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Duets is an Oddity. It is one of those films that feels different in its own special (odd) way. I liked it alot, but I also thought it was odd. Now that that is out of the way - I hope I wasn’t vague - Let’s move on, shall we?  Bruce Paltrow’s (Gwyneth’s Dad) Duets deals with serious issues in a macarb/black comedy way, and it does it successfully through the use of fun (?) Karaoke. But I think the real reason people slothed into cinema’s to see this film was because of the winning soundtrack sung by the lethargic Gwyneth Paltrow (Cruisin’ & Bette Davis Eyes) & Huey Lewis. I know I went and saw it because I liked the song Cruisin’. The movie most probably wouldn’t have gone that far without its cast or the soundtrack. Before you pop this baby into your DVD player don’t expect too much...it isn’t a movie where the action drives the movie...it just casually moves throughout effectively using the continual conversations and engaging songs.

Movie
(I’m not going to use the characters names cause I can’t for the life of me remember them after watching them, so I don’t think you will either.) Huey Lewis is a Karaoke Hustler. He goes from town to town pretending he hasn’t heard of Karaoke and challenges the local K(karaoke abbr.) winner and obviously always wins the bet. It is while hustling he hears about an ex-fling who has died. The ex-fling turns out to be Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother and he meets Gwyneth at her mother’s funeral. Now Gwyneth plays a grown woman who seems to still be a pre-pubescent girl but we will leave that alone. Anyway she decides to latch onto Huey as he is her only family left (besides her tough grandma) and she follows him to the Karaoke finals in Omaha. Also running through Duets is two other story lines a little like the movie “Go” but twice as slow. One other storyline includes Scott Speedman and Maria Bello: Scott splits up with his girlfriend after she sleeps with his Taxi driving partner and gets persuaded by woman-of-the-world Maria to go to California and stop along the way to the Omaha Karaoke finals. Look out for the pink taxi YOWSA. The other story line includes Paul Giamatti and Andre Braugher: Pauk Giamatti finds he has sunken into middle class oppression and decides one day to go out for cigarettes (road trip to where-ever) and picks up ex-convict Andre Braugher while he is hitch hiking. He gets addicted to K and other illegal substances and it turns out Andre has a spine-tingling gorgeous voice. And basically in all three stories they all learn things about each other and become good friends after all starting off badly.......believe me that doesn’t ruin the plot.

Video
The video is quite impressive, but nothing to go “wow” at. There is nothing really wrong with the transfer at all, just in my opinion the colours are a little dull at times, but this may not be the transfer fault and the actual source material (you can sometimes never tell) I would’ve liked Warner to turn it up a notch, but what can you do? Other than that the layer switch is un-noticeable (if there is one ;), no artefacts what so ever or any stand out dust or scratches. The blacks are pretty good just a little grey in a few places.

Sound
For a movie such as this the soundtrack is quite important with the music. All music is engaging and does its job perfectly....it makes you more involved with the movie by involving the the rears and surrounds and I think I heard some subwoofer. (wow!) Duets is very definitely a verbal movie so it was mainly front stage sound, except for the odd gun shot etc.. in the film. Overall does the job very well for this type of movie.

Extras
Pretty disappointing these extras:
Cast/Crew Interviews: I actually found these exact same interviews on the CD single to Bette Davis Eyes by Gwyneth. They are alright not very long but exciting enough if you are a fan....nothing trememdous though.
Trailer: Solid quality for a trailer, not that bad as a trailer either.

What really bugs me is that R1 (US) got an audio commentary and deleted scenes :(

Overall
Duets is an oddball like a sad, but it was in my humour and I found the subject matter: Karaoke, very fun!! The songs picked were a great choice and widely known so even people in the cinema could sing along. Duets isn’t a huge film...it basically shows average (or so they say - they are a little scary to me) having an outlet with a microphone and a TV, while getting their 3 minutes of fame. Enjoy!


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