Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 1/18/00
1998 (1999) - Columbia
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/B/C
Specs and Features
90 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, video for
The Fruge by Rilo Kiley, 2
theatrical trailers (for Desert Blue
and The Opposite of Sex), cast
and crew bios, film-themed menu screens, scene access (28 chapters),
languages: English (DD 3.0), subtitles: English, Spanish and French,
Christina Ricci, Casey
Affleck and a cast of the 1990's best and brightest upcoming film
icons star in this uniquely interesting character study of a small
town in the middle of a catastrophe while entertaining a minor
celebrity. Skye (Kate Hudson of 200
Cigarettes) is the minor celebrity, an initially
self-centered television star who finds herself in this dead-end
town because of her father (a college professor writing a book on
roadside attractions). It seems that Baxter, CA is the site of the
world's largest ice cream cone. It was erected by Blue Baxter's
father, who mysteriously died in a hotel fire a few months prior to
the events in this film (young Blue himself is played by Brendan
Sexton III from Welcome to the Dollhouse).
The same day Skye and her father come to town, a truck carrying the
secret ingredient of Empire Cola overturns. When the driver of the
truck dies from supposed exposure to the ingredient, the town is
quarantined and everyone finds themselves trapped. Skye naturally
wants out, but then becomes strangely attracted to Blue. The story
is believable, but a bit on the slow side.
The actors do really good jobs of getting down to their characters,
and making us believe in them. Ricci takes a nice turn in a minor
role (her Ely has a thing for blowing stuff up) -- certainly not as
star-making as her Opposite of Sex
role, but more human. Affleck plays a promising motorcross rider,
and Ethan Suplee (Mallrats and
American History X) aspires to
be the town's new deputy. If you're looking for a film about about
people, this is a good disc to pop in your player. It's directed by
Morgan J. Freeman (no, not him), who also helmed Hurricane
Street (which also starred Sexton), proving that he likes
studying bored kids.
This DVD is a straight movie-only edition that serves the film very
well. The picture quality is nice, with good color and contrast.
It's enhanced for 16x9 and is free of artifacting. It looks great --
in other words, the usual Columbia TriStar transfer. There's a
pretty good soundtrack on board. It's 3.0 Dolby Digital, that only
comes alive a few times (but then again, the same can be said of the
movie). Still, the track serves it's purpose. There are also a
couple of trailers, and a video for a song by Rilo Kiley that I
thought was cute.
All in all, this is pretty much the perfect way to showcase this
film on disc. If you ever see it on the shelf and wonder about it,
go ahead and pick it up. You might find it a nice little slice of
life. It's a feel-good flick that tastes great AND is less filling.