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20th Century Fox presents
Two Ninas (2001)

"Is it possible that I am not the genius that I think I am?"
- Marty (Ron Livingston)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: September 14, 2001

Stars: Amanda Peet, Cara Buono, Bray Poor, Ron Livingston
Other Stars: Linda Larkin
Director: Neil Turitz

Manufacturer: Technicolor
MPAA Rating: R for language
Run Time: 01h:28m:48s
Release Date: July 31, 2001
UPC: 806469156520
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- C+B-B C+

DVD Review

Of all the difficulties I have encountered through any of my numerous breakups, having too many women has never been the problem. I often find myself lucky enough to have just one, so two would be so much that my mind would explode, much like in the film Scanners. Marty Sachs (Livingston) although does have that problem in the comedy Two Ninas, and as any man can attest, two women in your life at the same time is often one too many.

To say that Marty is in the midst of a dry spell is a serious understatement. It has been more than a year since his last relationship, his job is horrible, and his family wishes for him to return to Maine to take over the family business. On the flip side his friend Dave (Poor) seems to be living a charmed life as he hops from one bed to another while enjoying a nice job as a lawyer at an upscale New York firm. As Two Ninas opens we se what will soon become a usual sight, Dave talking to the camera telling the story of how Marty got into the worst predicament in his life. It should come as no shock to anyone that the title refers to in fact the Two Ninas that Marty simultaneously falls in love with. With Nina Cohen (Buono) Marty enjoys a female best friend who happens to spout pop culture references with flair and baseball statistics with ease. Nina Harris (Peet) is the ideal woman to every man, a spontaneous, sex-starved beauty that makes Marty fell better about himself from the moment he meets her. Not surprisingly, Marty has his life come crashing down as the two meet by chance at a party and he must decide which is the Nina for him.

Two Ninas is an average comedy that has a lot to say about how confusing dating can be and how hard it is to find the person you wish to spend your life with. It is in these scenes that the film has a sense of energy and smartness, and in others parts recycled from the clichéd "bachelor's handbook." Marty is the typical single man in New York or any city for that matter, his apartment is a mess, he seems to only have one true friend, and he hates his job but loves sports and movies. He is a stereotypical slacker than can be found in any independent comedy, and that keeps the viewer from caring about his life.

Fortunately Marty is played by Ron Livingston, an actor with incredible charm and charisma that makes Two Ninas a pleasure to watch. At times his easygoing ways are an added bonus, as the viewer wants Marty to succeed and get the girl. But which one? As Ninas one and two, Peet and Buono give nice performances, with Buono displaying the greater amount of chemistry with Livingston. I liked the scenes between Buono and Livingston so much that I found myself wishing Peet's character would suddenly disappear so the picture could be more about Nina Cohen and Marty getting to know each other. Bray Poor is fine as Marty's best friend, and the films narrator and he does a nice job moving the story along as he glosses over the plot to the camera.

There is nothing in the plot of Two Ninas that couldn't be found in any sitcom on network TV, but director Neil Turitz smartly peppers the film with clever dialogue and an informative narrator to keep things moving. Though for all of the snappy dialogue, nothing can be done about the one-dimensional characters. At times it seems as though Marty is just too stupid for his own good to not realize that his situation can only end badly, when a simple confession of his love for Cohen would wind things up without incident. When it is all over, Two Ninas is a film about a situation that could have been avoided if only the main character had a brain in his head.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, the lack of anamorphic enhancement really hurts this image. Detail and sharpness are fine, but the film suffers from a soft look that displays a lot of grain in several scenes. Edge enhancement and shimmering are both occasionally noticeable, but never enough to damage the quality of the picture. Avalanche Entertainment missed the boat in not providing an anamorphic transfer, as this could have been a very nice looking disc.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The most surprising aspect of the disc is the active Dolby 2 channel soundtrack. The sounds of New York come across in each speaker as a cab whizzes by or the loud music provided by the house band at a local bar. Two Ninas is a dialogue-heavy picture and it is not surprising that the center channel gets the largest amount of action. Dialogue is clean and nicely reproduced with no distortion. Overall this is an enjoyable mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Taken, and Nowhere To Hide
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
  2. bloopers
Extras Review: A short selection of bloopers and outtakes (aren't those one in the same?) are provided as well as trailer for Two Ninas, Taken, and Nowhere To Hide.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Two Ninas is a fine rental if you need a good date movie, but nothing more than that. I liked the performances and elements of the screenplay and direction, but there fails to be enough to recommend. The transfer is average and the audio is nice, making the disc a nice package, but not enough to warrant parting with twenty bucks.


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