Man of the House—Sony Pictures
Five University of Texas cheerleaders witness a murder, and Texas Ranger Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones) moves into a house with them to protect them from a hit man in Man of the House, a film that doesn't really know what it wants to be. At first, the thought of a stern, all-business Tommy Lee Jones matched up with five girls, who are positive, full of energy, and lots of fun sounds like it might work. Instead, it lingers in tonal purgatory. It's not an edgy, quirky drama, nor is it a black comedy. It has a dark beginning, with foreboding cinematography, then turns into Candyland with the pep squad. Picture Sam Gerard from The Fugitive by day and an awkward-with-women house monitor at night. What? The gals are the best part of this film. Not only are they all beautiful, but the positivism they express is engaging.
Extras are a shrug, with just a featurette on the actresses' cheerleading training and a standard making-of. The girls love cheerleading, are pumped about the future, and help Sharp and each other. The 2.40:1 anamorphic picture (the DVD also offers a 1.33:1 transfer) mixes some of the barroom grit of Texas with the pristine outfits on the gals. Dolby Digital 5.1 captures stadium crowd noise and cheers nicely, but, other than that, it's nothing out of the ordinary.
This movie is a tough one. It sounds good on paper, but the conclusion is an overblown affair. It's just kind of a watch-checker. How much longer is it?