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One Night at McCool's
DVD disk
Oct 7, 2004 By: Professor Steve
One Night at McCool's order
Director:
Harald Zwart

Actors:
Liv Tyler
Matt Dillon
John Goodman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A bartender (Dillon), a lawyer (Paul Reiser), and a detective (Goodman), all fall for a seductive kleptomaniac named Jewel (Tyler) and end up in love-induced mess involving a seedy old hit man (Michael Douglas) and Jewel's old boyfriend (Andrew Dice Clay).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Parts of this movie are funny, but in the end there's not much to show for your 93 minutes of attention. I couldn't believe the thing was rated R after watching it. I thought for sure we'd see a little of Liv in her birthday suit, or some R-rated jokes, but except for a couple of bloody gunshots this thing should have been PG-13 all the way. No one stands out in this film except for Andrew Dice Clay. His characters (two brothers) were hilarious and the homage to Michael Douglas' FALLING DOWN character was neat. The funniest joke is an ongoing gag about dvds. But they keep calling a dvd player just a "dvd" and it sounds a little funny. "Do you have a dvd?" "No home theater system is complete without a dvd." See what I mean?

This is the first film by Michael Douglas' new Further Films production company, and I think he just took it as a chance to play a sleazy character with poofy hair. Liv Tyler is getting a little thick in the thighs, but she's still hot enough to get a "damn!" out of you a couple of times. There's absolutely no reason for all these guys to like her, though, no motivation at all. A cheesy camera glow trick is used to make us believe these guys see her as the greatest thing on earth. No way. Why not give her some cool dialogue and make us, the audience, fall in love with her too? Matt Dillon plays yet another goofy-but-lovable loser here. Let's take it to the next level, ok Matt? My biggest gripe with the film is that they ruined the ending by showing it in the theatrical trailer. I won't give it away here - but why they gave away the biggest gag in the film, I have no idea.
THE EXTRAS
There's a fair amount of extras on the dvd:

Behind the Scenes: Director's Making of McCool's: This feature is an entertaining look into the making of the film. Not many of the stars show up, but there's a lot of walking around the sets and seeing how they set up the shots.

Deleted scenes: There are 4 of these with optional director commentary. This movie experiments a lot by showing you the different viewpoints of each character, and these deleted scenes consist mostly of these types of shots.

Alternate ending: The alternate ending basically messes with the order of the real ending, so things aren't too different, but it is the more "depressing" ending as they bill it.

Shot-by-Shot: Storyboards to Finished Film: This extra feature compares the conceptual drawings to actual scenes. They basically take two scenes from the movie and show them while flashing the storyboards at the top of the screen.

How Did We Kill Paul Reiser: Remember that ruined ending I told you about? This featurette shows us how they merged Frame 1 with Frame 2 to get Frame 3. Sound interesting? Wardrobe, Hair, and Make-up test: You get to watch Liv Tyler try on a bunch of wigs.

Very First Cast Read Through: You get to hear the actors read from the script in a tiny box which plays in the corner of the screen as the real scenes play. Not very impressive.

Where Did We Shoot That: A map of LA where you can click on different spots and see the actual houses and buildings used in the movie. Kind of neat.

Two music videos: "Velvet" by a-ha is a catchy mellow tune but "Love Is Alive" by Joan Osborne is a blatant movie tie-in that probably never made it to MTV.

The rest: Also included are four tv spots and a theatrical trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A bunch of big-name actors and dvd extras make this an enticing rental, but when a film like this comes and goes in the theaters without much fanfare, that can only mean one thing: it's not good.
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