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Josie And The Pussycats
Josie And The Pussycats (Soundtrack)

Josie And The Pussycats: The Review

Directed By: Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont
Starring: Tara Reid, Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming, Parker Posey, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer.

Timing may be everything, but as Josie and the Pussycats has proved, an audience doesn't hurt.

This film did not deserve either the critical drubbing or the box-office snubbing it received. Not that I am arguing this is a brilliant piece of celluloid but it is one of the better, more exuberant wastes-of-time films out there. So how did this film, made for $22 million, end up only pulling in $14.2 in Domestic Gross?

Maybe it was marketed wrong...they tried to sell it to teens and in truth, this film continually points out that most teenagers are followers...but no one followed anyone into the theatre.

Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Valerie (Rosario Dawson) and Melody (Tara Reid) are simply The Pussycats until record producer Wyatt Frame discovers and signs them to his label. The problem is, he works for Fiona (Parker Posey) and they only want a front band for the subliminal messages they bury within The Pussycats music to make American teenagers buy whatever they want them to.

Full of great running gag lines that jump from Diet Coke is the new Pepsi One to Orange is the new Pink it seems as if this film was a complete and utter sell out what with all the product placement crammed in its frames. But that's the joke, in fact, the whole film is one campy little piece that just wants you to go with it and enjoy its goofiness.

One of the best lines goes beyond breaking the reality, it brings a self-awareness that leaves one shaking their head in laughter:

Alexander Cabot (Paulo Costanzo): I don't understand why they let you come.
Alexandra Cabot (Missi Pyle): Because I was in the comic book.
Alexander Cabot: What?
Alexandra Cabot: Nothing.

Other self-referential material exists in the background as of the L.E.D. boards flashes the message 'Can't Hardly Wait was underrated.'. I give you three guesses as to who may have directed Can't Hardly Wait.

Sometimes a film takes a while for its audience to discover it. For example, Austin Powers, International Man Of Mystery. Not a perfect comparison as it did pull in $53.8 million in its initial release...but only $9 in it's first week. It's video life was huge. I would not be surprised if this film becomes a success over time...though nowhere near Austin's numbers.

The songs within the film are a blast, tongue in cheek and unlike other 'band' movies they could probably have been pop hits on their own. The cast is bang-on and some great cameos by Carson Daly, Seth Green, Breckin Meyer and Aries Spears from Mad TV steals a moment with his Bill Cosby impression. This a prefect sit back and turn off the noggin film. Relax, go with the flow and you will find Josie and the Pussycats is the new Eddie And The Cruisers for the teen-set. As the Movie-Fone guys says, 'It's Jerkin!'

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Feature Commentary with Directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont and Producer Marc Platt
Backstage Pass Deleted Scenes
Josie and the Pussycats 3 Small Words Music Video
Dujour Backdoor Lover Music Video
Dujour Dujour Around The World Music Video
Theatrical Trailer
Production Notes
Cast and Filmmakers
DVD-ROM Features

Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

The DVD Review:
This release should make up for its performance in theatres. A fully loaded disk that includes a lot of unseen footage including three music videos. Although the Josie and the Pussycats video (Three Small Words) was pretty well on view within the film itself, they have included two videos by the fictitious boy band within the film Du Jour. Both of these done in one shot each and apparently improved by the actors in it make for some fun moments, and the songs themselves are hysterical.

A full length commentary by the writers/directors and the producer let one in on some of the film techniques and how they cut corners to bring this film together, the locations they used in Vancouver. One annoying fact though, they kept mentioning how they saved money due to the small amount of it...though the budget is $22 million. In their defence though, Harry Elfont did say it was huge when compared to indie films that would give their left arm for that kind of budget.

Backstage Pass is a behind the scnees tour and shows how much training the girls went through to know the songs and their instruments and apparently how much fun they had on the set.

Finally, with three deleted scenes I was surprised to find two of them were merely re-edited versions of other scenes whereas the one scene that was cut from the film had some great jokes in it and must have been cut due to flow or time restraints. In the end, if you are unsure if you would get a kick out of this film, rent it, but if you do enjoy, it is a DVD totally worth adding to the collection what with the perks and all. Too bad we will probably never see a goofy little sequel.

Evil Ash

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