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Anchor Bay presents
The Amy Fisher Story (1992)

"She looks like a small, petite girl. But she's the devil."
- Mary Jo Buttafuoco (Laurie Paton)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: February 08, 2002

Stars: Drew Barrymore, Tony Denison
Other Stars: Harley Jane Kozak, Laurie Paton
Director: Andy Tennant

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sexuality, brief nudity and mature themes)
Run Time: 01h:33m:01s
Release Date: December 04, 2001
UPC: 013131205992
Genre: drama


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

DVD Review

Lurid and sensationalistic television movies loosely based on real-life events are generally lame, and this one that chronicles teenaged sexpot Amy Fisher is no exception. Fisher's media-friendly sex-fueled high school years, as well as her botched attempt at murdering the wife of her alleged lover, was ripe with a high public curiosity factor. The Amy Fisher Story was originally broadcast on ABC in December of 1992, as part of that sadly memorable week when all three networks ran their own version of the so-called "Long Island Lolita" saga. While CBS had Alyssa Milano(!) as Amy, and NBC had Noelle Parker, ABC rallied by casting Drew Barrymore, who plied a similar role in Poison Ivy, in the title role. Familiarity breeds contempt, and while this story may have been headline-fresh and titillating in 1992, it now plays like the tired, badly acted schlock that it really is. Rehashing the story of 16-year-old Amy (Barrymore) and her alleged sexual relationship with hunky body shop owner Tony Buttafuoco (Tony Denison) is the equivalent of watching an OJ movie; all relevancy is long gone and dead on the vine. The real life story, as tragic as it may have been for the actual participants, has lost some of it's dramatic luster and teeters on self-parody. Amy's attempt at murdering Tony's wife Mary Jo (Laurie Paton), which in theory should really be the crux of the whole story, and not her sexual escapades, is almost glossed over in favor of Barrymore turning up the sluttiness a notch or two and wiggling around in tiny outfits.Told from the point of view of New York Post reporter Amy Pagnozzi (here played by what I hope was a badly wigged Harley Jane Kozak), the narrative jumps back and forth between 1990 and 1992, which I guess was the only way to try and make the story seem more alive than it really is. There is a half-baked stab in the final 40 minutes that feebly attempts to stir up a little media-bashing that I think loses some of it's intended finger-pointing considering that the lecturing is buried in the confines of a hollow and trashy television movie.Barrymore's seemingly broad cartoonish caricature of Fisher, complete with an annoyingly inconsistent Long Island accent, is the focal point of the film, and she seems as if she is taking part in a rushed high school production. There's no denying her ability to fire up a dose of overt sexiness, but even a little of that goes a long way, and the second half of this clunker just drags by painfully slow. Denison, a solid small screen actor, all but disappears after the first 45 minutes, and Laurie Paton's post-gunshot Mary Jo pops up sporadically like a gopher to spout anti-Amy diatribes, with an array of contorted facial expressions that is nothing short of smirk-inducing. I know my DVD player indicated that this movie was only about 93 minutes, but it seemed like 3 hours.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Presented in it's original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the image transfer here is very nondescript. Colors are warm, though a shade too dark at times. No real source prints flaws, aside from some sporadic grain.Overall unremarkable.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: A mediocre 2-channel stereo mix offers a noticeable lack of any substantial dynamic range, and while the dialogue is understandable, the sound field is rather flat. This made-for-TV flop is more concerned with sleaze than sound, and the bland audio transfer seems more like an afterthought.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Production Notes
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: This disc boasts bonus materials of "additional nude scenes" that weren't part of the original ABC broadcast. That might be overstating things just a bit, but there is an extended romp between Denison and Barrymore that features some brief body double skin that is over if you blink your eyes too fast.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

This is just plain bad.

 


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