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Ghost Canyon

'Death At A Funeral'
(Alan Tudyk, Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, et al / DVD / R / (2007) 2008 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: As the mourners and guests at a British country manor struggle valiantly to "keep a stiff upper lip," a dignified ceremony devolves into a hilarious, no-holds-barred debacle of misplaced cadavers, indecent exposure, and shocking family secrets.

DVD Verdict: A farce of the first order, 'Death At A Funeral' is about a normally dysfunctional family who are forced to confront each other at a patriarch's funeral. The amazing script was written by Dean Craig. He is a young writer/director with only four films to his credit. In 2003 he gave us DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. His script for FUNERAL was filled with wafts, even wads of wit, had terrific internal timing, a solid structure and plot, with a delectable and irreverent sense of humor. It is a film so completely farcical that I believe it could be produced on stage, in live theatre. All those slamming doors, crossed-over plotlines, and zany characters would lend themselves to some outrageous theatrical moments.

Viewing the film I was happy to give in to the instant giddiness that most of my friends immediately lapsed into ie: beginning to titter and then guffaw while the opening credits were still rolling. If laughter is the "best medicine", and we all know that it is, then this film should be mandatory viewing, and the tickets should look like a medical prescription pad. Viewing this film is definitely good for "what ails you."

Lost love, mistaken identities, bumbling morticians, caskets that come alive, those terrible and dark secrets regarding the patriarch's "special needs", hallucinogenic bursts of inhibition, nudity, toilet hi-jinks, suppressed sex, unrepressed sex, deviant sex, pregnancy, predispositions and misunderstandings, jealousy, an ice queen for a wife and mother, a Spartacus toga party, a centurion's costume, an unpublished novel, harping, cajoling, bondage, wrestling, roof-romping, with enough turnabouts, fop haws, reversals, and surprises to flesh out three other comedic films, plus a really excellent cast -makes this darkest of drawing room comedies land on its dancing feet somewhere lodged half way between Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward, or say George Bernard Shaw and Harold Pinter, who is emulating Carl Reiner, who collaborated with Mel Brooks, after consulting with Woody Allen! This is both a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and a Full Screen Version and comes with the Special Features:

Widescreen & Full Screen Presentations
Commentary with Director Frank Oz
Commentary with Writer Dean Craig and Actors Alan Tudyk and Andy Nyman
Gag Reel