scan. The anamorphic widescreen transfer certainly isn't flawless, but it remains a notch or two above the usual quality of MGM's catalog offerings. Sharpness and detail remain pleasant and consistent; aside from one or two instances, the picture remained crisp and well-defined.

Flaws were seen, but didn't cause major distraction. Minimal grain was spotted now and then and, aside from a few specks, no other instances of wear on the print surfaced. Minimal edge enhancement was seen, while no pixelation was visible. Colors remained rather subdued, but were nicely rendered otherwise.

SOUND: A pretty unremarkable 2.0 soundtrack is included, whcih focuses mainly on the dialogue, but also manages to present the hugely awful score with decent presence. There's little or nothing in the way of bass or even little ambient details. Audio remained clear and clean, though.

MENUS: Very basic, non-animated main menu.

EXTRAS: The trailer.

Final Thoughts: "January Man" contains enough really bad moments to make it one of those films possibly worthwhile as a rental if you're in the mood to play "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and goof upon a pretty terrible piece of work. MGM's DVD edition is slightly better in terms of quality than their usual catalog efforts, but I'd still highly recommend staying away from this one.
Popular Reviews
1. Godzilla 2000
2. Tinto Brass: Maestro Of Erotica Cinema
3. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla / Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
4. They Came Together
5. Graceland: Season 1
6. Wilfred Season 3
7. Last Man Standing Season 1
8. All That Jazz
9. Rebirth of Mothra / Rebirth of Mothra II / Rebirth of Mothra III
10. Legend of Hell House


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use