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Crazy in Alabama

DVD Review by Yanman

 

"What's in the hat box?"

In the middle of the 1960s, the deep south was a turbulent and changing place. By 1965, the civil rights movement was well underway, and Alabama, along with many other states was having a tough go at making peace among its people. That is only part of what makes Alabama crazy in this movie, you see, Lucille (Melanie Griffith) has killed her husband, cut off his head, is on her way to Hollywood, and that is only part of the story-- now that is crazy. Good sound, good video, and above average extras on this DVD.

In the year 1965, Peejoe (Lucas Black) and his brother were living happily with their me-ma in Industry, Alabama. That all changed however when aunt Lucille shows up and announces to the whole family that she has killed her husband, cut off his head and is now on her way to Hollywood to become a huge movie star. On her way out she even tells her favorite nephew Peejoe how she killed him (rat poison), how she cut off his head (carving knife), and where she hid the head (she has it with her in a Tupperware bowl, that she eventually stores in a hat box) leaving this 12 year old with a burning secret.

While Lucille is on her cross-country journey to find stardom, her hometown is undergoing racial upheaval, sparked by a bigoted police officer (Meat Loaf). One of the reasons that Sheriff John Doggett is keeping so hot on Lucille's tail may have a lot to do with the fact that her brother, the local funeral director, has attempted to get the Sheriff removed from his post, or the fact that Peejoe witnessed him kill a local boy. Can you call this a comedy? Maybe, but it is a VERY dark one at times.

The Anamorphic widescreen video looks O.K., but it is nothing special. There are some very dark scenes that exhibit a touch of graininess and there is some softness throughout. Still, we give this one our average rating.

To say that this movie is more of a "talking head" would be an interesting cliché to be sure, but by definition that is the category that it falls into. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is good though, if not understated, so an average rating here as well.

There are a good number of extras including deleted scenes, an outtakes reel, a making of, and commentaries by first time director Antonio Banderas and by his actress wife Melanie Griffith.

Crazy in Alabama will make you think twice about calling your family crazy, because most will be very sane by comparison. How many people even if they do cut off a head, keep it with them in a hatbox and talk to it? The number must be small. Gee, I hope they don't ever reuse that Tupperware . . .

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Audio
Video
Extras
Overall

This DVD was reviewed on Yanman.com's Reference Theater #1, using a Toshiba SD-5109 DVD player, Toshiba TW56X81, and M&K 750 THX Speakers. Panamax protects all systems at Yanman.com.

Crazy in Alabama

Can you call this a comedy? Maybe, but it is a VERY dark one at times.

Staring:

Melanie Griffith

Directed By:

Antonio Banderas

Running time:  113 Minutes
Rated: PG-13
Genre:  Comedy?

Bonus Materials

  • Commentary by director Antonio Banderas

  • Commentary by star Melanie Griffith

  • Production notes

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • Making -Of Featurette

  • Deleted Scenes With Narration by Director Antonio Banderas

  • A Director's Passion: Photo Montage With Commentary by Antonio Banderas

  • Blooper Reel

  • Widescreen anamorphic format