HTF REVIEW: "Seems Like Old Times" (with screenshots)

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

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    Seems Like Old Times

    I am a huge fan of Neil Simon movies. He is
    America's most prolific playwright. From
    THE SUNSHINE BOYS to THE GOODBYE GIRL to MURDER
    BY DEATH, I always find his films to have a
    very special warm, humorous quality to them.
    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, Seems Like Old Times is
    one of his weaker vehicles that sports a few
    laughs, thanks to the re teaming of Chevy Chase
    and Goldie Hawn, but mostly remains flatly
    entertaining.
    The movie begins as Nick Gardenia (Chevy Chase)
    is kidnapped from his ocean side home and forced
    to participate in a bank robbery. When his face
    gets caught on the bank's camera, he becomes the
    attention of District Attorney Ira Parks (Charles
    Grodin). D.A. Ira immediately recognizes the face
    as it just so happens to be the ex-husband of his
    wife, Glenda (Goldie Hawn).
    [​IMG]
    After being thrown out of a moving car, Nick
    limps to his ex-wife's home seeking her help.
    Glenda must find a way to keep Nick out of sight
    so that her District Attorney husband doesn't
    find him. This situation ultimately becomes
    the film's silly running storyline that runs out
    of laughs before it runs out of steam.
    How is the transfer?
    The transfer on this film reminds me a lot of
    Columbia's recent catalog entries, Used Cars
    and Nothing in Common. The transfer is a
    bit uneven, almost as if different elements were
    used to reconstruct the film.
    For instance, watching the Columbia Logo and
    the first opening moments of the film will make
    you think this film was never cleaned up. However,
    in most other areas, the transfer looks pretty good.
    The main problem with the transfer is that it
    does show a considerable amount of grain -- especially
    in the darker scenes in the guest room above the
    garage. Sometimes the picture also has a sort of
    fuzzy, unfocused look to it as well.
    Otherwise, many of the outdoor and well lit
    interior scenes look rather good. Goldie's long
    blonde hair and blue eyes never looked better.
    Overall, I think people will be satisfied with
    the way this film looks on DVD.
    The sound is mono, and sounds a bit "tinny"
    compared to other mono film soundtracks I
    have recently reviewed.
    Special Features
    There really aren't any extravagant Special
    Features on this disc, and for a movie like this,
    there shouldn't be.
    [​IMG]
    I still have to commend Columbia, however, for
    satisfying all fans by putting both WIDESCREEN
    (1.85:1) and FULL SCREEN versions of this
    film on the DVD. You can easily select the version
    you want to watch from a special menu that appears
    before the start of the film.
    In addition the the film's original theatrical
    trailer, there is a trailer for Cops and
    Robbersons
    Final Thoughts
    If you have the desire to watch something cute
    that your girlfriend can "ooh" and "aah" over,
    then Seems Like Old Times may very well
    be a nice date movie. Otherwise, it's not the
    best of Neil Simon's films.
    Still, this film is worth watching just for
    Goldie Hawn, whose performance stands out
    amongst all her co-stars.
    Rent it first.
    Release Date: March 19, 2002
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the scoop, Ron! I think I like this movie a bit more than you. Chalk it up to fond childhood memories of afternoons spent at the movies. [​IMG]
    I'd agree that Seems Like Old Times isn't among Neil Simon's best movies, but I'll certainly be picking this one up! Aside from the movie's final scene, I think it's a very solid "fun flick" featuring an adorable Goldie Hawn, Charles Grodin at his 'slow-burn' best and a witty Chevy Chase long before he was struck by a terminal case of 'obnoxious'.
    This one makes a perfect double feature with Foul Play!
     
  3. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    I wish the image quality were a bit better than you are reporting, but my wife will be very happy about this release regardless. Thanks, Ron.
     
  4. Gabe D

    Gabe D Cinematographer

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    I happen to think it's one of the best Neil Simon movies.
     
  5. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

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    Was this movie shot open matte?
    The menu screen shot makes it look like the black bars are covering up something. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I wish you enjoyed the film more Ron, since I am ecstatic about this release. One of my favorite comedies of all time.

    BTW, based on those screenshots and my memory of the pan 'n' scan VHS version, my guess would be that the movie was indeed shot open matte.

    "How does she look, Fred?"

    "Alright."
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    This is also one of my favorites. A must purchase.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  8. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    Fans of Neil Simon & Charles Grodin should check out the recent Anchor Bay re-release of The Heartbreak Kid. Finally out in widescreen, it is a vast improvement over the previous p&s mess.
    Neil Simon wrote the script, Elaine May directed, and Charles Grodin & Cybill Shepherd star. Great movie. Unfortunately, there's no special features, but you can buy this disc for around $10.
    For some reason this early February release got absolutely no attention.
     
  9. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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  10. Chip Nestor

    Chip Nestor Auditioning

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    I'd have to agree with Scott W. I have very fond memories of "Seems Like Old Times" - it was in theaters during Christmas vacation (junior year in HS). The Chevy Chase "under the bed" scene is a riot.

    We'll have to wait a while for that double feature with Foul Play (any idea if this is on Paramount's "radar" for future release?)

    FYI Scott, AMC will be showing Foul Play letterboxed in May (not sure of the exact date - they ran it last friday night too). It's a great transfer that blows away the old LD pressing that discovision assoc. did for Paramount in the early 80's.

    Thanks for the review btw Ron.

    Chip
     

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