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Melvin Goes to Dinner


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Blieden, Stephanie Courtney, Matt Price, Annabelle Gurwitch, Kathleen Roll
  • Directors: Bob Odenkirk
  • Writers: Michael Blieden
  • Producers: Michael Blieden, Bob Odenkirk, Alex Campbell, D.J. Paul, Jeff Sussman
  • Format: NTSC
  • Studio: Alliance Films
  • Release Date: May 11 2004
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Q4EVY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,955 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

A brisk, funny talkfest. Accidental meetings result in four people sharing dinner in a bistro, an encounter that becomes a bluntly honest discussion of sex, religion, and sex. Cutaways to other aspects of their lives bring visual variety (and afford opportunities for cameos by Jack Black and David Cross), but the meat of the meal is in how four people talk to, at, and against each other. The quartet is sharp and comic: screenwriter Michael Blieden and Matt Price play friends who haven't seen each other in a while, and Annabelle Gurwitch and Stephanie Courtney are the women they bump into. Their patter contains a couple of neat surprises, and ranges over a long menu of relationship issues. It's directed by comedian Bob Odenkirk (of Mr. Show fame), and he has two distinct directorial gifts: getting actors into a strong, naturalistic flow, and knowing where the jokes are. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: DVD
Being a huge fan of Bob Odenkirk I must admit I was terribly dissapointed with this film. I bought this without even seeing it. Big mistake. I should know better than to buy into some shmuck who's using his cult status to rake in cash from loyal fans. I really think Bob Odenkirk should stick to writing comedy. He is a terrible director. Apperently there are these things called tripods. They're wonderful inventions you see. They keep the camera stable. But to hell with those things. I think I'll go out and buy a CANON XL1, run around and pretend I'm a director too. Oh wait! Maybe he was trying to get the feel of a documentary but it's actually a movie with actors. Oh! I see. Sorta something like Steven Soderburgs "Full Frontal." What a coincidence cause that movie sucked too. Watch Bruce McDonalds "HARD CORE LOGO" or Rob Reiners "SPINAL TAP" to find out how thats done properly. Unlike this film "SPINAL TAP" is funny.
Besides the poor directing the story is just not clever at all. Without even looking into it I'm sure it's been done 1000 times before. The only scene I found a bit clever was a scene involving Jack Black. I hate Jack Black. David Cross is in the movie for like 30 seconds. Just enough to put his name on the on the backside of the DVD. Also just enought to trick a moron like me into buying this peice of poo poo. I expect way way more from Bob. To be honest with you it has the feel of a reality show but not the feel of reality. Who is that open about themselves? To make it even more un-realistic the dialogue in this film is delivered so poorly.
Keep pushing that Miller Beer BOB!! Your gonna need the cash if you keep directing crap like Melvin Goes To Dinner.
I give this two stars for the "Frank Festival" skit in the special features section. I give the movie 0 stars.
I wish I put my 25 bucks towards a Criterion Collection Film. Anyone of those I buy I'll never be dissapointed with.
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Format: DVD
Directed by Bob Odenkirk (native of Naperville, IL, right around the corner from me) of HBO's Mr. Show (1995) and based off a play written by Michael Blieden, Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003) is a movie...well, as George Constanza from TV's Senfield might put it, about nothing. Really...nothing happens...four people come together for dinner and different topics of discussion arise, religion, marriage, infidelity, sex, ghosts, among other things. The movie forms around what is supposed to be spontaneous conversation, and has various flashbacks intertwined to help develop the characters. The film succeeded, but main problem I had was with the characters in that I just didn't like them very much. They really weren't people I'd be interested in knowing or spending time with, but I continued to watch, and even managed to enjoy myself. One thing I noticed which rang true to me was how easy it can be at times for people to relate really personal information about themselves with absolute strangers, while having difficulty doing the same with people they have closer relationships, like spouses or siblings.
There were some great cameos by David Cross (as a motivational speaker) and Jack Black, who really made me laugh as a lunatic in a hospital talking about how he was 'the Creatrix' and the jealous god knocked him off his pterodactyl and turned him into a nid (a human being). Maura Tierney and Laura Kightlinger also appear. I really thought the movie would have more humor than it did, as the conversation meandered from subject to subject. It was kinda odd when the supporting cast is more well known that the starring players with the exception of the attractive Annabelle Gurtwitch, who played the character of Sarah.
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Format: DVD
The structure of "Melvin Goes To Dinner" is fairly simple: Four people meet for dinner and talk. The obvious comparison is to Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory's "My Dinner With Andre," in which two people meet for dinner and talk. But the differences between the two movies reveal a lot about how films and their audiences have changed over the past few decades.
"My Dinner With Andre" is a movie that comes right out of the 1970's, (though I believe it was actually made in the mid-'80's). It takes itself very seriously and it expects its audience to sit through this conversation without any bells or whistles to keep them entertained. It's a conversation and nothing more. Those who dislike the movie complain that it's dull, pretentious, and pseudo-intellectual. Although I personally love the movie and find it fascinating, I can certainly see where they're coming from.
"Melvin Goes to Dinner" is a very modern version of the same idea in that the conversation, which is supposed to be very deep and thought-provoking, doesn't aim nearly as high. Whereas Andre and Wallace Shawn discuss the role of destiny and pre-determination in our lives, Melvin and his friends ask each other if they believe in ghosts. Andre and Wallace discuss great directors, books, and philosophy. Melvin and his friends talk about watching porn. And while "My Dinner with Andre" demands a fair bit of patience, "Melvin Goes to Dinner" tries to break up the monotony of their conversation with various "flashback" sequences and moments of pseudo-drama: Someone getting up to leave rather than reveal a personal secret; A "wacky" drunken waitress; A surprise twist at the end; A framing sequence about Melvin having sex with a married (and totally nutso) woman.
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