Video Picks Archive

August 9, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <matt@filmhead.com>

This week my picks are The Big Tease (1999 - ) and This Is Spinal Tap (1984 - ).

The first film this week is a pseudo-documentary that was bought by Warner Bros. for distribution, but somehow never found its way to national release. It stars Craig Ferguson as Crawford Mackenzie, a Glasgow hair stylist who is the subject of a documentary for British television. He is invited to Los Angeles for the "Platinum Scissors" contest, where the world's top stylists compete. Once he gets there, he finds out that he was invited to the audience, not the contest, but he perseveres with the help of Candy Harper (Frances Fisher), Sean Connery's publicist. The Big Tease is an amusing take on the old making-it-in-the-big-city story -- a far more creative venture than the current Coyote Ugly. Thankfully, Warner is giving the film a much bigger push on video, where it probably plays better, anyway.

For the best pseudo-documentary ever made, you need not look further than the second film. Rob Reiner made his directorial debut with This Is Spinal Tap: a "rockumentary" following the U.S. tour of Spinal Tap, an aging heavy metal band. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer played the British rockers, and also co-wrote the film with Reiner. Actually, most of the dialogue was improvised, and Reiner's direction lent the film a real documentary feel, which makes the whole experience even more hilarious. These characters are so strong that they seem like a real band, and subsequent albums by the group have sold well and received radio play, despite (or perhaps because of) their intentionally crass lyrics and music. And now, a new "Special Edition" DVD will be available, with commentary by the director and stars -- in character! You can be sure that I've already pre-ordered a copy.


For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The Big Tease (1999)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
The Big Tease (1999) -- VHS
The Big Tease (1999) -- DVD
The Big Tease: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
This Is Spinal Tap (1984) -- VHS
This Is Spinal Tap (1984) -- DVD
This Is Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap -- Compact Disc
Break Like the Wind, Spinal Tap -- Compact Disc


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