HTF REVIEW: "Monkey Trouble" (HTF KIDS CHOICE PICK) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Monkey Trouble

    Studio: New Line Cinema
    Year: 1994
    Rated: G
    Film Length: 96 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    and Full Frame (1.33:1)

    Eva's new friend has big eyes, hairy feet,
    and very sticky fingers.

    Last week New Line sent me a handful of family
    movie screeners whose titles could easily be
    ignored by adult audiences. Amongst the Teenage
    Mutant Turtle and Hulk Hogan titles was a curious
    little film called Monkey Trouble that
    starred amongst its small cast, Harvey Keitel.
    Monkey Trouble is about Dodger, a Capuchin
    monkey who belongs to a petty criminal, Shorty
    (Harvey Keitel). Dodger has been trained to steal
    money, jewels, and everything else imaginable.
    The monkey gets noticed by two mobsters who propose
    a deal to Shorty to use his monkey for some more
    elaborate crimes -- but before all this goes down,
    Dodger has run away.
    Enter little Eva Boylan (Thora Birch) who longs for
    a pet she can call her own. But her mother,
    preoccupied with caring for a toddler, thinks Eva's
    too young to take full responsibility for an animal.
    One day, while walking along the boardwalk, runaway
    Dodger leaps into the Eva's arms. The two become
    inseparable as Eva hides Dodger in her room, lying
    to her parents who have forbidden her to keep any
    pets in the home as of her step-father is allergic
    to animals.
    When Shorty finds his pick-pocketing monkey in
    the arms of another owner, he devises a scheme
    to steal his monkey back from the arms of the
    little girl. In the process of escaping from
    Shorty, Eva and Dodger both learn that crime
    and lying do not pay.
    This is absolutely an adorable movie starring
    one an amazing little monkey (actually played
    by four separate monkeys) who steals scene after
    scene away from his human co-stars.
    How is the transfer?
    Picture quality is close to perfect. The print
    is in pristine quality with no blemishes. There
    is absolutely no film grain present. Colors are
    the real treat here, taking on a fluorescent look
    at high-intensity levels without ever becoming
    oversaturated. The only problem I had was that
    the picture sometimes looked too soft with a few
    shots looking slightly unfocused at times. Otherwise,
    this is a highly acceptable transfer.
    The 5.1 digital surround mix is average. The film's
    score comes across the front channels extremely
    strong with nice full base that featured strong LFE
    response. A rap song in the middle of the film had
    my subwoofer thumping away. The rears do an adequate
    job of supplying a few effect sounds such as street
    traffic or a crowd at the boardwalk.
    Special Features
    While I do have to applaud New Line Cinema for
    releasing this film WIDESCREEN and FULLSCREEN on
    one DVD, I am a little upset that the menu that
    allows you to pick what version you wish to watch
    places the FULL SCREEN version as the top choice.
    Kids who don't know any better will naturally
    select this option first. In the future, it is my
    hope that NEW LINE promotes WIDESCREEN as the first
    choice on any of their menus.
    In addition to the film's original theatrical
    trailer, there is a little game called Pick
    That Flick. More of a promotional tool for New
    Line than anything else, this game enables kids
    to study a picture still from a film and then select
    the corresponding film title from a list on the right.
    Silly me got my first three answers wrong.
    Final Thoughts
    This is a really cool film that sort of brought
    out the kid in me. It was kind of neat seeing
    Harvey Keitel in a different kind of role where
    he wasn't muttering the "F" word every minute.
    Of course, it was fun watching Dodger the monkey
    steal the entire length of the film.
    This is the sort of movie that will entertain
    kids and parents alike. There's no objectionable
    material despite its PG rating.
    For family night at home, I couldn't recommend
    a better film.
    Release Date: September 3, 2002[/b]
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

    Dec 1, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    i barely remember this movie, but i'm surprised no one has commented on it yet.
  3. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

    Jun 6, 2002
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    I DO remember this movie, but I remember hating it even as a kid. I don't know just watching that child actor for an hour and a half doesn't sound like a way to spend an afternoon (she's pretty awful).
  4. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    "I don't know just watching that child actor for an hour and a half doesn't sound like a way to spend an afternoon (she's pretty awful)."
    Yeah, but she's a pretty good actress now, and she's kinda cute. Oh, what's her name, it's on the tip of my tongue...... [​IMG]
  5. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

    Mar 9, 2001
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    Just curious...was this released in an Amaray case, or the tradional snapper? I've noticed that New Line has started to release titles in Amarays (All About The Benjamins, Jason X, Jason Goes To Hell). I believe they only used Amarays in the past for a few children's titles (Little Vampires). Hopefully this is a new policy, and would leave Warner as the only studio still using the dreaded snappers.
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
    Likes Received:
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    That's a question I can't answer as New Line
    sends out test discs for review.

    These are discs fresh from the replication plant
    that come in a jewel case instead of the final
  7. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

    Feb 6, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Aaron Reynolds
  8. KimK

    KimK Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 9, 2001
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    It's Thora Birch!!
  9. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

    Apr 24, 1999
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    I was gonna ask if she gets naked in this (since she did in American Beauty), but that'd probably be in bad taste, so I won't [​IMG]
  10. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

    May 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Ever since I was a kid my brothers and I have held this kid flick in high regard. It is indeed adorable and I am glad to hear the DVD is well done. This is one of the few family films I can still watch today without being bored, I definitely recommend it. Seeing Keitel playing a moronic villain just adds to the fun!

    "No I didn't lost him!"
  11. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

    Jun 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I remember enjoying this film when I was little. I'm glad to see that New Line is putting some effort into making it a worthwhile disc.

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