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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Gigli
Gigli
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // December 9, 2003
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted December 3, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:


I like Jennifer Lopez (although much more as an actor than a singer.) Ben Affleck has become a better actor over the years. However, it was sometime a couple of years ago that they became "Bennifer", a deeply disinteresting creature fed by weekly press stories and scandals. "Bennifer" made US Weekly happy, as it gave the magazine something to put on their cover several times.

Yet, the combination of their who-cares-when (a year of "will they or won't they?" extended the issue far, far over the line into irritating) marriage and tremendously bad buzz made "Gigli" the explosion of the "Bennifer backlash". A film that only made a fraction of its budget, "Gigli" was in-and-out of theaters in days, but its impact on the careers of both stars was felt for months afterwards.

The film stars Affleck as Larry Gigli (pronounced Gee-lee, like "Really"), a low-level mob inforcer who finds that his latest job is to look after (read: take) the mentally handicapped younger brother of a Federal Prosecutor. In one of the film's many laughable moment, he simply walks into the kid's classroom and walks out with him - no one questions his actions. Not trusted by his superiors, a lesbian hit-woman, Ricki (Lopez) is sent to watch Larry...watching Brian. Thrilling, no? There's nothing else to it.

Watching "Gigli", it's amazing that anyone thought the material was filmable. The film's one main running gag is that no one can correctly pronounce Larry's last name. The picture rambles on aimlessly, with random conversations about male organs verus female, mob people using word-a-day books and Jennifer Lopez's butt, which has a supporting role. And hey, there's Christopher Walken - albeit briefly. Al Pacino also shows up for a few minutes, but Walken's near-genius little performance certainly is the best of the handful of star cameos in the film.

"Gigli" is an interesting beast, a film without much plot, structure, style or good dialogue. It takes a terrible idea for a scene or two worth of movie and tries to stretch it out to 124 endless minutes by inserting awful, embarassing conversations about male-female relationships ("I'm the bull, you're the cow!"), spouted by a real-life couple who share surprisingly little on-screen chemistry. While Affleck's dopey bewilderment occasionally clicks for a laugh or two against Lopez's calm, cool demeanor, this is largely a laugh-free movie (a trip to Larry's mother's (Lainie Kazan) house is particularly dull) that doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a comedy or drama - it skips between the two randomly.

People will likely flock to "Gigli" once it hits video stores, just to see if it's really as bad as ts supposed to be. I'll save you the two hours and few bucks: it is. I couldn't sit through the film without getting up several times, including two short walks. The two leads do give it try - Affleck plays tough, yet stupid for laughs decently (one can easily sense he's not taking the film seriously), while Lopez tries for a nice, subdued performance. Still, the romance falls flat (and that's the core of the film), the dialogue is unbelievably bad and there's only a thin thread of plot to be found.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Gigli" is presented by Columbia/Tristar in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full-frame. The anamorphic widescreen presentation seemed slightly rushed, as the pairing of both versions on one side of a dual-layer disc did add up to a few issues with the picture quality. Sharpness and detail remained a bit off, as the picture looked moderately well-defined, but often a hair short of meeting its full potential.

Edge enhancement is present in several scenes - while never terribly irritating, its presence is a slight (maybe in this case, welcome) distraction. Some light compression artifacts also showed up in a couple of the film's darker/low-light scenes. The print seemed to be in fine shape, with no noticable specks or marks.

The film didn't offer a particularly vivid color palette, with colors remaining low-key throughout the film, despite the sunny locations. Colors remained accurately rendered throughout, with no issues.

SOUND: "Gigli"'s Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation showed little ambition, with little in the way of surround use, even for light ambience. The film's offbeat score was the only element of the soundtrack that got much focus, getting a little bit of reinforcement from the rear speakers, but that was about it. Audio quality was decent, as dialogue remained depressingly clear, while music and sound effects remained clean.

EXTRAS: Trailers for "Gigli", "Anaconda", "Main in Manhattan" and "Mona Lisa Smile".

Final Thoughts: Dreary, painfully dull and livened only by a few minutes of Christopher Walken at his absurd best, "Gigli" is a very tough 124-minute sit. The DVD offers little in the way of supplements and average audio/video. Not recommended.

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