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DVD ReviewEdward Burns seems to be striving towards taking over Woody Allen's throne. He not only hails from New York City, but stays true to his roots in all of his projects, beginning with his debut, The Brothers McMullen. Generating a lot of buzz at festivals and the like, Burns was the "next big thing" back in 1995. Since then, he has been unable to capture that lightning in a bottle. Looking for Kitty was shot in 2004, barely appeared in theaters, and is finally making a wide debut, courtesy of THINKFilm's DVD release.
Burns plays Jack Stanton, a private investigator who has recently lost his wife and hides his grief by cracking jokes about everything. While he's mostly a loner, his new client, Abe Fiannico (David Krumholtz) is far from it. He's traveled to New York City from upstate in a quest to find his "missing" wife, Kitty (Ari Meyers). Abe's ridiculous mustache says a lot about his cluelessness, as the reality of his situation is that his wife left him to be with a rock star oddly named Ron Stewart (Max Baker). It's not a matter of whether Jack can track down Kitty, but what Abe will do once he does.
Unfortunately, this incredibly short movie represents another misfire for Burns despite its tight pacing and storytelling, but there's just something missing. There's no chemistry between Jack and Abe (despite a concerted effort by Krumholtz), which is essential to this particular story. Aside from Abe, the only other even slightly engaging character is that of Julie, the barfly played brilliantly by Rachel Dratch. This is a film driven by constant character interaction, but we have to at least give somewhat of a damn about them to invest even an hour and 15 minutes of our time.
Burns doesn't shy away from his feelings about the current Administration either. In a story that is as non-political as they come, his constant badgering of Bush and company was more of a distraction than anything. Political commentary in projects that call for them are one thing, but it just seems superfluous here. Krumholtz, although his mustache deserves its own billing, is equally charming and pathetic as this man who just doesn't want to let go of his wife. Burns, on the other hand, is one-note, delivering his own bland, Allen-esque dialogue without much style or comedic timing.
We'll see the DVD release of Burns' most recent opus, The Groomsmen in a few weeks; a film that many critics claim to be a solid effort from the filmmaker.
Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: C-
Image Transfer Review: This 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation leaves much to be desired as it features far too much dirt and grain for such a recent film. Some of this is inherent given that it was shot on DV, but the abundance of such flaws just screams of a poor transfer. The colors are drab, but the New York City locations do look generally appealing, thanks to solid black and shadow levels and decent image detail.
Image Transfer Grade: C-
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 track also leaves much to be desired. However, this is far from being a blockbuster action picture, instead relying almost entirely on dialogue to tell its story. Fortunately, the dialogue is always crisp and easy to decipher, blending in with the subdued score and other audio elements.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Little Athens, The King, Down in the Valley
1 Deleted Scenes
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Edward Burns
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: There aren't many extras, but the big one is the commentary track with Edward Burns. He does discuss quite a bit about the film's production, but there isn't a lot of juicy information.
We also get an 11-minute alternate opening sequence, and trailers for Looking for Kitty and other THINKFilm releases.
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsLooking for Kitty is another poor effort from the fledgling filmmaker. THINKFilm's DVD isn't much of an effort either, given its average audio and video quality, and uninspiring extras.
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