Monday, March 2, 2009

Ten Inch Hero

As provocative as the title is—and they do make fun of it in the special features—Ten Inch Hero actually refers to a sub shop in Santa Cruz, California. The story revolves around the staff of Beach City Grill. Tucker (John Doe), the owner, is a peace-loving hippie father figure with a thing for Zo (Alice Krige), the Wiccan who works at the crystal shop across the street. Jen (Clea DuVall) is a sensitive, but insecure young woman who’s had a year-long, online relationship with the mysterious Fuzzzy_22 and is considering a face-to-face meeting. Gorgeous Tish (Danneel Harris, rumored true-life love of Jensen) knows how to work her looks and manipulate men by saying she’s never had the big O, but her relationships are as shallow as the way most men view her. Priestly (Jensen Ackles) is the wisecrack cook with some serious bod mod and slogan t-shirts who just wants someone to look beyond his edgy exterior. And Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) is the newbie, an artist who arrived in town looking for the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was fifteen. Together they’re a loyal, dysfunctional and loving family, despite the fact that all of them are something other than what they seem.

I admit the only reason I wanted to see this indie was because of Jensen. I’d heard reviews were positive, but I never expected to fall in love with the film the way I did. Funny and heart-warming, without being overly cheesy, the simplistic story is one of not judging a book by its cover and finding courage to bust the shackles we bind our own selves in.

Betsy Morris’ script is sharp, snappy, sentimental and sexy. The interchanges between the cast are not only believable, but memorable. You’ll laugh, cry, scream, and sigh. If I were to change anything it would be this: Tish’s character, despite a very likeable performance by Danneel, isn’t developed well enough to explain why a guy would want her beyond her stunning physicality. Also, her sex scenes could’ve been a little more suggestive instead of blatantly gratuitous, which depletes the audience who might otherwise see the film (a bummer as far as getting Jensen more exposure). Also, Priestly gets brave but changes his “wrapping paper” when I wish he wouldn’t have and Jen never does get her cowardly lion to woman up. Nitpicks aside, this little romcom is going in my keeper cabinet and I think you’ll find it charms your heart too.

This movie is available to rent at your local Blockbuster, and for sale here.

Also, for your enjoyment, Priestly’s collection of shirt slogans:

Tip Me or Die

Cat. The Other White Meat.

It’s Tourist Season, Shoot Them At Will

You Know Your Problem? You’re Stupid.

Surf Naked

Orgasm Donor. Ask For Your Free Sample.

Save a Tree. Eat a Beaver.

I Sell Crack for the CIA.

No One Knows I’m A Lesbian

You Can Read


The HYSTERICAL Tampon Scene w/ Jensen:


Trish Milburn said...

I want to see this movie, but Netflix doesn't have it! I may have to drive over to the Blockbuster.

Karen Mahoney said...

Wow, I really want to see this! Thanks for the review & posting the trailer, etc. It actually looks very good, and not just becuase of Mr. Ackles! *g*

phouse1964 said...

I got to see this back when it had it's European release. So I have seen it one time and have my copy on order.

I enjoyed it for the most part but thought the ending was a cop-out. For all it's "don't judge" crap and then for the last part? Kind pissed me off. Not that I didn't like looking at the last part because, yum!

I also am not a fan of the plot device that was Danneel's character. I mean, come on. Hot girl goes through men/boyfriends like toilet paper and somehow I am supposed to feel sorry for her? Have a little self respect. Or at least own your disfuntionality.

But I bought it anyway. I can't wait to see all the special features!

phouse1964 said...

And Jensen in a kilt? talking abotu tampons? I think he even swears which is HOT!

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely yum at the end, but all us girls watching it were yelling "No, don't change!" I hated that. SHE should've changed to get his attention.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who saw it, do you agree that the sex scene was unneccessarily gratuitous? It certainly fit her character, I have no problem with that, but I think it could have been less blatant. When it jumped to that scene, with no warning, I was like whoa! It almost felt misplaced or like it was just there for shock value. In Friday the 13th I expected that kind of gratuity, but here I felt it diminished the film a bit.

phouse1964 said...

Terri, I agree, it felt put in there just to have some boobs. The only thing I can come up with is that they wanted the viewer to see just how low both she and the scum she was "doing" were. Although, if that's the case, I really don't see what Preistly saw in her. Maybe they should have put that part in the movie instead of the boobies?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Terri, I felt exactly the way you did about every element.

Jensen was incredible and he broke my heart at least twice, but I felt the same way at the end. Tish never demonstrated anything to justify his feelings.


I get that Priestly was hiding behind his image, and eschewing that was getting courage, taking his own advice. And I get that Tish giving a nice guy a chance was her personal change, but I wanted it to be bigger.

I corresponded with Betsy Morris early on, when they'd completed filming, and I like her a lot, which makes me not want to be critical of her script. I wonder if the director/producers maybe changed things because they thought a woman changing for a man would be sending the wrong message. One thing the movie did so well was portray individuals, not genders, so I think it would have been better the other way.

Still, overall, it was so much better written and acted than some of the stuff that's come out by studios recently. Makes me mad that this was all they could get (limited DVD release).

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Oh, and yes, the sex scenes disappointed me, but less because I felt they didn't belong than because now my 13-year-old Jensen fan can't see the movie. :)

Anonymous said...

Natalie, how'd you end up talking with Betsy? That's so cool. Tell all!

I never really got that Priestly was hiding behind his appearance. I know that was implied in the special features, but just from the film I saw a guy who wanted to be seen for who he was on the inside, beyond his exterior, and he was afraid to approach Tish because he wasn't her type.

And I agree that her agreeing to go out with him was not enough. She wasn't worthy. LOL.

I definitely thought the sex scenes belonged, I understood they demonstrated how low she had sunk and what a butthead he was, but I think they could've accomplished the same thing by filming it more artfully so more people could see it.

And I too wish it had gotten a much better release.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Natalie, how'd you end up talking with Betsy?

I don't remember, exactly. I think through her MySpace, which I learned about from the TIH blog. And I mentioned her on my blog once, and she found it, and we exchanged messages from that, too.

I never really got that Priestly was hiding behind his appearance.

Well, I guess I didn't either, until the end, and figured that was what they were trying to say.

I think they could've accomplished the same thing by filming it more artfully so more people could see it.

Oh, yes, I do agree with that.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I think it's neat she wrote you.

Did you see the cute causemobile t-shirts they're selling with the DVD?

MJFredrick said...

I LOVED this movie. Funny story about the sex scene...I'd been watching the movie, we sat down to dinner and I took the DVD off pause. And there was the sex scene. NOTHING prepared me for it, and of course the ds and dh didn't believe me.

I wouldn't have seen it if not for Jensen, so I'm glad he chose to do it!