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The Bottom Shelf #124

09.06.2007

Writing The Bottom Shelf has prevented me from watching BABEL. Oh, I could have seen it in the theaters, I suppose, but it just wasn't one of those movies that I felt like dropping change on at the theater. So it's in my queue. But I keep watching other movies instead, ones that have been out awhile. I'm all caught up on stuff from 1998 but there's so much that I missed from 2006. But who says that stuff from 2006 isn't Bottom Shelf worthy? Not I. So here you go...

BIG NOTHING (2006)
Directed by: Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Starring: Simon Pegg, David Schwimmer

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

Normally any of the stars from "Friends" make me go into convulsions whenever I see them up on the big screen. There have been a few exceptions (I never really saw Lisa Kudow as being one of "them") but for the most part, the group of people that I found to be mildly amusing as an ensemble cast on television haven't been able to do much for me in other venues. None more so than David Schwimmer, a guy that I'd previously thought would fare the best out of the bunch because he didn't look like such a plastic twat. Up until this movie, I steered clear of him more than johns steer clear of the hookers with the cold sores.

I decided to queue this up when I was on my Pegg binge. I've grown quite the little fangirl for The Holy Trinity, those brilliant Brits who brought SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ to the screen (Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright). I remembered reading up about HOT FUZZ and being surprised to find out that Pegg had lost nearly 2 stone (28 pounds) to play Nicholas Angel, since I couldn't remember him as having been all that hefty to begin with. Glory be, I got to witness those 2 stone here, watching him get ridden by the very charming Alice Eve. But cowgirl positions aren't the only thing that this movie holds. We get to see Schwimmer once again cast in the downtrodden role (although this time he manages to eschew his typical "feel sorry for me" stance), a reverend who's attached to some vicious snuff porn and a whole lot of lies being thrown around.

This movie could have been very different in the hands of other actors. If they'd gotten "bigger" names and attached some smart-ass director, it might have been a money making hit - and lost the majority of its off-beat appeal. The first thing that would have happened would have been a trimming of a few choice words so that it could have earned a PG-13 rating. While there really isn't anything crazy enough to make me think that it couldn't have swung that way to start with (aside from the fact that it's not a major studio release and therefore doesn't have the MPAA in its back pocket), there's enough to it that when it bites, it draws blood. Funny and fast, even though it starts to peter out towards the end, this is one of the best movies to check out at the video store rather than getting something more familiar just because it had a bigger advertising budget.

Favorite Scene:

Watching Mimi Rogers take an axe to the head, something that I'm sure hurt less than her marriage to Tom Cruise.

Favorite Line:

"How long has been down there breathing liquid shit?"
"About 10 minutes?"

Trivia Tidbit:

For constantly referring to being an American pageant winner, actress Alice Eve is actually British and the daughter of two prominent British actors.

See if you liked:

KISS KISS BANG BANG, HOT FUZZ, SHAUN OF THE DEAD

PUCINNI FOR BEGINNERS (2006)
Directed by: Maria Maggenti
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser, Gretchen Mol

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

There's this interesting little thing the movies have taught me about lesbianism. If you're into women, chances are you're hot. You're also more understanding of the male psyche and not the man-hating bitch that most assume you are. Top that off with the fact that being a lesbian is not so much about loving women and having sex with them as it is just waiting around for the right man person with which to spend some time between the sheets with. Movies have made me realize that the only people who have it easier than lesbians are, well... nobody.

This movie is a prime example. A lesbian who has trouble committing ends up single after her temporarily gay girlfriend (really, she's not a lesbian, she's just looking for the right person to love) breaks up with her because she can't handle deep emotion. After doing some really difficult soul searching that takes a whopping week or so, the lead lesbian finds herself entranced by a person with one of those penis thingys. She's drawn to him because he caters to her self-obsessed side - he's read her book! The trouble starts abrewing when she meets a really cute blonde (also not really gay) girl who is enchanting and has those great things, what do you call them? Oh, yeah - breasts and a vagina. Of course, life starts to get hard again when both of her lovers start to demand more of her which makes it a prime opportunity for the first not-really-gay girlfriend to make a reappearance and set her whole world into place.

It might sound like I'm bashing the movie and I suppose I am. But only as much as the movie supposes that being a lesbian is so flexible. That aggravation aside, this is a witty and intelligent movie with people acting stupidly - much like witty and intelligent people do on a rather regular basis. Granted, they probably don't act stupid as often as cinematic lesbians look hot and screw guys, but it's enough to make this movie moderately funny and above average in the unique angle department. The highlight belongs to Gretchen Mol, a woman who I have a strong sense could turn anyone in, out or upside down. She literally glows and mesmerizes you in every scene that she's in. And at a light weight 82 minutes, I can think of a lot worse things you could do with your time.

Favorite Scene:

Any of the times when they are in the sushi bar and the two chefs are making observations about the lead character and her romantic entanglements.

Favorite Line:

"It's hell being alone."
"No honey, hell is other people."

Trivia Tidbit:

The movie was filmed in just 18 days in September of 2005.

See if you liked:

CHASING AMY, IMAGINE ME & YOU, THE FAMILY STONE

Do you know how hard it is to be that kind of person who wants to please but also doesn't give a shit? I do.

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