Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 6th, 2004
Walter Matthau is Joseph P. Kotcher, a doting grandfather who is rapidly wearing out hiswelcome at the home of his son and daughter-in-law. Increasingly unwanted, Matthau finallyrebels when life in a retirement home looms. He winds up hitting the road with a pregnantteenager, and once again he is needed.
Jack Lemmon made his directorial debut with this piece that simultaneous goes all-out andtakes the easy way in its determined effort to be heartwarming. Matthau, ra…her hilariously greyedup in this 1971 role, is today uncannily reminiscent of Grampa Simpson with his endlessnattering, and is almost as annoying.
The sound is only in mono, and still manages to sound much older than 1971. There is somedistortion on the dialogue, and the music tends to gurgle. This is particularly noticeable on thegruesome Johnny Mercer/Marvin Hamlish song that plays over the credits.
The picture is no better. The film has aged, and one has the sense that this DVD is simplybeing dumped on the market. The picture is soft and grainy (sometimes very much so), reds tendto be far too strong compared to rather pastel look of the other colours, and there is a bit offlicker going on. Futhermore, the picture isn’t anamorphic, making everything that muchworse.
Watch the credits. If you’re going all soft and mushy over the freeze frames of the old manand his little grandson, then keep watching. If your gorge is rising, shut things off NOW.