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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Strictly Sinatra
Strictly Sinatra
Universal // R // August 27, 2002
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 7, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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B>The Movie:

A strange film that's well-acted and nice looking but struggles to find a point, "Strictly Sinatra" certainly boasts an original concept, but not one that I'm sure works terribly well. The film stars Ian Hart ("Backbeat"), as Toni Cocozza, a Glasgow lounge singer who only sings Frank Sinatra songs. One night, the local mob boss hears him sing and he and his friends think that Cocozza is the "next big thing".

Of course, it's only a matter of time before he gets too involved with the local underworld, which may help him on the way to success or take him down when he's asked for one favor too many. There's really not a great deal more plot to the picture than that, which is certainly the film's main fault. While the actors are quite good (aside from Hart, the film also stars Brian Cox and "Trainspotting"'s Kelly MacDonald). The three leads (and the music) really do try and pull along the interest, but there's really not nearly enough story to strongly cover the 97 minute running time. About halfway through, I started to lose interest when the point still wasn't apparent, nor did it seem to be arriving anytime soon.


The DVD

VIDEO: Universal offers "Strictly Sinatra" in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is not entirely free of faults, but for the most part, the transfer looked quite good. Sharpness and detail are solid throughout, even in some of the darker club sequences.

The only time when the picture quality tripped up was during the club sequences. While they appeared crisp and well-defined, the presentation did seem to have some trouble with all the smoke and some slight pixelation was spotted. Some instances of print flaws were also seen, but they consisted only of a few minor specks. The club's dark, bold colors also occasionally looked slightly smeared, while the bright colors during the daytime sequences looked more natural and well-rendered. Ovrall, a fairly nice transfer, if not without some minor concerns.

SOUND: Universal offers "Strictly Sinatra" in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. The film's soundtrack is a fairly limited affair; aside from the music, which often uses the surrounds wonderfully, this this is a strictly dialogue-driven piece.

MENUS: Basic, non-animated main & sub-menus.

EXTRAS: No supplements are included.

Final Thoughts: "Strictly Sinatra" could have made a better short film or TV-movie. Trying to be a feature length film, it attempts to have fine actors pull along a plot that doesn't reach its point nearly fast enough. Universal's DVD does not offer any supplements, but the audio/video quality is pretty good. Maybe worth a rental for those who are fans of the stars.
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