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A Fish Called Wanda Blu-ray Review


“A Fish Called Wanda” is more fun than funny.

“A Fish Called Wanda” is a heist comedy with a very simple story. The serious George, the stuttering animal lover Ken, the seductive and duplicitous Wanda, and the dopey, jealous, armpit sniffing Otto are thieves who have just scored some diamonds. Instead of simply splitting the loot and going their own way, however, everyone is trying to double cross each other. Wanda and Otto were planning on running off with the diamonds after framing George, but George hid them before he was arrested. Now, Otto and Wanda are trying to find out where they are. Wanda even ropes in a lawyer to try and locate them. How will it all play out in the end? That would be telling.

“A Fish Called Wanda” is often mentioned as a comedy classic, but I’ve never been overly fond of it. While I enjoyed it more on this particular rewatch, I can’t say I laughed much. ‘Wanda’ feels like the type of movie I want to and should love given that it has a fantastic cast and a well written script by John Cleese, and yet, it’s a film I seem to admire more than I like. Tonally, the movie is rather odd. It frequently feels like you are watching a live-action cartoon. A piano falls on a dog, multiple fish are eaten, a steamroller squashes a character into cement, a woman is turned on by foreign languages, and, well, Kevin Kline’s performance and character are EXTREMELY over-the-top from start to finish. Despite all of this quirky material, the movie does have some down to earth moments (and a rather romantic score to boot). Together, however, these elements feel like a weird mixture even if they are compelling enough to watch. With all of that said, I can see why others find this movie hilarious, but, to me, it’s not quite my type of humor.

Going back to the cast, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, and Michael Palin are all wonderful. Jamie Lee Curtis gives one of her best acting performances of her career as does the scene-stealing Kevin Kline who takes his character to a whole other level.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080. How does it look? Honestly, I couldn’t tell this was a 4K restoration. The picture quality was barely a cut above DVD.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Uncompressed Mono. How do they sound? The Mono track is very soft, but the 5.1 track is layered.

Extras: * “A Fish Called Wanda” trailer. * A booklet featuring credits, photos, essays by film journalist Sophie Monks Kaufman and John Morrish * An image gallery. * A pop up trivia track that plays during the film. * 26 alternate/deleted scenes with an intro by John Cleese. * A comedic message from John Cleese made for the film’s release. * Robert Powell hosts this special that looks at the film’s shooting locations. * An interview with production designer Roger Murray-Leach. * “An Appreciation By Vic Pratt”- BFI National Archive employee Vic Pratt talks about “ A Fish Called Wanda.” * “Something Fishy”- An older retrospective documentary that contains a plethora of cast and crew interviews. * “John Cleese’s First Farewell Performance”- A 1988 making of documentary. * An informative solo commentary by John Cleese.

October 4, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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