"Body Shots" was a movie that had potential in a fine cast of young actors (Tara Reid, Amanda Peet, Jerry O'Connell, etc), but never really ended up going anywhere. The trailer called it "a movie that defines a generation", but critics were mixed; some gave it extremely low grades while others gave it praise.
I have to say that I fall in the negative camp on the movie. I'd looked forward to seeing it but never got around to catching it during its brief theatrical run. At times dramatic and at times comedic, the movie follows a group of twenty-odd year-old girls and guys who are looking for superficial relationships. People bounce off one another like pinballs, occasionally locking into something, but then shooting off once more.
The movie starts off with a girl named Sara(Tara Reid) telling her friends in horror that she's just been raped. The movie then goes forward into the events up to the event. The characters, especially the males of the film, are possibly some of the most shallow characters in cinema. Although sex is shown, it's mainly discussed in detail that's fairly impressive for a film that made a R-rating (although the unrated edition is included on this DVD).
Most of the characters are pretty one-note (or .5 note, for some), and their dialogue is full of "deep thoughts" about relationships that are at times ok, but at times funny in that unintentional way. Some of the actors do fine with their roles, or at least the best they can. Ron Livingston, who was particularly hilarious in "Office Space", makes his jerky character almost funny here.
"Body Shots", although it works somewhat decently at times (mainly towards the begining) on its own with the story, almost works better as 98 minutes worth of showing young people how not to be. The characters in this film drink - not in that "Oh, maybe just one" way, but with the intent to get completely screwed up to the point where you don't remember where you were the night before - the characters here drink with the intensity that I'd be suprised if they remember who they are. It's unfortunate that showing young people the dangers of alcohol and what happens doesn't seem to be the intention of the movie, which is just mainly about finding the next one-night relationship. I won't even go into the bits that have characters talking directly to the camera, which is interesting at first, then grows annoying.
It all grows more negative in comparison to some of the other similar recent films that are better, amusingly - both by the same director, Doug Liman("Swingers" and "Go"). "Body Shots" may start off in a promising fashion, but quickly we see who these characters really are, and that's when the movie falls apart. The most dissapointing part is that this a really solid cast of great actors who, hopefully, will go on to do better films. The unrated version is also included here, with a couple of additional minutes of footage.
VIDEO: As usual New Line does a fabulous job with the presentation here. The opening menu offers the choices - rated or unrated, widescreen or pan&scan. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen version is excellent looking, with wonderful sharpness with the exception of a stray soft shot or two; the picture looks consistently very well defined with great detail and clarity.
I noticed brief and very minor bits of pixelation once or twice, but these were the only problems with the presentation. The print used is in great condition, with not a scratch or a mark to be found. Colors are usually very good, although there are times when they seem intentionally a little bit subdued.
Overall, no complaints. New Line continues their record of doing excellent work with this presentation.
SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack provides all of the elements that can be brought out from a movie that's mainly dialogue-driven. Surrounds are used occasionally, such as the opening rain or for the film's music. Dialogue is natural and clear, as well. An enjoyable soundtrack that provides some strength and bass from the music, but otherwise doesn't provide a whole lot more than that.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with film-themed images serving as backgrounds(such as images of the girls on the main menu).
EXTRAS: Trailer (which hilariously tries to compare the film to "The Graduate" and "The Breakfast Club")(Dolby 5.0) and cast/crew bios.
Final Thoughts: "Body Shots" is a nice DVD effort in terms of audio/video quality by New Line, but the movie and package as a whole is not recommended.
The Film C-
Video 91/A = (364/400 possible points)
Audio: 86/B = (344/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 79/C+ = (237/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: C-
DVD GRADE: B-