'Going in Style' **** 031405
DVD Review (1979)

The Work = ****
'Going in Style' is a bittersweet little movie that snuck on to DVD not too long ago. I remember seeing part of the film on TV when I was younger and thinking it looked fun. I remember my mom saying that she liked it. Before I watched it now, I had that memory and I knew it was written and directed by Martin Brest and that it started George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. I also knew the basic plot, that was about it.

I must say what I got was wonderful film. While it is not a big movie nor is it the most moving it is simply an all around good film. It centers on three elderly gentlemen (Burns, Carney, and Strasberg.) They are unemployed and live off social security.

They live together in a small apartment above a tiny store on long island. They get up, have breakfast, go to the park, sit on a bench, come home, and go to sleep, that’s about it. They are all isolated and have no remaining family to speak of except Carney who has a nephew that he sees often. The three friends are sort of trapped in their own little world until Burns gets an idea.

What his idea is, I will not say but it’s a hoot and the way the three go about making their plans is as charming as it is funny. I must say that after you get to a certain age probably not a lot scares you. After all what’s the worst that could happen? Probably something that will happen sooner or later anyway.

The three really are what make this film. Granted some of the actors in small supporting roles are good too but it is all about Burns, Carney and Strasberg. Burns especially shows a range with this role that has some genuinely brave moments. I also enjoyed Carney and Burns together at a craps table in a casino. Burns knows the rules and Carney just talks and rolls the dice. Great stuff.

At the end of the day 'Going in Style' is a sweet and sometimes sad film with three great performances at the core. Martin Brest has been crucified in the press for 'Gigli' and people act as if it is the only thing the man has done. He brought us this touching film (as well as other good movies like 'Beverly Hills Cop' and 'Midnight Run',) and deserves another chance. I hope the powers that be don’t just have short term memories. I recommend you check out 'Going in Style'.

DVD = ****

The Look
'Going in Style' gets a nice transfer. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1. The picture looks good with good detail and color.

The Sound
This is an alright sound mix. I’m assuming though, that it is true to its source and everything comes through clearly.

The Bonus
We don’t get a lot here. Still it is nice they put something on the DVD. We get the theatrical trailer, looking pretty good. We also get a way too brief clip from the 70s show Dinah. Art Carney was the guest and he shows he still had it. Joking and laughing, the man seemed like a bundle of energy. George Burns shows up briefly to joke around and have a seat. It’s too bad there isn’t more. I’m guessing this is all there was of the interview. It runs about seven minutes but that includes a clip from the movie. So, I guess I can’t say I was terribly disappointed with the DVD but it still would have been nice to have more features. Martin Brest did a commentary on the 'Beverly Hills Cop' DVD and there’s no reason he can’t do one here. I think it could have been interesting. Not a total loss but still a missed opportunity.

All together = ****

Yes, it is a slow film but one that is worth seeing. It has some great performances by wonderful actors that make it well worth the cost of admission. The DVD has a good transfer but slouches on the extras. At least there was an effort to put something on, so based on that, the transfer and the film, this is an easy recommendation.


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