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Waiting...-Unrated & Raw

Review Written by: Will Penley
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: B+/B+/A

Directed by: Rob McKittrick
Written by: Ron McKittrick
Produced by: Jeff Balis, Rob Green, Stavros Merjos, Jay Rifkin and Adam Rosenfelt
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris, Alanna Ubach, Vanessa Lengies, Andy Milonakis, Max Kasch, Luiz Guzman
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it!

"How do you feel about frontal male nudity?"

24-year-old Rob McKittrick had been waiting tables in Florida for a few years when he came up with the idea for his screenplay, Waiting... Having worked in restaurants for so long, he had plenty of material for the soon-to-be-genius script. After the thing was finally written, it took even longer to get McKittrick's film made. However, after months and months and months of meetings, lunches and falsified deal making, production finally began on Waiting... A dialogue-heavy, gross-out comedy in the vein of Clerks and Office Space, Waiting... is, in my opinion, the best comedy of 2005.

Waiting... is set almost completely in a restaurant called ShenaniganZ. The crazy cast of characters is lead by Monty (Ryan Reynolds), the fast-talking, quip-throwing, Randal-esque cool guy. The other employees include Dean (Justin Long), the somber and intelligent waiter who's sick of the sight of ShenaniganZ, Serena (Anna Faris), Monty's ex, Naomi (Alanna Ubach), a waitress who is always pissed at everyone, Natasha (Vanessa Lengies), the underage hostess who Monty has his eye on. Other interesting characters are wanna-be gangster busboys Nick (Andy Milonakis) and T-Dog (Max Kasch), cooks Raddimus (Luiz Guzmán) and Floyd (Dane Cook) and the overbearing manager, Dan (David Koechner).

Waiting... is a devilishly funny film. McKittrick's script, along with the very funny ensemble cast, make this one a real winner. The film gets an "A" and I highly recommend it. The DVD claims to include the unrated, extended version of the film, but I could tell no difference from what I saw in theatres. Speaking of which, when the film played theatrically, the picture had a very washed-out, grainy look to it, but that problem is almost completely rectified with the brand-new anamorphic widescreen transfer featured on the disc. The Dolby 5.1 track on the disc also works very well with all the dialogue and countless songs heard very well. A "B+" for both video and audio.

Lions Gate has simply loaded this two-disc package down with extras. The first thing to be found is a selection of thirteen deleted scenes, all of which provide some laughs, but as with most deleted scenes on DVDs, it's easy to see why they were cut. Up next is a series of nineteen outtakes/alternate takes, providing even more cut laughs. A twenty-minute documentary called "That Little Extra" is also included here and it's a great look at all that went on behind the scenes. A soundtrack preview and a couple of trailers for other Lions Gate films round out the first disc. Sadly, though, no trailers for Waiting... were included. Another plea to the studios: start putting trailers on your discs again!

Now, "That Little Extra" was a good documentary, but the feature-length documentary, "The Works" on the second disc blows that one right out of the water. This is probably the best behind-the-scenes piece I've seen since "Snowball Effect: The Story of Clerks" from the Clerks DVD. I recommend that everyone watch this one. You definitely won't be disappointed. When a little pulsating hot dog appears on-screen during the documentary, be sure to click on it to see a single scene from the movie (called a "Side Dish"), which feature commentary from several cast/crew members. These can also be accessed via their own menu on this disc. Next up is another fantastic, highly inventive extra called the "Expanded Telestrator Commentary," which consists of McKittrick and producer Jeff Balis pausing and rewinding the movie, writing things on the screen and sharing production stories. It's actually quite an amazing thing to see. The final extra on the disc is "Sending it Back: The Real Dish on Waiting Tables," which consists of former waiters sharing stories of their trade. The extras get an "A."

I recommend this package to everyone! Really, you should all go buy or rent it right now. If you're a big fan of Clerks or Office Space like myself, you're sure to love Waiting..., the best comedy of 2005.

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