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6/24/2004 -- We offer a pair of DVD reviews focusing on two wonderful pieces of work: the tension-filled 70s classic, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and the gentle, humorous, The Station Agent. And in light of the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, we take a hard look at the “documentaries” of Michael Moore with, Easy Laughs, Easy Money.

6/14/2004 -- Two new DVD reviews have been posted. We take a look back at the 80s, gay-themed classic, Torch Song Trilogy, and the Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise/Edward Zwick epic, The Last Samurai.

6/10/2004 -- Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official. You can now reach this wonderful site via www.tailslate.net. This address is just one of several new things you'll be seeing here. Stay tuned for more!

6/3/2004 -- Take a journey into the past. Thousands of years into the past, with the debut review by Kurt Davis of the prehistoric classic, Quest for Fire.

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DVD REVIEW
DVD Rating:
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Movie Rating:
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Duplex
Star(s): Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essel
Director: Danny DeVito
Writer(s): Larry Doyle
Company: Miramax

Duplex Image by Darisa Diaz

Anyone who has ever seen a film that Danny DeVito has directed, produced, written or starred in knows that DeVito has a certain brand of humor. It’s a bit off-putting, a bit different and sometimes completely off the mark. His critically panned Death to Smoochy was all these things with the exception that it was exceptionally entertaining. Duplex is all these things and nothing else.

Duplex is a horrible film starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore as Alex and Emma, a married couple lacking any chemistry that buys into a Brooklyn duplex furnished with a rent-controlled tenant. The tenant, Mrs. Connelly, is a sweet old lady who lives in the second floor apartment.

However, the “sweet” old lady is actually a double-dealing fiend who promises to make their lives a living hell.

Alex is a writer working at home on a book with a strict deadline. Mrs. Connelly drives him crazy by making him run all sorts of useless errands that never seem to end. He is at the mercy of Mrs. Connelly’s whims despite his better judgment.

It’s hard to sympathize with Alex. Ben Stiller’s neurotic portrayal is downright irksome. Though his temper is cooler, his portrayal brings back memories of the crazy, two-faced date he once played on Friends.

Drew Barrymore is sickly sweet as Emma, who has no sympathy for Alex either until she’s at Mrs. Connelly’s mercy herself. Barrymore offers but a wisp of the usual energy with which she invigorates her characters. Her character’s greatest joy seems to be expensive decorative art. In the end, Emma, who is quite ingratiating and vapid, comes off nothing more than a decorative piece for Alex’s character.

Duplex is strikingly painful to watch. The complete chaos that ensues is anything but amusing. Alex and Emma’s attempts to kill off Mrs. Connelly should be high dark comedy, but instead only make the film seem more twisted, depraved and oh, yea, BORING! By the time the twist at the end comes along, you’ve already lost interest.

Avoid Duplex at all costs!

The DVD features deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes look at the film. It also offers you the luxury of enjoying the truly terrible film in a full-screen or wide-screen format. Woopty-frickin' doo!

Darisa Diaz is a native New Yorker with an obsession for film who will watch anything (bad or good) for the sheer thrill of being entertained. She currently works as a freelancer writer and juggles various "admin" jobs to pay the bills. She has also labored long hours at CosmoGIRL! and Seventeen magazine.

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