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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
The Pink Panther (2006) (2006)

"Stop browbeating her! Can't you see she is sexy?"
- Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 12, 2006

Stars: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline
Other Stars: Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Henry Czerny, Beyoncé Knowles, Jason Statham
Director: Shawn Levy

MPAA Rating: PG for (occasional crude and suggestive humor, language)
Run Time: 01h:32m:51s
Release Date: June 13, 2006
UPC: 043396117907
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ C-AB+ A-

DVD Review

Having just experienced another example of "Family Comedy" Steve Martin in Cheaper By the Dozen 2, I was leery about the remake of The Pink Panther. Not only did the trailers promise unfunny Martin antics, but just the idea of the actor stepping into the role that Peter Sellers perfected was, frankly, ridiculous. After numerous delays, this update hit theaters in early 2006, and didn't exactly sparkle.

Martin doesn't even come close to Sellers' legendary work as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, but The Pink Panther isn't a total sham. Martin has his moments, including a scene where he tries to perfect his English by saying "hamburger" over and over, and the supporting cast generally seems to be having a good time with the material. Unfortunately, there's just nothing special about the film or Martin's performance, and if you're going to tackle an icon, you've got to really go the extra mile to impress.

The story involves the murder of French soccer coach Yves Gluant (Jason Statham), who was the current owner of the famous Pink Panther diamond. The main suspect is Gluant's girlfriend, Xania (Beyoncé) Knowles), and Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) has called in the only man who could completely screw up the entire investigation, Inspector Clouseau. The bumbling detective is paired with the much more level-headed gendarme, Gilbert Ponton (Jean Reno), but Clouseau never fails to get in his own way.

The look of this remake is slick, and there's some real nice work by the lovely Emily Mortimer, as the mousy Nicole. There's also an uncredited cameo by a famous European actor who was said to have been in the running for the role of James Bond before it eventually went to Daniel Craig. The second of this mystery man's two scenes is the most exciting sequence in the film, even with Clouseau's presence in it. The little bit of momentum that this sequence gives to the film is quickly sucked right back out of it by the uninteresting finale, with a revelation that can be predicted from the moment a particular character enters the picture.

The formula for 2006's The Pink Panther is right on par with the Sellers films, and that is a refreshing sight for longtime fans. Still, I have a hard time believing that those same fans will be able to look past the absence of Sellers in the role. Which brings up the question, why bother with such a remake at all? The new remake-happy Hollywood has overstepped its bounds this time, since there was no possible way for this film to be a success before even the first camera started to roll.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This sparkling anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen presentation never disappoints, and is full of lush, vivid colors that bring the sights of Paris to life. There aren't any print flaws to get in the way of the consistently sharp, detailed images, while shadow and contrast levels are always solid.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
English, Frenchyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1, and it's also very impressive. There aren't a ton of directional effects, but much of the music and action-oriented effects do make their way to the rear speakers. A nice, deep, bass presence, accompanied with crisp dialogue, round out a great overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Click, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Benchwarmers, Monster House, Open Season, The Legend of Zorro, The Pink Panther Film Collection, The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection, The Premiere Frank Capra DVD Collection
11 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Shawn Levy
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Alternate Opening Title Sequence - With optional commentary by director Shawn Levy
  2. Sleuth Cams - Footage of the shoot without any interviews or other extraneous sound
  3. Music Video: Beyoncé - "Check On It"
  4. Exclusive Beyoncé Performance: "A Woman Like Me" - With optional commentary by director Shawn Levy
  5. Think Pink - Commercial for Sweet 'n Low.
Extras Review: The first of the extras is an audio commentary with director Shawn Levy, during which he shows plenty of love for his film. While it's difficult to agree with much of the praise he's bestowing upon his own project, at least Levy is an easy, engaging listen.

Eleven deleted scenes, running just over 24 minutes, include optional commentary by Levy that sheds some light on why each sequence was cut from the finished film, but there's nothing terribly funny here.

There are three featurettes, including Cracking the Case, clocking in at over 22 minutes, is a collection of interviews and on-set footage that is fairly in-depth. Animated Trip takes a nine-minute look at the great opening animated sequence, and Deconstructing the Panther is 10 minutes of on-set footage focusing on the film's final sequence.

Sleuth Cams gives us a unique look at the shooting of three sequences: "'Killer Press Conference," "Soccer Set-Up," and "Curtain Call." These great clips are footage without any extra interview interruption. This is as raw and candid a look at the filmmaking process as we're going to get aside from being there.

We also get a look an alternate opening title sequence, which is another three-minute animation that uses a 3-D version of the classic panther character.

A couple of Beyoncé-centric features are next, including a music video for her song Check on It, and an exclusive performance of A Woman Like Me, with optional commentary by Levy.

Things finish off with Think Pink, a 30-second commercial for Sweet 'n Low, and a collection of previews for other Sony Pictures Home Entertainment films.

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

While not the complete disaster it was made out to be, the new version of The Pink Panther still leaves much to be desired, especially for fans of the original films. Steve Martin seems to be trying to make the Clouseau character his own, rather than mimicking Peter Sellers, and for that, he is to be commended. Despite the film's weak box office, Sony has given it the royal treatment on DVD, grouping excellent audio and video presentations with a plethora of extras.


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