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Girl, 3 Guys and a Gun, A
A blatant Bottle Rocket wannabe, the stupidly-titled A Girl, 3 Guys and a Gun (aka The Solid Ones) comes courtesy of Roger Corman, but don't let scare you off; this one was a festival acquisition for Mr. Corman, and not an in-house production ... not that it automatically makes the flick some kind of masterpiece.
Tell me if this stuff sounds a little Wes Anderson-ish to you: Three goofball slackers, fed up of boring life in their do-nothing town, decide to hit the road for some adventure. But they'll need some money for the trip, so with a sawed-off BB gun in hand, they make for the nearest ... bingo hall?
Yep, they rob a bingo hall, and since the three dolts can't even pull that off properly, and spend the next umpteen minutes bickering about it, two slow-witted policemen are now in lukewarm pursuit. After their car breaks down, the Yammer Trio come across a new vehicle, one populated by a very beautiful girl and her smug, abusive boyfriend. And then the sensitive kid starts getting all lovey-dovey with his new hostage, because he's nursing a newly-broken heart...
And that's pretty much the long and the short of it. A few dabs of road movie mayhem, tons and tons of indie-boy blathering, and some unearned wistfulness just before the end credits. And since not much of the movie is very insightful or substantial, the "dramatic kick" is missing from a finalé that feels like it should mean something.
Producer, writer, director & star Brent Florence clearly did his homework, because his movie is just a bit more polished and streamlined than many of its ilk, but the simple fact is this: none of the characters seem real. They're all transparent puppets for the scattershot screenplay, which wants to balance playfulness, danger, and sincerity, but fails with a disappointing consistency. It's not the performances; most of them are actually quite good, but they're in service of a half-baked plot, some fairly tired comedy schtick, and a handful of seriously over-familiar themes.
Video: Breaking with their full frame tradition, Disney brings a Corman title home via anamorphic widescreen (1.76:1), and while it's not a sterling transfer, it's nice to see a flick presented in its original form.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. No frills, but entirely listen-able.
Extras: Considering this is one of those new Disney/Corman collaborations, I'm pretty surprised to note that there are two audio commentaries, one with the multi-hatted Brent Florence and music supervisor Todd Hannigan, and the other with Florence & Hannigan, cast members Kenny Luper & Christian Leffler and and "creative" component Bret Haley. Also included is a 7-minute outtake reel and a handful of trailers for A Girl, 3 Guys and a Gun, Up Against Amanda, Raptor, and Hard as Nails.
If "film festival fare" is your cup of tea, you could probably do worse than to give this one a spin. It didn't do a whole lot for yours truly, but it's not a terrible little flick. It just feels like a story I've been told about a thousand times by now.