Kiddie-show host Rainbow Randloph (Robin Williams), up to his armpits in graft, is nailedby the FBI and turfed from his slot. Replacing him is Smoochy the Rhino (Edward Norton), arelentlessly nice and upstanding individual. Being so nice makes the target not just of theobsessive and psychotic Randolph, but also of the mob (headed, in a brilliant piece of casting, byHarvey Fierstein). Almost everyone in the film is a nasty piece of work, which makes the blackhumour all the m…re delightful (though the flick is still not as corrosively black as it might havebeen). Danny DeVito’s direction is as distinctive and stylish as ever, there is at least one set-piece(Smoochy’s benefit concert — you’ll know it when you see it) that should go down in comedyhistory, and you’ll have the damn songs stuck in your head for days.
Though crystal-clear, the audio isn’t particularly powerful, at least in the surround aspects.Both music and sound effects certainly are present in the rear speakers, but the volume seemsinordinately low.
The format is anamorphic widescreen, and claims to be the theatrical ratio, but looks like1.78:1 to me, which is a little surprising, though the compositions don’t seem butchered, somaybe I shouldn’t be suspicious. The colours are vibrant. The contrasts and blacks, though notbad, could be a bit stronger in some of the night sequences. There is no grain, and very little edgeenhancement visible.
The commentary is provided by DeVito and DP Anastas Michos. Michos was clearlyrecorded separately, and DeVito dominates. He does have an unfortunate tendency to point goover the obvious, and there’s lots of “everybody was so great” talk. The behind-the-scenesfeaturette is a 10-minute montage with no explanations other than the odd caption. The 10deleted scenes have brief on-screen explanations for their deletion in lieu of commentary. Otherextras: an outtake reel (another montage, with lots of gags rather than real bloopers); threetrailers; the “Magic Cookie Bag” — a still gallery broken up into six categories; cast and crewfilmographies; and DVD-ROM features. The most pointless of the extras is the Interactive IceShow, where you can watch the big ice number from the climax from 4 different angles. Thisgets old very quickly. The menu’s main page is fully animated and scroed, as are the intro, thetransitions, and the extras page.
I laughed my fool head off watching this. The extras are a bit hit-and-miss (though there arequite a few of them), but if you’re of a sarcastic turn of mind, Death to Smoochy should be rightup your alley.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Bloopers and Outtakes
- Still Galleeries
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Theatrical Trailers
- Interactive Ice Age
- Cast and Crew Filmographies
- DVD-ROM Features