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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » All American Orgy aka Cummings Farm
All American Orgy aka Cummings Farm
Phase 4 // R // October 5, 2010
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Tyler Foster | posted November 22, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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All American Orgy is one of those ideas that probably sounds really funny when it's being pitched in a living room amongst a bunch of comedians, but by the time it reaches the screen, it's been thought and rethought well beyond its breaking point. Three couples have arranged for an orgy in the woods -- no particular reason, just because, hey, why not? -- and the movie documents everyone arriving at the secluded farm where they've scheduled the shindig, and its eventual, inevitable collapse. While the premise is fertile and a few of the more absurd jokes are worth a chuckle, writer Ted Beck and director Andrew Drazek struggle to find a tone that isn't slimy.

Obviously, the simplest reason a bunch of neurotic couples would all agree to a situation like the one presented here is that they're interested in one of the other participants, or disinterested in their current partner. Alan (Adam Busch) has his eye on the charismatic blonde Rachel (Aimee-Lynn Chadwick). Rachel is with Gordon (Jordan Kessler), a drunk ass who's just into the idea of an orgy in general. Alan's girlfriend Yasmine (Yasmine Kittles) is tired of Alan's non-stop nitpicking, and seems to have resigned herself to ending up with Todd (Beck), even though he's both creepy and bizarre. Finally, Todd's wife Tina (top-billed Laura Silverman) seems extremely uncomfortable with the whole idea, but is willing to go along with it just to please her husband.

Not surprisingly, 70% of All American Orgy is devoted to whining, bickering or complaining about some aspect of the upcoming menage-a-six, which gets old in a huge hurry. I'm pretty sure most viewers don't want to listen to one strange couple nag at each other for scene after scene in a movie that may have claimed, suggested, or implied itself to be somewhat sexy, romantic, or funny, and the fact that there's actually three couples and that the bickering's about having an orgy only extends the gag's shelf life for about another 20 or 30 seconds. Worse, since almost everyone here is unlikable (with the possible exception of Edrick Browne as a drug dealer), who the audience supposed to be rooting for here, and why is a mystery, and not a particularly compelling one at that.

By the time the movie's finally on the verge of maybe getting into the action, director Drazek takes his opportunity to seriously fumble the ball. Timing is the essence to all comedy, and Drazek has none, lazily bouncing each new development in the critical home stretch at the screen only after the previous one has been unresponsive for a minute or so. What should be raucous and escalating is instead sluggish and sloppy, all before becoming outright awkward and potentially distasteful thanks to what happens to the Tina character. Only a truly fine-tuned film would be able to pull off the pivot the movie attempts, and All American Orgy is far from fine-tuned.

Ultimately, the experience of watching All American Orgy is probably just like being there: everyone's angry at one another, nobody's having any fun, and it doesn't look like anyone's going to score. It's far from painful (the group's ad-libbing skills are enough to make the dialogue interesting, if not quite funny), but it's a monotonous, uninspired experience that reveals nothing about any of the characters (besides their obvious eccentricities, attractions and prejudices). It's not enough to just have enough characters around which to build a feature: we have to care why we're watching them, too.

The DVD
The original title of All-American Orgy was Cummings Farm, and just like that title change, the packaging aggressively markets the film as an American Pie-style sex-fest by pushing the stars' faces all the way to the bottom and allotting most of the space to a sexy bikini model; wise shoppers will probably notice the disparity between the movie being sold on the front and the screen captures on the back. Inside the eco-friendly packaging (the kind that uses less plastic as opposed to having holes punched in the front and back covers), there is no insert.

The Video and Audio
The film's 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is pretty consistently okay from beginning to end. Some of the lighting is harsh, there's mosquito noise in the dark scenes (but no blocking or artifacting that I caught), and the whole thing looks a bit fuzzy, but I can't imagine it looking a whole lot better than it does.

Dolby Digital 5.1 is equally unremarkable and thoroughly adequate for this almost surround-free presentation of a dialogue-heavy comedy. Aside from the movie's rap tune, there's really no heavy lifting for the track to do at all, so to say that all the lines come through clearly is pretty much all the track is asked to do. An unadvertised 2.0 track is also included, and the disc has closed captioning activated using your TV set rather than on-disc subtitles.

The Extras
Director/editor Andrew Drazek, writer/co-star Ted Beck, and producer/co-star Jordan Kessler sit down for an audio commentary, which is approximately on the same low-key, not-very-funny-but-reasonably-listenable tone as the film itself. Not much information to be gleaned here, but if you like soft-spoken, self-depreciating comedians...well, you could probably still do better than this track.

Conclusion
The cover art is a sham, the title is misleading, and there isn't any insight or comedy to be found. Nice try by everyone involved, I suppose, but you can skip it just the same.


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