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"Sex without love equals violence."
DVD ReviewWhile watching Body Shots I kept thinking about the title of Roger Ebert's latest book, I Hated, Hated, Hated this Movie. This book, which includes reviews of his most despised movies, needs to be revised to include the utterly useless Body Shots. Films like this make me want my two hours back—I could have been golfing or talking with friends or even working.
Body Shots shows a 24-hour span in the lives of eight people as they each come into and out of each others lives. Divided evenly with four girls and four guys, the group each has at least one stereotype among them. The women are: Jane (Peet), Sara (Reid), Whitney (Procter), and Emma (Temchen); the men are: Rick (Flanery), Michael (O'Connell), Trent (Livingston), and Shawn (Rowe). These two groups meet at a club where they all get drunk, then pair off for the night. Jane goes with Rick, and Sara leaves with football star Michael. Angered at seeing his girlfriend Sara leave with another man, Shawn hooks up with Emma in an alley for a quick bit of fun. Trent finds out that Whitney belongs more in an S&M shop than in his life. To top the night off, a bleeding and shaken Sara shows up at Jane's door, claiming to have been raped by Michael.
The biggest problem with this film is that it has too many ideas and never really goes anywhere with them. The potentially disturbing central conflict between Michael and Sara is handled poorly and its resolution is hurried so much that you have to listen closely to find out what happened. The screenplay by David McKenna is without a single, redeeming quality, and although I am sure that his intentions were for the viewers to not like the characters, I don't think he meant for them to be hated this much. And I should also mention that McKenna also wrote the great American History X, so I guess one miss is allowed after one of the greatest films of the 1990s.
The cast is comprised of mostly newer faces—in fact, the only member of the cast to have much exposure is Jerry O'Connell and he is still a fairly unknown actor. Sean Patrick Flanery and Amanda Peet give the best performances as the only two mature ones of the group. Tara Reid and O'Connell are bland as the main characters and neither really gives a performance that makes us care for their plights. Ron Livingston, Brad Rowe, Sybil Temchen and Emily Proctor are wasted in supporting roles.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D+
Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic image transfer is yet another gem from the folks at New Line. The heavy use of the colors blue and black come off well, and to be honest, this transfer deserves a better film. Sharpness and detail are done well and there is no pixelation.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: While not a deafening Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, Body Shots does sport an active surround sound field. The sounds of the club envelop the room, as do the frequent uses of music. The left and right channels seem a bit tame throughout the film, and the center channel produces clear and understandable dialogue.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Extras Review: Even though the back of the disc case proclaims, "The movies you love, the features you want," I am not entirely convinced it is true. All that is offered here is the original theatrical trailer and filmographies for the cast and crew. While a commentary track by director Michael Cristofer might have consisted of the phrase, "I'm sorry," over and over it still would have been nice to have.
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsI have a special top shelf dedicated to my favorite DVDs in my collection; discs I would grab in a fire. Movies like Magnolia, Fight Club, Strangers On A Train and Goodfellas are among them. To show you how Body Shots will rank in my collection, it will be in the bottom shelf next to such "classics" like the equally horrible Patch Adams and Stepmom. Stay far far away from this movie.
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