COYOTE UGLY (DVD)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 100 minutes
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The film being a quintessential example of the “razzle dazzle yes, substance no” filmmaking philosophy of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, it’s only fitting that his destined-to-be-a-camp-classic aspiring-songwriter-joins-an-all-female-bartending-troupe saga Coyote Ugly would earn a showy presentation on DVD. Not long after the disc is popped into the player, one is treated to a frenetic motion menu accompanied by a booming score–very atypical for a Touchstone disc. Then again, this not your typical barebones Buena Vista release. In addition to the snazzy animated graphics, there are also a fair amount of supplements accompanying the film, which makes the film-to-disc transition with all its bombastic sight and sound intact.
There are no fewer than three behind-the-scenes featurettes, each centering on a specific subject: “Coyote 101: How to Be a Coyote,” “Inside the Songs,” and “Search for the Stars.” While the footage used is clearly lifted from the electronic press kit, the featurettes themselves appear to have been expressly assembled for this release. These short little segments aren’t the most informative features, but there’s definitely some amusement to be had–particularly in the “Inside the Songs” one, in which young country/pop diva LeAnn Rimes discusses the art of dubbing over star Piper Perabo’s singing. (Rimes’ video for the film’s signature song, “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” is also included on the disc.)
With its hook of sultry young women shaking their stuff atop bar counters, Coyote may seem like an R-rated movie that was then cut down to a more palatable PG-13. Alas, such tantalizing speculation is put to rest by the handful of deleted scenes included here. None of it is more footage of Perabo or co-stars Tyra Banks, Isabella Miko, and Bridget Moynahan doing their thing; instead, it’s just more of the film’s “heartfelt” story: an ex-boyfriend of Perabo’s Violet telling her she’ll never make it; bonding between Violet and her best friend (played by Melanie Lynskey), etc. Each one makes a strong case for their cutting on their own, but it would have been nice if director David McNally were on hand to exactly why these pieces fell by the wayside.
Then again, McNally’s presence is strongly felt on the disc. He and Bruckheimer show up in the behind-the-scenes featurettes, and the disc does include separate audio commentaries by both. However, these tracks are not full-length; they only play over portions of selected scenes, not to mention their comments are non-scene-specific interview sound bites being passed off as commentaries. Not that the one full-length commentary that is included, featuring Perabo, Moynahan, Miko, Banks, and Maria Bello (who plays tough bar owner Lil), is particularly satisfying, either. Potential for juicy group girl talk is reduced right off the bat with the realization that the quintet’s comments were recorded during two different sessions: one with the first three, the other with the latter two. The result is a strangely disjointed track: the threesome session is shallow and giddy (Perabo is especially guilty of the latter) while the duo session is dominated by an overly earnest Bello, whose first comment is a straight-faced thanks to Bruckheimer for frequently making movies with strong roles for women.
She must have confused him with someone else, for the final extra pretty well sums up the worth of the female roles in this film: “Action Overload,” which edits together all the bartenders’ dance sequences–”the hottest moments from the movie,” according to the disc box–into one MTV-ready reel. Flashy and ultimately worthless–making it a too-perfect companion to the feature film.
Specifications: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen; English DTS; English and French 5.1 Surround; English and Spanish subtitles; English closed captioning.



Posted on July 9, 2000 in Reviews by
Buffer


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