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In the autumn of 1997, a very rich benefactor (Burt Reynolds) donates a gift of $50,000,000 to the Grierson Gallery of California, to bring America’s greatest painting, Whistler’s Mother, back home. The trustees of the Gallery want an eminent art scholar to dignify the unveiling ceremony, and invite the Royal National Gallery of England to send their finest academician to oversee the proceedings. But … the British do not send their greatest scholar. Instead, they dispatch their most detested and inept employee, the man who falls asleep on the job as a gallery watchman, Bean (Rowan Atkinson) in a desperate attempt to get him out of their lives. If disaster has a human face, it’s probably Bean’s: he weaves his peculiar magic in art galleries, hospitals, airports and private homes. When Bean does America, it stays done.

"Just looking at Rowan Atkinson's comic expressions is a tonic in itself; Bean is a delight. The catch phrase on the DVD slick says 'Be afraid, be very, very, very, very, very afraid.' I say 'Be afraid, be very afraid . . . that you’ll laugh yourself silly at this comic adventure when Mr Bean goes to Hollywood.'

Bright and colourful, Bean takes us into a nonsensical world that is not only hilariously funny, but satirises much about human behaviour. Take this simple coffee routine. Mr Bean is running late for work; he looks at his watch just as he is about to put the teaspoon of instant coffee into the cup. No time. Oh dear. He swallows the coffee granules, gulps a couple of spoons of sugar, slurps a slug of milk from the bottle and tops it off by drinking the water from the kettle spout. As for the scene when he realises that he is travelling first class, he doesn't act cool, like I guess we all feel we should. He is decidedly uncool and shows off the tickets, stretches his legs to display the abundance of leg room and is like a fish out of water. Indeed the whole 86 minutes is filled with gags forming a ripple effect, and the fact that we are engaged throughout is great credit to Atkinson and the team. The humour is child-like and infectious. But it is not just superficial. There is much that is a true reflection of the real us. The anticipation is delicious, the execution marvellous, the outcome so ridiculous that we feel refreshed. If you need a lift, Bean the Ultimate Disaster Movie is just the DVD!

There are four tracks, with a choice of English or German language, and hard of hearing for both. Original widescreen (16:9 ratio) is my preferred choice, but 4:3 is also available. Navigation is as straightforward as the laughs – it's easy to click directly to your favourite scenes once you've enjoyed the whole movie."
Louise Keller

Published: December 7, 2000

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia



CAST: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, John Mills, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

DVD RELEASE: November 8, 2000

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