Screw Loose

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Bernardo Puccini (Ezio Greggio) is the son of a wealthy Italian food product baron and though this should be good news for him, his father bashes his ideas and usually gives him the short end of the stick. After Bernardo has his new health food idea shot down by his father, a fight ensues and before long his father has a heart attack. The doctor comes in to help him out, but he also is struck down with a heart attack. His father soon asks him to do him one favor as a sort of last request, he wants to be reunited with his old war buddy, Jake Gordon (Mel Brooks). Jake and Bernardo’s father fought side by side in World War II and now he wants to see his friend one last time. So Bernardo head off to America to find Jake, deliver him to his father, then stake his claim on his half of the business in the process. But when he arrives and located Jake, he discovers he is being held in a mental hospital and is totally out of his mind. Can Bernardo keep Jake on the straight and narrow long enough to deliver him to his father, or will this be the last straw that gets him kicked out of the will for good?

This one seems like a great idea, with Mel Brooks and Ezio Greggio on the cast list, but somewhere along the lines it becomes dull and average. I know Brooks has slipped with his past few films and this one is better than most of his recent works, but this one still falls far short of his crowning cinematic achievements. But this isn’t a bad movie by any means and when the comedy works, this is a very entertaining movie. Brooks is pretty good and Greggio is also humorous, and the two play off each other very well. A few sequences are downright hilarious and many other more than provide a nice number of chuckles, so this is far from a total loss to be sure. This movie also runs at a brisk pace, so if the jokes seem to fall flat for a time, then you won’t have to wait long for new material. I think this is a decent film overall, but it loses some shine when compared to Brooks’ better movies, of course. If you are a fan of Brooks and need a new comedy, Screw Loose would make a wise rental choice.

This film was directed by Ezio Greggio, who also has a prominent acting role within the movie. Greggio doesn’t have a lot of experience behind the camera, but he does plenty of work in front of the camera, mostly in the field of comedy. I haven’t seen many of his films, but what I have seen is pretty funny stuff. As a director, Greggio uses a rather basic style which works well for this type of light comedy. I’m not sure if he could handle more dramatic or complex films, but Greggio holds his own with this material. In terms of acting, Greggio is a fine comedic talent and I think he turns in a good performance here. Greggio can also be seen in such films as Yuppies & Yuppies 2, The Silence Of The Hams, and Dracula: Dead And Loving It. Opposite Greggio in this movie is Mel Brooks, who is well known for his skills as a comedic actor and director. Brooks (Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles) gives a good turn here, but he falls short of his previous level of excellence. Brooks and Greggio make a terrific team and are able to get some fantastic chemistry throughout the movie. The supporting cast includes such folks as Gianfranco Barra (The Talented Mr. Ripley), John Karlsen (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Randi Ingerman (The Two Jakes), and Julie Condra (Nixon, Tv’s The Wonder Years).

Video: How does it look?

Screw Loose is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This might be a lower profile title, but Columbia/Tristar has issued a wonderful transfer that shouldn’t disappoint at all. The source print is pristine in condition, I could find no marks or debris and compression errors are minimal and infrequent. The colors are vivid and bold, while never oversaturating or bleeding and flesh tones look normal also. The contrast shows no signs of flaws either, shadow balance is solid and detail level is high and clear. You couldn’t ask for a transfer much better than this one.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a comedy, so don’t expect a speaker shattering experience, but this is an adequate audio track. The main track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 offering which gives the dialogue a sharp, crisp sound and isn’t hampered by harshness or volume problems. This is very much vocally driven and so the audio is usually in the front channels, but some decent surround use also comes into play. A few sequences provide some nice atmospheric sounds, but for the most part the sound effects and music reside as background audio. This isn’t a problem at all though, since this is a dialogue driven comedic movie. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround track and English subtitles, which is always nice.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This includes some talent files and a selection of theatrical trailers, one of which is for this film of course.

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