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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English, French, Spanish, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish

    Mr. Magoo

    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 84 mins . PG . PAL


    Once upon a time, in a magical kingdom with big, round, black ears somewhere on the U.S. west coast, lived a bunch of under-capable people with overpaid jobs. The only justification for their existences was to come up with ideas for movies, a task which they took to with very little alacrity; their complete inability to engage in any semblance of original thought only leading to a bevy of things appearing in cinemas known as ‘remakes’. After all, why should they expend what few valuable brain cells they possessed firing their imaginations up when somebody had done all the hard work for them already many years before? And for a while it worked, regurgitating old stories and old cartoon series’ (but with the utterly gobsmackingly original twist of making the characters real!) and kerchinging enough at the hallowed box office to keep them lavishing in those cushy lives they had unjustifiably become accustomed to.

    But the well was running ever drier, until one day, in a fit of desperation, the suggestion to make a movie-length, live action version of a short-lived early ‘60s cartoon about a myopic octogenarian entitled Mr. Magoo came up, and was given the green light. Funny fuddy-duddy Leslie Nielsen was signed up (despite bearing no resemblance to the short-sighted lead character other than a vague older human-like countenance), a quite renowned Hong Kong action director was brought in, a script was scribbled out on the back of a fag packet and Mr. Magoo, the Disney-fied take, was born. Unfortunately.

    Promoted under the mistaken belief that it is a comedy, Mr. Magoo has one main problem over its many subsidiary ones; it just isn’t funny. Well, unless you count the cloying, ridiculous stab at political correctness that comes up at the end, which runs along the lines of “Blindness or poor eyesight does not imply an impairment of one’s ability… blahblahblah”. This is hilarious. It is also the only thing in the entire film which elicited a giggle.

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    Uh-oh, she's pointy! She may have an eye out... Still, it wouldn't make much difference...

    Starting all original cartoon-like and morphing into ‘reality’, it’s all a simple tale whereby ageing canned vegetable king Quincy Magoo is mistaken for a jewel thief and subsequently has two bickering agents on his case (one FBI, one CIA – now there’s tension for you), along with a gaggle of baddies of the feminine and masculine varieties. Magoo’s nephew, Waldo, helps fight for his Uncle’s innocence, as the old coot bumbles and fumbles about through a selection of what could loosely be called sight gags (in more ways than one), while numerous double-crosses, cases of mistaken identity and pratfalls misfire all around. Yep, that’s about it.

    "Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again."

    If your IQ is lower than that of an eggplant you may enjoy what’s on offer from Mr. Magoo, however anybody else suffering through this morass of bad scripting, bad acting, bad casting and abject not-funnyness will quickly realise they’re staring at a piece of complete and utter plop.


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    Aubergine, you've done it... erm, ageen...
    Staying in its native cinematic ratio of 1.85:1, Mr. Magoo brings forth a reasonable transfer, if in fact you can call a non-anamorphic transfer reasonable in this day and age. There are some odd fleeting outbreaks of crud on the film (kind of crud on crud – crud!), which at times are quite whopperous so you’d really have to be blind to miss them, bringing down what is otherwise a brightly coloured, reasonably natty print with little else to bother save for some spots of shimmer here and there. In all, this is proof that you actually can polish a turd, at least a little, tiny, teensy-weensy bit. But even turds look better with 16:9 enhancement…


    The English audio comes in Dolby Digital 5.1 format, and again somewhat disproves the old adage about making faeces all bright and shiny. Those who like booms, bangs and grumbles from their subwoofwoofs will dig certain parts of the film, most notably a Brazilian waterfall which gives good rumbly bass. Surround use is nothing to write home about; however separation across the front sound stage thingy is reasonably inventive at times. The crappy dialogue comes through clear as a bell, as does the ever-so-predictable inclusion of the song I Can See Clearly and the twitters ‘n’ strings score-by-numbers concocted by Michael Tavera.


    Mercy sakes alive, there’s not a sausage. There is an omnipresent being!


    Reminiscent in many ways of past popular yet under-baked Disney fare, but waggling its arms about half-heartedly only a few times before going for the big glub-glub, Mr. Magoo is impossible to recommend as it’s hard to imagine any modern kid sitting still for five minutes of it before taking a Nerf Uzi to the screen - or perhaps nowadays a real one. As for adults, sure it’s a budget-ish release, but retaining one’s dignity is worth a hell of a lot more than saving the odd slice of orange currency…

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3431
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      And I quote...
    "If your IQ is lower than that of an eggplant you may enjoy what’s on offer here... "
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-466-K
    • 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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