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Reviewed March 13th, 2001 by Todd Terwilliger


Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead (Denver) was released theatrically in 1995, a year after Pulp Fiction, and tried to capture the same hip, witty feel as the earlier film, with varying degrees of success. Although not the classic that Pulp Fiction is, Denver does deliver an enjoyable experience.

The film follows Jimmy The Saint (Andy Garcia), a retired goodfella who is currently running a legitimate business: filming video legacies for the terminally ill. However, Jimmy's old boss, The Man With The Plan (Christopher Walken) calls him back for one last job. Jimmy reunites with his old crew to handle the assignment. When it goes wrong, it goes really wrong. Jimmy and his crew find themselves hunted down by an imfamous hitman named Mr. Shhh (Steve Buscemi).

Denver is chock full of its own brand of lingo. At times it's a bit distracting and self-conscious, but, mostly, it works. Jack Warden, as a gangster storyteller, acts as an impromtu guide, defining the bits of lingo that would otherwise be impossible to decipher.

The performances are all good, if not outstanding. Andy Garcia displays a nice blend of emotions as the conflicted Saint and Christopher Walken is always a joy to watch. Christopher Lloyd is also very good as the disease-ridden gangster, “Pieces”.

The video comes to us in a widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It is not anamorphic. The transfer is solid but not reference by any stretch of the imagination. Flesh tones seemed too red, especially in the darker scenes. Blacks are respectively dark. Scratches and dirt are held to a minimum and, overall, the print looks rather good.

We are given a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix which does the job but won't wow your friends or disturb your neighbors. Apart from a few scenes, the sound field is pretty limited and the rears get no action at all, other than from the music. There's very little LFE action to speak of. The dialog , though, is clear and crisp.

For extras, we are given is a production featurette. It's a nice but I would have preferred some type of commentary. There is also a theatrical trailer.

Denver is not an innovative or groundbreaking movie, nor terribly original, but its quirky and fun. If you liked Pulp Fiction, or if you like the pulp gangster movie, Denver is certainly worth a look.


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