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Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Melody (Tara Reid) and Valerie (Rosario Dawson) are Riverdale's super chic but struggling girl band Josie and the Pussycats. Thrashing out songs in their garage, playing at local shopping malls and designing pussy apparel, the trio is determined to make it to the top. They get their chance when ruthless talent scout Wyatt (Alan Cummings) – who needs a quick fix for the recently ill-fated boy band Du Jour - hires and promotes them before having even heard them. Initially tantalized by the popstar glitz and glamour, Josie and co soon discover subliminal messages added to their songs by merciless record producer Fiona (Parker Posey), who's using the band like she did Du Jour - to hock any and every product possible to the teen market.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
So comic book updates have become all the rage since Tim Burton gave the genre new wings with Batman in 1989. Dick Tracy, Men in Black, X-Men and Batman's 3 sequels have found varying success, while the upcoming Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk et al promise much. So why put a female slanted Archie Comics/Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 70s onto the big screen? Well, in today's postmodern marketing world, such a sharp, witty, self-reflexive film seems apt, even if it has time-travelled to 2001. Hey, I said it was postmodern! Far from allowing us to leave our sense at the candy counter, Josie and the Pussycats is a larger than life take on the corporate dominated, media promoted entertainment industry, where product placement rules. From the Target sponsored private jet to bedrooms filled with sponsorship labels, the film is its own clever little walking advertorial.

But like Josie, we're not fooled by these predatory marketing tactics. We smile as one gratuitous brand name is dropped into the background after another, as a perfectly cast Parker Posey uses Josie's music to brainwash their target market demographic. In other words, nothing too far from the truth, right?

Besides a bitingly satirical script, the film's cinematography and costumes are its most impressive features, well enhanced on DVD by Paramount's 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and crisp 5.1 audio. Deleted scenes mostly give Parker Posey the opportunity to over-act even further, and point out just how much her character was left on the editing room floor. The innovative ‘backstage pass’ featurette ties in with the groupie theme and features an on-location documentary about the making of the movie. The extended song clip/trailer includes footage and interviews, though it should never have been stretched to 25 minutes. A music video feature includes Du Jour hits such as Around the World and the dubiously titled Backdoor Lover. Writer-directors Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan (Can't Hardly Wait) have turned the cartoon/comic about the girl band from Riverdale into an infectious, candy-colored satire of contemporary pop culture. It's good nature does nothing to blunt its bite.

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CAST: Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Parker Posey, Alan
Cumming, Eugene Levy

DIRECTORS: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

Featurette "Back Stage Pass"; Music Video "3 Small Words"; Dujour Music Video "Backdoor Lover"; Dujour Music Video "Around the World"; Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer; Dolby Digital Surround; 1.85:1, 16:9 enhanced transfer; Widescreen

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: January 16, 2002

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