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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Scheme
The Scheme
Artisan // R // November 18, 2003
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted January 14, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

In the year 2000, director M. A. G. (a clever shortened form of his real name, Marcus Andreas Gautesen) directed a movie called Just One Look starring up and coming Saturday Night Live star, Jimmy Fallon. The movie wasn't picked up, and so it sat on a shelf somewhere until Artisan Entertainment came to its rescue and slapped this baby out on a shiny silver disc under a new title, The Scheme, for your enjoyment.

Unfortunately, there's very little in the way of anything remotely resembling enjoyment within a hundred miles of this movie and Artisan should have done us all a favor and left it on the aforementioned shelf somewhere.

Fallon plays a Ray, a useless sort who earns his money by scamming people, stealing the mail (in hopes of finding some money or a check inside that he can cash) or selling their blood to the local blood bank on a daily basis. His friends, August (Brian Hooks) and Martin (Nathan Anderson) are just as bad as Ray and not only encourage his behavior, but partake in the hi-jinks as well.

When Ray reads a letter that he stole out of the mail, he finds that Allison (Andi Tecac), the daughter of a local politician, is very much wanting to have her first real sexual experience. Ray figures this is a good opportunity to get 'an in' with her and sell some pictures of her in the act with him to a tabloid newspaper and make some real money.

Of course, things don't go as planned and, predictably enough, Ray falls for Allison and throws him and his friends' plans into disarray resulting in what should, theoretically, be ensuing hilarity.

The problem with the movie is that the ensuing hilarity never materializes and the film doesn't really deliver any solid laughs and only a very few scant chuckles. Too few though to make the movie worth your time.

Fallon has been pretty funny on plenty of occasions on SNL but here he's only as good as the material that he has to work with and, much like the supporting cast, is basically wasted on a bad script with unfunny dialogue and a whole lot of predictable and unfunny situations.

The DVD

Video:

The back of the case states that the film is 'formatted from it's original version to fit your TV.' Usually, that's bad news as it means that the disc is going to suffer from pan and scan. But underneath that, the disc then states 'presented in the original 1.33.1 format.' So, with that out of the way, I have no idea what the original aspect ratio is for this movie. If I had to guess I'd say it was 1.85.1 or maybe 1.66.1 because some of the shots do look cropped, but the movie is so poorly made that it's possible the movie is just poorly framed. As far as the actual transfer goes, it's not better than the film itself – it's fuzzy looking with an abnormal amount of dirt and specks present on a film this new.

Sound:

There are two audio tracks on this release – Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1. Both tracks are bland and flat sounding with very little to offer in the way of channel separation or interesting effects. Dialogue tends to fade in and out and random, bass response is stagnant and neither track offers the viewer a good listening option.

Extras:

I suppose it's to Artisan's credit that this abysmal film actually has some special features on it's DVD release. First up is an extremely mundane commentary track with the director, Marcus Gautesen and Roger Monde, the film's producer. What this is, is essentially the two of them laughing at their own jokes and talking about what's happening on screen. Not much in the way of actual information about the film is really divulged at all and to be quite honest, it's dull. This is followed by twenty minutes worth of deleted scenes that have even more (optional) commentary over top. None of these scenes would have added anything to the film or made it any better, and the commentary here isn't anymore interesting than the commentary on the feature.

But that's not all! If you're a true glutton for punishment there's also a brief featurette entitled The Making Of The Scheme which is more self-congratulatory uselessness from the people who brought the film to life. It comes across as little more than a glorified commercial for the film. And speaking of commercials for the film, this brings us to our last 'extra' – the film's original trailer – which does an admirable job of making the movie look a lot more interesting and humorous than it actually is. It accomplishes this by having nothing to do with the events that occur within the actual film itself.

Final Thoughts:

The Scheme is pretty much bottom of the barrel material and unless you're a hardcore Jimmy Fallon fan, I can suggest about a thousand other better movies to spend your money on. This truly was ninety minutes of my life that I will never get back…

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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