Ten Inch Hero
2007? 2008? 2009?
This film really got my curiosity going. After all, it contains one of the
year's top ten nude scenes, and it's rated 8.0 at IMDb. Good movie, good
nudity ... it has to be a winner, right?
Not exactly. I failed to look below the surface.
Drilling down through the IMDb ratings reveals some interesting anomalies.
- First, the top thousand voters score it only 5.1. This group is immune
to ballot box stuffing because it consists of the people like me who who
cast votes on hundreds or even thousands of movies and have no axe to grind
for any single film or any single studio. The opinions within that group may
be wrong, but they are honest in that the members of the group are not
selling anything and do not stand to profit from their votes.
- Second, women score it 1.7 higher than men. A gap of 1.0 qualifies a
film as a serious chick-flick, and 1.7 is up there in the estrogen
stratosphere. That's the third-highest score that I know of, trailing only
Sex and the City (2.4) and Dirty Dancing (1.9), easily beating such
vaginocentric films as Beaches (1.2), Ya-Ya Sisterhood (1.2), and Traveling
- Third, the scores drop significantly after the teen years. People under
18 score it 9.4. The score drops to 8.4 in the next age group, which still
includes some teenagers. It falls further to 7.1 in the first demographic
group to include no teenagers.
It's essentially a tweener flick, a sentimental rom-com filled with
hackneyed stock characters whose individual sub-plots all come to predictable
happy endings. Imagine four episodes of a WB series strung together into
feature length, and you'll have the right idea. An aging hippie/surfer runs a
sub shop near the beach, and his crew consists of four young people. (They
sell five-inch heroes and ten-inchers. And the ten-inchers stimulate some
lively and ribald, if obvious, banter with hunky customers. Get it?) The five
main characters who work in the sub shop all find their true loves in the last
few minutes of the film, almost simultaneously. If you watch the first five
minutes of the film and can't figure out exactly what will happen to each
character, it is an indication that you have never seen any other films.
Having said all of those mean things, let me add that I did not find it an
unpleasant film to watch, and not just because of the lively sex scenes
involving the gorgeous Danneel Harris. There's nothing wrong with a little
open-hearted syrup now and then. I prefer watching films with some sweet
sentimental moments to those films with guys waving guns in each other's faces
the whole time, or those films where everyone is a gay junkie who is either
dying or suicidal. The main characters in this film are decent human beings
who form strong friendships, support one another, and learn from their
mistakes. As I watched it alone, I found some of the badinage funny enough to
make me laugh out loud involuntarily, and I felt better after having watched
it. So it's got that whole "feel good" thing workin' for it.
That 5.1 score from the top thousand IMDb voters is too low, representing
evidence of a bias toward guy-flicks in that group. It is much better than the
sorts of films scored in the 5.1 range because it is pleasantly entertaining
enough that a wide range of people could watch it without reaching for the
remote. On the other hand, it is also unexceptional and predictable, and an
overall score of 8.0 should be indicative of an all-time classic, which Ten
Inch Heroes simply is not. Dial M for Murder and Patton, for example, are
rated 8.0. Clearly this film does not belong in that company. A reasonable
rating would be about 6.0.
There are three dates listed above because Ten Inch Heroes was first
screened at festivals two years ago, in the spring of 2007, and has still not
been distributed in North America as of the end of 2008, neither to theaters
nor on DVD. (It was released on a Region 2 DVD in Scandinavia in October of
2008.) The film's MySpace page
says it "releases" in the USA in February of 2009. The authors of that page
don't define what they mean by that, but I'm assuming it means a DVD release
rather than theatrical distribution. If I were a theatrical distributor, I
would not take a chance on this. While I personally enjoyed the R-rated
aspects of the film (two sex scenes and lots of suggestive dialogue), those
elements will work counter-productively for the film in North American
theaters, given that it will play best with girls 10-17 and the presumptive R
rating will prevent them from buying a ticket.
The top ten sex scene from
Danneel Harris. The video quality is nice, but I messed up the audio synch