Cheap DVDsJuly 25, 2010
The other day I mentioned the $5 copy of Men In Tights I bought, which didn’t have the voice track. Today’s $5 DVD is Uncle Buck, which I already have on VHS, but picked up today because my oldest son has just discovered 80s comedy, and he doesn’t have a VCR, and I like to introduce John Candy to the younger generation whenever I can, especially that nose-picking scene in Summer Rental. That was a run-on setnence. And that was a misspelled word. And that was grammatically incorrect.
This copy of Uncle Buck has a unique flaw: it’s slow. Just the audio. It’s a tick slower than it should be, not enough to create Kung-Fu-Movie dubbing effects, but enough.
This is noticeable to someone like me, who has seen Uncle Buck a dozen or two times. But for someone new to it, it kills the central message of the film, that Buck Melanoma, Moley Russell’s Wart, cleans up his act right away because he cares about his nieces and nephew. In this version, he sounds drunk. He sounds loaded and stupid, which, in this movie, he actually isn’t after the opening scenes.
But then again, so does everyone else, particularly a very tiny Jakob, uh, I mean Macauley Culkin, during the famous “I’m a kid, that’s my job” bit.
When Buck is making the giant pancake, it looks like a scene from Twilight‘s cafeteria. And when he pulls his old car in to the tune of Tone Loc’s Wild Thing, it has somehow become a Six Million Dollar Man slow jazz groove.
So I have a weird new version of Uncle Buck, in which the sympathy you’re supposed to feel for the uncle who cares more about the kids than their money-oriented parents has been reduced to a cheap comedy about a drunk hanging around with other drunks, one of whom is six and asks a lot of questions, because it’s his job.
Oh, I should also mention that once it’s slowed down, I finally noticed that Juliette Lewis is not in this movie. I always thought that was her. She was also not in The Big Hit. That was Christina Applegate. Mmm. Applegate.
While I was at Zellers buying dance music CDs for my daughter I noticed a new deal: six DVDs for $6.99. Probably not gonna do it.