Jump to content

DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: "Welcome to Mooseport" (with screenshots)

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


    Second Unit

  • 462 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted May 13 2004 - 07:48 AM

Posted Image
Welcome to Mooseport

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Year: 2004

Rated: PG-13

Directed by: Donald Petrie

Film Length: 115 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1

Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitled in English and Spanish

Bonus features:
-Full-length audio commentary by director Donald Petrie
-6 Deleted scenes with optional Director’s commentary
-Outtake reel
Release Date: May 25th, 2004



I have to admit, I had my doubts about this movie at first. I don’t think I even saw one trailer for this movie when it came out. This very DVD was the first I had even heard of this movie. Considering it only raked in $15 million at the box office, this may be why I never heard of it. Regardless, its star power alone was worth giving it a shot. I am glad I did! This was a great movie, and how could I have doubted otherwise! I mean, Gene Hackman and Ray Romano…of course it had to be good, and it sure was!

Romano and Hackman are of course great, and really make the movie entertaining. Gene Hackman plays the egocentric ex President of the USA, constantly hounded my his money grubbing ex, “First Lady” Christine Baranski. He is running for the mayor of Mooseport against Romano, who plays the genuinely honest town plumber who is the typical “clueless about love” schmuck that most of us guys are. Romano is in danger of losing his girlfriend of 6 years, the lovely Maura Tierney, because he just doesn’t “get it” that she wants a commitment. Not to mention that the Hackman has the hots for her as well.

Throw in the “doormat” of an assistant to Hackman, Fred Savage, and Hackman's "right hand" women, Marcia Gay Harden, who is also secretly in love with him, and you have a great couple of hours to fill your night at home with the DVD player and the boob tube. This was really a cute movie and I am actually surprised that it didn’t do better at the box office. It must have come out against some stiff competition. Might I add, my Girlfriend loved this movie, and she is usually very critical of movies in general.

Here is the synopsis from press release:
Welcome to Mooseport.

The sleepy Maine community has all the accoutrements of idyllic small town life: a little park and gazebo, quaint architecture, a moose that wanders through the streets, and lots of friendly townsfolk, including the proprietor of the local hardware store, Handy Harrison (Ray Romano) and his veterinarian girlfriend Sally (Maura Tierney).

Mooseport also just happens to be the vacation home for the leader of the free world: Monroe “Eagle” Cole, the President of the United States (Gene Hackman). Following two successful terms, the wildly popular President is ready to retire to his “Mooseport White House,” publish his memoirs and embark on a series of lucrative speaking engagements. “The Eagle Has Landed!” proclaims the Mooseport headlines when Cole arrives in the Maine town, along with his devoted executive secretary Grace Sutherland (Marcia Gay Harden) and young PR director Bullard (Fred Savage).

But Eagle’s retirement is delayed when the folks of Mooseport convince the former President to run for Mayor. At the same time, he sparks to Sally unaware that she is Handy’s girlfriend. And Sally, frustrated by Handy’s inattentiveness, doesn’t resist Eagle’s flirtations.

When a jealous I-Tandy announces HIS candidacy for mayor, Eagle is dumbfounded. “I’m running for mayor against the man who’s installing my toilets!” he rails. And in the heat of his toughest campaign to date, Eagle’s first date with Sally receives the kind of media scrutiny usually reserved for a summit meeting. (“Eagle Lays an Egg” say the pundits when she rejects his goodnight kiss. Ouch!) Handy, in turn, sees himself in a race for Mayor and boyfriend.

As the campaign kicks into high gear, things get even wilder in this once quiet town. Eagle and Handy’s closely-watched debate seems to hang on a game of Rock/ Paper/Scissors, the former president’s Secret Service agents suggest that he have Handy “eliminated,” and Eagle’s ex-wife (Christine Baranski) is campaigning for Handy. Even Eagle’s veteran campaign manager, Bert Langdon (Rip Torn), can’t make sense of this “David and Goliath” battle.

But one thing both the Handy and Eagle camps can agree on: Mooseport isn’t small enough for both of them! America’s favorite television comedy star — Ray Romano — and one of the most acclaimed actors in motion picture history — Gene Hackman — fight it out for love and small-town glory in Welcome To Mooseport.



Picture quality for this DVD actually very good!

The colors in the movie are bold and vibrant and jump off the screen. They have this great smoothness to them that blend well with no bleeding. Skin tones were perfect as far as I could tell. The detail on this video was very impressive, as the image just stands out and commands attention. It is very detailed. I was double impressed because since the movie kinda flopped at the box office, I didn’t expect as good of video transfer.

