A really good film that is both accessible and interesting at the same time.
Some of the special features seem like they took a hit in the compression process.
Josh (Mark Duplass) is at a crossroads in his life. Nothing he has tried as far as a career goal has seemed to have worked out, so he goes on a road trip to sort of clear his head. This isn't some kind of all or nothing trip, he plans to bring his father a reclining chair as a gift and figures to decompress along the way. What he doesn't realize is that inviting his girlfriend Emily (Kathryn Aselton) and his brother Rhett (Rhett Williams) is only going to confuse him even more. Things become strange when he takes them to a hotel and in an effort to save money, has his girlfriend pretend to be him after he pays for the room. This doesn't work out and he ends up having to pay $40 more to be able to stay in the room.
One thing after another starts to go wrong as Emily wants to know when they can get married, the chair that Josh purchased on eBay is in horrible shape, his brother meets a girl and decides to marry her that day... the list goes on and on. Through it all this well crafted film keeps it's sense of humor, and even though the scenes are long, they never linger in one area in a way that could be a detriment to this film.
Mark and Jay Duplass have a good time with this commentary as they tell us what's happening on screen, but they are always very quick to tell us the backstory. They explain that what we're seeing was scripted but then things "from life" just came out of that. At one point they regal us with a story during the shooting of the first hotel scene. It seems their hotel room was raided afterwards by the police because they had heard that they were making a porno movie. Jay then points out that even if they were it wouldn't have been a crime to do that. Throughout this track they talk about their working relationship, and they really do a good job of taking us inside their creative process.
Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
There are 7 deleted scenes and they have titles like "Granola Bars," "Weets" and "The Original First Scene." These were interesting to see because I think they showed us a lot more about the characters. Jay Duplass seems to have let the actors move freely through the story. As a result, different versions of scenes might make these characters seem like much different people.
Duplass Brothers Skits
Interview with the Duplass Brothers
Jay and Mark seem to have conducted this interview themselves as they are driving. While I thought this was a nice approach, I was disheartened to find that they only thought up questions that they had already been asked at other Q&A's. I don't know how they could have done this in a more interesting way, but something tells me that these two creative types could have found one. If you want to know more about this movie, this section will certainly give you all the information you need.
Widescreen presented to preserve the aspect ratio of it's original theatrical exhibition. Enhanced for widescreen TVs. I know that that is what the system specs say on this DVD box, but this movie was in full screen on my 13" TV. I have no idea why this as I didn't change my player to any other setting, but I was quite surprised to see that the deleted scenes were in full screen when usually it's the other way around. Still, I liked the look of this movie as the camera kept moving so as to keep things interesting, but it never got monotonous.
English Stereo. This audio on this movie was good. I especially liked the soundtrack which didn't seem like it was using bad temp music. Granted, I had never heard of the bands that were playing here, they didn't seem weak like so many other musical acts that appear in independent films. The audio seems to have been really mixed well because the sound seemed just as good in this tiny movie as it does for big budgeted ones.
Looking like a cross between Science of Sleep one sheets, and some emo record from 2000, this cover has the look of something that wasn't thought about before it was created, yet, you know that it was. Mixing hand drawn images and pictures, it simply and easily gets it's point across. The back is a bit more refined showing us a shot of the couch (which is actually somewhat seen on the front cover), a description of this movie, a Special Features list, a cast list and minor system specs.
I have a friend, whose opinion I often listen to, tell me that The Puffy Chair was a bad movie. He said, and I quote, that it was "a real, ball flapping nag" of a movie. So I put on this film and I kept waiting for it to get bad. I kept thinking, "Okay, any minute now things are going to change and I am going to understand what my friend was talking about." Well, that never happened.
I am not saying that The Puffy Chair is the greatest movie I have seen. However, in this day an age when the main indie movies that get any kind of coverage already have big stars in them, or they tackle some special interest angle (usually documentaries), it was nice to see a good, old fashioned indie movie about people. This wasn't the kind of well shot film that used overwrought metaphors to show family dysfunction and alienation. It was an inexpensive film, shot for probably less then $500,000 and it has managed to get the Duplass Bros. on the radar.
I think that my friend, a newcomer to the indie film scene, was confused because as far as The Puffy Chair is concerned, they don't make movies like this anymore.
The Puffy Chair was released January 17, 2005.