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Singing Detective, The  (2003)

 

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright Penn

Director: Keith Gordon

Rating: R

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Release Date: March 23, 2004
Review posted: March 29, 2004

Spoilers: None

 

Reviewed by Craig Younkin

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Author Dan Dark (Downey Jr.) is hospitalized with a horrible skin disease that has left him in a mountain of pain. Add to that the emotional pain of his past and Dark is the saddest human being on the planet. He spends his days in hallucinatory fantasies about his wife and several other people plotting against him. He also spends time with a psychiatrist trying to rebuild himself emotionally.

 

CRITIQUE

 

It is very hard to figure out what to say about this film. On one hand it is very well acted by Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson (in an unrecognizable make-up job), and the two share the film's best scenes together, but on the other hand it is very hard to care about anything that is going on here.

 

Dark's problems are very obvious right from the start while many of the film's supporting characters go in and out of Dark's dream sequences, but are so underdeveloped that their very presence on screen is confusing. They also break out into musical numbers which appear to mean nothing to the story.

 

But you may want to rent The Singing Detective for Robert Downey Jr.'s cynical and insufferable performance, and for the trippy way it goes in and out of flashbacks and dream sequences. Otherwise, I really see no value in the film at all.

 

THE VIDEO

 

"The Singing Detective" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality is decent and fine for the film.

 

THE AUDIO

 

"The Singing Detective" is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. An English Dolby Surround track also appears, plus English subtitles.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

The only special feature the DVD contains is an audio commentary by director Keith Gordon that's not very interesting or informative as gaps of silence make it rather boring. A few insights may be found, but none that matter.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Downey Jr. carries the film, but there isn't much for him to carry.

 

VERDICT: RENT IT

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The Disc

 

:: Disc Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

5

THE VIDEO

7

THE AUDIO

7

THE EXTRAS

3

OVERALL

5

 

:: Merchandise

 

SOUNDTRACK
Various Artists

Buy the CD!