20 May 2004 | cwkoller
Keep it coming, Michael Blieden!
Just got the DVD after discovering it on Netflix and enjoyed it, although I wish I'd seen it with a live audience for the laughs. It's "My Dinner with Yuppies" - but these guys are likable, smart, funny and occasionally deep. The effect is that you feel like you're the fifth member at the table. Definitely a worthwhile rental.
Bob Odenkirk directed, so there's some of his Mr. Show gang involved like David Cross and Jack Black (who delivers big time as the "Creatress"). There's also the uber-likable Maura Tierney along with Laura Kightlinger, to pepper this low-budget indy with a some bankable star power. But none of the major characters are "stars" although Blieden's is a face you'll swear you've seen somewhere (commercials?), but you can't quite place it.
But like so many independent films, the story behind the movie is just as, if not more interesting. The additional features include scenes from the play "Phyro-Giants" written by Blieden, that spawned this film. The commentary, especially the producers track is an independent producer's 101 where you found out how Blieden edited this whole film on a "single processor Powermac" in Final Cut. Damn, I'm impressed...
No, it's not quite "Swingers" but it's very good, with solid performances that come from a unique ensemble chemistry (these guys did this thing on stage for five months). I hear this has been on the Sundance Channel (don't get it), but I'd recommend the DVD for the extra's.
Somewhere between TV pap and movie crap, independent films like this, made on the cheap but sparing little or nothing in the quality of writing/performance, offer some hope for viewers who want something more. I look forward to Blieden's next film.