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DVD Review: The Maiden Heist

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You’d think that a caper comedy with three powerful leads such as Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman, and William H. Macy would make for some good times. Alas, The Maiden Heist presents itself as a comedy that you know is supposed to be funny, but the laughs that emerged on my end came across as forced.

The plot here centers on Roger Barlow (Walken), a security guard at an art gallery on the verge of retirement. Roger has a crippling obsession over one of the paintings in the gallery, which he focuses all of his spare time on it. But he is not alone: another guard in the gallery (Freeman) has an unhealthy infatuation with a different piece of art, while yet a third guard (Macy) has the most insalubrious fascination over a sculpture on his nighttime rounds. When news gets out that the guards’ three favorite pieces (among many others) are due to ship all the way over to Denmark, Roger and his newfound friends decide to band together in order to save their beloved items: by stealing them. Marcia Gay Harden co-stars as Walken’s long-suffering, attention-starved wife.

Long story short: The Maiden Heist has a few amusing moments in it, but it seems to have some difficulty building up any steam. Walken (the main character, although co-producer Morgan Freeman gives himself top billing here) goes from campy to confined throughout the entire runtime of the film, while Freeman and Macy ham it up to no end. But the biggest faults in The Maiden Heist can probably be attributed to a weak script by writer Michael LeSieur (You, Me And Dupree) and some poor planning by director Peter Hewitt (who should probably stick to making B-Grade kiddie fare like Garfield and Thunderpants).

The DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents the movie in an anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen presentation, with a fairly crisp transfer. The Maiden Heist was shot on a much smaller scale than the A-Grade Hollywood Blockbusters we’re used to seeing on DVD, and the film’s low(er)-budget origins come through at times. An English 5.1 mix comes off pretty handsomely overall, but the light-hearted nature of the film doesn’t make for a total surround sound workout. English subtitles accompany the main feature.

Special features for The Maiden Heist include an audio commentary with writer LaSieur, director Hewitt, and producer Rob Paris; a featurette on the making of the film (in which everyone refers to the film under its original moniker, The Lonely Maiden); a blooper reel; and a few deleted/alternate scenes (with optional commentary). Ultimately, these bonus items bring nothing further to the table, with the exception of a hilarious homage to Brian De Palma’s Scarface courtesy of Christopher Walken.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.