Roger Dodger

Roger Dodger

5.0 2
Director: Dylan Kidd

Cast: Campbell Scott, Jesse Eisenberg, Isabella Rossellini

Dylan Kidd is a writer/director to watch for in the future, which can easily be seen by this film, now out on DVD. While the film stands up nicely, the disc is hit-and-miss. The 1.77:1 anamorphic image is not the top draw here. Though a fair reproduction of the theatrical presentation, the overall look of the transfer is drab and lifeless. Detail is good enough not to


Dylan Kidd is a writer/director to watch for in the future, which can easily be seen by this film, now out on DVD. While the film stands up nicely, the disc is hit-and-miss. The 1.77:1 anamorphic image is not the top draw here. Though a fair reproduction of the theatrical presentation, the overall look of the transfer is drab and lifeless. Detail is good enough not to make it a wasted effort, but it certainly isn't memorable by any means. Equally, the 5.1 English Dolby Digital track is decent, but announces the films low budget, and doesn't really enhance the discs. Taking into account that this is a dialogue-driven film, a wide auditory field wouldn't be expected, but the very lack of anything imaginative is also quite apparent. The fact that dialogue is clear might just have to be enough. While the picture and sound leave something to be desired, the extra materials certainly do not. Artisan has loaded this disc with enough to keep independent film fans busy. First up are a number of featurettes, starting with an introduction from Kidd on his hopes to use this disc as a sort of film school. "The Composer and the Mixer," "The Producer," and "The Executive Producer and the Director" are just what they sound like: short interviews with these production members discussing their roles in making this film. Along with these is another featurette called "Explanation of a Scene: Opaline," as more crew members go over this specific scene. Next up are two scene-specific audio commentary tracks, one from Kidd and cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay, with the other from the director and actors Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg. While the first is far more technical, and the later far lighter, both are chock-full of detail and worth a listen. "New York at Night: the Roger Dodger Walking Tour with Jesse Eisenberg," a seven-minute featurette would seems like a good idea, but it leads nowhere, including many of the locations used in the film. Finally, along with one interesting deleted scene with optional commentary, is a text "Player's Guide to Scoring with Women," taken directly from the script, and the theatrical trailer. This is a fine package for a very well-written and directed film that deserves a bigger audience that it originally found.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
First-time writer-director Dylan Kidd takes a supremely jaded view of women, relationships, and sex in this edgy drama, which is reminiscent of the films of Neil LaBute. Campbell Scott portrays the eponymous Roger, a hotshot advertising executive whose recent, ill-fated affair with his attractive, older boss (Isabella Rossellini) seems to have undone his sense of his own masculinity. This leads him into a downward spiral of alcohol abuse and resentment toward the opposite sex that comes to a head when he takes his visiting 16-year-old nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) out on the town with the goal of helping him lose his virginity. Dialogue drives Roger Dodger -- Scott, in a dead-on performance, delivers brilliantly acerbic diatribes about the battle of the sexes with cocky confidence and the zeal of the converted. Smug and arrogant, he’s a mentor from hell who spews out his secret frustrations onto his naïve protégé with a force that will make some viewers cringe. Yet, we gradually see this monster’s façade begin to crack. In a scene in which Roger and his nephew encounter two attractive and available singles (Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley) at a bar, Roger’s slick witticisms are no match for the boy’s innocent romanticism. Roger Dodger stops short of the bleak alienation of LaBute's In the Company of Men or Your Friends & Neighbors, but it nonetheless avoids any easy catharsis. Roger may not be likable, but he rings true, and understanding him ultimately becomes more important than sympathizing with him.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Roger Dodger is an impressive debut for writer/director Dylan Kidd. Kidd has written a lot of sharp dialogue, gets strong performances from his accomplished cast, and he keeps the action moving at a nice, jaunty pace. Campbell Scott (Singles, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle), as the title character, again demonstrates his adeptness at playing amusingly loquacious men. Roger's apparent belief that he can talk himself out of -- or into -- anything provides a great deal of the film's humor. Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley are smart and sympathetic as the women pursued by Roger and his young nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), and Kidd invests these characters with the necessary depth to give Roger's manipulative games an unpleasant edge. Eisenberg is a likeable presence, and believable as an adolescent of above-average intellect and sensitivity, who's in danger of letting his horniness get the better of him. Unfortunately, Kidd goes a bit overboard in providing Nick with goofy eccentricities. He meditates to calm himself down ("Why should you calm down? You're a teenager," notes Roger). Okay, but he carries around instructions for his body to be cryogenically frozen? That comes across as something only a movie teen would do. The reason he gives to Roger for his appearance in New York will be transparent to even the most dimwitted of viewers, so it's surprising that the hyper-perceptive Roger can't see through it. Some of the humor in the film is a bit forced, and while Roger proves himself quite slimy over the course of the narrative, Kidd, apparently at a loss as to how to resolve things, makes him a bit too cute and cuddly in the end.
Chicago Sun-Times

