MGM/11/117m/ANA 2.35

         Combine The Color of Money with Dumb and Dumber and you have the heart of the new movie from the Peter and Bobby Farrelly the brothers who were also behind the later film. Much of the scatological humor of that first film is happily absent from Kingpin, though when it is present it succeeds with less offense.

Show me the money. MGM

     Woody Harrelson is very good as Roy Munson, the bowler who loses his hand as punishment for participating in a hustle with tour veteran Ernie McCracken, played over the top by a smarmy Bill Murray. Harrelson stays on firm ground in the role, finding a center of honesty to the insanity. Michael Keaton was originally set for the role of Munson but wound up replaced by Harrelson. It would have been a much different movie with the manic Keaton, and I actually think Harrelson proves himself a splendid player of comedy. His timing is excellent, the seriousness of his deadpan worthy of another Keaton.
     Some of the funniest scenes are set in the Amish country where Munson finds his bowling protg, Ishmael, played with a innocent goofiness by Randy Quaid. Yeah, its silly when Munson removes some horse shoes in his own unique style, but its a joke that plays and has legs with later references. From Amish country its on the road to Las Vegas and bowling redemption for Roy.
     Joining Harrelson and Quaid on the road to Vegas is the enchanting Vanessa Angel an actress who exudes sex appeal in every frame, pardon the pun. Kingpin delivers an abundance of laughter with surprising originality.
     The special edition DVD trip is worth taking with audio commentary from the brothers Farrelly. Now, you know they have a good time on set. The crisp anamorphic images are colorful with lots of contrast. The bright photography and lively production design comes through in outstanding fashion. The Dolby Digital 5:1 surround adds a solid crunch to the falling pins and the music is open and clear.This Kingpin DVD rolls strike after strike





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