(Jerry Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Ginger Lynn Allen, Nick Cassavetes, et al / DVD / R / (2000) 2007 / Allumniation Filmworks)
Overview: The Independent is the story of one man's struggle for a little bit of recognition. It's filled with interviews from Morty's celebrity friends, clips from his thirty years of films, and a cinema verite camera which follows Morty and Paloma as they try to find the money to help him complete his latest work, the socially conscious semi-erotic thriller, Ms. Kevorkian. The Independent is filled with great performances, and finds its way into your hands as the result of the settling of a lawsuit with a now-defunct, terrible little independent film distributor, the ugly details of which we are contractually unable to revisit here.
DVD Verdict: Let me begin by saying you have to love Jerry Stiller to love this movie, because he's in just about every scene. And he's the Jerry you loved in Seinfeld, as well as many other incarnations. He's loud, he's rude, and he's hilarious. This movie would not have worked with anyone else in the lead role.
The idea of the film is that Stiller is the ultimate independent film producer, Morty Fineman. His movies may not be great art, but there sure are a lot of them. "Brothers Divided" was one of seven (count 'em, seven!) movies that its prolific producer and director made in 1969. Other Fineman films that year included "Groovy Hippie Slumber Party," "Mondo World" and "The Mod, Mod Miniskirt." Since his 1964 directorial debut, "The Simplex Complex," an Army training film about herpes, Mr. Fineman has turned out an unbelievable 427 films!
One of the best gags in this film is to just sit back and enjoy the titles for all the films. A lot of work went into conjuring up literally hundreds of titles - some of which will make you laugh out loud. To catch them all, you should check out the very well-done companion web site.
But, I digress ... you'll probably enjoy this movie best if you're in the 35-45 age range, because it will take you back to all those drive-in movie classics you loved as a teenager. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary By Jerry Stiller & The Filmmakers
Great Scenes We Unfortunately Left Out
Bonus Films From The Fineman Film Vault
Nancy Sinatra Records "The Love Theme From The Independent"
A Smattering Of Additional Gratuitous Nudity