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DVD Review: THE WEATHER MAN

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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE WEATHER MAN

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 101 minutes, five featurettes, theatrical trailer

STUDIO: Paramount/ Escape Artists

RELEASE DATE: 2-21-2006

David Spritz is a TV weatherman in Chicago. He is unhappy and looks to get back together with his ex-wife while some people take his job of telling the weather too seriously (by throwing food at him as they drive past him on the street). His father, Robert Spritzel(Michael Caine), is a Pulitzer Prize writer who was a great father and won't take David seriously. David's daughter, Shelly, is overweight and looks for her identity while growing up while David's teenage son, Mike, is undergoing a treatment program as his counselor has sexual thoughts about him. David's life is going down the toilet while he is on the shortlist for the job of weatherman of a national program, Hello America. He begins to take up archery as life continues to crap on him.

THE WEATHER MAN is an interesting movie about life. It feels like it could be anybody's life with the highs and lows. David can't be what his father wanted him to be. Nicolas Cage is allowed to stretch as an actor in this role, more than any other character he has ever played. Michael Caine continues his fatherly roles (the one before this was Batman's butler in BATMAN BEGINS). It suits him. Director Gore Verbinski refuses to be typecast as a director and his variety of films proves that as he takes on THE WEATHER MAN (after doing THE RING and that Pirates movie with Johnny Depp). The script is wonderful and THE WEATHER MAN is a slice of life of drama that really mad me empathize with David Spritz.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is clear and sharp. The transfer captures the mood and colors of the movie nicely.

AUDIO: English 5.1 DD, English 2.0 Dolby Surround, French 5.1

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dialogue is very clear. The most effective use of the 5.1 is the rain during chapter 13.

SPECIAL FEATURES: On the DVD are five featurettes (over 50 minutes in total) and the theatrical trailer. Most of the featurettes except the one on characters run the right length (the characters featurette is too long). Too bad the disc doesn't have an audio commentary.

EEXTENDED OUTLOOK: THE SCRIPT says how unique the script is and how it looks at life.

FORECAST: BECOMING A WEATHERMAN looks at Nicolas Cage playing David Spritz and also features interviews with Nic and the Chief Meteorological Advisor for WGN-TV in Chicago, Tom Skilling (the film's meteorological tech advisor).

ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE: THE STYLE AND PALETTE examines the cinematography and production design of THE WEATHER MAN. They went around Chicago before production to find the locations that would work (and took pictures with digital camera). Also it looks at the stylistic motifs in the films (the targets and the clocks).

RELATIVE HUMIDITY: THE CHARACTERS looks at the characters and how the actors play them. Aspects of the characters and the relationships between them are also looked at.

TRADE WINDS: THE COLLABORATION has interviews with the key crew members in the film- Editor Craig Wood, Director of Photography Phedon Papamichael, Costume Designer Penny Rose, and Composer Hans Zimmer. Watch for behind-the-scenes video of Zimmmer's band playing the score (band includes the director on guitar).

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE WEATHER MAN is a unique drama that plays like life while looking at David Spritz. If you want to see Nicolas Cage's range as an actor, THE WEATHER MAN is a good one to watch.

this DVD review is (c)2-15-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com