My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny (1992)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Fred Gwynne, Mitchell Whitfield
Extras: Commentary Track, Trailers, TV Spots

It had been a number of years since I last saw "My Cousin Vinny" and with the Blu-Ray Disc arriving on my desk I felt clearly that it was time to revisit this cool comedy. Glad I did, because just as I remembered it, the film is a lot of fun.

Billie Gambini (Ralph Maggio) and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) are two college kids on their way through the deep south. Driving a convertible, the two have not a worry. They are a little low on cash, but that's about all. Making a stop to grab a few groceries at a roadside store the two are soon stopped by a police car and put under arrest. The charge? Killing the store keeper in cold blood!

Struggling to prove their innocence, Billy's mother suggest to hire cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci) to take on the case and get the boys off the hook. A few days later, Vinny and his fiance Mona (Marisa Tomei) blow into town – and they could not be more out of place. The two Brooklyn natives with their nasal accents try to blend in, but have trouble getting over the little idiosyncrasies of the locals. Judge Haller (Fred Gwynne) in particular is not too pleased to have a Yankee in town, taking on a high profile case and behaving like an elephant in a porcelain shop.

Things begin to look very bleak for the two kids when it turns out that Vinny has never actually handled a case before. In fact he has been a lawyer for a mere six weeks – after failing the bar exam six times in a row. When he goes on to aggravate the judge on countless occasions, being repeatedly sent to jail himself for contempt, things don't look to good and ultimately, Vinny may be out of his depth when it comes to dress code, etiquette and courtroom protocol, but when it comes to arguing, no one pulls the wool over him.

"My Cousin Vinny" has received a nice high definition transfer showing off the movie in its 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Free of blemishes and defects, the image is rich with detail and surprisingly sharp. Colors are strong and nicely reproduce the natural looking cinematography employed by the filmmakers.

A DTS 5.1 HD Master audio track complements the release, making sure the audio is also making a good impression with its nicely integrated spatial effects. Dialogues are balanced and never drowned out, while the music is coming across as lively and energetic throughout.

The release is a little weak in the bonus department, offering only a commentary track by director Jonathan Lynn as well as the movie's Trailers and TV Spots. It is a tad disappointing, particularly considering that at $34.99 the release has a rather high price point.

"My Cousin Vinny" is a wonderful comedy that plays off Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei to great effect. It is one of the cool movies to see Pesci in a role that does not have "maniac mobster" written all over it, but instead reveals a character that is both funny and even a bit sentimental.