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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Gone Fishin'
Gone Fishin'
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // March 4, 2003
List Price: $9.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted March 1, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

There is a funny movie about fishing to be made, along the lines of "The Great Outdoors", I suppose. This 1997 buddy comedy, however, is simply not that movie. The pairing of "Lethal Weapon" co-stars Danny Glover and Joe Pesci certainly isn't the weak link, it's the script; Jill Mazursky Cody & Jeffrey Abrams (yes, the same Jeffrey Abrams that went on to create the excellent TV series "Alias") aren't content to allow the stars to riff on the boat, they have to throw in a plot about how the two catch a con artist. Essentially, this is a comedy about fishing where nobody really ever gets to go fishing.

Pesci and Glover star as Gus and Sam, life-long friends from New Jersey who win a fishing contest and pack up their car for a journey to the Everglades. Along the way, their car gets taken, their boat gets dragged away and they meet up with the daughters (Rosanna Arquette and Lynn Whitfield) of a couple of widows who were tricked out of their money by the con artist.

The film's 94 minutes are a slow crawl through weak slapstick and lame jokes. Glover and Pesci are certainly terrific actors, and they almost look embarassed to have to walk through these poorly written roles. While both aren't entirely known for comedy, they've both demonstrated they're capable of handling humor in other roles. The film's PG rating keeps the humor from going into anything more than having the two leads knock things over or fall over. Given the actors, it's odd that this film seems to have been targeted towards kids.

Although the film does manage a decent chuckle or two, "Gone Fishin'" rarely puts together a bit that isn't predictable. Even though the actors try, they can't do anything with a pair of dull, unlikable characters. Throw this one back in the water.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Gone Fishin'" is presented by Buena Vista in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. This is a fairly decent transfer that suffers from some mild faults. Sharpness and detail remained passable, as the picture looked rather crisp and well-defined throughout, although some instances of noticable softness appeared. The image seemed a little darker at times than I'd remembered it (on cable), but most of the outdoor scenes looked bright and vivid.

Aside from the occasional softness, the transfer didn't show much in the way of problems. Edge enhancement was kept to a bare minimum, while only a few compression artifacts were noticed. The print seemed to be in fine condition as well, aside from a few specks and some light dirt.

The show's bright, natural color palette appeared accurately rendered here, with warm tones and no smearing or other concerns. Black level was also solid, while flesh tones appeared accurate.

SOUND: "Gone Fishin'" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 on this DVD. This is purely a comedy soundtrack, with nothing in the way of surround use. The front soundstage is terribly basic, with only dialogue and little in the way of effects or presence for the score. Dialogue is clear and easily understood, although it sounds a little flat and rough at times.

EXTRAS: Nothing.

Final Thoughts: "Gone Fishin'" wastes the talent of its two stars on lame slapstick and lousy jokes. Even at 94 minutes, it feels like forever. Buena Vista's DVD edition offers a decent non-anamorphic widescreen presentation and fair audio. For the retail price of $9.99 or less, fans should take a look, but all others should skip it.

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