Fletch: The "Jane Doe" Edition – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Universal presents Fletch: The “Jane Doe” Edition. Written by Andrew Bergman. Based on the novel by Gregory McDonald. 98 minutes. Rated PG. Originally Released in 1985.

Directed By:

Michael Ritchie

Cast:

Chevy Chase. ..Irwin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. Gail Stanwyk
Joe Don Baker. Chief Jerry Karlin
Geena Davis. Larry
Richard Libertini. Frank Walker
Tim Matheson. Alan Stanwyk
M. Emmet Walsh. Dr. Joseph Dolan
George Wendt. Fat Sam
Larry Flash Jenkins. Gummy

The Film:

A comedic actor is lucky if they kind find one memorable character in their career. Chevy Chase found himself two (that’s to say they were his only good roles, just his best). The infamous Clark Griswold from the Vacation films and the one and only Irwin Fletcher, “Fletch” to his friends and “Jane Doe” to his readers or Gordon Liddy, John Cokctastin, Arnold Babar, Mr. Poon or one of a hundred other names to everyone else.

If you’ve somehow not seen this classic comedy I’ll quickly recap the plot. Fletch is an investigative reporter working on a drug expose at the beach. While undercover he’s approached by a man and offered $50,000 to kill him. Fletch finds this odd and begins to look into it, quickly finding that nothing is as it seems.

As an actor Chevy Chase has not aged well, he has fallen from comic gold to relative TV obscurity. Luckily the same cannot be said for the films he made in his heyday. Fletch is as funny now as it ever was. Fletch is a quirky memorable film where just about every scene ends up being you favorite scene when reminiscing later.

Most of this is due to the comic genius that is Chevy Chase. Chase has always been known for impeccable comic timing and he is in full force here being spot on throughout the entire film. And while Chase is certainly the centerpiece of this film, it would be nothing without the stellar cast surrounding him. With greats like Geena Davis, George Wendy, and M. Emmet Walsh amongst others filling in the smaller rolls Fletch is jam packed with comic goodness.


“Moon river!”

The DVD:

The Video:

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1. This is a great transfer and the film looks just as good as it did when it was first released.

The Audio:

The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. They actually did a good job upgrading this film to 5.1 and it works, which is rare. This sound is great and the amazing soundtrack is just as crisp as ever.

Extras:

Just Charge It To The Underhills: Making and Remembering Fletch: This is an interesting retrospective of the film with cast and crew (sorry, no Chevy) although it’s poorly put together. The focus, for some reason, is around the guys who were in charge of doing the special features and follows them around as the come up with what to put on the DVD and how to get it done. They claim to have “forgotten” to interview Chevy. I don’t know if this whole set up is a supposed to be a joke or serious, either way it’s annoying and takes away from the joy of listening to the cast and crew talk about their time working on the film.

From John Cocktoastin to Harry S. Truman: The Disguises: As one might guess from the title, this short featurette focuses on the many disguises and characters that Fletch takes on during the film. This one’s mostly fluff. And again, no Chevy.

Favorite Fletch Moments: A cute little best of montage. Pretty useless though, unless you really don’t have time to watch the whole movie but want your Fletch fix.

Original Trailer

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Fletch: “Jane Doe” Edition
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

9
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

6
REPLAY VALUE

10
OVERALL
9
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

The Inside Pulse
The film is a little dated, what with the super synth 80’s soundtrack that is as memorable as the film itself, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Fletch a comic classic that should be essential viewing for anyone with a pulse.