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Mad Dog and Glory
Produced by legendary
Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas)
collaborator Barbara DeFina, Mad Dog and Glory is
comedy-drama from director John McNaughton (Wild Things).
a quirky comedic gem with an all-star cast featuring Robert De Niro,
Bill Murray, and Uma Thurman.
Wayne "Mad Dog" (Robert De
Niro) is a detective working in Chicago who finds himself
accidentally saving the life of a well-connected mobster boss (with a
side-job as a stand-up comedian), Frank (Bill Murray). Frank is
extremely pleased that Mad Dog helped save him and he decides to give
Frank an unsusual "gift" by having a girl who works for him,
Glory (Uma Thurman), stay with Wayne for one week.
Mad Dog and Glory (hence
the title of
the film) soon find themselves in a unusual predicament. Wayne "Mad
Dog" soon becomes infatuated with Glory and the two start to fall
in love despite their unusual encounter. The unlikely pair discover
they have more in common than they thought at the start. The "favor"
from Frank turns into a mission from Wayne to get Glory out of the
clutches of Frank's mob. Determined to help her out and start a real
relationship, Wayne does what he can to face-off against Frank.
The cast is terrific here
respective roles. Uma Thurman is as beautiful as always and her charm
practically leaps off the screen. Robert De Niro is just as
impressive. He's clearly having a blast with this part and the
chemistry between him and Thurman is clear as day. Murray is a
scene-stealer with great delivery and charisma throughout the film.
The film has many notable
aspects which help it excel: from the score by the great Elmer
Bernstein (Far From Heaven, To Kill a
the interesting cinematography by Robby Muller (Paris, Texas,
Breaking the Waves). The costumes by Rita Ryack (Hairspray,
The Fan) feel character appropriate. The production
efforts by David Chapman (High Fidelity, Grumpy
help to develop this world and make it feel more real.
The screenplay written by
(Sea of Love, Ransom) is a slyly
funny and charming
script filled with great character moments. Director John McNaughton
(Wild Things, The Harvest) has a
bunch of fun playing
around with this absurdist story. The film has a strong energy behind
it which carries audiences to the pitch-perfect conclusion. Mad
Dog and Glory is a pure delight, through and through, and is
worth revisiting (or discovering for the first time).
Mad Dog and Glory arrives
Blu-ray (for the first time) with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded
presentation. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen
aspect ratio. This is a reasonable step up from the faded and heavily
compressed DVD from so many years ago. It's great to see the film
finally receive a reasonable upgrade. The film retains a nice layer
of film grain as well. The release has some minor print damage and
wear to it as well so it's not a pristine print but it's still miles
better than the DVD. The colors look a little bit drab and lack the
kind of punch one hopes to find. The gains in quality far outweigh
the weaknesses of this dated master. Don't go in expecting perfection
and it's a pleasing release.
audio on Mad
Dog and Glory is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo
audio. This is a modest sounding audio presentation which lacks great
fidelity but dialogue still sounds reasonably clear and clean. Given
the age of the film and source material utilized, this is a modest
upgrade on audio quality. It's a decent bump in sound quality and
aids the overall presentation.
style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">
English SDH subtitles (for the deaf
and hard of
hearing) are also provided.
John McNaughton and Co-Producer Steven A. Jones
Featurette (SD, 3
min.) is a short but sweet behind-the-scenes featuring interviews
with the cast, director, and producer Martin Scorsese as they discuss
Robert De Niro, and
Martin Scorsese (SD, 3 min.) discuss the film in this short
Uma Thurman (SD,
12 sec.) gets
12 seconds to discuss her part. Can you really call it an "interview"
when it's such a brief clip?
McNaughton (SD, 34
sec.) fares slightly better than Uma Thurman with 34 seconds. Start
Scorsese (SD, 32
sec.) gets two seconds less than McNaughton to share his views.
the release includes the original color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;">theatrical
trailer style="font-weight: normal;">for
Dog and Glory color="#222222">
and other Kino releases.
Dog and Glory is
a great flick. It's
not on a level high enough to be deemed as a certified "classic"
but it's a highly entertaining film which has has plenty of drama,
laughs, and surprises. It's carried by three terrific actors bringing
their A-Game with Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, and Bill Murray all
equally impressing. Mad
Dog and Glory
essentially an A-Grade "B
movie" which shouldn't be overlooked.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.