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Waiting For Guffman Blu-ray Review

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“Waiting For Guffman” is one of Christopher Guest’s best films.

In honor of Blaine, Missouri’s 150th anniversary, veteran actor/director/choreographer/teacher Corky St. Clair decides to put on a stage musical titled “Red, White, And Blaine.” After auditioning local townspeople with the grumpy music teacher Lloyd, Corky casts Allan (a dentist), Libby (a Dairy Queen employee), and Ron and Sheila (a married travel agent couple) in the lead roles. While rehearsing the play (which turns out to be a bit troublesome), Corky learns that a talent scout named Mort Guffman is coming to see it which gets everyone excited. What happens next, well, that would be telling.

Along with “Best In Show,” “Waiting For Guffman” is easily one of writer/director/actor Christopher Guest’s best mockumentaries and overall films. As a comedy, it is on point in its depiction of small town America life, local stage shows, local legends, ridiculous history, and, yes, even the iconic play “Waiting For Godot” for which its namesake is clearly based on. As a character piece, it has a surprising amount of heart. One might think that it’s merely mocking its subjects, but that’s not the case. It’s a story of everyday people with hopes and dreams. As a musical, there’s actually some incredibly catchy music here. “Nothing Ever Happens In Blaine” and “Stool Boom.”

Performance wise, there’s so much to like here. Christopher Guest mainstays like Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, and Parker Posey are all delightful as is Eugene Levy who plays a cross eyed dentist coming out of his shell. Christopher Guest possibly gets the best main role to himself as the quirky and quotable Corky St. Clair. Aside from the main cast, there are two very memorable small roles here. Brian Doyle Murray has 1 small scene but his looks at Corky never cease to crack me up. Likewise the character evolution of Michael Hitchcock as councilman Steve is one of the funniest parts of the entire film.

As enjoyable as the movie is, it has lost a bit of its luster 21 years later. Unlike something such as “Best In Show” which is endlessly rewatchable, ‘Guffman’ doesn’t hold up as well on repeat viewings at least to me personally. If you’ve never seen the film, however, you’re in for a real treat on first viewing. Also, while a minor quibble, the alien conspiracy stuff feels it could have been another movie entirely. Granted, it does tie into the story, but it would have been really fascinating to see Guest tackle that as a subject matter for a film (especially since it feels a little out of place here).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Unfortunately, the transfer is far from great. While the colors appear sharper, there is a lot of wavy grain present.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a quality 2.0 track that handles the dialogue and music exceedingly well.

Extras: * “Waiting For Guffman” trailer. * 14 deleted scenes. * A weirdly dry commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. The best part is hearing about alternate ideas.

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September 28, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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