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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    French, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

In Like Flint

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 110 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Mr Cucumber himself is back - and no, we’re not talking Derek Smalls of This is Spinal Tap... Rather it’s Derek Flint (James Coburn), one of the original ‘60s men of mystery. Making that other guy look like the double zero he really is, Flint is always in control and his heart never skips a beat - unless he wants it to, of course. He can talk to the dolphins in a way which would make Dr Doolittle pack it all in and take up gynaecology, and if the ashtrays in his private Lear Jet are full, then dammit if he doesn’t just get a new plane. To learn even more about this remarkably virile example of manhood you may wish to pop by our review of his first filmic foray, Our Man Flint.

This second chronicle of Flint’s exploits sees things not going too well for Lloyd Cramden (Lee J. Cobb), the head of U.S. government organisation Z.O.W.I.E. After “losing” three minutes during quite a gas of a round of golf with the President, he’s then caught in a compromising position which sees him suspended from duty. There’s only one man he can trust to help work out just what this campaign to discredit and humiliate him is all about – yep, you got it in one.

Ah, but there are even fouler things afoot, involving doppelganger Presidents (quote: “An actor, as President?!” (now, remember this dates back to 1967...)), the first manned – or should that be womaned? – science lab in orbit, some baaaad girls involved in fashion, cosmetics, publications and communications – all the essentials of life - and their Operation Duffer, and the brainwashing during hair washing of the world’s female population - never trust a health spa with a name as dodgy as Fabulous Face... Add to all this a little nuclear thing called Project Damocles, the infiltration of Z.O.W.I.E., more crosses than you’d find in a bakery at Easter time and horror of horrors, the disappearance of Flint’s harem (of three this time, you have to wean off these things gradually, don’t you know?) and you have one mightily confusing, but always fun, recipe for action, adventure, romance - erm, well there's some snogging and implied bonking at any rate, intrigue and laughable effects, with enough reverse-sexism to almost counterbalance the first film. Almost. Oh, plus there’s the all-important bevy of expendable henchmen, cryogenic chambers and the unforgettable sight of James Coburn performing ballet...

"Mr Flint, you’re really quite intelligent for a man..."

  Video
Contract

You’ve just got to love the henchmen of the world. They just go about their business with a minimum of fuss, never questioning anything, just diligently doing the worker bee thing to bring us such things as this lovely Cinemascope production in all its original 2.35:1 ratio goodness, complete with anamorphic enhancement for those it’s of use to. A big “yay!” to Fox’s DVD henchmen then.

Ah, but that’s not all these marvellous folk have provided us with, they’ve also gone to the trouble of finding a remarkably clean print, one in which the inevitable spicks and specks are essentially so fleeting and infinitesimal that it seems almost pointless even bringing them up. The same can be said for grain, with the few examples exhibited being on footage that was obviously ‘found’ to save effects bucks. Being set in the ‘60s, you can bet your lava lamp that there’s going to be plenty of groovy colour abounding - and you’d be right - it all pops up here for the most part bordering just the right side of over-saturation. As with the first film in the series (can you call a grand total of two films a series?), that strange old slight colour change on scene crossfades is in evidence, although after a while it is scarcely noticeable – and never of great annoyance.

“Ah, yes – but what about clarity?” I hear somebody ask (hang on, nobody else is supposed to be around – uh-oh... JUDO CHOP! There, all sorted...). Hmmm, seeing as we’re on the subject, it’s pretty good – shadow detail giving things its all and possibly a bit more than you would usually expect from a mid-‘60s film, and while generally things are a little teensy bit soft, it’s hardly an issue – and does work well in countering any outbreaks of aliasing, of which none were obvious. All in all, great stuff from an almost two-hour film on a single-layered disc. Jolly good show, folks!

  Audio
Contract

Curiously the audio seems to have been encoded in Dolby Digital 5.0 – which really was a complete and utter waste of time as everything is quite decidedly in living mono. Those with natty little Prologic encoder thingies which pretend to give surround action really won’t fare much better, either. Still, all dialogue is nicely balanced against the occasionally screechy soundtrack (once again courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith, and once again suitably swingeresque, over-dramatic and/or schmaltzy depending upon what is required at any given time) so it is never difficult to understand. Oh, and it’s all synched nicely, too. Hey, this time we even get a pop song included, the fabulously titled Your Zowie Face, which is yet another in a long line of Flint-ish bits and bobs that one Michael Myers found rather useful when bringing us that delightfully hairy little man Austin Powers...

  Extras
Contract

Oh, what a drag – another motionless menu that makes even less sound than Holly Valance “singing” at the ARIAs...

All we’re offered in the way of extras is a single, solitary, one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do theatrical trailer, which manages to sum up all the fun of the film quite well in a somewhat measly 56 seconds. It’s in a ratio of around 1.85:1, it’s non-anamorphic and it’s riddled with visual nasties.

  Overall  
Contract

Rather obviously spoofing what already had its own generous helpings of self-deprecation in the 007 series, so much so that I don't really know why I bothered even bringing it up, In Like Flint isn’t quite as gripping or well-structured as Our Man Flint, but it’s still a damned sight more fun than the majority of cinematic pus that masquerades as action/comedy nowadays. The DVD gives great vision, and even though the sound’s a bit stuffy and the extras are singular, it’s just so fabulous baby that it makes you forget about such square establishmentarian drags. Yeah!

Hmm, or maybe that was the cigarette?


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      And I quote...
    "Mr Cucumber himself is back - and no, we’re not talking Derek Smalls of This is Spinal Tap..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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