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Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

Director Michael Winterbottom ("Nine Songs") plays it loose and sloppy with a deconstructionist cinematic treatment of Laurence Sterne’s epic navel-gazing 1759 novel. For as much as filmmakers and critics enjoy praying at the altar of all things "meta," this movie is like an hour-and-a-half yawn. The ever affable-if-cynical Steve Coogan is our post-post-modern master of ceremonies through a maze of tongue-in-cheek smarty-pants improvisations that occur in a movie about making a movie about the writing of a confused autobiography. The movie finally hits its much belated stride in its closing minute when Coogan and his sidekick Rob Brydon do dueling Al Pacino impersonations, but it’s much too little too late. Special features include a commentary track with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, an extended interview between Steve Coogan and Tony Wilson, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage, a making-of featurette, and the theatrical trailer. Aspect ratio is 16:9 aspect ratio, with sound quality processed in Dolby Digital 5.1.

(Movie – One Star, DVD features – Two Stars) Rated R, 91 mins. (HBO)

July 15, 2006 in Comedy | Permalink