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Clue

Clue
A Paramount Home Video Release
1985, 96 Minutes, Color, Rated PG

Starring:  Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Colleen Camp, Howard Hesseman
List Price:  $29.99 USD, released 06/27/00
Packaging:  Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Single Layered (DVD-5)
Aspect Ratio:  1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio Formats:  English 1.0, French 1.0
Subtitles:  English
Closed Captioning:  English
Features:  Three Endings, Theatrical Trailer, Interactive Menus, Scene Selection.

Take six guests, an isolated mansion, a room full of murder weapons and what have you got? Well, for Parker Brothers you had the classic board game Clue Ė but for Paramount youíve got a hilarious mystery/comedy starring Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean and a host of others. Six seemingly unrelated men and women are invited to dinner at a gloomy house. The purpose, as explained by the butler: all of them are being blackmailed by a particular Mr. Body for being "thoroughly un-American". The solution? Expose Mr. Body to the police, who have already been called to the house. But Mr. Body, who came prepared for the meeting with six deadly weapons, has an alternate plan Ė have someone else murder the butler, otherwise heíll expose everyone to the public. The lights go out, a gunshot goes off and someone dies. But itís not who everyone expected. Whoís the murderer? Was it Colonel Mustard? Miss Scarlet? Or did the Butler do it? Before they can figure it out others will die...

Styled as a classic whodunit, Clue gives you just enough information to make three alternate endings plausible. In the theaters you would have received, in random, one of the three. Fortunately on the new Paramount DVD release, youíll be able to watch all of them in the comfort of your own chair.

Clue is actually one of those "rainy day" movies. My old pan-and-scan VHS copy was really beginning to show its age, so itís a great relief that Paramount has finally restored it on DVD. The 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is probably as good as can be expected. Colors are spot-on, however I felt that the image was a bit soft overall, despite there being visible grain. Black levels are solid, but appear to be a little too deep resulting in a loss of shadow detail. A moderate amount of white lint mars an otherwise clean transfer. The single-layered disc contains 4.4 gigabytes and is broken down into 15 chapters. Although no layer change is required, you may notice what appears to be one at the beginning of chapter 15 when the movie hunts for one of the endings.

Despite being a somewhat modern movie filmed in 1985, the sound in Clue was oddly mastered in monophonic, resulting in a Dolby Digital 1.0 transfer. My VHS copy had particularly poor audio quality, so Iím pleased to hear a major improvement on the DVD release. However, sound still isnít up to the quality level of movies even twice the age Ė and thatís acknowledging that weíre only dealing with one channel. Trebles are harsh, thereís a fair amount of background noise, and loud sounds tend to clip. I even noticed a minor lipsynch problem during the middle of the movie. Still, itís a major improvement over previous versions. Along with the English transfer is a French 1.0 dub, plus English subtitles and closed captioning.

In terms of extra features, there really arenít a whole lot to speak of. The biggest is being able to watch all three endings (and thatís essentially a part of the movie). Not only can you see them in sequence, as on the VHS release, but through the magic of "seamless branching" (or, in this DVDís case, "almost seamless branching") the disc will insert one of the three endings on a random basis. The original theatrical trailer with a number of scenes not in the movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen, along with mono sound. Available from the interactive menus are static scene selection screens.

Clue really is a fun movie. If you havenít seen it you owe it to yourself to at least rent it. Although fans of the movie will want to strongly consider a purchase, mediocre sound and a high list price of $30 USD make it a tough sell.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on July 14, 2000.


Movie:
Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
Supplements:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Sony STR-GA8ES 5.1 Receiver
Sony 32" XBR250 WEGA TV using Component
Nuance Spatial Baby Grand 3E & StarSat

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