DVD Review HTF REVIEW: We're No Angels

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    We're No Angels

    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1989

    Rated: PG-13

    Length: 106 minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

    Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Surround

    English Subtitles, Closed Captioned

    Special Features: None

    SRP: $14.99US

    Release Date: February 17, 2004

    We’re No Angels (1989) was penned by David Mamet, and was based on a play which was already made into a (superior) film in 1955. This, the remake, was directed by Neil Jordan and stars Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn.

    The original film version of this story, made in 1955, starred Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov - and was directed by Michael Curtiz.

    The story follows two dimwitted escaped convicts in 1935 as they hide out and pose as priests in a small town near the U.S. - Canadian border. Attempts to cross the border are thwarted by various means, and the pair find themselves having to continue their charade among the many monks and other religious figures at the local church who, somehow, can’t catch on that the two are not real men of the cloth.

    The film suffers from over-the-top performances by DeNiro and Penn, and the comedy is so low-key that it fails to provide significant laughs. The story is all too predictable to be truly enjoyable - though the film does offer some chuckles, and it is interesting to watch DeNiro and Penn together - even if their performances play like caricatures.

    The Video
    We’re No Angels is presented in anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1. Colors are muted and slightly cool, adding to the ambiance of a cold northern border town. The picture is adequately sharp, with very little grain. Contrast is good. Shadow detail is ever so slightly lacking in the darker scenes, but overall is good. Dust and scratches are not an issue. This is a good transfer of a catalog title.

    The Audio
    A Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is provided, though the source material never takes full advantage of it. Dialog is usually clear and intelligible, but I occasionally had trouble hearing DeNiro’s character when he was mumbling - which he seemed to do frequently. Music and sound effects utilize all five channels to some degree, but the mix is unaggressive. Only in the climax does any significant amount of LFE come into play. Given that the film is fifteen years old, and is not the type of film that usually takes great advantage of a 5.1 track, this soundtrack sounds as expected, and does not disappoint.

    Final Thoughts
    I would have preferred to see the original We’re No Angels released on DVD, since I feel it is a far superior film. Fans of this remake, though, should enjoy this fine transfer from Paramount. This disc is without extras.
  2. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Apr 15, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I am not a fan of this movie, and I just learned that this is a remake.

    Perhaps it is time to get the remake out there

  3. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

    Sep 14, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I've never seen this film in the proper aspect ratio and I'm looking forward to picking this one up for a great price too!
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
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    I'd much prefer that they'd released the original '55 version--one of my all-time favorite movies.
  5. David Prior

    David Prior Insider

    Sep 28, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I don't care what anyone says, this is a wonderful movie. Sadly underrated, but maybe it will find its audience someday.
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Mar 14, 2001
    Likes Received:

    I couldn't agree more that the original needs to be released ASAP. Why the hell this was released instead is baffling and depressing. [​IMG]
  7. I'm really excited to see another old favorite get released.

    Hope this doesn't fall into the same pattern as some other hard-to-find catalog releases (Cobb, Midnight Run, Bat21, and Dragonslayer).

    You *can* find these movies around, but they are only carried in some stores and are frequently out of stock.

    This also has the effect of making the used market that much smaller as well.

    Good movies (or fan-favorites) deserve a decent production run, even if they're older.
  8. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

    May 13, 2001
    Likes Received:
    From an Answer Man column of years ago.
    Just thought it was appropriate. [​IMG]

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