Plot: What’s it about?
The Majestic is a top of the line, five star hotel with all the luxuries, but over the next week, it could move to an even higher level. In an unprecedented move, a sixth star will be given to the elite of the elite hotels, which means The Majestic is in the running. But in order to gain that special sixth star, the hotel will have to run to perfection, with everyone in overdrive, to make sure the guests have every little need attended to. The task of making sure it all runs as it should is on the shoulders of Robert (Jason Alexander), the hotel’s overworked concierge. He had planned to take a vacation with his sons Brian (Graham Sack) and Kyle (Eric Lloyd) after the week had ended, but now thanks to his boss Mrs. Dubrow (Faye Dunaway), that might not happen. If the upcoming social event doesn’t go without a hitch, she plans to fire him and replace him, without even batting an eye, thanks to her ruthless nature. But when a strange man named Lord Rutledge (Rupert Everett) arrives with a hidden orangutan in tow, things take some unexpected twists. Will the event happen as planned, or will chaos ensue with all these unusual personalities in one hotel?
I happen to love movies with humorous primates, so of course, I was pleased when Dunston Checks In was released to DVD. No, this is not the best primate picture out there, but it is a fun way to spend ninety minutes and offers some terrific moments. The tone is silly from the start and the film has endless pratfalls, verbal jabs, and assorted hijinks, most of which are on the mark, though some do fall flat at times. This is not the kind of movie to watch if you’re in a serious, critical mood by any means, as the story is fluff, the humor is basic, and the performances are ham handed, but if you’re just looking for some orangutan adventures, Dunston Checks In can deliver. The cast has some solid names involved, such as Jason Alexander, Rupert Everett, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, and Faye Dunaway, but of course, the orangutan steals the show. It is especially fun to watch Alexander on screen with the orangutan, as he is hilarious in some scenes. I recommend this film to anyone interested and since Fox has issued a solid overall disc at a low price, I see no reason why a rental or purchase wouldn’t be worthwhile.
Video: How does it look?
Dunston Checks In is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. The image here is solid in all respects, a more than acceptable catalog title presentation. The print has some minor nicks and specks, but the image is sharp and shows no serious wear problems. The colors are bright and bold throughout, while black levels seem well defined and provide ample detail levels. Not a memorable visual effort, but one that more than does the movie justice, which is good enough.
Audio: How does it sound?
Although this disc sports a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, the audio never sparks too much and is a typical family comedy kind of presentation. But since that’s what kind of movie this is, there’s no reason to be let down, as the material is well handled. The madcap style scenes have a little more presence than the others, but even then, surround use is basic and lacks true depth, though as I said, the material sounds good, so no complaints. The music also provides some additional surround use, while dialogue is clean and remains well balanced at all times. This disc also includes French & Spanish language options, as well as subtitles in English & Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.