February 3, 2003

Who Is Cletis Tout?  (2002)
Paramount Home Entertainment

92 mins. · Rated: R · 16x9 · 2.35:1
Audio: E - DD 5.1 / E - DS
Subtitles: English

Starring Tim Allen, Chrisitian Slater, Richard Dreyfuss, Portia DeRossi
A movie that pays homage top both, the classic Hollywood cinema and the modern film, ’Who Is Cletis Tout?’ is a fascinating and funny crime comedy that doesn’t really fit any template. It is original, twisted and utterly unpredictable. Behind every corner is a witty plot twist that catches you off-guard while at the same time, the film never becomes frantic at all, giving you the chance to enjoy the funny intertwined story as it unfolds.

Paramount Home Entertainment is bringing us ’Who Is Cletis Tout?’ in a beautiful widescreen presentation that is enhanced for 16x9 television sets. The image is meticulously clean and not a speckles can be found in the print. The image is awash with detail and the DVD marvelously brings all that to your screen. Colors are vibrant but always natural looking and never oversaturated. Flesh and skin tones are absolutely naturally rendered, adding to the film’s credibility as the various stages of the film apply subtle color palettes to underscore the emotional impact of the film. The movie is almost hypnotic in its visual quality despite the fact that it is a very natural-looking film, but the cinematography truly pulls the viewer into the events. Blacks are deep and solid and no notable edge-enhancement is visible. As expected, the compression has also been handled masterfully, turning ’Who Is Cletis Tout?’ into a top notch presentation.

The DVD comes with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track, as well as a Dolby Surround mix. The audio is engaging and active, making good and frequent use of the surround channels. Split surrounds are used very effectively in many instances, giving the movie sonic dynamics that nicely befit the film. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out.

Unfortunately Paramount Home Entertainment has not added any extras to this release. Not even a trailer can be found on the disc, which is disappointing to say the least.

’Who Is Cletis Tout?’ is one of those movies where I found myself smiling constantly. It is the subtle humor that makes this film so valuable, not the laugh-out-loud moments – which are few. But behind every word, there is some truth, some link to another element of the plot that we may not have discovered yet, and with every payoff, your face will brighten up as you believe you are finally able to see the bigger picture – just, you don’t. Soon the plot will take another turn, starting the guessing game all over again. In short, ’Who Is Cletis Tout?’ is a wonderful experience. Get this disc today! Despite its utter lack of extras ,this is a most-see DVD.

Guido Henkel

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