XenForo Template MAN of the YEAR Studio: Universal Film Year: 2006 Film Length: 115 minutes Genre: Comedy/Drama/Political Aspect Ratio: • 2.35:1 theatrical ratio Colour/B&W: Colour Audio: • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround • French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 Release Date: February 20, 2007. Rating: 2/5 / With: Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Jeff Goldblum Written & Directed by: Barry Levinson MAN OF THE YEAR is the latest collaboration between Barry Levinson and Robin Williams. Unlike the earlier GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, this one doesn’t quite make it. It is billed as a political comedy about the campaign of a TV comedian/talk show host who runs for President and there is a lot of satirical material here, enough to place the film in the same neighborhood as the recent BULWORTH or even THE CANDIDATE. However, the film lurches into a kind of thriller mode for its second two acts, only to revert to the more comedic and satirical mode for its finale. There are some moments of true hilarity, some moments of effective drama, and some moments where the film itself seems unsure whether it’s trying to amuse or confuse. The movie features solid performances all the way around, but it’s clear that Williams himself is a bit constrained by the structure. It is only in those moments where he is allowed to cut loose that the film really flies. The ingredients of a great movie are here, but it doesn’t really gel enough to keep the viewer involved throughout. VIDEO QUALITY: 4/5 The film is presented in an anamorphic 2.35:1 ratio, and it looks great. The blacks are deep, and the range of colors is impressive. From the darkness of the control rooms around the various political events to the more garish colors of the various studio settings and even the Delacroy cafeteria, the picture quality here is great. I did not notice artifacts or any other picture issues, although I admit that my eye isn’t as trained as it might be for that. I simply noted a solid picture with a great color range. AUDIO QUALITY: 4/5 MAN OF THE YEAR is presented in English, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. It’s an effective mix, between the various atmospheric sounds and the songs and score. The mix really comes alive in the various TV studio settings, and whenever the score kicks in. SPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5 / • Commander and Chief (12.49): This is a standard non-anamorphic look at the making of the film. This mostly consists of the cast complimenting Barry Levinson on his directorial style. The clear feeling here is that the cast thought they were making a comedy, and that they were happy to work with both Williams and Levinson in doing so. It is strange that the film itself does not reflect the nature of this featurette. • Robin Williams: A “Stand Up” Guy – (9.13) This non-anamorphic featurette focuses on Williams’ ability to improvise comedy routines on his feet, even between takes. There are a few interview segments, pulled from the same sessions used for the other featurette. And there is an interesting extension of the SNL sequence featuring Robin Williams and Tina Fey squaring off, which alone is worth your time. The film is also presented in English SDH, French & Spanish subtitles. No other extras are included. When the disc is first activated, the usual Universal trailers play until you hit the MENU button. There is a helpful menu if you wish to search through the scenes to find your last stopping point. IN THE END... There isn’t a lot to this package. The film itself is okay, but it misses the mark if you're looking for anything deeper. And there isn’t much in the way of extras. If you’re a big Robin Williams or Barry Levinson fan, the film may be worth your time to investigate. Otherwise, there isn’t much here to examine. It’s interesting to see Robin Williams and Christopher Walken share the screen here, but that alone may not be enough to justify the purchase. Kevin Koster February 24, 2007.