Review Date: August 20, 2002
Director: James Dale Robinson
Writer: James Dale Robinson
Producers: Mike Elliott, Mark McGarry, Holly Wiersma
A good example of that is in the actors, most of whom did competent jobs, but the pairing of Michael Rapaport and Natasha Lyonne just seemed "off". Lyonne's character in particular felt a little too over-the-top, caricature-ish...to the point that she took me out of the reality of the story before even the zanier shite started going down. It's important to establish a true belief of the situation before making fun of it, but she just seemed ultra-bitchy for the sake of it. Not necessarily the actress' fault, but the character was just too skewed to fit into this, more or less, believable environment. I did enjoy all of the other players though, especially the lead actor, Donal Logue, who really gave you a sense of his love (obsession?) for comics, particularly in the scene in which he tries to call a truce with his rivals (the man almost had me breaking down myself). DJ Qualls was also quite a revelation here, with a much smaller part than you'd imagine (he's more in the background than anything), but a good acting choice on his part. He plays his character pretty straight and it pays dividends. Cary Elwes (who along with Qualls and Logue is also a co-producer on this project) also came through as the "heavy" in the film, as well as most of the secondary characters who were all quite convincing.
The movie was also very well shot, featured a couple of funky directing choices that worked, some nifty comic book scene transitions and had a nice, comfy feel to it. Overall, I have to say that I quite enjoyed this film, especially the dialogue and the smaller scenes of the rivals attempting to win favor with the old lady and her collection, but felt like it went a little overboard in the end and was too uneven. If you're a comic book fan, you definitely have to pick this puppy up though, if only for all of the references and in-jokes that are rampant throughout. BTW, where was Kevin Smith's cameo? How the heck could anyone make a comic book movie and not include Kevin Smith? Patooey! (alright, alright...there is that one "homage" to the man via a CLERKS T-shirt)