The Incredible Shrinking Woman Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review

Lily Tomlin is funny but also charming, smart, and conveys such resilience as a mom fighting for her family and her values.
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Pat Kramer (Lily Tomlin) is a normal housewife trying her best to take care of her husband (Charles Grodin) and two children. Her household responsibilities require a myriad of chemical products, the combination of which have a strange effect, causing her to shrink. She goes through every test imaginable and eventually gets so small that she must endure intense media and public scrutiny. As she struggles to keep out of the public eye while continuing to be a proper wife and mother, a group of scientists have their own ideas on how to take advantage of her. The result is a crazy adventure for Pat and her family.

Seeing this movie probably 20 years after my last viewing, my opinion today is much different. I enjoyed it for very different reasons. It’s isn’t as funny as I remembered but much darker. With this viewing, I was able to appreciate Tomlin‘s strong performance. I have always thought of her in terms of silliness and fun. Here, she is funny but also charming, smart, and conveys such resilience as a mom fighting for her family and her values.

Additionally, what hit me was the message it is trying to impart on the dangers of consumerism, which is still extremely relevant today. Grodin and his boss, played perfectly by Ned Beatty, illustrate the evils of corporate America beautifully as they are willing to sacrifice almost anything for the almighty dollar. Wagner had wanted to focus even more on the serious societal implications in the film and have a more hard-hitting message. I think what she was trying to do comes through and is to be appreciated.

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC displayed at an aspect ratio: 1.85:1.  The image is very grainy at the start with black specks.  It improves at the next scene but the overly grainy speckled issues resurface when Pat checks into the institute, and other occassions.  White specks also appear, like when Pat is reciting her memoirs in the doll house.  Colors appear bright hues and blacks are solid.  During special effects process shots of small Pat with normal-sized items, like on The Mike Douglas Show, the normal-sized imagery loses sharpness and brightness.  The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  The dialogue is clear unless purposely too loud.  The same goes for effects.  Suzanne Ciani's score is robust.

There are several special features featured on this collector‘s edition. First is a conversation with Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner, who wrote and executive produced the picture (HD, 26 min). This provides fascinating insight about what they were tying to do and what compromises they had to make. Additionally, there are interviews with director Joel Schumacher (HD, 28 min), cinematographer and visual effects supervisor Bruce Logan (HD, 23 min), and composer Ciani (Audio, 25 min). "On Location: Now and Then" (HD, 3 min) is a mini-featurette that takes you on a trip through some of the places where the film was shot. Lastly, there is a deleted scene with Tomlin's character Edith Ann (HD, 1 min), the theatrical trailer, and a photo gallery.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman was one of my favorite movies growing up. I hadn’t seen it in many years and was very curious if it would hold up and if I would still enjoy it.  I did although for different reasons since I am watching it as an adult.  The film is in need of a restoration, so the visuals aren't as pristine as one may expect for Blu-ray.  Fans of the film should be happy with all the new interviews Shout Select has included.  Reccomended.

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