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Fox Home Entertainment presents
The First Twenty Million (2002)

Salman: Oh, a Porsche!! I get shotgun.
Darrell: Darrell actually owns a shotgun, I get it.

- Anjul Nigam, Jake Busey

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: March 13, 2003

Stars: Adam Garcia, Roasario Dawson, Ethan Suplee, Jake Busey
Director: Mick Jackson

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and sexual content
Run Time: 01h:45m:23s
Release Date: December 24, 2002
UPC: 024543059455
Genre: comedy


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

DVD Review

The First Twenty Million is a film about throwing fame and fortune out the window and realizing your dreams from the bottom. Because don't you know that in movies, it is always the underdog with no money and the beautiful girlfriend who saves the day and not the savvy industrialist who has the world at his fingertips? Sheesh. Maybe I am jaded, but I feel like I see this film every few weeks. The names change, as does the title, but what remains is that idiot savant-like atmosphere in which anyone, as long as they are tormented and bullied by society, can make their dreams come alive.

Taking perhaps too much from the Val Kilmer classic Real Genius, The First Twenty Million follows Andy Caspar (Garcia), a hot-shot dotcommer who quits his high profile job in order to create something for the world. In the process, he loses his beautiful girlfriend and his stylish apartment. Seeking employment, he heads to La Honda, a place where ideas are breed and careers made. Taking Andy under his wing is Francis (Colantoni), a millionaire who commissions the rookie to create the $99 laptop. The project has been considered a reject for years, and no one will work with Andy, except three offbeat geniuses with untapped potential. First is Darrell (Busey), a germaphobe who also happens to be psychotic. Salman (Anjul Nigam) is a meek and shy type who has an internet girlfriend he has never met. Tiny is a large guy who is the butt of nearly every joke from the villains in the film. As if we needed more obvious pieces to the puzzle, Andy's neighbor is a smart and funny woman named Alisa (Dawson) and she may just help him come up with an idea that will blow everyone away.

Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Mick Jackson (L.A. Story, the recent and terrific Live From Baghdad), The First Twenty Million has potential, but it unfortunately passes on the chance to be a biting satire on the fascination with business and computers in the dot-com era. Instead we see 1980s style humor thrust upon a new millennium subject and the two worlds clash. There are enough jokes in The First Twenty Million, but they are mostly painfully unfunny. One-liners are thrown about regarding computer lingo—one refers to a girlfriend as being a "docking station"—but most fail unless you have a working knowledge of computers.

For further proof of just how bad The First Twenty Million is, it manages to make a waste out of the beautiful and talented Rosario Dawson. Dawson, who is one of the best and brightest young performers working today, is good in the role, but the script saddles her with some of the clumsiest dialogue I have heard in some time. Garcia shows no spark in his performance and lacks chemistry with nearly everyone in the cast.



Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Though the movie has quality issues, the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer certainly does not. This is a pristine transfer in every sense of the word. Colors are bright and crisp with no bleeding, while the darker colors and blacks look solid with no grain. Sharpness and detail are perfect throughout giving the transfer a very film-like look that is almost three-dimensional. No edge enhancement is visible, while the print is free from any flaws or scratches.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for The First Twenty Million is largely focused on the center speaker with crisp sound that is free of dropouts or distortion. The rear speakers are lacking in any real activity aside from ambient sounds. A nice but average mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English and Spanish with remote access
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Nothing, absolutely nothing. Oh, wait; there are chapter stops and English and Spanish subtitles. Score!!!

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

The First Twenty Million succeeds at being a lifeless comedy that should have, and could have, been better. The performance by Dawson is the lone bright spot on a dull canvas, and the DVD is certainly lacking in several areas. Perhaps a good rental for all you techheads out there, but that is about it.

 


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