Studio: Columbia TriStar Home Video
U.S. Rating: R
Canadian Rating: 14A
Rated for: sexual content, pervasive language
and brief strong violence
Film Length: 121 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 widescreen enhanced
Audio: English & French Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
Subtitles: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai
Release Date: December 09, 2003
Okay, put your hand up if you have no clue on how to correctly say the name of this title “Gigli” if you've never heard it spoken. I’ve forgotten the advertising so the correct pronunciation was furthest from my memory…is it pronounced “Jiggly” with a short or long letter “i”, or was it pronounced “Giggly” as if I were to laugh myself to death thinking of four more ways to figure this one out? Well, I did think of at least four more ways and they were all furthest from correct. I guess it’s my payback for all of the interesting yet butchering manifestations I’ve heard with my last name, and I invite anyone to take a crack at that one. At least I’m not alone, because no one can get Mr. Gigli’s name right in the movie either.
There is no English letter equivalent to the sound of the first “G” in Gigli. If you are fluent in Polish, picture the letter “z” with the dot on top, and that sound is close enough to the first “G”. For the rest of us English speaking people, think of the letter “s” in treasure, measure, or pleasure. Make that your letter “G”, and then take away the letter “r” from the word really, and that my friends, is the best way I can tell you how to say the name of this flick if you had absolutely no idea. I’m sure you’ll find it a great party discussion over the upcoming holidays.
Now that I’ve got you past the title of this film (if you weren’t there already), let me tell you what actually goes on in this movie without getting into the same level of detail (and it’s not a film about phonics). I obviously don’t want to spoil the film for you if you really really can’t wait to see this story starring heartthrobs Ben Affleck and that singer who keeps dipping her fingers into acting, Ms. Jenny Lopez.
Larry Gigli (Affleck) is supposed to be this hard-core tough guy, who when hired by people to do some underground dirty work, is supposed to get the job done. After he shows he is kind of a softy, his “employer” Louis (Lenny Verito) has him covered by a gangster girl known as Ricki (Lopez) to make sure he doesn’t screw up his next job – to kidnap the mentally-disabled younger brother of a federal prosecutor in hopes of charges being dropped on a man (held out of state) who Louis has ties to.
As time goes on and the demands from Louis tighten up, Gigli is having difficulties with his ego and his conscious, both which are falling out of line for someone who has to keep cool and unnoticed by the authorities. And with the lustrous and untouchable Ricki at his side both day and night, Gigli just may have to do what most men seem to fear – show an emotion from the sadness within. Gigli must try to prove that he won’t screw up this job to win back his street-thug status, but also finds the need to win the affection of Ricki as well. Can they succeed without getting themselves into too much trouble?
With a small cast and seemingly low budget, some conversations between Gigli and Ricki had funny moments I identified with and made it a pleasure to view. Most of the movie happens in the same locations so there isn’t a variety of scenery, and most of it is in Gigli’s cold and empty apartment that successfully gives the feeling of the entrapment on him. But the story becomes less believable for me because I just couldn’t believe that Affleck and Lopez are thugs, nor do their characters ever seriously make me want to believe they are or ever were. As time goes on, this film becomes a little sappy and less thuggish, and while I understand this is probably the intent, I just can’t believe their characters would ever be a reality. But I’m not the storyteller here.
Also included in this film are short performances by Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. Both actors seem completely detached from their rolls in the film, and thus didn’t seem to fit that well. They each play a cliché performance that isn’t one of their better ones. Overall this movie is only satisfactory, but satisfying to watch.
Video Quality? /
The film seems to be properly framed at 2.40:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. Of the few outdoor scenes, they all seem to be pleasant looking but lack the punch of the better looking films seen today. In comparison to the best, there is a washed out appearance throughout most of the film. Interior scenes are grainy and promote a softer image than what I would expect to see from this HD mastered release. It seems like there is more detail that was possibly present but was absent. Quite often there is a flicker in the top left side of the film. It is a very dim flicker representing that of light through film. I suspect it has to do with what was captured on film during shooting since it only seems to be present when there is a certain amount of light coming into the film frame. Also, edge enhancement is not problematic.
There is also a 4:3 option on the disc I did not review.
Audio Quality? /
There is a heavy reliance on the centre channel on this supposedly 5.1 soundtrack encoded in Dolby Digital. Dialogue is strident and very sibilant, I found it fatiguing at louder volume levels because of its forwardness. Most of the scenes’ sounds come only from the center channel. The main channels are underused throughout the whole film failing to create any sense of space at least in the front soundstage. Another problem with this soundtrack is when the Left and Right channels are actually used with the centre channel; the sounds do not correlate creating a very awkward soundtrack. The result in no imaging between center and mains with big holes in between. In fact, at times they almost sound like two different soundtracks. The mains seem to be reserved for music mostly. Surround presence is almost non-existent, or recorded so low to offer very little effectiveness to broaden the soundstage.
Sound effects also are recorded quite poorly. There is an exaggeration on some sound effects giving it a very forward and detached presence from the film. It can be unrealistic sounding and unsatisfying. The jingling of keys near the end of the film is the first one coming to mind. I would seriously hope that no one in the back room ever uses this as a reference for film sound recording. This is very disappointing for a newer film. Music sound is clear and not bothersome, and it is interesting to note the change in music style as the film gets nearer to its close.
Special Features? /
If we can call it a special feature, a “theatrical trailer” of the film is included on the disc. To my knowledge, this 32-second trailer seems more like a TV spot. Even though it is widescreen (looks like 2.10:1), it is not widescreen enhanced, and is in DD2.0.
This is only a mediocre presentation of this mediocre movie. While the film does have some special moments I did like, I felt there were other flaws that prevented me from truly getting into it. If you like the talent of this six-star cast, this might be a movie to check out because it is worth a few laughs. But I feel that if it weren’t for the higher profile talent, Mr. Gigli would have more than his thug life and libido hitting an all-time low.