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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Brewster's Millions
Brewster's Millions
Universal // PG // May 21, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 8, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Throughout his career, John Candy created several memorable roles, but also livened up some movies where the material was otherwise less-than-memorable. When he locked into a role wonderfully, such as in "Trains, Planes and Automobiles", he made comedy magic. Even better when paired with someone like "Trains, Planes" costar Steve Martin, "Brewster's Millions" should really have worked better than it does. A remake of a film that's been remade several times before, the film stars Richard Pryor as a minor-league pitcher who, like his catcher friend (Candy) really isn't going anywhere.

After they both get thrown in jail for starting a bar fight, Pryor's pitcher finds out that he's been left an inheritance - but there's a catch. He's got to spend $30 million dollars within 30 days to get the full $300 million. Catch numbers two and three: he can't tell anyone why he's spending so much money, nor can he actually own anything by the end of the month.

The premise alone sounds as if it's ripe for a series of well-timed laughs, but it's oddly a mostly laugh-free picture, possibly because it's restrained by its PG rating. Still, Pryor and Candy at least give their characters a solid try, gaining a few chuckles. It's a fun plot, as most viewers will likely attempt to imagine if they were in the same situation, with $30m that had to exit their grasp as soon as it entered.


The DVD

VIDEO: Universal presents "Brewster's Millions" with a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. The film was previously released by Goodtimes, but that now out-of-print edition was not anamorphic. While I've never seen the Goodtimes edition, I'd certainly be willing to bet that this presentation is an improvement. In fact, this new effort from Universal is about as good as I'd think this film is going to look. Sharpness and detail are generally adequate or above average, as the picture appeared consistently crisp and fairly well-defined, with the exception of a few scenes that displayed minor softness.

Flaws were generally not too objectionable. The print used did display some minor specks and grain during some stretches, but the majority of the film looked fresh and clean. A couple of tiny instances of pixelation and edge enhancement were seen, but these flaws were hardly noticable. The film's color palette looked very nice, appearing vivid and bright, with no smearing.

SOUND: The film is presented in mono and the sound quality isn't particularly great. The sound is rather thin and hollow, although dialogue generally remains easily understood.

MENUS: Some minor animation livens otherwise rather ordinary backgrounds.

EXTRAS: Trailer, bios, production notes.

Final Thoughts: Although it's rather lacking in solid laughs, "Brewster's Millions" does coast a fair distance on the likable performance of the two leads. Universal's re-release DVD provides fairly good video and average audio, but nothing much in the way of supplements. Rent it.

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