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Who is Cletis Tout?
     

Who is Cletis Tout?

5.0 1
Director: Chris Ver Weil

Cast: Christian Slater, Tim Allen, Portia de Rossi

 
Chris Ver Weil directs an all-star cast in the crime comedy Who Is Cletis Tout?, which comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround. English subtitles are accessible. There are no

Overview

Chris Ver Weil directs an all-star cast in the crime comedy Who Is Cletis Tout?, which comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but the strong sound and picture quality make this Paramount release worthwhile for any genre enthusiast.Standup comedian turned director Chris Ver Weil makes his debut with this wild and woolly romantic comedy cum noir crime thriller. The film centers on Trevor Finch (Christian Slater), a master counterfeiter and career con who learns that he has a price on his head from mob hitman Critical Jim (Tim Allen). The reason turns out to be a wacky case of mistaken identity -- Finch has assumed the name Cletis Tout, a sleazy, long-dead French muckraker with, it turns out, a criminal history himself. Rewind to 1977, when Micah (Richard Dreyfuss) pulls off a massive diamond heist and buries his booty in a field with the help of his young daughter Tess. Five presidential administrations later, Micah and his cellmate Finch bust out of prison, only to learn from the now-grown Tess (Portia de Rossi) that the diamonds are behind the walls of another newly built prison. Meanwhile, sparks begin to fly between Tess and Finch. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The minor crime caper Who Is Cletis Tout? was the recipient of such critical guff, it's disarming how mild and inoffensive it actually is. The ads gave the impression of a lot of "goofy name humor," featuring quick takes of various characters uttering the words "Cletis Tout" in rapid succession. And yes, there is a character named "Critical Jim." But this film is more than a lame descendent of the Get Shorty school of pratfalls and pseudonyms -- though sometimes not much more. Writer/director Chris Ver Weil actually sees his story as more of a fairytale, a mode he establishes with the opening jewel heist conducted by an illusionist clown, to the tune of a child's music box. Ver Weil also fancies himself a student of film history, filtering those sensibilities through the character of Tim Allen's hitman, Critical Jim. Not only does Jim quote numerous classic films, but, while holding Christian Slater's Trevor Finch captive as part of a narrative framing device, he also spitballs with Finch about how to make his story more cinematic, including character development and use of the three-act story structure. In this way, Ver Weil's script even pokes fun at its own "cinematic" contrivances. Ver Weil's greatest sin is that his ideas are a little too ambitious for the ho-hum materials he has on hand, or for the jokey B-grade genre with which the film is rightfully affiliated. Also, he doesn't adhere to one of the most fundamental cornerstones of classic Hollywood movies -- that his romantic leads (Slater and Portia de Rossi) must have chemistry. Who Is Cletis Tout? is innocuous enough, but it can't measure up to the movies it worships.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/07/2003
UPC:
0097363411147
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christian Slater Trevor Finch
Tim Allen Critical Jim
Portia de Rossi Tess Donnelly
Richard Dreyfuss Micah
Billy Connolly Dr. Savian
Peter MacNeill Detective Tripp
Elias Zarou Detective Delaney
Richard Chevolleau Detective Horst
RuPaul Ginger Markum
Joseph Scoren Rowdy Virago
Alan C. Peterson Henry Flatt

Technical Credits
Chris Ver Weil Director,Screenwriter
Brian Avery Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Bondelli Editor
Steven Brooksbank Casting
Jon Comerford Casting
Betsy Cox Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Diamond Executive Producer
Marc Dorfman Associate Producer
Randy Edelman Score Composer
Peter Emmink Art Director
Jay Firestone Producer
Michael Greenfield Associate Producer
Matt Grimaldi Producer
Daniel Grodnik Producer
Adam Haight Producer
Dennis Murphy Co-producer
Michael Philip Co-producer
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Eric Sandys Co-producer
Andrew Shea Asst. Director
Mary Jo Slater Co-producer
Robert Snukal Producer
Candice Stroh Associate Producer
Tony Thatcher Co-producer
Jerzy Zielinski Cinematographer

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Who is Cletis Tout? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who Is Cletis Tout? is one of the best new movies I have seen in a long time. Tim Allen is great as he quotes old movies left and right. The story mocks every cliche in the movie business from start to the very last scene. I am amazed this movie was not more of a hit and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see a great movie.