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Case Number 00975

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Body Shots

New Line // 1999 // 106 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 14th, 2001

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All Rise...

Please, do we really need another raunchy sex comedy? Not according to Judge Patrick Naugle, who has no patience for this farce. Read his vitriol-stoked decision.

The Charge

Bad people doin' nasty things.

Opening Statement

From Michael Christofer, the director of the HBO film Gia, comes a film about what young people do on their off time with other young people (if you catch my drift). Starring a hip cast of energetic talent including Jerry O'Connell (Scream 3), Tara Reid (American Pie), Amanda Peet (Jack & Jill) and Ron Livingston (Office Space), Body Shots proves that, apparently, the only thing of the mind of today's youth is sex, sex, and even (shockingly) sex. Body Shots is now on DVD, so you can now die happy.

Facts of the Case

Come one, come all! See what spectacular events transpire as a night of debauchery and booze unfolds like Janet Reno in a thong! Body Shots comes complete with not one but two exciting opening shots of people A.) urinating on a closed toilet seat and B.) vomiting outside a car door. Clearly this film has nowhere to go but down.

In Los Angeles a group of youthful twentysomethings are about to hit the bars looking for beer, good times and casual sex. A group of girls shallower than a Dixie cup meet up with a group of guys equally as shallow…and, of course, they're all attracted to each other. Yuppie love, how sweet it is.

The night starts out as any night would for these people. The girls are getting ready by putting on their make up and talking about oral sex. The boys are doing a pre-show at a local bar by shooting down tequila and talking about oral sex. Everyone in this film sounds like an intellectual porn star.

The girls consist of Jane (Peet), Whitney (Emily Proctor), Sara (Reid), and Emma (Sybil Temchen). The boys are Michael (O'Connell), Rick (Sean Patrick Flanery), Trent (Livingston), and Shawn (Brad Rowe). They are generally interchangeable.

As the night progresses the two groups meet up at a local bar. Jane and Rick already have the hots for each other. Trent is an obnoxious weirdo who still manages to hang around with this group. Sara and Shawn are somewhat "seeing" each other but as soon as Michael, a football player for the Raiders, spots Sara he knows he must have her. The couples mix and mingle talking about sex and getting generally schnockered out of their minds via hard liquor shots and wine. Through a series of flashbacks we're shown what happened throughout the night. Someone got into a fight, a couple of people had sex, someone passed out…the usual. But the fun comes to a screeching halt when someone starts throwin' the word "rape" all over like it was a football.

Rape? How could "rape" have possibly happened when everyone was being responsible by getting tanked and flirting like prostitutes? I, for one, am flabbergasted.

You may be too after you finish watching Body Shots.

The Evidence

What a foul little movie this is. Talk about a film with no redeeming social value whatsoever. I got more responsible advice watching The Toxic Avenger. This entire film is devoted to talking about sex, having sex, and getting sex by any means. Not one character in this film has any qualities that we as an audience can care about. A typical statement from one character is "if you're just hanging out with someone and you fall into bed with them, it's not like you're really involved. It's safer. It's just sex." Words to live by, my friends. Everyone in this film should be wearing a T-shirt that reads "STDs be damned." In a movie like this it's nice to have at least one character we can care about. Everyone here seems like they just beamed down from the planet Continuous Orgasm and are overrunning our TV set.

The only person worth watching is Trent (played with slimy, car salesman gusto by Ron Livingston). Trent is so indifferent to what people think that he wears his golf clothes out to a nightclub. I should be so brave. He's like a cross between Ron Jeremy and Carson Daly. The rest of the cast is obnoxious as well as uninteresting. Jerry O'Connell, who usually plays the nice guy, sports a bad attitude and a "winner take all" mantra that should work for his character, but doesn't. Every time I see O'Connell I still think of him being the chubby kid in Rob Reiner's Stand By Me. It's a cross I must bear. Tara Reid, funny in the teen sex comedy American Pie, here is reduced to playing a typical money-hungry man-eater, looking only for a guy who will buy her appetizers when they go for dinner.

And how many unpleasant scenes can we see in a movie? The top of the heap is that of a man's bare buttocks slamming against a mesh fence while he and a woman have sex. I haven't slept a wink since seeing that monstrosity.

Yes, like a "miracle elixir" being peddled by an old west sham doctor, Body Shots looks good on the outside with a nice cast and high production values…but once swallowed, wreaks havoc on your system. If this is a realistic portrayal of today's youth, please stop the world. I'd like to get off.

One character actually mutters the line, "Sex without love equals violence." I would like to slightly change that to "movie without interesting character or good plot equals doggie-doo."

Body Shots is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen presentation and looks great. The disc is enhanced for 16x9 TVs so at least we're getting an anamorphic version out of New Line (more pretty, empty headed people to gawk at). Colors were bright and clear with no edge enhancement present. Grain and speck were non-existent and there is no digital artifacting at all. Overall New Line has, once again, done a beautiful job with the transfer. Also included is a pan and scan version. Audio consists of Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds very presentable. Dialogue is well heard with music and effects being mixed effectively. Many of the scenes take place in a nightclub, so we get the obligatory bass thumping and dialogue being screamed across the floor. Just like being in a real, smelly nightclub! (Maybe for a Platinum Edition New Line will also give us smell-o-cards to experience what an actual Jell-o shot smells like.)

Since this is not a Platinum Edition, we're screwed in the extras department for Body Shots (not that I'm really complaining). New Line has tacked on a "cast and crew" biography page, plus an anamorphic theatrical trailer. The trailer actually has the audacity to compare Body Shots to The Graduate, Saturday Night Fever, and The Breakfast Club. Talk about aiming a little to high…

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Everyone involved with this film should be forced to sit down and watch it with their parents.

Twice.

Closing Statement

Okay, so I may have been a bit harsh on Body Shots. But if you're asking me, this really is a pretty bad movie. It was written by David McKenna, who penned the thoughtful American History X. In that film we were given an unflinching look at hate and violence in the '90s. With Body Shots, McKenna has missed his mark. For the price of around $19.99-$24.99 this isn't a horrible buy, but I would strongly recommend you rent this first. I know this doesn't need to be sitting on my DVD shelf tainting my other movies.

The Verdict

Guilty for being such a tramp of a film. However, I am inspired to say that Tara Reid gets naked a few times. (We know…we think Patrick's on crank as well—Ed.)

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Scales of Justice

Video: 96
Audio: 93
Extras: 25
Acting: 54
Story: 45
Judgment: 59

Perp Profile

Studio: New Line
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Anamorphic
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• Biographies and Filmographies of Cast and Filmmakers
• Theatrical Trailer

Accomplices

• IMDb








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