Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bad management can lead to the most unexpected of problems

Scorched (2002)
Starring: John Cleese, Paulo Costanzo, Rachael Leigh Cook, Woody Harrelson, Joshua Leonard, Alicia Silverstone, and Marcus Thomas.
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Three tellers at a small branch office bank (Costanzo, Harrelson,and Silverstone), each with their own reasons for feeling disgruntled and put-upon decide independently to rob their employeer. Each has their own plan, each intends to target a different part of the bank, and each chooses to commit their larceny on the same weekend. And that's when things start getting really crazy.

This ensamble comedy features a strong cast (more comment on this below) and likable characters that move back and forth through four overlapping storylines--the three heists and a fourth involving a pair of geeky roommates who are trying to land one of them a job he can keep for more than a couple of hours. It also features a surprsingly tense roulette scene during one of the larcenous tellers' trip to Vegas. Some of the lines are a bit clunky and there are one or two scenes that could do with some punching up, but overall this film is pretty darn good and extremely entertaining.

I also think it's a film old-school roleplaying gamers might enjoy. Several of the film's characters are in a D&D gaming group, and I think we all might recognize some of the character types at the table. Cook's character is a particularly cute parody of the 'gamer chick.'

Speaking of Rachel Leigh Cook, it's probably a good thing that she and Alicia Silverstone don't actually share any scenes. I've never been a big fan of Silverstone, but seeing her in a film with an actress that is so full of charm and energy makes me feel even more underwhelmed by her talent and screen presence. While both actresses did a fine job, I think it is probably a casting mistake to put them in the movie; it makes Silverstone look bad.

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