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Touchstone Home Video presents
Still Crazy (1999)

"I seem to have an irresistible urge to chronicle human folly."
- Hughie (Billy Connolly)

Review By: Robert Mandel   
Published: April 30, 2000

Stars: Stephen Rhea, Billy Nighy, Timothy Spall
Other Stars: Billy Connolly, Jimmy Nail
Director: Brian Gibson

MPAA Rating: R for language, sexuality and drug content.
Run Time: 01h:35m:00s
Release Date: June 29, 1999
UPC: 043396037458
Genre: action


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

DVD Review

Still Crazy is an adult, British comedy somewhere in between the This is Spinal Tap and the closing saga of The Commitments, also written by Ian Le Frenais. Narrated by Hughie (Billy Connolly), leftover Seventies roadie, the story parodies the unsuccessful attempt at reunion by the band The Animals, from which Le Frenais and Dick Clements originally founded the screenplay. Tony (Stephen Rhea—The Crying Game) with the help of groupie-turned-manager, Karen (Juliet Aubrey—Welcome to Sarajevo), bring together the surviving middle-age members of Strange Fruit, a near-superstar Seventies band.

With the exception of the band's disliked replacement lead singer Ray (Billy Nighy), who has had some semblance of a solo career after the band's demise (but hasn't made an album since 1989 and is barely putting off the selling of his country estate), the rest of the band have joined the ranks of society as a salesman, botanist, and roofer. "Their lives are no longer high profile or exciting," says Stephen Rhea. "This is their second chance," says director Brian Gibson (What's Love Gotta do With It? ). "This is a movie about baby boomers hitting middle age. Rock 'n' Roll is all about never getting old. How do you deal with that?"

"I hope you guys are still crazy or I'm out of here"
- Hughie

.Alan Price told Le Frenais that when The Animals got back together they quickly learned why they broke up in the first place. "But when they click there's something about the music that is good and pure," says Timothy Spall (Oscar® nominated actor—Secrets & Lies). Like going home.

Of course, according to Thomas Wolfe, you can never go home. The comedy stems not only from clever witticisms and crafted characterizations, but also from the simple premise that this is a group of aging rockers who still think they can play the young man's game; road trip—day in, day out. "They're not bad guys, they're just sad," says Nighy. And pretty amusing as well.



Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - P&S
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: As we have come to expect from Columbia, there is an unwatched 4:3 pan & scan version of the film on one side of the disc, and a nice anamorphic (16:9) enhanced 1.85:1 original theatrical aspect ratio version on the other. This a very clean print and a nicely rendered transfer, with natural looking flesh tones and good color saturation, although this is a rather dull colored movie for the most part. The transfer is consistent in quality between indoor and outdoor scenes. There is slight evidence of aliasing distortion and pixelation, but not enough to be overly distracting.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanish and Portugueseyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: This disc contains both an English Dolby Surround 2.0 (not rated) and a very rich Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The band's music, written by Mick Jones (Foreigner) and Chris Difford (Squeeze), exercises all 5.1 channels, with full utilization of rear surrounds. The back stage and front stage separation is also nicely rendered in a German club scene where the band is interviewed while the interior crowd screams through the back speakers. For a British film, although having subtitles is nice, in this case the track was easily audible and understandable—a major plus.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Spanish and Portuguese language tracks, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles, scene selection, theatrical trailer, talent and filmographies, and a nice, but short making-of featurette.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

This may not be There's Something About Mary, but it is a well written, nicely acted ensemble effort, with some quirky individual performances as well. If you're a classic Rock 'n' Roller then this probably a keeper, if not, give it a rent.

 


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