Miss Congeniality: Deluxe Edition
Warner Bros. is the latest studio to jump on the Deluxe
Edition bandwagon. And like most other Deluxe Editions, this one features
nothing new except for a short sneak peek at Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and
Like a Bullock in a China Shop
Sandra Bullock produced and stars in this delightful tale of an
ugly duckling who becomes a beautiful swan while foiling an attempt on the life
of a beauty queen.
Bullock is FBI agent Gracie Hart, a competent operative who,
though she tends to go off half-cocked, is respected like "one of the boys" by
her compatriots. The film opens with her making an error in judgement in a
sticky situation, which gets her in the bad books of her boss (Ernie Hudson).
She's assigned to a desk until a hearing can be held, but just as
she's resigning herself to a time of paper pushing the Bureau gets a head's up
that there could be an attack on the Miss United States pageant being held in a
couple of days.
Gracie's the only female available and, though femininity has
never been her strong suit, she's assigned to stand in as one of the
contestants and get to the bottom of the case.
This kicks off a lively "fish out of water/cinderella" story that
combines slapstick, good writing, casting against type, and wonderful
performances. In short, this movie is everything that Sally Field's "Beautiful" could and should have been if it could
have gotten its political agenda off his shoulder.
There's feminist dogma in "Miss Congeniality," but it never takes
the place of the story and, in fact, provides for some good moments as Gracie
and others discover that there's more to these pageants than just a major
A great supporting cast is led by Michael Caine as Gracie's "Henry
Higgins," an imagemaker assigned to turn the frumpy Gracie into the beautiful
Miss New Jersey. He's wonderful in the part! Benjamin Bratt is also good as
Gracie's FBI compatriot, though he doesn't have much opportunity to stretch his
acting powers in what's basically a pretty straightforward part.
Noteworthy is Candice Bergen as a former Miss United States who
has a lot more in her background that one might expect. She plays the part as
if it were "Murphy Brown," except that she's 180 degrees from her TV journalist
role - and though it doesn't sound like it would, it works. William Shatner
does his usual "restrained scenery chewing" as Bergen's show host sidekick.
As might be expected, this is really Sandra Bullock's movie and
she rises to the occasion beautifully - literally. She never takes herself
seriously, allowing herself to be "uglified" in the film's opening scenes, then
displaying her ultimate feminine potential when she metamorphoses into Miss New
Even as the "beautiful swan," however, she never takes it
seriously and provides some nice pratfalls and good laughs. This movie is a far
cry from her compatively awful "Forces of Nature;" while "Forces" should be
avoided, "Miss Congeniality" should be seen.
We went into "Miss Congeniality" expecting an empty headed piece
of crap and instead were treated to a funny and intelligent comedy we enjoyed a
heck of a lot.
The audio and video transfers of this new DVD appear to be exactly
the same as the previous release, and the disc also includes the same
commentaries, deleted scenes, and documentaries. The sneak peek at
Miss Congeniality 2 runs about eight and a half minutes and does a good job. It
gives you a wee bit of information about the upcoming sequel (without giving
too much away), it includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the
cast and crew, and is almost a complete waste of time.
As an added bonus, purchasers of this Deluxe Edition will also
receive a free movie pass good for $12 off admission to Miss Congeniality 2.
Obviously, if you dont already own a version of the film, this is the one
to get, but its hardly worth a double dip.
Miss Congeniality, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, William Shatner, Ernie
Hudson and Candice Bergen
Produced by Sandra Bullock
Written by Marc
Lawrence & Katie Ford & Caryn Lucas
Directed by Donald Petrie
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