Screw Loose

Screw Loose (1999)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Mel Brooks, Ezio Greggio, Julie Condra
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Talent files

Although the name Mel Brooks usually stands for a lot of enjoyable comedy and offbeat humor, Columbia TriStar’s release of ’Screw Loose’ sadly doesn’t fall into this category. It is a comedy that features a nice story line but the banal humor, the crude direction and the poor acting sadly turn this film quickly an uninspired event without too many highlights.

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents ’Screw Loose’ in a widescreen aspect ratio that letterboxes the image at a 1.78:1 ratio. It is enhanced for 16×9 television sets, but interestingly, upon starting the movie, the DVD proudly announces that the transfer has been ’Formatted to fit your TV screen,’ which would make this what, an anamorphic widescreen pan and scan version? Anyway… the image is generally clean although some serious speckles are visible during the opening credits. Apart from that the transfer is without blemishes and comes in Columbia TriStar’s renown high quality presentation. Very faithful color reproduction gives the movie a natural look throughout, which also renders blacks deep and solid. The compression is without flaws and no signs if compression artifacts are evident anywhere on this release.

The film features a very good 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix that makes good use of the surround channels, especially for the music to create an enveloping sound field. Although sound effects do not aggressively use the discrete surrounds, they are well implemented and create an atmosphere that nicely reflects the images on the screens. The audio always sounds natural with a good frequency response and is free of distortion. Dialogues are well-integrated and always understandable.

Wacky, although predictable, ’Screw Loose’ has a few good moments, but for the majority of the film, it is nothing but a wash-up of familiar slapstick elements the way Charlie Chaplin did them more eloquently 80 years ago already. Sadly not even Mel Brooks is able to save this mediocre comedy attempt. At least Columbia TriStar didn’t go cheap on the title and gave it a top-notch DVD presentation nonetheless.