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Case Number 03293: Small Claims Court

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Regarding Henry

Paramount // 1991 // 107 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // September 9th, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

The story of a man who had everything, but found something more.

The Case

Henry Turner (Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) is good at his job. So good, in fact, that it leaves him estranged from his young daughter and in cold company with his wife (Annette Bening, Open Range). Henry is one of New York's most successful defense attorneys, and his work has made him a very wealthy man. Striving to be the best, Henry's life has become a sad plethora of materialism, selfishness, and dishonesty. But Henry's existence is about to change drastically when he heads to the local convenience mart for a pack of cigarettes. After being shot in the head by a would-be thief, Henry awakens in a hospital with no memory of who he is or where he came from. Henry's skills as a human being are so damaged that he must learn to walk, talk, and eat again with the help of a jolly physical therapist (Bill Nunn). After rehabilitation, Henry is integrated back into a life he doesn't remember and a job he can't comprehend. With the help of his wife and daughter, Henry must discover his old life and come to terms with the new man he sees before him: one who is more patient, loving, and kind than his previous self.

Regarding Henry is a movie so seeped in syrupy sentimentality that it practically begs to be served at a waffle house. A movie about a man struggling to overcome amnesia due to a gunshot wound to the head may have produced a good movie. Regarding Henry is not that movie. This movie is filled with scenes where Henry Turner seems to have the brain capacity of a ten-year-old child, yet is smart enough to understand complicated law documents. Say what? This is only one of many problems plaguing Regarding Henry, a film that isn't as bad as you'd think (though it comes close) and not nearly as good as it could have been. Mike Nichols (The Graduate) directs each scene with what seems to be an attempt at an emotional concussion at the viewer's expense. Harrison Ford plays up his facial ticks and doe eyes at every possible turn. In other words, everyone's grasping for your heartstrings. The story bounds from one scene of revelation to the next (Affairs! Lies! Puppies!), never stopping to fully inhale reality—it feels like something really important is happening in every scene. How is it that in three short months Henry is able to become a fully functioning human being after starting from scratch? The screenplay by Jeffrey Abrams never answers such questions, though it does include a scene where Henry sits in a porn theater eating a popular candy bar. I love it when we get ties-ins from both the Nestle Company and Jenna Jameson in the same scene. A high-pitched Annette Bening and furry browed Donald Moffat (The Evening Star), as Henry's father figure boss, attempt to do what they can with their roles (which isn't much). But make no mistake: this is Ford's show all the way. It's too bad the show is derived from such a trite, empathetically flooded script. Apparently, in 1991 Ford decided he needed a break from being an action hero to momentarily play a simpleton. Listen up Hollywood: if I wanted Dr. Jones hanging around a New York apartment with the mental capacity of a cucumber, I'd have requested Raiders of the Lost Colostomy Bag. Then again, I'm nitpicking—if you're in the mood for a movie that shows Indy going "Blah! Blah!" while eating eggs slathered in mounds of Tabasco sauce, Regarding Henry is for you.

Regarding Henry is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I wasn't very impressed with this transfer. Sharpness and clarity were not as defined as they should have been. The colors are all fairly solid without any bleeding in the images. There was some edge enhancement in the image, though it usually didn't stick around very long. Shadow detail is only mediocre with the black levels showing a small amount of gray tinting. Overall, it's a disappointing transfer, especially considering the film's age. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. This is a mostly front heavy sound mix that sports directional effects/surround sounds every so often. The biggest boost comes from Hans Zimmer's wonderful music score. All aspects of the mix are free of any major distortion or hiss. Also included on this disc is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track in English, a Stereo mix in French, and English subtitles.

As with most catalog titles being released by Paramount these days, Regarding Henry is void of any and all extra features.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 70

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
• English
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
• Drama

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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