DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)

    Rob Schneider as DEUCE BIGALOW
    William Forsythe as DETECTIVE CHUCK FOWLER
    Eddie Griffin as T.J. HICKS
    Arija Bareikis as KATE
    Oded Fehr as ANTOINE LACONTE

    Rated R
    Studio: Touchstone

    Directed by: Mike Mitchell
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I’ve got to hand it to Rob Schneider. He’s not exactly leading man material, but he’s made a nice career for himself. When he started making movies, I think the world shuddered at the possibilities of Lorne Michaels producing a big screen version of his “making copies” character. After all, this was the guy who produced silver screen adaptations of the “Coneheads,” “It’s Pat” and “The Ladies Man.”

Some might consider Schneider’s work like the “Deuce Bigalow” movies, “The Animal” and “The Hot Chick” as being just as bad. However, I support Schneider in these films. Sure, they ain’t Shakespeare, but at least he’s not out there doing his own version of “Spanglish” like his insecure counterpart Adam Sandler.

The great thing about Rob Schneider movies is that no one should be surprised by them. The fact that the words “Male Gigolo” are used in the title should be a giant red warning flag that this movie isn’t taking itself seriously. And, unless you’re a critic and required to go to these movies, you should only be watching them if you like his schtick.

And I tend to like his schtick.

I’ve always liked “Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo.” It’s a funny movie. Sure, it’s a non-stop cavalcade of tasteless jokes and crude sexual humor, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I like tasteless jokes and crude sexual humor. They make me laugh.

The movie tells the story of Deuce Bigalow (Schneider), a fish tank cleaner who swerves into a new job as a male prostitute. It stems from an accident while he’s watching a fellow male prostitutes house for the week and accidentally shatters the man-whore’s expensive, custom-built fish tank. Deuce gets hooked up with his buddy’s pimp (Eddie Griffin) and starts using his sexual prowess to raise money for a new fish tank.

“Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo” has come out in “The Little Black Book Edition,” which is another excuse to re-release the DVD. I’m not sure why the studio chose to put it out there five months after the sequel’s DVD street date, but I’ve never really understood everything the studios do.

The new DVD has a few new special features, including a “Making the Deuce” featurette and the director’s video diary. There’s also a “Fly on the Set” featurette that shows raw footage from a video camera on set. It’s nothing startling or monumental, but it gives a decent insight into the way a regular film set runs. Finally, there are seven deleted scenes in the mix, many of which were not on the initial DVD release.

Oddly enough, the storyboard-to-screen comparisons that were on the original disc are absent here. There is a cute Easter egg showing the pain of being a cat wrangler on set, but otherwise, the special features are pretty darn tame.

In quiet reflection of this film, I realize that its sequel “Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo” is actually a funnier piece of work, albeit the lowest common denominator of humor. Still, the original film is funny enough and has heart.

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions. French language track. French subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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