posted by Marc Atonna
Everything must either be high in something or low in something else. You have to love a film where a priest defends, “the tit was spread with peanut butter!”
Dennis Bagley is a hard, calculating advertising executive who was happy in every way he could conceive. Upon worrying about an overdue campaign for a boil ointment, he sprouts a boil himself. Not a problem, you’d think; that is, until the boil starts speaking. Dennis seems batty to all who hear the random boil comments or feel h…s raving fear of the new companion on his neck. The boil ends up replacing “Dennis” as Dennis. We know it’s the boil because of his “porno” mustache (OK, here’s an apology to whomever has one of those mustaches in honor of David Niven rather than as a bumper sticker announcing “I wanna be a porn star”). This film will leave you asking “Why should anyone have to clean their teeth without new, important ingredients?”
This disc contains a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that was created from the original stereo magnetic tracks. It sounds better than you would think from a dialogue-driven social comedy. The sound really helps pull you into the film. The dialogue is crisp and the score stays below the scenes. Inner monologues are distinguished from spoken words through deft changes in tone and background.
The DVD presentation was supervised by director of photography Peter Hannan and is crisp and very good for the most part. There’s a bit of grain to the film and artifacts are few and unobtrusive. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and was produced from the 35mm internegative.
The menu has no motion, just options for the movie, trailer, and chapters. Along with the film, the trailer also seems to have also been remastered, and looks better then would be expected. Why can’t Criterion give us a little more on their lower priced DVDs? If this were a Warner or MGM release, the same or more would be provided with at least a $10 savings. I know, if Criterion didn’t put this out, it might never see the light of disc.
As a first exposure to Bruce Robinson’s works with the Criterion releases of Withnail and I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising, I am impressed. In How to Get Ahead in Advertising’s dealings with the premise of advertising and the affect of an ad’s discovery and implementation to a man’s psyche, it shows us the contradictions in the art of pleasant deception. It’s funny, too. How to Get Ahead in Advertising is a very good film that deserves a few background materials (even trailers for other Robinson movies, production notes, or filmographies) on its disc.
Special Features List
- Theatrical trailer