Popeye Robert Altman

This lovable musical has been in the doghouse for years as being Robert Altman's failed attempt to bring the strong-armed sailor man to the big screen. Popeye is full of overlapping dialogue, slapstick, bizarre antics and lousy singing by untrained voices, yet the whole film is so incredibly charming and sweet that its organised confusion is just one of the qualities that make this film so endearing. Popeye (Robin Williams in his big screen debut) sails into a town clearly in financial ruin, one where you are taxed for even asking questions. Deemed a mysterious stranger with a horrible vocabulary that will surely make you "disgustapated," Popeye quickly becomes an outcast in the small town of Sweethaven. It's not until our bulgy-armed hero is given the responsibility to take care of the infant Sweetpea that he catches the heart of the highly-respected Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall). Harry Nilsson's songs sound better than ever on this DVD release and though none of the cast members have a particularly good voice, you'd be hard-pressed not to smile when Shelley Duvall begins to lovingly sing "He Needs Me," now made famous thanks to Punch-Drunk Love. The picture transfer looks fantastic for a 1980 film and gives Popeye even more of that comic book feeling, as the colours are much more vibrant this time around. Hopefully you will love watching this movie, because apart from the static menu there are no features whatsoever on this DVD — not even the original theatrical trailer. It's a shame that among the mad rush for companies to release as many of their titles on DVD as quickly and cheaply as possible, Popeye was lumped in with the motion pictures deemed unworthy of special treatment. Hopefully this version will make the rounds and capture enough hearts to lift Popeye from the bottom of the barrel of failed cartoon/comic book adaptations and get its moment in the spotlight as a charming musical classic. Extras: none. (Paramount)