Tom Everett Scott

review enemies closer

A small plane crashes in a lake along the U.S.-Canadian border, and over the next few hours a group of drug-runners led by a militant vegan named Xander (Jean-Claude Van Damme) descend on a nearby island in order to retrieve the cargo. The only things standing in their way are a park ranger named Henry (Tom Everett Scott) and a mysterious visitor named Clay (Orlando Jones) who’s on a mission of revenge. Oh, and Xander’s lack of anything resembling a well thought out plan may also pose a bit of problem. Enemies Closer is a perfectly serviceable, low-budget action picture that is at its best whenever Van Damme is onscreen. He’s channeling Nicolas Cage circa Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, and he chews his way through every scene with a gleefully manic energy. The bad news though is that scenes without him are slight at best and insufferable at worst.

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Man at the Counter

Why Watch? In this short from Brian McAllister, an old man routinely visits a coffee shop, explaining to the young man behind the counter that he takes his coffee plain before pocketing a bunch of sugar packets. The young man lets his imagination run wild with thoughts of what the old man wants them for. Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do!) narrates this tale via a long-form ABAB-style poem where things go from mysterious to syrupy sweet. It’s covered in nostalgia despite a mostly modern setting, and the camera does a lot of the heavy lifting by pulling in focus to the actors’ eyes or floating along gracefully when the mood strikes. Plus, it’s grounded in something that lets the tenderness of it breathe. This is the exact kind of thing that could feel false and smarmy, but ends up warm and inviting because it’s an exercise in the importance of telling stories as much as it is a demonstration of great storytelling. The poem is honestly a bit much at first, but it grows on you, and the story itself is a lot like an ice cream truck — you hear it coming from a long way off, but you’re still happy when it arrives. Hat tip to Short of the Week for this one. What will it cost? Around 8 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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That Thing You Do

It’s 1964 in a Pennsylvania town. The Beatles and the rest of the British invasion have taken over the pop radio waves and encouraged a lot of small rock bands to dream big. One such band is the Oneders (pronounced Wonders, but commonly as O’Needers). When drummer Guy “Skitch” Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) joins the band with Jimmy (Jonathon Schaech), Lenny (Steve Zahn), the Bass Player (Ethan Embry) and Jimmy’s doting girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler) they inadvertently turn one of Jimmy’s slow ballads into a fast-paced pop song, and before they know it are touring the country with a hit song.

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