Thursday, August 3, 2017

MY CHAUFFEUR - Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray Review

Directed By: David Beaird
Written By: David Beaird
Starring: Deborah Foreman, Sam J. Jones, Howard Hesseman
Color/97 Minutes/R
Region FREE
Release Date: July 25, 2017

The Film
Casey Meadows is about to upgrade her life as a dishwasher when she receives a job offer to become a driver for the very prestigious Brentwood Limousine company. The male dominated industry is tossed on its head as Casey finds out that being a chauffeur is much more than just driving but that's not always bad as true love could be hiding in the back seat.

How did Deborah Foreman not become a superstar? She was a solid actress with great charisma and screen presence and she was pretty damn cute too. She had a decent string of movies in the mid to late 80s including the horror cult classics April Fool's Day and Waxwork but by the early 90s her roles began to fizzle out and it certainly isn't because she can't carry a movie. MY CHAUFFEUR wouldn't be the same movie without her in the lead. Sure, it has a charming script with just enough of an edge to keep things just a bit raunchy and edgy from the apparent incest ("Daddy we've been bad!") to the dirty mouthed old men that steal the show every time there's a scene taking place in the driver's lounge room and the performances across the board are all quite good including Sean McClory who plays the only the driver to support the young girl and acts as a fatherly figure and mentor for her new career. And there has to be mention of Sam J. Jones' drunken rampage through a park after a recent break up in the back of Casey's car where he slams a bottle of booze, strips down to his bare ass cheeks and runs around terrorizing everyone while Casey chases frantically behind. It's one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

You can't speak of comedy in this film without mentioning the cameos by a young Penn and Teller in a scene where Teller plays Abdul, a foreign dignitary and Penn Gillette plays Bone, a scam artist that takes Abdul on a wild night of partying all while posing as his body guard and spending Abdul's own money. David Beaird wrote and directed the film, one of only seven features he would helm which surprises me because if the rest of his filmography is half as good as MY CHAUFFEUR he'd be a keeper in my book and someone you could count on to make entertaining small-mid budget comedies. MY CHAUFFEUR sums up the fun and playful nature of the 80s without being childish or immature and ends up being a highly entertaining light hearted comedy.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome has given MY CHAUFFEUR a new 2K scan and restoration from the original 35mm negative with very nice results for its HD debut. The colors are vivid and details are sharp. Black levels are deep with no compression issues. There is a bit of speckling scattered throughout but nothing distracting. the DTS-HD Mono audio is crisp and extremely pleasant to the ear. The mix is stable and free of any distortions or background noise. Optional English SDH subtitles are included. MY CHAUFFEUR looks and sounds exactly as it should.

The Extras
This Blu-ray is pretty stacked with features including:

-"License To Drive" - An interview with star Deborah Foreman
-Audio Commentary with writer/director David Beaird and actor Leland Crooke
-Audio Commentary with production assistant Jeff McKay
-Isolated Soundtrack
-Original theatrical trailer
-TV spots
-Still Gallery
-Reversible cover art

The Bottom Line
MY CHAUFFEUR is exactly what a romantic comedy should be. It has a cute charismatic leading lady, just enough of an edge and great writing that makes it legitimately funny and just a bit quirky at times. Vinegar Syndrome has given this cult favorite the treatment it is deserving of.

MY CHAUFFEUR is available HERE

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