DVD Review: 'A Fish Called Wanda: Collector's Edition'


"A Fish Called Wanda" is one of the better movie comedies of the past 20 years, a great mix of truly mean-spirited black humor, madcap heist picture and even a little bit of love story.

A two-disc "Collector's Edition" of the film is now on DVD, so the question, if you already own one of the previous releases of "Wanda," do you upgrade?

If you have the original, bare-bones DVD from 1999, the answer would be an unqualified "yes." But if you're in possession of the "Deluxe Edition," released just two years ago, you're not going to find a whole lot of new material.

Like the prior release, the new version has an informative and generous commentary track by star/screenwriter John Cleese, a decent making-of documentary called "Something Fishy" and a host of deleted scenes, introduced by Cleese. The new release does add one pretty good feature: a "Pop-Up Video"-style trivia track that delivers little nuggets about the film, its cast and crew, Nietzsche and fish. Two featurettes not included on the 2004 release, however, are very, very dry and don't add a whole lot to the party.

What really stands out, though, is just how well the movie stands up 18 years after its release. Watching the movie again, it's really impressive how tight the direction by Ealing Studios veteran Charles Crichton is; the movie's three Oscar nominations (for Crichton, Cleese's and Crichton's story and best supporting actor Kevin Kline, who won) were richly deserved.

EXTRAS: Commentary by John Cleese; trivia track; deleted scenes with intro by Cleese; "Something Fishy" documentary; featurettes "John Cleese's First Farewell Performance," "Farewell Featurette: John Cleese" and "Kulture Vulture"; "A Message from John Cleese"; photo gallery; theatrical trailer.
PRICE: $26.98

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