• Curse Of The Pink Panther



    Curse Of The Pink Panther
    Released by: Kino Studio Classics
    Released on: June 27th, 2017.
    Director: Black Edwards
    Cast: Ted Wass, David Niven, Robert Wagner, Herbert Lom, Joanna Lumley
    Year: 1983
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    The Movie:

    In the opening scene to this Sellers-less entry in the Pink Panther series, famed French detective Clouseau is missing, possibly dead, after his attempts to retrieve the world famous Pink Panther diamond go south. Those in charge at the Surete obviously want to find out what happened to their man, and so they set into motion a plan to send a detective as bumbling as Clouseau himself to save the day. Their fancy high tech computer chooses a man named Clifton Sleigh (Ted Wass), an American from New York City, as the best fit.

    When Chief Inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) meets Sleigh, he’s instantly reminded of his hatred for the missing French detective and just as instantly feels that old hatred rear its ugly head again. This keeps Sleigh in fairly constant danger even as he sets out to solve the case. Of course, Dreyfuss would just as soon see to it that Clouseau never turns up and so he and Sergeant François Durval (André Maranne) do their best to sabotage the case. Sleigh, however, realizes this is a change for him to prove that he’s got what it takes. As he gets to work he encounters all manner of people who, for better or worse, knew Clouseau - Cato (Burt Kwouk), Bruno Langlois (Robert Loggia), Lady Simone Litton (Capucine), Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) and even George Lytton (Robert Wagner). Eventually he follows the trail of clues to the lovely Countess Chandra (Joanna Lumley) who not only gallivants about with a certain British film star but who also last saw Clouseau alive a few months before the investigation started.

    Just as it was almost unfair to judge Alan Arkin for his role in the earlier Inspector Clouseau (the first sequel to be made without Sellers in the role), so too is it unfair to Ted Wass to hold him up against Sellers’ iconic work on the franchise. Still, it’s essentially impossible not to make those comparisons and when you do, the movie quickly falls apart. Wass is…. Okay. He’s not terrible in the role and he handles the physical comedy well enough, but Edwards’ script is old hat by this point. Too many of the jokes feel recycled, there’s nothing here that’s really fresh or interesting – and given that for the first time we’re following an American character about, there should be. There’s ample opportunity for ‘fish out of water’ style comedy but even these gags feel hackneyed and unfunny.

    The pacing is decent enough, there’s nice location photography and the film’s infamous cameo is amusing enough but this one is just plain forgettable, bringing nothing new to the saga save for stunt casting and the nostalgia factor that comes from seeing some of the supporting players reprise their roles.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Curse Of The Pink Panther arrives on a 25GB Blu-ray disc from Kino Lorber framed at 2.35.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer. No complaints here – the image is clean, sporting good detail and texture throughout and virtually no print damage. There are no noticeable issues with compression artifacts, edge enhancement or noise reduction and color reproduction looks spot on.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track with removable subtitles provided in English only. The audio is free of any issues and it offers up clean, clear and easily discernable dialogue alongside properly balanced levels and some decent depth.

    Aside from menus and chapter selection the disc also includes theatrical trailers for all eight of the original Pink Panther films and a seventeen minute long interview with Ted Wass. Here the actor discusses Sellers’ impact on the part, what he personally tried to bring to the role, what it was like on set, changes that were made during the shoot and a fair bit more.

    The Final Word:

    Curse Of The Pink Panther might be the weakest of the films in the series to not feature Sellers, but for those who enjoy it Kino’s Blu-ray release offers a nice presentation with an admittedly interesting interview with its star as the main supplement.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!



















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