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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 115 minutes, two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, extended scene, two featurettes, easter egg

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Miramax/ Bob Yari Productions/ The Mark Gordon Company
RELEASE DATE: 10-16-2007

THE HOAX is another in a row for director Lasse Hallstrom. His last two (AN UNFINISHED LIFE, CASANOVA) were enjoyable and so is THE HOAX. THE HOAX is based on the true story of author Clifford Irving who writes a fake Howard Hughes biography and almost gets away with it.

A fantastic cast makes this comedy shine. Richard Gere charms his way as Clifford Irving as an author who seems to be believed with each new absurd lie. Howard Hughes is beinga recluse as usual to avoid the TWA lawsuit until he sends info to expose Nixon (to Irving). Alfred Molina plays Irving's partner in the fake authorized biography scheme. Also throw in Irving's wife (Marcia Gay Harden) and Irving's mistress (Julie Delpy) and THE HOAX explodes. It proves the truth is stranger than fiction.
Two audio commentaries were recorded for the film (the first with Director Lasse Hallstrom and Writer William Wheeler and the second track with Producers Leslie Holleran and Joshua D. Maurer. I enjoyed the first track the best. It reveals history and technical production info in addition to the fact the movie was cut down from 170 minutes to under two hours.

Six deleted scnes (with optional commentary by Hallstrom and Wheeler) are interesting to watch in addition to the six minute ad-libbed extended scene (Business As Pleasure) is entertaining.

Two featurettes are on the DVD. I wish they had more to them:
STRANGER THAN FICTION- a promo fluff making of featurette
MIKE WALLACE: REFLECTIONS ON A CON- Mike Wallace looks back on his 1972 60 Minutes interview and the follow-up interview 27 years later. Clips are shown from the interviews (mostly from the original). I wish the full interviews were included on this disc. Also there is supposed to an easter egg (a Nixon campaign song) which I couldn't find.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE HOAX is entertaining and funny. Richard Gere charms his way through this interesting tale on a big literary hoax. I wish the full 60 Minutes interviews with Clifford Irving were included.

this DVD review is (c)10-22-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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