The Master of Disguise (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Jul-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes-5
Alternate Ending
Featurette-The Magic of Disguise
Featurette-Identity Crisis
Featurette-Man of a Thousand Faces
Music Video
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Kermit's Swamp Years; Little Secrets
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 77:05
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Perry Blake

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Dana Carvey
Brent Spiner
Jennifer Esposito
Harold Gould
James Brolin
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Marc Ellis

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is my 150th review for the website, and in my time here I've reviewed some real stinkers, including Glitter, Pootie Tang and Up Against Amanda. Master Of Disguise, however, had me holding my nose throughout. Its only saving grace is that at times it's sooo bad that it's hilariously funny.

    The plot is fairly straightforward: Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey)'s mother and father are kidnapped by the evil Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner). Pistachio's father is a master of disguise, and Bowman forces him to use his talents to steal rare treasures, such as the Liberty Bell, Mona Lisa and Statue of David, to sell on Black Market E-Bay. Pistachio's grandfather steps in to train Pistachio to be a master of disguise himself, in order to stage a rescue, and foil Bowman. Along the way there is also a romantic sub-plot involving Pistachio's pretty assistant, Jennifer Baker (Jennifer Esposito).

    Described by Carvey as being a "low budget quickie", the target audience for this film is uncertain. While it was marketed as a kid's movie, the adult themes, and the dominant references to late 1970s/early 1980s movies such as 10, Exorcist, Star Wars, Scarface, and Jaws makes me believe that this movie was originally aimed at a wider audience. I assume that when the studio saw it, it was re-cut and sold as a kid's movie.

    Master Of Disguise has so much to hate: For a start there's the often nonsensical plot line with some erratically added narration which appears to have been added in post-production to help stitch together some of the unrelated scenes. Secondly, Carvey spends most of the movie speaking in an annoying non-Italian accent (despite his character growing up in the US). Imitating the much more successful (and much funnier) Mike Myers, there are also a few cameos, except Carvey could only attract B-List performers, such as Jessica Simpson. Indeed, the cameos are so B-Grade that each time there is one, another character on-screen announces who it is, so that the audience is aware that this is supposed to be a celebrity.

    Considering the high standard of some recent children's films, such as Monsters Inc., Ice Age and Stuart Little 2, Master Of Disguise is insulting to both children and adults. Somehow this dross managed to take almost $US 40 million at the box office in the US alone.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is often grainy. I assume this is caused by the cheaper film stock, and is not an artistic choice.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and shadow detail are acceptable, although some of the film is poorly shot, and poorly lit.

    The transfer appears a tad over-saturated, but generally the colour is okay.

    MPEG artefacts appear in the form of some minor pixelization, but the transfer was not too adversely affected by this. Film-to-video artefacts are present in the form of a slight shimmer of aliasing. Small film artefacts appear throughout.

    Six sets of subtitles are present on the DVD, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is an RSDL disc, but I did not spot a layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


   There are four audio tracks on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are mostly okay, but there is some noticeably bad ADR work, such as at 25:56.

    The unmemorable musical score is credited to Marc Ellis, and it is augmented by some hip-hop pop from Play.

    The surround sound mix is quite front-heavy, but the rear speakers are used effectively throughout to help carry the score and provide some ambience.

    The subwoofer is also utilised to support both the score and the sound effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Why do the worst films have plenty of extras?


    An animated menu with audio.

Master of Disguise Theatrical Trailer (2:01)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Kermit's Swamp Years Theatrical Trailer (1:34)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Little Secrets Theatrical Trailer (1:35)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Audio Commentary

    Dana Carvey and Director Perry Blake provide a light commentary, during which they congratulate each other a lot about how "funny" the movie is.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes

    Introduced by the Turtle Guy, there are five deleted scenes, and one alternate ending. All are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Magic of Disguise (5:25)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, this featurette looks at some of the set and costume design.

Identity Crises (12:18)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, in this featurette the cast and crew discuss Carvey and their characters. The usual self-back slapping marketing rubbish that is passed off as an 'extra'.

Man of 1000 Faces (8:36)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, this featurette is a quick behind the scenes look at some of the movie's make up effects.

Music Video: M.A.S.T.E.R Part 2 (3:08)

    Play featuring Lil Fizz from B2K provide the Video Hits marketing song, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Master Of Disguise has been released on DVD in Region 1.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    As the R1 is only available with a Pan & Scan transfer, the R4 is an easy winner.


   Master Of Disguise is utter rubbish, and I can't recommend it to adults or children. Rent it or buy it at your own risk.

    The video quality is slightly disappointing but acceptable.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The extras are mainly self-congratulatory marketing fluff.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C

Comments (Add)
Congrats anyway, BRV ! - Bran (my bio, or something very like it) REPLY POSTED
Reviewer is too kind - Ron Stevens
Should have been funny - gRANT (Read my bio, mmm... uncompressed surround audio)
Should have been a 77 min Deleted Scene! - Gold Coast Guy (read my bio)