By Steve Simels
January 26, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

Many viewers of the previous video versions of Neil Simon’s semiclassic comedy have been known to get as grumpy as the movie’s mismatched roommates. That’s because director Gene Saks’ wide-screen compositions don’t lend themselves to panning and scanning, so when Lemmon and Matthau were together in a scene, usually only one of them was on-screen at a time. The new Odd Couple, letterboxed at last, restores the duo nose-to-nose, and some of Saks’ other images turn out to be surprisingly witty — the poker game at Oscar’s place, for example, now appears to have been staged like a Manhattan version of the Last Supper. A-

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