11/18/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Mixed Nuts (1994)

Mrs. Munchnik: A fruitcake?
Philip: Yes.
Mrs. Munchnik: Remarkably like the one I gave you last year.

- Madeline Kahn, Steve Martin

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: December 18, 2001

Stars: Steve Martin
Other Stars: Madeline Kahn, Robert Klein, Anthony LeParlia, Juliette Lewis, Haley Joel Osment, Parker Posey, Rob Reiner, Adam Sandler, Liev Schreiber, Rita Wilson
Director: Nora Ephron

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related humor
Run Time: 01h:36m:48s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 043396065345
Genre: black comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ C+B+B D

DVD Review

Flying high after the success of Sleepless in Seattle, writer/director Nora Ephron had little trouble assembling a first rate cast for her next foray into motion picture directing, Mixed Nuts. But despite an impressive cast of established stars (Steve Martin, the late Madeline Kahn) and promising newcomers (Adam Sandler, Liev Schreiber), the film—an outlandish, pessimistic, and overdone black comedy—failed to find much of an audience in theaters (or much of a fan base of critics). But on video it has attracted a small following in the years since 1994, becoming a perennial Christmas favorite for some.

Every film needs a high concept gimmick. This time, the set-up is actually pretty good (though it isn't original—it was lifted from the 1982 French film Le Pere Noel Est Une Ordure): the staffers at a crisis and suicide help line, LifeSavers, are actually more screwed up and mentally imbalanced than many of the callers. Philip (Martin) is only good at helping people on the phone. Catherine (Wilson) is smitten with Philip, but can't bring herself to say anything directly (she just goes on crying jags whenever she gets a call, what with all the pent up emotion). Mrs. Munchnik (Kahn) is an idealist when it comes to her job and helping people, but bitter and short-tempered in real life. The wacky ensemble extends to include the mentally questionable neighbor who lives below the office (Sandler, in his usual idiot savant role) and a mixed-up married couple, Felix (LePaglia) and Gracie (Lewis), along with depressed drag queen Chris (Schreiber) and, to top it all off, a mysterious serial killer known only as the Seaside Strangler.

The plot, such as it is, is pretty simple. LifeSavers is in financial trouble, and their landlord (Larry Sanders, in an unfunny cameo) is ready to push them out the door even if it is Christmas Eve. This puts Philip on edge, especially considering his wife has just left him, and the wacky hilariousness just takes off from there with the rest of the film feeling much like a series of vignettes, including Mrs. Munchnik trapped in an elevator, some angry rollerbladers, a gun-wielding Santa, and, finally, the revelation of the Strangler.

Ephron seems to alternate between sweet relationship comedies (Sleepless, You've Got Mail) and surprisingly mean-spirited farces (Mixed Nuts, Lucky Numbers). She has much more success with the former, and it is easy to see why. The script, by Ephron and sister Delia, is devoid of any sympathetic characters. They're all pretty terrible people, and, thus, not always a lot of fun to watch. It doesn't help that much of the material is tired and overplayed. The physical comedy falls flat, and the "bits" (like the fruitcake that nobody wants, a gag that was already dead when it appeared years ago in a Garfield comic strip) are overly familiar.

The excellent cast, however, slightly elevates the proceedings. Madeline Kahn is good in everything, and her scenes are the best in the film—can she make her voice shrill or what? Martin, even when he's sleepwalking through a role, is always funny. Schreiber gives a surprisingly subdued drag performance that still manages to be funny. The rest of the cast fails to distinguish themselves, but all have their moments.

No, the real problem is Ephron's direction. She seems to rely too much on the success she had with Sleepless in Seattle—she drenches the film in the same retro music and another sickly sweet ending. The only problem is, the tone of Mixed Nuts is entirely inconsistent with these choices.

Somehow, though, I can't say I disliked this one. It certainly isn't a good film, but I liked the quirky characters and the cast. Even though most of the jokes are pretty weak, a few still managed to make me laugh. I could easily see this one growing on me. After all, who doesn't get a little cynical around Christmas?

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: As catalog titles go, Mixed Nuts looks pretty good. Though it appears somewhat soft throughout, with only a fair amount of visible fine detail, color reproduction is good, with the garish L.A. Christmas color scheme of bright colors, with no bleeding or blooming (even in the ever-present red tones). Black level is fine. Edge enhancement, film grain, and print damage do not present any obvious problems. Both an anamorphic 1.85:1 and an open matte 1.33:1 transfer are offered.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.0
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Despite the promise of surround action on a 5.0 track, Mixed Nuts offers very little for audiophiles to get excited about (but then, it is a dialogue-driven comedy). Dialogue is mostly confined to the center channel, and sounds clear and crisp, although at times, ADR is obvious. Other than that, the great soundtrack of Christmas standards fills out the front soundstage, resulting in a satisfying, but unimpressive, mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring So I Married an Axe Murderer, Roxanne, Drowning Mona
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Nora Ephron usually participates in the release of her films. It'd be interesting to know if the lack of extras on this box-office catastrophe was her decision or the studio's. Anyway, what we do get are some basic filmographies for the main cast, the trailer, and a trailer gallery featuring Roxanne, So I Married an Axe Murderer, and Drowning Mona, which I guess means Columbia TriStar thinks Mixed Nuts is a black comedy.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

My feelings on Mixed Nuts are appropriately mixed. I liked the cast and some of the jokes, but too much feels labored and overly schmaltzy. The DVD is nice though, with a decent price and acceptable (but minimal) extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store