The actors in the background of scenes didn’t lose a whole lot of detail, which was nice. I saw no compression artifacts, and very little video noise. At one point I couldn’t believe the picture was that good, so I sat only a few feet back from my 40” Wega to see if I could catch anything really noticeable. The answer was, no!

Black levels were very solid and looked fantastic. I also could not catch any edge enhancement going on when I watched it, but I do notice it a bit in the screenshots. About the worst video offender for this DVD I could find was the occasional pop up of film dirt here and there.

SEE FOR YOURSELF!: (click on the picture for a bigger version of the screen-shot)

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

More screen shots here

Picture Quality Rating:
Picture: 4Posted Image / 5
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image



The DVD is encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1.

Audio for Mooseport was great. The dialog came out clear and bold, although a tad hollow at times. Dialog was good at being firmly anchored on screen. One thing that stood out to me was the music. There is a lot of “Presidential” type music throughout the movie that shows up in Gene Hackman’s scenes. The music is clear and bold, and packs a good low end to it.

Surround sound is used sparingly, mostly popping up every time the “Presidential” music chimes in. It adds a fullness and ambience to the scene. There is also a helicopter scene where the surrounds kick in for a few seconds. Most of the ambience you hear however besides the music, is all of the crowd scenes at the political rallies and debates between Hackman and Romano.

LFE does show it’s presence a bit. It rears its head every time the music kicks in, and the many scenes with Hackman’s cavalcade of big black SUV’s.

Sound Quality Rating:
Sound: 3 / 5
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


This DVD has great extras for not being such a big movie. I was impressed by the amount of extras that I gave them 4 1/2 stars based on I would’ve expect the bare minimum for this DVD! A Great effort by Fox I think. [/b]


The one and only person on this commentary was the Director Donald Petrie. Now although I thoroughly enjoyed this Director's other hits like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Miss Congeniality”, I didn’t enjoy his commentary all that much. It is very insightful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a tad on the dry side. He does a lot of praising of Gene Hackman for what a genius actor he is, and points out every line or ad lib that Ray Romano contributed to the film.

Obviously if you want anyone’s commentary you want the Director of the movie, but I would have loved to see either Hackman or Romano sit in with the Donald. I think for me that would have made it much more interesting. Even though Mooseport is a great movie that I liked a lot, I am not so sure watching it with the commentary is a “must”. Try Donald out for a good 15 minutes and see what you think.

Deleted Scenes

Scene 21 – Grace gives Handy check
Total Running Time: 01:34

Scene 22 – Alternate Ending – Monroe leaves Morris’ office
Total Running Time: 01:01

Scene 23 – Reporters hound Handy
Total Running Time: 01:15

Scene 24 – Extended – Sally and Grace talk over coffee
Total Running Time: 01:33

Scene 25 – Alternate – Longer cut with Sally voting
Total Running Time: 02:08

Scene 26 – Bullard gets a phone call
Total Running Time: 00:23

Outtake Reel

There are some ones in here. Definitely check it out!

Total Running Time: 02:34

Fox Flix: The Clearing

Preview for a new film starring Robert Redford and Helen Mirren, and Willem Dafoe. It looks as though Willem Defoe kidnaps Robert Redford and they are wondering about in the woods. WD demands a ransom from RR’s wife played by Helen Mirren. It’s going to be put out by Fox Searchlight which I find interesting when you factor in the star power of the two leading actors.

Total Running Time: 02:26

Soova Commercial

Now this is quite funny and it has to do with the movie Welcome to Mooseport. Fred Savage tries to get Hackman to do an advertisement for a new car from a Norwegian Manufacturer. This is the mock commercial that the ex “Prez” did for them. You get two flavors, one in English and one in Norwegian.

Total Running Time: 01:20

Inside Look

Again the new Fox “thing” where they highlight and give brief behind the scenes of new movies coming out. This time we get some footage from the new “Garfield” movie. Also we get a preview of Day After Tomorrow (which I personally can’t wait to see!), and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Total Running Time: 03:13

Extras / Bonus Features Rating:
Extras: 4Posted Image / 5
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image




Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


"Welcome to Mooseport" is a very good DVD offering. For a not so blockbuster movie, it has great video quality, great sound, and better extras than I would have expected.

I can surely RECOMMEND buying this DVD! For everyone else, when in doubt, rent first! Posted Image

This has been,
[/b] Posted Image

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 40,002 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted May 13 2004 - 08:41 AM


Let me throw my hat in the ring for a big thumbs
up for this film.

Highlights from a previous post....

I had the pleasure of receiving an advanced screener
of Welcome to Mooseport that stars Ray Romano
and Gene Hackman.

