Almost by definition, fly-on-the-wall documentaries have sub-standard audio - you can't have radio mikes on all your participants 24 hours a day, whatever your boom mike catches, that's what you're stuck with. So I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the audio in E-dreams. Almost all conversations were clear enough to be understood on the first viewing.
Equally fortunately, although Joseph Park is Korean, he has an clear and standard American accent. This is just as well, because this movie should have been called "The Joseph Park Show". The guy is on screen the whole time (except - perhaps significantly - during the payroll chaos in the despatch area ) and he does not shut up.
He has two modes of speaking - the first is snappy, caffeine-charged corporate-speak, the second is slow, thoughtful and annoying speak, you know, where the speaker repeats the first word of a sentence until the thought process fully kicks into gear.
With the hustle and bustle of a busy, energetic company, Joseph Park is the vortex of his tornado, but whether he's being too sharp or too tedious, the viewer always has a vigorous situation to absorb without necessarily having to concentrate on his every word. I especially enjoyed the Starbucks shareholder meeting and the aforementioned payroll chaos - the bosses were in their ivory tower talking about millions in venture capital while the poor delivery guys were trying to extract their hundred bucks from the clueless paymaster.
Whether by accident or design, I found the clarity of the audio decreased towards the end. It was almost as if Joseph Park was being swallowed into the belly of a whale - the plunge of the NASDAQ, the losses being racked up by the company, the mirage of the IPO, the people appearing out of left field to take over Kozmo. It all added up so that his voice was no longer the song to which the company danced.
This leads me to the DVD extras. There is a full-length commentary, with both the director and Joseph Park. Unfortunately the director said virtually nothing about how the movie was shot , or his vision, or even his opinion on what he was witnessing. He is basically there to ask Joseph Park questions, and the whole commentary becomes a tedious post-mortem of a dead company. If you can wade through 90 minutes of Joseph Park in annoying-speak mode, there are a few snippets and worthy insights, but generally the commentary is not worth your time.
Equally disappointing is a mini feature, supposedly about what the main participants moved onto a couple of years after Kozmo closed. Unfortunately the production standards are low and Joseph Park has nothing interesting to say anymore.
This movie was hard to get for a while, but I see now that's back in print. If you are interested in how snappy talking and a big smile can rake in millions of dollars, grab E-Dreams and let Mr Park take you on a wild ride of good intentions, incompetence, big bucks, hype and ambition.