Plot: What’s it about?
To most people, Dr. Harry Wolper (Peter O’Toole) is an unusual, eccentric man who does little that they understand, which confuses them to no end. He tinkers around for hours on end on projects no one else understands, defies the university where he works, and always seems to frustrate peers, such as Sid Kuhlenbeck (David Ogden Stiers). Sid thinks Harry is a nutcase who is wasting the school’s resources and as such, feels he should be terminated at once. While Harry is a little on the unusual side, he is at heart a kind man and his skills as a scientist are excellent and few could match them in the end. But when his wife died twenty-five years ago, he has never been able to move on and he now spends his time trying to crack the code of life, so he can clone his wife. The task has been difficult and tedious, but he thinks he gets closer to his goal with each passing day. He enlists the aid of a young student, Boris (Vincent Spano) and even meets a new woman, the beautiful Meli (Mariel Hemingway). Harry might be mere hours away from his goal after all these years, but with these new people in his life, perhaps the time has come to finally let go.
I had always wanted to take the time to watch this film, but until this disc arrived I had never actually done it. I liked the basic storyline and of course, Peter O’Toole, Mariel Hemingway, and Virginia Madsen make a strong case for watching as well. This was much more charming and offbeat than I expected and I am sure this disc will remain in my collection, unless a superior version is released down the road. The film has some hilarious moments to be sure, but much of the humor is more subtle and charming, rather than laugh out loud funny. This isn’t a bad thing in the least though, as the humor fits the storyline and characters and that is what counts in the end. I was also surprised at how touching this film turned out to be, as I expected a more straight forward type comedy with perhaps some slight emotional content. But this one manages to pull a couple heart strings, though never at the expense of the humor or entertainment value of the movie. Trimark has issued a decent disc, but the lack of a widescreen option leaves me disappointed. If you’ve never seen this film, I recommend you check it out and if you’re a fan, this disc warrants a trial to decide whether or not it belongs in your collection.
This charming film has several terrific performances, but I think Peter O’Toole turns in the finest work of the lot. This quirky, offbeat role wouldn’t be an easy one to master, but O’Toole handles the reins well and never falters in the least. He brings the obvious unusual nature of his character to the forefront, but also blends in a subtle wit and charm, which fuel both the character and the film itself. The movie needs a strong worker in this role and O’Toole delivers on all counts, a splendid performance indeed. Other films with O’Toole include Caligula, The Stunt Man, Supergirl, Lawrence Of Arabia, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and The Last Emperor. I was also pleased with the performances of Virginia Madsen (The Florentine, The Hot Spot) and Mariel Hemingway (The Sex Monster, Star 80), both of whom deliver energetic and charismatic turns in this film. And what would a film like this be without a good villain? David Ogden Stiers (Meet Wally Sparks, Doc Hollywood) gives a wonderful turn as the ruthless and stuck up Sid Kuhlenbeck. The cast also includes Vincent Spano (And God Created Woman, Indian Summer), Elsa Raven (Fearless, Titanic), Karen Kopins (Once Bitten, Troop Beverly Hills), and John Dehner (Jagged Edge, The Boys From Brazil).
Video: How does it look?
Creator is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be an altered version of the original aspect ratio. The opening credits are presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, but a few scenes seem to be cropped somewhat although I am not sure of the original format. So the score will get knocked down a notch thanks to no widescreen option, but the image does look solid most of the time. There is some grain and debris at times, but no serious problems surface. The colors seem dead on and show no bleeding, while contrast is stark and well balanced. I saw some minimal compression flaws, but again nothing to be concerned with. I do wish this was widescreen, but overall this is an adequate transfer as far as full frame goes.
Audio: How does it sound?
This movie doesn’t call for much in terms of powerhouse audio, so the front channels handle the audio without too much trouble. The music fits the film well and sounds good in this mix, though it does lack the immersive range a surround track could offer. I think some subtle use would have nice also with the surrounds, but on the whole this is an adequate, but unmemorable track. The dialogue comes through loud and clear, with no volume or clarity issues in the least. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes talent files and the film’s trailer. As usual, Trimark has packed on some bonus “hidden” trailers, which you can view by clicking on the logo on the main menu.