Chris Tucker, in my opinion, remains one of the funniest comedic actors in film today. Not everyone may like his brand of humor, and I can understand that. But when you see him on screen, you can tell that he's constantly working, trying to work and improv before letting loose with the next line. He's worked with director Brett Ratner on both of his films, "Rush Hour" and "Money Talks". He had some great scenes in "Rush Hour", but "Money Talks" remains the movie where he seemed to be allowed the most freedom.
The film is a moderately above-average action/buddy comedy starring Tucker and in a nonexistent performance, Charlie Sheen. The film mainly revolves around Tucker, who plays Franklin Hatchett, a small time ticket seller/con-artist who is sent off to prison after being busted early on in the film. On the way to the jail, he gets tangled up in a getaway put together by Villard. The police though, think he was behind the whole affair and are out to get him - so is Villard and his entire team. Not knowing what to do, Franklin calls James Russell(Sheen) and offers the reporter an exclusive interview in exchange for a place to hide out.
But the plot almost doesn't matter at times. When you have a performer as exciting and lively as Tucker against one as bland as Sheen, Tucker steals each and every scene. He carries the movie wonderfully and it's fun to watch him work with the lines, which are pretty much average action fare. There are a few good action sequences staged in "Money Talks", but everything takes a background role Tucker, and in this case, that's ok.
VIDEO: There are a group of studios who were doing great things from the begining and as evidenced by this transfer, which is now a little over 2 years old, New Line has been offering fine efforts since the early days of the format. "Money Talks" is presented in a 2.35:1 transfer and, as with almost all New Line transfers, it's anamorphic. The picture is sharp and smooth, and detail is consistently good. Colors are strong as well, although not always terribly vibrant; just accurate and natural. Flesh tones are fine, and black level remains solid.
There are a few little, minor problems that pop up but really don't take away from the image. A little shimmering appears here and there, but other than that, the print used is in very good condition with no visible marks or scratches, and there's no pixelation. A great-looking title from the studio. A pan&scan version is on the flip side.
SOUND: "Money Talks" has a great funky score from composer Lalo Schifrin and thankfully, instead of keeping it in the background, its allowed to really open up and surround the viewer with a pleasing, deep presence. There are some great action sequences in "Money Talks" where all speakers are put to good use, but even when the film isn't intense, it still doesn't really close-up to being completely dialogue-driven. There are some subtle touches thrown in that give a good sense of space. Surround use is good, but it's not major. Dialogue is clear and easily understood, as well. Not anything that's going to give your system a major workout, but still a strong presentation.
MENUS:: There's a little bit of animation to the main menu, and the score playing in the background. Not bad, serving as a nice intro to the movie, although for menu art it's pretty early work.
EXTRAS: Unfortunately, just the trailer. Hopefully, this is a title New Line will come back to with a special edition sometime in the future.
Final Thoughts: It's a film with a few flaws but it's entertaining and New Line's price for the DVD is certainly right, with some stores offering the title for as low as $14.99.
The Film B
Video 93/A = (372/400 possible points)
Audio: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Extras: 75/C = (225/300 possible points)
Menus: 75/C = (150/200 possible points)
Value: 84/B = (252/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B
DVD GRADE: B