10/21/2017  
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

DreamWorks presents
Small Time Crooks (2000)

"I wish I was still a crook. Then I'd feel like an actual person again."
- Ray Winkler (Woody Allen)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 13, 2000

Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant, Elaine May
Other Stars: Jon Lovitz, Michael Rapaport, Tony Darrow, George Grizzard, Elaine Stritch
Director: Woody Allen

MPAA Rating: PG for language.
Run Time: 01h:34m:26s
Release Date: December 19, 2000
UPC: 667068640229
Genre: comedy


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

DVD Review

After years of making dramas and comedy-dramas, Woody Allen finally returned to the big-screen with a flatout comedy in 2000, Small Time Crooks. His neurotic nebbish persona hasn't aged too gracefully, though; what was funny when he was younger now just seems pathetic. Much of the humor here comes from the excellent supporting cast.

Allen stars as Ray Winkler, a former numbers runner and failed bank robber (an older version of the character in Take the Money and Run, perhaps?) who has concocted a scheme to tunnel from a defunct pizza parlor into a nearby bank vault. Aided by his cronies, arsonist Benny (Jon Lovitz), and dimwits Denny (Michael Rapaport) and Tommy (Tony Darrow), Ray ineptly proceeds with the tunnel idea, using his wife Frenchy (Tracey Ullman) as a front up above. Unexpectedly, her cookie shop becomes a huge hit, putting the Winklers in the big time. As Frenchy tries to adjust and gain some class by taking lessons from art hustler David (Hugh Grant), Ray becomes more and more disenchanted with money, leading to a comic conclusion.

While there are some clever and humorous bits scattered throughout the film, it's not really a return to Allen's old form. The lead characters are uniformly stupid and inept, best exemplified by Frenchy's idiot cousin, May Sloan (a splendid Elaine May, of Nichols & May). May not only makes the rest of the cast look like geniuses, but she's got a charm of her own, in her own dimwitted way. Lovitz plays something other than his usual slimy character here, although he's almost nondescript. Rapaport and Darrow are good as the bumbling sidekicks; the scene where they break a water main while drilling and try to plug it with Darrow's arm is quite funny indeed. Ullman is as always spot on in her accent, this time taking on the New Jersey housewife to a would-be hoodlum. Grant humourously takes on a parody of his usual nice romantic lead and is an out-and-out rotter this time.

The ensemble works quite nicely together; it's unfortunate that the script doesn't really give them more to do. It seems as if Allen is trying to put the film into a classical three-act mold, with the rise, the top and the inevitable collapse each sharing equal time; frankly the funniest bit is the nouveau riche uncouthness of the Winklers, and the crook angle is nearly forgotten for much of the film. The humor is quiet and droll most of the time, without generating much in the way of big laughs. The few attempts at slapstick are so lame they need a crutch. Allen should stick to the verbal humor, since it's what he's best at.

That said, this is a pleasant enough comedy which is really pretty inoffensive; it hardly merits the PG rating that the MPAA placed upon it. We aren't pummeled with sex and fart jokes throughout, as seems to be the case so much these days. You could do a lot worse in looking for a modern comedy for the family than this one.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: As befits a movie from 2000, the transfer is pristine, with no visible damage. The anamorphic picture is sharp and crisp throughout. Black levels are excellent as are colors; the loud clothing of the Winklers really stands out great. Nothing at all to complain about here.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: As is the case in all of Woody Allen's movies, the only audio available is mono. That's perfectly fine for a film such as this, without any significant places to use surround or LFE. In fact, it's quite apropos for the music, much of which intentionally sounds transferred from old 78s, complete with crackle and pops. Dialogue is nearly always clear, and range is excellent. Woody may only make mono tracks for his films, but he makes good mono tracks.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Production Notes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The principal extra is a modestly long set of production notes, contained both in the booklet and provided verbatim onscreen in a less readable version. These notes are informative and certainly better than nothing. Filmographies and bios for an extensive list of cast and crew are included, with television appearances also present. DreamWorks omits a bio for Allen, but does provide a filmography. There is also an anamorphic trailer for the film. Not much, but again, better than nothing.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

A mildly funny return to comedy for Woody; Elaine May is the best thing about it. Not a lot of extras, but worth a look.

 


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