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The Bottom Shelf #94

Feb. 8, 2007by: AwesomeZara
100%

You've probably never heard of these two movies. If you have, then I'm impressed. But don't consider that a huge compliment. I'm easily impressed. It explains my love of Canadians.

CHERISH (2002)
Directed by: Finn Taylor
Starring: Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

I've always liked Robin Tunney, but apparently there are those men out there who like her even more. Alright, so it's more that there's a guy who is obsessed with the character that she plays in CHERISH, Zoe, a geeky looking desk dweller with frizzy hair and a retainer. From the start of the flick we get to look through the eyes of the smitten stalker, watching Zoe's every move until he corners her in her vehicle and attempts to kidnap her. If only it wasn't for the meddling of a bike cop that the stalker forces Zoe to run over.

Falsely arrested for the crime, Zoe's lawyer cuts her a deal where she is placed on house arrest, tethered to her crappy apartment by an ankle bracelet. At the start of the flick we briefly come to the understanding that Zoe does not like to feel trapped and spends much of her time wandering aimlessly around. Imprisoned in her home, she begins to find a strength within her that didn't exist before. A sense of self-reliance which magically improves the quality of her hair, the clearness of her skin and decreases her need for the bothersome retainer. In essence, she actually starts looking stalk-worthy. Regular visits from Nelson, a deputy of sorts who attends to her ankle bracelet, prove to find the only person who believe her story that she wasn't behind the cop killing.

Pretty white women in trouble has never been a genre that I could relate to. Normally they spend most of the span of the movie crying over the situation that they got themselves into and then abnormally channeling the rage into super strength and confidence to single-handedly take down their wrong-doer. Perhaps it's Tunney's doe-eyed gaze, perhaps it's Nelson, the go-to ugly shlub that cinema loves to use for filler, perhaps it's the kick-ass soundtrack. CHERISH just isn't another tale of some pretty girl who overcomes a bad situation. Well, in the long-run it is, but it's one that's actually worth watching.

Favorite Scene:

After trying to get the ankle bracelet off, Tunney attempting to explain away the substance on her ankle as being "butter flavored lotion."

Favorite Line:

"I just wasn't sure I was ready to admit that I was the cripple, Jewish, gay kid."

Trivia Tidbit:

This was the first movie that singer Liz Phair "acted" in. (And much like Sheryl Crow in THE MINUS MAN, she adds exactly jack and squat.)

See if you liked:

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, ENOUGH, COPYCAT

FINDER'S FEE (2001)
Directed by: Jeff Probst
Starring: James Earl Jones, Ryan Reynolds

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Yes, THAT Jeff Probst. The dude who hosts the seminal reality show "Survivor" not only directed this movie, but was the screenwriter as well. I'd never heard of this movie up until the afternoon I stumbled upon it while in the local video store despite the fact that I've drooled many a night over Reynolds as well as fellow cast member Matthew Lillard.. I stood in the aisle, sputtering in shock and disbelief. I'll admit without shame that I've been a big fan of the TV show, but I failed to understand how that would in any way prepare someone for directing a movie starring some fairly big names, let alone give them the confidence to also have a hand in the dialogue.

Thing is, FINDER'S FEE is an interesting little flick. Centering around a good Samaritan played by Eric Palladino (mostly known for a short stint on the television show ER) who stumbles upon a wallet while walking home to get ready for a weekly poker game with his buddies. With no identification in the wallet, he calls the only phone number that he can find and leaves a message alerting them that he's found the wallet. He's planning on proposing to his girlfriend after his poker game, but when Jones shows up in the middle of it claiming to be the wallet's holder, things get a little funky.

I should mention that inside of the wallet is a 6 million dollar winning lottery ticket. The obvious question surrounds the rest of the evening's activities. What would you do if you got your hands on something like that? Where the movie gets interesting is with Jones' suspicious behavior and the multiple unstable personalities that Palladino's buddies exhibit. Everyone has their price and everyone has their breaking point. When is the the time to do the right thing and what exactly IS the right thing to do? Come to think of it, Mr. Probst may have been better equipped to handle this predicament than I had originally assumed.

Favorite Scene:

I am a Lillard-phile. That man can do absolutely no wrong in my mind (I even found merit in WITHOUT A PADDLE). Every time he's in the room, I'm happy.

Favorite Line:

Some of the best lines are the ones spoken through the steely gazes exchanged between Jones and Palladino.

Trivia Tidbit:

Could Probst have managed to pull off being any more involved in the flick? He's also included in a photo as "Coop," the fifth member of the poker party who can't manage to show up.

See if you liked:

SECRET WINDOW, INSOMNIA, ONE HOUR PHOTO

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate HTML coding? Have I also ever mentioned how much I love nerdy men and bend over in all kinds of ways for them in exchange for getting this crap done by someone other than me? Have I also mentioned that I am in a dirth when in comes to meeting suitable nerdy men? Well, tack on all of that information to the tidbits about the Canadians.

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4:54PM on 02/08/2007
I've seen 'em both too, actually. Definitely some good picks.
I've seen 'em both too, actually. Definitely some good picks.
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8:11AM on 02/08/2007
I saw both of them. I enjoyed Cherish. You're right in saying it has a kick-ass soundtrack. I can't believe such a small movie got the rights to use all those cool songs. Didn't care for Finder's Fee. Only watched it for Ryan Reynolds.
I saw both of them. I enjoyed Cherish. You're right in saying it has a kick-ass soundtrack. I can't believe such a small movie got the rights to use all those cool songs. Didn't care for Finder's Fee. Only watched it for Ryan Reynolds.
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