It's one of those fun little films that probably
didn't do overwhelmingly well theatrically, but will
explode on DVD.

The film is just a delightful watch. It's quite
funny and perfect entertainment for both teens and

I am also in love with Maura Tierney who plays the
female love interest, Sally. She is amazingly cute.

Transfer quality on this advance retail screener
was top-notch. I can't see why the DVD wouldn't
look just as brilliant.

Like In America, I think this is going to
be another Fox title that will shine on this format.
I encourage members to watch for Welcome to
Mooseport when it arrives on DVD.

Glad you agree, Adam

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


    Second Unit

  • 462 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted May 13 2004 - 08:45 AM

See guys? I told ya! You can't get better backup than Ron. Posted Image

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   ClaytonMG


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 180 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 27 2002

Posted May 13 2004 - 08:56 AM

Can't wait to see this one now. At first I wasn't sure, but your review made me want to see it. Just out of curiosity, do you know which trailer it is for Day After Tomorrow?


#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Paul Hillenbrand

Paul Hillenbrand


  • 1,263 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1998
  • Real Name:Paul Hillenbrand

Posted May 13 2004 - 08:58 AM

Haven't seen the movie, but I put this on my "To get on May 25th list", after reading this review.

Avatar: "The Annunciation to the Shepherds" Painting by Nicolas Berchem (1680-1683)
BD 3D, BD, HD DVD, DVD collection

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


    Second Unit

  • 462 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted May 13 2004 - 09:19 AM

Can't wait to see this one now. At first I wasn't sure, but your review made me want to see it. Just out of curiosity, do you know which trailer it is for Day After Tomorrow?

Clayton, the TDAT trailer is nothing special. It is the same one on Stuck on You DVD. It is more of a "teaser trailer" as the trailer on their TDAT website is much more involved.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Devin_C


    Stunt Coordinator

  • 72 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 25 2004

Posted May 14 2004 - 01:35 AM

Posted Image Not a fan of the ass screenshots, particularly so early in the morning. On the other hand, the review of the film itself sounds like at least a rental.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

Adam Tyner


  • 1,413 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 29 2000

Posted May 14 2004 - 04:39 AM

On the opposite end of the spectrum... Posted Image I thought this was a boring, plodding, lifeless, pedestrian comedy. Didn't laugh once. No humor or wit, unless you consider monotone, stammered line readings or bad facsimiles lifted from reruns of Northern Exposure to be inherently funny. It gets fewer laughs than your average sitcom, despite running four times the length of one. The only "funny" thing I can say about it is that the moral of the story is that you have to take risks to achieve greatness, but Welcome to Mooseport doesn't take any chances whatsoever. Welcome to Mooseport is currently duking it out with Grind and Carpool as my least favorite comedy that I've seen this year.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


    Second Unit

  • 462 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted May 14 2004 - 05:37 AM

On the opposite end of the spectrum... I thought this was a boring, plodding, lifeless, pedestrian comedy. Didn't laugh once. No humor or wit, unless you consider monotone, stammered line readings or bad facsimiles lifted from reruns of Northern Exposure to be inherently funny.

This may be one of the great examples of one man's trash, is another man's treasure. Posted Image Although, you can't argue that the transfer to DVD was done splendidly, which is really what the DVD reviews are after.

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   TonyD


    Executive Producer

  • 16,169 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 01 1999
  • Real Name:Tony D.
  • LocationDisney World and Universal Florida

Posted May 20 2004 - 05:44 AM

i just watched this and thought it was a riot.
and very touching too.

great film for the whole family to sit down an enjoy.

i dont like romano's tv show a little bit, but he was good here.
i think he may be better suited to these type of movies over that tv show.

in that clearing preview i thought redford and defoe looked eerily similar, like they could be brothers.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter


    Second Unit

  • 462 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 07 2001

Posted May 20 2004 - 05:45 AM

I would have to aggree, Tony. I like Ray Romano in things OTHER than his TV show.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Steve...O



  • 3,273 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 2003
  • Real Name:Steve

Posted May 20 2004 - 11:03 AM

Great review Adam! Thank you.

I'm not a fan of the Romano TV show, but I really enjoyed the movie when my wife and I saw it at the theater. I think one reason it did so poorly is that Romano quasi-trashed it non-stop for several weeks before it even opened. His performance may not have been the greatest, but his co-stars made up for it.

Marcia Gay Harden Posted Image Artie, er, Rip Torn Posted Image Posted Image

This isn't the best movie ever made, but I think most people will think it was worth watching. I agree with the previous poster who said this is the kind of movie that will do much better on home video (or even HBO) than it did at the theater.

Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy