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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Married to the Mob

MGM/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 100 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Jonathan Demme is an interesting director, willing to helm dark subject matter like Silence of the Lambs, formulaic pap such as Philadelphia and even Talking Head's classic concert movie, Stop Making Sense. This film represents yet another genre for Demme to put on his resume, the farce.

Angela de Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the unhappy wife of a mobster. Disgusted with her lifestyle, she asks for a divorce but finds the marriage ends even more suddenly then she could have expected when he is suddenly murdered! Oh no! Oh... yes!

Angela is still in the dark, but the audience is fully aware of the situation at hand. The murderer is a family friend, Tony 'The Tiger' Russo (Dean Stockwell), and not only does he have some decidedly dodgy dealings going on with some stolen merchandise, but also has plans to move in on Angela!

After suffering an unwelcome pash from Russo, Angela flees to the city to start a new life with her young son but is pursued by the FBI, who believe she organised the death of her husband; Russo, who still wants a piece of her action, and Russo's insanely jealous wife (Mercedes Ruehl), who wants her husband back!

The tone of the film is set early when an assassination in a train tunnel is immediately followed by New Order's classic, yet incongruous Brilliant Love Triangle. For me, the film works well up until the halfway point, when the FBI agent assigned to stake out Angela's apartment (Matthew Modine) falls for her, and then it all starts going wrong.

As far as I'm concerned, the farce is a genre best left to the French, who have a dry enough sense of humour to make it work. In this film, the plot quickly became ridiculous and I was left feeling very ambivalent about the characters. C'mon, you know nobody's going to get killed! It's a farce! And can you really take a film seriously with hairstyles this bad??

Ah, the eighties.

  Video
Contract

The dated-looking anamorphically-enhanced 1.85:1 transfer is quite typical of films from this era. The cinematography is functional, but never goes out of it's way to excite or move you, which is disappointing.

Generally the picture is just a little soft, with mildly unnatural colour and average shadow detail. One revealing scene quite early in the piece has extremely saturated reds, which would bleed horribly with analog video yet there is no problem at all on this disc. There are few film artefacts and I noticed no MPEG artefacting.

Reasonable, but never stunning, is how I'd sum up the picture. Considering the vintage and the stock used, I'd suggest you won't get much better, but I've seen an awful lot better too.

  Audio
Contract

A very underwhelming soundtrack from a film that could have used far more inventive sound design without sounding gimmicky.

The soundtrack is presented in matrixed Dolby Surround, but is generally mono focused. The surrounds are barely noticeable with virtually no aggressive steering of effects, even during gun battles. Very disappointing!

There is also a lack of dynamics to the sound - everything pretty much comes out at the same level and opportunities to kick the film into a higher gear with creative use of volume have been missed. Even the music tracks do little to add any bloom to the audio. Boogie Nights this ain't!

Though the track is far from demo quality, it is free from objectionable qualities like hissing, humming or distortion, but then, we'd expect that of a fairly recent major movie.

  Extras
Contract

What Columbia call facts and filmographies, I call information I could have easily looked up on the Internet Movie Database. Next!

  Overall  
Contract

A fairly forgettable piece which possibly tried to achieve something that simply wouldn't work in a Hollywood film. With limited re-watchability, no extras and nothing to recommend the disc technically, I'd have to suggest renting this before buying, especially if you haven't seen it for many years.

Memory is selective!


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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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