I don't remember a movie that's been ripped into as much in the past few years as "Whipped". Although maybe "Battlefield Earth" could beat it, "Whipped" would come in a close second. Critics absolutely went after this movie and it dissapeared from theaters in minutes. Is it that bad? Hmmm...yes. Delayed for months due to a fight over a possible NC-17 rating, these are the most unlikable, irritating characters that I've seen in cinema in recent years.
The characters talk, and talk and talk and talk about sex of various kinds. Nothing wrong with that, but nobody talks like this. People in Kevin Smith films ("Clerks", "Chasing Amy") don't even talk like this. Ah, but the difference is, Smith's chracters are at least nicely written if not completely three-dimensional and occasionally charming in their own way. As for the attempts at characters in "Whipped", they're Brad - a wall street type; Zeke - an artsy type and Jonathan. Occasionally, there's Eric - but he's married so he apparently doesn't count anymore. They all meet in a diner on Sunday to discuss their attempts with women in a series of dirty one-liners that are totally forced and unfunny. That leads me to the next problem.
With the exception of the great Amanda Peet ("The Whole 9 Yards"), the whole cast are new actors who are reportedly friends of the director. The acting is not just bad, it's downright awful. Peet is okay; she plays Mia, the girl that all three of the main characters find themselves in competition for. But, apparently she's playing them for fools as well, although after about 45 minutes of watching this movie, I went into a zone-like state where it simply began to become a blur of dirty language, stupid events and even dumber characters.
Peet will certainly move on. She has the talent to become a strong leading actress in movies built around her - she's a smart, hip, cute actress with good comedic timing. In "Whipped" though, she's completely wasted. It's going to take a lot her next time out though to wash away the bad taste of "Whipped". There's nothing funny or even the least bit intelligent about this movie.
VIDEO: Tristar Home Video presents "Whipped" in a 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation that's often pretty good, although there's the occasional problem that pops up. Some of the NYC outdoor scenes have nice photography that looks sharp, detailed and pretty strong. Otherwise, sharpness and detail vary a bit in some of the indoor scenes, which look a bit soft at times, especially some of the dimly lit scenes.
Flaws appear in the form of some minor pixelation that appears briefly on a couple of instances. Shimmering isn't visible, although print flaws are. Nothing major, but there are some minor marks and speckles that appear that are a little bit more in volume than I'd expect from a movie that literally opened in theaters a couple months back. Colors are pleasing, with warm, bright colors taht look well-saturated throughout. Flesh tones are accurate and natural as well. Not a flawless presentation, but one that has moments that look pretty strong.
SOUND: Shockingly, "Whipped" has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that's occasionally rather impressive. There's some club scenes with music thumping away, and it really does a wonderful job at filling the room and enveloping the viewer. When the music isn't playing though, there's nothing else going on in the surrounds and - the horror - it folds up into being dialogue-driven.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with basic images of Peet serving as backgrounds.
Commentary: This is a commentary with writer/director Peter Cohen, which I was actually looking forward to as I was wondering what he had to say about a movie like (as bad as) this one. Actually, as awful as the movie was, the commentary is halfway decent as Cohen talks about funding and getting actors who he knew together after writing the screenplay, and getting the most out of sets created on a low budget. As for the film's budget, he states, "it cost more than the 'Blair Witch Project', but not that much more." There's a good story here and there (Cohen promised Peet the film would get into Sundance and it didn't, but it got a wide release instead, suprisingly.) Occasionally, he also chats about problems with the MPAA and the film's content. Although there are a few moments where he seems a little nervous, Cohen talks throughout with only some minor pauses of silence. I occasionally got the sense from listening to Cohen's commentary that his intent about what the film was supposed to be like isn't how the final product turned out to be, although I can't say for sure.
Trailers: Trailers for "Whipped", "Go"(a far better movie right there), "Dogma" (another Kevin Smith movie there) and "Love Stinks".
Positive: Tristar offers "Whipped" with respectable audio/video quality and a couple of decent extras.
Negative: The movie isn't any good at all and isn't worth looking at as a rental. If you liked "Whipped" in the theater you'll enjoy this DVD although if you haven't seen it I wouldn't even recommend it as a rental.