I. Q.

I. Q. (1994)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Walter Matthau, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Charles Durning

With his comedy ’I.Q.’ director Fred Schepisi takes us into the world of geniuses. Asking the question, ’What if Albert Einstein took an interest in his niece’s lovelife?’ the movie is a hilarious and sweet treat on the subject, playfully presenting us Albert Einstein and some other contemporary geniuses he surrounded himself with, on a very emotional note.

Paramount Home Entertainment is presenting the movie in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD, in a transfer that is, of course, enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The transfer is absolutely clean and free of defects or mars. Not a speckle is in sight. Colors are very rich, bringing out especially the lush vegetation that frames the story. Skin tones are naturally rendered and colors are always vibrant, without being over-saturated. Black level is solid, creating deep shadows that don’t break up. Not edge-enhancement or compression artifacts are visible.

The original 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track is also included on the DVD, complemented by optional Dolby Surround tracks in English and French. The tracks are natural sounding at all times with a good frequency response that has a natural bass roll-off and clear high ends. Dialogues are well integrated and are always understandable. The music is also well integrated, adding to the experience.

Sadly Paramount Home Entertainment has once again deemed it unnecessary to include any extras with this release, and you won’t even find a trailer on the disc. Will they ever learn?

’I.Q.’ is a truly sweet and funny film. The characters are well-draw and the little plot that uncle Albert is setting up to make his beautiful and bright niece fall in love with a man for the right reasons, is charming and absurd at the same time – a stroke of genius if you will. Walter Matthau is impeccable as Einstein, even copying the great mastermind’s heavy accent and syncopated speech pattern. His delivery of the lines is what helps make ’I.Q.’ one of the better and funnier romantic comedies while the story is firmly carried by Tim Robbins’ performance as the mechanic Ed. Great flick with great laughs and countless smirks.