09/01/2015  
The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1...
VMAs 2015: Behind Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj's Onstage...
You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...
Amy Schumer's advice for the new 'Bachelor'...
Jared Fogle reaches plea agreement in porn case ...
Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer diagnosis in laws...





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

Lions Gate presents
R.S.V.P. (2003)

"If you're going to step up to the plate and start taking some people out, at least put some effort into choosing your victims. Prostitutes and the homeless? Where is the challenge?"
- Nick (Rick Otto)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: September 24, 2003

Stars: Glenn Quinn, Rick Otto
Other Stars: Jason Mewes, Brandi Andres, Daniel Joseph, Majandra Delfino, Grace Zabriskie, Jonathan Banks, Lucas Babin, Nora Zehetner, Jeanne Chinn, Reno Wilson
Director: Mark Anthony Galluzzo

Manufacturer: AMP
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language, drug use
Run Time: 01h:39m:58s
Release Date: August 26, 2003
UPC: 658149816527
Genre: suspense thriller


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

DVD Review

R.S.V.P., the sophomore effort from writer/director Mark Anthony Galluzzo, wants desperately to be a wickedly smart thriller with a dark comic edge, and with its hip, trendy Hitchcock references and fragmented serial killer lore it seems to be cut from much of the same cloth as the Scream films, but instead of wink-wink in-jokes about Freddy Krueger we get asides about real-life killers Leopold and Loeb. And like the dead teenager genre, R.S.V.P. piles a group of expendable victims together and expects us to marvel, snicker and shudder as they are systematically disposed of.

Young, gloomy college psychology professor Hal Evans (the late Glenn Quinn from Angel, here in his last film role) teaches a grim course on serial killers, and somehow fails to notice (or does he?) that his lectures seem to have really grabbed the attention of student Nick (Rick Otto), perhaps a little more than they should. It seems that Hal's vast knowledge and near adoration of all things murderous have rubbed off on young Nick, and an exclusive going-away party for a group of college pals becomes a literal hunting ground for committing what is intended as some kind of attempt at making the serial killer history books.

This is another collection of identifiable stereotypes, including a Bob-less Jason Mewes doing a variation on his Jay character, being killed off in order of least importance, and considering that we know who the killer is, the element of whodunit, a seemingly essential component, is gone. Instead, we're left with pockets of snappy dialogue and fairly inventive camera shots littered in-between assorted murders, culminating in a rambling explanation by the killer that seems to contradict that individual's original intentions. Or, maybe I'm just analyzing things too much.

As a trippy post-modern reworking of Hitchcock's Rope (the story of the daring thrill killers, Leopold and Loeb), R.S.V.P. does manage to work well on some levels (more often than not, if the truth be told), while stumbling a bit on others. Galluzzo gets high marks overall for most of the spot on dialogue, and it really flows like bong-induced party dialogue should. Perfect moments like Jonathan Banks' terrific impromptu bartending scene, in which he dispenses a real wealth of middle-aged logic, are buttressed up against groaners like the agonizingly inane lines uttered during the film's final moments, which try to be funny when the logical response would have been utter grief and remorse. The balance between witty black comedy and edge-of-your-seat thriller is a slippery slope indeed, and Galluzzo doesn't as much straddle it as he tries to slam our heads against its walls, and I could never tell if he was trying to be scary, satirical, comical or something in between.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: R.S.V.P. is presented in an uneven 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen from Lions Gate. Quite a bit of tiny nicks to be found on this print, and though the predominate deep golden colors are generally spot on, black levels are slightly on the muddy side. Some moments look exceptional (the crisp green and black of Callie's outfit), while others don't fare as well (anything involving too many shadows, like the closet, or the rooftop shots).

Not a perfect transfer, but certainly tolerable.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The backcover claims the audio transfer is supposed to 5.1 surround, but it only registered as 2.0 on my HT receiver. Either way, rear channels are totally neglected, with everything restricted to the fronts. Not that is was that big of a distraction, but there wasn't any real depth to the vocal track, and when more than one person was speaking (which was often) there was a hint of distortion. A film like this, with all of the overlapping conversations, could have really stood out with a more discrete mix, and it's a shame the rear channels were not put to better use.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
11 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Mark Anthony Galluzzo, Reno Wilson, Daniel Joseph
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Leading things off in the extras column is a full-length, scene-specific commentary from writer/director Mark Anthony Galluzzo, along with cast members Reno (Garrett) Wilson and Daniel (Skyles) Joseph. The track is pretty light in tone, with Wilson and Joseph giggling and snorting at most of the onscreen proceedings, with Galluzzo doing his best to inject a bit of actual worthwhile commentary. There isn't as much discussion of Galluzzo's intended, and much darker, "non-linear" version as I would have hoped, and instead consists mostly of dry in-jokes and outright laughter, and sadly no elaboration on the numbingly bad dialogue that concludes the film.

The deleted scenes (16m:12s) consist of 11 cut sequences, and are available with or without a Galluzzo's commentary. Galluzzo comments, in the brief span of 16 minutes, cover more ground than did his meandering commentary, and it is here that he sheds some light on the original cut of the film which, based on the footage here, would have made for a much better version than the one that was released.

A behind-the-scenes feature (19m:40s) has the various cast members picking up a hand-held and recording whatever happens to be going on. This is largely an excuse for Jason Mewes to hog the camera, and his one-note act tends to get spread a little thin during this segment. No real revelations to be found here, but any chance to see more of Majandra Delfino is more than okay with me.

The disc is cut into 24 chapters, with optional subtitles in English and Spanish.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

R.S.V.P. is all style over substance, as writer/director Mark Anthony Galluzzo tries to regurgitate the spirit of Alfred Hitchcock, only this time with a Gen X attitude. The cinematography is certainly hypnotic and appealing, the characters are attractive, and there is a wealth of funny, natural-sounding dialogue in-between all of the rampant murder, but when all is said and done too many things just didn't make enough sense for me.

Fun to look at and listen to, but very light in satisfying content.

Based on Galluzzo comments during the deleted scenes, I think I would have preferred his original "non-linear" version instead.

 


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

drama, celebrity, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, television, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow, valerie harper, nice work if you can get it, ogunquit playhouse, mary tyler moore show, movie, mission: impossible -- rogue nation, tom cruise, simon pegg, ving rhames, jeremy remmer, alec baldwin, late night, ted cruz, david mccullough

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