Duplex (2003)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essell, Harvey Fierstein
Extras: Featurette, Deleted Scenes

Imagine the comedy ’Money Pit’ and replace the dilapidated house that send its new tenants though a nightmarish experience with a an elderly woman who is equally tenacious. Alex (Ben Stiller) and Nancy (Drew Barrymore) have just been scammed into buying their ’dream’ house in the heart of New York. Going through the ordeal takes all the strength they can muster and then some, making for a non-stop firing of hilarity. No five minutes will pass in this movie without you laughing out loud, cringing at the thought of what’s going to happen next.

’Duplex’ is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. A fullframe version is also included on the disc. The image is absolutely clean and clear, free of speckles and defects, and provides an immaculate amount of definition. Colors are vibrant and strong without bleeding, also rendering flesh tones naturally even in the most gloomiest and hardest lighting conditions. Black levels are solid at all times, creating deep shadows without breaking up, and the highlights are nicely counterbalanced.

The audio on the disc is an immersive 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that makes good use of the surround channels. The sound stage is wide and very dynamic making the best of the sonic possibilities the material has to offer. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable without being drowned out by the music or sound effects.

As extras you will find a series of deleted scenes on this disc, which are also a lot of fun to watch. while they didn’t make the final cut, they still offer a few great moments. A ’Behind The Scenes’ featurette is also included, giving you a nice glimpse at the work on the film. With great backstage moments and on-set footage, combined with interviews and some great information, this promo featurette may not be hardcore but it is definitely entertaining.

’Duplex’ is a hilarious movie, just the way you would expect it from a collaboration of Ben Stiller and Danny DeVito – who directed the movie. DeVito’s sure directing hand and Stiller’s marvelous antic, combined with a story that screams of funny torture, ’Duplex’ is a winner through and through. Make sure to get a copy and see for yourself.