Plot: What’s it about?
Crawford Mackenzie (Craig Ferguson) doesn’t just style for a living, he lives to style hair. While it is a career or hobby for some, for Crawford it is an all consuming obsession. He can tell what shampoo and you conditioner you use and how you rinse and dry your hair, just by taking a quick sniff of your locks. Crawford even has to stop and help those who have poor hair maintenance, dropping all else to administer emergency hair assistance. So imagine how pleased he is when he discovers an invitation to the Platinum Scissors competition, where the finest hair stylists go head and head. He leaves his homeland of Scotland behind and heads off to the bright lights of Los Angeles, where he seeks to become the best in the business. But his hopes turn to heartbreak when he finds out his invitation was in error and he won’t be allowed to enter the contest. As if that isn’t bad enough, the entire ordeal is being filmed by a documentary film crew so all of Crawford’s failures are being recorded. Whether he is being dissed by a fellow stylist or even being turned down by Sean Connery, Crawford can’t seem to catch a break. But with his hopes and dreams on the line. Crawford is bound and determined to come out on top, no matter what it takes.
I love the work of Craig Ferguson and he is what drew me toward this offbeat and hilarious movie about a hairdresser on the adventure of his life. While I expected this to be a humorous and entertaining movie, it turned out to be one of my favorite movies of the year without a doubt. If you need pratfalls and sight gags to laugh this isn’t your type of comedy, as it uses a more dialogue based comedic approach loaded with references to all manner of pop culture. The pace is brisk but somewhat slow at times, though I was never bored or felt as if the movie was stalling. You might not think a movie about styling hair can be that funny or interesting, but trust me on this one because the subject matter is hilarious. The movie sports several cameos and small parts which add even more humor to the story, including my personal favorite small role by David Rasche. This isn’t your typical comedy by any means, but I feel that is the film’s strongest selling point really. This disc from Warner looks and sounds very good, so I can overlook the lack of bonus materials though I would have loved a Ferguson commentary track. I recommend this release as a rental to comedy fans looking for a good laugh, but fans will want to purchase this one even with the scant extras.
This film was directed by Kevin Allen, who also plays a character in this movie. Allen’s best known for his acting but he does a fine turn behind the camera here, providing a nice backdrop for the comedic content. Allen also acted in such films as Trainspotting, Spice World, Different For Girls, and The Skulls. The lead role in this movie is played by Craig Ferguson, who also helped produce and write the film. Ferguson (Modern Vampires, Tv’s Drew Carey Show) is hilarious here and never fails to entertain, he even shows some nice acting here and I hope to see more from him soon. The supporting cast also solid and includes Larry Miller (Pretty Woman, Chairman of the Board), Mary McCormack (Mystery Alaska, Deep Impact), David Rasche (Manhattan, Cobra), Frances Fisher (Gone In Sixty Seconds, True Crime), and Chris Langham (Monty Python’s Life Of Brian). This movie is also loaded with cameos, which add a nice character depth to the film. These cameos include performances by Cathy Lee Crosby, Drew Carey (Tv’s Drew Carey Show), David Hasselhoff (Tv’s Baywatch), Sara Gilbert (Poison Ivy, Desert Blue), and Bruce Jenner.
Video: How does it look?
The Big Tease is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. This is a bouncy and colorful movie, but I never saw any smears or oversaturation which is impressive. All the hues seem bright and bold and flesh tones emerge in a natural and consistent fashion. I found no flaws in the contrast either, as shadow were well defined and detail level seems high. I didn’t find any compression artifacts, but there is some minor wear and tear on the source print.
Audio: How does it sound?
This isn’t the disc to choose when you want to showcase your sound system, but the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track delivers a solid and effective mix. This is a dialogue driven movie so the surrounds are used minimally, but when they are used the audio sounds clear and well separated. The music takes most advantage of the rears although some subtle audio is present, mostly for atmospheric effect. The dialogue is the focus of this mix and I found no problems at all, volume and clarity were both on the money. You’ll also find English and French subtitles, which are always welcome on a disc.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains the film’s theatrical trailer and a screen of talent files, though the director is the only one with added information.