STILL WAITING… Blu-ray Review

     May 16, 2011

still-waiting-slice

Looking for bad business with employees who talk dirty, gorging on overrated sexual pleasure? That’s what it boils down to when you get two restaurants competing for the best service and management, where the need for scantily-clad women seems to be a necessity. And when it comes to the tagline being, “hungry for more?”, you know it’s not about the food. Still Waiting… overcooks the comedy formula of slap-stick and graphic humor, with only tidbits of enjoyable irony and wanna-be passion, all a wasteful pile of ridiculous conflict with no dignity. Hit the jump for my full review.

still_waiting_movie_image_luis_guzman_01The 40-year-old manager to the Shenaniganz restaurant, Dean (John Michael Higgins), struggles with the fact that he lives with his mother and is unhappy with his sexual life. Aiming to become the district manager, which is now up for grabs, stress kicks in when he learns that Corporate needs him to make $9,000 in one day to meet their finances, or Shenaniganz would be shut down. And since there’s been some tough competition with the Ta-Ta’s Wing Shack restaurant next door, it’s not going to be easy. Along with the rest of the Shenaniganz crew, Dean strides to cope and work together to win back their business and reputation in whatever way they can.

The word “sloppy” has a key role to all of this film’s ingredients. From the story’s opening scene to its conclusion, there is nothing that feels complete or remotely intriguing. Too many segments of the story appear pointless or even embarrassing, especially when any trashy play-on-words kick in. Watching Ta-Ta’s chef, Raddimus (Luis Guzman), teach Allison (Maggie Lawson) his “little game” is too bitter to find digestible. Characters cross the threshold where it seems that no matter how innocent or depraved they are, they all share one common concept: being explicit. Even the music, like Fanny Pack’s “Hey Mami”, completes the feeling of how sloppy everything is.

But even food scraps have their uses. Characters such as Chuck (Chris Williams) and Naomi (Alanna Ubach) take most of the spotlight; their sardonic pranks and quick tongue can leave checkpoints of satisfaction to the comedy, but it’s not enough to excuse the crude nature that this movie creates. It’s almost laughable when the movie tries to get serious, and even then, it concludes very little: don’t do what these characters do.

As a Blu-Ray movie, there isn’t much on the menu. A 40-minute behind-the-scenes feature and a commentary only prove that the staff laughed or fought through what was a bleak attempt to begin with. What’s ironic is that the director (Jeff Balis) had gone with the idea of letting the actors be casual with their script, allowing impromptu dialog. The result made this movie feel exactly that: spontaneous and unrehearsed. As for the deleted scenes/bloopers, they only make the film look worse than it already is, and even that isn’t laughable.

still_waiting_movie_image_john_michael_higgins_01“Try to have some dignity,” says Dan (David Koechner) to Dean, and that couldn’t have been put any better for the audience’s response to this movie. A dispute with a “titty” restaurant has no chances of going far, and has no reason to exist. This entire production can be viewed in this one simple analogy: a fly. When a fly enters the Shenaniganz restaurant in the movie, and lands in a customer’s cream and broccoli soup when it was being served, the customer had only one reaction to it: “That’s disgusting.”

PROS:

–        A couple quotes gives the movie some meaning.

–        Not all of the comedy was bad. When the dialog and cruelty was juvenile, it was quick and witty at times.

CONS:

–        Dialog is very pointless. So much of it focuses on genitals of the human body, building no kind of moral or conclusion whatsoever. Insulting comments on blacks and Muslims makes this movie look stupid.

–        Very little of this movie will appeal to the general audience. Frankly, it’s embarrassing and grotesque.

–        The transition to the movie isn’t very good. There doesn’t seem to be a very structural beginning, middle, and end.

MY OPINION ON THE “BEHIND THE SCENES” FEATURETTE:

It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t feel confident about this movie, since the cast and crew felt pretty much the same. The very origin to the sequel was, in fact, a gamble. Rob McKittrick, the writer, had struggled to piece together a script for the movie, doubting its success in a very sarcastic way. He seemed to express a lot of anxiety towards its production, ranting to Jeff Balis, the director, that it wasn’t going well, although they managed to work out this tantrum after the first few days of filming. On the other hand, Jeff took its production in stride, letting the cast suggest and express their own impromptu acting to fit with the characters they were to play, whenever they saw fit. They all seemed awkward towards their partnership, but allowed themselves to goof off with each other, respectively or not. Jeff seemed to be the only one who fought for the film’s success and reputation.

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