The film is not just a lot of one-liners but has a buried agenda, as the funny early dialogue slides down into confusion and sadness. Roger Ebert
Los Angeles Times
Kidd has made the rare film that's more interesting and complex than it sounds, a feature that shares with its characters a willingness to take risks and ends up, like them, in places they never expected to be. Kenneth Turan
Hollywood Reporter
Scott delivers a terrific performance in this fascinating portrait of a modern Lothario. Frank Scheck

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; 16:9 widescreen version; English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio; English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio; French 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio; Optional English & Spanish subtitles; Director's preface to the DVD special features; Examination of a scene: Opaline - the film's crew takes you behind the scenes; Deleted scene with optional director commentary; New York at night: the "Roger Dodger" walking tour with Jesse Eisenberg; Audio commentary by director Dylan Kidd and director of photography Joaquin Baca-Asay; Audio commentary by director Dylan Kidd, Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg; Player's Guide to Scoring With Women; Theatrical trailer; Scene index

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Campbell Scott Roger
Jesse Eisenberg Nick
Isabella Rossellini Joyce
Elizabeth Berkley Andrea
Jennifer Beals Sophie
Ben Shenkman Donovan
Mina Badie Donna
Chris Stack Chris
Morena Baccarin Rachel, girl in bar

Technical Credits
Dylan Kidd Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Joaquin Baca-Asay Cinematographer
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Anne Chaisson Producer
Martin Garvey Executive Producer
Brenna Giffin Set Decoration/Design
Andy Keir Editor
Marco Londoner Asst. Director
Laylee Olfat Casting
Theresa Radka Sound/Sound Designer
Campbell Scott Executive Producer
Marcia Turner Casting
George VanBuskirk Producer
Dina Varano Art Director
Craig Wedren Score Composer
Amy Westcott Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Male Utility
2. Last Night With Joyce
3. Boiling Down the World
4. Premenopausal Delusion
5. A Five-Minute Situation
6. Nick's Stupid Cargo Pants
7. The Benefits of College
8. Boot Camp for the Eye
9. Hunting Rosebud
10. In a Woman's Skin
11. Roger Dodger's Verbal Skills
12. A Place With a View
13. Their First Time
14. "Learn How to Finish"
15. The Winning-Time Party
16. A Drunken Chance
17. Self-Humiliation as a Hobby
18. Failed at the Fail-Safe
19. The Hangover After
20. A New Student Generation
21. End Credits


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Roger Dodger 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ProseSax More than 1 year ago
Razor sharp dark social comedy that will make you squirm while you laugh. Indie director Dylan Kidd pulls great acting from a deep and talented cast. Campbell Scott ("The Spanish Prisoner") is at the top of the list as 'Rodger Dodger', known at work for his verbal adroitness, and by his new-adult nephew ( a fresh, believable Jesse Eisenberg) for his legendary 'skills' as a pick-up artist.
Roger is a character you will hate and pity from moment-to-moment as he takes his wide-eyed nephew on an evening of night-clubbing. Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley ("Showgirls") are note-perfect as two 'targets for Roger's talents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago