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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 44:33)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary - Sandra Bullock and Screenwriter Marc Lawrence; Director Donald Petrie
  • 2 Featurette - Preparing For The Pagent; The Pagent
  • Filmographies

Miss Congeniality

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 110 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Is Sandra Bullock able to redeem herself after a large list of comedic flops? Well she gives it a damn good shot and succeeds with a really entertaining result. After the bad responses to 28 Days and Hope Floats, Miss Congeniality lightens the tone of Bullock’s more recent movies and really hits the funny bone. Bullock is just stunning as Gracie Hart, as she has the class, beauty and behaviour to be the perfect slob-come-beauty queen. Bullock’s facials and body language adds another layer of humour above Lawrence’s already funny script, and she may be the female version of Jim Carrey, who is known for some very bizarre facial expressions.

Lawrence’s script is simply hilarious, filled with many one-liners and a very clever wit, and brings out the best in Bullock. This would easily be her best comedy since the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping. The wit is very light-hearted, clean and contains very little swearing which is rare nowadays for an American film.

"Happy, you doughnut nazi?"

The FBI has recently gotten word of a terrorist who is planning to bomb the Miss United States pageant. With only one female agent who is under 35 and not away on Maternity leave, Agent Hart (Bullock) must go undercover in the pageant. With the guidance of Victor Melling (a simply hilarious Michael Caine) who is a retired beauty pageant guru, he must perform the impossible task of transforming the masculine Hart into a beautiful pageant entrant. The new Gracie Lou Freebush (i.e. Gracie Hart) is now undercover and must find the terrorist before the finale of the pageant when the bomb is set to explode.

  Video
Contract

After pushing the Play Movie button on the main menu, you are treated to a richly coloured Dolby Digital Canyon logo presented in…yep, you guessed it - Dolby Digital 5.1 in a widescreen aspect of 1.85:1.

The video is simply a thrill to watch with absolutely no film grain and no MPEG or film artefacts. The colours are very rich and vibrant and have been fantastically reproduced on this DVD. The skin tones are very realistic and natural, and accompany the delightful colours already presented on the transfer.

The only fault with the video track would be the layer change, and it isn’t much to complain over either. It occurs at 44:33 and is right in the change of camera angles which makes it a very neat change. However it does occur in a fairly busy scene where the camera angles need to change quickly, but the layer change does leave a pause which is noticeable.

  Audio
Contract

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is slightly disappointing, but still is of a very high standard. The dialogue is clear and audible throughout the entire feature and comes primarily from the centre speaker. The Front Left, Front Right and Rear two speakers are only for effects, and saying that, with barely any action throughout the film. The subwoofer barely gets a workout after the intensity of the Canyon trailer and is used as support for the music. Speaking of the music, this movie boasts an excellent soundtrack with a really up-beat and energetic collection of songs including numbers by Tom Jones (mixed by techno legend BT) and Groove Armada.

After the first half of the movie, the rear channels are barely heard, and only heard when a plane flies by or a car speed past. If you get close enough to the speakers you can just hear a small amount of ambience, but barely audible. The crowd noises and ambience could have been louder in the rear channels as it was a real strain to hear any sounds from these channels. However quiet the surround sound stage is, the audio track is still of a high standard with a great all-round fidelity.

  Extras
Contract

Audio Commentary with Sandra Bullock and Screenwriter Marc Lawrence: This commentary is really entertaining, light and funny to listen to, with the pair sharing many funny stories that happened on set.

Audio Commentary with Director Donald Petrie: He just never shuts up! But the information that he shares throughout the feature offers a great insight into the making of the film, and while not as entertaining as the first, is still watchable and interesting.

Preparing The Pageant Behind The Scenes documentary: This offers a 9-minute look at the making of the film, showing bloopers and blunders, deleted scenes and cast interviews. It is presented in a fullscreen presentation with Dolby 2.0 Stereo. At the end of the documentary is a full Deleted Scene (“The Dancing Scene”) which is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The deleted scene is of a high resolution, unlike Scream 3, but has many large film artefacts.

The Pageant Behind The Scenes documentary: This second documentary offers a 12-minute insight into the climax of the movie. This documentary is presented in the same format as the previous one, and features many more bloopers which are just hilarious. At the end of the documentary are two more deleted scenes (“The Wedding Scene” and “The De-Throning Of Miss New Jersey Scene”) which are both presented in the widescreen aspect of 1.85:1 but have very large amounts of film artefacts. But note that the two documentaries do give away the ending of the movie.

Trailer: Just the Australian theatrical trailer, which is presented in a widescreen aspect of 1.85:1 and in Dolby Pro Logic, and runs for 2:22.

Cast and Crew: These offer filmographies only, not biographies, which is disappointing but still interesting none-the-less.

All of the menus are static, and fullscreen. On the main menu, there is a jazzy piece of music in stereo. There are no transitions between the pages, and they look very simple, but they are very effective and easy to move around.

  Overall  
Contract

Village Roadshow’s Miss Congeniality shines brightly with a near-perfect video transfer, a very high quality audio track and an interesting bundle of extra features. If you are a Sandra Bullock fan you probably have already pre-ordered this title. If you are not a Sandra fan, rent this title anyway, as it will provide you with a good night’s entertainment and plenty of laughs. But saying that, make sure you go into it thinking of how unfunny American comedies have become and you will be pleasantly surprised.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=769
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      And I quote...
    "Village Roadshow’s Miss Congeniality shines brightly "
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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