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BREWSTER MCGEE

By Stina Chyn | February 21, 2004

Most people love their cars. Some people have formed such intense, emotional bonds with their vehicles that they give them names. Neither Brewster McGee (Brent Neale) nor Malcolm (Reid Edwards) from Ross Munro’s film “Brewster McGee” appears to be that attached to their Plymouth, but for some reason they spend all their screen time sitting in it. In fact, Brewster and Malcolm don’t just sit in the car, they hangout and talk about the importance of friendship. Canadian filmmaker Munro’s dark comedy takes place in two locations: the Plymouth and a Chicken Hut Express. When the camera isn’t inside the fast food joint, documenting the way Mr. Erickson (Corey Turner) talks down to his assistant manager Oliver (Don Ackerman), it’s in Brewster and Malcolm’s car, which is always in the Chicken Hut’s rear parking lot.

Divided into four segments, “Brewster McGee” is a black and white illustration of a man who thinks he’s got everything figured out. Part one of the film is ‘Anatomy of a Blow-Job’. Brewster preaches about subliminal messages in advertising, explains that a man’s first blow-job is life-changing, and tells Malcolm about a phrase for which he intends to secure a copyright patent. Part two is ‘The Name’s McGee—Brewster McGee (This Must Be Hell)’. Prompted by Malcolm’s suggestion, Brewster leaves the Plymouth, goes inside the Chicken Hut and introduces himself to Oliver. A few minutes later, Brewster and Malcolm have a new friend, someone to warm the backseat. In the third portion, ‘smells like crap in the city of Denmark,’ Oliver proves that he has better things to do than spend hours upon hours sitting in a car and discussing anything that might come out of Brewster’s mouth.

The final installment is ‘The Last Tow-Truck Out of Saigon’ and it reveals what happens when Brewster’s self-proclaimed throne of authority is questioned. Interestingly, Brewster refers to himself in the third person every few sentences. When the film ends, even though he’s really talking about Malcolm, every “he” that Brewster utters leaves you with the impression that he’s really talking about himself.

Five years after its creation, “Brewster McGee” was made available on a director-approved, special edition DVD. There isn’t an abundance of deleted scenes or outtakes, but commentary tracks by the director and Brent Neale are more then enough to satisfy the demands of faithful subscribers to the commentary track. Munro’s film is sixty-four minutes of one man sharing his views about the world while the other characters chime in on a periodic basis. His arguments may sound familiar, but Brewster McGee articulates them in such a way that you won’t remember that you’ve probably heard them before.

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