Studio: Warner Brothers
Film Length: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
Lights. Camera. Aggravation.
I feel my function as a reviewer for this forum
should be more than just telling you how good or
bad an upcoming DVD looks. Let's face it -- most
all new "A" titles generally look exceptional and
it's getting harder to find fancy words to describe
just how good a DVD looks. Since this is the case,
I think it is even more important to help you
watch your wallet, either steering you towards or
away from a movie you may not have yet seen but
were considering to purchase or rent.
Now that I have truly found the light and know
what my quest as a reviewer should be, may I try
to do everything I can in this review to steer you
away from this dog of a film called Showtime.
Director Tom Dey - who partnered Jackie Chan and Owen
Wilson in Shanghai Noon - brings us this so-called
comedy that stars Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy,
two of the screen's hottest stars who never seem to
ignite any spark or chemistry thanks to the film's
De Niro plays Mitch Preston, an L.A. police detective
with a gruff, no-nonsense demeanor. As film opens,
Mitch is about to bust an undercover drug until it
gets spoiled by an overanxious uniformed cop named
Trey Sellars (Murphy), who is aspiring to be an actor.
Mitch's furious reaction to the situation lands him
in some hot water with the media and his boss.
TV producer Chase Renzi(Rene Russo) wants to create
a reality series in which a camera crew follows
Mitch around and catches him being surly and angry.
Thanks to some particularly volatile behavior from
Mitch, he either has to agree to be filmed or else get sued.
He unwillingly agrees to do the reality series.
Because Mitch is such a gruff character, Chase
Renzi must team him up with someone that is more
charming and likeable. That person is Trey sellers.
This is his dream come true -- never mind the fact
that Mitch can't stand the sight of him. With some
coaching by veteran star William Shatner (himself),
Mitch and Trey are poised to become the stars of
the biggest hit reality show in television history.
It's sad to see that Robert DeNiro, one of the
greatest actors of our time, keeps selling himself
out to films like this. I think it would be
painfully obvious by now that DeNiro is not a good
comedy actor, and without a funny script like this,
Eddie Murphy isn't funny, either.
How is the transfer?
Like all recent Warner Brothers releases, this
transfer is excellent. Picture is very smooth and
film-like with sharp detail and absolutely no grain.
Flesh tones run a little red. Colors look quite
good -- especially the beautiful neon colors of
Mitch's redecorated apartment. All in all, this
transfer holds up quite well.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital surround track is quite
aggressive and well balanced with the rears
providing support for helicopter flyovers and a
high-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles.
I found the sound to be very "bass-heavy", providing
a lot of low level support for its hip-hop soundtrack
that also features some great oldies by Ray Charles
and James Brown. What is most impressive about the
sound here is the LFE channel that adds an incredible
amount of punch to the gunfire -- and wait till you
see this gun! Overall, a highly explosive and
satisfying audio mix with lots of subwoofer rumble.
First up is a Full-length running commentary
by Director Tom Dey and Producer Jorge Saralegui.
The two do a very lively job of keeping the commentary
interesting by giving us interesting tidbits about
each scene. During the film's initial crime bust,
Tom and Jorge talk about the police technical advisor
they had on this film who told them many stories of
how the press and news copters in LA scan the police
bands and often get in the way. There was a
purposeful need to get away from the cliche' cop
films that get shot in LA by shooting scenes in
different locales that don't normally get shown in
films. The two jokingly talk about how they dressed
up the apartments of both Eddie Murphy and Robert
DeNiro, trying to capture the true essence of both
men. It's kind of cool to watch a piece of film
while listening to the two filmmakers talk about the
different ideas they initially had for a scene and
why they chose to go another route.
There are approximately 13 minutes of Additional
Scenes. These scenes include:
* Mitch visiting his old partner in the hospital.
His partner urges him not to get hooked up with a
knucklehead partner. Of course, we know what follows...
* Eddie Murphy at home receiving a phone call
telling him that he won the audition and got the part.
* An extended sequence of the Showtime party.
* A bunch of closed-curtain improvs by Eddie Murphy.
None of this added material is particularly funny,
and it adds nothing to the film. The material is
in finished widescreen form. You can opt to play
these scenes with or without commentary by the
Director and the Producer.
William Shatner gets into his TV cop persona, hamming
it up for laughs in The Making Of Showtime.
This cop with moisturized skin introduces us to the
film's leading actors and then hands it all over to
Director Tom Dey who gives us the background story
of the film. DeNiro, Murphy and Russo are all
featured here giving us insight into their characters.
We get some quick glimpses of the on-location shots
including the North Hollywood shootout. Eddie Murphy
jokes about how his age has affected the way he takes
home the sores of doing heavy action work. Lawyer
Johnny Cochran evens adds his point-of-view of video
being used in crime situations.
(length: approx. 14 minutes)
There is a nice detailed cast and crew
filmography that you can actually click on every
single name and get background information. As
many of you know this feature has been limited with
with some recent Warner releases.
The film's original theatrical trailer is
Rounding out the extras is DVD-ROM content
that takes you to a Warner website that contains
It's a shame to see such a well-rounded cast of
high profile actors come apart at the seams in a
movie as bad as this one. For just over 90 minutes,
you basically sit and watch DeNiro doing his best
Walter Matthau impersonation as Eddie Murphy strains
to get a single laugh. I was poker-faced throughout
the entire film which ended with a blooper reel
during its final credits. Funny...the entire film
seemed like one big blooper reel.
Rent this first.
Release Date: August 13, 2002