HTF REVIEW: "Brewster's Millions" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, May 7, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Brewster's Millions

    Year: 1985
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 102 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16x9 enhanced (1.85:1)

    Coming off such renowned action hits as The
    Warriors, The Long Riders, Streets Of Fire and
    48 Hours, Director Walter Hill tried his
    hands at directing Brewster's Millions, a
    much simpler comedy with America's hottest comic
    talents, Richard Pryor and John Candy. What many
    may not know is that the film is actually a
    remake of a 1961 movie called Three on a Spree.
    Pryor really takes to the role of a relief pitcher
    for a minor-league baseball team who suddenly comes
    into a lot of money - and just as suddenly must spend
    it all. It's a condition of the will left by his
    practical-joker great-grandfather (Hume Cronyn) that
    Pryor must rid himself of $30 million in 30 days in
    order to get his full inheritance of $300 million.
    While none of Director Walter Hill's stylish
    touches are very evident, the movie does succeed
    at being a very fool-proof entertaining comedy
    although it lacks big laughs.
    How is the transfer?
    This film has never looked better on any format.
    Although the overall transfer has a slight dullness
    to it, picture remains clear and blemish free
    (except for the title sequence). What you won't
    help but notice is the vivid blue and orange colors
    of the team uniforms that practically leap off the
    screen. Distractive video noise virtually goes
    unnoticed. Overall, a very nice transfer for
    catalog product.
    The sound is 2.0 mono, and there's not much more
    you can say about the quality of mono sound except
    that it comes across quite clearly through the
    front channels.
    Special Features
    I wouldn't expect much extra material from this
    film, but Universal has added a few gratuitous
    extras nonetheless.
    The film's Original Theatrical Trailer
    is included as well as a nice Cast and
    Filmmaker filmography that not only gives
    their individual screen credits, but also a
    short history on the actors themselves -- something
    I don't normally see that often and find to be
    a nice added touch.
    The film's Production Notes tell how
    Brewster's Millions was reincarnated from
    a former stage play and movie, as well as how
    Walter Hill became involved with the project.
    Final Thoughts
    Though certainly not a milestone in either
    Richard Pryor or Walter Hill's career, nor a
    particularly uproarious comedy, some may wonder
    why I recommend Brewster's Millions. The
    reason is simple: It's a fun movie to watch
    thanks to the talents of Pryor and Candy. At
    a price of under $15 at most on-line retailers,
    this becomes an easy guilty pleasure.
    Release Date: May 21, 2002
  2. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

    Apr 26, 2000
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    Nice review, Ron. I've heard a lot of good things about this movie and I love John Candy's work. I'm not sure what the deal with this is, re-release or something, but I do hope to pick this one up at some point, sight unseen. [​IMG]
  3. cafink

    cafink Producer

    Apr 19, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Carl Fink
  4. Esten

    Esten Supporting Actor

    Nov 15, 2000
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    Is this anamorphic? I have the original non-anamorphic release.
  5. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 21, 2001
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    Is there any news on another Walter Hill film - "The Driver"?

    I love this film. Ryan O'Neal is sooooooo cool...

    -- J.
  6. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

    Nov 30, 1998
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    I'd also love to see "The Driver".
  7. James_Garner

    James_Garner Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 1, 2002
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    Real Name:
    James Garner
    If Universal used 2.0 mono on their "Brewster's Millions" DVD, then somebody needs to re-master the DVD. The movie was released in Dolby Stereo. Granted, it was never a surround showcase even by 1985 standards; but using the intended sound format is just as critical as using the original aspect ratio
  8. Jeremy Conrad

    Jeremy Conrad Supporting Actor

    Nov 27, 2000
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  9. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

    Feb 14, 2002
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    YES!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I caught "Brewster's Millions" on TV a week or so ago, and fell in love with it all over again (I first saw it some ten years ago). Not a classic, but a delightful film nonetheless. Pryor and Candy are excellent, and Hume Cronyn's brief appearance is hilarious. A 16x9 enhanced DVD of this movie gets a big [​IMG] [​IMG] from me [​IMG]
  10. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Jul 23, 2001
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    This is another one of those movies that I can't pull away from every time it comes on TV. As a result, I can see myself adding this to the 'ole DVD collection at some point.

    It is too bad it's 2.0 mono, but the fact that it's anamorphic makes up for it.

    Thanks for the review Ron!
  11. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

    May 13, 2001
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    Maybe it's like Woody Allen movies being released in Dolby Stereo.. Mono movies with sound coming from left and right. The sound decodes to the center channel exclusively.
  12. Bill Buklis

    Bill Buklis Supporting Actor

    Apr 9, 1999
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    Chicago, IL
    Real Name:
    Bill Buklis
    I always knew this movie was a remake, but I always thought it was a remake of Brewster's Millions. I never heard of Three on a Spree before. As has been mentioned it was first done in 1914. A quick look at IMDB and it lists:

    Brewster's Millions (1914)

    Brewster's Millions (1921)

    Miss Brewster's Millions (1926)

    Brewster's Millions (1935)

    Brewster's Millions (1945)

    Three on a Spree (1961)

    Brewster's Millions (1985)

    All except for Three on Spree, Miss Brewster's Millions, and 1935 version use the same main character of Montgomery Brewster.

    I had no idea this story was so old and so often repeated.

    In any case Richard Pryor's 1985 version (and the only one I've seen) is indeed quite hilarious. Excellent film.

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