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Case Number 06283: Small Claims Court

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Oh God! Book II

Warner Bros. // 1984 // 96 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // February 25th, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Naugle wants you to think God. Or Mohammad. Or Osiris. Take your pick.

The Charge

That's right, I made another movie.
You know me, I can't stop creating.

The Case

It's hard being a little girl with separated parents. It's even harder when the King of Kings decides to contact you personally to set up His own advertising campaign! When Tracy (Louanne), a precocious little girl whose parents (Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney) have decided split up, is chosen by God (once again played by legendary comedian George Burns) to come up with a slogan for Him, Tracy's friends, family, and a few psychologists think she's gone loco. The good news is that God has faith in Tracy, and when she comes up with a slogan ("Think God") to help promote the Lord's good name, everyone finds out that miracles can happen anywhere…even in the hands of a spunky child.

I enjoyed the original Oh God! because it was a cute little movie about believing in a power higher than yourself. There wasn't much else to it, nor did there need to be. You had George Burns as God, the late John Denver as a modern day prophet, and an ending where The Lord makes a speech telling us all to be a little nicer to each other. While it didn't change the world, it did make you just a little happier to be alive (and a little more hopeful that God really is watching over us). The film needed a follow-up as much as we need Schindler's List II: The Return of the Fuhrer.

Now comes Oh God! Book II, a sequel that never lives up to the original's fuzzy charms. George Burns returns as the hippest of deities, but this time around he's stuck in a story that's pure child's play—literally. Instead of an everyman like John Denver, we get a tyke girl named Tracy ("and a child shall lead them.," comments one character) who is handpicked by The Lord to come up with an advertising slogan to get His name back on the lips of His people. This then leads her parents, teachers, and psychiatrists to assume the little child has lost her marbles. If this sounds at all entertaining, see Oh God! Book II and you'll find yourself reminiscing about the first film in the same way you'd reminisce about your ex-girlfriend if you started dating a semi-retarded troll.

The best thing about Oh God! Book II is, not surprisingly, George Burns's laidback take on the mother (or father, as it were) of all superstars. Burns's God is a like a big teddy bear that whimsically spews forth cute sayings and indulges in the world He created. He likes people, but he doesn't understand why they're so stubborn. The rest of the cast is bland by comparison. Little Tracy (played by the single-named Louanne) is cute…maybe even too cute. There is only so much smile-smile, wink-wink I can take from a kid actor before I feel like I've landed on an episode of Barney. Her parents, played by Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney, have all the excitement of cream corn, but not the consistency—they separate and come back together without much of a character arc.

Then again, I guess you're not watching a movie like Oh God! Book II for a solidly written character arc. The film will probably play better with small children than adults, since the bulk of it deals with kids pasting the saying "Think God" all over Los Angeles. It's an amiable idea, but one that grows far too sugary by the hour mark. After you're finished watching Oh God! Book II, you may want to catch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ just to balance everything out.

Oh God! Book II is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. While this transfer isn't great, it's probably the best the film will ever look. The picture sports a somewhat grainy look with okay colors and relatively solid black levels. There is a small amount of edge enhancement, though overall it's clear of most major defects. Hey, this may not be the holy of holies when it comes to image quality, though fans will certainly be happy to get this film in its original aspect ratio.

The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono in English. Blah. While the dialogue, music, and effects are all well recorded and easily heard, there isn't anything exciting about this track. Also included on this disc are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Warner has only included a single anamorphic theatrical trailer on this first ever DVD release of Oh God! Book II.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 66

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Theatrical Trailer


• IMDb

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