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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Brad Abrams, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Michael Patrick Jann
Cast:
Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kerri Kenney
Writing Credits:
Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon

Tagline:
They Might Not Be The Best ... But They're The Best We Got.

Synopsis:
The lives of seven incompetent Reno sheriff's deputies are detailed in this Cops style parody. Among the colorful characters are Lt. Jim Dangle, the short shorts-wearing, flamboyantly gay supervisor; Deputy James Garcia, who makes police brutality an art form; Deputy Trudy Wiegel, the manic depressive, racist sociopath; Deputy Clementine Johnson, the skanky former magician's assistant; Deputy Travis Junior, the redneck who is never seen without his kevlar vest and sunglasses; Deputy S. Jones, the semi-competent ladies' man; and Deputy Raineesha Williams, the bootylicious black cop with an attitude.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:
None
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 154 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 2/27/2007

Bonus:
• “Top Ten Calls”
• Musical Performance
• DVD Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Reno 911!: Reno's Most Wanted - Uncensored (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 2, 2007)

With a Reno 911! movie now on the screens, I figured I should finally check out the Comedy Central series that inspired it. Though my friend Kevin has raved about the show for years, I never felt compelled to give it a shot. Between the feature flick and the arrival of a “greatest hits” DVD called Reno’s Most Wanted Uncensored, the time seemed ripe.

Most Wanted packages seven episodes of the series. I’ll view these in the order presented on the DVD. The synopses come straight from the DVD packaging.

Scavenger Hunt: “When the Sheriff’s Department is given only two tickets to the upcoming execution, the officers compete in a scavenger hunt to win a spot at the event.”

My introduction to Reno 911! starts well via the very funny “Hunt”. I feared the connection to the execution might render the episode too crass, but that element is really just an excuse for the officers’ antics. We find some amusingly bizarre perps that the folks need to find and these gags add up to a solid show.

Homeland Security Parts 1 and 2: “The Office of Homeland Security comes to Reno to teach the Sheriff’s Department protocol in case of a terrorist attack.”

Wow – a two-parter! As you might figure, “Security” looks at the police in the post-September 11 world. Really, this serves mostly to allow two new characters to enter the Reno force: OHS officers Captain Hernandez and Lieutenant Kim. Otherwise, the shows concentrate on the usual shenanigans. I especially like the touchy-feely KKK members and the trailer park woman who wants to bite the nuts off of her neighbor. Two parts is probably too much for the theme, but there’s still plenty of entertainment on display.

Continuity issue: the order in which the episodes appear becomes a distraction here. Big Mike already appeared as an established character in “Scavenger Hunt”, while Part 1 introduces him. Why not put these shows first?

Reverend Gigg LeCarp: “A former petty criminal turned televangelist broadcasts his ‘Half Hour of Power’ from the Reno jail.”

Haven’t smarmy televangelists been done to death? The show doesn’t twist things enough to make Reverend Gigg interesting or entertaining. The episode provides a few good moments – especially when the KKK makes lemonade to fight racism – but the laughs are fewer than expected. (I do love the line “No skeevy goiter stabbers” though.)

Officer Smiley: “A British inspector on an exchange program visits Reno to learn their methods and share a few of his own with Garcia.”

“Smiley” tosses us an up and down episode. I like the parts with the old allegedly blind beggar and the hospital patient who wants to eat a poodle, but do we need gags about dog humping? Smiley himself is an iffy character. We find more laughs than “Gigg” but it’s not a great program.

Reading Ron: “While Wiegel, Johnson and Garcia are quarantined because they may have SARS, the others hang out with Reading Ron, the host of a popular Reno children’s show.”

While the Ron elements mean the show starts in a predictable vein, the SARS side offers a fun twist. Granted, it seems dated now – what the heck ever happened to SARS, anyway? – but at least it means we don’t encounter an episode based solely on gags related to Ron. It ends up as a decent program.

Rick from Citizen’s Patrol: “As a crime wave sweeps through Reno, the deputies get unwarranted help from their favorite Citizen’s Patrolman, Rick.”

This one ends the set on a lackluster note. We get too many flat notes and bits of physical humor without a lot of cleverness. It’s great to see Paul Reubens here and we get a smattering of laughs, but this ends up as an ordinary episode.

Note that Most Wanted claims to be “uncensored”. What does this mean? Lots of profanity, that’s what. Nudity remains electronically masked, and oddly, we still get masking when performers give someone the finger. There’s plenty of profanity, though.


The DVD Grades: Picture C/ Audio C/ Bonus D

Reno 911! Reno’s Most Wanted Uncensored appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The videotaped programs looked decent but that was about it,

Sharpness created the biggest problems. Close-ups looked good, and most moderately wide shots were appropriately detailed as well. Unfortunately, more than a few of the wider images seemed somewhat fuzzy and murky. These looked a bit blurry and lacked the definition I’d like. Jagged edges and moiré effects caused occasional concerns, and I noticed light signs of edge enhancement. Source flaws were absent. I saw no distortion from the videotape and witnessed no forms of artifacting or noise.

Colors looked decent but a little drab. The tones were fairly accurate for the most part, but they never went beyond that. The hues were a little muddy at times, though they generally came across as acceptable. Blacks seemed reasonably dense and taut, and low-light shots were fairly clear and visible, though they tended to be bland. Nothing about Reno 911! stood out as exceptional.

The Dolby Stereo 2.0 soundtrack of Reno was decent but fairly unambitious. The audio seemed fairly monaural, with most of the dialogue and effects emanating from the center channel. Music spread acceptably to the side speakers but didn’t bring out a lot of vivacity. The surrounds played a passive role in the proceedings.

Quality was adequate, with clear and relatively natural speech most of the time. During a few episodes, I heard some mildly edgy speech, but lines remained easily intelligible and they were usually fine. The modest effects came across as clean but a little thin, and the music sounded acceptably broad. As a whole, the track lacked much depth and seemed mediocre.

Only a few minor extras finish off the set. Top Ten Calls gives us a 14-minute and three-second compilation of emergency responses. Some amusing bits emerge, but they lose some punch when viewed outside of the context of their episodes.

A Musical Performance runs three minutes, 43 seconds. This comes from some unspecified live show in which the actors perform in character to play a tune about cable TV theft. It’s cute but not more than that.

The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for South Park Season 9, The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner, and Mind of Mencia Season 2. These also appear in the DVD Previews area.

While it seems tough to parody something as idiotic as Cops, Reno 911! does so pretty well. The shows on this compilation DVD offer their ups and downs but produce enough laughs to merit a look. The disc presents mediocre picture and audio plus a couple of small supplements. I think the series would be better served by the full season sets, but if you just want a taste, Most Wanted works.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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