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     " Big Trouble leaves me no choice but to drop a giant elephantine poop "

      Title: Big Trouble by Buena Vista Home Entertainment

      Format: DVD Comedy

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Based on a novel by the notorious Dave Barry, Big Trouble shows you what happens when a Tim Allen, Rene Russo, that big guy who played the tick, and a vagrant named "Puggy" all have their lives disrupted by desk sex, Fritos, and a nuclear bomb. Confused? Good. I wanted you that way.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: Big Trouble plays out a lot like Pulp Fiction if it had been written by Tom Stoppard. The story involves several seemingly unrelated characters going through key aspects of their completely independent lives who are suddenly connected in an entertainingly surreal plot involving high school pranks, fat beer executives, mindless street thugs, drunk security guards, the Russian mafia, hallucinogenic frogs, and a nuclear bomb. It plays out light and witty and runs a fair gambit of lowbrow gags, real life foibles, and some down right outlandish humor. And if that still sounds overly vague I apologize- because the movie is so moment dependent if I said much more it would be giving some of the key laughs away- and Big Trouble desperately needs the laughs to stay where they are. But more on that with the Directing Category…
          But first, what I can comment heavily on, is the acting and- more specifically, the cast. And boy, howdy, what a cast it is. Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Tom Sizemore, Dennis Farina, Johnny Knoxville, Janeane Garofalo, Patrick Warburton- this movie has more star power laugh potential than Alan Alda getting hit in the groin with a football. The good news from that is that just about everyone does a classic job and the acting really is top notch. They play out the rather bizarre but inherently funny story close to the cuff and manage to keep the whole thing believable and entertaining. 4 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: Unfortunately, however- while the story is chic and the actors do their best the directing of the film is decidedly sub par. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of much of Barry Sonnenfeld's other work- unfortunately his pace and timing for this flick is all wrong. The jokes- and you know they're jokes because you feel like you want to laugh, fall flat and out of rhythm while the overall tempo of the movie never quite meshes and is constantly out of synch. It tries to be fast paced- but instead ends up hectic. It tries to be catchy- but instead ends up bumpy. It tries to be original- but sets up all the gimmicks so far in advance that you see them coming from a mile away. And, unfortunately, that ends up being the great doom of Big Trouble. 2 out of 5

      DVD Extras: Here we go again…And I am so damned tired of making this rant that next time I'm just going to cut and paste it from an earlier review. Ready? Here it is: Director's Commentary is not a feature. Okay? Simple enough for all you producer types in Hollywood? The reason, simply enough, is that unless we really (and boy do I mean really) liked the movie we don't give a rats ass about what the director has to say. And it's even worse in this case given that, so far as I can tell, it was the director who screwed up this movie in the first place and that's all they bother to give you. 1 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: Here's another killer- and another rant I'm tired of making. There are exactly 2 acceptable pricing schemes for DVD movies. 9 to 15 dollars if it's just the movie and 20 to 25 if there's a ton of features. That's it, end of story. Thus, featureless Big Trouble leaves me no choice but to drop a giant elephantine poop on their "suggested retail" of $29.99 (though I often found it for $25). 1 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Big Trouble isn't a bad movie, it's just decidedly mediocre…the problem is, especially with the cast it boasts, it has absolutely no excuse for not being a great movie.

      The Good: Great cast, fun premise.

      The Bad: The directing is atrocious, it's expensive as hell, and it has no extras.

      The Overall Ugly: The book was way, way better. Go get that instead.

      What it's Worth: Rental if there's nothing better to do.

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