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    Ace Ventura - Pet Detective

    Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . M15+ . NTSC

      Feature
    Contract

    The vehicle that propelled Jim Carrey from bit parts and television to serious box office drawcard, Ace Ventura Pet Detective probably doesnít require much in the way of explanation. Just in case though, here goesÖ

    Ace is a, or perhaps the, pet detective. Eking his living (theoretically at least) from tracking down missing and stolen animals, he has a way with Hawaiian shirts and white singlets, and a rather phenomenal pomp. The case of his life comes up when weeks before Superbowl, the mascot of the Miami Dolphins, Snowflake, goes missing. Explaining what this mascot is surely isnít necessary? Suffice to say that it isnít a chicken. Anyway, football players are apparently quite superstitious, and as their last Superbowl appearance saw them lose from a botched field goal, the Dolphins' management are rather keen to find the whereabouts of their mascot - oh, and their star Dan Marino who has also vanished.

    "You really love animals, donít you?"
    "If it gets cold enough..."

    Using his police connections (including Emilio, played by the fab gravel voiced rapper Tone Loc), a greenie nerd friend named Woodstock and his own wit and cunning, Ventura succeeds in making progress with the case where perhaps those who should actually donít. Then again people such as the ballsy Lieutenant Lois Einhorn (Sean Young) may have their reasons for thisÖ

    There are laughs, blahblahblah, a love interest (Courtney Cox), blahblahblah, education (discover the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin!) blahblahblah, but mostly many, many opportunities for Carrey to display his manic grin, extreme gurning abilities, way with throwing himself around the screen like some sort of demonically possessed rag doll and ability to drop silly one liners, most all of which have gone into the everyday vernacular of many. Blahhblahblah. In fact, Carrey deserves any accolades to be given for making this a passable piece of puerile plop, for he carries a fairly flimsy storyline simply with his charm and amazing physical and vocal abilities alone.

    A particularly silly film, this definitely belongs in the same trough as the work of the Farrelly brothers (the fact that Carrey worked on a couple of their films later in his career being no surprise at all). It has that same knack of being oft times genuinely funny, presenting some inspired silliness, is occasionally almost sweet, and then blows the lot totally by crossing the line completely into becoming an utterly offensive display of ignorance and intolerance. Still, this is just what most of the audience out there would lap up, one suspects.

      Video
    Contract

    Alrighty then, where to start? Unlike the region 2 anamorphic 1.85:1 version of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, this is just a 1.33:1 pan and scanned release, which will only work if your television supports NTSC playback. Pretty darned pathetic for a specific region 4 release, no?

    Things arenít much better elsewhere, either. The vision is poor to say the least, with a grainy haze throughout, occasional flecks and scratches (but when they hit you'd better duck) and some incredibly noticeable edge enhancement. Colour at least is OK, although shadow detail finds itself affected by the general murkiness on display. Being single sided there is no layer change, even though the following appears on the packaging, "Single layer format. Layer transition may trigger a slight pause". Arses and elbows anybody?

      Audio
    Contract

    A fairly standard Dolby Surround mix is included here, and really there's not particularly much to get excited about. It does its job reasonably well enough, with clear dialogue at all times and no particular glitches or problems with audio synch. Needless to say surround activity is minimal at best.

    The score is provided by Ira Newborn, who fans of '80s John Hughes flicks will no doubt be familiar with. As is his style it's quite the saxy and boppy affair, and suits the film quite well. Added to this is a diverse selection of songs ranging from Aerosmith, frightening/comical (delete as applicable) death metal guttural growlers Cannibal Corpse, Robert John's fun The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Boy George's The Crying Game and a track recorded by Tone Loc especially for the film, one of his fab rock/rap backing tracks with samples from the film sticky-taped on top.

      Extras
    Contract

    My rather weathered dictionary carries the following definitionÖ

    extra - Additional, more than is usual or necessary

    This was obviously the view of Warner, as there are absolutely no extra features here whatsoever - not even the director's commentary that the region 1 version was released with. If you wish to get technical there is an extra minute of footage included in the main feature, involving Ace masquerading as a dolphin trainer, although this is hardly anything worth getting particularly excited about.

      Overall  
    Contract

    Holy shit balls, this disc is bad. Pedestrian vision in the incorrect ratio, nothing but serviceable sound (other regions have been graced with 5.1), not a single extra in sight - and to top it off a movie that whilst admittedly having some fun moments, generally really should only appeal to those little boys who think the Farrelly brothers are the apex of comedic brilliance and are purveyors of all that is tasteful.

    Unless for some reason you simply canít live without owning Ace Ventura Pet Detective on DVD, donít bother with this. It looks like once again region 4 are the loooooo-oo-oo-sers...


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=975
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      And I quote...
    "It looks like once again region 4 are the loooooo-oo-oo-sers..."
    - 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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