Director’s Cut (2016)

People always ask me, “Why do you still buy movies on DVD?” That upsets me. Probably not as much as questions like, “What are you going to do when they stop making DVD players?” and “Why don’t you just stream everything like a normal person?” Beyond enjoying the tactile feel of physical media and not wanting to lose access to the movies I’ve already purchased, I really enjoy listening to commentary tracks. But what about a movie whose entire storyline is within the commentary track?

The voice on that track comes from Herbert Blount (Penn Jillette), who crowdfunded a movie starring his favorite actress, Missi Pyle (Gone Girl). Yep, this movie plays with reality by inserting real actors and actresses into a film that isn’t real. Harry Hamlin and Hayes McArthur also play themselves and their characters in the film within a film (director Adam Rifkin also is in this). Herbert uses his chance to be in the film Knocked Off — that was his crowdfunding reward — to kidnap Missi and re-edit the film himself.

To get really meta, this movie was also crowdfunded.

The best scene in the film is one of the rare moments where Penn’s partner, Teller, speaks. It’s a creepy little scene and not as over the top and goofy as the rest of the film. I kept waiting for all the talking to add up to something profound but like the worst commentary tracks, it just ends up getting in the way of the actual film. I get what the filmmakers were going for, but once the joke is told and then explained several times, it’s no longer funny.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime, if you’d like.

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