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John Waters brings another corny film that will live forever in cult-film circles! However, I don’t plan on having it live in my collection for too long. In fact, it’s dead on arrival.

The newest film from John Waters, is "Cecil B. Demented", a film that tries to criticize and make fun of the Hollywood system and the films that come from there. However, this film fails at trying to be a better film than the ones that are being criticized.

Cecil B. Demented
Movie
"Cecil B. Demented" is the story of Honey (Melanie Griffith), a huge star who treats everyone around her like dirt, yet appears to be like the girl-next-door on the outside. Before long, a filmmaker, Cecil B. Demented (Stephen Doriff) and his film crew of lunitics kidnap Honey with goals to make his own movie with an A-list star.

The script is occasionally funny, taking jabs at film production and the people who perform various jobs. However it seems that the script is trying to recruit the audience that love the new trend of "shock" films, using sick jokes and lots of curse words.

I think that the acting abilities of Griffith and Doriff were wasted here as was the money of the financial backers. The joke here is on Waters as he tries to make a film that satirizes the film industry, but instead the joke blows up in Waters' face. I think if this film had come along years ago when making fun of the Hollywood system was sheik, this would have been a more successful film, but then again who knows.

"Cecil B. Demented" is incredibly dumb and quite frankly a big disappointment from Waters. I am a bigger fan of some of his earlier work such as "Hair Spray" and "Seriel Mom". The characters aren’t interesting and it was hard for me to even feel like I cared what happened to them in the next scene.

Cecil B. Demented
Video
From Artisan comes an excellent 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that offers sharpness and detail in pristine form. There were a few dark scenes that appeared to be lacking the crisp look, however it was difficult for me to find any major flaws throughout the film.
I noticed a few speckles, but nothing that doesn’t take away from viewing this film. The colors appear sharp, however in some scenes they appear brighter and crisper than they do in other scenes. The video transfer is pretty good, although not the best I have seen by any means.

Audio
This film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, however there isn’t really any evidence of the major use of your speakers. The film’s audio mostly came from the front speakers. The use of the surround sound was pretty much non-existent with a few scenes where the surround sound was used. I was able to clearly hear and understand the dialogue, although there were a few times where it sounded a bit muffled.

Extras
Featured on this DVD is Comedy Central’s "Canned Ham: Cecil B. Demented". A program which is similar to other behind the scenes featurettes. It includes interviews with the cast and director, John Waters addressing such subjects as working together and the story. I found this to be somewhat watchable and if you are a fan of the film, it is definitely worth watching.

Cecil B. Demented
Also included is a commentary track from Waters. I was looking forward to listening to this track because I have seen him discuss his other movies before and he was often funny and entertaining. After listening to this commentary he was indeed entertaining, discussing some of the problems that faced the film while it was being made, and telling some jokes and stories that occurred while on set.

Finally, Artisan gives us two trailers presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, a television spot, cast and crew biographies and production notes.

Overall
As a fan of some of John Waters’ earlier work, I found "Cecil B. Demented" to be a disappointment. He has certainly had his better days as a flimmaker and a writer. As for the actors, Griffith and Doriff are wasted talent here and the two of them could have certainly found a better film that could show-off their potential as actors.
If you are a fan of John Waters you may thoroughly enjoy this film, if not, I wouldn’t recommend you view it. But if nothing else, pick it up as a rental and decide for yourself.


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