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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Houseguest
Houseguest
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // October 8, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Earl Cressey | posted October 22, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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During the mid-nineties, Sinbad starred in several terrific family-oriented comedies, the best and first being Houseguest (First Kid and Cherokee Kid followed). Directed by Randall Miller, the film also stars Phil Hartman (Gary), and Kim Greist (Emily).

On the run from the mob for borrowing money for his latest get-rich quick scheme, Kevin Franklin (Sinbad) impersonates the childhood friend of Gary Young at the airport in order to escape. To keep up the ruse and stay away from the mob, Kevin takes Gary up on his offer to stay with his family for the next three days. However, Kevin quickly finds it a struggle to discover who exactly he's pretending to be. During his time with them, though, he'll help mend the family and learn the value of friendship.

Over the years, I've watched Houseguest more times than I can count and it never fails to make me laugh. For my money, Houseguest is Sinbad's best film, due especially to a strong supporting cast lead by Phil Hartman. Hartman's humor here is often subtle and his dry delivery gets me every time. The film, while family-oriented, never takes itself too seriously, even with 'the importance of friendship' theme. My one complaint with the film is that sometimes it gets to be a bit too corny, especially with the heavy advertising for McDonalds.

Video:
Houseguest is presented 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer fares well throughout, with only some smaller specks and scratches appearing infrequently. Colors are bright and bold with accurate flesh tones and modest blacks.

Audio:
Houseguest is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround in English or French. Surround use, for the exception of the film's music, is rather infrequent, though to be expected from a dialogue-driven comedy. Dialogue is clean throughout, with no distortion. Optional captions are available in English.

Extras:
No extras.

Summary:
As a huge fan of Houseguest, I'm glad to finally have the film available both on DVD and in widescreen, though the lack of extras is a bit disappointing. Considering the studio released a large batch of featureless DVDs last month at $10, the $20 MSRP on Houseguest seems a tad much. Even so, fans should consider adding the disc to their collection and those not familiar with the film and looking for a family-friendly comedy should give it a look.

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