• Meet Monica Velour



    Released by: Anchor Bay
    Released on: 8/16/2011
    Director: Keith Bearden
    Cast: Kim Cattrall, Dustin Ingram, Keith David, Brian Dennehy
    Year: 2010
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    The Movie:

    Geeky Tobe (Dustin Ingram) lives with his grandfather (Brian Dennehy) and works his grandfather’s little business of selling hotdogs out of a truck with a giant hot dog on top. Tobe is a big time collector of old music and old movies, mainly cult-type movies, but specifically 70s porno featuring his obsession, Monica Velour (Kim Cattrall).

    Upon graduation his grandfather gives Tobe the hot dog business, which he quickly puts up for sale. He gets a hit on his ad from Claude (Keith David), who lives in Indiana. Tobe lives in Washington, so the distance makes the deal unlikely. That is until Tobe learns that Monica Velour will be appearing at a strip club in Indiana, right near where Claude lives. He arranges to drive out there to sell the hot dog mobile to Claude and on his way there he stops at the place where Monica is dancing. A fist fight and Monica’s need for a ride home gets him to her trailer park home where his obsession with her continues to spiral to the point of stalking her. With the help of a skid-row Monica and the wise old artist Claude, Tobe learns to understand that there’s more to life than collectibles and the past, and that he needs to experience his own life, not fantasy.

    Something like that anyway. There’s some good and some bad to this movie. The good: all the fake movie paraphernalia featured, as well as fake porno scenes. Someone really went the distance to make these seem like they could be real products and for a midnight movie type fan, the background in the kid’s bedroom provides some fun stuff to look at. And he has an album full of Monica Velour photos and one sheet stuff that’s pretty cool too. Also good, Kim Cattrall. She looks older, saggy, worn, desperate, and sad in this role and she really deserves some praise for her efforts. She nails the character well and draws sympathy, but at the same time makes dumb life choices that put her where she is. Keith David is good too, playing the sage-like nice guy who takes the awkward Tobe under his wing and helps him see his path. A likeable character played by a likeable man. Brian Dennehy is always fun to see, and he’s showing his age in this one, as well as his stretched out nut suck. Yep.

    The bad: it’s a coming-of-age type story, with that annoying feel-good vibe to it. It isn’t a feel good movie, in fact it’s a bit depressing at points, with Monica Velour’s life and situation being what it is, but it manages to be one of those everything-comes-out-in-the-wash stories. It also drags quite a bit in spots. But there are some good moments, some genuine chuckles, especially with the faux porn scenes. They’re of course intentionally bad, which is what people who don’t watch 70s adult movies seem think they all are (which is absolutely not true), but they’re still pretty funny. Dustin Ingram is pretty good as Tobe, but one can’t help to see a big influence from Napoleon Dynamite’s title character.

    Worth watching once, and is certainly a decent enough movie to agree to watch with your special someone, but not something that has a wow factor.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Anchor Bay delivers a really nice picture on this 1080p AVC encoded Blu-ray, with a scope of 1.78:1 widescreen presentation. The colors jump right out, the image is very clear, and the black levels are nice and deep. Skin tones look great and the excellent detail lets you see all the nooks and crannies in the faces and fabrics and Brian Dennehy’s nut sack has never looked better (if that was in fact his nut sack). The audio chores are handled by a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and it comes across really well and with a proper balance. The music doesn’t overpower the scenes and there’re plenty of background sounds coming from the back speakers, plus some low-end action helps add to the viewing pleasure. No disc troubles to report. It’s a nice job from Anchor Bay.

    The extra material starts of with a feature length commentary by the director Keith Bearden and actress Kim Cattrall. The two have lots to say about the movie and production and it’s a pleasant listen. Not the most animated, but it certainly comes through in the commentary how much they enjoyed making the movie and how they appreciate all the little nuances in the film. If you enjoyed the feature, this commentary is a nice way to revisit it. Also on the disc are some deleted scenes, which are actually good deleted scenes for a change. There’s not too many, but they’re good ones. Lastly is the trailer for the movie.

    The Final Word:

    It was entertaining enough to not regret watching, but not good enough to warrant multiple viewing over time, at least by this viewer. Kim Cattrall was awesome in it, and the material talked about within (and sort of made fun of) should ring home to genre fans. The extras are good, though not abundant, and the AV is really satisfying. It’s not a waste of time, just not something you’ll want to spend a lot of time with.