003777Reviews & Counting
Miss Congeniality (SE)
DVD disk
03.08.2005 By: Indiana Sev
Miss Congeniality (SE) order
Donald Petrie

Sandra Bullock
Benjamin Bratt
Michael Caine


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A female FBI agent goes undercover as a beauty contestant in The Miss United States pageant in order to nab a mysterious baddie known only as “The Citizen.”
This movie got 2 of its 2 ½ star rating from sheer Sandra Bullock adorableness alone. My adoration and love for the incessantly charming and extremely pretty Ms. Bullock just grows stronger every time I see her and so it isn’t very difficult to convince me to watch any of her movies, from the very good (TWO WEEKS NOTICE) to the painfully wretched (PRACTICAL MAGIC). Heck, she can come over to my apartment and try fixing my DVD player for hours and I’ll just sit there, hands folded politely on my lap and just smile looking at her. My point is, this comedy is the definition of below average and despite not boring me, it did very little in both the originality and humor departments, succeeding only in casting the movie with talented supporting player pros (Ernie Hudson, Bill Shatner, Michael Caine, Candy Bergen) and one hell of a loveable lead – Sandra Bullock. This movie stayed afloat and made a fortune due to her and her alone because when you strip away all the big stars and razzle dazzle of MISS CONGENIALITY, it's as generic and comically lazy a script as you can get…

But back to Sandy…hmm, okay, a little bit more about the movie and then I’ll end with my closing thoughts on this underrated princess. They splashed very few choice tunes in this, Tom Jones’ She’s a Lady stands out in particular and is well used but a movie like this needs many more poppy songs splashed in to spice things up because it hasn’t got much else going for it. Caine was in top form and fun to watch, as usual, and T.J. Hooker should’ve been used a little more but I suppose the main fault lies in the lack of creativity on both the director and the screenwriter’s part; it’s almost as though they knew they had the audience for this anyway and it was not worth taking any risks in trying to better the movie by making it wittier or different in any way. Bullock’s dramatic scenes, much like those she had in TWO WEEKS NOTICE, will not only convince you that she’s got the acting punch of her contemporaries but will make your heart melt at the sight of her tears as well. Sure she’s had a few misfires as of late, but one look at THE THING CALLED LOVE will prove to you that this little spitfire will be around for a long time to make up for them. In fact, one look at her in any of her films will do that, because be it a flop or a hit, Sandy never comes off looking any less than what she is – sexy, talented & loveable.
Audio Commentary with Sandra Bullock and Screenwriter Marc Lawrence: Bullock’s famous sense of humor and self-deprecation both come through in this commentary and the close friendship she shares with Lawrence (who also wrote FORCES OF NATURE and TWO WEEKS NOTICE) only help make the listen even easier. An overall good commentary track that has both participants having a genuinely good time…

Audio Commentary by Director Donald Petrie: A little less gloss on this track due to the lack of Bullock, but Petrie is nevertheless a lively presence and dishes out all the goods you’ll want to know about the movie; one if which is a little bit of background info on Bullock’s character that helps explain her tough exterior a little more…

Preparing for the Pageant (6 minutes): This is a fairly short featurette that focuses mainly on how they transformed a tough as nails, tomboy-ish FBI agent into a viable contestant for a beauty pageant. A lot of the main players participate in discussing Sandy’s transformation procedure, including the cute little sprite herself. Still, this feature ends as soon as it begins -- they should probably have coupled it with the one below…

The Pageant (7 minutes): This is basically just a classic “making-of” feature with a few outtakes sprinkled in and a lot of feedback from the actors and filmmakers. It would have made for a much better behind-the-scenes package had they tacked on the above featurette…

“Missing” Scenes with Commentary by Director Petrie: There are 3 overall, all worth a look for more Sandy, but overall, nothing too memorable here. The “Wedding Scene” is the standout.

‘Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Beauty Queen’ Quiz: This is hosted by infamous Montrealer and Star Trek alum Capt. James T. J. Shatner. I don’t usually go for these DVD quizzes but it’s these kinds of things that make DVDs like this “Deluxe Editions”, so more power to them. The younger fans might enjoy this one…

Sneak Peek at Miss Congeniality 2 (8 minutes): Yuck, “contrived” is the nicest word I can come up with out of respect for Sandy. This is a set-up to the sequel by all the actors and filmmakers involved, with lots of footage from the movie. The bad news: it looks even less funny than the first one. The good news: Sandy Bullock and…Treat Williams getting legitimate roles again.

Theatrical Trailer
I held back a lot on this review because it’s a Bullock movie; this is probably the nicest bad review I’ve ever written. But this section is about the DVD Clinic’s final diagnosis so here it is: If you’re a true blue, die-hard Sandra Bullock fan, then this is a surefire rental and a definite lock for your Sandy Bullock library; everybody else should just keep looking down the aisle for something else – like THE THING CALLED LOVE…
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