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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish

    V.I. Warshawski

    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 85 mins . M15+ . PAL


    This slow-burning 1991 comedy sees Kathleen Turner, just minutes from career evaporation, playing tough, ball-busting private investigator V. I. Warshawski. While doing everything she can to revive the script, it expires on the dock with a bullet in its neck and nothing can bring it back.

    Replete with every sexual innuendo you’ve ever heard, plus some barely amusing new ones, this film falls pretty flat as its simple, formulaic plot runs its predictable course. Turner does her best with some pretty crap dialogue, but even her lines occasional clang like a face hitting a bell. While professional Turner is of course the focus of the film, a bunch of limp supporting roles are poorly directed in how to best deliver a line, and this means the film’s story sputters and stalls constantly. Some of the action, too, appears a little taped-on and lends the overall film a sort of stageplay-exaggerated feeling I doubt is intentional. However, it isn’t all bad. Angela Goethals as the 13 year-old daughter of a client is pretty good and the obvious chemistry between she and Turner does maintain interest, if only slightly.

    Let’s see here... By chance, jaded private eye V.I.Warshawski meets a hunky man in a bar who introduces her to his 13 year-old daughter before he is murdered. Learning the business he was in with his two surviving siblings and ex-wife is in deep doo-doo, V.I. is hired to find out what the heck is going on. She is soon ensconced in a predictable tale of greed and corruption on the Chicago waterfront that ends in an entirely predictable style.

    Lines like...

    "Thanks... for the use of your hose."

    ...litter the landscape, as V. I. wards off constant lewd remarks and politically incorrect jargon. In trying to be a voice for the equality of women, however, she’s just as bad as the men with her gumshoe lip and sailor’s mouth. Her unusual profession here could have been a much stronger vehicle for the ‘equality of women’ message, but instead the film disappoints as many opportunities go begging.


    Being distributed by Buena Vista we are naturally granted as good a transfer as they can deliver (which is usually pretty great). Here, they have produced yet another quality film-to-DVD crossover that looks pretty good for its 12 years in the can.

    Film artefacts are prevalent, though there is nothing too major; just lots of little ones - blacks and whites. There are one or two instances of vertical scratches about and a quarter-screen grainy spray at 30:50, which struck me as unusual. However, the overall colours are good with blacks natural, shadow detail okay and the flesh tones satisfactorily realistic.


    Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is given us here in three languages, although it doesn’t do a great deal. Surrounds are mostly limited to music, although there is a nice subtle thunderstorm going on after a fight V.I. just had which had me almost checking outside (it was supposed to rain the day I watched this).

    Other than that, the dialogue, as noted, clangs a bit but all sounds perceptible and the sound effects seem well synched and such. Music is annoyingly 1987-'91 with plenty of soulful street-smart saxophone that dates the picture immeasurably. However, Turner is most always dressed well in classic outfits so we don’t suffer 1991 all that much visually. A nice sound package here, but a wholly unnecessary one. Stereo would have easily captured it.




    What starts out jerky finally smoothes out a little, but by then the film is nearly over and you’re looking at your watch. Fans of Ms. Turner will no doubt admire her spunk here as she bravely fights off a murky script, mundane storyline and predictable finalé though. No extras do nothing to help Warshawski’s cause, although I’m not sure what extras could make this film and DVD anything other than ordinary.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3434
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      And I quote...
    "An extraordinary idea is treated like ordinary fare in this miserably average film."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • Receiver:
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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