Late Night Shopping

Cover Art and Menu: 8/10
Excellent cover art here, let’s just get that on the table right away. I like it. It’s more colorful than the movie, but just as fun. This semi-retro look was popular a few decades ago and now I think it’s come around so many times it’s new again.

The menu is kind of a let down, though. It’s just still images in the style of the cover, fair enough.

Extras & Features: 7/10

  • Director & Writer Commentary – Love it. Any movie that captures some element of modern culture in a way that’s not only funny but endearing to some degree has got to have a director behind the camera who just “gets it”.
  • Behind The Scenes Featurette – Too short and not all that informative, would be the way to describe this little baby featurette. I want something more hefty, at least an hour, when it comes to a quirky little film like Late Night Shopping. This is just some interviews and clips from the movie which, if you haven’t seen it, would give away the whole thing. If you choose to watch this extra, please do so after you have seen the movie.
  • Deleted Scene & Additional Clips – One deleted scene and a two small bits that show a couple of actors doing their “magic tricks” from the film. I wouldn’t classify this as extras, but hey, I’m not in charge of putting DVD’s together….hey, maybe I should be!
  • Original Theatrical Trailer – It is what it is…a trailer. It’s misleading and not really that tuned into what the movie all about, but that’s marketing ain’t it?
  • Liner Notes – Printed insert with information about the film. HVE is notorious for these essays being included in their DVD’s and I actually really enjoy them. I know reading is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it will only take about 4 minutes of your life, so go for it.

The Movie: 8/10:
Let’s get the formalities out of the way first. This film has hints of pretentious 20-something angst. That is the one thing about the movie that does bug me a bit. That’s just a side effect of the topic at hand, being hopelessly in love or wanting to be, and still too young and stupid to know how to handle it all. The characters are struggling in different ways with either being alone or being in a relationship. Well, isn’t almost every movie about this same subject? It’s the telling of the story and the characters that make this a very enjoyable film for even the most hardened of hearts.

Now, on to what makes this a film that I highly recommend. The one thing that won me over instantly is the fact that this is a night dweller’s flick. The characters all work the night shift and a lot of the themes running through the story focus on how that effects them and their lives. A small group of “friends” who all work the night shifts in different places in the same area of a generic metropolitan area. Their lives criss cross at a dingy little cafe that seems to be the only place open all night for them to drink coffee and talk about their lives, endlessly.

But are they really friends? That’s one of the questions that comes up at a grungy table discussion. Jodi, the token female in the group, asks three questions, “What’s my surname?”, “Where do I work?”, and “What’s my favorite color?” Her companions fail to answer these inquiries and so she concludes that they are not real friends. As the story unfolds the foursome try to define what it means to actually be friends.

Their relationships are put to the test through different things like sexual exploits, lack of communication, fear of rejection, and confusion about life in general. The way they interact is usually in abbreviated phrases and semi-deep observations, not to mention the occasional sentimental supportive type of banter. It’s all done with style and there is a touch of hip European writing and acting, along with the trendy everyday fashions and surprisingly funny quirks like a car radio stuck on an 80’s revival station, and a guy who has developed porno reactions (find out what that is when you watch it for yourself) which all adds up to constant film watching stimulation.

I’m not going to claim the performances are all top notch, or that the whole thing is more substance than flash, but it’s all really funny, watch able and I can honestly say that I identify with a lot of what these characters experience and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Like I said, I highly recommend this movie for anyone who appreciates that stage in life when you are so desperately looking for acceptance and love in the world that it pretty much takes over every aspect of your life….for the better or worse.  As we age we might not be on the hunt for that special someone quite so intensely, but we always remember what it was like.

Value: 7/10
It’s a shame that these companies don’t price independent films on DVD at a price that will get them more attention in the store. I would be glad to pay 20 for a really good film that doesn’t have a big movie star in it or have a big name director. The thing is, I’m not the majority of DVD buyers in the world. Not everyone is willing to shell out that kind of dough for a “small” movie they have never heard of, and that’s a shame. If the price was like $10 or $12 it would get more attention.

Overall Score 7/10