Best In Show

Best In Show

Christopher Guest
 Cast: Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest
, Eugene Levy
Eugene Levy
, Catherine O'Hara
Catherine O'Hara
, John Michael Higgins
John Michael Higgins

DVD (Wide Screen)

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One might imagine that the short, witty "mockumentaries" that result from Christopher Guest's improvisational filmmaking style leave a lot of good footage on the cutting room floor. As the Best in Show DVD demonstrates, that assumption is correct. The DVD includes no less than 17 deleted scenes, some of which originally appeared on the film's promotional website, and many of which could have easily been included in the film without bloating its running time. It's clear that Guest's editing instincts were at their most ruthless when it came to his own scenes as low-key babbler Harlan Pepper, but each of the main characters shows up at least once in this section. A nice touch is that the scenes can all be viewed in succession without returning to the menu after each one. The DVD also includes information on eight cast members and one theatrical trailer. Guest's commentary with co-star and co-writer Eugene Levy is disappointingly sparse, considering their off-screen friendships with many of their castmates and the fact that they have five of the movie's credits between them. There are a few minor sound-related glitches, as actors' voices sometimes shift channels abruptly and for no clear reason. The best reason to own this DVD is the movie itself and the material that never made it to the big screen.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams

One-time star and co-writer of the greatest mockumentary of all, This Is Spinal Tap (1983), actor and director Christopher Guest creates this wickedly funny and intelligent character comedy with a cast of sublimely talented improvisational performers. Following up his well-received Waiting for Guffman (1996), Guest returns to the well of the little-used faux-documentary genre with splendid results, creating a comedy that is, if anything, even tighter, more focused, and funnier than his previous effort. It's interesting to note that, while many directors attempt to make improvisational-style films, those who succeed are almost always former writers such as Guest and James Toback. An improvised film is typically one wherein plot is sacrificed at the altar of character, and so rises and falls on the success of its performances. Best in Show is no exception to this rule, and the film's quality is a testament to actors typically cast in character parts finally getting a chance to shine at center stage, such as Michael McKean, co-writer Eugene Levy, and the seemingly ubiquitous independent film star Parker Posey. Best in Show was a sizable box-office hit in limited release and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy.

New York Times - Stephen Holden

"Best in Show" reunites many of the same brilliant comic actors who appeared in Mr. Guest's last movie, the cult comedy classic "Waiting for Guffman." .... As before, the actors improvising from a bare-bones screenplay (by Mr. Guest and Eugene Levy) riff off one another like jazz musicians to create what may be the cleverest on-the-spot caricatures since the heyday of Mike Nichols and Elaine May. ...The movie's weaknesses are inextricable from its form. For "Best in Show" is essentially a well-organized, exquisitely nuanced skit comedy, "Saturday Night Live"-style sketches loosely stitched together and refined to the nth degree. Although the movie pretends to have narrative structure, it doesn't really go much of anywhere. It is futile to look for deeper patterns in this kind of storytelling. The whole point is to savor the moments. This comic jigsaw puzzle is crammed with deliriously funny little bits.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2001
UPC: 0085391895121
Original Release: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:30:00
Sales rank: 91

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