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Jack Nicholson stars as Melivin Udall, a cranky old man who, with his neuclear explosion level temper, terrifies and angers the other tennants in his building. The obsessive complusive Melvin has problems of his own and some of the film's funniest scenes are showing Melvin trying to negotiate the streets of New York, taking time to step over the cracks in a sidewalk on his way to his favorite local diner.
It's at the diner that he meets Carol, a waitress who's got a very sick young boy at home to take care of. Now, she not only has her son to worry about, but it turns out Melvin has become attached to her and demands to have only her wait on him when he comes into the diner each day. It may not sound like much of a story, but the pleasure of watching "As Good As It Gets" is watching the story unfold as well as listening to some of today's best actors work with dialogue that is simply first rate.
The story begins to pick up more pieces as the story of Melvin's neighbor(played by Greg Kinnear) is added. That's one of the great things about this film, that it can so easily put together so many pieces and make it into a story that makes sense and has forward momentum and a great plot throughout as the characters take a road trip in the second half of the film that is a lot of fun to watch. Great performances, great dialogue, great direction, great movie.
Image Quality: Columbia/Tristar has done an excellent job with the transfer on this DVD: the letterboxed 1.85:1 image has a very "film-like" quality that is a pleasure to watch. The image is clear and wonderfully sharp. Colors are realistic and vibrant and look accurate throughout. Contrast and color saturation also look perfect, with no color bleeding at all through the disc. There are no instances of artifacts such as pixelization or shimmering. Attention to detail is also excellent as is shadow detail and flesh tones.
Sound Quality: "As Good As It Gets" is mainly a dialogue driven film, but there are very nice little sound details during the scenes that take place on the streets that capture the sounds of the city. Hans Zimmer's score sounds full, rich and wonderful and most importantly, so does the dialogue, which sounds crystal clear throughout.
Extras: There's one extra on this disc and it's quite a great one. We get a commentary from director James L. Brooks, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Hans Zimmer and.....Jack Nicholson. It's a wonderfully entertaining commentary; not terribly technical and very relaxed. The group mainly talks about acting and writing choices that were made during the movie, but there's a lot of great stories about the production added in as well.(Note: Portions of this commentary were recorded seperately at a radio station, but the commentary still makes sense and never feels fractured.
Menus: Non-animated, but still very nice looking.
The Film:93/A = (465/500 possible points)
Video: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Audio: 84/B = (336/400 possible points)
Extras:89/B+ = (267/300 possible points)
Value:88/B = (264/300 possible points)
Menus:71/C- = (142/200 possible points)
Presentation: 83.25/B = (83.25/100 possible points)
TOTAL POINTS: 1913.25/2200
Overall Percentage: 86.9%/B
Overall Stars: ****/*****
Overall: An excellent disc and if you enjoyed the movie, worth a purchase.