Crazy Love DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Practically everything here, no joke.
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
Practically everything here, no joke.
The features were rather lame... but that's about it, folks.
I've never really been huge into doc*mentaries. Sure, I've seen a decent amount and there are some that I really liked... but I don't own any of them. There isn't a single doc*mentary in my collection. OK, DVD Aficionado claims one of my discs (Dave Chappelle's Block Party) is a doc*mentary, but I think of it more as a concert flick. The point I'm trying to make is that while doc*mentaries can and should be entertaining, they should mainly be informative and, if I get information from one viewing, there's really no need for me to own a copy of the disc. There's really not much replay value in doc*mentaries, as far as I'm concerned. This doc*mentary, Crazy Love, is probably as good a doc*mentary as you'll see all year. I'm still not going to add it to my collection, but don't let that deter you from seeing this doc about one of the most insane love stories you'll ever hear about.

It starts out like all love stories start out with a guy meeting a girl. The guy was rich, a lawyer who was starting getting into the movies, and had just got back from London working on a movie. The girl was young and the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen and just had to have her. She gave him her number just to get rid of him and the next day there were two dozen roses at her door. The guy was Burt Pugach, the girl was Linda Riss and that was the inception of a relationship that could easily go down as one of the craziest, most controversial relationship in the history of man and woman.

It's kind of hard for me to talk a lot about this spellbinding doc*mentary because it's structured so sneakily and the payoff is so well worth it that I don't want to spoil anything. Even the synopsis on the back of the case is one of the shortest I've ever seen on a DVD. It's really amazing how such a simple story about two normal people meeting and starting a relationship got to the point of national news headlines and talk shows like Burt and Linda's relationship. The relationship from Burt's end was more like an obsession and when the relationship soured for Linda after learning of some of Burt's deceit, Burt absolutely lost it, hiring some people to maim Linda by throwing lye in her face, which resulted in partial blindness and disfigurement of the face. If you think that's messed up, that's barely the half of it, folks.

Writer/director Dan Klores, with co-director Fisher Stevens, crafts a very sneaky doc here, skillfully creating suspense and twists worthy of a horror director. The story is so damn-near unbelievable that they smartly integrate a large amount of media footage, headlines and interviews dealing with their story. We also get a wide variety of interviews from friends, associates and journalists all with vastly varying viewpoints on this couple's plight. The ending here is so simply wonderful in its normalcy, a perfect way to end such an incredible story.

While I won't own this, if you're a big fan of doc*mentaries, this is surely one to add to your shelf. Even if you're not a big fan of doc*mentaries, this story is so way super far out there that it's worth at least one viewing. It's funny, insane, endearing, charming and shockingly real. This is easily Oscar-caliber material, folks.
We don't get a whole lot on the features end here. We get some Deleted Interviews first, and there are five of them that span about half the regular movie, about 45 minutes long. These really get pretty boring as most of these are just the people randomly talking about stuff that's not really that important at all. I guess this is good for just a normal look-see at these people's lives, and how, somehow, they are just an average seemingly normal older couple... but it gets to be too much. They could cut these in half, at least and I don't know if they're just trying to find a place for all this excess footage or what, but we don't need to see most of this here.

Burt's Prison Letters are next and this collection of seven letters, sent between March and October of 1973, are quite hard to read, even getting close up to the screen, and have large chunks edited for whatever reasons. They're rather insane to read and give you a little more insight into Pugach's mindset at the time.

Linda's Artwork is the last feature here and it's a little slideshow of 10 of Linda's paintings. All of them are quite good, given her condition, and some are quite extraordinary in any condition. Definitely worth a look-see.
The disc is presented in the widescreen format, in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
The sound is handled through either the Dolby Digital 5.1 format, or the Dolby Digital 2.0 format.
The front has a nice split shot of Burt and Linda in their younger years that takes up most of the cover, with a bunch of praising quotes from big-time critics dispersed throughout. The back has a LOT more critic quotes along with a big shot of Burt and Linda, some small shots of them along with a tiny synopsis, some festival laurel thingies, a tiny special features listing along with the billing block and tech specs. Nice work.
It wasn't that long ago that there were tons of hot doc*mentaries semi-flooding the theaters. While it appears that trend has ended, that means that most people probably haven't heard of this doc*mentary Crazy Love... and they really should. It's a crafty little flick about one of the most incredible love stories ever... both in good and bad ways. It's really worth at least one viewing, folks.

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